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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies


                                         2 1/2 cups flour
                                         1 tsp baking soda
                                         1 tsp salt
                                         1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
                                         1 cup packed brown sugar (or 1/2 cup packed splenda brown sugar)
                                         1/2 cup granulated sugar (do NOT substitute splenda)
                                         2 eggs
                                         2 tsp vanilla
                                         1 package (12 oz.) m&ms (or chocolate chips)


(Preheat oven to 350 degrees.)
1.  Beat butter, brown sugar, & granulated sugar in a large bowl until light & fluffy. 
Beat in eggs & vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, & salt. Add flour mixture gradually to butter mixture and beat until well blended.

3. Stir in m&ms (or chocolate chips).

4. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Cool & enjoy!

Cookies turn out best when this is your view from the kitchen and you play Christmas music while baking.

Do you have any special Christmas treat recipes? Post a link in the comments if you're willing to share. :) Happy baking!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Movie Review: Wreck-It Ralph

On a scale from 1 to Tangled (10) I give it...
Family Friendliness: Tangled (10)
Humor: 9
Scariness: 1.5
Good Ending: Tangled (10)
Overall: 9.5

This movie is great!!
I saw it in theaters twice and that rarely happens for me. I believe the only other Disney movie I saw in theaters twice was my perfect 10, Tangled

Disney has done it once again. Wreck-It Ralph is an instant classic in my book and will be joining our family collection ASAP. I laughed. A lot. I didn't predict what was going to happen in the end and was genuinely entertained. Nothing but solid, good-hearted fun.

Ralph is a bad guy who just wants to get some credit. At the end of his game he is thrown off a building and he lives in a dump, unlike Felix, who is the hero of their game and ends each turn receiving a big, shiny medal from the townspeople. It's easy to see why Ralph is jealous.  I mean who could blame the guy? Not a fun life.

When Ralph decides to prove his worth and earn a medal himself things take a turn for chaotic. The crazy events he sets in motion will have you laughing and guessing all the way. You'll find yourself rooting for Ralph & Vanellope until the end. The characters are absolutely lovable. I had a particular soft spot for King Candy & his lisp. Jane Lynch is perfect as Calhoun and Felix is now one of the most quoted cartoons at my house.

Whether you're a kid, have kids, or are a kid at heart (and even if you aren't) go see this movie. You'll have a great time, I promise.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Light in the Tunnel

Well today is the final post in the "Ectopic Pregnancy Scare" series, but definitely not the last post in the fertility journey. This was all just one little part of our journey. You can catch up here with part 1 and part 2.

I had an appointment with my doctor today and it was overall very good. This was my first time to meet the doctor (I had previously met with the PA) and I really liked him. I am so thankful Crockett was off and got to go with me. First we found out that I do in fact have the 2 blood disorders that I was tested for a week ago. I will meet with a hematologist sometime next week to discuss the life implications of these disorders, but because almost all the women in my family, including a nurse and my sister, has already tested positive I pretty much know what it means for me. I won't bore you with details, but basically I have a genetic mutation. If you are really curious you can read more about them here: Factor 5 Leiden and MTHFR mutation.

More importantly we found out about this supposed ectopic pregnancy they were worried I had. It has been determined I am NOT pregnant. Thank you, Jesus, for keeping me safe! What I do have, however, is a cyst on one of my ovaries and the doctor believes the cyst had released blood which is what the "blockage" was. At first this scared me because a good friend of mine had cysts on her ovaries and had to have painful surgery to remove them. Apparently the kind I have is normal and the doctor isn't worried about it.

So the scary part is over and now we are back on our original fertility journey. I have been prescribed a fertility drug so now we begin the process of starting that. I'm a little nervous because I know that fertility drugs increase the chances of multiples. (Funny side story: When I was picking up my prescription the pharmacist said, "That drug gave me twins. Be careful." Awesome. Way to scare me to death.) But let's be honest, I was totally freaked about getting pregnant before this. If you don't know this about me, I am a total wimp. And I'm not exaggerating. I'm the biggest baby when it comes to pain that you've ever met. I cry every time I vomit or even feel nauseous. So as much as I want to be a mom and feel deeply called to motherhood, I am pretty much terrified of pregnancy. And also of caring for a newborn alone. (Hubs is gone a lot with his job and everyone I know lives across the country.)

