Today I'm sitting at home, propped up in my bed with my laptop, not doing much. Tomorrow morning I'm having a colonoscopy done (if you've ever had one, you know how much fun the day before is!), and the stuff I've had to take in preparation has made me nauseous and sick feeling. So I'm not doing much besides reading and blogging. And reflecting. Which can be a bad thing, but since my mood lately has been good, my reflections are positive. ( :

Our vacation last weekend was not quite what I expected or had hoped for, but we did have some good times. We just spent too much time in the car for my liking. The mountains were absolutely beautiful; we timed it perfectly at the peak of the leaves' fall colors. I would have loved to have stayed in a cabin in the woods and just soaked in all that beauty. We went to a place called Cade's Cove. Its a state park and is really gorgeous. It's where I took the most pictures.

Even though our vacation was less than perfect, this past week at home has almost been. I feel closer to my husband than I have in a really long time. I feel more at peace in general. I'm leaning on God more and trusting in Him. I can't say what happened, because nothing specifically did. I just finally realized I needed to let go and let God, as the saying goes. Let God worry about all the stuff I was worrying about. He's got it in His hands; its all good. I can't even say when exactly I made this realization, it was more gradual. But the past few days I feel so much lighter, and like I said, more at peace. God has a plan, and all I have to do is follow Him and remember that He's got it under control. Not always easy, but easier than tryin to do it on my own!

I guess the moral here is things don't always happen like you expect them to, but sometimes the end result is better than you expected.


Almost Time...

Well, our vacation is almost here. Right this minute, I can't say that I'm very excited about it, if truth be told. I hate the preparations for a vacation, even a short one like ours (we'll leave tonight and return Sunday). With all our animals, we have a lot to do to make sure they're taken care of. My mother is feeding everything, but we try to make it as easy as possible for her. I measure out the horses' feed for each meal in Ziploc bags, so Mama won't have to measure anything. The chickens have a huge container full of feed, so they should be good at least until we get back. We've made lots of preparations like that.

But the animals aren't really that difficult. Actually, nothing we have to do is that difficult, really. But all the laundry that has to be done before we can go somewhere is really intimidating. And making sure I have everything for a toddler is stressful. I have to have extra outfits (cause you know she'll spill something on herself at some point!), warm outfits and cool outfits (the weather is supposed to be in the 60s, but if we spend a lot of time indoors somewhere she may get hot...), a variety of jackets (lightweight to heavy ones), plenty of diapers, medicine in case she gets sick....the list goes on and on. It takes careful planning on my part. I've always packed with a list, but now its essential. Yes, most everything can be purchased if we get in a bind, but I like to be prepared. Last year on our annual mountain trip, C got sick with a fever. Luckily, I had a thermometer and Children's Motrin on hand. (Turns out, she had a urinary tract infection.) Just goes to show that you never know what might happen!

All these preparations for our trip has us all tense and short on patience. Right now I'm wondering why on earth we do this to ourselves every October. But I know once we get there, I'll forget about all this. I always do! Once we get there, we'll all concentrate on just relaxing and having a good time together. That's what matters. But, until then I'm praying for patience for us all!

I'm praying that this weekend we stay safe driving in the mountains and that we don't run into any trouble. I also pray that we have a little fun, because we surely all need it! I know that just being in that crisp mountain air, surrounded by God's beautiful artwork (the leaves are supposed to be at their peak colors in TN this weekend), we'll all feel rejuvenated. I can't wait for that! And hopefully along the way I'll get some great pictures of us making some awesome memories. ( :



Everywhere I turn these days, whether its "real life" or facebook, people are talking about the upcoming election. I discuss it with my boss, my friends, and my family. I don't profess to be the most intelligent person discussing politics - heck, there's a lot I don't understand and don't claim to. But I know what I personally believe in, and I know what I like to see/hear/experience, so I know which candidates I like and which I don't.

