This & That… Links You’ll Love!

This & That

 

 

Hey, Friends! Here are a few links that I’ve loved over the last few days – and I wanted to share them with YOU!

 

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have done it again. Are y’all watching A PATH APPEARS? You should be.

A Path Appears

 

What can a Pregnant Photojournalist Cover? EVERYTHING!

 

Quick Tips Every Woman Should Know – How to be More Efficient – LOVED this graphic!

 

This video of a little Shirley Temple look-a-like calming her baby sister is ADORABLE!

 

Here’s a video interview where Alysha from An Intentional Future and I chatted about being intentional with family, even in the midst of trials. Check out the rest of her incredible Being Intentional video series. I was so honored to be part of it! P.S. – I didn’t realize just how much I talk with my hands!

BE-INTENTIONAL-WITH-FAMILY

 

This BAKED BRIE dish is most definitely in my near future! What’s your favorite way to eat Brie cheese?

 

MOM GUILT BINGO! Any other non-perfect moms out there? *wink*

 

I was thrilled to guest post over at my friend Cara Meredith’s blog this week! I shared a peek into how one of my daily routines with our boys became a treasured moment that I will remember forever!

A Mommy's Love - To Infinity... and Beyond

 

I found this article on why you should tell your kids how much money you make  FASCINATING! It helped me see financially training our kids in a whole new light.

 

And be sure to check out the JUST ONE OF THE BOYS Facebook page! We’ve had a couple of giveaways recently – a few of my FAVORITE THINGS!

A gorgeous bracelet from Future Hope Inc. in Haiti:

Future Hope

 

 

And a beautiful hand-burned wooden spoon from Rambling Tart in Australia!

Favorite Things ~ Hand Burned Wooden Spoon

 

I have even more giveaways up my sleeve, so like us on Facebook to stay in the loop! I just love sharing a few of my favorite things with YOU – my friends!

Did you come across any great articles this week? Try any killer recipes? Did a video make you laugh until you cried? I’d love to know all about it!

Wishing you an exquisite weekend!

Hugs,

~ G

 

 

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What I’m Into ~ January 2015 Edition

Hiya, Friends! It’s that time again – time to share in Leigh Kramer’s fabulous link-up – What I’m Into! I just love going through the other links and finding out what everyone has been reading, watching, eating, and into over the last month! I’ve found some of my new favorite blogs and people this way! So grab a fluffy blanket and a cup of tea, and let’s dish about January!

 

Mama’s Got a Brand New Bag!

My Beloved and our boys gave me an Etsy gift card for Christmas – and I finally found the perfect thing to get with it! It’s a purse/messenger bag that just happens to be made out of a coffee sack! I had another purse sort of similar, but it wasn’t as well-lined as this one. This one has pockets inside, plenty of room for my laptop, and a sturdy strap! I get compliments whenever I take it out – and I couldn’t be happier!

new purse

Check out the Etsy seller Sublime Surprises for more of her beautiful bags! Shipping was super fast, and she was a dream to work with!

 

Last Month’s Reading ~

 

January books

 

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen, by Queen Liliuokalani – Wow. I’m a history nerd, but I had no idea about the incredible life this woman lived! Definitely one of my favorite memoirs, and it has fueled my interest in learning more about Hawaiian history and culture!

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, by Nadia Bolz-Weber – Y’all. Now I understand all the fuss around this book. This book is not for everyone, but I really enjoyed her rich storytelling and fresh look at life, pain, addiction, and the church! And guess what??? She’s coming to Kansas THIS WEEK!!! And guess where I’m going??? Yep! My friend Andrea and I are going to have a little mommy road trip to go listen to her speak, and I couldn’t be more excited! Some girl time with my wonderful friend AND getting to listen to Nadia speak – Sounds like an awesome night to me!

Plot and Structure, by James Scott Bell – I learned so much about structuring a story this month! I probably highlighted straight up half of this book for future reference, but I feel as though I have a better grasp and understanding of what goes into a GOOD story, and why some things tend to work while others don’t work.

Essentialism, by Greg Mckeown – While I learned quite a bit about analyzing whether or not things in my life are essential, it wasn’t my favorite read of the month. I wanted so much to love this book – but it just didn’t hit it out of the park for me.

The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield – I breezed through this one. Full of quotes to get you fired up about living creatively, it was fine – but it’s probably not going to be one of my all-time favorites.

 

February’s Reading ~

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott – I’m continuing my quest to grow and learn as a writer. You can’t go wrong with Saint Anne! Every time I read her book I learn something new, and I’m already absorbing new things as I’m only a few chapters into it!

