A Weekend to Remember

Have you ever heard of Family Life Today? They are a non-profit, Christian organization dedicated to strengthening marriages. They have weekend events called “A Weekend to Remember.” These are all over the country, and they happen throughout the year. David has become friends with a man in our community who was a pastor and is now the chaplain of our local police and fire departments. He also works for Family Life Today. He mentioned to David that FLT gives scholarships to pastors to attend the weekend for free (except cost of hotel, but the event has a discount set up with the hotel). And so, we went over the weekend! The hotel it was being held was literally 15 minutes from our house, but because they want you to stay at the hotel to be away from life’s distractions (and kids!) we stayed at the hotel and my MIL stayed here with our kids.

It was a great weekend. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stay for the Sunday morning sessions, but we did got to the rest. It was also a very hard weekend. The intent, I believe, is to get you and your spouse talking. There are people there on the brink of divorce. There are newly weds and one couple there had been married for 53 years! They also had pre-married folks and everyone in the middle. I don’t care who you are, how long you’ve been married, there is always something you can work on in your marriage.

You are forced (and it might be a true “forcing” for some couples) to be with your spouse and pretty much only your spouse. They don’t provide any meals, you have to go out and feed yourself. At first I thought this strange, but then figured it’s so you have all the time you can to talk with your spouse. They do not encourage buddying up with other couples. They really encourage you to stay a couple and do everything together. It’s only for 2 days, after all!

The speakers were really good and added a lot of humor, seriousness, honesty about their own marriages and Scripture to what they were saying. I appreciated that. They also had a very good set up of books and resources for your family–from stuff for kids of all ages to you as a couple. Would I recommend this to people? Absolutely!!!! Will we go back? Probably at some point! Who knows? It was the right time and place for us to go this past weekend. We went in to it asking the Lord to open our hearts to the things he would have us hear from him. I truly believe that happened and for that I’m thankful!

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Happy Anniversary Dear!

Today David and I celebrate 8 years of marriage! Wow! I honestly don’t know where those 8 years have gone, and as I say every year I can’t imagine life without this man! We celebrated yesterday doing all sorts of fun things!  My mom came up to watch the kids and then my dad joined her after he was done work. They told us to go have fun, relax and just take our time! It was great!!!

Us then, January 28, 2006--our wedding day was in the 50s and so nice outside!! Today? Well, we'll be happy to break ONE degree today and we're buried under snow!

Us then, January 28, 2006–our wedding day was in the 50s and so nice outside!! Today? Well, we’ll be happy to break ONE degree today and we’re buried under snow!

Us now! I think we're still cute!

Us now! I think we’re still cute!

One Collllllllld Birthday!

My 36th birthday was on Monday! Yes, I was born 4 years and 1 day after my parent’s anniversary! Makes it easy to remember how long they’ve been married…anyway! We didn’t have a whole lot planned, and I suppose it’s a good thing because we had to cancel what little we did have planned due to the extremely cold temperatures we experienced! Nonetheless, we managed to have a good day, and my husband and kids made me feel loved and special. I started my day by rolling over in bed to see Cora running at me, arms opened wide saying, “Happy Birthday Mommy!!!!!” And then we cuddled while David was in the shower. So. Sweet. I love this child so much. She has a heart of gold, and I love how excited she gets to celebrate birthdays even when they’re not hers. We decided to brave the cold and went out for lunch as a family. We figured it was only going to get colder, and David wanted to do something! We had a nice lunch, and in the hour we were in the restaurant the temps fell dramatically. Cora and I made brownies and hot chocolate and well, it was just a great day. I knew things wouldn’t go exactly how I had thought they would, and so I asked the Lord to help me have joy, no matter what. And, I did! I took great joy in the simple pleasure of making brownies with Cora, having lunch with David and the kids and then sharing the brownies after supper with everyone. The Lord has blessed me greatly and I want to live in such a way that others see that! Here are a few pix I took to document the day!

Makin' brownies in pink camo! Recipe to come tomorrow...

