Saturday, December 27, 2014

Going Organic with Makeup?? Say WHAT???

So since starting my oily journey, I've wanted to start changing a lot in my life as far as what I put in and on my body. It is a slow and steady process. (I am wishing it was going a little faster, but it is what it is.)

Young Living has a FABULOUS skin care line that I have recently had the opportunity to try out with a little education behind it. There is so much more I want to know about this skin care, but I feel like I got my feet good and wet with this mini beauty school class. I'm so grateful for a fabulous leadership that takes time to teach and educate- one of the most important aspects when choosing who to sign up under with this company. It is vital to have the education you need when using oils. So ask questions...get answers!

This skin care feel FABULOUS

I was able to use this and could NOT quit touching my face and being amazed at how smooth it was after using it ONCE. I knew that this was going to be an investment in my skin that I would be implementing. I also know that Young Living Oils help detoxify, and support my body to be the best that it can be. In saying that, I know that the makeup I was currently using has TERRIBLE additives and things that don't belong on my skin. (Your skin after all is your largest organ- what you put on your skin gets absorbed and affects what is going on in the inside) So I knew it would be a battle each time I used this natural skin care, then turned right around and plastered chemicals on my face. So what's a girl to do? Look into some more natural/organic choices- that's what!!! 

I have always used a liquid foundation, other than using a mineral based powder for a bit. I'm not personally one that uses "full coverage" foundation. I'm more of a natural look, that usually tends to end up being washed out look, because it doesn't stay on my face well. (the struggle is real people)

In my Young Living leadership is a fabulous lady that I truly admire and trust as I'm on this learning curve of going more natural with every aspect of my life. She suggested W3LL PEOPLE. I looked around and seeing that they were running a special, and had a great kit offer on sale- I figured it was a great time to try it. I have quite a fair complexion and so I went with this particular choice. Fair Pink looks to be the lightest available in the foundations, and it was a bonus to get a brush for application as well as a bronzer. (Although- that will be a learning curve for me- I haven't really used that in the past.) 

I also wanted to try a mascara, so that I could add a drop of Young Living Lavender to it, and not worry about it breaking down the mascara due to the ingredients in it. So I put this little bad boy in my cart. 

Next on my list was some eye shadow- the awesome thing about this company is you can purchase a "sample" of an eye shadow for only $1.50!! Great way to try out a's hard to find the right color, but I chose Captialist 911 Matte Taupe. I will say this is a really great deal and you get a lot for only $1.50. You can try the foundation in samples as well to get that right color, but I needed the brush as well, so I opted just to go for it and get the lightest one they offer in the kit. 

I ordered on Dec. 19th, and it was in my mailbox on Dec 24th. They have free shipping until Dec 31st, so it would be a great time to order some! I also used Retail Me Not and used the 15% off coupon they had going on here. So I saved an additional $11.70 with free shipping and the kit was also less expensive than purchasing separate. I feel like I got a great deal! **15% off is only good through 01/01/15***

Now, When I got the package, it was all in a cute little zip up bag just like this:

 So cute!!!

The size of the foundation and bronzer was a little concerning....seem quite small, but once I used it, I realized it's a lot like Young Living Essential Oils...a little goes a long way, so I'm pretty sure it will last a lot longer than I had anticipated. 
.21 oz
(Note to self: don't wear a black tshirt the first time you use it- just sayin...)

I liked the coverage it gave me. It wasn't too much. I'm learning with the bronzer...(that really will last a long time) I liked the mascara. It did as well as any I've ever used. So far, it's not bothering my sensitive contact wearing eyes, so that's a plus. Also- the shadow is nice. Again...a little goes a long way. My husband said he liked the make up that it really looked more natural than normal. The test will be how long will it "stay on". I'll edit this post once I've used it for a few days and can tell. I will say that I used what was in my blush brush- nothing extra- (since I didn't order any blush...should've ordered a sample ugh) But I didn't need any extra. This is a picture that I took to give you an idea. I have no lip stick/gloss or anything. I'm just trying to give you an idea of the coverage. 

I hate taking selfies. That is all.

Overall on day one of wearing it...I feel like I have absolutely nothing on my face, it is not heavy. It feels quite nice, and I think worth the investment to get something more natural into my routine. My next purchase will be the ART skin care. Interested in that as well? Feel free to go to my website here and you can either purchase it retail OR you are able to sign up to get your own wholesale account and get it for 24% off!!! Can't beat that!  You can email me at my website if you have questions or would like more information about Young Living products! 

Enjoy the Journey!


Friday, August 15, 2014

And They're Off!

