It’s time…

It’s time.

 

It’s time that I am honest with myself and with the world (if you’re reading this).

I am over weight.

There, I said it.

In fact This is the heaviest I have ever been!

Yes, I have had 2 kids. Yes I am busy and yes I may have an excuse or two.

But….

I am not happy.

I’m happy with my life. My kids. My incredible husband.

But with myself? Heck no.

It’s true what they say that you are your worst critic. You want to hear something crazy?!

I DIDN’T CARE!

I didn’t care enough about myself to look in the mirror and admit that crap, I have gained a ton of weight.

 

Now. To some people they look at me and don’t think that at all. (thank you btw) Also, some of you may think that I am insanely confident. Happy with myself and all that jazz. Want to know why I only take pictures of myself from the neck up? Because I can easily hide the rest of me. In fact, I have gotten so good at taking pictures of my face that I can make it look like I am skinnier that what I am. (true story) I say this because when someone else takes a picture of me they don’t care about the angle, the light and whatever. All they want is a picture of me with them. So then I see the pic they took and I about DIE IN HORROR when I see my belly bulging out, my thighs as big as the mountains and that chin that I hide so well in my own pictures is starting to slowly hang in others.

 

I am not saying all of this to get pitty. Nope. I dont want it.

I am saying all of this because its time.

It’s time that I finally get serious and make a LIFE COMMITMENT to change the way I eat on a daily bases, exercise at least 5 days a week and dig DEEPER into myself and be happy with myself.

 

Finally be happy.

 

I don’t know what to expect in all of this. I’m nervous.

The biggest and longest commitment I have ever made has been my marriage!

We eat healthy as a family but I am a bored snacker. I eat when I am bored and I tend to be hungry whenever and wherever. Also, I have a HARD time stopping. If something is good I will unknowingly eat it all. I have realized that the time I spend sitting down I could be doing multiple things, one including exercise.

 

What do I plan to get out of all of this you may ask?

A smaller waist? sure…

Lose some weight? yep

Be a little bit happier with myself? of course

But most importantly I want to learn how to take better care of myself because God told me too.  I am doing this for myself, yes, but I am also doing this for the Lord. I feel like I have really let him down. I preach this life of healthy eating (which we do) but yet I am gaining weight. I don’t exercise, I havent done anything with dancing in years, and now I am really starting to hate looking in the mirror.

 

I’m putting this out there to the world. This hasn’t been my first time but I am hoping this is my last. I also hope that I can be of an encouragement to someone. I dont know how yet but when I get there I will bring you on with me.

man, I really hate exercising….

My Journey to 2: Part one

I have been meaning to put this out there for a LONG time so here it is…. my journey to 2

My journey to two: Part One

The decision was easy for us. We wanted another baby. After the loss of a baby in the summer of 2011 a lot in our life had changed. We moved to another city, BJ started his job in a new area and sage was growing before our eyes. It took me awhile to come around to the thought of another baby. The fear of not making it through another pregnancy was terrifying. Knowing my trust was in The Lord was, for me, not enough to take that leap just yet.

After the move and feeling adjusted friends started having babies and the buzz for me kicked in. We knew we wanted more kids so we decided that while in Italy we would have fun trying to get pregnant. 😉

Italy was amazing!! It was everything we had hoped for and we experienced more then we could imagine. Upon getting home I was SUPER anxious to find out if I was pregnant. Within a week of being home my hunger kicked in and then a few weeks later I noticed the weight I fought so hard to lose was flying back with a vengeance. Pregnancy test after pregnancy test continued to show negative but I refused to believe it! After week five I called my OB’s office and made an appointment to have my blood drawn. After a few days of waiting I got the call and I was right, we were pregnant!!

I couldn’t believe it. I laughed right away because it was effortless and then started crying while looking at sage giggling not even knowing what to expect once the baby was here.

Over the next few month my body took a turn for the worse! I was SO SICK! I had no idea how to deal either because I had the pregnancy with Sage that everyone hated. Perfect. Never sick, craved icee’s, and gained just enough weight. You better believe I started doing some serious research on how to feel better!! It took a few weeks but the remedy of B6 and magnesium (then eventually Unisom) helped take the edge off and by week 16 I started to come around and feel more like myself.

Second trimester was in full gear and we were getting close to finding out what we were having. Although, at this point, I had gained maybe 5 pounds, my belly stuck out like a sore thumb! We already had a girl and the buzz for a boy was SUPER high! All of my siblings had girls and my cousin had a girl on the way. My side of the family was desperate for a boy so when the day came to find out we were beyond anxious.

I decided to have a small gender reveal party. My thought was, it’s a boy, how awesome would it be to find out as a family AT THE SAME TIME! I had a close friend take the results from the ultra sound, blow up the appropriate colored balloons and wrap them in a pretty box to open with my family. The drive to Fort Wayne was unreal but it suddenly hit me, my mind had changed. I knew it was a girl. My heart sunk because we wanted a boy so badly. I. Felt. Horrible. How would I react? I don’t even have a name picked out! Sage is so dramatic, can I handle another? Before we pulled up to my parents house I said to my husband “if it’s a girl I think we should name her after my grandma Becky (Rebecca) I just really think in my heart that’s what we’re suppose to do”

We had a great dinner with family and all gathered around for the big reveal. I was nervous to say the least. My sister, Chelsea, made cute cut outs of girls bows or a mustache for a boy. Everyone made their guess we took a few pictures and then slowly started opening the box.

