Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Day My Life Changed!

As 2011 is almost here I can’t believe how my life has been transformed and how it all started……

January 1st, 2 years ago was an amazing turning point in my life. Winter is never an easy time for our family, both my husband and I have seasonal businesses (smoothie shop, and a painter) so every winter it can be depressing, it’s cold + we’re broke = Miserable. This particular year we were more then broke but in severe debt due to three large builders claiming bankruptcy and leaving my husband and our family out of A LOT of money. I woke up this morning as I have started ever Jan 1st, with the thought that I’m going to get healthy. I jumped out of bed, blew all the dust off our vintage Gazelle (if you haven’t seen the Tony little infomercial it’s a very cheap elliptical kind of thing) that has sat in our bedroom forever. My husband was still in bed looking at me like I was crazy and a little annoyed because he was still trying to sleep. Fifteen minutes into my vigorous workout the one piston completely blows and my workout is over. “Are you kidding me!!!?” I yelled in my misery and frustration and without thinking I threw on layers of clothes, hat, gloves, jacket, and grabbed my ipod to go for a run around the block. My husband says “it is 10 degrees outside, are you crazy?” Probably, but with the stress I had bottled up it was better for everyone that I went around the block.

As I got two thirds of the way around the block I came to a part on my run with no homes, just farms all around and suddenly both my knees froze in pain and I was stopped dead in my tracks. I heard a voice, as clear as day say, “take off your ipod”, it was the strangest thing, but I did. Out of nowhere it sounded like a freight train was coming from behind me and with a gentleness and a comfort that I have never known I hear “Lean Back, “and as I type this tears are in my eyes as I remember the power of the wind coming behind me and carrying me, and I heard “How much greater are you then the birds of the air and I feed them everyday, do not worry about tomorrow but put all your trust in me.” As I stood on the side of the road sobbing and in awe His last words were, “Go run! “ I ran all the way home without a single pain in my knees.

I ran in the house sobbing and freaking out and shared what had happened with my husband and we hugged and knew that everything was going to be ok. This began a journey that I could never have imagined. I believed in God my whole life but I NEVER knew the love that He had for me and for each one of us. I heard it growing up, that He knows every hair on your head, He knit you together in your mother’s womb but could that really be true? Could the God of the universe who made everything know and care for each one of us that intimately?

Over the past two years this is what I have learned about life and God
#1 Life is short. Eternity is forever!
#2 God’s plan for our life is 100 times more amazing then we could ever imagine but we will only learn how amazing when we give Him 100% of ourselves.
#3 I’d rather live this life for Him then for this world because He is all that matters!
#4 Someday we will all stand before God and account for our lives, I don’t want to be lukewarm and spit out , I want Him to welcome me home and to hear Him say, well done good and faithful servant.
#5 The most amazing thing that I’ve learned over the past two years is when you believe with all your heart that God sent His one and only son Jesus to die on the cross for your sins so that you may have a personal intimate relationship with God through the Holy spirit you are changed. The Holy Spirit lives in you, guides you, and strengthens you. You have the power of God living inside you and all it takes is faith.
#6 You can sit in church all your life and do all the good works you possibly can but if you don’t have a personal relationship with God where He speaks to you and you get excited to read His word and He is the most important part of your life then it means nothing.
#7 It can be hard, keeping your heart and your mind in the right place but God knows everything and His grace is sufficient to make us new every morning and He knows your thoughts before you speak them so just be real, ask for forgiveness and try again.

Francis Chan the author of Crazy Love has this great prayer that I have hung on my desk and this is my prayer…..

“Jesus I need to give myself up. I am not strong enough to love You and walk with You on my own. I can’t do it and I need You. I need you deeply and desperately. I believe you are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next. I want you. And when I don’t, I want to want You. Be all in me. Take all of me. Have Your way with me.”

and bring on 2011!!
Love, Shannon

Monday, November 2, 2009

Flirting at 5, am I in trouble?

A couple days ago my little Trey, who just turned five, completely showed off for a girl. Am I wrong to think this is a bit to soon for this behavior? You be the judge.... We are at the grocery store getting a few essentials, while I'm standing at the deli counter getting cheese (which is an essential in our household) my kids were fumbling through the little clearance rack full of random items for extremely cheap. They brought me over a “All About Police” video for a reduced price of $2.00 so of course I said sure. Moving to the bread isle we are on to essential #2 when Trey picks up the police video out of the cart and with a loud deep voice says, “Mom, we have a predicament”. With his strange 15 year old demeanor I look up at him with a perplexed, “huuuh??”. He starts, “Yes we have a real problem, Taylor (his younger sister) is much to young to watch this adult movie.” Still saying this very loud with a deep mature voice, so I start to look around. Sure enough there is a little girl with her mom, around six years old standing right behind me and he was looking right at her as she said all this. My jaw drops and I completely pretend not to notice what was going on. I said, “ok we need one more thing and we are out done, lets go”. He goes over to his little sister and gently bends down, holds her hand and yells loudly over his shoulder, “come on Taylor it's time to go to the next isle”.

