Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

OK, maybe not so much in my part of Kansas. But, it definitely is around my house. I have to admit. I drug my feet this year. I just was having a hard time finding that "Christmas Spirit" everyone was talking about. I kept waiting for that little flutter in my stomach. And it just never came. I begrudgingly put up the tree. I let the kids put on the decorations. I put out some of my nutcrackers, but not the whole collection. I shopped, but didn't enjoy it. I wrapped and REALLY didn't enjoy it. I just wasn't into it which is strange for me. Normally I am ALL about Christmas. It was always my favorite growing up. Now it just seems like a commercialized hassle. Somewhere along the way we have forgotten the true meaning.

But, tonight I felt like the Grinch, but in a good way. It's like my heart is starting to thaw. As I sat at work tonight I started to feel that flutter in my stomach. I got that light-headed feeling that I used to know. I was thinking about the church service I will be attending tonight and got all teary. (Don't know what that's all about, but I hope it's a good thing.) I think part of it started because of the kids. Hubs got home from work and found the three kids sitting together on the couch, the oldest in the middle. The younger two flanked her sides as she read them The Bible. It just made my heart swell. It told me that they HAVEN'T forgotten why we really celebrate Christmas.

Several friends on my Facebook had this posted as their status and I thought it was great:

"Greatest man in history named Jesus, had no servants, yet they called him Master. Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He commiteed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today."

This is a great reminder of what Christmas is supposed to be about. It's about the birth of our Saviour. He is truly the reason for the season. Take some time to set aside the stockings and gifts and food and remember Him. Celebrate Him. I know I will.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today I want to touch on my family. Most of you know I have an amazing family. I have been blessed with a great family tree. When Nathan and I got married, it expanded that much more. But, today is about the people who have come into my life that break the bounds of genetics or branches of a family tree. It's the family we create as we go through life. The people who start out as friends, but become part of our hearts. In this realm, I am also truly, truly blessed.

To start with, there is Alayna. She and I have been friends since preschool. She has been a sister to me for many, many years. She has always been Aunti Layna to my kids and I don't see that changing.

Then, I have my work family. I can't even type about this without my eyes tearing up. I have made friends at work that have touched my lives in ways that I never imagined. My children have aunts and uncles who love them as if they were there own blood. I never knew that co-workers could impact my life so much.

Then there are people like Christie, who I met through chance. When other people were speaking badly of me, she gave me a chance. She sought out the true me, not the person I was being made out to be. She has been a lifesaver to me.

I know there are many others and I could spend all day naming people, but my ADD makes my mind wander too much. I don't often get a chance to tell people how much they mean to me. Or what they mean to my family. I never knew I had so much room in my heart for so many people. So for my friends and my family; thank you for touching my life. Thank you for allowing me into your hearts. Thank you for the grace and mercy you have shown me through the years. My life and my world are a better place because you are in it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Th(ink) About It

Hi. My name is Marissa and I am a tattooed mama. There, I said it. Do you look at me any differently? To answer some of your questions. 1. I currently have 6. 2. No, I don't have "sleeves". 3. Yes, they hurt. No, I am not masochistic. 4. Yes they are all in "public" place. I do not have to take you into a private room for you to see them.

I know your biggest question is, "Why?" I have people ask me this all the time. Well, why not? But, that isn't my answer. I got my first tattoo when I was 19. I went with a sorority sister and got a ladybug and my letters. I wanted something that was part of me and would always be part of me. Even though I didn't finish out college at Pitt, my memories of the times with my beloved Alpha Sigs are still in my heart. I went several years before getting another tattoo. I don't really know why. I knew I wanted another one, but just couldn't think of what to get. Finally, I knew. On my right ankle there is an angel with a pink and blue ribbon behind her. There are also 2 small butterflies. This was my closure for the babies I lost to misscarriage. Nathan and I have two confirmed miscarriages and I had always wanted to honor them in some way. It was strange, as I got my tattoo and it hurt, it was almost as if I was letting go some of the pain I had carried inside of me through the years.

