December 12, 2007

Christmas meme

Colored lights or white lights? I love the white ones...I think they look so magical, romantic and classy!
Real tree or fake tree? I LOVE the smell of real trees and had them for a while but now we have a pre-lit fake tree...mostly because of the convenience but now that I have a little person around here I'm even more glad to have a fake one. Here's the trick...light evergreen scented oils/candles in the house & it'll smell like the real thing! :)
What is your least favorite thing about the holidays? Worrying too much about the Christmas budget and losing sight of what it's really all about!
What is the one thing that you would like to see under the tree this year? BSO's (bright, shiney, objects...aka jewelry!)...just kidding, I don't really know what I want the most.
What is your favorite thing to do/build in the snow? I love to watch it fall when it's coming down in huge flakes...but I also love a good snowball fight!
What is your favorite holiday drink? Hot to combine the instant stuff with instant milk to make it creamy! Yummy!!
What is your favorite holiday smell? Christmas tree!
Who is your favorite reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner Blitzen...Rudolf! I don't have a favorite, I just love 'em all!
What is your Christmas Eve ritual? Start/Finish wrapping gifts...I rally shoul dplan ahead!
Are you a Friday after Thanksgiving shopper? NO!...although I did consider getting up for the 4:00am opening at kohls. LOL!
What is your favorite holiday food? Christmas cookies, Stuffing, Pie...I love it all!!
How did you find out that Santa wasn't real? My mom told me because she thought I already knew and was just "milking" it. Boy was that a blow! (I was actually okay with it when they told me I could help play Santa for my younger sister)
Who do you want to be under the mistletoe with? Justin!
Have you bought all your presents yet? Only one! I'd better get on it! I just got lists from most of my family today!
Do you spend Christmas with a lot of family? Yes--Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, Sisters, Brother's-in-law, neices, parents, hubby, daughter...anyone else want to come? :)
Do you still make snowmen and snow angels? Sure!
Do you still have snow ball fights? Always up for a good one!
What's your favorite Christmas movie? Miracle on 34th Street is sweet...but National Lampoon's Chrstmas Vacation is a classic!! LOL!
What do you plan to do for New Year's Eve? Not sure...probably nothing.
What's the most expensive thing you've ever gotten for Christmas? Digital Camera
How early do you wake up on Christmas morning? 9:00 or so?
What do you usually get in your stocking? all kinds of stuff...I get a stoking from my hubby and one from my Mom too! Little trinket stuff...candies, batteries, pencils, gift cards, Post-it Notes, Scrapbooking embellishments (eyelets, brads, Tombo's, etc), gum, it!!
What is your favorite religious Christmas carol? Well it's not really a carol, but I love the song: Jesus was Born Today ...Olson Family Favorite! (Thanks Dad!)
What is your favorite non-religious Christmas song? I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause...and others, It's too hard to choose.
How long do you leave up your Christmas decorations? Too long...if that's possible! I usually get them up late so I like to enjoy them before it's time to take them down. As long as they're down by February I think that's okay! :)

Consider yourself tagged!

And to get you inspired...


December 8, 2007

A Time For Giving

I just heard about this great contest to win some fabulous baby & toddler here or visit: to enter your name. There are some fun toys- keep 'em for yourself or give them away to someone more in need. I sure hope I win but if I don't...congratulations to whoever does! Winner is being announced tomorrow! :)

I don't know about you, but I haven't even started my Christmas Shopping! Better get on it, so much to be done!

Merry Christmas!

November 28, 2007


Over the last few months with a group of girls from church, we've been taking a journey through each of our lives as we read/discuss chapters from Dan Allender's book To Be Told. The objective of the book is to get a clear picture of the life you have lived until now and to determine the life God has intended you to live in the future. If we can learn to listen to our own stories,we'll find themes that will carry into the future that God hopes we can co-author with Him.

It has certainly been an interesting journey and thought provoking to the point of exhaustion and sometimes pure restlessness. This last week was particularly convicting as I examined my choices. The fourth chapter, Listening to What Moves You- The Passion That Defines You we dissected the notions of our realities. Allender says,

"We are both powerless and unimaginably powerful simply because we have the ability to choose... We are the sum of every yes that we udder...Seldom do we know the implications of our choices".

Listening to my heart and saying yes or no (making choices) determines my future and helps me to more closely examine what Allender labels as the Ideal Self, Real Self and Ought Self. Upon reading the section on Ideal Self, I took into consideration who I am as a physical being: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, believer, worker. Within each of those labels I determined the characteristics/adjectives I'd like to possess: devoted, strong, ambitious, honest, trustworthy, creative, knowledgeable, loving, compassionate, & passionate.

Allender points out,

"Our ideal self is revealed in what we value (passion), how we understand the world (belief), and what we do to reach our ideal (behavior). Our passion belief, and behavior fit so intimately that I can say this with confidence:

  • What we do is what we really value.

