Wednesday, 25 December 2013

26 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 26 Weeks, 4 Days
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!

How Far Along? 26 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope :)

Food Cravings? None that I can think of. Loving Christmas get togethers with family though- turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings? Yes please.

Mood? So good. How can it not be good? Christmas!! Pregnant!! I'm just overwhelmed by love these days. I just keep thinking how different Christmas will be next year. We can't wait to teach our little one all about the birth of Jesus!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

25 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 25 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 25 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nuh uh!

Food Cravings? Nothing I can think of... I mean, aside from Mexican food of course. (Mmmm Mucho Burrito...) This is a well known fact apparently, as even my (almost) 7 yr old nephew asked me the other day why the baby likes jalapenos so much. He's the cutest.

Mood? Really good! At the end of last week I felt a head cold coming on and I totally killed that sucker with Vitamin D and other natural supplements. I LOVE beating a cold before it starts. Now, the past couple of days I've had a bit of a cough, but I'll take that any day over a full on sinus cold! My mood was also instantly boosted when we put up our gorgeous, wonderful smelling tree on Saturday. It's the best tree I've ever seen!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Working Through Fears Of Miscarriage

I recall not long ago (but long before I was pregnant) I was reading a blog by one of my favorite bloggers who had recently announced she was expecting. One of her first posts after announcing was a post dedicated to how difficult it was for her to announce the pregnancy to the world because she still feared miscarrying. At the time I felt quite sad for her, that she would be so held down by fear. My own sister walked through two miscarriages before she had her first child and through her experiences I learned how common miscarriages are- how normal it is to lose a baby in the early weeks.

That's hard to even type. How normal it is to lose a baby?

Fast forward to the day we found out we were pregnant. We were ecstatic. Nothing but pure joy filled our hearts. I spent the day on a happy little cloud... until that very night when I saw the tiniest amount of blood when I used the washroom. Enter: Panic. One of my closest friends had just walked through a miscarriage less than two weeks prior to this. The memory of her nervous texts about spotting were now screaming in my ear.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

24 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 24 Weeks, 3 days

How Far Along? 24 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope

Food Cravings? Oh gosh, this one is embarrassing. Pizza pops. There. I said it. Baby, why do you so love the processed foods?? 

Mood? Oh you know... so so... It's been a challenging week guys. What with Chris getting through the end of semester crunch, a couple of challenges with a friend, and then to top it off we stayed at my sister's house for 3 days to watch their kids while they are on vacation- just being uprooted and thrown into someone else's routine can throw a person through a loop, ya know? All these things are fairly minor on their own, but you mash them all together in a blender with pregnancy hormones and you've got preggo mama meltdown on your hands. Thankfully I have a husband who has seen this before and knows just what to do. Get me a stuffin pop from Sobey's, let me cry a little and then plop me in a hot tub- huge perk of staying at my sister's!! (Before you speak, yes I am aware of the cautions of being in a hot tub while pregnant. Do not worry, I have done all my research and was very careful to stay in for only a few minutes at a time and not allow my body temperature to raise too high) 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

23 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 23 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 23 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope

Food Cravings? Nachos. Always nachos. With all the jalapenos. (SO thankful I still have not experienced any heartburn!)

Mood? Overall pretty good! I'm really loving being pregnant and having Christmas approaching!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

22 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 22 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 22 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope! I have finally tried the last thing on my aversion list to see if it bothered me. I happy to report I am fully enjoying ceasar salad again!

Food Cravings? This might sound weird, but right after I typed that I thought to myself how much I would love a good, garlicky ceasar salad right now....

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Quite Frankly, You're Not My Type

Do you have a red beard? Glasses? Dirty blonde hair? Do you like to wear plaid and dark jeans, or anything by Obey, and can only be found in shorts and sandals from April to October? Do you have a bit of a belly- just the right amount that you're soft to lay my head on while we watch TV?

No? Well, quite frankly then, you're not my type.

Here's the thing guys. My husband? He is my standard of handsome. He is exactly what gets my heart racing- him and no one else. The cool thing about all this is that he changes, and my standard of handsome changes right along with him. You may have noticed his beard has grown quite long lately. I love it. As much as I tease him by telling him he's not allowed to, if he were to shave it off, I would love that too.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

21 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 21 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 21 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Well there was that time I felt sick all evening long, but I think that had more to do with all the junk food I had been eating in the 24 hours prior to that... On that note- Anne of Green Gables weekend was a huge success! ;)

Food Cravings? Mucho Burrito. Craved and satisfied. Oh, how I love Mucho....

