Sunday, December 26, 2010

We are Pregnant!!!

Earlier this December I started a series of blogs where I would write where I found God in each day until until Christmas.  However I stopped writing where I found my Savior after December 12th. The reason being was everywhere I found God was in this great news that Alex and I got on December 10th.

Alex and I stopped not trying (taking birthcontrol) back in October.  We were not trying but not "not trying" either.  Early December, I started to feel different. I was due to start my monthly cycle around December 5th.  My Chest was more tender and swollen than usual.  My stomach felt tight but now from the working out.

December 5th came and went.  Before I knew it, it was Thursday, December 9th.  While I was googling the symptoms of pregnancy, Alex walked up to me and said, "o.k., I have to say this but I think your pregnant."  I said, "I think you might be right!"

So the next day, we had already planned to go to Walgreens to get "as seen on T.V." gifts for a Christmas party.  We were pointed to this aisle where most of these gifts were.  What else should be on that aisle were the Home Pregnancy Tests.  Next think I know I see Alex is asking me which one is a good one and he is picking one out for us.

We went home and I took both test.
Urinate for 10 seconds on the stick, lay down on the counter for the test to do it's job for the next 30 seconds to a minute.
By the time I was done, laid the sick down and go to flush the toilet, the stick was done blinking and now showed a result,

I couldn't believe how quick that was, so I had to go for round two.  This time I let it sit in a cup for 20 seconds and again didn't take the whole time needed to again have the same results,

So then wanted it to be official so we ran to my family doctor (since my OBGYN was closed already for the day).  The did an official Lab work up on me and within 20 minutes we were 3 for 3!  We were Officially PREGNANT!

We just couldn't believe it!

So needless to say, where I have found God in my life since December 12th is in me!
We have to keep this to ourselves since December 10th, finally telling Alex's family the weekend before Christmas when they were all together and then Christmas Day, we told my family!  I'll post a blog in a couple of days with pictures and stories for each.  

We had a doctors appointment with my Gyno on December 15th which is when they told us (at that time) I was 5 weeks 3 days along (which is about the size of an Orange Seed).

Due Date is August 15th!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas From us to you!  Thank you to all of you that read my blog, add comments and make requests for future Blogs!  I enjoy all of your company and insight as well as your own blogs!  I wish you all, and your loved ones, a Very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in Canton

I realized I haven't posted pictures from the trip to Canton with my mom and sis.  I loved being with them.  It was the first time since I got married (July 2008) that it was just the girls for a road trip.  Mom and Rachael had never been so we decided we go primarily for the experience.

Here are some crafts we saw, admired, wondered if we could make or just thought were fun/pretty!

Here are so fun pictures we took...just because:

And Here is what we bought:

{Sorry they were saved for Christmas and as we all know...}

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Marriage Tip #7: Communication, KEEP Trying

My last tip started with the top reasons Relationships fail: one was COMMUNICATION.

For years we have tried new forms of communications, there are countless languages out there to learn and none of that is including our body language, tone, cultural influences.  COMMUNICATION is one of the most complicated things you will learn to do.  Even if you speak the same language as someone, live with them for are still bound to has some form of MIS-COMMUNICATION.

So 1st thing to LEARN for your marriage (or any relationship you have) there WILL be a time you mis-communicate something to someone.
If you go back to my post on Marriage Tip #6, I gave an example of how Alex and I had different definitions in our heads of what "SAVINGS" is causing us to mis-understand each other.

#2, is know Communication takes time, patiences and TALKING.  You CANNOT stop talking to each other or you'll never learn how each other's minds work. This helps you learn how to talk to each other.

#3 the more you talk, the more you know.

So don't be completely discouraged when this happens. Don't start thinking "He/She doesn't get me!"  My Parents are celebrating their 34th Wedding Anniversary December 23rd and they still have moments of Miscommunication.  But they know it happens, they work through it, learn something about each other/themselves and move on.  They are more in love today then yesterday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Michael Buble Concert

I'm finally posting pictures from the Michael Buble Concert we went to on December 7th in Little Rock, AR, at the Verizon Arena!  It was a wonderful night and one of the best concerts I have ever been too!  He was so funny, entertaining, personal and talented all at the same time.  If we had not won the tickets and if we had the money to buy tickets it would have been worth it for the experience.

