Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Morning Question of the Day

Do you or have you ever texted while driving? 

If you watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition 
last night you saw the story of a Texas family whose
 beautiful 17 year old daughter Alex died
 in a single car accident because she was texting.  

Her sweet family now travels around to high schools to talk
 to teenagers about the dangers of texting while driving.  

I hate to admit but I have texted while driving. 

And every single time I do I think...
"I really shouldn't do this, it's not safe"
and yet I do. 

Which is absolutely RIDICULOUS.

But NO more. 
There is nothing I need to text that is so important that
 I am willing to put anyone's life at risk. 


So I'm printing out this pledge and signing it. 

What about you?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday

This family pic {from Olan Mills, of course}
 just screams the 1970's!

I just love it all- from my dad's leisure suit with the super snazzy shirt 
to my mom's polyester suit and football helmet like hair
{name that movie: Relax! You can't screw up her hair.
 Just tease it and make it look like a brown football helmet. }
to my sister and I wearing our cute little denim dresses and bows 
and her gap toothed smile.  It just makes me happy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Numbers About Me

1. $9.80= how much I spend at Sonic a week
 {unless I have a bad day or buy someone else a drink, then it's more}

2. $509.60= how much I spend at Sonic in a year based on #1. 
 {of course that is a super low estimate, it's probably closer to $700}

3. $629.00= how much the iPad I want costs
{oh how I want an iPad!}

4. $0= the amount I would have to pay for an iPad
 if I saved my Sonic drink money for a year

5. 4= the number of days I think I could go without Sonic 
before losing my mind
{maybe 3, ok 2, who am I kidding? 1}

6. $4,500,000= the amount our school district must cut in the next 2 years
{could be worse, depending upon the state budget}

7. 50%= the chance I have of getting to keep my current job 
for next yearbecause of $6
{cutting from 6 in my position to 3}

8. 9= the number }out of 11} of the last text messages 
from my husband that were only one word long
{usually OK}

9. 874.91= miles apart Dory and I live doorstep to doorstep
{aka= WAY too many}

10. 459= number of friends I have on Facebook

11. $170= the amount I would have to pay for an iPad if
 all my Facebook friends sent me $1 each
{which is approximately 122 Sonic drinks}
{can you tell I REALLY want an iPad?}

12. 30= the number of days till I'm going to see Wicked 
with my sweet friend Sherri. 
{can. not. wait.}

13. 43= the number of days till I am going to California 
with Madison and her drill team. 
{I've never been to California and I am so excited!}

Happy Thursday Y'all!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Morning Question of the Day

Got the BEST massage every last night and boy did I need it!

Have you ever had a massage?

Did you love it or hate it?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Words I Say WAY Too Often:
(in no particular order)

1. Sweet

2. Awesome

3. Fabulous

4. Seriously. or Seriously? (this should probably be #1 if they were in order)

5. Really?

6. Um (is um a word?)

7. Dude

8. Stink

9. What?

10. Absolutely

11. So.....

12. Well (usually followed by the word THEN)

13. Yay!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday

Oh how I love this picture of my sweet mother when she was a baby.  
How precious is she sitting in that tub?
One of my favorite things about this picture is what's written on the back of it.
It says:  Nancy playing in the new tub.
Too cute!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flashback Friday

I love this picture of my sweet Daddy and his little brother. 
Everything from their cute little matching outfits 
(and my grandmother was not a matching outfit kind of lady)
to the background of old stores and trucks
to my Daddy's sweet smile
 (that has not changed a single BIT!).

I'm not sure exactly where this picture was taken but if you zoom in you can read the big sign in the back and it's for the Houston Chronicle so I'm guessing it was in downtown Houston somewhere.  Maybe one day I'll go downtown and see if I can figure out where it was.  Wouldn't that be fun?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happiness = Marshmallows?

I saw this sign last week at a cute little antique store and it cracked me up. 

Happiness = Marshmallows? 

It's easy to dwell on the things and people in our lives that are
 irritating, aggravating, and obnoxious.