BUT GOD. (Ephesians 1) But God has redeemed me and I am a daughter of Christ. I have the Spirit who will get me through this. All the things I'm terrified of, all the things I know will be difficult, I know I will endure and I will be just fine. God is my rock and my strength when I am weak. I know it won't be easy, but I am prepared to be all that I can be in whatever role God calls me to. If he calls me to be the mom of one or none or six I will do it with all that I have for the glory of the King. So right now I'm nervous and I'm scared, but I'm praying for peace because ultimately I have nothing to fear. I am safe in the hands of my Creator who loves me and so are my babies (however many of them there may be!).

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.- Psalm 139:13

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pregnant? Who the Heck Knows?

Today I woke up feeling like last night was a bizarre dream and wondering what would be next for me. (You can catch up on last night's craziness by clicking here.) I called my doctor's office to see if they had received my ultrasound pictures from the ER yet and just to make sure they knew what was going on. The receptionist told me that there were no doctors in the office today and they wouldn't be able to read anything until tomorrow (Friday). I wished that wasn't the case, but what could I do. So I got up and poured myself some cereal and watched a little On Demand until I got a phone call from my doctor's office about an hour later. It was a different lady and she said the radiologist reviewed my pictures and still thinks the blockage is an ectopic pregnancy. 

I wasn't sure why they were so sure that's what it was when my blood test was negative for pregnancy, but the lady asked if I could come back to the hospital today for another blood test. She said the doctor believes I am not very far in the pregnancy and the hormone just wasn't detected yet. So she sent my lab request to the hospital and told me I would also need to come in to the doctor's office tomorrow to speak with him about options.

I called Crockett to update him and quickly got dressed. I headed back down to the hospital and when I got to the parking lot my phone rang again. This time it was an ultrasound tech calling to ask me if I could come in today to do another ultrasound. The radiologist who looked at my pictures last night wanted another look. Thankfully I was already at the hospital and wouldn't have to make a second trip into town.

I registered in outpatient and then had my blood drawn for the third time in 7 days. (You should see the lovely shades of blue and purple my arms are.) The lab tech told me she was personally going to go to the back and test my blood and that the doctor should have the results this afternoon. (She could see on my form the concern was ectopic pregnancy and she could tell I was anxious for answers.) Next I headed back to ultrasound thinking I'm going to have the layout of this place down really quick.

There was a new ultrasound tech today and a med student with her. They did another ultrasound and told me my uterus is tilted to the back which can make it difficult to conceive and carry a baby. Before she let me leave she asked the radiologist to look at my scans to make sure he didn't need any more. She came back in and told me that the doctor actually believes there is no blockage and that last night what appeared to be a baby in my Fallopian tube was actually fluid in my intestines. Say what?? Talk about confusing. So she had the scans sent over to my doctor and tomorrow I have an appointment to go talk through all of this. Right now I'm thinking no one knows what exactly is going on. I'm not even worried anymore because it's all so crazy. Hopefully we'll have some answers tomorrow and thankfully Crockett is off this weekend. No more calling the station and feeling like a crazy obsessive wife. He's got a job to do for cryin out loud! Silly doctors and techs gettin me all worked up.

Here's what I do know, however. Jesus loves me. I know saying it like that sounds juvenile, but the God who created all life not only knows me; he deeply loves and cares for me. And that is everything I need in life so it really doesn't matter how this turns out. Pregnant, not pregnant, unable to ever become pregnant... The God of the universe loves me. What else do I need? 


"Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God."

Psalm 146:1-5

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Side Journey

I think it's time for an update on the Thompsons. I'm gunna share a bit about our infertility struggles and if you think that's too personal you can read my reasons for sharing at the bottom.*

Hubs and I have been trying to start our family for over a year and now that we have settled into a place we're going to be for a bit I've started seeing a doctor to begin figuring out what is going on. One of the things my doctor ordered was an ultrasound to determine if anything was out of the ordinary. 

