Thursday, December 10, 2015

Focusing on What I Love...

I is not always easy to focus on what I love about my life.

Most days seem mundane. They all look the same most of the time.

The same dishes being washed. The same clothes being washed (and maybe dried...and maybe folded and put away...maybe)...

The same toys picked up...vacuuming the same spot about 10 times a day because Breelee leaves trails of crumbs no matter what...

Even the songs that the kids ask to listen to are the same exact ones every day...

And even though it is mundane...the same...each day is worth being celebrated and worth being thankful for.

That is what I want to focus on. What I love. 

1) I love having faith in God. In the hardest, darkest times, it is what has carried me through. There is hope within me that things are working out on my matter what the circumstances around me may look like. My faith has made me who I am. 

2) I love Lee. He really is my very best friend. He makes me laugh, which is a challenge since I often take myself way too seriously. There is absolutely no one else in the universe that I'd rather be with. 
I think about our vows...for better or for good times and in sickness and in health...
We've been through a lot together in our marriage, and it has made us grow stronger together. I love Lee Blakney with all of my heart. 

3) I love that my babies are happy and healthy...a minor cold or allergy issues is nothing...even when it causes whiney, clingy babies to be with me every second of the day...every. second. They are still healthy. And generally they are happy. Even when the bad attitude surfaces, it usually doesn't last long or go without an apology. They are amazing kids. 

4) I love that our family is adventurous! Like I said before, I can take myself way too seriously...but I am up for having a great time with my family! With awesome kids and a fun-loving husband, it makes it easier to make the best out of what we are doing! 

5) I love the friendships that God has brought into my life. Those people who are there for me when I need them. Those people who love me without expecting anything in return. I really am richly blessed to have some amazing people in my life who care about me so much. Getting a call, text, or message from them lifts my spirits in ways that I cannot explain. 

I could go on...and maybe I will another time. 

But for now, this is a good place to start. 

I want to be happy. And on the days when I am not...when I am's because I'm focusing on anything and everything except the things that I love. 

All it takes is one simple moment to recalibrate and refocus...and it's worth it. 

What are some of the things that you can focus on that you love? 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

My Life is a 3 Ring Circus...

I feel like my life is a 3-ring circus...

The constant activity of 3 very active little ones keeps me going in 3 different directions...

Bella has been in a gymnastics class for 3 weeks now...she absolutely loves it. LOVES IT. She practices her cartwheels and handstands all of the time...all day...every day...I know she even does them in her sleep. 

And while this hour long class is taking place at this huge, amazing gym...I spend my time trying to watch her (because she occasionally looks over to make sure I am)...and then chasing 2 other children in the small area.

I feel like I am in a mud pit trying to chase greased pigs. 

That's just 1 hour out of 1 day of the a public place.

At home it is just as crazy. 

I hear the word "MOM!" yelled multiple times...even if I am sitting right next to them. I have to be looking right at them for them to stop...

And sweet mother of pearl...if I am trying to attempt something like finish loading the dishwasher or put away the mountain of laundry, someone is going to do their best to prevent that from happening. 

Home school is another circus...again with the constant need for me to be right constant attention...and I feel like my head is spinning in a million directions. 

My sweet friend Josie and I talk pretty often...I met her several years ago...when her kids were the ages that my kids are now. She encourages my heart so much. She tells me often of the moments that have become memories. 

I know it is not really a circus. I have GREAT kids. They are just active and full of life. They love me and want me to be present for every moment of their days...and if I am not careful now, they will not want me to be a part of their days in the near future. 

So, if you see me around...or you call me...or FaceTime least you can be entertained by our 3 ring circus! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ohhh...OK...Homeschool Reactions...

We are homeschooling our children.

There are all kinds of reactions we get whenever we say that we are doing this...


"I could never do that..."

"At least you have a background in teaching..."

"But Bella is so is she going to make friends?"

Lee and I have thought about it and prayed about it a lot. It is what is right for our family.

I know that our kids don't understand right now why we've chosen this path...and to be honest, Bella is the only one who knows the difference.

