Thursday, December 18, 2014

Everlasting memories



I have this friend. She taught me that each day is a gift. Draw close to the Lord in your heartaches, your happy tears and your every breath. Her life verse Psalms 18:2 - The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the thorn of my salvation, my stronghold. We found out earlier this year that my friend had inoperable, stage 4 stomach cancer. She went to be with our heavenly Father yesterday. Our hearts go out to her parents and her sweet daughter.

With her loss I am reminded at how short our time is. But reminded that there are no tears in heaven. Do not take your days for granted. Make everlasting memories with those that matter the most to you. Wake up and thank God for another day. Remember to praise HIM in the hardships and reflect in all the good that is, that was and is to come.

When you are having a bad day...just cuddle. Eat that cheeseburger you're craving...send flowers to that friend you have been praying for. Smile more and treat those around you with kindness. 
Dive head first into the word. Draw closer to HIM. Surround yourself with everything you love. Call a friend and tell them you love them. If you see something that reminds you of someone, get it. Send it. Package it with care, just so they know you are there. Keep change in your car and dollar bills in your pocket. Do not be greedy, but share. Pass along to someone you don't know just to let them know...they are important. They are loved. They are not alone.
Laugh at the hiccups and take pictures so you can laugh again later. Breath in life. Exhale negativity. Be perfectly imperfect, just the way God made you. Accept a helping hand. Return favors and show gratitude. 
Try new things, make friends wherever you go. Open a book...then read it. Do something because it's messy. Then clean it up the next day. Lay on the floor and color. Wear clothing that is comfortable and don't take yourself too seriously.
Step out of your comfort zone. Wear that red lipstick you have always wanted to try...but never found the courage to. Take a deep breath, then exhale. Compliment others, for they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Pay it forward every Friday. Change the world around you and change your attitude.
Surround yourself with love and leave a legacy that will be remembered for generations beyond the short years you lived. You are sitting in a field by a trickling stream. You are watching down upon us and you are smiling. You were loved beyond comparison. You taught us compassion and taught us to be fearless. You made us smile and although today we are crying. You live on within us. Forever and always. Galatians 6:2 - Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Rest in peace my friend. You are greatly and deeply missed. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Susie's Hope - a Tail of compassion

Susie's law. Ever heard of it? I hadn't either until I had the opportunity to watch the movie and let me tell you I cried like a baby. I am REALLY passionate about animals. If I didn't have a fear of being bitten, I think I would have been a vet. (true story, I was attacked by a black lab in High School and he almost tore through my arm...while I was wearing a Winter jacket!) The commercials that come on TV about neglected animals that have people like Alanis Morissette on them suck me in every time. I immediately run over to one of my cats and snuggle them, apologizing for being the evil big person who accidentally caught their tail in the dishwasher when I was opening it. Animals cannot speak for themselves and its so sad. I am super glad that there are wonderful people in the world like Donna.


You see Donna recovered from a horrific incident and then saved the life of Susie. She created and had a law passed on behalf of other animals, like Susie. Who cannot speak or defend themselves. Her organization is phenomenal and she is a light for these animals. I pray her light always shines.

A move was made called Susie's Hope. It talks about both of their stories and you will be in tears. My daughter has been begging me to let her watch it, but a few scenes are too intense for her young heart (8). I loved it, well...hated seeing what had happened but loved the outcome! AND you get to own it for yourself too! As always, you must be a U.S. or Canada resident to win. I wanted very much to post the trailer for the movie here, but it's not letting me SO! Go HERE to peruse the website and watch the movie trailer! But don't forget to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Awaken Love - The song

Not sure if you remember but Kyle Idleman is my ALL TIME favorite devotional author. I have done 2 if his studies (my favorite was Not a Fan...truly. Self check!) so when Awaken Love - The Song came along written by him AND his wife Desirae you can guarantee I was all over it. The book goes through 6 weeks of divided up devotions. It is a book meant to help you grow in your relationship with your spouse and with God.


I just love how they used Song of Solomon throughout as ever since I was a child I would read and reread it over and over and over again. It is a love story written FOR us to memorize and incorporate into our own marriages. Let God take hold of your passion for your husband. Let your husband help you to take hold of your passion for GOD.


