Pass The Modge-Podge

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According to Urban Dictionary modge-podge is “a word used to describe a confused or disorderly mass or collection of things; a “mess” or a “jumble”” OR a craft medium, “Mod-Podge” used to decoupage. Image

I love to modge-podge; the smell, the sticky, the way that a jumble of indistinct, and sometimes dissimilar items can be turned into something beautiful is SO APPEALING and forgiving.  If you mess up, just modge-podge another layer on!  You remember what is there underneath it all, there may be a bit of a bump or ridge on the final product, but that craft, that creation is yours, bumps and all. A collage of mistakes.

Sometimes…okay, honesty time, usually about three times a week, my life needs some modge-podge.  The world we live in sends out these expectations that nobody can meet.  Have a successful career (and in order to do that, bring some work home so you can stay on top of the game).  Be a mom; cleverly themed parties, quality play time, teach them their letters and numbers (before their first birthday). Okay maybe not that last bit, but it’s what it feels like.  Be a good wife (clean house, healthy meals, adore and cherish your marriage).  Be a godly woman (go to church, show your kids how to follow Jesus, be active in your faith, Bible studies, stewards of money/giving).

With all of those things above being “expected” by society it is no wonder I feel “unglued” at times.  I do realize that only I can control my life and that I am the one who let’s those societal expectations seep into my psyche, but it is so hard!

D and I have decided to run a 5k.  We are not runners, but in an effort to stay healthy and motivate one another we are doing it!  WOOT!  Well, I went for a run yesterday.  I got home, changed into my running clothes, grabbed my house key, iPod, the dog and we were off.  I had a great run.  Got home…my key wouldn’t work.  Umm….what?! I have dishes to do. I have a dinner I need to have done.  WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE KEY DOESN’T FIT THE LOCK!?!?! AHHHHH!!!!  I sat down on the porch and teared up.  I was trying so hard and then this little thing made me come unglued.

I try to be a good teacher.  I try to help my students learn.  I try to stay healthy and in shape.  I try to make a healthy dinner that is within our budget.  I try to bring praise to God. I try to love my husband in all that I do.  I try to give Peapod it all.  And I fail.

I need modge-podge. I need God’s modge-podge.  I need grace.

Praise God that he gives it without any strings attached.  When I become unglued I remember that God will modge-podge me back together.  He will smooth it all over with a shiny, new layer of grace.  There might be bumps, but those bumps in my life are a part of me.  They are the struggles that bring me closer to Him…and he doesn’t see those bumps.

All He sees is a beautiful crafty creation.

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“Do I really have too?”

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I am sure every parent has heard those words echoing with a whiny, nasally voice.  But if we are truthful, our kids learn this from us.

How often have we said words similar to that…”I’ll do it later”, “Next time”, “Not right now.” Or even just our actions and attitudes reflect an attitude of “Do I really have too?”

I am having a whiny day, and I am exuding an aura of “next time” and “come back later”.  School is almost over for the year, my students are at each others throats, I am tired of sounding like a broken record and don’t even get me started on my list of “Do I really have too” chores waiting for me at home.

(and here comes the kicker)

Yesterday, was Great Commission Sunday at my church.

Mmmhmm.

My pastor did a great sermon, and in between wrangling Peapod, I really got a lot out of it.  Jesus gave us a pretty simple job—-Go and tell.  Easy, right? Be nice, be careful not to get an “us versus them” mentality, even the littlest actions make a difference is showing the world that Jesus is Lord.  I left church feeling hopeful, having a renewed sense of “going and telling (doing)”

Then Monday hit and I am having such a hard time doing this.  Do I really have to teach today?  Do I really have to be positive right now?  Do I really have to go home and clean the house?  Do I really have to go for a run tonight?  Do I really have to be kind when other people are being anything but kind?

Yup.  “Go and tell [do]”.  Not so easy after all.  So, my constant prayer today is to be more like Jesus and to ask Him to help me show others through my actions and words.

Help me to go and tell in all that I do.

Matthew 28:16-20

New International Version (NIV)

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Happy 1st Birthday, Peapod!

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It is so hard to believe that a year ago today our little Peapod was born.  

It seems like yesterday that I woke up with contractions (dreaming that I was giving birth to Michael Orr, from “The Blindside”). A year full of time I wouldn’t trade for anything!  D and I had planned on an all natural birth (no painkillers, Bradley method, birthing ball, etc…) but when we got there our little girl was in distress.  After seven hours I wasn’t progressing very fast and my midwife and nurses couldn’t keep Peapod’s heart on the monitor.  After trying different positions and trying an internal monitor, the OB came in and said that we had to get her out, “NOW”. Scariest half hour of my life, full of emotions and tears I was wheeled to the OR to get an emergency C-Section.  I will never forget how quick things passed.  Suddenly, D was in there in scrubs and a mask, holding my hand and getting ready to take pictures.  The anesthesiologist was the nicest man, describing things that were happening and keeping me calm.  Then they said “Lot’s of pressure!” and I heard our little girl crying!