The Opening act was Natural 7, who where these 7 men vocally sang accapella all the songs while using their voices to make the instrument sounds as well (cello, bass, drums, screaming guitar...which was the best)!  I included those pics as well.

Sorry this slide show is a little long. I tired cutting down the amount of pictures to about 1/3 of what I took.  ENJOY!

Marriage Tip #6: Debt, Money, Budgets

The Top 3 reason for failed marriages are: Communication, Sex and Money!

Today I am referring to the Money.  You could be amazing with budgets but when you combine two people who have done things differently and then try finding common ground, there can be lots of room for issues.
When Alex and I first started working out a budget together, we got to the point where you set aside money for "Savings".  Alex would say, "I have that covered because I have a 'Savings' Account." I would respond with "great, that is a good place to build upon." Alex would be confused because he didn't know why I would want to add more to his savings account.  Cutting to the chase: to Alex, "Savings" was something he had set aside for rainy days and then had 401K for retirement.  For me, "Savings" was for retirement, down-payments for big purchases, etc.  Then I had "emergency fund" for rainy days.

All of that is to say, you HAVE TO TALK about this with your spouse and come to an agreement!



This is a tool you use after setting a budget (which there is a form to help you with this).  You put cash in each enevelop every month (food, gas, etc). And that is what you spend for the month. WE pay EVERYTHING in Cash....NO CREDIT CARDS to depend on!  This has saved us and our finances!

Go to HERE to hear Sucess stories of people who are going and have gone through Dave Ramsey's Finnical Peace University (FPU).

To help you get started on a Budget, go HERE for the online form OR there is a new tool you use HERE.

if you should want to do the FPU, know that the program/Classes is not cheap (about $100) but the INVESTMENT will be RETURNED  in being DEBT FREE AND HAVING follow the program and trust it!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Marriage Tip #5: Be Flexible

This tip perfectly follows Tip #4 (Command Central), where trying to find organization in the chaos of life.    Know that NOTHING is PERFECT!  Things are going to go wrong, people need time to adjust to change and know what battles you truly should fight for.
I remember our first year of marriage and we were trying to plan the Holidays with family.  Trying to see as many relatives as possible, squeezing every minutes out of everything.  We had this "Plan" but when it came time to execute, disaster.  I was expecting one thing and something else kept happening! I know you all who have been married longer are laughing at me for having a "plan".
Well it can be comical but what I LEARNED was that you can have a plan to help things a long or in my case to get something out of the answer "I don't know" to every answer. 
1.)  Work on a "GENERAL" Plan 
       *Don't get carried away with a lot of Details. My dad says all the time, "The Devil is in the Details."
       *I learned this one from our Wedding.  There were all of these details left to handle and only a week to go.  There wasn't a lot of time and I wanted to enjoy the week of festivities, so I let them go! Crazy I know, but I didn't want to remember being cranky or tired before the wedding. Instead, I remember a great time with the ones I love.
       *If you too many of these, you will be so focused on the Details that you will miss out of the Joy of the Event. 
       *Have in the back of your mind, things will vary and don't get attached to something that later on you could be disappointing when it doesn't happen.
       *If there is something you really, really want to happen, PICK 1 and then be ready to make it happen.  But just 1!  Too many more than that & you are fighting an up hill battle.
4.) This all leads to FLEXIBILITY.
So when you work on the Command Central for the family, be general as possible to make things simple but functional. (i.e. there are more ways than one to vacuum a room or wash the dishes).
When you plan a trip, be realistic you may leave 30 minutes later than expected. 
When changing routines be PATIENT with people. It takes 30 consecutive days for someone to develop new habits which then can lead to them remembering without being reminded.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

On the 12th day of Christmas..."As Seen on TV" Christmas Party

Do you have a Christmas Party Coming up and need good ideas for themes or Gift Exchanges? Well you need to do a Dirty Santa Gift Exchange with Gifts only as....