BJ carefully cut through the top and suddenly out flew PINK BALLOONS and everyone started laughing! We did it again. Another girl. No boys to be had in the Federspiel clan and all we could do was laugh.

Going home that weekend was very surreal to me.”Another girl” – that’s all I kept saying. Then BJ made a very profound statement. “You know Cherith… I really think God is entrusting us with another girl for a reason. To raise up Godly woman with a passion to be different”

Once he said that to me my whole feeling of having another girl changed. That’s also the night we named her. Sage has been calling the baby Cinderella for a month at this point. So Ella was her name and Rebecca as her middle to honor my grandmother. We also have a thing about meanings. I truly believe the meaning of your child’s name plays a huge part in who they will become.

Ella – “All” (also: “beautiful fairy goddess” :))

Rebecca- “uniting; binding”

All uniting. All binding.

We don’t know what or how God is going to use her But we know he (and sage) named her and she is going to do something amazing.

Then there were 4!

For over 2 years we have enjoyed the life of our little girl Sage Madison. Over the past two years we have loved watching her grow up, become this little lady, and have such character that we could never imagine. Also in the last 2 years we have been thru a lot as a family. BJ and I hit hard times in our marriage, we experienced our first lost with a baby last year and then the beginning of this year we moved our family to a new city to help with a new church. Changes have come and gone quickly in our house. The thought of adding to our family was not in the forefront of our minds. After seeing Sage grow into this little person and out of the baby stage, our desire to have another baby grew deeply and this past September we found out that we are indeed having another baby!

To say that we are excited is an understatement. We LOVE Sage with all of our hearts and the thought of having another like her (or opposite of her) boggles our minds but we wouldn’t change it for anything. Sage is thrilled to be a big sister and has spilled the beans to a few people a little soon HA! But it was hilarious and she just couldn’t help herself. She has loved calling family and telling them that she is going to be a big sister and almost daily rubs my belly. I can’t believe that it has been 3 years since I have been pregnant and Sage will be 3 and a half when the new baby arrives. I have been told this is a great distance between baby one and two. So we are excited for what will happen. Right now we are just trying to get through this first trimester as it is drastically different from when I was pregnant with Sage!

Which leads me to this new stage of pregnancy that I haven’t experienced before; SICKNESS! I never went thru this constant feeling of weakness and nausea with Sage. I have somewhat gotten a handle on it with taking B6 and eating every hour. I never thought I would say that I am sick of eating but good lord, I AM SO SICK OF EATING!!!! I am never without food but even when I do eat its very small portions and I lose interest very quickly. My taste changes hourly and it is such a pain. I haven’t been able to make dinner (besides simple things like soup and PB&J’s) for over 6 weeks if not more. I have barely ventured to the grocery store because it makes me want to lose my stomach. And unfortunately my house has paid for this terribly because I can’t stand or do too much without getting sick. I haven’t “lost it” yet and I am hoping that day never comes. I’m thankful for great resources and friends that have been thru this already and understand where I am coming from and can help.

On the flip side of being sick, you would think I would be losing weight but in fact I gained very quickly this first trimester. In fact, I also “popped” very quickly with this baby. I am super conscience about it knowing I wasn’t in the greatest shape before we got pregnant so the fact that I look even bigger is hard for me to be ok with. With Sage I didn’t start showing until 17 weeks so I think this is a shock with everyone when they see me and lately I have been getting a lot of “Are you sure you’re not having TWINS!?” Well, I can tell you this, we have already seen baby and if there were two the ultra sound tech didn’t do her job very well at all. You must remember this is my 3rd pregnancy and because I’m not super skinny my body decided to prep far in advance and give this baby room. So I know you all mean well, but please stop asking if there are twins. There aren’t. I promise.

I’m very interested to see how this pregnancy plays out. With Sage I had a natural pregnancy and birth. (Natural meaning no medical interventions and no extra medication unless it was detrimental) I hired a Doula as a labor coach to help guide us with the natural pregnancy in a hospital setting. This time around we will not be hiring a Doula and the closest birthing center to us is in Muncie which is too far for my liking. I ordered a GREAT book that has been a huge source of information as to natural supplements to all of these new discomforts. It was written by a midwife, it’s called “The Natural Pregnancy book”. Because I am doing this semi “on my own” with an OB I wanted to feel well equipped. I mean, it has been 3 YEARS since the last time I was pregnant.

I’m really excited to share in this new journey with everyone. We are so excited to finally expand our family. We love being parents to Sage so the thought of being privileged with another is unbelievable. If you think about us and this pregnancy please pray for continued peace and strength. Peace in knowing this baby will see us thru into our arms. Due to our last pregnancy you can’t help but think about it and wonder. Satan really does know how to get in your head and we are quick to pray against it. We know this baby has a purpose. Also, with strength to get through this first trimester. It may sound so silly (especially if you had amazing health with each pregnancy) but we are ready for mama to be back to normal!! LOL Daddy is pulling double duty most days and I can’t thank him enough for how much he has dealt with in these last 6 weeks. He has made most dinners, dealt with a needy kiddo and mama, dealt with his own job, cleaning the house and doing dishes daily. He deserves a mini vacation of “wifely duties” 🙂

Thanks again for reading this. I know I don’t write much anymore but I always dream that someday, that will change!