The first day of school has come, and gone. Today they are at their second day of school. The excitement of it is slowly dwindling. They didn't have quite the pep in their step this morning as they did yesterday. I'm sure as those alarm clocks go off again on Monday, it will be even worse. :)

They all had a great day yesterday. Two of the four started at a new school. Big steps. Chesley a Freshman, and Abby a 4th grader, and with that comes a locker and actually changing classes some during the day. (Granted, the entire class goes together when they change, but it's still a big difference to them.)

I was happy, excited, thrilled, ELATED that Ches wanted me to drop her off the first day, rather than our usual friend that picks her up to save me time in the morning. I was glad I had my emotional break down before we actually dropped her off at school. Although, once we got there, she wouldn't even turn around for a quick pic!!
What evs'

She came home and told me so much about her day, which thrilled me as well. :) She had a couple of "embarrassing" moments, such as getting left in the lunch room with a group of girls because they didn't realize that their teacher had gone back to class. ;) There was another, but I won't share that one. She might kill me over the lunch room thing. 

Abby still wanted me to walk her in- which I had anticipated, but with her being so independent, thought there might be a hesitation on her part. There wasn't. Apparently the Intermediate school is a little overwhelming. She even held her daddy's hand to go in.
I think he loved it. :) I did. 

The other two, well, they were pros. They are the top dogs in their schools this year. No worries came from them. 
Owning that room!!

Lauren wanted to take the lead and show me how to get to her class. 

I wasn't sure just how ready I was for them to return to school. This was the first year I have ever felt that way. I'm usually ready the middle of June! :) I guess we have just gotten so busy that I felt like I blinked and summer was over. These girls are my life. Yes, they run me crazy and wear me out, but I don't know what I would do without one of them. I won't take this time with my girls for granted. I will appreciate what I have in them, and love them to the best of my ability. 

I know their Heavenly Father loves them more than I ever could. He can give them more than I will ever be able to. I gave them back to Him many years ago. They are His and He is theirs. I don't have to worry or be afraid because each of my children have asked Christ to be Lord of their life and I know He has them in the palm of His hand. He has ordered their steps. They will be victorious in all that they strive to do, because we place our trust in Him. 

Do you know the Lord? I don't just mean know OF Him, I mean KNOW Him. Do you have a relationship with Him? Do you need to know peace that passes all understanding? I know He will do for you what He does for our family. If you have a Bible, read Romans 10:9-10. It is that simple. If you don't have a Bible, Google it. It is as simple as it gets. My prayer is that if you don't know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then today, you will make Him Lord of your life. I promise, you will NEVER be the same again. 

Enjoy the Journey, 


Monday, August 4, 2014

Just Half The Family

Ryan had been gone the week before to Orlando for some church business meetings, and I missed him in a bad way. (more than normal for me) Most of the time when he says he's going off for a few days, whether it is for church business, or hunting, etc, I'm usually pretty great with it. Don't get me wrong, I love my man, but I love having that break to read, watch what I'd like to watch on tv, if I want to see a girlie movie, go for it, etc. And if the girls and I want to have cereal for dinner, who cares? You get the drift... anyway. He went to do a wedding ceremony for his cousin in TN practically as soon as he came home, and I ended up not being able to go because of Chesley's volleyball schedule. (life of a teen...) 

So when Sunday morning rolled around, I was still kind of missing him. After church, it was such a pretty day that we took the top and doors off the Jeep and headed out with #3- Emileigh. The others had gone with various people in the church for the afternoon, so it was just the three. Half the fam...Three peas in a pod... The three amigos...The three musketeers. You get the drift. I enjoy going out in the Jeep with my husband. Mainly because he loves it. And I love being with him. 
If you like my cap, (it's got a teal and yellow cross on it) I got it from Staci  @ The Picky Cricket. Super crafty and talented gal. Love her lots! Go check out her FB page here and like it! 

So it was crazy windy, hence the hair wrapping around my cute cap! We rode wherever the rode took us, which at each turn Emileigh said "where are we going?" or "Are we lost?" Gotta love kids. We weren't lost, but found ourselves in Guntersville State Park. We love it there. Went to the lodge, so therefore, Ryan had to get his piece of pecan pie, Em had chocolate ice cream, and me...basket of fried okra. :) While riding around the park, Ryan let Em take the wheel a bit (under extreme supervision) She's a natural driver. :)

Then we went looking for the deer. I think that's the whole family's favorite part. I got a little nervous with the doors off, the deer were pretty close to the road. (Deer is closer than she appears) Bahaha! She was beautiful. 

