A Few of My Favorite Things

I thought I would share a few fun, favorites in my life of late.  Some are serious, others superfluous....

1. I get so excited about getting a new 'do! I just love the "new" feeling of having a haircut or new color. 
    Here are just a few of the cuts/colors I have worn over the past few years...
2. Coffee.  I have tried to switch to tea many times because of the health benefits, etc. but there is nothing
    like a good cup of coffee!  I am trying to limit myself these days. Down to two cups most mornings!

3. Crossroads Baptist Church and especially those super sweet Sr. High girls!  Bear and I are thoroughly
    enjoying getting to know the students at Crossroads.  We have been amazed at how the Lord has grown
    our new church over this past year and look forward to many more glorious things the Lord is going to do
    in and through the lives of the members of Crossroads.
4. Gi Gi's Cupcakes  http://www.gigiscupcakesusa.com/

They are now open in Memphis! The most yummy cupcakes I have ever had! (Aside from Annie Tucker's).

5. Colby and Charlotte 
Charlotte has been my girl since the summer after my Sr. year in high school. I have known her longer than I have know Bear! She has been a "shoulder" to cry on many times. She knows all my secrets! :)
Colby is our crazy, lively, forever puppy of a dog! He is a "stand by your man" kind of dog. He waits for me to sit down every night and then plops down on my lap. He truly a dear. We have had him since the winter of '06.  Our lives have never been the same since!

6.  Chocolate!!! I just have to add this one! I really try to limit myself in this area, but I go a day or two and I
     am just dying for one little piece.  I am partial to dark, but am not picky when in need!
Here is a pic of my all time favorite! 
7. Running. (fitting follow up to chocolate, eh?)  A friend gave me a ear warmer for Christmas that says "Will
    Run For Chocolate".  That is me! If I didn't...well....that would be another post!
    This sport is just something that has always been there for me.  I don't need anyone to do it, though I do
    thoroughly enjoy having a running buddy, especially on those long runs.  I have recently began running with
    with music this past year.  It has really helped with motivation.  I do, however, enjoy just listening to
    nature.  I have contemplated taking a little notebook along in my back pocket.  I have come up with some
    great ideas while on runs lately!  So with this, I enjoy running races.  For me, not a race against other
    entrants but against myself.  I most recently ran my first marathon-The St. Jude Memphis Marathon.  It
    was truly a rewarding experience.  I would recommend it to anyone!
This is my running buddy, Missy, and I after the race.
8. Garner Rose.

She is my newest niece and the daughter of Michelle & Sammy.  This baby is truly my heart. I never knew that I could love a baby so much that is not my flesh and blood.  I am thankful that I am in the situation I am in, having a niece before having a child of my own, because I have learned so much from watching Michelle and my heart is truly bulging with love for this beautiful baby girl!  She is truly a blessing to our family and we are enjoying every minute of watching her learn and grow.  She is 5 months old today.

This business has been amazing for me! I have had tons of jobs and worked for some great companies but I have honestly never fell in love with a company like this.  I really enjoy having parties, meeting new people and decorating my home with lovely products!  I would like to continue to work my business in order to supplement our income after we have children.  I can work it around other activities and do it as little or as much as I want from month to month.  (By the way, if you would like to have a party, contact me! There are some lovely things in our new Spring catalog!)

10. Bear.
      Words cannot express why he is my favorite thing here on earth.  I would not be who I am today without
      this man.  The Lord has truly blessed me with Bear.  He reveals Himself to me daily thru my husband.  I
      look forward to many upcoming posts, sharing about the joys, trials and triumphs the Lord brings us
      through together.  I would not want to share it with anyone else!


What's Really Going On?!

This week I have been thinking of writing a post about what is going on in our lives and how Bear and I are doing right now.  I know many of you that read this already know us well and I talk to most of you on a regular basis.  However, I wanted to write to bless the Lord for His faithfulness in our marriage, in our lives individually and, basically, just because I can.

Bear and I have been married for over 6 and a half years.  We have always wanted to have children and decided in 2006 to begin seeking the Lord to make that happen.  We went through many steps in the process.  Went to different doctors, etc to figure out why it wasn't happening after some time.  In the fall of 2008, our fertility specialist basically told us that it was very unlikely that we would be able to have a biological child.  We truly felt like the Lord had prepared us for that meeting. 

We have talked about children and adoption from the time we got married in 2003.  Adoption has never been a "plan b" for us.  We always knew that sometime in the future we would pursue it.  Bear always said that we would try and have children on our on first.  So it made sense to go that route after meeting with the doctor.  We decided, at that point, that it would be best if we waited until the beginning of 2009 to explore our options in the adoption realm.

At the beginning of last year, we met with different agencies and decided upon a local crisis pregnancy/adoption agency in our hometown.  At first we thought we would jump right in and begin the process.  After beginning the paperwork and background checks, we both grew emotional and really decided that we needed more time to deal with the fact that we most likely weren't going to have a biological child.  We realized that we really needed to go through somewhat of a grieving time about our situation.

After about six months, we began the process again.  So now we are in the "wait-and-see" stage.  Through the agency we have chosen, the process is to wait until our profile (pictures/letter/biography of our lives) is viewed by a prospective birth mother.  She actually chooses who adoption the baby.  We aren't on a list, but are among a group of people waiting.

I guess it is hard in a different way that it was a couple of years ago when I went through a monthly roller coaster of being anxious, getting excited, to being dissapointed.  Most of all we have truly grown through this process together.  From the first month that we began the journey of wanting to become parents, we never imagined it would take us to where we are now.  We never thought it would happen this way.  Nontheless, we are thankful.  We have come to the true realization that our Heavenly Father is soverign.  It is one thing to know it in your head, but to see it in your life with open eyes every day is completely amazing! 

