Monday, December 31, 2012

New New Year's Traditions...

I am still working on my new year's resolutions, but I've also been inspired to write another list...

The Blessings of 2012

I'm so thankful for social media. I love that on Twitter, I can follow people who have no clue who I am or how much they inspire me.

For instance, Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a book called Boundaries: When to Say Yes and How to Say No...

This book was transforming for me!! Seriously, reading it and applying it has changed my life!

And now I follow Dr. Cloud on Twitter. He actually retweeted & responded to something by Bill Hybels tweeted...

This totally inspired me to make my own list of blessings!! So, I'm going to be working on this list to share with Lee and our kids...or possibly just me and Lee when it's quiet after our kiddos go to sleep...

But my next project is from Pinterest (and I've seen it on Instagram and Facebook as well)...and it's going to start on January 1, 2013 for next New Year's Eve...

Thank you, social media, for giving me opportunities to create new traditions that will help me be able to reflect on the good things God has done for me and my family within a year!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

How to Write New Year's Resolutions

It's getting close to that time of year again...

Time to make New Year's Resolutions.

When we were starting in our cousins and friends and I would put our resolutions in a box and open them together the following year. It was a lot of fun for us...and our crazy dreams...some of which happened...and some of which didn't.

I really wish it was something that we could do together now...Maybe we'll have to create a virtual one...or just mail the actual ones to Syl and have her put them in a box...but the fun part was opening it the following year.

The thing about the box though was that I almost always forgot what I put in it. Like 99% of what I put in it. I think one year I even copied what I had written for the box...but I just didn't keep looking at it.

So, this year for my goals, I am going to keep them in front of me...something that I plan to be able to see written and read it on a regular basis...

And I'm not going to make a ridiculously long list of unrealistic goals that cannot be me, I had plenty of those in the box over the years.

I have learned that goals are something that can be measured...and there should be attainable steps or benchmarks to get to it.

I can't just say, "I want to lose weight..."

I need to say, "I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months...and I will do this by doing my 30 day shred video 3 times a week...cutting out cokes...and eating a salad as a meal once a day for 3 days a week."

That's more realistic for me. I don't want salads every day. I know I won't workout 7 days a week or even 5 days a week right now with 3 little ones at home. I have to be realistic in my goals...what I resolve for the next year.

So, I'm going to be working on this list for the next few days. I will keep track of it on my phone...and it will go in my journal. I may even share those resolutions on here as a form of accountability.

My plan is this in a nutshell:
1. write 5 specific, measurable goals with steps/benchmarks to achieve them
2. Put a brief version of these 5 goals on the wall in my bathroom so I can see them on a daily basis
3. Have a specific reward for when I reach each of those goals

I can tell you that I'm excited about this...and I'm looking forward to looking back at the end of 2013 to see how much I've accomplished throughout the year!

Right now for me, it's a new year and new beginnings!!!

How do you feel about New Year's Resolutions??

Friday, December 21, 2012


I've started writing about half a dozen blog posts and then stop...

Some kind of interruption...something is going on.

Everyone has been sick - except for Breelee thankfully! - Bella was even too sick to participate in the kids' song for our Christmas production. My song was the next song after that, and I ended up taking the kids home as soon as I was finished. It wasn't what I thought it would be for sure!! But I'm glad it went well!!! We had the largest crowd since our launch day in September! That is exciting!!!!!

The week has just been hard. Bella's teacher said yesterday that she noticed Bella wasn't her usual self. This sickness has just wiped all of us out. I feel like I can't catch up on cleaning anything...

But thankfully last night was a vomit-free night...the first in a week.

We've had to adjust to Lee's work schedule too. With the training and then the holidays, he's stayed busy, and we know that will slow down after the new year. He is only working our financial support team members & other friends who have given to us are helping us be able to be a part of the church plant.

I've only felt overwhelmed a few times. It is at night when we are all getting tired and Lee isn't home yet...that is when it's a little hard. And Breelee has had some fussy evenings.

But we are making it. Again, this is the best I've felt after having a baby. It's a true blessing that I don't want to take for granted. If I would have been the way that I was after I had would not be a fun time for any of us.

But I'm able to go out with 3 kids - even to the mall. I like going with Lee before he has a shift or even meeting him on his lunch break and eating with him. It's on my way out alone that I usually get looks and comments of "you have your hands full..." or "you are brave..."

Well, thank you...I'll take that as a compliment! I do feel brave, even when Brennan starts screaming as we leave a store. If I wasn't brave, I would stay home all the time, and I just can't do that. I don't want to do that.

I'm considering getting one of those sit-and-stand strollers. That way I'll be able to contain 2 and Bella can walk along side of it. Right now I can carry Breelee in my ring sling, which is wonderful and easy, but like today, I didn't have it in the car like I thought I did...and I carried her around the mall instead of Brennan running around and having to chase him. Thankfully she's still pretty light and Brennan stays in the stroller for the most part!!!

It really is interesting being a mom of 3. Again, it is a blessing from God that I don't want to take for granted...I know there are many women who would love to be in my shoes...even on my craziest of days...

