It's been a while since I wrote a post, it has been a whirlwind around here. We've been super busy just doing life & trying to figure out things since I am staying home. It's been a lot bigger of an adjustment than I thought it would be...not just because I'm not teaching or because we've gone from 2 incomes to 1.

I never thought it would be so hard to stay at home. I love, love, love my Laney and I am thankful to be staying at home with her. I look forward to teaching her new things & being around for all of her "firsts..." I've been doing the home school thing & the Mary Kay thing and they are both great...they give me something to do and keep me busy. But honestly, I miss teaching. I miss greeting my students, seeing them "get it," grading papers (I know...I'm weird), interacting with parents, and just allowing the Lord to work through me to minister to middle schoolers as I teach them English & History. I know that I could easily get a job teaching if I tried to go back right now, but the thought of putting Laney in daycare kills me. I have never felt so strongly about anything in my life. I know it's God's will for me to be staying home with my sweet girl. Matt & I both felt this calling back when we found out we were expecting a year ago. Sure, it's been a stretch for us but we both know I am supposed to stay home.
 This is one of those times in life when I know God is teaching me & really stretching me.

I am so thankful that he's provided a way to stay home & a husband that is receptive to God's will. I've also been surrounded by a lot of great friends that have been home with their kids for a while & their stories of transitioning from work to staying home has been a great encouragement to me. It's so awesome to know I'm not the only one that's ever felt the way I do.

More to come later about what I'm learning...Laney's crying, nap time is over :)

ps- Gotta share a picture of my girl, I'm growing spiritually and she's growing physically!


Random Thoughts This Morning...

I usually only write about 1 topic when I blog, but since this is my online journal I just want to share my thoughts this morning...

I'm feeling VERY encouraged this morning. I had a super turn out at my MK debut last night, 18 people came to show their support for me. Thanks to all who came! I booked 5 parties, possibly 6. I know a lot of you wanted to be here & couldn't. If you're interested in earning some free products, being entered to win a trip to NYC, ordering some skin care, or just hearing more about Mary Kay please let me know. I'm trying to meet a goal by next Wednesday, so if you want to order anything I'm placing an order before Friday.  I'm so excited!

I'm feeling thankful this morning. I have a wonderful mother-in-law & sis-in-laws that came to my debut last night, but ended up taking care of my sick little girl for most of the party. I am so grateful for their support & for helping my Laney as she was dealing with some tummy issues. She's feeling a little better today & hopefully she will feel 100% soon. The awesome thing is my in-laws always help me with Laney, not just last night. I could not ask for a better family to be a part of.  I love them.

Speaking of family...I haven't been HOME since June when my brother graduated from high school. I am so excited to be going to Kannapolis tomorrow to see my family and introduce Laney to a lot of people. Matt's going to a conference this weekend & will be joining us on Saturday night. Then we're going to my sis-in-law's bridal shower in Wingate, NC. I haven't spent 5 days in Kannapolis in probably over a year...so K-town people if you want to see Laney call me & we'll figure it out. I'll be around Thursday evening through Monday morning.

Fall is around the corner & I cannot wait to get out my fall decorations. I asked Matt if I could do it Labor Day and he told me "it is still summer." So I just had to look back at my blog to see when I got them out last year...it was September 25th that I wrote my fall post...so the leaves, sunflowers, acorns, & pumpkin spice candles are coming out soon! This fall will be a little different considering we don't have anyone to watch cheer or play football in Kannapolis, nor did we buy season tickets to ASU games. I'm sure we'll squeeze in some football some where. AND I know we'll be making the trip to the state fair come October. Ah...FALL!!!

Guess I better get to work & to packing. Happy Wednesday! :)


Mary Kay...Really?

Yes...Mary Kay, really! I've recently begun a new journey as a Mary Kay consultant. I know a lot of you are thinking..."Really, Magan?" I don't see you selling anything & why Mary Kay? Well, I have to share the coolest story with you.

I have a really good friend, Beth Senseney, that has been selling Mary Kay for several years & she asked me if I would be interested back in April or May. I was kind of interested because I LOVE Mary Kay makeup/skin care, but I don't know a lot of people in the Raleigh area and I was afraid no one would be interested so I politely told her no. She asked me to attend a skin care class in June to be pampered one more time before Laney was born and I figured I didn't have anything to lose...so I went. That night she introduced me to the director that was leading the class & again I was asked what was holding me back from becoming a consultant...I told her the exact same thing I had told Beth back in the spring. She wasn't pushy & was supportive of the reasons I had given her. That was kind of the end of the "Mary Kay" talk in my life until....

