Tuesday, May 31, 2011


As I blogged about the other day, this weekend we made the trek to Joplin to help out with the devastation from the tornado that swept through the town Sunday May 22nd. We arrived Saturday morning and reported to one of the Universities in town, and were taken by bus to the devastated area. It was the most eery feeling as we crossed from the area that was untouched, to the area that was just completely destroyed. You could tell it kind of came over everyone on the bus at one time. Everyone was talkative until we hit a certain point, then it was complete silence. I can't even begin to describe to you the things we saw. I was shocked, and all I could think was 'Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh' over and over. Thinking about what would we personally do if that ever happened to us. Thinking about what all the people must be feeling/going through. People that have no where to go, no clothes to wear, no food to eat, no jobs anymore, nothing. There were houses that were almost completely destroyed but a room or two, but yet there were still clothes hanging in the closet, WHAT?! We found multiple homes with no outside walls, their stuff scattered all over the yard, but yet there were still cook books lined up on a shelf in the kitchen. SO crazy! 

We helped sort through debris all day, the guys brought their chainsaws and just went to town cutting down debris, while all the gals carried it to the curb. We also sorted through peoples belongings who hadn't been back home since the tornado, and tried to keep their personal items together somewhere on their porch/driveway/near where the house was or would have been. There were quite a few homes that had things spray painted on them, a few of their words shook me to my core, 'God is with us' and 'God bless us all' etc... Even through this total devastation, it's so amazing to see people keeping their faith. If you and your family are OK, your 'stuff' is replaceable. I know some keepsake items aren't replaceable, but the lives of your family are the most important. I really felt those words touch me. Gerrad's mom and I had a few conversations when we passed homes that had things about God written on them, how amazing it was to see that. 

Our youth pastor at church took a few teens/leaders, and his son down to Joplin for a few days last week, and made the most amazing video. It's about 9 minutes long, but totally worth your time to watch it if you have a second!! I kept it together the whole day, I know God was giving me the strength, and honestly I was just so overwhelmed that I don't think it hit me until I saw this video at church the next day, then the flood gates opened. Please be in prayer for the people of Joplin, MO as they have a LONG road ahead of them. They are still in need of volunteers, and I would strongly encourage that if you live anywhere near Joplin, you make the trip and lend a hand. I know it touched me deeply, and made me feel great to help out. The residents were SOOO very thankful to all of the volunteers. 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heavenMatthew 5:16

Even if you're not able to help directly, could you say a prayer for those who lost family members, and everything they own?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Relief in the Storm

I've been trying to work up this post in my head for a few days. I knew it would be deep, and a lot of words, but couldn't find the exact words I wanted to say. Sometimes you're just touched deep down and feel the need to do something about it. As I watched the news and heard about the town of Joplin, MO being nearly all destroyed by a tornado that ripped through the town, I couldn't believe the devastation. I have never seen destruction like that. I know that Alabama has also just faced a similar situation, but not to this magnitude. Nearly 75% of Joplin was wiped out by this weather disaster, 75%. That's 3/4 of their population with no homes, no where to go, no more earthly possessions, nothing. I can't even imagine! From there, I decided that since we live so close, I HAD to do something. I couldn't sit idley by and know that I was more than capable to help. I had no excuse, no reason to say no... so I started. I started trying to round up friends and family, neighbors, co-workers, anyone and everyone, to give. There are lists all over the internet of things that these people need who lost everything. 

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.  ~Mother Teresa

I also knew that I wanted to make the trip down to Joplin this weekend. I don't care how long the drive, if they're turning people away, if they don't need me, I decided I was going, and nothing is going to stop me. So Saturday morning, a group of our family/friends is heading out early in the morning, and going to do whatever it is that we can for those that lost everything. And I couldn't be more excited/scared/nervous, and any other emotion one could feel. Gerrad feels really strongly that I will not be able to emotionally handle it, but I KNOW that God would not send me into this situation if he didn't think I could. I have every knowledge that I will cry multiple times throughout the day, that I will be seeing people with such sadness like I've never seen, but I will also be able to show people love, and kindness. I am prepared to see/hear/feel things that I never have before, but it's not about me! It's about helping those in need, and trying to make a difference. 

