Friday, May 20, 2011

catching up...

the time has finally come...


with the year ticking by i must admit our coffee house dream was starting slowing to become just that "a dream". however as you can see... God has blessed us with our dream becoming a Reality! now the Real Hard Work begins! we are loving it... even thru the dog days of construction, praying subs show up on time, estimates stay true to their first quote, and we become more equipped each day to fulfill this vision Our Best way possible! it's definitely easy to get overwhelmed if we allow ourselves to be... but really when we focus on the Whole Idea, the Purpose of why this all began, we then realize that with God everything will continue to fall into place (& in His timing, not our own). so with a goal 'soft opening' in mind we press on to the mark and SOOO look forward to serving up a cup (of yummy fabulous organic coffee drinks) to our locals and beyond!

looking forward to posting After pics

i'm even more looking forward to filling this space with new flooring, equipment, appliances, paint, furniture, artwork, and PEOPLE! can't wait until our first lil' open mic nite debut! yes... Good Times are ahead!!! and for all the know who you are (lol)... we do realize this spot will become a second home to us and you know what, i'm loving that idea too! confirmation came last weekend when we visited with our roaster and Great coffee supplier in PA called Square One (check them out when your in Lancaster). we went to train again and spend time with them soaking up the environment and the behind-the-scenes business and as before... loved every minute! with minimal (i'm talking 3 hours sleep If that thanks the crazy loud people in the hotel room across the hall) we found ourselves able to hang in all day and enjoy every minute (no matter how heavy our eyelids became). thats how i know my 'dream' is also my purpose and passion. when you know that no matter how much your body is ready to give up you're still loving what you're doing/experiencing. i hope each of you too is able to enjoy your work - spite the inevitable hard days, the lowest of the low days, you still feel that passion and love for your work and for how it's benefitting those around you! now for balancing work and family....

my little guy becomes my side-kick co-contractor! lol

andrew and i have probably hit every library in the calvert - st mary's area. he happily (most days) goes along for the ride, knowing that after or during the gaps between meetings, coffee house stops, and plenty of computer time & phone calls, we'll take a break somewhere fun for him. so that's how it works for us... for now. you just do your best with what time you have and try and make the most of it Each day! one things for sure... my little guy will Always know he's loved and important, even when we're making him clean dishes @ 66Beans! lol.

okay... back to work. hope you enjoyed the condensed wordy version of a little catch up on our space! stay tuned for further updates =)

oh and i must say again... THANK you for all of the prayers, love, encouragement and support throughout this process... it's kept us going even during the 'dry' times! =)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

blessed & thankful!!!

i had to take a sec and blog about how Blessed & Thankful i am! & i hope so many of you (ALL of you) feel the same - in your own personal way because yoU deserve nothing less!
some our Immersed gp @ECC (college&career)

the group of crazy Fabulous faces you see above are some of those in our weekly Immersed gp at our church. my husband & i have been Blessed to be called to lead such a wonderful group of young adults and they inspired me tonight - as many of them wouldn't know- to write this quick blog on Blessings and Thankfulness! you see so often we get so caught up in the typical run-around that we call our day. whether it be leaving home early to head off to work- or waking before dawn to pack lunches for our kids in school while cooking breakfast for our husbands and preparing our day w/ our toddler and list full of errands- it gets endless i know! my point- during all of that- the chaos that is our day- sometimes we forget- or don't make the time- to stop and just breathe and remember how Blessed we are & to say Thank You to God for all that He's given to us- and all that's to come! the beautiful faces above- they reminded me tonight to be Thankful! amongst running around filling my day & checking off my 'to-do's' i honestly felt like crashing on the couch tonight - not packing up my little man again (after having just gotten home) to head out the door- but i was so Glad that i did! not only do i Thank God for calling us to reach out to Young Adults in our area- He thanks us for our responding to that call by Blessing us Immensely with a Fabulous Inspiring gp who challenge us - make us laugh - encourage us- Bless us & Inspire us more than they'll ever truly know! 
some other Thankful Blessings of mine...
and this little face- oh how this momma LOVES that little guy!
kitchen design- must admit i LOVE those After Shots!
our Coffee Lounge- COMING SOON! YEY!!

