Wife, mommy and domestic genious in training!

Take yourself out of the center November 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenny O @ 6:52 pm

A couple of months ago our pastor preached on, well, umm, hmm… I don’t really remember what the sermon was about….Hmm…Anyway, the one thing I do remember is this – take yourself out of the center.  This line has come back to me time and time again since that sermon.  Let me explain…

All too often, we put ourselves at the center of other people’s lives.  When there is a conflict in a relationship: harsh words, hurt feelings, whatever; we tend to assume it is about us.

I am a people pleaser to a fault.  I have gotten better over the years as the Lord has worked in my heart to show me this is not what he has called us to and as I have gotten older and wiser.  When I think that somebody is mad at me or upset with me I dwell and stew and dwell and stew on it.  What can I say?  What did I do wrong?  Should I call?  Why are they mad at me?  What if they hate me now?  What if everybody is going to hate me now?  See how that happens?  It’s all about me; I am at the center of it all.  Oh and talk about swinging the door of insecurity wide open for Satan to come in with his pity party crew and set up!

The journey I have been embarking on over the last few months and will continue on for the rest of my life I am sure is this: take ME out of the center.  What is going on in their lives may or may not involve me.  And, most of the time, they have no idea that I am feeling this way at all.

As a people pleaser, taking myself out of the center might be one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is true.  I have seen over the last couple of months how much I put myself into the center of other people’s lives.  Funny thing is 90% of those people don’t even know I feel/felt the way I do.  I still am struggling with some of the dialogues in my head.  Sweet  Sarah decided to cry for an hour last night in the middle of the night, so while I was laying there waiting on her to go back to sleep, one situation where my feelings are deeply hurt came up.  In that moment, the Lord quietly whispered “take yourself out of the center.”  Amazing how quiet he is…so much that I think He had to say it to me about 50 times in that hour before my soul started to feel peace.  Oh wait, maybe that’s because I kept arguing about it in my head…hmmm…that’s probably a topic for another day and another blog.

As a mom I am learning more and more things that we are responsible to teach our children every day.  It never really occurred to me that I was going to be responsible to teach Sarah how to deal with hurt feelings or people pleasing until now.  I pray she isn’t a natural people pleaser!  I am determined to walk this path with Jesus every day for the rest of my life and learning these lessons is so much more important now.  I want to be an example for her.  I want to be able to run to the Lord when my feelings are hurt, when I feel rejected, when I think I have let somebody down and take myself out of the center and allow the Lord to heal those wounds and direct those relationships because I want Sarah to be able to do that more!

So, if you haven’t heard me say it, you probably will…I have to tell myself several times a day “take yourself out of the center” and some day (soon hopefully) I will truly be able to do it.  Until that day, I trust that the Lord will continue to teach me, guide me and whisper to me in His still, and quiet voice!


We voted! October 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenny O @ 6:27 pm

We went and voted – early – you can’t get me into a poll on Election Day.  This was actually the second election Sarah helped me vote in, but the first “big one.”  Voting is a right and a privilege that a lot of people in the world don’t have, but we do.

I was raised that it is our responsibility to vote and if you don’t vote, don’t complain.  Well, as I have grown up and gotten older, I totally agree with that.  I would add that as a Christian it is imperative to vote, to stand for those who can’t, and to support what our country was founded on.  I want to teach Sarah from an early age about government, the role of government and our role in government.  I want her to understand how exciting it is that we get to elect our officials.  I want her to understand the responsibility of voting and the weight of that decision.  So, as long as she can, she will go with me to vote.  This year, she was just excited about the sticker!

As we walked into the polls I explained to Sarah that there are times that we vote “for” something or someone and there are times that we vote “against” something or someone.  Now, that may or may not be wise advice from a parent, but that is what I did.  I voted against.  I voted against abortion.  I voted against socialism. I voted against alienating the founding principles of this country.  I voted against cutting money that pays our soldiers who keep our country safe.  Somewhat I voted for.  I voted for somebody who understands capitalism and that the “rich” are the ones who employ the middle class.  I voted for somebody who understands that taking care of the widow and orphan is the responsibility of the people, not the government.  I voted for somebody that knows how to save money.  I hopefully voted for a better future for my children.

I have very strong beliefs about politics – based on The Word and the Constitution of the United States.  I believe ALL life is sacred.  I believe that capitalism is the best foundation for a country.  I believe that a man or woman should be rewarded for hard work with a paycheck that they can use to provide for their families.  I don’t believe that the government is to take care of me.  I believe that we, as people – not a government, are to take care of our less fortunate.  I strongly believe that the government is responsible for a strong military and these men and women should be taken care of as they protect our country.   These are the principles that guide and direct my vote.