Love-

The new family of 4

Potty Training Mama

This past week I have had the pleasure of Potty Training my 2 ½ year old. It’s been a long time coming because she has been ready for awhile. By the time she was 18 months her interest to go potty in the toilet was there and by 20-24 months she knew when she was messing in her pants and started hiding to poop. BUT my husband and I were in limbo with our move so we decided to wait to PT (potty train) until then. Well, after 3 months of moving I decided to give it a go with potty training and I was NOT successful. I got distracted easily, wasn’t able to dedicate my day to her and when she had her first accident it was so traumatic that she REFUSED to sit on the toilet and at that point I decided that I was not going to make this a bad experience for her. Tried again a week later and she held her pee for 4 HOURS!!!! I definitely tried to soon for the second round and then decided that I don’t want to deal with a bladder infection. I needed to collect myself, get into my resources and seriously start talking to Sage about the new event in her life… Going potty like a big girl J

Today I am writing this post to put together the collection of information I have read for all you mama’s out there that feel you are ready to jump into this thing called potty training. It is true what they say “The Parents are really the ones in training. Your kid is just along for the ride” It’s so important that you, as the parent, are ready for this big day and can devote your time into it. And after your one big day you have to be on top of it until they are in a place to start telling you they have to potty. SO, with that being said… here are a few tips that I have found very helpful (collected from friends, family and the web)

**DISCLAIMER** I must tell you that this is pure opinion. I am no pro. This is my first time and only kid. My child is a girl and I have been told numerous times that boy’s and girl’s train differently or at least at different times. BUT I think the things I have noticed are pretty well rounded and I felt that it was put best in a blog. That’s where I got tips and I want to make sure I share them with you.

Pre “GO” day:

1.)    Talk it up and prep your child in advance – We have been talking about being a big girl and getting rid of diapers for a few months. Most of our friends only got to talk about it for a few weeks or even days with their kids, which is still good. Every time we changed her we would say simple things like “big girls don’t have diapers. Sage you are a big girl and I can’t wait until you pee and poop in the potty”. We would also mention her favorite people that go potty (ie. Grandma’s, grandpa’s, close cousins and friends) We wanted her to be very aware of how GOOD it was to pee in the potty. PLEASE do not make your child feel like a failure for using a diaper. Only encourage. Encouragement goes a LONG WAY!

2.)    YOU Prep in advance – Read everything that there is to be reading. Take your child with you when you go potty (including daddy for the boys!). Think ahead of when you have 3 days to dedicate your time and plan it. If you are a stay at home mom prepare during the week. If you work, do it on the weekend. Talk to your spouse about it and GET ON THE SAME PAGE!  Here is a blog I read about potty training in one day: (I know it sounds crazy but this is a GREAT read) The Moe’s Family – These are the days

Here is a GREAT video I watched on some tips with potty training: http://vimeo.com/7643151

**In this video they talk about using a favorite stuffed animal to demonstrate going potty. We did that with Sage the very first time and she LOVED it. I did not show her again for this last and official time because she remembered and is also older and understood the potty situation**

3.)    GO SHOPPING! – take your child to the dollar store, target dollar aisle, candy store, WHATEVER! By their favorite stuff or something that will perk their interest. Talk about why you are getting it and that it’s for every time they go potty. Make a “treasure chest” (or box or basket… whatever you have) and set it out where they can see it a few days in advance. Also buy your supplies. Potty seat, heavy undies and fun undies. And either pull ups or plastic pants for sleep times. Remember all of this is a big deal and if you are super excited about it your child will be too. Also make sure you have plenty of juice and snacks for throughout the day. Oh side note: Sage was VERY upset that she wasn’t getting a few of the toys that she picked out right away. I used that and said “I know your upset but I can’t wait to give it to you when you go pee or poop on the potty!”

4.)    Make sure your friends and family know That PT is happening and have ZERO distraction on your first day- I think this is the most important part of the whole process. Facebook won’t miss you, your friends will understand and your mother will live another day.  You HAVE TO devote your time to this child in training. If you have to get a babysitter for the other kids, DO IT! If you have to wait until your spouse is home all day, by all means wait.

DAY ONE OF PT:

  • First thing in the morning- wake up BEFORE your child in training. Get your coffee in and whatever other things you usually do throughout the day (today is not the day to care about a perfectly clean house). Get child out of bed, clean them up from last night’s mess, put on undies RIGHT AWAY as well as just a t-shirt. Start talking excitedly about today’s adventures!
  • Start pumping that kid up with liquid!- Milk, juice, water.. fill’er up! Set your timer for 20 minutes. Now the waiting begins.
  • Once the timer goes off walk your child to the potty and sit them down with maybe a toy or a book. This is where the process really begins. It could take up to 30-40 minutes of sitting and waiting for them to pee. It could take a few tries. With Sage she didn’t go the first initial sit down so I sat the timer again for another 5 minutes and she still didn’t go. 2.5 hours after she woke up I finally got her to try and pee by encouraging her with a sucker as her reward! Find your child’s trigger. I am not against bribery in this situation. You will find what works for you guys but don’t leave them to sit on the potty alone. And be very patient. You may have an accident or two before they get to the potty. Whatever the case make sure when it does happen they know how awesome it is!!
  • AND NOW IT’S TIME TO DANCE- Sing, shout, jump up and down, clap loudly make a fool of yourself!!! This kid needs to know the amazing-ness of going potty. Like I said before, encouragement goes A LONG WAY! Continue to do this every time they potty today. (it’s even better when someone else gets in on it J)
  • Treasure box – Let them pick whatever they want. This is what encourages them. This is a special treat and you will keep telling them how lucky they are, how special they are and how good of a kid they are for going in the potty like a big kid.
  • Call a relative or friend- We called daddy and Gigi after her first time so she could tell them about her PT. It was a huge hit and she now loves telling people that she went potty. (and thanks to those who got randomly told by Sage and STILL acted overly excited for her. You made her day J)
  • Fill them up again with liquid and restart the timer- we went every 30 minutes after her first initial pee.
  • Continue this all until the end of the day

