Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Goals for 2011... 25 for my 25th year.

January 1, 2011

For the first time in my life I have really started to feel my own mortality and my age. I will be 25 on February 6th. I used to think 25 was so old. Now that I work in a group home with 85 year olds it makes me feel like 60 years is NOT all that long. I will be 85 before I know it. And I better do something with my time on earth!

All we get is that little dash in between our years of birth and death. What are you doing with your dash?

1986 - ?? Well I plan to start filling my dash up with as much as I can!


# 1 : My #1 most important goal for 2011 is to finish reading the Bible cover to cover. I am about 50 % through. I tried to read it in 90 days and then got way off track and never picked back up or read very slowly. The last few nights I have taken the time to read at least a days' worth of reading and I can really feel my spirits being uplifted. I don't know how I ever get out of reading the Word when I can feel how powerfully it changes my life almost immediately!

# 2 : Spend more time with my husband and getting to know how better and growing closer to him. I love Jack & I want the next 60 or so years of our lives to be very happily married years! Plus our marriage is the most important covenant that Jack and I have with God and the greatest way we can honor Him in our lives until we meet Him!


# 3 : Get to my goal weight!! I have done pretty good at the end of this year with my dieting and I plan to continue. I am going to finally get to my goal weight! I wanted to do it by my 25th birthday but now I can just do it before the end of my 25th year. Hopefully much sooner than the end ;)


# 4 : Quit biting my nails. I'm going to be 25 for pity's sake! I can clearly remember the first time I bit my nails... I saw my dear older sister biting her nails. I remember where I was too, we were in the den at the house we grew up in. I loved my sister dearly and wanted to do anything and everything that she did. So I copied her. And here I am over 20 years later still wanting to quit biting my nails! What a stupid gross habit that is too!

#5 : Get pregnant. Can that be a goal? Can something we have no control over be something I can work towards? Well we'll see... Jack and I will give it our best shot.

# 6 : Personally lead at least 1 person to know Christ as their personal savior.

# 7 : Spend more time growing my friendships.

# 8 : Join some kind of a small group.

# 9 : Get more involved with our church.

# 10 : Become members at our church.

# 11 : Finish at least 10 quilts. (For me!)

# 12 : Read at least 75 books.

# 13 : Keep my house cleaner!

# 14 : Get to know my neighbors better.

# 15 : Sing in front of my church congregation.

# 16 : Save $20,000.

# 17: Pray for my family and friends daily.

# 18: Finish reading the Bible through the first time (I'm about 55% done) and read it a second time all the way through.

# 19: Rely on God for the big things and the little things.

# 20: Share my faith with at least 1 new person a week.

# 21: Find a person to bless each week.

# 22: No Fast Food and No Pop.

# 23: Paint my 2nd Bedroom. When we moved in, that room was determined for the "nursery." We may or may not ever have a nursery and I have not been able to bring myself to paint it since my plans were to paint it blue or pink, and obviously we woudn't know if it should be blue or pink until I was pregnant. We've lived here 8 months and I still haven't painted it and I'm still not pregnant. I am going to paint the room and finish it as a guest bedroom. I am letting go of that room as a possibility and if God allows us to get pregnant and gives us a body to put in our nursery, I can re=paint. If not, I will be content with off-white walls.

# 24: Learn something new.

# 25: Take a vacation. Go up to Trout Lake and relax and bring our dirtbikes and let the dogs swim and go off roading in the jeep. And bring as many of our loved ones up there as possible. And go camping!


I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. - Philippians 4:13

and


Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37 3:5

will be my mantra this year.

Making my blog invitation only and deleting my Facebook.

I have been really struggling with a lot of things that I have been doing in my life and I am feeling very confident that the New Year is going to be the time to commit myself to some changes.

#1 change - I am deleting the forum that I have been the administrator to for over 2 years now. It has been dying off quite a bit in the last 6 months to possibly a year. It really used to be this great place where a lot of women came for support and encouragement and it has become none of that any more. It's just become a burden on me and I need to unload it. I am so thankful for the friends that I made and I will never forget them, but I need to free up some of my time and my life and get rid of some stress.

