"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." Psalm 71:14-15

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health, Love and Wealth...

And Time to Enjoy It. That's what the pewter plate reads that was given to us for our wedding by GP and Grandy (Matt's grandparents). It sits in a plate holder on top of our refrigerator. The same plate spent many years in GP and Grandy's kitchen, and it meant so much to us when we received it. And now, today, I realized how much more I treasure the gift and the blessing inscribed on it.

My friend Karson faces a very long battle ahead of her, that started this morning with the first of her INDEFINITE chemo treatments (that's right, indefinite, straight from her doctor's mouth). I noticed our plate this morning, and it rocked me to the core. It sits beside the bananas, and I get a banana for breakfast every morning, but today I really noticed it and read it for the first time in a while.

Life, love, family, friends, time are such precious gifts from God. Brian preached about it Sunday. The way we choose to spend our TIME each day, each task, are the most important decisions we make. No one is ever faced with their own mortality wishing that they spent more time at the office getting work done, or the gym trying to perfect our physical appearance, or in the yard trying to have the greenest lawn on the block. When faced with the big stuff, life or the end of it, we want more TIME with the ones we LOVE.

I am possibly facing an opportunity that may take more TIME from me than I am willing to give. Even though I've been waiting a while on an opportunity, this opportunity just may not be worth it. I can wait a little more, I guess. In the end, I will thank me for it. Right now, I have HEALTH (thank you Jesus); I have LOVE from an amazing man and so many family and friends; I have enough WEALTH to be comfortable. In light of all of that, I choose to spend the TIME I do have enjoying it!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Me! Monday

It's that time again!! To enjoy MckMama's Not Me! Monday, click the link below.



As for me, let me start by saying that I enjoy Not Me Monday whether you enjoy reading it or not! So if you're sick of it, tough.

Last Monday evening, I did not spend the evening making new friends with some ladies from church, UMW Circle 10, who coincidentally DO NOT have their monthly meetings at a restaurant away from the church in an excuse to have kid-free, husband-free, vino-enjoying dinner!! NOPE, these do NOT sound like folks I would hang out with at all, nor do they affirm why I'm a Methodist. Ahh.

On that note, I ABSOLUTELY did NOT wear a Wine Over Water t-shirt to see Steven Curtis Chapman on Faith and Family Night at Riverbend because I thought it would be hilariously ironic!! If I had done that, I wouldn't have been just a teeny bit embarrassed to run into friends from the Emmaus Community wearing said shirt.

I did not spend most of the concert sending unanswered text messages to my husband in bumble Kentucky where he could not receive them because I missed him so much.

I definitely DID NOT spend most of the time that Steven Curtis Chapman was talking about his adoption ministry Show Hope thinking about the possibility of a blended family of my own some day!! Nope, NOT ME!!

I did not spend each night Matt was away on his golf trip up past 1 am because I could not sleep. Not me!!

I did not fib about a stomach bug so that I could stay home from work and sew on Wednesday, only to find myself in the toilet minutes later with, you guessed it, an upset stomach. That Kharma's a bitch I tell ya.

If I had done that, I still would not have enjoyed staying home and sewing on Wednesday in spite of physical ailments!!! :D

On same said Wednesday, I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT send a mass email venting my frustrations about cancer (see post below) with the title Cancer Can Kiss My Ass to friends, family, and oops the pastors at church!!!! NOPE, NOT ME!!!!!!!

I was not so excited to see my husband when he got home on Thursday that I totally forgot about a phone call consultation I had arranged earlier in the week, not me!

I did not totally screw up our Saturday plans by thinking a birthday party that was actually 2-4pm was 4-6pm and we did not show up 15 minutes before it was over!! nope, not me!!

I was NOT totally mortified at the messy condition of our house on Saturday when my friend had to come over and feed and walk the dogs while we were in ATL.

I did not spend a couple of hours on the couch Sunday napping, furthur complicating my attempts to fall asleep at night. Nope, NOT ME!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cancer Can Kiss My ASS!!

That about sums it up. Cancer can kiss my ass, it sucks. I love my friend and I don't want her to have cancer again, but she does. So I'm just going to ask for prayers. Karson and Jason need it, and so do we (their friends and family).

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/karsonbeaty

Monday, June 8, 2009

Not Me Monday!!

Not Me Monday is a blog carnival hosted by MckMama where we are given the opportunity to confess the reality of our daily lives! To read MckMama's Not Me Monday post, click the link below.



I did not use the excuse of being sore from Sunday's hike to skip workouts Monday AND Tuesday. How long has it been since I went to the gym???