Books that Stick ~ Bird by Bird

 

The Ship of Brides, by Jojo Moyes – My friend Jan (Hi, Friend!) lent me her copy of this book yesterday at PE class. I love everything else that I’ve read from the author of Me Before You, so I’m excited to get started!

Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs – I mentioned HERE that my Beloved and I are re-reading this one together.

Shoal of Time, by Gavan Daws – A history of Hawaii, this one looks captivating!

The Betrayal of Liliuokalani: Last Queen of Hawaii, by Helena Allen – I’m telling you, I can’t get enough of this Queen. Her life was fascinating, and I can’t wait to learn more about this brave woman!

Liliu08

And if I finish those books, I have plenty of books to dive into:

A Prayer for Owen Meany, Found, Hands Free Mama, Essentialism, Fooling Houdini, and more! So many books, so little time…

What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear all about it!

 

Screen Time ~

Like almost everyone else on my Facebook feed, I watched the Parenthood finale last night. *sniff, sniff*

My Beloved and I watched Unbroken and American Sniper. Both were pretty difficult to watch – American Sniper especially for this military wife. But I thought that both were very well done. I’ve read and enjoyed Unbroken, but I might see if I can borrow my dad’s copy of American Sniper to learn more about Chris Kyle’s life.

I watched the first part in the documentary A Path Appears this past week, and again my heart feels so burdened by the stories that Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn! I love seeing the work that people are doing all over the world to free women who are enslaved in trafficking, and I can’t wait to see what things are spotlighted next week.

 

On the Blog ~

(Just click on the photos below…)

This month we revamped a series – Take a Little Time for YOU!

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

My friend Tammy shared 25 things she learned in 25 years of marriage ~

25 Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Marriage

 

I shared a few of my favorite links from around the web ~

This & That

 

We began a new series – Yours, Mine & Ours: Blending Families. This first part in the series focused on my 10 Favorite Books on Remarriage and Blending Families!

Yours, Mine & Ours- Blending Families

 

I shared a peek into our family’s evening routine – that has become a memory that I will never forget. A big thank you to my friend Cara Meredith for letting me share it as a guest post over in her corner of the world!

A Mommy's Love - To Infinity... and Beyond

 

I shared this post from last year for my little man’s birthday ~

Camden

 

And I was thrilled to join my friend Alysha in a video chat/interview where we talked about being intentional with our families while in the midst of trials.

BE-INTENTIONAL-WITH-FAMILY

 

Screen Time ~

Like almost everyone else on my Facebook feed, I watched the Parenthood finale last night. *sniff, sniff*

My Beloved and I watched Unbroken and American Sniper. Both were pretty difficult to watch – American Sniper especially for this military wife. But I thought that both were very well done. I’ve read and enjoyed Unbroken, but I might see if I can borrow my dad’s copy of American Sniper to learn more about Chris Kyle’s life.

 

What About You?

What have you been up to this month? Found any must-read books? Anything on Netflix catch your eye? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

Wishing you a phenomenal February!

~ Ginger

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How This Guy Stopped Me in My Tracks…

Quinn - Embrace the Weird

 

 

“Know what, Mommy? I like being Quinn.”

I’m so glad you like your name, Honey! I think it suits you.

“No, Mommy. I like being ME. I like Star Wars and my brothers and doggies and my friends and I’m good at math.”

 

Just like that. Not a pompous air about him. Just a little boy who likes being Quinn.

 

Of course he should like himself – he’s a cool little guy! He loves jokes, always has a goofy grin on his face, is meticulous with his things, has an incredible memory, and he’s such a good little helper.

 

And he had a killer mohawk when he was just a punk baby. What’s not to like?

 

Baby Quinn

 

The wheels in my mind began to turn, and I couldn’t help but wonder… Could I say the same thing about myself? Could I actually say those very words out loud about me?

 

Are you like me? I get embarrassed when someone gives me a compliment. Instead of just saying a simple, “Thank you,” I brush it off and turn it into a put-down about myself. I used to think that I was being humble by deflecting the kind and encouraging comments of others. It wasn’t right to find things that I actually liked about myself… But my little guy has once again opened my eyes and is helping me to change the mindset that I’ve had all my life – nearly 34 years – of never feeling good enough.

 

Baby Ginger1 (Small)

 

 

Y’all know how I’ve been working on taking a little more time for myself – but all of the nail polish, tea, and healthy breakfasts in the world are for naught if I don’t actually VALUE the life that I have been given – to be GINGER. Crooked smile and all.