Few extra notes

If or when your child has an accident DO NOT PUNISH THEM! I am not a “no spank mom” but I do not think this is the time to be hard on them and in turn making them not want to at all. If Sage is doing awesome and then down the road she has an accident because she flat out didn’t want to potty, that’s different. Make sure that your toddler knows that you are not mad at them but instead rush them to the potty and sit them down encouraging them that pee and poop are ONLY for the potty. (the blog I listed recommended using the doll to demonstrate an accident. So that’s a thought)

I know that every child is different. I know that some kids are ready by the time they are 18 months and some parents fully believe that waiting until they are 3 is the magic number. You do what is best for you and your family. I would have started earlier but we were moving and there is no way I am waiting any longer. I really believe in my heart that every parent knows their own child and when the timing is right.

Some people like using just candy M&M’s for a treat and some would rather toys or books. I scored huge at Target getting their dollar section at 70% off so I got a load of prizes for 30 cents each. There is no need to go overboard. You can make anything seem amazing to a little kid if you know what excites them.

Be patient. I mean patient like you have never had before. You will have to be flexible the first day because you are both learning. People only warned you about sleepless nights. No one ever warns you that potty training is the least fun in parenting. Well, so far…

You really, really, really should try to give all your focus on your child for the first day. Play games, do crafts and read a lot of books. Try not to get caught up in your house, on your phone or outside sources. You are learning just as much as your child. It’s important that you are there for them. Do your best.

We are using currently using diapers for bedtime just until she is accident free for a decent amount of time. We are one week in and Sage is now pooping in the potty so soon we will be diaper free. For some, using a pull up is the answer for the whole process. I strongly discourage this. The child needs to know what it feels like to mess on them. Having big girl panties to Sage was a HUGE deal!! Remember, encouragement goes a long way. Diapers pull the mess away from the body as Underwear allows the mess. I know it’s no fun to clean it up but I am certain you will PT faster without pull ups during the day.

If your child is talking about sitting on the potty, showing interest, or telling you all the time that they want to go potty don’t hold them back! Run to the store, get a bag of m&m’s and start the next day! Or at least continue to say good things about it until you can set a day aside to do it. Some people start small and sit kids on the potty right before bed at a young age. I think this is great and sparks a great interest. I’m hoping with our next child we can do things a little differently.

Pooping is a huge issue with potty training and always the last thing to happen. For some, that’s months out. Look at some positives when it comes to PT. They’re at least going pee during the day and probably staying dry from naps. If they are pooping and telling you THAT’S GREAT TOO! I know it’s a pain but continue to talk about it in a positive way. Some kids just get it, some don’t. Either way it will happen! There are a lot of great sources out there if this is a continued problem for you. Just stay encouraged mama. It will come in time. For Sage it happened just in the last 2 days. I threw her poop in the potty from her accidents and saved her prizes from the treasure box for not pee any more but poop. Again, huge hit!

Lastly if none of this works for you, THAT’S OK!!! You are not a terrible mom if you go against the grind. If you fully believe that kids can decide for themselves when they are ready then by all means wait. But when you do decide to tackle this mountain please do at least one thing from all of this… ENCOURAGE. I think Potty training hasn’t been that much of a challenge for us because Sage thrives off of encouragement. And what kid doesn’t?! At any age you need to pump them up with encouragement in any new venture.

Again, every child is different. Some kids have zero issues, some kids it takes months. On day two Sage started telling us she had to go potty and I never set a timer. This is not a normal situation. I still watch the clock and after an hour I take her if she hasn’t said anything. I made no plans for the whole week we were training but decided to take her to the pool on day 3 because she was doing so well. I knew she could handle a few hours out and about.

All in all I hope this helped a little for those of you who had questions. I am sure I didn’t cover everything so please ask questions. I am no pro but I have read a lot of resources and talked to a lot of mommy friends. Oh and of course, if you have a friend in this situation and you’ve been there and done that, just be a source of encouragement. Potty training is harder on the mama then it is on the babe.

And remember, no one will care how old they were when they finally potty trained the day they graduate from high school.

Power to the mama’s!!

Image

5 years and counting!

I know I don’t write much anymore (heck, did I really write much to begin with?) but I thought it would be appropriate to write a little something because today is my husband and I’s 5 year anniversary!

I still can’t believe it’s been 5 years! In Hollywood time that’s like 12 years or something… HA! anyway, It just seems like a huge milestone, especially for us.

If you would have talked to me while we were dating and asked “Are you ready for the hard times?” “Are you prepared to share your WHOLE LIFE with someone?” “Are you ready to butt heads with him and not always think the same way?” My answer would have been something like “BJ and I never fight so why would we later?” “I was born ready to share my life with someone” and “BJ and I have the same goals and dreams so we will always see eye to eye on everything”

HAHA!!!!!!!!

For anyone who is married you very well know that hard times are coming, you hardly ever see eye to eye, and really, how can you prepare yourself to be ready to spend the rest of your life with just one person?!