I did not avoid answering a phone call from my mom on Tuesday while I was at small group because I KNEW she was calling with concerning news about my friend Karson needing prayers (news I had been on pins and needles waiting on for two days). NOT ME, I always deal with reality in the moment, so it would be totally out of character for me to do that. So I DID NOT.

I certainly did not ask myself every day the rest of the week if I really had to get out of bed. Yep, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning I popped up happy as a lark!! And IF I had tried to avoid getting out of bed those days, it certainly would not have cause me any concern about my own mental and emotional health.

I did not spend the last hour of my work day researching and writing previous post on cloth diapering. NOT ME!! I would NEVER do that!!

After such a crappy week that didn't happen, I wasn't able to throw my cares away for a few brief hours on Friday at Riverbend while seeing The Red Headed Stranger in concert for the first time ever!!! That's right folks, I DID NOT see THE Willie Nelson in concert and he did not totally lift my spirits with those old bluegrass gospel favorites like "Will the Cirlce be Unbroken," "I'll Fly Away," and "I Saw the Light". And if I HAD seen Willie perform all of these magnificent songs, it wouldn't have prompted me to immediately search online when I got home for any gospel albums he's recorded to request as birthday gifts this year. Nope, not me!!

I did NOT wait until 11:30am to get out of bed on Saturday, and it did not take me until 4pm to get around and take the dogs to the dog park!

I did not spend Sunday evening enjoying the musical talents of The Wailers at Riverbend. Nope, I did NOT see Bob Marley's band LIVE!!!

I am certainly NOT going to miss my DH Matt while he is gone on a golfing trip with his dad. Nope, not me... sniff.

Friday, June 5, 2009

MAMA-JAMA Cloth Diapering Blog Post!!!

SO, as most of you know I'm super passionate about being good stewards of Gods magnificent creation...

NO I'M NOT PREGNANT AND AM NOT PLANNING TO BE FOR A GOOD LONG WHILE (just in case this post title sent off any alarms). BUT when that time comes I am VERY interested in doing the cloth diaper thing! Hey, if it was good enough for my bum it's good enough for my babies' bums too!

Ahem, AS I was saying before I was so RUDELY interrupted by my nosy readers. There are many benefits to cloth diapering and TONS of resources out there for moms and dads (present or future) who are interested but totally intimidated by the idea.

Cloth diapers have evolved to be JUST AS CONVENIENT as disposables, if you are willing to do an extra load of laundry every 2-3 days (and the cost benefits alone can motivate someone to do that). If you don't want to mess with the "old fashion" prefolds and covers, you can opt for the super Dad/Grandparent/Childcare Worker- friendly pocket diapers or all-in-ones. For those road trips, overnight stays, and outings where you just can't do cloth, there are always the biodegradable disposables.

ONE: God's Green Earth. That's right, we're riding on it. It gives us life, air, food, water, a place to put our loved ones, and some pretty cool hiking trails to boot! Anywho, a conservative estimate, according to the numbers in this article (8 diapers per day for first 4 months (newborn), 6 per day from 4-24 months, assuming potty training by age 2 (which these days is unheard of), a baby will go through 4,560 diaper changes. That's the CONSERVATIVE number. Assuming that a child is closer to 3 when potty trained, that conservative estimate would grow to 6,720!!! That's a bunch of diapers (that contain lots of nasty chemicals) to put in our landfills.

TWO: Money, money, yeah, yeah. According to this article, the estimated cost per disposable diaper is $0.29 and rising. Using our above conservative estimate, it costs AT LEAST $1,322.40 to diaper a baby in disposables for 24 months, maybe more depending on the sales tax where you live and your diaper changing habits. If your child is 3 before s/he is potty trained, the cost is at least $1,948.80. These estimates don't include nighttime trainers after the daytime transition to undies. WOW. This article at SunshineDiapers sites a cost of around $400 to set your FIRST baby up with cloth diapers all the way to potty training (it also has TONS of good facts). YEP, that's about A GRAND in savings (or more) for your first baby. I say that because many parents are able to reuse their cloth diapering system with their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on children (if you plan to have the dang VonTrapp family that is).

THREE: Baby's Bum. Do you really want all those chemicals (chlorine, perfumes etc.) on your little one's precious tushy?? Cloth diaper babies have fewer instances of diaper rash, AND drumroll please... potty train MUCH sooner than disposable diapered babies.