Last weekend Matt & I were going over our finances & budget, not really worrying over the HUGE pay cut we had taken with us deciding for me to stay home because we know the Lord is going to provide...but we were simply just figuring out how things were going to look now that we only have his income (and the little bit I'm making from teaching home school classes once a week...which really hasn't panned out quite like I expected as far as the number of kids go...but at least I'm getting my teaching fix). Anyways...somehow Mary Kay came up & I mentioned to Matt that I'd really like to be a consultant but that I didn't know how successful I'd be because I don't know a lot of people. WELL...Beth was at a training over the weekend and had been praying that God would show her the person to call to invite to be on her team. That night she sat down with her director & my name came to her. She KNEW I was the person God wanted her director to call and talk to...so, they called. She explained that they were training & that her director wanted to ask me a few questions. She told me her story of how she became a consultant and it was pretty much MY SAME STORY! I knew right then God was calling me to become a consultant. It would provide a little extra money for our family & give me the opportunity to do something I love, help women feel good about themselves! Not to mention be a part of something God totally ordained.

So still...why Mary Kay over any other business? Well first of all, Mary Kay herself was a Christian. She believed in faith first, family second, and career third. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the product. The skin care line is cheaper than any other department store product and it actually works really well...not to mention the make-up is wonderful! Also, I get to pamper women & get to know some pretty awesome ladies.

I'm not going to lie...I'm nervous. I really have no idea what I'm doing & I'm still worried about the fact that I don't KNOW a ton of people in this area...and will people really buy the product? I mean, I love it and I know a lot of people that love it...but will people take me seriously? So many questions, but the good news is...God has all the answers. I'm excited...I really am, to see what God has for me through all of this newness in my life.  So...if you are interested in getting some FREE pampering, get some girlfriends together & give me a call! :)  In the meantime, check out my website www.marykay.com/magankeith

PS- If you book a party between now & December you could WIN a trip to NYC!


When All Else Fails...

It's the end of the month & Matt and I have had sort of a game going to see if we could make it to the end without going to the grocery store. It's kinda gotten a little ridiculous, but it's been fun. We'd already reached our budgeted amount for the month, so we were trying to spend as little as possible...at first it wasn't a big deal and we had PLENTY of stuff so we didn't need to go to the grocery store for anything. And honestly, we could have gone to the store but it became more fun not to.

At the end of last week I ran out of milk for my coffee and lately I've needed my morning coffee. I went Sunday & Monday without, but yesterday I just HAD to have my coffee so Matt got up early and went to get some coffee for me. He was trying to be so good and surprise me, but he got coffee WITH no cream & sugar. He wasn't thinking about the fact that the reason he was going to get me coffee was because we didn't have milk, he was just thinking he was going to surprise me with coffee (which we have plenty of here). So he comes home to surprise me & I ask for the cream...which he forgot. So I politely tell him thanks and decide that I'll just drink it black....not a big deal (gross...but I was going to do it because he had been so sweet to go get me coffee). I then remembered we had this in the freezer:

Yep, Cool Whip. It's just whipped cream...so why not. I tried it & honestly, it wasn't bad. It almost made a cappuccino like drink for me to enjoy. I liked it so much that I'm drinking it again this morning. I will be heading to the store today & I will make sure that I get some milk for my coffee...but it sure is good to know that Cool Whip can save the day if I ever run out of milk again!


New Adventures

I'm not sure how much I've written about my new job. Tomorrow I began a new adventure & I must say...I am REALLY REALLY nervous. Tomorrow I will begin teaching 2 classes at New Life Camp for homeschool students. I'm used to teaching over 100 students a day, every day of the week & I'm going to be teaching a class of 6 and a class of 3...1 day a week. In the past I haven't been able to share my faith with my students, in this job I get the privilege of leading students in devotions & have been asked to incorporate Jesus in every lesson I teach.

I worry, will I be good enough?...as if I don't know what I'm doing. I've been teaching for 4 years & I act like I've never taught before. I have jitters about dealing with homeschool parents vs. dealing with public school parents. Will my students out smart me? Will they think I'm a horrible teacher? Will I disappoint the New Life staff that hired me, the parents that have paid for me to teach their kids? Will I make a complete fool of myself? I am really struggling with all of this...

I plan to take today to just pray through this new adventure God has given me. Being a stay at home mommy & working 1 day a week has been a HUGE adjustment for me. I knew I would love it, but honestly...it's been hard. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my Laney and we can't imagine life any other way now. But...I'm so used to working on school work all of the time & living my life with what's left over. Now I live my life & do school work in just a few hours a week. I'm being pretty vulnerable here...letting out my fears on the web. Will you pray with me? Pray that God will calm my nerves & give me the confidence I need to be the best I can be tomorrow & every Thursday for this school year. Pray that I will continue to adjust to being a stay at home mommy, that I will make the most of it & enjoy being home with my little Laney.

God has reminded me this week of why he put me at home & why I'm not returning to public school...I'm so thankful for the new adventures he has blessed us with, now to make the most if it!


We're Alive!

Well...there's no need to explain why I haven't blogged in over a month...almost 2! On July 10th, 2011 our lives changed forever when we welcomed this sweet little girl into the world.

(Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law for this great picture of the 3 of us...check out www.morgankeithphotography.com)

The past 5 weeks has been a blur & I think...fingers crossed, we're starting to get the hang of our new life. I have so many things going through my head that I don't even know where to start writing so stay posted for more fun & exciting posts about Miss Laney...including one about her dedication this coming weekend :)
(Another great one by my wonderful sister-in-law!)