Ryan of course acted like he had food in his hand, leaning across me, I just knew that deer was going to come get in the Jeep with us. lol She just checked us out really well, and then paid no more attention to us.

It was a much needed time with my husband and as an added bonus, we got some alone time with Em. With four girls, it's hard to get one on one time with them much. So when we can get it, we cherish it. 

What's something you like to do with your hubby, or little ones on the spur of the moment? Most of the time, the free things are the most precious...don't you think?

Enjoy the Journey!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It's Ya Birthday!

In my last post, I briefly mentioned that I am starting a new venture in my life. In April, I became a Young Living Independent Distributor and began a journey to help my family make healthier choices, and do things for my family that are healthier in the long run. Are we eating totally healthy now? Not by a long shot. As a matter of fact, (as I hang my head in shame), for my husband's birthday this week I bought him his "goodies" that I haven't bought pretty much since April.(Now, that's not to say that HE himself hasn't brought them in the house, but I haven't.) Here is my confession:  

 But hey! There's a pineapple in there!!

ANYWAY...moving right along. YL (Young Living) has been a God send. I LOVE my oils!!! The girls...well, the three smaller ones LOVE their oils. Lauren is my biggest fan. :) Chesley on the other hand trys to act like she's not so interested, but I see her pilfering through my oils from time to time. hehe. Back to Ryan- he is a hard sell. Still working on him. He's not so crazy about the oily smells. But I get to sneak it in there from time to time. I'm just waiting on that one time he really needs the oils for something and I know he'll be's just a matter of time! (as I laugh in my evil laugh) :D I did clean out my medicine cabinet today- that will be a post all on it's own. 

I have so much I want to write about, but I don't want to bore y'all to complete tears today, so I'll be posting stuff on here about the girls, YL Oils, and our life in general very soon. For this week- I want to say that my husband turned 19, 29, 39 this past Tuesday. He is amazingly handsome, and I couldn't imagine my life without him. He gets on my nerves like no other, we disagree like it's going out of style, and we are about as opposite as you can possibly get and I love it. He is the love of my life, and I couldn't imagine growing old with anyone else. Happy Birthday to my Sweet Pea! 

If you have any questions about YL oils, I'd be thrilled to answer them, just send me an email at and I'll be glad to do just that. 

In my next post, I'll be throwing some personal testimonies about the oils, as well as what has worked for some of my friends! Until then...

Enjoy the Journey!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Where Have I Been?

So it's been since February that I have ventured on my blog. I was informed by a friend that I was "a bit behind". Good thing I'm not making any money off of this thing. I surely would've been broke! :) 

A lot has happened since February, and my last post. Which by the way is maybe slightly funny now, but not entirely. haha. All that has happened in life is too much to talk in detail about, but in short form, March held our church Women's Conference...softball skills clinic for Abby...Winterfest for SPRING BREAK. Now THAT was fun. (insert some sarcasm) We went camping for a few nights- that turned into only one...since it was 31 degrees the first night, and was going to come a torrential rain the next. Thank goodness for Mama Gail's house just a few minutes down the road. 

April started off with a HUGE bang with softball practice for the three younger girls, on three different teams...CRAZY! The best part was my mom, and two sisters got to go on the trip of a lifetime to New York City for four days. It was a wonderful trip that I wouldn't trade for anything. I still haven't uploaded all the pictures off my phone, but if you are a FB friend, hopefully those will be up soon. I'm only like what...2 months+ late. 
What-evs. We did so many great things, and got to see some great sights. Loved it! April is also my birthday month, so that was great...nothing like being one year older. lol! The most amazing thing though, I took a step in changing my family's life and how we treat ourselves. (this is an entirely different post that I will do in detail) Just to let you know...It's Young Living Essential Oils...they are AMAZING!!!

May began the actual softball games and all that those entail. From running from one field to the next trying to watch each of my babies's a wonder I didn't lose some weight. (maybe it was the cheese fries) :) I had the great honor of having 4 speaking engagements at various places. One of which was my own home church. My wonderful husband allowed me to take his pulpit and speak on Mother's Day. It was an absolute honor, and one I don't take lightly. I also got to travel to Andalusia, as well as Decatur to speak and got to spend time with wonderful friends. Busy month finishing up school with awards days and all that jazz. Busy with work getting in those last wellness checks before school lets out. I also made a huge decision in my Pampered Chef business. I let it go. (no Frozen song pun intended...but it works- so sing it in your head. You know you just did) ha! It's strange, but one that I'm glad to say I did (for 8 years) and it blessed me with such wonderful friends. I'm ready now to share the oily-ness with my friends and family. I hope you'll come along for the ride as well.

