Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where have the years gone???

Scott holding Cody on October 14, 1993/Cody's Birth Day:)

Home from the hospital...he had so much hair!!!

Cody's first day of Kindergarten 1999
                                                                                                                  Cody's first day of Kindergarten 1999

Cody's last first day of grade school/2011

Cody's a senior!!  2011-2012

So last week Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary and this week I sent Cody off for his last first day of grade school...where have the years gone??  I remember people telling me when my kids were little to enjoy the years because before I knew it, the boys would be grown up.  I would think to myself, yea right...some days seemed like they would never end!!  I now know exactly what they meant and it's so true!!  It seems like just yesterday that I held Cody Bear (that's what we used to call him...can't do that anymore:) in my arms for the first time and cried tears of joy...not realizing how much this little baby boy would change my life forever...he stole this mommas heart from the moment I laid eyes on him...

I'll never forget the day I found out I was expecting was a surprise to say the least!!  I was only 20 years old and wasn't at all ready to have a baby!!  Besides the fact the I was still in college working toward a degree, Scott and I had just been married a little over a year and were still trying to figure out this whole marriage thing and how to make it work.  It was very overwhelming to say the least!!  We were living in a one bedroom apartment in Houston, TX....Scott was a youth pastor making very little money....and I was working a little part time and going to school.  How in the world were we going to be able to afford a baby???

I don't think Scott and I ever had a big discussion as to whether I would work or stay home...Besides the fact that daycare would have been expensive, I knew I didn't want to leave my baby with someone else....and Scott felt the same way.  We didn't know how we were going to make it work, but we decided it was worth it.  I can honestly say today that being a stay at home mom was one of the best decisions I ever made!!  I wouldn't take back my time at home with my boys for has been so rewarding!!

I took a year off after having Cody and then went back to college.   I remember taking the earliest classes possible so that Scott could watch Cody and we would only have a little overlap time with him at the sitter.  I worked hard and graduated when I was 8 months pregnant with Zachary.  Then when the boys started school I would work little part time jobs for some extra money, but I was almost always the one to pick them up from school and loved being involved in their classrooms!!  As the boys  got older, I loved that they would have friends over and I always wanted our home to be a place where they and their friends felt comfortable.  One of the main things we've always looked for in buying homes is whether or not it was a good home for entertaining the boys and their friends....I wanted them to want to be home and not always want to be somewhere else like I did growing up:)  Now that they are 15 and almost 18, my grocery bill is huge...not just because of what my boys eat, but because of feeding all their friends too:)...the basement, where their rooms are, is almost always a tornado zone and requires many odor eater plug ins:)...and I constantly have to remind them to clean up their messes in the kitchen....but, for the most part,  I love it!!  I know that, soon enough, they will be gone and I'll miss the days they were around (my house will just stay cleaner:).  I'm going to soak it all in while I can!

I do work now, but I have my own business which I love!!  It allows me the time freedom and flexibility to work when I want and design my own schedule, yet have my own identity outside of being Cody and Zach's mom and Scott's wife.  I always said when my kids were out of the house and didn't need me at home, I would get a "real" job that pays "real" money, but now I know that I can have both with what I do and I'm so thankful!!!  I am excited that I can travel anytime I want and go see Cody play soccer in college (if he decides to play:) and not have to ask anyone for time off.  I think what I've realized is that just because the boys will be out of the house someday doesn't mean I want to, or have to, be tied down.  I like being my own boss (just ask my husband:) and the opportunity it brings to help other people!!  But most of all, I love that I can work my job around my family in such a way that I still have the opportunity to speak into my boys lives and watch them grow into amazing young men!!  