I am really excited for you to be able to get your hands on a copy yourself! ESPECIALLY if you have never read any of his books. I cannot recommend them enough. He speaks at a level that resonates in our generation. Must be a US or Canada resident to win. The movie came out September 26th and here is a preview for you...


a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, November 21, 2014

Scornament time with Apronista and Britches & Boots - Holiday Swap


GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS?!! Oh yes, my friends! It is not only Friday but the start of our Scarf/Ornament swap! This year I have partnered up with my dear sweet friend Shawnee over at The Apronista Blog She is one incredibly amazing women and I sure hope I get her for MY swap partner!!

Christmas is my favorite holiday. The lights, the chill in the air. Mistletoe hung and stockings stuffed. Seriously bundle me up and call me toasty. I LOVE it!! We will be shutting down the sign ups on 11/30 and you MUST MAIL your package to your partner no later than December 5th. Please do not sign up if you cannot make this happen as it is simply un-jingle bell like, yo!

You can make or you can buy! You can put extra's in your package if you feel like it or you don't have to! I LOVE tinsel and I love wrapping and seriously let's have some fun! SO...who's with us?! Use the hashtag #Scornamentswap2014 to link up your pretty packages, shopping and whatever else!! We would LOVE to see them and get more ideas too!! Don't forget to follow SHAWNEE and MYSELF on Instagram!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Growing up Social - book review and giveaway


Gone are the days of drinking from the hose. Running around getting scraped up knees and dirty toes. Digging in the dirt and making mud pies. Coming home from school and never wanting to come back indoors. Instead, children come home kick off their shoes. Run to the cupboard to grab a snack, jump over the back of the couch. Grab their gaming system all while turning on the television and tuning each other out. Is television all BAD? No. I don't think so...but I have definitely noticed my children are relying on screens more and more. This has to stop.


I was asked to read and review the book by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane called "Growing up social - Raising relational kids in a screen driven world". First off Gary is the author of The 5 Love Languages...as silly as it sounds I felt like HE was the one to be able to help tackle my little problem. My kids have Leapsters. We limit the amount of time they can use it and we do have a television. I think our problem is too much T.V. I am working harder to have it turned off and let them be "forced" to use their imaginations. Step outside of the "box" and find ways to cure the boredom. This book was eye opening for me. I was relieved that a lot of the recommendations in this book we are ALREADY doing. Can I get a big ol' THANK YOU LORD! 


I want my kids to experience the world around them. I want them to take the time to smell the roses, roll in the mud, splash in the puddles and catch snowflakes on their tongues. I refuse to take distractions with us to the store to "keep them busy". Instead, I want them to feel how heavy a bag of flour is. If it drops on the floor...clean up on isle 2 will come across the speakers and I will urge them to help clean it up. This Summer we will drink from the hoses more, we will lay out in the backyard and look up at the stars and we will take drives with the windows down feeling the breeze between our fingertips.


My children need to learn from me. They need to have conversations and learn that making mistakes is OK. I want them to know that I am there for them. I want to kiss their boo boo's. Scoop them up and laugh with them. They need to know that they are more important than all the distractions. I loved this book. I think it shows insight into my own life. I have been trying to put down the cell phone more. Be present and be there.

But...now your turn to read and take notes! YOU get a chance to win a copy of Growing up Social! You must be a U.S. or Canada resident to win. Winner will be drawn on Friday November 21st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, November 7, 2014

Manic Drive - review and giveaway


You can guarantee when I got asked to listen and review the NEW Manic Drive CD I jumped all over it! This Christian rock band is made up of 2 brothers and a friend. Originally from Toronto, Canada...they will be taking the U.S. by storm! I am guessing we will be hearing a seeing a lot more of them! Haven't heard of them? I hadn't either! But now you will!

A band that is intentional. They are driven and passionate about their walk with Christ. All are in their mid-twenties and have made sacrifices to pursue God's calling. They are goofy, good looking, and fun! Their old stuff is a lot more rock and their new makes you wanna dance!


Awesome news loves, you get to win one of your own!! I am SO excited for you! The CD released on October 14th but no worries we got you covered!


So?! What do you think?! You excited now?!! OK OK! Here is how it works! You MUST be a US or Canadian resident to enter. Winner will be drawn on eleven eleven two thousand fourteen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Just call me sushi...