So instead, today let's think about what makes us happy. 
What makes you happy today? 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hiding God's Word in Your Heart- Week 1

So I am continuing this year with my verse of the week
 and hoping you will join me in hiding God's word in your heart! 
It may look a little different this year
 {each week's verse will have a totally unique look to it}
but will be posted each Wednesday. 

Each week I'll post the verse on here but will also have them all stored on a separate page. 

 If you click on the words Hiding God's Word in Your Heart at the top of this page you'll go to a separate page where you can see all of the verses for this year.  
I thought it would be a great review for those of us memorizing the weekly verses to have them all in the same place.  

I also wanted to share with you a fabulous FREE app
 I found to help memorize scripture!  
It's called Bible Memory Verses and the icon looks like this 
What I love about this app is that it has lots of verses in it for you to study, 
but also allows you to add your own verses.  

So the verse this week, Psalm 4:4 was not included in the app 
but I simply typed it in and clicked saved.  
Once the verse is saved, I can record myself saying the verse 
and then hear it spoken by clicking on the audio button. 

I can also choose the Blanks button which has me try to fill in the word
 to help me with my memorization.   
How cool is that? 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What does that LOOK like?

So yesterday I shared that my goal for this year is :

To live fully and in today. To be here in this moment- not the one yet to be.  To participate fully. To treasure each day as the gift that it is. To stop being so busy planning for tomorrow or next week or next month or next year and instead live NOW. To stop multi-tasking all the time and instead savor today. To relish and languish in the gifts of the people in my life. To soak up each day. To linger, to laugh, to slow down. To relish. To live abundantly.

I truly meant those words with all of my heart and pray that I am able to live more abundantly this year. 

However wanting to do so, merely saying the words, will not make it happen.
There have to be steps I commit to take to accomplish this goal. 
Because if I don't think of and come up with a plan
 I will certainly fail in accomplishing it.  
So I've been thinking about what living abundantly will look like for me.

In thinking about what steps I need to take to do so, I've realized that many of them are going to take me breaking some bad habits that I have. Don't you hate that? Realizing that you have picked up a few yucky habits? It hasn't been comfortable to both consider that these things are habits of mine and to think about having to change my actions.  

{True confession: I started this post and thought to myself....
{Man, I don't want to post this because if I do I'll have to be accountable 
to my friends who read it.  Maybe I should just keep it to myself?}
But I'm doing it anyway because I know I should. }

So after lots of thinking and praying about it, 
 here are just three of the steps 
I am going to take to work towards my goal:

1.  Step away from the computer and give my family my undivided attention.
This one will absolutely be the most difficult one for me to stick to. Hands down- it's going to be hardIf I am being totally honest, I am on the computer for the vast majority of my waking hours.  While being on the computer isn't a problem in itself, being on the computer instead of focusing on my family and those that I love is a problem.  Due to the nature of my job, I'm on the computer all day long at work.  Then I turn on my computer when I get home from work and it's on until I go to bed.  Although I do other things during that time- cook dinner, eat dinner, clean up, do laundry, household chores, work on projects, read, watch tv, talk to my husband and daughter- the computer is on and I am on it much of that time. 

So instead of talking to my daughter while on the computer and instead of watching tv with my husband while simultaneously being on the computer, I'm going to step away and give them my complete attention.  Because although the computer is a fabulous, fun, friend- connecting tool for me- my family deserves me to fully be with them- not my half heart attention. 

Because Dory and I do much of our talking via IM in the evenings, this will be a further challenge for me.  I definitely can NOT give that up (no way Jose!) because she's the one that keeps me sane(ish?), so I'm going to have to be on the computer some in the evenings so I can chat with her. But maybe she and I can also start actually talking on the phone instead of just texting and IMing all the time? 

2. Stop multi-tasking when someone comes in to my office and instead focus all of my intention on the person in front of me.
When someone comes in to my office - be it just to visit or to get my help- I am always working on something.  Typically I will continue working as I talk to that person.  I usually mention that I'm listening but just multi-tasking and of course they are kind and say "Of course- go right ahead!".  But honestly, what does that say to them? What message am I conveying? I'm pretty sure it gives them the message that they aren't very important to me- which is not true at all and certainly not the message I want to send to anyone. 

