My Little Sunshine

So since the boys were playing golf this afternoon, MJ thought a fashion show was in order.  When I take picture of her though, it becomes about her FACE more than her fashion though.  I love that her personality comes through on her pictures….because it’s one of my favorite things about her!!  Here are few of the many…

She really, really loves this dress!  (WIN for Mommy!)
I just love her sly little smiles.  So much.
Oh, the faces of MJ.
Those eyes.  I can’t even edit them.
This is one of those that just totally screams her personality.  So well!!
For the record, I gave her no direction…she just posed her little self right away!!
And then, we did nails.  They lasted about an hour!  Record?
I’d like to quote my sister.  “Honey Boo Boo would be proud!”  🙂

My Body

So here is the direction for this one:  Your opinion about your body and how comfortable you are with it 

Hmm.  This is ironic as I’m battling diabetes (or, rather, trying to keep it away – and winning currently!  Yeah!)  and losing weight in the process.  I’m feeling better about my body…my health…life.

I am certainly not a size 4.  Though, I have been….  Back then I was young, silly and totally didn’t think I was pretty enough, smart enough…or anything enough.  Mind you, my parents were awesome, I had good friends and I had somewhat serious relationships with boys.  I was not lacking people to TELL me I was enough, but as many young women, I just had a self-image deficiency.  I find it very interesting that in my old(er) age, as I’ve put on pounds and a few wrinkles and a stray gray hair or so….I feel more comfortable with ME than I ever have.  I am now sure that body image has less to do with body than ever before in my life.  I have a great life, I’m a Christian (who knows that I matter, because my Savior died for ME!), awesome kids, a husband that I never dreamed existed beyond fairy tales, parents who have always supported me and loved me (even when I was so very ungrateful for the things they did), a sister that is amazingly strong, an independent niece, a new adorable baby niece, amazing inlaws…friends that are fabulous and a rewarding job that allows me to try to improve experiences of my employees as well as our customers.  I am living the LIFE!  So why wouldn’t I hold my head high and not worry about what everyone is thinking of my round face and freckled skin?  That is SUCH a small thing in the scope of the big picture.  I know that I have good intentions.  I try really hard.  I try to be a thoughtful person…say thank you…open doors for people…give back when I can…pray for anyone and everyone who needs it (and even those who don’t know they do…okay, ESPECIALLY those).  So, I am WORTH IT.  I am worthy of people’s respect and the admiration of my husband.  I am loved and I am so very, very grateful.  In return, I am PROUD of my life and my family and my freckles.  I am proud that I can walk in a room and know that I might not be the most skinny or flawless – but KNOW that I AM worth feeling like I am beautiful.  Because beauty can be a reflection of what you feel inside.  And what I FEEL – is jawdroppingly blessed…and ENOUGH.

Magic Matt, Mike, Mitt? What??

So the challenge is….list five guys whom you find attractive.

  1. Roy Williams (as in, UNC Basketball coach)
  2. Jesse Metcalfe
  3. Harrison Ford
  4. Vin Diesel
  5. Luke Bryan
So you will notice that my husband is not listed.  Attractive sounds so….not enough for what I feel about Mike JONES!  He’s my other half, my better half…my adorably sweet, amazingly patient, forever thoughtful, hot hubby!!!

Family {Blog Challenge}

So, this blog challenge title doesn’t offer a lot of direction.   You could probably go one hundred different ways with this one but let’s go with a bulleted list, because they are my fave currently.  When I talk about my family below…I am talking about all of us.  My mom and dad, sister, brother in law, nieces, aunts, cousins, uncles, hubby, our children, in-laws, step-family, outlaws, and even friends who are family.  I truly believe all of them are considered family and I am so very blessed with a great one.  I probably don’t tell them often enough how fabulous they are…but I sincerely am amazed at the support, resilience, talent, generosity, consideration and pure love that members of my FAMILY possess.
So, in short…

My family:

is full of love
is mostly in Sanford
loves any reason to get together and EAT
is there for one another
has never let me down, when it really really mattered
just got a little bigger (new baby niece!!)
makes me happy
is not perfect
includes kids who are amazing and teach me so much
loves to laugh
is busy
loves to have down time
doesn’t see each other enough
values each other
has overcome trials
is blessed beyond measure
made me who I am and still shapes who I’m becoming
is amazing

I love you all….so very, very much.

