Sunday, November 22, 2015

End of the Week: Happies & Crappies

  •  My sweet little crazy angel baby, Molly, broke the screen on my iPhone this week which resulted in an emergency visit to the Apple store for a new screen. (And a momentary, pathetic mini-Mommy-meltdown... thank goodness for my thoughtful husband who is the best daddy out there.) The Apple folks explained that my phone could fail some tests if the damage extended to the inside of the phone but that it rarely happened. In that case they would replace the phone with a new one for the same price as the repair ($129). Well, it failed. And I got a new phone.
  • When I backed up my phone I synced it with my iTunes account on my computer. Our computer is really old. When I brought the new phone home it was updated beyond the capabilities of our computer. So we got a new computer. Thank goodness for 18 month financing with zero interest at Best Buy! 
  • Now I have to learn to use an Apple computer. Which is much, much different.
  • You think I'd be psyched about all these new purchases, but we literally just put in our big, final payment for our Disney vacation. So now is not a comfortable time for additional spending. Especially with the holidays upon us. Again, what was I thinking?
  • I'm pretty sure my "new" phone is just "new to me" and might be refurbished as I'm already having really stupid issues with it. Still, it's much better than glass falling out at me every time I try to use my phone.
  • Also, my baby is a beauty. We are going to have to beat away the potential dates away when the day comes. And that probably won't be very fun. ;)

  • It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. And holidays make you miss the people who are no longer here to celebrate with you. Missing you, Dad. Always. But especially during the Christmas season. My dad was such a good person to spend the holidays with. He also would've made such a wonderful Grandpa who would be so loved by my little girls. And really wishing Papaw Gordon (my husband's grandfather) was still here with us. Last week it had been a year since his passing. No matter what, I swear, it's never easy to say goodbye to the people you love. And while I loved Gordon, I didn't get to spend much time with him. But I do spend a lot of time with his daughter. And Selena means a whole lot to me. And knowing how much she and the rest of her siblings miss their dad is sucky... I hate it for them. 
Not sure what year this was... one of the 90s
One year ago Gordon Naylor took his last breath here on Earth. He left behind his family, friends, and his pain. This man continues to live on in the love he spread to his children, grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren and his legacy will never cease. I'm very grateful to this man for giving me some of my most cherished blessings - without him I wouldn't have the family I do now. I'm so glad to have known him and only wish to have spent more time with him. Thinking of all the Naylors who are continuing to miss him and who remember him today.

  • My husband is awesome and did I mention he's one of those "let's not decorate the house for Christmas until after Thanksgiving" kind of people? Well. For my birthday earlier this month and since his brother was in town, he decided to go ahead and help decorate EARLY! Yay! So it's beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas!!!! 
  • The sky was gorgeous tonight! Presley called us over to the window tonight to tell us the clouds were turning red.

  • Our Disney vacation is paid in full! Woot. Just feels good. Less than a month to go.
  • The girls and I FaceTimed Breanne, Emory, & Emalynn (my cousin and her kiddos) earlier in the week. No idea why this isn't a weekly thing but I loved seeing them!!! Made all the distance melt away.
  • While I was reading this heartwarming/heartbreakingly beautiful post on the many first and lasts while parenting, Presley was eating lunch and I was sitting on the couch. She looked up over her food and out of nowhere asked if she could sit on my lap and eat her lunch. The timing couldn't have been better. (She is not big on cuddling and never has been.) And just perfect. It might've only lasted a few short minutes but it was just right.
  • The girls continue to be so great to each other. Molly has been so great at being gentler lately. She woke up from her nap yesterday and got into her swing and just cradled her baby. Sweetest thing!

  • Lists! I love lists. I've started tons of lists for our upcoming vacation and it's helping me get so pumped. I'd like to slowly start packing soon. By the way, GOD BLESS SOUTHWEST AIRLINES! They allow you to check two bags/items per ticketed person and one of those items can be a pack & play. I have zero packing anxiety thanks to Southwest! 
  • First snow of the year for all our QC peeps. And none here! Praaaaaise Jesus.
  • We've been doing Elf on the Shelf for Presley (and kinda Molly) every day and she has been loving it. And of course so have we!
  • On Sean's (Tony's little brother who lives out West) last night in town we all went to see all the Christmas lights at Starry Nights inside Shelby Farms. It was so much fun just being all together. Presley was sooo pumped about all the Christmas lights! We drove around sitting in the back of her Papa's truck and that made it all so much more fun, too.
Both girls playing in the fake snow. I love fake snow!