I thought our flirtation was over until I was checking out and Trey runs to help me bag groceries, he puts the bread in the bag then picks the bag up, places it in my cart and looks to the isle next to us and waves and says “Hi” to the same little girl. Oh my word, you have got to be kidding, I didn't know he could bag groceries?? It was time for us to go and he turns to this little girl and says “Nice to meet you!!” and waves good bye. I was speechless, shocked, and a little proud that he was actually pretty good at flirting, I'm still wondering where he learned it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting a tattoo with frosting and sprinkles

I tried, and did good until the tractor cake, illness, and birthday, birthday, and anniversary. What was I thinking trying to be all healthy in the month of October. My boys turned 4 and 5 and we had a little birthday party for them and their friends at a farm. I was determined to make a tractor cake. A week before the party I did a dry run with the boys to get an idea of how to do it and with donuts, cake, and delicious butter cream frosting I was happy with my results. Then the torture set in of the tractor cake calling my name so loudly from the refrigerator. I probably ate the whole trailer, the grill and a large tire (also known as a chocolate donut). Diet....what diet???

A week later time for the party and I busted out my cake again with one difference, I made a frosting using Crisco instead of butter. It tasted the same but for me, knowing what a stick of Crisco looks like I couldn't eat it. So instead I put the tractor on a sheet of brownies, nothing repulsive about those, so after the party of course, what was left? Brownies....did I eat them? Did you really need to read this reply, of course I did, remember NO self control. Here was my finished product with a little family shot on the tractor at the farm. (I don't have four kids, the one all the way to the right is Trey's buddy, Tucker!

Once I got all this out of my house it was actually their birthdays and I bought them each a slice of cake instead of torturing myself.

On October 19th after all of these festivities was our seven year wedding anniversary. I really can't believe it has been seven years but I also can't believe I have three kids either. I must say that over the seven years having a newborn is by far the hardest thing on a marriage, or the hardest thing I've had to go through so far. Last night I watched Marley & Me for the first time only because it was on HBO and I taped it on my DVR (oh how I love my DVR). Anyway, it made me see the experience from a man's side which I never really thought about to be perfectly honest. When I was in it, I could only see him waking up and going to work like nothing changed and my whole world was turned upside down. Now I realize how hard it is on them as well. I'm thankful we made it through and it made us stronger, and we still love each other!! Good reason to celebrate, so out to dinner we went. We went to Arielle's Country Inn in Sellersville, PA or kind of out in the middle of nowhere but the BEST meal I ever ate!!! I don't think it had anything do with having no children, although I must say that was a real treat, but the food was amazing. I was truly licking my plate!!!! Again, diet out the window!
Then illness, we have all been fighting this nasty cough which has travelled through each one of us and is lingering. The idea of exercising could have made me cough out a pile of flem just thinking about it.
Ending on a good note I am feeling better, ran this morning, haven eaten pretty good today and all I can say is I won't give up, just give in every once in a while!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So a little history on me and my food issue, I love food, I love bread, butter, anything with chocolate and peanut butter combined, and my list could go on and on. I also NEED to be healthy, which to me is to feel good and be strong not just for me but for my kids. Unfortunately finding the right balance is a daily/ hourly challenge. For example we had a play date this morning and I made some healthy cookies but I proceeded to eat FIVE of them. Yes they are healthy but not 5!!! I just can’t stop myself!!
Do to this food problem I have to exercise a lot to be able to eat, but again it is a daily struggle to push myself. I have been running and proud that I just did my first race, a 10k with my kids and husband cheering me on! (By the grace of God I finished it in 54min.!!) It felt good but I can’t seem to budge the muffin top that I’ve discussed in a previous post.
So I’m going to get really serious and see if I can budge it. I will be doing two things, I’m going to write down everything that goes in my mouth and I’m going to do my Insanity tapes by Shaun T that I do love, but also hate because they kill me. I am going to chart my progress for myself to look back on and if nothing changes in one month, I’m done. I will except my muffin top and maybe just tattoo it with some frosting and sprinkles!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our summer started at the beach in California for my sisters wedding and it ended at the beach in Ocean City, Maryland with a million wonderful memories in between! I am so terrible at this blogging thing but to be honest I need to do this for my kids. Reading back over my old posts makes me smile even if I only sign in once ever six months, something is better then nothing. I am going to take the time to write a little letter to each of my babies!