My prayer for our children is that we will live in a way that their foundation in life is based on Jesus.  My prayer for our children is that we will teach them to always love, always.  My prayer for our children is that they will grow up in an America that they can be proud of.  My prayer for our children is that we will leave the world a better place for them.  My prayer for our children is that we instill in them a sense of civic responsibility.  My prayer for our children is that they will love the country we live in as much as Tom and I do.  My prayer for our children is that they will understand the sacrifices of men and women before them that have given us a free country, the right to vote, the ability to worship freely, work hard for our rewards, and so many other things that make our country great.  My prayer for our children is that God uses them in a mighty way to impact this world for Him!


The blemished face October 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenny O @ 5:08 pm

The blemished face

It finally happened, Sarah face planted into our dresser.  Now, before you judge, let me explain…I was holding her and walked over to our dresser to pick up the computer to take it downstairs.  She likes to lean over in your arms and try to put her mouth on stuff.  I am used to this, so I was holding her in my right arm and supporting her torso with my right hand.  I picked up the computer and she decided that was the exact moment to flip flop and lose her balance – which she never does.  So, I drop the computer and grab her face up.  Now, she was still in my arm, I never let her go and our dresser is high, so she really didn’t fall far, but for a Mommy, it was like I had dropped her from the top of the Empire State building or something. I took her into her room, grabbed her paci, and sat down in the chair to inspect her precious face that I just knew would be horribly disfigured for life.  As you can see, there was a HUGE blemish!

See, see the HUGE blemish right above her eye?!?!  And, as you can see, she really needed to play to make things better.  She had no part of me putting ice on it.

I know, it isn’t that huge, barely even noticeable, but it made me feel so sad.  I also know that she will receive many more blemishes, and I am really ok with that, I just her to receive them when she is playing by herself, not when I am holding her J

This did teach me a few lessons…1) She is a tough cookie – like her momma 🙂 2) I think her face is just as beautiful with her new blemish and 3) I can’t always protect her.  All these things I knew before, but just didn’t want to accept – especially that #3!


My sweet husband October 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenny O @ 5:57 pm

I am convinced that my husband is a saint.  He loves me with an amazing love.  I just called him frazzled because Sarah has been fussy, we are leaving for Alabama for a football weekend (work, not play), and I couldn’t find the little cooler to pack her food in.  I would say that I was so sweet and loving to him not my sweetest to him when asking if he knew where the cooler was.  Then, he lovingly told me he had it in his hand?  And I proceeded to interrogate him for three minutes to make sure it was the right one.  He patiently answered my questions until I was assured it was the right one and our precious baby wouldn’t starve because we didn’t have her cooler for her food.   He told me he got us a suite, instead of a room (better for sleeping with baby who is just learning to sleep thru the night!)  and to take my time, there is no rush.  Did I mention this trip is part of his job?  Or that he has had an insane week at work?  That he has gone out of his way to get a bigger rental car and hotel room for our my comfort?

I was feeling so sorry for myself at all I had to do.  The Lord spoke softly to me (you know, they way only he can do – straight to your heart) and said “Remember, child, you want to be a wife he always wants to come home to.”  Wow!  That hurts…So, I decided to write this blog about how great he is.  Then, while I was typing, another still, small voice said “Why are you telling the world and not him…call him!”  Umm, ok.  So I just called my love and he was so loving to me.  He is a saint.

For so many years I wondered if I would ever get married.  Then, I thought, geez, I am so old, if I do get married there will be something really wrong with the guy.  Well, as it turns out, the Lord was waiting on me to get ready for my love.  God knew exactly what he was doing when he brought Tom to me.  He loves me.  He balances me.  He appreciates me.  He makes me laugh.  He makes me smile.  He makes me want to be the wife he thinks I am.  He challenges me to grow closer to the Lord.  He challenges me to be more humble.  He loves me.  He thinks I am pretty (even at my worst).  He works so hard so I can fulfill my lifelong dream to be a stay-at-home-mommy with our kiddos.  He fixes my toothbrush at night. He takes out the trash.  He loves me, oh wait, did I mention that already?

Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse, but I also love 12-13:  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. (12) Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. (13) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

AMAZING what happens when we earnestly seek the Lord with our lives…he answers us even when we don’t ask him to.  He really was working in my life all those years.

