An Encouraging Word

God will deepen our faith, cultivate our character, and water our parched hearts.

~Patsy Clairmont~

Marilyn Meberg writes in Managing Your Moods chapter 7

“I love plants. My home and office wouldn’t seem quite the same without green things scattered about. I’ve had ivies, ferns, gardenias, cyclamen, ficus trees, lemon trees, peace plants, palms, shamrocks, and sweet potato vines. Over the years I’ve had varying degrees of success with these plants, mainly because I sometimes forget to water them. Now, a plant can get along okay without spritzing and dusting and fertilizing, but when you forget to water it, it just shrivels up and dies. The end. That’s why most of my plants are philodendrons. They’re virtually indestructible. They even bounce back if you forget to water them for a week or so. They take my absentmindedness in stride.

Sometimes I think my heart is like a philodendron, because I don’t always take good care of it. It gets dusty with disuse and I forget to feed it. Worse, I withhold it from God, and it suffers times of drought. But whenever I come to my senses and return to the Lord, my heart is soaked in living water and revives.”

Jeremiah 31:25 (NLT) For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.

Matthew 11:28 (NLT) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

It never ceases to amaze me how God speaks to us at just the right moments with exactly what we need to hear from him. I found this part of the devotional so encouraging that I just wanted to share it and maybe God will use it to encourage  someone else.

For His Glory Alone,

Katie

Peachtrees to palmtrees

So yesterday was a pretty exciting day. First, I found out that all of us Georgia Grahams, Scott, Nicole, Jason and myself were accepted into the the lottery for the Peachtree Roadrace on the 4th of July. This apparently is one of the biggest running events in Atlanta with 60,000 participants and is a ton of fun. A bunch of the friends Scott and Nicole have introduced us to are also doing it so I’m super excited. I think it’ll be a fun way to start off our 4th of July festivities.

I also had my 3rd official Tennis practice. I’m not sure if I blogged about how I joined a Womens Tennis League. But I have and it’s been quite nerve racking since I’m no good at tennis. hahaha. After being devastated with my last weeks performance and wanting to QUIT Jason and I hit the courts 4 times last week and he helped me with my serve and gave me some other pointers, ya know b/c he’s a professional athlete 😉 Anyway, practice makes perfect (well it helps atleast) and I did so much better this week. I actually enjoyed it and no longer want to quit so that’s always a good thing right. I have a tendancy to want to quit things if I’m not any good at it haha. Can we say perfectionist!?

Karen and Matt got in late last night and will be spending the week with us. I just love having people come visit us. So that’s exciting! Karen brought her brand new macbook and I want one. (Just a little random sidenote haha. I’m using it right now 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

And we are only a week away from leaving for the beach house!! I am SO in need of a little getaway. Especially one that involves the ocean. 🙂

Did I mention that Jason and I will be celebrating our 5 year Wedding Anniversary on Friday?!?!?! Oh I have so much to add on that note. But I’m saving it for a separate blog. I’ll give you a sneak peek, the title will be something like “Don’t give up, There is HOPE…” hahaha

I don’t know I just felt like giving you a glimpse in the last couple days…. I plan to share with you the great quiet time I had last night when I have more time to get intimate 😉

 

I need to run…

So I haven’t blogged much about running. Probably because I got off my game in the midst of moving from Florida to Georgia and adjusting to weather changes. So I didn’t have much to write about on the subject. But since I gave birth to R nearly 3 years ago it has become something I really enjoy doing. I owe a lot of thanks to my girlfriend Erica who introduced me to running and got me doing my first events. Before she convinced me to sign up for my first EVER 5k I NEVER would have thought I could run. At that point I could barely make it around a 1/2 mile loop in our neighborhood. Yes it was sad but with Erica’s support and encouragement she helped me move beyond the difficulties and turned me into a runner like herself. I thought I was going to die on that Turkey Trot but I made it in somewhere around like 35 minutes (maybe even longer…) And after that Erica and I braved another 5k and a 1/2 marathon together within a 6 month span. This was the first sport I ever felt confident in and I really liked doing it.

I learned something about running that made me realize why I needed to do it. Not only was it good for me to get my heart rate up for a change but I realized it was an outlet for my anxiety. When I’m not running I find myself more anxious with those annoying chest pains. I’m more proned to feeling depressed and tired and unmotivated. But when I’m running I feel great physically, mentally and emotionally. It effects many areas of my life so positively that I believe I really need it to function, alongside my need for relationship and fellowship with Christ of course 😉

So about a month ago I decided to get my act together and get back into running. I’ve been following a training program and have an event picked out in October that I’m really looking forward to.

