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Friday, September 16, 2011

A Generation in Need of Help!

Recently, I have been really distraught by my generation and the generation ahead of me. I feel like we are under the impression that we don't need to learn from our elders. We know best. It's so prideful. I know this is going to step on toes and although I do not mean to offend it probably will.

What happened to learning from those who have gone before us? Why do men my age think that they should start a new, with the times, church? Why can't they go and learn under some very great Pastors that can mentor and help cultivate their hearts so they can grow in ministry? Why can't people who have kids lay down their pride and say you know what I don't know everything and stop questioning people put into leadership with proper training and who have experienced raising children!

Give it up! Set aside your pride and listen (this is me telling myself too) I have so much to learn and those who are older than me, I mean 50's and up (no offense to the 30's and 40's).  I should be on my toes waiting to hear what they have to say. My Grandma every week tells me a story about her past or something she used to do with her kids or a meal she would cook, how she would clean something. Listen! I need to listen to her, she has been there done that! So stop thinking you know everything and LISTEN!

If I would listen to half the things my Mom says to me I would be in good shape. She has the best advice/wisdom and she knows her stuff. If I would just listen more I could learn so much!

To my generation and the one ahead, stop trying to know it all and LISTEN!

OK, I am done with m rant. Sorry, it is my blog and from the beginning I said I would be straight up.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What a week.

Seriously I have to say this has been one of the worst weeks Scott and I have had in a while. We are totally worn down and though I know it could be worse, and I am thankful it is not, it still was a very long week.

Monday started out pretty good. I didn't feel great, my back was hurting and I was cramping some butI just chalked it up to baby Charlie being well a baby in my tummy. So I went to my Grandma's house to hand out and help her around her house. I ended up leaving 45 minutes after getting there just not feeling great. Back pain was getting a little worse and Lucy being fussy, for the fourth week in a row may I add, I decided to go home and rest. Got home rested and the back pain and cramping persisted.

About 11:00am Lucy woke up and I was determined we were going to go on a picnic so I got up and got her, but I started having really painful cramping in my lower abdomen and back. I kept trying to say it will pass, I'm just sore. But after getting in the car we immediately got out and went back in. I began to have what felt like contractions. If you have had a baby there is no mistaking it. It started in my lower back and just wrapped around to my stomach, and my stomach felt hard. I felt like maybe OK it's just bad gas... What I'm pregnant? I called my doctors office, then Scott, and then my Mom. I couldn't seem to get comfortable an it did not pass with a trip to the potty...

About 30 minutes after calling my doctor with no reply, my Mom and I decided it was time to go to Triage. What I was feeling was intense and scary and not right. So we dropped off Lucy at Beth's house and headed to the Women's Pavillion. Which was a great! It wasn't busy, it was quiet, and they brought me back within 20 minutes. They took a urine sample and hooked me up to the itchy contraction machine. Although I KNOW I was having contractions they weren't showing up which was utterly frustrating. But the nurse said I may not have been far enough along to pick up the contractions. They believe the Mommy over the monitor :)

I gotta say driving to the hospital and sitting waiting to see the doctor I was utterly convicted with guilt for the way I have been acting towards this pregnancy. I kept thinking I was losing Charlie. I am only 20 weeks, well 21 now, and there is such a low chance he would survive if he is born now. I was just hit with sadness and guilt. I have been such a complainer about this pregnancy. Yes, there are some really unpleasant things, but all to often I have neglected to say "Thank you GOD for this precious little boy you have given me!" The thought of losing him was just heartbreaking. Definitely a wake up call.

Once the doctor came in he told me there was a lot of blood in my urine (sorry I don't know how else I can put it?) So basically I just had a super bad urinary tract infection or a kidney stone. Thank goodness we are pretty sure there is no kidney stone, pretty sure we would know by now. But because my uterus sits on my bladder the infection was causing the contractions. Phew! What a sigh of relief Scott and I gave when we found out that was all! Baby Charlie's heart beat sounded great and he didn't seem to be disturbed by the little earthquake going on around him.

Got some antibiotics and thought OK this will all be over soon. Nope. Monday night Lucy woke up a few times and was really stuffed up, but tylenol seemed to help her. Tuesday morning I woke up feeling miserable. I couldn't get up out of bed. What? Mommy's don't get sick days! Luckily my Dad and sister tag teamed watching Lucy and I got some needed rest. Feeling better that evening I thought I was on the mend... When Lucy, poor baby, decided to cut four teeth. She was up until 3:30am crying and fussing, stuffed up from her sinus's, and teeth hurting her like crazy. Needless to say Wednesday I called the Dr. We have been dealing with little Lucy not sleeping and tugging at her ears and being stuffed up for over 3 weeks. They prescribed us some antibiotics and we didn't have to come in! Thank the Lord! We have already been twice this month for the same problem! I am so happy we have finally gotten antibiotics! She is still on the mend and has one more tooth coming through so maybe we are on the tail end of this!

Wednesday was worse than Tuesday, just because my back has been killing me! I was convinced that the infection had moved to my kidney. My Dr told me to double my water and keep taking antibiotics. Well I can say they know what they are doing, I tripled my water intake and have taken all my antibiotics and can honestly say I woke up this morning feeling an insane amount better, Thank ya Jesus!! My back went from barely able to sit, to being just fine. Antibiotics are great but God is good and the ultimate healer! Hopefully, the antibiotics got all the infection, but I am encouraged by the progress one night made!

It may not seem like that rough of a week to some, but it's been a long few months for Scott and me. I keep telling Scott, when are we just going to hit the bottom of the well. There has to be an end. We have a far distance to climb out! Still working on that attitude, but I know deep inside God has a purpose for all of this in our lives right now. Either way I am so thankful for Lucy and Charlie. They are a blessing. I love them. Well and Scott too! Thanks for reading and keep praying! God is in the works and I know He is looking out for our families best, even if it hurts.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Deterimined!

Yesterday was just right out depressing. I didn't feel good, Lucy was still a little fussy from getting over her sickness for the last two weeks and I was just weary and worn out! But, last night Scott and I were talking, ya know at midnight because that seems to be the only time we can have really good conversations is right before we sleep, and just decided that it was enough! It's OK sometimes to feel frustrated about life. God wants to hear it, He wants my honesty. But it't not OK to dwell on it and harvest it in my heart. Harvesting sin, is never a great crop and will ultimately rot and spoil my insides. So we decided last night, enough is enough!

Enough being a depressing Mommy that I have been. Some days are rough and most days I may be tired, but I gotta tough it out and move on. God is good and great and has given me an amazing family. Life is not fair, and we may not ever get ahead. I may never feel well rested again, but in Heaven I will have eternity to feel renewed. So this morning I got up, showered, drank my coffee, and had some breakfast. Got everything done that I needed to for my fam and am now about to go read some of the Word. Am I still tired, yes! Do I wish Lucy would just take a nap currently, yes! Do I want to crawl back into bed, yes! BUT, that's not what I need to be doing. I need to glorify God today and everyday in everything I do. So I'm gonna strive to push through and lean on the Lord for strength.

I am blogging about this because I really need to step it up. It's time for life to be lived to the fullest God has intended for me and my family. What better way to step up than to post it on the world wide web for accountability. Anyways, pray for patience and wisdom from God to help me get a right attitude. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

My New Job

So recently I have been a little down in the dumps about feeling like I am not contributing to our little Bickley family. Budget cuts, well everywhere, have caused budget cuts in our household. Unfortunately, the dough just aint' risin' in our household for our budget cuts to even make a dent in helping us save. With Charlie on the way, so excited, and unexpected but expected bills to pay (house insurance, car insurance, deductible to have baby Charlie you know the bills that just seem to creep up on you) popping up everywhere it seems like we will never get a breath of air. What a depressing thought?

I have looked at getting a job, but to pay for childcare, and the fact that I am almost 4 months pregnant it's not worth it for me to get a job right now. I just have felt so helpless because all I have felt like I could do was try my best to budget wisely and take care of Lucy. But let me be honest in saying I have not taken "budgeting wisely" seriously. It's been random, "OK I'll save today!" Then the next day I spend money on something not needed or decide to get take outs instead of just cooking the meal I had planned.

So my new job, that I have applied for, don't ask how it's just metaphorically speaking (?), and accepted is going to be the Bickley Budgetter. I am the new VP of the Bickley's Budget. I will pay myself in savings for  family and will work full time starting well today. It is September 1st. I love starting new things on the first of the month :o) So here is my new job description:

-I will be required to meal plan and use what is available in my kitchen.
-This means meal planning from breakfast to my midnight snack.
-Eating out will only have a $20 budget a month. That includes my cravings.
-I will be required to carry around a little notebook to write down every expense, even if I do look like a dork (whatevs).
-Any fun money I get, will be put in a designated account that will not be touched unless the purchase is thoroughly thought out and necessary.
-No more fabric will be bought until one storage bin is empty of fabric.
-I will think resourcefully and not buy on a whim.
-That means that if it aint' on the list, it aint' gettin' bought. 
-I'll suck it up and keep the air at it's set temperature and not change it.
-I will coupon every week unless my family needs me otherwise. (Basically, it wont become an idol but will try to do my best at saving)
-Lucy and I will have a more tight schedule, and free or cheap activities will be researched to ensure we stay in a $10 a month budget for activities.
-Splurging is not allowed unless there is fun money to back it up, and even then it is discouraged.

