Monday, June 5, 2017


So, about a year ago, during a Sunday service, we were singing the song, Spirit of the Living God, and a phrase from the song got caught in my mind, and have been rolling back and forth for some time now. Here's a link in case you haven't heard it, or want a refresher :)

So the phrase that stuck was "It changes us, it changes what we see, and what we seek."
Now, in this particular song, this is talking about the Holy Spirit, but the phrase "what we see and what we seek" somehow really struck me that day, and at first, I started to consider what that means in my life. Not necessarily in respects to the Spirit, but to the idea of what am I seeing? So let me explain what I have been considering, and maybe this idea of perspective will stick with you too. I have lots of different takes on this, and I was thinking I might write a little mini-series on this topic and what I have been contemplating.

Have you ever played sports? If you are like me, and have dabbled in many different sports without actually sticking long term with any of them, there is something that holds true in most sports that changes how you play. From baseball to bowling, the phrase "Keep your eye on the ball" somehow rings true across the board. So when you go to throw a ball, be it baseball or football or whatever, you need to look where you are throwing. Seems simple right? Obviously, you are going to look where you are throwing. Having worked with my son when he was little, this technique is harder than you might imagine to grasp. But your throw with almost always go where you are looking. Now, whether you have the power to get it there, or the technique and so on is a different matter, but you have to position your head to look at where you are throwing. The same holds true in bowling. If you look at the pin you want to hit, you are far more likely to get the bowling ball where you want it. I would be interested to know if there is some reflex link that your arm follows you eyes, but I am not that far into neuroscience yet this summer, so stay tuned ;) but I digress.

So what you are looking at is where you end up, basically. So it made me really consider, what am I looking at? And I don't mean physically, of course. This speaks to focus. What is my focus, or what I am I seeing? What am I doing to get where I am looking? Because we all have dreams that we think about, big or small. And I am guessing, much like anyone, that I 'look' or think about where I want to be or what I want to be doing as often as the next person.

A couple months after this phrase got stuck in the back of my mind, Pastor Rob spoke on a Wednesday night about focus. And it was like rehitting this same nail on the head. This idea of what am I looking at has really made me stop and consider things in my life. Zach and I have made some very solid choices about where we want to be, and what it will take to get there. And it is very easy in the day to day, often drudgery, of life to forget the focus. When it is 2 am, and I am just finishing up a test, and I am exhausted, and have a list of things a mile long that I could just stay up and do, it is very easy to think none of this is worth while. That I should just throw in the towel and call it a day.

So, I want to know...where are you looking? What are you seeing? And how does it change your daily life?

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I am going to do something I never do, and before you get too sarcastic and say "Write a post?!" I am doing that as well. But I am going to write about something that I usually try to not do, which is, of course, be all emotional and lovey-dovey cutesy.

It's not really my thing. I am not usually very sentimental. Especially outwardly to others.

Today I am going to talk about my spouse.
He deserves his own post.
Actually, I could start a whole blog about him, though I might be the only avid reader. No, I think there is a solid Zach following that would tune in. I won't do that, however, so no need to get too excited.

But I will tell you this:

Once upon a time, I married a boy. A boy because we were basically both babies. I was 19 and he was 20 when we got married. We have spent most of our young lives figuring out life together. While all of our peers that married at the same time as we did were getting divorced, we just kept our heads down and figured it out. Was it always fun and easy? No. It's life. But Zach has a very simple outlook on life, and he is the most grace-oriented person I have ever met.

So basically my opposite in most ways.

Fast forward 3 years, and we have Bishop, and then 2 1/2 years later, we have Cadence. In those first 5 years, we lost 4 babies, one at 20 weeks, the others before 12 weeks. Now, I'm not saying you can't survive this, as we did, but there were a lot of years that it was not always certain.

The next 5 years were spent cleaning up the fallout, and then figuring out what life looks like for our family of 4.