It seems that I've lost all motivation to do anything recently. I have a gazillion thank you cards to write for the wonderful shower gifts we've received for Laney & I have curriculum to write for the English class & College Prep class I'm teaching in the fall.

I almost feel like I lost so much rest during the school year & I'm not sleeping well at night that all I can seem to do is lay around...soooo bad. I know that once Laney gets here I will be going non-stop with her & writing cards and curriculum will be the least of my worries so I really need to get going now.

I know deep down somewhere in me is all the motivation to get this stuff done...hopefully I will find it today. My days are ticking away....Laney will be here any day! Pray I find it fast!


Happy 4th of July!

It's been a different 4th of July for me. I have so many memories of the 4th...Growing up we always got together with friends & family to celebrate, went to the beach, or the lake. I've spent two 4th of July's out of the country on missions and in college, I always worked at Caswell and we always found a special way to celebrate...whether it was a worship service, serving in Gulfport, Mississippi or watching fireworks at camp. The past few years Matt & I have celebrated at the beach with my family...but this year, we haven't really done anything "out of the ordinary." We knew we couldn't go to the beach this year because my due date is just 14 days away and for some reason we just didn't make plans with anyone.

So...when I woke up this morning, I was automatically in a bad mood...I'll have to admit these pregnancy hormones have gotten the best of me these days, everything upsets me & I'm waayyyy too sensitive. Poor Matt searched for quite sometime for something "fun" to do it the area...go to the lake, the pool, go downtown and none of it seemed to satisfy me. He felt helpless as I cried about how we had nothing to do and we were "boring." Basically, I rolled around in self pitty until about 2:00...lol, poor poor Matt. Finally we ended up laying around watching "Talladega Nights," (classy...I know) reminiscing & catching up on life. Sad, but we NEVER get to do stuff like this. It was so nice to just talk & laugh and spend time with my best friend.

Tonight I'm cooking dinner, like I had planned to do...barbeque chicken, homemade mac & cheese, and some fresh veggies that I got at the farmer's market (of course...Matt won't eat those veggies). It's an all-American meal & then Matt's parents and sister are bringing dessert. We watched fireworks last night, so we'll probably just hang out with them tonight.

Even though it's been a "different kind of 4th," it has turned out to be a great day around the house with my best friend. He's promised me we'll go to the beach when Laney gets here & we're settled...I'll get my beach vacation eventually!
(Matt & I last year on the 4th)

Happy 4th of July everyone, I hope your day has been just as great as mine!


No Longer Bored...Wasting Time...New Addiction

My friend Sara & I are both avid blog readers, she writes more than I do...but I do like to write as well. About a month ago she wrote about a new website called pinterest, which looked really interesting to me but I haven't had time to check it out until this week...NOW I'm addicted.

The site has all kinds of ideas for craftiness, cooking, event planning, etc...all things I love & wish I had more time for. The way Sara describes it is best: It's basically a bulletin board where you can "pin up" ideas for later. You have to request a subscription, but you can still search the site & get great ideas while you wait for your subscription...then you can start your on "pin board."

I'm really excited about this new discovery...although, I might end up wasting A LOT of time that I could be using doing other things...at least I'll have new craft ideas & recipes! 0:) Happy Searching!


Waiting Game...

My brother has graduated, pageant week is over (my sister did phenomenal) & all is quite around the Keith house. Next on our busy 2011 schedule is the birth of our sweet little Laney, and we're playing the waiting game...

I went to the doctor yesterday for my 37 week check up and he says Laney is head down & ready to come, I've dilated 1 cm and really she's on her own time now...so who knows she could come tomorrow...she could come around her due date (July 18th). This is probably the hardest thing for both Matt & I. We're both so anxious to meet that sweet little girl & I'm ready for my body to feel halfway normal again. I'd like to be able to wear my wedding band & be able to paint my toes :). We're both planning people & waiting...well we're learning some patience that's for sure!

Who knows when she'll arrive, but for now...I'm working on homeschool curriculum for the classes I'm teaching in the fall & writing some thank you cards. (And spending time with Molly, which is going to be one curious little dog very soon!) All of which can be done while sitting on the couch & resting. It's killing me to not be laying out in the sun or by the beach or pool somewhere. (For those of you that know me really well know I could LIVE at the beach in the summer.) Laney's room is ready, my bags are packed & we're as ready as we're gonna be! We know God has a perfect time for this precious gift to make her arrival and it will be soon.

Anyone want to take a guess? My mom swears Laney will have curly hair based on this ultrasound picture :)


3 Years Ago Today...

3 years ago today, I married my best friend:
I cannot believe that 3 years have flown by so fast. Definitely the best day of my life! God has blessed us beyond belief & his love and mercy for us just blows me away. I cannot wait for the journey we have coming our way in the next few weeks!

Here's a few favorites from our special day:

I love you Matthew!


