Friday, January 30, 2009

Photos arrived, weight loss and yes, more about organization

Our photos of Amelia arrived last week. Of course I cried as I slowly took in each one. Kind of wishing we were holding her again, but glad we're no longer in that intense experience and place of pain. As much as I know I'll enjoy making Amelia's scrapbook, I can't bring myself to start on it yet. I'll know the right time. I've already got a scrapbook. It is pure white and has a gorgeous cover. The perfect memory capsule. I'm thinking of placing all the cards we received soon after her death in there as well. I got it inexpensive at Target on the clearance rack. I think it was off-season or something. I've also bought different stickers and other decor to surround her photos. I want to title the scrapbook. I kind of like "The Days of Amelia", but really don't know. If this sounds morbid to you, my apologies. In my eyes, I am cherishing the small excitements I have to celebrate her memory.

Other news: I am slowly getting that weight off! I had gained an extra 15 lbs of "baby fat" that just wouldn't quit. I am down to only 8 lbs of that. I continue to drag myself to the gym, count my calories, and drink non-fat mochas. Maybe if I rid myself of the "mocha" part, it'd be even better! My most recent friends have been hummus with wheat thins, yogurt, string cheese, any fruit, tuna, turkey slices, granola bars and whole wheat sour dough bread. Yes, they sell ww sour dough bread at Costco and it is scrumptious! I have avoided desserts like the plague. The only real desserts I've had lately are some pecan cookies from Trader Joe's, those milk chocolate topped shortbread cookies that are only 130 calories for two, and Brilla's ABC crackers from Trader Joe's. Those last ones are surprisingly delicious for being low-cal! I also love whole wheat stuff (even pasta) and corn tortillas. I have shied away from creams (sour cream) and cheese. I drink only water, except when I have hot tea and coffee. This is really strange, but I have given up caffeine for the most part. It's not that I think I'll die. It's mainly because I'm in that having-kids-stage-of-life and don't want to go back and forth, back and forth between pregnancy and breastfeeding. It's much easier to just cut all out. I've never really needed caffeince for high energy anyway!! I'm quite buoyant on my own!

I continue to get rid of junk (or stuff I don't need) in my home. In fact, I should be cleaning out my linens closet right now. I'll tell you ALL that is in there: dining, kitchen and bathroom linens, containers of toiletries, curlers, vases, nice dishes that don't fit anywhere else, all things candles, and picture frames. I have enough candles to light up our home during 5 years of snow storms. That's exaggerating a bit, but you get my drift. My mission with this closet is not to throw items out, but to make everything accessible. Because "if you can't see it, you won't use it". This will include buying new containers.

My husband really likes this organization whirwind I'm on. He's the one from whom it originated in the first place. I said,"I'd love to take an organization class or something, to learn from a professional". He said,"Why don't you just get books written by experts at the library and teach yourself?" So that's what I've been doing. And I've seriously thought about becoming a professional home and office organizer. I honestly have a blast. I'll post pics once I'm all done.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pray for Sierra!

Please pray for Sierra Rose Fedelem!! Right Now Sierra is sick with a viral infection and pneumonia. She had to be put on a ventilator. Please pray for healing for her and peace and rest for Jason and Rosetta. For most recent updates, please click on her blog link.

Also, please pray for me. Every so often, I really struggle with losing Amelia. Last night was hard, but I got through it. I struggle as I see other moms with their precious newborns. I don't feel hard feelings toward them, I just have this deep ache in my heart for what I have lost and what I long for. This morning I read God's promises and He boosted my spirit.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This weekend so far...

I am writing from the comfort of my couch, mug filled with tea and bowl of hot chicken soup (that's a bit too spicy - never accidentally buy "diced jalapenos" instead of "diced chilies) on the side table. It was just a matter of time before we finally caught B's cold. M and I both felt the sore throat coming on yesterday! So we are all at home this Sunday, lying low and really taking it easy. We had a fun weekend until we caught the bug. It was such a rest from the long week. It's still pretty restful, but colds are a drag.

