Friday, April 26, 2013

The Weaker Vessel

I stumbled across this post this morning and felt prompted it was time to share it.  I wrote it almost a year ago and tucked it away for when the Lord released me to share it.  I usually keep it light around here but sometimes.....well you just gotta put it out there.
********************************************************

(written last July)
I have a little something on my heart.

Nick and I will be celebrating our 24th anniversary next month.  I can't even begin to tell y'all how much I love this man.  We have been together since we were 15 yrs old and I can't really remember what life was like not standing by his side.

People who have followed our family on Instagram and Facebook have often asked us what our "secret" is to the joy and fun that they see our family experiencing.  We always tell them the same thing.  It's Jesus.  I'm not casually throwing that out there saying....if you know Jesus then your life/marriage/and children will be perfect.  No way...    It's more than just knowing Jesus... It's doing marriage His way...raising children His way....living life according to how He has told us to in His word.  (and even then, things won't be perfect because He uses the trials to refine us.)

Here is our "secret"... "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) finding out what is acceptable to the Lord."  Ephesians 5:8-10

Nick and I were married for a little less than 10 years before we both were interrupted by Jesus' saving grace.  We already had our three girls and life as we knew it was good....we were living life large.  It was all about us and everything decision we made was for our own gratification, void of God and certainly void of anything His word  said.

Then Jesus changed Nick's heart..then mine.  We both fell in love with God's word and began to read it and find out what God had to say about our lives.  We began to make changes in the way we lived because of the things we discovered in God's word.  This was a joy for us...not a doom and gloom big list of "no's".  We began to discover God's design for marriage and life  and y'all..... it was amazing.  The things we began to change in our home were blessings.... His way of doing things y'all is the BEST.

So I say all this to get to what is on my heart.  We have 3 daughters right?  We have tried our best to live an example before them of what God's design for marriage should be....  One that is filled with joy and laughter and physical affection...these things were always present in our home.  The girls saw their daddy treat me like a queen and I enjoyed treating him like the king of our home that he is....which brings me to the topic at hand.... submission.

It saddens me today how messed up in their thinking ladies are about this subject.  The very mention of the word gets some ladies fired up and ready to fight... trust me, I've seen it time and time again as we travel in our ministry and this topic comes up in Nick's preaching.  In my opinion, this subject is one of the most important things to be taught on in pulpits.  We have so many wives who are ignorant to what God says on this subject....which is leading to messed up homes....and a messed up society. But that's a whole other  post.

So back to my girls... Lydia was married a couple of weeks ago.  Her daddy married them as he did her big sister, Elizabeth.  And can I just say it was incredible?  Not just the daddy marrying the daughter part...yes, that is as special as they come.  But the the things he shared were so real and heartfelt and most importantly...full of Truth.  God's truth.  He had us laughing one minute and and then crying the next.  It couldn't have been any more  perfect.


And of course as he encouraged Lydia and Marcus with wisdom and exhorted them with the scripture, somewhere in the message He shared with Marcus that Lydia was the weaker vessel and she was to be treated as such....To love her and listen to her heart and lead her in what God says on a subject.  And he told Lydia to respect Marcus at all times... to honor him in their home and in front of people. He shared one of our "secrets" and that is the fact that Nick and I never belittle each other..we don't talk bad about one another or dwell on each others faults...not to each other and certainly not in front of other people.
Anyways...I could go on and on about what he shared.  The ceremony was so beautiful and God was glorified.

Now.... jump to the reception and to where I'm going with this. Everything was beautiful.  We were overwhelmed by all the friends and family that came to celebrate with us.  The church was packed...people were standing along the side of the building and in the back because we ran out of space.  Overwhelmed by the friends and family the Lord has blessed us with.


Now what I'm about to tell y'all did not put a damper on any of the glorious festivities... in fact, Lydia didn't even tell us until after they got back from the honeymoon.  But I'm so thankful for the foundation of truth that has been laid in our girls that has given them the ability to discern things for themselves.  And Lydia was able to see the deception and a person devoid of what God says on a subject immediately.

At the reception a lady comes up and congratulates her on how wonderful everything was and how beautiful she looked and then makes it a point to tell our daughter, "Oh...and Don't you EVER let ANYONE tell you that you are weaker than ANYONE."    And then hugs her neck.

