Monday, June 27, 2011

Shadows of the heart

I have recently been struggling with what I will term as "shadows of the heart". Not all and all out depressions but just glimpses of it. Part of me beats myself up for this because I know I have every right in the world to be happy and content. Yet, my human nature occasionally rears its ugly head and I'm left to battle it away. For awhile I felt like everything was going "my way" - I felt great and had some amazing things started and was just feeling very optimistic about life in general. And somehow I've suddenly lost that. I'm not sure where it went and I'm most certainly not sure how to get it back. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not walking around in doom and gloom or weeping or anything like that. It's more of a shadow in my heart. Something that if I think about it can totally get me down in an instant, or I can push it down deep enough that I forget it for awhile. Pin-pointing it has been a struggle for me. If I could figure out just exactly what is causing it then maybe I could fix it, ya know?

I feel like there is SO much ahead of me and my family and yet in my minds eye nothing is happening and I have zero clue how to "make it happen." And I'm trying my very best to let God work and be still and quiet enough to hear Him when He finally says "go". But I am anxious to hear that and I think in my impatience I have become overwhelmed with a heavy heart. I know so many good things are ahead and I want them to happen now. I feel like (even though I know it's not true) things, good things, are happening for everyone but us and yet I feel like we have been so steady, so faithful, so true. And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God will honor that, at some point. I guess I struggle with them timing, I want to see His pleasure NOW.

I can't say my attitude hasn't reflected my human nature as of late. My poor husband has taken the brunt of it, bless his heart. I know he'll listen if I need to talk but most of the time I can't make enough sense of what's going on inside me to even talk about it. It would come out in a jumbled up mess that would simply confuse him and frustrate me even more. And on top of all these things I've been feeling lately I got some news that just kinda topped it all. Right now I can't share what it was about but it was unexpected and surprising. It hit a nerve and that nerve still feels really raw. And I battle back and forth because in some ways this news doesn't bother me and in other ways it is making me so angry. Don't laugh - I sound bi-polar or something! But I think we all go through times where we are tug-a-warring between our emotions and what we know is right and how we know God wants us to act but then feeling all those natural human emotions of bitterness, anger, jealousy, frustration, etc. That is where I am - in the midst of a shadowy tug-a-war.

I keep praying and watching for a break through but so far it hasn't come. My heart is heavy and it's hard when you can't even give a reason for it. I really do feel like God is working on me and changing me and that's never easy. I just hope that I come through with flying colors and ready for what He has before me and what He has for my family. I'm excited and nervous about it but I do feel like once I'm past this particular time in my life things will be bright and I will be all the better for it.

I thank God for my husband and his patience and love through these times in my life. Again, please don't think I'm in a depression or anything. I'm not - there are things that make me completely happy and I enjoy my life but like I said, there is a shadow on my heart right now and that's the only way I know how to describe it. I don't want to drag anyone down or make you feel sorry for me - that isn't the goal here. I just want you to know that like most normal people I have my good times, my great times, my up's and my down's and my high's and low's. I hope this encourages someone to know they aren't alone if they feel the same way. Just know that shadows change, move and leave - at some point the sun shines and the shadows are chased away!


I've been seeing these awesome feather extensions EVERYWHERE! And I love them - so I started checking around some local salons and of course everyone is offering them right now. So I decided I want to get some before we head to the beach and my hubby told me this morning he'd like for me to treat myself and get some before we go! So I'm going to call and make an appointment today and go get them done tomorrow or Wednesday - I think I want red or hot pink. The cool thing is you can wash them, dry them, curl them, straighten them, etc. Just like your own hair. They clamp them in so no glue or anything to damage your hair. And they last anywhere from 2-4 months (or so my stylist tells me!). So I'm stoked, I'll post pictures after I get them!

And of course you know right now I'm obsessed with growing my hair out - it's actually growing out fairly fast but not fast enough for me. I see all these awesome people with long, gorgeous hair doing such cute things with it and I'm dying!!!! So I just look at pictures of celebrities with amazing hair and drool - so here's a few for you to drool over with me! Lol!

(Lykke Li)

(Kristen Stewart)

(Ashley Greene)

(Stacie Orrico)

(Kourtney Kardashian)

(Courtney Cox)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Couple of Things

Just a quick couple of things - first of all, did I mention to you guys that I'm on Twitter now? Yeah, I am! And I'm not great at tweeting just yet but I'm getting better and if I had more followers on Twitter I'm sure I'd step up my game so come follow me - @alaythea

Second of all - we're going to the BEACH!!! Totally unexpected and that makes it even more exciting! We're going with some of my family down to Gulf Shores, AL which is where I went back in May with my mom and sisters. I absolutely love the beach there and I've been dying for Beej to go so this is going to be amazing and Gianna is beyond excited about the beach and spending time with her cousin who is the same age. I'm excited about the beach and hanging out with my aunt and sister. It's going to be so great and a MUCH needed vacation. What a blessing!

