What’s New and What’s Next?

What’s New and What’s Next?

I know I’ve been very MIA lately. Life got in the way. We got through all my dad’s appointments and procedures, and then Maddie got a virus, and then we had to get ready for our annual July 4th grill out. So life has been fairly hectic lately. But I promise, this is going to become a lot more regular these next few weeks for sure.

How can I promise that? Well, I have a few things coming up that I’m definitely wanting to document my journey. The first thing is, starting Monday, Kenneth and I are going to start up the 21 Day Fix again. I know, I’ve said it before. Thankfully a weight loss journey is just that, a journey. Journeys are filled with ups and downs, and there are times when life gets you down and you can’t get the motivation. That’s usually what happens to me. But I’m the heaviest weight I’ve ever been (aside from when I was pregnant with Maddie) and I know I hate it. I have clothes in my closet that I absolutely love, but can’t fit into. And if that’s not motivation enough, we are right around the anniversary of my mom passing away. And now that we have Maddie, I relate my experience to my current life. I HAVE to be here for Maddie. I don’t want to leave her behind early like my mom did to us. I know my mom didn’t WANT to leave, but her health was poor and she couldn’t fight it off. I don’t want to be like that with Maddie, or any other child God may eventually bless us with. Anytime I think about that, I bawl my eyes out. It seriously gives me anxiety to think about it. So the only thing I can do to help prevent it, is to better myself and get healthy FOR Maddie. My goal is to lose at least 10-15 pounds before August 9th.

Why August 9th??? Well, you see…that HAPPENS to be my birthday. And this year is a big year. I’ll be turning the big 3-0. Now, before you all think that my age really bothers me, it really doesn’t. I don’t know if it’s because my parents were older when they had me, but I have no problem getting older. I know other women specifically that won’t even admit their age. I’m totally okay with telling people that I’m going to be 30 here soon. Nothing for me to be ashamed of!

So I want to be healthier by my 30th birthday. I’ll be documenting my entire journey on here. Starting on July 10th, that will be 30 days before I turn 30. And that’s what my posts will be about. I’ll be showing you what I’ve been eating and what I’ve been doing workout-wise. I’m also challenging myself to do something new every day for 30 days. One thing at least a day that is new and out of my comfort zone. I’m excited to start this next level of my life and want to end my 20’s with a bang.

I’ll be doing several different 30 day challenges (for example: I found one to help declutter your home in 30 days). And I’ll document all of this for all of you. I am so excited and looking forward to doing this! Again, this is going to start on July 10th, which is Monday!

The next few days leading up to this, I’ll post a few blogs dealing with things that have been on my mind here lately. Mostly parent stuff, but a few personal posts as well. So make sure you check back here every day and see what I’ve got going on!

Getting to Know the Blogger

Getting to Know the Blogger

This is going to be a very busy week for me and my family! Ken’s birthday on Friday kicks off what is going to be an action packed weekend, which will culminate with one of my older brothers graduating college. So again, very busy for us!

So tonight I’m going to write on a more fun topic. Tonight, I’m going to let you all get to know me a little bit better. Now, some of my readers know me very well, but I’m sure there are a few that hardly know me at all. So for those readers, here are ten things you may not know about me.