I would suggest that if you struggle with things like anxiety, stress, depression, ect. that becoming active in a sport like running might work for you too. And don’t be discouraged thinking you can’t do it, because I feel like I’m a prime example for someone who COULD NOT RUN. Of Course it did help that I had an amazing coach 😉 Erica definitely got me to places running I probably would have never realized had it not been for her.

Moving here has put me in a position where I don’t have the running buddies I had in FL. You can find groups like this one I found MomsRunThisTown and meet people who can help support and encourage you to your first or next event.

Just a little encouragement on that topic 😉

Chris and Kendra’s visit :)

Last weekend my brother and his wife came to visit with us for a few days. It was exciting to share our new home with them for the first time. We had a nice couple of days, the weather was beautiful, the guys played golf and Kendra and I got some shopping in with the girls. I actually even bought myself some clothes for the first time since we moved here. We played dominos at night and enjoyed catching up and cracking jokes. Kendra and I even got to have a pedicure together alone which was amazing. Haven’t had a pedi since Christmas. Yikes! You do not want to know what my feet looked like haha. We went to this place at The Avenues called Parisian. It was a really NICE place and when we first sat down in our swanky chairs I thought “Oh my goodness I did not even look at how expensive this is!!!” Fortunately they were VERY reasonably priced. It wasnt expensive at all in fact so I will definitely be returning there for my next pedicure in 6 months 😉 I need visitors more often so I can get a pedicure every once in a while. Whoooooo’s next?????

Anyway, back to our visit. I really enjoy watching the girls with family members. They call Kendra Aunt Chindra and I don’t plan on correcting them b/c I love it. Both Kendra and Chris are really good with my girls. They might think they should wait to have kids but I think they already would make fantastic parents.

I ❤ this photo. Such a perfect Uncle Niece picture ya know?

And M believe it or not took this picture of Chris and Kendra.

She also took this one of the four of us but was a little off haha.

Our sweet Domino trains. Chris using a horse, haha.

Before we left for Outback, alone. So fun 🙂

Clearly R likes taking pictures more than M haha.

All in all it was a pretty great weekend having those two love birds with us.

The Lovies

I’ve decided that I want to start putting on “paper” (or blog) the things the girls do daily that I think are funny, cute, even irritating. As a mother I like to think I will remember every thing they do and when they do it but honestly, I have a terrible memory. I wish I would have kept one of those baby journals where you write down the day they rolled over, crawled, walked, talked…. but I neglected too. And I swore I would remember those days but I don’t. I find myself trying to figure out when they did those things by looking at photos but even that doesn’t help too much. So before I regret having not written down any more memories I’m going to take action and just blog about it. I enjoy writing and blogging and it’s convenient and organized so it seems like a pretty good way to track things I don’t want to forget.

Now I know, and honestly don’t even care, that this may not be interesting to everyone. That’s not why I’m blogging about it here. This blog is somewhat like a journal for me. Feel free to skip over these if you don’t wanna read it, it doesn’t bother me. I certainly don’t think my life is so intriguing to the rest of the world that they would care to read this stuff. These blogs are for me and I imagine my parents will like them too. 🙂

One thing I want to start tracking is M’s favorite “lovies”. A lovie is something that a child hangs on to for comfort. Takes it everywhere, sleeps with it, and so forth. I always wanted my girls to get attached to a stuffed animal. R’s “lovie” is her Bama. Bama is a puppy dog that she built at build-a-bear.

He used to have a cute red sweater….not sure where that is. Anyway, R built Bama right before we moved to Georgia with a gift card our sitter Lauren (we miss you!) gave each of the girls. R takes Bama shopping, to the play ground, sleeps with him (or her), talks to him, plays with him like he’s alive, it’s pretty sweet. I definitely will remember Bama because R never changes who her lovie is. M on the other hand has never gotten attached to a single lovie for any length of time. She’ll hang on to something for no more than 2 weeks and then be attached to something else. And it’s not always a stuffed animal. One time she got a new pair of pink shoes and had to sleep in or with them every night for a week. She gets attached to books too. Right now her lovie is a little easter bunny care bear.

Before that it was this kitty cat my mom bought her that she named Basket.

Basket has definitely proved to be a favorite because she still goes back to him. Micaila brought Basket to the pound so she could find a cat that looks like him to bring home.

Basket will be one we definitely need to hang on too. She even bought Basket a friend… which she named Bella. Bella didn’t last long, (hmmm…. remind you of another Bella?? lol) I don’t even know where Bella is.

Then when we went shopping for that infamous Lamp in their room she HAD to have this ducky.