Then, came the last year and a half. It has been a whirlwind of things. Life has just been flat-out, balls to the wall CRAZY. And in that time, I have received 4 more tattoos. A very good friend of mine is trying to start up a tattoo business. So, she had a party and I decided I wanted something for my three littles. I got a pea pod which contains three little peas. Then,I got my owl. (That one gets lots of questions.) I got it earlier this year. I decided that this year was my year. The owl represents knowledge and I wanted to learn things this year; whether about myself or others. It is also known to be a protector. It sits right above my pea pod and watches over my little peas just as I watch over my little ones. Then, my cupcake. Yes, a cupcake. Why? It's fun. It reminds me that even as a 32 year old mom that it's still ok to be girly and have fun. That life doesn't always have to be boring. Over the weekend, I got my runner. If you read my blog you know that I have been running.

Still, I'm sure this doesn't answer the WHY to it all. This is my scrapbook. As a wife and mom, we are often on the other side of the camera capturing the lives of those around us. But who is capturing our lives? This is my way of taking what is happening in my life and capturing it. It will always be there for others to see. Like a picture, it may fade or get wrinkled. But the meaning is still there. I will try to get pictures posted later of my scrapboook.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Am I a Princess?

Yes, a strange question. But, I have something weighing on my heart and mind. I'm sure I've spoken before of Christie. If not, she is one of my best friends and my running partner. She is my kick in the pants that I often need to keep going. She is wonderful. (Love ya, Christie!) Anyway, she has taken a huge leap of faith and signed on to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Disney World in February. She is doing it as part of Team in Training (which benefits LLS). Christie wants me to join her. I am scared to death. For one, I don't know if I can get the money raised in time. I would have to raise $3300. That's a lot of money. And if I can't raise all of it, I don't get to go. And it's not like if I come up short that I can just write a check for the difference. Second, how am I going to train? I work third shift and I get 40 minutes at lunch. That is when I normally do my daily run. If I really push it, I can get in 3 miles. Yeah, that isn't going to cut it! I would need to figure out a way to train my body and lungs to withstand 13.1 miles. (Just writing that amount gives me anxiety.) And third, what if I DO raise the money and what if I DO train my butt off and then get down there and hit a wall and can't finish? I don't so much care about coming in dead-butt last (but NOT coming in dead-butt last would be a great thing), but what if I hit that "wall" and can't keep going? I'm scared of disappointing everyone. Ugh! I hate feeling this way! I need to decide pretty quickly on what to do. I keep praying that God will provide me an answer, but we all know that it doesn't come that easily. So, if you read this blog and have any input, send it along! I am always open for comments and/or criticism. My skin is pretty thick,so be honest. While I do think a tiara on my head might be a good look, I need some honesty!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Now What?

I am at a crossroads and am really stuck on which way to go. If you follow my blog, you know I began running back in July. I have competed in 3 5K events with a couple more approaching. But, I don't know where to go with my running. Do I just keep doing 5K's and hope it stays satisfying? That really isn't my personality. I really want to do more. I want to take it up a notch. But, I don't know how. I have several friends and acquaintances who recently ran either a half or a full marathon. I was so proud of them. But, I did feel a pang of jealousy. I feel like I need to set a goal like that and work towards it. But, I just don't know how. When I started all of this back in July, it was just to help out a fellow dispatcher. I had no idea I would actually like it! I wasn't emotionally prepared for what was to come. So, here I sit. I look back and know I don't want to go back to the sedentary lifestyle I was leading. But I have choices to make and really don't what to do. I have been praying about it and I guess I will continue to do so. I don't do well with confusion. I'm a control freak and I like to make plans. But, I have learned that when I plan, God laughs.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Watch Me Run!

Ok, so I probably don't qualify as a "runner". I'm more of a very fast walker or a slow jogger. Wogging? Jogker? Regardless, I am still doing it. My good friend Christie and I keep each other in check. We are there to cheer each other on and provide a little kick when needed.

