Monday, August 30, 2010


This week we are blogging about the top 5 things that people do to annoy us and the top 5 things thy we do that probably annoy others. So here we go!

Top 5 Annoyances:
1. Women who continue to have children (that are poorly taken care of) so they can get more welfare money.

2. People who don't have a job who are collecting unemployment while sitting on their rear ends playing video games. (please know that does not apply to those who are out of a job and on unemployment and actually trying to find a job). These same people also annoy me because they think they deserve things they didn't work hard to earn. Example: someone who has worked hard all their life and paid all their bills on time having more taxes taken out of their pay so the government can give free healthcare to someone who hasn't even tried to work hard.

3. People who complain about Southern Baptists. It drives me nuts!! I am very proud to be a southern baptist. I believe that the beliefs of the southern baptist church are closest to scripture. I am proud that the Southern Baptist Convention is the 2nd largest relief organization in the world (1st being Red Cross) and that we send more missionaries than any other organization. Are there problems in the southern baptist denomination of course there are. But what denomination doesn't have issues.

4. People who work in the service industry who provide poor service. If I am a paying customer please give me good service. And it is hard these days to find good service. But when I do I definitely praise them for it!

5. People who use foul language. I really really can't stand it. I have told people I don't know to watch their mouth and even threatened to have some teens kicked out of the theatre. There is just absolutely no reason for it! And you really better watch out if you use bad language around my child!

I have a sixth one too: people who are getting in their cars in a shopping center and see that someone is waiting for their space and take extra long to leave. Oh soooo annoying!!

Top 5 things that I do to annoy: (I can't think of a single thing, just kidding)

1. Probably my political speech. I am pretty outspoken about it (but I am glad my DKOS friend Cassandra is too). I have lost Facebook friends over it. Oh well!

2. If I can get something in yellow I want it in that color. Sometimes it can be extreme and I think it may annoy people.

3. I am always talking about how I wish we had a Super Target and a Chick-Fil-A close by. Probably a little too much. But if you only knew how amazing the two are you would understand!

4. I like to argue. If you say left I will say right just to be obstinate. I know this to be true as my husband has told me I do this a lot. I think it makes life less boring. Hee hee!

5. I think I may talk too much in bible studies. I do try and wait to see if anyone else will answer or read aloud and if they don't I will. So sometimes it just seems like I am the only one talking and that is probably annoying to people.

While I am sure that my friends and family could come up with a lot more things that I do to annoy them I think we will just keep it at those 5!!

I am interested to read what annoys my fellow DKOS bloggers!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Snail Mail

This isn't really a hobby, but I love to make cards. I was first introduced to card-making several years ago when one of my friends invited me to a Stampin Up party. I had so much fun that I hosted several Stampin Up parties of my own and would buy items here and there for making cards. In the age of e-mail and Facebook, I find there's something really special when you take the time to send a card...I know I get excited when I receive a card in the mail! So over the years I've accumulated ink pads, stamps, craft paper, ribbon, etc...all the essential tools for creating a card. I love to get creative with my cards and try to make them extra-special. I also find that it's cheaper to make a card than it is to buy one. The best places to go for supplies are craft stores such as Michael's or Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's. You can buy anything and everything there: blank note cards, scrapbook paper, ink, stamps, ribbon, buttons...whatever you will need to create a card. I usually try to buy the ribbon when it's on sale. Oh, and occasionally the $1 aisle at Target will have all kinds of scrapbooking items that you can use too. Making cards does take time, but the finished product of brightening someone's day is totally worth it!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Hobby in Hiatus

I picked up knitting a few years ago.  I think it actually began with crochet - my sister would bring her latest crochet project to family gatherings and one Thanskgiving I decided I wanted to learn.  I picked it up pretty quickly (well, the basics anyway) and resorted to online videos to remember what I had learned that day.  But I soon realized that I like the look of knitting more than crochet, and there began a love/hate relationship.

I learned to knit mostly through the knittinghelp website.  My sister showed me a few starter techniques and I had a good basis for developing my skill from there.  My first project was a reading wrap for my mom.  The pattern was quick and relatively simple, and I couldn't believe that my hands had actually made the finished product!