Laney's Room

We have finally ALMOST finished Laney's room. I still have some organizing to do & a few more things to hang, but it's ready enough for her to come home when she's ready to make her appearance. When we first started planning her room, I DID NOT want something that was going to be pastel colors...like most baby stuff. It's just not us... So I started with her bedding & went from there. (For those of you that know me know that if I weren't in the teaching profession, I'd do interior design...I love to decorate & I love to find cheap ways to do it so making Laney's room cute was important to me.) I had a "garden" theme in my head...so I began gathering pots, colorful baskets, and flowers. I didn't exactly know what the finished product would look like, but I knew it would be colorful.

Here's a few pictures to kind of give you an idea of what it looks like.

(I love the way the lamp shade turned out. I bought a plain white one & decorated it with the ribbon to match the ribbon that I used to hang her name above the crib)I found this cute little sign in the garden decor at Michael's and I just had to have it. It matches perfectly!
I still need to figure out what to hang in the corner by my chair, but I have a few things in mind...so we'll see what we come up with. I can't take all the credit for this room...my wonderful husband put together ALL of Laney's furniture, painted her room, & hung everything. I just told him where to put stuff, decorated, & organized. Now...all we need is this sweet little girl to make her appearance sometime in the next 4 weeks. :)

Ah! I can't wait!


Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful dads in my life! Especially my wonderful husband, who I know will be a AMAZING daddy to little Laney in just a few weeks. He's had many wonderful examples in his life.

I pray as much as Laney will love her mommy and daddy that she will also be a daddy's girl...always! Matt, thank you for being a wonderful dad to Laney already. You've taken such good care of me over the past 8 months! I love you!


The Graduate

This past weekend we celebrated my baby brother's high school graduation. It was an emotional time for all of us in that Luke is THE BABY...he's the last to graduate from high school. It was probably the best time I've had with my family in a really long time. There are so many of us, with so many different things going on that it's hard to get everyone together when I'm home. We were able to spend time together before & after graduation to celebrate Luke's success.

I know that Luke is going to be very successful as he begins his college journey at UNC Charlotte and hopefully headed to Carolina within the next year or so...he's a good kid, put's the Lord first in everything he does, and has his head on straight. I look forward to see how God works in his life.

We stay pretty busy and probably won't slow down much between now and Laney's arrival. I'm resting as much as I can between our adventures. Next up in our adventures...my sister competes for the title of Miss North Carolina next week. In the mean time, I'm re-cooperating from a VERY LONG and stressful school year, working on Baby Laney's room and counting the weeks until her arrival...around 5 weeks from now she will make her arrival and I am sooooo excited to meet our little girl! :)


No Time for Blogs...

Obviously, I have neglected my blog for the past...almost 2 months, with the exception of my post of my friend Laura's new band (which you should totally check out, www.featherandbelle.com!) We have been super busy & all I've done is go to school, sleep, travel somewhere on the weekends, and repeat the next week...things will be slowing for a few weeks once my brother graduates Friday and we'll have time to rest (a little) before Miss NC at the end of June and Laney's arrival sometime in July.

To share a little of what we've been doing this month here's a little picture tour:

The 1st weekend in May we made the trip to Boone for Matt's sisters' graduation, both Megan & Morgan graduated from Appalachian State and we are so proud of them. Megan is going to be a Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher (fancy words for Home Ec. teacher) and Morgan is going to be a photographer (and she is very talented!). We had a great weekend with the Keith's just celebrating & relaxing.

The 2nd weekend in May we had our 1st baby shower at Matt's home church in Fuquay-Varina. It was so great to see a lot of people we haven't seen since we got married & celebrate with new friends...we were very blessed to get a lot of things we need for Laney.

The 3rd weekend in May was RIDICULOUS! We had something Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Friday night we celebrated my baby (not so small) brother's high school graduation with a graduation party. (For those of you that don't know him, he's the one in the khaki shirt) I can't believe he's going to college in the fall, I can't wait to see him walk across the stage Friday night!

Saturday we drove to Pickens, SC to celebrate the marriage of two really good friends from Caswell, Ashley Lark & Daniel Heath. Daniel played in our wedding & it was so awesome to see them begin a new life together. We can't wait to see what God has in store for them, they are such a sweet couple!

On Sunday we had our 2nd baby shower, this time in Kannapolis. By the end of the weekend we both looked terrible...notice the dark circles under our eyes, obviously from partying a little too much that weekend. I loved getting to see some very special people & celebrating our sweet Laney with them. I can't wait to introduce her to everyone in just a few weeks! We are very blessed to have such strong support not only here in Raleigh , but also in Kannapolis. Laney is going to be rotten and she's not even here yet.

Memorial Day weekend we celebrated the marriage of our good friends Sara & Todd, we also worked with them at Caswell. Sara is one of my very best friends and I was actually her RA at Appalachian State before we worked 2 summers together at Caswell. Todd also went to Appalachian & worked with us at Caswell. I was a bridesmaid in their wedding, so we were able to spend the entire weekend in South Charlotte and rested a little while we were there. Sara & Todd's wedding was beautiful & a lot of fun. We got to catch up with a lot of good friends & do a little dancing at the reception. It was a wonderful weekend!

I probably won't be back to the blogging world until school is over, which by the way...I only have 4 days with kids and 1 teacher workday left. I'm on my way to being a STAY AT HOME MOM! :) More on that next week!