for me personally- it's easy to get caught up in the 'oh my gosh i have so much going on how can i tackle it all' but you see- that's when i overwhelm myself with my laundry list of 'stuff' not focusing on the fact that all that 'stuff' has been used by God to Bless me in Incredible ways! being a mom- of course a blessing- toughest job on earth as many of you know-but the rewards and blessings are Endless! designing professionally for the past 8 years- total blessing! sure it could be stressful at times depending upon the client, but still- I'm totally Thankful that God Blessed me with a fabulous outlet to use my creative ability in the work force and even more blessed to work for a Boss & alongside others who taught me so much- and who have really been a JOY to work with! and 66beans... the calling to open a coffee lounge in our area has been something my sister & i have desired to see come to fruition for quite a while -and it looks like nows that time! when my plate seems stacked already- baby2 on the way as well- it's hard to imagine at times opening a business- HOWEVER when you're working at something God's calling you to do- He makes a way- He has things under control- and my Rest is found in Him after a long day full of checked off 'to-do's'! and honestly i'm So glad to know i Don't have to have it 'all figured out' -i just need to know the One who does & be Thankful for that!

i can only hope that so many of you (like ALL) are able to say the same- you're doing what you're 'called' to do- what you've been Designed to do- what you're talented and gifted in doing! because it's then- even when you feel you've had all you can take during one particular day- that you can sit down at the end of the night and feel fulfilled! fulfilled in knowing that you used your gifts to Bless others - be it your children- your co-workers- your spouse- your clients/customers- whoever- wherever- you know that what you did that day was Exactly what you were suppose to do- what you were called to do. and whether or not you feel you did your best- or you were running on empty and tried anyway- Pat yourself on the back! we all have better days than others - lousy days we can't take back- but something else we have... is Tomorrow! so live it- enjoy it- and DO what yoU are Designed to do! after all- there is Only one yoU- so No one else can fill your shoes! 

so here's to putting on your best pair tomorrow and Shining in a way that only You can!

Friday, April 15, 2011

naming a Boy... some things come easier than others!

as some already know... 4 years ago while pregnant with our 1st son we had NO problem deciding upon a name. after all we had a name chosen for a boy even Before we were married, so once this precious little one was deemed a BOY it was settled, no further thought necessary...
Andrew James 9-14-2007

isn't he adorable! =) i think too that was one of the Major reasons why i was thinking baby2 was going to be a girl - not only because my 2 men wanted a little girl but b/c we already had the name. boy names were never really even discussed. and the reverse was true while pregnant with Drew -we had the boy name and a girl name was never decided upon. so... now we're still tossing around ideas and honestly i don't like it! =/ i kinda feel bad that this new little growing life inside me remains 'nameless'. and i don't think a name is something you can just settle on.. i think it needs to have some sort of meaning or connection (not nec a name that everyone Else thinks is great or agrees upon) but a name that resides with a reason for you and your spouse. for instance "Andrew" was a name joe and i just both loved (& i loved Drew for short- NOT Andy (just a personal thing)). I like names that i think a baby can Grow with - call me weird but for instance i try to picture them as a baby, bouncing toddler, teenager and grown adult -all with that name. And for me being named Sommer - i've always liked names that could have a shorter -nickname version (b/c i did not-although nicknames were kinda 'created' for me). so w/ Andrew -Drew came naturally. *cute story- the day of our wedding when walking out of the salon w/ all my beautiful bridesmaids a lady stopped me on the street to say congrats w/ a little toddler in toe- when walking away the little boy turned back and yelled "my name's Drew" and i thought, 'yep, we're havin' a Boy one day' =) *that was what i call a little 'God wink'*
and James. his middle name is after my dear Pop Pop who passed away a number of yrs ago now (time flies =/ and oh how i LOVED that man. i always had a special place with him and him with me and wanted to honor that by giving Andrew his name. so again... Andrew James came EASY! baby2... again.. not so much!??
as some know - we arrived home that evening after our sonogram and got out the ol' Baby Name book. i started in A and worked thru to Z =/ i read many out loud (just to kinda hear them said whether i really liked them or not) and again we agreed upon NONE! however... when i got to W and read off Wayne, both Drew and Joe said "John Wayne" yep that'd be great (i was like umm...NO WAY) Andrew continued (he's my little actor much like his dad) "hi my name's Andrew James and this is my baby brother John Wayne" lol (cute right) but again NO! lol. i mean come on, talk about being made fun of (and trust me i know what that's like with the name Sommer) and after all John Wayne is not even John Wayne's real name! 
so.. as you can see we're kinda stuck. we're toying around with 2 different names right now, first and middle, but haven't settled upon either and frankly i'm getting antsy. i know i have until August but like i said.. for me this baby needs a name.. like Yesterday! so... not that i'm really asking the blogging world to "Name that Baby" but i am curious... what are some Boy (to men) names that you adore??  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ol' Albert I love ya!

