Strength

I just need strength for this journey. Every day is a new day, a fresh start, a new/continual journey. You know life and living as an adult, a wife, a mother comes with a lot of responsibility. For me, I work a full-time job and still must maintain meals, laundry, and housework daily for my family. And as much as I hate to admit this, I don’t always have it together! No this planner-life chick’s journey plans aren’t all together yet (work in progress, though). There are days I fall apart at the seams. There are mornings that I wish not to start the day just yet. Am I the only one? But I know the longer I lay in my bed and waddle in my so-call-misery the more people affect. I have come to realize that life no longer ALL about ME (its partly about me) but about ME AND my FAMILY as one unit! So my journey includes them all the way because the outcome of my journey affects them. They’re my push > push to look and feel sexy for my husband; push to be active and enjoy activities with my boys; push to take care of me – put “me” (my health) first so I can be here for them! I mean I’m loving how I’m feeling (all empowered and inspired lol) as I’m writing this post… but, truth is this flame does flicker at times and honestly too many times its blown completely out! So yes I need some real STRONG, FIRM, UNMOVABLE, UNBREAKABLE, UNSHAKABLE STRENGTH for this journey of my life!

“Don’t worry that you’re not strong enough before you begin. It is in the journey that God makes you strong.” – Unknown

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Spring Fever

We are 2 days away from one of my favorite seasons of the year….SPRINGGGGGG TIMMMMMEEEE!!! There is so much to celebrate in this new season…the beautiful warm weather, my birthday (yayy!!!), my Sweet Pea’s birthday (Big 3) and one of the most important holidays for a Christian…Resurrection Sunday!! I simply enjoy the sense of “newness” in the air during this season, don’t you? It’s nothing better than waking up in the morning to the sound of the birds chirping outside of the window, or being able to sleep with the window rose, enjoying the cool night breeze.

Have you ever just taken a moment to stop and enjoy the beauty of nature that the Lord has blessed us with? I did the other day. The weather last Sunday was GORGEOUS!!! There were clear blue skies that day, no clouds, a bright beautiful sun shining on our faces, a nice easy breeze…ahhhh it was just amazing! After service I decided to let Sweet Pea play outside for a while to get some fresh air. While she was entertaining herself with her toys and the grass and sticks (lol) I just took a moment to take a deep breath and enjoy all that was around me. We complain about so many foolish things in life and yet never take the opportunity to just stop and smell the roses, literally.

I’m going to start taking more opportunities like this one where I just stop and thank God for the little things that are so easily taken for granted. Spring Fever you say? Why Yes I do have touch of it and I do not want to be healed from it anytime soon!  So here’s to the new season in weather, a new season in life…

“For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” ~Song of Solomon 2:11-12

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How it all started…The Journey Leading up to 12/6/2014

How it all started…The Journey Leading up to 12/6/2014

Catch up here…So after the first few messages and some phone conversations, we decided to meet in person. Being the gentleman, he came to see me in North Carolina. We had a planned but not really planned out weekend (or at least Saturday). We like to call it our marathon of dates lol. We always joked about how we had 3 dates in one day. We did breakfast at IHOP, walked downtown to an art gallery, bowling, and later dinner. Things went pretty well, I beat him in a few games of bowling (I’m not that great and neither was he lol). The weekend went by and he went back home. I had a really good time and not too many quiet moments. We really started talking on the phone every day for hours and texting all throughout the day. Getting to know each other, having those goofy moments, finding out that you share things in common…things like that. Because we both were open and honest people, we talked about it all. We decided about a week or two after our first face-to-face meeting to date exclusively to see where it would go. Would you have thought that after the initial text message?!?!?!? Continue reading…

 

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The Reality Is

Reality is I’m 5’9” and 248lbs! Apple-shaped with a “heavy” face (as I see it). I went to the doctor earlier this week and he made the suggestion of a more aggressive approach to tackle my weight loss. This approach includes taking prescribed appetite suppressants, intermittent fasting (only eating between 12p-8p), counting calories through MFP, and exercising for at least 30mins 3 times a day! I figured if I’m going to be “real” about this blog and my weight loss journey than I may as well put myself out here! My next appointment is in 4 weeks and I want to be sure to blow him and myself away =D. I mean it’s very depressing to me when I look in the mirror and think of the way I treat my temple that God has only temporarily lent to me. How dare I? Now I’m like lets do this thing and be intentional about it! So I’m holding ALL my GIRLFRIENDS (umm, yes this means YOU) accountable in being my accountability partners!!!

