Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hello, Neighbor

remember how i told you about me making my version of the chocolate hostess cupcake? well, i forgot to take any pics, but they were AWESOME! the batter called for a cup of hershey's syrup!! yeah! well, peter and i didnt need all of the cupcakes, so our softball team enjoyed some and then i took a few to our neighbors in the cul-de-sac. we dont know our neighbors all that well, but we are all friendly with each other when we are out. right next door live john and pam. they always have little kids over...grandkids or nieces...and monday was no exception. two little girls came to the door and they looked so excited when i told them i had two cupcakes for them (meant for john and pam, but thats ok). i then walked to the house on the end of the street (2 down for us) where don and mrs. don live. all i knew about them is that they are super old and mrs. don loves to yell at her dog, taco, to come into the house. don came to the door and seemed really happy to see me, especially with treats. he told me he would hide the second cupcake from his wife! lol!! i noticed that our last neighbor, dave (who lives directly across the street from us) was not home yet from work, so i saved his to deliver later. just before we left for softball practice the little girls from next door came running over to return my tupperware, so i gave them two more to take back so that john and pam could have dessert too. judging by smiles, i am pretty sure i became the girls' best friend right there and then!! that is why i love to bake! for the smiles i got from them, and from don!

this afternoon, as i was just finishing frosting cupcakes for bible study...yes, more cupcakes...i heard don scuffling up my drive way. he didnt think i was home so we was leaving a package that was mis-delivered to his home and dropping off my tupperware. i opened the door and you could just tell that he was so excited to say hi. i, of course, had opened the door with a cupcake in hand for him. what i thought would be a quick hello turned into an almost two hour conversation on my front porch..yes, 2 hours! i was late for bible study tonight, but it was well worth it to spend time with this sweet man. don moore and his wife (gertie) have been married for 68 years! don will be 93 next month and gertie will be 90 in october, 2 days after my 29th birthday! i am just dumbfounded that don is not only still alive, but they both live with no assistance for the most part. they live in their own home and don still drives! they have two children (son, robbie, 67 and daughter, nancy, 65). i learned so much from our talk...all about his years here in ohio. i heard all about his friends (all but one are now gone), his barber (who only charges don $3.75 for a haircut), his children and grandchildren, his father's farm, and his wife's spunky self. it was amazing. in the two hours, only twice did he falter to remember what we were talking about. he told me about his life threatening leg injury which kept him from the war, even showed me his scars. at one point he was kinda shivering from the wind and i asked him if he was ok, he replied that it was ok if his teeth chattered a little, they werent real anyway :) i think he told me 4 times that he needed to go before diving right into another topic. i was happy to listen and he was happy to talk. he asked me twice to stop by sometime so that he can show me his house.  he also said that i can bring him a treat anytime, but that his wife really needed to cut back, so he will just keep her portion for!!! i cant wait to stop over to see the moores soon. what a great surprise to my afternoon!

here is a pic of today's cupcakes on my new stand from lisa...thanks girl!

chocolate orange cake with fresh orange buttercream frosting...pretty good!

 please excuse my junk on the table behind...remnants of home hair! :)

Leviticus 19:17-18 "Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against on of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord."

Matthew 19: 17-19 "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments; Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself." 

Romans 13:9-10 "Whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law."


blessings, ALo

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reality Check

my life truly is not about my stuff. my life is not about the stuff i dont have.


please watch this hits right on and will make some people very uncomfortable...good. i needed a reminder of this truth today.

blessings, ALo

Monday, April 25, 2011

What's Cookin?

so, in an attempt to be a better wife and save some money, i have started planning meals. i plan 3 weeks worth of meals. :) today is the second round. the first round went very well, so now i am trying it again. basically, i go shopping for all 3 weeks worth of food outside of the fresh fruits and veggies and milk (we go thru about 2 gallons of mills a week...yes, there are only 3 of us living here). since i shop on mondays, tomorrow i will cook all the meat so it doesnt go bad, bag it into appropriate serving sizes, and label it for the meal. i actually have saved a lot of time and money doing this. i have found this really cute meal planner dry erase board with matching shopping list target. instead of doing lunch, dinner and notes, i decided to just do dinners. we always eat leftovers or simple sandwiches for no planning needing. the planning also helps so that i am not making the same meal every week.

