Catching Up

Since I last posted so much has happened. First, I have the pictures from the farm we went to last month. A week after our trip to the farm I lost my job. I was hoping to have more time to spend on here, but that has not happened yet. My family and I are doing well. It is, of course, very tight here, but the Lord was preparing me for this with the Trust Me post and events that happened shortly before. I have been LOVING the time with my daughter. My husband wants me to stay at home, so I am trying my hand at a few things while looking for a part time job through online companies. Please be praying for us through this difficult, yet wonderful, time in our lives. God is so good and certainly hasn't given us more than we can handle. He has shown Himself to be in control of the situation over and over again.

So, here are the pictures from the farm:

My daughter:

She was very hesitant to touch any of the animals at the petting zoo.

This is my favorite:

Emma went down the big slide with her daddy.

We went to a nearby town for the afternoon and got some great photos in their town square. I love small towns!!

(this one was an accident cause she refused to smile - we thought it was cute anyway)

And for those of you who may have been wondering what we all look like:

I hope you enjoyed our pictures. We had a great time. If you're ever in the North Georgia mountains area I highly recommend the little town of Dahlonega. A lot of cute little shops (a great old book store) and a great hole-in-the-wall pizza place (literally - it's in a store and only has 3 tables).

I'll be back soon with some Christmas posts.

I'm Still Here

I haven't been on much lately, but have a few posts floating around in my head which I hope to share this weekend. For now, I wanted to share the best sign I have ever seen:

I absolutely LOVE chocolate dipped strawberries and enjoyed the one my husband bought for me from this wonderful little shop in Dahlonega - Paul Thomas Chocolates. More pictures to come from our trip to the North Georgia mountains last Friday. We had a blast!!

Trust Me

Disclaimer - I am not sharing this for pity, just wanting to share some background to get to the lessons I am learning right now. Our God IS Great!

Some of you know of the struggles I have had over the last few years that kind of peaked this summer. For those of you who don't - here is a "brief" synopsis:

Almost 4 1/2 years ago I found out I was pregnant with our first child. At my first appointment I found out I had had a missed miscarriage and needed to have a D & C. 5 months later I found out I was pregnant again. Once again I had a missed miscarriage and needed another D & C. Decided to take a break on trying and focus on figuring out what was wrong with my body that it couldn't sustain pregnancies. That is when I was diagnosed with PCOS and started to be treated with medication. 7 months later I found out I was pregnant again. With much fear and trembling we proceeded. I had to take hormones for the first trimester b/c part of the problem we have definitely figured out is that my body does not produce enough progesterone on its own. After the first trimester I'm good to go. Anyway, on with the journey. 7 months into the pregnancy I was put on bedrest due to high blood pressure (this I believe was totally caused by job-related stress, cause it was back down by the time she was born). At that time we also found out she was breech and we started to plan for a c-section. A week before the scheduled c-section she turned around, but could not 'engage', so we proceeded with the c-section. 2 months after she was born I started my medication again and continued on my journey. Things were quiet for about a year and a half and then I started having bad cramping and pain every month. My doctor suspected endometriosis and suggested we start trying to get pregnant again. After trying for about 6 months and with the pain getting worse and worse he decided to do laprascopic surgery to take a look and ended up removing some endometriosis. A month later i was pregnant again. At 7 1/2 weeks I had a spontaneous miscarriage - this time twins. I had already miscarried some and went to the dr - he did an ultrasound and found that there was still a baby there, but 2 days later I miscarried that one as well. That was in July of this year. And now we are at the present.

I have struggled so much over the last couple of months. Mainly with fear. Fear of getting pregnant. Fear of not getting pregnant. Fear of endometriosis returning. Just plain fear. As a result of this fear I have at times been distant from my God, my husband, my friends, and the list goes on. Its been an up and down struggle. Every time I think I've gotten 'there' (wherever that might be) I realize I am still afraid and have picked up the burden that I thought was at the foot of the cross.