 

Joanne Funk Photography picture of Ginger

 

I can’t be the only one who feels this way, and it would mean the world to me if you would join me! I’m going to start down this road of not just becoming okay with who I am, but actually liking me. I heard a wonderful message on Sunday similar to ones that I’ve sat through before – but this time I really heard it. I am not a mistake. I am Someone’s masterpiece, and He wouldn’t change anything about me. I have a feeling that this project will stretch me in ways that I’ve never had to grow before, but it’s kind of exciting, too!

 

So here’s my challenge to us for today: Let’s find ONE thing – (baby steps, friends!) – that we like about ourselves. It can be the color of your eyes, or the way you save your family money, or the fact that you can let loose and dance in the kitchen when no one is watching. What is ONE thing that you like about yourself? If you have trouble coming up with something – ask a friend what they like about you! I bet they can think of something. (I might have to do that one myself!)

 

When you have that ONE thing, write it down. On paper. With a pen so you can’t erase it. *wink* And then drop me a line in the comments and let me know what is the thing you discovered about yourself today? I’ll share mine with you, too!

 

Let’s be there for each other!

Hugs,

~ G

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To Infinity and Beyond…

A Mommy's Love - To Infinity... and Beyond

 

Today I am honored to be sharing a guest post at my friend Cara Meredith’s blog! She is hosting a wonderful series called RITUALS – about the small rituals of our daily lives that make the story deeper. Here’s a little taste of the story I’m sharing today…

My shoulders fell as I stared at the dirty pots and pans in front of me.

The rumble of brotherly wrestling from my older sons traveled down the hall. That wasn’t the sound of boys getting ready for bed. They didn’t seem the least bit tired, but I was exhausted.

Sigh. Maybe I should just tell them goodnight so I can cross this day off the calendar. They’ll understand.

My husband was deployed somewhere in the Middle East with the military, and I had spent a long day worrying about my Beloved while holding down the fort here at home. I couldn’t wait until I could crawl under my own covers and finally let this day fade away.

“Mommy, may you please snuggle with me?”

My youngest just looked so cute standing there in his dinosaur jammies, big brown eyes looking up at me. I love how he still mixes up his words sometimes, and I couldn’t say no…

To read the rest of the story that is close to my heart, please click over to Cara Meredith’s blog! Hope to see you there!

*Hugs*

~ G

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Take a Little Time ~ Take 4

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Happy Monday, Friends! How was your week? Did it fly by like mine did? I’m not sure where the weekend went, but it’s a brand-spankin’ new week and I’m ready to take it on… after I have one more cup of Earl Grey tea. *wink*

 

Last week I set a goal for myself to do at least ONE little thing for myself every day… just because. I shared my goals a few days late last week, but I was able to find just a few minutes here and there to do one little thing that made me smile. Best of all – they were free!

 

Wednesday: I turned on Pandora to enjoy one of my favorite stations (Glenn Miller’s In the Mood) while getting the house ready for our Home Team to come over that night. Cleaning is much more fun when you have swing music to help lighten the mood! What kind of music do you like to listen to while you clean?

 

Thursday: I shared this on Facebook and Instagram – “Know who aren’t getting much-anticipated root beer floats this afternoon? Three grumpy boys who shall remain nameless. Know who IS getting a much-deserved root beer float instead? ME! A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do! *wink*”

Root beer float

 

Friday: Curled up with one of my favorite writing books, Bird by Bird, before bed. I’ve been savoring its words for a few minutes each night ever since.

Books that Stick ~ Bird by Bird

 

Saturday: I wrote a story out about my boys that is very close to my heart to share with you this week!

A Mommy's Love - To Infinity... and Beyond

 

Sunday: I woke up with a hankerin’ to wear animal print. I remembered a retro-ish leopard print swing jacket that I hadn’t worn in a long time – and it became the basis for what I wore to church that morning! I don’t know why, but it made me smile, and it felt good to step a little bit out of my comfort zone!