Now as a follower of Christ ...let me say how sad that makes me that women everywhere are so ignorant of what God has to say on this subject.  1 Peter 3: clearly states "  Husbands, likewise, dwell with them (wives) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that our prayers may not be hindered."  We are by design different than men.  We are equal in our value in this world and in the eyes of the Lord.  But He chose to make women different from men...he made us physically weaker in need of a protector.  I understand that is not a welcomed thought in this society and even amongst some Christian circles.  I understand that our society has changed so much and men have become so emasculated by over domineering women in their lives that the example of strong male leadership has diminished over the years.  I understand that.  But it doesn't' change what God's word has to say on a subject.   Whether we like it or not.

Don't get me wrong....at one time in my life, when the Holy Spirit wasn't residing in me, illuminating Truth to me, it would have ruffled my feather's too.  I was once ignorant of what God said on this matter too...just as I am still growing in grace and knowledge today...I get that.

So as a fellow sister in Christ it saddens me of the illiteracy of God's word and therefore ignorance of some people....particularly this woman.

But let me say as a mother...this incident makes me angry.

Lydia is a young woman who has just become a wife...about to start her journey with all its joys and trials that will follow.  And AT HER WEDDING...this lady feels the need to try to plant seeds of discord in this young brides heart.... This lady comes bearing gifts of worldly garbage that is useless to my daughter. Trash that needs to be thrown away. Unbelievable.  She tries to discredit what Lydia's daddy has taught her and emulated for her in our home ( that has worked beautifully by the way b/c its GOD's way) and  gives her "stellar advice" to basically never submit to Marcus if she wants to be happy.

What nerve.  Yeah...kinda got this momma bear riled up.

Ladies,  Submission is freedom.  Don't believe the lie of the world that tells you it demeans you, or lessens your value as a person.  God has given us boundaries to live within. And as a wife one of those boundaries is to be submissive to our husbands.  (Ephesians 5:21-19) It is a freeing thing....not bondage.  When we choose to submit to our husbands it is not showing weakness....quite the contrary!  It shows strength.

Knowing that God has chosen to design me as the weaker vessel does not threaten me or my sense of worth.  It does not make me angry and it doesn't make me feel any less of person.  Understanding that I was created with a different purpose and then learning to walk in that purpose has given me such joy in my role as a wife and mother.  I no longer compete with my husband on matters in life, I complete him.  We are a team and I am an asset to him.   We need each other.  It's a beautiful thing.

These are principles we have lived by for the past 15 years in our marriage and I can testify that it is only gotten sweeter and sweeter with each passing year.  Is it because we are special or perfect?  No way. It's because we have heart to honor God's word and He gives us the grace to do that each day.

I pray this foundation we have laid for all three of our girls in our home before them each day will be the very glue that binds their hearts to their husbands for many many many years to come.



ps. It has been almost a year since I wrote this post....we are approaching our 25th anniversary and yes.....it is sweeter than ever.  Praise God!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Losing to Gain: week one

Well as of this post, it's been a little over a week since we all four started this challenge.
I had no idea what an amazing journey we were embarking on.  I thought going public would definitely hold us more accountable...and it has...but all of the response from all of you has been incredible.  Y'all are some of the best cheerleaders and encouragers in the world.
Not to mention the many emails, comments and texts from those of you who are making changes too! 
Yay to encouraging each other!

I could go on and on but I know why y'all are here....
You want to know which of us came in on top!

Well, we all have done amazing but this week goes to....


She took the lead this week with a whopping 7 pounds lost and 3.83% weight loss percentage!!

BUT....the rest of us didn't do too shabby either!

Elizabeth lost 4 pounds with a 2.07%  weight loss percentage!
I lost also lost 4 pounds with 1.93% weight lost percentage!
 Lauren is the underdog this week losing 1 pound with .67% weigh loss percentage!

We are all pretty excited because even though the scale and weight loss is just a number we are using in order to win a 'contest"...  all four of us are already seeing changes in our bodies after one week!!


**Now before any of you freak out over Lydia's 7 pounds in one week and send me email after email with your concern over her health, she, along with the rest of us, are eating! And we are eating healthier than we have in years.  As I mentioned in first post...our aim is to make a lifestyle change.  So  no gimmicks, fad diets and stuff like that. I guess when you consume as much cokes and junk food as we all had gotten accustomed to, our bodies are just really flushing it all out these first couple of weeks.  