And before you are all thinking the first 10 years of our marriage were terrible, they weren't. They were hard, there was lots of devastation, but there was also joy. And in everything in our life, we have done it together. We have finished degrees, we have two amazing children who complete our family in ways we could never have imagined, and we are strong as a unit.

My husband is the rock in our family. I think the best word to describe him is steadfast. He is consistent in everything.

He is also hilarious. He is really quiet, so unless you know him, you have no idea that he has the driest sarcasm that you just missed. And that is his genius. I am loudly sarcastic and funny, he is so quiet about it that when you do realize his humor, it's the best thing ever.

If I thought I loved him when we got married, that was a shadow of what I feel for him now, almost 12 years later. He is better than I could have imagined as a dad. He creates these magical moments for our kids that I am constantly shocked at. Which was the catalyst of this post.

This morning, we got up, the kiddos had breakfast, and he started working outside (we are still moving and getting things settled). Well, I sent the kiddos upstairs to get dressed, and when they come down, they were looking for him. He told them last weekend that they could play micro-machines this weekend if they kept their rooms clean. They have been looking forward to it all week. Bishop stayed up late perfecting his room last night.

So they come downstairs, and Zach had gone back outside. Out of no where, something starts ringing, like a phone, but it isn't my cell phone. We start searching for the ringing, to find in the kitchen (each of us have our own drawers to keep things important in) in their drawers, they each have a walkie-talkie that's on and ringing. Bishop, of course, immediately knows what it is, and grabs it, and Zach (who must be watching from somewhere), says "Commander Bishop, are you there?"

This is literally like a dream come true for my son. You can see it on his face. He grabs the walkie-talkie, and runs over to the door, and in his haste, puts his shoes on the wrong feet. Meanwhile, it is finally occurring to Cadence what is happening, so she runs and grabs her boots. Bishop is already out the door and running, radioing in, asking where he needs to go.

Zach comes in another door, and gets out his trunk of micro-machines. The kiddos eventually come in when radioed, and have been happily playing for about an hour with their dad.

If I never loved him before, watching him parent would make me love him better than I could have ever planned.

I don't think words could ever describe how proud I am of him as a person. From the boy that no one really understood, to the high-achieving man he is now, the father, and to me, the best partner I wasn't smart enough to even ask for.

We are quickly closing in on 12 years married. He is my husband, but more than that, he is my absolute best friend and life partner.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


You know what one of my very least favorite things is? Being busy. And I don't mean that in the way you probably think I do. I just seriously dislike when the word busy comes out of my mouth as an excuse. Or as a statement about my life. When people ask how everything is going, it is often so easy to just say, "Busy!" It's a badge of honor in our society that shows how important we are. I have so many things happening in my life, I'm so busy!

I hate that.

And I hate using the word hate, but that's a whole other thing, and I could easily get sidetracked here.

Back to being busy. Am I 'busy'? I suppose that could be a way to term it. I think saying that I am busy takes some of the responsibility off me, though. And that's really not fair, because I'm an adult. And I chose what's in my life and in my day. There are many things happening in my life right now, and I often feel like I am either a long distance swimmer who is keeping afloat, or a person spinning plates, keeping them all spinning at the same time. So I either have lots of plates, or many miles in my life. Either way, it boils down to a lot happening. The truth of the matter is that all the things, all the plates I keep spinning, all the miles, all the things are ones I have chosen.

I mean, some of them are permanent and some of them are just for the season.
I'm a wife. A mom. A full-time student. A soon to be employee (that's new!). A home builder. A home seller. A cook. A housekeeper (that could use some work). A Sunday school teacher. A Wednesday night teacher. A tutor. A friend. A sister. A daughter. A driver. Somewhere in there, a person who once had hobbies and things she liked doing.

The list goes on and on. And it boils back to my life being full of things and people. All the things and all the people that I chose to be there.

So I feel like if I complain that I am 'busy', it's something that I could change if I really wanted, which means I shouldn't complain.

This is a very round about way of saying that while I am often flooded with things to do, and feel like I spend many days chasing plates, or barely keeping nose my above water, all the things are good things! And I don't want to just tell people that I am busy.