When I began walking back in July I never thought I would be getting ready to run my third 5K. (Third in 3 weeks!) I am actually kind of impressed. Other than gymnastics or softball, I never really stuck with anything. And I think when I started all of this, I got a lot of behind-the-back eye rolls and such. I'm not sure what kind of confidence people had in me. Heck, I'm not sure I had it in myself. But, with each week I felt myself getting stronger; both physically and mentally. I'm not fast by any means. When I did my first 5K (Race for the Cure), I was extremely nervous. I didn't want to make a fool of myself. But, I asked that God calm my nerves and He did. As we took off running, my eyes welled up with tears. It was a great feeling to see so many people out for a great cause. As I crossed the finish line (upright), I was again all teary. I waited for Christie and as I saw her round the corner my heart swelled for her. I cheered her on and hugged her as she crossed the line. We did it again last weekend for Rosstoberfest. We both improved our time and made it up the giant hill without dying. And now we have our third one this coming weekend. It is the Prairie Fire 5K. We run against the Mayor of Wichita. And, we all get medals! It will probably be the one and only I get in my running career so I will take it!

When I started walking and adding in the running, I prayed to God that He would strengthen my heart, lungs and body. That He would help me get back that mental strength I have lost somewhere along the way. That I would regain the faith in myself even if nobody else had it. And He has provided. Every night that I go out, I still pray and I give thanks to Him. I may not be a true runner, but I am in my own heart.

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Need to Simplify

I honestly don't even know where to start this. Last night as I was laying in bed, I got this overwhelming feeling. I'm not sure what it was, other than exhaustion, but it nagged at me. When I woke up today, it was still there. All I could think of was that I need to simplify my life.

I grew up in a very small town. Some might even consider it a farming community. People always think that small town is "simple". But growing up, mine was anything but. Both sides of my family have a long history with this town. They were around when the town was founded. When my children graduate from here, they will be 6th or 7th generation. I've always felt like there was something I needed to live up to. I didn't want to disgrace my family name. So, I've tried very hard to keep up a facade. A facade which is cracking.

I've come to realize I don't need fancy things. I don't need fancy, designer clothes and purses. I don't need the fancy car. I don't need to open my house and my life up to impress people. I need my religion, my family and people in my life that support these same things. I'm tired of trying to be someone I'm not. All it's done is drag me down, put us in debt and make me miserable. So, today I start anew. I'm going to start simplifying my life. I'm going to start making sure I note the things of value in my life that money can't buy. I'm going to look at things through the eyes of my children. I'm going to let my religion lead me to where I need to be. I'm going to let my friends come to me. I'm going to keep running because it helps set me free. I am going to disentangle this life of debt and disengage from the drama. I am going to set and example for my kids and for the generations that follow. I will carry on the Kimble and Kraus legacy and make them proud. They started out simple and I am going to keep it that way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

10 Years Ago

On this day 10 years ago, my life was forever changed. On this day 10 years ago, I became a mother. I can recall the events of today and the day before so clearly. It's like it was yesterday. My beautiful daughter Haley was born today. She was so quiet when she came into this world, but that didn't last for long! It's amazing how much your life changes the minute they put that baby in your arms. You look at them and see the future. Your heart grows. In a few seconds you love something more than you have ever loved anything in your whole life. I remember holding her and her looking at me. I saw those deep blue pools and knew that I would never love this way again. While my pregnancy with Haley was definitely unplanned, I can't imagine a life without her. She was a good baby. She was always very hard-headed and stubborn (no idea where she gets that from...). But she had a smile that could light up a room. She had a laugh that was incredibly infectuous. She was so smart, too! She picked up on things and learned at an amazing pace. When she was 3 1/2 she became a big sister and she was my little helper. 18 months later she became a big sister again. Then she started Kindergarten and she was no longer my "little girl". So independent and strong-willed. I've watched her grow and am continually amazed at who she is. She is a friend to anyone. She always wants her friends to get along. She is still stubborn and knows how to push my buttons! I hear myself saying things to her that my mom said to me. But, she is a good girl. The Lord blessed me with her and I can never thank Him enough. So today I celebrate my "baby" as she enters a new phase in her life. As she crosses over to her "tween" years. I can't wait to see what life has in store for my miracle.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Feeling Good