She went to an amazing MDO (Mother's Day Out) in Broussard, Louisiana before we moved to Colorado, and then she went to an amazing junior kindergarten program here in Colorado for 2 years...and part of us holding her back one year there led us to our homeschooling decision.

Bella loves people. LOVES people. She's an extreme extrovert, which is hard for her introverted momma. But her daddy sure does get her.

Thankfully we are going to have the opportunity to put her in gymnastics this fall...Brennan in karate...and eventually we will get them in year-round swimming lessons! That is the goal.

And we will be in control of the environment that they are in.

Sure, I'm not going to lie...I do think it would be nice to get a daily "break" while they are at school.

I would get a lot more done around my house and for my business.

But this is the best decision for us. The sacrifice is worth it.

I know that this is not a fit for every family. But it is a fit for ours.

Lee works most that would be a whole day that Bella would be home and her daddy would not. But now we get to enjoy his midweek day off. We can go camping, go on vacation, and live our life by our design...not by a school calendar.

So, here we go! I am spending this week preparing. I am writing out what we are going to accomplish as a family, and what we are going to accomplish individually!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Binge Watching The Office

I love watching the Office with Lee Blakney.

Our love of this started about 7 years ago when our friend Amanda (Meadows) Gravely gave us the season on DVD to watch...

I was preggo...and huge...

And we lived in a little apartment in Lafayette.

A few times a week, Lee and I would go back to our tiny apartment for lunch, and we would watch a few episodes of The Office before going back to the cafe for the afternoon. We would also watch several episodes at night. This was true binge watching before Netflix was around.

Every time we hear the theme song now, Lee and I look at each other and smile.

And funny enough...when Bella was smaller, she would stop and smile every time she heard the theme song too. It was something that amazed us! We watched a LOT of episodes when I was pregnant...and we know that she recognized that from the womb!

The Office has so many likable characters...and so many characters that can make me feel uncomfortable!! But that is what makes me laugh!

Of course, Lee and I love the relationship of Pam and Jim...and amazingly...Lee is my Jim.

I am thankful that the whole series is on Netflix...and Lee and I binge watch at night after we put the kids to bed. It's like those afternoon lunch dates that we had years ago.

Life looks a lot different than it did 7 years ago...

I couldn't have predicted the adventure we would be living now!! But living by faith then taught us that we can continue to live by faith now...and our faith has to keep growing in order to keep up with the adventure!

God doesn't want us to stay the same...the faith I have now is stronger because of the faith I had at that point in our lives.

It's just a sweet reminder that comes along each time we watch an episode (or 2 or 3 or 4) of the office...

Friday, May 29, 2015

In High Demand...

Being a mom of little ones has to be the most demanding job there is. 

I know that there may be more challenging jobs. And even as a parent, there are difficult and challenging seasons and stages...

But with having 3 little ones that are ages 6 and under...the demands seem endless. 

Food has to be prepared for them. All of the time. And when 1 seems to be going through a growth spurt, the others follow suit and want to eat all of the things in the house all of the time.  

When one is sick, that one consumes my day by staying put in my lap. 

And there are many tears shed by that 1 when I get up to get food or anything else for the other ones. 

It is just straight up demanding

I try to breath slowly and calm my nerves as I am fixing something for one and getting asked repeatedly for something else by the others. 

It doesn't matter if I acknowledge them and let them know I am aware of their requests. They are only quiet when the requested thing is in front of them. Then they are satisfied for 5 minutes. Maybe.

I hear from my other mom friends who have older children (these amazing women in my life whom I love dearly) that this is a won't always look like this. 

It will look different as you wait with your teenager to see if he passed or failed his driving test...

It will look different as you hold your crying teenager who is suffering from a broken heart...

It will look different. 

I know that there will be a time when I will ask my kids if I can fix something for them to eat instead of hearing their demands from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep.

I am doing my best to embrace this season of life. 