So that's a little about our week. It was kind-of a more boring week. We stayed home a lot for no reason other than it's just easier to stay home. I'm hoping to get out more with the kids next week and spend more time outdoors and maybe at the zoo & Children's Museum, too. Now, I have a question for my married or formerly married people out there. Do you wear a wedding band and an engagement ring? I'm asking because I find it interesting that some people who wear both wear the band on the inside and some on the outside.

Which way do you wear it, and why? I wear mine on the inside - like the picture here on the right. I'm not quite sure why but I've heard it's because you wear that one closest to your heart. No idea what made me wear it that way, honestly, though. Anyways, that's it for this week! Looking forward to more days and more blessings. Have a happy one!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Happies & Crappies

It's been a long time since I've done happies and crappies for the week... so here we go. Here are some of the good and bad things that have been happening recently.

  • My husband usually gets two days off a week - Sunday and one other day (either Monday or Saturday) - and for whatever reason that I don't understand, they stopped getting that second day off. So... he has been gone even more than usual. Which was already TOO MUCH. It's just been a big bummer lately but I feel like I've been doing pretty well at not letting it get me too down. I feel like it's really bad business to not take care of your employees and to not give them the time off every week that they deserve. Too many bosses and not enough leaders...

  • I ran over a nail or something like that here recently. Thankfully I have a fantastic husband who has access to a lift at work and patched (plugged?) it all by himself. Always impressed and awed by his car savvy and selfless nature.
  • Our house is a constant mess/disaster zone.
  • Daylights savings. WHAT. WHY. It seems so unnecessary. Can someone please explain to me why in the world we still do time change?
  • Our computer sucks. It really is on it's last leg of life. We've had it for a while and have loved our desktop very much but I think we might make a big switch over to an Apple laptop and an external hard drive when this one kicks the bucket.
  • Jonathan, my future brother-in-law, will not be at our family Thanksgiving. Bums me out! I love spending time all together and it only happens maybe once a year if we're lucky so I'm not happy about that. We'll miss him! So we will just have to get together for the New Year or sometime after Claire (my niece who is due at the end of this year) makes her appearance.
  • Mockingjay Part Two isn't out in theaters yet. I am so ready to see it! But... that means that The Hunger Games series will be COMPLETELY OVER once we see it...... I don't know how to deal with that. So sad.

  • My grandma had a pretty major surgery last week and it went well. I'm so, so glad she is okay and on the mend. We are planning to see her next month and I cannot wait to hug her and for Presley to get to talk to her and Molly to meet her and to just be with her. It'll be a short visit and I'm already regretting that we won't be there longer! But like I said - I am so looking forward to seeing her. 
    very special woman
    It's been over two years since our last visit and while I honestly cannot believe that so much time has passed so quickly, it definitely feels like it's been a long time since seeing her.
  • Sean, my brother-in-law, is visiting from California! It's been a year (I think?) since I saw him last and I can't wait to spend some time with him.
  • I don't think I ever blogged about the SUPER AWESOME date night Tony and I had the other night. We went to the Cannon Center for the Memphis Music Hall of Fame induction and then out to dinner at our favorite place in Memphis to get burgers - Dyers! 
    eating at dyers in our usual spot
    It was one perfect evening. We got to see Justin Timberlake be inducted and he was introduced by Jimmy Fallon (of the Tonight Show).