Today we did a lot of outdoor yardwork stuff - hauled in a load of mulch and spread it in the flower beds out front. Beej and his dad mowed and were going to pressure wash our porch. We borrowed a pressure washer and we've had it on our porch for a couple of weeks. We live out in the middle of nowhere pretty much and our porch has a little fence and we live back off the road too. Our shed was destroyed awhile back in a storm so we don't have a lot of places to store stuff out of the rain except the porch and our carport with houses our cars and our wood for the winter and our mowers. Well, Beej came in and asked me if I had moved the pressure washer and I said no.......and then we suddenly realized, it was STOLEN! Gone. I couldn't believe it. We checked around just to make sure we hadn't moved it and forgotten. But no, someone just came right up and ran off with it. Kinda freaks me out really. I mean, I just hope they don't come back or try to break in the house next time. I kinda hate living out here away from everyone and everything. It kinda sucks!

I totally splurged today - but I'm back on strict diet and work out routine tomorrow and then Monday- Wednesday. Gotta make sure I feel good when we head to the beach Thursday!!!! Need to run to Target too and get a new swim suit! And then when we get back it's 4th of July!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

No theme. No title.

1. By now you guys have probably figured out that I LOVE Kristen Stewart! I think she's wonderful and yeah, yeah, I've heard all the crap - "she's on drugs", "she's so awkward", "she's so moody", etc. Whatev! She's a brilliant actress and she's one of the reason I loved Twilight. The story is great but I think she's perfect as Bella......and I think she's stunning. And in the picture above she totally rocks the casual beauty. I adore her!

2. My hair is growing! Hooray! I'm starting to kind like it now, it's not quite as awkward as it was. But sheesh, I see all these awesome pictures of girls with long gorgeous hair and how cute they pull it up or curl it and I'm so jealous! Lol!

3. Gianna does not nap. She quite that like 2 years ago! I don't really mind, if she gets really tired she'll crash in the car for a bit when we drive somewhere. I like the fact that she's in bed by 9pm and sleeps till 7am. I'm good with no naps. But the other day she was acting so tired and cranky and I asked her to go play in her room for awhile to give me a break. A little while later I didn't hear her upstairs so I yelled for her and she didn't I went upstairs and this is how I found her! Lol! Totally conked out in her bed! So funny!

4. Our furry babies. Gandalf has been so lovey dovey all the time and has even started sleeping with us at night. It's nice and strange at the time same time. He's always been a kinda keep to himself type cat but I think he misses Gypsy. I know, that sounds silly but seriously. They were really great buds - Gandalf totally opened up when Gypsy was around. I really hope he bonds with Gemima like that too. We're probably going to bring her home sometime next month - she's just now two months old but her brother is already gone and her sister will be going soon too. Her and her sister are practically twins - I'll try to get a picture of them, it's so cute!

5. Yesterday we went to Asheville and went to visit O.P. Taylor's - a really cool toy store. There was so much to look at and I thought Gianna's little eyes were going to pop out of her head! And out of everything she wanted a watch - have you seen those new "Slap" watches? They are actually really cool but I'm not much of a watch person. But Gianna got a pink one and I ended up picking out the grey one with the orange face for Beej. He loved it!

6. So I started a fitness blog - mainly for my own inspiration and motivation. You can check it out at - so far it's been really great for me to have somewhere to talk about what I do on a daily basis with out it getting to overwhelming for this blog which I kinda want to keep centered on just life overall. I am working on getting some pounds off that I've slipped up and let myself gain back. I have such a hard time being dedicated when it's summer - summer is so full of fun and hanging out and grilling and vacations, etc. It's so hard to really buckle down. But I've decided that the main thing is to not let slipping up or even having a few days of eating crappy undo months at a time. You just get back on the right track and keep going!

7. You know those Gain commercials? For laundry detergent? How they are in love with them scent of Gain and all that. Well, I've always thought they were funny but now I totally get it! I usually buy the cheap off brand laundry detergent but someone gave us this huge thing of Gain and the first thing I washed in it was our sheets. I put them on our bed last night right before I went to sleep and they were still warm and smelled SO good!!!! I just wanted to lay there and sniff them! Lol!