So I know this seems a little silly or possibly ridiculous to some, but these are the things I struggle with and need better discipline in. I'll hopefully blog about how it's going to this month and maybe, just maybe, will see some risin' in our dough! And hey, tough times call for tough measures, as Mr. B always reminded us in economics, "there's no such thing as a free lunch." Not sure if that's relevant but again, whatevs.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Bead Board Wallpaper Party

This pregnant Mommy has been nesting like a crazy person. I have been painting, wallpapering, hanging and nailing things on the wall for about a month now. It all started with our bedroom. It needed a change. I needed a change so I painted it. Then I thought YUCK I can't deal with the bathroom in our room anymore. Its ugly. Its dark and well ugly. So I painted the tile and the walls. The floor is next...

THEN I took my tool belt and paint brush to the kitchen.... I love bead board. Its so country-cottage-house cute and I love it. I thought it wasn't that expensive and I was just going to do a small area of the kitchen. BUT then my sister, thanks Bethie, mentioned this blog about bead board wall paper. What? I thought ummm.... Wall paper. Are you kidding me, that's a death trap! But after reading and seeing the results from the Southern Hospitality Blog (check it out here http://southernhospitalityblog.com/beadboard-wallpaper-party/)  I was hooked and had to try!

What amazing results I got and for like 80% less of the cost. It took me a few panels to figure it out and it MIGHT have helped to read the directions, but it was super easy and quick once I got the hang of it. Seriously I got amazing results and was so happy with how it turned out. Here a before and after picture. The before picture is when we first moved in three years ago. We had repainted it prior to this update but its a cooler before and after this way ;o)

Enjoy!
The before and after
A closer look!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Learned from one year

Well, I have been realizing that I am so much more calm about this pregnancy than I was with Lucy. I was just talking about it with our Sunday School class this morning actually. With Lucy I was so cautious not to eat steak rare, sushi, any type of fish, careful not to lift heavy things, lay on my back to much, so on and so forth. But this time around I have eaten numerous rare steaks, some fish, lifted my 22 pound Lucy, lay on my back and stuff my face every night. I learned that it's OK to not take common sense things LITERALLY. All things in moderation. Lucy is just fine even though I had sushi, and she is fine even though I had the occasional super caffeinated sweet tea AND she is even fine even though I didn't take my pre-natal vitamins, GASP. So I have been thinking about things I have learned as a parent not to freak out about:

1.) Poop comes in many colors, don't be alarmed if your child has different colored poop from day to day. Its pretty normal.
2.) Spit up, totally normal. Unless he/she can't keep any of the milk or formula down, you don't have a major problem. It's just a part of a babies life.
3.) "Exorcism" like spit up also happens, they are disturbing. But it's OK, things happen. Just clean it up and take a deep breath.
4.) On the spit up note, if she is notorious for spitting up always have a burp cloth or blanket available, don't feed her in your bed, and have an extra shirt.
5.) No need to check on your baby when you hear every little wiggle. Babies wiggle and they grunt.
6.) There is even no need to check on your baby every single time they let out a little peep. Use your brain, if they are crying and it's time to get up or eat, get them up or feed them. Simple as that. Sometimes a little cryig just needs alittle patting and shhing. No need to pick up and soothe, EVERYTIME.
7.) Using the pacifier is legit. No big deal. Just cold turkey it when you're done, you're done. A few nights of crying is better than buck teeth. I mean poor Lucy it's already in my genes, its fighting against her.
8.) Breast feeding is over rated, sorry to offend. But seriously it is hard, time consuming, and OK if you can't go for 6 months or even a year. More power to the Mama's that do, but don't beat yourself up over it. Different things work for different people. She is not going to be an abandoned and unloved child because you don't breastfeed her super long.
9.) Pee pee diapers can go a little longer than you think... If she weighs an extra 7 pounds because of her diaper, you might want to change it, but one little trinkle aint gonna do much.
10.) Poo poo diapers, change them. Don't be rude and make others smell it. It's just not nice.
11.) No need for all the fancy toys, boxes are just great and cheap too.
12.) I slept on my tummy and I am fine... That's all I am going to say...
13.) No need to see the doctor if there is no other symptom besides a fever 101 and under... They will just tell you this, "Give her tylenol (1.85 mL I think...) and alternate it with Motrin every two hours. If she doesn't improve or gets worse call us in the morning." $25 copay for that...
14.) Bumpers are so annoying when trying to change the crib sheet. Velcro instead of tying strings, is WAY easier.
15.) No need for a fancy diaper pale, the inserts and replacements cost to much money to keep up.
16.) In no way should you have scalding water for bath time but come on would you want to sit in a luke warm bath? No. Make it a little warmer. Much more comfortable.
17.) Naptime is great. But someday's it just doesn't work, relax take a drive in the car with the baby. Might help.
18.) Baby books. Hmmm. If you aren't a fan of reading or fly by the seat of your pants. They may just make you frustrated enough that you throw them across the room.... (clears throat...)
19.) Use your family. Use them. Go over to there house whenever they want you there. It's nice to have support and feel the love of your family.
20.) The long nights really do end. I promise.
21.) It's OK to not go by all the books, branch out; figure out what you need to do with YOUR child.
22.) Teach her how to hold her bottle. Totally worth it. TOTALLY
23.) Geeze this list is long.
24.) Every Mom gets frustrated with there child, don't feel like you are the only Mom who has ever wanted to, and has, yelled "Just shut up please for ONE minute!!" We are human, we get frustrated. Apologize though, don't start any bad habits.
25.)  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is baby crack. Its addicting and they love it.
26.) On that note a little TV never hurt them, again all things in moderation.
27.) One day your sweet little baby, will be a Mommy herself (Lord willing!) one day. Savor the moments.\
28.) Look back and laugh at the bad moments, and cry joyful tears thinking about the good ones. Not worth it to get so frustrated.

The one year I have had to parent so far, has gone by in the blink of an eye. I can't believe she is already one. I remember crying when she was just a few days old as she sat in her swing, peaceful (finally), thinking my baby will be a young woman one day and there is nothing I can do about it. She was created and then given to Scott and me to raise and let go one day. Tip #29 don't speed it up, life goes fast enough by itself, don't rush her to sleep through the night, eat her bottle, sit, crawl, walk, talk and any other milestones!

Love you sweet Lucy Kate and my precious BB2!

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Fourth Brings Back Memories

June and July may bring up some negative memories to me, BUT there are also loads of good ones especially wrapped up in the summer of 2004. Around March of 2004 (end of my sophomore year of high school) there was a time capsule opening at my old Elementary school. Scott just so happened to have been in my kindergarten class and we had gone to school together ever since. I casually told him about the opening and did not expect him to come. I mean come on a school time capsule reopening? Lame. Well I didn't think it was; I am a sentimental person... Anyways, he actually showed up! At the time I didn't have any feelings for him, in fact I had a rather large crush on one of his friends, who shall remain nameless (thank you very much). But I still thought it was neat he came, especially since my ride, thanks T-Guth, wanted to leave early and I wasn't ready to go. Scott offered to take me home and I said sure (did I not mention our parents houses are about half a mile away from eachother? Sweet I know!)

On the ride back to my house, I noticed Scott was listening to Jars of Clay, I was like what? A guy. From my school. Actually listens to Christian music. What? Well I wanting to show off my "Christian music IQ" (you know because that makes you a better Christian... jk) popped in Burlap to Cashmere. Which we listened to about one song, then Scott sort of politely switched it back to Jars of Clay. This is the awesome part...Well one of the awesome parts, we listened to World's Apart. Not only did he sing his heart out, I sang too AND we drove around the block TWICE to finish out the whole song. Y'all there was something special there. No denying it. Well after that we began to chat on AIM, and I actually got an invite to his birthday party (which is a whole story in and of itself).

The evening of his birthday party came quick, because he had just given me an invite that day. Thanks Scott. So I got ready, nervously came into his house and saw a whole swarm of people I didn't know. It was awkward. I spent most of the night talking to his parents, little did I know they would be my inlaws. They actually had a big part in our relationship, they told Scott, "Scott, you have to come upstairs and talk to this girl Jenny!" So he did, might I add arrogantly reclining both arms behind the couch and squeezing his behind in the already crowed couch. Needless to say our conversation was short and left me with a hmm.... Is this the same guy? Lest we not forget, I still had a crush on his friend, who again shall remain nameless (thank you very much.) When I was picked up to go home, I got in the car and said "Scott is so rude, I could never date such a rude guy!" Let me clarify: We were in high school, he thought he was cool, and he was more bold about is opinions than me. We were just different.

We still continued to talk on AIM, and had really great conversations about God and life. The end of the school year came, and since I had a surprise birthday party, he was not invited because my family just didn't know him that well. We still chatted on AIM and we were talking about my dance recital coming up, he said he would like to come. I was like OK... So I dropped TWO tickets off at his house the next day. The dance recital day had come and I had not forgotten about the tickets I gave him. I gave him TWO. Hint, hint, nudge nudge, invite your friend! Right before the show started, I peeked out from behind the curtain, I know a no no (tisk, tisk), and didn't see him. Gotta say I was alittle disappointed. But the show must go on! It did and it was great!