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

20 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 20 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 20 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Hmm. I had a night this week where I felt really sick and almost thought I was getting the flu. Some chicken noodle soup fixed me right up though, and I felt fine the next morning so I'm calling it a fluke.

Food Cravings? One night I had a craving for a hot spinach and artichoke dip, and luckily we were having friends over for dinner so I had the perfect excuse to make it. I used this recipe, tripling the garlic (which I do with most recipes...) and it was AMAZING.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

19 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 19 Weeks, 3 days

How Far Along? 19 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope! I even had some hummus this week and loved it! Woo hoo!

Food Cravings? There was a night this week where I craved tortellini with alfredo sauce at about 10 pm. Thankfully I had the good sense not to try to fulfill it in that moment, and I thought it had subsided until I started answering this question....

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Tell Him How Wonderful He Is. Often.

The other night Chris and I had a conversation that led to him pouring out his heart to me about all the things he has been struggling with recently. It was a holy moment, and one that I don't take for granted. It was a moment of pure vulnerability, and so I am sure you are all wondering why on earth I would be sharing it with all of you.

Well, because I think God wants me to.

See, this is not about my husband's struggles, but instead about a choice of how to respond. After he poured it all out, I offered to pray for him. I wish I could tell you about how often I pray for my husband (and I don't mean just pray for him, but pray out loud with him.) but the truth is that it isn't enough. This is an area I am seeking to grow in, as I believe it benefits our marriage in unimaginable ways- both by ministering to our hearts, but also making a real tangible difference in the spiritual world, because friends, we are of one flesh. The unity between man and wife is unlike any other. You better believe our prayers together and for each other make a difference.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

18 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 18 Week, 3 Days

How Far Along? 18 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope!!

Food Cravings? A donair. Ha! How's that for nitrates? (Don't get me started on nitrates) Yes I ate one, and yes it was delicious!

Mood? Great most of the time, but I have had a few silly tearful moments this past week. (I can only see the silliness afterwards of course.) Just the other night I cried while making granola bars (first time since being pregnant- at first because I was too sick, then I just got lazy) because I was sure Chris wouldn't like them anymore since he's been eating store bought sugar filled granola bars for the last 3 months. He laughed at me. I cried a little more. He realized I was actually crying and assured me he will love them just as much as he used to. (Phew!)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Art of Single Tasking

When did this become a lost art? In a way it seems it happened so slowly and quietly that none of us noticed. The art of single tasking has been lost to the days of proving our ability to do it all. Multi-tasking is the new little black dress that all women strive to squeeze into.

It starts early too. In high school? Well you best be in a few extra curriculars or at least one sport. Not to mention have a part time job to fund your active social life all while pulling honors. In college? Doesn't matter that your work load for school has tripled, you still need that part time job, and you now have twice as many clubs to belong to. You finally get out of school and are working full time. You think you might finally get a break, but the truth is that if you want to succeed in your new job you need to prove that you can indeed (you guessed it!) multi task. It's a skill that is not only an asset, but a must for most jobs. We need to do more in less time. We need to succeed, we need to survive.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

17 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 17 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 17 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? I love that my answer is no. I think I could even try some hummus if I wanted. Feeling great!

Food Cravings? Still all things Mexican and all things spicy. I feel incredibly blessed to not be experiencing heartburn, and plan to take advantage as much as I can for as long as I can! I am also experiencing a lot of extra hunger these days, so often my cravings are just whatever is closest and fastest to get in my belly!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

And Then We Didn't Get Pregnant Right Away....

Ok, to pick up where we left off, Chris and I had just received confirmation from God that he wanted us to start trying to conceive our first child right away. We. Were. Stoked. So, if you remember, this all happened in January. There were a few things that got in the way of us beginning to try (getting off the pill, etc) so that didn't actually happen until March.... which brings us to April and our first pregnancy test. As I am sure you can imagine from the title of the post.... it was negative. And I cried.

