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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November


Our Anniversary trip to Deep Creek was everything I dreamed!  Compete relaxation and quality adventure time with my husband!

These past two months have been such a blessing!
 Our little get away trip to Western Maryland was amazing!  It was relaxing, fun, and adventurous!
Exciting news...
We are joining our first church together!  We'll be attending Annapolis EP Church.  We have loved and soaked in all the history of the church and fellowship time from our new members class.  We are trying to figure out where to start serving.  We got to hear from all the different ministry leaders and to hear the impact and the amount of people this church is serving and helping is incredible...and we wanna be a part of it!  So we are praying to see where God wants us to serve!
For years I stopped serving and fellowshipping because of our schedules.   I felt guilty because I wouldn't be able to attend and frankly I was tired a lot too.  But what a mistake taking out one of those vital components to our walks!  I NEED to be sacrificing my time and energy someplace other then MYSELF!  So I also started volunteering at our local MOPs meetings to watch the children which is awesome!  The more of my time and energy I can invest into others and relationships the better!!  Needless to say, our hearts have been so blessed by the worship, teaching, and fellowship of our church!

My food journey has been successful... We've been trying a "Paelo Cleanse" for about a month.  I haven't been 100% faithful but I've been making good choices on what I'm consuming.  Remember how I'm sick all the time, have back pain, sore joints, and am TIRED ALL THE TIME!  Well after a few days of eating mostly meats and veggies my joints STOPPED hurting!  I've seen other positive things too like being "regular" without fiber...haha, and my menstral cramps aren't nearly as painful!  And I'm slowly losing weight but that's also thanks to Jazzercise!
But truthfully the best change to this diet is it's making me COOK and prepare every single meal!!  YAY!  Since the day we got married, Brian has always wanted me to be more skilled at serving and cooking yummy meals. I knew how to cook and bake but I never had the desire...But now, with this new program, the source I got it from came with a weekly meal plan, a shopping list, and all the recipes so its easy and fun, I'll even wear an apron sometimes!  It's so fulfilling to buy from local farmers, prepare their awesome food into my meals, and then feel so great and energized!

So we're faithfully getting connected into God's family and we are feeling and looking better while enjoying quality food.  All positive progress!
Brian and I have really been committing to loving and forgiving each other much better! I feel like we are in a good stride right now and our communication is much improved. 
 I'm so thankful for God's daily work in our hearts. 
We are at it again in projects and currently the whole house is in transition as we move furniture and tools from room to room.
We're refinishing the basement and I'm painting and re-decorating a few rooms! 
All of this in preparation for our Christmas Celebration with my family who's coming into town to stay with us! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A change in the weather! And on our plates...

I'm so thankful that summer is coming to an end!  I am definitely a cold weather girl and I love the change to fall.  The season of Fall is special to us because we were seriously "falling" in love with each other in 2009 and our wedding was October 2010! 

Plus its a very exciting time for Brian, because HUNTING season started and that's a pretty big deal around here.  In years past it was hard for me to let him hunt for hours on end because I wanted him home spending time with me. 
But after experiencing venison breakfast sausage, jerky, chili, meat logs, and steaks, well I'm all about it now!  Also I can't tell a difference between the taste of venison and beef, except I know my meat is coming from a good source and the deer lived very happy lives...aka not coming from a stressed, dangerous and unsanitary environment which is most of the meat industry these days. 
How perfect is free range grass fed deer?!  One good deer can stock up half our freezer chest. 
Its meat that is provided by God and hunted by Brian that is FREE and lasts all year long!  I'm so thankful for my husbands talents and food provided from God!
Not to mention I'm slowly becoming a health nut...not just because I want to be healthy but because I want to thrive and feel great! Its also my desire to be a good steward of my money which can support farmers that are good stewards of their animals which helps me to be a good steward of my body.

Needless to say folks I am learning how food plays such a vital role in our lives! . 
My poor body had quite the year of issues.  Car accidents messing up my neck and back, flues, fevers, shingles, a major corneal abrasion (which  thought would leave me blind), ovarian cysts, and now most recently:   
I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease called ITP, which meant my body was destroying my own blood platelets.  It kinda made me nervous cause there is always the chance of injury with my job and I needed my platelets so I wouldn't bleed out!
The specialist suggested I might need a bone marrow biopsy to check my marrow, or other steroids or antibiotics to fight the disease. Thankfully, I'm so thankful that after several months my platelet count came back up to the minimum level.   In fact all my different blood cell counts are right at the minimum level, which makes me think I still need to get healthier!  Before I was given the good news that I wouldn't need biopsies or other medicines, I had already told myself I wouldn't do anything "medical" without trying my hardest to fix my body naturally first. 
My plan was to change my diet to organic foods, full of vitamins and essential minerals, plus taking loads of supplements.  Instead of snacking (cause I'm a snacker) I started drinking apple cider vinegar in tea with raw honey, or kombucha,  or home made organic chicken broth for the bone marrow with Celtic sea salt.   