But most days, I am barely afloat, with just my nose sticking out of the water, and I want to scream, "SAVE ME!" or I want to just stop spinning the plates and watch them all crash to the floor. I have more of these types of days than the ones where I successfully do All. The. Things.

I told someone last night that if I just had an extra 12 hours every day, uninterrupted, with no children or a spouse, I could really get my life under control.

So no sleep it is.

Just kidding. Sort of.

While I was running errands for my husband today (because that's always more important than the things I planned to do (read: Sarcasm font), this song came on the radio. And because I was alone in the car, I could actually hear it, and really listen to the words. And you know? I cried. And not like, single, graceful tear track down one cheek. Like ugly, red-nosed, pull over cried. Because this song was my day right then. Literally. my. day.

What incredible timing. So to all my over-worked, stressed, depressed, barely keeping their nose above water, chasing plates, and children, and spouses, and jobs, and life- friends out there.

Just. Breathe.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Looking up

This post has been rolling around in my mind for a while, maybe a month or so. Actually writing it out is a little strange, much like letting go of an era, or the changing of a season. So I am just going to rip the bandage off and say it- my kids have gotten older.

Now, obviously, this isn't a surprise to anyone. Time passes and people age. But last month, after a crazy semester of non stop classes that followed a summer of a full-time schedule of class, and a family vacation that was packed with...vacationing, I really had time to look up. And what I mean is more than physically looking up, since I don't constantly run into things, it is safe to say that I am always looking up, but I really took note of where my kids are in life currently. And it made me a little sad. Because I don't have little babies any more. Or even toddlers. Actually, I don't even have one toddler. I have a solid 5 year old and a 7, almost 8 year old. It was like coming out of the woods and into a clearing.

Both of my children pretty basically self regulate at this point. I can have solid, life conversations with them. I realize they are by NO means all grown up. I think the big change is that I seem to be surrounded by people with smaller children who are still in the thick of the proverbial woods, and working through solid behavior issues and generally baby/toddler things. And I am just not there any more.

And it is so freeing! I can take my kids anywhere, and they are legit nice to hang out with. They don't get crazy. We don't take naps (actually, that is something I miss). On the weekends, when I need to run errands, I really want one or both to come along with me so I can hang out with them, because they are fun to talk to individually or together. They have ideas and think about things in ways that I love to hear about. We are no longer in the intense baby/toddler phase. I spent so many years training behaviors and I am really reaping the benefits. They still have things that we are working on, of course, I don't think that ever goes away.

They sleep well, they feed themselves, dress themselves, brush their own teeth. Bishop showers on his own, Cadence only needs help with washing her hair. All these things that keep adding up to a different time. I think that's really what hit me. We are in a different time with our kids. Bishop is reading and Cadence is learning how. They do things on their own that they enjoy without any input from me. I love watching them grow up and find new things and create and imagine, and it is still a little surreal at this point. There are days that I am home alone while they are both at school. It is a new time.

So, for all my friends who are still in the trenches of baby/toddlerhood and feel like there is no end- here we are. All too quickly the days that seem endless pass, and here I find myself with 2 children capable of so many things that I felt would never happen. The weeks of potty training, the years of not sleeping, the many, MANY diapers, and feeding, and washing, and crying babies, and here I am.

It's a new era in our family. A new time. I love where we are, and work daily to enjoy and cherish this time that passes so quickly. Do the same. Where ever you are, whatever stage your child is in, it passes so quickly. So chose to enjoy it. One day you will look up, and they will have changed, and you don't want to miss that.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Best Sandwich Ever

Ok, I know it's been a while, because, you know, life is crazy right now, and anything I write tends to be for a class (which is SO exciting...blech). But I had to share this amazing sandwich, because it is amazing. I like grilled cheese sandwiches with soup, but they are usually just kind of blah, which is why you have to DIP them in soup. Anyways, I digress. So I came across this recipe on a page some time ago, and decided to give it a try. It is amazing! Ok, here is how it works :

So first, you take some butter (real butter), and let it melt in a pan over medium heat. Then lay the pieces of bread open across from each other:

Let them sizzle for a couple minutes to heat the butter and bread :) Add cheese to one side, then flip the other piece on top of it. Then add just a little bit of cheese on top. Not a bunch, just a little...

