Monday, July 27, 2015

***WARNING*** It's about to get real.

When I was a young adult, I knew EVERYTHING about what I wanted out of a marriage.
When I was a young mother I knew EVERYTHING about being THE BEST parent.
And all along I thought I had a good handle on the rest of the stuff.
Now, here we are, I'm 30 something (hint: It rhymes with heaven)
I grew up with parents that had it all very together!
Great job, beautiful home, wonderful marriage.
Our church life was equally great! 
Inspiring pastors, loving people, and the music....
It made you want to clap and cry at the same time.
So when did it all fall apart???
How did I go from the person who "had a good handle on stuff" to
a person that constantly questions every decision?
As children we think that things will be JUST LIKE this, wherever we go.
Our marriage will be like our parents, (I happen to have a great role-model here!)
That our sibling relationships will always be as fun-chaotic-loving-there as they were.
That our social world will keep spinning... (ours was a church that we adored)
That our children would grow up with grandparents that worshipped them, like ours did!
But then, we grow up.
Our mate turns out to be as human as we are.
A sibling is taken from life far too soon.
A church friend says something ignorant.
And grandparents die without ever having met their grandchildren.
I need refuge in a life that it turns out, I DON'T have a handle on.
I am asking people I love, and trust, for advice, encouragement, direction.
One of my favorite people in the world recently passed away.
I was so grateful to be able to go through her room, touching things that were precious to her.
Looking through her books, I found one by Beth Moore that she had started.
I've heard great things about this particular author, and I'm really hoping to glean a little...
This is my new motto

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Working From Home" the dream!

Ok, I have a little confession to make.
Working from home IS WORK.
Everyone has that friend that works from home, that posts exotic pictures followed by, "The view from my desk".  ;-) 
Doesn't that look amazing?? 
Don't you wish you were working from the beach??  I know I do!! 
Drink in hand, sand under my feet, and a gentle breeze.... Mmmmmmmm
That's one perk of the work from home lifestyle.  A GREAT PERK, but it's really not a fair picture of how life goes.
I started working from home, because I have lots of little people that need me.   They need me to be there for their therapy, and their successes.  They want me to watch them at dance class,
and take them to the park after school.  I have children that still struggle with reading and can only get through the lesson without tears if I make a little snack, and we have a "SHAKE IT OFF" break!
A few nights ago my team had a meeting scheduled to start at 7pm. 
In my mind I had it all planned out. 
My hubby was gonna make dinner, so all I had to do was get it all out, and ready, he would grill,  bring it in, and I would have everyone happily eating and I could retreat, warm meal in hand to run the meeting online from the back bedroom.
What's that saying?
 yeah.... ^^THAT^^
I should be reminding myself of this one instead.
Well, things started off great. 
We even took a little selfie out by the grill, ready to go, with plenty of time allotted.
Aren't we cute?
RIGHT after we took that picture, there was a RUSH of terrible gas smell, and then,
Just like that my plans were out the window.  We had to bring in all the meat. I had to dig through the cabinet and find my BIG HUGE skillets.  Next came an army of little people bringing in meat, parking their little fannies UNDER MY FEET and the whining started.
Hungry, angry, little people. 
HANGRY is what my sister calls it.  ;-)
Meanwhile the clock was marching forward.  It was 6:50 when the stovetop got heated up.  At 7 O'clock I was up to my elbows in hamburger and bacon grease, smelled like onions, and I had baby formula dripping down one leg from where the baby had thrown his bottle at me to signify his displeasure at having to wait.
This is working from home.
But so is this. 
And this.
I am so blessed to be a work from home mom.
And I will NOT apologize for bringing my phone with me to the park.
I am grateful to be present while they are playing, and teach them that this is how we
are investing in our future.
Work is work.
BUT, I  get to "work" with my little people around me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


One year ago today I decided to join a company that both my sisters had joined.
They were having great success with it.  I talked to my daddy who is infinitely smarter than I am,  and he said,  "Try it!  If you don't you'll always wonder what could've been."  He also told me that it was a sound business model and thought it was more than just "a fad".
I joined under my baby sister,  and started off on the road of small business owner,  Visions of vacations and new cars dancing in my head.
Friends and family were supportive,  some even joined under me!   The first 6 months were a whirl wind of promotions and bonuses!   By Christmas my bonus checks were as much as my husbands checks from his full time job!
Then in January the real work started.
I had a team of 60 ladies (and a few gentlemen) under me and things were still coming along at a quick pace but I felt like I had hit the ceiling.
There's a spot between two levels where you need to work more on keeping your "downline" promoting AND  keep your own numbers at peak volume.
I was burning out.  I wasn't seeing the progress,  or the bonuses and was feeling the pressure. Why wasn't my family taking those vacations?  Where was our new car?
As my "Anniversary" drew closer I was feeling more and more disillusioned.  Then there are the comparisons.  People that I knew had less time in "the business" were doing better than I was!
But here's the thing.
God is not interested in sending us on vacations, or in giving us cars that we are proud to drive.
He doesn't care that our clothes come from the goodwill instead of the mall.