I asked the girls to share something that they have discovered to be successful and helpful to them on this journey to getting fit.  And also to share what was most challenging.  

We hope it encourages and helps someone and of course we LOVE hearing from y'all what has worked for you!  

******************************************************************
Team Ladeea
If you follow her on Instagram than you've seen all her tea pics.  
The rest of us think she has some secret weapon in those cups but she swears it is just plain old green tea.  ;)
  • Her tip:  "lots of lots of water....like all day long I'm sipping on water and I have a cup of green tea every afternoon."
  • Her  biggest challenge:  she never gave me one.  I guess her 7 pound loss proves that this week. lol.


Some of  her snacks.

******************************************************************************

 Team Baby Lady

 Here  I was worried the most about Elizabeth since she is isolated from us being so far away and she has the challenge of  tending to her children nonstop with less time to focus and prepare for changes.... but she snuck up and  came in second this week!!

Her tip: "We ALL are drinking water. The Mio liquid has helped the kids want to drink water more (and me) "


Her biggest challenges this week: 

  • 1." The first few days were horrible. My body had a hard time adjusting to all the healthy changes, and I was very irritable and tired for the first 3-4 days. BUT I'm glad I stuck it out because I'm feeling much better now!!" 
  • 2. "That I can't eat everything my kids eat. They eat pretty healthy, but I have taken a lot of things out of my diet that I still allow them to eat (like bread) that I have chosen not to." 
  • 3. "I have found it very difficult to exercise with my husband's crazy schedule when I have all three kids by myself. I'm still figuring that all out :)"

*********************************************************************

KaHoney
Well, I am just amazed at how I feel!  I can't believe how sugar was sucking out my quality of life.  I have actually enjoyed working out....which for now consists of different types of walks on the treadmill.  Sometimes I climb hills and sometimes I walk super duper  fast thinking in my head.."oh wow! are you about to take off running Stephanie?! Are you actually becoming a jogger ?!"  And then right about that time, I hyperventilate and almost fly off the treadmill ....so I slow it down a notch.  
 But the main thing is I'm DOING something.

  • My tip: My success I've found this week has been drinking all the water!  I find I drink it more and enjoy it more if I pour it into one of my cute mason jars and add lemon and drink it through a straw.
  • I only allow myself to watch my favorite shows when I'm walking on the treadmill.  (On Netflix or Hulu using my Ipad)
  • I'm jotting down what I eat.  I'm not counting calories or carbs or anything like that.  Just keeping track of what I'm eating.  It keeps me accountable and I can always go back and see what I was eating on the weeks I had the most success and also keep track of stuff that may have sabotaged me .

 (My amazing planner I use can be found here at my friend Emmy's Much Ado About You. If you like to do things the old fashioned way and write them down and flip pages and draw doodles and use stickers, then you really need one of these.)

  • My biggest challenge:  I am trying to really make better choices about what I'm putting in my body. One of the things I'm most convicted about is all the artificial sweetener I had been consuming.  I used Splenda.  Since I drink a lot of coffee all day long, I was using waay too much of the stuff.  I'm also trying to wean myself of all of the creamer and eventually  go black.  But I'm not sure how that is working out for me. Probably ain't gonna happen.


    ***************************************************************** 

Team Bridezilla
Now Lauren may have come in last this week, but this girl has the most determination than anyone I know.  Not just with losing weight for this challenge but I'm talking about life in general.  She very seldom gives up on anything.  So I am not in the least bit counting her out of this race.  Plus....she's the bride!!!   She's got a wedding coming up and I've seen first hand twice already with her sister's how things kick into gear the closer it gets.  But those of you rooting for Team Bridezilla need to cheer on her on!!

  • Her Tip: "My tip is to not jump into exercising TOO much during the first week. Normally with my crazy determination I want to go full force right in the beginning and then I get burnt out. Instead I only worked out every other day and It hasn't been hard for me. I've enjoyed doing, so now this week makes me want to try harder and step it up a notch. I am going to try to add something a little bit more challenging to my workout every week. Moving slow but long lasting improvement."
  • "If you're addicted to Coke like I was and was really used to all the caffeine,  instead of drinking a coke, drink hot tea in the morning and eat an apple or two during the day. It takes the edge off. I use to drink at least 3 large cokes a day and now I'm only doing one cup of tea a day and eating healthier snacks and I've been more awake and my cravings are not nearly as bad." 