so, you probably have noticed that i changed my blog up aesthetically a few weeks ago. i found my title font from this really cool blog. after downloading my font, i started looking around amanda's blog and found some pretty good looking recipes. when i started my meal agenda i printed a few of the recipes and we tried some the first go round...soooo good! tonight i made the cheesy chicken, bacon and avocado quesadillas...amazing, for real, and super easy!! there are only a couple i have not made because they are not our style, but i am sure they are delicious...try some! you should also check out her other posts...there are so many good things!! over easter break i went through one of my mother-in-law's cook books and wrote down 19 new recipes...oh hand was killing me! i cant wait to try some for the next go round!!

i have also found so much joy in baking the past few weeks. i have always loved baking, but lately it has become somewhat of a creative outlet. i have made cookies, pies, cakes, and plenty of cupcakes. for easter i made a pina colada cake...DELICIOUS...and it looked pretty too! most of my recipes for baking come from the cake mix doctor cookbooks (i have two different editions) and they all turn out awesome! lisa bought me a really cute pastry stand (great for cupcakes!) 2 weeks ago and it has already been used a few times! :) i will have to start taking pictures of what i bake...dont drool on your keyboard though! today i bought a tool for decorating and/or filling cupcakes...YES!!! i think that tomorrow i will make homemade dingdongs. i hope that my softball team is ok taste testing for me. good thing we are starting softball so that i dont gain a TON of weight! :) if you are in the area and are ever in the need for some baked goods, let me know...i would love to make something for you! better yet, come over for dinner and dessert!! :) but seriously...let me know if you need something baked...i would love to do it. i am working on my decorating skills, even planning on taking a set of classes with my friend, breezy. what a fun hobby!

anyway, here are a few pics of my meal planner...
on the chair where i do my planning :)

on the fridge/freezer

can you tell food is definitely a comfort for me? both making and eating...oh my! :)

blessings, ALo

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday?

i have aways wondered why we call today "good" friday. what makes it good? why is easter sunday not called good sunday instead? i mean, today is the day that Jesus was brutally tortured and murdered in front of friends and family and plenty of enemies. what was so good about the sin in my life that nailed Christ to the cross? whats good is when he rose from the dead, against all odds, and went on to Heaven to prepare a place for me. today, i do not feel good about what happened just over 2,000 years ago to pay the price for me.

this year, as i think about good friday, i cant help but think about mary. mary, Jesus's mom, had to watch her son be sentenced to death by crucifixion. she had to watch her beloved son, who had never done anything wrong, be beaten and bloodied to an unrecognizable pulp. she watched him get crowned with thorns and carry his cross to the hill where he was hung. she had to stand by while her son was asked to bear the sin of the world, including her own. i am sure that at that point she did not feel blessed to be Jesus's mom. in the beginning, before He was born, she questioned God's choice...i bet just over 30 years later she was still questioning God's ways. i cant imagine that there was anything good about that friday for mary as she became a mother with a deep loss. the good came sunday, when she (i assume) saw her Son ascend into Heaven.

did mary grieve the loss of Jesus after he went to Heaven? she knew for a long time, maybe before his birth, that he would have to take on the world's sin and die, so did she start grieving before He was born? did she pray, like Jesus in the garden, for God to change His mind, or did she know that this needed to happen so that mother and son could spend eternity together? there is never a good reason when someone looses a child, but is the loss of Jesus's life different? is it different to mary? so many questions.

i have been pretty emotional the last few days. partly just the normal grief, partly my selfishness wanting to have charlotte here with me...i had been looking forward to going to church this easter sunday in a cute, spring maternity dress, excited about her upcoming arrival in just a few weeks. i am also emotional as i reflect on what in my life put Jesus on the cross. a lot of that lies in my selfishness, or what happens when i act on the selfishness, at least. i have also been thinking about how i have been responding to life after loosing charlotte. after some deep, honest conversations with God, i have been reminded that i can not live my life always asking "what would charlotte think of her mom right now?" i have to live in response to the life and work on the cross of Jesus Christ. i have said that i want charlotte's life to be more than just a sad story, but i also have to allow God to direct my paths.

please pray that i will be open to how God is working in my life. like a friend said...i have to stop asking "why not?" and start asking "what now?" please pray that i can keep my self pity in check.

