Tuesday, February 28, 2012

tickle me linky

i thought i'd do something simple and fun today and team up with 
Sarah for her Tickle Me Tuesday link up
RULES: . Write a short post with anywhere from one to five items 
that have been tickling your fancy recently. Please include pictures and links :)

fried pickles are my new best friend

am i wrong for loving zooey? i think if you don't love her,'re wrong.

i am currently reading the hunger games & i saw this district
ID pass on  Linens & Leaves and I had to have one. 
I am a trawler by trade. not my first choice, but a girls gotta eat!

Monday, February 27, 2012

standing on a soapbox

Wow, well I literally have been mulling over this one for a week now.  And little by little as I was pulling my thoughts together, this phrase popped in my head for some reason.
And what is that phrase?
Why its Standing On A Soapbox of course!
I think that we tend to think of that terminology in a negative way... as if someone is making a declaration that they are better than you, 
that they are above you in some way and we say that 
"she is standing on a soapbox."
But I think that we have all had those moments where we have had enough!
Whether we are tired of the kids acting up and its time to buckle down, or maybe we are tired of the extra pounds we gained, or we are tired of being taken for granted....
You name it... we ALL have those moments where ENOUGH is ENOUGH, right?
As I was thinking of that, thinking of some of the things I have been through in life, and in these past few years... and I think I may have even said this out loud to myself,  
I said "I dont have time for this anymore..."
Then I started going down this list in my head of things I am tired of putting up with,
things that are holding me back from the potential of who I am & can be!
And WHY I dont have time for it...
But I am here to Stand on MY Soapbox to make my declaration to myself and anyone who will listen what I dont have time for anymore =)

Standing On A Soapbox
I dont have time to feel sorry for myself.  I have too many good things to offer to care about what I dont have.

I dont have time to NOT work out a the gym, because I am not getting any younger here people. I can keep starting over, but its never going to get me anywhere doing that.

I dont have time to hang on to bitterness and grudges. I just dont. If people want to disrespect me, make fun of me, talk about me, tattle on me, whatever... mehhh... 
I will let them hang onto it. 
Man looks at the outer appearance, God sees the heart.

I dont have time to NOT walk in love and forgiveness. People need it too bad. I need it. 
We all need it. If I dont give it, What I sow (or dont sow), I will reap. 
And I dont think a soul alive could live without love.

I dont have time to procrastinate going to the eye doctor. I have been waiting far too long. My last pair of overused contacts finally kicked the bucket.  
Seeing is a good thing. 

I don't have time to be depressed, to be sad, to be overwhelmed and stressed.
It drags your life down (duh...) and I have too much going on to be walking around like Eeyore all year long. I wanna be Tigger!! Bounce Bounce Bounce!

I dont have time to procrastinate grocery shopping every week. That would mean my kids would get hot lunches, we would end up eating out or getting take out... then it would cost us more money, which equals more work, which.... well I dont have time for.

I dont have time to hate, to debate, to argue. I hate controversy. Whats the point?
Its a waste of MY time & it gets people no where. Not to mention it just gets me all flustered.Dont have time to be flustered. Nope.

I don't have time to keep putting off my dreams . Just because I have a life and a family doesn't mean I don't have other dreams in my heart. Now is the time to make those dreams happen.

I don't have time to judge, to wonder what other people are doing, or to assume they are doing something I wouldn't approve of . Their life is between them and God. I need that extra time to work on myself!

I don't have time to NOT read a good book. I LOVE reading, but for years (mainly since Ive had kids, I have put if off because TV is easier)... There are millions of books to be read! Where do I start? How about with Ch. 5 of the Hunger Games where I finished like 3 weeks ago?

I dont have time to eat crap. Eating crap means I gain weight that I will want to lose. With 3 kids, I only have "so much" time to work out... and I dont have the extra time to work off all the junk I ate last night!

I dont have time to deal with dumb people. Don't get me wrong. I love people. I respect people. But there comes a point when Ya gotta let some people go.. because they are pulling you down. They are making you angry, upset, depressed, sad, annoyed... all of which I definitely dont have time for.

I dont have time to let little things bother me. None of us do. There are plenty of big things in the course of life that we have to deal with... Why think about the petty?

I dont have time to put my kids off when they want me to play with them, or go sledding with them, or watch them build something, or watch their silly little plays or dances they made up. They are growing up waaayyyy too fast and I dont have time to put off until tomorrow those moments I can ONLY have today!

I don't have time to not love my family, my husband, parents, sisters, brothers... I have read too many sad stories of people losing loved ones and wishing they had more time. 
I never want that to happen. Never. I cannot take them for granted!