I then embarked on the baby blanket business.  Erica had just found out that she was expecting Asher at the time, and it was the perfect project to tackle.  I had grand delusions that every baby born in my family of friends from here on out would have their own special Aunt Mary-made blanket.  I found a striped pattern on Ravelry, modified it a bit, and got to work.  The thing about stripes that I didn't realize?  Every time you change colors you have 2 ends to weave into the project.  For an experienced knitter? No big deal.  For me?  Well, I never actually took the time to learn to do it properly, and then I got all stubborn about it, and just decided to do it my own way.  That was brilliant - let me tell you.  Oh, and the other thing I didn't mention...I was not only taking on my first large knitting project, I had decided that it would just be so much cuter if I batted it, backed it with fabric, and gave it a piped edge.  And that decision wouldn't seem like such a big deal if I had a sewing machine (or even knew how to use one), but I just figured I'd sew it all by hand.  I think this example could probably give you some keen insight into my life decision making processes.  I don't necessarily make things easy for myself, and yet I set some pretty high expectations.  Good times!  After hour upon hour of toiling endlessly (I even took a full vacation day to get it finished before we went to Austin to meet Ash)....voila!  The results were well worth it, and I love that Erica has gotten so much use out of it!

(Photo Courtesy of Amelia)
Easier projects I have done  since then are a scarf for my niece last Christmas, and a baby bear hat (in crochet) just in time for a few sweet friends new baby boys to have their first photo shoots.

Here's the problem though - I've been working on a blanket for Jackson since Cassandra found out she was pregnant.  You may have noticed that Jackson is several months old now.  And, um, yeah, that blanket?  Well let's just say that knitting got the better of me and I can. not. do. it.  I don't know what my deal is, it's about a quarter finished, but I can't make myself pick it up again.  (Forgive me Cass & Jax!)  I felt that coming on though, and let Cassandra know on the front end that Jackson would definitely have an Aunt Mary baby blanket by the time he was two.  Or five.  And poor little Chase may be somewhere around ten.

I'm getting the itch again, so maybe there's hope.  Knitting projects can be time consuming, and my brain feels the pressure of the length of a project from the first stitch - which obviously works against me sometimes.  I love the finished product, but getting there can stress me out - and that's not really the point of a hobby.  So I've been taking a knitting sabbatical.  But believe me, the day I finish Jackson's will ALL know it (assuming we still have this blog in 2014).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A few interests...

The first things that come to my mind when I think of hobbies/interests are running and quilting...they are kind of random, but I do enjoy both! I started getting in to running in 2001 when I started training for my first marathon. I remember talking to a girl who was not very athletic, and she had just finished running a marathon- and I thought, if she can do it, then CERTAINLY I can do it- because I had been pretty athletic my whole
I thought, why not?
So, I started my 18 week training and completed my first 26.2 mile marathon in Vancouver, Canada in May 2002. Since then, I have run 2 other full marathons- one in Austin and the other in San Diego, as well as, completing two 1/2 marathons- one in Nashville and the other in Dallas. I have also run like 15 or so 5K's and a couple of 10K' has been fun over the years challenging myself and learning how to improve my running abilities. I am currently training for two 1oK's in September- the Tour De Fleur in Dallas and the Spur On in Ft Worth, and I will continue training until December for the White Rock 1/2 marathon-it will be a great time to run as the fall season kicks in! I have great aspirations to run in the Boston marathon one day, but that will have to come later down the road.