Isaiah 43:2,5 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you...Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.

Romans 6:8-11 "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:10-12 "I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."

it is friday...but sunday is coming!

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Glorious Day

I was going to wait until friday, Good Friday, to share these songs, but i couldnt wait. Good Friday is the day we, as believers, stop to reflect on the work that Jesus did on the cross. Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice for each of us by being tortured, beaten, spit on, nailed to a wooden cross, pierced with a sword, and most importantly, taking on every one of our sins and dying. thankfully, i know that is not how it ends, but it is still very important to not forget all the Jesus gave up and took on for me. it is mind boggling if i really think about it. Easter has always been an emotional "holiday" for me as i think about the price Jesus Christ paid, but this year has been a little different. i cant help but thinking about the celebration that the people in Heaven must have during Holy Week...i mean because of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, they are given eternal life in heaven. i cant but think that there must be a week long celebration of thanks. Charlotte is in Heaven having a party with so many others, praising and thanking Jesus for what He did for all of us.

this last sunday, Palm Sunday, we sang one of my (right now) favorite songs by casting crowns. glorious day is one of those songs that just stops me where i am at and makes me say thank you.


we also sang paul baloche's glorious. during this song, the kids choir came out and filled the front of the stage and the aisles, singing and waving colorful banners in praise. it brought me to tears...made me think that maybe that is what charlotte is doing in celebration! i wish i could find a youtube video of it...but trust me, it was awesome!!

this last video brings me right back to college. i was in a gospel choir for several years, even traveling for a summer to australia with an ensemble. we sang a lot of kirk franklin. this song, hosanna, was always a favorite (and sang at every outing down under) and reminds me of the joy of praising! an amazing song for easter.

i hope that these songs help you think about what this week and weekend really mean...a whole lot more than candy and bunnies, for sure!

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Serious Laughter!

so, i know that i already posted today, but this could and should not wait!!

peter and i just got home a little bit ago from visiting with friends who just had a baby. he went into our room to change and get ready for his nightly shower. i hear him come out of the room and he looks at me and says, in a very serious tone mind you...

"So, apparently i have had a dryer sheet in my crack all day!"

i had to process that for about 5 seconds before i literally almost peed my pants laughing!! i asked how he didnt know (especially because it was almost 10pm) and his reply was classic...

"I mean, it was a little itchy, but that happens sometimes anyway."

oh my word!! :) i love this. i love him. i am so glad that he told me. yes honey, i am laughing at you and with you!! :)

hope you had something that really made you laugh today! :)

blessings, ALo

Encouragement from afar

i got the sweetest email from my sis-in-law, laura, over the weekend. i miss her like crazy and this Easter will not be the same without her in PA. anyway, i wanted to share with you the e-mail that she sent me. i am so lucky to have an awesome family.

"I was watching a sermon from a friend of mine's church in NJ this morning and was thinking of you the whole time.  Their congregation is going through three weeks of the Daniel Fast and they are finishing today after their service this morning.  Anyway, the sermon I watched was from last week and their pastor was teaching them from 2 Chronicles 20.  The Kind, Jehoshaphat, tells his people to go into fasting and praising the Lord because they were going to be attacked by two other particularly brutal nations, and were asking God to help them.  You've probably read this before and know it all, but if not I'll keep telling you about it :)  So they fast, all the while praising the Lord and telling him that they do not know what to do, but know that He is greater.  God tells them to not be afraid and in verse 15 says "...For the battle is not yours, but God's"  (they used the Today's New International Version which I thought it was a pretty good translation for this verse!).  It's short and sweet - but says so much about our God.  Anyway, they march to the battle field and as they marched they sang and worshipped God along the way (their Pastor likened this to their church's praise team marching into battle on the front line saying how to us that sounds crazy!).  So when they got to the place where they overlooked the battle field the warriors of the other nations were already dead and there were only bodies on the fields.  They didn't have to fight them at all and it took them 3 days to bring the victory home (basically taking all the plunder from the dead soldiers).  So not only did God save them even from having to fight, but the victory that he gave them after was great.