I know it's silly, but there was just something that made me think we would get pregnant the first month. I know a lot of women who have - even after being on the pill for years. That, and the fact that God had told us to start trying right away? It seemed like it was all pointing to getting pregnant right away. (Great logic, right?)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

16 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 16 Weeks, 4 Days

How Far Along? 16 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Not that I can think of! Aaaand I can officially drink coffee again! I've had a few long awaited lattes, and even a couple black coffees, and they taste soo good! I know it's perfectly safe to drink up to 200 mg of caffeine each day, but when it's available I've been drinking decaf. It's just a little weird to me that caffeine is a stimulant, and all that jittery-ness would be passed to the baby as well.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

15 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 15 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 15 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nothing stick out in my mind. Actually, there may be good news on the coffee front. I think I can finally say that I am on a continuous uphill with the nausea battle. I still need to make sure I am eating enough, but for the most part I haven't had any huge "I think I'm going to vomit" emergencies. Hallelujah!!! On Sunday I felt confident enough to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and aside from it tasting too sweet (even though I ordered it half sweet) I was able to enjoy the entire thing!! I'm still a bit nervous to try real coffee, but at least I have hope that this aversion might not last the entire pregnancy.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

14 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 14 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 14 Weeks, 6 Days

Anything making you queasy or sick? This week the thought of meatloaf completely turned my stomach. I'm afraid it might be a long term aversion (as opposed to the many in-the-moment aversions I've had) because even as I type this I'm feeling a little gaggy (is that a word?)

Food Cravings? Poutine. (Oh how I love poutine!) Which I had on Sunday afternoon and it was delicious!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

13 Weeks Pregnant

Taken at 13 Weeks, 3 Days

How Far Along? 13 Weeks, 6 days

Anything making you queasy or sick? Aside from just plain being pregnant? Nah. I mean, still ceasar salad and hummus, but that's pretty minor. I forgot to mention last week- coffee has turned my stomach since day one as well. It's quite sad because the smell is still appealing, but as soon as I have a sip I'm grossed right out. This week I ordered pasta with alfredo sauce and shrimp on it, and the shrimp was not happening. Thankfully it didn't "taint" the pasta so once I picked it off I could still enjoy my meal.

Monday, 23 September 2013

How God Told Us To Get Pregnant

This wasn't an easy decision for us. Chris is currently in school and will be for another 2 years. That means that I am the only one bringing in an income from Sept - April. And aside from the financial challenge of having a child, there is the added challenge of Chris possibly feeling pulled in too many directions when he should be focusing on his studies, or maybe feeling guilty if he needs to leave to go to Starbucks to write a paper and I am at my wits end with a crying baby. So many things to consider, and not a decision to be made lightly!

We first had the desire to have a baby before we had even been married a year. When we were engaged and first married we were pretty set in the "not until Chris is done school" decision, but it didn't take long for that to change. Anyone that knows us isn't surprised in the least by this! We prayed about it in March of 2012 and both felt like Jesus was saying "not now" I brought it up again in December of 2012 when we were on vacation in Mexico. We agreed to talk about it further. To be honest, I think we were both a bit nervous that Jesus would say no again. It was really hard the last time- to both really want it, but not feel like it was quite right.... but want to ignore that feeling so we could do it anyways. It was a hard journey and when the answer came up no it was really difficult to listen!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Baby "A" Is On The Way!

Recap of "early pregnancy", and trust me, for me it started E-A-R-L-Y.

So, as some of you already know, Chris and I are super excited to be expecting our first baby in March!! I am currently 12 weeks pregnant and will be doing weekly updates on this pregnancy, but first I wanted to tell you how it's been so far.

In short? Not so great. Growing another human being is hard work!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Many Sides To The 50 Shades Debate

It seems that now that the actors have been announced for the upcoming movie, 50 Shades of Grey has once again made it's way into the social media and blogging world. I assume this is only a preview of how much we'll hear about it next year once the movie is actually released. Up until now I have largely remained out of the conversation. Aside from letting my opinion be known to a few friends and family when the subject comes up (aka commenting on their Facebook statuses about it) I haven't written about it or made my opinion more public. I have read many blogs and articles, most of which are criticisms and outright slander of the books. While I haven't read the books myself, I tend to agree with a lot of the criticisms. There are a lot of Christian women bloggers who have been contributing to this conversation who have opinions similar to mine, and I am thankful for their opinions and for how they have caused people to look at the subject from a different perspective.