My in-laws last year did a Gift Exchange but several people didn't bring gifts so they ran to the local Walgreens to get some gifts. Almost every single gift was a "As Seen on TV" gift and it was a blast!
The ministry i work with is having a Christmas party with this idea and it was a blast!  

Here is a link to the following stores that you can find the items year round!





Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the 11th day of Christmas...Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking has been my way to record memories, as well as a release for me for years. I love to enjoy moments, record them and then revisit them over and over.  Today I got the chance to do some of just that.

Thank you God for the memories with family that you give me, friends to enjoy time with and a husband to spend my life growing old with!

Where did you find Joy today!?

Friday, December 10, 2010

On the 10th day of Christmas...Snuggies

Our first year of marriage, Alex gave me a Snuggie (Razorback like the one above) as a Christmas Present.  Then one time he washed and tried it with about 3 dryer sheets.  It still smells ever-so-clean and feels ever-so-soft!  I love to snuggle up and stay warm, so the Snuggie has become my friend! In fact, I am "snuggled" up right now!

My Joy I found today was taking time to snuggle up under a snuggie to be still and know that My Lord is my God!

Where did you find your joy today!?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the 9th Day of Christmas...Chicken n Dumplings

This isn't a picture of mine.  We ate it before I could take a picture.  I was more hungry and thinking "blog photo opt."
But this picture is pretty close to where I found Joy today for this Month of Christmas.  I made Alex, for the first time since we've been married Chicken n Dumplings; and just like Chicken noodle soup, this have the magical touch of making you feel better than before.
The way those dumplings just melt in your mouth and the chicken is completely moist with that homemade broth.  God you are so Good!

I will be sure to post on the recipe and pictures as I go, next time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On the 7th Day of Christmas...Michael Buble

Michael Buble! A couple of weeks ago, life was a beyond just challenging. I felt like the more I tried to proclaim 1 Peter 5:7, the more Satan through more Worries at me. And just when I was what felt like a breaking point, my Lord sustained me (Psalms 55:22) and we were blessed with something wonderful!

Michael Buble (there is an italic above the E) is a favorite of mine due to the style of singing. I am a romantic at heart and I have always loved the era of the Rat-Pack. I believe Michael's vocal talents and performance captures the same presences. However tickets are outrageous!

So when I heard that Magic 107.9 was giving away tickets I thought I would take a shot at it. I got to listen to the morning show, waited for the song "HOME" (which one of the songs I played a lot when I hoped God would bring Alex and I back together when he was in Chile) to be played and called in hoping to be Caller #5. By only the Grace of God....I WAS CALLER #5!

I have never won anything like this.....ALL THE MORE TO KNOW THAT THIS WAS ALL GOD'S BLESSING!

So with all that said, tonight is the Concert and Alex and I are headed there right now! Today I revisit a moment of where my God heard me yet again and answered by His own will and timing!
I found Joy is Seeing my God work in mysterious ways and enjoying the musical talents of Michael Buble with my one and only Earthly LOVE, my husband, Alex Constien. Who also is making a sacrifice of STudy time to go with me!

"Cry Me a River" is a great classic by Arthur Hamilton in the 50's.

"Kissing a Fool" is another Classic. I love the drama of this song at 2:30. Listen to at least that part!

On the 8th Day of Christmas...Surprise!


SURPRISES!!! Today's Joy of Christmas for me was a 'SURPRISE"! Alex and I went to Little Rock yesterday and to save on gas, my dad allowed us to swap our Honda Accord for his Toyota Prius. But when we got home, I was surprised to see we had a full tank in our car. It was a great reminder that God provides in mysterious ways!

Monday, December 6, 2010

On the 6th Day of Christmas..."FREE"

The word "FREE" is such a great word! I love earning things free, getting things for free and what a joy to be FREE! Yes, God bless America, the land of the FREE! We are blessed to have such freedoms such as speech and religion. Nevertheless, the Ultimate freedom is the Freedom of sin and eternal Condemnation God gave us through Salvation!