On Friday night (when our weekends begin!!), we headed to Azteca for din-din! We have been eating mostly at home whenever possible so going out was a nice respite for me! I'm happy to say I controlled my appetite and only ate until full. I read somewhere that a good help when dining out is to halve your plate first (put other half in box), then eat your meal. You're guaranteed to eat less! Have to say, Mexican food is one of my faves, so controlling myself there was hard to do. Afterward, I got my laugh for the day...M dropped me off in front of the store to return shoes. I grabbed my purse and "shoes" and headed in. I got to the counter and was like, "I'd like to return these sho---", only to embarrassingly realize I'd grabbed our leftovers! I felt like such a dunce.

On Saturday morning, I woke up early to exercise. These days, I don't even try the procrastination game in my head "should I go work out or should I wait until later?" If I know I have enough time...I just physically get dressed, pull the tennis shoes on and drive off before my mind can argue. The reason why I got up early to do it is #1) I enjoy working out in the morning versus nighttime (when I was single it was the opposite) #2) we had a date with my sil to go to IHOP for brunch! Talk about carbo load. So we met Michelle at pancake land. I ordered an omelet that came with 3 harvest grain 'n' nut cakes. Again, I halved my omelet and shared some with B, too. I even had a pancake! Don't know why I'm giving you all these details. Maybe because typing is about the most fun to have when blowing the nose every minute ::shrug::
When we got home, M cleaned out his truck and I organized the kitchen. One more step closer to my New Year resolution. It was actually fun once I got into the swing of things. I eliminated kitchen stuff that I NEVER use, but never thought to get rid of. Amazing. I also reviewed everything I already had in the cupboard. Tons of flour, I tell ya!

On Saturday night, we had family time at Border's. Our favorite thing is to get a stack of magazines and sit in the children's section while B browses to her heart's content. Cooking, Weight Watchers, People and home plans were my choice. I also got a chamomile tea. Ahhh. (Early evening is when I felt the sore throat coming) M was hungry so we stopped by Ivar's in the mall. The new South Center mall food court is quite something. I was hungry, too, (shall we say starving?) so I gave in to a piece of fish. Note: I have this new "no eating after 7:30" policy. It was about 9:15.

The great news is that I stepped on the scale this morning...and I've now lost 7 lbs! Yay. All the recording my calories (I'm doing it after all) and exercising is paying off. Don't worry, I'm not starving myself. I'm basically doing a home-grown versions of Weight Watchers. I record my eating and make healthier choices. I also head to the gym even if I don't feel like it. I'm so happy it's working. My goal is to be at my ideal weight by the end of February. I know those last few pounds will be a bear.

Now I have a cold and I hope that last pound lost doesn't come back. We shall see.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

...Another woman's treasure

I am in the middle of some projects right now. One of them is to post items on craigslist and donate other stuff to the Salvation Army. So many of these things I really really like, I just don't need them anymore. I thought I'd list a few of them on here just in case any of you are interested. I'd love for them to find a friend's home. But then again, you may be getting rid of stuff as well, and don't need mine!