Tonight I went to the hospital (where my ultrasound was scheduled to be) and began to have my procedure. I knew something was odd when the tech left in the middle of the ultrasound and said, "I'll be back. I want to check your chart." She was gone for about 15 minutes. When she came back she went on with the ultrasound and when she was done told me to sit tight while she checked with the doctor to make sure she got all the pictures he needed before I left. I sat with my things waiting to leave for about 20-30 minutes. When she finally came back she said, "Go ahead and grab your things. Come with me we're going to go over to the the ER." 

I was startled and when I asked why she said she couldn't tell me. She walked me across the hall and when I asked her if I needed to call my husband she said I could if I wanted him to be there. Thank goodness Crockett was able to come! He was there in minutes because the station isn't too far from the hospital. After we got into the ER the ultrasound tech told me to have a seat on the nearest bed. She then walked to the nurses station where I watched her say something to the group of women and then they all looked at me and began talking. The tech then left the ER and on her way out said to me, "Have a good night." I was stunned.

A few minutes (which felt like an eternity) went by and a nurse came over to me. She asked me why I was in the ER today. I could only tell her I had no idea. She asked me where my pain was and she looked dumbfounded when I told her I wasn't in any. At this point I was incredibly anxious. My hands were shaking. My heart was racing. I had no idea what to expect, and all I knew was that I hate pain. The nurse took my vitals and had me change into a gown. Crockett got there around this time and was able to hold my hand while the nurse got the IV in my arm. 

Finally the doctor came in and told us that the ultrasound tech had seen what she believed to be an ectopic pregnancy on the ultrasound. My heart sank. But then my brain caught up and the timing just didn't make sense. If I was pregnant I was only 5 days pregnant and the tech had told me that it would be way too early to see a pregnancy that early. The doctor told us that a tubal pregnancy would need surgery and that he'd run a blood test and get back to us. So for close to an hour we waited and all the while I was trying not to grieve the loss of the baby that may or may not exist. It was an incredibly complicated thing. It was hard to convince myself not to be sad about something we don't know for sure when it was such a sad and devastating thing. 

The doctor came back in eventually and told us that my blood test came back negative for pregnancy. So whatever is in my tube, it isn't a baby. Praise Jesus! I am so thankful that I serve the God of the universe who knows all things and is in all things. He's already in the future knitting together my children. He already knows how all this will play out and I'm so thankful for that. I praise him for keeping me safe and I trust him with the unknown. 

Now we wait to meet with my doctor to find out what is going on and how we can fix it. Hopefully this is just one step closer to finally getting our baby. :)

*I've decided to share my stories about struggling to get pregnant because I believe God works through everything. "And they have conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony..." Rev 12:11 I know that God will use my story as a greater part of His story and I am honored to be used. Also, I am willing to publicly share my struggle because I'm excited to publicly share my praise and give Him glory when our little baby finally arrives.

Monday, October 29, 2012

God's Tests

The quote above says, "When you are going through something hard and you wonder, 'Where is God?' Remember the teacher is always quiet during a test."

Here is why I reject that:

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one." James 1:13

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Genesis 28:15

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." 

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:15-21

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Love Story

     When I was a little girl if you had asked me, "Who are you going to marry?" I would have said, "My best friend." It would have been a silly question. I had seen enough fairy tales and happily ever afters as a young girl to know that you were supposed to grow up and marry your best friend. As an adolescence, the answer to that question would have been the same. I was determined to have my own Disney princess story and I had already dubbed my only constant friend the role of prince charming.

     My best friend was someone who I had known all my life and had always been there for me. As a kid I liked him because he would play with me on the playground and sit by me in Sunday school. What else did I need from a friend? As a teenager he was my confidant because no matter what I was going through I always ran to him and he was there with a shoulder to cry on. He was an all American boy with an all American dream, to be in the Army. It's all he ever talked about and all he ever dreamed of. When he was finally able to pursue that dream I made my feelings on the matter crystal clear. "NO." It was all I ever said. Until the Army rejected him due to medical problems and my reply to the news was a resounding, "YES!" But that wasn't going to stop him. Shorty after realizing his Army dreams were a dead end he became a Marine. 

     I was devastated and scared to death for two reasons: 1. The obvious. It was 2006 and we were still sending troops to Iraq and I just knew he would be gone before I could even process what was happening. 2. I was going to have to find someone else to be my husband.