I dont have time to NOT worship God, read his word & love him . He is my source of strength. If I dont spend time in his presence, I am weak... I am empty... I am tired.
I don't have time to BE tired.

I don't have time to let my house get so messy it overwhelms me. Granted, I am constantly cleaning.. but I don't have time anymore to let it get to that point where I am almost crying because I don't know where to begin.

I don't have time to NOT go to church. When I don't go to church, I feel off balance & disconnected. Being balanced and connected to a power source keeps my week in healthy shape!

I am SURE there are a million more DECLARATIONS I could make on MY Soapbox!
Things I want to change. Things I am done with. Things that will better my life.

Why dont YOU stand on YOUR Soapbox and declare 
what is going to change NOW in your life, 
what YOU dont have time for... and what YOU will make time for...

...and MAKE it happen!

Matthew 12:37- For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Liebster Blog & Blog Mess

PLEASE excuse my BLOG MESS while I renovate it =) 
It may change backgrounds and headers several hundred times this week!
(wink wink)

So a few weeks ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Blog award by a GORGEOUS blogger named Lauren & her blog is called Lauren Rebecca ! Every time I go to her page I am seriously overwhelmed by how beautiful her photos are.. how poetic she is... and reading about her crazy undeniable love for her baby sweetie pie, Scarlett. If you havent checked out her blog, go do it... NOW... I mean it, go now =) Thank You, Lauren for the nomination and the support for a new blogger like me =) Sorry it took me so long to get around to assuming the position! =)

the rules are:
1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you :)
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog
  3. List at least three blogs (with less than 200 followers) you would like to award

...because you inspired me with your medical missions mentioning =) 
The Williams' Post

2)  Emmy June  
...because you linked me up with Fridays Letters! 

...because your a mama, and mamas need to be recognized =)
(no button that I noticed) =)

Here ya go! Go take a look see at these beautiful blogs =)

Friday, February 24, 2012

dear chicago

 dear mom. thank you for planning a birthday trip to chicago for lil OLD me ;-)!!!
 i love you so so much and had so much fun laughing and talking with you.

dear amtrak. thank you for the smooth, yet very bumpy ride to chicago. 
any traffic avoided was well worth the bumps.

dear union station guy. thank you for the ride from the train to the station. i was clothed in "celebrity" status emotion as i rode your little cart and as you beeped your
horn at all the lowly pedestrians.

dear cab driver. thanks for being a cute , non scary nice girl.

dear bell boy. i am sorry my mom took the $12 tip away from you after you pulled the suitcase out of the trunk for her. you shouldnt have stuffed the money in your pocket so quickly.  
no, i am sorry...lifting ONE suitcase does NOT earn you $12.
she does those kinda things...accidentally.

dear forever 21. thank you for making several floors of cheap clothes . i get bored of clothing easily, so cheap is always the way to go.

dear moms cell phone. i know you tried to pull a fast one on my mom by hopping out of her purse.thanks to you, she got a little extra exercise in having to walk all the way back to the hotel to find you.

dear bussers, water givers, security greeter people, several hundred people rushing to open the door for us . do you all expect a tip? or is a thank you good enough? i am completely unsure what to make of so many people wanting to "help."

dear mascara. sorry i almost put you on my lips. my bad.

dear ruth chris. whoever you are, your steak melts in my mouth. for real.

dear chicago pedestrians. thank you for showing me that, yes, it is ok to run in front of  
angry cab drivers.

dear omni hotel. please update your website. when you say you have a hot tub, we most definitely expect to use it. when you are renovating, ya might wanna say so since we booked a hotel specifically with a "hot tub."

dear delicious food. stop now being so delicious. i mean it.

dear full nights sleep. thank you. that is all. thank you.

dear toe . why must you let my toenail grow into you? who told you to do that?
it makes walking nearly impossible.

dear magnificent mile. you are indeed, mangificent.

dear wesley. stop reading my blog post out loud as i write it. i feel like a 2nd grade teacher and you are my student.

dear elevator. stop tricking me. i keep ditching you on the wrong floor and its usually in front of an elevator full of Swedish or Norwegian men and i look like an idiot when i walk out and walk back in.

dear mom please let me see kids conversation in the darnest things that kids say. 
(that was wesley)

dear wesley. stop hijacking my blog.

dear new boots, shoes, jeans, pants, sweater, shirts, rings & headband. you are all so 
adorably cute . thanks for making me feel pretty.

dear starbucks. i like alterra better. but your hot chocolate offered me some cozy warm goodness ON a brisk chicago morning.