This was sent to me from a friend -via email- & i thought it was too Good not to post!
Please read in it's entirety- it'll make you think- and most of you smile I hope!

"Let me explain the problem science has with religion."
The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. 
'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'
'Yes sir,' the student says.
'So you believe in God?'
'Absolutely '
'Is God good?'
'Sure! God's good.'
'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'
'Are you good or evil?'
'The Bible says I'm evil.'
The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'
'Yes sir, I would.'
'So you're good...!'
'I wouldn't say that.'
'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could.. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'
The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?'
The student remains silent. 'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. 'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'
'Er..yes,' the student says.
'Is Satan good?'
The student doesn't hesitate on this one.. 'No.'
'Then where does Satan come from?'
The student falters. 'From God'
'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'
'Yes, sir.'
'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'
'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'
Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'
The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'
'So who created them?'
The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. 'Who created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,'     he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'
The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'
The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'
'No sir. I've never seen Him.'
'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'
'No, sir, I have not.'
'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'
'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'
'Yet you still believe in him?'
'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist... What do you say to that, son?'
'Nothing,' the student replies.. 'I only have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'
The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat? '
' Yes.
'And is there such a thing as cold?'
'Yes, son, there's cold too.'
'No sir, there isn't.'
The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. 'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'
Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.
'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'
'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'
The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'
'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'
The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'
'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains.. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.' 'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.' 'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'
'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'
'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'
The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.
'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'
The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. 'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.' The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter. 'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so.. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.' 'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'
Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'
'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?' Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it Everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in The multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'
To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'
The professor sat down.
If you read it all the way through and had a smile on your face when you finished, mail to your friends and family with the title 'God vs. Science'
PS:  The student was 
Albert Einstein. 
Albert Einstein wrote a book titled 'God vs. Science' in 1921.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

are yoU using your Greatest strength...?

gotta love some popeye!

i have this book called "Jesus Life Coach" by Laurie Beth Jones -it's wonderful! It's a quick read - broken down in much ways like devotional bks are so you can easily sit it down and pick it up at your leisure (much like i've done lately). well yesterday was a day i picked it up and flipped to read in an area titled "Use Your Greatest Strength". hmmm.
she says"the Gallup organization recently surveyed more than 2million workers in 101 companies around the world. one question was this: "Do you get to use your greatest strengths every day at work?" 80%, or 8 out of 10 people said that they do NOT get to use their greatest strengths every day at work. Imagine what we could do organizationally and teamwise if people's highest gifts were identified and unleashed. Essentially we are operating at only 20% capacity. What a waste of time, energy, and talent!" she goes on to say...
"Jesus went from being a carpenter to being a preacher. I often imagine what went through His mind the day he finally lay the hammer down and walked out the door, closing the shop for the very last time." (never thought deep about that myself- that exact moment in His life)
she continues...
"..there burned in Him a driving force that went beyond His trained skill level. His highest gift ultimately led him from the safety of a carpenter's workbench into the desert wilderness, where He had to confront His greatest fears and move on." (i've def. had to face some fears of my own in pursuing a new direction, esp here lately! how about you?)
and on...
"Every temptation that Jesus faced in the wilderness was related to His higher gifts. Could He have turned those stones into bread when He was hungry? Yes. But He didn't. In every case where He was called to use His higher gifts for lesser purpose, Jesus refused. That restraint allowed Him to use His gifts in their highest form." (wow- how often do we settle on using our gifts/talents for small mediocre things? too often i'd vouch for saying myself!)
hmmm... all that just got me thinking. how many people do we know punching a time clock (out of great necessity no doubt) but really settling in life for doing what they were either 'told they should do' or just simply b/c they think that's all they are 'qualified to do', yet go left feeling unfulfilled? i think the answer lies in that 80% poll. well... as for me... i'm hoping and praying that i can become one of the 20%! how about you? are you able to use your Greatest gifts/talents at your 'job'? 
i hope so!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

me... a walking contradiction!?!

