Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm Feeling Very Bloggy This Week

I don't know what my deal is but I'm just all bloggity.

I don't really even have anything all that interesting to say.

But I just feel like I need to blog some things.

I need to communicate with my people.

And let me tell you what is happening right now in my ever-so-exciting "newlywed" life. (Again, I submit to you people that I need to make a name change as 3 years and 4 months isn't really a newlywed anymore but for some reason y'all are passionately against it).

Back to the very important issue at hand: what I'm doing right now.

It is 9:31 at night. It is 9:31 on a Friday night, to be specific.

I am laying in bed, listening to my playlist entitled "Relax Jen" and Moxie dog is curled up by my feet. Currently playing is "Choose" by Christy Nockels. Up next is "Oceans Apart" by Jim Brickman. I've got Twitter open. I've got Facebook open. I've got Blogger open. And most importantly, I've got Solitaire open.

I enjoyed the pepperoni rolls from Double Dave's that Grant brought home for dinner. We ate them while we watched COPS. We love to watch COPS. Have they made a new episode of COPS in the last 12 years? I feel like every show we watch had to have been filmed in 1993. The clothes, y'all. The clothes.

I should also admit that when Grant came home with pizza rolls at 7:50 he woke me up from my nap.

Because I am 83 years old.

THIS HAS BEEN ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE NIGHTS EVER.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different

I don't like to leave "heavy" stuff as the top blog for very long. It makes me feel like you people think I'm a train wreck and I'm not. I'm just powering through some stuff and writing it makes me feel better.
In reality I'm a very happy girl so this is going to be a very happy post!

There is alot of happy stuff going on in my life right now. For instance, last night was the final rehearsal for my kids' choir musical! The big performance is this Sunday and I am so excited. The name of our little show is "King of the Jungle". Below is the poster for it.

Last night I almost got teary-eyed watching them rehearse. They have worked so hard and seeing everything come together is amazing. I have some mega-talented kids in there. I can't wait to see what they become as they get older. There were a few funny ones. One of the Pre-K girls just sat down in the middle of the show. When I told her to stand up, she said "No thank you". Atleast she was polite!

Also, my little Grace Parker is turning 3 this weekend. Aunt Jenny & Uncle Grant are going to have a wonderful time at her birthday party. Also, Scarlett & Juliet are going to come in from Austin as well. I love when all my babies are in one place at one time!

Work is busy. Busy, busy, busy. I have so much going on here, so much going on at home, so much going on at church. It can be hard to stay on top of everything. However, I feel so very blessed that I am that this busy and that so many good things are going on in my life. Blessed and Stressed.

I'm continuing to do the 30 day Shred. I am totally cheating as I am not doing it every single day. I do it more like every 3 days. I can't listen to Jillian that often. She kinda makes me want to punch something. Or someone. More specifically, her.

Okay, I have one more not- so- happy thing: I would really appreciate prayers for my grandparents, Larry & Paddy. My Grandaddy has had several strokes and it appears he had another one yesterday. For some reason he drove himself to the hospital with my grandmother (who has Alzheimers) and he is undergoing alot of tests. He is very confused and very disoriented. Would you please pray for him? Am I a Debbie Downer or what?

Thank you friends!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's Decision Time

I woke up this morning feeling a tremendous need to write.

I'm stuck in a rut. A big one. For the last few weeks, I feel like there is an anchor tied around my ankle. I can't get up.

And when I do get up, I get right back down. It's like I climb a mountain and as soon as I get to the top, I immediately run back down as fast as I can. I don't stay up there and look at the view, I don't take a moment and enjoy the accomplishment of climbing a mountain. I get up there and then I go right back down.

Several weeks ago I made a decision to make a change in my life. To be more intentional. To be more purposeful. To stop being so self-focused and to be more God-focused. To live a life worthy of the hope to which I have been called. To do all things in His name and for His glory.