Feather & Belle

It's been WAY too long since I've blogged and I have so much I want to write about, but I don't know where to start. So I decided to start with this...

One of my very best friends from my Caswell days is a VERY talented musician & song writer, and you HAVE to check out her new music. She is in a new band called Feather & Belle and they are releasing their first album on June 21st. (Which also happens to be my 3rd wedding anniversary & the first day of summer)

I am so very proud of her accomplishments & the way the Lord is working in and through her in Nashville. Not only has she been touring with Owl City...she has played for Chris Tomlin & the Trans Siberian Orchestra this year. Check out her music here, you won't regret it!



We finally got our colors right for the paint in Laney's room.

When we finally get everything painted, I'll share the paint color names...for now, here's a sneak peak.

Spring break is next week...I look forward to finally having a little time to blog. I am swamped with school stuff right now and I'm so exhausted! Just 3 more days...I think I can, I think I can! :)


Laney's Room

For those of you that know me, you probably know that I LOVE to decorate, but I like to see how much money I can save when I decorate. So I find creative ways to do things, shop at thrift stores, redo old things, and use what I have.

I am so excited about decorating Laney's nursery. I've never been a huge fan of "baby decor," but I don't really know anyone that has time to sew her bedding from scratch (which would be very ideal...maybe I'll learn to sew one day). I also wanted something that was gender neutral so that we could use it again, as we plan to have more kids in the future. I stumbled upon some bedding from Target online, unfortunately it was discontinued. So...I book marked it for inspiration and checked back often because I could not find anything else I liked. One day I clicked on the link to find it available AND on sale! I called Matt right away in excitement and we decided we should go ahead and get it...since I am SOOO picky AND I love it AND it was on sale. Once we got this in the mail:
I began brainstorming what I imagined Laney's room to look like. I've been back and forth on what color of baby furniture to register for, but I think I've finally settled on white. In my head, I see this brightly colored little nursery with a "garden" theme. Not many people "see" my vision and kind of look at me weird when I explain what I'm thinking, but I can't wait to see what the final product looks like. I've started a collection of fun little containers & decorative items that I've found on sale at various places. Items like:

Matt's experimenting with paint this weekend. I can't decide if I want to paint the room one color or two. I can't decide how bright I want things to be or if I want to go more neutral. I've never really stepped outside of the box with paint, but I want Laney's room to be different. I also want to make sure her room isn't too bright. Who knows what we'll come up with...here's what the experiment looks like right now:I'm not sold on the yellow, but I LOVE the teal. We're thinking about going a little lighter on the yellow and we'll probably have to prime. We'll see, we have plenty of time. I'll be 25 weeks on Monday!!


So Much Bigger Than the Bunny

This post is WAY over due! My friend Tasha, wrote a devotional for families called "Bigger Than the Bunny." (Which you should totally check out on her website) We bought it for Laney, so we can teach her about the significance of Easter and what Jesus did for us but we thought it would be cool to do the devotional together this year.

Part of the devotion is to give up something for Lent, which I've never done before. Growing up in a Baptist church we never participated in Lent. In fact, I didn't know what Lent was until I was college. Matt & I both prayed and thought about it and both decided to give up facebook. I've had several people, even family members say to me, "why would you give up something, the sacrifice has already been made." But it's so much more than that, the reason for giving up something is to recenter yourself. To regain your focus on what this life is all about.

Facebook is kind of my "relaxation" when I come home in the afternoons, but it also serves as a great distraction when it comes to relationships and spending time on what's important in life. I knew giving it up would be HUGE for me because I spend so much time on it but I know that that's the idea of Lent. I hope that as I begin this Journey I can focus my attention on Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he was for me.


My Little Town

It's been a busy week at school, so I haven't had a chance to blog at all. Kinda sad, every time I wanted to blog I had school work that had to be done first. Anyways in the middle of my teaching today I got an idea for a post and I was determined that before I went to bed tonight, I would blog about it.

This week we've been talking about the Industrial Revolution & the Progressive Era. Now, my curriculum covers not only American History but North Carolina History as well. A major part of North Carolina's past was the production of textiles, tobacco, & furniture. I always get excited when I get to teach about textiles & mill villages because my hometown used to be a mill village, in fact...it was from 1887-2003 when the mill went bankrupt. When I was teaching today, I was reminded of the sense of pride I've always had about being from Kannapolis. There really isn't anything hugely special about Kannapolis, except for I just love that little town.

This is Fieldcrest Cannon, the mill that the entire town of Kannapolis was built around. My grandmother & dad both worked there. It was demolished in August of 2006.

This is the Gem Theatre where you can pay $2.00 for a movie, $1.00 for popcorn, $1.00 for candy or a drink. It's awesome! Oh, What-a-burger...if you've been around me for any period of time, you've heard me talk about What-a-burger & cherry lemon sundrop. It's so bad for you, but oh so good. Definitely the best burger I've ever had. I've gotten Matt addicted too! And of course, the best part of Kannapolis...my family! This picture was taken at, my baby brother, Luke's last football game. He'll be the last one to graduate from A.L. Brown High School in June. (Everyone in my family went there but my dad, who went to a nearby rival high school.)

