"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them all."

Like Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), I’m trying to read all of the books ever published. Lofty ambition you say? Okay, really, I’m just trying to PURCHASE all of the books ever published (according to my husband, anyway).

I admit it. I am fully, completely, head-over-heels in love with books. All kinds of books. Pretty much any kind of books. Since January I’ve purchased these books:

Living Simply: Choosing Less in a World of More
The Organized Life: Secrets of an Expert Organizer
The Complete Word Study New Testament
The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis
The Bible for Dummies (one for me, one for a friend)
NLT Sanctuary Devotional Bible
Praying the Names of Jesus
Battlefield of the Mind
Be Your Best
Beyond Picket Fences
The Complete Word Study Old Testament
Your Money after the Big 5-0 (okay, that’s for spouse who is closer to the Big 5-0 than I am)
Book of Common Prayer (for my BFF Jen)
Strong Women, Soft Hearts
Jesus, An Intimate Portrait
Get Out of That Pit (one for me, one for my sister, one for a friend)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (for my son)
A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others
A Simple Christmas: A Faith-filled Guide to a Meaningful And Stress-free Christmas
Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out

Writing for the Soul: Instruction And Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life
Fit Not Fat at 40-Plus: The Shape-Up Plan That Balances Your Hormones, Boosts Your Metabolism, and Fights Female Fat in Your Forties-And Beyond
Take Flight! (Sisterchicks in the Word)

So, I am on a husbandself-imposed moratorium on books (yes, Jen, that’s what I said…so I’ll be borrowing all the books YOU purchase!) Jen also thinks it ironic that I need to purchase all of these books on organizing and simplifying my book purchases.

So…what book(s) are you currently reading?

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Time flies when you’re Lost…

A list…

1. I’m still 7 pounds down on the weight loss challenge. Woo-hoo!

2. Unfortunately, I think it is all stress/anxiety driven.

3. But I’ll take it.

4. Joining Weight Watchers on June 1.

5. But only the online version.

6. Because I know, without a doubt, that I will completely and totally blow off the meetings.

7. But I have someone to hold me accountable.

8. It is not my spouse.

9. But he’s doing Weight Watcher’s, too.

10. He just doesn’t know it.

11. I’m totally hooked on Lost again.

12. I’m glad Sayid, Jin & Bernard survived.

13. I’m sorry Kate survived. And Ben.

14. I kind of liked Charlie toward the end.

15. I knew, just KNEW, that all of the Jack “flashbacks” were really Jack “flashforwards“.

16. But then…why did he say, “go upstairs and get my father and if he’s more drunk than me…”?

17. Hmmmmm.

18. Heading off to a LONG…all weekend long, including Monday…volleyball tournament this weekend in Richmond.

19. Might be able to check in since my spousal unit is bringing his laptop.

20. Since My Girl will be rooming with the other girls, we’ll be in a hotel room, all by ourselves, all weekend long, and you know what that means!

21. Sleep, blessed sleep!

May Day Weight Loss Challenge Update

So I got on the scale this morning and I’ve lost 7 pounds. Before I get too excited, I have to remind myself that some of that (a huge part of that, probably) was due to hormonal bloating. But, 7 pounds is still 7 pounds on the scale.

How have I done this? I’ve drastically increased my water intake. I’m not a big soda drinker and never do diet sodas because my body doesn’t process the artificial sweeteners well. I adore suh-weet tea with lemon, but I don’t need the calories. And the big one…I’ve cut back on coffee. It’s really the sugar and half&half I love…the coffee is just the conduit. I’ve even mentioned (I shudder to even type it) giving up coffee completely. Again. I say again to remind myself that I have done it before and I CAN do it again. But I sooooo love my first cup of coffee in the morning. It goes hand-in-hand with my quiet time/prayer time/bible study time. I’m thinking I can cut back to one cuppa day and immediately switch to water. With lime or lemon or oranges or anything else fruity.

What do you drink first thing in the morning????

I can so do this.

Memememememememememememe

I’m new to this entire tag your it meme thing. But it sounds fun. So I got this from I Should Be Folding Laundry. She said, “I tag you” and I’m taking her literally. Thank you for posting the rules, too, Beth.