Lord, help me to appreciate the demands. Help me be thankful that I have happy, healthy children who are growing...and you've provided food for our family to ensure they continue to be healthy and full of life. 
Help me to continue to show them patience...that it is ok to wait...and appreciate that they know how and when to say "please" and "thank you." 

Just like any other job, it's a good thing when you are in high means you have a gift and a purpose to share with those who need you most. 

I want to be even more thankful that I am in high demand...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Where Does My Worth Come From?

I used to check the stats of my blog every single day. 

Multiple times a day. 

I don't know why it made me feel good to see those numbers climb up. Or feel bad when they didn't! 

I guess it gave me a sense of value. It made me feel important if people liked what I wrote. 

I struggle with finding my value from external things instead of internally from God. 

It's harder for me to find my worth in Christ and who I am in Christ and not in the things that I do. 

Who I am is enough. 

Not what I do. 

But, like I said, that is a real struggle for me! 

Becoming a professional, full-time blogger did NOT pan out for me. 

And I am thankful that my worth is not in a blog. I am thankful that I didn't pressure myself to do this to make it big. haha. 

It's definitely a hobby for me. Something that I enjoy when I have the time or the inspiration. 

I don't usually mull over a blog post. I like to just sit and write it in about 10 minutes...proof it, then publish it! 

Again. There is no pressure so I enjoy it! 

God is always wanting to work in us, and He is always wanting to work through us. 

He wants me to find my worth and my value in Him...not in what I do or do not do. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Focused and Determined

What are you committed to doing? 

It takes commitment and focus to make things happen. 

If we leave things in our lives up to "chance," there is no guarantee that these things will happen. 

But, with commitment, determination and focus, you will make things happen. 

What is not in your life now that you would like for it to be there? 

And just as importantly, what is in your life right now that you don't want for it to be there? 

I challenge you to get a journal and write these things down. 

And don't just close the journal and never look at it again. 

Look at this list every day. 


What you focus on will happen.

If it is not on your mind regularly, you won't be focusing on making those things happen. 

Don't put off for tomorrow what you are able to do today! 

So, as I am finishing writing this blog, I am going to get my calendar and look at my lists. They are not just in my journal, they are in my planner as well. And something I will do tomorrow will help me move closer to getting the things I want in life and getting rid of the things that I don't! 

I am focused and determined. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Favorite Things Party!!

I decided to write what I've done here as a reference! 

That way it can be easy to find for those of you who would like to do this with your friends, women's ministry groups, co-workers, or family! :) 

Here are the instructions I sent out to the ladies.  I used email, but you could make a cute paper invitation too for this! :) 
My Favorite Things Party
1. Choose 1 of your most favorite things that costs $5 or less
This can be your best kept secret cleaning product, beauty product, special treat...anything that is YOUR favorite. 
2. Buy 3 of that SAME EXACT ITEM. (Shouldn't cost you more than $15 - and it will not be 3 different things…they will all 3 be the same exact item; for example, same color/flavor of chapstick, same color of socks, same kind of candy!)  
3. Bring those 3 EXACT SAME ITEMS to the party. They don't have to be wrapped because you'll be showing everyone what it is!
4. You'll be going home with 3 new items that could become your new favorites *But you’ll be arriving with 3 of the exact same thing!!! 

When the ladies arrive at the party, they place their items on a table for display, and then I have them write their name on 3 different slips of paper and put all 3 pieces of paper in  a basket.

Then I'll have everyone draw a number from a different cup, and we go in order of the number drawn. 

Each woman stands up and explains what her item is and why it is her favorite, then she immediately pulls 3 names from the basket to give it to!

We had women go home with chocolates, chapsticks, utility knives, cleaning products, chips and guacamole, chips and salsa, candles, and sooooo many other goodies! 

We will have a few get-togethers before our next BIG event - that will be this summer! It’s our Summer White Party…I’ll have details on that soon!  

Please email me or leave a comment here if you have any questions! I am happy to help you host your own party!! It is definitely something our ladies look forward to! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

On a Scale of 1 to 10

If I compared my life to one of those 1 to 10 scales...I often think of what I would start as 1 and what I would have as 10. 