I know how much you have been turning to the Lord for strength and encouragement to get through your own personal battles during this time.  I think it's obvious to everyone.  And I just thought this story could also be an encouragement to you.  To know that if we admit that we are weaker than He is and not able to fight our battles alone and put our complete trust in Him, that He will fight them for us, and still reward us in the end, is such a great encouragement to me and makes me wonder why it is so difficult to just let God in and take over.  I know you have written about this some in your earlier blogs, but I'm sure a little reminding never hurts :)  And I'm looking forward to seeing the rewards God has in store for both of you, I'm sure they will be far greater than we can imagine, and I'm sure He is rewarding you already!

I'm praying for you guys.  I wish I could be there with you to help see you through these hard times and watch and learn from you and Peter in person.  My problems seem so insignificant compared to what you two are going through, but you both encourage me every day to just give everything to the Lord and accept His help and love.

Love you both so much!  Hope you are having a GREAT weekend!


blessings, ALo

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Cleaning

today was one of those days that we (peter and i) both woke up rarin' to go! i got up a little earlier than he did and decided to whip up a batch of banana nut bread. while that was baking, i helped myself to a cup of coffee and a few chapters in a has been raining here off and on all day, so i knew we wouldnt be going out at all, good thing i did the yard work while he was at work yesterday!! when peter got up and around and after breakfast, we both set out to some projects. now, this is not something that we had planned to just "magically" happened! somehow we both felt the need to get things done. i cleaned the kitchen, pretty much top to bottom, cleaned all the window sills, sorted through our big book shelf, cleaned both bathrooms, cleaned a few loads of laundry, did a prom "up-do" for a dear friend (i hope you had a blast, dani!!), helped peter re-arrange the living room (several times), a trip to best buy for a t.v. wall mount, dusted the living room, and helped peter mount the tv. busy day, huh? peter has taken apart a bookshelf, moved the stationary bike, put together Charlotte's beach butterfly canvas, all the wiring for the entertainment, plus all the things he helped me with. if you know me at all then you know that this is very uncommon. it is not "normal" for me to being getting some many things done and cleaning so me crazy! and on top of it all, the TV has not been turned on at all today, that may be a first for me!!!

at one point, while standing in our extra room, i couldnt help but think (and say to peter) that if things were different this all wold be me "nesting". doing our final preparations before we had our first baby in the house. i would only have about four and a half weeks left. instead of putting finishing touches on a crib in our grey room, we were moving our stationary bike in there. i got a little sad and just took a moment for myself. i tried not to let those thoughts consume my whole day. peter and i had several good laughs today. we went to our favorite mexican restaurant with grant and our good friend, justin...also  some good laughs with those guys. so, while it is normal to do some spring cleaning and re-arranging, and it is fun to go out and enjoy time with friends over a margarita, i couldnt help but wish i was in the final prep stages before having our baby.

i know that my day will come, thats what keeps me going sometimes!

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stupid Questionnaire

when i was in college i am pretty sure that i filled out at least a dozen of these crazy chain email questionnaires. i havent had one come through for a few years, but then all of a sudden i was reminded of them this week. i thought that i would do one here. feel free to let me know some of your answers...something that i wouldnt know about you!! :)