After the recital, I went to see my family and when I turned around to give someone a hug, I saw this smiling tall, dark and handsome guy, walk down the stage right side aisle, with a handful of pink roses. He swooped me in his arms and gave me a big hug. This was no side hug ladies, this was a real hug. The words he said to me I will never forget, "Jenny, you were just beautiful." Wait, what, you're not my dad, or my mom, or a family member? You are actually a real guy saying you thought I was beautiful? I was so touched and blushing red. I had never been told by any other man but my dad, and maybe granddad, that I was beautiful. You know as women we just don't believe it when it's from our dad! He has to say that. Anyways, from that night on, Scott says his eyes were opened to me and he began to have a, "I like you like, like you, like you type of way"

So now we skip to a week later, fourth of July 2004. On the back of my 2003 black chevy cavalier about 9:00 pm at night. Now let me let you know why it was so late. Thanks to Mr. Jon Yarbrough who just wouldn't leave so we could talk! We talked about EVERYTHING, life, love, marriage, school, college, possible college options, how many kids we wanted. We talked so much I didn't even realize my dad's oh so subtle hint of turning off the lights so as to letting me know to come inside. He actually had to come outside and so embarrassingly said, "Jennifer, it's late get inside now! Bye Scott." Whoops... Sorry about that one Dad...

 Alright, I will leave you in suspense as to how the rest of the story goes... Obviously it ends happy so don't be too concerned ;o)

Toodles!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

To be or not to be?

Today, as I quickly and with panic drove home from my parents house with a slight stomach ache, I remembered that this past week marked five years since, what I would call terrible experience, I got a stomach bug. Go ahead, you can chuckle. I get it. It's silly for someone to remember and dread the anniversary of their first stomach bug. It sounds quite silly to me too, as I sit and type about it. This blog post is about the big question I faced in times when I had a panic attack, to be or not to be... on medication.

I know I am going to step on somebody's toes and I don't mean to offend, really. I don't. Through the biblical counseling my brother in law did with me, the subject of whether or not I should take medication came up and helped me to gain a better understanding about the matter.

While at a check up at my doctors I mentioned I have been struggling with being anxious. The first thing that came out of her mouth was, would you like to try some medication? I was a little shocked, to be quite honest. You're not going to ask me why I am anxious? Or try to help me in any other way? You're just going to prescribe me something? So, I said well I guess so. She gave me a free sample card for a months supply, then went on her way to her next patient. I had the card for about a week before I brought it up to Ben, my BIL. I was torn between wanting relief from the anxiousness and panic attacks, but knowing myself I would probably not want to get off of them. Which posed a problem, in no way did I want to get addicted or have a reliance to medication.

At our next counseling "session" I guess you could call it, Scott and I sat down with Ben and talked about the option of medication. Here is what we talked about:

- Medication is often times used to balance out chemical imbalances in the brain. But there is not a way, at least that I am aware of, that can test the chemicals in your brain. Therefore, how do I really know if I even have an imbalance?
-Medication, for me and I think many others especially those who are followers of Christ, does not get to the root of the problem. My heart. In my heart I seek after comfort, and when that is not granted I panic. My heart is sinful and desires things of the flesh and not of God. Medication, I believe, would have only put a tarp over my true heart, just hiding it from the surface and preserving the sin. Once that tarp was lifted and the sin was unmasked again, I would be right back at square one. Because the SIN IS STILL THERE!
-Anti Anxiety/Depression medications can make anxiety worse in some cases.
-Sometimes all that is needed is to balance out your thyroid levels, vitamins, diet, and/or exercise which can be easily tested with a routine blood test. (From personal experience what I ate could make the anxiety worse,and if I was not active that did as well. If I sat around the house and did not get out and do things my anxiety got worse.)
-A great way of handling anxiety and depression can be followed by this verse, "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God and the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

There have been so many prayers and petitions that I have said to God, and he HAS given me a peace I just do not understand. That peace has helped me get through so many tough situations with anxiety.  God has told me, us, that in everything we should pray and petition to God  our requests and HE will provide a peace we don't understand. I still many times have anxiety and i don't understand how He is going to provide that peace to me, but He does. He does not fail!

The conclusion that we came to, was no medication was not for me. Would it have made this refining process easier, maybe. Would it have made it harder, possibly. Would I change my decision, no.

I don't know if you are reading this and your on medication or your not, or if you hate my guts because of what I said, but look to your heart. What is in it? Is it deceiving you to believe that everything is fine because  it is masked by something? Masked by pity for yourself and your circumstances, by medication, sin, or are you seeing the truth that your heart is deceitful and there are things that need to change? Do it today! Look into your heart, ask God to change it! My anxieties are not gone, and I still ask God why, but He has not let me down, and He has and always will provide for my needs in the way He sees fit.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Been a while...

Let's see, let's see where to begin!? It has been so long since I last blogged. Recap of the Bickley happenings:

Lucy turned ONE! We had a great birthday party full of cake and spaghetti. It was just a small family, nothing to go to the papers with but it was a great time! She quickly realized cake is real good and made sure to eat as much as she could.

BB2 as far as we know is doing good too! He or she is about the size of a kamquot... and enjoys making Mommy tired. A small price to pay for another baby.... OK let's not lie, it's a big price to pay for baby, but I know it will be worth it!

Scott is chugging along in his seminary classes and might I add getting straight A's on everything thus far. Up top high five! I really can't imagine going back to school.... Again. Phew seriously I would not make it.

Me. Well I am chugging along to, hoping the second trimester, in two weeks, will bring me more energy. Hoping and praying and planning and dreaming. Poor Scott made the comment just this morning, "Man it is so nice having my drawers full of clean clothes!" you get my drift?

On a side note Lucy surprises me everyday. Like today. She can now climb onto a lower couch and does the chop. That's my little seminole. She also tries to feed herself with a spoon, which is quite messy, but so cute! She also is now in the 50%tile for height and weight. So her little chunks are becoming proportional :) She is awesome. I know each month it's going to get better and better.

On another side note Lucy has decided to change her nap time, times. Like now she is supposed to still asleep for another hour, she's up. That means I'm out!

Toodles!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BB2 Update and Someone's almost ONE!

Well we have had a busy week in the Bickley home and we aren't slowing down! This past week we got to see BB2 on the big screen AKA: the ultrasound machine :o) He or she is doing great! Healthy and thriving so far! We are about 8 weeks and a couple of days along, so we thankfully have a ways to go!

I know, I know I look so young it could be me turning 1! But sorry to confuse you, it's actually Lucy Kate who is turning 1! Sunday we will celebrate her birthday Mickey Mouse Clubhouse style and Tuesday is her actual day of birth :o) Its been such a great with her but I will be sappy on Tuesday when it really sinks in that my baby girl is growing up and there is nothing I can do about it!

Phew, it has been busy. More updates to come later but this will have to hold the masses over ;o)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Not gone just unplugged...

Well Thursday morning my TV cable was unplugged, by none other than Mr. Scott Bickley himself. It was no surprise as the night before we had a "discussion" about how the TV was really causing some unhealthy habits in my life. Such as, and not limited to: watching TV for hours on end, watching a lot of reality TV shows that are less than edifying, staying up late to watch TV, laying in bed eating and watching TV for countless hours in the evening.... and during most naptimes, as well as causing me to learn new ways to be dramatic and well sinful (you know putting false thoughts into my head about marriage, friendships, and being selfish). Who says you are to old to be swayed by the TV? Now I love the Disney channel and really there is not to terribly much wrong with it, besides the temptation to watch it all the time. But what was getting to me was The Real Housewives of whatever county was on that evening. Its a slow fade, if I may quote  Casting Crowns for a minute, when black and white have turned to grey. When saying it's wrong to treat your spouse the way they treat theirs, to well maybe he deserved it. It astonishes me how much of an influence on my life those shows have been, in a bad way. I don't really think I desire their lifestyle? I don't think I really even desire to be that rich, although being able to live debt free would be super nice. But slowly thoughts of money and drama started consume my mind. Eek, Not good.

Back to the TV being unplugged though. Let me tell you, it was not without some retaliation. Poor Scott. I was not angry that he unplugged the TV, I mean after all it was per my enraged request when we were "discussing" the situation. But what bothered me was on Saturday night when I wanted to just sit and relax and watch TV, I asked Scott to plug it back in, to which he replied: "No." Say what? "No." What am I a child? (Quite frankly, I was acting like one for sure.) He then said, "Well what have you done to spend time with God today?" Me: "Well I have been praying. You know I spent time with God. What are you my keeper?" This continued for quite sometime, but Scott didn't budge. Thank the good Lord above for that.

Last night I read two chapters of a book he had been wanting me to read, slightly out of irritation to just get it over with, and actually enjoyed it. I have also enjoyed the quiet, peacefulness that I feel in my humble abode. I realized today, that yes I desire to watch TV, but it was also kind of like a pressure I placed on myself that if I am home the TV has to be on. It can't be silent in the house. But it's OK for it to be hushed and serene, in fact it's really nice. I have already seen some super ripe and juicy fruit grow from just a few days of silence and turning my mind away from the TV. It's nice. I like it and I never thought I would say that!