She spotted it while shopping and I told her if she was good the whole time we were there I’d get it. Well she was and would you know that I couldn’t for the life of me remember what ducky she wanted or where it was in this GIANT Antique place, but M knew EXACTLY where it was and lead me right too it. You really would have to see the Big Shanty to be impressed by that. Here are all her current favorite stuffed animals.

Lassie is the puppy she built at build-a-bear.

Other things I want to remember are the funny things the girls say or do. For example when they hide things. Last weekend when Chris and Kendra were in town we played dominos. Dominos comes with several different colored trains. The girls were fascinated by these trains and decided to hide them, my guess it was an attempt at keeping them forever. Well I can’t stand losing pieces to games so we were on the hunt to find the trains. When asking R and M where they hid them they gave us a few different spots. M eventually showed us one of her most special hiding spots that she hides very special things. In her blue chair it holds a cushion. M unzipped it and pulled the cushion out and went on to tell us that “Mommy’s very special ring was in there.” I said “What ring?” and again she informed me it was my special ring. Come to find that it WAS a special ring. My original setting and band packed full of diamonds is just chilling in her blue chair. I guess that’s a safe place but it’d probably be safer if I’d known about it lol.

oh how we love the things our children do……

5k and Soccer

Sunday was an incredibly busy day for the Graham Family. Jason had signed me up to run a 5k that his new job sponsors, thinking it would be on Saturday, well it ended up being on Sunday. Which wasn’t a really big deal. It was at 2 and we still were able to attend Sunday Worship. But it also was the day M was going to have her first soccer practice and game. So, right after church we head out to Atlanta for the race. It was the Hunger Walk/Run, to raise awareness and support for hunger and poverty relief locally and globally. It was a smaller event, but they had a lot of cool stuff for the kids. Bouncy’s, Slides, and we also got to meet Miss Taylor, from Kevin and Taylor in morning on 104.7 the Fish. Which is one of the Christian radio stations we have here in the ATL area. So that was “pretty cool”. (Guh, does anyone watch The Miley Show on SNL? lol) Anyway, we all had a blast and I happen to run it in my best time ever which was 26 minutes. Pretty coolsince I just got my booty back into running and I’m still not used to the hills here lol. Got to admit I DID think I was going to throw up after I crossed the finish line. haha. Yikes! Fortunately I didn’t.

M lookin ganstaaaa hahaha, yeah it was a little bright.

Got my shirt and thumbs up that its a small!

Me and R on the slide, pretty fun!

check out those sneaks 😉 lol

She won herself a hat!

And one for R!

Let the race begin!

That’s me waving with my hand in front of my face haha

Coming around the corner

Woo! Check out that stride.

Good times. Moving into M’s first soccer game. She did really great. A natural athlete like her father. Once she got her foot on the ball she was all over it. Scored some goals too. 😉

She has a little problem with listening to her coach… rebellious like her mother lol. We’ll need to work on those listening skills. She had so much fun though and didn’t want to leave the field. I’m kinda thrilled that she’s interested in this kind of sport versus dance or something. Dance makes me nervous these days.

Anyways, this weekend is going to be so much fun. My brother Chris and SIL Kendra are coming in town for the weekend. So… lots to do before they get here. 🙂 Catch ya on the flipside! 😉

The Entertainment Center

So Jason really ran with the DIY projects. When I said he got the itch after M and R’s little Toy/Book Shelf I was totally not kidding. The next day he started on an entertainment center to go under our TV in the Family Room. In about 4 days and 160 dollars he built this.

To make it fun he did the custom wine rack and wine glass holders. And he took the lighting from a china cabinet that we have but never turn the lights on. Nice little touch huh?

I’m going to get some baskets (like what I saw in the PB magazine) and set them on some of the shelves.

And he customized two of the shelves for his Xbox and our DVD’s. Pretty spiffy.

So I realized that I didn’t go into much detail of how he did both these pieces for so cheap. The big secret is that he used MDF instead of real lumber. Wood is not cheap and can make it almost pointless to build your own furniture after the money AND time you spend. But the MDF is SUPER inexpensive. Basically he used the MDF for the body of both pieces and then he added the moldings and trim which make it hard to believe that the entire thing isn’t wood. The major draw back when using MDF is you can not stain it, it must be painted. For childrens furniture, using white or black is no biggie. But since this piece was going in our family room, where there is already existing wood furniture we had a little bit of a dilemna when picking a color. I orignially thought we could just go with the off white and it would match our base boards, crown, and fireplace. But Jason thought we should do black and it would blend with the TV. When we went to Home Depot we found this Espresso color and we both felt like it’d be perfect. We had it mixed up in the Eggshell finish and are very pleased. 🙂