My childhood was phenomenial. I have great memories of going to Friday night football games with my grandparents (my grandmother worked in the mill before she retired), eating at little restaurants that you can't find anywhere else but Kannapolis, going to festivals & parades, making memories with my family (who all grew up in the area) and knowing everyone because the town is so small. I grew up in the same house my whole life, hung out with the same friends from birth till high school graduation, and spent a lot of time growing and learning at the same church until I was 18.

I almost started crying today as I thought about how special Kannapolis is. There isn't a lot left today, the mill is gone and the shopping area downtown is pretty empty. They've built the North Carolina Research Campus there and a lot of new things have been built outside of the downtown area. BUT, I still have family there and know a lot of special people that have made a huge impact on my life. Kannapolis will always be "small town" to me. I'm thankful to be a small town girl and sometimes I sure do miss that little place. I'm going home next weekend for an entire weekend, which hasn't happened in a while with Matt being on staff at church. I can't wait to see my family, eat at my favorite restaurants, visit friends, and go to my home church!


Baker or Chef?

I'm having a 31 party tomorrow, so I was baking a few things this morning to have at the party. My friend Patience made these awesome Meringue cookies for our quad a few weeks ago and I've been waiting for a reason make some...so, this morning I pulled out everything I needed and got to it. I followed directions precisely knowing if I didn't do something right my cookies would not turn out right. I mean...I'm not by any means a perfected chef or baker, but I'm usually pretty good at trying new recipes or even making up my own. But... in this case...it was a disaster!

My cookies turned out to be flat egg/sugar somethings & they were so chewy it wasn't even funny. By the time I let them cool, they were stuck to the pan. This is what was left when I started trying to scrape them off, so I could at least salvage my pan:
Yeah, I don't know if I'll try these again for a while. I was a little bummed they didn't turn out like I had hoped, but I couldn't help but to laugh that it was SUCH a disaster. I've been wanting to get some new cookie sheets, guess I don't have a choice now...I still can't get the "meringues" off the pan! Matt even tried, so I guess I'll be shopping for those pans soon.

On the other hand, I made a very delicious dinner tonight. Saturday night has become our "at-home -date-night" in efforts to eat out less & spend some quality time together. Matt loves shrimp alfredo and I stumbled across a recipe for shrimp pasta earlier today on the KRAFT website. I decided to take the recipe, tweak it a little and attempt to make shrimp alfredo. I've never been a fan of mixing my 2 favorites together (pasta & seafood), but I guess the little one inside of me "encouraged" me to try it tonight...and it was delicious!
I've decided that if I had to choose, I'd be a chef and not a baker! I love sweets, but I'm so much better at making dishes, not desserts.

ps-Recipe for shrimp alfredo to come in another post. :)

My Secret

I'm letting out a secret...I listen to rap music. Yep, that's right...every morning on the way to school & my husband does too (not on his way to school, but when he's at Journey by himself and there is no one else around). We listen to it in our house & Matt knows the words to a lot of rap songs. He's actually a pretty good rapper.

What kind of rap music you ask? The best kind...116 clique, it's Christian rap. LeCrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, Flame are some of the artists...LeCrae is definitely my favorite. They aren't cheesy, like some Christian rap artists...but like my kids at school would say "they're legit." Their music really helps at 6:30 in the morning when I'm headed into "the battle field." It's also good workout music, cleaning house music, or "I need to get out my frustration music." I'll also admit, sometimes I turn it up so that if you pulled up beside me at a stoplight, you might say "that person's music is way too loud." Matt does it too...don't let him fool you.

We were introduced to LeCrae back when we worked at Caswell and have actually served at several events with him. He's such a real person & has such a passion for sharing Christ with people through his music.

My favorite song right now, comes from his latest album "Rehab," it's called "Walking on Water."

Check out the lyrics...it's good stuff!

So I'm walkin' on water (4x)

Verse 1:
Yeah, go 'head, ask me how I do it, bruh
The sky falling, but I'm still flyin' through-and-through
Hey this ain't willpower, it's wheel power
When God's at the wheel, yeah that's the real power
I feel power, so I'm gon' trust that
That's how I persevere, that's how I jump back
The hurricanes never go away
So I'mma stand firm, tell 'em all to blow away

I bet 'cha never see me with my head hung low
I bet 'cha never see me with my eyes to the floor
I bet the boys skit, homie they ain't no more
Aint no lookin back, letting everything go
When I see a problem, when it get tough
I don't get soft, man, I ain't givin' up
There ain't turnin' back, man, I will stay strong
It's time to go hard or it's time to go home
So I'm walkin' on water, hey (4x)

Verse 2:
I know it's all good, when it's all bad
There's somethin' workin' in me
Hey what 'ya call that?
Some people call it perseverance

Some people say endurance
But I know for sure it
It's got me secure
Yeah, I got faith, that's why I hold on
'Cause I'm an alien, I'm 'bout to phone home
I'll be long gone, see you hard times
Have your boy, love peace, and a sound mind

