Tuesday, April 23, 2013

30 days.

yesterday i started the 30 day shred.

it was awful. 



i couldn't think of ANYthing I wouldn't rather be doing. 

and today i'm in gut wrenching pain. i have no idea how i'll even start day 2. 


i hate working out. i hate taking time away from doing stuff i want to do to do something for {eek!} myself. seriously. 

and i can make excuses all day long. 

i don't like walking with the double stroller. i like walking though. but my hubby isn't home so i only have one day a week that i technically could walk without the double stroller. but when my hubby is home i don't want to spend time away from him. and the gyms that have childcare are super expensive.

and so on and so on and so on.

but this has no excuse. 

and it's 27 minutes and 56 seconds.

and i can give myself that. right?

and add to that - i've heard the results are amazing if you stick out the 30 days. 

and i plan to seriously do it monday through friday. i don't do that crazy stuff on the weekends. let's keep it real, y'all. 

so who's with me? 

i'm not asking you to post before and after pics. i'm definitely not into those "selfie" pix like that. but i'll keep you updated. and i'd love to have some 30 day shred buddies!! so are you coming??

Monday, April 22, 2013


do you ever have those weekends where you feel yourself gearing up for what is lying ahead? the kind where you try to soak it all in and breathe deep because you know it's about to be crazy hard coming up? 

that's what we did this weekend. went on a little getaway with some dear friends. 

and it was awesome. just what i needed. because these next few weeks are going to be cray-cray. the end of school, end of session, birthdays, swim lessons, volunteering, lunches, dinners, etc. just lots and lots of transitions and stuff happening. 

and so, with every breath this weekend, i tried to soak in the quiet. and gear up. and try to plan out how i'm going to pull it all together this week. {read: pull myself together this week.}

and as i was writing out my to do list, going over our calendar and thinking of all the {good} stuff coming up, i was trying to get it in my head that i need to have it all together or none of it's together. 

but that's not right, is it? 

having balance in my life really isn't a good thing. 

it's all about having it unbalanced. doesn't that sound backward? 

it's really all about having a life out of balance. God taking over - being huge in our life and the other stuff falls in when it can. i'm not saying that i don't need to do laundry or fix my dinner or wind down. i'm saying that if my priorities are straight - unbalanced, if you will - then everything will feel in balance.

and so today - i'm taking it one step at a time - trying to give myself a lot of grace. a lot of room for error. asking the Lord to take me by the hand one chore at a time. asking Him to show me what is a need vs. want. what does He want me to get done vs. what i want to make happen. 

and it's hard. but freeing. a few times today, as i've found myself rushing from one task to the next, i feel Him whisper "slooooow....." and i quite literally have to slow my steps. breathe slower. smile more. see my kids more.

i'm excited to get on with the next few weeks, but i truly feel convinced that we tend to fill up our time with good things instead of pouring out our time to Him. in this season i find that i've had to cut activities out just to make it through the week. without an extra set of hands it feels like a gigantic task to get to and from and here and there. and yes, i have dear friends that are more than happy to help out - but that's not really the issue now. 

the issue now is that i actually like it this way. i like slowing down and having room to breathe. our weekends are meant to rejuvinate us {especially as a couple, in my opinion} and when we're separated by a million activities it's hard to feel refreshed when it's all over.

maybe you could say that my kids are "missing out" because we're not involved in every activity, but i'm actually grateful that we have time to experience life as a family while we can. i know there's going to come a day really soon when b. is going to be hyper involved in a sport or other activity. and c. will be doing the same soon after. and i want that for them. i loved being involved. so did the hubbs.

but - for now - we've chosen to live slowly. and again, it's our season. not anyone else's. and as judged as i sometimes feel, i know that j. and i are making these choices together and are on the same page. we're trying to follow our plan - the race He set out before us.

so let's make a deal. let's give each other grace. i won't judge your choices and you don't judge mine. your life is different than mine. your personality is different. your kids are different. your circumstances are different. none harder than the other. none better or worse... just different. 

and there's no way i could ever walk a mile in your shoes. and i wouldn't want to, i'm sure. 

so let's not pretend there's another way. and just accept that we are who we are. and keep our eyes on the Prize and not on our surroundings. keeping up with the joneses - or what have you. if you're in a season where you are able to live "fast"... go for it. more power to you. 