But I feel like ever since I made that decision, it has been like walking into hurricane force winds.

I've been doing the whole "just shut up and do it, Jenny" thing but that doesn't seem to be working.

Curtis Jones once preached that "The amount of time you spend in prayer is directly related to how much you think you need God". Last night, in our small group Bible study, someone said "Your obedience to God is a manifestation of your faith in God".

It is being revealed to me that this is an obedience issue. I've been so self-focused and thinking about how "I can't do this" or "why is this so hard for me" and "I feel stressed" when the fact of the matter is, this isn't about me. I shouldn't even be doing this to satisfy my own needs or desires.

Beth Moore said this weekend that "We are either corrupted by our desires or we are renewed by our decisions".

I am making a decision. A decision to be obedient. A decision to admit how much I need God and how I am useless on my own.

I don't know if anyone else relates to this at all. Maybe I'm on my own here. But I do know that usually when I put something on the blog, I have my very own built-in accountability group. I've put it all out there on the whole world wide web. And while this is very personal, I feel like saying it here is kinda like putting my signature on the bottom of a contract.

I have a new mindset and I am starting TODAY.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just Be Normal

Y'all I can't even begin to write this post. I just got back from Atlanta and I AM SPENT. But I feel the need to post this now cause I'll never get to it if I don't.

Here's what you need to know:

* I had an awesome time

* I got 7 hours of sleep the whole weekend

* Being around southern women enhances my southern accent.

* People are hilarious

* People are weird

* If a hotel room has 10 women in it, it is absolutely possible for 13 conversations to be going on at once.

* Starbucks was visited no less than 6 times in less than 48 hours.

* The conference was AWESOME

* I met so many wonderful people

* You can get to a delirious, tired state that you're laughing at things that aren't funny at all

* I'm feeling very secure

And now, the pictures.

Linds and I drove Fran's mini van to the conference. The sign outside the conference said "Beth Moore Concert" which got us all excited... we thought she might start singing for us!


This is sweet Lindsey, a fellow blogger. It was so nice to spend the day with her!

Later that night, we went to Rafferty's for dinner. This is me, Fran and Karen. I just met Karen this weekend but I think I might keep her forever.


That restaurant was very cold so my scarf turned into a wrap. I don't wear it like that normally. I kinda felt like I was wearing an evening gown at times.

Okay, now we are starting to get silly.


Beautiful Robyn! She's a hoot.


Sometimes Fran's head just pops in for a visit.



A lovely photo.

And then there was the ranch dressing incident.


This is sooo classic Linds. Her phone and her camera and a smile. Love love love.


PRAISE THE LORD I FINALLY GOT TO MEET MY KIM!! Kim was awesome to pick Lindsee and I up at the airport Friday night and she is AMAZING. I wish we had more time together!

Okay I gotta go take a nap... I love all of you people and can't wait to hug you again soon!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Things That Disturb Me

1. It disturbs me when I go into a public restroom and a woman is in a stall just having a merry little conversation on her cellphone while she is doing her business. I didn't need to know that you picked up some of that new Special K cereal and that you think it tastes better than Kashi.

2. As open-toed-shoe season approaches, it is very important that we all take care of our feet. Now, I am aware that I have more of a foot issue than most people. It is incredibly important to me that my feet look pretty and well pedicured at all times. But honestly, I'm gonna need everyone else to atleast clip their toe nails during these warm summer months. Please. I may gag. It is disturbing.

3. Last night, I made tacos for dinner. Tacos with sour cream and lettuce and cheese. And I had a glass of water to drink with my tacos. You know what my husband chose as his beverage? CHOCOLATE MILK. Chocolate milk and tacos. That disturbs me.

4. Does the "Double Checked for Accuracy" sticker at McDonald's really mean anything? Or is it just for decoration? Cause I'm pretty sure "no egg" on a breakfast sandwich shouldn't come out with an egg on it. I was disturbed.

