Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm raising a tween-ager

Actually, I think I might be raising 2 of them!

Chelsea has hit the 'tween-age' years first. What an adjustment! For the whole family - though I don't think Justin really notices. Chelsea's anxious to become a teen. Craig's is fighting it every step of the way. Me? I'm just there. Some days I can accept it and then there are days where I'm in denial. There's no way that I could be mothering a child who will turn 11 this year!

My precious angel, Chelsea. Someday she will fully understand the amazing miracles that God worked through her arrival. She helped reunite a family. We are all quietly thankful for that blessing.

Chelsea is ALL girl! Pink & purple, frilly & lacy, cheering & dresses. Where did I go wrong? (Just teasing - I love her to pieces, she's just the total opposite of me). While I was a tomboy, who refused to wear a white shirt between the ages of 13 - 18 out of fear that the boys would know I was wearing a bra (I wouldn't be one of the guys anymore), Chelsea embraces her girl-ness.

Friends are a BIG thing right now. I kind of forgot the drama that girl friendships bring. YIKES! Were we REALLY like this? I'm faithful that she will come into her own, find a group of friends who have the same values as we do. I'm not foolish to think that she'll never get into trouble - but a mom can hope, right? We've got some drama right now, but we'll get through it.

Chelsea is a beautiful & precious gift from God. It's been an interesting 'ride' so far - I wonder what else is in store for us!

Many blessings,


Plus sizers unite!!

* I wrote this back in March 2008, but it bears repeating.

I interrupt this blog with some late breaking news! Ok, it’s not really news – I’m just frustrated and thought I’d share it with you.

I am plus size. Even when I lose all my weight, I’ll probably still be a plus size. I’m ok with that. Honestly, I am. What I am NOT ok with is the fact that stores (especially ones for plus size women) charge a FORTUNE so that plus size ladies can look fashionable! Why is that? Because you need the extra fabric????

Sunday I had a mini breakdown over the lack of wardrobe in my closet. It’s never really bothered me before, but Sunday it certainly did!!!

Last night, a friend & I went shopping. First place I check, Lane Bryant. Love that store!!! Very trendy, very hip… very NOW.I found a few things that I liked, but the sticker shock just about sent me over the edge (good thing there wasn’t any chocolate nearby). They wanted $45 for 1 shirt…. 45 DOLLARS!!! Am I being cheap??? So, then I wander to the sale rack. I fell in LOVE with this super cute shirt… I just had to have it. Yeah – it was on SALE for the low price of $29.99. What kind of sale is THAT?!?!?!

Later in the evening, we wandered over to Target (by far, my favorite store in the WORLD!!!). The plus size department consisted of 6 racks of clothing…. 3 of those racks were swim suits!!!! Are they getting rid of plus sizes???? Let me tell you, their maternity section was KICKIN’… if you’re pregnant & need some cute outfits, Target is the place to go. However, if you’re a plus size lady – FORGET ABOUT IT!! (I could bust out the Jersey talk right here).

So, what am I saying?? Probably not much…. But I have a message for society:Plus size women are here to stay. We want (and deserve) to look just as cute & trendy as the rest of the women in society. There is no reason to charge us a FORTUNE either. We need someone who designs clothes specifically for the plus size women (we come in different heights too, by the way. We’re not all short.) Someone who will treat us as equals.

I’m young & vibrant. I don’t want to look like I’m wearing a floral mumu. I want to wear a similar cute trench as my thinner counterparts. There has GOT to be someone out there who can do this! Who’s willing to take the risk? Let me tell you – whoever you are – you will be SWIMMING in $$$$$ if you keep your prices low, but the fashion current.

Back to your regularly scheduled blog…….

Many blessings,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Confessions of an over eater

Several months ago, I admitted that I was a closet binger. Yes, it’s wonderful to be able to admit your problem, but it takes more than that. Last night, I finally admitted to my adoring husband that I had a problem with food. While I didn’t go into detail about my binging & hiding (what I ate), I admitted that it was a problem and one that he really is not aware of, especially the severity of it.

Now, my first step is to get help; professional help. This is more than just not eating healthy. This is about changing my mindset; realizing that I need to stop using food as a crutch and start leaning more & more on God. I am looking into Overeaters Anonymous. Of course, there are only 2 in my area & they meet at inconvenient times, but I have to make the sacrifice.

I am prepared for a battle. Satan has a hold on this area of my life – I realize that now. Not only will I seek out the help of OA, but I am seeking your prayers. I honestly do not know how many (if any) people read my blog, but for those of you who do I would appreciate your prayers. This is going to be a battle – I need strength. Please feel free to share bible verses with me or anything else that comes to mind.

Thank you for your support.

Many blessings,

Friday, January 23, 2009

And so it begins.....

