Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why The Voice Inspires Me

She steps unto the stage, a bundle of nerves but so excited to have this chance to show the world what she can do. As the music cues up, she takes a deep breath and then she begins to sing. She sounds like an angel, note after note drifting to the audience and those four chairs that will determine her fate. The chairs do not turn. She keeps singing, reaching a high note and singing it from the very depths of her soul. Suddenly, a chair turns. "I WANT YOU" lights up in large letters. She finishes her song, but all the while she is choking back tears of joy. She's actually going to get her chance! They chose her!

Why do shows like The Voice, American Idol and America's Got Talent evoke such strong emotions out of so many of us? When we hear the back story of the contestants, we can identify. She's a mom, just like me. He quit his dead end job to pursue music. She just lost her mother to cancer and is singing in her memory. So many stories, the list goes on. We see people just like us getting their chance to be what they were called to be. What a joy that would be! To be called to your purpose and to fulfill it is perhaps one of the greatest gifts one can imagine.

As I watch that contestant get chosen to move on to the next round, something inside me stirs. I want to feel that feeling! I want to apply for that job that is just right for me, where I can use my talents. I want to interview and have someone say "YES! I WANT YOU!" Until that happens for me, I will just have to live vicariously through the talented singers on The Voice and enjoy the special bonuses of Adam Levine and Usher while I'm at it! ;)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Hello everyone! I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Ginger at The Wild and Wonderful World of Ginger Snaps! (Check her out!)
Thanks Ginger! I am so honored to have already received 2 awards in the short time I have been blogging. It's a great way to connect with other bloggers out there!

There are only two rules to this award - You must tell some things about yourself and you must nominate other bloggers.
So here goes! Some random facts about me!
- I am a Christian (and proud of it)! Lately, I want to share this with everyone I can. I know that Jesus Christ died to save me from my sin and I will shout it from the rooftops!
- I have the cutest kids ever! Ok, I know every mom says that about her kids but really mine are the cutest. For privacy reasons I don't post pictures of my children on my blog, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
- I may have shared this on my Liebster Award random facts, but I will share again. I am currently pursuing my Master's Degree in Clinical Counseling. I took a little hiatus to have my son, but I am starting back up in June and excited to really get the ball rolling. I am about halfway through the program and I have a 4.0 GPA!
- I love to sing! I have a karaoke machine in my home which I do not use nearly enough since the baby has been born, but it is something I really enjoy doing! Once we can finally get a house I would love to set up a karaoke bar of sorts in my home!
- I am a Sci Fi junkie. Some of my favorite shows include: Star Trek, The X-Files, Fringe, Stargate SG-1, and Stargate Atlantis.
- I also love superhero movies. Current faves: The Avengers, Iron Man 1 and 2, Spider-Man (1, 2, and 3) and the Amazing Spider-Man wasn't too bad either.

I hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about me (hopefully you found them interesting).

Now for the nominees for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:
Singing Through the Rain
Devote and Seek
Story of a Girl

I picked these bloggers because I follow their blogs, love their writing, and I am inspired by them to continue on my journey to build my blog and extend my reach to the blogging community so that I can share my writing with the wide world out there on the web! Thanks ladies!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review: The Christian Mama's Guide to the Grade School Years: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Sending Your Kid Off into the Big Wide World by Erin MacPherson

I was so excited to get to read a book by a blogger! I became even more excited when I found Erin's blog and Facebook page, sent her a message, and got a response back! It's so fun to connect in the blog community and I'm so proud that there are bloggers out there that are able to take it that extra step and have books published, especially when they are about topis so near and dear to my heart.

Those of you who have been following me know that I have a 6 year-old daughter and a 5 month old son. I debated about reading Erin's book The Christian Mama's Guide to Baby's First Year, but having been through these times once already I thought that I may read one on a topic that I am not as familiar with - that is the topic of sending your kid off to the big wide world of school. My daughter has been in school for almost 2 years already, and I wish I had known or thought about some of these things way back then. Erin MacPherson does a great job of interweaving humor, personal anecdotes, and practical advice into this book about a time of life that is very difficult for most moms. MacPherson's book includes chapters on preparing your child socially, academically, and emotionally for school, choosing the right school (homeschool, private school, public school, etc.), and getting involved (or not getting involved) in extracurricular activities. None of us knows everything about getting our kids ready to go out into that big world, but this Christian Mama's Guide gives us the tools to get thinking about what our kids need to at least be somewhat ready and what we can do to prepare ourselves to let go. I look forward to reading more of Erin's blog and developing a blogging relationship with her as I have so many other bloggers out there! Thanks for writing such a helpful book for all of us Christian mamas out there!

