Monday, December 9, 2013

Finding Joy

This Christmas I've had the unusual experience of not feeling the spirit of the season. You can ask my husband I'm usually the one who gets giddy excited about Christmas music, decorating, making yummy treats, and celebrating but this year I'm just not excited. There are a number of contributing factors to my bah humbug attitude toward Christmas this year.

Topping the list include my daughter needing a skin biopsy done 5 days before Christmas to check out a growth we thought we didn't need to worry about anymore only to be surprised by it's rapid growth from 1 inch when we first noticed it at 2 month's old to growing to 2 inches over the summer, growing 2 inches more in a month totalling a growth that is now 4 1/2 inches wide and to be met with puzzled looks from doctors. Next my 2.5 year old finally hit her stride in the terrible two's about a month ago. I love my child but she's Jekyll and Hyde these days and you never know which you're going to get, up until about mid October I could pretty much pinpoint the problem when Carys was fussy or acting out, now it's anybody's guess to her shoe doesn't fit right or hair hurts or she simply wanted the purple cup and I gave her the blue one. We've had a lot of financial uncertainty this year my husband works for a well known Oklahoma company that had a ton of lay offs earlier in the year we were lucky and he is still employed there but it's been a stressful end of the year. Finally the loss of my mother seems to sting more this year than last, I'm not sure why that is but I find myself missing her more than I have in quite a while and it burdens my heart. I've not been able to find my joy this season and I'm worried I'm going to spend the whole Advent season searching for the joy that should be in my heart this time of year.

This post isn't meant to be a downer it's a plea for help does anyone have any thoughts on refocusing myself and finding the joy? I'm at a loss as to what to do I'm focusing on Jesus and knowing He is the reason we celebrate and I'm doing my best to give to others. I'm just feeling really out of sorts and needing to snap out of it. So if anyone has any thoughts I'd love to hear them.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. A

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Mr. A and I joined an amazing church in 2009, we built relationships, I served in different capacities, and we were there all the time, then life happened we moved to our now hometown 20 minutes away from our church, and we had a baby a year after that. What seemed like a short little drive before Carys suddenly seemed like a huge obstacle in getting to church on time. We began turning down service opportunities because the drive seemed daunting, and the time away from family started to feel not worth it. We persevered because of all the great relationships we had formed and continued to attend said church then this past summer without going into detail our relationships got stripped down and we were left feeling unwanted admittedly mostly by inner wars we were facing.

Mr. A took this time to turn inward and see what God might be trying to tell us, I on the other hand was so hurt and confused I just let myself be a shell of a person. Mr. A came to the conclusion that our reasons for attending a church so far away did not make sense anymore and if we wanted to serve and be used by God we needed to be closer to home. When Mr. A presented this info to me I fought hard. I didn't want to give up my friendships, or the feeling of home I had at our church. However a few weeks later I decided to give this decision to the Lord and I felt pricked I'm to be a helpmeet to my husband and I'm to submit to his spiritual leadership, even if that means getting out of my comfort zone. So I reluctantly told my husband I'd consider it and I prayed hard about it. If I'm being honest here I prayed that God would change my husband's heart and he would no longer feel the need for us to leave. Instead of that happening God began to open my eyes as to why going local might be a good choice for us. I realized the door of my child being at home with me is quickly closing and soon she'll be in school in our hometown, and she won't go to church with anyone she goes to school with, and she won't have her church friends to hold her accountable. Opportunities to serve came open at our church and I found myself turning them down because of the drive or being worried about gas prices, or just plain not being excited about serving God. That was my wake up call that something had to change. So with tears in my eyes and hurt in my heart we said goodbye to our beloved church home on October 27th to begin the new journey of finding a church that feels like home in our hometown.

I learned alot about being submissive through this life challenge. I learned that submitting does not mean I have to like it but it does mean I have to pray for God to let me be open to my husband's leading. I learned that I don't have to just accept my husband's word without asking him to prove to me why he believes we need to do something. I'm called to be a helpmeet and that means helping my husband figure out the best solution for our family. In this case his list of reasons why we should try to find a local church was better than my reasons why we should stay at our home church. My earnest prayers is we find a wonderful new church home where we can plug in and serve, as well as feel loved and accepted for exactly who we are.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. A

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lessons from Gideon

I've recently been attending a women's Bible study group on Tuesday mornings and we've gotten to do some really awesome studies. The first one was the Law Of Love by Beth Moore it was lessons from Deuteronomy, and we've just begun A Study of Gideon by Priscilla Shirer. I'm in love with this wonderful time of fellowship with other women. It's been such a gift to have this two hours every week to make a special connection not only with other women, but with God.