  • Her biggest challenge: Being in cosmetology school from 8am to 4pm five days a week has been hard with eating healthier.  Packing lunches and snacks with a variety has been tough. Not to mention all the other girls eating pizza and hamburgers and donuts and stuff like that around me all day. 

We group text each other all throughout the day.  We like to talk smack but we also have been encouraging each other and sharing tips.    Loni is my mom....She keeps it real for us! lol




Well there ya have it folks. Week one.
Ladeea is coming doooown.


I may or may not get to share here every week.  But you can follow us on Instagram!  We are using the hashtag  #losingtogain to document anything pertaining to the challenge!
@honeyholden  @mythreearrows  @lydialovesmarcus  @laurenalexis19


                                                                                        

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Will you be my bridesmaid? {diy wedding project}

Lauren wanted to do a little something special when asking her bridesmaids to stand by her side on the day of her wedding.  Funds were limited so we had to be frugal. But I love what she came up with.

They each received a little cardboard box with their initial on the top.

When they opened them up there was lots of gold dust and feathers.
(When Lauren was a little younger, glitter was her signature.)
It's in her blood. ;)
.....  although she was bold and would wear glitter....like on purpose.  
I just used it in all my crafts and would occasionally end up wearing it....on accident.





She has always had a heart for vintage prettiness so I whipped her up some bobby pins using vintage earrings to go into each box. Along with glitter, bobby pins are another one of Lauren's signatures!....she leaves a trail of bobby pins wherever she goes. 
 So this was perfect for her!



When the girls pulled the gold cord, out popped this little message!




So sweet and so inexpensive.

  • The boxes we found at Hobby Lobby for $.99....and don't be like me and forget to pull the sticker off the bottom!
  • We used card stock I already had....you could use any color you'd like
  • I used a punch to make the scalloped circles...you can find these at Hobby Lobby and use a 40% off coupon if you don't have one.  I use this for everything! 
  • The gold ribbon was less than a dollar.
  • And we painted the staples before we put them in the stapler with a gold paint pen to make them match the ribbon!
  • You could tuck any little happy in the bottom that would be significant and more "you".  Lauren wanted the vintage bobby pin made by her momma (she's so sentimental) but you could hide a cute pair of earrings, a necklace, a piece of chocolate....anything!




                                                                                 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lessons from the ice cream truck.


Oh the joy.
The anticipation.
Do you remember waiting for the ice cream truck?
To have your own dollar to choose whatever you wanted?

That when the sound of that music would reach your ears, you would drop whatever you were doing to run and get your dollar and get in place..to get in position...to be waiting...in the right place so the driver didn't pass you up.


When Elizabeth sent me this picture yesterday of the kids with all their new little  friends in the neighborhood waiting for the ice cream truck,  my heart literally melted a little as I stared as this pic.
It's cuteness...the innocence...the pureness of it.
She later told me it took two hours of waiting.
TWO HOURS y'all.  In kid time that equals two days!
But they waited and yes it did come and they enjoyed sweet treats.


And then I thought wow.  What if we all treated our quiet time with the Lord like this?
With all the joy and anticipation of knowing He is coming to deliver us something sweet.
That when we opened the pages of His word, it would be as sweet as the sound of that ice cream truck music.....because you know you're about to get something good.
What if we would drop everything we are doing to get into position to hear from Him.
To wait as long as it took to get a word from Him?

And what if once we got a taste of that sweetness, we couldn't wait to share it with others..
to tell them about it so they could have some too.


What if.


"Oh God, You are my God; I earnestly search for You.  My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water.  I have seen You in your sanctuary and gazed upon Your power and glory.  Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise You!  I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast.  I will praise You with songs of joy."
Psalm 63:1-5

"Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trust in Him!"
Psalm 34:8


  
I'm joining my sweet friend Carissa today on this lovely Monday.