Friday, 6 September 2013

A Little Vacay Recap

Aaaahhh. I feel refreshed. I also feel a little guilty for not writing for so long. I actually half wrote a post on my Blogger app on my iPhone while we were away only to discover that I hadn't saved it and it was gone forever! Very sad. We got home this past Monday evening and all week I tried to start typing that one out again... but the words just didn't flow. So, instead I'll recap our fun 12 day Vancouver/Seattle/Fairmont Hot Springs vacation!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Lesson in Humility

Sorry for the short hiatus everyone. I needed to take a little time and space from blogging over the past couple weeks while I worked something out with God.

It wasn't my intention, but my last post hurt the feelings of someone close to me. In a way it was a bit of a miscommunication, but that doesn't change the fact that her feelings were hurt.

As I sit and ponder this I think about one of the pastors at my church.

There was this one time that during a sermon he said something that was meant to be a joke, but ended up offending someone. That person complained- explaining why they were offended. Of course it wasn't the pastor's intention to hurt this person's feelings. It seems as though they may have overreacted (so said a few people... admittedly even myself!) or missed the light heartedness of the comment. Now this pastor had two options. He could try to explain to the person why and how he meant for it to be a joke and hope the person would see it his way. (I don't know about you, but I often take this approach in close relationships. "No, no, you shouldn't be mad. I didn't mean it that way!") or, the pastor could apologize to the person- taking a heart posture of humility rather than pride.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Living in Community Part 2

As I said in my last post, I truly believe that we are all born with a desire to know and to be known. We don't want to go through this life alone, but instead we want people alongside us to cheer us on when we're doing well, and to be our shoulder to cry on when things go wrong.

But, what about a virtual shoulder?

We live in a technically charged world where Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the norm, and behind all that are dozens of other ways to connect with people online - chat rooms and forums still exist, as do blogging communities and YouTube Channel subscriptions. These days, it's nearly impossible to feel lonely. All you need to do is put up a status or throw out a tweet, and you're likely to get some response. That's the point, right? To connect with other people? I mean, if the purpose of tweeting were to keep your thoughts to yourself and not hear from anyone else... well you probably wouldn't even bother. That's what diaries and journals are for.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Living in Community Part 1

I think we all have a deep desire in us to know and be known. There is something so unique about a relationship in which you don't have to fully explain yourself with every conversation and every decision, because the other person knows you. They know what makes you tick- your past hurts and triumphs and how those things have shaped you. They know your heart. I've written about this before in the context of marriage, but today I want to talk about friendships.

I have gone through many seasons in my life- seasons where I had a very active social life, where I would hang out with many people, usually in large group settings, and then seasons where I stepped away from that and tended to be more of a "homebody." Sadly, for me, this was often directly correlated to the person whom I was dating. If they were social, I was social. if they were not, I stayed home all weekend long in my pj pants watching reruns of Friends. I always insisted I was happy as a clam either way, and at the time I was, but looking back I have no idea how I lived so far from any kind of community. Often, after those relationships ended I would be left with feelings of regret for not engaging fully in friendships, but was always so thankful when the few that stood the test of time were still there when I turned back towards them. That being said, I realize I took these friendships for granted, and would not choose to that again. I certainly learned my lesson!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

A Perfect Fight

We've been here before. Haven't we all? It's a good hour past the time we went to bed and here we lay, side by side in the dark arguing.

Oh, how I despise the anonymity that a dark bedroom brings. Courage comes out when you're not looking at each others faces, seeing the tears and expressions of hurt. Things are said that don't need to be said.

If I can't say it to your face, quite frankly I don't want to say it at all.

The subject matter matters little. The point is that we were both hurt and upset, both for valid reasons. Neither was wrong. Neither was right. And it may have been the late hour, but I was rocked to my core about this fight. I laid there trying to explain to him why the sobbing wouldn't stop, and I really had no idea. My best guess was that something he said triggered a deep hurt buried somewhere inside my heart.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Only The Lord Can Make Me Like Gardening

Remember when I wrote about planting my flower beds, and what a horrible experience that was? And how I actually hate gardening altogether? Well friends, I am shocked that I am typing this out, but it turns out that I don't actually hate the flower beds anymore. Actually, I have found myself enjoying taking care of them.

It's crazy, I know.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Fighting for Joy

It all went downhill at Wal-Mart

My intentions were to stop in quickly and buy the plants, and then get home and plant them. I figured the whole process from parking at Wal-Mart to cleaning the dirt under my nails would take an hour, maybe and hour and a half tops.