CASE STUDY: MY precious baby tushy. My mother only used cloth diapers on my precious bum. That is, until we took a beach trip (I think I was about 9-10 mos. old at the time). My virgin-to-disposable-diapers booty broke out into a horrible rash that my mother proceeded to clear up by ripping it off and putting me straight into the salty ocean waves once we arrived. I'm surprised I don't remember this special form of abuse and torture even to this day. She says "you screamed about it, but your rash went away." CRAZY LADY!

And really, really, cloth diapers are not as scary as they used to be. NO PINS, SEE??


Photo (c) Price Grabber

SO, are you curious? Wanting to know more?? Feeling guilty?? >;-) For more great reading about reasons and benefits of cloth diapers, use the links previously given in the post. They are great resources and articles. For information and reviews on modern cloth diapers from a REAL CLOTH DIAPER MOM, go to this post by the Simple Mom. She's having a giveaway of a cloth diaper package for some lucky folks, which inspired this post on my blog!! (giveaway now closed, I didn't win) :(

Remember my sweet friend Lara? She and her husband Bryan were going through the adoption process when she found out she was knocked up. >:-) Well, being Mother Earth incarnate that she is, she is planning to cloth diaper BOTH babies (SO amazing)!!! If I happen to win this diaper giveaway, they will be hers (goodness knows she will need them)!!!

UPDATE:
So I felt bad about not clearly laying out some resources for you all. Plus, I've found lots of good stuff since I wrote this!

The REAL CLOTH DIAPER MOM sited above did an entire week of blog posts all about cloth diapering as part of an ongoing series. She answers common questions, has videos demonstrating cleaning and changing cloth diapers of all kinds, plus the type/brand review that are fabulous resources. An earlier post she wrote defines the different types of cloth diapers, with pros and cons of each! The Cloth Diapering 101 series of new and older posts by Simple Mom is the most in depth and extensive resource for cloth diaper how-to that I've found. She even talks about all the other stuff you need to have (not just the diapers) to make life easy.

If you are interested in cloth diapers and want to learn more about products AND start an online registry, go to www.kellyscloset.com. I mean, the initial investment upfront for cloth diapers is definitely worth it, but it can get pretty steep (about $400 or so)! If you want help from friends and family, this online registry is great. They also have all the associated products that you need like a diaper sprayer, washable pail liners, wet bags and the like. They also have a good CONCISE fact page on products, care and how to.

If you are interested in 2nd hand cloth diapers as a MOST echonomical choice (other than free gifts from a registry :-P), head on over to www.diaperswappers.com. This is a network of moms that swap and sell new and used cloth diapers.

Another great website as a comprehensive resource of facts and how-tos is www.cloth-diapers-made-easy.com.

Those desiring a cloth diaper system that incorporates recycled wool soaker diaper covers can find a plethera of cottage industry businesses over at www.etsy.com who specialize in them. Just search for "cloth diaper wool soaker cover." I hear that these are especially useful without the cloth diaper under for potty training. They are easy for little one to pull on and off, and can catch and hold accidents better than undies.
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SO THERE!! You have my MOST exhaustive post on cloth diapering with TONS of helpful links. So, if you are a mom, mom-to-be, or even a mom-in-waiting interested in switching to or using cloth diapers, bookmark this blog post. Or do like I do and email the link to yourself and sort the email into a subject folder like "Mommy Resources" (not that I have a folder called "Mommy Resources" in my email account, that's just a suggestion) ;-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PRAYERS NEEDED

For all the 10 or so people who actually read my blog, here goes. There are PRAYERS NEEDED, so I'll just tell you about them.
First. Some of you know about my dear friend Karson, many of you don't. Karson and I went to graduate school together at UT Knoxville. We became friends through other friends really, but I am so glad we did!! Karson is one of those wonderfully infectious people that you just have to smile around, because she is always smiling! She has an equally dear amazing husband, Jason, whom I am also good friends with. The summer after we graduated, Karson went somewhere cool for like a month. We (her girlfriends from grad school) were in charge of entertaining and keeping Jason company while she was gone. Everywhere we went (out about 2 times a week or so), there were all the girls... and Jason. It was fabulous! Anywho, I say all that to say that Karson and Jason are BOTH very special friends of mine!

Karson and Jason


Karson was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2007, she was 30 at the time. About half a year and a mastectomy of her left breast, a ton of chemo, sickness, joint pain and other side effects later, Karson was cancer-free. Many of you donated to Race for the Cure that year, many of you prayed for her, and I appreciate all of you.