I don't know how many of you follow me on Facebook. (probably not many since I don't have many followers on my blog.) But, if you do you will know that I have begun exercising. Yes, I know. In the begininning of the year I started doing "Shred". While I liked it (as much as you can like feeling like you are dying every day), I didn't follow through with it. I got injured doing a step test for work. Once I'd rehabilitated that injury I got sick. Then the whole "female issue" started, which we now know ended in emergency surgery and 6 weeks off from doing anything remotely athletic. That brings us to July. I was asked to participate in a 3K walk/run to benefit a dispatcher's wife who is battling breast cancer. Well, the girls doing it with me are or were runners and I was in no shape to keep up. So, I strapped on my tennis shoes and began walking. First it was just a couple days a week around my neighborhood. (At least 30 minutes so it would register on my Polar for Vitality.) Little by little I started adding in some jogging towards the end. As the heat during the day got worse I decided to start walking on my lunch at work. The weather at 3 am isn't too bad. So, I started utilizing the track. I wanted to do 2 miles. And so I did. 2 miles in just under 35 minutes. All walking. Then, I decided I'd try to jog a little. So, I would jog a straight-away then walk. Soon I upped it to jogging the straight-aways and walking the curves. Pretty soon I was shaving time off my 2 miles. A couple weeks ago I decided to push myself and see what I could do. I jogged a whole lap! That's 1/4 of a mile. I know, I know. Whoopity Dee Do! But, you are talking about someone who #1 hasn't really exercised on a normal basis since high school and #2 was a smoker for a long time. I still continued to jog the straight-aways and walk the curves. Tonight I decided to push myself a little more. I jogged over 3 laps tonight before deciding to walk. That is 3/4 of a mile! I am not fast and my form isn't pretty. But, this is baby steps for me. I don't know that I will ever be a "runner". I don't know that I will ever enjoy running. But, the feeling I get once I'm done is indescribable. It's a good stress reliever, for one. Plus, I know I am making myself healthier. It's frustrating when I step on the scale and haven't lost a pound or when I put on my clothes and they don't fit any different. But, I know that there is something changing inside of me. I am becoming stronger. My heart is becoming stronger. My faith in myself is becoming stronger. It feels good to finally be "feeling good".

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How Do I "Let Go"?

I always here people say to "let it go and let God handle it". I'm even guilty of saying it. But I have realized I don't know how. For those that don't know, the City of Derby is eliminating their emergency communications department. This will most like occur in January 2012. Yes, I know that is a ways away, but I am a planner. I need to know that no matter what happens my family will be taken care of. While I am not the bread-winner for our family, I am the one who carries the health insurance and life insurance and retirement plans. The City has said they will possibly keep a few of us on in a different position, but they can't tell us who they will keep on,in what capacity or what the pay will be. I just don't know who to let this go. I am so scared right now. Nathan and I are struggling as it is,so to find out that I might have to take yet another cut in pay is agonizing. Try as I may, I just don't know HOW to hand this over. How do I NOT worry about this? I don't have another skill set to fall back on. I don't have a degree to fall back on. I know how to wait tables, answer phones and dispatch. Not a whole lot to build on there. So, if anyone has any words of advice, I am all ears. I want to be able to let God take this over. I want to be able to think about this and not have a panic attack. I want to not feel like I am always on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where Did the Last 5 Years Go?

It's hard to believe. In just a few days (July 5th), my "baby" will be 5. Grayson (aka Bubs, Little Bit, Hubba Bubba, etc) was a complete and total shock to us. After multiple miscarriages and years of trying to get pregnant with Mariah, we thought we were "done". (I know, I know...We plan, God laughs) I thought after two beautiful girls (and one high risk, not fun pregnancy) that God had thoroughly blessed us. We were complete and happy. Little did I know that God had a different plan. When Mariah was 8 months old, I got pregnant with Grayson. I remember looking at that pregnancy test and crying. I thought Nathan was going to be mad. I was scared to tell my parents. (I just KNEW I was going to hear a HUGE lecture about how careless we had been and how dangerous it was for me.) But, that wasn't the response I got. Nathan was shocked, but not upset. My parents were nothing but supportive. Don't get me wrong, they were incredibly worried about me and the baby and it was only compounded by the fact they lived 9 hours away in Texas. But, we all accepted it as God's gift. We thanked Him and prayed...a lot. With my girls I didn't want to know what I was having. I loved that element of surprise. But not this time. I'd been surprised enough! So, when the sono-tech told us it was a boy, we were so excited. I'd had Grayson's name picked out since I was pregnant with Haley. So, I was thrilled to use it. I was very lucky and God watched over me and I had a fairly uneventful pregnancy. I went into labor on my own and Grayson was born 2 days past his due date at a healthy 7lb 9oz and 20 inches. (I don't have peanut-size babies, folks.) He was perfect. A head full of dark hair and long, skinny limbs. Guess no redhead for me! Grayson has continued to be the element of surprise in our lives. He is more dramatic than both girls combined. He is so, so sensitive! And his temper can't even be put into words. But when he is tired and he climbs into my lap and cuddles, I can't imagine a life without him. God knew I needed this little man in my life. Our family is truly complete; 2 girls, 2 boys, and parents who are going crazy! Here are a few pics of Grayson through the years.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hitting Home