  • What we value enough to do tells other what we really believe.

  • What we really believe shapes what we become.

...So we always choose what we value most, even when our choice does us harm. We won't change our behavior until we first recognize what we value most deeply and then honestly face how our passions reinforce what we really believe. We can change our beliefs, but doing so won't alter our behavior until our beliefs transform our values. We can change what we do, but the changes won't last if our values and convictions are not transformed."

This made me think. As the Real person that I am strives to reach the Ideal which I'd like to become, what am I willing to risk, compromise, fight, and fail at to achieve it? What moves me? What are my greatest pleasures, desires and passions? What has God already created in me to become? These are tough questions for me. But here's what I know: I am uniquely designed to reveal something about God to others. I also know that this will include my child(ren), spouse and family. But, am I willing to gather and refine the components of my Real self to become who God intended me to be? Am I someone who is only willing to do the most comfortable thing because I'm too afraid of failure, rejection or discomfort?

I think of all of these as they relate to my life now. I am a stay-at-home mom and I love my daughter more than anything but the one thing I have found missing from my days is the fellowship with others that keeps me going, feeling loved and motivated. I used to get just enough interaction while working outside of the home but now those days are over and although my purpose as a mom is being fulfilled daily (which I love) my purpose as a friend is withering. I think all of this relates to the friend funk I've been experiencing. I am searching for those friends that relate on a deeper level. I feel so often that I share of myself, putting myself out there- sometimes maybe too much because I feel like I have no filter...I'll tell you what ever you want to know (or don't want to know). I'll let you in, let you know me and my heart in hopes of being genuine, genuine enough that other feel they can be the same with me. For some reason this hasn't happened yet-at least not in the circle of friends I've surrounded myself with over the last 6 years. Another girl in our book study is opposite of me. She is a terrific listener and asks the right questions that get people talking and opening up yet she isn't willing to be vulnerable with others herself. She too is on a constant search for her "BFF" -struggling the same yet with a different approach. So although I think of myself as a good listener, I think I'm not listening the right way. I hear what people say but do I really hear? Do I process and actively participate in the content of their being? I would have to say no.
As I look at my past I realize I don't have friends from my long past. I don't keep in contact with friends from Elementary/Jr High/High School and only have a handful from College - that I do a pretty pitiful job of contacting regularly. I didn't grow up in a home that was welcoming others in- not to say we weren't a nice friendly family, we just rarely had friends over to play. It was always my sisters and I going to our friends houses not having them over to play in our yard, house or bedrooms the way we did when invited by others. So, what needs to change? I'm what needs to change. I need to stop expecting it to be so easy, stop expecting others to reach out to me, and stop only doing the most comfortable thing. I need to step out and call people, drop in on friends, invite people over or out to coffee. I need to do a better job of investing in other people's lives. I need to listen, to truly listen! I need to share my gifts/interests with others and nurture the friends God has placed in my path.
I'm challenging myself to step out in the next two weeks and meet with at least two girls from my study group that I haven't met with before. I'm going to face the discomfort of being the one to initiate the call, allow for possible rejection but rejoice in the new freedom I hope to feel no longer being prisoner to my "comfortable" self.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?"

"Sometimes." For he was always truthful. "When you are Real, you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. but those things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to those who don't understand."

November 17, 2007

I've been Tagged...

Angie tagged me to share seven weird/random things about myself, so here I go in no particular order...

1. I don't like mascots - Justin says I'm "afraid" of them but it's more that I just don't like when dumb things come talk to me or try to make a fool of me. I don't like not knowing who's inside, and what they're thinking, the faces they're making or that they're laughing at the way people do rediculous things around them. It's just wierd to me!

2. I don't like walking on grates/man-hole covers on the sidewalk and roads. It doesn't bother me to drive/ride over them...I just don't like walking on them- it makes me feel creepy!

3. Ever since I was little, whenever I needed to think of something happy or of something not scary to take my fears away I always pictured a group of teddy bears riding in a hot air balloon basket up in the blue sky going over/under a rainbow...looking back on that, it seems more scary to me that that was my "happy" thought...teddy bears are creepy when pictured like that! ...I actually think that image came from a jig saw puzzle I used to have??

4. I always play a game with myself when I'm driving or riding in the car: I look at the license plate of every car that passes by me and with the last 3 letters of their plate number, I try to see if it spells a word. It can spell one on it's own, or I can rearrange them to make them spell one and if not, I think what letter I could substitute for one to make a word. It's weird and really annoying in my head!

5. I have a very strong & resilient head...I hit my head several different years in elementary school! I fell off the monkey bars, ran into the building (literally - it's true!), & went face forward on the parallel bars smacking my forehead on the other bar. Not to mention, it continued in High a gigantic goose-egg on my head during a pep assembly while performing with cheerleading- at least I impressed the football players!