This weekend I found out 3 of my friends are pregnant and spent an evening with someone who talked a lot about abortion, at times lumping miscarriages in with it. I was so sick to my stomach I didn't eat but 2 bites of the $20 meal I was paying for. That is when I realized I had picked up my burden again.

Searching for some encouragement the Lord kept leading me back to Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." I've heard these verses so many times before and often quoted them to others, but hadn't thought to apply them to this situation. In the Proverbs 31 devotional yesterday, When Healing Never Comes, Wendy Blight described her inward battle as their family deals with her daughter having scoliosis. In that devotional, she paraphrased these verses and personalized them to their situation. Here is mine:

Julie, trust Me with all of your heart. Do not depend on the knowledge of doctors, pharmacists, friends, or even yourself. Do not lean on your fears. Acknowledge Me. Depend on Me, Julie. My Timing. My Power. My Omniscience. My Strength. My Love. I promised to direct your path, and I have. This is the path I have led you to follow. Trust Me. [bold taken directly from Wendy's paraphrase]

It's the part that reads "This is the path I have led you to follow" that I struggle with the most and begin to ask "Why?". Why would you do this to someone, Lord? And then I hear His gentle voice reminding me that that isn't for me to know right now. It's just part of His perfect plan. Trust Me. Such a simple phrase, but I can almost audibly hear God whispering that in my ear.

I encourage anyone who might be reading this to also paraphrase these verses. As I wrote that I could almost feel the peace wash over me. God is in control.

I am also taken back to Philippians 4:6-8:
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

When we leave our problems at the foot of the cross, according to these verses, God will guard your heart and your mind. The definition of guard is to keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over. He will protect you. Sometimes being protected means not having all the answers. Allow God to protect you by not taking back what should be left at the foot of the cross. Let Him keep control and watch over you.

Well, this post seems to be plenty long, so I won't keep your attention any longer. If anyone reading this has something similar that I could be praying for, please leave a comment. If you don't want your story to be public, just put a note at the beginning that you don't wish for it to be published.

God loves you, my friend. Lean into His everlasting arms and relinquish control of whatever your holding on to.

Trust Me.

I just found another. . .


This one is a wonderful Thanksgiving giveaway. Here's a picture of what you could win.

Go visit Melissa's Heart & Home.

Another Giveaway!!

There's a great giveaway going on at Bella Casa. She just received a $100 room makeover from HomeGoods and decided to do her half bath. Check out her cute makeover here. She is giving away a $100 giftcard to HomeGoods.

Here's how to enter:

Leave a comment telling me what you think of my makeover (one entry).
Leave a comment telling me how to get the gunky sticker stuff off of my mirror (one comment).
Leave a comment telling me what room you'd like to makeover (one entry).
Blog about this giveaway on your blog ( 4 entries, leave 4 comments, provide link).
Tweet about this giveaway on twitter (1 entry, provide link).

Good Luck!

Another Giveaway!!

Visit Tracy at Beneath My Heart for a wonderful giveaway! Just follow this link and leave a comment. Below is a picture of what you can win. These look so good! I wish I had official office space at home to decorate. . .

Good Luck!

Creations by Kara

If you love Autumn/Fall Decorations check out a fun Linky party at Creations by Kara. There is also a giveaway if you enter by Friday. Here is a picture of what you can win - how cute!!

Check out my Autumn Decorations post if you haven't had a chance to yet. I will be finishing another pumpkin post in just a little bit. Please come back to see the cute pumpkins I made.

Happy Autumn!

I've Joined the Bandwagon!

After reading this post at Shanty2Chic I decided I really wanted to make these pumpkins myself. So, I got the supplies I lacked and got started. Mine are a little different, cause the only pumpkins I could find at Wal-mart had a beaded texture, so I had to improvise.

