Manic Monday

It’s the first Monday of the new year.  If you heard lots of loud music and a crazy loud “woohoo!!!”  early this morning, that was me as my children returned to school.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children.  I really do.  Let’s just say I need to recuperate from the wedding, and Christmas, and traveling, and three weekends straight of wrestling, and no set schedule for the last two weeks.
I like a schedule.
Later, if you heard loud sobbing, that was also me after an hour workout doing nothing but weight training chest and shoulders with my trainer.


I don’t like my trainer so much today.

But, onto Monday.
I thought I had kept a fairly clean house over the holidays.  All of the Christmas decorations are packed away,  I’ve vacuumed several times a week, and all of our sheets have even been laundered.
Then I started walking through the house.


It seems I have an infestation of paper airplanes.
{Yes, one of those planes is on top of my blinds}
I also discovered that I need to mop, iron my holiday cloth napkins and put them back in the buffet, wash the bathroom mirrors, clean the spare room which is supposed to be our guest room but is a catch-all room right now, and unpack my husband’s suitcase so he can repack it tonight….
So much for my fairly clean house!
So, while I clean today, I need something from you.
I want to know what you might like for me to write about this year!
I have some things in mind, and have been given a couple of more ideas from ladies on my Facebook page, but I want your opinions.  I’m even willing to step out of my comfort zone to accommodate you.
So please, be vocal, be opinionated, be creative, be realistic, and most importantly,
be Nice!
{That’s the mother coming out in me}
I look forward to reading your responses and seeing what you think!
Meanwhile, I’m off to clean my house!


Do you have resolutions for 2013?  
Some people make them and break them instantly, some look at the new year as just another month on the calendar, and then there are those who take careful consideration and make plans of goals to accomplish in the upcoming year.
“Every man should be born again on the first day of January.  Start with a fresh page.  Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.”
  ~Henry Ward Beecher
I am a planner & a list maker, so naturally I have a few things that  want to accomplish this year.  I also have a theme for my year.
It is DRIVE.
 Maybe it’s this newfound self-confidence & empowerment that I gained in 2012.
Maybe it’s because I’m tired of my kids driving me crazy and I want to drive them crazy for a while….
Just Kidding!!
But I do know that I feel very driven these days to accomplish things that I have thought too difficult to do.
I am going to be driven!
As for goals for 2013, here are a few of mine:
First task?  To finish what I started.  Yes, my lifestyle change will continue and I will be healthy.  Losing 65 pounds in the last six months has increased my self-confidence and reminded me that I can do anything I set my mind to.  You know, I haven’t felt that way in years!
Secondly, I plan to make this house we bought and moved into nearly ten months ago our home.  We’ve already started a little painting, but there are so many things to do for our personalities to shine through.  I want our friends and family to walk through our door and feel at home in our home.
So many of the people we have met here knew the previous owners of this house (they had built it), and are all the time saying “well Donna….”
So selfishly, I suppose, I want people to say “well Jennifer…”
I know, I’m crazy, but think of all the things you have done that have made your house your home.
{I’m keeping the aqua carpet, though.}
Third, I want to get out and about more, mixing and mingling with people instead of being insecure and unsure.  This includes attending another Blogger’s conference in the coming year, as well as other blogger arranged events, and checking out this great area where we live!
The South Carolina Upstate has some really great places to shop, dine and experience a little nightlife!
Finally, I want to get a little better organized.  You know, throw out the stacks of magazines you are hanging on to because an idea you liked lies between the pages.
You know, the idea you can’t for the life of yourself remember.
{I do that.  a lot.}
I want to find all of my holiday linens before the holidays, not three weeks later.
Moving really messes with that stuff, especially when someone else does all the packing and loading for you.
And I want to finally make my kitchen a bit more functional.  It’s become quite the mess since I have teen girls that “help” out.  Together the three of us are going to get it all straight and make it easy for me to cook and plan meals as well as them handle those tasks the few times I may may not be available.
And when we are all organized, even they can put everything right back where it belongs.
It’s a win-win situation.
My resolutions or goals for this New year are not that many, but they are some that will require time and effort.  I’m ready to accept that challenge without a doubt!
So, do you have goals/plans/resolutions/a bucket list for 2013?  
I would love to hear them!
“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce


A Look Back at 2012

I’ve really enjoyed reading all of the posts everyone has written the last couple of days looking back on 2012.  While I didn’t have twelve months of DIY projects and grand thrifting finds, 2012 was still a huge year that has left a lasting impact on our entire family!
It started with our big move from our little farm in Alabama to the city in Spartanburg, SC.  It was a huge transition for all of us, one that 9 1/2 months later I still struggle with from time to time.
The kids have settled into their routines of youth group, school, swim, competition color guard, and track.  Audley had a fantastic year with his new company, we have found a great church to worship with, and I am beginning to forge friendships that are so much more difficult to make when you are a 40 year old stay-at-home mom.
In late April my world was turned upside down when my beloved husband at the age of 40 began having heart issues that require a stress test (which he failed) and a heart cath.
We survived this without surgery (God was seriously watching over us), but a serious lifestyle change had to be made.
We experience a lot of loss in 2012.  From a special cousin of mine who is just a couple of years older than me to two grandparents as well as an aunt and uncle of Audley’s, death seemed to weigh heavily on our minds.
But, our family gained this year as well, as our oldest daughter was married just two weeks ago and added another son to our family.

And I had quite a few adventures in the kitchen that led to a little work on the side, including a wedding reception in October and a luncheon for 250 in early December.God really opened up some doors for me.

From my youngest daughter’s 13th Birthday party
October Wedding Reception
Which ended with me making our daughter’s wedding cake.
But I did have one DIY project that I was particularly proud of.
Barn door coffee table
And I did create a miniature gallery wall in our entryway that I am particularly fond of.
But, I suppose the biggest DIY of 2012 was myself.
When everything was happening with Audley’s health back in the spring, I had my own revelation happening.  
I woke up one day and as I was looking at pictures taken of me the first of May, I was sickened and disgusted by what I saw.
This former softball player and once active person had become an obese, unhappy woman.
At 269 pounds I was miserable.  I didn’t want to go out anywhere, I hid behind ill-fitting clothes, and quite honestly hated who I had become. 

I also knew I was not who God wanted my to be as a wife and mom … lazy, abusing my body …. not at all values you want to emulate.

 It was a harsh reality and I was determined to do something about it.  
So I have.
Now, as 2012 ends today, I am 65 pounds lighter, 10 dress sizes smaller, stronger and leaner from resistance/weight training, cooking & eating healthy meals, teaching my children better habits to carry into their adulthood and I am happy with me.
Am I finished? 

I am sure God has plans for me, because so many wonderful things are going on in my life!

I have gone from the one who stood out in family pictures …..
I’m the one on the left who couldn’t even hug her sister.
To blending into family pictures ….
I’m blending in, right next to the bride …..
I am not dieting.
I have simply changed my life for the better.  There are no pills, no magic formulas, just determination and fight that I had forgotten that I had.  I learned that no one is too old to get healthy and I am definitely worth the effort.
What makes this even more of a positive change is the impact on my family.
Audley, who has been on blood pressure meds since he was 19 is medicine free.
My children are all eating healthy (no fast food allowed) and are toning up through their sports combined with their diet.
We get out and do things now like ice skate, hike, picnic, my house is cleaner, and I am so much less frazzled. It’s amazing the difference in my life!
Now that’s a DIY to be proud of and if 2012 was this big for us, I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!
Happy New Year my friends!!
What are some of your highlights of 2012 and goals for 2013?
If you want to keep up with me outside of the blog, please check out my Facebook page: