29 January 2013

Life Updates

It's been a busy past few weeks, y'all.  We've been fighting another round of colds (just the kids, no adults this time).  Ugh.  Cold season is the worst.  I think we're past the worst of it, though... especially considering Houston thinks it is now spring.

Lovely. /sarcasm

Taken this week, y'all.  Me thinks the weather is a little confused.

In the mean time, I've been attempting to stay on top of laundry, feed my family, prevent my kids from killing each other (I joke... kind of), and keep my house presentable.

(Note I did not say clean.  Tidy is about as much as I can handle these days.  I mopped my hardwood floors last week -- the whole first floor -- and it completely wiped me out for two days.  Last time that's happening until Baby Boy's arrival.  Whew!)

But basically, I just haven't given much thought to blogging.  Well, let me rephrase:  I've thought a lot about it, but I made a commitment to myself when I started Sufficient Grace that I would never post because I "needed" to.

This blog is an outlet for me to relax and escape.  To reflect.  To allow God to teach me things through my writing and my experiences.  It is not -- and will not be! -- a requirement.

So while I have thought a lot about posting, I just didn't.  Mainly because 1) I didn't have any energy and because 2) I just didn't feel like I had anything to write about.  It's been a boring few weeks, y'all.

On the bright side, I was able to make a list of all my "nesting" projects that need to get done before Asher's arrival, complete with due dates!  I have about one a week from now until April 1st.  And then in April I'm making freezer meals.  Tons and tons of freezer meals.

At least that's the plan...

In any case, last week I finished organizing my closet.  It was a huge project.  When we moved in October, I was right in the middle of transitioning into maternity clothes, so I never bothered unpacking or hanging up the rest of my stuff.  I also threw in all the baby stuff that Hallie wasn't using any more... as well as random odds and ends that just didn't go anywhere yet.

I so wish I had a "before" picture to show y'all!  It was a mess!

Midway point!  Looking better already!
Done!  Not perfect, but I still have to add Asher's things.

And then today, I took everything out of my pantry and reorganized it.  Again, despite my best intentions, I failed to take a "before" picture.  I blame the pregnancy. :|

This poor pantry was pretty disorganized.  Whoever unpacked it, just stacked stuff ev.ry.where.  It's been driving me absolutely crazy, but with morning sickness, two littles, and the holidays, I just hadn't had time to tackle it.
Sheesh!  Who knew I had so much space in there?!

Now everything is grouped together nicely, even if it doesn't look more organized.  Eventually, I want to get everything in uniform containers.  But that is expensive and time consuming and just not something I'm ready to take on right now.

So that's what I've been up to the last few weeks.

What's been going on in y'all's lives, friends?

11 January 2013

Did you know...

...there are currently  27 million people trapped in modern-day slavery?

...the average age of trafficking victims is 12 years old?

...every 30 seconds another person becomes a victim?

...99% of victims are never rescued?

Become a voice for the voiceless.
Shine a light on slavery.

Join me in partnering with one or more different 
organizations committed to ending global slavery.  

You don't have to give money.  Just give your voice.

And remember...
There are 7 billion people who can fight for freedom!

I'm in it to end it.  

Are you?

10 January 2013

Worrying and Sparrows

Tuesday was Gabriel's first day of Mother's Day Out.

I woke up that morning with my stomach in knots.

Seriously... one would have thought it was my first day at "school."

I'd been struggling with our decision to put him in MDO since we first signed him up.  On the one hand, I knew it would be good for both of us -- me having a break from a needy toddler and G. having social interaction and stimulation.  But on the other hand, I was not ready to hand my son over to someone else for five hours, two days a week.

He's only two, people!

Drew asked me if I was okay; I shook my head and started crying.

"What if he hates it?"

I had visions of me dropping off a screaming kid, trying to juggle a second on my hip, while explaining his potty training situation and the teachers not hearing a word over Gabriel's cries.  And then Hallie would start crying, because she doesn't like it when Bubba cries and because she might be next... and she hates the church nursery.

But Drew assured me that everything would be fine and then he prayed over me and Gabriel.

And you know what?  Everything was fine.  I had nothing to worry about.

In fact, when I picked him up, he didn't want to leave.  He tried to take me and Hallie to the indoor playground, finally agreeing to go home only when he realized he was coming back in two days.

Gabriel's art from his first day.  He told me it was yucky.

I so needed him to have a happy experience the first day.  For me.  To be able to let go.  I think letting go is one of the hardest things to do as a mama.