1. FULL NAME? aimee larissa (southwick) loeser
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? nope...just something my 'rents liked
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? had a mini cry with my bestie, mack
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? yes, actually, i do...wish i did more with it
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? uh, depends on the day...i keep turkey or chicken at home, but at Jason's deli i always order Bird To The Wise (turkey and pastrami)
6. KIDS? Charlotte Jean, missin her everyday
7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? i dont know if i could handle two of me! :) 
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? does a blog count? yes
9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? no, not me, never!
10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? amazingly, yes
11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? been there, done that...wanna see the t-shirt?
12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? adult cereal, bear naked granola. non-adult, cap'in crunch
13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? most do not have laces, but if they do, no.
14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? yes...stronger than i think i give myself credit for sometimes
15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? just one?? hmm, peanut butter passion
17. RED OR PINK? pink (x100 !!)
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Charlotte. and my family
20. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? write me back one question/answer i dont know about you
21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? jeans and my pink sparkle toms
22. THE LAST THING YOU ATE? subway 6" sub for dinner :)
25. FAVORITE SMELL? right spring fling candle i made with bekah. has bergamot, rain, and jasmine aromas
27. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? i got this from the internet, yes, i like myself today
28. FAVORITE DRINK? sweet tea
29. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? college basketball
30. HAIR COLOR? still dark rich brown, for now
31. EYE COLOR? green/hazel
32. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? thankfully, no
34. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? happy endings...peter wont let me watch scary movies...i FREAK OUT
35. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? inception...weird...didnt love it
37. SUMMER OR WINTER? spring
38. HUGS OR KISSES? i dont love to be touched :) weird? i dont care
39. FAVORITE DESSERT? oh geez, i cant answer this! lately i have loved making cupcakes though!
42. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? for fun, catching fire (2nd book in hunger games trilogy) for me, one thousand gifts
43 WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? nada...i have a mac book
44. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST ON TV? oprah (american idol is on right now)
45. FAVORITE SOUNDS? peter's laugh, rain, the monte carlo starting up
46. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? beatles, blackbird is one of my all time fav songs
48. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? yikes, i am not sure that my talents are "special" but i have my own thing :)
49. WHEN WERE YOU BORN? 10/23/82, 7.5 weeks early...i have always been impatient!
50. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? kalamazoo, yes that is a real place!

blessings, ALo

Friday, April 8, 2011

What's New?

3 months or 90 days or 2,167 hours or 13,030 minutes or 7,801,200 seconds. this is what has elapsed since we said good-bye to Charlotte Jean. today is the 3 month mark...or as some say, her "angelversary". lisa asked me today if we were considering january 8th Charlotte's birthday, or what we were calling it. well, the short answer is yes, but even if i had just gone into labor, not induced, Charlotte would not have lived :( she was just under 22 weeks gestation and because of her health issues, her lungs were not developed past 13 weeks. so, january 8th is not Charlotte's "birth day", but it is when we "met" her in the hospital, so that is what we will celebrate as her day.

if you have been reading my blog over the last few months, then you have read about some of my emotions and you have read about a few of the things that i have been doing. today, i caught myself wondering what i would be doing if Charlotte had lived and was here with us. then i tried to think about what i have accomplished since january 8. i made a new best friend (lisa and i met in person for the first time on february 10). i have had the pleasure of doing lots of traveling since early january. i have taken two trips to michigan, a four to indianapolis, one to florida, one to an indoor waterpark in northern ohio, one to pennsylvania, one to dallas, and one to fort wayne. i have had two house guests (other than grant!). i spoke at a women's bible study (am and pm sessions), have had one full spa day and plenty of coffee visits and/or lunches with friends to "talk life". i have cleaned the clothes off my bedroom floor (2x, and it is currently clean...this is a whole other blog post!), i have made more home cooked meals than in the last four years of marriage, i have done quite a bit of "home hair" for friends, read 8 books, fought with the insurance company several times, made 3 rosette balls (project pics eventually) and have been introduced to four newborn babies! all of this in addition to blogging and the world i have been introduced to through say that i have been busy would be an understatement.

as i was sitting on my front porch, in the sun no less, thinking about all of this, i got really emotional. if Charlotte was here i wouldnt have been able to do a lot, but i would have been ok with that. i would much rather have my baby. of course, i didnt have a choice about that. so after i got over my self pity, i started thinking about the legacy that i am living for/because of Charlotte. since january 8th, i have had to make a choice everyday to be better than my old self because of my new life with (or technically without) Charlotte. heaven has become a very real place to me, knowing that is where my baby is waiting for me. my faith has become much deeper, no longer just the sunday school/christian school/bible major education basis for faith. relationships have become more important to me (hence all the traveling) and being real within those relationships is key. i have to be certain that Charlotte will not just be a sad story. i want my days to be about more than just hours, minutes, and seconds. i want to live a legacy that my baby girl would be proud of. a legacy and life lead by our Father, who is holding my Charlotte until i get to see her again.