Though we have tough days/weeks.  We know without a shadow of a doubt that He is truly working everything out for His glory and our good.  Just as in all of our lives, we see that He orders our steps.  We must choose daily to follow Him in submission and have the humility to go in His grace and realize He is faithful and He will bring it to pass.

Bear and I truly believe that He has children for us.  As someone said in an article I read the other day, these children will have always been ours, the Lord is just going to allow us to meet them in His timing one day. 

We don't know where the coming months/year(s) will take us.  We hope to parenthood SOON. But, regardless, we will cling to Him.  The One who is the giver of life. 

Today I read a passage that was so encouraging to me....

"Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name. 
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you."
Psalm 33:20-22

I look forward to posting more of what the Lord is teaching us and the many lessons He is teaching us in our lives.  Thanks for taking the time to read.  We cherish your prayers!


Yum, Yum, Yummy Chocolate Cake

I wanted to share with you this amazing cake that I put together.  This is the second time I have used cake mix from Aldi and people have really liked it.  I think it tastes different than your regular Betty Crocker.  It is called Bakers Secret and is distributed by Aldi.

I made the Chocolate Frosting.  It was really simple. Here is the recipe below...

Milk Chocolate Frosting
(courtesy of: Family Circle dec.09)
  • 4 bars milk chocolate, broken up (I used Hershey's)
  • 1 box (1 pound) confectioners' sugar
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2) stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place chocolate in a small saucepan.  Melt over medium-low heat, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly.
2. Combine 1 cup of confectioners' sugar, the milk, the butter and vanilla in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute. Add melted chocolate and beat until smooth.
3. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until good spreading consistency.

I used an idea from Fine Cooking (i believe) to top the cake with marshmallows and sprinkle with a bit of chocolate powder (used Hersheys Cocoa Powder). I slightly modified the Fine Cooking recipe...didn't make the marshmallows, bought the at the grocery! :) I think I will try that one day but decided against it this time.

I made it for a co-worker's birthday today and it slid a bit in the car, but was still delicious! :)



Do you make New Year's resolutions? Do you think they work or not? Did you keep the one's you made last year?

I made some last year, wrote them down and managed to keep up with the slip of paper all year in my Bible.  I actually did keep some of them.  It was sad that I didn't keep others.  I decided to do it again this year.

This year, I put things like.....
~run enough miles by June to make 1000 (from last June to this June)
~do crunches 5x a week (already slipping on that one)
~read my Bible every day
~be more encouraging to others and don't have such a bad attitude towards patients that come in my office at work. It is so easy to do that because I don't know them personally and they just leave and we won't see them for a long time. I have realized, though, that even though they may never know it, it is still wrong of me and it is discouraging to those I work with.  I have recently been convicted AGAIN about this (letting unwholesome talk come from my mouth).
~spend more time at home, being still. Those that know me well, know that this will really be a challenge for me. I am one who loves to be on the go and with people all the time. I do not sit still well. I can't sit and watch t.v. for more than thirty minutes at a time.  I get bored easily.  I would rather be out doing something. So I decided I need to try and be home more with Bear at night.  Besides, we are suppose to be saving money and I don't need to be getting coffee every other night!
~try not to eat so much dessert! This is probably going to be the most difficult one! I have to have a little piece of dark chocolate every day. I know, you say, "every day??" Yes, I have to! My head hurts if I don't! And I have read a lot about how dark chocolate is good for you. My problem is that one little piece is not where I stop! I was reading in a magazine the other day that was talking about how to control yourself at a party or a social gathering where there was a lot of yummy food. One of the things it said was to just skip dessert entirely because there is no nutritional value in it anyway. I thought, WHATEVER!!! I live for dessert! If I had to choose, I would have dessert over the main dish.  So anyway, that is why I run! :) My friend actually gave me a headband to cover my ears that says, "Will Run for Chocolate". That is so true of me!

So what is your take on resolutions? Do they help you? Do you have any tips for how I can keep mine?


I am finally on!!!

Yay! I am finally blogging! I have thought of beginning many times in the past year but didn't think I would have much to talk about.  Then I decided, well, maybe I do. So here it goes! :)

I will begin with sharing a recipe I tried out tonight....

Feta Chicken Breasts
(courtesty of Family Circle dec.09)

Here is the recipe:

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 4 oz each
Wood toothpicks
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 slices bacon

~Heat oven to 325. Place a rack in a large baking pan.
~Drain and squeeze liquid from spinach. In a medium-size bowl, mix together spinach, feta, mayonnaise and garlic.
~In batches, place chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper and pound to 1/8-in. thickness. Place about 1/3 cup of filling down the center of each chicken breast. Roll up and secure each with 2 toothpicks.
~Sprinkle the paprika. Wrap a slice of bacon around each piece of chicken and place on the prepared rack.
~Bake at 325 for 55-60 mins. or until internal temp. reads 160 on an instant-read thermometer. Run under the broiler for a minute or two, if desired.

I did some motifications to the above recipe.  Bear isn't too keen on garlic so I just left it out. We were out of paprika so I didn't use any.  Instead of using 6 chicken breasts since it was just dinner for the two of us, I took 3 chicken breasts and cut them in slices lengthwise.  Instead of placing them between waxed paper and pounding, I just put three slices in a sandwich bag, at a time, and pounded them.  The only problem I discovered was that because I cut the chicken in half, there was extra filling after I rolled them up.
My solution was to use that as an extra side item/appetizer.  So I put some bacon on top and cooked it along side the chicken in a small dish.  It went well with some chips!
Also I used turkey bacon on some and regular bacon on others. They both were a success. Overall, I believe this recipe was a success! It sort of seemed like "fancy food" to me! And most of all, Bear liked it!