Monday, February 28, 2011

Regionals, Here We Come!

Patterson won their first quarter final game of Regionals tonight. They beat Dulaney with a score of 98-68. On Wednesday, they will be playing against Perry Hall. It's all very exciting. Patterson hasn't won a City Championship since 1976 - and there is a great chance that they will make it all the way to the State Championship this year.

Here's a secret: I'm not really a sports fan. But I absolutely adore watching my husband coach. He comes alive on the court. One of his dreams is to coach at the Comcast Center. One of the greatest joys for me would be sitting there behind him when that dream comes true. That's why I am routing for the Clippers to go all the way. I want it for him.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Proud of My Hubby!

Last night, Harry's team officially became the 2011 Baltimore City Champions in Boys' Basketball! The journey towards the State Championship continues next week; however, I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of the team and the coaching staff - especially my husband. He's already Coach of the Year in my eyes!

Way To Go, Daddy!!

Daddy and his amazing basketball team are the 2011 Baltimore City Champions in Boys Basketball! Nice job, Clippers! We're so proud of you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I heart Nick Jr.

Bianca loves to watch Nick Jr. When the television is not tuned into that magical channel, she points to it and says, "show." (Which in her language means, "please, Mommy and Daddy, turn on Nick Jr!") I realize children under two shouldn't watch TV, but it's amazing to see her be so interactive with her shows.

She absolutely loves Dora the Explorer. Whenever Dora asks, "Who do we ask for help when we don't know where to go?" she responds with "Map!" When asked to say "Swiper, no swiping" she lifts her hand towards the television in the "stop" position. She also says something that resembles "backpack" when Dora asks her. (It's more like "baback.")

When Go, Diego, Go is on and she hears the music that plays when the BoBo Brothers are about to enter the scene, she immediately starts saying "BoBo." When she recognizes the opening credits of Blue's Clues, she says "Boos Coos." And when DJ Lance Rock says "Yo Gabba Gabba!" she responds with "Babba!"

She loves to dance during all of the musical shows, and now she's starting to "sing," as well. Tonight I ordered her a Laurie Berkner CD for the car, as she loves to watch her on Jack's Big Music Show.

And we can't forget about Ni Hao Kai Lan, The Wonder Pets, Miss Spider, Little Bear, Oswald, Franklin, Little Bill, The Backyardigans, Wow Wow Wubbzy and Team Umizoomi. She loves them all.

Quite simply, she is delighted by the shows on Nick Jr, and I am delighted watching her enjoy them!

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Favorite Word

Bianca's new favorite word seems to be "No." And when she is really unhappy ("no, no, no, no, no!"), the exclamation is usually accompanied by a face that looks like this....
or this....

The "Terrible Two's" are still a few months off, but it looks like our fun is beginning already! : )

BiBi's First Haircut

Bianca's hair was getting a bit out of control. In fact, I was affectionatley calling her "Crazy Hair." Aunt Dot decided to take matters into her own hands and make an appointment at Brenda's in Canton for BiBi's first haircut. We went on Friday, February 11th.

Our Little Beauty was all smiles when we entered the tiny shop.

Things quickly went downhill from there. Denise sat her down on a booster seat and draped her with a smock - which she did not like. Here is Denise snipping the first piece of hair:

Because she was having such a fit, I had to sit her in my lap and hold her arms down. It still didn't go well. She cried the entire time.

Denise didn't want to torture her anymore, so the haircut was cut short (the time, that is - not the hair!) So, although it's somewhat shorter in some places, her hair is still pretty uneven and out of control. I tried to get an "after" shot, but she wouldn't cooperate. You can take my word for it, though. She is still my Little Crazy Hair!

Day Zero Revisited

Creating my 50/50 List prompted me to start thinking about my Day Zero project. I started the project January 1 of last year. I still have until September 28 of next year to complete the list, but I'm a little disheartened to report that I have only accomplished 6 goals on my list.

1) #3 on my list was "Finish Bianca's journal." I had started keeping a journal for her on December 27, 2008 - the day I found out I was pregnant. She was still "Little Bean" at the time. I'm proud to say that I completely filled her journal - even if it took me a little longer than I had originally hoped. I'd like to start a new one for her - this new one complete with photos.