"Lord, please let my days be filled by what makes me yearn for You. God, i want to be better everyday and live a life worthy of the sacrifice that Your Son made for me. thank you for the gift and blessing of Charlotte Jean. i have learned more in the last 6 months because of her than i have in the previous 28 years about who You are and Your love for me. please help me make my life worthy of Your gifts and sacrifices for me. please let others see Your love through me, through my love for me make that choice every morning. God, let the Spirit guide me and lead me to give grace and love in all that i do. I love You and i know that Your love for me is never ending."

Galatians 5:22-26 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

blessings, ALo

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Choose Positivity

742. that is how many friends i have on facebook, this is even after i cut over 300 people out last september. i use the term "facebook friends" very loosely because there is only a small handful of those 742 people that i have even talked to in the last year, let alone seen and shared life outside of the social media chaos. yet, i spend, literally, hours every day stalking people...reading statuses, looking at pictures, and finding common friendships. its crazy how much people can "know" about you because of facebook...did i mention that i have planned and let my former classmates know about our upcoming 10 year high school reunion all through facebook? CRAZY! one of my closest facebook stalkers, bekah (she is actually a very close friend of mine outside of facebook), and i met in columbus today for a spa day. i love getting together with bekah because no matter what i say or do, she has always loved me. we have been friends for over 5 years and we can talk about everything. today, during our awesome pedis, we were chatting about the things people put on facebook, especially their statuses. she mentioned that she couldnt believe what some people said in their status updates that are too personal, too much information, and usually way too pessimistic. i have thought about this alot lately. i know that facebook statuses are designed to let others know what you are doing or what you are thinking, but have you ever stopped to think about how other people view your updates? those posts are the only thing people see of you...that is what they base their opinion of you as a person. are people seeing you and your blessings or are they seeing you and your problems?

there have been so many days in that last several months where all i want to do is be ticked everything i do. i want to be angry, sad, disappointed, pissed off, etc. sometimes i am, but i have tended to keep that between me and peter, and sometimes a few close friends. heres what i am really trying to say. my life, and charlottes life, is more than just a sad story. i am now living her legacy. charlotte means so much more to me than my pissy moods. i dont want to be a bitter and disappointed person. i have to choose everyday to not display my frustration and negativity on facebook (and other places). i have to ask God to give me joy through this hard time, every day! yes, i get ticked off when "friends" on facebook complain about the stupidest things. i get even more upset when people complain about things with their children (ie. my kid wont eat his peas, my kids did let me take a nap, etc). this is not me calling anyone out. that is where i am in my life...sensitive and trying not to take things personally. but regardless, i am trying to choose positivity which will then come through in all aspects of my life. i am still negative at times, and i will still get upset by people being dumb with their status updates, but i am trying to not let that infuse my life. 

just think about it...what are peoples perceptions of you? what are they based on your statuses??

Romans 5:2b-5 2 And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Proverbs 12:18  18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

blessings, ALo

Sunday, April 3, 2011


we love our church, period. right now we are in an 11 week study on the book of james. this has always been encouraging book for me and i was excited to go through an in depth study at church. we just finished a series on the book of daniel (something i have never been a part of) which was a great book and study. last week my good friend, don solin, preached the first sermon...he did an amazing job!! i wanted to share my notes from this week's sermon from pastor david smith. i cant wait for the rest of the series!!! what a great thing to look forward!! 