I received an email the other day from my mom and it included this quote:

"May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly
where you are meant to be.. May you not forget the infinite
possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use
the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been
given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let
this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom
to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of

This really hit home for me. I am constantly second guessing my decisions. I am also very hard on myself. I easily forget that this is just ME. That the people who love me, love me for who I am. The Lord has truly blessed me in my life.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

An Anniversary That Won't Soon be Forgotten!

May 12th started out like any other day for me. I arrived home on Tuesday just after 11. I laid in bed forever wishing for sleep. Watched the clock roll over and silently told my husband "happy anniversary". I think I finally fell asleep around 2am. Nothing out of the ordinary. Little did I know that in a a few short hours my day would be upside down.

Around 5 am I awoke to some pain in my side. I attributed it to normal "female stuff" so I got up and immediately took some ibuprofen. I dinked around waiting for it to kick in. OK, so it was taking a little longer than usual and this pain was BAD. I kissed Nathan goodbye and reminded him of my obligations for the day. There ended my "normal" day. Within 20 minutes I was in excruciating pain. Pain I had never experienced before (and remember, I have 3 children). Nothing made it better. I tried every position I could think of. I knew this was beyond the help of ibuprofen. I called Nathan and told him I needed to go the the hospital. I then called my best friend, Kinzi and asked her to come take care of the kids. It seemed like an eternity before Nathan got there. He could tell this was more than "female stuff". He kept asking if he needed to call an ambulance, but I said no. I didn't want to scare the kids any more than they already were. He helped me get dressed and into the car just as Kinzi pulled up. He gave her instructions and off we went. I tossed and turned in the car trying to get comfortable. But the pain just got worse. I prayed that God would help me find that "place" where I could breathe through it. Finally I relented and instructed Nathan to pull over at the fire station/medic post in Derby and get me some help. I was quickly put into the ambulance where they hooked me up to an IV, shot in pain meds and took me to the hospital. The paramedic quickly realized that I was beyond their help. When two doses of painkillers didn't phase my pain, he knew I wasn't faking it. We pulled into the ambulance bay and I was inside the hospital in no time. For hours I writhed around in pain. I had nurses and doctors poking and prodding me. I layed there crying out in pain because I didn't know what else to do. They provided me with more painkillers on 2 different occassions, only to see they weren't helping. I was put through a CT scan, an external ultrasound and an internal ultrasound. Then, more waiting. Nathan and my parents took turns holding my hand and trying to keep me calm. All the while, I could read the worry and helplessness on their faces. After a while the doctor came in and told me that they believed I had a twisted ovary (known as ovarian torsion) and that I had a 4cm cyst inside my right ovary that looked bad. Surgery was the only answer. With that I was given another shot of painkillers (that actually worked) and the rude nurse knew I wasn't faking my pain. Calls were made and plans were put into place. I was told I'd be taken upstairs where I would wait for the surgical team to be ready for me. Next thing I know is they are coming into my ER room and taking me directly to surgery. They decided that it was too dangerous to wait. They wheeled me down to surgery where I kissed Nathan goodbye. A half hour later I was getting drugs and that was all I could remember. The next thing I remember is them waking me up in recovery. And I was no longer in any pain. (Thank you God!) Soon I was taken upstairs and put in a room where I was shown pictures of what they found once they got inside. It was unbelieveable! The surgeon said he'd never seen anything like it. Their initial thought of ovarian torsion was correct. My right ovary was extremely twisted. However, the cyst theory was incorrect. What they thought was the cyst was my actual ovary. Due to the twisting it had allowed blood in, but it wouldn't allow it to flow out. My ovary at the time of removal was larger than my uterus and completely full of blood. All you could see was a large, purple mass. It was insane looking. I thanked God for taking care of me and guiding the doctors and nurses and surgeon. I was a very lucky woman.