On to my other interest,'s funny, I would never have thought I'd enjoy sewing just because I wouldn't think I have the natural "patient/detailed" temperament for it-however, I have come to like sewing- especially making quilts. It started one evening when one of my friends came over and told me she was going to teach me how to make a quilt with my new sewing machine (a bday gift from my mom that year) before the night was over. She was right, by the end of the night we had made a crib-size quilt together. Really, I just took it from there- and have worked on my quilting skills- hopefully getting better each time I make one. I love making these blankets for different people for different reasons...a new baby, wedding present, bday gift, even when someone has a sickness...also, it has been a privelege to make quilts for my sweet babies, too! I have had to take a break from making quilts since having baby #2(sweet Chase) but I am hoping to be able to get back in to it soon!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I've been snapping photos since I was posing my Cabbage Patch Kids for pictures with my 110 film camera way back in the day. I wish I could find that picture right now, because I wanted to add it to the post. I have always loved capturing moments, and photography is fun to me. I can't say that I have a passion for the technical aspects. I really wish that I did. My partially fried mommy brain really puts a damper on my knowledge retention, but I'm slowly learning more of the technical side... very slowly... and I am a work in progress. But what I do have a passion for is making someone smile when they see a photo I've taken. Whether it's their child, their pet, something funny, a memorable moment... I could go on. I love and prefer candid shots, but I have also come to appreciate the challenge of getting a good, posed family shot. Most of my friends that I have photographed have young children, so a good family shot is definitely a challenge. My love for photography grew a giant leap when I got my first digital camera. Holy cow - the freedom of taking as many pictures as you want and being able to delete them before they're printed!! And then my love grew another giant leap when I had my first child. And I have thousands upon thousands of photos to prove it. I've been working on backing up photos (twice, because I'm that paranoid), and let me just say that is yet another aspect of this that is not my passion. If only someone else could deal with all of that for me.... but if I were going to hire someone for something, I think I'd choose a maid first. :) If you're interested in photography, the best advice I can give you is to take in small tidbits of instruction/information at a time and practice, practice, practice immediately after doing so. You'll have so much fun!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Simple Life

As life becomes more and more full, busy, and complicated, I often find myself pondering ways to simplify it. So that's probably my biggest interest right now - finding ways to scale back, acquire less, spend less, waste less, and live more "green". I used to think my parents were so square and ridiculous for making us turn out the lights when we left a room and stuff like that, but now I get it! I'm all about turning out lights, unplugging things when they're not in use, recycling everything possible, and using more earth-friendly products. Some of our recent efforts include switching to cloth diapers and wipes, replacing burned-out lightbulbs with those super-energy-efficient ones, and taking reusable bags when we go shopping. Something else "interesting" that I've recently switched to (this might fall under the category of TMI) is the Diva Cup, which is an alternative to standard feminine hygiene products. I'll admit there was a rather sizable adjustment period/learning curve, but I'm definitely a convert now. It's stuff like that that I really enjoy finding - little-known options that have a big impact without a big dollar investment. Goals for the near future include 1)growing more of our own food and 2) giving away/selling a BUNCH of stuff (there's just no reason for 2 adults and a toddler to be outgrowing a 1600 square foot house!!!). I am also really interested in trying out this thing called the Sabertec Blade - it attaches to the tailpipe of your car to reduce air pollution and make your gas burn more efficiently. Apparently you can get as much as six miles more out of each gallon!

I have a lot more to learn, and a long way to go before I could be considered an eco-warrior, but I'm a firm believer that every little bit helps! So I'll keep looking for ideas and trying new things in my quest for a more simple and sustainable existence.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Puzzles & Food

So this week we are blogging about a hobby or interest we have. And the only thing I can come up with is my love for Word Search and Sudoku puzzles. Every single night without fail when I get into bed I do one or two puzzles. I feel like it keeps my mind sharp and I have read that doing puzzles like that can help to prevent alheizmers. So I am all for preventing that! As I was typing this blog I thought about something else I have an interest in and that is cooking. I absolutely love to cook. I love searching for new recipes and implementing them into our weeknight dinner schedule. Some of my favorite shows are on the Food Network. I really enjoy watching others cook and then trying out some of the recipes. So that's what I am interested in. How about you?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Let the Children Laugh

I will do absolutely anything in order to make my child laugh...and as I write, Scott is in the living room making these crazy noises in order to get Jackson to laugh...I just love the sound of his laughter. The sweetest sound! (and you could have enjoyed his sweet laughter too but I was having technical difficulties and the video was taking an hour to here's a picture to enjoy instead):

Have a great week. And laugh a little, it's good for the soul.

