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September 30, 2014

Still here...

Hi All!

I am still here. I'm working hard to get our house on the market by the end of the week which means cleaning out every closet and every room. Hudson and I are tackling the front yard and flower beds this morning before the photographer comes tomorrow.

...and then we are seeing three more houses tomorrow...

This process is exhausting but hopefully once the pictures are taken and it's officially on the market it will sell quickly. Fingers crossed.

Sorry this is a short and boring post with no news. I promise to have more to say later this week.


Hope you're having a blessed Tuesday!
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September 26, 2014

Blessings

After meeting with our realtor yesterday morning, we realized we are going to have our work cut out for us to list our house. This weekend we are going to be diligently working on moving stuff to a storage building. We're going to hire someone to landscape our front patio and do our lawn and hire someone to professionally clean our house and then we will maintain everything from there...

So we were going to have to spend quite a pretty penny just to get our house ready to show. I am praying and hoping that it sells quickly and that it will be painless but we know the more effort we put into it probably the faster it will sell.

Money is stressful no matter the situation. We are in a great situation with our house because we bought at the bottom of the market and it is a great time for real estate in our area so we know this is the right thing for us for right now. I was talking to my mom on my way home last night and she was kind of challenging me on if we wanted the stress of this... and we really feel like we at least want to try to sell it, but I have to admit I was a little stressed just thinking about the money we were going to have to put into our home (and really NOTHING major needs to be done, all little stuff).

As I was driving, I saw the most amazing sunset. The sky was a colorful display of vibrant red and orange and it stretched across the whole sky.  I love the sky, especially since losing Janet, because it is somewhere physical that I can look and be reminded that she's somewhere up there. (Side note, but on Hudson's birthday it was the Blood Moon... Hudson always loved looking at the Moon with G-Ma and G-Pa and there is no doubt in my mind that this was her birthday present to him...). I feel like the Lord uses the sky to paint a beautiful picture for his children every day. And last night, as I watched the colors transform, I had an overwhelming sense of peace and I knew everything was going to be okay.

After I got home, some 20 minutes later, I sat down to watch TV and eat dinner with Bryan and checked my phone... and THIS is what I saw...


I looked at Bryan and with a totally straight face said, "Um... I just won $1000 dollars." He said, "No you didn't". And I hopped out of my chair and gave him my phone and started jumping up and down.

This money came from a drawing out of THOUSANDS of BeachBody coaches and I honestly had kind of forgotten about it. I didn't need another reason to love BeachBody and my up-line coaches but this just sealed the deal even more for me. What a huge blessing...

My point... The Lord IS FAITHFUL and GOOD. We've had a rough few weeks missing Janet and our family is going through some changes. It's been so hard to see the good in the situation of losing Janet and like I wrote last week, I've been focusing on remembering that I was made for more than how I am feeling today or what my current situation is.

I feel like this $1000 is a blessing in disguise from the Lord. It takes a lot of the financial burden of trying to sell our house and move off of us and makes this a much more enjoyable process. I feel like Janet is looking down on us and so proud of us too and maybe she gave the "Big Guy" a little nudge to help us out.

This morning I thought about the timing of when I "won" the drawing. It was around the same time I was driving home and saw the sunset and felt the Lord's peace come over me. I didn't see it until later to realize that. I have needed something for Him to feel "real" to me again... and the sunset did that... not the money. But the money was definitely a great added bonus.

So today I am feeling blessed. Overwhelmed and Blessed by the Lord's continued Goodness in our lives.

Happy Friday.

(I didn't lose this week, I maintained... I'll be back with WWF next week)

September 25, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chaaaannges....

So I have been a little MIA because I am a bit preoccupied...

We've decided to test the market and try to sell our house and potentially buy our "forever home".

I have heard this is a stressful process (especially with little kids) so I am just praying that if it's meant to be the house sells quickly and we get what we want for it and if it doesn't, we will be content to stay here for awhile.

We're in the best circumstance because we're not in a rush to sell and don't have a contract on another house yet and worse case scenario, we sell our house and either have to move in with my parents for awhile or get a rental.

It's a new journey and it's had me busy. Our dream "forever home" is one with a basement or separate living area for when our boys are older. I want to move where we are more secluded with trees and space for the boys to explore.