And away we go:

Rules.

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I lettered in three sports in high school…volleyball, basketball and softball. I managed the boy’s soccer team (pretty smart, eh…but I dated a football player…but ended up marrying a soccer player).

2. I’m a closet writer, avid reader, lapsed artist.

3. I lived in Turkey for two years and my high school graduation ceremony was held in the Ephesus Amphitheater.

4. I love purple pens. I only want to write with purple pens. I like all things purple. But really LOVE purple pens. Send me your purple pens.

5. I have a can’t-help-myself-gotta-buy-em BOOK FETISH. I adore books. I have tons of books. I periodically go thru my books and weep as I part with my Old Friends, but I have to make room for New Friends. I’m always purchasing books. My husband is NOT a reader. At all. His reason, “I read all day at work”. None of my children are readers. I’m still praying for them.

6. I play the piano. Very well, actually. Took lessons for years. Was told I could, “do something with it” and opted not to. Just sold my piano last year. Whenever I want to, I can play the grand piano at church.

7. I’m the office manager for our church. Best job ever. Worst job ever.

8. I love to get dressed up and go to formal functions. The whole nine yards…formal dress, new shoes, jewelry, make-up, sit down dinner, dancing. LOVE IT. My husband…not so much. But he indulges me now and then.

TAG…YOU’RE IT!

Wednesday’s Wist

Okay, I couldn’t come up with anything better to title my list. And it’s Wednesday so I tried to pull the two together…unsuccessfully, apparently.

Here’s the list:

1. Day 2 of the May Day Weight Loss Challenge! Woo-hoo. I had thought I’d pop onto the blogs of each of the ladies participating and quickly got overwhelmed by it all and this morning…there are 181 ladies, y’all! We so rock with accountability and encouragement. It’s also a testament to how many of us want to become more healthy. Love that. I however, totally blew yesterday by eating leftover birthday ice cream cake. Tummy is still complaining about it. But I did eat healthy the rest of the day. Grilled chicken, a quarter of a baked tater with a tiny smudge of butter and salt & pepper (no sour creme…which is HUGE…I smother my taters in SC) and a chunk of french bread dipped in olive oil with garlic.

2. As we speak, I’m coloring my hair. edited to say: this hair color is banging (as My Girl would say). One of my BFF, told me only I would color my hair in a color that could be a Starbucks drink…MOCHACCINO. And now that I’ve found it, I’ve discovered it is a discontinued color. (OF COURSE)

3. I’ve determined the camera really does add 50 10 pounds. I didn’t look as fat this morning as in my BEFORE picture. (A girl can dream, can’t she?)

4. On a very serious note, have you noticed all of the MIRACLES God is providing? If not…check this out. And this. My God is an Awesome God.

5. For your listening pleasure, y’all need to check out Travis Cottrell, if you haven’t already. I first heard of him at the Beth Moore – Get Out of That Pit simulcast. He blew me away. I loaded all of his music onto my iPod and then created another playlist entitled: Fave Travis. Pretty much all of his music is now also on the Fave Travis playlist…he is just amazing and God is really using him to speak to my heart.

6. I had a bunch more things to list but the hair color fumes are fogging my brain!

May Day Weight Loss Challenge Day 1

I just had my daughter take my “fat” “before” picture. Got to love this girl. When I gasped with horror and disgust she said, “but mom…you can SO see your rock hard abs!”

Those aren’t abs, honey, those are rolls.

She had me take a “before she got buff” photo and exclaimed…”ugh…look at my love handles!”

Those aren’t love handles, honey, those are your hip bones sticking out.

Yep…it’s going to be a long haul.

But I’m up for the challenge.

I’m going to print my before photo and carry it with me…crazy glue it to the inside of my wallet so that when I’m reaching for that $$$ to pay for that drive thru, sit down, fattening, unhealthy, whatever food, my hips and abs rolls will remind me to STEP AWAY FROM THE COUNTER/DRIVE THRU WINDOW.

I’m not going to publish my “before” photo until I have a good “after” photo to go next to it, nor publish my beginning pounds.

But I will share that I want to lose 20 30 40 oh, let’s just say 46…one for each year I’ve been on this earth.