No matter how hard I tried...I could have never guessed what it would feel like to experience a hysterectomy, until it actually happened of course. I did my research, darn it. I talked to others who have walked this path. For goodness sake, I have had 4 c-sections. I figured by all means, I have GOT this. Boy, was I wrong. You can call me Sushi. I feel like a gutted raw fish.

Leading up to surgery I was preparing myself mentally but truly had no way of preparing for it physically. My dear friends threw me a Happy Hysto party where we sat and ate awesome food. Gorged on delicious fatty desserts and partook in yummy Berry Martini's. We dressed up, laughed till we cried and celebrated the pending disappearance of my baby house. Bye bye, baby house. You were great while you lasted. But now it is your time to vamoose. Skidaddle and scoot. Lord knows I will never forget the fond memories we shared, but I can no longer deal with your pain. My friends gave me cards that made me laugh and some that made me cry. Gifts to get me through the upcoming weeks of modified bed rest in the form of devotions, journaling bible, books, magazines, chocolate, movies and even comfies to wear.

Even my coffee girls were helping me to mentally prepare. My heart however had started the mourning process. I was starting to worry about silly things like, should I write final letters to my family and friends, letting them know how much I love them? Would I make it through the surgery or would I be one of those that go into cardiac arrest on the table and my AMAZING doctor would then have to walk out like in a Grey's Anatomy episode and say "Mr. Rust...we need to talk to you about your wife's surgery." YES...those thoughts TRULY went through my mind. The days leading up to my surgery I busied myself...more than I usually do! I redid walls in my living room. Finished decorating projects I had in limbo. Filled in holes and repainted spots through out my home. OH...the craziest part. The day before my surgery, I busted out my palm sander for the very first time and went to town on my vanity in the main bathroom. Which I then painted white! Yup...I am a looney. But I got the job done. I kept myself busy and I was much happier that I did it!

Day before surgery it was recommended that I take Pepcid, drink Miralax, extra water and limit the amount of solids I took in. Let's just say...DO NOT...I repeat. Do NOT, leave your house! Stay home! Just, trust me on this one!

Morning of surgery, my mom arrived. She stayed with my baby. We took the big kids to school like we normally would. Teachers prayed with me as I left my middle daughters school...and then we went to the hospital. I had an AMAZING nurse. She got the IV on the first try and it didn't even hurt. They ask you a million and one questions and before you know it you're meeting with the anesthesiologist and your doc comes in to say we will head in soon. We had some good friends and pastors come from church and we prayed. Throughout the entire morning I stayed oddly...calm. NO panic attacks. Just completely content and OK about the whole thing. Days leading up to then I was NOT that way!


When I woke up in the recovery room I was in a lot of pain. The nurse gave me a shot of insulin and said they had to give me "medical amnesia" when I first woke up. I apparently, was panicked and frantic when I woke up the first time (I do not remember this AT all!) but when I woke up from the "medical amnesia" I was happy, content and in shock that I had reacted and was flipping out! Because of the "freakout" my blood sugar shifted UP. The had to bring the sugar in my blood down so that my body would be able to properly heal.

I had to have oxygen while I laid in my room. I kept setting off the alarms as my breathing coming out of the anesthesia was shallow. That was pretty scary. My tummy was bandaged and all I knew is I was in a ton of pain. I am one of the lucky few that pushes meds out of my system super fast. Because of this pain meds when you are in excruciating pain...don't do much. Each time a nurse came in they noticed my Jamberry's and asked me questions about them! You can bet I handed samples and catalogs out!

I had 4 incisions. One in my belly button (my belly button is now different!), one on each side and about a 2" incision over my previous c-section scar. I had a severe allergic reaction to the prep...so although I came home regular. I woke up the next day with this:


Oh...it got worse the next day. They prescribed me special anti-itch pills to help. Now 2 weeks later the incisions are looking much better. The rash is almost gone (the large hives are still there) and the bloating is going down...slowly.

One thing to be aware of. They fill your abdomen with gas. They try very hard to get as much of it out as possible, but it's impossible as the gas is like air and rises as you elevate. You will have sore shoulders, neck and head for a day or 2 after while the gas works its way out. My recommendation is to get FLAT it will make it shift back down. Take Gas-x (it helps!) and drink lots of fluids.