That's the last few months of mine in a nutshell. Pray all is well with you and yours...until we meet again.

Enjoy the Journey!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mama Said They'd Be Days Like This...

Oh good gravy! Ever have one of "those days" that you'd like to just completely forget?!? I tell ya, the last 24 hours have been an absolute doozy!! Nothing that is catastrophic, but when you stir all my-

(this guy came to mind, huh?) 
-of these last few hours, WOWZERS.  It will all be so some point in my future. (hopefully before this day is over!) If you don't want to hear of my oh, so glorious day, then stop reading now. If you want to feel so sorry for me, or just to have a good laugh, please by all means, continue on. :)

It all started with Ryan and I having the privilege of getting our taxes done. (insert some major sarcasm) This is the time I despise ALL year. Getting all those receipts together just isn't my idea of a good time. Needless to say, the end result wasn't wonderful, but the "only" good side was that we do have what we needed to pay those nasty taxes. While we were there, I got a call from Emileigh's school that she had vomited and wasn't feeling well. There I was 1 1/2 hours away from the kids, and I've got a puker. Thank goodness for our Dora- aka Mimi. She came to the rescue for me. <3 that woman! That morning Ryan and I had planned on eating somewhere for lunch and making it a "date" while we were out of town- only problem, our 2 1/2 hour appointment turned into a 4 1/2 hour appointment. So we grabbed a drink and crackers from the gas station on our way home. I know, I know- so romantic! Looking back on it now, taxes don't really put you in the romantic mood anyway! 

We arrived home to pick up Emileigh; in the meantime, I had to let the girls know to ride the bus home since we didn't think we'd make it in time to pick them up from school. We knew we would be home a little before they got off the bus. This isn't anything new, I'm usually that crazy mom that has to see how my day is going and let them know if they are bus or car riders around 1:30. I know they'd rather be a car rider, but sometimes, it just doesn't happen. Anyway, we got Emileigh home, and I got her settled. Shortly after, Abby comes in "I'm hoommee!!!" Wonderful! Wait..."Hey Abby! Where's Lauren??" "I don't know, I didn't see her on the bus." Oh gracious! By this time it is 3:20. I try the school office- no answer. Now- I need to interject here, this isn't the first time that Lauren was to be a car or bus rider and I forgot and did the opposite. But usually when I have forgotten Lauren, or even one of my other children, (hey don't judge!) the secretary has usually called me saying "I've got Lauren in my office." I had not received a call from her, so I tried her cell, no answer. So then I try a friend from church who works at Lauren's school and she usually is working car line- no answer. Then I have enough sense that I called her teacher. She had accidentally sent her to car riders. whew! (Imagine that... a kindergarten teacher- getting slammed at the end of the day, and forgetting something! I'm sure that rarely ever happens!) She was quite worried with sending her the wrong place, but I was feeling much better that I had heard that she did send her to car riders. That meant that Lauren wasn't asleep on a bus somewhere! Our school has a great extended day program- of which my children always ask why they can't go to it. Silly kids, I don't need childcare in the afternoon, therefore I'm not going to pay for it! I arrived at the school, and sure enough, when I walked in, the director assured me they had her. Lauren was quite enjoying herself, and on the way home inquired again, why she couldn't stay more often? What was so sweet and funny in this was that when I explained to her I wasn't going to pay the school to keep her when her dad or I could, she said, "Well you send the school money all the time, just send extra!" She is so funny!

After having been on the road ALL day, I got Abby to get her piano practice in while I went to get Chesley from practice. I told her to set the timer, and I was on my way. When I got back home, I thought I'd sit on the couch for a minute and take a breather, then I checked the clock- nope, time to start dinner. (it's at this point almost everyday I think to myself- "why didn't I put something in the crockpot?") Please tell me I'm not the only one. I got in the kitchen and realized that the microwave wasn't working. I checked the breaker, that wasn't it. Nothing on it was working. After some investigating, the "timer" Abby had set was the COOK TIME on the microwave. So it cooked with nothing in it for almost 20 minutes, when it burnt itself up. So now, I have to get a new microwave. UGH!!! On the up side- dinner was a hit!