So to begin I hurried back to work and messaged my GIRLFRIENDS (yes we really do message each other literally everyday) to let them know how my appointment went. They are all very supportive (of course!) and Erin even suggested we have a “GIRLFRIENDS. walking pact” in which we all agree to use our lunch times/breaks to go for a walk! We all agreed and I’m looking forward to sharing my lunch time with my GIRLFRIENDS in spirit knowing they’re doing the same in supporting a healthy lifestyle.

My next plan of attack (I told yall I was about that “planner-life” LOL) began with learning what exercises are targeted towards my apple-shaped body type. In simple: an apple-shaped body is one that mainly carries fat around your middle section. I researched and found that the best exercises for my shape are core work and cardio! I also learned what type of diet (diet in terms of healthy eating lifestyle change) is best for my shape. My body type favors eating complex carbs, moderate quality proteins, and avoiding refined carbs! The breakdown looks like this 50% complex carbs, 30% high-quality proteins, 20% healthy fats.

So in the weeks to come I’m excited to share my progress and any tips, tricks, recipes, etc. I incorporate along the way. I want ALL of my GIRLFRIENDS- yes ALL of YOU to be the best “YOU” you can be and that means living a healthy lifestyle, so that you can be more effective and at your best as a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, at whatever capacity you hold. Well ladies- what’s your reality? (no you don’t have to share your current weight ;)) Are you on a weight loss journey? Have any tips, tricks, etc that have been successful for you? Do you need me to be your personal accountability partner? I am here for you and hope you are certainly here for me!!

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Moving Forward

I HATE moving and every aspect of it!!! The packing, sorting thru all the various clothes, papers and miscellaneous items you accumulate over the years. Oh and don’t get me started on the actual physical labor! Chile my body was weary and I am still recovering LOL!!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, my family and I recently relocated. After thinking long and hard, after many prayers, my husband and I felt it was best to swallow our pride and ask my mom if we could move in with her for a while to save money to purchase our first home. Yes I know, I was completely against it at first as well. I mean this is a MAJOR adjustment for everyone. We are used to our own space to do whatever, whenever we want to (if you get my drift ;-)). I vowed when I moved out of her house after my wedding day that was my final farewell as a resident. (Funny how God will prove me wrong every time lol) I walked away then as a new bride and I’m now coming back not only a wife but a mother. How am I going to be able to handle my duties as a mother and wife, all while living under my mother’s roof?  You all really just don’t know how much I struggled with this decision. But nonetheless this move would really help us, as well as my mom, in so many ways!

The other day I was talking with a friend of mine who is going through a difficult time and was sharing my testimony with her. I was explaining all that my husband and I had been through in 2014 and where God has placed us now. As I was talking to her, Israel Houghton’s song Moving Forward (one of my favorites) came on my Pandora and I immediately starting giving God the glory for all that He has done for me and my family. (I had to close my office door just in case I was hit with an ugly cry lol). Yes I know my own story, but while ministering to my friend God revealed just how blessed my family is. I can’t even begin to tell you the hell that my husband and I have been through, but God!!!

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 3:13-14

Although some may look at this move as somewhat of a setback, I’m looking at it as a set up for all that the Lord has in store for the next chapter of our story. So just as we had to get rid of old clothes, dispose of unnecessary paper and items in the apartment to prepare for our move, the Lord had to do the same in our lives in order to fully prepare us for the next phase. Do I want to go through all of that stuff again? Not at all. However I thank God that He chose me and my husband to go through those experiences just so that we can be used as vessels to share our story and encourage someone else that they too are going to make it.

So I’m ready to let it all go. I’m ready to forget those things that are behind me and focus on that which is to come. I’m moving, moving forward….

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Adventures of my new hobby…

Hellloooo!!!!!!! I’m excited this week. I get to practice a bit more on my new found hobby. I’m baking Sugar Cookies 🙂 I’ve Google’d and YouTube’d and Google’d some more to find a good starter recipe. All that I’ve found list the same ingredients with minor variations; some uses heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, or baking powder vs baking soda. So I’ve stuck with a simple recipe from a YouTube channel that I subscribed to. Now I believe they came out PERFECT, but to me they taste more like short bread cookies rather than sugar cookies 🙂 I didn’t roll the cookie cut-outs/dough in sugar before baking them, so that could be a potential reason for the not-so-sugar cookie taste. Nevertheless, this still makes the list of a keeper recipe. If you have any tips, tricks, or advice for me to try out please let me know! Pictures coming soon (after the baby shower).

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Planner-Life

So I’m about that “planner-life” LOL. But no seriously I am! I enjoy being a Weddings & Events Planner. This habit (bad-habit as some see it lol) developed back when I was in high school… I would help plan family functions and birthday parties. People started telling me how good I was at it and how much they hated the logistics of planning and appreciated my help. I also have always been rather crafty and absolutely LOVE diy projects!!! The best part of it all for me is having a creative outlet. Being a planner there’s never a dull moment of replication/duplication… there’s always a way to make something different than before, customized to suit each individual.