Recently He has brought in some major miracles, and some hope for some amazing changes in our lives!  (Stay tuned for details)

I am going to keep working my business.
Not because it's a get rich quick scheme.
It's not a lottery ticket.
As I celebrate my Anniversary, I'm choosing gratefulness,  for the treasures it HAS brought into my life.

Here are a few.

My team; we call ourselves a family.  And that's what they are to me.  Sweet family members that I truly love serving and getting to know!

The dream; I'm not a big dreamer by nature,  but this "job" has taught me to dream big,  work hard, and sow seeds.

We have not "arrived" yet.   We still have goals that have not been met, they are printed out and taped on the wall.
But we are committed.
We are passionate about being able to provide a few of the "things" for our family.
We are grateful!

To my sweet family,
Thank you for bearing with me as I reach for my dreams.   For putting up with me constantly holding my phone in my hand,  for the long hours and the Saturdays I am gone.
Thank you for dreaming with me, and being my cheering section.

With so much love,

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Better Than a Congregation

Before you get your stomach in a twist about the importance of churches,
THIS is not THAT blog. ;-)
A group of alligators is called a "congregation". 
And that's what I've BEEN using in my hair for a VERY VERY long time.
But they hurt. 
And I have so much hair, I have to use two or three of them.
Not very chic....

Then I was approached by a Lilla Rose Consultant!
I had actually never heard of them.
But I thought another product review would be fun!
So, she sent me this little package.
Isn't it pretty??

Here's the back of the package. :-D

When you open the padded envelope, there is another envelope inside.
There is also a little insert. 
I'll show you what that looks like in a second.

I LOVE envelopes like these.  Something very nostalgic about them.
And nostalgic is how the flexi will make you feel too!
They are like something out of Anne Of Green Gables.
I can just picture Ann (with an e) with one of these
little baubles in her beautiful red hair!

Sorry, see, I built up that picture in your mind, and then BAM!!!
Me, silver hair, and fresh from the shower.
You're welcome!

But look how pretty this little thing is!
(and getting a pic of the back of your hair, through a foggy mirror, is NOT the easiest thing.
This little quick twist, all up "do" is all I could think of.
Until my friend sent me this video.
It's awesome!!! 
And she gave me some GREAT ideas!!

A half up, with a twist.
This girl is PICKY about what she lets me put in her hair.
Nothing itchy, nothing that pulls, and it has to be pretty.
^^ That being said,^^
she has lost nearly everything I put in her hair, but the great thing about this
flexi is that it's one piece!!

Our oldest daughter has THICK hair like her momma.
This particular flexi is a large, and with wet hair, it fit perfectly over the base of her braid.
The insert that comes with your flexi has 5 fun options and directions to wear your
new flexi!
Sorry it's a little wrinkly, my 9yr old was using it as a menu for her
new hair salon.
Now for the fun part!!!!
I have a FREE flexi clip to giveaway!!
It's a small.
To be entered to win, just subscribe or comment!
I will DEFINITELY be buying a few of these gorgeous clips.
I'm thinking I need one in each size.
Here's the link if you want to host a party too!
The drawing will be tomorrow night.
Here are a few informational graphics, for when you get your flexi clip!!!

These really are gorgeous, and I'm so excited to have one now!!
Thank you Tricia!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

30th Annual Kempe Gala

Last year in January we started considering adopting Gabe and Jazzy.
I said in the video package that it wasn't something we were doing lightly...
That doesn't even, even, even come close to being descriptive enough.
Things were getting really rough.
Our church was trying to be supportive.
They had a separate class for them during the Sunday Services, they had a rotating schedule of teachers so that we could have an hour break each week.
Our families tried to be supportive.
They said things like, "We don't know how you do it." and "We're proud of you."
And if you're reading this... We love you all.

Here's the truth, no matter how much people support you, or try to help you manage, you are joining a new culture of people.  Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Neighbors, who have been given this task by God, to raise, nurture and love special needs children.
And you are an island.
You will be left out of birthdays, dinners, weddings, functions where there will be other children, but you are now a category of your own.
Insensitive and clueless and even well meaning people will say, "If you would just tell him 'NO' once in a while, he would behave better."  Or, "If you loved them like you love your other children, they would obey." Here's another one, "Maybe, before you left the car, you could remind them to obey once you got inside."
This is where the Kempe Center came into our lives.
We were overwhelmed. We were scared. We were alone.  We could not see how we could possibly commit to these little people, who had such great needs, in a world where they were not only not accepted, but not understood.
As a last ditch effort to maintain our placement our GAL suggested the Kempe Center. 
We had three or four sessions with their intake team, and after a little adjustment period, they sent out a Dr. to our home! 
RIGHT AWAY I felt better.
Our situation hadn't changed.
Our children still had significant needs.
But we felt understood. Cared for. Someone knew that we felt alone and was committed to talking it through each week and troubleshooting until we came up with something that made a difference.
After a few months, and seeing a little progress we decided that we could do this.
We would step into the full time, and forever roles, rather than the temporary ones.
Our children are not perfect.
(No-one's are!)
But we are committed to making a difference.
We are committed to forever.  Looking for answers and struggling right along with them.
That's what parents do!

