March 25, 2013

Joycie's 3rd Birthday: A Pirate and Princess Adventure

Joycie is in LOVE with princesses so it was no surprise that she wanted princesses to be the center of her birthday theme.  However, I was caught a bit off guard when she informed me that she also wanted pirates at her party.  Thankfully, a quick Google search gave me plenty of creative suggestions and ideas for how to merge the two together for a cute, fun-filled party.

When the guests arrived, they were encouraged to get into costumes.  I had purchased several prom gowns from our local Goodwill, added in Joycie's dress-up collections, and turned old men's dress shirts into pirate garb.  Mikey's Aunt in Texas sewed princess crowns and pirate eye patches (which doubled as party favors) for the kids to wear.  Lastly, I had a few of our youth girls on hand to put make-up on the princesses and add narly breads and nasty scars (eyeliner) to our pirates.

Once the guests arrived, we turned our attention to playing games.  First, we played freeze dance - I told each of the kids to imagine that they were dancing at Cinderella's ball.  I would move throughout them and if I tapped them with my royal scepter they had to freeze in a silly pose.  There were lots of giggles and some curious dancing during the game.  We even had a few adults to join in.   Next up, was a princess version of Simon Says - "The Queen Says".  The kids had to follow the Queen's commands:  dance at the ball, wave at your loyal subjects, talk like a pirate, dream of Prince charming, blow kisses - but only if the Queen said so.   The third game was pin the crown on the princess which was basically like pin the tail on the donkey.  The last game was the biggest hit.  Mikey dressed up like a pirate who had stolen the treasure (i.e. the candy) the kids were instructed to chase him around the room and poke him with a foam sword. Each successful poke resulted in candy flying out of the treasure chest and into the kids' goodie bags.

For the food, we went with Joycie's favorite foods - cheese pizza, chips, and pink cupcakes.

My mother-in-law who is the baker in the family - made individual cupcakes for each guest and 1 large cupcake for Joycie.  The cupcakes were in cupcake papers that fit the theme.

The party was a huge success!  The kids laughed and played, parents told me that they loved the theme, and my little princess was completely wore out at day's end.

March 12, 2013

Happy (Early) Anniversary

Dear Mikey,

I thought about how I wanted to suprise you on our anniversary. But after 3 years, 50 weeks, and 3 days you know that I am HORRIBLE about keep secrets or suprises from you.  I am just to eager to see your smile and know that in some small way I've made you as happy as you make me each day.

A few months ago I suggested that we look into visting a little B&B in St. Augustine for our anniversary. I went on and on about the horse drawn carriage ride, the breakfast in bed, the romantic dinner. You smiled and told me "Sure babe. If that's what makes you happy!". But let's face it - that not your idea of a good time. And while I love roses & romance as much as the next girl, I get them all the time with you. So I opted for something else...

My next idea was to suggest we visit Atlanta for the Georgai Tech Pi Mile. I told you how it has been a dream of mine to run the race. Once again you smiled and said "Sure babe!".

And that's when I knew....I had to plan something that was more about you than about me.

And as fate would have it, I booked it on the very day that 5 years ago you told me (and this is a direct quote) "To heck with waiting until April to tell you. I love you!".

So babe,  get ready because in 3 weeks we will be in the ATL - but not for a "romantic getaway", and not for a 5K run around Tech's campus - we'll be there to watch the All American Pastime!

Yep babe - I have us 2 tickets, field level behind homeplate for the Saturday (April 6th) game vs. the Cubs!  And all I ask in return is that you buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks!

I love you!  Thank you for the most amazing 4 years of marriage....can't wait for the next 50+.


Living Out My Faith

The lovely Kelly at Kelly's Korner has partnered with a few equally amazing bloggers for a new series titled " Build 'Em Up".  The series focuses on ways that we can encourage one another in our faith.  This week's topic is Brining Faith to Life

As parents, Micheal and I have a myriad of hopes and dreams for Joycelen. However, the greatest hope that we have for her is that she will come to know the Lord as her personal Savior.

We both know that if Joycie is going to fall madly in love with her Heavenly Father, she has to know that He is real.

Since we cannot sit down and have a deep theological discussion with her at this point, we try to live out our own faith before her each day.

After all actions really do speak louder than words.

For our family, living out our faith means:

1. Reading Bible Stories and Nightly Family Prayers

2. Listening to worship music in our cars, when we are cleaning up the house, or even when Joycie just wants to dance.

3. Attending church together - we want Joycie to know that there is a HUGE body of believers who love her, support her, and can help her to grow in Christ

4. Including Joycie in our ministry & service opportunities – Micheal has taken Joycie to a few of the brotherhood meetings, I’ve included her in our various Women’s Ministry events, and this past Christmas we let her make the decisions on what gifts to purchase for our shoebox ministry.