brace yourself... this could be a long one! 
'contradiction' according to says 'act of denying; assertion of the contrary or opposite; direct opposition between things compared'. Guess that sounds about right, but i'd prefer a more pleasant phrase like 'finding ones self' or 'a work in progress' or even 'learning as i go'. however you package it up though it all boils down to this... there are SO many areas/things in my life that are just that, contradictions. so i've decided to be Real and share a few.. or a lot, depending on how long my son allows me to sit at my laptop, lol. so here's a list in no special order of areas in my life where i've found, or am finding myself to be just that... a Walking Contradiction.

city girl at heart?
enjoying life among the amish? really?

i've always said 'I'd love to live in the city', hop in an elevator leaving my apartment to pop out on the street where i could Walk just about anywhere and have almost anything at my disposal, be it a quaint artsy coffeehouse a great boutique, whatever, just the thought of not having to rely on a car for transportation is a nice idea... or is it? 
contradiction numero uno - i cried on our way home from NYC yrs ago thinking we may actually be moving north for my husband to finish bible college!?? that didn't happen... but what did? another contradiction. we moved from a tight, house side-by-side neighborhood still in what's considered to be a more rural county to an EVEN MORE country area (where i said i would NEVER move to) & now live among the Amish... BUT.... I'm actually Enjoying it!?! who-da thunk? NOT I said the fly!!!
and since i'm on the subject of 'places'...
beach LOVER...
turned Blue Ridge Mountain Adorer!
when selecting a college years ago i always thought i'd prefer to be near a beach or some sort of beautiful body of water.. if not in the city!lol - however when i found James Madison Univ nestled among the blue ridge mountains i had no doubt That was the place for me??  again i found myself falling in love with the ol' small town of harrisonburg VA and honestly it wouldn't take much convincing if someone said 'you're moving back' =)
moving on...

numero dos - FOOD. 

a couple years ago i found myself on a health search (out of necessity for loved ones suffering w/ ailments later turning to personal necessity). spending countless hours reading and devouring books and information on anything pertaining to 'how food affects our health'. i was amazed at what i found! God really did create our bodies to heal and sustain themselves and Food Really Is a Powerful Weapon. contradiction... this morning after eating a nice bowl of oatmeal, grapefruit and some almonds i later found myself finishing off a couple bites of my son's toaster strudel! OMGosh i know. it goes against everything i know to even Have those things in my house much less voluntarily feeding them to my son =( and then partaking in a few bites myself?? i could blame it on pregnancy, i could blame it on going coupon crazy (which has me buying things i shouldn't b/c i can get them so cheap and i know joe & drew like them), i could blame it on others who told me over and over i was being too health food crazy, but what it really boils down to is my own lazy attitude these days =( and in no way am i happy about it. i much rather be 'crazy' and feel good then fulfill a craving and feel yuck about myself after (literally and physically). so i just need to STOP i know... along with a good Kick in the Butt, yeah that'd help too!

next... All dogs MUST go to heaven in my book!
my first 'baby' JAX
growing up i was a CAT person who never really cared for dogs. dogs to me were more intimidating, belonged outside, and smelt bad most of the time. lol. if you would have told me i'd grow up and voluntarily adopt a big hairy beast and love him to pcs i would have laughed and again said, never! needless to say times have changed! after marrying joe (who not only dislikes cats but is conveniently allergic-lol) i realized this girl needed some kind of animal around. after all i grew up Always having pets, either indoors or out. so one day i told joe i was going to the animal shelter and bringing home a dog. joe thought 'oh great she'll come back with a tiny little squeaker she can dress up'! boy was he surprised when he walked in on this 70+ lab/retriever mix of sorts! and that dog did it for me, i was instantly in love and have never turned back. cats... now i'm the one that can do without!?!
i later had to adopt Abby FOR Jax.. he needed a pal =)

now i'm going to move quickly thru several more contradictions... otherwise i'll be here even longer than I want to be...