I have my challenging moments...but I mean, I had challenging moments when Brennan and Bella were newborns.

Bella is a wonderful helper. Brennan is too. They both love love love Breelee so much. so much. And I know that it could be a lot worse. The biggest problem is when Breelee is screaming and Brennan wants to be held and Bella needs help putting on or taking off her princess dress. Or when Brennan and Bella are chasing each other and screaming...all in fun...until someone gets hurt.

But, I am thankful that God has chosen to give us 3 happy, healthy babies. And if my blog writing slows down for a little bit because of some distractions and interruptions, I'll take it!!! I can always write more in the future, but I won't ever get this season of life back again. Bring on the interruptions!! (as I've been stopped writing this about a dozen times by Bella asking me to paint her nails...It is so special to be a mom!!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Christmas time is here. It's a fun time of celebration with our kids.

Buford the elf has been visiting our house for a few weeks now. The first thing that Bella does when she wakes up in the morning is rush downstairs to see where Buford has moved to. She loves it!! It is fun to watch her face light up with delight. If Buford is at a place low enough for Brennan to touch him, she freaks out and begs us to move him so Brennan won't touch him...Because if Buford is touched, he'll lose his Christmas magic.

We really haven't talked up Santa too much. She makes a big enough deal on her own. But if you ask her what Santa is getting her for Christmas, she says "A Leap Ipad..."and if you asked her what Meme and Popie are getting her for Christmas, she'll say, "A Leap Ipad..." And it's probably true...Popie is more of a Santa Clause than the real one...always has been :)

And if you ask her why we celebrate Christmas, she'll say, "It's Jesus' birthday!" And yes, we do celebrate Jesus' birthday. Cake and all.

And she's super excited about our first Christmas production at Connection Church this coming Sunday (December 16th at 10 am at Mountain Ridge Middle School...check out for more info if you are in the Denver area!!!) She has been practicing her song for the children's part...and we're going to go shopping for a new dress...and she's even practicing my song for the production with me. This girl loves to sing! top it all off...there's snow! That's something new for all of us!! And now that we have the right boots and gloves for Bella & Brennan, they love playing in it!!! They even had a snowball fight with each other!!!

Last night we made our annual Blakney gingerbread house. The hardest part was keeping Brennan from eating the candy before and after it was on the house! He is still trying to get to it today!!!!

It really is a fun time for our family. This is such a different, new season of life for us...but we are enjoying each moment...we are embracing all that God has for us this Christmas. Bella told us last night, "This is the best Christmas ever!" And it is true...each year of celebration for us is better than the one before.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Not What I Expected

It has almost been 6 months since we moved from Louisiana.

I can say that things have not gone like I thought they would - good or bad...

I didn't think that we would get a house 4 doors down from Shawn & Amy (our pastors and friends who invited us to move up here to be a part of this adventure at Connection Church!) And we love love love our house. We are still renting - even though it is for sale by owner - and we are planning to buy it as soon as we can. 

I wasn't really sure where we would be living...but I'm thrilled we are where we are. We live in a fabulous neighborhood with the most wonderful neighbors!! We love it!

I didn't think it would take Lee over 6 months to get a job. He applied for the Apple store back in April before we moved, and he talked to them as soon as we moved here in June. And then he went through 4 interviews. 4. And the last one was back at the end of September or October. His first day was December 1st. 

I still believe God's timing is perfect. And the Apple store is the perfect part-time job for Lee. The hours are flexible...and he will be able to still focus on the work he does for the church as well as be with our family. He has loved the training he has been a part of...and I know he's going to excel working there. And Bella will be excited if we ever go to see him on a lunch break - the mall is her favorite place to go. Such a girl!!!

I didn't expect God's provision to come to us through such extreme measures. Diapers on our doorstep, a huge box of meat and meals delivered in the mail, checks in the mail, and meals provided by people we have met within the past few months...It's overwhelming to think of His goodness...and how good His people have been to us. We are blessed!!

The holidays seem so much harder to be away from family and friends back in Louisiana (and Lee's family in Texas). We know that God has called us here...but that doesn't always make it easier. And we have great friends now here...and actually, our love for Louisiana draws us closer to each other. There really is no other place like it. Just today on our way to drop off Bella at school, we passed up a pond...and Bella said, "Look Mom, that's my swamp...the alligators live there." And I wasn't able to convince her that alligators don't live there...she will have to see them next summer when she goes back to visit Louisiana. 

I didn't think I would be doing this well after having a baby. I wasn't extremely negative...I was trying to be realistic. I knew my hormones would be crazy...but besides the few baby blues days I've had...I've been really happy...I've enjoyed taking care of all 3 kids (and Lee too...and he's been wonderful at taking care of me.) But my weight loss is going good...I feel biggest frustration is finding a pair of jeans that fit!!! 

I've said this before, I don't think I knew what to expect when we moved. This is so different from everything we've known and done for all of our lives. 

But it is an exciting adventure that we are on...and God has been (and will continue to be) with us every step of the way. I'm so glad that His ways are higher than ours...and with Him, we are trying our best to live a story that is worth telling. 

Taking a risk for God is totally worth it.