2) #11 on my list was "Write 20 random notes and leave them for people to find." I wrote the notes on 3x5 index cards. They were simply written in black ink. If I would do it over again, I would add little pictures and write the messages in colorful markers. I left the notes in random places throughout my school - bathrooms, kitchens, laboratories. I put one on a car windshield, one in a magazine on an airplane, one in my neighbor's mailbox, one in my brother's room in OCMD, and several in library books. I don't remember exactly where I left all 20 notes, but they were all placed lovingly whenever I was inspired to do so.

3) #30 on my list was "Sit down with Grandma and ask for parenting advice." We didn't have a conversation specifically about this topic, but I definitely worked it in. She gave me four pieces of advice: a) When it comes to extra cirricular activities, don't force your kids to do them if they don't want to, b) Encourage your kids to do their best. Tell them you believe in them and support them - even when they aren't performing perfectly, c) Know who your kids' friends are and make them feel welcome in your home, d) You will make mistakes as a parent. It's ok; just learn what you should do next time!

4) #43 on my list was "Pay off my car." We took care of this one a few months ago. It is wonderful having one less bill each month. That's why ultimately, I would like for Harry and I to live completely debt free. We could help so many more people that way.

5) #73 on my list was "Plan something exciting for Harry's 35th Birthday." I just checked this one of the list last week. If you want to read about it, click here.

6) #81 on my list was "Find a new church home." I have been attending Community Christian Church pretty regularly since August. I have just joined the Hospitality team. It definitely feels like we have found our new church home. there are a few more that you can consider "in progress," but those are the only ones I actually completed. Truthfully, in the midst of all the darkness I was feeling last year, this list was forgotten. But now that I'm in a much better place in my life, I can revisit it once again.

Book Review: Couples Who Pray

“Couples Who Pray” is written by husband and wife team SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt. It is a wonderful book that describes the benefits of spouses praying together, including increased communication, a better sex life, deeper joy, and a greater sense of satisfaction with the marriage. Stories from both celebrities and every-day married couples who pray together regularly are interwoven throughout the book. Scientific data is also used to show the incredible power of prayer.

I absolutely loved this book. It wasn’t written in a preachy way at all; it was just one couple giving advice to others. I especially appreciated all the tips and tools included to help a couple start to incorporate the most intimate act into their marriage. With a questionnaire to take before and after the 40 Day Prayer Challenge, 40 scripture verses to mediate on, and the encouragement to keep a prayer journal, this little “how to” book is very much a devotional in itself. It’s quite simply wonderful. However, if the reader chooses, she can find more resources and encouragement at

I chose to read the entire book before implementing the 40 day prayer challenge, but I am ready to dive in with my husband beginning tonight. I know it will only lead to positive outcomes for our marriage.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher’s Book Sneeze program in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

50/50 List

My blogger friend Chelle is a really awesome person on so many levels. In the mail this week, she sent me some information on Advocare, as well as the book "The Me Project: 21 days to living the life you've always wanted" by Kathi Lipp. I was so excited to dive right in!

The first chapters encourage the reader to start dreaming big and visualizing her future. "If I knew I was going to live another 50 years, what would I want those years to look like? What would I like to say that I've done with that time?" We are supposed to begin the project with a 50/50 list - 50 dreams to accomplish in the next 50 years. Then we pick one to focus on during the 21 days of the Me Project.

Here is my 50/50 List (in no particular order):

1. Become a massage therapist
2. Earn a PhD
3. Learn the principles of Ayurveda
4. Become a wellness coach
5. Have more biological children
6. Adopt 2 children
7. Completely pay off our debt, including our mortgage
8. Buy/build a beach cottage
9. Have a healthy, toned body
10. Eat and cook with the seasons
11. Star in a musical
12. Teach wellness classes at the community college
13. Write a book
14. See all of my children have personal relationships with God
15. Pray daily with my husband
16. Practice yoga
17. Run a half-marathon
18. Learn how to kick-box
19. Eliminate processed foods from my diet
20. Be free from the 9-5 work day
21. Work 15 minutes or less from home
22. Volunteer on a regular basis
23. Own my own, profitable business
24. Get rid of my headaches
25. Have a popular blog
26. Be part of a women's circle
27. Join a community choir or worship team
28. Make a six-figure income
29. Join a drum circle
30. Cook real food for dinner 5 times a week
31. Record a CD
32. Buy Harry a horse
33. Take Mom to Alaska
34. Get regular massages, facials and pedicures
35. Be considered an expert in a field
36. Have a group of close, diverse friends
37. Become a foster mom for teenagers
38. Be a good wife - attractive, energetic, affectionate
39. Be the kind of mom whose kids can tell her anything
40. Learn to play guitar
41. Take tap, jazz, or ballet for adults
42. Direct a human video at church
43. Go on a missions trip
44. Use organic cosmetics and cleaning supplies
45. Visit Italy, Ireland, and Germany
46. Start keeping photo journals
47. Own another purple convertible
48. Own a soft, feminine, freeing wardrobe
49. Find a reason to laugh every day
50. Become a Proverbs 31 Woman