athletic i am NOT - however i would love to be considered that?! is it too late? lol. seriously though i can make a bball shot (standing still while not being blocked) so really i can play a mean game of Horse on the court and kickball isn't too much of a struggle, but beyond that those near and dear would laugh at this statement (please don't laugh too hard)! now having a son and another on the way i do hope (need to be determined) to be able to 'get out there and throw a football around' -just throw though - being tackled to the ground will never be my thing!

i LOVE to read and do read, several books at one time (see old post on 'from Dr. Seuss to the Holy Bible) but i must admit i don't finish them all. i want to.. usually, but i guess when it comes to books i can get a little ADD and jump around a bit, planning to return at a later date but not always doing so. 

a girly girl?? not really. i may give off that appearance b/c i never leave home without make-up (and never intend to unless deemed a nec. emergency) but really i'm not what others would categorize by definition as such. i'm not typically emotional, not mushy and romantic (although that one i'd kinda like to be-and i believe my husband would as well-lol) not the real sensitive by nature type. now don't get me wrong i have friends i love dearly who are all those things and i honestly think those are great qualities so i'm not trying to come across as if it's a negative, just trying to reflect how some may meet me and assume such, and some who even know me a bit may still assume such, hence the 'Walking Contradiction', but upon 'knowing me' you'd realize i'm really not.

speaking of 'not a girly girl' i guess i'm more meaning that from all said reasons above. where i AM fitting of that category lies in the following...
i would honestly love to go camping outdoors in a tent in a sleeping bag on the ground -lol- HOWEVER b/c of the 'never leaving home without make-up on' and my lack of a desire to be outdoors vulnerable while sleeping amongst critters i'm unaware of, i will admit i AM a hotel girl- and That I will remain proud of- mom to boys or not! 

and a contradiction i'm now Pursuing... owning my own business! lol. seriously while in college professors always asked us, 'who here wants to own their own design business one day'? mine was NEVER a hand that went up. i worked for small companies, i saw first hand what owners went thru and in no way did i want that responsibility! HOWEVER... now as many know, my sister and i are in hot pursuit of opening a coffee lounge here in ol' southern MD, Sixty-Six Beans. (hopefully that will soon be a post - the update!).

and the last one i'll list will be the shortest... because we all know how that turned out, lol.
i once said "i will never marry joe clark"!

soo... among those contradiction i know there lie many more. i'm sure once i log off my mind will flood with them too. but i guess it all comes down to this -God knows us better than we know ourselves. He has Good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and as long as we're following Him and open to change... change is okay! some areas (of mine) need a little butt kicking b/c i know i shouldn't abandon my hearts desires (ex eating healthier Consistently),other areas just make me-me, but i'm also glad i'm open and flexible to move and change, learn and grow. after all it's all apart of the process and i thank God i've been wrong in so many ways, such as the last contradiction above!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fantastic Unbeatable Finds... at least I think so!

so yesterday... oh how i had anticipated yesterday! every year, twice a year a HUGE kids consignment sale hits our local county fair grounds. when i say HUGE, i do mean Huge! 10s of thousands of items come in and FILL up a couple of the buildings (usually reserved for those vendor and 4-H type/art shows when the fairs open)but they are filled up with EVERYTHING you can think of that a child would need - from clothes to shoes to toys to nursery items to storage items to tricycles and bicycles to furniture, oh how the list goes on! (just take a look at the image below, not capturing even a hint of the whole idea)!
(a small peak at the girls side)