Verse 3:
I spit the Word any time you hear ya boy flowin'
So please plagerize me, take my word for it
Hey I'm Lecrae, but you can call me "Crayola"
Not because I'm in the kitchen whippin' up the soda
But because I'm here to paint a vivid picture for 'ya
I know the truth's hittin' by the way I pitch it for 'ya
You're fightin' for attention, I've got the Ritalin
I've got the hope, boy, I'm the middle-man
Let me show you my Supply, yeah you need to know 'em
He got me walking on the water when the wind's blowin'
And when the storm's brewin', and when the tide's high
That's when I lean into the truth that I abide by

Bet ya never saw that one coming, did ya...:)



I'm trying something new this week. When I actually have time to sit and blog, I'm doing it. Even if that means writing more than 1 blog a day....so, you may not be reading a post when I actually write it. I'm scheduling them to go out throughout the week, for the 5 people that actually read my blog.

When I was driving home from school this afternoon I heard Darius Rucker on the radio. Which automatically made me think of Charleston, SC (because that's where he's from)...which made me think of one of my favorite times of the year. SPRING! This post may be a little early, but I can't wait for:

The sun coming up before I leave for work at 6:30
Birds chirping in the morning
Flip flops
Cute spring dresses
Longer days
70 degree weather
Eating on my back porch
Driving around with my windows down & music loud
Spring break! (A perk of being a teacher)
My birthday
Weddings of several wonderful friends
Laney's baby showers
Graduation for my sister-in-laws (which also means a trip to BOONE)
Green trees, grass, & flowers

There are so many more wonderful things I could post about spring...I just can't wait!


Smelly Good...One of my Favorites!

My sister is a big fan of these little car air fresheners that Bath & Body Works makes. I'm not a huge shopper at Bath & Body Works, but Anna convinced me to get one for my car and I love it!

They come in different scents and different designs (I just bought the turtle because it reminded me of the beach) These little things are called "Scentportables" and they are great! If you're interested check out this link OR just go to the mall. :)


Consignment Sale

Growing up we always wore hand-me-downs, there were 4 of us...my mom was smart. Occasionally we got new outfits, especially if my Grandma Moon had say or if it was a special occasion, but a lot of times people gave us clothes. I'm so thankful that my mom taught me it's okay to wear 2nd hand clothes, shoot...I'd still do it today if I had someone to give me clothes.

Over the weekend my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, Matt's aunt and I set out on a little consignment shopping at a children's consignment sale at 1st United Methodist Church in Cary. I wasn't sure what we would find, although we had heard it would be a great sale. AND it was!

I got all of this...
for about $18. Yep...I spent less than $20. I don't think I did too bad for my first time and it was a smaller sale. My mother-in-law got a really nice pack-n-play, a bouncy seat, a baby bathtub, & some clothes for about $70 and I think Matt's aunt got a really really nice high chair for around $10.

I have a lot of friends that go to the BIG consignment sale at the fair grounds twice a year and they really rack up. I've always been amazed at the amount of money they save, I mean kids grow so fast and you can find really nice things that are gently used at these sales. I'm really looking forward to doing more consigning in the future...I've always liked to bargain shop. I can't tell you the last time I bought a pair of shoes or clothing full price. I like the challenge and I always like the feeling of accomplishment after I see how much I've saved. :)


He is Good!

You know...it's so awesome to see God's relief & comfort at just the right time. I mean, I know he's with us all the time...but it just seems like when you can't take it anymore in difficult situations he always brings relief at just the right time.

I can't explain the whole situation, but I've been struggling through some pretty difficult things recently and we've been praying for God to do his will, regardless of whether or not it was exactly what we want or not. I've felt like no one understands and people don't really care when I share what I'm going through. I've even felt like people totally don't want to be around me because I've been so miserable. I am so thankful that I serve a God that totally understands what I've been through and will never "not want to around me" because of my circumstances." AND he brings relief. He's brought me relief, the pain & frustration I'm dealing with still exists but God's given me the relief I need in order to glorify him until the problem is resolved completely. And it's the little things that he uses to remind us that he is with us...like...
-My sister spoke at our winter sports award Tuesday night. It was so great to see my little sister talk about how God has brought her out of the self-esteem issues she had growing up. AND my mom surprised me by riding with Anna to Knightdale. They came all the way here from Charlotte and drove all the way back after the ceremony. JUST FOR ME!
-I've had 2 planning periods with NO meetings this week. Because of this, I've gotten a lot of work done so I haven't had to bring stuff home. I've been able to rest more and take care of the little one growing inside of me.
-AND today...a student brought me a whole bag of Ghiradelli dark chocolate (which is my favorite!)
-Not to mention...we have NO plans this weekend and the weather is going to be glorious!

God's love is so good and sometimes it just blows my mind. Romans 8:31-39 is a perfect picture of how NO matter what we go through, nothing...nothing will separate us from the love of Christ.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Ahhh, Jesus is SO good!


Yummy Recipe

I hate that I never blog anymore...if only I had more time.