Proverbs 16:9 ~ The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (ESV)

This scripture reminds me that no matter how much I plan, God still has control over my steps. I love having the opportunity to plan and watch things come to life. I thank God that in all of my planning He still takes control and shifts things the way He sees fit. For me, as a planner things don’t just stop at weddings and events. I menu plan, blog plan, workout plan, craft plan- you name it I “plan” for it first… as much as possible. I like having an agenda/to-do list, I really should buy stock in Post-Its, I literally write lists and notes all day long and stick them wherever needed for me to get things done! You can look forward to March being the Baby Shower month for me! There are three showers currently in the making for this month and the anticipation of seeing these final reveals is killing me. I’m so excited to share with you, just what being about that “planner-life” is for me right here!! So cheers to the weekend ladies! I’ve got 100 hand sanitizer labels to cut and glue ~ pray for me LOL.

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I Need A Drink

Yes you read it correctly! You ever had one of those days where nothing seemed to go right? Well that was me a few days ago. My husband and I got into a little spat, my daughter was on my last nerve, I had million things to do and no time to do them. The thought quickly came to my mind, “I need a drink”.

So you are probably thinking, I thought she said she was a woman of God? Well yes I am but sometimes my mind reverts back to how I dealt with stress in the past. It was nothing for me to get off from work, run by the store and grab a quick bottle of Arbor Mist to go along with dinner, or to drink with some soft music to mellow down for the evening. Yes even back then I was heavily involved in church, born and raised, but still felt like I needed a little something extra to “deal” with my problems or to run away from them, if even just for a second. What about the sense of conviction? I’m glad you asked; that leads me into my thoughts for the day.

I often hear people (Christians specifically) say it’s nothing wrong with drinking alcohol “as long as you don’t get drunk”. Or they will say “I’m just a social drinker”. Yes even I am guilty of saying this same thing once upon a time. That was something quick and easy to say instead of just being honest and say “I’m not ready to be delivered from my mess”. I can remember years ago going out Saturday night with the girls getting tipsy, if not drunk and then getting up Sunday morning bright and early ready to sing on the praise team. I felt convicted, but would repent, do it all over again the next weekend and blame it on the fact that I was young and “experiencing life”. I was totally wrong and out of order. (Thank you Lord for Your grace and Your mercy!!)

As I’ve gotten older and grown in Christ, I have realized there is so much wrong with drinking and calling yourself a Believer.  I feel so convicted even now when I think back to how I was living a double life. Proclaiming to be a Christian, but still wanting to be a part of and accepted by the world. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:19 Why would you want to be associated with things of the world, when they hate us? Think about it.

So what’s the big deal, what’s wrong with having a little sip here or there? Let’s take a deeper look into the Word and see:

“It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.” ~Romans 14:21

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” ~Ephesians 5:18

“envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” ~Galatians 5:21

These are just a few scriptures from the Bible where the Lord clearly states that we are not to drink alcohol. Why would we defile the temple (body) that He created and allowed us to rent temporarily while here on earth. Is a simple drink worth your soul’s salvation? Where will you rest eternally, in Heaven with our Lord and Savior or in the Lake of Fire with your drink and your 2 step? It’s a lot to take in, I know, but I pray that it if this applies to you, it has you thinking.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” ~ Romans 12:1-2

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Adventures of my new hobby…

Greetings! As I mentioned in an earlier post about trying to find a new hobby…..well by George I think I got it!!!!!! The adventures of sweet treats. Now I will post everything from epic fails to totally successful. Don’t judge me too bad lol. It’s all about trial and error and making it work as Tim Gunn would say :). It all started with looking for ideas and color schemes for an upcoming baby shower that I will be hosting. Pinterest will have you believing that you can do any of these ideas because every pin says it’s just that simple. Well, so I don’t look like real CRAY CRAY at the shower, I needed to put some of these ideas to the test. Granted, I have been trying to perfect buttercream icing for a few weeks and experimenting with some of the pins I found, but this week I am tackling something new…candy pretzels. It all came about in a conversation with a coworker doing a gender reveal get together for her sister’s baby. She was trying to come up with some sweet treat ideas. Little did I know that everything I threw out there I would be making lol. So this week I am tackling candy pretzels and cake pops. I’ll update soon with more pics. Tell me how I did…epic fail or total success?!?!?!?!?

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**Update**

A sample of the finished project. Would you place an order?!?!?!?!?

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