well this year i was DEF looking forward to it, not knowing if i was going to get to shop on the girls side or if sticking to the boys side was going to be where you'd find me again... well we all know that result. let me say though it must have kept things nice and simple- not having to tear through the mass of women and little dresses, lol. but seriously, women pack this place OUT and it gets kinda craZy! that's why i volunteer! the lady who runs this event has it down to a science, seriously! it's awesome and SO organized! and you are able to shop early if you are a volunteer (based on your volunteer hours) and later that night if you are a new/1st time mommy (those are the "i don't care how big my baby bump is, get outta my why kinda mommas)! so again this year I stuck with my usual 3-6pm volunteer schedule allowing me to shop immediately at 6 =) those who volunteered the most began at 4 so the flow steadily began, but with the same determination "i MUST go grab that item i saw brought in the other day"! for me this worked out great - ONLY disappointing thing was that the ONE thing i REALLY wanted to get Andrew was snatched up =( it was a Scoobie Doo bouncing ball (that you sit on and hop around) but scoobie was adorable and like a stuffed animal wrapped around part of the ball - man drew would have FLIPPED OUT! but... i am still proud to say i did walk away with some Awesome finds (see below) and again i'm looking forward to the fall sale already!!! =) 
that= 7prs of shorts, 1pr swimming trunks, 8 shirts, 3 baby outfits (can't forget abt the new lil man), 1pr of Buster Brown sneaks, 1 small black diaper bag, 7pr of baby shoes/booties, 3 bibs, 2 hats, batman & jungle book figurines, toy car, & a melissa&doug wooden race track! all for ONLY $70

now seriously, who does NOT like a deal like that- it's pure Craziness & I was thanking God for all that for Sure! funny how though I really stuck to shopping for drew, guess it doesn't matter though b/c with birthday's a month apart the next little man will be growing into all these great bargains too! oh and did i mention... so things are brand new! 

all these cute lil shoes/booties (most NEW) came wrapped together for ONLY $6 =)

and the Winner of the bargains goes to this! a Melissa & Doug wooden race track ($10) that andrew will LOVE! no it's still not scoobie, but what he doesn't know i missed out on won't hurt him =)

so ladies i urge you... check out your area and see if one of these crazy sales doesn't come close to home- it's SO worth it! and for those who don't like hand-me-down clothes (keep in mind some are Brand New).. or just check out their other great bargains, you really can't go wrong! 

happy savings =)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baby Boy#2 Coming Summer 2011!!!

We found out the fabulous & yes -much to our surprise- news yesterday morning... baby #2 is a BOY! *see the cute-yet usually a bit awkward baby 'under construction' image below* =) Before i dive into the details of our surprise let me first make note of Why i AM one of the few women who seem to enjoy having Summer babies!
yes its the awkward self mirror shot- maybe my 3yr old could have done better?
*pic taken at 19wks=1/2 way done*

1. You can hide the awkward "is she pregnant or just bloated" baby bump with the bulkier winter clothes or a nice long shabby scarf... at least sometimes,lol. believe me i've had 'those looks' -funny story this past wkend a young waitress glanced down at my belly and smiled and began to say "aww..." then stopped short, thinking uh-oh maybe i'm wrong- i knew the look so i quickly confirmed her thought with 'yes we're expecting in August =)

2. When you do find yourself too big to comfortably bend over it's okay because it's Flip-Flop season! YeY, no need to try and cram your feet into big boots and brave the slippery sidewalks in fear of falling over b/c your balance is off!

3. Lighter clothing! fun summertime clothes are easier and lighter on the tummy to throw on =) bathing suits... well... lets just say girls there's no reason to 'suck it in' anymore, lol. grant it i'm not a comfortable 2pc wearin' mamma, but they do have cute tank-top 2 pcs, just remember to hold that top down when first getting into the pool, lol.

4. speaking of pool... Swimming! no better time to feel more like yourself and not so -top heavy- then enjoying some water time! its a nice reminder that 'no i'm usually not this large' =) and a pleasant and relaxing way to exercise and cool off in the heat.

5. some complain it's too hot to be prego in the summer... as for me i seriously am fine with it! i much prefer to be hot than freezing cold with stiff muscles and large & in charge! plus that's why we have air conditioning options!

6. sunshine makes me happy!!! i am NOT a fan of being cold (can you tell by now) so the more i can be out soaking up the sun the less depressed i feel! and the bigger i get the less depressed i NEED to be, lol. so being able to slip on the oh so convenient shoes without bending over to walk outside and soak up the rays brings a bit more joy to me! and as all us moms know - joy during the larger months is just as important!