I'm not one of those people who posts nothing except political stuff on facebook. I do post a fair amount, though. I believe that if you strongly believe in something, you should publicly support it, regardless of what other people say or think. And I believe that if you have an opinion, you're entitled to it and you have a right to express it on a public venue like facebook. After all, if people don't like what you say, they don't have to read it. In extreme cases, they can "unfriend" you, though that is pretty sad. I believe talking about these topics is important because so many people are mislead. So many people are easily swayed by a pretty face or a pretty voice, or what have you. And so many people vote solely on political party. Which is absolutely ridiculous.

Getting different viewpoints out there for others to read is a good thing, in my opinion. Sure, it can have the opposite effect. If you're sharing lies or misinformation, it can lead to even more confused people. From what I gather, truly confused people don't get to the polls and vote. They decide they don't like either candidate so they won't "waste their vote" on either of them. So sad.

Facebook is getting pretty hostile lately with all the political posts. The people who know who they're voting for are firm in their position, and most of them don't like to hear anything negative about their chosen candidate. Of course, no one likes to be "wrong," even if its really not wrong and others just perceive it as wrong.

Then there are people who keep posting about how sick they are of all the political talk on facebook. They say things like "I'm staying off facebook until after the election," or "I wish everyone would stop being so vocal about the stupid election."

Well, folks, the election is important. We're not voting for Prom Queen here. We should be talking about this, we should care deeply about it.

Here's my facebook status update tonight:

So many people keep sayin they're sick of all the election talk. I'm sick of it too. But this stuff is IMPORTANT. This is our future. Who we elect won't just affect our country for the next 4 years; their impact will last longer than that. We should all absolutely care about what's going on here. If affects us ALL. And I think talking about it is good because not everyone understands all the issue...
s; hearing what other people have to say (all sides of the issue) can help. True, it can hurt if what's being said is false. But I say stand behind what you believe in, get to the polls and vote and let your voice be heard, don't just sit back and complain about the way things are. We live in the greatest country in the world, let's make sure it stays that way!
Sure, it could have been more eloquent and I probably missed an opportunity to say something more profound. But I had just read several posts about how horrible all this election talk is, and it made me mad. If you don't want to talk about it, then fine, don't. But don't criticize those of us who actually care about our country.
If you're an Obama supporter, support him. If Romney's your man, vote for him. Just CARE! We have got to stop being complacent and just letting things happen to America. This is OUR country and we need to be passionate about it.
I said in my "About Me" tab, I believe, that I am a member of the Constitution Party of NC. Obviously, I'm extremely conservative. I do not support Obama. I also do not support Romney. In my eyes, they are one and the same. Romney may be the "lesser of two evils" as people say, but I say if you keep voting for evil, all we'll get in the White House is evil.
I am voting for Virgil Goode, the Constitution Party's candidate. Do I think he will win? No. But I believe in him and what he stands for. I can't vote for someone that I don't believe in. It has nothing to do with political party. If Goode were a Democrat, I'd still vote for him. His website tells about his view on the major issues. I stand behind Goode 100%.
Unfortunately, Goode didn't get on the ballot in NC. (Don't get me started on the ridiculous ballot access issues in my state!) But he can be a write-in. Most people don't know that. And not just anyone can be a write-in. You can write-in anyone you want, but it won't count unless that person has been approved. Goode is on the ballot in many states. My hope is that he at least does well enough to gain more people's attention, and then could have a real shot in the 2016 election.
And there have been many people who've told me that voting for Goode is voting for Obama. They say any vote against Romney is a vote for Obama. I beg to differ. My vote is for Goode, not Romney, not Obama. I have a right to vote for whomever I want. It doens't have to be one of the candidates from the two major parties. I will stand for what I believe in, no matter what the majority says. Didn't Jesus teach us that? Just because "everyone" is doing it, doesn't mean it's right. People just don't realize there's another option besides Obama or Romney. And the ones who know about third parties don't think they could ever garner enough support to actually win an election. But its happened before. I believe Lincoln was a third party candidate. That turned out pretty well, didn't it?
My prediction for the election changes almost daily. Sometimes I think people can't possibly vote Obama back for another term. And then I hear about another idiotic thing Romney's said, and I think people will vote for Obama simply because at least he's a known evil. Surely an evil that you already know and understand is better than an unknown evil, right? I'm anxious to see what actually happens. I foresee quite a few recounts, either way. Its gonna be close. And who knows, maybe a third party like Goode will surprise us all.
Whatever your opinion, please get to the polls and VOTE!!
GOD bless the USA!!!