I'll be the first one to admit that I did NOT vote for President Obama. I am trying to support him, as he is my President. However, it is difficult to support someone who goes against what I believe.

Today, President Obama overturned a rule that prohibited US tax money to fund international clincis that promote abortion. Ah yes.... our country is in financial ruin and he has decided to take on abortion. Gotta love the priority.

I am against abortion. I believe that it is murder. The person who chooses to abort has to live with that decision. I will not play God. I do not think that my tax money should fund any type of abortion clinic. If someone wants to have an abortion, then I think that THEY should be the one to incur that cost - not me.

Here's to the rest of his 100 days.

Many blessings,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today's thought

Is it possible to reconnect with old friends and not dredge up the old negative memories that go along with the friendship?

A few posts ago, I blogged about Facebook & how much fun I was having reconnecting with old friends. It's great to talk to people and see what's going on in their lives; talk about the fun times you had together. But then, the not so fun times come creeping up on you.

I've reconnected with some friends from youth group. Youth group was an important time in my life. From the time I was 14 until 16, youth group was my life. Learning about God, developing a relationship with Him; developing friendships with other people my age who loved God. I really came into my own during that time. Yet, it was also a time of sorrow& hurt. Someone that I trusted destroyed a piece of me. I lost a lot of friends during that time.

I want so much to rebuild those friendships/relationships, but there’s that nagging sense of fear hiding in the depths of my mind & heart. They aren’t the ones who necessarily hurt me, but they represent that time in my life.

I’ve moved on since then, but maybe I haven’t. Does having those feelings resurface mean I haven't moved on? Who knows.

Many blessings,

Our pastor praying over the President

Whether you voted for him or not, we now have a new President. His swearing in marked a historical day for our country. Change is here, good or bad.

The pastor of our church, Browns Bridge Community Church, was asked to pray over President Obama & our country on Wednesday. What an amazing honor!

I plan to commit to praying for President Obama daily; that he seeks God's wisdom to guide him as he rules our country; that God protects his marriage & his family as they are thrust into the public eye.

Please join me in covering him in prayers.
Many blessings,


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's tough being a woman

I love to read! Give me a book and chances are it will be completely read in 2-3 days. I've been known to read 5 books in one day (not a frequent occurrence though). So, when a friend of mine at church told me she was an author, I had to read her stuff! This began my 'obsession' with Queen Esther.

My friend, Ginger Garrett, wrote a book The Chosen. It is based on the historical account of Queen Esther of Persia, using the Bible and recently found diaries. As you're reading the story, you forget that this is a true story; a story of a young girl who saved a nation.

I became so enamored with Esther, that I decided that I needed to do a Bible study based on the book of Esther. Not many out there - well none that jumped out at me. Then I heard a rumor.... Beth Moore was scheduled to do a study on Esther.

It has arrived - Esther - It's tough being a woman. So, now I am on a quest to find women in my area who are interested in doing this study with me. I don't have to know them (though a friend or two would be nice); just willing to commit to meet once a week to discuss the book.

Anyway, that's my prayer for the week. That God leads me to a women's study.

Many blessings,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Not me!!

I'm trying something new today! One of the blogs that I follow regularly has been doing this, so I thought I would share it with you. It's called 'NOT ME! MONDAY'.

Here are the rules:
We can be brutally honest with each other, and live to tell about it, while we shroud the severity of our statements by pretending we so did not really do them! ~ MckMama

I'll start:

I have not been THAT lazy that I JUST took my Christmas tree down today. Nope, that's not me!

I have not been dishonest to a co-worker by not telling them that we have internet at work.

I was not that mom that you heard in Wal-mart telling her kids that she was going to bring them to the kid-trade in section while they were running amuck.

I so did not nap in church yesterday after not watching a sermon in 2 weeks. That wasn't me with drool running down my face.

So, what didn't YOU do this week?

Many blessings,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Storm watch 09!

Last night we had snow! Not enough to cancel anything (though it is Sunday, so who knows if school would have been cancelled).

We've been down here for almost 5 years now and I still giggle at the thought of 'snow' here in Georgia. What NJ would consider a light dusting, GA considers chaos! Granted, we don't have salt trucks or snow plows so any type of icy condition could be dangerous.

Thankfully, this was late at night, so no need to run to Publix for milk, bread, water. The kids were happy though.

Of course, when we woke up this morning, it was all gone.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Here I go again....

How many times can I blog in one day? I think this is a record for me.

Anywhoo, several months ago I wrote an entry about an amazing volunteering opportunity that came my way with a special group called 'Rape Response'. Unforunately, my schedule was not all that forgiving and I was not able to participate in the training. So, I've been in limbo.