7. summer birthday party planning is just fun! i know birthdays at any time can be a blast, but i have enjoyed planning andrew's summertime parties and i look forward to doing the same with this lil guy. the options just seem more endless.

8. speaking of parties... summer time is a great picnic time! a time when there aren't too many holidays to over-shadow the fun Birth-day of your little one (or yourself if you're like me and a summertime baby too). so that's a nice way to break up the year, esp from the Christmas extraviganza! 

I'm sure I have a ton more but those are just among my top few =) I hope for those prego during the summer like me they serve you with little reminders of the joys of a summertime pregnancy!
the cute but awkward 'under construction' pic =)

Now on to our Surprise yesterday! it's amazing how you can really 'set your mind' without nec. even realizing you've set it soo much! thus is the reason i am a thankful lady for the technology we have today in knowing what sex our precious little one is before arrival =) even though you never truly are 'prepared' it does help to think that knowing the gender provides you with a bit more of the 'feeling' of being prepared =) and as for some who save the surprise -i think that's fabulous- but for us yesterday was just as big of a surprise... and reminder that you just never know until you know!

one reason this little one i think shocked me was because while pregnant with andrew i was one of the VERY few who thought we were going to have a boy, all else kept saying girl. so when the tech confirmed my 'intuitions' i smiled and kinda laughed at joe sitting in shock watching the screen =) yesterday however... we both sat Shocked - even Drew who responded with 'i thought i was having a sister', lol, uh oh! and in no way are we disappointed.. again just surprised. and as my mom said to me yesterday 'didn't you always say you wanted boys' i was reminded that Yes i did! i think this time around i just thought that since my husband has always always wanted a little girl (to spoil & protect) and my son a baby sister, i began to want that for them. however, again we are both excited (drew is slowly adjusting -hence his determination to now name his lil bro "john wayne"). & in all honesty joe and i have had the desire to adopt one day for many years now - so if God Blesses us in the future with an adopted angel maybe she'll be the girl our family was missing. then she would be spoiled for sure (being the ONLY girl for a few grandparents as well =) 

so... now it's time to pray and discuss a name to give this precious little boy. a time to pull out the tiny baby clothes we did save (having passed on many to others) and to rest assure that he'll be loved and adored just as much as andrew - not in comparison, but in a fresh new way - knowing this unique little individual was planned by God and has a purpose beyond even our wildest (and best) dreams for him. and Yes... knowing ahead of time brings a bit more peace to this momma =) i enjoyed pulling out some of my 'raising boys' books last night, laughing over the thoughts of things to come and thanking God for His Great plans for our family. and for now i must admit... being the only girl surrounded by men, big and little, is just fine by me =)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

blOg-CraZy & biRthDay lOvE!

happy Birthday weekend (tomorrow he's 33!) to my guy =)

first i will cover the 'blog-crazy' in the title of this quick note...
my-oh-my how this blogging world is a crazy wonderful one to get caught up in! i have stumbled across SO many wonderful women all in a different part of the world- being open and honest -inspiring and encouraging - and serving as reminders to me that none of us are 'crazy', lol, we're just fabulous ladies trying to live out the best life God has in store for us the best way we can - while choosing to open up our hearts to this blog world - reaching out to others along our own journeys in life =) again i thank you ladies - for sometimes i do get lost clicking from one new blog to another and before i know it the time has gotten away from me - just one more reminder i best get on that personal time-management skill a bit more closely, lol, but i love it. i love the ladies i'm stumbling upon & i encourage you to enter in too when you can =)

our 1st 2 'kids' jax & abby

i wanted to take a moment (inspired by another blogger) to celebrate my sweet husband who's celebrating his 33rd birthday tomorrow! phew 33 i can hardly believe it, esp since we've known each other since he was 17 and i was 15 - that's a lot of knowin' =) as our Young Adults in our Immersed gp. from church learned recently when studying the 5 lOve lanGuages, mine is not 'words of affirmation', but of course, that's my husbands! so as he tosses out loving words at me endlessly at times (really showing He's the one desiring those in return) i'm speaking a different kinda language 'quality time' (which for joe and i these days is a struggle b/c of crazy schedules- we're trying to get a grip, but i digress...) So my point is that due to my struggle w/ 'spoken words' i will write a few thoughts on why I LOVE THIS MAN for the whole world to see (and my guy when I point him to this latest entry). sooo how do i love this man... let me count the ways....