     He knew me well and before leaving for his first tour in Iraq he said to me, "Sweetheart, you're the kind of girl that needs to be held. You can't do this." At the time I protested, telling him I could do it and I would be brave. Deployment would be fine. But he was right and we both knew it. At that time in my life the very last thing I needed was more abandonment. I had enough issues to land me in counseling for years and I wouldn't have been able to throw deployed husband to the mix. It was bad enough I was facing a deployed best friend.

      I was angry with him for a while, but two years later I met a boy who had no intentions of joining the military. (I checked.) He had once wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force, but learned that he would never be able to due to his color blindness. I watched him become a man and within two years of knowing him, he was my husband.

     Then the strangest thing happened. Suddenly I found myself alone on my second wedding anniversary because my husband was in boot camp. Talk about a surprise twist in life! I was a military wife after all. The difference however was in the man I married.

     You see, for my best friend the military was his dream, but for my husband I am the dream. While my husband loves his job very much and does it extremely well, he ultimately sees it as a means to provide for his family. I know that when he is gone he'd rather be home. He is a dedicated servant of Christ and a fierce servant of one woman, me. Everything he does is with my best interest at heart. It is incredibly easy to submit to a man who I can trust. I trust that in every decision he makes he seeks the Lord's will and then makes the decision he feels will benefit our family the most. 

     I had always expected my best friend to become my husband, but what happened was just the opposite. My husband became my best friend. Fourteen days after briefly meeting at a football game we were in a committed relationship headed straight to marriage. For us it wasn't a slow realization that your friend was becoming to mean more. It was an instant recognition between two souls that were created by the God of the universe to go through this life as one. I didn't meet a boy, get to know him, become his friend, and then fall in love. I met my love, got to know him, and then became his friend.

     So in the end I did get my fairy tale. Christ is my prince who saved me from certain death, and my husband is my compliment who loves me unconditionally. What more could a girl want than a prince to save her life and a love to share that life with?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Measuring Cups = Healthier Me

I'm hesitant to write this post because it is about eating healthy and the weight loss that comes with it. If you know me at all you know that I have a serious addiction and an even more serious lack of self-control. I love all things sweet, especially chocolate, and I do not possess the ability to stop myself from indulging when a craving hits. I also have a real medical problem which does not allow me to have an empty stomach for very long. When I start to feel hungry I have a matter of minutes to eat something before I begin to shake, get dizzy, and eventually pass out. 

It's happened before.
With all that said you'll understand what I mean when I say healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight have been difficult for me, especially these past 2 years. Sometimes I lose track of time and very suddenly I'm hit with hunger pains. I do not have time to grill some chicken or steam some vegetables. In those moments I typically eat whatever I have handy, no matter how unhealthy it may be.

I have tried dieting, eating healthy, and even exercising, but it never lasts longer than a month and I'll tell you why. 1. I don't see results and I get frustrated. 2. None of my diets have included Nutella, chocolate cake, or cookies. In fact, they usually included a lot of things like apples & bananas which are 2 things I only eat covered in Nutella.

Recently, however, I have been brainstorming for a way to make a healthier lifestyle stick. Crockett and I plan on starting a family within the next few years and I know that I need to be in good health to give my baby the best chance he or she can have at being born as healthy as possible. So I have started over. (Mind you I'm only on day 4.) I have realized two major things that are really helping me this time. 1. I have lost my natural sweet tooth. Meaning, I don't find anything in nature to be sweet. Did you know that an apple is supposed to be a sweet food? (According to Dr. Oz) I have poured countless amounts of sugar, Nesquik powder  Nutella, & syrup on my food and now nothing tastes sweet unless it's drowning in sugar. This is a huge problem!! The second thing I've learned is I have no idea how to proportion my food. Well, I do now, but I wasn't doing it before. If I wanted some Nutella I would grab the jar and a spoon and whatever I was smothering to death that particular day and have a seat on the couch. Do you know what the serving size of Nutella is? Well I didn't know there was a serving size much less that it's only 1 tablespoon. I was eating about 1 tablespoon per bite! Kinda crazy if you think about how many bites there are in an apple...

So my new, handy helper? Measuring spoons & cups!!
I even have these awesome collapsible cups I got from my aunt as a wedding gift. I love them so.

The other tool I'm using is Here's a sample of my profile.