Lately, I've been re-evaluating the different volunteer roles that I have at church. I've lost the fire, the drive, the excitement. I've been volunteering to fulfill an obligation. Plain and simple. Those positions started out as ones that I felt called to do. However, now I'm wondering if I'm even making a difference. I feel detached. I just want to be a person at church, fade into the woodwork.

Then I get an email today that only reaffirms God's plan for me. Rape Response training is coming up in February. I've checked my schedule and as long as I can find a sitter for the Saturday session (Craig will be away with his boys), I can begin this long awaited training.

I know what you're thinking, "what does volunteering with rape victims have to do with volunteering at church". Nothing really, but I've made a few decisions and feel that they have helped open up the time needed for this new adventure. This adventure that has captured my heart.

Please pray for me as I begin this training. I will be getting a LOT of information. I ask that God protects my heart & my mind. That the stories that I encounter do not stir up my own. I pray that God uses me in such a way that these victims see Him in me. God can use even the worst of a situation to bring out the best.

Many blessings,

Friday, January 16, 2009

Human error?

I heard an interview a few months ago on The Fish with Craig DiMartino, a man who fell 100 ft. while mountain climbing & lived to tell about it. He now lives in chronic pain & had to have a foot amputated.

What I took away from his story was one simple statement that his wife said to him when he was questioning where God was during his fall. She said to him ‘Your accident was human error. It is a miracle that you are alive!’.

How much that goes wrong in our lives is simply because of ‘human error’? We made a bad decision – poor judgment call. God isn’t punishing us – He loves us in spite of our errors. No, He’s calling to us; protecting us from something worse.

I look back on my life & see the pain I’ve endured. It wasn’t that God abandoned me or that He was punishing me from straying away. He guarded me in each & every situation – protecting me from further harm. As a Christian, God never promises us that life will forever be wonderful – without pain & suffering. But He does promise that in our greatest time of need, He will be there to hold us & protect us.

Many blessings,

Farewell to a President

Love him or hate him, President G.W. Bush has been our President for the last 8 years. MANY will say he has ruined this country, yet instead of looking at what we think he did wrong (honestly, could we have done any better), we need to celebrate the man who had the courage to run this great country of ours.

I took comfort in knowing that our President was a God-fearing man; a man who started & ended his day in prayer. I may not agree with the decisions he made at certain points of his leadership, but I thank him for being in that position. Not everyone has the guts to be President and make decisions that not only impacts them, but the ENTIRE country and sometimes the WORLD.

As we enter into the final days of his term, I thank God for President Bush & his devoted wife, Laura. May God continue to bless them & work through them long after the attention has faded. I pray for President-elect Obama & his family as they embark on a journey that is not for the faint of heart. That the Lord protect their family and their marriage. He/They will be watched closely by the world and under tremendous scrutiny.

And so a new era begins....

Many blessings,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Even SUPERMOM has a bad day

You all know her. She's the quintessential mom - the one whose children are always perfectly dressed, hair in the proper place, well mannered. You see her come in the room and you just panic. You strive to be THAT mom. You want to be her friend, but you fear that you aren't good enough. That your children aren't good enough.

We all know a SUPERMOM (or two). Quite honestly, I think the first woman I ever thought was SUPERMOM was my own mother - granted my grandmother would have disagreed. Now, I'm not saying that my sisters & I were the perfect children. HARDLY!!! But Mom made due with what she had (LOL). Over time, I realized that Mom had flaws. Did that make her less of a SUPERMOM - no! But it made her more human.

As a young woman in my early 20's, I wasn't too concerned about the SUPERMOM's in my life. I had no use for comparing myself to others. I wasn't a mom yet. Heck, I wasn't even married yet. None of my friends had kids. But the moment I gave birth to my first child, SUPERMOM was born. No, not me. But every other mother that I met along the way.

I remember the first time I realized that a SUPERMOM friend was human. We were talking on the phone (every mother knows that is an impossible feat). Suddenly, there was a racket in the background - kids going wild. My friend paused the conversation, yelled at the kids to be quiet and then continued our conversation as if it wasn't interrupted. I LOVED IT! I was in awe!! Her house sounded JUST like MY house. Chaos all around & Mom trying to steal a moment for herself.

Friends, don't worry about the SUPERMOM's in your life! YOU are a SUPERMOM!! We all have bad days. Enjoy every moment with your children and don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides (thanks Kristin).

Many blessings,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Facebooking & friendship

I've always wondered if the people that I knew in high school remember me. What about those from 3rd grade? Kindergarten? I was always a bit of a wall flower. Not a part of the 'popular' crowd, but not the least popular either. My main friends would remember me (I think) but I always thought that everyone else would say "Hmmm.. Allison McCarton. I think I remember her." and then run & bust out the yearbook.

Thanks to Facebook, I've been reunited with a lot of high school friends. Heck, I've been chatting with people that I've known since kindergarten. Granted, it's just an online friendship, but it has brought back memories. Some good & some not-so-good. But either way, it's been great.