We aren't moving far away, we are looking out by my parents on the lake. We found a house that we loved but it went under contract the next day. We have an awesome realtor who knows the lake house market and is really pushing for us. He came over to finish the comps on our house this morning and we are very pleased with how much he thinks we can get for our house. Soooo if you're in the market for a house in Bentonville, let me know! It should be officially listed by the end of next week.

Also, if you've sold your house have you used a professional stager? I am thinking we are going to rid the house of extra furniture this weekend and de-clutter toys. Early next week I am going to pay to have the house professionally cleaned before it is officially listed. We're also going to work on landscaping this weekend. I would love any tips and tricks that you have for me!

So bear with me if my posts are a bit few and far between...

Happy Wednesday.


September 23, 2014

Seeds Family Worship

I am OBSESSED with Seeds Family Worship. A friend introduced me to them a few months ago and since I have been trying to teach Hudson scripture I thought it would be perfect for him! I bought two of their CD's then and they've been in my car on repeat since. The music isn't boring or annoying like a lot of other kids worship music and I love that each song is focused on a different verse that it straight from scripture! I have even found myself with many more verses memorized since we started listening to Seeds.

My friend Brittany asked me if I would like to review the new CD that just came out last week and I jumped on that offer! So Seeds Family Worship sent me their new CD "The Word of God" and we love it even more than the other ones we have. "Impress them" is my favorite track, it has a Mumford and Sons sound. Hudson likes "Genuine". Another super cool thing about Seeds is that you get two copies of the same CD when you order so you can share with a friend!

There is nothing I love more than hearing my baby quote and sing scripture! I'd definitely recommend Seeds Family Worship and their new CD "The Word Of God." You can check out all of their music and order through their website. We also have "Seeds of Courage" (great for boys!) and "Seeds of Character". I just saw that they are offering free shipping right now too with the code: Freeship! Sweet! Let me know if you order and what you think! And please tell me what other tips and tricks you have for teaching scripture to preschoolers! I'd love to hear your ideas.

Hope you're having a happy Tuesday! :)

I am not being paid for this post. I was given product to review but the thoughts and ideas in the post are all my own.

September 19, 2014

WWF- Week 16

Week 16 is here. I am so glad that I started this journey 16 weeks ago and while the last few weeks I've been stuck in somewhat of a plateau, I did have another half lb weight loss this week... and while 1/2 lb isn't great, I will take any loss at this point!

I posted this on my IG on Tuesday, and the first picture (while awful) cracks me up. There is such a huge difference here and I feel like I look like a totally different person. The first picture isn't even me at my heaviest.

I've been doing PiYo and running this last week and I've been sore like crazy.  I love the way my body feels after PiYo.

Bryan and I are going to do 3-Day refresh next week, I am hoping to break out of the 180s for good. I am also going to blog about it every day. Bryan has about 10 lbs that he wants to lose and since he has the metabolism of preteen I am sure he will lose it all in the three days... I'll be happy to lose 3.

If you follow me on IG you'll know that I had a fashion crisis before my WW meeting last night. I got these new flats but they kill my feet so I was wondering about the little lace sockies. My IG peeps stepped in and told me they were ok!

I led my first meeting last night and I think that it went great! I am so excited for this new chapter! 

Down 23.5 lbs, 40.5 to go!

I hope you all have a super great weekend! I am looking forward to some time with family and just taking it easy!

Happy Friday!

September 18, 2014

Made for More

I started the book "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst earlier this summer. I got busy and reading fell by the wayside. I picked it back up this morning and read Chapter 5 where I had left off. It was just exactly what I needed to hear.

In a paraphrase, she starts by talking about how when you start a diet program you get really excited and have the will power to say no. But then time passes and the newness wears off and it becomes easier to give in and say "Oh, I'll start back tomorrow... next week... next month". She goes on to turn to Ephesians 1:17-19.

I love this. I think it is important in so many different areas of our lives but I can see how it can be helpful to me in my weight loss journey. I have spent the last month losing and gaining the same 2 lbs, I found myself making excuses for what I was eating... my "life change" lost the newness. But what it comes down to is that I cannot do this on my own. I am not strong enough. I don't have the willpower. I am weak and letting myself be defined by food and the struggle... and then Lysa brought such an encouraging truth that I SO needed today-- I was made for more. (I HIGHLY recommend this book if this is a struggle of yours.)