(click to enlarge)

This awesome website is a place that tracks your health. You put in what food you've eaten and any activity you did and it breaks down everything for you. How much of each food group you've had, how many calories, sodium, oils, fats, etc. You can track your weight and it identifies a healthy activity target and you can set goals for yourself. So far, I'm in the middle of day 4 and I've already lost 3.5 lbs. I use this website to plan my meals for the next day that way I can adjust it to make sure I'll get enough of every food group. (Turns out I wasn't getting near enough dairy in my diet.) I'm also limiting my calorie intake and doing at least 30 minutes of Wii sports boxing and Just Dance every day. I've actually had a lot of fun tracking everything,  (That's the super organized nerd in me.) and I'm hoping this will stick because I can have the occasional sweet, just in the appropriate moderation. For example now I have 1 tablespoon of Nutella on my plate with my sliced up banana and the challenge to make it last is pretty exciting. I can also track that tablespoon and see that it is primarily empty calories and offers no nutritional value so I make sure I have it sparingly and on days where I'm eating less empty calories elsewhere in my diet.

I'm actually having a hard time eating everything on my daily list because I'm too full. By the end of every day so far there are at least 2 snacks on my list that I didn't get to. I try to eat a meal every 4 hours and a snack 2 hours after each meal, but I'm finding that I'm often full after only half my allotted amount. Not a normal problem for me! I'm also not allowing myself to stray from the food groups for at least one week. I want to push myself because I've been asking God to help me with my self-control. After one week I will allow myself the occasional sweet, but for now my dessert is 1/2 cup 100% grape juice! (Husband is thoroughly enjoying my daily excitement of, "Guess what time it is! It's snack time! I get 1/4 cup pistachio nuts!!" He's been asked to eat his Oreos away from me.)

If you're looking for a way to track your diet and ensure you are getting healthy amounts of everything I highly recommend this site. It even reports your nutrient intake and has an option for pregnant or breast feeding women. :)

Fill in the Blank Friday

Link up with Lauren @ thelittlethingswedo

1.  One thing I plan on doing to relax this weekend is   watch a movie in my jammies in our brand new movie room. Surround sound, projector screen, popcorn, & a Disney movie. Sounds perfect.

2.  A big pet peeve of mine is   hovering. I strongly dislike when I am doing something (typing in particular) and someone is over my shoulder watching/reading. It drives me nuts.

3.  I am really loving It is this awesome website that helps you track your food and activity. It calculates how much of each food group you've eaten for the day and allows you to set calorie/weight/activity/etc. goals for yourself. It is amazing.

4. The rain is   all I've seen for the past week. Ok, not really, but it feels like it. I've seen the sun once it the last 6 or so days. I like the rain, but the dogs are going stir crazy.

5. My favorite girly indulgence is  Disney princess movies.

6. A song I always get stuck in my head is   Katy Perry's "E.T." Now it's there again, thanks Lauren!

7.  The best cure for stress is  worship & prayer. Nothing makes me feel better about my problems like realizing they aren't actually problems I need to worry about.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

I'm a little late, I know.
Link up with Lauren HERE

1.  My favorite flower is   the Calla Lilly. Although it isn't very people friendly and a little expensive.

2.  You should never talk about   nothing. I don't think anything should be off limits in the right environment. I think as Christians we need to embrace every topic including the hard ones like politics. We need to be salt and light in all areas and show the world that Christians aren't cowards (with grace and love, of course). God has a design for every aspect of life.

3.  My favorite discovery as of late is  a home organization blog I found on pinterest. She breaks down how to organize every room in your house. I'm loving it.

4. This fall you will probably find me wearing    my new boots!!

5. I wish I were   done unpacking. Moving = not fun.

6. My favorite TV show currently is    Walking Dead, Once Upon A Time, & Private Practice. My must watches. :)

7.  This weekend I want to  finish unpacking although that's a long shot.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

link up with Lauren @ thelittlethingswedo

1.  The last thing I ate was    greek yogurt with strawberries and granola   .

2.  The last time I went to the beach was   in June. Family trip to Galveston, TX!    .

3.  My last vacation was   a month ago. I went on a cruise to Mexico with the lovely ladies in my family. It was amazing.