First of all, can I just remind you all of my extreme dislike for gardening? Well, an update from that post- we did indeed grass seed the entire garden. It made me quite happy. Unfortunately, I still have a few flower beds that needed attention. If I could get away with not touching them I would, but I learned last year that flower beds also grow weeds really well, and having that in front of your house is slightly embarrassing.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Gettin' Antsy

While I have always wanted to travel and see the world, I have never felt that strong of a pull towards it. I haven't been many places- aside from a trip to England and Scotland as a teenager, and a few all inclusives I've barely been out of the country. I have always had intentions of going places like Italy, or Australia, I've never sat down to "make a plan" Chris and I have talked about taking a year to live in Europe once he's done school. It's a nice dream, and it might even happen, but we haven't called a travel agent or anything. My travel dreams have lived on the back burner for many years.

Well, I don't know who turned the stove on, but the kettle is whistling, and I have to say folks. I gotta get outta here right meow.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sometimes, The Gospel is Offensive

First of all, what is the Gospel?

Growing up I thought it was a book of the Bible. You know, like the book of Genesis, Mark or Matthew... I thought The Gospel was a book like those. I think it came from my half-listening in church as a child. I grew up going to a Lutheran Church, and each Sunday there were three readings. Two of them were from random passages (or so it seemed) and one was the reading from the Gospel.

The part I missed was at the end of the reading when the Pastor would say which book he was reading from. In the new testament there are four Gospel accounts: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are considered Gospel accounts because all four tell the story of Jesus- his life and his death. In a nutshell, the truth of God sending His only son to earth to die for our sins is the gospel. It is often referred to as the Good News. It is the ultimate redemptive story of something broken (our relationship with God, broken by our sin) restored to what it was originally created to be: A new covenant, where there is nothing in the way of us experiencing true relationship with God.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Golden Fork Mini Tour

Chris and I celebrated our Two Year Anniversary a couple days ago. Chris planned our first anniversary, and so I was happy to take on the challenge this year. My goal was simple- a fun night with good food. Something that felt a little different and outside of what we normally do, and something that felt a little extra special.

We knew one thing early on- we wanted to go to Von's Steakhouse. We have only been once before, and it was before we were even married. I still talk about that meal as the best steak I have ever had in my life. The filet mignon was to.die.for. For reals.

My original plan was to go for an early dinner, then to go to Putting Horse Ranch. I like to call it Adult Mini Golf. It's super fun, and if you've never heard of them, definitely check them out! Unfortunately, the day started out quite gloomy that day. No rain, but it was overcast and the temperature wasn't that great. Chris and I talked about it the night before and decided to cancel, so I was left with the task of coming up with an awesome, fun, exciting Plan B on the day of. No pressure, right?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Freefall to Fly - A Book Review and GIVEAWAY

When I first heard of Freefall to Fly, I knew I QIdeas- a forum for church leaders to "recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures." I watched the trailor for the book, and my spirit leapt at these words:
really wanted to read it. The author Rebekah Lyons is familiar to me because of her and her husband's ministry

"Often it feels indulgent to say "Why am I here? Does my life matter? Does my life have meaning?" But it's actually just giving worthiness to the creation that God gave all of us"

That's so true, isn't it? To say that we want more out of life can feel like we are saying that what we have is not enough. I don't think that's true though, I think we have barely scratched the surface at living life abundantly. I think that we have no idea what is within our reach.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Giving Up What I Thought Marriage Would Be

Growing up, like many young girls, I thought a lot about my future husband. I pictured what he might look like, and what he might act like. I thought of what I hoped his likes and dislikes would be, and what activities we would enjoy together. As I grew older I thought more about what our relationship might be like. I looked at a few examples around me of marriages, and began to pull all the best things from each one in an attempt to pull together my perfect vision for marriage.

When Chris and I started dating I felt like I had a pretty good handle on what I was looking for in a future husband and in a marriage. Now that I was a Christian I also had the Bible to look to for what marriage should be like. So once I knew we had the Lord's blessing it was easy for me to say yes to a life with him based on the attributes he had (and a few that I was thankful he didn't have!)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Post About The Post I'm Not Posting

I wrote a post a week or two ago that I have been waiting to post until Chris read it first. I don't always have him read my posts, but if they are about him (which this one was) then I like to run them by him before I throw it up here for the world to see. Just because I have decided to live a transparent life doesn't mean he should have to as well, right?