Making memories

One of my fall resolutions is to make more memories with my daughter and husband. We "do stuff" all the time, but so many weekends go by that we don't do anything memorable. Don't get me wrong, sometimes that's really nice! We enjoy having some weekends to do absolutely nothing, those are sweet memories, too. But like I told my husband the other day, I don't want to look back one day and think "Dang, I wish we had done more with C..." We already wasted a lot of opportunities this summer to go to the beach. We went twice, I believe. And I cherish those memories, but I wish we could have gone more. (Growing up, I was at the beach pretty much every weekend with my family, and I have so many great memories from those trips.) I'm so thankful that I now have an awesome camera so that I can capture all these memories and look back on them. (I have a Nikon D5000 if you're interested - totally worth the money!!!)

This weekend, we made plenty of memories. As you'll see, most of them were just plain, every day, around-the-house type memories, nothing "special." But they are precious to me. ( :

Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day here in North Carolina, and me and C took advantage of it by going outside for several hours. It was one of those days where you need long sleeves and pants because the shade was pretty chilly, but in the sunshine it was glorious. Absolutely perfect. My mama came over with my cousin and another young girl and we all had fun playing on the swing set and in the grass.

I love this kid so much ( :
and I love how her diaper kept stickin out of her pants!

She has started doing flips...which really freaks this mama out!!

hehe ( :

She was kinda sad when everyone left us!
Yesterday, we decided to go to a pumpkin patch. I wanted to go to the State Fair, but DH didn't feel like driving that far, so I got online and tried to find a pumpkin patch close by. They are hard to come by around here! I did find one near us, but of course it doesn't open on Sundays. So I found a place about 30 minutes away.  Its mainly a corn maze, but the website said there was a pumpkin patch and lots of things for kids (including toddlers) to do. C didn't wake up from her nap until after 4pm, but we decided to go anyway.

This place wasn't anything like we were expecting. We were pretty disappointed. The arm bands we bought to get in didn't include any of the fun things, and we didn't discover that until it was too late. We didn't do the big 12-acre corn maze (well, its not really corn, but whatever) because you had to pay more for it, but we did do an itty-bitty toddler maze. I think if you're in a big group of older children/adults and you do the big maze and maybe the "haunted" trail at night, that would be a lot of fun. Or if you pay and arm and a leg to be able to have access to everything there! Despite our disappointment, we were determined to make the most of the trip. I think C enjoyed herself, and that's all that really mattered.  We won't be going back to that place, though!

Oh, and there wasn't even a pumpkin patch! That was the biggest disappointment for me. We're off to Gatlinburg, TN, this weekend and I am determined to find a pumpkin patch there!!

me and C in the "corn" maze
I need to teach my husband how to use the zoom! haha

C always twists her tongue like that...gets it from me ( :
Last night, we went grocery shopping and bought a ton of junk food for our upcoming trip. Normally, I don't like to have a lot of junk food sitting around the house. I mean, if its there, we're gonna eat it, right? And no one needs to eat that mess all the time! But when we go on vacation, that "rule" goes out the window. We eat at good restaurants while we're vacationing, but we make sure to pack a lot of goodies for the drive. We like to snack!

Our only mistake last night was me and DH were already hungry when we got there. Never go to the grocery store hungry!! We bought way more than we should have. But its okay; we had fun.