So in my countdown to 40, the fourth thing that I've learned from the past is that time really does fly by so I want to soak it all in and not wish it away!!  I know I've not always appreciated the time I had staying home with my fact there were days when they were little I seriously wished I worked outside the home because they were driving me crazy...but I'm so glad that 18 years ago, Scott and I decided that making it work on his pastor's salary alone was worth it:)  Because of our decision, we may not have our retirement built up to where it could have been....we may not have as big of a savings account as we would have liked....we may not have been able to go on big fancy vacations whenever we wanted or had a lot of disposable income while the kids were little....BUT I have never regretted the decision to make being a mom my #1 job!  I can't get back yesterday and tomorrow will be gone before I know it so I'm going to enjoy each day as it comes.  It seems like yesterday I was holding Cody in my arms in the hospital, then I blinked a few times, and now he's a senior in high school.  Thank you God for motherhood!!  I love (almost) every minute of it!! :-)                

Thursday, August 18, 2011

20 years of marital bliss:)

Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary yesterday!!  He took the day off and we went to the boys soccer scrimmages, had lunch, and then spent several hours at the Columbus zoo (yes, we love the zoo!!).  We finished the day at the Melting Pot with doesn't get much better than that:)  It was a great day!!  Our plan was to go on a trip like we did for our 10th anniversary, but Scott started his doctorate last month so getting away was not really an option right now:(

I don't think as a 19 year old bride I could even begin to think about where Scott and I would be 20 years later.  Scott always tells me that he no longer can blame my dad for me being high maintenance considering I've been with him more than half my life:)  We've been on quite a journey together though....from Houston, TX to Portland, OR to Nashville, TN to Olathe, KS to San Diego, CA and now in Mount Vernon, OH.  It's been an adventurous 20 years to say the least...mostly good times, but some hard times too... and all in all, "LIFE HAS BEEN GOOD!"

I love to hear the stories of how people met and fell in love!!  I thought I would share our story, in a nutshell, for those of you who love to hear them too.  This is how our rollercoaster of a romance began almost 22 years ago...

I'll never forget the day I met Scott (he says he won't either...he even remembers what I was wearing!)...I was a 17 year old senior in high school and he was a 22 year old college student traveling with the college quartet.  They came to a weekend retreat I was on with my church youth group in November of 1989 and that weekend forever changed the course of my life.  He tells me that when he left the retreat and went back to college, he told a friend that he'd found the girl he was going to marry.  I'm so glad he didn't tell me that till much later or I just might have run away!!  I was not ready to even think about marriage at that point in my life.  In fact, we still laugh about when he told me, just a few weeks after meeting, that he loved me and I didn't know how to respond so I just giggled like he was joking...needless to say, he waited a long time before he said that again:)

I remember him and a friend showing up the day after we got back from the retreat at my high school to take me to lunch...and he came around the next day too....and the next...and so on:)  A few weeks after we met he came to my house to meet my dad (this was my dad's rule for anyone I wanted to go out with:) and my dad basically told him that he seemed like a nice guy, but he was too old for his daughter and wasn't allowed to date me. Of course, as a 17 year old girl, I was not happy about this, but my dad was not going to change his mind so Scott and I spent the rest of my senior year basically just talking on the phone...ALOT...and, I'm not going to lie, seeing each other ever chance we could get.