                                                                                       

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Losing to gain

This is what is going down around here.
All of us Holden women have let a few pounds slip up on us this past year.  Some of us (ahem) more than others.  None of our clothes fit anymore, we have no energy, and just feel yucko.  It happened for various reasons...mostly emotional eating which apparently they have inherited from me.  We eat when we are stressed (or rather drink Cokes and Dr. Peppers).  We eat when are tired.   And.... we eat when we are happy.   We are a family who loves to celebrate and we love food.  So the odds are against us when it comes to losing weight. 

 We also have another wedding coming up and we'd all like to look and feel great on Lauren's big day. We've done a lot of complaining but haven't really done anything about it. We've all tried to get motivated but have just been stuck in a rut.


Enter in Loni.
This is my mom. Their grandmother.
This woman is a mover and a shaker. She doesn't sit still for much of anything and she has the heart the size of Texas.  She also knows how these girls thrive on a little friendly competition with each other....I mean, she has played board games with us on numerous occasions.  She knows firsthand how vicious it can get.  So when she suggested "sponsoring" a little weight loss competition between the girls to give them an extra boost of motivation, I was like say wha?  Sign me up too!  And when I say sponsoring, I mean she has funded a generous prize to the competitor who loses the most!...as in a weekend beach trip OR a shopping spree for a new wardrobe!!  We haven't settled on which yet.

Whoop Whoop!!

Well let me tell you....THAT put some fire under our butts and gave us the motivation we needed.
We decided to "go public" with our little challenge because we'd love some encouragement and accountability over the next several months.

So here we are.
Meet....




 Don't let the Honey part fool ya.  She may be a grandma but she's more like tidal wave when it comes to winning....she plans to swallow the other's up and spit them out just for the fun of it.  She's been known to go loco at times and if opponents aren't careful with KaHoney, they won't even know what hit them.  This grandma would rather eat you for lunch than bake cookies for you. Keep your eye on The KaHoney.  



 Baby lady is one tough cookie. She's no one to mess with. She's birthed three kids in the past four years and can leap over a sofa to wipe a snotty nose while changing a dirty diaper with the other hand in the blink of an eye.  She's watched enough Yo Gabba Gabba over the past year to snap at any moment.  You don't want to get in the way of this momma...she's one crazy baby lady and she will take you doooown.


 Ladeea ...which rhymes with Madea..is just plain scary. She won't hesitate to cut you down to size with that insane wit of hers and get all up in your face and do what she does best.....mess with your mind.  Intimidation is her secret weapon and she loves to make people cry before breakfast.  She's been known to steal candy from small children AND old ladies. She's a force to be reckoned with. And I ain't tiddin.


Meet Bridezilla. She ain't letting no one get in her way of stealing any thunder from her on her big day.  She is fast as lightening and fear is not in her vocabulary.  Her head is as hard as they come and she has two emergency room visits to prove it.  She's so fierce, as a child all she had to say was "move it sucka" and people would tremble and flee.  She's been waiting for her glory day in the hot sun and will take out anybody who stands in her way.  No more being bridesmaid....it's Bridezilla now!



There ya have it folks.
The four contenders.  
When the dust settles there will only be one winner left standing to claim Loni's prize.

BUT we will have all gained.
Gained our health.
Gained self control.
Gained energy.
Gained resolve.
Gained our lives back and feeling good.

So wish us all luck as we're losing to gain!!
We will keep you posted.
Please don't hesitate to hold us accountable or encourage us  as you "see" us around  on facebook or instagram....Especially you friends that know us in person and see us for reals. 
We'll be using the hashtag #losingtogain

Of course, we all know the others don't stand a chance against KaHoney..
but don't tell them that ok.   I mean, I'd like a LITTLE competition. ;)


                                                                                                 

ps.  in case you're wondering...we are doing this the healthy good old fashioned way....exercise, eating less and making changes to the types of food we are putting into our bodies.   No fad diets, gimmicks or pills.  We all want to make a lifestyle change. Bam.

pss.  No, you can't join us to win the prize. This competition is only open to me and the three girls I birthed into this world.  I'm sorry.  I wish everyone in the world had Maw Maw Loni's in their lives.  She is the best for sure! BUT hey...you can join us on the journey to healthy living!  I'd love to hear about the changes and choices you are making!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What I wore...learning to dress the "new me".