So, that was how I spent my 9th anniversary. In a hospital hooked up to monitors, having surgery and recovering. I was released the next day with orders to "not overdo it". I must tell you, I'm not so great at following orders. But, I know the power of prayer does work. I had so many people praying for me and all of our prayers were answered. I never meant for this anniversary to be so memorable, but it sure turned out that way. I guess God has his reasons for everything.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm a Weight Watcher

Yes, I am. The past year I have watched it go up! In all seriousness, I've dealt with weight issues most of my life. Some might say I have body dismorphic issues, and that's a possibility. But, most of my adolescent life I was told by a family member that I was "fat". In all reality, I probably wasn't, but as a teenager you don't see it that way. My weight has always fluctuated and I've never been a "skinny" girl. I have curves and meat on my bones. Now that I'm older I can look back and see how ridiculous I was to believe I was fat. How are you fat and wear a size 1? But, I'm no longer a teenager who works out everyday. I am now a middle-aged mom of 3 kids who works insanely weird hours. I'm tired, a lot. Forget tired, I'm exhausted. Working out and eating right have been something that I've put on the back burner for a long time. But, because of work, my weight is now blaringly obvious. My cholesterol is out of control. So, it's time I do something about it. I've joined Weight Watchers. (gulp) I can't believe I'm admitting it. But, there is also something freeing about admitting it. I know that I need help and that I can no longer do this alone. Nor can I ignore it. I had my first meeting last week where I had my initial weigh-in. (No, I will not tell you my weight.) But I will tell you that I have set my goal for 35 pounds. I'd like to lose more, but we will see. I'm hoping that with the support of my co-workers that I can once again find the motivation to be healthy. I want my kids to look at me and see someone healthy. So, I'm learning how to eat again. I'm only allowed so many "points" a day, so keeping track of my food is a must. It isn't fun, I won't lie. I want so much to down a chocolate bar or get a blizzard from DQ. But, I know I will feel guilty later. So, if I seem a little rough or that my patience is running thin, please know most of it isn't personal. I'm just having issues! But, I look forward to the day when I can post that not only am I a Weight Watcher, I'm also a goal achiever!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Only Commas

As I was flipping through the radio stations this morning, I came across a worship service that caught my attention. I listened for a while and heard the minister say something that stuck. She said, "There are periods in our walk of life with God, only commas." Which meant, in our relationship with God, there is no end, only beginnings. What a great way to think of things. Our walk is never over. If you believe and have accepted Christ into your heart, your journey will continue.

With today being Mother's Day, that means a lot to me. It means that because my mom has Christ in her heart, my time with her has no end. And, the same for my kids. They love God and he fills their hearts. So, I know that even in death we will still have each other. Even bigger than that, we will continue on this glorious journey with Christ, together.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Time for a Mulligan

For those of you that play golf, or even miniature golf you know what I mean when I refer to a "mulligan". It's kind of a second chance, but if you are playing with the right people you can get quite a few. That's how I view my relationship with God. He gives me LOTS of mulligans. When I don't quite make the shot the first time, He is there to let me try again. Thanks goodness! I've always had a love for Christ in my heart. I grew up going to Sunday School and learning His ways. In junior high I attended a camp for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and while I was there I remember being overcome with emotion hearing Roger Cooper speak and deciding to dedicate my life to Christ. I remember tears streaming down my face, but my shoulders feeling lighter than they had in some time. When I got home I was bursting with pride. However, being a teenager I didn't quite lead that Christ-like life. But, He continued to give me chances.

When I had Haley I had every intention on bringing her up in the church and wanting her to love Jesus the way that I did. But, I let life get in the way and that hasn't happened. I believe God started an intervention last year. Haley befriended a girl at school who invited her to Caravans, which is a weekly Bible study group. She began going and learning. Soon she was spreading her knowledge to her brother and sister. Over the summer the girls attended a couple different Vacation Bible School programs. They had a glow to them I hadn't seen before. They taught Grayson songs and dances and they reveled in the glow of God. Summer came and went and all 3kids were invited to attend Caravans this year. They love it. They have a joy in their heart that I can't explain.