i'm just simply sharing that my season - well - it should be "fast". it's crazy. but we're choosing to live it slow. whatever that means. and i'll be trying to figure that out until i'm called elsewhere. failing everyday and giving myself {and others!} grace.

and that's that. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

at the bottom of the mountain.

there's something that the Lord has been pressing on my heart for the last year or two. 

and it's very scary to share the details of it. only because i have no idea what He's going to do with it. i can speculate all i want - and each time i do He turns me in another direction on the same road. 

it's crazy. 

i feel like it's been a roller coaster of emotions. highs & lows. twists & turns. thinking i know where i'm going and then He says "turn around becky - let's go this way instead." although, i know that it's really not instead - it's more of a this-is-what-I-had-planned-but-didn't-tell-you kind of thing.

why do i think He needs to tell me? 

because i want control. i want to steer the car. i want to decide how it's going to happen. i want to plan & be prepared & get there faster. 

but He continues to leave me in the dark as He emphatically drives the car. i've determined that there's no room for me in this driver's seat. 

and - to be quite honest - it drives me completely crazy.

i was praying this morning about how i feel about all of this & a vivid picture came to my mind. 

it's as if i've long been on this journey and i've been able to see something way off in the distance. with every bump in the road, every hill & every mountain that i've crossed over in the past two years or so, i've been able to see this mountain in the distance come a bit closer. it's scary knowing something like that is coming up on your journey. but also exhiliarating as i've found Him so faithful in my other climbs. 

and as this mountain has gotten closer, i've discovered it's not just one, but several dozen. a mountain range if you will. and there's no way to walk around it. i'm going to have to go through it. and now i'm standing at the bottom. i'm still. and clueless. staring straight up at the steep journey ahead. i see so many different paths i could take. but which one? which one am i supposed to go down? 

i have no idea. none.

here's the crazy thing. a few weeks ago, He laid it on my heart to mention all of this to our new women's minister. i didn't think she could do anything but listen, and He told me to, so i made plans in my head to talk with her in june or so - after j got back from session.

that very sunday she happened into our sunday school room. and i couldn't sit still. like i had ants in my pants or something until i got up and ran after her in the hallway. as i mentioned to her that i wanted to get together with her - in june - about what the Lord has {heavily} laid on my heart she told me that another woman called her about almost the same thing {ONE of the mountains i see before me!} the day before. the Lord was stirring and we needed to chat.

i met with her yesterday. the first thing i said was, "chrissie - i have no idea why i'm here except the Lord told me to come." crazy that the Lord has laid a similar crisis on her heart. crazy, but not, because we've seen Him work like this before, haven't we? 

we know ONE step to take at the moment. ONE. and that's pretty much research. doesn't seem terribly productive to me when i know the Lord has brought me here. let's get started already. i'm tired of staring at this huge mountain {range}. just take me up. let me fall. whatever - i just want to get started on this climb.

but He's not ready. again - with Him steering the car, deciding the pace. what's with His control anyway? seriously! can't He give it over just once?

ahhhh - but His ways are NOT mine. and praise Him that they aren't. i'd already be up and over that mountain by now, missing all of the lessons & blessings & trials along the way. can i get an amen?

so here i am. 

having no idea of the what, why, how, who.... whatever. none. 

just that the Lord has brought me here. 

and yes, it's all kind of sort of weirdly intertwined with africa. but not really. but sort of. huh. 

i don't really know how all of the pieces could even begin to wrap together to form a cohesive story. but i know that He can do it. and He will. in His timing. 

and, for now, i will settle in and enjoy the ride {or the stillness} and attempt to wait for Him to make His move - which i have a feeling will be something of clearing a pathway on the mountain that isn't wide open but more of a back-woods-trails type. 

what mountains is He asking you to climb? are you in a valley? do you see something in the distance? i'd love to know your story. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

instafriday. {on monday?}

so, i was pretty much a vegetable friday and saturday. 

the trunk show was a huge success and i was extremely blessed by all of you who came to support me & my attempt to raise money to go to africa. i have no idea what the Lord has for me there, i only know that He has explicitly told me to go. and that little branches will get me there. 

so i am trusting. 