**please go to fairhaven's webpage to hear the sermon...this is just some of what i is definitely something everyone should listen to!!**

 James 1:13-18 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

trial- something you dont want but when you surrender to God you grow.
temptation- something you do want and when you give in it stunts your Christian growth.

question: with what temptation do you wrestle?
-when tempted, not if tempted (vs. 13)
     -no one is exempt, it is inevitable
-temptation is not a sin. only when we give into temptation do we sin
     -Jesus was tempted, but was without sin, and can therefore be a guide (Hebrews 2:18)
-temptation does not come from God! (remember that Jesus was tempted by satan.)
-wrong questioning is "why wont God take this away?"
     -God's power will never trump your will, YOU have to choose!!

4 cycles of temptation/addiction cycle (follows vs 13-16, but also some book that i didnt write down:) )
cycle #1: enticement or preoccupation (vs14)
     -by his own evil desires
        -3 areas of temptation: mental, physical, spiritual
how to overcome cycle of enticement:
     1. decide ahead of time...just say NO!!
        -replace an ungodly thought with a godly one!
     2. have a regular, daily time with God.
     3. make sure you are in community. (our version of small groups)
cycle #2: conception/ritualization (vs15)
     1. we tell ourselves this will be fun.
     2. we believe we can get away with it.
     3. we think we might be a better person with it/because of it.
how to overcome cycle of conception:
     1. cut it out of your life
     2. choose the necessary action to turn to positive
     3. change the focus of attention
cycle #3: birth/acting out (vs15)
    giving in leads to more giving in, which leads to more giving in, which leads to giving in on a much greater level. (ted bundy said something like this is an interview. did you know that he grew up in a conservative Christian home? shows life is a series of choices)
cycle #4: shame/death (vs15)
     the very thing i dont want to do, i do!
how to overcome shame:
     1. confess it! 1 John 1
     2. dont allow guilt to consume us.
     3. put up guardrails around that area of life.

know: YOU can overcome temptation. you CAN overcome temptation. you can OVERCOME temptation. you can overcome TEMPTATION. 1 Cor. 10:13

after church a few friends, peter, and i, went to dinner to discuss the sermon and to confess our biggest temptation with each other. we have committed to keep each other help each other overcome our temptations. i am blessed to have people to be real with in my journey of life. if you have anything in your life that i can help keep you accountable for, please let me know! this blog has become more than just a place of venting for me...this have become one of my communities and you are included in that.

blessings, ALo

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Birth Verse

yesterday i got to hang out with so many friends!! i am so blessed! in the morning i went to erika's house to hang for a bit and see baby maclin. i was a little bummed that mac was sleepin the whole time, but the little peanut was so cute all bundled up! :) erika is such a great mom to whitten and maclin, i am so blessed to have her in my life! from there i headed a little over an hour away to meet up with both lisa and cool! cami lives pretty much in the middle between lis and me, so it was a good meeting place. we sat and chatted about charlotte, jaxton and lulu for a while, ate a delicious lunch (awesome pretzel buns with ham and cheese...sooo good!), and made some super delicious cupcakes. what is better than lots of chocolate with good girl friends, anyway? :) last night a married couple that we are friends with since college came over for haircuts and birthday dinner celebration (hence the cupcakes). lindsey and jon have become even better friends over the past year. they were some of the first to find out we were expecting charlotte...they are looking forward to violet mia's arrival in the next week!! :) lindsey and i had a blast completely changing her hair too...she is absolutely adorable! then we celebrated lindsey's birthday, i love to celebrate! today will also be full of fun with friends...great start to a great weekend!!

yesterday, cami told us about this website that gives you a verse that correlates with your birthday. i was so excited to come home and plug in birthdays and see what comes up. birthverse was started by some friends who wanted people to have scripture mean something special on your special day. the team poured over the Word to find verses that would work for each persons birthday. i want to share with you our verses. i hope that you are as encouraged by God's Word for you as i am!

Peter, birthday 8/18: Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

Me, birthday 10/23: Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess, for he who promised is faithful."

Charlotte, birthday 1/8: 1 Corinthians 1:8 "He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."

blessings, ALo