  • Preggy jean jacket size S (Old Navy)$5
  • Wedding dress, size 8, Christian Michele, mock sleeveless look $125 obo
  • 2 wood-framed mirrors (really pretty) from Target. 24 in wide x 20 in height. Still in packaging! $35
  • Word processer/typewriter (my trusty buddy during law school days) great condition $60
  • Books! ($3 most, $2 for small books)
  1. Pray for Our Nation (small book)
  2. Parenting on Purpose: How to Build Character in Your Kids (small book)
  3. The Everyday Commission Seminar Book
  4. John: The Way to True Life (Bible Study)
  5. Prison to Praise by Merlin Carothers
  6. Dedication and Leadership by Douglas Hyde
  7. Beyond the Barriers, Overcoming Hard Times through Tough Faith by Harold Morris
  8. National Sunday Law by A. Jan Marcussen
  9. The DaVinci Code A Quest for Answers by Josh McDowell
  10. Reaching Out with Love, Encounters with troubled youth by Jean Marie Campbell
  11. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (in updated book form) (small book)
  12. The Peace Maker by Ken Sande (awesome book!! only giving this away because I have two copies)
  13. Chosen by God by RC Sproul
  14. The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes by D Riley & Pam McAllister (I'm a Sherlock fan)
  15. Road to Avonlea books: The Materializing of Duncan McTavish, Quarantine at Alexander Abraham's, Conversions, Family Rivalry, Felix and Blackie, Aunt Abigail's Beau, and Malcolm and the Baby
  16. Living Life on the Ragged Edge, Coming to Terms with Reality by Charles Swindoll
  17. Living More with Less by Doris Longacre
  18. Walking in the Way, An Introduction to Christian Ethics by Joel E. Trull (this is for someone who loves studying ethics)
  19. How Sweet the Sound, amazing stories and grace-filled reflections on beloved hymns and gospel songs by George Beverly Shea (comes with a CD)
  20. To Train Up a Child by Mike and Debi Pearl
  21. Wisdom for the Graduate
  22. The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel (2 copies available)(small book)
  23. Miracle in the Making, the incredible story of the making of Left Behind II: Tribulation Force by Ray Comfort
  24. Finding Nemo (cover is torn)(small book)
  25. In His Steps by Charles Sheldon
  26. The Great Rubber Stamp Book
  • Movies: $3 each
  1. Pork Chop Hill (Gregory Peck)
  2. Spirit of the Game, featuring pro-football's heroes of faith
  3. Crusade in the Pacific, Volumes I & II
  4. JESUS film
  5. The Greatest Gamble, done by Ray Comfort (this is very good, we already have several of his videos and decided to give this away)
  • Music - The Boys Choir of Vienna, Les Miserables (cds) $3 each
  • The Holy Bible on cassette tape (KJV) $10
  • Onion Chopper (dice onions in one swift motion)$5
  • Canoe with oars as picture frame (actually very cool, just doesn't match our home decor) $5
  • Law book/gavel pen holder (a friend gave me this way back when but I now have a new pen holder!) $2
  • Single Bedrail for kids (so they don't fall off bed)from Target, asking $15. We bought brand new $22, just didn't need it after all!
  • Cute 18-24 month girls outfit, peasant blouse/leggings $7
  • Luma Tweeze (lighted tweezers) Never opened $3
  • Magnetic Tot-Lok Starter set, still in pkg $3

Let me know if you're interested by this Saturday! And I'm more than happy to send you pics via email if you'd like.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

While the Cat's Away...

This is what I get for buying expensive hand cream from Papyrus! I thought B had been in the bathroom a little too long...

Thankfully, this brand of stuff cleans/wipes/smears off easily, so it wasn't terrible to clean up. But still, all that beautiful hand cream! I would have cried if it hadn't been so stinkin' funny. As you can see, mama didn't give out punishment, she got out the camera! Thus, the confused look on my daughter's face. Her ultimate punishment was wearing clean but wet sleeves for a while!

I was just thinking to myself of how good I'm sure it felt to reach her little hand in there and smother the yummy lotion all over. I feel the exact same way when I reach my hand in there. Only difference, this girl seemed unable to control her indulgence!

But isn't that how sin is? It feels so good, a little thrilling, a little dangerous at first...but then before we know it, we're up to our necks and we can't get out of it. It's become apart of us, a cage not to be rid of easily. Thank Jesus Christ for His blood that cleanses are sin-stained lives! Better than bleach, the blood of Jesus paid for our sin in full so we can stand redeemed before God! Thank you, Lord, for your sacrifice. Please daily cleanse our hearts and minds from the grip of temptation; and we give you our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable.

I also wanted to ask your prayers for little Harper. I have been praying God's healing, miracle-working power on her behalf. Lift her up before the Throne of Grace! I'm sure her parents would appreciate it. He has already sustained one precious baby, Stellan!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The next holiday