 

Last Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Drink 60 oz. of water each day, and coconut water once or twice this week. I missed my goal one day this week with regular water, and only drank coconut water once this week – but I feel like I’m getting better overall! 
  • ~ Eat a healthy breakfast (or brunch) each morning. Yep!
  • ~ Take multivitamins each morning. I’m pretty sure I forgot these on Saturday, but I remembered the rest of the week.
  • ~ Put on real clothes during the week, and post pictures to The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore link-upI wore my Jayhawk sweats on Saturday during the basketball game, but otherwise I stayed out of my shlumpy clothes! 

comfy outfit

  • ~ Work out for at least 10 minutes five times this weekCheck! And I have the sore abs from Pilates to prove it!
  • ~ Remove my old polish and apply new polish to my toes. Would you believe that I still haven’t tackled this? I went to dig out my favorite winter polish and found that the lid was sealed tight. I guess I need to work on that so my toes can be a pretty peacock blue color this week!
  • ~ Memorize. Work on James 1:1-4 with a group of friends.
  • ~ Do at least ONE thing for myself every day… just because.
  • ~ Tackle that one project I’ve been dreading. I’ve started on it, but it isn’t finished. That will happen this week.
  • ~ Go easy on myself and my injured handThe swelling has gone down quite a bit, but I still can’t fit my wedding ring over my knuckle. My dad, the x-ray man, says I probably tore a ligament in it and have an evulsion fracture – and that I just need to be careful with it as it heals. It throbs when it gets bumped, but otherwise is  getting better – slowly, but surely!

 

This Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Continue to drink 60 oz. of water each day, along with coconut water once or twice this week.
  • ~ Work out 5 times this week for at least 10 minutes each day.
  • ~ Remove my old polish and apply new polish to my toes.
  • ~ Memorize. Keep working on James 1:1-4 with my group of friends.
  • ~ Spend some time outside enjoying the gorgeous (unJanuary-like) weather we’re expecting this week!
  • ~ Continue tackling that one project I’ve been putting off.
  • ~ Take multivitamins each morning.
  • ~ Put on real clothes during the week and stay away from my shlumpy sweats or workout clothes unless I’m actually working out.
  • ~ Do at least ONE little thing for myself each day… just because!
  • ~ Continue to read Love & Respect with my Beloved.

 

What About You? ~

 

I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

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Yours, Mine & Ours: 10 Favorite Books on Remarriage & Blending Families

Yours, Mine & Ours- Blending Families

 

I’ve shared with you before how our family is going through a big change. After nearly 5 years of living apart because of my Beloved’s military career and custody arrangements with my ex-husband, we are finally all under the same roof! This has been a HUGE cause for celebration, but it has also been a time of transition and learning how to blend as a family.

 

At times the growing pains have been downright painful.

 

When I became a single mom, I had to fight to develop independence. I am not naturally independent or gritty, but as I protected my three little cubs, this mama bear had to dig deep to heal and find a strength I didn’t know I had. The learning continued as Joe and I married and the boys and I were not able to be with him in his military travels. Living alone, going through months of deployments, along with basically having to conduct my day-to-day life as a single mom meant that for the last six years I have been the boss. I’ve made the decisions. I’ve made the feverish middle of the night ER trips alone. I have fixed the leaky pipe and mowed the yard. I did it all.

 

One day shortly after my Beloved finished his military career and was able to finally move home, I was rushing around the house and stressed to the MAX. You know how it is… Wash the dishes, move over the laundry, let the dogs outside, fold the laundry, let the dogs back in, step on a LEGO, wash the shampoo out of a little guy’s hair, check if the big boy’s room is clean, vacuum the stairs, check the homework papers. Joe kept asking me how he could help, but I just brushed him aside and said I was fine. I would take care of everything.

 

He gently took my the shoulders. “Honey, please let me help you. You don’t have to do it alone anymore. I am here. And I want to help.”

 

I looked up into the blue eyes which were radiating safety and unconditional love, and my walls began to crumble. That’s when the tears fell. The weight of the world was being lifted off my shoulders.

 

I really didn’t have to do it all on my own. 

I don’t have to do it all on my own anymore.

 

This isn’t the only area where I’ve failed. It has been a big transition for everyone in our family, and I want us to continue to grow together. I want our home to filled with love, teamwork, commitment, and respect for one another… and I need help. That’s when I decided to call in the experts. I approached several of my friends who have also been through remarriage and the blending of their families. I asked them for their tips for a newlywed couple like us, and their encouraging advice has been such a gift to me. I know that we are not the only family who is on this journey of blending right now – so I wanted to share what I am learning with YOU!

 

While there are so many things on my heart right now, I thought that first off I would share with you 10 books that have helped us over the years to begin laying the foundation for our marriage and our family. We worked so hard over the last five years to build a strong bond with each other and with our children, and we couldn’t have done it without this list!

 

These are the TOP TEN BOOKS ON MARRIAGE AND FAMILY that we read to help us get to where we are today:

 

The Remarriage Checkup

The Remarriage Checkup, by Ron L. Deal and David H. Olson – This is one of the first books that we read when we were planning to get married. It was an excellent help as we laid the groundwork for our relationship and future family! It’s on my list to re-read and refresh my memory now as we are finally getting to live together!