I still haven't decided which goal to work on for the Me Project, but I will make a decision relatively soon.

A New Favorite Snack

I just have to give a big shout out to Vitalicious for the creation of their VitaTops. These wonderful little 100 calorie treats satisfy my raging sweet tooth while providing 15 vitamins and minerals, 9g of fiber, 4g of protein, 8g of whole grain, and only 1.5g of fat. The Deep Chocolate is definitely my favorite flavor.

Yes, I realize it would be better to completely emilinate processed foods from my diet, but I'm not quite there yet. And I think a VitaTop is a much better snack choice than a truffle when I am seriously craving my chocolate. It's a baby step in making better decisions.

I didn't receive any free products, and I wasn't paid at all for this blog post. Vitalicious has no idea that I exist. I just love them to death and wanted to spread the word!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Work Update

As I mentioned a few posts ago, things at work are looking up. My supervisor returned to the office on Monday. She had a long chat with me, telling me that she wanted to keep me happy. She's impressed with the way I handled everything in her absence. She's wants me to have more autonomy in my job and wants my input on how to keep things running smoothly in the office.

She also let me have my title change now instead of Sepetmeber (though no money came along with it), and if they ever decide to fill Sheila's position (she has been gone for over a year now), that person will be my direct report. I can then add "supervisory experience" to my resume. Woo hoo! So anyway, I am no longer an Administrative Assistant; I am now a Program Coordinator. Much better!

The only downside is my work load has not seemed to ease up at all since my supervisor returned. If anything, it seems like my task list has gotten longer. I was in the office from 8 AM to 6:30 PM yesterday, and I am staying late again today. I really wish my life wasn't so out of balance!!

Hospitality Team - Week 1

This past Sunday was my first day serving on the Hospitality Team at church. I was very excited. I had to be at church at 8:30 AM, but I got there a few minutes early. I met our team leader D in the hallway and got to work right away setting up the coffee and tea stations.

Our next task was to fill up the cups for Communion – bread in the bottom cup and juice in the top cup. The way we’re supposed to fill up the juice is by using a pipette-type of contraption. (I really don’t know the technical term for it – but I’m sure “juice filler-upper” isn’t it!)

I was having no problem using the tool – until D. told me that I was filling the cups too high. Instead of turning my head to look at her, I somehow turned my whole body in such a forceful way that all of my juice went flying. It landed everywhere...on the Communion tray, on the counter, on the floor, and all over D. I was horrified!

I’m not kidding. I was like a deer in headlights. I was so stunned that I couldn’t move. I simply stood there holding my little, dripping contraption, staring at the mess. D had picked up a paper towel and started cleaning up, but I was motionless. She asked, “Do you think you could move your foot a little?” That snapped me back into reality and I quickly started cleaning up, as well.

To make matters worse, D and C had just finished a conversation that went something like this: “B’s son is helping our team today.” “Oh no! Keep him away from the juice!” Guess no one was suspecting that I would have made a similar mess!

Once all the juice was cleaned up, I was able to get through the morning without any more issues. In fact, I was quite an expert at filling the juice cups by the time we had to get the Communion cups ready for the second service.

While everyone was very nice to me despite my little faux pas, you could say that I really made a “splash” during my first week on the Hospitality team! Ugh!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: Love & War Devotional for Couples

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

The “Love & War Devotional for Couples” is an 8-week study that supplements John and Stasi Eldredge’s novel “Love & War.” The devotional is perfect for busy couples. The daily devotions take only a few minutes to read. Each one begins and ends with a Scripture and includes a prayer. The reader is encouraged to complete one exercise per week with the goal of strengthening her relationship with her spouse. The overall theme of the book is that marriage is sometimes hard, but it is also wonderful when God is at the center of the union.