There's a part of me that longs for a reunion of some sort. Yet, I think back to my 10 year HS reunion, I remember I thought it was too soon to see some of those people.

Gone are the insecurities that I had in high school - now I have new ones. :) It has still been great to catch up with people that I've known for 31 years. WILD!

Many blessings,

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Caution: I need to rant

For those of you who actually read my blogs (does anyone?), I am usually a live & let live kind of person. My beliefs, morals, values do not have to be everyone elses. I don't think I have ever forced them on another person.

Why is it that so many (not all) homeschooling parents feel compelled to criticize those of us who choose NOT to homeschool? Is that part of the curriculm? Intolerance of others.

My husband & I have chosen not to homeschool for a variety of reasons, reasons that are personal to us. Yet, there are people who have actually attacked our decision, stating that we are bad Christian parents; that we obviously do not care for the well-being of our children.

That is the furthest thing from the truth. We love our children with all of our heart & would do ANYTHING to keep them safe.

I'm not against homeschooling. To each their own (isn't that the saying?). If you choose to homeschool, then go for it. That is your choice - your right. But all I ask is that you do not bash MY decision for my children.

Sorry - I just had to get this out.

Many blessings,

Monday, January 5, 2009

Abuse me, please

Seriously, do I have a sign on me somewhere that says 'Abuse me'?

Working retail is not my dream job - never has been and it never will be. It takes a special person to work in retail as a career. I am not that special person.

God has provided me with a decent paying job that just so happens to be retail. We're living with it. There's a lesson in here somewhere, I'm sure of it.

What I cannot understand, for the life of me, is society's need to abuse one another. Customers have gotten worse since I last worked retail (back in 1999). The sense of entitlement is outrageous - now I know where America's children are getting it from - THEIR PARENTS!!!!

Today I experienced one of the most outrageous customers I have ever had the misfortune of encountering (that's putting it mildly). I had a 'run in' with him back on December 26th (picture lots of yelling, cursing, threats & bullying - oh did mention that he also like to SCREAM how much I liked screwing him?). I caved in on his request - because I was tired of being humiliated & abused and was fearful of my safety. You would have thought the guy would have vowed to never come back to the store, right? I know I do that.

Nope - today he came in with a chip on his shoulder. You could tell it wasn't going to be pretty. The first words out of his mouth were "Hey honey. Remember me from last time?" Here's the rest of the conversation:

Me: "Yes, I remember you."
Customer: "Uh oh, that can't be good."
Me: "You made that a rather memorable event."

First off, I'd like to say that for the first encounter back in December, I was alone in the store (only employee) however there were several customers who witnessed his tyraid. Back to today. Chris, my assistant manager (by title only) was with me today so thankfully he handled the customer. Again, more screaming, cursing, threats of violence & this time security was called.

I'll be honest - I was (and still am) afraid for my life (and Chris' life). This man was LOOKING for a fight. He even said "If she wasn't here I'd punch you right now". Cute, huh? Don't you wish he was your husband/father/son?

What gives people the right to act like this? What makes people think that this is the best way to handle a situation? Haven't they heard of the phrase 'You catch more flies with honey'?

I'm off tomorrow, but I am NOT looking forward to going back to work. He is a very angry man who certainly can be violent. I don't want to be in the cross-fire.

God has a plan.

Many blessings,

Friday, January 2, 2009

You say you want a resolution.....

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I can't believe it's 2009. Amazing! Hope you had a safe yet fun celebration. We hung with the neighbors, as we have for the past 4 years.

Tis the new year so that means time for resolutions. I know, I know.... most resolutions are broken by the time you get to the 15th day of the new year. But I'm still going to give it a try. I've thought long & hard about what I want to do this year. Here it goes:

1) regular workout routine - we got a Wii Fit for Christmas and I want to use it.

2) eat healthy - I know I need to lose weight (who doesn't), but I won't focus all my attention on it. Instead, I plan on just eating healthy - losing weight will just come naturally.

3) go back to school - my mind is turning to grits (cheese grits). Time to get my butt back in school and start learning something that interests me.

4) focus on my marriage - not that I'm not focused on it, but I need to make it a priority. Craig bought me 'The Love Dare' for our anniversary in November. Now I/we need to put it into practice.

I thought of things like 'change personality' but then opted against it. I mean, sure I've been told "there's something about your personality that just isn't right, but we can't quite put our finger on it" and that hurt like heck, BUT my personality is what makes me ME!!! I may rub people the wrong way (I am from Jersey you know), but that's just a small facet of what makes me who I am.

What are your resolutions? Do you want help keeping them? Need an accountability partner? Drop me a line!!

Many blessings in 2009,