I know that our health starts in our guts!  I am determined now to consume NUTRIENTS and to view my food almost like chemistry, and asking myself what will this food do for my system?  Will it help my body thrive or will it prohibit health and add toxins to my system, making my body work harder to defend itself against these chemicals?  
I've started cooking and baking almost all my meals and have also started losing weight! 
I still blame our stressful jobs and schedules on our poor health.  Sleep seems like such a luxury and I know our bodies need that the most!  For example yesterday: poor Brian worked a 12hrs shift from 4pm-4am and then worked again after 2hrs of sleep from 6am-12am...I don't know how many hours that was total but its too much!   
So friends I'm on a mission to prepare yummy beneficial meals for us to promote healthy happy bodies!       

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Lesson From the Flowers

"The Suffering of Love"
Love will bear and forgive,
Love will suffer long,
Die to self that she may live,
Triumph over wrong.
Nothing can true love destroy,
She will suffer All with Joy.
 
Love must give, and give and give,
Love must die or share,
Only so can true love live,
Fruitful everywhere,
She will bear the Cross of Pain
And she will rise and live and reign.
"Mountain of Spices"
 
 This summer I have been so blessed by our little garden in our front yard.  This is the first year that I have actually kept plants alive and thriving! These Shasta Daisies were planted just last year and started out from a small pot.  I could not believe how they tripled in size and height!  I barely had to water them and they just thrived in the Maryland humidity all summer long!  From May until August I had weeks and weeks of happy Daisies blooming!  What I learned was that the more you pick and cut them, the more they grow bigger and fuller!  I had several bouquets all around my house all summer.  I was able to give bouquets too friends and family too! I have big plans for next years garden!
 
Sharing these flowers made me so happy! And the Lord took this time to teach me a lesson from His creation of these sweet little delicate flowers. 
I had a habit in life of complaining of weaknesses, tiredness, and self pity.  I started feeling overwhelmed by the reality and demands of my life.  Severing Brian in our marriage, having passion and strength for serving as a Police Officer, practicing love and forgiveness towards others, and just trying to get through the daily grind of life!
But as I learned how the flowers grew back stronger after being cut down, giving and sharing of themselves, I learned too that the more I give of myself to others, the more the Lord fills and grows me!  My whole perspective on life is changing...
I'm encouraged knowing that I can give, and give, and give my love, forgiveness, grace, and kindness...knowing that the Lord will sustain and fulfill me.  It doesn't matter how tired or overwhelmed I feel, because being sustained through Jesus I have an unlimited supply!  My stress level has gone way down and my trust in our Father through obedience has given me so
 much peace... and as a result, I'm happy!


"It's not the long walk home that will change this heart....but the welcome I receive with the restart."
 
God has been doing grand things in our marriage!  Without writing a novel on all the things I learned...I just wanted to share, God taught me those lessons on love and forgiveness to prepare my heart to truly love my husband, not just tolerate him.  I didn't realize how far apart Brian and I had become...
When we normally disagree or argue I responded in self righteous anger and become such a nasty judgmental person.
But the Holy Spirit is at work and can finally use us to bless one another through Christ! 
It's a sweet thing and a gift from God to finally have trust,
 communication, and forgiveness in our marriage.     
 I was blessed by several sweet friends who took time to encourage, correct, and love on me to help me be victorious through this period of life.   


 
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My Strength is made perfect in your weakness. 
For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Cor 1:9



In other news we have very busy this summer working way too much... But we try to get in some fun hobbies here and there.  Brian has now brewed 2 successful batches of beer and they were sooo good!  No high fructose corn syrup or sulfates in this alcohol! 
 
 Our favorite place to walk and be surrounded with nature...
Greenbury Point across from Annapolis and on the Bay. 
We love going at dusk for the sunset and because all the deer come out to greet us!

Sorry its a bad shot but this albino deer is so amazing, he's got brown spots too! 

 We love our Lyla! 
I'm looking forward to the cooler seasons and the next phase of life. 
 
So thankful for places of peace and rest we can escape too from the chaos and stress of our jobs.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

May Times

~May~
 
We've been busy and enjoying our spring days! 
Happy Birthday to my Dad!  We spent the day at St. Michael's and treated him to a wine tasting!
 