Let it cook for a minute or two, then flip it. Add a little cheese to the other side while it is still warm, and flip it!

Give it another minute or two to crisp up. 

Oh is soooo good. I suggest using some sharp cheddar mixed with whatever other cheese you like. You don't even need soup or a reason. Just make it and eat it. Because cheese. And butter. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

The actual point

Well, I was asked to speak at a women's event at our church about marriage and children, and to be honest, I didn't say a quarter of what I wanted to say, or even get to the point that I wanted to get to, and that's REALLY frustrating. But really, who can get to anything in five minutes!! Not this girl. Anyways, because I have this handy platform and an anonymous audience, I will now say what I want. So, if you want to read about marriage, carry on. If you don't, go ahead and click that handy "x" in the right hand corner :)

It is not often that I actually talk about marriage, which is kind of interesting, because of the two topics, marriage and children, I have far more experience with marriage than children. So you would think I would talk about it more...but I think it is one of those things that you get comfortable with, and to be honest, we are comfortable in our (almost (sheesh!!!)) 10th year of marriage. We know each other really well, and sure, we mess up occasionally, but we don't really mess up big anymore.

I can remember the first few years of being married, everyone always telling us that we were still 'newlyweds' and we didn't really know much, and now that I have a bit more perspective, of course they were basically right. I know we did a lot of things right, however. I know, because, well, we are still married. And sadly, there are MANY of our counterparts, who married around the same time as us who didn't make it. And that makes my heart sad. While I got married young, I am for sure a fan of waiting to get married. When I got married at 19, I had no idea who I actually was, what I really wanted in life, or where I was even going.

Luckily for me, my husband is a stabilizing force in my life. Ok, so my real point about marriage? Past choosing each other every day, and being best friends? Which, by the way, love is a choice (and therefore staying married is, of course, also a choice) that we have to make every day. Do I always feel like loving my husband? Of course not!!! I am human! I have bad days and days that I am not especially nice and lovely to be around. The difference for us is that at the end of the day, we are truly friends, and as the years pass, we become more and more solid in that friendship. I can get really mad at my husband, and be really upset about a choice he made or something he says. But I have a hard time staying really mad at my friend. The one who knows me better than I do myself most of the time.

Be good to each other.

That is my point. If you can just be especially good to each other, even when you don't feel like it, even when it's hard, and even when you are feeling lonely and unloved. Be really good to each other. Go out of your way to meet his/her needs. Do they get up early and head to work? Get up with them, make their lunch and their coffee for them. Kiss them before they leave. Make them muffins/cookies/cake/lasagna/whatever their favorite thing that they love but don't get often. Text them throughout the day to say hi. Do things for them that they appreciate, even if it isn't reciprocated right away.

Try to remember that they are the person you picked. The one you were sure was The One, even though, 10 years later, he still leaves is socks all over the place, and wet towels on the floor. Don't let yourself get petty. Be really good to each other. Regardless of if there is ever a turn around (there always is), the point is that doing good makes you feel good, and them feel loved. And what is the important thing? He is. Zach is the important thing. He is the one I am doing life with. Not the house, not the kids, not the dirty socks. Zach. And making him feel good and important to me is a priority.

So be really good to each other.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I'm no expert, buuuuttt......

I freely admit that I am a mommy blogger. Well, in so much as I am a mommy and I blog once every 6 months or so. I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old, and actually, I know lots about my particular 3 year old and 6 year old. Do some of those things probably apply to your kids? Yeah, maybe. But I am no childhood expert. Or child raising expert. So unless solicited, I do my best not to throw advice at people, especially if their kids are older than mine, as I just imagine they probably have years of experience more than I do.