We got ingredients to make a homemade pizza (with store bought dough), and DH let C help him assemble it. She jumped right in like she'd done it a thousand times before, even though it was her first time.

yes, we make pizza in our diapers...don't you?
That pizza was pretty darn good, by the way. And I'm tellin myself its healthier than gettin frozen pizzas or ordering from Domino's....though its probably not. ( :

All in all, the weekend was excellent. This week will be crazy since I have a zillion things to do to prepare for our mountain trip, but I'm so excited to go. I have to go buy a new memory card because I know I'll fill my current one up. I don't even know what activities we have planned, but just being in the mountains will be enough for me, so who cares!


My fall resolutions

What? People make New Years' Resolutions, why can't I make ones for fall? ( :

Actually, I never make resolutions in January because I found that I never kept them and was always disappointed in myself later in the year when I realized that I hadn't done anything I said I would do. But every once in a while, I make "mini-resolutions" to improve myself and my life. Those are infinately more easy for me to stick to. Maybe the pressure of starting a new year and new things to do is just too overwhelming to me. Who knows.

Earlier this year (in February, not January), I resolved to work on making the house more organized. Its not happening overnight, but I am making progress. My first project was to work on our bedroom closet. That was before I started this blog, so I don't have documentation. But I went through all the clothes in there (mine and DH's) and donated everything we don't wear regularly. (Maybe I shouldn't say "regularly" because there is still a ton of clothes in there, and there is no WAY we wear all that on a regular basis. But I do occasionally go through the clothes again and donate more.) I organized my shoes and all the shoe boxes that I hoard. (Its a sickness, I guess! But you never know when you'll need a shoe box...!) I organized our kitchen cabinets and pantry. I decluttered in our bedroom. I even got rid of our bulky kitchen table and bought a smaller one that better suits our space (not really an organization project, but it makes the kitchen/dining room look so much bigger and neater). Then I organized the medicine cabinet. I also resolved earlier this year to start cooking more. Before that, DH did practically all the cooking. But I decided it was my job, too, and I dove in to the world of cooking. I'm not great at it, but I try really hard! And I know my husband appreciates the effort, even if it doesn't always turn out so good. ( :

Maybe that's not such a long list considering I began this journey almost 9 months ago. But I am pleased with my progress and proud of myself for actually doing it. If you know me personally, you understand why these little things are such a big deal to me. I'm very much a "go with the flow" type of gal, and I don't get too worked up over things like an unorganized medicine cabinet. All these changes take huge efforts on my part. So I'm excited to see what else I tackle and change around the house.

I follow several blogs, and many of them are taking part in an October challenge in which they post every day this month and all the posts are related to a certain topic. I am thoroughly enjoying them all! I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with a daily blogging challenge at this point in my life, so I didn't even try to jump on that bandwagon, but my metaphorical hat goes off to you ladies who are keeping it up!

One of the blogs, Our Front Porch View, is doing 31 days to a more intentional life. I love that topic, but I can't imagine how hard it is for her to come up with a new topic daily! She has really opened my eyes to some things I need to work on in my life. I don't have it all sorted out in my head just yet, so I can't write about it, but I know the gist of what I want to see change in my life.

I want to make more memories with my daughter. I have a tendency to come up with ideas or buy craft supplies and then save them for "later" or a rainy day. And then "later" comes or we get a rainy day, and I don't do it. Like carving a pumpkin. She's old enough now to enjoy that, but I keep putting it off. Saturday we WILL carve a pumpkin together!!

Last night, DH and I took C down the road to our neighbor's farm to see his donkeys. We live on a farm, too, but we don't have donkeys. We can hear them all the time when we're playing in our yard, and C has been asking about them for a while now. DH and I always tell her "one day" we'll go see the donkeys. Well, yesterday after work, C and I were playing outside and she heard a donkey and asked where it was. I found DH and told him we needed to go see it, and we did. C loved it! That's the kind of thing I want to do more of. She's only going to be little once, and I don't want to regret not doing more with her.