BTW, my favorite quote from the weekend was, "Mommy doesn't like to blow." Guess which ADKS blogger said that.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Make Me Laugh

Among the many things and people that make me laugh, I would have to include myself. It just seems like life would be a little bland if we weren't able to laugh at ourselves. Anywho... I've been looking around for something to put over our master bed. We have a big empty wall, and I just haven't felt the inspiration with anything I've seen thus far. However, I was looking in a shop last week and saw a sign that said, "Welcome Friends." I couldn't help but wonder what people would think as they were nonchalantly touring our home and then saw "Welcome Friends" right above our marriage bed. And then I got a good chuckle to myself thinking about what my dear hubby would think if he came and saw our new wall decor. :) I wish I had done it just for fun, but don't worry, I did not buy it. I ended up purchasing a blank canvas from the craft store, and that will surely lead to another laugh-at-myself moment!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I can tell you right now it's been toooooo long since I had a really, really good laugh. I mean, of course Asher does cute little funny things every day that make me laugh, and I can always find something to chuckle about on America's Funniest Videos, but it's definitely been a while since I had one of those I-can't-breathe-tears-running-down-my-face-abs-hurt-the-next-day laughing fits. This is kinda random, but something that always comes to mind when I think about laughing really hard is Jerry Seinfeld's book SeinLanguage. I'm not the world's biggest Jerry Seinfeld fan by any means, but I can remember sitting in the break room at work during lunch reading this book and laughing so hard I thought I was going to choke and have to perform the Heimlich maneuver on myself. Literally other people in the office would come in to make sure everything was OK because I was laughing so hard (and trying not to laugh so hard which, of course, only makes it worse). Another sure giggle-fest-starter? The Would You Rather...? books. SO INCREDIBLY HILARIOUS to me for some reason. Excerpts from one of the books:

Would you rather...
walk like a runway fashion model all the time
automatically revert to jazz hands whenever your hands are not in use?

Would you rather...
have an indelible grape Kool-Aid mustache
have permanent Doritos residue on your fingertips?

Would you rather...
have a digitally blurred face like criminals on TV
have your range of bodily movement reduced to that of a G.I. Joe action figure?

Would you rather...
Have glow-in-the-dark veins
be able to watch only one television show for the rest of your life: Charles in Charge starring Scott Baio?

Anyway, those really get me going. I should go look for that copy of SeinLanguage and see if I can get some good belly laughs going. And I hope all of you have a good side-splitting laugh attack soon! It does a body good!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reagan the ham

My daughter makes me laugh so much! She is just a little ham! I love it when she lets out a belly laugh when I am tickling her! I think the thing she does that makes me laugh the most is her dancing! Any time music is playing she starts to dance. Sometimes it's like this head bobbing around like a chicken and sometimes it's full on dancing around in circles! But it always makes me laugh. Even now while I am typing this I am laughing just thinking about her dancing! I wish I could post a video of her dancing, but every time I turn on the camera she stops. Reagan is definitely not shy and I have already begun praying for her teachers at preschool. They are going to have their hands full!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My New Friend Ree

I’ve mentioned before that I read a lot of blogs.  This makes sense really, because I love to read, and my favorite books are always memoirs.  So it would figure that I would love to read about real people’s lives.  I’ve always had an uncanny talent for predicting fiction.  I can almost ALWAYS figure out the end of a book before I’m a quarter of the way through it (with the exception of Little Bee, but I’ll save that for another post).  It’s the same story with TV shows and movies.  So I love the unpredictability of reading along with someone as they narrate their life.

One weird side effect to this though, is feeling like I’m friends with people who I don’t know, will never meet – and generally never even contact.  I’m not a big commenter, even on sites I frequent.  There are blogs I’ve been reading for years that I’ve never commented on, or maybe just commented once.  But that certainly doesn’t make me feel like I know these people any less.  For example, one of my favorite bloggers recently got engaged, and after years of reading about the ups and downs of her dating life, I was as happy for her as if she were a dear friend. 

The opposite can happen as well.  There are a few blogs I’ve read where over time I’ve genuinely begun to dislike the blogger.  One who was just so crass I finally had to quit reading, even though I felt like I was invested in her life.  One who genuinely seems like a good person, but she recently starting being really nasty and immature in the comments section when someone had something negative to say.  I understand what a negative comment feels like, and it doesn’t feel good.  It can be a very personal attack, which you do open yourself up to just by having a blog.  But willingly putting yourself out there doesn’t necessarily mean you’re excited about being annihilated in the comments section.  However, her responses were so disappointing that I’ve just stopped reading her altogether.  I read plenty of blogs written by people whose beliefs, politics, life choices, etc. differ vastly from mine, and that’s all good – it’s an insight into a life lived differently than mine, but I just can’t get behind ugliness.

