Thursday, April 25, 2013

Organizing Your Day - Read It!

Over the past week I have been reading the book "Organizing Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You" by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims.


My review?

It's awesome.

Lately I've been feeling like my days are a whirlwind and I can't get everything done. This book has helped me realize that the reason for this is...

drumroll please...

my days are a whirlwind and I can't get everything done.

No seriously. I have no pattern to my days at home. I fly by the seat of my pants. And I'm trying to do too much. I try to do too many little things that are unimportant, but in my perfectionistic tendencies I think I should be able to squeeze them into my day. And beyond that, I am way, way, WAY too distractible. This book is helping me learn to notice my distractions and try to move past and ignore them.

It's also given my some great ideas for to-do lists. I love to-do lists. (Problem is I never get around to completing them.)

If you have lofty dreams of achieving many things in your life, but feel like you're not gaining any ground, check out this book. I highly recommend it. :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Little Editing Fun

I was glancing through my friend Kristin's pictures of her son the other day and saw a picture that was just screaming for someone to play with it and try out some different edits.

So I asked, and she said yes. :)

Here's the original:

Here are the four edits I came up with.  Which one is your favorite?

All edits were performed in ACR and photoshop. Within photoshop, I used the plugin RadLab (which I LOVE).

Speaking of editing, I need to finish up a twin newborn photo shoot I did for a friend a week or so ago. Maybe I'll be sharing some pictures from that, too. :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Life Lately and Now

We've had a lot of happenings in our lives lately, most of them being not-so-good...the most severe of the cases not affecting our personal lives too dramatically, but enough still that I hurt and think and dwell.  Add to this the horrible events our country has experienced over the past week, and I've found myself almost feeling numb to negative news, such that when something bad happens I'm no longer in shock but rather just interested to hear the facts and aching for the people who have been hurt.  

This past Friday I even found myself on the verge of a panic attack, which I haven't experienced for quite some time.  (Somehow I pulled myself out of it.  Prayer, some spontaneous tae bo moves, and talking to the hubby helped.)

It seems that everything is starting to slow down now...or maybe it's more than we've adjusted to the things that have happened, and they've become our new normal, and no new bad news has come floating in, so things feel ok?

Whatever the case, I'm thankful to sit here and feel at peace in my heart despite circumstances around us.  I suppose it's God's peace that passes all understanding.  I sat outside with my toddler today, eating lunch on our back patio, and relished the moment alone with him, sharing his blueberries and broccoli pieces that he wanted to split evenly with me.

Moments like those make me so grateful and I feel my heart just lifting up praise to God for the blessings in my life, big and small, significant and insignificant.  I praise Him for a wonderful husband who loves me beyond words, for two adorable and healthy sons.  For our beautiful home, for our green grass and lettuce in the garden and peach tree and raspberry plant, for healthy food to put on the table.  For family and friends that love us in all parts of the country.  For a church with awesome music and thought-provoking sermons.  For consignment shops where I can purchase my children clothing without breaking the bank when I get a shopping itch.  For our sweet pups.  For my iPhone.  For the sunshine.  For coffee.

For my Savior.

There are so many things to be thankful for, big things and little things, and I look around and realize how blessed I truly am.

And peace comes over my heart, and I cherish the moment and push the bad thoughts away.

And life feels okay.

Thank you God, for giving me this peace, and for enabling me to focus on the good when I could just as easily focus on the bad.

It's by Your grace and strength alone, I know this.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beauty from Pain

You guys, holy camoly, life has thrown some curve balls at me lately.  They are things that affect me and my family to some degree, but more than anything I am watching other people that I love going through hurt and suffering, and it brings me to tears and gives me knots in my stomach.

It is amazing how a small moment in time can permanently affect all the times to follow.

I pray that God is working through these situations, that He has some greater purpose planned.  That He will bring beauty from pain.  But when it comes down to it, we are in a fallen world of fallen people living fallen lives, and people get messed up and make bad decisions and there is nothing we can do about it but sit back, pray, try to deal with the consequences, support one another, and lean on our Savior and the promise that one day we will be free from this world.

I sit here and just pray, pray, pray that God will heal those who are hurting and guide me to do His will in these situations.

"Beauty From Pain"
by Superchick
(Google the song if you'd like to hear it. It's a winner.)

The lights go out all around me
One last candle to keep out the night
And then the darkness surrounds me
I know I'm alive but I feel like I've died
And all that's left is to accept that it's over
My dreams ran like sand through the fists that I made
I try to keep warm but I just grow colder
I feel like I'm slipping away

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today, someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

My whole world is the pain inside me
The best I can do is just get through the day
When life before is only a memory
I'll wonder why God lets me walk through this place
And though I can't understand why this happened
I know that I will when I look back someday
And see how you've brought beauty from ashes
And made me as gold purified through these flames

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today, someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

Here I am at the end of me (at the end of me)
Tryin' to hold to what I can't see (to what I can't see)
I forgot how to hope
This night's been so long
I cling to Your promise
There will be a dawn

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I've cried my last, there'll be beauty from pain
Though it won't be today, someday I'll hope again
And there'll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

Monday, April 1, 2013

Greyden - 8 months old!

Greyden turned 8 months old this past Thursday, on March 28th!

To start, here is his monthly photo:

And the roundup of all the monthly pics so far:

1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 7 months, 8 months

Roy Boy, you are such a joy. (Which incidentally rhymes, your daddy pointed out.) You are the smiliest thing ever these days and are constantly grinning. You babble babble babble and love to suck on your lips in funny ways. You loooooooove puffs and I think you'd eat a whole container in one sitting if I'd let you. You've developed quite the pincer grasp for grabbing those puffs, and really overall I'm pretty impressed with your fine motor skills. You pretty much love to eat in general. The other day you ate baby cereal, five containers of baby food, and a tub of yogurt and nursed five times. It was absolutely crazy. (And expensive. And time consuming. But I digress...)

You're still a wee bit behind on the gross motor skills. You still absolutely hate tummy time, and the only way I can get you to do it without screaming is to put toys right in front of you and constantly hit buttons so that they play music and flash lights. In fact, when I go to put you on your belly, you now stiffen your legs straight at a 90 degree angle to your body so that it's nearly impossible for me to get you flat on your tummy. (Which is quite ingenious, I must say.) You have yet to get onto all fours, push yourself into a sitting position, or roll over from back to front. Yet you sit up very well and actually stand fairly well too if I prop you up with your hands on something. Of course sometimes I worry myself silly over the fact that you're behind on the belly/crawling stuff, but I'm really not sure what more to do other than keep encouraging you and putting you on your belly despite your protests.

You LOVE bath time and I often put you in the bath when you seem crabby and I don't know what to do with you. You sit in the water and grin and kick kick kick your legs. It's actually thanks to you that your older brother now lets me dump water over his head to wash his hair...I pointed out that you were being braver than him by not crying when I poured water over your head, so then he decided he better be brave too. You also love to scream while you're in the bathtub, which is rather hilarious because your older brother sits there and cries, "He's SCREAMING at me! He's SCARING me! Mommy, he's SCREAMING at me!!!" I shouldn't laugh, but I do. Ahhh...the sibling fights are starting already. :)

You now have two teeth on the bottom, and I think they're so cute. Your eyes seem to be staying a blue-tan hazel, and your hair is growing in very light brown. (It actually often looks red in pictures, which I can't quite figure out.) You're wearing mostly 9- and 12-month clothes, size 2 shoes, and size 3 diapers.

Love you little boy! 'Till next month!