This devotional claims to be “for couples;” however, it seemed to be written for an audience of one – not two. All the prayers use the language, “I” and “my” as opposed to “we” and “our.” Even the exercises seemed to be intended for one person to complete by himself.

The tag-line of this devotional is “the 8-week adventure that will help you find the marriage you always dreamed of.” While the reflections offer comfort and encouragement for people having a difficult time in their marriage, I thought it was a bit lacking in substance. Perhaps it is because I was completing the devotional without first reading “Love & War,” and I would have had a different experience by reading the book first. I also would have much preferred to read a devotional that is intended for the couple to carry out together. My husband had a similar sentiment.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

Life is Good!

The past few days have been filled with fun, laughter, and so much love! I feel a bit high on life at the moment, which is a wonderful feeling! : )

Friday I called out sick. Bianca and I were able to share a leisurely morning together, which was simply wonderful. I also managed to do two loads of laundry, run the dishwasher, and clean the kitchen floor. I truly love the days I am able to stay home!!

At 12:30 PM, my aunt came and picked me up. We went to a hair dresser, where BiBi received her first haircut. It was a traumatic experience for her. I ended up having to sit her in my lap and hold her arms down. Even then, she didn’t stop crying or moving her head. So while it’s a little bit shorter, she still has the “crazy hair.” I guess we’ll have to wait a few more months until we try again.

Afterwards, we drove to the car rental shop, where I picked up a black BMW 528i. As a back story, Harry has always wanted a BMW. It is his dream car. For the past four years, we have been making a plan for him to buy one for his 35th birthday. Unfortunately, our finances are not in the shape we had hoped they would be, and taking on a large car payment is just not feasible for us right now. But I was not going to let a little money problem get in the way of my hubby from having a BMW on his 35th birthday! Hence, the rental car.

He had a basketball game after school, so he didn’t get home until late. When he finally arrived, I was waiting by the front door. I wanted to see his face when he pulled up. Immediately he jumped out of his car, walked over to the BMW, touched the passenger side door, and smiled. (Later I found out that he originally thought my dad had bought it for him as a present. Whoops! Sorry, Honey!) He was very happy.

Saturday morning, we all slept in until 7:15 AM. We had a few hours of enjoyable family time and then we drove to my mom’s house. Bianca spent the day with her while Harry and I headed to Delaware Park. I’m not a fan of gambling, but Harry loves the horse races. Luckily, he had a few good bets, and we ended up coming home with $100 more than we left with!

When we came home, there was a lemon cream cake from Olive Garden waiting for Harry in the refrigerator – his favorite dessert. I had picked it up for him on Friday, but I hid it in the vegetable drawer, so he didn’t see it.

We ended the night by going to Damian’s soccer game, which started at 8 PM. We met my mom and picked up Bianca from there. Unfortunately, the Crusaders didn’t win that game, but I always love watching my nephew play!!

Sunday morning (Harry’s actual birthday) I had to be at church at 8:30 AM, as it was my first week of serving on the Hospitality team. (I will have to write a separate post about that later, as that is a story in itself!) After church, I went back home, and Harry and I returned the BMW. After a brief trip to the grocery store, we went home and ordered pizza for lunch – not exactly fancy, but it’s my hubby’s favorite food! Afterwards, I baked 7 dozen chocolate chip cookies. Then we watched a movie. That night, as we were preparing to go to bed, he told me that this had been his best birthday ever. Mission accomplished! : )

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Harry had a basketball game, so Bianca and I spent the evening on the bleachers. It was senior night, so the seniors and their families were introduced on the court before the game, and they played the whole first quarter. The Clippers won the game with a score of 105-54! We celebrated the victory by sharing the cookies I had baked with the team and their families. Later that night, after putting BiBi to bed, Harry and I watched the Bachelor together while cuddling on the couch. It wasn’t exactly the most romantic night, but it was still pretty perfect.

I also had a great day at work – but I’ll have to write a separate post about that, as well. Let’s just say that things are looking up!

Quite simply, life is good. All Glory to God!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a Man of Integrity!!