I would probably need to decide what 5 was too. 

You know, right there in the middle. 

10 is supposed to be perfect. So what would my perfect life look like? 

And 1...the worst...what would that look like too? 


What does my mediocre life look like? 

I don't know about you, but this is pretty deep thinking for me.

And to be honest, I don't know if I quite have this all hashed out myself. 

But, it has me thinking. 

Thinking about what I would want my life to look like...and also about what I would not want it to look like. 

And I don't want to live a boring life. 

Lee and I have already been challenged to live a story worth live a life that others would talk about...would be inspired by...would be challenged by. 

A life that would make someone say, If they can do it, I can do it!

So, I'm actually going to take some time to think about it before I share. 

While I'm thinking, would you share with me what you have as one of the things that would make your life a 10? 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

You matter....

I've heard it said for years...

"Don't compare yourself to others."

"Comparison is the thief of joy." Theodore Roosevelt 

And yet I STILL DO IT!


It's amazing how I can let my own thoughts of comparison ruin my own day!

No one is forcing me to compare myself to others.

No one is making me think those thoughts.

I do it to myself.

I let discontentment get in the way.

I am essentially saying "They have it better than I do...what I have or where I am or what I am doing is not good enough."

And that is a load of baloney.

I've written about contentment before. (You can read that post by clicking here!)

Being content with who I am is jeopardized when I compare myself to others. 

I went to a training in Denver recently, and I heard an amazing lady, Crystal Thurber, speak for one of the segments.

She held up yard sticks with names of the people who had also done trainings that day. She said how easy it would be to compare herself to those people, but she had to remember that she was called to be herself.

She said, "As long as someone else's name is on this yardstick, I will never measure up. I'm not them. I could only be the second best version of them. I will only measure up when I look at myself. I can only use the yardstick with my name on it."

After the meeting was over, I waited to talk with her...and let her know that I was going to go to Home Depot to get a yard stick of my own to write my name on it. Then I boldly asked her if I could have one of hers!!

She gladly gave me the one that said, "YOU MATTER!"

What a great trophy to take home from the day as a reminder!!

I matter. I don't need to compare myself to anyone else.

My story is my own. It's unique because it is me.

Lee and I often say we want to live a story worth telling...but not because we want our story repeated...but because we want to inspire others to live a greater story for themselves!

You matter. Quit comparing yourself to those around you. Instead, focus on the great things that make you who you are!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This Was Not the Way I Expected to Start 2015...

This was not the way I expected to start 2015. 

All 3 kids sick. Husband who is sick. I'm getting over this myself! And we have been stuck in the house for over a week. With lots and lots of snow outside. Partly because we have been sick...and partly because we only had the Jeep! (The faithful suburban has been out of commission for a bit due to the deer that was hit by it on the way to the Connection Church Christmas service!)

My kids do well playing with each other for a little while. 

But then the simplest thing can seem to trigger the start of World War III. 

The gross mom jobs that don't seem as gross when you are a mom have been multiplied this week. 

Even this morning there was one of those "Oh my word it's getting everywhere" moments...

And I feel drained. 

And strained. 

And I just don't want to be touched or talked to for 5 consecutive minutes. 

But, that's not where I am at for this moment. 

I'm holding a silly little sick one who finds comforts in my arms and in a lambie hooded towel. 

I'm keeping the peace between the 4 year old and the 6 year old as they learn to play together on the wii...or share the iPad...

I'm heating up red beans and rice at 10 am because that is what was requested, and appetites have been low around this house. So I am excited that they want to eat! 

I'm not at church today...because I do not want to spread these icky I had to send things with Lee for him to do on top of all of the other things he already has to take care of. And there were just a few things I didn't get to contribute to today. 

Yeah, this is not how I expected the fabulous beginning of 2015 to look like. 

But, I am still expecting great things. I know that God is working in me and through me...even now...even today...when I may not feel like I am vibrantly living life. 

I still believe the best is yet to come!