About a month ago, we were asked if we would be willing to be Kempe's family of the year.
Of course we said YES! :-D 
Here are some pics of one of THE MOST SPECTACULAR nights of our lives!

My man in a tux!!
This is actually the first tux I've ever seen him in.

The bus looked like a rolling Dry Cleaners.
Took me the whole day on Thursday to iron EVERY PIECE.

In the Lobby of the hotel.

A close up of the lace on my dress.
LOVED it so much!!!

We hadn't been in the room more than 10 seconds,
when I see him run up holding this cookie.

So amazing!!!
They thought of everything!

When Mr John suggested we get pizza delivered to the room,
I was thinking, Pizza Hut!
Again, he exceeded our expections!!!

A dessert bar!!!  WHAT?!?!?

My mom and dad drove up JUST for us!

I kinda love her, ALOT!

My guy cleans up GOOD!

We couldn't do what we do without them.
They hate it when we say that, but it's true.
We love you!

Ok, this is silly, but Miss Cheryl and I sat together for dinner.
And I was too wrapped up in our conversation to get a picture with her!
Miss Cheryl, you were a highlight of an amazing evening!!
Thank you for making us feel so comfortable.

Me and my guy,

When they started singing My Girl, I was STAR STRUCK!!!

Our Daddy and one of his girls. :-D

Our room was on the 33rd floor.
Everything should be served on chocolate shavings!!

Took these little babies home with us!
This was an amazing night, filled with so many amazing things.
Thank you Kempe Foundation for everything you did for us in the last year, and for a magical evening!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sally Hanson VS Jamberry

A few weeks ago someone in a home party came wearing Sally Hanson Salon Effects.
Then, not even a week later, someone gave them to me as a gift!!!
Well, my wheels started turning, and I thought, I wonder....
I wonder if they really are "just like Jamberry, only cheaper."
And thus, a spark of an idea for a review.
It was just a twinkling in my blogger's eye, but it was there.
I went through my old stash of nail polish, and lo and behold I had other
Sally Hanson products under my counter!
So, here are the products that I used.
To be fair, I used a base coat under all of them.
Only one coat of each.
Used them all according to their directions.
And didn't use a top coat over any of them.
First up is the Sally Hanson Nail Strips.
The first thing I noticed, THEY SMELL TERRIBLE!!!!
I mean, "WHOAH, turn a fan on, and open the windows" kind of terrible.
The second thing I noticed, FIVE MILLION SIZES!!!
And each one is a ONE TIME TRY.
I read that, in the directions, but I didn't believe them.
I'm a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my nails,
and the first strip I used felt a little crooked....

See, I told you. I went through two that I thought were the perfect size.
When they were gone,  I had to settle for the "I guess they'll fit" size.

I had to open the second package, and get into what was supposed to be the second set.
UGH, the smell when you break into that plastic wrap!!!

Can you tell that the pattern came off while I was trying to file off the excess.
Just kiddin', it's just polish.
I'm not super co-ordinated.

Here they are, all completed.
I should mention that the Jamberry wasn't the right size for the finger that I chose for it.
So, I just cut it!
It went right on, no problems at all.
No smell.
No fumes...
No gas mask required.

You can see what colors I'm drawn to naturally.
Here we are 1 week later.
The polish is all chipping and awful.
The Jamberry lacquer however, isn't chipping at all.
It almost looked like was fading....

Here's the polish up close.
That white line, is a break, WAYY up into the nail bed.

Here we have the Sally Hanson.
It is chipping away at the tips.
Another weird thing... it felt ... textured.
Or, maybe dimpled... It was strange.

Here's the Jamberry I cut to size.
It's still sucked down onto the nail.
The "J" on the tip is still perfectly visible.

I used Jamberry Lacquer Remover which worked great!

I literally had to take a file to get those edge pieces.

This is the nail that the Jamberry was on.
I used a Lacquer Remover on a cotton pad, broke the seal a little on the edge,
and it came right off.
I was surprised to see that my nail had broken on this finger too.
Can you see it? There, on the left. JUST above the white?
But I didn't even notice until I took the wrap off!
I found these pics online.
They sum it up perfectly.
This is what you need for Jamberry.
They are heat and pressure activated, so you need A heat source,
and an orange stick of some kind to rub them well.

This is what you'll need for the Sally Hanson Salon Effects.
The package that you buy has a little file with three
different strengths of grit.
But let me tell you, they need to add a pic of  "elbow grease" and time! ;-)
I will not be using the rest of the Sally Hanson strips.
If anyone else would like them, you are welcome to them!!