Another thing I am resolving to do is find time to ride my horses more. Horses used to be my entire life, and I've lost that part of myself since becoming a mother. I know most women lose part of their former selves when they have a child, but I again, I don't want to look back with regret. Right now, I only ride every once in a while. Though when I get the chance to ride, I make the most of it and enjoy every minute. I never feel more at home than when I'm in the saddle (or bareback!)!. A while back, I decided to try getting up super early and riding some mornings before work. I did it one day and wasn't able to do it anymore. I want to try again. I'm not sure how it will work since the time is about to change, and I don't know what time it will be light enough to ride. But I'm hoping that it will work out. The time changes in just a few weeks, so I plan to start then. I think riding more often will make me feel so much better, and I'll be happier. And everyone knows a happier mama makes a happier home!

I'm also resolving to quit being a "lurker" in the blog world. All those blogs I follow, and I have never posted a comment on most of them! I don't have much of a following here (yet), so I know how it feels not to get comments. If I read a blog post and have a reaction to it, I am going to start commenting. It only takes a few seconds. I already started that one today. I commented on several posts. ( :

I also vow to spend more time with God. Reading His Word, I mean. I'm hoping to find an App for daily devotionals, since I know if its on my phone I'll be more inclined to read it. I downloaded an App last week, but I haven't been good about reading it because I don't care for the tone of the devotionals I read. So I'm taking suggestions for daily devotional apps!

There are several other things floating around in my mind, but this is all I'm really committing to for now. Baby steps, right? ( :

I cheated!

The exclamation point in the title of this post probably tells you that I'm not really beating myself up over my "cheating" incident. I was actually pretty pleased with myself! Sometimes, you just gotta take a short cut, you know??

I have been sick lately. Like really, really sick. The doctor in the Emergency Room last week said I had the stomach flu (DH took me there because I was severely dehydrated - that's how sick I was). I got 3 bags of fluids, some nausea medication, and some pain medication (dehydration makes you have intense stomach pain, if you didn't know - so intense that I told DH I'd rather be in labor again...yeah). It was a fun night. Its been over a week now, and I'm almost back to normal.

Luckily for me, my family really stepped up and were just basically awesome last week. My mother-in-law keeps C every day, and pretty much every day last week I called her to come pick up the baby. Which meant she also had to get her dressed for the day, pack her bag, etc. I was just too sick to take care of my own child, which was a hard pill for me to swallow! DH had to do things he doesn't normally have to do around the house, and he was a good nurse. My mother came a few nights and gave C her bath for me, which was a huge help, and then she stayed with me all day Friday because I was too weak to do ANYthing for myself. (She made me drink Ensure - yuck! But it helped me. I guess I needed the calories.) So what I'm trying to say is I am eternally grateful for my family! Its wonderful to know I have so many people I can count on when I'm in need.

Back to my cheating. I clean our bathrooms usually once every 2 weeks. I know some people clean their bathrooms much more often than that, but I struggle to get it done, so every 2 weeks is impressive to me! The bathrooms really don't get that dirty, anyway. My husband and I are both neat people and clean up after ourselves. And C is never in there unsupervised. Anyway, even though I clean the bathrooms regularly, I still have a mildew problem on my shower curtain. Gross, I know.

For a while, we did the shower spray stuff. You know, that chemical that you spray after you take a shower that is supposed to prevent mildew. It doesn't work. DH and I were diligent about it for months, and still mildew grew. Straight vinegar works wonders on the stuff growin on the walls of the shower (though it still grows back every other week - grr), I found. But I haven't had any luck with the mildew on the shower curtain, at the bottom.

It. Was. Nasty!