Okay, four posts in 1 day? That is ridiculous! Honestly, just came back on to say that I have changed my blog to a "mushy" one because I love Valentine's Day SO MUCH! I even looked forward to it when I was single. Yes, weird. Please understand, V-Day at work used to mean a free latte from the downstairs cafe, treats from my boss, buying those silly little conversation hearts, the exchanging of chocolate, other goodies and notes amongst my parents, brothers & I, and possibly flowers from my dad all in one day. Talk about feeling loved! I think that's what I still LOVE about it. That and besides the fact that sweets and roses are often the way to my heart ;P Now that I'm married I LOVE it even more! I realize I will have to change it back once V-Day is officially over. But really, who gives a peanut?
I realize my last post sounded a little unfeeling. Like complete grief, questions, and tears are not okay, even after "the time of grieving" (and who knows how long that is? who wants to even attempt to determine it?) ends. My mind doesn't quite grasp where the line between God's will and the sour lemons this icky world deals out ends. Iow, I think death occurs, not always because God intended it to happen, but because we live in a sinful world where things will never be perfect until Jesus comes again and we are in His heaven. Things were not supposed to be this way, but because of sin, there will be constant death and evil.

But at the same time, I have to admit that God is not surprised by what happens to us. Death, sickness, heartache do not thwart His plans and His purposes. In fact, "All things work together for good for those who love God, and are called according to His purpose." So even though this world deals out a rotten hand to me and you, God never changes.

And that's what I wanted to communicate in my last post.

I trust that God knows what he's doing despite Amelia's death. I still have questions, and I'm still sad, but all is well with my soul. I'm at peace with God and that's what matters.

Is that your final answer, God?

Last night I was having a hard time accepting the finality of my daughter's death. Yes, I know with all my heart she's in heaven. But, every once in a while, I wish she was here to visit, here with us. But she will not be. The phrase came to me "Is that your final answer, God?" Is it hard for us, for me, to take God's final answer, His pattern for our lives? There are many hard and hurtful things that happen in this life. "The timing is just off, God!!" Or so we think.

Believe it or not, God sees the upper part of the quilt. We see all the knots and straggly threads on the underside. God knows what He's doing! Just because it may seem His goodness is afar off, does not mean so! Because what we think is goodness is not always good for us. He has something better, if we'll just surrender to it. His hand in our lives continually molds, prunes, strengthens, and guides us. Sometimes the pressure is much! Because of the pain, it is hard to receive those bitter moments. And that is human. But to hold on to that pain, letting it fester, blossom into ugly bitterness and cynicism, is our choice. Hate and bitterness blind us and freeze our heart, keep us from loving. Loving God and loving others. Yes, we can be upset for a while. Cry those tears! Feel that pain, grieve your loss. But then find comfort in that in this changing world, God never changes. His love for you and me has never varied. It is still fervent, it is so real, it is compassionate.

"I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope."
Psalm 16:8,9

A moment of reflection at the piano

Two evenings ago, I sat down to play a Sarabande by Bach. About halfway through, memories of Amelia flooded by mind and I had to stop to cry. It was so sad. Just an unexpected, intense sadness. I was thinking about how I can't wait to be pregnant again, but at the same time, another pregnancy will remind me of times with Amelia. It will be very hard, there's no doubt. I'll have to purposefully give my fear of losing another baby, to God...because it's not like I lost her around 3, 4 or even 5 mos; I lost her at nearly 7 mos. She was almost there. I will have to keep my mind on "whatsoever is true...pure...praiseworthy". And hold on to God's promises. And you know I'm going to pray like there's no tomorrow. Really, none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Amelia wasn't. I'm not. My husband's not. Brilla's not. We can only live today in the complete fullness of Jesus; He gave His life and lived again so we could have life and have it more abundantly than the rest of those who don't have Him. Not that we're on a higher plain, we are just like our neighbors, only we have recognized how sinful we are and cling to Jesus in our wretchedness. And in our wretchedness, we're forgiven. In His forgiveness, we're redeemed, and in His redemption, we live!

What I mean to say is that I need Jesus all the time. Not just when I think I need Him desperately, but also on the mountain tops when I'm feeling the beauty of things. Only God sustains me. I'm so thankful for that. I'd be a pretty rotten sustenance-giver because of all my inconsistencies!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Biggest Loser!

I'll have to admit, when Biggest Loser first came out, we thought it was dumb and didn't like the emotional drama. But we have done a 180 (or is it a 360?)! Now we look forward to every Tuesday night! It always motivates me to work harder on my workouts and eating. Wish Jillian Michaels was my trainer! Or do I? :( There's just several people on there this season that really need to be there and I'm proud of them for taking that step!