This morning I received an email from my life coach Joel. It read, "During the course of our conversation, and reflecting on it afterward, I realized that my coaching may not be a good fit for your current needs. I will have Jay put a check in the mail for you today." All I can say is "Wow!"

I think a lot of other coaches would have ignored the fact that we didn't quite mesh, just because I was a paying customer. This man is obviously different. He is full of integrity. He is not only talking the Christian talk, he is living the life. What a wonderful man!

What this experience has shown me is: I already have the answers inside. I already know who I am. I already know what my passions are. I already have a vision for my future career. I don't need help in that area. I really just need help formulating an action plan.

Last year, my friend Carolyn suggested that I start making contact with wellness professionals in the Baltimore area. I reached out to a total of....ZERO. Last year was one of the darkest times of my life. But I am in a much better place this year. And I am more ready than ever for my breakthrough. Now I just have to get my butt in motion and start taking baby steps. That's the only way I am going to get un-stuck.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sacred Friday - Wisdom

Steph and I have picked back up on our Sacred Friday tradition. She picks an inspirational word out of a basket and then we watch how the word comes into play for us throughout the week.

I was going to post this entry tomorrow (hence Sacred Friday), but I may be too busy. I have decided to take off from work tomorrow. I'm calling out "sick." My supervisor returns to the office on Monday, so tomorrow is my last day of freedom. I am going to fully enjoy it. Plus I have to make some secret preparations for Harry's birthday (grin).

This week's inspirational word is Wisdom. Here is how the word showed up in my life last week:

First, I attended a baby shower on Saturday. In lieu of cards, we were to buy a book and inscribe it with a note for the baby-to-be. Of course, I wanted my note to be perfect, so I opened up Bianca’s book of prayers. (Yes, I plagiarized a bit!) On the very first page I opened was written the Scripture Job 12:13 – “God has wisdom and power. He has good advice and understanding.” That wasn’t the Scripture that would ultimately find its way into Madison’s book, but I saw the word loud and clear: God has WISDOM…

Later in the week, as I was going through my Same Life, New Story devotional, I read about Esther. In that chapter, the author wrote, “Wisdom has to hold hands with courage when circumstances become dicey and we are in the process of redirecting our lives. Wisdom is the gift of knowing what to do. Courage is the gift of having the guts to do it. That is a powerful combination.”

I felt like that message was directly for me. I am definitely in the process of redirecting my life. God has been putting some ideas into my head concerning my career and my life’s purpose. That is the wisdom. Now it’s up to me to act on them. That’s where the courage will come in. But I will definitely need God’s help here, too!

Earlier this week, on the suggestion of one of my co-workers, I spoke to a numerologist. I know it might sound crazy, but honestly, it was amazing. Completely different reaction than the one I just had with my life coach. And SO much cheaper! Anyway…my date of birth is the 25th, which added together equals 7. Additionally, when you add the numbers of “Carey,” the total also comes to 7. 7 is the number for faith and WISDOM.

It's no secret that I love to learn, but wisdom is so much deeper than that. It’s learning, applying the lessons, and growing from them. It’s making wise decisions and giving wise counsel. It comes with being in touch with God and finding ways to manifest His will in your life.

The only good thing that came out of today's life coaching session is my promise to spend 10 minutes in silent contemplation each day. They say that God speaks the language of silence. I will only hear His voice when I am still. I have a feeling that making a commitment to that daily practice will only help me obtain more wisdom. That is nothing but a beautiful thing.

Coaching - Session 1

Well, I had my first life coaching session today. As I told my BFF, I just have one word: BOO!!!

It was horrible. Number 1, at 2:30 (our scheduled appointment time), I didn't get a phone call. At 2:35, I called my coach, got a voice mail, and left a message. At 2:54, I get a phone call from him saying he needs to call me back. He finally calls to start the session at 3:10.

Then he asked me all these questions that didn't seem to have any real purpose - like, "Do you think in general that women grow into their own skin as they get older?" So I'm answering all of his questions thinking - what?!?! What does this have to do with me and my specific needs? Then he went on and on about Heather and her experience - a woman he coached. Hello - you wrote a whole book on her experience. I read it. You told me all about it on our introductory call. No offense, but I don't need to hear about it again. Where am I in this conversation?