So as a challenge for myself I want to keep the TV in mine and Scott's room off for as long as I can. Minus watching a movie with Scott. If you feel like you want to, would you ask me about it? Hold me accountable. All to often I don't ask others to hold me accountable, so would you please with cherries on top, ask me how I am doing with it? And if you so feel led, totally turn the TV off for a few days, it's nice. Take it from me a TV addict, it's nice.

Oh yeah and special thanks to Mr. Scott Bickley :o)

Toodles!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Puttin' it out there

This past weekend Scott and I had the BEST time at our Sunday School Class pig roast. Even if we were two hours late... Whoops. While we had a great time fellowshipping with our new friends at TRBC, we started our evening off dealing with a struggle we, well I guess I should say "I", have been dealing with for almost five years. The big "A" word: Anxiety.

Although, I have shared my issues with anxiety with some, I haven't ever (that I can remember) publicly shared my struggles. Its not something I am proud of, in fact I am quite embarrassed by it. It's not something that makes total sense and not something that I feel like everyone can understand. But because I know that others struggle with anxiety too, I want to share in hopes that I can encourage and inform others about my difficulties in the journey with battling anxiety.

It all started when I caught a stomach bug in July of 2006. It was the first time I had ever tossed my cookies, so to speak, and it was horrible! I told myself i would never do that ever again. No big deal, I moved on didn't really effect me, until August of 2006 when I was on the way back from a college retreat. On the bus I began to get hot, clammy, my stomach was hurting, and I felt my throat close up within me. (Later I realized that was probably my first panic attack) I thought I had gotten a bug again and I was terrified. I was on this bus with all these people still two hours to get home, and I just felt sick. Luckily I was able to ride back in the car with my Mom once we pulled over at a rest stop. I didn't get sick and in fact when we got back home I felt perfectly fine. This started a slow trend, cycle, of feeling sick and staying home. It made me feel better to be home.

I attributed this cycle of events to be because of the year I had. I had some very life changing event occur in my life that year that just threw me for a whirlwind and changed my life drastically. So I just thought emotional I was worn out and needed a rest. I kept staying home. But my "panic attacks" began to get worse and almost everytime I left my house. Here's just a small snippet of the extent to my struggle. The night of our engagement, we couldn't go out to eat. Scott had planned an amazing dinner for us and he sang me a beautiful song. He put so much effort into this night. I panicked. Left to go to the bathroom and didn't come back. I began to have such an intense panic attack that I was in the recliner, with a blanket wrapped around me, shaking. Just shaking. Miserable, to hear the sound of Scott washing the dishes packing everything up because I had ruined out dinner. What a great man he his. He didn't understand these anxieties, but he pushed through and proposed after my panic attack had subsided. I said yes, duh. :o)

Unfortunately,  my panic moments didn't not subside like I had hoped. I thought of planning the wedding is stressful, I just started college, got a new job, making new friends, ya know all of life's changes at the bright age of 18. So I continued to live basically in my house, and would go out occasionally only to be brought home in a shake of panic. Absolutely miserable. School was so hard. I dreaded having to sit through class worried if I was going to get sick and panic. Class was becoming increasingly difficult to go to, as I was to embarrassed to get up and leave so I would just sit in my car or go and constantly be eating a cough drop nervous out of my mind.

Shortly after I started school I began to feel that it would make my anxieties better if maybe I just drove my own car, so that if I had to leave I could and I would not inconvenience anyone. I would just leave and go on my merry little way. Phew, did that help so much! But started me in such a downward spiral. Ostracizing myself from my friends and family and even my fiancĂ©e. I began to go to restaurants and not eat anything and take it home, because I didn't want to get sick on the way home. But when I went home I wouldn't eat much. Why? All because I was afraid I was going to get sick. I literally made myself feel sick from worrying about being sick! This cause the spiral to get so much worse. I lost 13 to 15 pounds. Not because I thought I was too big, I really was just afraid of eating something that would make me sick. Miserable.

**Side note: Cough drops have sadly been my crutch. I am going out on a limb here, but I eat them to feel better. I feel like they make me feel better. Psychologically they do, at least I feel like they do.

My wedding day came and went like the blink of an eye. Just like I had hoped it would. I desperately wanted a short and quick wedding because I didn't want to be panicking the whole day! Oh how much I would love to just go back and have my first dance, eat at my wedding, breathe easy at my wedding, ENJOY my wedding. I was a nervous wreck. scarfing down cough drops and worried I was going to throw up everywhere.

Soon after we got married my anxiety got to the point where I realized I could not go through school anymore. Anxiety was not the only reason, I had lost my scholarship. Partly lack of attending class and partly because I hate math and don't understand economics.  So I took on teaching dance more full time and continued to cater to what made me feel better with my anxiety. That included, eating at home, rarely making chicken, rarely eating dinner with Scott, falling asleep with the TV on most nights, watching tons of TV, riding in my own car by myself as much as possible, eating cough drops, not eating with people, not eating much most days. Miserable. I can't even describe to you the amount of strain this put on my marriage. Imagine my husband almost never getting to go out on a date with his wife. Always having to listen to the TV. Me always making an excuse to stay home instead of going to a movie or dinner. Miserable about sums it up. What a gracious man I married.

My breaking point of realizing this wasn't just exhaustion was in August of 2007. My family, Scott and I went on a beach trip to Santa Rosa to enjoy a few days of R and R. Boy oh boy was it not. I could barely sleep, eat, ride in the car with anyone, eat out with anyone. Pretty much enjoy anytime with anyone. I felt crippled and paralyzed by my fear of getting sick or having a panic attack. Miserable. One night while everyone was hanging out putting puzzles together, relaxing in my Aunt and Uncles house, next door, I was  by myself in a recliner bundled up, counting the minutes until we got to go home that next morning. When in came my brother in law Ben.

At the time Ben and my sister Beth lived in Louisville, KY for seminary for Ben. I don't quite remeber how everything went down but basically, I started crying and just asked Ben if he would be willing to give me some biblical counseling on how to deal with my anxieties. Ben had decided he wanted to pursue a degree in biblical counseling at SBTS, so I knew he would be able to help. He agreed and said that Monday evening he would call me and Scott and I together could talk on the phone. This started a year of biblical counseling with Ben. Most of the counseling was done over the phone while a few times we got to speak in person. If you know my brother in law you know he does not beat around the bush when it comes to the gospel or God's word and truth. There is no sugar coating sin and that is exactly what Ben did not do. He did not sugar coat my sin that was visible.

Up until then I had been angry at God wondering why in the world would he be so mean and merciless to me. Why would he allow Satan to do these things to my body and my mind? And most importantly and angrily why would he not take it away? Such anger I held towards God. I don't think any words on this blog, email, paper, words, or my tears could describe the agony of these anxieties. The regret of things I have not been able to do because of them. The strain it caused my marriage and friendships. The awkwardness of EVERY family dinner, restaurant experience, movie, date, car ride, excuses I made.  I am not over dramatizing this either. The anxieties really have felt like they have destroyed my life.

But Ben. Good ole Ben. Sat down with me and pointed out hard truths that I was resistant too. He didn't just tell me, "Oh it sounds chemical, there is just something wrong with your chemical levels." No he said Jennifer these things that you are describing to me sound like you desire comfortability and control. Now this was over the course of a year, he didn't just "diagnose" that I have issues not being comfortable. I don't want to put the wrong impression out about Ben's counseling, he didn't approach it as a secular counselor. He helped me to work through a lot of issues with my relationship with God. My lack of time in the word, prayer, reliance on God, trust in God, and understanding the character of God are things that he addressed and taught me. (Soon, I will recap all of the things he taught me in some blog posts but its to much here!)

I wish all I needed was a little counseling and a prayer and everything was back to normal but it didn't happen, as Ben told me from the beginning, "this is not a magical pill" Ben would tell me. Realizing my sin in the anxiety though, was the best help I ever received. I needed to repent of my sin of wanting comfortability. In every case of having a panic attack it was due to being uncomfortable and ultimately not in control. My inward feelings of wanting to be comfortable were the feelings in my heart. My heart and deceitfully wicked. Which would therefore cause my outside actions to be dictated by my inward deceit. My feelings of wanting to not feel sick or panicky would dictate that I would not eat chicken. I would not go to the movies and sit in the middle of the aisle. I would not ride in the car with anyone. Anything that made me uncomfortable I would not do.

Almost five years later, I still struggle. I still battle my flesh. I still battle the deceit of my heart. I still wish sometimes that God would just remove this burden from my life. Oh please, oh please God just take it away. He hasn't. He may never. It has taken me almost five years to become OK and semi obedient that this just may be with me until I die. As depressing as it sounds and as terrible as it feels, I do have hope though. I have hope that God is good. He will continue to provide the comfort that is from HIM. He will continue to hold me when I am shaking in panic and He will continue to bring me to repentance when I disobey Him or forget His truths. Don't get me wrong I still question God, and slip up. Forget that I do have hope. From looking back I see so much grace from God in this whole journey through anxiety.

It is my hope to recap some of the things I learned through my biblical counseling with Ben. So hopefully through what I learned I can continue to be brought into further joy through my struggles, and encourage someone along the way.