The Atwells came to town for a quick visit and we had so much fun with them!  Jimmy loves making music with his Uncle Brian...so sweet!
One of our major projects is cutting down these two 50ft pine trees.  I'm tired of their pine needles covering our entire yard! 

Brian cut down as many of the huge branches he could...using his rickety tree stand! 
We couldn't get the entire tree down because it got a little dangerous...anyone know someone who can help us take these things down!

This is the guest room, we hadn't touched it since we moved in.  It needed baseboard, window and door frames, a new door, outlets, ceiling fan with lighting, closet doors, and a fresh coat of cappuccino paint!

Look at those old ugly metal doors!  And we moved the attic entrance from the closet to the hallway.  Brian was able to install a ladder to the new attic entrance too!

Beautiful new doors...Brian had to build that small wall above the doors.

 
I love fresh bright white baseboards! 

Such a simple thing as a door but a good one makes all the difference to the room!
 
The room now has light! 
I still have a few finishing touches and decorating to do but now we can welcome our family and friends to a beautiful room!  So out of town family come on out to Maryland anytime!
 
Brian and I love walking around Greenbury Point in Annapolis on the water. 
It's a wildlife preserve and we love scouting deer and birds.
Last time we went we found these little guys...Grazing Goats!!
They'll be here all summer clearing away the overgrown brush. 
 
 
There were 2 herds and about 40 goats in all! 
I'm a little obsessed with goats, especially these baby ones.



 Our front walkway is finally finished!  All the brick and concrete was demolished and we choose to use a more natural and cheaper option with the stone. 
 
Happy Memorial Weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Catching Up!

These past few months have sped by and we quickly went from winter to spring!
I need to update what we've been up to!! 
February was an awesome month!  My sister Janet flew in from Colorado for a visit.  Janet, my mother, and I all drove up to the "North Country" New York to visit Cindy and meet baby Cici for the first time!  This was the first time all sisters and mom were reconnected since my wedding almost three years ago!
We had planned this trip months ago...what we didn't plan was that poor babe Cici would be in the hospital for months.  We split up our stay in New York with Jimmy and Tim and traveled back and forth everyday to Vermont to be with Cindy and Cici.
Driving through blizzards  (real winter mountain blizzards...not your wimpy Maryland snow folks!) was quite the adventure!!
Grandma "Nan" meeting Cici for the first time!

Crossing the ice laden lake into Vermont...sorry for the poor quality!

All the sisters together!! 
It snowed like this everyday! 

I was amazed to see wildlife hanging out in this blizzard in the midst of the ice burgs!

Meeting baby Cici for the first time!

She is so sweet and has such a personality at 2 months old!

Chubs and baby rolls =)  I loved just sitting and holding her! 
 
 



Friday, January 11, 2013

The little things in Life...

I'm linking up with Lindsay at Hello Hue...celebrating the little things this week
http://www.hellohue.com/

In the big scheme of things there were a few highlights this week I was thankful for!
It was my first time going back to day work since midnights...
I love working the early morning hours and getting up before the sun. 
Sadly on Sunday I go back to working afternoons/evenings for a week and I have to say that I prefer the early mornings.  And early morning coffee =)
I'm so thankful that my husband was offered a new position for a specialized unit within his department.  Yay Brian, so proud of you!! 
I'm very relieved that our refinancing appointment went smoothly and all the paperwork is complete!  We have been home owners for a year now...wow craziness.

I celebrated 27 years on Wednesday and it was a great day in spite of work.  I was determined to be happy all day long.  My sweet family sent presents and it was so thoughtful of them to remember me.
My Christmas decorations are still up and I'm totally ok with that.  Our trees are so special and it makes me think I need to purchase some house plants to fill in when our Christmas trees go out. 

This picture was from a year ago...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So long 12...you were my favorite number!

I wish you all a TRULY HAPPY NEW YEAR!   

One of our goals is to both get healthy again.  That two year midnight stretch put on extra 20lbs on me.  I was always too exhausted to exercise and couldn't get into any regular meal routines.  Sooooo I joined JAZZERCISE! 
I absolutely love dancing away the stress and working out to fun tunes!
So in our attempt to exercise more and play together, we took Lyla to a big field and ran around with her for a good hour. I love watching my Canine girl run...she is crazy fast! I wish she could be my doggy partner on the road.  We threw around the football and attempted to kick field goals! Getting fresh air and chasing each other was so much fun!
We have so many hopes and plans for 2013. 
Continued construction work on our home,
landscaping our grassless backyard,
starting a family,
traveling to new places,
paying off debt,
and getting connected and involved in our new church.
 
"For I know the plans I have for (Brian and Laura), declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer. 29:11