Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lesson(s) Learned: Bye Bye 2009!

Where did the time go my friends?  I don't know, but as I sit on this comfy couch to type my very last blog entry for 2009, I thought I'd share with you the two most important lessons that I have learned this year.  My prayer is that they will help to develop me into a more Christ-like woman. 

What My Experiences From 2009 Have Taught Me (the abridged version! LOL!):

Most Important Lesson #1: PRAYER!
I've discussed this in a previous blog.  This year has taught me more than ever about the necessity of prayer.  It is our communication to the Lord Jesus Christ and it has built/strengthened my relationship with Him in a way that has done WONDERS for me this year!!  I look forward to 2010 to continue to better my prayer life and thereby form an even closer walk with Jesus!!  Within the latter portion of 2009, I can say that I have whispered and cried out prayers and watched Him answer them in ways that I couldn't even imagine.  Prayer has strengthened my confidence in Him and I truly cannot relay any words to tell you all how important it is to continue to better this aspect of life!! The rewards are priceless!!

Most Important Lesson #2:
Treat Others Like You Want to Be Treated EVEN IF It Is Not Reciprocated!
The tendency to return hurt for hurt, evil for evil, gossip for gossip is carnal.  It is not Holy.  But man oh man, is it a natural reflex most of the time.  (Luke 6:32-34)  Whether it's a close friend, family member, co-worker, associate, enemy, or those people in our lives we can't seem to categorize, it is clear that LOVE is a commandment, not an option!  It is also clear that Jesus presented us with a perfect example (Himself) of love so that we would treat others with love ESPECIALLY WHEN it is not being reciprocated.   Clearly, this is not something that I am just now hearing about in 2009.  But 2009 has taught me that there is no true peace of mind until I truly grasped and put into practice that regardless of the hurt one may feel, love MUST be what we respond with or give in return.   Nope, not saying that I have mastered this concept in 2009, but I can say that I am learning and able to see the growth in this area of my life.   It has not always been easy to accept that not everyone will value things as I do--holiness, friendship, time, family, etc...-- but despite that, I must not allow things/circumstances/situations/people to shade my view of what I value most!

Alrighty my friends, it is time for me to head to service.  If you're reading this in 2009, leave anything that is not positive and Jesus-glorifying in 2009.  If you're reading this in 2010, Happy New Year!  And I truly do hope that this year is your very best yet!!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankfully, Better Late Than Never...

While the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, my blog entry about my fantastic Thanksgiving is just now making an appearance.  This year Troy & I traveled to his hometown of Mt. Pleasant, SC to visit the family!  Here are a few highlights:
  • Bootleg Parade.  Upon arriving to Mt. P, Troy and I were sad to find out that Snowden's (the area where Troy's parents live) annual "parade" was not going to happen this year.  Now, let me clarify what this "parade" consists of: random people in the neighorhood riding in trucks, fire trucks, small bikes, & motorcycles with signs on their cars & children throwing candy.  It is pretty much as bootleg as you can get.  But I sure was looking forward to taking pictures and sharing them with my blog readers!!  I will never forget my first experience with the Snowden Community "parade" Thanksgiving 2004 on my first visit to Mt. P to meet Troy's extended family! 
  • Midnight Outlet Shopping!!  This year was my first experience going out to the outlets at midnight!!  Accompanied by Allison and her sister Kristen, we arrived at Tanger Outlet in North Charleston right at midnight only to find traffic, a PACKED outlet, and not-so-nice people fighting over parking spots.  It was so crowded that I had to park across the street from the stores at IHOP.  The shopping was pretty fantastic I must say!  50% off EVERYTHING in Banana Republic & Ann Taylor Factory Outlet (probably my two favorite stores out there!) and other great deals everywhere else!!  

The lines were pouring out of Coach & Rue 21
(still trying to figure out whether Rue 21 was giving away clothes!)
It was crazy!! 

  • Black Friday Mall Shopping!  So, after leaving the outlet's at 3:30 a.m. (by the way, when we left the outlets Chick-fil-A and IHOP were crowded!! It was such a surreal experience!  I mean there were so many people out at 3:30 a.m. it was unbelievable!) I headed back home and thought I'd sleep in until about 11:00 or so.  BUT NO!  I woke up at 9:00 with coupons and an itch to hit the mall.  So while Troy rested I started part 2 of black Friday shopping and OH what great deals I found on items for myself, Troy, and our nieces! 
  •  A Few of My Favorite Finds/Bargains.
$12.00 at Ann Taylor
So many great deals!

 Winter Purse from Banana Republic
50% off!! 

Blue boots!!! Man, this was such a fun purchase!
Thanks to a BOGO deal & coupon they cost like $10.00!

FREE Dress from Ann Taylor Outlet :-)
Super fun belt $6.00!

Winter Calvin Klein Dress
Warm & Comfy!
  • Sister from Another Mother (not literally, but spiritually speaking! Had to come back to update this b/c people thought Allison was my half sister)Troy and I visited our other Charleston family on Friday afternoon--Allison's family.  Troy and Allison's dad had MORE than a ball together once Troy found out that Mr. C owns a Hammond and once Mr. C learned that Troy knows how to play the organ.  It was SO hilarious to see Mr. C break out the keyboard and his saxophone and the two of them played until it was time for dinner.  Literally!  They paid us women no attention until it was time to eat!  It was major fun though!  

Troy playing the organ, Mr. C on the keyboard & Allison and Mrs. C
singing "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" along with the two men!

Allison joining the men by pecking away on her piano from childhood

Thankful for seeing another Thanksgiving,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let Me See Ya' Work It Out!

Calling all ladies who have busy schedules & want to stay in shape.  I have a recommendation for you--Jillian MIchael's 30 Day Shred.  This exercise DVD is convenient, tough, and really brings about results!  In 20 minutes you get a warm up, 3 circuits of exercise, and a cool down.  Now, please don't be fooled by 20 minutes--it is 20 minuets of non-stop terror/movement!

The Setup:
The DVD comes with 3 Exercise Levels (I'm currently on Level 2).  Each 20 minute Level has 3 circuits each of which consist of 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, and 1 minute abs.  You will need hand weights (I'd recommend 2-3 pounds) and I use a jump rope for the air jump ropes.  Jillian has 2 assistants working out with her--one doing beginner moves and the other doing the advanced techniques.

What I Really Like About the DVD/Workout:
  • 20 minutes!  Very manageable with my schedule 
  • 20 FULL minutes--I am moving the entire time, sweating, panting, screaming, etc...
  • the increased levels of difficulty
  • the toning results & how fast they show!  In particular arms, abs, & legs.
  • every body part is worked on by the end of the workout
Jillian is no joke so let me put that out there! Level 2 is pretty brutal, but each day I "punk out" less than the day before.  Troy also "motivates" me by saying "Don't quit!!" "go lower!!" "don't do those girl push ups!" (LOL!) from time to time!  Here's a compilation clip courtesy of youtube for your reviewing pleasure! :-)

If you purchase the DVD please let me know your thoughts and how you progress! This really is great for a pre or post-work workout for us busy women who have demanding jobs/activities, husbands to feed, or children to tend to, etc...

Kicking & Screaming...& Exercising along the way,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This picture popped up in my google reader today and I cannot stop laughing!! I just had to share!

The Ultimate Snuggie!! 

I'm a big fan of a warm blanket on the couch...but this one is something else!  I know her feet are cold!