5. Siobhan Magnus on American Idol is starting to disturb me. Homegirl can sing but it's a little bit like watching your crazy, quirky, eccentric 4th grade teacher sing karaoke to the best of her ability.

6. I can't bring a can of aerosol hairspray on the plane this weekend. Lindsee and I are worried that we have to settle for the tiny little pump bottles that do nothing. Lindsee is worried about her Root Lifter or whatever she calls the chemical that gets her hair to do the amazing things that it does. The tiny pump bottles will disturb our attempt to have great hair all weekend. Boo.

7. Disturbing: I found some cute black heels that I wanted to purchase for work but I will not purchase them as they cost $210. Nothing special about them at all. My current black work heels are just looking a bit ratty and I wanted some new ones but I do not want to spend $210 on plain black pointy toe heels. Ain't no way.

8. I had a disturbing thought this morning when I woke up a little bit before my alarm clock. As I saw that I was awake before I was supposed to be, I thought for a half a millisecond "Maybe I should get up and go for a jog" and then I told Satan to get behind me and I went back to sleep.

9. The new chicken sandwich from KFC that is not really a sandwich as it involves NO BREAD AT ALL but just 2 pieces of breaded chicken holding the "sandwich" together? DISTURBING.

10. I am disturbed that it is only 9:00 and I will be here till 5:00. Sad day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shredding and Goals and Other Exhausting Things

Here I am, on a Monday evening, sitting on the couch after a long, long work day. Followed by a night at the gym. Followed by a "30 Day Shred" session.

I hate the 30 Day Shred. It's stupid. Jillian is constantly telling me I can do it, and I don't believe her. And I really don't care for Anita who does the modified version. Anita is insulting because based on the body that she so proudly shows in her little green sports bra, it is clear that Anita could be doing the regular version of the work-out but they asked her to do the modified version and she just laughed and said okay. I always like the work-out videos that have a slightly over-weight woman doing the modified version. I feel like she and I are in this together. Anita is just mocking me.

Anyhoo, I've been a bit more determined lately, trying to be a bit more disciplined in many areas of my life. I've been seriously lacking when it comes to chores. I washed some clothes and dried them on Thursday and they sat in a laundry basket all weekend.

I'm sharing with all of you my discipline goals:

1. CHORES. I want to make them a bigger priority in my life. Digging through a laundry basket full of clean clothes trying to find socks is not fun.

2. EXERCISE. Despite my general dislike of sports bras, I am trying to make myself more consistent in my exercise routine. Jillian and her Shredding are getting on my last nerve, but boy do I feel it.

3. MOST IMPORTANTLY: PRAYER. Prayer prayer prayer. And spending time with the Word EVERY DAY. Every. Day. This is the hardest one for me as I always put this on the back burner.

Let's face it. I've talked alot on this blog over the last 3 years about my constant struggle with laziness. My love of being horizontal, not vertical. Thankfully, I have an amazing woman in my life who is holding me accountable and praying for me as I'm trying to re-focus myself and start getting my rear in gear.

What about you? Do you have any disciplinary goals?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Smart

Scene: I am at work at 7:00am. My boss is on the way into the office for a meeting. He has called to dictate some notes for me to type up for his meeting.

Jen: Okay, I think I've got all of it. Is that it?

Boss: Well, I want to put some figures in there.

Jen: Okay....

Boss: Put the revenue percentages in there.

Jen: Which are....

Boss: Um.... go ahead and do..... if revenue increases from $120,000 to $140,000, what percentage of increase is that?

Jen: ........... seriously?

Boss: Yes.... what is the percentage of increase from 120,000 to 140,000?

Jen: Okay, yeah, I don't know how to do that and I never claimed that I could.

Boss: (laughing) You had to have learned that in school. And you were there more recently than me.

Jen: Yes I did but I failed college algebra 4 times and I specifically chose a job that required no math. You knew when you hired me that I was mathematically challenged. You can't hold this against me.