4. The last place I drove was     home from my errands.

5. The last song I listened to was   "Never Once" by Matt Redman. His latest album is fantastic.

6. The last thing I watched on TV was   Private Practice on demand. :)

7.  The last time I said "I love you" was  this morning when hubs went to work.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My adventure in the great, wide somewhere

I asked for adventure didn't I?

Well, we made it to Michigan. Praise Jesus for his protection over our 3 day journey. We left Saturday and pulled into town on Monday afternoon. We stayed in hotels from Saturday night until Friday when we moved into our home. We were pretty tired of eating out and not having any of our own things, but to be honest not too much has changed. We and the dogs and our 2 car loads of stuff made it to Michigan but the rest of our things have not. The coast guard "moved us" and the moving company will not be delivering our furniture and boxes until Oct. 9. They picked everything up from Denton last Thursday so I'm hoping it gets here early. I can't see how they would drag that trip out to almost 2 weeks, but maybe I'm wrong. We'll see. 

So we have TX summer clothes, essential bathroom toiletries, our computers, a few books & DVDs, a file of important documents, and dog food. When we got here we had to purchase a pot, an ironing board, a mattress, and a small tv, you know... the essentials, to hold us over until our real stuff arrives. I am so excited for our couches and router to get here. Right now I am sitting on the floor to be on the internet and my back hurts after a while of this. I'm looking forward to having wireless internet so I can use my laptop from my comfy couch. 

Crockett has been working a lot, leaving me alone most days and many nights. The transition has been difficult at best, but I am trying very hard to look on the bright side and find what God has for me here. I miss my family and friends. I miss my community in Denton. My church, my sisters, my job. My house. I miss having a multitude of restaurants at my fingertips (mainly Chick-fil-A and Whataburger) and WalMart 5 minutes away. I miss sushi and going to the movies. I miss Texas... so much.

Oscoda, Michigan...

My new home.

It's weird to think I'm going to be living here for the next 4 years at least. It definitely does NOT feel like home yet. It's just so odd to think ahead with this place in mind. My first teaching job will probably be here. Our first child will probably be born here. The idea of my child not being a Texan hurts my heart. Let me tell you about this place we call home...

Oscoda is home to 900 people. (There were more people in my high school.) We have one K Mart,  McDonalds,  KFC/Taco Bell, Burger King, and Subway. There are no coffee shops. The main attraction (that houses the RedBox) is Family Dollar. There is one movie theater that shows one movie once a week. (Currently showing The Odd Life of Timothy Green) There is no vet. There is one bowling alley. (We haven't been in, but it is called something or another bowling lane so I wouldn't doubt if it literally has 1 lane.) There is a tiny put put place that looks to have about 6 putting greens. It takes about 10 minutes going 25- 35 mph to drive through the entire town. The nearest city is over an hour and a half away.

And the bright side (I told you I'm trying...)

There is a gorgeous lake (Lake Huron) visible from "downtown" and it is breathtaking to be standing on the shore with your husband as the moon is rising. The sky here is INCREDIBLE. I know this sounds silly, but I am obsessed with the sky here. I don't know if it's because we are hundreds of miles from a city or what, but something makes the clouds here stunning. (Besides God of course) Fall is approaching and the leaves are starting to change colors. My favorite is this bright shade of red that I have never seen in nature before. It is unbelievable. (I think one of the bushes in our front yard is going to be this color!) Christmas trees grow wild here and they are everywhere. (Including 3 in my back yard.) The high temperature has been in the low 60s since we got here and I have taken up hot tea. There are black as night squirrels (Crockett calls them demon squirrels.) and I think they are so neat. Chipmunks live here too. 

This is the red tree I was talking about. They aren't this red all over yet; I found this picture online, but I will post one I see as Fall progresses.

Right now I'm adjusting to life away from everything I know and love, but I am taking refuge in my God who has never left my side. It is incredibly comforting to know that he is still God. He will always be God no matter where I am or how I feel. I am grieving my losses right now, but I know that right around the corner are better days. God has something in store for me here and he is going to use me in a big way. There is a reason for everything and in every season of my life I will praise the God who gives and takes away. I can't wait to plug into a church here and worship in community again.