So back to my new friend Ree.  I’ve recently taken the time to read some of the archives of Confessions of a Pioneer Woman - specifically the story of how she met her husband, which she titled "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels".  I’ve always loved the cooking section of her blog, but never really read beyond it.  I have discovered that I adore this woman.  I’d rather read her archives than the next book I have waiting on the nightstand.  Which brings us to another side effect of blog-loving…feeling a bit like a weird stalker.  Maybe if I commented more I wouldn’t feel that way – but I’m not sure that’s really the fix.  It’s kind of like having imaginary friends.  I know every detail of their life, but it’s kind of all in my head since they don’t actually know I exist.  Oh well, weird stalker or not, I love my blogs and bloggers.  Tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way??

Walker Jack Rainey

My heart has been heavy this week after learning that little Walker passed away Tuesday morning. So many mixed emotions...sadness for his mom and dad, yet joy that he did not have to suffer and now gets to spend eternity in Heaven. Please be in prayer for Chad and Missy today, along with their family and friends, as they celebrate Walker's life and lay him to rest.

Below is Walker's obituary, so beautifully written by Chad:

Walker Jack Rainey (2009-2010) Walker Jack Rainey was granted his angel wings on August 10, 2010. His final days were spent in the arms of his adoring family. Seventeen months ago Walker was welcomed into this world by two loving parents who had anxiously awaited his arrival. Sent with an agenda of warming hearts and opening eyes, he wasted no time doing so. Walker reminded us of how wonderful, fun, and innocent life can be, and that the value of a life is defined not by duration, but rather its work and witness.As God unfolded His plan for Walker's life, He did it in a way that would capture the attention of many people. It would be in vain to try and summarize all that our Lord has done with this child. But, those whose lives he touched know precisely. Perhaps the greatest lesson from Walker's life is the peace and hope that Our Father gives us when we really believe ... Walker enjoyed every little boy's dream of fishing, baseball, bubbles, and ice cream. Among his favorite things were GO-GOs (turtles), playing in the water, and pointing to things he wanted you to see. He always lit up a room and put smiles on the faces around him. We anticipate the same scene at the Gates of Heaven, as he is welcomed home. Walker is survived by his proud and loving parents, Chad and Missy Rainey of McKinney; maternal Grandad and Mimi Mike and Linda Barnes of Sherman; paternal Pops and Gram Lan and Sharron Rainey of Commerce; his Great "NeNaw" Hazel Shrader of Healdton, Okla.; Uncle Steve Barnes, Uncle Matt and Aunt Marci Barnes of Dallas, Uncle Lance Rainey of McKinney; cousins Haleigh, Blake, Bailey and Abigail Barnes of Dallas; and various great aunts, uncles, and cousins. We would also like to acknowledge Walker's friends Dr. Paul, Dr. Scott, and the infantry of angels/nurses at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Visitation to be held Friday, August 13, 2010 from 6-8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Sherman. There will be a celebration of Walker's life at 10 a.m. August 14th, 2010 at the First Baptist Church in Sherman. The register book can be signed online at lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Tiny Sparrow Foundation, 12181 Flynt Drive, Frisco, Texas 75035 (please memo: Walker Rainey) Children's Medical Center, c/o Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, 2777 Stemmons Fwy. Ste 700, Dallas, Texas 75207 (please memo: Walker Rainey)

God Bless, Cass

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A message to me at 16...

I know this was the theme for last week and I missed it, but I still wanted to write about it

Hi, 16 yr old Staci...

There are so many things I could say to you...I would love to warn you about some of the hurts and disappointments you have ahead of you over these next few years, but really, those are the things that have shaped and molded you in such significant ways.

Actually, the hurts you have from friendships and relationships during your teens- prepare you for the priceless friends you have ahead of you and how to cherish hang in there and KNOW God blesses you in ways you never dreamed with authentic relationships that challenge and inspire you. Oh yeah, and the "boy thing"- don't get serious with ANYONE- you have an AMAZING man waiting for you a few years after college...he's worth the wait!

There are so many little bits of advice to give you, too many to even write, but here are a few to think about 16 year old Staci...