Boss: Okay. Good point.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things We've Found

Sometimes we find Moxie sleeping under the coffee table.



Sometimes Grant gets out of the shower and finds Moxie sleeping in our bed.


Sometimes I look out at our new backyard and find beautiful flowers blooming.

When Jaclyn and the kids came over this weekend, we had a great time. But when it was time for them to leave, we could not find Jaclyn's cell phone! We looked everywhere we had been and simply could not find it. And then I called it and we heard it ring.

And then we learned that some little hands decided to put it on the front door.
Do you see it?



Our home is full of fun findings!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Scarlett

Of all my nieces and nephews, Scarlett is the oldest. She is the oldest by less than a minute as she has a twin sister, but she is the oldest.

Scarlett is special. All my kiddos are special, but Scarlett just has something in her that melts you. She is very compassionate, has lot of questions, very affectionate, and very sensitive. She seems to understand things that are way over her head and she gives great hugs. She is smart and funny and is very socially aware.

Another thing that gives me and Scalett a very special connection is our dimple. We both have one dimple in the same cheek in the same place. On the day the girls were born, I remember getting a text from my dad... it just said "Scarlett has your dimple!".

As the girls have grown up (they are going to be 4 in May and I cannot handle it), Scarlett has had a hair problem. As her twin sister Juliet's hair grew long and curled, Scarlett's hair stayed short and fine. Shannon, my sister, talked to doctor's about it who suggested that she was a late bloomer and to give it time.

This is Scarlett at 3 years old in September.



On the side bar of my blog, you can see a picture of Scarlett and Juliet at 3 years old.


After seeing a pediatric endocrinologist, followed by one of the best pediatric dermatologists in the state of Texas, Shannon and Scarlett got a diagnosis. Scarlett has a rare hair disorder called Short Anagen Syndrome.

The best I can understand it is this: her hair never has the chance to grow long. Most people's hair will stay on their head for several years before it falls out. Scarlett's hair only grows a few months before it falls out. All of her hair follicles are working, they just have a short life-span.
As you can imagine, this is very hard for a very girly little girl with a twin sister. My sister Shannon is an AMAZING mother who has researched this as far as she can. Sadly, there is little information on the subject. She started a facebook group about Short Anagen Syndrome and she has met tons of mothers from around the world who are struggling with this same issue. There isn't really a solution. Some people have seen some improvement after using rogaine treatments. Scarlett has done this treatment as well and we definitely saw the hair thicken, but no significant improvement.

It appears that this can get better with puberty, but there is no guarantee. As Shannon has spoken with adults who grew up with this issue, she has learned that most of them had to start wearing wigs.

The first time Shannon introduced the idea of a wig to Scarlett, her response was "Can we go right now?". Several days later, Shannon took Scarlett to try on a special wig. She was giddy, clapping, smiling, saying "thank you" and telling her mommy that "Today is the best day!".

Needless to say, they came home that day with a wig! As the weeks have gone by, Scarlett has gotten used to her wig. She doesn't wear it every day. This is fine as most of her peers in pre-school are at the age where they don't really notice.
The first time Shannon sent me a picture of Scarlett with her new wig, my eyes welled up with tears. She just looked so happy.....



It just suits her!


We are very sure to tell her that she is pretty with or without the wig. When I saw her in March for Dean's birthday party, she came up to me and said "Do you like my hair?". She is just proud as a peacock!!


One amazing thing that has happened through all of this is that because of my sister Shannon's efforts, she has been in conversations with some pediatric dermatologists from Harvard University who have expressed interest in researching this further. Since she has already gathered several people from all over the world who share this disorder via the facebook group, the work of gathering subjects for the study has already begun!


I have been so impressed by my sister Shannon and all the work she has put in to helping her daughter. I hope that I am as good of a mom as she is.