Today I saw God in the Word "FREE" when I remembered that December is 25 Days of Free Music at! Free Stuff with no strings attached! Go HERE (or click on the image above) and everyday until Christmas there is a free MP3 Download of Christmas Music!

Where I found my joy in "FREE" was remembering how I have been set free by my Lord and Savior!

"so if the Son sets you FREE, you will be FREE indeed."
John 8:36
"Because anyone who has died has been set FREE from sin."
Romans 6:7
"Because through Christ Jesus the Law of the Spirit who gives life has set you FREE from the law of sin and death."
Romans 8:2

Sunday, December 5, 2010

On the 5th Day of Christmas...Heated Seats

I found God in Heated Seats! Yes I know how ridiculous that statement sounds but it's like the Garmin....
Thank you God for giving someone the creativity of such a thing as well as blessing us with a used car that happened to have heated seats!

Like I posted earlier, we went to TX for the weekend where the weather was PERFECT!!! (65-70 degrees!) Nevertheless we get back into Fayetteville Saturday night where it is 32 DEGREES!!! We have yet to re-adjust tot the cold weather. So when I got in the car today to go to church, I was ever-so-grateful for this amazing little buttons, of which warm you tush on such cold, cold days!

On the 4th day of Christmas....GPS

I know we survived once upon a time with maps and compass to get from point a to point b, however after our trip to Dallas this weekend, I am very thankful that God gave someone (or a team of someone's) the idea to create a GPS item such as a Garmin. This thing got us through traffic, helped us find a local restaurant and quickly, to find a short cut around road construction and so much more! It even got us to Canton, 45 minutes than we expected by giving us a new great route!

On the 3rd Day of Christmas...Road Trips

I am grateful for Road Trips!!! Since I have been married (2yrs 4months) I haven't had the time or opportunity to spend girl time with my mom and my sister like we use to. So when God opened up all THREE of our schedules on a weekend of Canton, TX, Trade Show was.....we knew we had to go!

I have been to Canton twice before but for mama and little Sis', this was a first. They had a great time but most of all we had fun being together, talking the whole way down and great laughs the whole time.

Where I found God and my joy was first how HE made the time available for all of us (that is just un-heard of these days). Also that God provided for something I would consider a want, yet my God provided that as a time off and restoration. Also for God to help me have that good ole fun I have with my amazing mama and my spectacular Little Sis!

I am grateful for family today!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On the 2nd Day of Christmas...Cheese

Today I had lunch with a great friend at Atlanta Bread Company in Rogers and she told me about a great salad they had as a special. The selling point for me was it had Brie Cheese in it. I LOVE CHEESE! I love Dairy but the thing about cheese is that there is so many different types and so many different flavors that you can do so many different things with them. There is Brie, Goat, swiss, mozzeralla, chedder, pepper jack, blue cheese, cream cheese, gouda...and the list goes on!

Where I found the JOY in Cheese and where I saw Jesus was how I started to think how creative He must be! He took the time in all of creation to think up dozens and dozens of cheeses with different smells, flavors, textures, each with it's own process to be created and ablility to be used so diversely from the next, all to be created all over the world! If our God took that much time and forethought in something as small and trival as CHEESE.....then what does that mean about us!?

Just think that if God put that much effort into CHEESE, just think of the precious time and energy that He spent on you!? He thought of exactly how you were going to look (what color hair, eyes, hieght, shoe size, etc). Our God also covered every detail of your one of a kind personality, how your brain would work, what you would be talented at, what your laugh would sound like, and so much more than I could ever type out.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5

Our heavenly Father, loved you that much! He loves you as you are NOW! That includes everything you are not proud of and aren't fond of about yourself. You are God MasterPiece and all He wants in return is our Love and Faith! I am more than glad to my Lord and Savior just that!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1st Day of Christmas...Heavy Laden

It's that time of year....FINALS! Alex is studying hard and keeping long hours at the Library. I COULDN'T BE MORE PROUD of him working this hard and being so dedicated! Where I saw God today and found my joy.....
is that my parents had basketball tickets to the Arkansas vs Oklahoma game tonight. They couldn't go and nor could my sister. I had something but it got cancelled so I picked up Alex from School at 7PM to go to the game and we GOT A WHOLE 2 HOURS TOGETHER!