After dinner was baths, which went better than normal- surprisingly. (I say that because I didn't even have to tell them to do it. Maybe it was Ryan who told them, or maybe they sensed they probably shouldn't cross mom in the mood she's in!) By the time all were going to bed, it was 8:30. Lauren- who always wants to sleep with Ryan and I, came into the room complaining of her belly hurting (all with a smile) so I chocked it up to her trying to sleep with us. I sent her to go sleep with Chesley. I was asleep probably by 9:30. At 11:00 I was woke up by the dreaded sound of vomit hitting (thankfully) the hard wood in the dining room. But (also thankfully) not in Chesley's bed, or carpet- or my carpet in my room! Lauren was sick! So pitifully sick. I felt so bad for her. We got her cleaned up, and the "puke bowl" lined and ready. I "slept" with it in my hand, and every time she moved or made a noise, I awoke and had it under her ready. That consisted of 12, 1, 2, 3 and 4 am. (and a few times in between being a false alarm) 

I prayed over my child, praying healing, and relief. The Word tells us in Isaiah 53:5 "...And by His stripes we are healed." And in Mark 16:18 ..."they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." I knew my baby would be ok, but it so hard to see her so sick. Ryan and I both laid hands on her and prayed for her. Anytime she would start to move or moan- I spoke that over her. At 4 am, I was exhausted, and I knew I had one hour to sleep before I had to get ready for work. Then the alarm went off at 5 am, and I promise- I had JUST looked at the clock and it said 4!! I hit snooze twice, and finally drug myself out of bed at 5:20. Got pretty much completely ready, (seriously only had to put on my shoes) and I contacted my charge nurse to let her know what was going on, and she was precious enough to let me stay at home! Can I get an AMEN! 

That was a great ending to a pretty rough 24 hours. PTL! I have been able to hold and cuddle my sick little one, and thankfully, we've only had 2 more episodes of sickness. Hoping we are at the end. Just praying now, that her sore belly will subside. As bad as the last 24 hours may have been...the devil WILL NOT win today! Thankful for God supplying all our needs "...according to His riches in glory By Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19.

I said all of that to say, that no matter who you are in life, or in Christ, or whatever, there is always something to be seen by the paths that are brought before us. God knew I wasn't going to have the best 24 hours...but all it does is make me rely on Him more. If everyday was lollipops and gumdrops, our flesh may not be reminded as much that He is all we need, and He is who we should turn to, and He is the Great I Am! I'm thankful for those times that I can truly say..."take it Lord. It's in Your Hands. No matter how trivial, I give you all of my worries. "Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22 NIV. "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV

Remember, He is all we need! Do you have a day that comes to mind where NOTHING went right? 

Enjoy the Journey!


Friday, February 7, 2014

God Is Just Awesome Like That

I am still amazed when God uses me in even the smallest of ways. Honestly, I'm not just amazed, I'm ASTOUNDED. Who am I? I'm certainly not worthy of being used by God. I'm not even worthy of holding the title "Pastor's Wife". But when the day is done, He is the One who called me to that position. He is the One who gave me to Ryan. He called Ryan to Pastor, and spread the Gospel, therefore, He had to call me as well. We are one, and if He called Ryan, then He called me. You hear people say all the time, "God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called." I've said it myself- to those in doubt, no less. When it is often times I don't feel equipped in the least. But when I really truly think about it, the magnitude that He wants to use me, is beyond my understanding, or even at times, my desire. (That's where the old flesh pops in right desire).

As I'm growing in the Lord, and enjoying my journey in ministry, I'm in awe when I realize, that small little gesture I thought might have just been me, was actually the Holy Spirit prompting me. This past Monday, I thought of a dear friend that is also a pastor's wife. We are not extremely close, but I admire her, look up to her and consider her a mentor. (whether she realizes it or not). So it's not everyday that she comes to my mind, but she did on Monday. So I spoke a quick prayer over her. Nothing big, or dramatic. Just a simple prayer for the Lord to guide her steps and to be with her. I sent her a quick text telling her that I was thinking of her and said a prayer for her that day. Simple, not super get the idea. Her reply was "Thank you Paula!" I went on about my day, thinking nothing more of it.

Yesterday, I got a text, looked at my phone and it was from her. It stated, "Wow, I didn't know what your prayer was for on Monday, but I've sure felt it the rest of this week! Thank you for praying!" Now, I was at work at this time, had I been at home, I probably would've cried and snotted like I don't know what. But since I was at work, I controlled myself- no worries people! It was at that moment that I realized, it wasn't just a prayer I prayed. It wasn't me that just thought of her. The Holy Spirit prompted it! WOW. With all the people that she and her husband pastors, with all of her other friends in ministry that God could have used. He chose me. ME!!!!! That just blows my mind!