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can.  ~Sydney Smith

We are meeting up with a few people from our church when we get down there as well, so there will be many of us there to support each other, and others as needed. We are loading up everything we can fit into our vehicles, and praying that God guides us the rest of the way. I have been in touch with a volunteer coordinator, who has assured us that our services will be put to good use, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I don't care if they have me packing boxes, sorting donated goods, taking care of kids so their parents can go help search and rescue, flipping burgers... I honestly don't care what it is I'm doing, but that I will be there! Sometimes we are so gripped with fear that we do nothing, and I'm so thankful that I quickly shut out the fear. 

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.  ~John Wooden

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good Life!!

I have been obsessing over this song lately, I can't get enough of it. Not a lot of 'mainstream' songs these days, have positive messages, so I think that's why I love this song so much! Sometimes I think we all get in a rut where we're focusing too much on the things that aren't going 'our' way in life. Spending too much time focusing on the negative, when there are SO many things that we should be taking the time to just be thankful for! I have always been a 'glass half full' type person, but I'm not perfect, and sometimes need to remind myself that my life is pretty darn great. I am blessed beyond measure with a wonderful family, the best friends, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my mouth (sometimes too much, ha). My family is not perfect, my life is not perfect, things don't always go my way, but I know that God is in control, and knows exactly what my family needs at just the right time. Instead of focusing on what you don't have today, think about all the things you DO have, it just might be the change you need to be happy! 

I love the lines in the song that says "Someone please tell me what there is to complain about?" and "When you're happy like a fool, let it take you over" Listening to my little girl singing 'B-I-N-G-O' is enough to make my whole day! How about you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pour Some Summer on Me- Swap Partners!!

Pour Some Summer on Me
Shirts required, water prohibited

Here is a list of all the partners, numbered and with name/blog name. We didn't link the blogs with the name, but you can visit this entry to click on your partners blog to get their contact information. 

7.Angie @ Just Shy of a Y 8. Lacey @ Bugs and Kisses

31.Emily @ The Juice is Worth the Squeeze 41.Katie @ The Lacy Family

72.Katie @ Life With the Dietrich's 86.Molly @ A Day in MollyWood


Please purchase your Summer themed items with a spending amount of $25 (not including shipping). Some ideas include, but are not limited to: flip flops, beach towel, sun tan lotion, magazines, favorite drink recipe, cocktail glasses, sunglasses, nail polish, etc! (If you are sending nail polish or sun tan lotion, PLEASE make sure you wrap it up and put it in a ziploc bag of some kind in case it breaks/leaks)

All items MUST be mailed between Tuesday, May 24th - Saturday, May 28th. We will post a link-up party on Thursday, June 2nd for everyone to reveal their goodies they received! Can't wait to see what y'all get/give!

Grab the button and display on your sidebar, and spread the word about this awesome summer swap!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Our weekend was fairly low key, some by choice, some not... Friday night we celebrated my sister in law's birthday, Addaline had a play date, and Macie had a sleepover with my in laws. Saturday we finally purchased our Disney tickets, the last major thing we needed to do before our trip, WHOO HOO! Saturday when we went to pick Macie up, she wasn't feeling too well. We came home and she ended up getting sick, took her temp and sure enough she was running a low grade fever. We had her rest in her bed the rest of the afternoon/evening, and all day yesterday. She is back to her normal perky self today, and went to school this morning. Even though she was sick, I'm thankful it was a super fast sickness.

Saturday evening G stayed home with the girls so I could go see this movie with one of my girlfriends. I've been wanting to read the book but ended up seeing the movie first. I'm WAY to slow of a reader to have the patience to wait! Now I want to read the next book, Something Blue though. We'll see how that goes! The actor who played Dex in the movie, HELLO!