Recently, I have been really heart broken by bad health diagnoses, lives lost too early, divorce, etc. among our friends.  These things always make me appreciate Tom and his love and loyalty more and more.  But, working to appreciate him in the everyday little details is just as important – maybe even more.

So, I am not always sure that I am a wife that my husband should always want to come home too, but he still does and he is always happy to be here.  I am so blessed and I love Tom more than I could ever express.


Six months already?!?! October 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenny O @ 2:29 pm

Wow!  Where has the time gone?  I can’t believe that you are six months old already Sarah!  Our lives are so incredibly blessed with you.  Daddy and I talk all the time about how we can’t even remember what our lives were like before sweet Sarah.  It’s so true.  Well, I do remember being able to sleep in on Saturday and a lot less laundry, but, I digress.

We prayed when I was pregnant for a healthy baby and for the perfect baby for our family and you are just that. You are a happy baby with an easy smile.  I can pack you up and take you anywhere.  You are happy in your carrier, stroller or Baby Bjorn.  You love going to Daddy’s games and you don’t even flinch when Mommy yells at, umm encourages I mean the team!  You love to be with Mommy and Daddy.  You adore Sadie and smile and giggle at her all the time.  Our home has always been filled with love, but these days it seems that the walls might explode there is so much love.

Sarah, you are already a determined young lady.  If you want a toy or food or a nap, you will communicate with us.  You will roll all the way across the floor to get a toy you like.  You will kick your feet and fake cry if we aren’t feeding you fast enough.  And you will take kisses from those you love whenever you desire!

You are a wise baby – already knowing people who love you and loving them back.  You are generous with your love, cuddles and smiles.  You are definitely a light in this world.  You will reach for your friends when they approach you and you can make even the worst days seem ok.  You have amazing intuition into what people need already.

When I was pregnant with you, the Lord gave us your life verse: Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  We wholeheartedly believe this verse for you.  We know that the Lord has a plan for your life.  We pray every day that you will fall in love with Jesus at an early age.  We pray that you will live the life that He has called you to.  That you will avoid some of the painful choices that Mommy and Daddy made because we were choosing to live “our” lives and not the life that the Lord had for us.  We pray for your husband one day (you know, in like 30 years J) and that he will love the Lord and love you.  I pray that you will be blessed with a husband as amazing as your Daddy is.  He loves me and you so much.  He takes his role very seriously in your life and knows that you are watching how he treats me and learning from that. Mommy believes that the Lord is going to use you in an amazing way to change the world.  I don’t pretend to know how He is going to do that, but I do believe that He has set you apart.

Having you gives me a new and deeper understanding of Christ’s love for us.  I get loving your child so much that you would lay down your life for them.  I get loving unconditionally.  I also get having to do what is best for your child even when they don’t understand or like it.  Having you has brought Daddy and me closer to each other and closer to the Lord.  He is already using you in our lives to change us and make us more into the people He has called us to.  It seems so much more vital now to emulate Christ in our actions, because you are watching everything we do.

Having you makes me love my Mommy more.  I understand so much more…it’s like magic.  The second you came into the world, my love for you overwhelmed me.  I understood how much my Mom has loved me my whole life.  I mean, I always knew she loved me, but it is something that I didn’t understand to the fullest until I had you.  Nanny has always been my hero.  But now, sheesh, she is like superhero status!  Being a Mommy has taught me to be a better daughter too.  I pray that one day you and I will have the kind of relationship that I have with Nanny.

You are such a blessing Sarah.  1 Samuel  1:27 says ” For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.” Sarah you were prayed for for a long time and not just by Mommy and Daddy.  We can’t believe that the Lord granted our petition and blessed us so greatly with you.  There will be days in your life when you think we don’t understand, probably even days when you think we don’t like you and you hate us (while it is so hard to imagine that now when you are so sweet and innocent, I do know you will be a teenager one day), but never, ever doubt that we love you, that we have prayed for you before you were even formed and that we have prayed for you every day since.

Being your Mommy is probably the hardest job I have ever had.  However, it is by far the most rewarding job.  Daddy and I love you immeasurably and have been so blessed by you.  We can’t wait to continue this journey with you!  We love you Sweet Sarah!


Forced creativity October 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenny O @ 12:57 am

My sister has said her whole adult life that they sucked the creativity out of her in kindergarten…I think there is some truth to that!  I have always longed to be that person that could look at a blank canvas and see the painting, or look at a field and see the picture, or look in the pantry and see the perfect meal.  Or for that matter, start a blog and have the words to say.  Well, that just isn’t the person God made me to be.