andrew's 1st sunday @church 3 1/2yrs ago -joe was speaking =)

He LOVES GOD first! and then loves me and our 'growing' family! some may say wooh God first?? yes you see that's why i fell in love with him oh so many up&down years ago =) he's got a passion for the calling God has on his life (reaching out to young people) and it's contagious -after all he's brought me along for the ride as we now serve the young adults in our church/community side-by-side. when you find a man who loves God you have found a Good thing -cherish it! the times that we spend praying together - worshipping together - trusting together - those are ALL the times that grow us... together! i could not imagine spending a lifetime with anyone else and i will FOREVER cherish his prayers for me and our family and beyond =)

ice show @ the National Harbor

my man loves to have fun! being goofy and making people laugh, either with him or at him, he doesn't care and i love, sometimes in secret-lol, that about him! for those who know me i'm the type that does tend to care who's watching at times, grant it i've come along way from where i started, but i'm blessed to be with a man who 'lightens me up'. whether it's dancing around our living room acting silly for our son (or really for himself b/c he's having fun) joe definitely knows how to make a dull situation a little less dull ... and yes i do love that about him, no matter how often i give him 'that look', you know, the one that says... umm people are watching, lol. it's really just another thing that kept drawing me back to him when we were 'young and in-love'. the thing that i knew i needed in my life to 'lighten me up'! =) 

us in hawaii w/ his mom & step-dad

he can't sit still for too long! we love traveling - be it to florida (against my will for the 15th time -lol) and beyond - i love that he loves to be out & about, seeing and experiencing new places. one thing we definitely have strongly in common is that neither one of us is much of a home-body. of course these days, with one precious son & another child on the way & again the craziness of our schedules, we don't get to go and do as much as we would like, but the fact comes down to- we both Like =) so in the end you know you'll end up back out&about when you can. thankfully we did have almost 4 years together before our son came along which opened up more time for us for travel and vacation time (don't get me wrong- children at ANY time are a blessing - but for us those years are ones we'll always happily hold dear -for more selfish reasons =)

joe taking drew to his first hair cut =)

the little pic above represents two big things i love about this man! first and foremost he LOVES his son! he's the kind of dad who will spend countless time 'fighting' (drew requests this on a nightly basis) with him, watching/taking him to see sill movies, playing sports with him (yes our now 3 1/2 year old is Passionate about sports-even requested to watch basketball by 'signing' to us when he was not even a year old!-i'm in for it-lol) and any other thing Fun! he's not the dad that sits on the side-lines, not the dad that cares what others think if he's acting Crazy with andrew, he's the dad who wants to make his son laugh, fly around the room, sing loudly, love God and love life and THAT is what definitely draws this wife & mom even more in-love with him =)
the 2nd part of this pic is the ol' barbershop in the background -this to me is a reminder of joe's loyalty! my man is definitely a loyal one! why this pic- well we no longer live near this barber John, but joe will definitely still be sure to make the drive or fit it in on his driving route home to get by and wait for 'his barber' to cut his hair- no matter how long it takes! (ladies don't be fooled- men gossip and sit in barber shops just as long as we do at the salon- at least my man can-lol). so this just reminds me in a small way of the big thing my husband represents - being loyal =) sure he may say 'i'll call you back in 5 or be home in 10' and it turns into 20 or an hour... but the point comes back to.. he'll be there. he's loyal to his family, his friends, his church & his (our) God and that's Important to me =) It makes me feel secure as his wife =) being someone who i know can drive him crazy and push his buttons (like he pushes mine) at the end of the day i still know where he'll be and who he'll love - and in this life, full of un-committed people and things - that's important to me!

so i could keep going for i'm not sure how long... but i'll save some of those other things for him- thanking him for brightening my life and for allowing me to be a part of his... sharing yet another of many of his Birthdays together! 

*love ya joe- love me*