Last night our little family worked out together. Yes, even little B. She was kickin' it high :) Honestly, it was cute. She saw Mama exercising and wanted to get in on the, what looked like, fun. Then Daddy got in on it, too. So, you should have seen us, all exercising while watching Biggest Loser. I'm sure we looked hilarious, but it meant for a great fun family session. Sometimes you just have to do crazy, random things. It's the spice of life!

Right now it is 6 a.m. I got up around 5:30 and I am exhausted. Since I pushed myself hard last night, I really did get a good's just that M is motivated to get up early because he has to be at work whereas I am not nearly as motivated since where I have to be starts at 9 a.m. But it's part of our whole "we'll both be tired at the end of the day" mentality. And it does work. It's just foggy at first.

Today is Bible study and as always, I am looking forward to it. Brilla looks forward to it. I learned some good lessons while doing my questions this week. Who knows, if God's Spirit really speaks to me this morning, I may just have to share what He's taught me in a later post!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This is a boring post... you can stop reading whenever you want. There's nothing special to write about, but I feel like blogging anyway :D

I haven't had to change a diaper in 2 days! Talk about weird. Really, I keep thinking we're going to go back to diapers any day now and she's proven me wrong several times. She hasn't wet during nap time and last night was her first night staying dry. I'm sure they'll be uh-ohs in the future, but for now, I truly am enjoying not cleaning up my daughter's waste. Whew.

I have started organizing other parts of home. Just finished the living room closet. Anybody want a REALLY lacy dress (worn for graduation)? Or a size medium men's leather coat with the zipper missing? How 'bout a curtain rod that doesn't even have the thingys that connect it to the wall? Or better yet, you may be interested in a beautifully decorated porcelain doll box - with no doll inside!

My next project is all our cds, dvds, and vhs'. I'm just not looking forward to matching covers with items. I hate it when I can't find their match! Urgh. I'm already getting tense thinking about it.

An update on weight loss/exercise...I have lost 4 lbs! I have been trying to exercise every day for at least 30 min, whether it's on my nifty little trampoline, steps, gym, or racquetball with hubby. The eating has been key, though. I have to admit, I've been addicted to sweets. So I've been laying off of those. I've also been watching my portions. When I'm not paying attention and simply stuffing, I will ate way more than when I slow down and concentrate on meal time. I haven't been tracking calories (like I said I was going to), but I've done this so many times that I pretty much know how many calories are this and that. I've also just been drinking water. No juice or pop. If I do have a sweet drink, it's usually a short latte or chai. Oh, and I've been avoiding white breads/pasta/rice. Mostly whole wheat or whole grain pasta, brown rice and whole wheat bread and tortillas. Even our pizza dough has been whole wheat!

And along the lines of is the recipe for a DELICIOUS one. Use whatever dough you like, but we like a home made whole wheat thin crust:

Barbecue Chicken and Onion Pizza

1 large onion, sliced
2 plum tomatoes, sliced (or even drained stewed tomatoes work!)
4 slices turkey bacon (or reg bacon), diced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 cup smoky bbq sauce
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 packages (10 oz each) refrigerated pizza crust (or homemade crust)
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheese
1 Tbsp fresh parsely

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice onion and tomatoes. Dice bacon.
2. Heat 12-in skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray with cooking spray or add a bit of oil.
Add onion, bacon and pressed garlic. Cook and stir for 10-12 min until onion is tender and
lightly browned. Stir in bbq sauce; remove from heat. Stir in chicken; set aside.
3. Lightly sprinkle pizza pan, stone or large cookie sheet with flour. Unroll pizza dough, shaping
into a circle. Roll dough out as big as you want it.
(Note: this is if you're using the refrigerated pizza crust. I simply take my already pre-baked
home made dough out, add the below toppings, and cook in oven for at least 8 min.)
4. Spread chicken mixture over dough to within 1/2 in of edge. Arrange tomatoes evenly over
top of pizza; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 18-22 min (w/ refrigerated crust) or until crust is
golden brown. Remove from oven; let stand 10 min. Sprinkle with parsley. Cut and serve!