I've been bugaboo'ing Gerrad about getting me a nook, I mean, maybe it will help me read books faster, right?! HA! I found a great deal on one on amazon's deal news website and sent it to him, I'm still holding onto hope that my obnoxious hints might finally be noticed ;) 

So one of my favorite bloggers sent me an invite to Pinterest last week, at first I really didn't get to into it, but now I'm HOOKED! If you haven't heard of it before, it's a website where you can catalog all the things you love, all you have to do is add a button to your toolbar, and click it to save your favorite rooms/recipes/photos/decorations/designs/clothing items, etc.... Who doesn't love a site that houses all the things you love, without having to use 8 million bookmark tabs?!! No brainer! If you use Pinterest, what's your username? I'm sure I want to follow your pins :)

Have you joined our swap yet?? If not, all you have to do is click HERE to be entered!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Our Disney countdown is officially on, less than 3 weeks, YAY!!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pour Some Summer on Me- Blog Swap!!!

Pour Some Summer on Me
Shirts required, water prohibited

Let's kick off summer with a FABULOUS blog swap hosted by:

The Nitty Gritty

Sign up by adding your blog to the McLinky below with your first name @ blog name
Example: Jane @ Jane Smith Blogs
(We will close the sign up post on Tuesday, May 17th)

'Pour Some Summer on Me' partners will be revealed on Wednesday, May 18th on the blogs hosting the swap!

Please purchase your Summer themed items with a spending amount of $25 (not including shipping). Some ideas include, but are not limited to: flip flops, beach towel, sun tan lotion, magazines, favorite drink recipe, cocktail glasses, sunglasses, nail polish, etc! (If you are sending nail polish or sun tan lotion, PLEASE make sure you wrap it up and put it in a ziploc bag of some kind in case it breaks/leaks)

All items MUST be mailed between Tuesday, May 24th - Saturday, May 28th. We will post a link-up party on Thursday, June 2nd for everyone to reveal their goodies they received!

Grab the button and display on your sidebar, and spread the word about this awesome summer swap!!! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Also known as, the introduction of my new hobby that has taken over my LIFE ;) 

Head on over to Jamie's blog to link up all the things you're currently loving!!
1} I'm loving that Gerrad (and the girls) got me the gray TOMS I've been wanting, for Mother's Day. And they got me some super cute new travel coffee mugs, whoop! 

2} I'm loving that this Mother's Day was one of my favorites so far. Gerrad got up early and went and got my favorite breakfast, and brought it home along with my gifts, my dad brought over the sweetest card ever, made me cry (what else is new). Then we went to church, then to lunch with G's family which was fun as always. After that we came home and my mom came over to watch the girls for a bit, and Gerrad and I went to play 9 holes of golf (more on that in a minute), then we came home and grilled steaks with my mom. It was a wonderful day, and makes me so very thankful for my amazing family! 

3} So the weekend before last, I decided that there was no time like the present, to take up golfing. Gerrad and I had hit balls one time, and after chatting for a bit about it, we decided that playing 9 holes would be good practice, so why not! So we loaded up our clubs, and Gerrad, my friend Ashley, and I all hit the links. That day was a huge flop for me, but I had to remind myself it was my FIRST time playing. Then Gerrad and I went again Monday evening, and then Wednesday evening, and then played again on Sunday for Mother's Day. I took a lesson Monday night, and feel a LOT better about my swing, which I was struggling with when it came to my irons.
4} I love my new clubs (except I ditched the bag for a dk gray/baby blue bag), and I love even more that we scored a heck of a deal on them on craigslist! Sometimes my husbands cheapness is beneficial :o)
5} I love that one of G's golfing buddies was giving him a hard time about teaching me to golf, and told Gerrad he was opening a can of worms he didn't want to deal with, because I'd always want to go with him, but that my sweet hubs defended me and said it was something fun that we could do together! I can't wait to keep improving my game, and play in a few tournaments this summer! Thanks for giving me the push to play, G! *Pardon the fact that this whole post is about golf, can you tell I'm loving learning how to play??? :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Our Day at the K

Last Friday night, our group of friends, sans the kiddos, all went to the Kansas City Royals game, and it was a BLAST! Such a much needed night out with out the kids! It's so important to take the time out to just have a good time with our friends every once in a while. It was $1 night, so hot dogs, peanuts, and soft drinks were $1, that part was definitely nice!