In our Gideon study Priscilla mentions that Gideon was found being faithful in the mundane things of life. God didn't reveal Himself to Gideon in a mountaintop megaphone kind of way He came to him in the wine press while Gideon was faithfully doing his duties. I wonder how many moments  I may have missed in my lifetime that God was speaking and because it was ordinary I didn't hear. I have always expected God to speak to me in a megaphone grab my attention kind of way I've never thought about Him coming to me in my ordinary tasks of life. I never thought about the fact that being found faithful in the ordinary of life may be preparation for a greater calling.

It definitely made me look at my mundane everyday tasks with new eyes. If I can't be faithful to get up and serve my family everyday then how can I be expected to handle any big calling God may have for my life. Being a wife and mom often comes with a lot of mundane daily tasks and often I only do the bare minimum to keep up but that is not being found faithful in the small things. I should strive to make my home a place of comfort and warmth a safe haven from the scary world outside. If I'm not going to the extra mile to make my home inviting my family might find other ways to seek comfort from the outside world and I definitely don't want that. I have for a long time believed that my greatest calling in life is to serve others without expectation and what better way to exemplify that than to my own family. The one's I hold most dear and yet often take for granted. If I can be found faithful in the mundane of life perhaps God will call me to be a servant for Him.

Until Next Time,
Mrs. A

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Fun 2013

So this past weekend was spent enjoying our Halloween festivities in our community and in our state. We spent Friday night at Storybook Forrest at Lake Arcadia and Sunday was our church's Trunk or Treat Event.

In keeping with the tradition of family costumes I asked Carys what she wanted to be and she of course emphatically stated "CINDERELLA"!!! So with that in mind I set to work coming up with costumes for Mr. A and myself that fit the theme. We decided that Mr. A would be Prince Charming, and I would be the Fairy Godmother. I bought Carys's costume from the Disney Store but didn't want to spend all that much money on my and Mr. A's costumes. So I perused Goodwill and the fabric store and I was pretty happy with how our costumes came out.

For Mr. A's costume i just took a white collared t-shirt and added braiding and some gold buttons that looked like medallions, a red and white badge made of ribbon and another gold button, and a red sash, for pants he just wore his black dress pants.

For my costume I took a plain blue hoodie and cut the bottom of it off cut the wrist bands off and slit the sleeves so they were more like a cape, I took the string out of the hood and replaced it with pink ribbon, I used a long white maxi skirt out of my closet, and overlayed a light blue fabric on top with a layer of sheer glittery tulle on top.

My sweet Cinderella was all smiles for both events. She loves dressing up like a princess.

When I envisioned my life as a mother I never thought of myself as the type to make Halloween costumes, I always thought I wouldn't have enough skill to do such a thing. But when I lifted my hand sewn skirt from the sewing machine I realized just how far I've come as a homemaker. It was a beautiful realization that I am on my way to being the homemaker I've always dreamed of being. Granted I bought Carys's dress, but hey everyone's got to start somewhere.

I hope we get several more years of dressing up as a family, before Carys thinks it's not cool anymore.

Until Next Time..

Mrs. A

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm Ready!

It's been several months since I posted here and a few years since I've been a regular poster. I've been handwritten journaling instead of writing here. I've had some dark times in my life and I just feel as though they weren't meant to be shared with my corner of the internet. I sit here today at my computer a different woman than the one who excitedly typed the first blog post here. For one I'm a mom and that in and of itself is a huge change, I'm stronger and weaker in the same breath, I'm wiser and certainly not as naive as I was 6 years ago when I began this blog as a newlywed. I'm 6 years into my marriage now, I'm nearly 3 years into motherhood, I'm just a different woman. Not better, not worse just different. For a long time I struggled with that. Becoming a mom and then losing my own changed me in profound ways and in ways I never expected. I clung desperately to the wide eyed newlywed I was before those things happened and I tried to choke out this new woman that was emerging. See I don't deal well with change and that's all my life has been over the last few years is one series of changes after another. After much struggle I've finally embraced this new me, the one who's a little more cautious about who I share my heart with, the one who's known great heartache, the one who's known immense joy, and the one who knows that sometimes the two go hand in hand.

I'm both stronger in my faith and weaker as I realize the immense challenges motherhood has presented to me for winning my child to Christ. I'm a woman with strong convictions that have been tested, I'm also a woman who's been worn. All that to say I'm ready to return to my little corner of the interwebs. I'm ready to document my life here again. I'm ready to be a regular poster, and to share what God might be teaching me, what I might be experiencing in my motherhood and wife journeys, or simply what might have happened over my weekend. I'm not going to blog with an agenda or in a certain niche, I'm just going to blog what's in my heart and hopefully daily or at least a few times a week. I'm finally in a place where I feel like I can spill onto my keyboard what's crying out from my heart.