As a disclaimer, this is taken from Pampered Chef's It's Good For You cook book. I didn't come up with it! I've subtracted all the PC terms.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Date night and Getting Organized

Last night was wonderful. It was date night with my man! Marjean, aka Grammy, was generous in taking Brilla for the night. And, of course, Brilla didn't have an ounce of resistance getting Grammy all to herself :) She was so excited, she was bouncing up and down. For 2 minutes straight. I kid you not.

So us two starving lovebirds headed out for something to eat. We feel slightly attached to Kent Station because it reminds us of the outdoor mall area we discovered on our honeymoon down in Valencia, CA. We stood in line at Chipotle forever! Then finally decided to head over to Johnny Rockets since the wait was quite a bit less. Either we were ravenous or the burgers were really good (though way overpriced) - either way, dinner tasted quite good. Then we played racquetball! I think my arm will be sore for a few days, but all in all, it was a blast!! I made some of the craziest swings ever; it's a good thing I'm playing with Mike. In the end, he beat me. I mean to change that next time with a little practice in the coming weeks ;) It was such a great workout; I was totally sweating. That's actually two workouts for me today. I also did my trampoline workout (talking min-trampoline here) in the early morning. If visions of me jumping on a trampoline for exercise evokes a chuckle from you, you may want to know that it's actually very effective. For the first few times, though, your calves and every lower muscle are making their sad existence known. Thankfully, I'm past that stage. Means I'm taking baby steps to getting in shape.

Then we rented The Office and laughed late into the night. I think we also ate the whole bag of Peanut M&Ms, thus negating our racquetball calories lost.

Did I mention that I have completed organizing our home office?! Well, not totally, but all the sorting and purging is done. So yesterday I did step 8 - SHOP! Now we're talkin'. You may ask, "Step 8?" Yes. In Eliminate Chaos, my guide book to organizing my house, that is how it goes. It makes sense to wait until after you're done sorting out stuff to then buy your storage items. At that point, you know what size and shape needed. But you'd be surprised at how many people (including me) have shopped first, only to find out after they actually organize, that the item doesn't fit their need. Problem avoided by saving this 'til step 8.

Anyhoo, I headed over to TJ Maxx and purchased some beauteous photo boxes and other boxes to store crafts, tracts and other goodies. They were in the price range of 5.50-9.99. Pretty nice, huh? (Little note, TJ is having amazing clearances right's the time to go!) I also gave into temptation and bought Bri a few shirts and cutest Kenneth Cole polka-dot dress! I also zoomed, and I mean zoomed, into Target for a few transparent storage bins. Only 7.99 for big ones. Yay.

Now my task is to place the items into their proper storage space. That will be fun and it also means I will be finished.

One room down, 7 more areas to go!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More Christmas Shots

Steve just needs a pitchfork. Hehe :)


Christmas tree at the Herr home.

Mike and Christin-i.

Brian and Jacob

Don and Grandma Mabel (M's Grandma)

Me & 'Chelle

Cuz'ns (Christina, Brilla, and Erika)

Dad & I

Marjean (Mike's mom), the hostess!

Jakey Boy

Sean and Daniel spending Christmas break home for the holidays!

Dad and Grandpa Bob, Mike's Grandpa

My parents cozying up by the woodstove.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Last night we toasted it in with goblets of Coke and Martinelli's...along with our traditional viewing of the Seattle Space Needle fireworks! We are so lucky to live in this beautiful state.

We had yet another party, for NYE (mind you, we all live within 30 min of each other). Again, we had too much food and lots of games and talking. In many ways, I'm so excited to kick off 2009, and in other ways, I am sad to say good-bye to 2008. But in all, I am really humbled and awed to serve an AMAZING God who never changes, regardless of the year. Though we make resolutions every new year and try tweaking this or that, He is the same yesterday, today and forever! Isn't that comforting and reassuring? Doesn't it give you peace?