This is a big deal for us these days and God knew we needed the time together so He provided our schedules to open up and for an opportunity to arise that we could do something together!

God says in Matthew 11:28-29,
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for you souls."

Something as material as Basketball tickets might be a want and how they were provided might be seen as luck. But what I see is my God gave Alex rest from study and gave our marriage rest. I take JOY in my God taking my heavy laden and Give Thanks to my LORD!

31 Days of Christmas!!!

I've been thinking about Holidays and what they mean to us. We have Birthday's once a year to mark our age and to celebrate another year of life. However we can celebrate Life everyday. We have Thanksgiving once a year to give thanks for our ForeFathers, freedom and all more. But again, that shouldn't stop us from giving thanks every day.
Staying on that same thought line and today is the first day of December, I am thinking about Christmas! A day to remember Jesus birthday and to Rejoice in our LORD! But my thought is "I don't want to wait until Christmas day to do this! Lets START NOW!"

So for the Whole Month of December I AM..... going to find Jesus in every day and then give Thanks to Him while finding Joy in Him!

Day 1 Post is next....

I encourage you to do the same!

If I could, I would...Christmas!!! {Part 2}

I'm still stuck on how I would decorate for Christmas. What theme, what colors, how much or less is more? What kind of tree or garland......It's almost like planning a wedding! And I love Planning Weddings!!!!

So first I think decided on what Tree is the beginning of it all....

Upside Down -vs- Right side Up
For me this is a no-brainer...I'm just not that into the Upside Down tree.

I see the joy in going to pick out a Real Tree and how it feels the house with Christmas Scents. However I grew up with Artificial trees and I am too much of a practical girl. So I invest once in a "on-sale" tree that is PRE-LITE! I remember every year putting those crazy lights on, taking them off and then trying to untangle the next year. The PRE-LIT os so worth the MONEY!

I have grown fond of this look. I know its fake snow but I gave this ago this year on my $15 4ft tree from BIG LOTS and I love it. I have nothing on my tree but the Flocking from a can and I really enjoy it.

Again I grew up with White Lights but I am torn on this one. I love the fun playfulness of the colored but I lOVE the glow a room gets from the white lights.

This is endless so I just picked out a couple that I thought were neat/pretty! Take a look below!

{Family Tree with Pictures of multiple Generations on it}
{Turquoise & Silver}
This makes me think of my Sister and my Mom! We all love Turquoise!

{White & Gold}
So clean looking and elegant at the same time

{Just Flocking & Lights}
This is what I have right now but only a 4ft tree. it's still pretty!

{White & Rustic}


{Gold & Red}

My family loves Charlie Brown Christmas so I had to include this tree you can get at Target!

So what is your Taste......
Real or Artificial?
Flocking or Not?
Colored lights or White?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HomeMade Apple Pie - Pretty & Delicious!

I decided to bake an Apple Pie for Thanksgiving this year and since I get my free Subcription to Better Homes and Garden due to saw a Recipe for Cranberry-Apple Pie. Now I didn't include the Cranberries but the rest was wonderful!

I use a Recipe from the November Magazine that was easy enough, however took a little bit of time. (about 30-40 minutes) but I would dare to say FOOL-PROOF! Why would I say that? Well I did exactly as the recipe said but my crust didn't turn out anything like the picture (plus I didn't have a PASTRY BLENDER). Nevertheless, the crusts were wonderful after all was said and done!!!

I will use it again! To see the Recipe go HERE. It's also on Page 178 of the November 2010 BHG Magazine.
Then for the Apple Pie Recipe I also got this from The November 2o10 BHG Magazine (page 182). Or you can go HERE for the Recipe. Because I don't have any special tools, I did all of the peeling, de-coring, etc myself for the apples. This too me a good hour to do. After this everything else went fairly quickly. (about 30 minutes).

Since the Pastry Recipe makes 3 Servings (two were for the crust and one serving was for the topping of one of the pies), I needed another topping. So I made a strudel Topping which was just as delicious, just slightly different!