Friday, November 29, 2013

MAKING YOUR IDEAS A REALITY




It is nearing the end of November and the Christmas holidays are just around the corner.

My mind is a whirlwind of ideas.

December is the month when I put many of my ideas down on paper and attempt to make something concrete out of them.

It's a scary thing though...making your ideas real. Sometimes it feels much better to keep your ideas in the realm of the maybe, to not put them down on paper, to not show them, to not turn them into something real.

Currently, I'm working with a group of women who, in attempt, are laying the foundation for a Christian-based foster prevention ministry. The thing is, ideas can be wonderful and great and genius and perfect, but once you put them down on paper to make them real, they will be real in their flaws, lumps, awkwardness, and imperfection. Before you put them down, when that page is blank and full of nothing but potential and possibility, your hopes of what might be is oh-my-goodness so HUGE! The next step is to put our mission and preliminary ground work onto paper, but it's so frightening to write them down and expose them.

Because reality is, ideas are never perfect, and genius may start with a genius idea, but to make it real, it takes an awful lot of work and pruning and revising. It is so much better to put that flawed idea, that uncertain attempt, that maybe down on paper than it is to sit with the flawless, intangible idea floating around in your brain.

Sometimes we receive a clear calling on our life, but we push it away for feeling incompetent. Fear of failure, embarrassment, rejection. Better to not try and stay comfortable than try and fail, right? of course not!

Put it out there. Try it out. See what happens when the floating idea lands on the page and inspires a second idea, and then a third. Or maybe it turns out to be a bad idea that doesn't go anywhere. In that case, scrap that idea and move on to the next. Just make sure whatever it is, you commit to those ideas, you make those ideas real.





Thursday, November 28, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING



Have a blessed Thanksgiving, lovelies!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

LET'S BE FRIENDS BLOG HOP

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the 41st Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Other than our new look, there are a few changes taking place, for the better. The first change is that the hop will be held every Tuesday at 9am (MST) instead of over the weekend. The reason for this change is that there are already tons of weekend hops, and we wanted to make this hop more accessible to our audience.

The second change is that the hop will focus on content from here on out. I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of All My Happy Endings or The Dwelling Tree. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Mandi about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news! 

 photo BlogHopButtonFinal_zps99116d5e.png
 

***Once a week, one lucky winner will be drawn at random to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

Meet your hosts:

The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'

All My Happy Endings: Blog, Bloglovin'
  
and your co-hosts:

Osborne, My Life in Words: BlogTwitter
Samantha Elizabeth: BlogBloglovin'
Holli's Hoots and Hollers: Blog, Bloglovin'
Simple Moments Stick: Blog, Bloglovin'

 My Show Amanda: Blog, Facebook
Don't Judge Me: Blog, Facebook
Simply Free: Blog, Twitter
Back Home Again: Blog, Bloglovin'

***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:


Aw man, Amberly, why did you have to put up such a cute pic of your dog? Anyways, the  moment I saw this post it caught my eye. Partly because my husband and I have been on the fence for awhile about getting a puppy. I love the reasons Amberly lists out on this blog post for "Why every marriage needs a puppy". I love #2 the bestThere is always someone to keep you company when your spouse is gone. So true. Anyways, it is a great post and one worth reading. Plus, I just love this photo. It is rather Pinterest worthy for family photos including your pet! 

*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)





Monday, November 25, 2013

PEOPLE PLACED IN MY LIFE



Lately, I have felt overwhelmed. But in a good way. With a grateful heart. It has brought me to tears even.

Why am I so blessed? Why has God allowed my family such comforts and second chances? Why has God chosen to give me a husband who truly cherishes me and wants nothing more than to just be with me? Why has God given me a little boy who oozes joy to the very pit of his being...bringing such joy and excitement to my life. A teenage son with a heart the size of Texas. A pre-teen daughter who makes me want to be 11 again just so that I can be her best friend.

Then my mind wanders to the friends that God has no doubt strategically placed in my life during this season and chapter. I wonder if we would be so close if we met in 10 years from now. Would our lives collide in such a way that we would be such steadfast friends?

He chooses the folks who walk into my life and at times He allows me to see a glimpse of His plan. We have built relationships with others who are hurting, deeply hurting through trials we have not faced. We pray together, cry together and sort through the grief together.

I am so thankful that even in the darker days, God gives me hope more often than not, by allowing me to be with others who love Him and show His love to me.

 





Friday, November 22, 2013

27 WEEKS




It’s funny really, just how much people think a pregnant woman’s body is public territory. I don’t mind it so much, but whoa! – I know other preggos you better steer clear of. I’m actually rather thankful for all the strangers that stop me in my tracks to tell me “you’re adorable” or “you’re the cutest pregnant woman,” because honestly, I could use a confidence booster from time to time. This pregnancy has been rather troublesome and I don’t feel that "glow” at all whatsoever.

