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Happy Hoping in 2012

1 Jan

Fire Wives balance a million roles everyday! That in between green is tough to find!!

Happy New Year!

Well, the year has started out with an immediate need for flexibility.  Brett had a force hire today.  Joy!  Despite Brett’s absence, I kept with the plan…more or less.

The day began with Cinnamon rolls, a pajama picnic on the patio, and an OJ toast to the New Year.  Okay – so maybe mine was a mimosa…but as far as the kids were concerned, it was OJ all around!  Next came church, where I discovered our new Bible Study: Beth Moore’s “James” Mercy Triumphs (Whoo Hoo!).  Back at the Roost, 5-year old Stella made her brothers and I lunch (PB Honey, Pop Chips, and Bananas).  The afternoon continued with bike rides, park time, and a little football.  Last, we topped the evening with a little Breakfast for Dinner.  The baby crashed out around seven, which left ample time for books and games before bed.  Wear’em’out is becoming my new motto!

Last year was my first spent as a FireWife.  For those of you who have “enjoyed” it longer, I admire and respect you.  It is exhausting; not just physically, but emotionally!  Of course change is a part of life, but a Fire Wife’s life demands flexibility like I had never imagined.

It was hard for me to keep my mind on the message this morning.   Instead of taking notes on the sermon, I made a list of Hopes for 2012.  Some would call these resolutions, but I’m a little gun-shy to commit to anything these days as a force hire may arise.  Haha!

This year I hope to:

1) Be steady and stable for my kids when dad is at work.  How do I hope to accomplish this?  By establishing and maintaining a routine during the week.  Often times I feel like we fly by the seat of our pants.

2) Run a race for a cause.  Training for a race is something I can do with or without Brett (or a friend’s) participation.  Since we are relatively “alone” in our area, I have made up my mind to pick a cause and be a champion.  This will make working out so much more enjoyable, knowing it is for something important.  (Well, that and loosing 12 pounds and getting a better ass!)

3) Plan a vacation for my husband and I.  Nothing crazy.  preferably something smack dab in the middle of a six-day to avoid cancellation.  I’m thinking Boston late summer, early fall.  We can hit up a baseball game, eat great food, maybe even take a drive up the coast.  So fun! (Don’t worry, I will get cancellation insurance)

4) Plan a family vacation.  Last year was San Francisco.  AMAZING.  The kids are still young so I am thinking something else low-key.  Perhaps San Diego, Yosemite, or Mammoth.  Something outdoors with plenty to see!

5) Read the Bible; the whole darn thing.  It’s a huge commitment, but I know I can do it.  I am aiming for the Discipleship plan from Nav Press.

6) Write a Blog Post every week for a year.  Committed!

7) Plan meals better.  My kids love to cook.  I hope to prepare in advance, cook organic, and embrace their excitement!

8) Be Gracious.  Pinterest has been an awesome addition to my life.  I love the tips, tricks and tools I have learned, which have made me a better Wife, Woman and Mother.  So far I have thanked each woman I have highlighted on this blog.  Their contributions are AWESOME.

9)  Build friendships with women.  I have hidden far to long from building friendships.  Moving was devastating and the uncertainty of our living situation has been an excuse for far too long.  I hope to meet amazing women and grow amazing friendships this year.  Specifically, I hope to embrace and grow relationships with the amazing FireWives from RCFD.

10) Wear lingerie.  At least once a week, I commit to wear something totally uncomfortable and impractical just for the Mr.  I have almost finished shedding baby weight from #3 , which means my confidence level is on the upswing.  On a side note, I don’t think he would mind a purchase here and there from Victoria’s Secret, Aerie, or some other fabulous panty find!  Whoo Hoo!

I feel like these are 10, well-rounded hopes.  There’s a balance for each of the roles I play, which is 100% important.  My goal is to check in once a month…a little status report if you will.  Y’all didn’t know you were signing up to be my accountability partners, huh!!??!

Happy Hoping in 2012!  Enjoy Yourself

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Pretty Pretty Pinterest

11 Dec

Pinterest is a visual wonderland.  A magical outlet where I can escape, visualize, imagine and dream.

This week, I finished Christmas treats for my friends without  setting foot in a store.  The brilliant, creative soul at TipJunkie  gave me ideas from the kitchen, to the tree, to the table, and taught me to create beautiful, simple, personal treats for my lovelies!