But God reminded me through this experience that nothing is too small for Him.  I am pretty good at remembering to talk to Him about the big stuff; I don't think I've ever thought a problem was too big for Him to handle.  But I am certainly guilty of assuming that things are too small for Him to bother with.

And y'all... that is a mistake!

So, friends, I'm here to tell you:  no worry is too small to take to our Heavenly Father.

Jesus assures us that God knows when a sparrow falls from its nest.  A sparrow!  And then Jesus says,
"So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Matthew 10:31

I've always read that verse and thought, "Well, duh."  But now I see it in a whole new light.  If God knows any time any bird falls to the ground; if He has time to number the hairs on my head; surely He has the time -- interest -- to listen to my seemingly insignificant cares.

And y'all... that just makes me want to weep.  The God of the universe, who created everything out of nothing, cares for what I care about.


04 January 2013

2013 Goals

Last year, instead of making New Year's Resolutions, I set some goals for myself.  I think I met about half of them. Haha. Part of the problem, I think, was that they weren't time-bound.  Goals should be

So this year, I'm making sure that all my goals follow these guidelines!

Here is a list of what I'd like to accomplish in 2013:

1.  Read all the books on my current reading list (≈ one a month).
2.  Blog thoughts or a review on each one.
3.  Finish organizing/decorating my house (I have this broken down into small projects, but I won't bore y'all with details).
4.  Try 30 days of the paleo diet (May/June).
5.  Handmade birthday gifts for my family (spread throughout the year).

I'm sure I'll have more to add as the year unfolds, but I think this is a good start.  I will try to blog updates on my progress, in order to stay accountable.

I'm also planning to share my reading list (once I finalize it) with y'all, in case anyone is interested in following along. :) Stay tuned for that in the next week or so!

UPDATE:  2013 Reading List!

01 January 2013

Christmas Recap

Happy new year, friends!

The Mayans were wrong, the world is still spinning, and we have crossed into the year of our Lord 2013!  (I was never concerned about the Mayan calendar, by the way.)

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate around this time of year).  I sure did.  There's nothing like being home for Christmas.  And when home includes 9 younger siblings; mom & dad; a set of grandparents; and an aunt, uncle, and three cousins? Jackpot.

We were opening gifts all day.  Literally.

By lunch, all the kids' eyes were glazed over.  All my siblings like to buy for each other (well, the ones who have jobs), so we had gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles, my parents, people in the church, and seven siblings.  It was crazy.

And to top it all off...

My little sister got engaged!

The five sisters.  Destiny (middle) is the one who is now wearing a ring!

On Christmas Eve, we attended the service at my dad's church after which we retired to my parents' house to open one gift each.  At the end, Destiny's now-fiancĂ© showed up and surprised her.  It was beautiful.  Everyone was crying and hugging and oggling the stunning, vintage ring.  I wish I'd gotten a picture of it... but I failed to take any pictures after the service.

Shocking, I know.

Anyway.  My kids loved spending time with their Nanna and Papaw.  Hallie's vocabulary practically exploded while we were there.  She says at least 10 new words, including Papaw.  My heart melted when I witnessed her following my daddy around saying his name.

Too tired to smile, but still taking my breath away.

I so wish I'd gotten a picture of them together. :(

Gabriel got confused about Mommy and Daddy's names.  He called me both Tay-tay (the name my little brothers call me) and Taylor over the course of the week.  I corrected him both times.  "Excuse me?!  What is my name?!  Mama!"

And today, after I told him that Papaw was my daddy, he responded, "Yeah!  And my daddy is Drew!"

What?!  This kid is too smart.

My baby brother is two years older than my son. How adorable are they in their matching outfits?!

It was an amazing week.  I didn't want it to end.  I hate saying goodbye to people I love.  I cherish the busyness of my family.  With so many people around, there's always something going on.

But at the same time, there's something wonderful about coming home.  I missed my bed, alone time with my babies, cooking for four, and finding quiet snatches of time to read.  (One thing about my parents' house:  It's rarely quiet, especially with 25 people in it!)  It's hard to decide what I miss more -- my family when I'm home or home when I'm away!

Honestly, I don't have time to think about it this week... Christmas is hardly over for our family!  The in-laws are coming on Friday to stay the weekend and I have to unpack, get the house ready, buy groceries, bake, and wrap more gifts!  Whew!

I'm going to be one busy lady the next few days... but stay tuned for a post on my goals for 2013!