I have no idea what she faced this week, it might have been major, or almost nothing. But what if I hadn't taken the time to pray for her? How often do we feel like we should pray for someone, or call them, or shoot them a Facebook message, or a text, and life happens and it gets by us? What if God uses someone else, and we miss out on being a vessel for God? I don't ever want to miss out on what God has for me to do. But, what if we were the only one He wanted to use for that situation? If we didn't obey that tug, or nudge, or racing heart, or even that brief thought? It took less than a minute for me to say that quick prayer for her Monday. She didn't feel it that day, but the rest of this week it helped her. Not only did it help her, it helped me. It was just another little confirmation that God really does want to use me.

I know that seems so trivial, and simple. You'd have to know me, and know that I do have insecurities in how God wants to use me. After 16 years in full-time ministry, I still struggle with this. He is stretching me and making me get out of my comfort zone to walk where He wants me. I don't want to be comfortable any longer. If I'm comfortable, then I'm not being willing. Willing to do what jobs He has for me in my life, and in Ryan's and my ministry. The devil has tried too long to put thoughts in my head that I wasn't enough. I wasn't good enough, or smart enough, or wise enough. But I'm learning that as long as I am searching Him and staying in His Word, He gives me the wisdom and "smarts" that I need. After all, He made me. He knows my insecurities. He also knows my heart, and that I want to do what He wants me to do. I may not hit it out of the park every time. I may crash and burn at times, ok, A LOT.

One thing is for sure through all of those crashes and burns, I've learned from them. And the heartache, and disappointments I have felt, I've learned from those as well. Most of the time, I end up being able to help someone else through something that I went through. Then it hits me, and I think, "if I went through that for this one person, so I could help them through it, then it was worth it." I truly believe that. Why? Because His Word says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 NKJV. It is as simple as that.

My prayer for you today is that you will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to use you in whatever way He wants. As insignificant as you think it is, it will be BIG to someone else. Don't disregard that name that enters your mind, if even for only a second. Say that prayer, send that text, pick up the phone. Do what you feel led to do. You don't have to know the answers, it's not for you to know all the time. God knows. He has is already worked out. He knows the outcome. The only thing you need to know is, will you be willing to be a vessel?

Enjoy the Journey!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Can You Say PRESSURE?!?!?

So I finally got the nerve to write that second blog, and even enough courage to post it. I was completely WOW'd at the response! Absolutely unbelievable. I had a lot more views than I would've ever thought off one little Facebook post. Then the sweetest messages, calls, texts, you name it started coming in. They all made me feel wonderful, and the best was from my wonderful husband. Now, anyone who knows Ryan, knows that he is NOT the romantic type. (But I love him anyway!) He sent me a text with four simple words that surpassed every other comment, post, text, ...well, you get the point. All it said was:

 "Your blog was good." 

OH MYLANTA!!!! I am dead serious when I say that I started to tear up just a smidgen. There is nothing better than when your husband pays you a compliment in an unexpected way! It so made my day. :) I think we as wives just want to make our husbands proud, especially when it comes to maybe doing a little something  for ourselves-(like a blog!) There are a lot of times I feel a little selfish doing something that's just for me, and for him to acknowledge this endeavor, it was priceless.

I hope that this blog will be fun for people to read, enjoyable, even somewhat entertaining at times. I also want it to be an uplifting time for just that right person, at just the right time in their life. I think my husband saw that in my blog today, and ladies....I DIDN'T even have to explain it to him! (insert Hallelujah chorus)

The thing that I am still unsure of, I mentioned in my very first entry. I'm not sure what all I am suppose to write about. Y'all have put the pressure on me! Some serious pressure I tell ya! LOL. What if that was my one hit wonder, and it's all down hill from here?!? LOL, seriously though, I want each entry to be as enjoyable as the first two apparently were. It just came from my heart is all I can say. It's my life, my feelings, my thoughts. Just because you wanted to hear a little bit about my husband and my kids, doesn't mean that's all there is to me, or that's all you want to read. This is where you come in a bit. I'd like to hear from you on what you'd like to read on my blog. Would an occasional recipe be too boring? A thought on a book I'm reading for our women's book club at church? About the joys/pains of having a deaf dog?? (you get the picture) I want to hear from you! Comment below, or shoot me an email, somehow, let me know!

I do think that this is just another step that the Lord is ordering for me in my life to connect with others. Why, I'm not sure, but I guess we will see where this takes us!

Enjoy the Journey!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let the Journey Begin! (Part 2)

So it's been longer than I had anticipated getting to part 2 of my story. That's the way it goes in my life. I wanted to be really frequent in posting, but well, we now see how far that took us. :) This will be a lengthy post, so let's get started.