I receive these books free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Love/Hate Relationship with Breastfeeding

I am guest posting for Ginger at The Wild and Wonderful World of Gingersnaps. I found Ginger on one of the many blog hops I frequent, starting reading her blog, nominated her for a Liebster award, and we've been blogging buddies ever since. Thanks for letting me guest write for you today, Ginger!

My love/hate relationship with breastfeeding.

I tried to breast feed my first child. It didn't work out so well. Not only did I have an overactive letdown, which if you've never experienced it is pure craziness, my daughter also seemed to have some kind of milk protein intolerance. She would cry non stop for at least 2 hours, every single night. I managed to breast feed her for about 2 months before I simply gave up. She was a happier baby for it.
When my son came along, I was ready to have the same troubles. After all, my daughter inherited her milk protein intolerance from her dad. I thought that my milk may come in the same way too. Alas, things have turned out much better this time around and I am breast feeding my son going on 5 months!
That being said, breastfeeding is great, but sometimes I HATE it! It's a love/hate relationship.

So why do I love breastfeeding?
-It's a way to bond with my child. I think I love that “skin-to-skin” as much as he does and it makes him so happy to see me after I've been gone all day!
-It saves a TON of money! It's great to not have to buy formula all the time!
-It's very convenient. Baby needs to eat, the food source is right there. I just have to find a comfortable, discreet place to feed him if I'm in public. I will breastfeed in public, I just try not to do it right in the middle of everything.
-It helped me lose weight and has helped me to keep it off. When I couldn't breastfeed my daughter, I gained back all the weight I lost from giving birth and then some! With my son, I lost 20 pounds just giving birth and another 15 since then.
-It's great for the baby! He was 5 pounds 13 ounces when he was born and he weighed 13 pounds by the time he was four months old. A lot of people who see him say they can tell he's breastfed because he's got those chubby cheeks! I love it!

Why do I hate breastfeeding?
-I'm the only source. I have to get up at all hours of the night and feed the baby, while my husband snores away in the bed. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to work, but I have to be to work at 7 am so sometimes it is really tough.
-I hate pumping. I feel like a cow. Some days, it's tolerable. Some days, I wish I could just skip it. But I know I have to do it to keep up my supply.
-Sometimes, I wonder if my baby only loves me so much because I have the food. Then I think about it for a minute...nah he'd love me either way!!

So, if you are a breastfeeding mom or you are a soon-to-be mom thinking about breastfeeding, remember this. There may be some things you absolutely hate about breastfeeding, but when I weigh the pros and the cons, the things I love versus the things I hate, the things I love definitely win out. Don't let the tough times discourage you. Power through and you'll see that the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review: Organic Outreach for Families: Turning Your Home Into A Lighthouse by Kevin G. Harney and Sherry Harney

As a Christian, I know that it is important and necessary for me to spread God's light throughout my community. The problem has always been, "how do I do this?" It's hard to talk about God at my job (and I can get in trouble for it too!). So how and where can I share God's light? Organic Outreach for Families discusses some practical ways you can turn your home into a lighthouse. It starts with your children. Raise them up in the way they should go and teach them to be God's light to others. This book gives some tips on how to help your children learn about God and share Him with others. It also talks about inviting people in to your home which I think has been the most difficult part for me. I invite people in and I try to be as inviting as possible, but people just don't come. I was hoping that this book would explain a little more about how to get them to come, but it does not really. It does talk about how to make your home welcoming, but if people just won't come in to your home it's hard to know what else you can do.
I did like the chapter about spreading God's word to people in your family. I know there are some people in my family that I would like to know God better. I don't know too well what's going on in their lives and I think I should be closer with them anyway. Maybe this is my opportunity to do so.
All in all, this is a book with some great starting off points if you want to outreach to your community and your family and "turn your home into a lighthouse."

I receive these books free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”