8. Here's another random thing - we have this awful little place in town (well, I'm guessing it's awful by the name) called Porkchop's Greasy Corner. Oh yeah, you read right! But if the name isn't bad enough they advertise what they sell in nice, neat, big letters around the top of their windows like BURGERS, PORK CHOPS, DRINKS and SAMICHES. Sam-what?! Lol! I mean seriously, taking the redneck diner to a whole new level!

9. We have been having some seriously wild storms here lately. They totally freak me out and make me nervous. Ever since they giant tree fell I'm freaking out that more are going to fall every time it gets windy and last night it got crazy windy. A couple of days ago we were going up to Asheville with my mother in law and it was raining and storming and the wind was blowing so hard we literally couldn't see and had to pull over under an overpass until it slacked off some. But it seems like every time we get the pool perfect it storms and dumps a butt load of leaves, sticks and debris in it. Drives me nuts. I spent like 30 minutes fishing stuff out of it this afternoon and it's still not clean.

10. I'm pretty sure they got something now that reads your thoughts when it comes to TV and the computer - I swear as soon as I start craving or wanting something a commercial or ad shows up for it! I was just thinking earlier how pasta sounded good and lo, and behold, a commercial for some new pasta dish at Olive Garden came on. I mean, come on, really?!!! Lol!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dedication & Motivation Blog

Alot of people ask me where and how I get the motivation
and the dedication to work out like I do......
So I decided to tackle the subject best I could on my
fitness blog.
I hope it encourages and helps someone out there!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Have you?

Have you checked out my fitness blog,

You should!
It's not fancy but it's my day to day attempt at being
fit and healthy.
And I think that's something everyone should try!
It'll only make you feel SO much better about yourself.....

When Little Girls Get Big

Wasn't it yesterday we brought this little tiny bundle home? I remember my mom and sisters having to go get her some preemie outfits to wear home because the newborn outfits I had for her swallowed her whole! I remember riding home in my dad's car because I couldn't get up in our Jeep after my c-section. After that it's kinda a blur! Lol! Just kidding, but I do feel like I just started really enjoying my child in the past two years or so. Don't get me wrong, I've loved her, thought she was beautiful and smart, but that first year was seriously so hard mainly because I had no idea how to be a mom, I was still learning how to be a wife on top of it all.

But I'm realizing more and more what a sweet little blessing she is and much we've learned from her and how much harder we've worked on having a great marriage and a stable family life all because of her. She's so much like her daddy - vivacious, stubborn (well, maybe that's me but whatev!), funny, quick witted and smart.

Suddenly the other day I realized how big she really is - not just tall, although marking her height on the side of the door makes you realize just how fast that's happening. She doesn't need my help with as much anymore. She's gotten great at brushing her own teeth really well, she doesn't need help getting on the potty, she doesn't need help to climb into her bed......

The other day I put her in the shower by herself for the first time (I supervised of course) and she was so thrilled - shampooing and rinsing her hair, getting her rag soaped up......after I got her out she was beaming and said "Mommy, that was so much fun! Can I do it again later?"

I let her go into the bathroom stall at the restaurant the other day next to mine by herself. She went in and locked the door and went all by herself. Again, she came out so happy that she had done this by herself. After a serious hand and arm scrubbing she was so proud of herself and I was too. These are milestones, maybe not the same as first words, or first tooth or walking but still milestones and they are ones I hope to encourage and be proud of. She is growing up, very quickly, and I have to let her grow up. I want her to be independent and self confident. I want her to know she can do it all on her own!

She gets up and gets herself dressed now too, rarely needing help unless there are loads of buttons involved. She can get in her closet and select a dress and pick out shoes, she can unbutton and button her own shorts and get a t-shirt on and off. I know, it may sound a little silly but I'm just struck sometimes at how grown up she really has become. I look back on photos and videos and sometimes it's hard for me to remember that tiny, soft, squishy, needy baby that couldn't talk in full sentences or run anywhere she wanted or form a strong opinion on something. It's a beautiful, exciting thing. And to realize we, so far, have helped mold and shape this amazing human being - it suddenly makes you feel so accomplished in life! Hopefully she realizes and never forgets how much we love her and want nothing but the best for her. These are exciting times, when little girls become big girls!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Week in Cell Phone Pics

1. Me, hanging out on the porch
2. Still reading Visioneering, it's super rich book and I kinda have to read it in sections!
3. Riding her bike.....
4. The view from our porch

1. One of my new creations - antique button center.
2. Gemima
3. Gianna said, "Oh, Mom, I just love pink gooses!" Lol!
4. Checking out the fish at Petsmart....again.