Before Ryan and I had been married for two years, I found out- very unexpectedly- that I was pregnant. So young, and scared to death! I was 10 hours from my family (besides Ryan) and I wasn't sure that we were ready. But the Lord knew, and our blessing was surely a blessing in disguise. God is always right on time, and this was no exception. Chesley Dawn was due on March 1st, but made her appearance on January 26th, 2000. I was so young, I didn't even realize I should be worried that she was coming 5 weeks before I was due. She was a healthy 7 lbs, 6oz. There was no need of oxygen, and she came home with us! She has been such a blessing to our family. She just turned 14 a few days ago, and she is beautiful, she loves the Lord, and has the most awesome voice. I look at her at times and I'm in awe that she is so gorgeous. See what I mean?!?

For a while I thought she may be my only one. I had always grown up saying I would have a boy, then a girl. Well, that was shot out of the park once Ches came along. So in the back of my mind, the next one would be a boy, and we'd be finished. A FOF(family of four)- just like the world is made for. Everyone can fit in a small car; and when you by vacation packages, it's usually for a FOF. When you go to an amusement park, rides hold 2 people per car. Each parent gets a kid to get the just of it- right? Only two kids for me though! I really didn't want an only child, I wanted my kids to have siblings (and more chances that I'd be taken care of in my old age) :)  I didn't want three, because, well- then there would always be a middle child, and one always left out...etc. And four?? NO WAY! I was the baby of four, and that was just too many!!! So when Ches was about to turn 4, I started getting a little bit of baby fever. In February, I got pregnant with our second child. She wasn't totally planned, but I wasn't surprised when I got that positive pregnancy test, I'll just say that! 

In October 2004, Abigail Alene (aka Abby) arrived! Chesley was certainly a great big sister, and loved having a baby around. I was working then full time as a hospice nurse, so when Abby was 3 months I went back to work. I was nursing Abby fully, but with the job I had, it was difficult to pump and drive, so we had to switch to formula. :) Nursing should never be used as a definite form of birth control, but it had worked for us, that is until I quit nursing! Well, when Abby was almost 6 months, I found out I was pregnant...AGAIN! (but I'll get to that in a bit, back to the child at hand.) Abby is a wonderfully wonderful child to have. She is my "drama queen". She is so much like me in the fact that she'll make a plan of what she's going to do, then usually ends up not getting it done like she thought. (sort of like I was going to clean my house tonight, and after I cleaned up my desk, I'm now writing this post instead of actually cleaning) :) She is my outgoing one, and loves to talk to anyone, and a lot! Which has resulted in lots of moving of pins, or turning smiley faces over, (this generation's version of getting their name on the board). she is a mess! Can't you just tell how sassy she is?!? And a pretty little thing to boot!

Well back to where Abby was almost 6 months old. Remember when I said I wasn't shocked when that positive pregnancy test came back with Abby. That certainly wasn't the case with #3. I'll just tell you- I was SCARED!!!!! Ryan and I had discussed having ONE more to try for that boy, if he really wanted to, but later on. Well, it wasn't "later on" enough for me! But it all goes back to God's timing, not ours, right? I thought to myself...surely this was God being really funny, and this one would be our boy, just his way of giving him to us, at a different time...right? WRONG! 

When I was 5 weeks from delivering our third child...another girl, we MOVED! I'm not kidding- we went from Southeast Alabama to Northeast Alabama. Abby had just turned 1- literally like less than a week before, and Chesley had just started Kindergarten a couple months before. So we moved to our current home, got Ches squared away at school, had Thanksgiving, then December 2005, Emileigh Al'Lora joined our family, less than two weeks before Christmas. Nah- it wasn't total chaos! (oh but it was) And to put the topper on the cake, right after I had Em, Chesley got lice (that child still can't keep her fingers out of people's hair!) I was an emotional wreck, trying to hold it together in our new home, around new church people...after all, they don't need to think that their new Pastor's wife is a complete lunatic- do they? (oh, but little did they know...) lol!

Emileigh is my most tenderhearted child. She is so concerned how everyone is. When she worries, she gets a fever blister. She is my memory. If tell her not to let me forget something- she doesn't. She is going by the rules. If it says no talking in the halls- she's not saying a word to anyone! (lips and hips!) On a completely random note, she also is extremely flexible! :) I have to be mindful if I have to correct her, there is no need to raise my voice at her- she will have a complete come apart. Just knowing there is disappointment in my voice is enough punishment for her. (Abby is a whole other story) It's amazing. Only 14 months between these two, and they couldn't be more opposites. But I can tell you, they are the best of friends when it gets down to it. They share a room, and wouldn't have it any other way. Here's this cutie patootie