  1. My first go-to fact anytime I’m asked to give a fact about myself is that I’m the youngest child of six. Now, that’s not horribly impressive or interesting by itself. But I’m the youngest of six kids, spanning three decades. My oldest sibling was born in 1960 and I was born in 1987. Three of my siblings were born in the sixties, one was born in 1979 and then two of us were born in the eighties. The next question I get asked is usually, “You guys have the same parents?” and the answer to that question is, yes. We have the same parents. We are biological siblings. The last question I get asked usually is, “What’s it like to have siblings old enough to be your parent?” and I say, “I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.”
  2. I was an aunt at the age of 3. My oldest brother and his wife had my first niece, Amber, about two weeks before I turned 4. We were pretty much raised together, with my mom babysitting her, and if you ask either of us, we will introduce each other to people as “my sister”. I don’t know how many times we’ve had to explain to people that we are not actually sisters.
  3. As I was filling out applications for college, I honestly had no clue what I wanted to go to school for. Filling out my application for Wilmington College, my alma mater, I asked my mom, “Do you think I could be a teacher?” and she said yes. So that is what I went for. I have my BA in Early Childhood Education, all because my mom said I could probably do it. That degree got me a job at a daycare for three years and a few subbing jobs…and a bunch of debt that I’m still paying off.
  4. I was born, raised, and currently still live in the same county. I was born in Wilmington, Ohio. I was raised and currently live in Blanchester, Ohio. I have never lived outside of Clinton County. I don’t ever see myself living outside of this county, but who knows what God has in store.
  5. Some of my friends are the reason Ken and I even started talking in the first place. I knew who he was because we were in the same Sunday School class at church, but hadn’t really talked to him much. We went to an outing as a class to a Cincinnati Reds game and one of my friends mentioned that he and I should talk. She told me that we had a lot in common, namely the fact that he had lost his mom as well. As soon as she told me that, I told her that I would probably end up marrying him then. Sure enough, I did. We started dating that July, got engaged in November and were married in December of the following year.
  6. I am huge music lover. I played flute from middle school through college, learned alto saxophone for jazz band my senior year of high school, and sang in the choir in high school, and now at church. I’ve also been to more concerts than I can count. Some of those acts include: Billy Ray Cyrus, Backstreet Boys (at least 6 times), Aaron Carter, Hawk Nelson, Rascal Flatts, Jonas Brothers, Fall Out Boy, Plain White T’s, Taylor Swift, Emerson Drive, Hanson, The Band Perry, Casting Crowns, NKOTBSB, Chris Tomlin, Mandisa, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Lady Antebellum.
  7. I’m also an avid WWE fan. I watched it growing up with my brothers and even went to a live show back when I was younger. Since then, I’ve been to one live show and to a pay-per-view event. My favorite wrestler of all time is probably The Undertaker, followed by Shawn Michaels.
  8. I’m a huge dog lover. My big dream is to eventually open up a shelter for stray dogs in the area. I especially love my Labrador Retriever mix named Lexie and my Golden Retriever named Sophie.
  9. From the moment I found out that I was pregnant with Maddie, I had a feeling that she was going to be a girl. I had a few dreams where the baby was a girl and several old-wives tales pointed in that direction. The second I found out she was going to be a girl, I was ecstatic. And we knew what we were going to name her right away. Madeline was Ken’s mom’s middle name (Valma Madeline Fountain) and Jeanne was my mom’s middle name (Carole Jeanne Sexton). Madeline Jeanne just worked so well and we got to honor our moms.
  10. As you have probably noticed if you’ve read my blog posts, I’m a huge Disney World geek. We went there for the first time for our honeymoon and we were completely hooked. Since then, we went for our three year anniversary, again when Ken wanted to run his full marathon there this past January, and we will be going again for our six year anniversary this fall. If you ask Ken, there’s not many other places he would want to go on vacation. Disney has ruined us for anywhere else, and we’re okay with that!

So here is my fun post for the week. Like I said, people that know me won’t be too surprised by any of this information. But this post is mostly for those that don’t know me as well. I’m not horribly interesting. I’m just your average stay-at-home mom and wife. But I love to write and love writing on this blog.

In the coming weeks, I’ll probably be doing some more posts on Disney World as our dining reservation date is approaching!

What She Needs to See From Me.

What She Needs to See From Me.

I noticed it one day. 

My husband and I were in our bathroom brushing our teeth. Maddie was watching us. No big deal, right? Well, she found her toothbrush and started imitating us. She saw he doing it and did exactly what we did. And she had just turned a year old.

In that moment, I realized that everything I do, she’s watching. Every move I make, every step I take, she sees all of it. She sees how I react to things, what I eat, what I drink. She is literally with me 24/7. I’m the one she looks to when she is trying to figure out how to respond. No pressure, right?

As thrilled as I am that she likes to brush her teeth like us, there are other aspects of my life that I need her to see, and see me at my best. 

  1. I need her to see me pray. I’ll admit, I don’t pray as much as I should and I typically don’t pray out loud. But it’s so important for her to see that I pray to God and that praying is part of that relationship with God. I also want her to know that I believe prayer can change things, and if she doesn’t see me pray, it’ll be hard for me to get her to understand the importance.
  2. I need her to see me reading my Bible. Again, something I don’t do nearly enough. But I want her to know that the Bible is what God gave us as a type of instruction manual to get us through life here on earth. Answers to questions she may have in life, she can find in God’s word. I want her to see me read my Bible. I want her to find it normal to just pick up her Bible and read it whenever she wants, like any other book.
  3. I need her to see me be a Godly wife to her father. A lot of the way I act as a wife and mother, I got from my mom. I saw how she treated my dad and how she was with us kids and that’s how I act. I need her to see me respect her father and to even show affection to her father. She doesn’t need to see me be petty or irrational toward him, which I know I am prone to doing. We need to show her how we pray as a family, how we respect each other, and how we love each other.
  4. I need her to see me be brave. I’m a wimp. I’ll be the first to admit that. I’m terrfied of heights, spiders, thunderstorms and clowns to name just a few. But if she sees me scared, she’ll be scared too. Even if I have to put on an Emmy award winning performance, I need her to see me as brave and confident. That was, she is more brave and if she is afraid of something, she knows that she can come to me and I will take care of it.
  5. I need her to see me work on myself. I’ve never been comfortable with my body and there are more times than not that I’m downing myself one way or another. But because of that, I need to try to better myself every day and let her see that. I don’t want her to have an out of shape mom. I want to be healthy for her and I want her to see me do it. I need to eat healthier, let her try what I eat. I don’t want her to be afraid to try new foods. That goes back to the last point.
  6. I need her to see me be me. No apologies, no excuses. I want her to know that God made her the way she is and that other people and their opinions of her don’t matter. I fought this my whole life, always worried about what people thought about me and how I looked. As you get older, you realize that those same people had a rough way to go and decided to pick on someone else because of their own unhappiness. I don’t want her to even apologize for being Maddie. She is beautiful, funny, sensitive, sweet and smart as can be. I hope she always knows that. I hope I can always show her that.
  7. I need her to see me strive to be like Jesus Christ. Big shoes to fill, right? And I will continue to fall short, but I can try my hardest to treat people like Jesus would. Bring the phrase “what would Jesus do” to life.