-Believe God, and don't try to take things in your own hands or jump ahead as you are waiting on HIS in knowing GOD loves you and has the best for you
-Finish what you start and finish strong in the things you do
-Join the track team, turns out you love running(maybe even more than cheerleading)...
-Be open to new possibilities that you weren't some of those "non-TCS" girls at church...turns out they will be some of your best friends...and you will always have a blast when you are with them...who knew, right?
-Fall in love with the Bible- it's full of great wisdom that helps you make big decisions...
-In 1999, you will go through some craziness and actually almost lose your life- but turns out that God uses that to amaze you, change you, make you more bold, and give you certainty that God is Sovereign- yield to the process HE has for you...
-Be sure to ask questions about things you don't understand- I know you get scared to look dumb, but turns out if you don't know what something is there is probably someone wondering the same thing...
-Forgive quickly and move on- grudges only really hurt YOU...
-Allow God to mess with "your" plans...
-Love learning new things...also, read more...a great book is Stephen Covey's 7 habits of Highly Effective People...
-LOVE people and invest in their lives...
-Lastly, have fun being you-big curly hair and all!

Much love- 31 yr old Staci

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blessed Be Your Name

Do you have one (or more) of those songs that just take you back to a very specific time in your life? When I was pregnant with Aidan, I remember singing "Blessed Be Your Name" in church quite often. It must have come out around that time. Every time we would sing it, I would almost be brought to tears thinking about the precious boy growing inside me and trying to fathom the depth of the words I was saying. "You give and take away. You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name." Would I really be able to bless His name if He allowed something to go wrong with that pregnancy? If something were to happen to that child? The song begins by talking about praising Him in times of abundance. Sure, it's easy in the good times. Or actually, maybe it's not. Maybe that's when we forget to give Him the glory because we're content and comfortable. "Every blessing you pour out, I'll turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say... Blessed be the name of the Lord." Are you in a time where "streams of abundance flow?" Or are you "on the road marked with suffering" right now? I pray that we will be able to bless His name no matter what road we're each on right now. As I read through some of Walker Rainey's Caring Bridge site (Erica wrote about this yesterday), I am blown away at the faithfulness of his parents. What an amazing testimony. "Though there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name."

If you have time, just take a few minutes to listen and let these words sink in.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Some of you might remember an earlier post of mine about a sweet little boy named Walker Rainey who was diagnosed with a very aggressive type of cancer when he was 6 1/2 months old. Jesus called Walker home this morning, though he and his family and his doctors spent the last 11 months doing everything they could to beat the disease. Missy and Chad, Walker's mommy and daddy, are strong Christians who stand firm in the promise that God's will is perfect, but there's no doubt that they need as much support as they can get right now. Please take a moment to lift them up in whatever way works for you, whether that be through prayer or silence or song, etc.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cake This Cake That

Have you noticed the new obsession with cake? There are at least six or seven shows on television about cakes or cupcakes and all these little bakeries and cupcake stores are popping up everywhere. We have a cupcake place here in Illinois called The Cup (formerly The Cupcakery, and I am not sure why they changed this name) and their cupcakes are AMAZING!!!! They have about seven cupcakes that are their staple and then they have a monthly flavor and then a seasonal flavor. My favorite is their red velvet. Oh it is chocolate goodness with some cream cheese icing on top! Last month in celebration of Elvis' birthday they had a banana cupcake with peanut butter icing. Ummm yea I would love for them to bring that cupcake back sometime! It is just delicious!! My mouth is watering while I type this!! Now while cakes and cupcakes are all fine a good it's really the salty stuff I prefer! I would like to see little chips and salsa places open up, where they only serve chips and salsa and cokes! (can't have Mexican food without a coke). I sure do miss all the yummy Mexican restaurants in Texas!! So my question for you is.... Sweet or Salty?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Dear Cassandra:

I'd love to take this time to tell you all the things you should avoid in the next 16 years but those are some of the very things that will contribute to the woman you become. I'd also love to say that things will be easy but then I'd be lying to you. You are going to have some rough times ahead but you will come out on the other side stronger.

Follow your dreams. Go where you want to go and do what you want to do...and don't let anyone tell you you can't do something. Try your hardest and never give up.

Your parents are not stupid and they really do know what they're talking about. You may think they're being unfair, but their rules are in place because they love you. And honestly, nothing good happens after midnight anyway! Also, you may not think this will ever be possible, but your mom will become one of your best friends later in life.