 

Saving Your Second Marriage Before it Starts

Saving Your Second Marriage Before it Starts, by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott – This was another wonderful book that we read “together” while my Beloved was deployed. We would separately read one chapter each day, then we would write to each other or talk about it what we learned whenever we could squeak in a phone call. I read this again once he moved home, and it was a wonderful reminder of the things we learned a few years ago!

 

For Couples Only

For Couples Only, by Shauni and Jeff Feldhahn – Another one of our long-distance deployment reads, we really enjoyed talking about the things we were learning about communication in this book!

 

The Smart Stepdad

The Smart Stepdad, by Ron L. Deal – This is a book that my Beloved read while we were preparing for our new family. I haven’t read it myself, but I think I will at least flip through it now that Joe moved home and it’s sitting on our bookshelf. I’d love to see what he learned and how I can encourage and support him in this transition. I’ll go into this more soon, but whatever he learned was awesome!

 

Love and Respect

Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – We are actually rereading this book together RIGHT NOW! It really is helping to smooth over the rough bumps that we have encountered during our transition so far!

 

Sheet Music

Sheet Music, by Dr. Kevin Leman – This was a fun read that dealt with cultivating marital intimacy. We read it out loud on a road trip (without the kids). *wink*

 

The Smart Stepfamily

The Smart Step-Family: Seven steps to a Healthy Family, by Ron L. Deal – We went to a Successful Stepfamilies conference where we learned about this book. A-mazing. And I’ll be rereading it again soon.

 

Cracking the Communication Code

Cracking the Communication Code, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – Are you sensing a pattern here? Communication is big! Big! HUGE! Sometimes I can’t understand why he thinks the way he does, and I’m POSITIVE that he’s thought that about me *wink* and this is a great book on breaking down the differences in how men and women communicate.

 

The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman – You can’t go wrong with this classic. Discover the different ways that you and your spouse give/receive love, and learn how you can keep their LOVE TANKS full! (This comes highly recommended by several of my blended family friends too!)

 

Living in a Step Family Without Being Stepped On

Living in a Stepfamily Without Getting Stepped On, by Dr. Kevin Leman – Dr. Leman is one of my favorite marriage and family authors. His practical advice and humorous commentary make it easy to fly through his books. I just put this book on hold for myself at the library again. I need the reminder, and it’s just that good.

 

More Recommendations~

I asked a few friends who have already traveled this road and blended their families to share their suggestions of books to read while blending families, and they gave me their awesome recommendations. I put these on hold for myself at the library, and I can’t wait to dive in!

The Smart Stepmom, by Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge ~

Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today’s Blended Family, by Susan Wisdom LPC

The Remarriage Blueprint: How Remarried Couples and Their Families Succeed or Fail, by Maggie Scarf ~

The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Ormartian ~

 

How About You?

Are there other books that have helped you in your own marriage and family? What would you add to the list? I’d just LOVE to see your recommendations!

Have you been through a remarriage journey of your own? If so, I would be thrilled to hear from you!

And lastly, do you know of someone who is also walking through a time of blending and transitioning? If so, would you send them a link to this post? It’s my heart’s desire to send encouragement their way as we walk this road together!

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ G

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Be Intentional With Family ~ In the Midst of Trials

BE-INTENTIONAL-WITH-FAMILY

 

Today I am thrilled to share with y’all a video interview that I had with my friend Alysha from An Intentional Future! She has been hosting a wonderful series this month on living intentionally, and I was honored when she asked me to be part of it! She has such a wonderful message – and I am so grateful to have connected with her through this crazy world of blogging!

 

This is what Alysha wrote about chat our on her blog:

Ginger of justoneoftheboys.com is no stranger to trials and heartache. From being left a single parent of three young boys as she watched her first marriage dissolve, to being transformed into a caregiver as her husband was diagnosed with cancer, she is no stranger to incredible difficulties. Despite it all, she has managed to thrive.

I believe the key to intentionality is effort. Ginger is constantly reevaluating how she can not only better serve her family, but herself. I hope you’ll watch and listen as Ginger shares specific tips for being intentional with family. I also hope you’ll visit and subscribe to her blog!

 

I had such a wonderful time chatting with Alysha! I had been nervous about my very first video chat, but she made me feel right at home. She even made me cry a little as I talked about my boys – in a good way, I assure you! Click HERE to watch our chat – and don’t forget to leave a comment to enter her FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY!