I will keep y'all posted on any progress that is made, but I just wanted to raise awareness and let you see that smiling face that we all get to see.

I sure do love that pumpkin...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sentences

At work today, I was laying on the floor of my co-workers office and said "So... I don't think I'm going to be able to work today".

She replied "Well, my mouse is not working right now, I think the battery died".

I responded, "Well then I don't think you're going to be able to work today either".

It was just one of those days.

Sometimes people at work have a dramatic emergency and I just want to tell them to calm down.

Then, it took me an hour to get home, but I was bound and determined to go the gym. I'm not sure why. It's like I have multiple personalities.

And then I did go to the gym. It is smelly.

The seat on the bike was oh-so-uncomfortable so after I hit 5 miles (and finished my People magazine) I left.

Now I am at home, waiting for the potatoes to boil a bit longer so I can mash them.

If Pioneer Woman would like to just give me a Kitchen-aid Mixer (I've tried to win one about 9,000 times now from her blog) that would be great. My little hand mixer gets potatoes all over me.

I am very very sleepy as our Moxie dog was up pacing the house all night due to his ear infection. Pacing, claws ticking on the wood floors. Panting, wimpering. It was quite sad for about an hour and then it got irritating. Grant put this special ointment in Moxie's ears and that calmed him down. Got me thinking that one of the reasons we haven't had a baby yet is because we love sleep so much.

Speaking of babies, I was around them ALOT this weekend. On Friday morning I had brunch with girlfriends and got to admire baby Lily and baby Hudson. Then, on Saturday, I had lunch with Laura and precious Matteo who I swear is like a cartoon character with all of his cuteness. Then, on Easter Sunday, my friend Liz, her baby Lily and I went over to my mom's for Easter (Grant and Jim were at the golf tournament) and my sister Jaclyn was there with Grace and Dean. Dean just started walking. Grace was in rare form as she was cracked out on candy and making me laugh so hard. Then, Dean and I went outside and swung on the porch swing for 10 minutes. Every once in awhile, he would look up at me and smile and pull on my mommy-strings.

Later while watching America's Funniest Home Videos I cried two times because there were heart-warming moments. And I thought that maybe I want a baby.

But after Moxie's 2 hours of whining I have decided that surely surely I do not want a baby.

Not anytime soon.

For dinner tonight is BBQ ribs, mashed red potatoes and salad.

Our small group is at our house tomorrow night so I have to make sure everything is clean so all of our friends will be under the impression that our house is always spotless.

And those are all of my thoughts today.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Slept in.

Showered.

Got ready for the day.

Had brunch with girlfriends. (For those of you who commented on my last post, I used a pre-paid gift card for brunch so it didn't count!!)

Ran an errand for my precious husband.

Came home and immediately turned on Amy Grant's Greatest Hits.

Got a trash bag and went through the house throwing away anything that seemed worthy of a trash bag.

Filled up 2 trash bags.

Put last night's dishes in the dishwasher.

Cleaned the ever-loving countertops.

Sucked it up and picked up all of Grant's clothes off the closet floor. If it was ever going to get done, it was going to get done today.

Threw 98% of previously mentioned clothes into dirty laundry basket based on smell alone.

Put away clean clothes.

Started wash load #1.

Took my Moxie dog on a much needed long power-walk.

Checked the mail.

Had a chat with the neighbors.

Moved wash to dryer and started wash load #2.

Put away dishes.

Cleaned the countertops again as I was not completely satisfied with my earlier attempt.

Did my Bible Study and read today's Daily Reading given by our church for Holy Week.

Took care of the absurdity that is my bathroom counter. Not all products need to be on the counter. Some can be in drawers. Mercy.

Folded and put away loads #1 and #2 and threw load #3 in the wash. (The clothing situation in our household is out of control. TOO. MANY. CLOTHES.)

Read another 3 chapters of So Long Insecurity. You never know how much you need that book until you read it. Seriously.

