Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Girl Friends: Making Time


In talking with a few people about friendship struggles, I have found that the biggest obstacle is TIME.

First off, I'd like to say that if you don't seem to have enough time for your girlfriends because there are other things, such as God and your husband and children that get most of your time, that's not a bad thing! Your priorities are in order :)

But, I do know that we desire time with other women. And I feel strongly that it is very important for us to have that time. We need friends we can share with (whether it's laughing or crying), friends to pray with, to get advice from, and for accountability.

And, ultimately, these things can enhance our relationship with God and with our spouse and children. Good for us, good for them! I thoroughly believe it makes us better women. Learning, growing, being held accountable.

So, if we have been working diligently on our relationships with God and our husbands, then by all means, a little girl time is in order!

I know that as we get older, it seems to be harder to make new friends. It's easy to look at other friendships and compare which does absolutely no good. We get in a rut, stuck wishing for more, better, friendships. I know- I've been there.

Thoughts such as "I wish I had a girlfriend I could curl up on the couch and watch a movie with" or "I wish I had a girlfriend I could go shopping with" or "I wish hubby and I had a set once a month dinner with another couple" can trap us. I apologize in advance to my friends but to be perfectly honest, I even find myself having an occasional pity party, thinking "I don't have any friends." And that's a load of crap. They're there, I just need to make time for them.

Instead of wasting time on these thoughts we need to start looking at the friendships we do have- even if it is only one- and focus on how we can make time for that person and how we can better that friendship. Who knows, maybe one of my friends is sitting at home having the same pity party when really, all one of us has to do is make a call or send a text or get on Facebook and take the initiative.

Now, back to the main obstacle that many of us run into with our friendships- time. I am a firm believer that if something is important to us, we will MAKE time for it. Schedule it in, just like you do work or church or the other very important things in your life. (It also works GREAT for exercising! I most definitely schedule my workout time and it gets done!)

My friendships are important to me and sometimes I may feel like I just want to hang out at home with my family but it's been way too long since I've seen my girlfriend so I will schedule that time. And sometimes, to be honest, it is hard for me to get motivated to GO and DO it but once I do, I never regret it. I never think dang, I wish I wouldn't have done that! (Again, same goes for working out!)

If you've made it this far, I thank you for reading and I hope it's given you something to think on. Just remember: God and husband first. Then, instead of looking for newer, better friendships, look at what you already have and figure out how you can make that better and make time to do that.

Lets help each other: share in the comments below how you are going to improve your friendships.

For me, I'm going to start taking the initiative more because my friends ARE important to me.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Girl Friends: But First!


Okay, I think I'm beginning to make a little bit of sense about all this friendship stuff in my head so lets see if I can type it out to make sense here. Friendship is something I've always struggled with and I'm hoping that something I say here will encourage you in your relationships with your girl friends.

But first, there are one, maybe two other relationships that need to be addressed (depending on if you're married or not). Foremost in our lives should be our relationship with God. Then, our relationship with our husband (if we're married). And finally, other relationships.

It is a fact that when we seek God, when we desire Him, and put Him first in our lives, we will be fulfilled in a way that no one or nothing else can fill us. The Bible tells us that when we seek first the kingdom of God, everything else will be added. It also says in the Bible that we aren't to have other gods before Him. Anything- anyone- that is more important in our lives than God can become an idol to us. Also, when we are feeling lonely or sad or hurt, if we would look to God instead of to other people, we would find comfort and belonging and peace. He promises us that in His word. So, for those of you struggling, I urge you to go to the word first and to seek Him. Invest your time and energy in Him and he will bless you in ways you can't imagine. He will fill your heart so full you won't be able to contain it!

And then, with what's overflowing out of that heart, look at your other relationships, beginning with your husband. He should be your very best earthly friend. I am so thankful that my husband and I have the friendship that we do. In all honestly, there is no one that I would rather spend my time with (sorry gals!) I miss him the minute he walks out the door in the morning until I get to kiss his wonderful face when he gets home in the evening. We watch movies together, go on walks and eat ice cream together, he paints my toenails, we play games, we shop and go out to eat together. I couldn't ask for a better friend and husband!

Now let me just say this- not every marriage looks the same. Every couple is different. So don't compare. I think it's pretty special that my husband paints my toenails and will go shopping with me but some of you wouldn't want your husband going anywhere near your toenails with Cozu-Melted In The Sun polish and not every man has the patience and sense of style that it takes to make a good shopping companion. Invest your time and energy into finding things that you enjoy doing together, find a thing or two that he likes to do that you can tolerate and do that with him. I actually went fishing with Dan last summer, which I know he was thrilled about. And I didn't have a bad time, either.