So it's no secret I've put on some weight.  About 45 lbs to be exact.  
Now I know I'm not morbidly obese or anything, but I feel yucky and tired and most of my clothes don't fit right anymore.  I'm not complaining and I'm definitely not fishing for compliments...I'm just being honest where I'm at and wanting to share a few tips how I've changed my wardrobe up a little to better suit my new body type.  Maybe this will help a sister out.

You see, I love little tees and cardis a lot....
I love to wear them with skirts, with jeans, with my converse, with everything.
But the problem is I now have this roll around my middle that a cardi no longer hides.
I know some of y'all know what I'm talking about.

Anyways, any time Nick goes shopping with me and he picks out stuff he likes for me to wear, it's always these long tunic tops that I kinda don't like much.  I would wear them for him but hate them.  I loved them on other people but on me I always felt a little frumpy.
But now that my shape has kinda shifted...all to the middle...I was ready to try anything to make me feel cute again.  So recently while in my favorite store, Dirt Cheap, I came across some of these tops and decided to give them a second chance.  And guess what?...
I really feel cute when I wear them.  Bam. 

I would list where the clothes/shoes are from but all of these clothes were either thrifted or bought at Dirt Cheap (which is a salvage store chain in the south).






I highly recommend a handsome little grandson dude on your hip.  They are the best accessory evah!

This is my dressed up version of this top....





And this is my casual version with jeans and flip flops.
My leather cuff you see in several of these outfits is made by my friend Becky.  You can check out her blog here.  Her shop is open at limited times so you gotta snag one when you can. I pretty much wear mine  with everything.





Of course....I still wear my cardis and converse.  I have just had to buy a few bigger ones!
But when Dirt Cheap has Target cardis for $1.00..... I let myself splurge.  ;)



What about you?  Have you had to find yourself changing things up in your closet to better flatter your body type?  I'd love any  tricks and tips you may have up your sleeve.

                                                                                               
ps. stay tuned for a little something me and my girls are doing to get fit. 
There may or may not be some competing going on amongst the Holden girls.

pleated poppy

Monday, April 15, 2013

When the dust settles

Happy Monday y'all. 
We are back from our trip to bring the grandchildren home. I have so much to share....things God has taught me _ reminded me of_ through watching my grandkids do life. I can't wait to document those moments here for them to cherish...but that's for another time.  

Today it has hit me as look around at my little nest...

 I see the evidence left behind of little souls at play.  Toys still scattered on the floor that didn't get picked up on our hectic morning of departure. I see evidence of a wedding in the works as I look at little projects in the corners of my house that means my  last daughter at home will be leaving me soon.

And we returned home to some not so fun life stuff ....like a wonky wi fi that wouldn't work and a broken hot water heater and waking up to a full blown sinus cold.   None of this stuff is major.   It just seems more disappointing...more of a let down.... in contrast to the week I just experienced.

And it got me thinking about life. My life.
That when the dust settles after the whirlwind of raising kids, planning weddings, long visits with grandkids.... when the disappointing and hard stuff happens..

I'm glad it's always this guy that is left by my side.
There is no one else on this planet that "gets me" like he does.
He is the person I'd rather be with more than anyone else.  
We get asked often what our "secret" is.
This quote that was on the back of our church bulletin this Sunday sums it up perfectly.
(Thanks Karen for finding stuff with substance to share with us each week on our bulletins!)

"When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now....when first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased."
C.S. Lewis









 Putting first things first.

Jesus, Nick and then my girls. 
That may sound selfish but there is truly nothing better we can give our kids than them seeing their momma and daddy love each other with a vibrant healthy relationship. Nick and I have always made sure we had time for each other...sometimes we had to fight for it when the girls were small and so physically demanding but we made it a priority in our marriage.  
  Time for each other is the fuel that keeps the passion burning.


Make the time for your man.
Clear your calendar if you have to. Drop a few activities.  Say no to friends.  Turn off the tv.
Turn off the computer.  Put down the phone.

 Trust me on this one girl.  It's worth it.




Before long the dust is gonna settle for you too and 
you really want to like the person you're standing next to.


                                                                                        
ps.  Gotta give props to our daughter, Elizabeth, for sharing her gifts with me and her daddy.  These pics were taken by her.  Against her professional photographer self, I took the disc before she could edit any of them. They are straight out the camera...except for a couple that I edited on my Ipad.   You can check out her photography blog  here.
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