Just wanted to share an easy recipe for a yummy fruit salad my mother-in-law shared with me.

Fruit Salad:

1 20 oz can of chunk pineapple (drain)
1 11 oz can of mandarin oranges
1-1/2 cups of seedless grapes (cut in half)
1 cup of mini-marshmellows
1 cup of coconut
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
3/4 cup of sour cream or vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon of sugar

Drain pineapple and oranges. Combine pineapple, oranges, grapes, marshmellows, coconut and walnuts. Mix sour cream (or yogurt) with sugar. Stir into fruit mixture and chill.

It's so yummy! Enjoy :)



I've been fortunate to not catch many of the many sicknesses going around my school, but I did wake up with a sore throat, stuffy head & aches this morning. For me this is the normal cold that usually leads to a sinus infection or allergy something...either way, it's not fun that I had to miss Journey Church this morning. Thankfully we have a live feed now and I was able to watch the service on my computer. Jimmy has been preaching a series called "LIFE" the past few weeks and today, he talked about surrender. Something that I think a lot of Christians struggle with. Too bad we can't all just be like Paul, he was the perfect example of how we SHOULD surrender to the Lord.

Jimmy mentioned that "Becoming like Jesus is not a deed, it's a death. It's not about trying it's about dying!!" What truth! Matt & I are preparing to enter a new phase of our life together as we will be welcoming our little girl into the world in July. (YES! OUR LITTLE GIRL, WE FOUND OUT YESTERDAY THANKS TO MY MOM'S OFFICE FOR DOING AN ULTRASOUND A FEW WEEKS EARLY) We've got a lot of adjustments to make as we prepare and we've been praying for God to show us what he wants us to do. It's so easy to say we've surrendered these "plans" to God, but I know that I still worry about how a lot of things will play out. Keep us in your prayers and that we would totally surrender to the Lord and let him work things out in HIS time, not ours...which is what we're struggling with.

Happy Sunday!



Ramblings of an Icy Day

Well...we didn't get snow, but we did get ice. A lot of ice....(Not really a picture of ice in my backyard...but it's a pretty picture) I've been a picture taker slacker late. :)

This morning I actually woke up at the Uhler's house because we did a little emergency baby sitting of the twins last night. It was nice to wake up at 6:30 this morning to see that Wake County Schools were closed. I got up when I wanted, spent some time with two of our best friends, ate a wonderful breakfast, & enjoyed their sweet little babies. Once we actually were able to get out & head to our house I knew I needed to get some stuff done today. Unfortunately most of my day was spent doing school work, and I am no where near finished...but I did get some other things done as well. Finally got my everyday house decorations back out after putting up all of our Christmas stuff over the weekend, I cleaned my house, and got caught up on some reading in Genesis. Quad girls, I can't lie...I'll admit I got behind last week after our coffee date. School took all I had last week...NOT a good excuse, but I definitely won't be getting behind again once I get caught up. :)

Lately I've been really fatigued (1st trimester), but I'm coming out of it and headed into what everyone says will be a great 2nd trimester. I can feel my energy coming back and I'm soooo excited to actually get stuff accomplished.

As much as I hate making up snow days, today was very productive and honestly, I could use another day to get some other things done...maybe Saturday, I would prefer to NOT have to make up tomorrow as well.

Enough ramblings...I'm off to prepare myself to enjoy my Christmas present with my hubby & the Uhler's tonight. THE LION KING!!!!


I don't make New Year's Resolutions...

I don't make New Year's Resolutions...I know, I'm a party pooper. I just always feel like I end up trying for a few days & never get very far. So I have a few things I'd like to do this year, but they goals for the year & I'm not going to try to do them all at once.

If you're interested...
1. I'd like to read through the bible this year. This is something I've never done. I'm in a triad (well...a quad) with women from my church & we're doing this together. I'm excited to get to know 3 other women that love Jesus and that I don't know very well. I am also excited to explore the bible in a new way and let God teach me as I go. I know this will be a great challenge for me. I've already learned something...did you know that Adam lived to be over 900 years old...WHOA! I can't imagine. Talk about seeing the Lord work!

2. I want to spend more time doing things I love to do around the house...cooking, baking, finding cheap ways to redecorate, cleaning (yes..I love to keep my house together. As a teacher, I don't get to do this very often. Matt does A LOT of house work), & being a wife. (And of course I'll get to learn to be a good mommy this year too!)

3. Make more time to relax. Our dear pastor's wife, Beverly, always gives me a hard time for not relaxing enough. Rightfully so, she knows best. I SHOULD take time to relax. I'm always on the go & I never take time to read, watch movies, take a bubble bath, drink a cup of coffee on the porch...all the stuff that I would like to do, but never take time to stop.

4. Be a better wife, a Godly wife. With Matt working a new job this year (or a different job with a VERY different schedule) I'm still learning how to be the best support that I can, I'm always looking for new ways to love him, and be the best wife I can be.

I know this kind of seems like a lot considering I just said I want to spend more time reading my bible & that I want to spend more time doing things around our house. I didn't say I want to be perfect at any of this, but I want to do better at all of them.