It is NOT easy to keep me down. Even after a c-section. This has brought me DOWN. Like, imobile. Lots of pain, a whole lotta sleeping and I have spent the last 2 weeks on the couch. The first week I really felt no change from day 1. Now that I am hitting the 2 week mark, I am slowly feeling human again. I put makeup on today. That made me feel good about myself! Pants hurt. Even the comfy sweats I bought ahead of time ON purpose. So I pretty much live in my ugly gaucho pants. I have everything I need at a fingers reach (including a side table for my bevs, snacks etc!) and I am IN love with my flax seed heat pack that I heat at 2 minutes and 15 seconds which is the perfect temperature to lay over my sore abdomen. Sleeping is getting easier at night. During the day pillow under my knees and partially flat feels best. Sitting upright too much is exhausting. But at night, side with a pillow slightly propped against the "owies" is most comfortable.

We have had the most incredible support from family and friends. Meals, some days lunch AND dinner. Snack deliveries, flowers, treats and items to busy the babes who have brought my hubby to the "crazy stage" he can come home and find ME in some days.

Not being able to lift my 19 month old for 3 weeks has been so hard. The first few days she cried and the tears streaming down her face as she reached out for me NOT understanding WHY mommy wouldn't lift her, carry her or hold her were enough to break your heart. She has gotten better and slides up to see me...but I feel like she resents me not being able to snuggle her. I miss her a lot. My 4 year old has been on of the easiest. She snuggles me a ton and spends a lot of time on the couch with me. My 6 year old has found the last two weeks a great time to act out and do every single naughty thing he can as a way of rebelling against us. Something completely out of the norm for him. My oldest who is 7 1/2 has been emotional. She is very helpful at times, but she has been very emotional since my surgery.

I will say...have help. AS MUCH of it as you possibly can. Talk to your kids, letting them know how they can help. Have items to keep them busy. Prepare snacks etc beforehand (stocking up your snacks and beverages!). Be prepared in knowing your home will not run the way it does when you are up and active. My home WAS clean...and now. Well. The litter box needs dumped, the floors are not vacuumed as often as I like and I haven't seen my countertops since the day I came home from the hospital. My laundry is heaping, my couch pillows are rarely ON the couch and chores have been "forgotten" about. My children some days, go to school with their hair NOT brushed. But their teeth are! Today my 4 year old looked like a scrub, but as she said "I comfy today mommy". Just like the tee shirt I am wearing today says...or the Frozen song. LET IT GO. It will all be there waiting for you...when you're finally healed.

The books I planned on reading. I didn't. The posts I planned on typing, didn't happen. The thank you cards that I had planned on finishing...haven't EVEN begun to start them. Relax. Be still and recover.


When your friend offers to bring you coffee...let them. BE STILL. But I will also add in, if a friend of yours is down for the count...visit. The first week for my extrovert self...although I was HEAVILY medicated and in all kinds of pain was lonely. I missed out on trick or treating with my family, yet saw all the fun pictures of my friends TOGETHER having fun. Was hard. Yes, the patient needs to recover, but stop in for a quick hug and hello! Trust me, it will mean the world to them.

As my scars start to form and the healing as begun I am thankful to my family and my friends. My husband stepped up. The doctor told him I HAD to be down (their words to us were she needs to "wear a tiara and ring a bell"!) you are not to bend over (trust me DON'T!). DO NOT eat popcorn (made that mistake and the kernel that got stuck in my throat made me cough and cover...OH boy! OUCH!) Be careful when laughing (for real...no comedies!) and say yes to ALL that ask if they can help. I have a hard time with this part and I wouldn't have made it without them! I have a few more days of being down. But tomorrow starts the week of venturing UP. I still am unable to pick up my baby for another week...but...I made it!! I DID IT!! Although the pain is still here, I see the light glimmering at the end of the tunnel!


Remember this is major surgery. I had someone tell me it's routine. My doctors, nurses, medical staff at the hospital and mother in love who also is a recovery nurse all said "You had MAJOR surgery". When your abdomen is cut open and an organ is removed it will take a long time to be back to normal. The bloating will fade, the incisions will heal...and expect at least 3 months for the fatigue to stay. Take it easy on yourself and just breath. God's got this.

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