6. I gave birth to my daughter and to a sponge all in one day! During my c-section, a sponge was left inside and the doctors & nurses had to go back in to retrieve it! Yikes...glad I wasn't exactly coherent for that!! I was fine afterwards and it makes for a good story now! :)

7. I met my husband on a blind date...he was my best friend's blind date! Oops! :) Good thing she didn't mind- she even stood up with us in our wedding.

...I'm sure I could come up with more but for now, that's what came to mind. I'd tag others to do the same but I think Angie is the only one who reads my blog. I'm new at this whole blogging thing and according to her I don't write updates enough, Ang, I hope you enjoyed this and maybe even learned something about me that you didn't know before! :)

November 6, 2007

A Better Outlook

As a follow-up to my last post...things are looking up! I think I was in a grumpy mood and feeling sorry for myself, so again, I must apologise for the ranting that occurred. Since that week of the "friend funk", I have had a few girls contact me and had some nice chats. In those conversations I realized a few things about myself. I realized that a lot of my feelings regarding the friendships I have and want are more about me finding who I really am now. What I mean by this is that I am going through a huge change adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom. I know I've been a mom for almost 9 months now but it's more than that. I finished working away from home, no longer going into the office twice a week and I think that after working in the office with my friends and co-workers for 4 years, it kind of freaked me out to be done with that. I am no longer in a social setting that keeps me connected with people, I am now in the world of a 9 month old. This is a really great thing...but scary because it's something I've never know before. I realized that friendships are going to be more of an effort and I am going to have to put myself out there to nurture friendships that I hope to grow stronger. It's not about the popular crowd and fitting in but more about who I want to take the time and make the effort to get to know and who I want to truly know me. I am focusing on who I care enough about rather than what others think about me.

I also realized that in order to make the effort, I'm going to have to stop being such a home-body and be the one to make plans with friends, family and other moms. I am thrilled to have my Tuedsay's freed up so I can join MOPS at my church and know this will be a huge help in making new friends and getting to know others on a deeper level.

Justin and I want to take the initiative to invite people over for dinner and get to know couples. I want to make play-dates with other moms and their kids to take walks, go to parks, shop together, meet for lunch and coffee. I also would love to plan a Bunko night and just hang out!

So...I have a better outlook now. I'm feeling proactive about frindships and am creeping out of my pity-party. I'm going to a Movie night on Friday, having friends over for dinner Saturday, and will attend my first MOPS meeting next Tuesday...Go ME!! :)

October 25, 2007

Friend Funk

I'll apologise right now for the ranting I'm about to pour out...I've been in a bit of a friend funk lately and just need to share my thoughts. How is it possible that I'm in my late 20's and feel like I'm in the midst of a high school popularity contest. The oddity about it is that has to do with my church "friends". We've been attending our church for 6 years and were immediately pulled into a "Young and Married" group. We made some fun new friends-many who had known each other since junior high and high school. It was nice to come into a group who had such a great background of growing up in the church & youth group together. But now as we sit, 6 years invested, it seems as though there's an inner circle that just can't be penetrated. What I mean is that I don't feel our connections/frienships are as deep and intimate as I hoped they would be by now. They're all friends and it's hard to be in with that. It's a constant battle (mostly on my part) where I get wrapped up in wanting to be part of that group. How silly is that? It's a yucky feeling that leaves me sour and downright grumpy when I let myself feel so low about it. What is it that makes me think I'm not good enough for them or that I'll never "fit in" as it seems? Why do I stuggle to trust many of them as much as I'd like to? I've never felt this insecure about myself as a friend before.

One thing that has made me notice this lately is an incident that took place between a particular female friend and I. We had made a good connection when she and her husband joined our group a couple of years ago and we seemed to have many things in common. I really began to trust this person and value her as a friend. Not long ago I shared with her a stuggle I was experiencing- some personal issues with my family as well as my views on the church group "inner circle" debackle I was having. She agreed with many of my views. I even mentioned to her that I wasn't sure this church was right for us anymore and she shared her thoughts on the matter too. The interesting spin on this is that since that conversation, our friendship has been nothing but surfacy (is that a word?) and very distant as it seems we only talk in passing now. She has more obviously clung to those in the group I was referring to in that particular conversation and has drifted as my friend. What really hurts is that since sharing those thoughts she hasn't even followed up to see how things are or inquired about the status on any of these issues. Quite honestly I feel betrayed by a person who I placed my trust in. Now I am left questioning even more the future of our existance in that group/church.