But what I do know is, I wouldn’t trade being married to BJ for any other man. We have hit our rock bottom and came out on top. We have moved away from family and started new some place. We have experienced the joy of welcoming a new baby and the heartache of losing another. We have traveled the world and also love just being home. We are living out our dreams one day at a time and taking things as they come while learning about patience every day.

I am not a pro at this marriage thing but one thing I do know, It is all worth it.

So for those of you who have yet to see the 5 year mark or maybe just embarking on this journey we all call married bliss, remember a few things, You have each other and you are never alone. No one is perfect especially in a relationship. Everything takes time and being willing to listen to one another is key. Cherish each other every single day because you never know what life may bring. And if all else fails, there is NOTHING WRONG with reaching out and getting help!!! Even perfect marriages sometimes need an outside source for counseling. (can I get an AMEN?!)

I love you BJ. Thank you for being patient with me. For being kind to me when I may not be. For trying your best at the encouraging stuff and being a killer dad!!! You really do love me unconditionally and I thank you for that. I wouldn’t trade you for anyone… not even John Mayer 😉

I love you to the moon and back

.Image

Moved, settled, Conquered!

Here we are, 6 weeks in our new house and I feel like we have been here for years! Let’s talk briefly about the moving experience and what it was like for me leaving Fort Wayne. As most of you know, I was born and raised in the Fort. My whole family is there and I have only left for brief vacations. I guess you could say that I’ve always known that I wasn’t going to stay in Fort Wayne, but I always thought it would be for college or some stage in life where you are super adventurous and willing to go anywhere. At this point, I have been married for 4 years and now have started a small family when, let’s be honest, a daughters family (that she was born into) is priceless!! So, that being said the move was a little hard. Meeting new friends is also a new element to us. I know that is so odd for some people but we have had the same friends for YEARS!! They knew us. They know our corkiness and when to take us seriously. They know our favorite places and know what matters to us. So moving from them was a hard step too. But, all in all, I have personally been back to Fort Wayne countless times and I have also had a lot of friends visit us here. It’s nice that we are still within driving distance.

Ok, so the move. Let’s just say, it took a LOT LONGER than we expected. If for some reason there is a person reading this and you have a moving company let me make a heed of caution to you; DO NOT OVER WORK YOUR GUYS!!!! If you only have 3-4 guys that work for you, I can bet that working them 14-16 hour days, everyday, lifting heavy furniture in and out of houses is probably not a good idea. And secondly, if you have a few guys that are not capable of knowing there limits (or in our case their HEALTH limits) DON’T LET THEM WORK!!! We had a young guy in the midst of our move tell us that he was a diabetic but because of how tired he was he slammed a MONSTER ENERGY DRINK just before arriving. I never thought that I would have to supervise someone that is working in my homes with a phone in hand ready to call the EMS. Needless to say, with these two components, the guys didn’t do a flawless move. Which honestly we didn’t expect to happen anyway.

After our adventures in the move I kissed the floor to our new house and we were welcomed by a lot of church friends (now family) and we unpacked within a week or two. There are still lots of little projects that we have around the house. All the closets need to be tamed, all the curtains need to be hung, we have a breakfast nook bench being installed soon, and lots of furniture that needs to be bought. We have a finished basement that is screaming to be an entertainment space and walls that are begging for some color. But all in all, if I had to live with the house like it is, I could. We bought a home that was newly remolded and doesn’t really need any work done just some finishing touches.

I love where we are living. If you have never been to this area you will be pleasantly surprised. It is 30 minutes north of Downtown Indy so you miss all the Indy traffic and rush. It has a sweet southern charm to it with lots of tree and LOTS of sunshine oh and of course LOTS of shopping!! I know that there will be a handful of farmers markets to choose from this summer and our addition has its own pool to jump into! We have made lots of new friends and it’s refreshing to have a new start in a new town. I miss my friends and Family greatly!!! I don’t feel like I can contact them enough, but we have definitely kept busy!!! Imagine Church has taken off and our involvement has grown. Sage is meeting new little friends and I am hoping soon to get into a mommy’s group once we feel a little bit more settled.

I feel like in just a few short 6 weeks Sage has changed so much!! Not only has she gotten taller but she amazes me with what she knows. A few days ago while watching Super Why they asked the kids to recognize letters and she recognized every single one! Now, we have been working with her for awhile with letters and we knew that she knew quite a bit, but to hear it on her own was amazing! She has also been really into shapes and shocked me when she knew what an octagon was and then proceeded to make a triangle out of her sunglasses!! It excites me to watch her little brain grow and hold on to all of these things she is learning, but with the good learning things she has also learned to fake cry and NOW FAKE TEARS!!! hahahaha I can laugh about it now but when it happens I can’t help but roll my eyes and tell her to pull herself together. This little girl is independent and a well rounded stubborn child. We have been dealing with the word “no” for awhile and now she says “but I neeeed it!!”. She could probably talk her way out of anything now. This girl has WORDS and it’s fun to watch and listen. And for all of those who say “You want them to talk so badly when they are little but when they do start talking you want them to shut up!” … well, I don’t feel that way. Ha! I love that she talks. I love that she sings. I love that she figures stuff out. I love it all. So when your little one starts talking, cherish it. They will blow your mind 🙂

As far as BJ and I go we are great! There have been lots of testing taking place lately and lots of things that have come up, but if we were to have moved a year ago we would have never been ready. When someone tells you “all in God’s perfect timing” it’s the truth! Although things may not happen when YOU expect them too, it will eventually and when it does you will understand all the details on why it took so long. We thought we were suppose to move 2 years ago, and we know we missed a lot in those 2 years down here, but we are here now and it truly was perfect timing. BJ’s job will always need prayer but he is where he is supposed to be. I am still selling Thirty-One but now I have 2 locations!! We are so excited for everything that is in front of us. And if some of you are wondering if another baby is in the mix, NO! LOL, well, not yet. We’re just not there yet. We have a few things that we want to accomplish before that happens one being another possible trip to Europe with ADP Lord willing.