 dear chicago. thank you for being close to milwaukee. you make an easy escape  
for a mom with 3 kids who needs one now and then.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

kids and conversations

A few years ago, a friend showed me a journal she kept of all those moments and things she loved that her kids would say, so she would never forget those moments that made her laugh, or that made her gush.... As great of an idea as i thought it was, and swore i would do that too, 
sadly i never did...that is, until facebook.
Pretty soon, I began documenting via status update the conversations i had with my 
lil posse , and the crazy things they would say out of nowhere. 
Over the last few years, I had so many people commenting me, telling me my status updates about my kids made their day, telling me to write a book about what kids say, but i never really could muster up the ambition to look into it.
(this was before i start writing sincere, heartfelt encouraging status updates)
So between the two, I start blogging.. 
Somedays i had so much on my heart to share about personal struggles and  
life and God...
and some days i just had to tell you what MY KID just said, and it made people smile. =)
So since i started this little bloggy thing, I have been trying to figure out a way to 
"blog" the things my kids say, and i thought of doing this...  
"Kids & Conversations." ~a simple way to relay what crazy kid said what today.
If it wasnt for these three little indians (hee hee), I'm pretty sure my life would be like a 
sack of potatoes. brown, dull, boring. Now, its NEVER boring!!!
Its busy. Its Crazy. And Its hilarious!!
To see the latest "Kids and Conversations" click on my 
Since I was a little behind on this PORTION of my blog, I posted a short conversation that I had with each kid. Hope they make you smile =)
  They are so much fun! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Coffee Talk~Depression Vs. Joy

we ALL have those moments where we desperately need to TALK to someone. 
sometimes its a therapist. sometimes a pastor. other times its your significant other... 
hubby, boyfriend, your crush? 
most times its a CLOSE friend!  or when you have kids, sometimes you have no choice, 
but to spill your guts to them. who is guilty of crying to your three year old about bills? 
with technology these days, we've all found a moment to talk to our facebook wall or tweet to everyone out there in the tech world that will listen to us talk about our latest "real life" story or complaint.
more often than not, i swear, i talk to myself.  
its really the humor and joy that you can find in the midst of all your "stories" that make life 
completely interesting & worth living!  what is life without HAPPINESS and LAUGHTER?
one of the main reasons and niches behind my blog is learning to laugh 
in the those moments you want to cry. 
i can tell 1000 stories about my kids that in the moment, i most likely had both eyes BUGGING out of my head, but when i look just moments later at them, i laugh.
actually & really, laugh. and it's the best!
i love when i am talking to myself (er...thinking) and i am in the store, or better yet,
at the gym and whatever i was discussing with myself was obviously hilarious.
and I am smiling the HUGEST smile on the planet 
...on the track, or pushing a grocery store cart, whatever the case...
its so good to laugh! ...really, when Proverbs 17:22 says 
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
it IS REALLY so so so true!
I always saw myself as a really happy, joyful person... that I was pretty darn optimistic in life.
In my mind, I sort of described myself as "candy story julie" and I could look at life,
at annoyances, disturbances, arguments... and just find something good that I could 
love or laugh about no matter what.
Then a few years ago, I went through some personal horrible lows, and I swear I never understood depression or suicidal thoughts or battles of the mind, until this happened to me!
to ME, candy store JULIE! where there was good in everything!! here I was sitting day in and day out, desperately wishing for a way out of life...
 Hitting the lowest low I could ever experience, when "life" really wasnt so bad...
yet my mind could NOT stop spinning and thinking, my heart could not stop hurting and breaking, 
i had soo soo many emotions, from pain to guilt to hurt to shame to heartache to embarrassment to loneliness to defeat to low self esteem to feeling unloved to feeling jaded to distance from God...
the list goes on and on...
and i wanted desperately to simply STOP THINKING. thats all there was to it, i needed to find a way to stop thinking. to make my brain STOP functioning for like 2 minutes, so i could smile..
a REAL smile...    more importantly, so I could breathe.
I cant find any other way to explain it! I needed to stop thinking in order to live...
I didnt know how to make that happen!
and I felt like I had no one in the world to talk to. I did have a few friends I talked to, but I honestly dont know if anyone, but myself and God knew how completely ALONE I really felt.
I missed myself! I missed laughing, because I am someone who LAUGHS at EVERYTHING.
...and I loved that about myself, i loved that i got jokes, 
and i made jokes and i could laugh at pretty much anything. 
I MISSED that girl, the girl who laughed!!
I had no clue how to get her back. For a brief period,. I went on meds for depression, but I quickly took myself off them because I just didnt want to be "THAT GIRL" who couldnt make life work without alternate substances. That wasnt me!
Finally after battling and struggling with this emotional instability for close to 2 years,
I had NO choice but to give it up to GOD! Afterall, he was the only one who saw me hiding in my bathroom, or my car or my closet bawling my eyes out on a daily basis.
I think there was a part of me that had attached myself to feeling this way, 
to feeling self pity, to feeling worthless...
AND I KNEW if I gave this over to GOD, and asked him for his help...
he really actually WOULD help... and I would lose that part of me!
Thats why it took me so long to just talk to God, ask him for HIS help...
Isnt that scary? that we would be come so attached to a negative part of our lives,
that we wouldnt WANT to give it up to FINALLY experience ourselves again?
to experience peace and joy again???
Honestly, its taken time.. it was hard to let go of all that pain, but I think that God is so merciful,
he has had so much patience with me...and was sort of like a therapist in that he took me by the hand, one step at a time, to regain that peace and joy in my life again.
The great thing about coffee talk with GOD in those moments that nobody else understands, 
HE actually DOES understand. 
He didnt go through training, or he isnt getting paid to listen to you, he doesnt have faults, yet he is the ONLY one who can hold you and cry with you and not offer you ONLY a ear to listen, 
or give you words of advice, but he can bring healing... total and complete restoration!
and he knows YOU better than any other person ever will, 
Luke 12: 7 says that even the hairs on our head are numbered, 
which means that GOD knows us by detail...
and he KNOWS what method will bring us healing, comfort, joy & peace 
the way WE need it, and sometimes at the pace we need it!
It truly has been a process for me, to let go of so much I was feeling...
and let God fill those voids. 
Now and then, the slightest little irritation or hurt will strike me, and I can feel myself try to slip back into this place of worthlessness... and despair..
which is weird for me, because, like I said, I was never like that...
but at least now I know, when I start feeling that way, to go immediately for council 
 from the Prince Of Peace!  
And little by little, I am learning to laugh ...again...
and I LOVE IT! I love laughing, belly laughs...
I LOVE peace of mind....and JOY! 
Don't YOU?!!