If the pumpkins have a beaded texture, you can't just spray paint them, it runs right off. So, I was bummed and trying to think of a different way. I walked past the table that still had my daughters paints on it and a light bulb went on - I thought I would try brushing on some Acrylic paint instead. Worked like a charm. Makes it hard to distress, though, cause you can't just wipe paint off the textured surface. It didn't really need it as long as some of the orange was still peeking through - so I skipped that step.

Oops!!! I forgot to take a picture of me doing the twine step. (My back went out Saturday night so I finished these on Sunday in my lap - a very tricky thing to do with a hot glue gun, but i survived.)

So, here are the pictures of my finished product. I love my new pumpkins! I think I may be developing an obsession with twine. What a great way to embelish!

I hope you will also be inspired to make some new pumpkin decorations, too. I had a lot of fun and love looking at them!

A Wonderful Evening

Ok. So yesterday was not one of my best days, but last night was wonderful! A nice relaxing evening at home with the family - unfortunately something rare in our house, but extremely treasured.

We started our evening with a delicious dinner prepared by my husband - chicken, stuffing, and veggies. Since I still have not finished my chairs for the dining room (thank you lots of rain and busy schedule!) we are having our meals in the living room for now. So while we dined we enjoyed the entertainment of:

After dinner I got to work in the kitchen and baked some DELICIOUS muffins and mini-loaves with my freshly made pumpkin puree.
Check out the recipe: Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

I decided to give some away to some friends. and packaged them nice and neat with some fall-colored ribbon.

Here's a picture of one of the muffins on my favorite leaf plate.

I hope your mouth is now watering and that you are inspired to make some of these muffins yourself. I will now say goodbye with a picture of my favorite part of the evening compliments of my wonderful husband.

Our first fire in the fireplace this year.

Have a great day filled with thoughts of warmth and pumpkins!!

A Giveaway!

Vist 4 Reluctant Entertainers for a wonderful giveaway to celebrate 3 years of blogging. Check out the blog and leave a comment for chance to win this:

Good Luck!

Painting Pumpkins

My sweetpea is 2 1/2 this year and so I thought we would start doing some more crafty things. I thought we could start at this time of year with painting pumpkins. I LOVE pumpkins!! We had such a good time! Below are some pictures of my beautiful daughter's beautiful creation.

First we went to Michael's to get the paint and brushes since I had none in the house.

Then we went to Wal-mart for the pumpkins.

Then we went home, ate dinner, and got started. Note: this is the first time I have gotten her to smile for the camera for a LONG time.

She was taking it soo seriously. It was so cute!!

This is her 'smiley face':

Our finished products and my cute little one:

We had a blast!!

Autumn Decorations

I absolutely LOVE Autumn!!!!

Below are some pictures of autumn decorating I have done around the house. I hope you enjoy!!

My front door:I love this daily reminder to be thankful.

A close-up of the top. It was too blah for me, so I added this little swag.

Some fun pumpkins and leaves from the table and mantle.

This is a delicious candle I picked up at Wal-mart last year. Paula Deen's Pumpkin Pie. Yummy!!

I hope you enjoyed my little taste of Autumn. I am LOVING the fact that we are actually having fall weather here in GA this year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Scripture Memory

I don't know about you, Scripture memory is something I always struggle with. Earlier this year I was following the LPM blog and keeping up with their scripture memory plan for the year. 2 verses/passages a month for the entire year. 24 verses/passages tucked away by the end of the year. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. I 'tucked away' my verse cards and haven't touched them for quite a while. I saw the reminder that it was time to pick verse 19 and definitely feel the need to join in again. So, I will be picking a new verse today and 'untucking' my verse cards for some regular use.

I'm memorizing I Corinthians 1:26
"For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;"
I chose this verse because this whole passage (v.26-31) really meant a lot to me from Monday night's Bible study - Esther. I plan to memorize the whole passage verse by verse.

If you already participate, or would like to join me, please leave a comment and let me know what verse you're memorizing.