Til next time,

Mrs. A

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Going Home....sort of

This past Wednesday I travelled back to my tiny hometown to be there in support of a friend at a funeral. It was a very surreal experience feeling like an outsider in the town I grew up in. I guess that happens when you leave town the day after high school graduation and don't return until 10 years later.

You see my hometown was TINY we're talking graduated high school with 19 people tiny! My single goal in high school was to leave and not look back. I didn't even glance in my rearview mirror as I drove out of town that day knowing I wouldn't be back. But life is funny that way I grew up remained in contact with some of my classmates and when I learned one of them would be facing a difficult funeral I swallowed my words of "I'll never come back" and drove home to the little bitty town where I spent thirteen years of my life. I saw the town with fresh eyes not with the disdain I had for it when I left 10 years ago but with fond memories of a happy childhood and high school experience. I also saw it with the eyes of a woman who no longer had her mother. I spent much of my time there answering the question of "how's your mom" only to be met with sadness and disbelief when I mentioned her passing.

I got to see three of my former classmates and realize well we're all getting old. I met one of their families and we reminisced about high school and all the crazy things we once did, only this time I saw them through the eyes of a parent not a carefree teen. It's really quite amazing how things have stayed almost exactly the same even down to some of the people and also to see how much things have changed. It was actually a really nice day getting to see three men who in high school were dear friends of mine and to see that they've remained friends. They are an inspiration to many I don't know many people who can say they still have friends they knew in kindergarten. I only wish I had strong ties like they do I have strong friendships but I didn't mean the women who are like sisters until well after high school and even college. Thanks to modern communication I have kept in minimal contact with people from my graduating class and to some extent know about their lives, but the truth is I liked it that way I was content for people to know I was doing well and had a family but I didn't want to disclose my struggles especially as they pertained to my mom. I had a couple of lump in the throat moments as I drove around town and stopped at all the spots I used to frequent. I had tears running down my face as I pulled up beside the house I grew up in only to see it's not been very well taken care of. It kind of surprised me that I even cared but as I sat there thinking about hanging Christmas lights with my mom, and getting in trouble when mom met me on the front steps after missing curfew that I realized that town and especially that house holds my childhood.

I drove away Wednesday afternoon with a renewed appreciation for the small town life I once despised so much and this time I did look in my rearview to see my past and finally make peace with how I left and with the town itself. I no longer look back with harsh thoughts of "everybody knows everything" and "there are always rumors" and "I just got my heart broke" those aren't the memories that came flooding back it was the sweet ones. Being the flowergirl in homecoming when I was in kindergarten, cheerleading and even captaining the squad my Jr and Sr. year, winning the school spelling bee, caring teachers, the whole town throwing me a pep rally when I got ready to compete at the state spelling bee, State Championship basketball games, walking into a restaurant in town and instantly knowing everyone in there, high school dances, riding to prom in some interesting cars, first loves and yes broken hearts that I eventually learned from, best friends and shared secrets that didn't stay secret long, crazy stunts we thought we got away with, and my mom being right there everytime I needed her. I realized after 10 years that high school was not as bad as it seemed at the time and I was so very blessed that my mom was always there anytime I needed her. I hope someday Carys will have the same memories of me being there anytime she needed me.

Later Alligators...

Mrs. A

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oklahoma Strong

I have made it known before but I'm not super open about the fact that I live in Oklahoma so just as a formality and to let everyone know my family and most of my circle of influence is fine. I do have some loose connections to a few people who lost their homes but overall my people came out unscathed.

Monday's tornadoes will go down in history and now be something that defines Oklahoma forever. That saddens me because what I really wish people knew about my home state is how much we love each other and how much we build each other up after tragedy strikes. We Okies are no stranger to tornadoes and their damage and although it NEVER gets easier, if there's one thing the people of the great state of Oklahoma know how to do it's pick ourselves up dust ourselves off and build each other up.
What may not have been covered on the national news is the 2 mile line of cars at donation sites just a few hours after the tornado came through, the stores were wiped out of water, gatorade and packaged snacks by 6PM, the tornado hit at 3PM Central. There was a line of 1000 plus volunteers ready and waiting to head into the devastation and help begin the clean up as soon as civilians were cleared for entry into the area, there were donation sites set up within hours, our beloved Thunder donated 1 million dollars, and Kevin Durant matched it with another million. In Oklahoma what we should be known for is how we take care of our own.