I felt like he was reading from a script. He wasn't listening to me. And he obviously didn't pick up that I was getting annoyed by these crazy questions and ramblings.

We spent about 15 minutes going over my top 5 strengths that resulted from my Strengths Finder assessment. But again it seemed like he was reading. "An empathetic person shows these characteristics.... Do you see that in yourself?" Then he would ask me to give an example. So I did. Then he went on another tangent and then asked, "Can you give me an example of this in your life?" Hello...isn't that what I just did? Weren't you listening or paying attention?

Then he was like - ok - let's wrap up this call by coming up with an action plan for you to complete before our next session. He asked, "what would you like to do?" And I'm like - hello - I need your help. I don't know what action to take. Otherwise I would have taken the action already and not be stuck. So here is my "action plan" that he came up with:
1) Journal about your experiences. (I already do this.)
2) Do the reaching out worksheet. (Which I already did - it was a homework assignment for our first session. I told him I already did it. He said, "it may be helpful to do it again." WHAT?!?)
3) Finish the exercises in the "One Woman's Journey" book.
4) Spend 10 minutes every day in silence, listening for God to speak.

I hung up the phone feeling very disappointed. I spent $600 for this??? Since he is on a cruise next week, my next session is February 24. I really hope it's not another repeat of this session. I feel like I can't even be honest about it with my husband. He didn't want me to spend the money in the first place, as we are trying to get our way out of debt. But I convinced him that the investment would be worth it. Ugh!! I just feel so sad and disappointed. I want to cry.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pregnant with Vision

Last night I couldn't sleep. My mind was swarming with ideas for Circle's End. God has given me a new vision that is much bigger than the one I originally conceived. I was so excited by some of the things I saw that I was ready to contact a graphic designer this morning to get a quote for commissioning a logo design. I wanted to have something tangible to hold onto - something that would confirm that I have definitely made a breakthrough in my career.

This morning, I was nudged by the Spirit to Google "Circle's End." Wow...I didn't realize how unoriginal the name was. It is the name of a Harry Potter book, the name of a band, the name of a movie, the name of a farm, the name of a song, the name of a novel, the name of a video game...and that is most likely not an exhaustive list. Needless to say, I was taken a bit back. I think a new name will be necessary.

Despite that little hiccup, I am more excited than ever about my soon-to-be born organization. They say that everything happens in God's perfect timing, and I am starting to believe it more than ever. Last year, while in New York for a meeting, I attempted to write a business plan for the then-Circle's End. I was having so much trouble. Maybe it was the excess stress I was feeling from work. Maybe it was the post-partum depression that had its claws in me. Maybe it was simply not the time. In the next couple of weeks, I am going to tackle that business plan again - and I have a feeling it will all come together nicely.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Strengths Finder 2.0

One of my homework assignments to complete before my first coaching session was taking the online Strengths Finder assessment. The purpose of the evaluation is to identify the top five talents in one's life. The following were my results, along with a brief description of the talent.

1. Empathy - I can sense the feelings and emotions of the people around me and understand where they are coming from.
2. Input - I am inquisitive and collect things. Not only tangible objects, but also words, facts, quotations, and images.
3. Connectedness - I believe that all things happen for a reason. We are all connected and part of something greater than ourselves.
4. Adaptability - I live in the moment. I am flexible. I may have a plan, but I respond willingly to demands of the moment, even if I am pulled away from my plans.
5. Developer - I see the potential in others. Each person is a work in progress, and alive with possibilities.

I think that my results are pretty accurate. The only strength I briefly questioned was "Adaptability," mainly because I tend to resist sudden change. However, once I get over the initial shock and have a venting session, I usually do go with the flow and get the job done. I also see life as an adventure, and I don't necessarily need everything planned out. (Especially on vacations) I'd rather play things by ear. Keeping all that in mind, I can see why I may have gotten this result.

As I am getting a clearer picture of what Circle's End may ultimately look like, I can see how all of those strengths will fit in. It's quite exciting to see the puzzle pieces coming together!!