The cord had been wrapped around her neck multiple times and she was a bit blue, but she was safe and breathing and beautiful!  D followed her (under strict orders not to leave her side) to the incubator and waiting nurses.  I got to see her for a few minutes before they started to wheel her out and I had to stay.  My heart was wrenched.  They had to take her away and all I wanted to do was feel her warm little body against my skin.  She was a part of me and she had to leave me for the first time in nine months.

I had to stay and get stitched up.  The amazing anesthesiologist asked me what my favorite band was and put them on the OR stereo for me to listen to.  It seemed like forever, but at least Hanson was playing. 

D came back when I had been wheeled into recovery, we decided on her name and I finally got to hold her.  I felt whole.  I felt so glowingly happy and I still do.

I cannot believe it has been a year.  365 days of Peapod in our lives.  There have been trying times.  Times that I do miss my pre-child life, but I would never want to go back to it.  Never!  Peapod is the reason I exist.  I cannot wait to see the future with her and I hold on to every fleeting second while it is here.  

 

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY, PEAPOD!!!!!!!Image     

Visalus 90 day challenge

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Well, blogger-verse, I have yet to find my rhythm to posting but here I am again!

Kelly always does a Show UYour Life post on Friday and today is workout/weight loss.  I am all about this!  

When I started college I weighed a whopping 120lbs and years passed and college and married life happened and I went from a size 5 in juniors to a size 12 in misses (160lbs).  

I felt big. “People” still said I looked fine, my husband said the right things to help me feel better but I wasn’t happy with the way I looked.  I would vow to start eating right, exercise and inevitably I would fall off the wagon and the pounds kept packin’ on.  

When I got pregnant with Peapod, I put all thoughts of dieting aside and instead just started making very concious choices with my food; more veggies, more whole fruits, no juice, no pop, etc…And I am very proud to say I kept within normal pregnancy weight gain limits.  WOOHOO!  

When Peapod was born, I almost immediatly when back to my pre-pregnancy weight (luck, prayer, eating right and breastfeeding) of 160lbs and a size 12.  BUT I still wasn’t happy.  

I heard through a friend at church about this diet/protein/nutrition shake thingy and at first I wrote it off.  It was a little expensive, surely it would work as well as she said it would but finally when last September came I gave in.  

D and I talked it over and we discussed how my previous tries to loose the pounds kept failing and maybe this shake thingy would at least be a catalyst and incentive for me to follow through.  Enter VISALUS into my life! Image

I chose to do the one shake a day for breakfast and I added a banana.  I drank more water during the day, I ate a healthy lunch (whole fruits and veggies, sometimes a yogurt), smaller portions for dinner and no snacking after dinner.  Added in some exercise 4-5 times a week and the pounds started to melt off! 

I am now a size 4-6 misses and weigh 129 lbs!  I feel great!  I love the way I look and I just couldn’t be happier!  Visalus really works and it has changed my life! Check it out! 

http://visalus.com/ and if you choose to order, use my customer number to order, #2425662.  The more you share the more you get for free and the more you could win!

 

Flor-i-DUH!

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Well, since the last time I posted this little family survived the month of “Marchuary”! Ugh, the Midwest in March was not pleasant! 

And as a little survival gift to ourselves, and as all good midwesterners do, we packed up and headed south!  WOOHOO!  And where to you ask?

FLORIDA!  

The In-Laws ALWAYS get a villa at a fantastic resort in Pompano Beach, FL during spring break and our breaks lined up!  Hooray!  So, after D found some super cheap, cash-flowable plane tickets, we packed up all of our bags (holy cats, the bags, the bags, the bags).  Peapod has a lot of stuff she “needs” when we travel, oy! 

Anyway, we were in beautiful, sunny Florida with a cabana all for ourselves (and the in-laws). We got to celebrate Easter at the local church and then spent the rest of the week soaking up the sun.  Vitamin D has never felt so good!  MMMMM! 

Peapod got to see the ocean for the first time, swim for the first time (pool and ocean), build sand castles, and explore sea shells. Happy Easter!

D and I got some much needed sun and had some extra hands to help with Peapod, thus giving us a little bit of a rest (despite the soreness from the uber springy pull out bed).  

The Fam

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First Time – Meeting D, Officially

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The first time I met D, he was coming out of a camel……

I have never been a “math person”.  Numbers almost literally swim before my eyes, so as the end of my junior year of high was coming to a close and I was half-way through an advanced algebra class I decided to drop out and do something that I might actually enjoy.  I quit math and started drama class!  Freedom!