How My Spouse is my Best Friend

How My Spouse is my Best Friend

I wasn’t able to get on and post yesterday for Valentine’s Day, so here is my post about my wonderful husband.

Usually for Valentine’s Day, and most other holidays actually, Kenneth will get me a card and write me a letter to go along with it. They are usually very sweet letters and they usually tug at my heart strings. So yesterday, I assumed he would write me another letter, and he did. But this time, it meant a lot more.

He wrote me a letter talking about how, unlike me, he didn’t have a lot of friends growing up, and he hadn’t really had a best friend. That was until he met me. He talked about how God filled that void in his life when he brought me into his life and how I not only became his best friend, but the love of his life.

As I sit here and reread the letter, he actually lists things that everyone should do for their spouse, their best friend. Here’s what I take away from his letter:

  1. You should invest time and love in one another’s lives. A relationship will not grow if you don’t put effort into it. I can’t expect Kenneth to listen to me go on and on about my day if I don’t allow him to do the same thing to me. If I ignored everything he said, he would feel as though I didn’t care and if I didn’t care, then I wouldn’t be invested in our relationship. Even if I only see him for a few minutes in the afternoon, I always ask him how his day at work went. I want him to know that I care about what he does every day and any time I get to spend with him is precious to me.
  2. You should want to get to know your spouse and know them better than anyone. I mean, you’re married to them for goodness sake. It would be odd if I didn’t know what Ken liked and disliked, especially after being married now for over five years. And it would be even more odd if I didn’t actually go out of my way to figure that stuff out. It would be like living with a stranger. And I surely don’t want anyone else, even his family, to know him better than I do. I take pride in knowing him as well as I do. As his wife, I should know just about everything about him and what I don’t know, I should strive to find out. That can relate to the first point, investing time in him.
  3. Sometimes, you just need to listen. I don’t always need to give him my advice on what I think he should do. Sometimes, all he wants is for me to listen and let him rant about whatever it is that is bothering him. He does the same for me. And sometimes that’s more than enough.
  4. Communication is key. Sometimes you can’t just listen. Sometimes you need to talk, whether it be about a problem you have or if it’s just talking about what your day was like. I love telling Kenneth about my day when he gets home from work and typically, he loves to hear about it. If you have a problem, even if it’s with your spouse, you HAVE to talk about it. If you don’t, it will fester until it becomes something bigger and worse than before. You should be able to talk about anything with your spouse and not be judged.
  5. You should share experiences together. As a couple, there are a lot of experiences we’ve shared together. The most recent, of course, was becoming parents. I obviously wouldn’t want to (and really couldn’t) experience that without him. Another example is that we just took our first family vacation to Disney World with Maddie. I couldn’t imagine doing that without him and I’m sure he would say the same thing about me.
  6. You should support and motivate each other. Whenever I need some extra motivation, he is the first person I go to. You should always feel that your spouse is your biggest fan. Kenneth always has my back and helps me feel better about myself. I don’t have the best self-esteem, but he continues to lift me up and tries to help me see myself the way he sees me. When he was having a hard time during his full marathon, he called me to get some extra motivation. When he was almost finished with the race, he wanted to know exactly where we were, because he needed to see me and Maddie for an extra push. Every spouse should feel that way about their partner.
  7. You should pray for each other. Even before we met, I was already praying for him. Kenneth prayed for me as well, even when we didn’t know each other. Now, we pray for each other daily. I always pray that he has a good and safe day at work, while he prays that I have a good and safe day at home with Maddie. There is no greater sign of love than having someone pray for you. You care enough to talk to God about someone. What could be better than that?

I know how blessed I am. God knew what he was doing when he brought Kenneth into my life. Do we always get along? No way. But what matters is that we care enough and love each other enough to work through anything that is thrown at us and pray for each other every day. I thank God every day for Kenneth. God made Kenneth for me, and I wouldn’t have him any other way.

Anything you would add to my list?? Let me know! I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!