So, just in case you were wondering about any of my last posts- Chris has given me the green light on all of them. Actually, to go a step further, he has encouraged me to post each and every one of them. He often tells me I don't need to check with him first, and there have been times that I have felt confident that he will feel honored in my writing, and have posted first, and got then him to read it afterwards.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Addicted to Nostalgia

That's me. I confess. I am addicted to Nostalgia. I love the feeling I get when I have a flood of happy memories, and there is no place on earth that holds more of those memories than my lake.

Since I was a toddler, I have been going out to the same lake. It is called Lac la Nonne and is located less than an hour away from my hometown (where I still live), near a small town called Barrhead. Both my parents grew up in Barrhead, and they too have childhood memories of spending time at Elk's Beach on Lac la Nonne. When they were kids it wasn't much more than a field next to a beach where people could pitch a tent or pull up their trailer for the weekend.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Criticism. Man Does It Suck Sometimes.

Chris and I recently went to a marriage conference (which was awesome), and from that we took these simple little personality tests. Among other things, the results of these tests give you five words that describes what motivates you. The idea is that if you know what matters most- what you feel a strong emotional connection to, then you know when you will do your best (when these things are encouraged in you) and when you will feel the worst (when these things are discouraged or criticized.)

These words are meant to help you relate to your spouse in a deeper, more understanding way. For instance, one of my words is Organization. Each word has a few tagline words. For Organization they are "Order. Systems. Structure" Yep. That pretty mush describes me to a tee. My life is a neat compilation of lists. (Side note- another one of my words is Neat.) I can talk for hours about meal planning with anyone who will listen, I keep a cleaning list on the side of my fridge so I don't forget anything in the weekly/monthly chores, and our budget is also kept with a series of boxes waiting to be checked off. I love my lists. They keep me organized and on track with all the tasks having to do with keeping a home. Because I love this part of my personality so much, when I receive criticism on it, it really gets to me. If Chris makes a comment about how I don't need to be cleaning out the fridge right now (let's say it's ten minutes before we have to leave the house) he may be very right, but because organization is so near and dear to my heart, I don't usually respond well.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Why I Stopped Watching Grey's Anatomy. On Healthy 'Sexpectations' and Holiness

Can I start by saying just how much I used to love Grey's? Like, seriously SO much.  I have a group of friends that used to get together every Thursday to watch it together, but I had no interest in joining them because I just loved sitting down by myself with a glass of wine, a box of tissues and having myself a big 'ol cry. Man, do I love a good cry. When Chris and I started seeing each other he dutifully watched it with me. I don't think he ever loved it like I did, but he probably wouldn't say he hated it either.

Then we got married, and it got a little more complicated.

OK. Deep breath.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fasting, Prayer and Bagged Salads - The Next Chapter of Our Love Story

In my last post I told you all a portion of my love story with my Husband. At the end of that story I mentioned that after a time of prayer and fasting and seeking the Lord's will for our lives we had decided we would be wed. First of all, to clarify, I don't mean that we got engaged at that point, but instead we made a decision, together with the Lord that we would get married. Chris didn't propose until months later.

So to set the stage, we are happily back together at this point, and things couldn't seem any better. We spent every waking moment together, and were just enjoying life and being madly in love.

I had a trip to the Dominican Republic planned with a couple of friends since before Chris had even moved home. As excited as I was to get to the beach and enjoy some sand and sun with one of my best friends, admittedly I was also a little sad to be leaving Chris for a week. At this point we had only been back together for just over a month.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Kicking Down The Door- What Every Girl Deserves

I thought today I would share another piece of my love story with my husband. It's one of my favorite parts of our whole pre-engagement story. Very movie-esque if you ask me!

So first of all I'll set the stage a little. Chris and I started dating at the end of March 2009. We were only dating for a mere 5 weeks before he informed me that in 3 weeks he would be moving to Vancouver for an undetermined amount of time. There's a lot more to that story, but for the sake of keeping this post to an appropriate length, I'll just say that God unmistakeably called him to Vancouver for a season of learning and ministry.

So there we were, 8 weeks into our relationship, saying goodbye, with no idea when we would see each other again. The night he left we told each other that we loved each other for the first time. Bittersweet doesn't even begin to describe it. I loved him very much already. I knew right away that what I felt for him was completely different than anything I had felt for anyone in the past. It wasn't just more, it was completely and drastically different. I knew we were to be married.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

What My Lenten Sacrifice is Teaching Me - Part 2

As I was praying about what I wanted to fast from for Lent I came across this question, which at the time seemed very large, but now that I have finished Lent it certainly resonates.