To finish up my story from the beginning, this weekend I was reminded that I still need God. I sat in the driveway with Scott for about five minutes in the car with him encouraging me, telling me I could do it. We can drive together. We actually rode together. That's the first time in a few weeks we have rode together. It's still a struggle but, God is good and He is faithful even if I forget all to often.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Mommy.

Dun, dun, dun dunnnnn! I'm back!! I know everyone one in the cyber world has just greatly missed me blogging... (I really have missed blogging). Life has been sooo busy! My sister Rebecca's baby arrived into this great state of Florida... about 6 to 7 weeks early. I have decided he just did not want to be last in the summer birthday line up:
June 3rd Me
June 10th David Ali
June 21st Lucy Kate
July 9th (supposed to be) Noah Samuel
so you see what I'm saying... He was like, "oh NO! I will not be last!" Instead he wants to share his birthday month with his Granddad Kennedy. Why shouldn't he they both have bright red hair!

Well after seeing what my sister has gone through, ya know the vacation of labor and delivery ;o), possibly being on bedrest, and seeing Noah in the NICU, it has made incredibly, ginormously, greatly grateful and in amazement of my Mom. Ya'll I know that we are all bias about our families. But I mean it when I say I have the greatest, awesome, most amazing Mom EVER. Hands down.

I seriously am feeling that I should celebrate my Mom on my birthday! I mean after carrying me for 9 months, with two other kids to take care of (don't get me wrong my Dad was great and helped of course!) but seriously, it's a ton of work being a Mom! Now that we are pregnant with BB2 I am realizing oh my goodness. My poor mother... I have not thanked her enough. Geeze louise. So here is a chance for me to tell the whole world some pretty awesome things about her and things I have learned from my awesome Mom:

1.) If you are doing the laundry, so you don't forget and they go sour, put a candy cane out on the countertop. I mean who needs a candy cane in mid July, Oh wait I have laundry in the washer!
2.) Always fold your clothes right out of the dryer, you'll never get them folded any other way.
3.) So you don't forget something you need to remember to take somewhere, put your keys in the freezer. Seriously genius.
4.) Eliminate in between steps and think about where you are going before you do. Plan the shortest most efficient route.
5.) don't freak out about every little thing.
6.) My Mom is a genius when it comes to problem solving. She should be an official problem solver for a living.
7.) She is an insanely hard worker, but almost NEVER brought home her work or stressed about it at home. She worked productively at work and as she would say, "work stays at work"
8.) She is the most giving person I have ever met. She would give you the shoes off of her feet, and shirt off her back if you needed it.
9.) She is so incredibly humble.
10.) She is an amazing example of a servant. She just serves and serves and serves AND really rarely ever complains about it. She gets joy from serving.
11.) My Mom ain't no doormat though. She knew, well knows, how to get a handle on me when I am being ridiculous. Which is not often because I am no drama queen. Yeah.... right....
12.) She will discreetly and most un-noticeably take the smallest portion or the not so desirable item of choice, if need be. So many times I have noticed her eating the turkey sandwich, instead of last night great bar b que chicken. She always is looking out for others and what they need.
13.) To often did Santa and Mrs. Clause, the Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy always know what I wanted for Christmas, AND what I didn't even know I wanted BUT LOVED! I would like to think that she had a little something to do with that :o)
14.) Can't say it enough how great of a planner my Mom is. You need a plan, she's got a great one.
15.) She is an awesome Grandma to my Lucy and David and Noah! She helped me through so many first time Mom crisis' and was there when Lucy was born. It was so neat to look at my Mom when Lucy arrived and just hear her say, "she's here!" (with tears in her eye ;o)
16.) Oh yeah, did I mention my Mom held one of my legs as I became oh so open to everyone in the delivery room... You know she's on my good side since she was allowed in the room!
17.) My Mom could be a private investigator. She has sources. Just sayin'.
18.) Every dance recital I can remember when I was past the age of 8 or 10 she was backstage helping do whatever needed to be done to get it done! She wasn't like those crazy backstage Mom's, she did what she was told and jumped in when needed.
19.) Clean up your mess after your done. Don't leave it there it just collects.
20.) Wash the dishes after dinner or put them in the dishwasher, either way get the kitchen clean. Don't leave it for the morning. It doesn't go away.

You know we never had "Family Schedule Boards" or rules hanging up or a certain meal plan. We didn't have a cleaning schedule, or certain chores we had to do.  (and no thats not why I love my Mom so much) She didn't need that. We respected, well still respect her. We new she meant business. She and my Dad didn't make parenting so difficult for themselves. They just were parents! They didn't bring drama into parenting. Yes, I would be lying if I said that we were a perfect family. We aren't. But I look at myself and others around me and I'm like CHILL OUT. Not everything has to be by the books. My Mom made the book for our family. Well my Mom and Dad! I knew that if I didn't pick up my shoes from the living room by the time she got home, true story, she said she would throw them away. Well she did.

All this to say, my Mom is amazing. She is teaching me daily by her actions and past actions to just chillax. Other people may parent one way, but I gotta do what's best for my family.

So Mommy, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I now only have a glimpse of all of the sacrifices and energy I took from you! I know you wouldn't have it any other way, but at least now I can say I get it. Or better yet, what goes around comes around!

Love you Mommy.

Toodles!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bickley Happenings



OK, so I guess I am not such a great blogger. I did so great the first week.... Then well I fell off the face of the blogging earth... So I guess I am just going to have to play catch up on what's happening with the Bickley's.

Like my last post announced, we are expecting Baby Bickley #2 (BB2 we like to call him/her at home) We are  getting more and more excited about having another baby and so looking forward to seeing Lucy be a big sister. She will be a great one for sure! I am scheduled for my orientation appointment June 3rd and in case you are wondering that's my birthday (I like clothes, giftcards, money,.... Just kidding) I am not so excited about this appointment because nothing happens and I have already been through it once before. But never the less, it is our first official appointment! 

Scott is starting seminary, I think, that same week or the week after. We are also really excited for this new chapter in our lives. Its been a long process deciding when to embark on this new journey, but it's finally here and we are getting pumped! He will be taking classes online, through hybrid courses, and J-terms. He said he will have tons of reading to do, but hopefully starting this track will being him tons of joy to finally be moving towards his dream job, being a Pastor. So excited for him and our family! He is going to be a great Pastor, because he is already such a great husband and daddy two my two babies :o) (Hey getting me my cravings is already helping BB2)

In other news, we decided to take our house off the market. After finding out I was pregnant, the house situation was to much up in the air and we need to make a decision. So we decided to make it work here! We have made some ground breaking, literally not figuratively, improvements. Friday night at about 7:00 pm maybe, I decided in all my brightness to start ripping up the lenolium. Low and behold it actually wasnt that hard of a job... Well Scott helped a little too...OK a lot... Today he and my Dad laid some laminate flooring down (it's almost done) and it looks AMAZING! I was speechless again! I think this is a new trend in my life  to maybe just be quiet...

I have a guilty Mom confession... I have not kept a good record of what Lucy has done... I feel terrible about it. It was just laziness. I just didn't document it very well. Luckily though, I can catch up and start now! Lucy is 11 months old today and she is a mess. She is walking behind her little dino, dancing, crawling, talking, and smiling a lot! She can say da da, ma ma, gracie (wacie), la la, fishy (she-she), Meow, doggy (gogy), baby, uh oh, no and her new favorite owl which she says like this oww-ullll. She is also mastering the art of the sippy cup. Very well I might add :o) She is so wonderful and we just can not get enough of her!! We are so in love with her!!

Alright, I am starving BB2 is starving. All the time. Seriously. All the time...

Toodles!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What goes around comes around... QUICKLY!

Remember when I blogged Saturday night about my family dinners? How we laugh, we cry, we have multiple conversations at one time, we eat, we drink sweet tea, and just have a grand ole time? Man I love those family dinners! It's so funny how my family just knows me SO well. It's almost like they know me so well they can predict whats going to happen in my life, at the dinner table. Literally. I don't know how they do it but the just know. Let me quote what I'm talking about:


"Surprisingly enough no gardening was discussed, or Scott and I getting pregnant (theres a bet going on I will get pregnant... before we are planning to. Hardy har har) Oh yeah we talk about it all! No one gets out alive... Just kidding. I'm a little bit of a drama queen."


Sooo without further a do, here the story of how my family predicted the future. Saturday night after eating dinner with the fam, I proceeded to go home and eat: a whole bag of steamfresh veggies by myself, Ben and Jerry's ice cream (it was BOGOF at Publix and I had 2 Q's BOOM it was only $1.19 for both!), cheese, glass of milk, and chugged a bottle of Sobe. But wait ladies and gentlemen I was STILL hungry. So I ate some ritz crackers munchables. Well Sunday night I was following the same routine, Scott made the comment, "Jenny, it's like your pregnant or something?" Scott, then went to go return our redbox and I, did what any women would have done, took a pregnancy test. Low and behold that little line crossed perpendicularly to make a very noticeable plus sign. Four times. I took four tests. Then I went to the doctors yesterday and well make that five plus signs. Whoa nelly. We are pregnant... a year and a half before we were ever really thought we would be thinking about having another one! We thought we would have Lucy potty trained and walking before we thought of another one, so funny how our plans our sooo not our own.