When I am working on my relationship with God and seeking him consistently and all is good in husband land, life is pretty darn sweet. There is, however, still this underlying longing for time with girl friends. Sometime I think I long for friends because I'm lonely but I'm realizing now that I have friends, what I need is TIME with friends. When I asked people what the biggest struggle in friendships was, a lot of them answered "time."

I have a solution for this but I think I'm going to let you chew on what I've said here for a day or two while I form my thoughts on the rest and I will do another post over the weekend. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on what I have here so far. Please, leave a comment below if you'd like!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Scavenger Hunt

One day last week, the boys were feeling restless and I had just come across this post with scavenger hunt ideas so I decided to put together my own. I told the boys and 7 of the neighbor boys that after lunch, we'd all do a scavenger hunt.

Armed with a plastic bag, a list of items to find, and a crayon to cross off their list, the boys set off on their adventure.

 


I like free entertainment! If you're looking for something to do with your kiddos, this is a great thing that will keep them busy for a little while. AND scavenger hunts are so versatile and can be adapted in many ways. Do one with your kids some day- they'll love it!


 
 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sidetracked!

This was not at all on my list of things to do yesterday. It has, however, been something I've been wanting to do. I forgot to take a before picture but here's the "in process" picture. All that stuff came out of the closet!

 
 
My vision was to create a space where I could have a work area and keep all of my stuff (craft stuff, important papers, my laptop, etc.) all in one place as opposed to strewn about the house. This was once Dan's office and when Emmett is old enough to go share a bedroom with one of the other boys, it will become Dan's office again. So, I figured if I had a space in Emmett's room now, eventually Dan would move his office back in and then I could do my thing at my area while he's working at his desk or drawing at the drafting table. Because we're weird like that and want to spend every possible waking minute together ;)
 
So, the obvious first step was to empty the closet. I found about 6 items of clothing that are E's current size that should be in his dresser. Bonus! I put all the clothes for him to grow into in a tote to go to the basement. There is also a small pile of things to sell/ donate. And once the rest went back in, it looked like this:



 
 
One bright idea I got from Organizing Made Fun was to use tags to label baskets/ bins. Here's a look at mine:



 
And then there is the pesky exercise ball which I love to workout with but my kids also love to play with and gosh darn it, IT'S NOT A TOY!!! ;) SO, since I wanted the ball put up and I needed a chair for my desk that's not a desk, I just threw it in on top of the shelf and when I want to sit and use my computer, I will sit on my ball. Great for my core and sanity because, after all, out of sight = out of mind, right?!
 


I'd like to find something else to do with my wedding dress but am at a loss. Any suggestions? My vision was to have a desk in here but I don't have a desk and I don't want to spend money on a desk so I decided to just use what was already there. Perfect! If only I had thought about it 4 months ago. This would have been even more perfect when I was up all night with a newborn!



Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dinner in Review

Sitting here planning our menu for next week and I'm thinking about what we had to eat last week. Since I shared the menu and a couple of recipes on my blog, I thought it only fair to also share some revisions and reviews of the food.

First of all, every time I plan to make the Crock Pot No Boil Manicotti, I don't get it in the crock pot in time and end up just baking it in the oven. Really, the only difference is that I have to boil the noodles. Not a big deal, although I imagine filling hard noodles would be easier than filling floppy noodles that tend to tear. Since I wasn't doing the crock pot manicotti, I just winged the recipe. Here is what I did:

I boiled the noodles until most of the way done

Then I mixed 16 oz. ricotta with 2 c shredded mozzarella and some Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning from Tastefully Simple and put that into a Ziploc bag, cut off a corner, and piped it into the shells.

For the sauce, I pureed some tomatoes that I canned from our garden last year and mixed those with Mama Mia Marinara (also from Tastefully Simple but currently unavailable; I'm hoping they'll bring it back for fall/ winter). I poured the sauce over top and baked at 350 for about 30 minutes. Here's a pic of it getting ready to go into the oven:


 
 
It was so delicious! The Balsamic Chicken was also delicious. We had that with rice and the kids weren't crazy about it but Dan & I really liked it. I will definitely make it again but maybe when the boys are not here.
 
Hopefully you've gotten some good ideas from the last post and this one. Share in the comments what's on your menu for the next week and maybe I'll get some inspiration for my menu!