*Hugs*

~ G

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Take a Little Time ~ Take 3

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Happy Wednesday, Y’all! I’m a couple of days late with this post. I had an incident this weekend… I’m pretty sure my finger is broken. This is what happens when you have a houseful of boys and you try to hang with them while playing basketball. I reached in for a steal – and now I have a swollen, throbbing, purple appendage where my wedding ring is supposed to be. Anyway – I’m doing my best to hunt and peck with my other fingers on that hand. Part of my goals for this week will certainly be to “baby” my hand so it can heal. It’s a literal pain to do anything – laundry, dishes, washing my hair. It will get better in time, just not fast enough for me!

How did you do this past week? Are you taking a little bit of time just for you? I’m still trying to get over the mental hurdle of believing that if I take better care of myself – Mom, Wife, Friend, Writer – then I can better care for my loved ones. But it’s true! Let’s find a few ways that we can all care for ourselves this week! Here’s how I did with my goals last week…

 

Last Week’s Goals ~

  • ~ Drink 60 oz. of water each day, and coconut water at least twice this week. I missed my goal twice this week, but I am feeling better by making sure that I’m drinking enough water!

 

  • ~ Eat a healthy breakfast (or brunch) each morningYep! Southwestern chicken salad, sausage/sweet potato casserole, chili… Odd choices for breakfast foots, but yum!

Chicken salad

 

 

  • ~ Remove my old polish and apply new polish to my tootsies. I have to confess – I didn’t remove my old polish. *pout* I slapped on a fresh coat of sparkly red on top of my older polish. But it serves me right since I don’t like how it looks now. I’ll be changing this ASAP!

 

  • ~ Clean out my purseCheck! (Side note: My Beloved and boys gave me an Etsy gift card for Christmas, and this was exactly what I was looking for! It’s a fun and funky purse, but it’s also big enough to carry my laptop when I want to do a little writing-on-the-go. Check out the seller’s Etsy shop! I couldn’t be happier with my new bag, and the seller was a dream to work with!) I cleaned out the library receipts, Pokémon cards, church papers, and other things that have collected in my purse since Christmas. Ahhh… I love having a clean purse! Now it only houses my wallet, my sunglasses, lip balm, keys, and room for books or my laptop. Much better!

new purse

 

 

  • ~ Put on real clothes during the work week – stay away from my comfy sweats until after supper or over the weekendGuess what?! I didn’t put on sweats once last week! Sure, I wore leggings and a poncho, but that’s as close as I got. I felt more energized and ready to tackle the day. I’m still tempted to crawl back into sweats after I shower in the mornings, but I’ll keep working on it. I didn’t get photos of every outfit, but I did manage to get a few pics…

Take a little time to dress for the day! 1

Homeschooling and errands ~ (Red shirt – JC Penney, vest – Kohl’s, jeans – Levi’s 535 from Kohl’s, boots – Vince Camuto from Dillard’s, jewelry – my Beloved’s old AF wings and an antique watch necklace from my dad.)

 

Take a little time to dress for the day! Church outfit - red boots, red pashmina, striped skirt

Church outfit ~ (White shirt – TJ Maxx, striped skirt – consignment store, red Pashmina – Qatar {from Hubby’s last deployment}, red boots – Lucky)

 

Take a little time to dress for the day! Blue suede Toms and black shawl scarf! Practical mom uniform!

Homeschooling, cooking, errands ~ (Gray tunic – TJ Maxx, black shawl – thrifted, Domaine jeans – thrifted, blue suede shoes – TOMS clearance)

 

Take a little time to dress for the day! Orange motorcycle jacket and scarf.

Assisting in Science class at our homeschool co-op, homeschooling, errands ~ (Gray sweater tunic – Bass, orange motorcycle jacket – consignment store, scarf – Afghanistan {from a few deployments back}, jeans – Levi’s 535, boots – Vince Camuto.

 

  • ~ Take multivitamins each morning.

 

  • ~ Visit my counselor once this weekAnd what an encouragement it was! As always she challenged me, made me smile, made me cry, and made me think. I have assignments to work on and left feeling ready to tackle life once more!

 

  • ~ Work out for at least 10 minutes EACH day. This happened every day but one. Getting better! I did a 20 minute Pilates video most mornings in the dark, just me and my zebra socks…

Take a little time to exercise!

 

 

  • ~ Make more facial oil cleanser by Tuesday. I’m almost outYes! And it feels sooooo good! 