Grad School Girls @ Race for the Cure 2007


Well, my sweet prayer warriors, it's time to hit our knees again to pray for this amazing woman and her equally awe inspiring husband. A couple of months ago they found a lump in her breast, which turned out to be nothing, but feared they may have punctured her implant during the biopsy. The CT of her implant was fine, but went down just far enough for them to catch a couple of nodes on her liver. This is very very bad. A closer CT has caused concern among her doctors and her oncologist has been pulled into the case. They are in the process of scheduling another CT and a liver biopsy (hopefully ASAP). Karson and Jason need our prayers of healing, strength, comfort and peace.

If you care to follow their journey, her website is below. If you sign her guestbook, you will automatically receive email updates when she posts a new journal entry. Or you can go and look at a few more pictures of my sweet friends whom I love dearly. They were both beautiful and amazing before cancer, and they are more so now - very raw and human, but positive and lovely. Please pray for my friends and all of us who love the Beatys so much. We need it very much right now.

Karson and me at our wedding last year


Tell everyone you love that you love them, right now.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/karsonbeaty

Second. This part is going to be a little harder. I need prayers. I have come to realize that I am struggling with depression. I've made an appointment with a counselor. I kept telling myself that it's situational and that it will go away, but I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. That was the kicker that I need more help. I'm very blessed and happy in certain areas of my life, others that are bad/have been bad for a long time have become unbearable and are now affecting the good parts. I can't compartmentalize it and deal anymore. Something's got to give! I am trying to avoid medication. I try to live "naturally" in my body as much as possible, because I really react to medication in an extreme way (especially those dealing with hormones). But I don't know. I certainly DON'T think meds are bad, NOR do I think those that take them are any weaker than anyone else. I'm just stubborn about what I want for myself, but I won't resist it if a professional tells me it's necessary.

So there they are, my prayer requests.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James1:2-4

Monday, June 1, 2009

NOT ME!! Monday...

So apparently, MckMama is falling down on her Not Me Monday posts (it's been 2 weeks), but that doesn't mean that I have to! OK, I just saw on Twitter (no I'm not on Twitter, and I refuse to create an account, she just has a feed on her blog) that she is wrapping up her Not Me Monday post. Check it out here:



So, onto my confessions. It's been a couple of weeks, so we'll go way back.

I would never stoop so low as to cry and throw a hissy fit on the phone with the company that I ordered sewing supplies from for Caleb's baptism outfit (even though I knew I waited a little too long to order them) just to get them to overnight me another order. The tears and upset voice WERE real, you know, if I had done that. Which I certainly did not do.

I did not procrastinate sewing so much (even though much of it was not my fault, see above) that Caleb's mommy was worried her son would be naked, I missed a couple of kick@$$ bar-b-ques, and I was up until 2am finishing it. NOPE, I did NOT.

I wasn't just thrilled with how cute Caleb looked in his little outfit!


now for the close-up of the duds!!

Meredith and I did NOT skip our weekly walk on Wednesday due to storm clouds, and move it on inside to STARBUCKS!! How's that for a workout? We would NEVER do that!

When my friend Debbie called me for help outfitting her precious son Whit for his Elmo on the Farm birthday party, I did not shamelessly promote my friend Ashley's business and Whit did not look absolutely adorable in his custom birthday attire!

I did not throw another teary fit at the doctor's office on Friday because I was 25 minutes late for my appointment. I would not have gotten that upset that have I felt horrible for over a week, they moved my appointment out a day, then sent me to a different office I had never been to with horrible directions causing me to be late, then refused to see me. I would NEVER do that. And if I HAD done that, it certainly wouldn't have worked and I wouldn't have gotten to see the doctor anyway ;)

I did not put off cleaning my house on all those rainy days, because I'm in a bit of a funk (see previous crying fits that did not occur), and cause myself to have to stay in doors most of the day on this beautiful Saturday cleaning because I couldn't take it anymore. And if I HAD done that, I certainly wouldn't have predicted earlier in the week that it would catch up with me and I would miss out on some Vitamin D and a beautiful day. Nope, I would never do that!

I did not act like a big kid at Whit's 2nd birthday party, so much so that Debbie felt the need to send me home with a favor pail full of kids stuff and a coloring book!! :D


I did not spend most of our 6 mile hike watching our precious puppy Einstein have a ball and regretting that I never took my sweet Blaze on a hike with me just because Hurley can't go (she's got a uniquely formed foot that limits her ability for long walks/hikes) :(

Matt and Einstein enjoying the view at Edwards Point


And I certainly didn't shed a few tears while I finally said goodbye to the FIRST Man-of-my-house. I hope he's enjoyed hiking and smelling his little heart out everyday since he left (2/9/07). And I DON'T miss him every single day, I mean of course it gets easier.