    Super special night! Watching the CMAs the other night and seeing Justin Timberlake with Chris Stapleton perform just made me feel so lucky all over again that we got to see him!!!
  • My birthday is next week and I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY! I mean, who doesn't enjoy their own birthday? I'm excited to turn 28 and looking forward to another beautiful year with my family here in Memphis. Tony already told me I am making my own birthday cake because it's been a while since I've made my signature funfetti cake + buttercream frosting and he said he can't top that!
  • Halloween was excellent! We had fun this year with two little trick-or-treaters! Well, kinda. Molly can dress up and walk around but hasn't quite started holding her bag by herself yet... :) We went as Andy's toys (Presley: Buzz Lightyear, Molly: alien, Me: Mrs. Potato Head, Tony: Mr. Potato Head) and the ninja turtles. 

    thanks to my mother-in-law for this photo
    my big sister made our potato shirts

    I'm already looking forward to what we could dress up as next year!!! Oh, and of course I bought the girls a bunch of Disney princess costumes after the holiday was over and the markdowns started.
  • Looking sooo forward to Thanksgiving with my sisters! Can. Not. Wait. 
  • My husband is awesome. I just cannot seem to get enough of him and I don't want that to every change! 
    So grateful for this man I married.

That's it for tonight. I'm sure I could keep going but I'm not sure anyone would want to read it! :)  Happy Friday, guys. Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What was I saying?

I took my wedding ring and diamond earrings to Kay's to be cleaned today and - of course - I couldn't find the paperwork for my earrings. The woman was so sweet and patient and combed the super-old looking computer system to find the purchase slip while I was trying and failing to corral both kids. It made me think back to when we bought the jewelry.

It was the beginning of 2010 and we had just been engaged a few months. When Tony originally bought my engagement ring he got a gift certificate where you spend a certain amount of money and you get a certain amount back... I don't remember the specifics. Anyways, long story short, we went in to buy our wedding bands and picked out some tiny diamond earrings for me that would end up being free after purchasing our bands. Sweet! You really can't beat free, especially when you're saving to pay for a wedding. Plus, I'd never had diamond earrings before, so this was exciting! When we pointed out the tiny set of earrings, the saleswoman said, "Oh no! You don't want those! The diamonds are practically black!" When we assured her that those were in fact the earrings we wanted, she still tried to talk us out of them and kept dissing the diamonds. It irritated me so much back then and for some reason it still irritates me today. Maybe it's because I didn't speak up and tell the woman I was happy to have them and that I thought they were beautiful (and that she should shut the hell up).

While I was recalling this memory in my head today at the jewelry store, the kind and patient woman helping me handed back my earrings after inspecting and cleaning them. Then she leaned over and whispered to me, "It's time to get some bigger earrings, dear." WHAT is wrong with people?? Why can't I just be happy with what I have? Do you think I would be happy with gigantic diamond earrings? SURE. But guess what? I am happy with tiny diamond earrings, too!

Tony and I were literally just talking last night about how more money/more problems is so true. I am able to stay home with the kids because ONE: it is our choice/what we want to do and TWO: we live within our means. We cut back where we need to. Do we make bad decisions with our money from time to time? Yep. Are we perfect? Nope. But we opt not to have cable. We don't have the best internet in the world. Or really the best anything. We intentionally don't have car payments. We don't pay interest on credit cards. We saved up for our upcoming family vacation. We're not hardcore Dave Ramsey people -- I wish we were -- and we have a LOT to learn about making wiser decisions with our money, but we pay our bills and we take care of our family's needs and so many wants.

We want to move to a place in our lives where we can save more, give back more, and do more (for ourselves, for our kids, for others, etc). Once the kids are in school it will be nice for both of us to work and make money but I know these babies of mine will only be little and home for a limited amount of time and we intend to make the most of it. I remember feeling SO OVERWHELMED staying home with Presley in the early days and wish the days away until I could work and be in the adult world on a regular basis again. (#mommyconfession) And now that I see how fleeting these days come and go I see that this is just a season in our life!!! One that I am enjoying.

Is there a point to all of this? Not really. I do this thing with my daughter all the time... if she starts complaining about having to brush her teeth before bed I remind her that some people don't have clean water or a toothbrush. It helps her to be happy and grateful for the things we have. So, just do that every once in a while in order to stay grounded.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Marriage Monday: Dare to Share

Happy Monday!

Raise your hand if you love being in love. Now... think about why you love being in love. What reason did you come up with?