Tomorrow, I’ll start posting my food intake and exercise.

Let’s roll…no pun intended.

…and a Happy Birthday was had by all!

I really need a tee-shirt that reads, “I survived my daughter’s 16th birthday!”

Most of the day at the mall was spent with me saying, “no…you can NOT buy that because…”

…”it’s cut too short”

…”it’s cut too low”

…”it’s cut too high”

…”I know you don’t have much up top, but what you DO have…is definitely hanging out”

…”your father will never allow you to wear it”

and my all-time personal favorite…

…”a mother shouldn’t have to look at that”

We had a good day. But all of that was completely forgotten when this was heard:

I HAVE NO FRIENDS. NO ONE CAN COME WITH ME TO DINNER TONIGHT!!!

Except for one friend. We reminded her that one friend is a good thing…

We picked up said one friend and went to Olive Garden. Yummy. We had a blast. The girls had (virgin) margaritas. I had (real) shiraz. Following dinner, we picked up the three friends who couldn’t come to dinner and brought them to our house for Carvel ice cream cake and presents.

Here is a pic of the girls…My Girl is second from right.

In about five years, our youngest child will fully appreciate the joy that should have been his during the taking of THIS photo:

Although I think I detect a twinkle in his eye…

Happy Sweet 16 My Girl!!!

Happy Birthday, Goose! I can not believe you are turning 16. Sixteen years…but wasn’t it just yesterday that…

I threw up in the kitchen sink after opening the can of green beans…thus confirming that yes, I was indeed pregnant. Philip was exactly 3 months old at this time. When I got the call from the doc’s office the following day that the test was positive, I cried and cried and cried. A lot.

How was I going to take care of TWO babies? I could barely function taking care of one baby, dealing with postpartum depression, back to work full-time. I was exhausted. My body hadn’t even had time to recuperate from pregnancy and delivery number 1.

Funny thing about God, though. He helps you realize how very much you want something by almost taking it away.

At 24 weeks, while eating at dad’s fave restaurant, I realized my Braxton-Hicks were pretty strong and very regular. Like 7-8 minutes apart regular. A quick drive to Katie & Granddad’s house to drop off Philip, a call to the doc who told us he would leave now and meet us at the hospital immediately and we were off. I wasn’t all that upset at this point. Until we pulled into the emergency room parking lot and saw the doc’s car already there. That scared me. He met us at the elevator and pretty much chewed my butt the entire way to a room (in between barking orders at any and every nurse along the way. Come to find out that long night at the hospital that the nurses hate him, but said I was the luckiest patient there to have him.) That was night one of many visits to the hospital to stop my pre-term labor. Terbutaline became my drug of choice. Drinking tons of fluids day and night was our life. Thankfully, Philip pretty much slept thru the night at four weeks and was just an easy baby. Sonogram after sonogram proved that God was good and you were healthy and growing.

After being put on almost 24/7 bed rest (I could go to work for a couple hours a day, as long as my contractions were under control) and months on meds, I was totally exhausted and at 36 weeks, Doc R told me to stop the meds and let nature takes it’s course. He warned us not to expect you to show up right away as it was quite common to have all of this occur and then the baby not show up for weeks.

Not so you. You had to do it your way. You were born 3 days later.

You were so easy to deliver. Labor was pretty quick (dad still doesn’t understand why with all three of you we had to go to the hospital around 1:00 am. Why can’t you babies get serious about being born during the middle of the day?) The epidural did basically nothing and in fact, contrary to what the anesthesiologist kept saying, they DO fall out! He had never in all of his 30 years of doing this…blah…blah. Low intolerance to pain, my foot! I was 9 cm dilated and in quite a bit of pain. At 10 cm and ready to push the nurse screamed, “DON’T PUSH!!!!!” and ran out of the room. Totally freaked your dad out! There was a whole lot yelling and a few cuss words (dad) (apparently he was concerned he was going to have to deliver you himself.)