I met someone at my Weight Watchers leader training a few weeks ago who has met her goal weight. She was vibrant and every word that came out of her mouth sang praises to the Lord. She attributed her weight loss to HIM. She said several times that she just prayed that the Lord would give her strength and He did and that's how she succeeded. At the time, I didn't think much about it, but today as I read that, I was reminded of her and her story, which is much deeper than weight loss, but she was such an encouragement to me of how she has overcome SO much but for all of it she gives glory to the Lord.

Since losing Janet, I have struggled. I've struggled with my Christian walk. We've basically stopped making an effort to go to church most of the time. Worship is hard. Being around people who don't know our story is hard. Prayer is the hardest. I found myself struggling with what the importance of prayer was. It didn't seem to matter how many people prayed for Janet, circled her house, fasted... she still wasn't healed. That was God's plan from the beginning, so what did it matter what effort I put into praying or even caring?

Obviously, I am being completely transparent here. I know it's not right for me to feel this way. I still believe in God. I still believe that God's plan is far greater than I will know or imagine. I've come to grips with the fact that our family may never know why Janet was taken from us while we are still living on this Earth. I became a Christian when I was 7 years old. I've never doubted my salvation. I know the Lord. My selfish human nature is just hurt, scared, torn... looking for an answer that I am not going to get.
Oh how I wish I could relive this moment today...
"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress, I will never be shaken."-Psalm 62:1-2

So... with all that, I've realized this morning that I needed to lay it all down. I needed to give up control. I need to trust that God's plan is greater than the plan I have in my head. I was made for more than this cycle of fighting with God. I was made for more than giving in to my cravings for food. I was made for more than excuses.
Summer 2001, I was 14 and B was 15
I look back on the Lord's work in my life. I look back on the years of praying for Bryan while we were both dating other people and "growing up". I look back on the broken relationship between us that HE healed from when we were teenagers. I look at my husband who lost his dad when he was 8, but God's plan was greater. He brought Tony into his life and Tony helped raise him to be the incredible man he is today. I look at my own weight battle that I've had since I was a teenager. I see now how it is beneficial for me to be right where God wanted me to be in this season of my life. People who don't struggle with food and being overweight, can't lead Weight Watchers and motivate others to lose. If you haven't been there, you don't understand.

I hope that one day I will look back and see God's work at hand on this season. Every single day is still a struggle for me (and my whole family) with losing Janet. But I know that God is faithful. I was made for more than battling with myself and letting the devil win.

This blog post has been a long time coming. I haven't blogged much about Janet lately because it is so raw. The hurt has gotten worse with time instead of better and I wasn't sure what to write...

Today, I am turning a new leaf. When I am craving food, struggling with body image, missing Janet or whatever else may come my way... I'm going to turn to Eph. 1:17-19, pray for strength and knowledge from the Lord and tell myself "I was made for more".

Happy Thursday. I hope this encourages someone else today as much as it did me.

September 16, 2014

Transformation Tuesday!

Hudson is sick, blah. And I had planned a big post for today but I just don't see it happening. So instead I am difusing my oils like a crazy person hoping no one else starts throwing up...


So a short and sweet post today to show you a comparison that I found last week.

I had to take a before and after to my first Weight Watchers meeting on Thursday and I decided to go through pics on Bryan's computer because I knew there were bound to be some bad ones that I hadn't seen.... and oh, boy did I find one. I cannot believe the progress this shows.

May 20, 2014 to Sept 10, 2014
This is 210 lbs to 186 lbs. The first pic is from when we were in Annapolis for my cousins graduation. I started Weight Watchers that next week and PiYo about 2 weeks later. This is incredible to me and shows my progress better than anything I've ever seen. Three and a half months difference. Crazy cakes, I tell you. I never ever ever want to see that chubby girl again.

I've still got a long journey ahead but I am so glad I am not where I started anymore. I started PiYo back this weekend and I am SO sore. Chalene and her Sumo Burpees about killed me. I am excited to do it again today! I started back with a group of girls in a PiYo support group on Facebook and I love the accountability and support we have in there! There is still time if you want to join us!
Just an encouragement for your Tuesday... maybe for some of you today needs to be your "before" picture so in a few months you can look back and see all the progress you made. This journey isn't easy at all, but it is totally worth it. I work out at least once 6 days a week, some days twice, and write down EVERY bite of food that I take... that's what works for me.

And maybe for others of you you're at your "after" and that's great, keep it up!!! I get emails almost every day from people who are on this journey with me and I LOVE hearing from you!

Happy Tuesday, loves. :)

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