Isaiah 26:3 ~.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

 last week i wrote a poem for a youth service at our church. i love writing my thoughts in poem form, but i struggled with it, because it was something i was ASKED to do... 
rather than thought up myself...
so i stopped, prayed and looked to God, to help me write this from MY heart.. and he did. please click on my Love.Notes Love.Notes page to read the poem. i felt it came from a deep place inside of me, and again, it was God speaking to me...
to all of us...

Monday, February 13, 2012

AUGH! My BIG Head!!!

First of all:here is my disclaimer , if you dont know me, you might think i am crazy...
for those of you that do know me, you might LOVE this...

Ok. this is so completely totally random. And I wasnt planning on doing a post today. 
But these thoughts were swimming in my head as I was in the shower and I had to blog it. 
I was thinking about my video blog, and how unusually large my head looked in comparison to my shoulders. 
Now mind you, I have always thought this...this isnt a new observation really.
It's almost like, I just want to make it known. yes, in case you thought my head looks big, 
I know already.
Ive always thought my head was just slightly too large for my body. I am a small petite girl, and I have always been sort of jealous of the girls that do the "bump" with their hair, 
or can sort of tease their hair to make it a little bigger or fuller,
but that just doesnt fly for my head type. 
It really doesnt. Girls always ask me if I want help, or they want to try to fix my hair get that "bubble bump" look...and I shy away from it... 
and very seldom have I ever explained the real reason why.  
My head is too big already. If you buy me a bumpit, I wont use it.
Why would I want to make my head extra large? 
Haha... Don't get me wrong, I am not really down on myself about it. It is what it is... 
But it does propose a problem for certain aspects in my life. 
For instance, taking pictures with my husband. Especially since he has an unusually small head. I mean, mine is larger than his and I am 9 inches shorter! 
So in pictures, I usually try to adjust myself so that my head DOESN'T look like the sun, while his is like Neptune or something. 
The other thing is losing weight. Since I am short, I am 5'3...I like to try and stay in a certain weight range, because at my height 10lbs gained or lost can make a big difference... but If I lose too much weight, suddenly my head grows like 3 sizes
One of my facebook friends status's the other day said, the bigger the hair, the closer to heaven. I thought, well too bad I am so short, I could make my hair big and touch heaven.
Just sayin...  
Am I the only one that has one of these weird, random quirky things you see in yourself??
I have a friend who declares she has one eye smaller than the other. 
She's not bitter about it. She seems quite comfortable with it in fact..  
And I have another friend who's doctor told her she has an usually long torso 
and a winged back.  
She's like "well, let me just get my wings out of the way for you then."  
One of the best things someone told me once was when I was in a jewelry store 
trying on rings... The Jeweler helping me told me I had short stubby fingers.  
Um... thanks? I mean, how am I supposed to respond to that!?
This goes to show that God made each of us so unique & wonderful in his image =)
And we should love ourselves no matter what, because he does!
Who would have ever thought that God could use my random thoughts about the size of my head, to teach me a lesson about how wonderfully exclusive 
he made me to be!