Brock's Handprints Christmas Tree; dark green with green glitter and colorful button ornaments

This week, I pinned porches and rooms, adorable ideas within our budget.  The marvelous Holly Mathis Interiors encouraged me to place  pillow here, rearrange there, and hang a little something simple on the wall.  Our home feels warm and  inviting.

This week, I found an outfit (via polyvore) that I was certain I had the pieces parts to create, yet, never in my wildest dreams, had I put it together.  I ransacked my closet, decked the ensemble, and made a date with the hubby!    Of course, he always thinks I’m pretty (good man!), but I definitely soaked up his endless compliments about my appearance.

This week I hunkered down with three sick kiddos and made an endless stream of crafts and Christmas goodies.  We sat together at the computer and picked our favorites, which we then proceeded to make and enjoy (Watercolor paints in the bathtub, Marshmallow reindeer ~ to name a few).  Thanks to fabulous inspiration from Heather at The Other White House, we modified and created these awesome Handprints Christmas Tree.

This week, I tried a new recipe, read words that inspired, laughed out loud, and made plans to play again and again.

Stella's Handprints Christmas Tree; snow white with purple glitter and colorful button ornaments

“So how much time did you waste?”  Let’s be honest, a handful of you are probably thinking along those lines.

The truth is, I am a Fire Wife.  Half the week, my crazy days turn to quiet nights.  Watching movies and TV Shows happens intermittently and I love a good book.  But, most nights, after the kids are tucked in and the cleaning and straightening are complete, it’s simply great to sit and do nothing.  Relaxing and daydreaming  with a cup of tea or a glass of wine is perfect!  So, thank you Pinterest for your pretty, pretty ideas and lovely forum.

So, here’s what I am thinking…I am going to make a commitment to post at least once a week (I am aiming for Tuesdays ~ but if Brett’s off, then a  day +/-), when I will share my favorite pin of the week.  I will highlight the pin, the website, the content, and why it’s so damn amazing.  The Pin will be something that speaks to my soul and fuels my desire to be a mighty, sweet woman, wife, mama, and friend.

Until then, happy pinning and Enjoy Yourself!

Family + Food + Friends + Football = Fall

3 Nov
Chocolate chip muffins baking in an oven

Image via Wikipedia

One of our favorite holiday eats comes from Trader Joe’s.  Available one time per year, the Pumpkin Muffin mix and the Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle mix add to the season’s ambiance.  My kiddos love to climb up to the counter, add small hands, and eat scattered chocolate chips!  It takes a little extra time and it’s definitely messier, but I’m banking on the fact that I’m creating memories to last a lifetime.  Although the recipe doesn’t call for chocolate chips, we have found that adding 3/4 cup to the muffins and scattering a couple onto each pancake makes for good eats!

Baking always gives me a little smile, which is why I was so excited to discover this list about Fall Treats.

Thank you for the list  Lauren, http://thelittlethingswedo.blogspot.com/ and to Roxanne at  http://roxannima.com/ for bringing it to my attention.

1. Nothing says fall like … cinnamon, chicken pot pies, Monday Night Football, leaves

2. My favorite autumnal tradition is … Crisp, cold morning beach walks; the CrapFair – first Sunday in November

3. My favorite fall treat is …  Pumpkin Muffins from Trader Joe’s with Chocolate Chips added and the Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks (One time per year!)

4. Fall makes me think of … Crisp mornings, blustery days, apple picking in Julian, football season

5. Autumn free form word association … go! coats, blustery, Thanksgiving, scarves, apples, harvest, pumpkins

6. My go-to outfit in the fall is … jeans, sweatshirt / sweater, scarf, and although I should probably wear some shoes, I will forever be flopping around in my Rainbow Sandals

7. My favorite fall holiday is … Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday of the year with the Fourth of July running a  close second.  Giving thanks, spending time with family, running the Turkey Trot, enjoying delicious home baked goods, and relaxing. Family, Friends, Food, and Football.  Is there anything better?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Letting the Mr. off the Hook

28 Oct
The chore list

Image by demandaj via Flickr

Open bill.  Pay bill.  File Bill.  Shred bill.  It seems simple enough, which is why I don’t understand how bills get paid and yet the “to be paid” stack on our desk continues to grow.