 

  • ~ Do at least ONE thing every day just for myself – even if it’s just for a 5 minutes. I know that I did a few things for myself over the week, but I’m pretty sure a couple of days flew by without me giving thought to doing something for myself. 

 

This Week’s Goals ~

  • ~ Drink 60 oz. of water each day, and coconut water once or twice this week.
  • ~ Eat a healthy breakfast (or brunch) each morning.
  • ~ Take multivitamins each morning.
  • ~ Put on real clothes during the week, and post pictures to The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore link-up.
  • ~ Work out for at least 10 minutes five times this week.
  • ~ Remove my old polish and apply new polish to my toes.
  • ~ Memorize. Work on James 1:1-4 with a group of friends.
  • ~ Do at least ONE thing for myself every day… just because.
  • ~ Tackle that one project I’ve been dreading.
  • ~ Go easy on myself and my injured hand.

 

What About You? ~

I’ll be sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

*Linking up with Women With Intention and Coffee for Your Heart today!

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You are Enough ~

camden pic monkey

 

I wrote this one year ago when our oldest son was celebrating his 10th birthday, but I wanted to share it again today! He may be 11-years-old, but it still seems like just yesterday…

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy when skies are gray…” 

 

“We’re going to see if we can keep you out of the hospital, Ginger.”

“I’m going to hook you up to an I.V. now, okay?”

Voices swirled around me as I closed my eyes to try and stop the agonizing motion.

Why won’t the room stop spinning? So dizzy. So sick. 

The physician that I worked for practiced just down the hall from my OB doctor. They had decided that I would stay after work and have I.V. fluids to help fight off the dehydration that unrelenting morning sickness had brought to my life. I couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. I had dropped to almost 90 pounds, and I was carrying my first baby.

Please be okay. Baby, I love you so much. Do you hear me? You are loved…

Camden Rigel Warren

SCREECH. CRASH.

“Miss! Are you okay, Miss?” Someone was shouting.

I opened my eyes to see that I was hanging by my seatbelt. A man was struggling to pry a door open.

“Grab my hand, Miss! Is there anyone else in the car with you?”

No, just me. But I’m 23 weeks pregnant. I’m going to have a baby.

“Oh no! The girl is pregnant! Call 911!”

My hand went to my belly, cradling the tiny bump that had just a few minutes before been wiggling and kicking happily as I sang to him. Now, there was only stillness…

Men pulled me out of the crumbled vehicle.

I had been hit by a semi-truck.

Someone wrapped a blanket around me as they set me on the ground.

Sirens. Ambulance. Gurney.

Emergency Room. Contractions.

“Ma’am, if we have to take this baby, the good news is that you are far enough along in the pregnancy that he will have a 1% chance of survival.”

Please, God. Please let my little boy be okay. Baby, can you hear me? I love you…

Copy of 22

“Your baby’s heart rate is disappearing with each contraction. We need to get him out now. Push, Ginger! Push!”

The labor contractions had come hard and fast. My little boy had held on all of those months, and it was now four days past our due date. We had only been in the hospital for a little over an hour, and it was time. But he was facing the wrong direction, and he was stuck. My baby was in danger once more.

I pushed while the doctors pulled one more time. It was finally over. His cry was the most beautiful sound that I had ever heard.

They laid my precious bundle next to my heart. I was finally a mommy.

My Camden! I have waited so long to meet you, Little One. I love you so much…

camden mommy wedding1

The music swelled as he excitedly bounced up and down. His little brothers had already taken their turns, and our new little family was waiting for us just beyond the door. My little man, my Camden, was going to walk me down the aisle and give me away to my Beloved.

He looked up at me as I swept his black hair to the side once more.

Camden, I love you.

“I love you, too, Mommy! Are you ready?” He slipped his little hand into mine.

I’m ready, Honey.

camden pic monkey

Camden,

A tidal wave of emotion is flowing through me as I think about you turning 10 years old. You are growing into a kind and generous young man. I love that you are becoming such a gentleman, always looking for ways to help others. You have the special ability to make people smile, and you are a wonderful friend to those around you. You may be growing up, but you will always be my baby. I am proud of the boy that you are, and of the man that you are becoming. I am truly the luckiest mommy in the whole wide world, and I am so thankful that you were given to me.

No matter where your life’s journey takes you, please remember something for me…

You are ENOUGH. And you are LOVED. Always and forever.

“…You’ll never know, Dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.”

Happy 10th Birthday!

Love,

Mom

*Photos 3 and 5 are courtesy of NZ Portraits by Joanne. Photo 4 is courtesy of our wonderful friend Cindy.