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
Psalm 139:14

Thursday, February 9, 2012

the girl behind the blog vlog


So last night, i found inspiration. 
After a few moments of pity and tears...we all have those, right?
almost ready to give up on blogging! I found a whole world of bloggy chics out there uniting, connecting and linking together.... this week, via vlog.  
A video blog (which mine is longer than its supposed to be) explaining who i am, why i blog... and why i will not give up 
(she says with fists in the air)!!!
so, here ya go, this is me PRESSING ON!
p.s. sorry about the shaking camera, my camera girl is kinda small. she's like 2 feet tall and isnt really committed to the cause. she'd rather be the star of the show =P 


Monday, February 6, 2012

36 & counting...

The funny thing about a birthday in my family is that its not really a birthday unless its celebrated for a minimum of 3 days.  Well of course, my birthday is never on an optimum day of the week for celebrating. There is always something else going on. For my 36th birthday, there was a girls game & hot tub night at my sister's mother in laws house planned... so of course, I want to go to that, but that is not my number #1 choice for a birthday celebration and I still have to do SOMETHING ON my ACTUAL birthday, so Cracker Barrel it is!

Then there is always ALWAYS always, a night out with either a) the girls or b) other couples. This year, it was the girls! getting a group of married women together especially is always a treat, because the most interesting & awkward topics arise that most likely wouldn't around couples, guys...or even single women.  I am pretty transparent, but not that transparent. whats discussed between me and the girls, stays between me and the girls ;-) If you are a married girl, you catch my drift. So we go to Bravo for dinner, then go to Pinstrikes Bowling Lane, which is your typical bowling lane, but add the stylish features like swanky lighting and a 65 foot screen at the end of the lanes playing all your favorite music videos of days past and present.

  Well apparently tonight all my favorite music is in the category of R&B... from the timeless classics of Stevie Wonder which i love... to the bump & grind poppin yo booty 90's hits like Shoop by Salt N Peppa, which none of us girls have any choice but to dance to., right?  It just comes naturally when you hear it. its like your body has a mind of it's own. Am I wrong? Its like you dont want to dance, but no matter what kinda of music you enjoy,  how much you love or hate songs like SHOOP, you still find some way to pop it!
Even if its more of a G-rated version of doing so =)

I also learned the meaning of a "slow clap"~something I had never even noticed before, but it apparently both amused and annoyed a friend of mine at the length of time it took one of these R&B artists to lift their hands from their side and then make it to the actual clap, and it wasnt in slow motion. It was simply based on the amount of dancing and movement that accompanied the clap..and this determined the time lapse. These words are forever now ringing in my ear when I come across an R&B music video... "Just clap already! The suspense is killing me!"  Ohhh man, I am someone that laughs at everything, mind you, and I find joy in a lot of random things... so that by far was one of the better moments of the evening. 

Day #3 of my birthday was followed by a date with my hubby. Dinner & a Movie... simple enough, but alot more interesting when you find somewhere new to go. Jeff is a fan of corned beef & cabbage, so we opted for an new Irish restaurant we had never tried... and then off to a movie. Not just any movie. It was the kind of movie that seriously had my heart racing even as I stood up and walked out. Man On A Ledge... dont recommend it if you have a phobia of heights...but I swear there was almost a rush just watching it. I had a death grip on Jeffs arm for much of the movie.  So, my 36th birthday has come to an end. No more can I bribe Jeff into giving me a massage (without me having to return one) "because its my birthday." Sad.

Still cannot believe I am 36 years old. Time goes by so fast. I wont go down that road, but it does! I still "feel" young, but cant believe in a few years I will be 40. OMGoodness!!!  All in all, I had fun. Thanks to all who wished me a happy one! I will say, technically, my birthday isnt done yet. My momma is still taking me to Chicago in a few weeks to celebrate. WOOO HOOOO! 

(Now that you are done reading this, PLEASE scroll to bottom of the page, and click "join to follow" with your yahoo, google or twitter account!)

a happy birthday indeed-Dinner at Bravo

there is probably nothing "more funner" on the planet than getting a bunch of married women together and coming up with the most interesting and awkward topics to discuss. we had a few doozies ;-)

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