Laundry hamper = big.  Clothing item = small.  Husband = good at Basketball.  How do clothes land on the perimeter of the hamper but not in the hamper?

Unwind air compressor hose.  Inflate tire.  Recoil the air compressor hose.  Such a small task, I can’t imagine how it ended up strewn across the garage floor – again.

I clench my teeth, tighten my fists, and walk pointedly down the hall way to ask him how hard it is to shred the bills, put the laundry in the hamper, and wind up the damn compressor hose, when I see the kids rough housing with their dad, having a blast…when I find my husband enjoying a rare conversation with his dad…when my husband comes up behind me and whispers in my ear.  The truth is, there are a million things requiring attention.  Whether or not I like to admit it, my little requests add up to a mighty long list.  So what does it really matter if I take two seconds to file the paid bills, throw the clothes in the hamper, or wind up the darn air compressor cord?

Yes; if I remind him he will do it.  Yes.  He will take time away from playing, chatting, and loving on me.  And, in reality, what is the greater good.  I have an opportunity to take something off his plate, avoid confrontation, and make myself feel better that the task is complete.  Ultimately, at the end of the day, isn’t that what I am going for anyway?

Helpmate

25 Oct

Prayer is the most powerful and important means of strengthening, shaping, caring, loving, and transforming my husband, my marriage, my family, and myself. God is capable of things far beyond my imagination and will answer prayers, specific prayers, with specific answers, when I fall on my knees before Him! Prayer requires faith and faith demands action.

In her book The Power of a Praying Wife, Stormie Omartian beautifully captures the motivation we should have as we pray for our husbands. “The power of a praying wife is not a means of gaining control over your husband so don’t get your hopes up! In fact it’s quite the opposite. It’s laying down all claims to power in and of yourself, and relying on God’s power to transform you, your husband, your circumstances, and your marriage. The power is not given to wield like a weapon in order to beat back an unruly beast. It’s a gentle tool of restoration appropriated through the prayers of a wife who longs to do right more than be right and to give life more than get even. It is a way to invite God’s power into your husband’s life for his greatest blessing, which is ultimately yours, too.”

Praying for my husband gives me an opportunity to identify my husband’s needs, wants, desires, challenges, and gifts. It gives me an opportunity to take these before God, lay them at His feet, and trust that He will take the reigns. It absolves me from being a controlling woman, a nagging wife, and it absolves me from the pressure of needing to change my man. God will work out my man. My job is to lay my husband at the feet of Jesus, embrace who he is, and support him as he grows into the man God made him to be. Furthermore, I have to trust that God can and will work in my marriage, in my life, and in my husband’s life!  My husband is not perfect…but guess what, neither am I. The Lord is perfect. My job is to seek the Lord and have confidence. He is the source for all I want to see happen in my marriage. It’s not my job to worry about how He will accomplish His plan. It’s my responsibility to pray and it’s God’s responsibility to answer.

That being said, as much as I believe prayer is invaluable, I also firmly believe many women use prayer as a crutch to avoid the down and dirty work of serving their husbands. We pray for our husbands to change, for our relationships to ignite themselves, and for passion to wash over us like the Holy Ghost. But sometimes we need to change our own actions to revolutionize our relationship and ignite sparks. What type of action should we take? From the very beginning a woman’s purpose was clearly defined. God took a look at Adam and said, “It is not good for a man to be alone. I will make a suitable helper for him (Genesis 2:18) So why does our blood pressure rise at the mention of the word helper. Somehow we associate weakness and inferiority with the one who assists? In John 14:16, Jesus comforts his disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit, referring too Him as “a helper.” By addressing the Holy Spirit as a Helper, Jesus honors the position of someone who assists. The Holy Spirit encourages, comforts, comes alongside, and helps. Women are a true picture of beauty and grace when they follow His example. As wives, we are called to be helpmates, to love and serve our husbands. Granted there is more to our essential being than service. And, for the record, I am not saying your husband shouldn’t serve you (He should, but we’re not talking about him!).  As we think about serving, we must set aside our own needs and tap into the needs of our man.  So, get on your knees and pray for him, but also take the opportunity to bless him in other ways. Just as faith without works is dead, so is serving our husbands without action!  Cover your man in prayer and be a loving helper in the process.