Our state is Oklahoma Strong and we will come back stronger and better than ever!

If you've never visited our great state you should I imagine you'll be welcome with a big smile, and an offer from an Oklahoman to make your visit more comfortable. That's just how we are in this Great State!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Blogging is difficult these days during the day I'm running/playing/laughing with/arguing with a very opinionated 2 year old! (That's right that precious little babe of mine she's 2!) and in the evenings I'm working with some of Oklahoma's coolest families!! What little break I get during the day is spent cooking meals and trying to keep up with the housework and the laundry. So it leaves little time for just mom and when I get home at night I'm prepping for the next day and falling into bed ready to do it all again tomorrow.

However I'm thankful for my schedule, thankful I get to be the one to potty train my daughter, thankful I get to be the one reading her stories before nap even though she asks for "one more tory" 12 times, thankful I'm able to prepare my family healthy nutritious meals even if I'm not home to enjoy it with them, thankful I get to promote marriage and family in a state that is always considered a "high divorce rate" state, thankful I get to hug on sweet newborns even if it does make me want another baby shhh don't tell Mr. A!, thankful that I am creating so many sweet memories and even if I don't get to blog as often as I would like I'm still recording them in my regular old pen and paper journal. Someday I'll transpose all of those pen and paper entries to the blog.

So I'm not here as often as ideally I'd like to be but I'm ok with that it's just the stage in life I'm in I'm a Mom with a capital M and that's where I need to be.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

dealing with two's

I knew this day would come... I thought about it feared it a little and even entertained the idea that maybe it wouldn't happen to my child! HAHA well that was a laugh. The day has arrived and she's not even officially two yet not until next month but she acts like, throws tantrums like, has 'tude like a 2 year old!!

Oh my goodness our week started out with Carys coloring on the couch while mom went to the bathroom, then later in the day she decided to finger paint....with toothpaste. The next day wasn't much better she's discovered mommy's make up and likes to "play pretty" with mommy's not so cheap make up. I've learned that if it's quiet she's probably into something she's not supposed to be.

Admittedly today was a much better day I figured we needed a day out to play so we met some friends at the Science Museum where she got to experiment to her little heart's content. She really is a good kid she's just a typical two year old.

I always feel like I'm constantly learning about my daughter. The day I think I have her all figured out and I have her routine down to a science she decides to shake things up! Ahh such is the life of a toddler momma!

Later Alligators...
Mrs. A

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Better Late Than Never

I've seen all the obligatory 2012 was such a great year posts and I'm not going to lie 2012 was the hardest and worst year of my life! I wasso ready to kiss it goodbye and welcome a new year full of possibilities.
2012 started off really terrible being jobless, and losing my mother, only to have to find full time employment taking me away from my precious family for 7 long months where I felt as if all I did was simply survive. 2012 saw marriage struggles for Mr. A and I like never before we just couldn't seem to connect like we usually do for what seemed like forever, it also brought health issues for me in the form of anxiety. I am so OVER 2012!!

Don't get me wrong there were a few beautiful moments sprinkled in with the awful. There was a light at the end of the tunnel at the end of year it landed me in my current job doing my small part to strengthen families in Oklahoma everyday while also allowing me to be home with my precious girl during the days. I saw my little girls first birthday come and fly by and have been blessed to see her grow into an inquisitive and curious toddler with an infectious giggle and smile, I saw hardships in my marriage that seemed like forever while they were happening but now that they are over I have a renewed appreciation and love for my husband. Most of all I found ways to cope with the loss of my mother, I began plans for a garden and have worked hard over the summer and fall of this last year preparing our flower beds for a beautiful garden my tangible way to honor my mom's memory as she loved beautiful flowers, I began writing in my actual journal again but neglected my blog, I turned to the Lord in ways I'd never done before bringing Him the broken pieces of my heart to help me put back together again and oh how He did. I saw my little girl's 2nd Christmas and chose to feel the joy of the miracles of Christmas instead of the pain in the void of my mother. Surprisingly the Holidays which I had been dreading themost gave me an odd sense of comfort. I have one more milestone to cross before I can really close the book on 2012 and that is the 1st Anniversary of my mother's passing it is coming up in 5 short days. I plan to spend the day blessing others. I do not have a list of goals to share, or resolutions that I made I simply resolve to live each day to it's fullest and to savor the little things. So welcome 2013 a new year full of possibilities. I am hoping next year I'll be able to write one of those "What a Great Year" posts.

Later Alligators...

Mrs. A