#2 change - I am deleting my facebook account. I have really felt convicted about what Facebook has become and what I use it for. I in no way serve God or serve others by using facebook. I might post the occasional scripture or inspirational status or comment on people's things but I don't feel like I am witnessing for God through Facebook. Instead I feel like it is a tool that Satan uses to destroy my life. Every day I see new and shiny things that people post what they have or what they're getting and I struggle with jealousy or coveting things. I am constantly bombarded with pregnancy announcements and belly pictures. I really don't need to see that. I don't need to keep track of what my ex-co-worker from 5 years ago's sister's pregnancy. I really really don't. But now with FB you also can't delete people like that without it being a big faux pas. If you delete someone as a friend and you run into them at the grocery store, they feel jilted, so they don't want to be friends any more. It's a really bizarre situation, but I am guilty of it too... I want to be facebook friends with everybody I know! There are a lot more reasons that I want to get rid of my FB, privacy and spending more time in God's word and working on bettering my marriage with Jack are a few more.

#3 change - and most significant to my readers of this blog... I am going to invite only. So all of you silent readers out there, you are going to have to let me know that you are reading if you want to have an invite to read this blog. All I need to do is add your email address to the list of approved readers. I just really need to make my life a lot more private. I want to be a witness, but at a certain point, I want to know if I am actually sowing any seeds at all or if I'm just wasting time.


What does this mean for the future?

Well, I still have the same phone number. I would like to have more meaningful friendships with my friends, so if you just kept in touch with me on facebook and you really like me... hey, give me a call or text me and we can get together and have coffee some time. I love going out and doing things too, I'd love to meet you at the dog park or something! I really want my life to be more full and meaningful instead of just quick few sentence messages here and there through a social networking site.

I will also still check my email. (Irons.Allison@Gmail.com) So feel free to add it to your address book. Write me a note if you want to, if not that's cool too.

I am really looking to weed out the acquaintances from my personal circle so that I can really focus on growing myself and growing in my relationships with those people who choose to be that important in my life. I am more than open to adding more people into my close circle of friends and loved ones, so if you'd like to be in that, by all means, let's get to know each other better.

It's just a super lonely world to have 500+ "friends" on Facebook and wonder why not one has commented to see how you're doing in a long time.

So that's where I am.

On (or around, depending on how busy I am) January 1, 2011 my blog will become invite only, I will delete my facebook account and my forum.

To my readers: Be on the lookout for my 2011 resolution and goal list!

To all of my Facebook "friends" : I hope that I get to stay in touch with each and every one of you... and while I know that's just not a reality... I look forward to running in to you in random places and we will catch up like normal people instead of each of us knowing all the intimate details of each other's private lives without having spoken any words to each other in years ;)

Happy New Year!! And God Bless you all until we meet again!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and Home Decor

Jack and I had an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on Saturday night. It was a blast. Lots of laughs and ugly ugly sweaters.

Punch. (Pineapple Juice, club soda, orange sherbet, raspberry sherbet and a little bit of grenadine)

Me!

Cheese Dip

Dippers

the spread







we had a blizzard last Sunday



Today I re-painted my kitchen:
BEFORE:
Photobucket
I basically hated this green since the day I finished painting... but we had an entire house to paint yet so I didn't have the luxury of repainting it... and today Jack and I were just tired of it. 7 months is too long to have ugly paint in your kitchen!



Kitchen view.
Photobucket

And AFTER:


MUCH better.

LOVE IT!

Tomorrow morning I am getting my hair done and I work at my Job #1 for the rest of the day. And then on Tuesday I will work for about 9 hours at job #2 and then I am off for the rest of the week :)

Looking forward to some cozy stay at home time with my wonderful husband and some Christmas festivities.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas is my favorite Holiday

Well maybe not... but it is my 2nd to least favorite holiday as far as IF goes. It's heartbreaking to see everybody dressing up their little ones in all the adorable Christmas clothes and to have everyone fawning all over the little ones, because really, isn't that who all the gifts are for? Which is fine, but it just sucks that another year goes by and Jack and I don't have any little ones to add to the mix.

I'm still sort of cracking up at the (rude) people who all spread rumors saying that I was pregnant and that's why Jack and I pushed our wedding up so much. Well... Do you believe me yet? Three years and I'm STILL not pregnant. Ahh it's the little things like this that make me smile at how rude people can be and it helps me get through the days!

To make up for the fact that we don't have anyone to lavish all of our Christmas love on this year... we are hosting party after party after party!

I just grocery shopped after I got out of job #1 today and I bought $50 worth of chocolate, chocolates, candies, cookies and chips. Haha... sounds like the makings of a good party right?

I can't wait to get pictures of my chocolate fountain all set up. And I can't wait of course to get a picture of everyone together in their Ugly Christmas Sweaters. As far as I can tell, my Dad, his wife, my older sister and older brother will be here. I don't know if my little brother will be here.