We are so excited and terrified at the same time! We are close to 4 weeks along, and Baby Bickley #2 would be due around January 25th, 2012. Scott and I are definitely cautious though, because unfortunately this early in a pregnancy a miscarriage can happen. Its a sad reality that we are praying the Lord will protect us from, but it is a truth we are mindful of. We are confident though, that whatever happens whether we have twins, or even triplets or if we lose our baby, the Lord is Sovereign and will guide our steps and comfort our nerves. We were going to keep it on the DL BUT I'm not so great at keeping secrets, especially one like this!


See it pays off to read my blog ;o) And Happy early birthday to ME!


Toodles!





Saturday, May 14, 2011

What goes around comes around.

Yes, just like the Justin Timberlake song, minus the high voice: "What goes around, goes around, goes around, comes back around..." Yea buddy it did tonight!

Let me set the scene for you:

Picture it. Sicily 1937 (Just kidding, get it? Sophia from Golden Girls?... Anybody?) Anyways, picture it Beth's house May 14th, 2011. We (Mom, Dad, Gramz, Beth, Ben, Rebecca, Seann, Scott, David, Lucy and me) gather for an early celebration of my Dad's, eh hum, __ __th Birthday. Hamburgers, hotdogs, strawberry triffle, cookies, sweet tea, the works you know, were all there and it was good. Great actually. So great that when it came time to "help" clean up, I opted to "help" clean up by staying at the table. You know, to many cooks in the kitchen right? Doesn't that apply after dinner too? Beth and Mom opt to actually do something and wash dishes and clean up. Rebecca, well she's pregnant and starting to have some swelling feet, she's excused. Back to me though, I don't really have any ailments to prevent me from working and definitely no doctors note, so I don't really have an excuse. After getting up from the table I enter the kitchen and say, (with my dirty plate and clean utensils in hand) "Uh-oh, sorry I have some more for you (bad idea)" My Mom's response goes something like this "Oh yeah thanks, you have done so much to help, thanks." I believe it was more sarcastic than this, but you get the picture. Now of course, of course, I HAD to respond with, "Well I'm not worried about it right now, I'm sure what goes around will come around, my day will come when I'll help." BOOM, BANG, POP! Want to guess what happened next? Oh yeah that's right, my basically FULL cup of sweet tea. (Mmmm it was good, guess it's to late for compliments, huh Beth?) almost immediately fell off the counter onto Beth's nice clean floor... on the counter... in my shoes... and on the dishwasher. To top it off though it fell right next to my Mom's feet. Praise Jesus it did not spill on her. So of course Mom says in a fun sarcastic voice..." Ohhh ohhh what goes around DOES come back around!" She laughs as I clean it up, and repeats what goes around come around many times. Ha. That's alright I'm cool. Brushin' off the shoulders, it's all good.

BUT WAIT... Our story continues....

One GENIUS thing my Mom does, no joke it's genius, is if she is trying to remember something she will put her keys in the refrigerator to remind her she needs to remember something. Guess what ya'll she needed to remember something tonight, and I happened to remember her putting her keys in the fridge. Well while she was still cleaning up in another room, ha doesn't look like I really learned my lesson, I decide, talking to myself, " AH HA!! I'm going to take her keys and hide them!!!", "What goes around comes around!" HA! I hide them on top of the fridge. HA! From them on until we left, I danced around Mom, apparently looked like a hopping crab,  saying, "what goes around comes around, what goes around comes around!" 

I know I have talked about family lunches and dinners before but seriously if you haven't experienced a Kennedy/Haygood/Khazraee/Taylor/Bickley dinner or lunch you have not lived (alright a little dramatic). Back me up those of you who have experienced dinner with my family. It is seriously awesome. A reality TV show has seriously got to be made about us. We are hilarious. You will pee in your pants. No joke. You will love it. It consists of jokes, sarcasm, laughing, jokes about others at the table (mainly me and Seann. He's an 80's child and well I'm an easy target.) 

Here's a run down on this weeks dinner: 
-Lucy played musical chairs between G-Dad, Scott, and Grandma La La
-David said hamburger
-Gramz was quiet, as always, and chuckled to the point of tears during at least one or two portions of dinner. She always observes and doesn't say much (I don't think she gets a chance between me and Mom talking the whole time) but you can tell in her eyes and gorgeous smile she is so happy!
-Baby Advocate 1 (G-Dad) and Baby Advocate 2 (G-Ma LaLa) didn't like Scott spinning Lucy around so much... even though her dizzy face was super hilarious and she laughed.
-The Baby Advocates also insisted that the baked beans I was feeding Lucy be smashed... Insisted.
-Scott wore his seriously irrritating silky soccer shirt from Europe. Eek, I just can't stand that shirt.
-Joke were made about Seann being from the 80's via Tron.
-We also decided it would be pretty awesome to name all of our next kids after a good disney character and bad one ie: Simba Mufasa, Abu Japhar... 
-Couldn't tell the difference between the turkey burger and hamburgers which cued the conversations of, "Turkey burgers really are better than hamburgers" "Ummm I don't think so, thats gross" It goes on.
-Lucy and David fake choked multiple times. 
-Dad's candle's on his strawberry trifle, were in fact trick candles. The babies seemed to like that.
-We then discuss how David really should be the next E-Trade baby. He could so do it.
-Baby Noah apparently liked the food Rebecca ate, he was kicking. 
-Rebecca and Beth determined the deviled eggs are probably about 4 or 5 point on the weight watchers point system. Yeah for one egg. 

Surprisingly enough no gardening was discussed, or Scott and I getting pregnant (theres a bet going on I will get pregnant... before we are planning to. Hardy har har) Oh yeah we talk about it all! No one gets out alive... Just kidding. I'm a little bit of a drama queen.

If none of this seems remotely funny to you. Well, here's another saying for you,"You would of had to of been there."

Oh yeah and Mom found her keys before we even left the driveway at Beth's house. What goes around comes around.

Toodles!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My 1st Mother's Day!

Did you think I forgot about blogging? Well actually I did for the weekend. We have been so busy the past few weekends, so I just plum forgot. (Since I know you were all just waiting around to read my next blog post... Ha.) It was a very eventful weekend. Not in the way most people describe, "eventful weekends" though. Nothing bad happened, it was just full of events. Eating out like three times with families, Rebecca's baby shower for baby Noah, shopping, Lucy's dedication, and Mother's Day filled this eventful weekend.

Mother's Day was by far the best day though. No offense Rebecca, your baby shower was awesome too, BUT baby dedication and Mother's day trumps the shower... Scott, Lucy, and I stood before the church and made a vow to raise her in the light of the Lord. To be obedient to God when raising our little Lucy, and asking the church and family to stand behind and help us with our covenant we have made to God. It was the cherry to my ice cream of a day. I thought it was wonderful that she was dedicated on Mother's day. She did pretty well up front too, she couldn't decide who she wanted to hold her though... and she ate some tissue paper while we were praying. (She's real into paper these days, I call her a billy goat...) Pretty much all of our family was there too, so it was neat being in church with everyone again. I definitely miss being able to worship with my family at church.

After church, we headed over to the Bickley's (Scott's parents) house for a nice light lunch of sandwiches. They were delicious and we enjoyed spending time with everyone! Then we moe-zeed ( don't know how to spell it, so just sound it out...) over to my parents house where we ate more and sat by the pool. We did absolutely nothing there. Which was nice, Scott, Lucy and I are fighting colds, we needed some rest. That evening we came home and relaxed some more. I guess it was alittle uneventful...

I'll tell you what, Mother's day has a WHOLE new meaning after now being a Mom. Its nice to be celebrated and to be praised for being a Mom. It is a tough job and sometimes a very thankless job. Lucy could careless, and prefer I not, clean out her nasty nose or change her dirty diaper. Not one thank you yet :o) Don't be fooled she can say, "thank you". Although it's more like, "tank- tu" but hey it works. But thank you's or no thank you's I love my daughter. I love my husband for giving me my daughter. I love my Lord for lending her to me to enjoy. She has changed my life in so many great ways. She truly is the light of my life (Lucy mean's light). Even when she wakes up way to early and all I want to do is sleep, I see her smile and I'm hooked on her. She is my greatest accomplishment and I know the best years are yet to come! Happy be-lated Mother's day ya'll and THANK YOU MOM for all you have done for me and continue to do daily for me!

Toodles!

Friday, May 06, 2011

How To: Fold a Fitted Sheet




Don't laugh. OK you can laugh. I did a video tutorial... I am super nervous to put me talking about folding a fitted sheet onto this blog, but I am serious when I say that for three years I could not figure out how to fold a fitted sheet! It's irritating! All I wanted was to be June Cleaver and yet, I just couldn't fold that con-flabid sheet (Thanks Dad for the best word ever. Con-flabid- irritating, makes you want to throw something through a window.) Though I have found out I am indeed not June Cleaver, gasps, I definitely feel good knowing I can fold a fitted sheet. So enjoy and let me know if it helps you...