It just comes with the parenting-territory. I have also adopted a 'not my kids' attitude, which helps me be less judgy about the way other people parent. Because the truth of the matter is, at the end of the day, I get to take my kids home, and you get to take yours home. And we both get to enjoy their behavior at home. So you know what? Parent your kids however it works for you and your family. And if your kids end up being nightmares to deal with in public and at home, at least you can't say it was my sage advice that pointed you in the wrong direction.

All that being said, there are some times that I witness obvious parent-fails. And let's be real here, there are times that I am the one committing the parenting-fail in all its glory. This last weekend, I had the honor of coordinating my sister in laws wedding. Which ended up with me running up and down stairs all day, and wrangling kiddos. Which I totally don't mind doing. There is always "that" kid in every bunch however. And this weekend, I got to deal with a dozey of one of those kids.

Let's just say for anonymity purposes, we will call this little boy "Bobby". Now, as I was getting everyone going in the right direction, I had a couple of normal run ins with Bobby, most of them consisting of me telling the group of boys to stop wrestling, or to stay inside/outside and what have you. Just normal stuff.

So as I am getting ready to bring the bridal party downstairs to go down the aisle, you can imagine my surprise to see Bobby (not in the wedding party, but a member of the family) eating a cupcake (that is part of the wedding cupcakes) in a hallway. So, I ask him where he got the cupcake (imagining that possibly he and some other boys may have ruined the cake/cupcake tables.). He pointed to a tray of extra cupcakes that were behind the bar, so WHEW, but still, not appropriate. So I *nicely* tell him that the cupcakes are for the reception, and to please not take anymore. He storms away (literally) with his half eaten cupcake. Curiosity gets the better of me, so I follow him out the door that leads to where the ceremony is taking place outside. He storms up to his father, and yells (this is no joke ya'll), "I GOT IN TROUBLE!!!" Then he proceeds to THROW his cupcake in the grass and stomp his feet and yell at his dad that it's his dad's fault he is in trouble!

Let's just pause for a moment here to enjoy the scene. I looked around to make sure someone else was seeing this happen, and luckily, a group of Ivey men were standing by, watching. SO glad to share this experience. Ok, back to what happened.

So then he and his father walk to me (standing near the door) and the father tells me that HE GAVE HIM THE CUPCAKE!!!

Let's pause one more time to discuss this. Um, so you know, you are at a wedding, and you happen by a couple tables FILLED with cake and cupcakes, and you think to yourself, "Yeah, it would be socially appropriate for me to take one of these cupcakes that is OBVIOUSLY for the wedding, and just let my poorly behaved child have one."

Because that's what you do at weddings. I guess I should be happy that the boy didn't want a piece of actual cake? Because his dad would have just cut him a piece before the wedding even started. Yeah. That's normal.
Ok, back to our normal programming.

So after the dad tells me this, with a fuming Bobby at his side, I very calmly say that the cupcakes are for the reception, and to please not take anymore. (Because I am an adult like that. And I can keep calm in ridiculous situations like this)

So then, I walk over to check on the grooms party, giving them a time frame and all that normal wedding jazz. As they are getting lined up, I head back inside to run upstairs and get the bridal party. As I head inside, I happen to pass the bar area, and guess what? There is that same dad, with Bobby, EATING ANOTHER CUPCAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't even handle this right now, so I just keep walking, shaking my head.

And adding exclamation marks in my head because REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again, I am no parenting expert.
But....I mean....REALLY?! In what world is it ever appropriate to take part of the wedding cake before a reception even starts? And where in the world is it ok to REWARD your horribly misbehaved child by not giving him ONE cupcake, that he THREW in the grass as he yelled at you, but to give him ANOTHER ONE!


I am actually still just plain ol' shocked that this happened in real life. Even better is that there was a group who got to enjoy it with me. I am not going to lie. I for sure told that same group later that he gave him another cupcake, and even they (not all married with children guys) where shocked.

So. You tell me. In what world is this an ok thing to have happen?

And I keep reminding myself that I don't have to take that kid home with me.

No my circus, not my monkey.