The past 3 years of my life have been pure joy and happiness. My "trials" were nothing compared to this. I am running completely on faith right now and I can say it is well with my soul. I am growing with my Father and I am so thankful for that. 
"In Christ alone I place my trust and find my glory in the power of the cross. In every victory let it be said of me my source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone."

This week I'm taking my camera out to get some pictures of this place. I'll have them up soon.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Movie Review: Katy Perry, Part of Me

Let me preface this with my feelings on Katy Perry before I saw this movie. I <3 kp="kp" nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

My feelings now? The same. :)

This girl makes awesome music. She has an incredible voice. And not just on the radio, her live voice is outstanding. She has raw talent. She writes, she sings, she dances, she's got it. She is a great performer. And she is beautiful on top of all that. I really have always liked her music and the fact that she and Michael Jackson are the only ones to have 5 hit singles from one album speaks volumes about her popularity and talent.

Now, on to the movie. 
It was super cute and real. I am still shocked she put so much of her personal marital issues into the movie. I'm so glad she did because it just proved she is a real girl with real problems, but her vulnerability was surprising. There is one scene that gave me unbelievable respect for her. In the midst of her divorce and her heart breaking to a million pieces she was a crumbled mess of tears and incoherent sadness. She was laying on her make up chair just crying and clinging to a necklace given to her by her husband. Her producers, managers, and all the people in charge were at a loss. Katy was supposed to go on stage and perform in minutes. They kept asking her what she wanted to do. They told her she could cancel the concert. But she didn't. She got herself together and stood on the platform that would bring her to the stage, crying the whole way. She honestly looked like she was going to collapse. And then she took a minute, gathered herself, put on a smile and the platform began to rise on stage. My heart has been there. Completely destroyed and wanting to crawl into a hole and disappear. There is no way I could have ever been as courageous as she was. As sacrificial as she was. The dedication she has to her fans is unreal. 

Go see the movie. You won't regret it. (Plus you get to listen to a lot of KP music!)

Here's the trailer for you.

Fill in the Blank Friday

1.  My first memory is    I have no idea. I have lots of memories from when I was little, but I have no idea which one was my first. Do people actually know what their very first memory is?? 

2.  My first love was   complicated. The first person I loved did not truly love me back so I'll answer with the first real love I experienced that was mutual, my husband. He was the first person to love me for who I am and not what I could do for him and how I make him feel. He loves me sacrificially like Christ loves the church and I am the most undeservedly blessed woman to walk this earth.

3.  My very first favorite color was    again... do people actually know this?? Let me tell you, I taught preK, kids like all kinds of crazy colors when they are young. I remember liking pink when I was 5, but if that was truly my first favorite color I have no idea.

4. The first time I really felt like a "grown-up" was when     ok, apparently I don't pay attention to "this is my first time to experience..." I have no idea when the first time I felt like a grown up was. I know that things that have made me feel grown up were moving out, getting married, starting college, paying bills.

5. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is   pee.

6. The first CD (cassette tape, record, etc...) I ever bought was    my first CD was Ray Boltz. My mom had a lot to do with that purchase.

7.  My first car was  Big Red! O how I miss Big Red. A red Chevy S10 that lasted me 6 years after the 10+ yrs it was my uncle's. I did so much growing up in that little truck.

Link up with Lauren @ thelittlethingswedo

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday

Time to Link up with Lauren @ thelittlethingswedo

1.  Something I am very proud of is     my marriage. I don't take credit at all, but it's one of my biggest blessings. With Christ as the center my husband and I have been so blessed to be on this journey together. God is so good to both of us, beyond what either of us deserves.

2.  My favorite thing about myself is   my eyes. I really like having green eyes. Also, I like my handwriting.

3.  My favorite color for fall is    orange! But that's really my favorite color for any season. I just really love orange.

4. Something I've been learning lately is      to trust in God's plan and to relinquish my own. I think I'm constantly learning this one, but lately it's been very present. I have all these ideas about how my life should look and what it should be. God is constantly reminding me to surrender that to him.

5. A book I am reading now/have read recently is   I just finished "The Host" for the second time. It was so good... again! If you want to know more go check out my book review here.

6. My favorite Pandora Station is   MercyMe Radio.

7.  This weekend I will   be unpacking what little we brought with us to our new house in Michigan!