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Take a Little Time… Take 2

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Happy Monday, friends! How did last week treat you? How did you treat YOURSELF? I hope that you’re taking a little bit of time for you! I love that we have this little community!

For the most part, this week went much better. I ate breakfast most mornings, I put on real clothes, and I enjoyed a fun Mommy Playdate with some friends. The one thing that I am going to change this week is to have specific – very specific – goals. I didn’t exercise at all this past week, and that’s because I kept putting it off.

I’ll do it tomorrow. I have plenty of time. I’m too tired today. I’ll be sore if I do it now. I don’t want to get sweaty. Yeah, I’ll do it tomorrow. 

Sure enough, the whole week slipped by and because I didn’t have an actionable goal, I didn’t have to live up to it. This week I am trying something different – each of my goals are specific and measurable. And I am making sure that I exercise for at least 10 minutes each day. I have gained about 5-7 pounds – just an educated guess, I haven’t weighed myself to be sure. It’s not much – but for me that’s a whole jeans size. I’d really love to get back to where my clothes fit and I feel better about myself – and I think in order to do that, I’m going to need to set measurable and doable goals for myself.

Is there something like this in your own life? Like me, have you been setting vague goals for yourself? Are you willing to work WITH me this week? I’d love to know that I’m not alone!

 

Last week’s goals ~

  • ~  Keep hydrated with water and coconut waterThis week I’m gonna kick it up a notch and set definite goals.
  • ~  Eat a healthy breakfast/brunch each morning. I did a better job of this – remembering/making time to eat every morning except Sunday. I wish I had snapped a picture of the yummy spinach/egg bake that my Beloved made this week. Delish!
  • ~  Get my heart pumping at least 3 days each week with exercise. I was pretty abysmal at this over the past week. I didn’t work out once. I got up nice and early to have a little quiet time before things got crazy around the house. I’m changing up my routine a bit so that I can get back on track with getting/staying healthy.
  • ~  Get dressed in REAL CLOTHES and not stay in my comfy sweatsI shared this picture on Facebook and Instagram. Child: “THAT’S what you’re wearing to church?!” No, but it is what moms wear until exactly 12. 4965 seconds until they walk out the door because they are so busy getting everyone else ready. Am I right? *wink* We were visiting a new church yesterday – I’m sure a bathrobe would’ve made quite an impression!

 

IMG_8614

 

 

IMG_8610 2

  • ~  Do TWO things every day just for me – (listen to a podcast, read a book, play the piano)I read some great books, mostly. I also played the piano, baked an apple crisp to share with friends just because it sounded good, and watched an episode of Call the Midwife on Netflix
  • ~  Make an appointment to see my counselor.
  • ~  Plan a “Mommy Playdate” with other grown-upsI was in charge of the activity/lesson for our homeschool co-op group’s meeting just for moms this month – so I used this time to have a little fun! There were 13 of us, and we played a hilarious game of Apples to Apples together! It was so much fun to be playing a game with other grownups! 
  • ~  Make a list of free or inexpensive ways we can all take a little time for ourselves to share here on the blogYes!!! Look for more news about this very soon!

101 Ways

  • ~  Get up early enough (5:30-6:00AM most days) to have a quiet time before the day begins for the rest of the houseYawn… Yep! I was able to get out of bed early enough every morning except yesterday (Sunday) to have a quiet time before the rest of the house began stirring – which really gave my a boost to my whole day! I’ll be adding in the element of exercise this next week – so we’ll see how that goes! 
  • ~  Curl up in bed with a book and my Beloved by 10pm most nights to get a good night’s sleep. Are we GoodReads buddies yet? Find awesome books and check out what your friends are reading! 

 

This week’s goals ~

  • ~ Drink 60 oz. of water each day, and coconut water at least twice this week.
  • ~ Eat a healthy breakfast (or brunch) each morning.
  • ~ Remove my old polish and apply new polish to my tootsies.
  • ~ Clean out my purse.
  • ~ Put on real clothes during the work week – stay away from my comfy sweats until after supper or over the weekend.
  • ~ Take multivitamins each morning.
  • ~ Visit my counselor once this week.
  • ~ Work out for at least 10 minutes EACH day.
  • ~ Make more facial oil cleanser by Tuesday. I’m almost out!
  • ~ Do at least ONE thing every day just for myself – even if it’s just for a 5 minutes.

 

How About You? ~

I’ll be sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually SIT DOWN today and just breathe. Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Fist bump*

~ Ginger

 

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I’m Ginger ~
I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.
Join the fun!

MY GIFT TO YOU!