1. Riding to the zoo
2. Snack - "retro" Doritos
3. Picnic lunch
4. Time on the zoo playground

1. So cute in her Toms
2. Ridin'
3. Heading into the zoo with Daddy
4. Me and my munchkin

1. Elephants
2. Lemur's
3. Riding a lion!
4. Vultures. Gag.

1. Cheesin'
2. Giraffes
3. Thirsty work
4. Flamingos (or pink gooses as Gianna calls them!)

1. Lazy goat
2. Stop at the Apple store in the mall after the zoo
3. Gianna's plants are sprouting! Watermelon
4.....and Sunflowers

1. Playing "Doctor"
2. Storms
3. Giant bug on our windshield (It looks like it's walking across the road!)
4. Hanging out at World Market

1. Beej's Father's Day gifts - we replaced all his shoes. He's pretty hard on them. New Balance's for work, and new Sketcher's for play!
2. Little ballerina - I can't wait to get her back into dance, she loves it so much!
3. I swear he's not evil, he's really sweet!

1. I tackled cleaning Gianna's room Sunday afternoon before my in-laws came over for dinner. But I didn't just clean it up I cleaned it OUT! I got rid of 3 huge garbage bags full of stuff and a few other toys that she never plays with. She wasn't happy about it but I explained that she didn't need ALL that stuff and she'd still have plenty of toys to play with. I'm trying hard to teach her to let go of stuff! I'm still learning myself but my hubby has been very instrumental in helping me learn. I never want to be one of those people who holds on to every toy my child has ever gotten.....that drives me nut! I clean out Gianna's toys at least once a year. I keep the ones she likes or plays with the most and get rid of the rest. You can't keep every toy or stuffed animal someone has ever given them. I explained to my family long ago that years from now don't expect Gianna to have the stuffed animals and toys they've bought her. We just don't keep everything! Now her room is SO much cleaner and neater, and hopefully easier to keep that way.

Check Out My New Blog!

I have finally launched my new fitness/health blog.
I have no idea what all I'll be putting over there but I do know I'll be
sharing daily meal plans, weight loss updates, work out's, ideas, etc.
So if you wanna check it out go ahead!
I'd love to see you there!
When it comes to health and fitness it's always nice to have some
extra motivation and encouragement.
I hope this blog will be that for me and for those who read it!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Counting My Blessings.

I'm not going to go into a lot of details, at least not yet, but God is really helping me grow up lately. Pushing me beyond myself and looking at the future far more than I am comfortable with. Far more. Because looking at the future means you have to realize that either you have a good plan or you have absolutely no clue! And I kinda feel like right now our entire future is a huge load of questions with seemingly no answers in sight! But I know that's not true - I know that God has the answers we just have to open ourselves up to them and follow them. The problem is God's answers are never in the order we think they should be and they are never as detailed as we really wish they'd be. I want a book laying everything out step by step!

We have a lot of big decisions ahead - my husband and I both have desires and visions for our lives - individually and together as a family - and finding the balance of all that is so very hard. It is almost paralyzing, you don't want to move because you are afraid you will make the wrong move and screw everything up yet standing still isn't getting you any closer either. Waiting around for "answers" or "signs", anything to tell you that you it's time to take the step or leap out. But it's never that simple is it? Nope, never. All we know is that where we are at and what we are right now isn't all that's meant for us.

I want someone to give me the answers so most often when I have a desire, a dream, a vision, a plan....I run tell someone, everyone! I hope that something they say will point me in the right direction. But more often then not the opposite happens - when you share your heart in a premature fashion the criticism usually shuts you down before you ever get close to where you need to be and then you are back at square one trying to figure out what happened and how you missed it so badly.

I feel like I'm bursting at the seems with ideas and visions for my life and the life of my family and yet it's not exactly the right time to share those. But (and this is the point I'm getting to!), I am so very glad I have a husband that I can share my heart with! It's not always easy for me, I really have to push outside my comfort zone. I'm afraid I'll sound stupid or silly or that if we disagree on something I'll be crushed and totally abandon the idea. I know, it's really ridiculous of me but over the years of our marriage I have learned to trust my husband. To know that he only wants the best for me, Gianna and himself. And that his reaction to things may not always be what I want it to be but he's always honest. And I have to appreciate that quality in him, and I do. Last night my hubby and I spent some time out - went to see a movie and grabbed some dinner - and had probably the best open, heart-to-heart conversation we have ever had. We were honest and open about so many things that we've both been pondering and thinking and praying about. And we both realized we are more on the same page then we thought! There are still things we have to pray about, work out and determine when and how is the best way to go about them but I'm so happy and blessed to know I have a husband who loves me and doesn't doubt me and doesn't brush my visions aside. I'm excited about our future and what it holds for us, I'm excited about learning and growing and falling even more in love with my husband and the man God has made him. I'm so very blessed!