Well, that’s all that I can think of. I know some of you have been waiting for a little update. This wasn’t much but I thought we would start somewhere. Enjoy your weekend and I hope I can post more often now that we are unpacked 🙂

Love you all,

The Carpenters

2 hours IS FAR!

As a lot of you have noticed… We’re moving tomorrow. And a lot more of you might have noticed that this is a little hard for me. Some of you are veterans at moving. It’s nothing new to you and distance from your family has been a good thing for some. A lot of people have told my family and I that 2 hours really isn’t that far away. I mean come on, God could have called us a few STATES away (like so many of my friends in the ministry).

Let me make a quick DISCLAIMER: I am in no way shape or form regretting this move. Not one bit. I know with zero doubt that we are going where God is calling us. I knew from the day I married BJ that we would go somewhere involving ministry. We at one point wondered if we should go to Hillsong in Australia to become more educated and what not in the ministry, music field. I know we are going where we are supposed to go.

But that doesn’t make this move any easier…

A lot of my close friends KNOW that my family and I…well, we are not normal. We are CRAZY CLOSE!! I mean, I LOVE my brothers with everything that is in me. My mom is my BEST FRIEND and well, it goes without saying, I am a daddy’s girl 🙂 My mom did a lot of things right and one of those things was helping my siblings and I appreciate each other and love each other to the core. I remember when I moved out of the house, I was 21, my brother Jordan was already moved out and I found an apartment on the southwest side of town. My conversations with my brother Jordan went something like this…”So. I got an apartment!” J: “I know” Me: “I really like it. It’s almost brand new and it’s over by Jefferson point” J: “I don’t like it,” Me: “Why?” J: “it’s to far away” Me: “no its not. It only takes about 20 minutes to get there” J:”I don’t care. it’s too far. What if something happens to you? I can’t get to you fast enough!”

Yep. That is my relationship with my brothers. A lot of people just don’t understand it. I had many guy friends tell me that it wasn’t natural. Most girls didn’t understand why it was so important to be there for my brothers all the time. My relationship with my mom is nothing to be compared too. My daddy is just that… MY DADDY!! And I have an expanded family. I have sister-in-laws and nieces and have been adopted as “Aunt Cece” by many. Luke is having another baby and it is KILLING me that I won’t be close, that I will have to PLAN to come down and hold her for the first time. It’s killing me that I can’t watch Leah grow up and that there is a chance she won’t remember me. It’s killing me that with all the little things that have Happened with Madi that I won’t just be a phone call away any more. (I’m still trying to convince Chelsea to move with me ;)) Myles is not my nephew but I love that little boy so much and it’s killing me that someone else will have him during the day and watch him grow. And Lucy, My first niece, the one that started it all… I always wanted to be that special Aunt for her. The one that she can call and have another place to escape too. Her other best friend. I love that girl and all that she is SO MUCH! And don’t even get me started on the people in my life that haven’t had a baby yet! Steve and Meg did SO MUCH for us when Sage was born and now I have no idea how I am going to help them once they have a little one. I want to be a part of their life as much as they are with us…

I know that 2 hours isn’t far. I know that some of you that live states away would DIE to be this close to your family. But I have NEVER moved out of Fort Wayne until now. I have NEVER experienced anything like this. And now I have Sage. She loves my family about as much as I do. She loves her Gigi and Pawpaw. They are pure gold to her! She loves her cousins and cherishes them and kisses them. Her aunts and uncles are her favorite playmates. And don’t even get me started on her little friends that she has. MYLES. Oh Myles. That boy has no idea what he has gotten into over the last year and half. Just a few days ago Sage was YELLING at me “NO GO THIS WAY! I GO TO UNCLE TIMS HOUSE!!”…. man…. she loves them (the McEwen family) so, so, so, much.

There is so much more to why this move is hard. Including my dear friends that I have made over these last few years. I don’t have a lot of friends but I have enough to know that the ones I have are incredibly special to me and irreplaceable. I know that not everyone will be able to fully understand. I know I have been flooding your facebook with a timeline of our move and sad faces and ill feelings. I am so sorry. I am very excited about the move and I am sure we will be just fine. It’s just so new to me. So different. So really, prayers are good. That’s all I really need. Until then…

Less than 24 hours and Westfield will have a new family….

Big Carpenter Update

Ok Friends and Family, here goes a huge update for us. So grab a cup of Joe, put the kids down and grab a pen and paper… ok, maybe not that last part… but this update is a dozy.

These last (almost) 2 years have been quiet the journey for us. In the summer of 2010 we stepped down from our home church to go to a new church in Westfield, Indiana. That winter my husband and I experience a lot of difficulties so then we tried to figure out if we should even move yet. We stayed in Fort Wayne, worked on our marriage and figured out our lives, and then the spring of 2011 I become pregnant with baby #2. Soon after we found out that there is a position available for BJ in the Indianapolis office and there starts our journey to move as we decide this is God opening a huge door for us. Only weeks later, we lose our precious baby and we decide to keep going towards the goal of moving to the north area of Indy.