"When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different?"

I'm not sure I had given much thought to that before. The fact that my Lenten sacrifice might change me. I'm quite pleased to say that it has. It wasn't easy though, as change often isn't.

Chris and I gave up television. Not just television, but essentially everything that happens on the television. That means my poor husband also gave up video games. What a trooper! We lented in the traditional fast & feast method, in that we fasted from TV Monday through Saturday, and then "feasted" on Sunday. This is because every Sunday is a day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ - albeit a small scale in comparison to Easter Sunday. If you were to count the days in between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday you would find it to be 47 days (not 40) hence not fasting on Sundays.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

What My Lenten Sacrifice is Teaching Me - Part 1

Lent. Let's start with a little history, shall we?

Lent is a Spiritual Discipline that is often viewed as an empty religious practice- even by Christians. The roots of Lent go faaaar back. It is believed it started somewhere around A.D. 203.  There is some evidence that the 40 day period was a bit of a mistake - that the writings were translated improperly from Greek into Latin, and it was first written that followers of Christ should observe a 40 hour fast leading up to the anniversary of the Resurrection, and it was a misinterpretation of a punctuation mark that caused 40 hours to look like 40- 24 hour days.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

When Exactly Did I Become "That Girl"?

I'm planning my High School reunion. Ten years. Oh Boy. I could say a slough of cliche things about how I can't believe this much time has passed and all that, but that's not why we're here today.

We're here to try to pinpoint the moment in time that I became the girl that plans her 10 Year Reunion. See, I mentioned to a co-worker and friend of mine that I was planning it, and his response was "Ya, I guess that makes sense. You're totally THAT girl. THAT girl planned my reunion too"

Here's the thing. In high school I definitely was not that girl. I wasn't on school council, or in Leadership (I think it was a class...? Or an extra curricular..?) I didn't help organize any pep rallies, or dances. Heck, I didn't even attend pep rallies or dances (Truth - I didn't go to ONE high school dance) Even when there were things going on during lunch hour in the cafeteria, I was usually found upstairs not watching, or not even in the school.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Before I Knew Jesus, I Used To Be Judgemental.

I am not who I used to be. Yet, I am haunted by my past.

I think we all are to some extent though, don't you?

Someone very close to me is going through something very hard right now. When I asked why they hadn't wanted to talk about it they said that they feared being judged by me. That they always feared being judged by me. My first reaction was that I felt frustrated because it is something I have run into a few times since being saved - family and friends assuming that since I make different choices than I used to, I must be judging them for doing the things I no longer do. First of all, this is not truth, and couldn't be farther from it. Second of all, this was actually not the problem at hand. The problem was that this person has always felt judged by me.

Can I tell you a secret? I used to be a bit of a jerk sometimes.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Single Me Was Cleaner Than Married Me (Bonus: My Brand New Cleaning List!)

When I was single, I had all the time in the world to clean. This also happened to be a time in my life where my social life only happened on the weekends, and Sunday through Thursday evenings were spent at home, mainly in front of the television. I wrote more about that here.

The thing about watching that much television is that there isn't always something good on. Actually, it happens pretty often. I would watch the shows I really enjoyed... and then some shows I sort of enjoyed... and then a few mindless cooking shows... and then finally after reaching an uncomfortable point of boredom I would launch into cleaning mode. Sometimes that meant taking out the junk drawer and organizing it. Sometimes I was on my hands and knees scrubbing baseboards. Or sitting on the kitchen counter sorting out the spices cupboard. All of these activities involved very loud music, and I have to admit I enjoyed these times - I love the satisfaction of seeing something very dirty or unorganized becoming clean. I know. I'm a bit of a nut.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Valentine's Day Fail: Let's Talk About Sex. For Reals.

Can I just start out by saying that just writing this makes me feel awfully nervous? I've let ya'll in on some pretty intimate parts of my heart, but this is one corner of my life that I wasn't really sure would ever make it up on this blog. Not because I am uncomfortable with the topic - just the opposite actually. I could talk about the importance of a healthy sex life in marriage all day long. My concern has quite simply been the audience of whom reads this blog. I have struggled with the appropriateness of it - I am less worried about my Mom or Auntie reading it than I am the kids in my youth group. However, after a chat or two with my husband, and a lot of prayer I think this is what I have settled on:

God has given me a passion to see marriages be exceptional. He has also given me a gift for writing. Sex is a hugely important part of marriage, and so therefore I can't leave it out of the conversation forever.