I just needed a day like today. A day to get some stuff accomplished! I didn't feel rushed at all through any of it, and, this is huge for me, I HAVEN'T TURNED THE TV ON ONCE TODAY. Yep, I have a whole day off of work and I haven't spent three-quarters of it watching Lifetime.

And now I have the satisfaction of having a clean house and being able to enjoy my weekend without having chores hanging over my head! Grant does like to help out around the house... he texted me and told me to leave a chore for him to do... I've chosen to leave him the floors! I don't like mopping. Or sweeping. Or vacuuming. Have at it, babe.

I am so thankful that the Lord gave me this day, and not just because it was a day off of work to get things acccomplished. I was reading in John this afternoon and really focusing on what happened on this Good Friday. I've really been trying to grasp how the entire universe so dramatically changed on that day. I don't think I'll ever truly comprehend the weight of that sacrifical act, that passionate choice that my Jesus made.

I can never repay the debt that He paid on my behalf.... I can only respond. I can respond by saying that I choose to follow Him, choose to believe in Him, choose to serve Him, choose to trust Him, choose to love Him. I choose to seek Him. I choose to return to Him when I've been distracted or distant. I choose to learn from Him when I do something ridiculous. I choose to humble myself before Him when I think I've got it all figured out. I choose to praise Him. I choose to worship Him.

And even on days when my only task is to take care of my home and do laundry, I choose to work as though I'm working for the Lord.

Having that as my mindset and "Lead Me On" by Amy Grant blasting on the iPod... well that makes for a pretty Good Friday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fun on Fake Friday

Happy Fake Friday, everyone!

Tomorrow is Good Friday and I have the day off of work. Hallelujah and Amen.

I have been filled with the Spirit this week as we have been rehearsing for Easter Sunday at church. If you don't have a church to attend this Easter and you live in Houston, come on over and visit us! It is going to be a glorious Sunday and the music makes me cry... I can hardly get through it!

All that being said, we are going to have some Fun today with Fake Friday, and by Fun I mean that I am going to do a post focused on the letter F. Just like Sesame Street.

F is for freezing because that is how my office feels right now.

F is for food because I've been on a food challenge this week. I went to the grocery store on Sunday night and stocked up on all kinds of things. Then, for the entirety of this week, it has been my goal to not purchase any food whatsoever. No breakfast, no lunch, no dinner. No drive-thru's. No contributing to "Cupcake Day" at work. NOTHING. I've saved lots of money and cleaned out my fridge/pantry all at the same time!

F is for France cause I've never been and I want to go. But tomorrow my girlfriends and I are having brunch at a french restaurant so that is almost the same thing.

F is for Flying because I'm flying to Atlanta later this month! YAHOO!

F is for Florida because that is the only state that starts with the letter F.

F is for Did you know that no states start with the letter B?

F is for Friends cause I've made some new ones lately and it's alot of fun! (Hey, Cindy!)

F is for Fried because that is the way all food should be.

F is for Family because Grant and I are blessed with some amazing people that just so happen to be related to us. Thank You, Lord.

F is for First Baptist Church of Houston which rocks my world.

F is for Five, as in the High Five Kids Choir which I direct every Wednesday night.

F is for Feeling guilty as I have to pick soloists for our musical. I had over 20 kids audition and only 5 solos to give out. I feel terrible cause I know some of them will be crushed. I gave a big talk last night about how there aren't enough parts for everyone and how some people won't get a part but that doesn't mean that they did badly! I even talked about how even I had several auditions that I did a good job at but I didn't get the part and I was sad... ugh I just can't stand to think that I will make some of them cry. :(

F is for flabbergasted because that is one of my favorite words.

F is for April Fools day (Fools has an F in it!) because we just spent the better part of half an hour turning all of the paintings on my boss' wall upside down. I'm exhausted.

F is for Finally, as in this is the last one and I am out of creative juices at this point.