It's probably HIGHLY inappropriate that I'm about to tell this story on my blog, but let me tell y'all, we sat behind the most FASCINATING people I think I've ever met. These gals all looked like they belonged on the Real Housewives of Orange County. They were all pretty, and had the cutest kiddos, but.... they were clearly all SWINGERS! It was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. All of us girls spent most of the baseball game trying to figure out what gal went with what husband/kids, and then Melisa and I got to talking to one of the gals, and she introduced us to them all, and from then on out the pieces started fitting together. One guy would grope another mans wife, the women were all UBER touchy feely with each other, and not in a 'friendship' type way. One of the gals even had a bag of wine in her purse (the bag that comes in boxed wine), I'm telling you they were a trip! I think I watched more of them than I did at the game, HA! It was ridiculous! They were all super nice, just an odd dynamic. Although we did get one of them to take a group photo of us (minus Ashley because she was in the restroom, boo :( )  These people totally made the night interested, oh AND the Royals won, which was nice since they had been on an 8 game losing streak, whoop! 

We had a group photo taken of us when we got inside the stadium (thanks A)...

Here are some of the photos I took...

 Gerrad and I before the game

 Melisa, Ashley and I
 The Royals stadium, we were in the nose bleeds, but it was still a blast!
 Adam, Sheena, Tracy and Aaron
 The gang, minus Ashley
 The fireworks made me miss the girls

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fun Rambles

I love it when someone gives me an excuse to post random tidbits, that's right, I like to have a topic to blog about, it's always easier when I do :) Jessica over at Miss Southern Vol tagged me in a '10 Things I Love' post, so why not play along?!

 1} My family of course! My family keeps me going, they are the reason I am the person I am today, a daughter, an aunt, a sister, a wife and a mother. Sometimes I lose my patience, my cool, my sanity (Gerrad likes to impulse buy ;)), but I wouldn't change any of it for the world. I am so fortunate! 

 2} Kansas Jayhawk basketball, or football (more basketball). Going to games, watching them with friends, doesn't matter, love it all!

 3} SHOES! I have gotten a lot better over the past few years, but I still love shoes! Any and all!
 4} Sewing! I love making things for the girls, myself, friends, doesn't matter, I love it! Sewing is therapeutic for me for some crazy reason. I want to get an embroidery machine so I can go crazy monogramming things for the kids!

 5} Our church! We are truly blessed to have such a WONDERFUL church to call home. Our worship music is hip and up to date, our associate pastor, and pastor are awesome, and I always leave feeling like I got something out of the service! Plus, we've met our 'church family' there, and I couldn't be more grateful!

 6} The beach! Any beach will do, and I don't mean a swimming beach at a lake, no thanks ;) When we go to Disney next month, we'll definitely be making a trip to the beach. I just want to feel the sand between my toes, and see the girls at the beach for the first time, many photos will be taken I'm certain!

7} Sleeping! Who doesn't love a good nights sleep, or a little nap occasionally? 

8} Taking photos! I'm no professional, but I love taking, and looking at photos. Some of you bloggers take the most amazing photos, and I just love looking at them all!

9} Any and all things baby! I've professed my love of picking baby names, looking at baby nurseries, buying clothes (not just for little babies, for my 'big babies' too), planning baby showers, etc... LOVE.IT.ALL. 

10} Our friends! Sometimes we all bicker like sisters, get in little scuffles over nothing, but all in all, we have a great dynamic. I consider all my girlfriends like sisters to me, and their kids, like my own kids. We are one crazy bunch, and a little chaotic when we're all together, but it's such a fun time to see our kids growing up together, and learning new things from each other. I hope we're still hanging out on our back patio in the spring/summer when we're old and gray! 

Who wants to play along? It's always fun giving little random factoids about yourself!
I think everyone should play along, but I'll tag a few of my blogging buddies for fun...

Lindsi @ The Hancocks

Caroline @ Simply Smithwick

Go check out their blogs if you want some fun reading material, love all those girls!