Dear Trey,
How quickly you have grown from my sweet little baby to the coolest little boy! Your little brother looks up to you so much and when you’re not looking he watches everything you do and is taking mental notes. (Both the good and the bad things, by the way) Your little sister loves you so much that ever time she wakes up from her nap she says, “Where’s Trey?”, shrugging her shoulders with hands in the air and a curious look on her face. You started the summer on a real soccer team and it wasn’t your favorite sport but you stuck it out and got a medal at the end and I promise I won’t make you play soccer. The best activity we did every Tuesday was swimming lessons. You are such a fish that they didn’t have to teach you anything because you let them know that you “already know how to swim”. I’m a little embarrassed that my 4 year old swims better then me, maybe they have some adult swim classes. I think you have finally given up your thumb: your friend, your comfort, my enemy. I’m sorry that I gave you such a hard time about sucking your thumb; you are so tall and look so big until you sucked your thumb (all day long). I will forever miss the baby in you but I won’t miss your thumb, let’s pray that your sister won’t keep this terrible habit.
You are amazingly smart! I can’t teach you, show you, Google you enough information. You’re favorite TV shows are the history and the science channel and you love going to the library to check out hundreds of books about space, science experiments, and dinosaurs. I love watching you grow and learn, and seeing you teach your brother and sister so much. You are full of energy, love life, and are the best big brother in the world, I love you!!

Dear Evan,
My little artist and musician that I adore!! You have such a gift and passion already that is shocking! Today as you were coloring me a beautiful picture you said “Mommy, I am going to be an artist when I grow up” and I have no doubt that you will be. You also asked for a “real electric guitar for your birthday with a speaker (it must have strings and no buttons). Amazing!! You are so sweet that I’m not sure you have a mean bone in your body. You love making your sister laugh and love wrestling with your big brother. Trey might be bigger then you but when you guys wrestle you would never know it. You took piano lessons and loved it, you took swim lessons and just liked it but you are ready to be on a real soccer team as soon as you turn 4! You are the best helper and a great listener, if I need something you are the first one I ask, I love you!

Dear Taylor,
I still can’t believe you are a girl, and such a girl at that. Having two older brothers and playing with trucks since birth has not stopped you from caring for all your baby dolls as if you gave birth to them yourself. Today you took toilet paper and were wiping your one babies behind and saying “good job” like they just went on the potty. You have taught our family how to love someone more then we ever knew possible. You are sweet beyond words, you make us laugh all day long, and if we are honest you definitely run the house. Some of your highlights this summer was the knock knock joke your brothers taught you in the back seat of the car “knock knock”, “who’s there?” “Pizza”, “pizza who?”, “pizza butt” LOLOL…. I know you don’t get it but if you could hear your delivery it makes us all laugh every time even after the tenth time you’ve said it. You are also potty trained and when you have to go to the bathroom you come running saying, “I have to go potty, soooooooo bad!!!!“ You should hear the drama in your voice. We all adore you and love you so much!!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Looking my best

So I've been sick, sooo sick so the past week I really haven't left the house. Except for the one night I had to go to the grocery store because we had no food and one diaper. I thought I would run in and run out in my sick clothes (sweatshirt, sweatpants, no make up, a fire-engine red nose, and tissues in hand.) As I'm heading to the diaper aisle don't I see a friend from high school that I haven't seen in 16 years (I can't be that old). Of course I give my excuses for looking the way I do but isn't that always the case. When you actually have 5 minutes to look good you see no one, but when you look terrible, everyone you ever knew comes out of the woodwork.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I know it's almost June.....

My life has been so busy and I hate that I haven't documented all the wonderful moments over the past months. Let me TRY to recap with some of the lessons I've learned in the past two months.
Lesson #1 I hate the winter. Now that the weather is warm and the kids can be outside 24/7 it makes me realize how much I hate the winter. The only thing the winter is good for is making me appreciate how wonderful the rest of the seasons are!
Lesson #2 My sister is complete! She got married on the beach in Malibu, CA to a wonderful man that I know God put on this earth just for her! The person you marry should make you a better person and these two together are perfect!
Lesson #3 I can do anything!!! If I can fly on an airplane for five and a half hours with three kids 4 and under, I can do anything! The stress and the packing leading up to the flight were a thousand times worse then the actual adventure.
Lesson #4 Never to limit my kids capabilities! I don’t know about anyone else but for me it is easy to avoid situations that you think your kids might not handle well. In actuality you never will know until you try. Over the past two months I have done so many things with my kids that I will never limit their capabilities again!
Lesson #5 Three and four year old boys are obsessed with potty talk! It could just be my 4 and 3 year old but the past couple months it has gotten worse. Everything ends with poop and they have my one year old little girl saying it too. I hope it is just a phase.
Lesson #6 I’m getting older no matter what. I can’t stop it, I turned 31 and I need to suck it up and be thankful that I made it another year and hopefully I have many more to go. I’m not sure why I dread getting older, I just do.
Lesson #7 There is only 24 hours in a day. I’m realizing I can’t do it all; I’m getting better at delegating rather then putting it all on myself. So my gift to myself was a cleaning lady from heaven named Renee. I love being a mom but Lord how I hate cleaning!! A clean house that I didn’t clean is better then ANYTHING!!!!
Lesson #8 Good health is so valuable. As I’m typing this my head is so jam packed that it is affecting my vision, my throat, and my brain function. Hopefully in a week or so I will be able to breathe again and oh how I will thank God!!! Until then it is honey, lemon, hot water, and a prayer!