That being said, a story:

Monday, 11 February 2013

Valentine's Day is like Easter Sunday


I love a good analogy. I think it's just the way my brain works - I can always understand something better if it is compared to something I already understand.

I also love Valentine's Day. I know I'm not the only one, but I also know a lot of people that don't like it. I get it- it's overly commercialized and can end up being very expensive. Roses might cost you twice what they would have the week before. And yes, I agree that you don't need a heart shaped box of chocolates to express your affections. There are tons of reasons to hate on V-Day. One of the biggest arguments I've heard is that it's silly to celebrate your love for each other on one day - you should do that everyday.

I completely agree.

We should also celebrate Jesus' Resurrection every single day.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Highlight Reel... Trying to Learn Gratefulness.

Have you ever looked through someone's profile picture album on Facebook? We all put our best pictures there, don't you think? You'll see picture after picture of smiling, laughing happy people. Sometimes they'll be in exotic locations, or they'll be at fun parties with friends- maybe they're doing a handstand, or they're wearing a Triathalon participants shirt. If they're married it's almost guaranteed that there will be a number of wedding photos, and if they have kids there are probably a couple pictures of them pregnant, as well as with their sweet little children.

Now. Have you ever seen a romantic comedy? There's almost always that part of the movie when Joe and Sally have gotten together and they are obviously quite happy. To show us how happy they are we see a montage of happy scenes - them walking in the park hand in hand, Sally stuffing an ice cream cone in Joe's face which makes them both laugh. A shot of them making dinner together- Joe feeds Sally a taste of marinara sauce from the spoon, which of course starts a steamy make out scene.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Way We Eat

Last January, Chris and I decided to make some changes to the way we eat. I had some pretty high hopes of how things would change, and how it would affect the way we feel. Now that it has been a year, I wanted to share with you how things are going.

First, the initial goal was to stop worrying so much about the fat and calorie content in things, but instead worry about how our bodies are able to metabolize them. It all comes down to liver health - Your liver is the main organ that burns fat, but also the main organ that rids your body of toxins. If it is so busy riding your body of toxins, how can it possibly burn any fat? The other goal (which looking back really should have been the primary goal) was to have better digestive health, and overall start feeling better. Both Chris and I can suffer greatly from eating bad foods. The bonus in all this was learning just how much we can change our digestive health just by changing what we eat!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

On Having Close Friendships with the Opposite Sex

Sometimes I want to write blog posts about things I feel passionate about but I worry about having opinions that will not be well received.

And then on days like today I have just the right amount of courage to do it.

Can we talk about being married (or in a committed relationship for that matter) and having friends of the opposite sex? Obviously we all have a few, but what I am talking about is a close friend. Best friend even. I am not talking about your guy friend that you grew up with and consider to be your "best guy friend" and now talk to once every few weeks or even months. I am talking about a best friend. Someone you text with often, or call a few times a week. Someone who will hang out with you and your husband but sometimes your husband feels left out because you and your friend go on and on chatting and laughing about all your inside jokes. When you're bored on a Friday night, you call him to hang out with. That's who I'm talking about. I am also talking about the guy at work who you joke is your "work husband" The guy that you always sit with for lunch, who stops by your desk multiple times each day. the guy that not only asks about personal things, but seems to be an expert on your personal life. Ya. That guy.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Every Personality Strength Stands Next To A Flaw

I've been having trouble putting fingers to keyboard (Get it? Instead of pen to paper??) when it comes to my first post of 2013. Should I write about what I learned in 2012? Maybe just some highlights of all the blessings we received? Or instead maybe I should reevaluate my life, and write about what habits I want to be rid of, and what new routines I would like to incorporate. It seems as though a lot of bloggers take this first post quite seriously- using it as a springboard into a new series, or at least a new outlook.

I've got nothin. Sorry to disappoint folks, but really my mind is blank.

I think it's a romantic idea to sit down once a year and take stock of your life. To see what has worked, and what hasn't and then try to implement changes. My problem is that I'm too organized.

Hold on. What?

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