Well, speaking of New Year Resolutions, what are some of yours? (You can even share some with me via comments just because I'm always looking for inspiration/motivation). Anyhoo, I think mine are pretty reasonable, doable, and healthy. Here they are: potty train my daughter, get down to my goal weight (including eating right and exercising regularly), and organize my home. I have a few others, but those are the main ones. Let's start with the last one first. I am currently reading a book entitled Eliminate Chaos. Not only a book, Eliminate Chaos is a company specializing in organization! Pretty cool, huh? The book has been very helpful, and I start organizing my home on Monday (on my own). We'll see how this journey goes! Can I say I'm just a tad excited about having a place for everything in our home?

Secondly, I want to have a healthier eating and exercise life style. I've done it before, and I can do it again. My goal is to get down to what is a healthy weight and shape for my body. Part of me has not wanted to lose the weight, just because of all the memories about Amelia attached to it. Part of me could care less if those extra pounds go away. It's interesting how our emotions and extra weight can be intertwined. Recording calories and making better choices has been the only way to conquer the hungry beast within me. Yes, that's what it feels like sometimes! Eating has become my crutch I've come to realize. I've had other crutches in the past: wetting the bed until age 9, pulling my hair out during my early teens (seriously, I had bald spots), during middle teens I had eczema, which was a result of constant scratching, and then I was overweight during college years, caused by constant eating. My husband has also been great motivation to me. He's really the only one who can keep me accountable, and he's not insulting about it. In fact, he knows my goal and bought me a new Weight Watchers bathroom scale for Christmas! Funny, but I'm truly excited about this.

Lastly, but certainly not least...potty training. The big PT for every mom! B has been doing really well the last couple days. We've started PT before, but realized it was too early. And I didn't have the energy to follow through (I was pregnant). On Wednesday, she went pee-pee in the potty. (For those who don't like specifics, stop now) We rewarded her with yummies and the chance to wear panties, not diapers. She was very excited, but unfortunately, had 3 accidents during the day, resulting in 3 separate sets of wet pants/undies needing to be changed. But it's okay to fail! Next Day, New Year's Eve, she stayed dry all day! She must not have liked the feeling of wetness. And that was even with a diaper on. She went pee and poo in the BIG potty throughout the day (not her little princess throne anymore). Her only accident was about 10:30 p.m., which is totally off schedule for her to be awake anyway. Needless to say, we are proud of her! She gets rewards both for staying dry and going in the potty! We are on 3rd day of PT, and she has stayed dry and gone again on the potty. We'll see how she does during nap time and nighttime sleep. That's the hardest step. But I'm not worried. My girl's gettin' so big! Yay...a future (at least for a little bit) of changing no diapers spurs us on.

So, we are welcoming 2009 with open arms.

OTOH, I am sad to say good-bye to '08 as well. As you all know, there are many sad/happy memories of Amelia attached to it. I'll miss my daughter always. However, I won't say she hasn't changed our lives. Because of her, even if she's not here, she's gotten our minds on eternity, what heaven will be like and just motivates us to live life to fullest for Jesus during our time here on the earth. How can we accept good from God, and never accept the lemons that are dealt our way, too? That was Job's question. And we haven't lost nearly as much as he did.

I also had to say good-bye to my brothers last night! Their flight back to campus left early this morning. Cheaper flights were going out on New Year's, so that is the way it had to be. We had a fun 2 weeks with them. The last few days were a blast. We went to Sprinker to play racquetball, and round robin table tennis. I have never played r-ball, so I am sore, but it left me wanting to play at our local gym! Yesterday, we also headed to the YMCA and played some basketball and did some laps around the track. Exercise is always more fun with other people. Then, of course, we hung out last night until the late (early?) hours.

"Real life" starts again on Monday. Hubby goes back to work, I organize my home and plan meals, we take down the decorations. Ya know, all the normal routine again. It will be nice to get back into it all, but at the same time, I miss all the Christmast songs, lights and family gatherings. But I guess it wouldn't be fun if we had it all the time would it? I don't think we would have space enough for all the gifts!! Guess we can have the "Christmas spirit" all year long, of ourselves and loving those around us. I think that's actually the Holy Spirit inside of us, if I'm not mistaken!

Happy New Year to you and yours!!!