So, then it comes back to me. I miss that joy in my heart. I NEED that joy. So, I am starting over. I'm taking a mulligan. It's time that I take a step in the right direction and give my life back over to God. I know that He is there waiting. For my friends who are following a path to Christ, I'll need your help. I'm scared and nervous and whatever other word you want to put in there. But, I'm also excited. I need this and I need Him.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Epic Fail

Do you ever feel like a failure? I do. A lot.

A couple of posts back I made some goals for myself. Guess what? I have failed at them. I haven't been working out like I want. It started out because I hurt my knee. Then I got sick. Now I just have no motivation. FAIL.

I also mentioned that I wanted to find a church and begin going. Haven't done it. What's weird is that I want to SO MUCH. But, I am scared to go. I'm scared of people judging me because I have lost my way and it's been a long time since I have worshipped.

Sometimes I feel like I am failing as a parent. I easily lose my patience and snap at the kids. I don't always set the best example. I try to teach them right from wrong, yet I catch them doing things they shouldn't do and talking in tones that are destructive instead of constructive. Then I have to look at myself. I talk that way. I've tried to justify it by saying I'm 32 and I've earned the right, but the truth is I don't need to speak that way, either. At times I feel I've failed the kids because we don't belong to a church. I grew up in church and always thought my kids would, too. But somehow that hasn't happened. The kids go to Bible school every Wednesday and really enjoy it and that just drives it home even more that I have failed in that aspect. I know my kids love me and they probably don't even notice that I am failing. But I know in my heart that I have made too many mistakes.

A few years ago Nathan and I attended Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We learned about money management and budgeting and how to get out of debt. We were on the right path for a while, but somewhere we lost our way. I could make a thousand excuses as to why it happened, but they will all fall short. The truth is we got lazy. It was easier to spend the money than save it. We didn't fail Dave, we failed each other.

Do you think that Jesus ever feels like he has failed? Do you think when He looks at our failures that He feels like He has failed? That hurts me. I would never want my parents to feel as if they failed and sure wouldn't want Jesus to feel that way. But how do I fix this? How do I find the strength and faith in myself to make things better?

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Favorite Things

I think this week I am going to posting some of my favorite things. With spring and summer coming I am itching to get into my "fun" shoes. So, these are my FAVORITE pair of shoes. They are by "Not Rated". I found them last year at Lucinda's and fell in love. I can't wait to pull out these jewels!


Monday, February 22, 2010


Most people make New Year's Resolutions. I've tried doing that in the past, only to fail. I'm not big on failure. So, I've decided that this year I need to set myself some short-term goals throughout the year. Now, I did set one long-term goal. I mentioned it in a previous post. It is to help more people than I hurt. I am working on it. I am trying to make my words kinder and my tone softer. It's a work in progress (as am I).

Now for my goals.

#1: Get close to God again. I bought a devotional for busy moms and I plan on starting it today. I think that if my relationship with God is strengthened then maybe some of these other things in my life will fall into place.

#2: Work out 3 days a week for the next 30 days. I started out the year all gung-ho but have faded. Time to get back on track.

#3: No new clothing purchases for me for 6 months. That's a toughy. If you know me, you know I LOVE to shop. But, I dont' NEED to shop. I have plenty of clothes in my wardrobe and I'm going to make them work.

#4: No new clothing purchases for the kids for the next 6 months that aren't needed. I have to do this because in 6 months it will be back to school time and the kids are all at ages where growth spurts are a mainstay.

#5: Get back on the Dave Ramsey plan. Nathan and I did well for a while, but when we moved back and took pay cuts, we relapsed into our old habits. I'm tired of bills being late and getting calls. I'm tired of the stress.

See why #1 is getting close with God? I really feel like something is missing in my life and He is that piece. I know that if our relationship is rekindled that I can be unstoppable. "I can all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tragedy Strikes

Tragedy has once again befallen my small hometown. Yesterday two precious lives were lost. A 3 year old girl and her 4 year old sister were killed in a housefire. I can't begin to imagine the heartache the family is going through. Please lift up the family and our community in prayers. It has left us all with broken hearts and unanswered questions. I still can't seem to wrap my mind around all of this. (I mean, Grayson is 4 years old.) God now has two new angels by his side.