On that note, here’s my update:

How far along? 27 weeks.
Total weight gain/loss: Yeah…like 43 lbs. Sshhhh!
Stretch marks? Maybe a few. (Oh, joy.)
Sleep: I wish! Can’t get much REM sleep when you need a potty break every half hour.
Best moment this week: Our 2 year old laying his head on my belly and whispering “baby in mommy’s tummy.”
Movement: I think we’re going to have another gymnast.
Food cravings: Strangely…soups and smoothies.
Gender: Boy.
Labor Signs: The occasional Braxton Hicks, but nothing serious.
Belly Button in or out? My cavernous belly button is still holding on.
What I miss: Bending. Painting my toenails. Focusing. Being quick witted.
What I am looking forward to: The holidays. Nesting. Maternity leave and bonding with all my children.
Weekly Wisdom: Deep breaths.





Thursday, November 21, 2013

YOU & ME



Hi! Let me first apologize for my lack of posts lately. For the past several months really. My workload and my pregnancy have my head hit the pillow early most evenings. Though I want so much to tell you of my goings on, my thoughts, or my family's silly little antics, I fail miserably at the physical effort it takes to walk up the stairs to my computer.

I'm meeting so many new bloggers with the launch of the revamped Let's Be Friends Blog Hop. Many of you ask me questions. Like you genuinely want to know me. And it's so refreshing and uplifting and I couldn't feel more honored. So, I've cultivated a brief Q&A. I ask that you pick a question and provide your answer/response in the comments below. Why? Because I genuinely want to know YOU, too!

Thank you for your unrelenting encouragement and support – I appreciate you!

1. What are your favorite ways to stay creative? Wow, this question stumped me. I am noticing an abundance of new bloggers surface – crafters, painters, and writers too – and wonder if creativity is the province of the young. At 35, I am certainly less creative than I was 10 years ago. But thanks to the birth of Pinterest, it’s inspired me to take on new challenges. It’s important to prevent putting yourself in a box, so to speak.

2. Where do you get inspiration? Gaining inspiration is incredibly difficult at times. As a writer, I often suffer from “writers block” which can be a major hurdle for a blogger. But I’ve come to realize that my followers don’t expect to be hypnotized by my prose. They appreciate the simple moments of my daily life – inspired by my children and my husband…my favorite people in the world. For it is with them, that I’m often reflective, about life, about humanity, about love. Children, with their fresh outlook on life, can change the way you view the world.

3. Brag about Houston, Tx.  On the eighth day, natives around here say, God created Texas. On the ninth, Texans started bragging. Specifically, for Houston, it’s a great place to live. Houston provides a vast arena of jobs, it’s a fairly low cost of living comparatively speaking, and most importantly gracious hospitality.

4. How do you incorporate your faith into your family? Good question. This definitely sparked some reflection on my end. Overall, there is a Godly expectation for each member in our family – a spiritual statement so to speak. We encourage fellowship in our home by having dinner as a family Sunday through Thursday, where we discuss “highs and lows.” This time together is a wonderful way to reproduce one’s day and identify blessings and his or her thoughts.

5. How did you come about blogging? Initially, my blog was nothing more than a means to stay connected to loved ones across the miles. A method of sharing our goings on, but also a mode of journaling my experiences and thoughts along the way. My blog has only become public since November 2012, and it’s morphed into a myriad of topics from lifestyle, parenting, inspiration, to blogging tips, mama fashion, and giveaways. But above all, it’s my story.

The name All My Happy Endings pretty much describes my mission in life – to choose happiness no matter my circumstance. And to share my deliverance from life’s everyday challenges.

6. How do you like to spend your weekends? I work full-time outside the home during the week, so I try to make up for lost time over my weekends – cuddling in bed in the early morning, tickles and giggles just prior to an evening out to the park, maybe even a wrestle-fest here and there. My husband and I are rather kid- and fun-centric – we like to do activities that that bonds us as an out-and-about family. Sometimes that includes activities that border extreme – biking, paddle boarding, jet-skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, hiking, and running. Weekend warrior trips might also include long drives, late Sunday night arrivals, and sore, tired bodies come Monday morning. But it's worth it!

7.  What have you learned about yourself that has surprised you? I've learned that there's no reward in being bogged down by my past. Consider those obstacles, opportunities. That's it. Now go be awesome!

8. Is life how you imagined it would be? This is a pretty timeless question that can be difficult to answer. Let's just say that the life I have today is the life I had hoped for, even though I may have never known it. My story had its challenges, and sometimes even sad ones. But everything that's happened changed me for the better. I should change my by-line to read, "love and loss, letting go, and holding on." A friend of mine recently told me I should write a book. I don't know about a book, but I'm definitely writing a blog.

9. What do you love about yourself? Loving myself requires a conscious effort. I naturally shutter at the thought of loving one's self, as though it coincides with arrogance, selfishness, and the like. I suppose you mean to ask what I think my strengths are, and in that case, I would say my heart. I'm empathetic to a fault, and though I have yet to learn to verbalize it, I feel it. Second would be my lack of jealousy. Don't ever concern yourself about people your age that have accomplished more than you. You never know what people might say about them at their funeral. It might be something along the lines of, "so-in-so cured HIV and made millions, but I remember the time she ran over my cat and drove away laughing." No thanks! I'd rather be a poor person with a loving heart.

10. What's your drink of choice? Oh, that's easy! I really do appreciate a good glass of Cabernet. Martinis, a close runner-up.





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