So, in July BJ starts his lovely job in the Indy office and we put our house up for sale in August. As he travels during the week down to Indy, staying the night many places here and there, Sage and I stay home and try to sell this house! After only a few short months, the very last day of October, a young lady walks thru our home and decides that she wants our house to be her first official home!! HALLELUJIAH OUR HOUSE IS SOLD!!!!….. Well, almost. See, her lenders (as much as they like to disagree) didn’t fully do their job and weeks after we excepted her offer we find out that she didn’t file her taxes for the last two years. (I know, we’ve all said it. Who doesn’t know to file their taxes? Don’t worry, she isn’t a criminal trying to hide something, she truly did forget) The week of thanksgiving, thinking we were going to close just weeks before Christmas, the offer has to be put on hold as she gets her taxes straightened out and what not, before she can officially close.

Now here we are 2.5 months in and we are still waiting for the official closing date from our buyer. This date has been changed numerous times and lots of different things have tried to take place with getting things moved along much faster but to no avail… we wait.

Thankfully, with this time that we had, we were able to find a beautiful house for ourselves in Westfield and we are so anxious to get moved in. Due to the recent contract that we signed with our new home we were unable to purchase the house right away because we had to wait till our home sold in Fort Wayne. I know this is all so confusing. And trust me, it really is, but all in all it is now getting worked out and we finally have a close date for ourselves which is February 10th!! We are still waiting for the girl that bought our home to close but we are taking a huge leap of faith and hoping that she will close right before or at the same time we close our new house.

Let me brag a little bit about this house. You see, it was NOTHING that we originally were looking for. Ask our realtor Shannon! She practically giggled (with me) as I told her that this was the house I wanted. See, we thought we were going to buy our dream home or something close to it when we moved. We wanted this next house to be big and spacious and allow us to stay there…well… for a really long time! We wanted a FULL finished basement, 3 car garage, 5 bedrooms with a loft up stairs 3 or more bathrooms and a killer master suite. Oh and don’t forget the glorious chef’s kitchen that would be any baker/cooks dream! Well, this lovely house on Stockbridge is beautiful. It has a half finished basement with 5 bedrooms upstairs but no loft, just a hallway. I have a beautiful remodeled kitchen, but it is nowhere near the “chef’s kitchen” that I originally wanted. But the cabinets and counter tops are beautiful and when you walk into the house you can just feel the warmth and the homey-ness this house puts off. It’s what I like to call a colonial style home. Brick front with lots of windows. We live on a corner lot which gives our yard a little bit of a bigger appeal. Our addition is something worth bragging about! Although it is a strict addition with lots of HOA laws I think it is well worth it! This addition is the oldest in Westfield with LOTS of trees, a beautiful white steeple church when you pull in smack dab in the middle, a day care center, dog park, snow sledding hills, a huge pool, 2 parks and best of all an APPLE ORCHARD! I am so ready to get into this home and decorate it! It has beautiful dark cherry wood floors throughout the first level and tan walls just begging for some color. I have always been a huge fan of all things “soft vintage” with a touch of chic and this house is perfect for that style. I can’t wait to light the fireplace, sit with friends and enjoy a cup of tea with some sweets. I can’t wait to use our huge deck and have people over for a BBQ or sit and listen upstairs while BJ and his buddies enjoy our basement as it has already been deemed “the man cave”!!

We are so ready to move!!

But until then… our house in Fort Wayne sits packed. My fridge is pretty bare and I am doing laundry like a crazy person because I could get the call from my husband saying “she closed today! We’re moving in 3 days!!” (which very much could happen)

Thank you to all of our friends and family for the prayers, the patience, the ENOURMOUS amount of love thru this time. This is only a small part of our current story. There has been a lot of adjusting as I have lived the single life for the last 6 months and there is going to be a lot more adjusting when we move. I am nervous to be far away from my family and I know it kills them at the thought of it, but hey, it only takes us 1.5 hours to get to our new exit!!! See, we’re not THAT far….

It will be good. It’s what we are supposed to do. So many things have pointed in the Westfield direction. We are SO EXCITED for what’s happening at Imagine church and we are just itching to get down there to be 2 feet in and fully committed. BJ and I have felt the effects of this time apart not just emotionally but physically. We need to be moved and as of right now… it could happen any day….

Thanks for reading this awfully long post. Next prayer list for us is adjusting. Lots and lots of adjusting.

**for those pro’s at moving, especially with little ones, I will take any and all tips.**

**mini update- all ends are closed and we are moving on the 11th and the girl who bought our home moves in the next day!! God really does have perfect timing 🙂 **

My food addiction

I have so many feelings about the word “diet”. This year I didn’t make one new years resolution because my goals for my life hasn’t change just because another year has started. BUT my goal for better health is still my number one goal. I have realized in the last few months that my relationship to food is so much more of a deeper issue then I expected. It was taking place of my relationship with God! I know that sounds so silly, but think about it. What do you turn too when your upset, need a lift, need something to make you happy? For me it was food. Every time I was upset, I craved chocolate and sweets, every time I needed a pick me up I grabbed coffee or a soda. Every time I was hungry I grabbed chips and junk food. I never truly craved anything that was good for me, including the Lord.