For me, a really great part of falling in love is being pursued. I don't know about you, but when my husband wants to know me more - even after fifteen years of each other - it makes me feel cherished. But because our lives are so rushed it's really easy to let that deeper communication that we all desire go by the wayside. In addition to that, it's easy for things to go unsaid/unheard. We have so many feelings for our spouse and often we assume the other knows/absorbs those things. It'd be nice if we all took the time to get those feelings for each other out as well as take them in from our spouse. Because life is short and our marriage is important!

me and tony on our most recent date night

This is where Dare2Share comes into our picture. Dare2Share focuses on communication and intimacy and gives you an opportunity to enjoy the love you share with your spouse in the form of a game. It was created originally by a woman, Esre, for her and her husband to use as they spent much of their time physically apart. Esre didn't want their marriage to suffer and decided to purposefully set aside time to talk to one another free of distraction. Dare2Share started as a physical card game and is also offered as a very user-friendly app.
(You can get the app via iTunes or Google Play and is offered in four different versions - English, Afrikaans, Espanol, and Portugues for $4.99.)

The app contains 230 communication cards and has between four and six questions per card. We've just started answering questions and they start out as simple as sharing about your day - elaborating on the high and lows of the day as well as looking forward to tomorrow. And according to their website, the questions progress as you move along.

"The cards are in a specific sequence and the questions are progressively intense and more sensitive! It is therefore suggested that patience be displayed and the sequence be followed, in order not to jeopardize the series! Romantic suggestions and ideas in the form of 'Dare' cards have been included in order to keep the game exciting and to enable couples to enjoy humor and have fun the way that we believe God intended it to be!"

It doesn't matter how long you've been with your significant other or the state of your marriage, EVERY one benefits when you put your marriage first. You can take time to answer these questions together on a daily or weekly basis but the important thing is to stick with it. The key is to make a quiet time that is kid and distraction free to focus on each other. Make eye contact. Share some coffee. Make it special! Listen to your spouse and try not to interrupt. It might be a little awkward at first or feel forced but I promise you'll fall into rhythm.

as much as I love our occasional date nights out, I love our evenings in together even more!

In what ways do you and your spouse work to keep your marriage alive? What is something you'd like to start doing in order to promote deeper communication between the two of you? And what is your favorite part of being in love in the first place? Because I really want to know!

And let me know what you think of Dare2Share! I think it's amazing and I wanted to share how much I love it with you guys today!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

God's Promises.

Today's point of praise: "This is my comfort in my affliction, that your word has revived me." (Psalm 119:50) Day #9

Let's talk about marriage for a second. How many times have been distraught in a tough situation until our spouse offered us their words of comfort and encouragement? Where would we be without mutual communication in our marriages? It would really suck.

This is what I thought about today after reading my devotional: communication. We are able to communicate with God through prayer and he is able to indirectly communicate back to us through his promises in the Bible. If we aren't praying or reading the bible then our communication with God is hurting, as I'm sure we've all experienced at some point. And when we read the bible, we read it through our own individual lens - our experiences give the words personal meaning and weight. And who gives us those experiences? God - through his plan for us. I think that is awesome.

My sister, Amanda, and I always talk about how hard mornings are in our houses full of little ones. It seems like no matter what time I wake up in the morning, there hasn't been enough sleep. Amanda and I both wait until the kids are awake in the morning to get up and out of bed ... which is probably a big mistake. We've both talked about how we probably should start to get up a bit before they do in order to have actually warm coffee and time to ourselves for reflection. It sounds like such a great idea until just after putting the kids to bed. I bask in the kid-free evenings and often stay up late watching Grey's Anatomy reruns on Netflix. (I'm a night owl.) If you watch the Bachelor on ABC, you might remember the best bachelor ever - Shawn - and his adorable family, which includes his sister, Shay. I love her blog! She wrote on this topic once and her early morning routine has always sounded so peaceful to me. (Here is an example of why I love the idea of her morning routine.) I'd love to wake up and start the day with coffee and some motivation and blessed encouragement. The mornings that I do start the day thanking God - regardless of what time I get up - really does set my mind in a more positive direction.

To go back to talking about marriage again, it always makes my morning SO MUCH better when I wake up to a good morning text from Tony - and the best when I get to wake up and have a conversation with him. It'd be a nice feeling to do the same (but not exactly) with Christ - to wake up and reflect on his word.

"We have ample evidence that the Lord is able to guide. The promises cover every imaginable situation. All we need to do is to take the hand he stretches out." Elizabeth Elliot