Micheal and I often fail as parents --- we yell, we speak harshly, we get caught up in our to –do lists --- but Joycie will proudly proclaim that “her” Jesus makes everything and that He loves her very much. And that makes me think – that with the Lord’s help – are getting the most important thing right.

March 07, 2013

Steal My Show

There is a song by Toby Mac that has been getting copious amounts of air time on Christian radio. The lyrics to the chorus are …

If you got something to say, go on and take it away

Need you to steal my show, can’t wait to watch you gooooo

So take it away”

Those words have been ringing in my ears, my head, and my heart for nearly a week now. On Monday night, Mikey and I had a heated argument which spilled over into a battle of wills with Joycelen. Long story short, we all went to bed with hurt feelings and tear stained cheeks.

As I layed in bed that night, I cried out to God “I can’t keep doing this. I feel as though I am running, rushing but accomplishing nothing. What do I need to do?”

Toby Mac’s song began to play in my head.

And I realized, I had to give it up.

I am trying to be a wife, a mother, a working woman, a runner, an aerobics teacher, a volunteer, a blogger, and a social media guru – and for what.

So I can be center stage?

So I can receive attention and accolades?

This life is not about me. My purpose is to bring glory and honor to the One who created me, gave me life, and offered me salvation.

So I prayed, thought, prayed, fought, bristled at what the Lord was telling me, and finally I submitted.

Starting today, I will no longer be running with my running group during the week. The time I was spending running with them was time away from my family. Coming home at 7:00 p.m. only left 2 hours for me to prepare supper, spend time with Joycie, feed/bathe, and hang out with Mikey before I needed to be heading to bed. Not enough time with the people who matter most. Now, I will come home at 5:30. Mikey and I will swap off between running (and prepping/cooking dinner) – after all we both still need to take care of ourselves physically. I will continue to teach aerobics at the church – as I feel it is a ministry opportunity. Lastly, I am scaling back on the amount of time I spend on my other blog “Redefining Kim”. I still want to document my healthy and fitness journey. But I feel the Lord leading me to share more of my daily life here – the blog that really started it all.

And I am excited.

Because I think the Lord has some amazing things in store….now that I’m letting Him be in the spotlight.

March 05, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday, Joycie!

Dear Joycie,

At 4:25 p.m. this afternoon you officially became 3 years old!  However, you've been telling people for months that you were 3. I think it is because your cousin Kaitlynn turned 3 in September and in your mind the two of you are the exact same.  In fact, you often refer to her as your "twin cousin"...which is so stinking cute.

Joycie - Daddy and I marvel at how much you continue to grow and mature. In the last year, you have gone from somewhat stilted sentences intermixed with made-up words, to carrying on entire conversations with your friends, your cousins, and even adults.  Your imagination has grown by leaps and bounds - I often hear you telling stories to your baby dolls, or creating a running commentary as we ride in the car.

While you still love music and playing outdoors, these days you are all about PRINCESSES.  You currently have at 2 of each of the Disney Princess figurines. Mama has lost count of how many hours you spend in your room playing with them.  Not only do you love to play with princesses, you love to dress like one.  Most days, we have to find an outfit that is either pink, sparkly, twirly, or has some other "princess" like element. Otherwise, you refuse to wear it.

Hey, you know what you like, and what you don't.  But for all of your girlishness, you still HATE to have your hair pulled up. You prefer to leave it down and flowing.  And since you hair is easy to brush and style, Mama let's you have your way.

In terms of physical growth, you are now 3'2 and weight 34 pounds. Wahooo!  After nearly a year, we have finally broken the 30 pound barrier. Both your pediatrician and neurologist have commented on your recent growth spurt.

Daddy and Mama are so proud of how your vocabulary grows with each day, that you've mastered the art of pottying like a big girl, that you are independent, and that you are physically growing.  But our greatest joy comes when we see how much you already love our Heavenly Father.  Each night you remind us that we need to say our prayers, and you want to pray for every.single.person. you know (and sometimes your toys), you break out into the biggest grin and clap your hands when we tell you it is time to head to church, and you LOVE to sing songs about Jesus.

Joycie, there will never be enough words to tell you how much you mean to use.  But we'll try each day of your life to show you how much we do love you.

And perhaps, the best way to tell you is in the same way you tell us "We love you BIGGER!"

~Mama and Daddy