Oh and a disclaimer to my family, Sunday lunch I know you will chuckle and crack jokes about my video, but lest you forget I can fold a fitted sheet. Can you, my dear family? :o) (Don't worry everyone I will blog about Sunday Lunch one day, you'll just have to sit on the edge of your seat until then.)

Happy folding and Toodles!



Thursday, May 05, 2011

Can cross that off my list!


I haven't ever sat down and made a bucket list, but there are some things in life I would like to say are on my mental bucket list. Birthing a child, check. Getting blood work done and not actually freaking out about it, check. Owning a house, check. Getting married, check. Owning a mini van, check (double check because it is the car of my dreams, no seriously it's my Barbie dream car.) Owning a business, check. The list goes on and on.  Today is exciting, I certainly most certainly did accomplish another task on my mental bucket list.

Like I have said in past posts, I love couponing. It gives me a thrill waiting at the check out line to see my total.I get butterflies as I see the number go down on my total and sky rocket in savings. It also helps with my insane desire to SHOP! Get ready to give me some cookies and a pat on the back, because today I hit the jackpot on savings and spending. I didn't just save 25%, or 50% or even 75%, no I saved (drum roll please) 97.66% savings! I spent a whopping $3.05 and saved $140.63. Check. I would have saved 100% but the cashier mistakenly thought I needed to get another item for it to total out. So I got some gum and mentos. I doubt this will happen again since the cashier told me they are having a, "coupon meeting" next week... But I did it and even if I only get to have this one time of feeling incredibly accomplished at couponing. I'll take it.

Coming up soon on the blog: How to fold a fitted sheet. With none other than me. Your blog host. I haven't decided if I will do a video or just pictures... We will see.

By the way anyone need any gas relief? That's what happened to be on sale and actually made me profit.

Toodles!



The loot.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Blucky. Blah and Yucky. Blucky.

 Blucky. I coined this term when I was pregnant, it just seemed to describe how I felt to the "T". It's a mix between blah and yucky. Blucky. That's my mood today. I woke up this morning, in a foul mood. Tired, irritable, angry, lethargic, and down right mean. Nothing has really gone wrong today. I don't have a flat tire. I have food in my pantry and fridge. I was able to get a shower and a little bit of rest time during Lucy's nap, so what is wrong with me? How did I go from thinking on some heavy stuff, wanting to surrender all my life to the Lord, to thinking I just want to hide my head in the sand or better yet, just go back to bed. What in the world is going on here!

Well I can tell you one reason I came up with. My sweet comfortable life has already started going into cruise control ie: God. I am convinced He reads blogs because somehow He got word that I am not so keen on my comfy, squishy, care bear life being uncomfortable. Scott and I have a friend who has some needs financially, spiritually, and stomach-lly (he sometimes needs food), and we have been trying to help him but can't help as much right now. Scott being the amazing person he is, and I mean that with all seriousness he is awesome, invited him to church. He came. He has actually come three times. He joined the church. Which may seem great, yes I know strike me now I said "may seem great."  But this has thrown me for a loop hole.

Scott and I recently made the decision to join a new church. It was a super difficult decision and was emotionally draining for me, and Scott. I was leaving the place I had called my "church home" for over 20 years. Most of my family and many of the people there I have know since I was negative nine months are there. So finding a new "home" was challenging. Blessed as we are, we found our new "home" relatively quickly. I was actually finding it refreshing to not know everyone and their mother, literally. No one really knew my past, my mistakes, my "tendencies",  anything that could be a hindrance to my relationship with them. It really was like a cool glass of water on a hot day, refreshing.

But all good things have a reality, and that was when our friend joined the church. He has needs, and we brought him to church, where he has asked for some of those needs to be met. Man, for once I don't want to be seen as the one who brings the drama! Why does it always, OK always is an extreme (but I never said I wasn't a drama queen), have to be me (us if you include Scott). I just wanted to blend in to the crowd for once, not come in with a pop, pop, BAM (not yet at least, I had everyone convinced we were normal, HA!) Ya'll we JUST joined the church like three weeks ago and already we are bringing someone who has great needs!

Geeze. It feels good to get that off my heart. BUT, now to the part that really makes me feel a foot tall, literally I need to get down on my knees and pray. He deserves and has the right to worship and fellowship with us at our new church all he wants. So what if people see us as bringing the needy in. So what! Doesn't God call me to minister to those in need? To open my door to them? Should he get to worship God any differently just because he has great needs? Who am I to stand in his way. Sheesh! All this to say, I am quickly seeing that blank contract, being filled with situations similar in comfortability to this one. I am going to have to get up and move on from my uncomfortable feelings and get on with the life God has desired for me.

Easier said than done. Be in prayer for me, I'll be in prayer for you.

Toodles!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Servant or slave which is it?

Get ready to be shocked, then gasp, then speechless (you just might want to sit down for this one). I am currently reading my SECOND book in three months! Seriously, can someone hand me a cookie, because this never happens. I think I can count on my fingers, and my toes... OK just my fingers, how many books I have read in my life. Most people can say they read for relaxation or fun, I can say I usually only read out of obligation when I was in school. BUT these past few months I have been reading.

My first pick was a book I got about a year or two ago on a random Lifeway trip.(Do you ever have those random Lifeway trips when you are feeling real "spiritual" and buy like 5 books that relate to your life, but don't read them for another 2 years?) It is by Nancy Leigh DeMoss: "Becoming God's True Woman". It was a collection of chapters about biblical femininity and becoming a woman of God by various Christian authors, mostly woman. It was an awesome book and seriously convicting in many areas of my life. Definitely a must read.

My second book I am still currently reading through, is also by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and it is "Surrender". Challenging women, and men, to give up control of our lives and let God take it all. She talks about how a lot of times we will tell God, OK here is our contract I will agree to sign and surrender to you if you do X, Y, and Z and in return I will do A, B and C, folks that aint' the deal. We should sign a blank contract and say, "God here I am, here's my signature on this blank contract take it and fill it in with what you desire for me." Let me just lay it on the line right now, while I was reading this I felt my nerves rise. Who wants to sign a blank contract and say, "God take it and do what you will, you have proven so many times that everything you do does not make me uncomfortable AT ALL!" Yeah right! God could make me leave the comfort of being, well, comfortable to go do something thats not so squishy, comfy, lollipops, and care bears.

I am a picture thinker, so says my sister in law Kathryn :o). Basically, I tend comprehend things a TON better when its in a picture form. (Note to self: Make a Bible for adults with pictures...) I am the person sitting in front of you at church that's drawing a picture of a big fish, while the pastor is preaching on Jonah. Believe it or not I am learning, not bored. Anyways, in the book she points out that there is sort of a "mis-interpretation" (stay with me now) of the word servant in the Bible, in some passages. Not all I assume; I have not taken the many spare hours I have, yeah right, and looked them up. But here goes my interpretation of her misinterpretation.

Josef Tson says (quoted from "Surrender"), "In the Greek Bible one never, never diakoneo to God- one never serves God; one only douleo  to God- that is, one slaves to God." Mr. Tson also says, "Translators did not like the term, 'bondslave' to be applied to people. Who wants to be somebody else's slave? Therefore they replaced it with 'servant'."

I decided hmmm that seems kinda harsh to accuse the translators of not liking the word "bondservant" or "slave" so they replaced it, so I asked my trusty Biblical encycolopedia: my husband. Who looked up on some website, I don't remember which one I was rambling on about my findings. To which he confirmed Mr. Tson was indeed correct. If you look a little more closely into a few passages of scripture you will see what he was talking about. One I thought of and "tested" his theory to, was Luke 1:38: "'I am the Lords servant. Mary answered'", servant (diakonos) is actually not the Greek Bible's translation of the word. It is actually slave (doulos).

"So what? What is SO important about two words, they pretty much mean the same thing right?" Wrong! They are two greatly different words. Servant, according to Webster, is "a person employed to perform services for another"; while slave is, "a human being who is owned as property by and is absolutely subject to the will of another." Ya'll that is straight out of Webster, no butter added there (get it Paula Deen? Butter? Guess you just have to be me). See the difference? In Exodus 21:1-2 and 5-6 it describes the rules when you buy a Hebrew slave:

 The slave is to serve for 6 years and in the 7th he is set free. Unless he says, "I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free." (Exodus 21) At that point in time his master brings him to the Lord and at the masters door post he bears a hole through the slaves ear, showing that he will be a slave to that master forever!

(Here comes my picture thinking) If I am really a slave to God, not just a servant, who simply does a task and when its done I am no longer employed or under obligation. Where there is no ownership over my body and life, that makes me property of God's. He owns me. If I am really a slave of God, I will go to the door post and bear a hole through my ear (OK not literally). What a painful way to show your complete surrender of your life to someone. Lest we not forget, there was no ice to num your ears, or antibacterial wipes to make sure the area was clean, or anything to relieve that pain in that time. Just an awl (a pointed hand tool with a fluted blade used for piercing wood, leather, etc. I guess etc. included ears). Giving up my desires, goals, energy time, money, and comfort is not easy. Fully surrendering to God's absolute will for me, is not without some sort of sacrifice or pain.