nevertheless, the last month has been a blur of painting, sanding, friday night lights, tagging & repeat. 

except sunday. last week was b's 5th birthday. and as an extra special treat he got to fly with daddy to austin to go to work with him. he was speaker of the house for the day, got to meet all of daddy's "friends" and even did the gavel. he led the pledges & got to push the buttons to "vote". he had the best time.

we are in the home stretch of session. less than 50 {brutal} days left. i am so thankful. and as much as we miss him, we know it's the Lord's calling on our lives at the moment. and in that, there is peace.

took some advice from becky & took time for myself. to get my hair did {which it desparately needed!} so glad that i did this. 

my favorite items that sold out in the first 30 minutes. now i wish i had kept one for myself. check back next week for restock. 

registered for kindergarten on friday. all sorts of emotions along with this. i can't believe it - yet i'm so ready - yet i'm not. wow. what a roller coaster ride..... as i'm sure the next 12 years will be much of the same. 

friday night we went to the spring carnival at the school. b is SUPER excited to attend here in the fall & i'm excited since he's excited. 

happy monday, friends.


Monday, April 8, 2013

top five: take-to-a-friend meals.

one of my very favorite things to do is take meals to friends. ones that have just had a baby, of course, or those that have simply had a hard week. we were INCREDIBLY blessed during the campaign by some sweet friends who randomly brought us meals at different points. those special people who couldn't necessarily "do" anything but wanted to - and it blessed me to tears. sometimes it's those random texts from friends saying they're dropping something off for you that make all the difference. i think it's a baptist thing. taking food to others when you can't do anything else.

nevertheless - i have tried {and failed a LOT} to pay it forward. to be aware of people who this might bless. to think beyond myself. and i honestly LOVE to cook. and i don't get to so much right now - so any excuse is a good one to me. my goal going forward is to make this a part of my weekly routine. how hard is it to double a meal? {if you make PW's meatballs you don't even have to double it to have enough for your family & another family!}

i try to keep things simple. but cute. mexican food is always easy because a) we live in texas and who DOESN'T love mexican food and b) because it's easy to pair with chips/salsa/salad and you have a complete meal! tada!

1. my latest favorite thing to bring is this enchilada recipe from six sisters. i found it on pinterest and have made it several times. every time i take it to someone they ask for the recipe and i just send them to this website.

it smells up your refrigerator for DAYS. i like to use the fresh whole wheat tortillas from central market.  they're my favorite. {kroger has good ones too!}

2. PW's BBQ Meatballs: these are amazingly good & you will have enough for your family AND another family guaranteed! they take a bit more time to prepare but keep well if you make them ahead of time. they are easy to pair with mac & cheese {the kind i like in the blue box} and a salad. these are super kid friendly {as opposed to the enchiladas!} 

3. if you're looking for a delicious treat to add into your meal, i like these ooey gooey butter bars. i keep mine in the fridge so they "hold" better and i, personally, like them {even} better cold. 

4. another good treat is my aunt's chocolate chip pecan pie. {make sure they aren't allergic first!} it's simple & easy but super delish. bonus: there's nothing to steal before you take it to them! 

1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick margarine, softened
1 c. pecans (I used chopped)
1 c. chocolate chips (sometimes I put in more!)
1 pillsbury pie crust

Preheat oven to 325. Mix flour and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and margarine. Mix well. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into pie crust. Bake 45-55 minutes. Yummy!

5. finish it off: put a little sussy in the bag! i like handmade things so i tend to put some homemade burp cloths for baby gifts or a little print. if it's a girlfriend having a hard week sometimes i make a little mix cd {can you say high school?}. sometimes just a little note is all that makes it in the bag - and all they need. the paper grocery bags from central market, whole foods or trader joes make really good totes for meals. put it in a disposable foil casserole dish - one less thing for them to worry about.

i like to tie the bag off with a little bow at the top. if you're making the enchiladas, try making some fresh salsa and put it in a little mason jar, along with a bag of chips and a bagged salad. YES, i just said bagged salad. it's good - and easy.

it doesn't take much. those extra thoughts go a long way for those friends who are hurting, tired or just in need of a pick-me-up. trust me, i have experienced these special people and it has blessed me tremendously along the way. and you do NOT have to know someone well to know they're in need of a little blessing. they will NOT look at you like you are strange - i promise.

who can you bless this week? i have a sweet family in mind for myself. 

have a very happy monday!