So from now on, when someone comes in to my office, I'll stop what I'm doing and focus on them- giving them my undivided attention.  My prayer is that they will feel important and valued and treasured~ because they are! 

3. Put down my phone when with a friend or family member and focus on them.
I love my iphone.  Seriously, I love it. I love how with the touch of a button I can check Facebook or my email or text message or read a blog or play a game or read a book.  It's an amazing piece of technology but it's also something I've realized has begun to keep me from being fully present, from focusing on and listening to the person sitting directly in front of me.  

I have noticed recently how much I (and many of my friends) seem to check my phone. I became super aware of this recently when having lunch with a friend.  She spent the entire time checking her phone and texting.  She seriously would be in the middle of saying something, her phone would ding and she would stop- mid sentence- to read and answer it.  This happened time after time after time and by the end of our time together I was so very sad and wondered why we even got together because she talked more to the person she was texting than to me.  After we parted ways, I actually texted Dory and said something along the lines of...."If I ever ignore you because I'm texting someone else when with you, please slap me silly!" 

I am truly blessed with some amazing friends and family and my time with them always seems too short.  Why in the world would I want to make them feel less than important and to make them think that I didn't treasure my time with them? 

So from now on, when with a friend or family member, I will put my phone on vibrate and not check FB or reply to text messages (other than those that are from my family and must be returned quickly). I will focus on being with my friends and make sure they know how much I love and treasure them. 

These are just three things but I know they will be a challenge for me 
and I'm going to need some help.
 So if you are someone I see in real life
please please please 
help me to be accountable. 

God tells us many times in the Bible to help each other be accountable. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says: 

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,  
just as in fact you are doing.

If you see me on the computer on FB or IM all night long.....
ask me how my goal for the year is going. 

If you walk in my office and I don't stop what I'm doing....
ask me how my goal for the year is going. 

If I am with you and I pick up my phone to text or check FB....
ask me how my goal for the year is going. 

I'm so excited looking forward to 2011 and what I can accomplish, 
how I can grow, how God can use and change me, how I can bless the people in my life!

What about you?
What's one of your goals for 2011 
and what's one step you are taking to reach it?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

To Live Abundantly

I love the promise of a new year. 
A clean slate.
A blank book.
A fresh start.
A new beginning.

I've been praying about what God wants me to focus on
 and how He wants me to stretch and change and grow in this new year.

I've noticed that much of my life
{much more than I'd like to admit}
 is not spent in the here and now.

In the midst of any given moment, 
I'm thinking ahead to the next event, the next day,
 the next task on my long list of things to do. 

I'm not fully present in the moment-
 not reveling in the gift of what God has given me. 

Not focusing on the people I am blessed to have in my life
 sitting right in front of me
but instead jumping ahead to a moment that is yet to be. 

Neglecting now for a tomorrow that hasn't even happened.

While talking with some sweet friends this week the talk turned to 
children growing up and how you never know
 when it will be the last time a child does something as a baby.
You'll never know the last time they let you rock them to sleep, 
to mispronounce a word in a cute way,
 to do any of those precious things for the last time 
as they grow out of babyhood and into childhood.

That conversation has stuck with me and
 I find myself thinking of it over and over and over again.
I keep thinking how that truly applies to all of our life. 

We are not promised tomorrow and we don't know if that
 last conversation with a friend, 
that last trip to visit a parent, 
that last meal shared as a family 
could be the one you are experiencing today.

If we knew it were - wouldn't we be fully 100% there 
and focused on those people in front of us?
Soaking in every single detail about them,
 hanging on every word they said, loving them fully and completely?

My answer to that is YES. Heck yes!

So my goal this year
 {among the standard lose weight, eat healthier, exercise, blah blah blah}
 is to live fully and in today. 
To be here in this moment- not the one yet to be.
To participate fully.
To treasure each day as the gift that it is.
To stop being so busy planning for tomorrow
 or next week or next month or next year 
and instead live NOW.
To stop multi-tasking all the time and instead savor today.
To relish and languish in the gifts of the people in my life.
To soak up each day.
To linger, to laugh, to slow down.
To relish.
To live abundantly.

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.  One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.  
~Mary Jean Iron~