Lord, whose ways are beyond understanding, listen to the prayers of your faithful people: that those weighed down by grief at the loss of these little girls
may we find reassurance in your infinite goodness.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Biting My Tongue

You can ask most anyone who really knows me and they will tell you that I am not one to mince words. I tend to speak my mind, sometimes a bit too freely. I at times lack a filter. My main goal this year is to help more people than I hurt. While it sounds simple, I'm sure it won't be. Today I was reading an article by Phil Ware titled "Ohnosecond!" It's about those little seconds in life where you think "Oh No!" We all have them. (Mine normally occur at work when I've entered something incorrectly but I've already hit enter.) He gave some great advice on how to avoid some of those bigger "ohnoseconds" in life. He said, "Remember the importance of your words. Don't be overly quick to say things, render opinions,or pontificate. Words leave a long residue of stain and pain when they are spoken irresponsibly." That hit home for me. You probably remember when we were young we had the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Well, we know that isn't true. Often, words hurt the most. You can't take them back once they are out there. He also said, "Listen to others instead of just riding out their conversation. To be heard, really heard, is about the greatest blessing we can give someone else." Again, very true. So many times we might "hear" what someone is saying but we aren't listening to them. Put away your cell phone, shut off the TV and become actively involved in conversations. Finally, he said, "Rather than trying to fix what we've said and try to ocme up with something clever or something to cover during that ohnosecond, we need to ask for forgiveness. Not effusively, not repeatedly, just simply: 'I'm really sorry. That was stupid (or insensitive) of me. Please forgive me.' For many people, I think this may be the hardest. It's hard to admit we've done wrong. But, we need to take the time to be adults and admit our mistakes. Your heart will feel so much better by not having that weight on it. I'm hoping by remembering these few things I can eliminate some of the ohnoseconds in my life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Shred is now a bad word in my dictionary of life...

If you follow me on facebook, you've seen me make a couple of posts about "Shred". It is a workout video by the demon Jilian Michaels of "The Biggest Loser". I'd read about it on the Suburban Turmoil blog some time back and it kept creaping into my psyche. Now, if you all know me well, you know I would rather roll around in broken glass then exercise. But, I feel it's a bad sign when you go to the doctor for an ear infection (which really wasn't, but that's neither here nor there) and he gets on you about your weight. Wasn't aware the two were related, but apparently he felt the need to find the correlation. But, it was also what I needed. When we were living in Olathe, I lost a bunch of weight (nearly 40 pounds). In the year and a half since we've been back, I've put most of that back on. I've been trying to ignore the size of my pants or how I used to look all slim and svelte in certain tops and now they hug me a little more than they should. But, it isn't all about vanity, either. High cholesterol runs in my family and it has invaded my life. My cholesterol is almost 100 points higher than it should be. At 32 that is unacceptable. (OK at any age it is unacceptable.) I have four kids and a husband to think about and I'd like to enjoy grandkids someday. So, that's what kicked my butt down the fitness aisle at the store. There it was, staring me in the face. Jilian was looking at me. Taunting me. I could here her whispering that there was no way I could master her video. So, I grabbed it up, threw it in my cart, added some hand weights and headed for the checkout. For a few days the video sat on my dresser. I looked at it, but wasn't quite ready. After all, I had New Year's Eve and Mariah's birthday lunch that I had to get through first. I made Monday THE day. I took the kids to school, came home, changed clothes and popped Jilian into the DVD player. I was thinking positive that I wasn't in THAT bad of shape. I mean, surely level one wouldn't be that bad. WRONG. I was ready to strangle Jilian and her fabulous-looking sidekicks about 3 minutes into the exercise. (Not counting the warm-up) But, I persevered and finished. I was sweaty and out of breath. But, I'd done it. I was proud of myself. I decided to drink my water and treat myself to some computer time before bed. Big mistake. I could barely get out of my chair because my legs were now made of rubber. I hurt everywhere. By the next morning I didn't feel too bad so I attempted day 2. I did a little better, but am now more sore. But, the funny thing is, I feel good. I am doing something to improve my life. I am setting an example for my kids. When I get brave enough I will post pictures of "before" and then throughout the process. As good as I feel though, I'd still give anything to strangle Jilian!