One of my favorite teachers was teaching the class, it was definitely more in my comfort zone and it was EASY.  On the first day, I walked into the class and (this is going to sound so mean, and I apologize but I was 17) I had the choice of sitting next to “The Smelly Girl” or  “The Popular Boy Who Had Previously Thrown A Binder At My Head”.  I chose the former.

Drama did not seem like much fun now.  Sitting next to a “preppy” for the next six weeks being forced to work together, but at least I didn’t have to sit directly next to “The Smelly Girl”.

The class started and my teacher began it with an improve routine. She called on volunteers and Preppy went up.  Now, I don’t remember the exact premise of this skit, but somehow or another Preppy a.k.a. D was being birthed out of a camel.  Yuck, but hilarious in the moment.  I started to feel an inkling of actual tolerance towards this preppy kid.

Needless to say, drama class became my favorite class of the day.  First thing in the morning I got to hang out with this guy and he was proving all of my previous judgments wrong.  He was kind.  Funny.  Still very cute.  We began to partner up for things to work on outside of school.  I began to notice that my teacher was pairing us together and I certainly wasn’t objecting.

I started to spend more time with him then with my actual boyfriend.  “Uh oh”, high school dramatics about to ensue.  After much thought, and being seen by my boyfriends best friend outside of D’s house, I was finally true to my heart.  I liked D.  I liked him a lot, and I wanted to spend as much time with him that I could.  I remember calling D one day after school and saying “I’ll be over in a couple of minutes, I have to go break up with my boyfriend”.  Ha!  Scandalous!  In less then 20 minutes I had driven from my house to dump my boyfriend and back to D’s house to begin the most wonderful friendship turned romance ever.

The rest of that school year was a whirlwind.  I spent as much time with D as I could.  He was leaving for college in the fall and I knew I wanted to keep the relationship strong.  Most of my friends weren’t very supportive stating that “All long distance and college-high school relationships fail”.  I wasn’t going to let that happen and I lost some friends from that choice.  However, I knew this was worth it.  D was the real deal and I was quickly falling for him.   Who would have guessed we could later claim the title of “High School Sweethearts”

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The hallowed halls of our first meeting – “Midwest High school”

The First Time I Saw D AND Terrific Tuesday

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I have decided today will be terrific.  It is all about maintaining a positive attitude! WOOT!

Any way…on to the first time I met D.  

[cue dramatic swirls of color taking you back in time to 1998]

I am an awkward 7th grader in a big pool of equally awkward pre-teens.  Cool things were baggy jeans and chokers, Hanson and Backstreet Boys, bleached hair and gel.  Image

Here’s me (on the left) circa 1998ish and my beautiful cousin!  

The news on the street was that there was a new 8th grade boy at our school.  This was headline news for me and my friends as we were just a tad boy-crazy.  And as the year went by we heard about him, had brushes with him, heard that one of the “popular” girls was “dating” him.  And, as luck would have it he rode my bus.  Now, I would never actually talk to this boy but just to set eyes on the new boy was enough to make a 12 year old girl’s heart skip a beat.  

I entered our large, yellow, and smelly bus #91, said “Hi” to Carl, the best bus driver ever ,and found my seat next to my best friend.  Now, I don’t know about you all, but middle school is complex environment full of social do’s and don’ts, and for us one of these was the back of the bus was reserved for “way cooler” 8th graders, including the new boy.  

We had a prime viewing spot to watch New Boy walk by everyday.  

My 7th grade year came to a close.  New Boy’s romance with Popular Girl was “over”.  Summer was setting in and this was the last day to see New Boy walk by on his way to the back of the bus.  

I remember that moment like it was yesterday.  He was so cute, with his bleach blond tips and gel, over sized T-shirt and shorts.  everything a 7th grade girl could dream of.  

Well, as the bus pulled away, somebody yelled to Carl, “Can we have a paper fight?” After all, it was the last day of school and Carl was the coolest bus driver so of course the answer was “yes”.  Paper throwing chaos ensued; crumpled algebra and colored maps of Europe were tossed around the humid bus as we drove towards summer vacation.  And as I was enjoying the freedom to be a complete fool, I got hit in the head by something hard.  OUCH!

I grabbed the light blue, plastic binder that hit me in my head. We were all required to carry these while at school.  I searched the cover for a name to see what annoying 8th grader had chucked it at my head and low and behold HIS name was there.  New Boy had thrown a binder at my head.  

I slumped into my seat.  Confided in my best friend that New Boy was a jerk/dork/nerd and I couldn’t wait for summer.  

And this was my first encounter with D, New Boy, my fantastic husband! Who would have guessed that this 8th grader would turn out to be my husband.  Stay tuned for the first time we officially met. 

(D of course has no recollection of hitting a poor 7th grade girl in the head with his binder, though he does remember the paper fight and throwing his binder. )