Scott graduated college and I graduated high school....he went to start his first youth pastorate 8 hours away in Houston, TX and I went to Kanakuk camp in Branson, MO as a counselor for part of the summer.  Obviously, back then (that really makes me sound old!), we didn't have cell phones so we wrote lots of letters and talked on the phone when we could.  He even found a place that would deliver flowers to the camp on my 18th birthday (see pic below)!  This is when I realized that I was falling hard...and I got scared because I wasn't ready for that!!  I sent him a letter telling him that I just didn't see how things could work out between us considering he was so far away and ready to settle down and I was just getting ready to start college and definitely not ready to settle down yet.  I remember getting home from camp and there were thousands of messages (or so it seemed:) on my answering machine (remember those??  Haha!!) from Scott saying he wanted to talk to me about my letter.  We did talk and decided that he should come to OKC before I started college just to see each other and spend some (unhidden) time together...but it did not go as well as we had expected.  It wasn't because of anything between Scott and I...the two of us had a great time together.  It was just that my family was not very receptive to him being there, which made things difficult for us.
Flowers Scott sent me to camp on my 18th bday:)
Flowers Scott sent to my dorm my freshman year at SNU:)  Go ahead and laugh at my hair....I can't believe that was the style!!
I moved into the dorm at SNU the next week and Scott called to say that he was struggling and wasn't sure things could work out....we were just at different places in our lives (do you see a pattern here??:).  I agreed and knew he was right and we decided it was best to not talk anymore so we could both move on.  But a week later he called....I honestly don't remember the long talk we had, but I do remember him telling me that he knew what he wanted and was willing to wait on me until I graduated if he had to.  He said he would give me all the time and freedom I needed to date around and enjoy college.  I realize now, in looking back, that to him I was a "wild card" (if that makes sense) and that he took a risk on me and the potential he saw in our relationship (awww so sweet...bla, bla, bla:), when it might have been safer for him to go a different route.  Had he not been patient with me and let me have that freedom, it may not have worked out.  I remember going on dates and then calling him to tell him about them (he acted like he wanted to hear about it, but I know now that he really didn't:).  We talked on the phone for hours every night...our relationship deepened and he had truly become my best friend.  I would fly to Houston and visit every now and then on the weekends and by Christmas of my freshman year, I came to the realization that there was no one else I wanted to be with and decided to let go of the freedom I felt was so important to have only a few months earlier and allow myself to fall 100%....and I did!!

We were engaged the last day of Feb, 1991 (after he asked my dad and had his blessing btw:) and married on August 17 of that same year.  I had just turned 19 when we wed...I was so young!!  I know now, looking back on the last 20 years and reminiscing on how we fell in love, that it's all been worth it!!  We have two great sons who bring us so much joy AND we're still best friends and love spending time together all these years later!  I'm not saying getting married at 19 was wasn't!!  The first couple of years were hard and there were many times I really wondered what I'd gotten myself into at such a young age.  As well, there have been times throughout our marriage when we've hurt each other with our words and actions.  I've definitely not been the perfect wife by any means...I've said and done things that I'd just as soon forget!  But I believe that God knew what He was doing when he brought Scott into my life...Scott has modeled 1 Corinthians 13:4 to me.  I am blessed to call him my husband!!

So in my countdown to 40, the fourth thing I'm going to work on is being the best wife I can be to Scott.  He deserves it!!  I want to focus on being more giving and forgiving like he is to me.  He works hard to make sure that I'm happy and taken care of.  He still brings me coffee in bed almost everyday (I call that  good training:) and makes me feel special and loved.  He encourages me and makes me want to be a better person.  I pray that I can be that kind of person to him as well.  Thank you God for Scott...for bringing him into my life and for showing me what real love is.  I'm looking forward to the next 20+ years with him!!

Our 10th Anniversary cruise:)

20 years later:)


Friday, August 12, 2011

I love being around positive people!!

I saw this statement posted on a friend's Facebook status this week and I don't know where it came from, but it sure does hit home for me...

"There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, but getting back up is living." 

I'm the type of person that, if I'm not careful, can let one negative thing someone says ruin my day....even if it's someone I really don't know.  I've realized that I'm in a much healthier place in my life when I don't spend a lot of time with those who are negative or cause drama and, instead, focus on those who make me happy and bring out the best in me.  I don't necessarily believe that people plan to be negative or go around looking to create or cause problems (although some probably do), but there are people that just seem to create and stir up tension wherever they go, maybe without even realizing it.  Do you know what I'm talking about??   I think because I'm a people pleaser and really want people to like me, I know many times I have cared too much about what others think of me and have spent too much time trying to meet others expectations of me.  It's not to say I don't like these people, but I've learned that sometimes the best thing to do is love them and pray for them, but keep a safe distance.  I know I'm not going to make everyone happy.  It's just not possible, whether it be in my business or my personal life, to please every single person I come in contact with and I know that, but I want to be careful to not allow other people's grumpiness (for lack of a better word) or negativity to impact my attitude as well.  Not only do I not want to spend a lot of time around people that bring me down,  I don't want to be one of those who bring others down either.   I want to be the kind of person that is positive and uplifting and laughs at life.  I have so many people in my life that, after being around them, I feel I'm a better person for it....