Makin’ brownies in pink camo! Recipe to come tomorrow…

The tea light candle is the only candle we could find! :)

The tea light candle is the only candle we could find! 🙂

T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

IMG_4977 IMG_4978 IMG_4988

Joy

Joy. It’s a word that keeps coming to mind. I have felt for a long time that joy is something which is sorely lacking in my life. It shouldn’t be. First, I’m a child of the King! I’ve been saved by grace, and His tender mercies are new every morning. I have a wonderful husband, who loves me, cares for me and provides for our family. I have 3 beautiful children and am blessed by each of them. However, I still feel I lack the joy that I most certainly should have in my life. Over the course of the last several years I have allowed my personal time with the Lord to pretty much go by the wayside. Though I pray regularly, daily, and throughout the day I have not done well staying in his Word. I know this, more than anything, plays a huge a part in my feeling joyless. I remember years ago I would pray every year in January that the Lord would show me the lesson he had for me to learn that year. I’d pray for an open heart, open ears and open mind to His leading and guiding. The Lord has shown me some pretty amazing things and has grown me in some pretty amazing and painful ways! I have felt for months now the Lord gently telling me that I need to spend this year, 2014, finding that joy again–HIS joy. The joy he offers because he’s God, and because I’m his child. And so, I start. I am committing to reading Scripture every day, as I used to, and as I read I’m praying for the Lord to teach me about his joy and what it means for me today. My prayer is that by the end of 2014 I will be a person filled with JOY, with the joy of the Lord, and will be so full of it that it’ll spill over on to others.

What is it that you need to do differently in your life this year?

Life

Well, I had high hopes for this week. I had planned to get all of my Christmas cookie baking and fudge making done. I had planned to get the house clean, go south to the big city my sister lives in so David could have a day to write…and then life happened. Tuesday I woke up with a cough. Wednesday I felt like a truck had run me over. Thursday I felt like that same truck backed up and just parked on me. Yep. The flu. The last time I think I had the flu was 20 years ago around my 15th birthday. I don’t remember feeling this sick since then (other than pregnancy…). Thankfully, my MIL was able to come up TH and help out while David went to work because I literally couldn’t move. I stayed in bed all morning and some of the afternoon. Curled in a tight ball of pain, muscles sore and absolutely freezing! Yep. Gotta “love” the flu. I was able to uncurl at some point in the afternoon when my fever broke and suddenly I was roasting! I got up, ate something, showered and was able to remain vertical the rest of the day. Then Ben got sick…then Cora…then David…and this afternoon Bekah is down too. Sigh. Yep, we all have the flu, in various stages. I’m praying we’re all better come Monday. And the silver lining is that hopefully this means we’ll all be well for Christmas!

A New Woman

If you’re a man you probably won’t want to read this post, and if you do, you won’t care a whit about what’s in it! Consider yourself warned! This post is specifically written for women!

Over the weekend my mom and I went and got fitted for bras. Yep. I have been measured before but have never been really fitted. A friend of mine had had a really great experience at Dillards (a more high end department store) where they have certified bra fitters. Let me tell you–you must go get this done!!!!!! I can NOT believe I have waited so long to have this done. My clothes look, fit and feel so much better on me! I’ve worn some kind of camisole/bra since I was 8 years old. I have always hated my bras, finding them very uncomfortable and just a pain in the patoot!

We went to the store, and we had one lady working with us separately. She was very good, kept you modest and didn’t make you feel uncomfortable. I was SHOCKED that the bras I’ve been wearing were…TOO BIG around my torso! What??? This lady was excellent at explaining how a bra needs to fit, what to look for, how to know if it’s fitting properly, etc. I came away having purchased 4 bras, spending more on bras then I’ve ever spent, and not regretting a dime of it! (Now, my husband might not agree, however he DID tell me how much I could spend, and I did!) I will not try to fit myself ever again. And, I will not be buying cheapo bras ever again (if I can help it!).

Next time you need new bras (which is probably NOW, because you’re probably wearing the wrong size–8 out of 10 women are!) go to a department store, get fitted by someone who knows what they’re doing and get the right thing for you! You won’t regret it, I guarantee it!