Music {Blog Challenge}

So, the instructions were this:

Put your music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play…
  1. Casting Crowns – Already There
  2. Third Day – Trust in Jesus
  3. Natalie Grant – Greatness of our God
  4. Taylor Swift – The Best Day
  5. Fresh Beat Band – Another Perfect Day
  6. Ali Dee – World’s Gone Crazy
  7. Golf Boys – Oh Oh Oh
  8. Aerosmith – Crazy
  9. Boys II Men – On Bended Knee
  10. Kari Jobe – We Are
Oh how I love that Fresh Beat Band made the list.  And Golf Boys!  This makes me laugh because this is honestly a dream playlist right here, to me!!  Now I’m going to shuffle again, just for good measure…and the fact that I’m being forced to watch Good Luck Charlie.  😉
  1. Lady A – Just a Kiss
  2. Alicia Keys – No One
  3. Blake Shelton – Red River Blue
  4. Jason Aldean – Country Boy’s World
  5. Kenny Chesney – The Life
  6. Natalie Grant – Desert Song
  7. Rascal Flatts – Here Comes Goodbye
  8. Matthew West – My Own Little World
  9. Fresh Beat Band – Here We Go
  10. Aaron Lewis – Country Boy
So, clearly, the only thing that really proved?  That I own the Fresh Beat Band complete album.  I’m going to cry in a corner now….

White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

Here is the recipe for the chili I have raved to everyone about.  I have found many variations online but this is the one that is perfect for me and my family (and coworkers)!

  • 1-1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into “chunks”   
  • 1 medium onion, chopped to your liking (depending on who is eating it, I might even mince)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can (7 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • In a large saucepan, sauté the chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Makes about 7 servings.  
  • It is fabulous with red pepper flakes!
Also – you can put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook that way – just don’t add the sour cream or heavy cream until just before you serve it!

How important is education? {Blog Challenge}

Education is so very important today.  It can be the differentiator in many ways when seeking employment.  I personally value experience just the same, but many corporations are putting greater emphasis on a person’s degree or lack thereof.  I hope my children seek out higher education immediately upon graduation from high school.  I hope I can influence them to WANT that.  I wish I had.  Obviously, everything happens for a reason and my whole life would most likely be WAY different but I do wish I had placed more focus on it then.

It’s SO hard.  I mean, really hard.  I mean, almost impossible to go to school when you have a job…and a family…and a life…  So, before you have all THAT….get some educational tidbits going on.

What I ate today {Blog Challenge}

Here is what I ate today, only it was yesterday – Sunday, August 12 –

bacon biscuit (convenience ruled as I was about to get sick #thanksthyroid)
around 3/4 a cup of my homemade white bean chicken chili (with one Ritz Cracker sprinkled in)

For reference ~ here is my chili in progress ~ 

half a container of yogurt
3 frozen grapes
small bite of cheesecake (totally not the worst thing ever – modified no bake cheesecake w/ splenda in crust and 2% milk)
2 frozen grapes
Small portion of hamburger (lean) steak, mushrooms, brown gravy (not REAL gravy, mind you), brown rice
another small bite of cheesecake (ARGH!!)
lots of water
diet coke

MJ’s Fashion Show

Our local Belk (and maybe yours too) celebrated KidFest yesterday with an adorable fashion show for kids ages 4-11.  Since my Mom lives at frequents Belk, many times with MJ in tow, they definitely know her and her personality.  They asked Mom to give me the form to sign up and MJ was all about doing this.  I worried up until the time I saw her walking the runway if she would back out….but she was so into it!!!  She made me so very proud…
Here she is!  She was so crazy excited!!!
Once I took her back to wait….I only checked in on her once.  She was doing great!  They were running WAY behind…so it was probably 45 minutes before it was underway. SO proud of all the kids and their patience!  The audience was definitely getting antsy so I know the 4-11 year olds were!
Behind the “curtain”…they were figuring out the order so we weren’t really sure where MJ would fall in line.  Turns out – she was FIRST!  🙂
She was ALL smiles!
When she walked by, she was SO happy!  I wanted to just CRY, I was so proud of my little girl!
She totally rocked the runway!!!
After they walked individually, they came back around once more….
All the kids did a great job….it was definitely something we’ll do again!
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