Friday, April 5, 2013

hello, friday.


i can't believe how incredibly FAST this week went.

two nugget's birthdays this week. the beautiful girl in between c. and b. turned SIX this week. cannot believe it. i remember holding her in the hospital. she is gorgeous. sporty. oh so kind to my kids. we love her. 

and then b. he turns FIVE on sunday. FIVE. and kindergarten roundup is next friday. WHAAAT? ever since he was born i've been waiting for the day for him to go to kindergarten. i struggled a bit with postpartum after i had him and the adjustment was hard. i remember sitting there counting down the {long} years until i'd be able to "be myself" again. my perspective was totally skewed, of course, but i have never dreaded the kindergarten years. partly because i think he can't wait to go, partly because i know he's ready. and i'm ready too. i think.

but let me tell y'all. when i saw that notice on the elementary school marquee, i all of a sudden became a blubbering idiot. i was in the car by myself and i called j. to tell him about how ridiculous it was that i all of a sudden am crying about this. he may or may not have gotten choked up too, i'll never tell you.

why is it that going to kindergarten brings out all sorts of emotions. when people tell me, "it goes by so fast!" i think, no it doesn't. i still don't think it's gone by fast - but how in the world is he old enough to go to school? and i think the part about us not necessarily knowing that we're going to be going to this elementary school {which is superior, by the way!} bothers me to no end.

i moved around a lot when i was little. i went to two elementary schools, two middle schools and then moved again before my freshman year in high school. and although i think it turned out okay and i have never thought i carry emotional "scars" from it, i also hate thinking about b. changing schools and starting over with making friends. it's me, not him. 

so.... as we approach five this weekend, i'm going to have to find a way to get him to understand we will not be attending kindergarten starting monday. we will not be riding a bus {probably never more than field trips, poor guy}. and i will be holding onto him a little tighter the next few months.

that's totally normal, right? 

happy weekend, y'all. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

on sundays.

sundays have almost always been a hard day for me.

j. & i dated in high school but we went to separate high schools. we didn't see each other much during the week - i played sports & so did he. on the weekends we got to see each other either friday or saturday night and then we hung out pretty much all day sunday between church/youth choir/ sunday night church. {ooooh how i miss sunday night church. i LOVED it.}

sunday nights would be full of tears, heartache & catching up on homework for me. oh how dramatic i probably was as a teenager. 

and then i went to college before j. did. sundays were full of goodbyes. and he did an internship in d.c. one summer - more sundays. 

and then there's our current state. 

sundays full of tearful goodbyes. 

and my heart aches. 

i miss my best friend. i miss laughing with him, holding his hand & talking with him about the sweet nothings of our days. our limited conversations now are full of more "important" topics like the littles, his day in session, his votes, my business, planning the weekend, how we're going to get everything done. 


but although my heart is aching... longing for his physical presence... i am oh so grateful that his emotional presence is always felt. when we prayed over the campaign i felt an overwhelming sense of peace that God is BIGGER than a physical gap. He could bridge whatever that gap might bring for me or my children. 

and the peace is wonderful. it surpasses anything i could have ever imagined. it is what holds me together most sunday nights when i watch his tailights fade down the street. the Lord has been gracious to me in that way. 

but the fact is that we live in a fallen world. and although my heartaches does not compare to a lot of yours out there, it is real. and in an odd way it makes me grateful that i even have it. grateful for a husband who loves me and my kids. he loves his job & has a high privelage to serve his constinuents, but i have never doubted that our family comes first. that is a true blessing

sundays bring all sorts of emotions. 

sometimes i roll back in time when i say a dramatic teenage goodbye to my boyfriend of 2 months while i feel like i seriously might die if i don't get to see him until saturday. 

sometimes it makes me think of the sunday nights while we were engaged but living in different cities, talking about how we couldn't wait for the sunday that we didn't have to say goodbye. 

and sometimes it makes me thankful for all that the Lord has brought us through to get here, to this sunday. where we are just taking it one day at a time, together, on His course for our lives - wherever that might lead. 

so. with that.... onto monday!