Your brother and sisters may drive you absolutely crazy right now and you may sometimes wish you were an only child, but try to go easy on them. You will one day become fiercely protective of each of them. The sounds of fighting and bickering may fill the house right now, but down the road there will be lots of laughter and the occasional sounds of Rock Band (try to let loose).

Boys! Ah boys! Live and learn my dear, live and learn. All I can say is stay true to yourself and what you believe. And your thoughts on those three BIG words and how they aren't meant to be thrown around so freely, well keep telling yourself that and you will be rewarded in the end. Trust me. I'd love to tell you who you marry but then that would spoil all the fun. You two are going to have such an adventure!

Friends come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. You will be blessed by each and every friendship you make, but there are a certain group of girls that you will meet during your college years that will be your friends for a lifetime and will bless your socks off.

Finally, remember this verse: "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

On a lighter note:
  • Go to your ten year high school's fun to see old faces/friends.
  • Never forget the yellow submarine!
  • PLEASE stop wearing big bows in your hair.
  • Easy on the perms.
  • So what if you're a "band nerd," flags is fun and you're pretty good at it too.
  • You do not always have to come back from camp or mission trips with a boyfriend.
  • The boys were always intimidated by your dad. Little did they know that it was your mom they needed to be worried about.
  • Remember to have fun!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oh Dear Me

Dear, sweet, 16 year old Mary,

Oh precious girl.  You are young and innocent, and you don't even know it.  You think you're think you've been through it all already, but sadly, that is far from true.  Should I even tell you that?  That's kind of depressing, right?  But I think you need a little preparation. The upside?  You will eventually realize that you are so much tougher than you think you are.  You may be sweet and innocent, but you have some serious perseverance that you haven't even discovered yet. 

On a lighter note...lighten up kid.  It's really okay not to be so serious all the time!  I know you think everyone is watching and judging, and maybe some of them are...but who cares?  If not for the invention of Facebook (I'll spare you the details) you would never have to know what 90% of those people are doing for the rest of their lives. So unfortunately, I can't tell you that you'll never see most of these people again, but I promise, you will eventually realize that it truly does not matter.

And those crazy girls you hang out with?  They are the best thing that's ever happened to you, so don't alienate yourself so much.  Let them off the hook for having a lighter view of are SIXTEEN're supposed to have a lighter view of life.  It's even okay to be silly-in-public sometimes.  You've got silly-in-private down - and you will hone that skill in college - but it's okay to loosen up a little.  Really.  And while this is easier said than done, try not to be so afraid of new things.  Push yourself even when you are afraid.  You truly will not believe what you can accomplish in spite of yourself. 

I would love to give you some cautionary advice about the boys in your life...but I think you're going to learn some really good lessons out of all of keep doing what you're doing.  Trust your judgment and forgive your mistakes.  You will stay friends with the people that matter, so stop worrying so much about losing everyone.  You can't keep them all, and I know that will make you sad, but the ones who stay with you are the ones that you really need, and that is so much more than enough.

Also, that master plan you have in your head?  Please release it immediately.  Things will not go as planned my dear girl, and it will not be the end of the world.  I know this will come as a shock, but you will not be married by 25, or a stay at home mom with 3 children by 30.  I'll let you in on a little probably don't actually even want 3 children.  And the world is still turning on its axis.  Promise.  So stop making decisions based on that plan.  Really.

Lastly...please, please, please...step away from the dark red lipstick.  Also, avoid the Clinique counter in college.  That woman is a liar, and it definitely does look like you are wearing that much makeup.

Ain't no thing but a chicken wing.  Honestly.

Your older, wiser, 30-something self

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Word from the Wise (ha!)

I know my post is a few days late, but I didn't want to miss out on this week's topic!

Dear 16-year-old me (SYOM):
Haven't seen you in a while! Boy, do I have some stories to tell you... So look, I know you're not really into taking advice from an old lady at this point (since you're so smart and grown-up and all), but I'm going to give you some pointers anyway.

Your parents are smarter than you think, especially your mom. Their rules aren't as ridiculous as they seem, and they're not trying to cramp your style. They just want you to be safe. Spend some more quality time with them; they miss you.

Don't drive so fast through your neighborhood. It's rude and scary to people who have little kids. In fact, just don't drive so fast, period.