*My husband....he makes me want to be a better person because of who he is.  He encourages me, laughs with (and at) me and doesn't allow the stresses of life to get him  down.  I always look forward to him coming home at night because I enjoy being with him. 

*My brothers and their families....they make me laugh a lot and I always look forward to our times together.  Even when we may disagree with each other, we have a mutual respect and care deeply for each other.      

*My best friend of 25 years, Kerri...she is one of the most positive people and I always know I can call her when I need a listening ear.  Not only does she listen, but she always has the right words to say and when I finish talking with her, I always feel encouraged and uplifted.   We now get  to work together too, which I love!!

*Our friends Rich and Jewell....they are wonderful people who are so in love with each other and God.  Even after many years of marriage and even now in retirement, they love being together and have taken Scott and I in.  We love spending time with them because they are such a positive influence on us and our marriage.  Their love for each other makes me want to be a better wife.

*My mother in law....she is a wonderful, caring lady who, from the first time I met her, made me feel welcome in the family and loved.  She's been someone I know I can count on to call me at least once a week to check in on me and see how things are going.  I have no doubt God knew that she was exactly what I needed in a mother in law and I hope that someday I can be half the mother in law that she is:)      

This list could go on and on, but these are just some examples of some of the people who I believe bring out the best in me and make me want to be a better person because of who they are and how they live.  So, the number 3 thing I've learned from the past in my countdown to 40 is that if I spend a lot of time with people who are negative and/or always causing tension, eventually it's going to bring me down....but surrounding myself with positive, loving, uplifting people makes me want to be a better person!  Negative people breed negativity...positive people breed postivity!   God, help me to be the kind of person that, if I weren't me, I would want to be around:):):):)     

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Help!! I'm drowning in a pile of clutter!!

        My organized office:)

        My office Arbonne closet is organized!!!

I finally, after 3 years of living in my house, bought a desk and organized my office.  It feels so good and I love it!  I promised my husband that if I just had a nice desk and an organized office to work in then I would use it.  I can typically be found sitting on my bed or the couch to work with my laptop and papers, etc. spread all around me.  I spent yesterday working at my desk and I got so much felt really good!!  It's easy for me to get distracted (I know, shocker right?:) so by sitting at my desk with everything around me organized, I don't feel so overwhelmed and can focus on what I need to get done.

I am notorious for letting things pile up until I am so overwhelmed that I do nothing and let the pile continue to build.  My filing system is a joke and I can be somewhat of a pack rat....holding onto things that I really don't need to keep.  I drive myself crazy with this because I really DO want to be's just not me!!  My husband, who is an organization freak (I'm not should see his closet!), always tells me I should just do this or that and I wouldn't get so overwhelmed.  For those of you out there that are like me, you've probably heard this before and it's so frustrating because for us....IT'S NOT THAT EASY!!! :-)  If it were, I'd be the most organized person on the planet....because I really don't like chaos.   I do realize that my life would be easier and less chaotic if I would just take a few minutes a day to file papers, bills, etc. instead of letting them become huge mounds of paper.  I waste more time I'm sure looking for things because of my disorganization.  I can start one thing and next thing I know I'm on to something else, forgetting what I even started on....anyone with me on this???  Surely, it's not just me:)

Now that I'm enjoying my almost organized office, I'm inspired to tackle a few other areas that need closet being one of them!  So, in my continuous countdown to 40 project, the third thing on my list of things I want to work on is ORGANIZATION!!  Yep, I'm going to do it!!  It's not going to be easy, but I'm going to get my life in order....both my business and personal.  I know it's going to take some time, but I plan on carving out a little time every day to organize closets, papers, bills etc. until I get on top of it.  Here goes nothing!!!