So, I find myself the CEO of our household, learning so much every day!  I have chosen a life of forced creativity!  I must learn to creatively run our household in a multitude of ways.  First – our budget!  Going from working professional to DINK to SAHM (Stay at home mommy – see the things I have already learned!) in a matter of two years has led to several adjustments.  For so long, my money was my money.  I did what I wanted with it…I gave back to God his share, paid my bills, spoiled my niece and nephews, spoiled myself and gave away what I wanted.  Then, suddenly I was married and “my money” was our money…we had two incomes, no kids, and life was great.  We had a big wedding, paid off debt, took a few trips.  Then, hubby and I decided my job was just too stressful and it was time to take the plunge, so I quit!  Now, we were down to one salary….wow, big adjustment!

First forced creativity change was to quickly build my Premier Designs jewelry business.  Premier is the most amazing company and I had been selling it for a few years, but more as a hobby…so, step one – step it up!  I started booking shows and working the business.  My commitment was to pay our mortgage.  I was so proud of myself the first month I did this!

Fast forward another year or so and here comes our bundle of joy – Sarah!  Ok, now, one income and a baby…do you know how expensive diapers are?!?! Well, the brand I loved and they started us on in the hospital (Pampers) is about $0.25 each!  WHAT?!?! Just to peepee and poop in…ummm no way!  Now, the creativity starts to flow…I love to save money, always have, and I am convinced I can do better than that.  So, our sweet Sarah wears Costco diapers on her cute booty. They come in at $0.13 each – almost half the price of the Pampers!  And, guess what…they catch peepee and poop just as well!  Cha-ching!!!

So, I find myself looking for ways to get our life on a better, cheaper, happier and healthier path again…enter monthly meal planning.  I had the idea to do this and started working on it for September.  We did pretty well, but I knew I could do better.  I read this awesome blog and read how she and her family live on $14,000 a year and I was so impressed.  One of her biggest helps in this was monthly grocery shopping.  So, two days of planning and shopping and we are groceried for October.  I am convinced in a few months I will save significant money for our family by doing this.  I just got the book Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half (by Steve and Annette Economides) from the library, so pen and paper in hand, I am ready to learn more!

A few other things I am working on – learning to sew.  My mom is a seamstress extraordinaire!  We were always dressed impeccably as children because she would make clothes for us.  I know (because she taught me) that I can save a lot of money by making clothes for our family.  Now, please, don’t get me wrong, I don’t intend to make everything, but I am going to start and see what I can accomplish!

Giving away more and more…Tom and I both know we are incredibly blessed and are looking for ways to give away more and more.  This is definitely a challenge living on a budget, but we know we can do it.  Premier helps with that – I am working toward doing a charity show monthly.  I will give away 50% of my profits to said causes!  This is a way I can work and help our family and give away money too!  The Bible tells us that to whom much is given, much is expected.  We know that we have been given much and are responsible to handle it the way the Lord leads us.  We also know that we can’t out give God and that He will provide for us if we keep our hands open.

Removing the word TRY from my vocabulary…I think this word is of the devil.  Think about it, how many times do you say “I’m going to try to…” and you don’t do it.  Know why? Because saying we are going to try to do something is the same as saying you aren’t going to do it! I’ve been “trying” to lose my baby weight for over five months now – guess how much is gone, none!  Because I haven’t been doing it, just wanting it to go away!  So, I am trying to remove try from my vocab! 🙂  Hehe!!! See, it’s hard to do!

This blog is another outlet for my creativity!  I think sometimes I just need to get thoughts down on paper so I can move on with my life.

Daily, I am working to take my creativity back that they drained from me in kindergarten!  Slowly but surely I will do it and it will help our lives be better, I just know it!


Here goes nothing! October 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jenny O @ 4:53 pm

I have had a little blog envy for the past couple of years… people who take the time to write their thoughts and other people read them! I think blogs are awesome. I keep up with friends who live hundreds of miles away, I learn how to better budget for my family, learn about craft ideas, and of course, recipes!
So, I decided to take the plunge and start a blog. I have a few reasons, but the number one is to leave a legacy for my sweet Sarah and (Lord willing) future child/children! I have a friend who blogs and prints her blog in a blog book every year! What a great way to be real and honest about my journey with my kids!
So, here it goes…I make no promises to be entertaining or make a million dollars for my family, but I do promise to be real and hopefully leave a legacy my family can be proud of!