Well, that was the end of our kids, I was just sure of it! Thankful for my beautiful blessings, but my cup was already running over! I was happy with these three, and going about my life just fine! Then one guessed it, I just had this feeling....and BAM! Yet another positive test. I remember riding to the church and Ryan working on something outside with one of the members. I pulled into the parking lot, but far enough away, that Ryan had to walk over to me, out of hearing range of anyone. I was mad to say the least. What was Ryan's reaction? He just laughed! He was excited! I was angry, and frustrated. I was done! I didn't want anymore kids. Certainly not four! Why was this happening?!?!? We announced it one Sunday morning to the congregation, and then literally 30 minutes later, I went to the restroom, and discovered I was miscarrying.  By the time I went to the doctor the next day, I was ok, I thought. It took most of the week going back and forth getting blood drawn to check my levels. The day they called and said "Mrs. Bristow, your levels are at zero, you have completely miscarried. There is no need to do anything else." I hung up the phone, and cried. I was crushed. I felt so responsible. I didn't want another baby, God had given us one, and it was like I had wished it away. I look back on that now, and realize that He was just preparing Ryan and me, ok, mostly me. Little did I know that two months later, I would have yet another positive pregnancy test. That time, my reaction wasn't necessarily excitement at first, but one of "ok, what's one more when you already have three? If mom did it, I can do it too!" God had prepared me for this child. I often think of my other baby; Ryan and I say that's our little boy in heaven.  I know we will see him one day. But I CAN NOT imagine my life without our baby girl...Lauren Janese.

January 2008 Lauren graced us with her presence, two days before Chesley's birthday. Ches still says she was her early birthday present. Her daddy says she must be the milk man's baby. She came out with a tan! (not really, but her skin is more tan than anyone else in the family!) She is so cute in the summer with her little Water Babies tan. :) She is absolutely beautiful. She is definitely the baby of the clan. She can be laughing one minute, and in tears the next. She is high maintenance, but she's getting better. She is only in Kindergarten, after all. I look at her and think that Chesley was her age when we moved to our current church. I would dress Ches in the bed for school, just so she could get a little bit more sleep. With Lauren, I go in, and rub her back for a second, and tell her, "get up and go potty, brush your teeth and get dressed!" Poor kid. Am I the only parent of more than three kids that expects more out of the youngest at a certain age than you did with the first?? Let's hope not! Here's the baby of the crew, told you she's a looker! :)

 All of my kids have accepted The Lord as their personal Savior, and Lauren is no exception. in April 2013, the day before my birthday actually, she asked Him to be Lord of her life. It was such an honor to lead my little girl to the Lord. Now I know that ALL my blessings will join me in heaven when He calls us home. I pray that you have made that decision in your life as well. If you haven't, all you have to do is what Romans 10:9-10 tells us "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." It's that simple.

There's the story of my blonde I must get, the baby of the crew is calling me!

Enjoy the Journey! 




Monday, January 20, 2014

Let the Journey Begin! (Part 1)

I really don't know where I should begin. I'm stepping into the great unknown. The uncertainty of what I will write about, who will even read it, and where it may take me. I have been told for a few years by a few friends that I should blog. My reaction was always "blog about what?" Apparently I'm more interesting than I perceive myself. 

Telling a little more about myself would be a good start I suppose. I am married to the most wonderfully perfect man for me that God could pick. (Please note that I realize he's not perfect, but he's perfect for me.) Big difference We've been on our journey for 21 years, and have been married for 16+ years. For the math people out there, he grabbed me up YOUNG, and as he says, he raised me the way he wanted. Some days I'm thinking he regrets rubbing off on me so. (Just to interject here, you will have to get to know me to know that I will show lots of sarcasm, and joking in my writings- so be well advised!) My husband is the Senior Pastor of a wonderful church in Alabama that we have been blessed to be at since 2005. We have had a wonderful journey in ministry that has taught us things we'd never trade for anything. We've been part-time Children's Pastors, full time Youth Pastors and finally we are at the Senior/Lead Pastors journey in our ministry. There is no one else I'd rather be with on this journey than Ryan. He is my rock, although I don't tell him near enough. He amazes me at his growth with the Lord, and how far he has come, not only in his sermons, but his knowledge. And the best part is he is SOOOO goodlooking!! ;) 

Now, what the Lord has blessed us with is not what I had in MY plans when we married. But then again, when you are in the Lord's Will, it doesn't really matter what your plans are, does it? Jeremiah 29:11 confirms this, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (NLT)
Those blessings are a post all their own...hopefully, you'll return to my blog for part 2, and to hear about our blonde blessings!

Enjoy the Journey!