Book Review: Same Life, New Story

Perhaps it's because of where I am on my life's journey, but I loved this book! It was so inspirational! Jan Silvious encourages all women – no matter where they are along the age spectrum – that they can change their lives simply by changing their perspective. Using the Biblical stories of Naomi, Leah, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Anna, Jehosheba, Abigail, Naaman’s servant girl, and Elizabeth, along with the personal experiences of modern-day women, Silvious shows us that we can either perish or flourish simply by the way we think about difficult situations. Everyone will face trials in their lives, but as Christian women, we can take heart knowing that God is the author of our lives, He sees the big picture, and He has plans to prosper us. This compelling Bible Study includes questions for personal reflection, journal prompts, and questions for small-group discussion. After completing the entire study, I am excited to start living my new story. I am ready to step out in faith and say “yes” to God’s ultimate plan for my life. I recommend this book to any woman who is going through a tough time. You may be surprised at how motivating it truly is.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher's BookSneeze program in exchange for my honest review.

Who Needs Toys...?

...when a cardboard box is so much fun?!?

Snow Day

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Random Ramblings

These are the thoughts running through my head today:

~ When I left work last night, the sky was such a beautiful shade of blue-black. This morning as I drove into work, the sky was a lovely shade of bright blue. I praised God for His beautiful creation, and it got me thinking about heaven. I imagine it is way more beautiful than we can even imagine and filled with all kinds of gorgeous, radiant colors – ones we’ve never even seen.

~ On the suggestion of a Blogger friend, I signed up for life coaching with Joel Boggess at 4 Points Coaching. My first session is on February 9th. Honestly, I’m having a bit of buyer’s remorse (we simply can't afford it, and I feel guilty about adding to our debt), but it’s too late to turn back now. I have completed my first online assessment. My personality and career style is Advocate. I wanted to cry a bit when the first career match for me was “Administration.” “Secretary” was on the list, too. Thank goodness that “wellness/nutrition consultant” and “massage therapist” were matches for me, as well. Otherwise I might have had a slight panic attack!

~ Harry and I had a wonderful conversation last night. It began with me telling him about my assessment. He probed me with the question: “Well, what happens when you come to the end of your coaching sessions and you realize you’re exactly in the career where you’re supposed to be?” It was a good question to ponder, but if I was created for this career, why am I so unsatisfied? Why do I dread coming to work each day? Why do I feel like my life’s calling is still out there, waiting to be tapped into? Anyway, for the first time in a long time, I feel like he was listening to me - this time without judgment. And he even thanked me for working so hard every day and contributing to the family and keeping up the house and being a great wife and mother. He also reminded me that I can and do serve every day. My mom needs me. My grandma needs me. Damian needs me. Bianca needs me. He needs me. I felt so loved and appreciated. And it made me connect to my husband so much more. It's a great feeling simply knowing that you were heard.

~ I had a wonderful conversation with a co-worker yesterday that made me feel so inspired. We talked about God and our careers and our passions. No conclusions were made, but I felt renewed. I truly felt parts of my spirit wake up. I'm tired of feeling stuck. I am ready for a Breakthrough in my career. I'm hoping Joel will help me form a solid action plan on how to get there.

~ As you may recall, I was offered and turned down the position for VTEU Coordinator at my school. Today, I am having lunch with the girl who ultimately took the job. Turns out, we went to the same high school. She was in my sister’s class. Such a small world! I'm excited to get to know her better.

~ Steph and I are beginning to plan our next Girls’ Day. We are heading to Boston for a weekend in June. I am quite giddy about it! I find myself smiling and giggling every time I think about it. I can't wait to go on this adventure with my BFF!

~ Next weekend is Harry’s birthday. The two of us are going to Delaware Park for the day. I really want to buy a nice outfit for the occasion. He deserves to have a well-dressed wife by his side, and my clothes are so plain and frumpy. Perhaps I can leave work early tomorrow and do just that.

~ I also start volunteering on the Hospitality Team at church next weekend. Yay!!

~ My neck and shoulders are very sore this morning. I wonder if I slept in a weird position. I am craving a warm massage.

~ I am also craving a mocha. I have been dreaming about one since 7:50 this morning, when I passed the sweet aroma of the coffee cart. But I have gained so much weight lately. I simply cannot give into the temptation of those excessive calories.

~ In general, I have been feeling so much better lately. Using the analogy Steph gave me, I no longer feel like I’m sitting at the bottom of the pit, but steadily climbing my way out. God is so good!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

Apparently, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning. Hurray for an early spring!!