Anyway, as some of you know I started reading a book called Made to crave by Lysa Terkhurst. It has been my eye opening experience that I needed and has changed the way I look at how I resolve my issues. Today Lysa pretty much broke down a gist of what her book is about and I HIGHLY recommend reading her blog post for today.

http://lysaterkeurst.com/2012/01/the-war-against-my-soul

Her title for this blog is something that most people would never think that food would be a “war for your soul” but it is. Just like anything else, food is taking over our lives and becoming that filler instead of what it was naturally intended for. My issues with my body and my health has just as strong of an effect over me therefore making me go to the one thing that temporarily fixes it, food. I take no credit in this new discovery of my food addiction. I mean, I knew my issues where MUCH deeper but Lysa Terkhurst lays it all out in a way that really helped me examine my soul.

My mama is going to start a “Made to Crave” group and blog more deeply about our journey. I encourage you to join us in February. Grab the book, dig deep and go thru this with other women who share in the same struggles. This is NOT A DIET BOOK!!! Just a way to open up your eyes to what is the most important thing you can put in your body, more so then food… Jesus

20120106-112710.jpg

Oh Mother!

So. I wasn’t going to write about my newest journey because lets face it, right now, I have about 5 different “journeys” happening and I would probably confuse you with just one, let alone all 5! But I have come to realize that I need to share and now my mom started a blog (hence the title) and thought I would give my 2 cents and tell you a little about what’s going on with my family.

Before I got married 4 years ago I realized that my body isn’t like it use to be in high school and I was at a weight that I struggled with deeply. I worked out before the wedding, got a little bit healthier and didn’t think much of it since. Until, I had Sage. My whole world, and body, changed after having her. At first, all was well with my weight. I lost all of the 30 pounds that I gained and felt great but quickly I realized that my weight would be much more of an issue then I had planned to deal with. Long story short, for the last two years my weight has been a consistent battle. I have never been thrilled with the way that I looked and felt. I have always had the awful “muffin top” and have ruined MANY jeans due to my glorious thighs rubbing together. (if you don’t have this problem wear your jeans with pride! just dont tell me about it ;)) I have done many weight-loss programs and have worked out until I was blue in the face. I am wonderful at going full force into a good idea, a.k.a. a diet, and then weeks or months later I fall short.

This past year has been a huge reflection year for me. From marriage problems, loss of a baby and now moving away from my family, I have had a lot to account for and a lot to deal with. Well, a little over a month ago I went to a woman’s conference where many women spoke but one woman, Lysa Terkhurst, stood out to me the most. Although her and I have nothing in common as far as our childhood goes, she really brought out a few things in me that I didn’t care to notice. Character flaws as I like to call them. This drew me to one of her books called Made To Crave. See, just in these last few months, I have realized that my weight problem and food addiction was MUCH, MUCH deeper than just a desire to eat junk food. It was much more then not being able to tell myself “no”. I realized a pattern from this last year’s events. September of 2010 I ordered a workout called Power 90 thinking it would solve all my weight issues, and it did, for about a month  (which this is a great program and excellent for beginners and stay-at-home mommy’s, I just have a problem to committing. More on that later)… then my marriage started to struggle. I started back up again after the New Year thinking “this was it! this is the year!” And I did awesome until May came… I got pregnant and then soon after, lost the baby. Then I jumped back on the diet band wagon for about a month then we put our house up on the market. The realization that “this was really happening for us” hit me like a ton of bricks. On top of that, my husband traveling for work leaving me with an energetic toddler for days without a break! It has taken me months to realize that whenever stress, sadness, depression, anger, ect…comes at me, I turn to food as a source of temporary comfort and satisfaction. With every new struggle I gained a little bit more weight to where I am now, at my heaviest I have ever been in my life. Looking at me, you would never know that I SHOULD BE wearing a size 14, but its the truth. Looking at me, you would never know all my struggles, but I have had my fair share this year (not much compared to some). Looking at me you would think I’m not losing it, but on the inside I have felt I lost all control. If it weren’t for my mom and a few close friends, I probably wouldn’t be able to write this and share with you. My mom is so amazing on many levels, but I will share more on that some other time.

This book, Made to Crave, has given me a much deeper insight to my struggles with life as a whole. We were made to crave, but to crave Jesus, to want to be more like him and to desire to be filled with wisdom and knowledge like Jesus. But this world has gotten really good at coming up with things to fill that need. Sex, drugs, alcohol, food, TV’s and video games, maybe even gossip and hate towards other causing us to get attention for ourselves. We have deep desires to crave something, anything… but lately our focus… my focus… has been all wrong.

Follow me and my mama, Jama, as we journey together in this book and blog about our experiences and what it has said to us. My mom and I’s journeys may be different but we are hoping to encourage and reach some of you in different ways. I do, however, encourage you to follow closely to my mama. She has had an amazing journey of her own that has a story worth listening too. She has been a huge source of inspiration for my life and I strive to be like her in so many ways on a daily basis. Especially her strive to clean! HA! I have been encouraging my mom for a looonngg time to start a blog! She has so much to share and is an excellent writer! Please follow her blog at Ketchupandpotatochips.blogspot.com

As for a QUICK Carpenter Update: We have finally sold our home and found one for ourselves in Westfield, Indiana! Funny thing about this house, It was nothing we thought we were going to get! LOL this house has maybe 2 things that were on our “must have” list and it is everything we could ever ask for. Funny how that works out. We are so excited to move but just waiting patiently for everything to finalize up here with our current home. I can’t believe we’re moving… this is so new for me.

But for now…. the journey continues 🙂