Don't be mistaken though, it is clear to point out in Exodus that the slave is free unless HE says, "I love my master...." He willingly gives up his freedom because he loves his master, beacuse he knows his master is good to him. Now, I am sure there were occasions where the slave really had no other choice but to go back to his master, but scripture clearly says that the slave has to say, "I love my master." This made me think: "Jenny, do you really love your Master enough to surrender your life fully to him? To go to His door post and publicly profess that you am now a SLAVE, not servant, a SLAVE to God and trusted that your Master will take care and provide for your every need? Knowing, it will come at the cost of your freedom, goals, and desires? That you will have to work hard for your Master, because that is your task as His slave, to obey Him?" Geeze Louise. Can you say convicted? Convicted.

There is a eency weency part that is hugely significant in this relationship though, I can know I will always be provided for, always loved and always taken care of. The needs of me as slave are met, in return for full surrender of my life and obedience to God's will. It's not all pain and sacrifice. It's freedom to live in knowing I am accounted for by God. He owns me, and everything He has created and owns is good. He makes all things good.

Heavy stuff ya'll. Heavy stuff. When I think of myself as a slave to God, it puts my life and my faith in a whole other ball game. While serving does go into play, it's more. Its about giving God ownership of what is rightly His. Me

(I am sitting here thinking toodles is so peppy.... I will just put in parenthesis and you can whisper toodles in your head... Toodles.)

PS: Some of this is my two cents but most of it is from the book, "Surrender" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She has like 90 cents worth in this post :o)

Monday, May 02, 2011

My Mondays

Just another Manic Monday (ohh oh oh) Wish it was Sunday, cuz thats my fun day, (which is so true). Monday is get everything that needs to be done around the house before the clock strikes 9pm day. I do laundry, all three loads (don't be fooled the washer is slam packed, I don't believe in small loads... so each load is pretty big), I clean up the house, well watch Mr. Robo vacuum up the dog traces, uh hem black Labrador dog hairs. What can I do she's a dog and it's hot outside.

I also try to get my couponing done for the current ads. Which makes me think I should have taken Mrs. Miller's advice and well, gone back to kindergarten. It takes me a good two to three hours just to get a list together for CVS. Ya'll I have some serious math issues, somehow every time I spend time getting my list together, I ALWAYS without fail am off on my math and politely feel the need to tell the cashier I think my items were rung up wrong. Then I realize it was my error.... Whoops (So far, I am to embarrassed to go back to the CVS on Tennessee Street and the Lake Ella.) I am slowly running out of options. Note to self: Humble thyself enough to let Scott help me with my couponing math.

I also try to get caught up on the bottles that were so conveniently left next to the sink and in the exersaucer... and under the table.... and the car... the diaper bag... and any other crevice you can imagine. What? We have busy weekends? Don't you too? So after spending an long time cleaning out the bottles, I try to make the kitchen look spik and span. I do love me a clean kitchen.

I do not love that laundry never ends. Just when you think you have finished matching socks, folding towels, and meticulously folding underwear, you change into your PJ's and start the process all over again.So much of a let down that just when you think your done, you are actually just back at square one. But that is life and when life gives you laundry ya can't let it get stinky so you just might as well wash it.

I guess I am alittle bit of a drama queen because when typing what I do on Mondays its really not all that bad.  I think what makes it difficult is the 10 month old crawling and getting into, but not limited to, the dog bowl, DVD's, cabinets, drawers, laundry, eating things off the floor, wanting to be held and so on and so forth. So take the baby out of the equation easy peasy. Add her back and you get more work. Take that Mrs. Miller, I can do math, Ha!

Toodles!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Prom 2011

Buying the dress, getting my hair, finger nails, and toes done, buying special jewelry, getting my make-up done, and last but not least the shoes... that's right everyone homecoming and prom were the highlights of my years in highschool (silly you did you think I was going to say my wedding? That was awesome too) Homecoming and prom were just so fun, especially when you had a date! Lucky me, I did! I love dressing up and wearing fancy clothes and any excuse to wear my ,on any other day, obnoxious rhinestone jewelry. 

Recently, I have been mentioning to Scott about how much I missed highschool dances. How much I missed feeling pretty in my dress, and getting beautified. How much I missed dancing (and I know what you are thinking, no we did not "booty dance") We actually swing danced and turned everyday tasks into dances. Some examples may include BUT are not limited to: the sprinkler, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, washing the dog and washing the car. We even did some Karate Kid, wax on wax off, paint up paint down. That sort of thing. But no matter how silly and quite stupid we looked for going against the crowd and choosing not to "grind" on the dance floor, we had a blast. That leads me too yesterday, Friday morning:

AND ACTION (claps hands together loudly)

"Hey, Scott. What should I wear to our date tonight? I mean are we going to go somewhere after we eat? Should I be casual? Formal??" "Jenny" (Scott says grinning) "Wear something you would wear to prom." Me: "I am not wearing a prom dress to Mori." (Scott says sort of rolling his eyes) "Just wear something really nice!" Me: "K".

Later that day... Scott asked me to meet him at the Tallahassee Mall, so at five I drop Lucy off with her Aunt La La, Uncle Seann, and Grandma La La, and Granddad (these people are pivotal in this story, don't forget them) and I go on my merry way to the mall. 

* FREEZE: I didn't tell you what I wore. Here goes: My white and gold Ann Taylor Loft dress that I got on our 2nd anniversary trip to St. Augustine. It was a splurge item and I can finally fit back into it after having Lucy. Oh and it just so happened to go with my shoes I wore to our Junior prom :o)
ACTION AGAIN(claps hands together loudly again)

I see Scott standing outside waiting for me, and we go into the mall where he tells me: "Jenny, I have a surprise for you!" Me: "Are we crashing a prom.... That is alittle rude to crash a prom and not to mention possibly illegal." Scott (grinning): "I have connections." Me: "What?" Anyways, he we keep walking through the mall when he tells me I have a certain amount of money I can spend on ANYTHING I want! YES! Jackpot! If you have ever done the love language test by Gary Chapman you will understand when I say my love language is gifts. There I said it. I love gifts. So this was awesome, because Scott LOVES to save. 

OK so we walk around the mall and I didn't see anything I wanted to spend my money on, I mean I am not just going to blow it and we were in ghost town mall, so we head to go eat. Mori is our new favorite place to go. We love the food, it's quiet, sort of reasonably priced and they are quick! We ate our favorite: steak, shrimp, and chicken. No sushi this time, although their sushi is really good to. (Don't worry I haven't forgotten about my money to spend)

We then decide to go to the Governor Square Mall, we walk around for like two hours, I find like five things I love. But in trying not to just blow my money we depart from the mall empty handed. OK blah blah blah I am ready to get to the good part!

I get out of the car when we get home and hear some seriously loud music. Thinking its the neighbors I almost go into a fit of rage, because it annoys me greatly to hear their music inside my house especially when it is time for sleep!  We walk up to the door and I say, "Scott! There is music coming from the house, someone is in there!" (Lest we not forget the reindeer in the carport earlier this week. May he stay in his place until Christmas) So I was pretty shaken thinking someone has invaded my house. Not to mention when I opened the door the music was blaring AND the house looked like a babyless home, ie: not like babies r us. So I thought someone broke in... Freaked me out. Freaked me out more that Scott kept nudging me inside. So I creep in and see a microphone, music playing, and a brown chair with my name on it (ok not literally my name on it but he told me to sit there.) and a glass of sweet tea :o) From there Scott told me he was going to give me a concert and sang me five song. I think... I am still fuzzy and in shock from his creativity of this date, some had sentimental value and some were just cheesy love songs to make me blubber like a fool. Thanks Scott, my mascara apparently is not water proof. 

You see this week, month, 6 months, 9 months, year, OK 2 to 3 years, have been challenging for me and Scott. Like I said in yesterday's post we have flown through 5 chapters of life in 3 years. Life and personal issues have gotten the best of mainly me, and I have often lost sight of the wonderfully amazing man I married. I have SO, all to often forgotten the amazing memories we have and just how far we have come together. Seriously ya'll we have come so far. So as he sang the songs that meant, mean so much to us I just couldn't help but overflow with tears. Again let me say the Sephora sample size mascara I was wearing was indeed, NOT waterproof.

Back to the concert, after he sang me the songs, we swing danced, jumped around the living room, did the electric slide, clapped to Hey Ya, looked like crazy people and slow danced to the first song we ever slow danced to. Homecoming 2004. I waited ALL night for them to play ONE slow song and it was, "Picture" sung by Cheryl Crow and Kid Rock. Terrible first slow song to dance to, but absolutely a WONDERFUL memory with what I was later to find out would be my better half one day.

Now let me tell you little background on our date. Scott spent countless hours preparing for this date. Remember those amazing babysitters I mentioned earlier ie: the Kennedy clan (my fam), they came over while we were out and set up the whole scene AND did my dishes. Amazing.  Scott had given them an extensive to do list and they followed it to the T! I had no idea he had been planning this whole date for over a month!

I am never speechless. I almost always have something to say. But ladies and gents, I. Was. Speechless. It was a, "you kinda had to of been there" type of thing. But even if you would have been there I don't think anyone could have understood the depth of love that I felt from this date. It was so totally a Scott and me date. An amazing date. An amazing memory. I know I will never forget! 

If you haven't spent time with your husband or wife, give it a try. Make some new awesome memories. You won't be sorry.

Toodles!