Two pushes (I’m so sorry for all of you who pushed for hours and hours, really I am, I just grow em’ small but have “hips that were made for birthin'”) and out you came. All 19 inches, 5 pounds 11 oz of you. We instantly named you “chicken legs”…there wasn’t the tiniest bit of meat on you at all. But you pinked right up and gave out a lusty holler. We got a quick glimpse of your huge blue eyes and off they whisked you to NICU for a thorough check over. They all assured us, though, that you were perfect and would be right back with us, by the look (and sounds) of things. And you were back with us pretty quickly. Pronounced healthy as a horse, if a bit on the thin side. And we took you home right on schedule, two days later. My first thought when walking in the door of our house?

OhmygoshhowamIevergoingtodothisIhavetwobabiesundertheageofone.

But we managed just fine, didn’t we?

Sixteen years…

My Girl
My clone
Strong
Compassionate
Lover of Jesus
DDG
Green Eyes
Blonde Moments
Sensitive
Daddy’s Girl
Really Mom’s Girl
Funny
True Friend
Totally God’s Girl
Smart, smart, smart
Rock Hard Abs
Incredible
Too Good for that Boy (any boy)
Athletic
Loving
Volleyball Beast
Beautiful
My Girl

The Purse Meme

My purse is kinda boring, but it has a great story.

I first spotted it at Kohl’s for around $50.00. Waaaaay more than I was willing to pay. I am definitely NOT a shoe and purse gal (but I’m willing to learn!). I was with a GF and she was surprised I walked away from it…not because it was such a great deal or was so cute, but that she had already been on a ton of purse shopping expeditions with me and knew I really liked this one. And ONLY this one.

She completely underestimated my cheapness.

I walked away from it. I came back to it about a week later. Same GF in tow. It was now marked down to $35.00. She gave me the oogglie eyes and the nod, but I was still a no-go. “Too much money,” said I.

About two weeks later, I wandered into Kohls, without said GF (she was home, exhausted from the tour-de-purse-departments with me). The purse was now marked down to $17.00. Surely, you are now thinking, this woman FINALLY bought the dag-gone purse! Nope. I was willing to wait it out one more mark down.

Two weeks later I marched into our church sanctuary with my brand-new purse slung over my shoulder. I did the little model “stop and turn” in front of BGF, who immediately recognized THE PURSE. She wasn’t biting, however. So I had to give her a nudge.

“Go ahead, ask me, ask me…go ahead. Ask me how much I paid for it.”

I could tell she really didn’t want to know.

In fact I said, “You don’t wanna know.”

She really didn’t at this point.

But I told her anyway.

“Seven-ninety-five. That’s right. Seven. ninety. five.”

She was pleased as punch for me and rightly so!

So here it is, a little long on wear and tear, but I like it.

Earphones are sticking out the top.

First look inside…kinda messy.

Everything dumped out on our bed.

Leopard spot reading glasses and case, sunglasses, video iPod and earphones.

Keys, four (yes, Jill…FOUR) purple pens and a light blue Sharpie(?).

An old grocery list on a blue index card. Youngest child’s soccer nickname/number cheat sheet, a bulletin from when Rich Swingle came to our church a few weeks ago and performed, and two ChristianBook.com invoices.

My black Razr (surprisingly) in it’s case with a sticky note on it that reads, “bread, sugar and choc syrup”, one bottle of Lactase 3500 (I refuse to stop eating dairy so I pop these so that I can indulge), Ibuprofen, hand lotion, Satin Lips Lip Balm (I’m a Mary Kay Cosmetics FREAK…my niece sells it and I used to years ago), lubricating and resetting drops for my contact lenses and 0.5% erythromycin because the pollen keeps giving me eye infections.

My wallet…the blue sharpie is back to give an idea of the size of the wallet.

And all of this was on the bottom…my iPod case (wondered where that was), Orbit chewing gum (two pieces left, fyi), two quarters, two wadded up grocery store receipts that were so faded I couldn’t see what I bought or how much I paid, three moist towelettes left over from Famous Dave’s, three tiny rocks, and one chunk of french fry…the brown thing towards the bottom.

Ew.

This is a new bag I just purchased. A friend’s mom makes them. When I first saw them, I couldn’t decide between five different styles, but finally settled on this one (for now) and also picked up a Patriotic fabric one for my mom…who ADORES it, shows it to everyone and promptly announced, “I think I can make these.”

“Why do you think I bought you one and sent it to you, Ma?”