Those crazy friends you've made, they're forever. Well done, SYOM, well done.

Over the next few years, especially when you're in college, don't spend your summers working really hard at not working too hard. Does that make sense? That restaurant hostess job isn't going anywhere. Instead, look for interesting internships and learning experiences that might help you figure out what kind of career you might really enjoy, even if it means you can't spend as much time with __________ (insert name of guy here).

About that guy, and the others, you don't have to get so serious! It's OK to have some space! When the right one comes along, you won't have to force it.

Moving to Mississippi next year is going to seem exciting, then scary, then a little lonely. Do it anyway; it's the right thing and it will be great!

Keep up with those journals! Write more! You will love reading them and reminiscing.

Overall, SYOM, you're doing OK. You've got some tough times ahead, but some super-terrific times also. The important thing is, you'll learn from them all. Roll with the punches. Remember who you are and Whose you are. Your hair looks great, by the way.

Your future self,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Letter to my 16-year-old Self

Dear Amelia,

-You really do have the best friends in the entire world. In fact, you'll still be this close to them when your age doubles. And you'll all be blogging together... blogging... you'll figure out what that is.

-Be careful what you do in silly pictures. All of them have the potential to end up on facebook one day. Facebook will be on the internet.... Hmmmm... not sure I can explain either of those, but you will see!

-Respect your parents. They really do know what they're talking about.

-No, you will not marry him.

-It's okay to not have a car. And when you eventually get a car, it will be okay that it's more than 10 years old.

-You may date three guys with the same name, but that does not mean you'll marry someone with that name.

-Be yourself. And let your self imitate Christ.

- Serve others.

-Give more.

-Enjoy life! Be spontaneous. You'll be an old married lady with three kids before long. And when you are, still have fun!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Letter to my 16 year old self

Dear Beth Pitman (wow haven't used that name in almost 10 years),

Ahh I envy your youth! You have so much to look forward to in your future! But I wanted to give you a little advice on some things I wish I had known when I was your age.

1. Trust the Lord in all things and at all times
2. Really really study and memorize scripture
3. Trust your parents in all things and at all times
4. Love your sister and be sweet to her, she will be your best friend
5. Don't worry about boys and concentrate more on school work
6. Treasure your friendships more
7. Be kind to all and never look down on anyone
8. Don't sweat the small stuff, there is much bigger stuff that will come your way
9. Never get a credit card
10. Invest in Apple (seriously!!)

Most importantly enjoy life and live it to the fullest. Don't try to grow up so fast!!


Your 32 year old self

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Same Song, Different Dance

I, like my fellow ADKOS friends, also came to know the Lord at a young age. Nine years old to be exact. I am so horrible with details that I honestly cannot remember where I was when I asked Jesus into my heart, plus I have mommy brain, so everything is a little hazy on top of that. I can safely say that I was either at church or at home though. One thing I do know for sure, I was baptized on May 10, 1987, at Lamar Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. I can also tell you that two of my classmates, Matt Wills and Billy Peel, were also baptized on that date. (I do remember that oddly enough). I am blessed to have Godly parents who have always lifted me up in prayer and who thought it was important to have me and my siblings in church (which was pretty much every time the doors were open) when we were growing up.

My relationship with Christ is just that, MINE. While we all have similar stories on how we came to know Christ at a young age, we do not have similar testimonies of what God has done in our lives since that first step of faith. Thank you God for that. How boring would it be if we all had the same story! It's like I mentioned a while back in my Hot or Cold post, we were all created uniquely and we all have a unique relationship with my relationship with God is not like anyone else's relationship.

I can tell you that my relationship with God has had its share of ups and downs, times when I was on fire for God, and times when I walked down the wrong path. Through everything God was right there with me, even sometimes carrying me through those dark times.

My testimony right now is this: I am a sinner, saved by the grace of God! I am not perfect. I am a work-in-progress. God is teaching me to trust in His provision for my family (my husband was laid off in May, just 6 weeks after our son was born). My relationship with Him is not strong right now, but I'm working on it through daily Bible reading and time in prayer. (And you know what, I think that pleases Him.)

So even though we've all asked Jesus into our heart (Same Song), it's our unique relationship with Christ that sets us apart (Different Dance). I for one have enjoyed reading everyone's testimony this week and hope you have too.