The week I got sick, I had planned on taking the curtain down and soaking it in bleach or something really strong to see if that took care of it. Of course as sick as I was, that didn't happen. I thought about just buying a new shower curtain, but DH would surely be less than happy with that idea. Plus, what a waste of money! Even though I'm feeling better this week, I have had so much to catch up on that I haven't had time to work on that curtain.

So, the other night I cut off the offensive bottom of the curtain!

I cut off about 2 inches of nastiness. Definitely cheating, but it looks so much better in the shower now. And I'm looking at it as a clean slate. Hopefully I'll find something that keeps the mildew away when I'm doing my regular cleaning.

What's funny is that DH hasn't even noticed. Or if he has, he hasn't bothered to mention it to me.

But I am vowing to myself to keep the dang thing clean and mildew free this time. I will NOT let it get to that point again. And I will NOT ever have to cut off 2 inches of a shower curtain again!

Don't judge me; aside from my previously nasty shower curtain, my house is actually pretty clean. Not as organized as it could be, perhaps, but definitely clean. ( :  And I can't be the only one who's ever cheated on housework like this, can I??


Medicine Cabinet Makeover

I promise I didn't forget about this project. I was sick last week, and though I was wanting to get this done last Wednesday when I bought the baskets, I was too exhausted that night to do it. I did complete it Friday, though! Actually, it only took about 15 minutes.

I said last week I intended to clean out and organize our medicine cabinet. We have a ton of medications and everything was just thrown in there haphazardly. I suspected we had some duplicates due to not being able to see exactly what we had, and I was right. Here's the before shots:

Its a pretty small space, but it was crammed full! Here's a closer shot of the bottom shelf, where the majority of the medication was:


I took everything out and organized it into groups. Pain relievers went in one pile, heartburn medication in another, etc. I threw out quite a bit of medicine, mostly old antibiotics. I discovered I have some really random stuff that I can't remember getting a prescription for, including Oxycontin and nerve pills. Woah! The nerve pills I think were prescribed to me during a severe allergy attack a few years back (when I have an allergy attack, its mainly my skin and nerves that are affected and I itch to the point where I feel like I'm going crazy - its awful), but the oxy? Who knows! That's some powerful stuff and I was surprised to see it in there, but it has my name on it. Just goes to show you that doctors will prescribe anything these days. I don't think I've ever been in enough pain to warrant oxy.

Moving on.... here are the after shots!

Close up of the bottom shelf
I wish I had another shelf in there, because there's a lot of wasted space now. I thought about buying closed containers to store the medication in, and that's probably the safest bet with a toddler in the house. But I knew my husband I would hate having to pull down a box and open it every morning. (We both take medication every morning - and every night for me - for heartburn/acid reflux.)

I thought about separating the medication into children and adult. That seemed like a waste, though, since I only have 3 medications for the baby: Children's Motrin, Tylenol, and Benadryl (all generic). The baskets are categorized by general type of medication they contain: Allergies, Heartburn/Acid Reflux, Pain, Vitamins (you can't see these in the pictures), Sickness (such as cold/flu medication and stomach issue drugs, also not seen in the pictures), random (the nerve pills and other medications reserved for my most severe allergy attacks), and Animal. I didn't realize how much animal medication we had until I organized everything.

I know the labels are not the prettiest in the world. I made them in about 5 minutes while C was running around saying, "what you doin, Mama?" over and over. I figured why waste a bunch of time making beautiful labels when there's a possibility we will absolutely hate this change and nix the idea completely. DH already hates that the pain medication is way at the top and you have to take down the whole basket to get anything out. But honestly, we don't take that much for pain so it doesn't need to be the most accessible.

So far, I am loving this simple change. Its not fancy like some other medicine cabinets I've seen, but that's okay. I'm more likely to keep something simple like this up. Every morning and night when I go to grab my reflux medicine, I don't have to search for it. And I can easily see how much more I have, and how much more Prilosec my husband has, since its all in one tidy basket now. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how my little project turned out! ( :