Friendship just shouldn't be that much of an effort. Friendship should be comfortable, fun, encouraging, trusting, forgiving, and loving. So, to combat these frustrations, I have made the effort to nurture the "old" friendships that were formed long ago...making time & plans with the friends that know my heart and care about me and my family. Although this makes me feel better it doesn't take away the hurt, frustration and confusion I feel at church. I talked to my sisters about this and my older (and my I say wiser) sister said she could feel compassion for what I was feeling but certainly couldn't relate. She has not seen these issues at her church...and isn't that the way it should be? So what do I do? Is it even possible these feelings will go away- can the situation be fixed? I don't know. My brother in law also gave me some food for thought when he mentioned the age-long question, when are we going to stop trying to please others and start pleasing God? Am I truly seeking to enter into the frienships to glorify God or am I wrapped up in the immature popularity contest to just fit in? Everybody wants friends...but at what cost?
...if you made it this far, thanks for reading! The ranting is now over (until next time...)

October 22, 2007

Crazy days are a gift from God too...

...I have to remind myself of that when I have one of those days which it may have been better to just stay in my jammies and not face the busyness of the day. Today was one of those days. With great intentions I left the house to take lunch to Justin and spend time with him and Kenzie. Monday's are tough because he leaves the house SO early to catch the lightrail to work.

*sidenote-He does this because after work he has class, and since I'm a worrysome wife (I come by it honestly, mom) he succombs to my wishes and takes the lightrail so he's not walking back to his car left at work going through dark streets/alleys when class gets out. Thanks my love!

So, we ate our lunch and talked, smiled and giggled at Kenzie who so far was in a sweet mood. All was well as we said goodbye knowing we wouldn't see eachother until much later in the evening.

Now it was off to the next mom, Abby, Angie and the girls at McD's. The plan was that I'd call mom when I was close.

I called...and called...and called. Hmmm, no answer. Let's try Abby. Ringing...Ringing...Voicemail.

Okay....Angie? Called...called...called, Voicemail. Great.

I did this again and again until they probably each had 5 missed calls. I left an exasperated voicemail on mom's phone...decided to drive through the parking lot of McD's- if they're not there I guess I'm headed home. What luck! They were there!! :) I joined in on the tail end of their lunch and listened (deciphered) the stories of an (almost) 4 year old's tales of Disneyland adventures and the agreements of her sweet two year old little sister, "Yep"...sweet Emma and Addie! ...Off to Ronald's Play and out, in and out- who's in the bathroom? Addie's stuck on the playground? Where's your sock Emma? Don't you watch your kids lady? ...Thank goodness for 8 month old's!! Kenzie can you stay this little?!
When it was time to say our goodbye's, the meltdown began. Shut the car door, turn the car on...and commence with the crying!! Oh boy...thank goodness this isn't a daily occurrance. I know well enough by now it was a combination of overstimulation and desperately fighting a nap- but what can you do? The meltdown continued, tears, screams, mommy loves (that seems to help a little-for both of us!) Finally a nap. 30 minutes the middle of making dinner and waiting the arrival of friends...crying, again! Oh sweet Kenzie, how I'd love a nap! I got her up and settled her down for a snack as I finshed the final dinner preparations.
I guess a good mess cures any grumpy mood! What a silly girl! After such a crazy day, I still look at my beautiful girl and thank God for this precious's in the midst of the busyness, tantrums, meltdowns, crying and sobbing that I remind myself that I have the best job in the world! Just look at that face! So, thank you Lord for the crazy days too!

October 14, 2007

One month to go...

Thursday was the day...meeting time with the bosses! I'm happy to say all went well and I will be a stay-at-home mom by month's end. I will still be working from home but my days of toting Kenzie to the office are coming to an end. I'm really looking forward to this new routine as I have seen many changes in Kenzie now that she's almost 8 months old! I have been so blessed to have taken her with me this long and am thankful for the generosity my bosses have shown through it all!

So, wrapping things up and will finish out the last two weeks...I can't help but think this is the perfect time to do this not only because Kenzie's needs are changing but because I most relieved that I won't have to take her out in the bad weather when the winter stoms start rolling in! Yay!

October 9, 2007

Blah, Blah, Blah

Just another day at the office...Kenzie is getting to that point though where I'm sure my days are numbered. As much as I would love to keep bringing her with me, my mommy guilt is getting to me not to mention her tantrums when all she wants is to be held-but I don't mind because I love to hold her, it's just hard to get things done that way!

So...I have a follow-up meeting on Thursday and I have a feeling they'll be sending me packing! Ha Ha! It's not really like that but I do think I'll be working strictly from home before I know it. (Yay! That's good news for you right Jeepy? More days to come and play!)

Anyway, back to work!

October 7, 2007

Welcome to JAKE's Place!

Welcome! We are happy to have a way to share our family with you. Our hope is to keep this site updated with our latest news, fun stories and cute pictures to keep you coming back for more! Enjoy!