Speaking of my little brother, I just wanted to ask for some prayers for him. On Tuesday morning, he hit a patch of black ice and rolled his truck. (He is physically okay! Thank God!!) This truck is his livelihood. It carries all his tools, heck, it is a tool in itself, carries his ladders and he can't do his job without his truck. (He works in cable.) He was headed to orientation for a new job that he was SUPER fortunate to get and he has been a while out of work. So he is really hurting from losing his truck and possibly losing his job. So please pray that he gets back on his feet soon and the insurance company does their job swiftly and he can get a new truck in no time and be back to work and that this job will still be waiting for him when he gets his new truck all set up. And pray for his spirits as he goes through this and pray for encouragement and motivation to get all set back up again. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Working at the group home.

I just got home from my second day at the group home. I had a few firsts!

1. I did my first shot!! One of the ladies is diabetic and needs insulin shots. On my first day, I did the finger prick, which duh is no big deal. This time I did her insulin shot. I figured hey I have to learn some time. So I just bit the bullet and did it. I only had to re-stick her once. Haha.

2. I flew solo today. I think I did a pretty good job.

Overall, I feel like the job is very rewarding. I would love to have someone treat my grandparents with as much love and respect as I treat these women. And the job is also exhausting! Maybe it's from being up since 6:15 and working from 8-8 today... but I'm tired. I got home around 8:30 because I stayed and chatted with Joz for a while.


Giving that woman her shot makes me really feel like I have no doubt in my mind about being able to give myself shots.... Things that make you scratch your head and think, wow, I really could do that!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow day!

I was about to head out the door this morning when Jack called me. He had made it less than 10 miles away from home and he has about 40 miles to drive to work, It took him about an hour and a half to drive 10 miles away and drive 10 miles back. So we have a snow day today! I was already up and dressed so I started making some english muffins from scratch! The dough had to rise an hour and then I had to roll them out and cut them into biscuit sizes and now i'm just waiting for the muffins to rise again before I grill them.

(Recipe taken from Happy Housewife, link here.)

I think I'm going to catch up on some sewing today and laundry. It will be a fun snow day :)

It's okay a half a snow day for me though because I work at the group home tonight, but still... half a day off is better than no days off right?


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Panic attacks = shopping sprees?

In the recent months I have really struggled with Sunday mornings. I love our church, I love our pastor, I love going to church with my husband, but there is just something about Sunday morning that really gets me in a positively foul mood...

I finally figured it out this morning... None of my clothes fit. I have 1 or 2 pairs of jeans that fit me well and maybe 1 or 2 shirts and nothing else. The other day I was having a hard time because I have no nice clothing at all, and all of my coats are very utility and sometimes, just sometimes, I would like to look nice. I am doing weight watchers and have recently lost about 20 pounds, so that is all well and good, but it is making it very difficult for me to get dressed in the morning!

So my wonderful husby took me on a shopping spree this afternoon. We hit some MAJOR sales and I was able to almost fully overhaul my wardrobe for less than $250! And, I got an awesome new coat from Eddie Bauer. Now I have my utility Carhartts and also a nice winter jacket that I won't be loading the wood burning stove in and I won't be getting all dirty.

I am super happy and excited to wear my new clothes and I am especially excited that we bought such great quality clothes on super sale and now I have things that last, and we spent less than if we would have bought the same amount of things from Target! :)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why share our suffering?

I have been talking to Jack about this a lot lately and this is a conversation that was sparked by something my Dad said to me after we unveiled (so to speak) our blog and what our plans were by sharing our struggle openly and with the world.

Why share our suffering? The answer is simple. To give Glory to God.

Let me try to explain this as simply and as directly as I can.

If you see this super happy family, always have money, never in need or even in want of anything, always smiling, always have money in their bank account to pay all their bills and then some, always have food in their fridge, constantly going on extravagant family vacations, all of the children are happy and have every toy they could have ever wanted... And these people praise God and say how much they love God... wouldn't you sort of expect that? I mean yeah, wow, how inspiring, these people who have it all are giving credit to God. Easy for them to do right?

But what about the homeless man on the street who hasn't eaten in days and hasn't showered in months. What about him? If he gives Glory to God and Praises God and LOVES God with all of his heart, that sure moves us doesn't it?

Satan believed that also, just read the book of Job. Job had it all. Loving wife, all the money he could ever imagine, all of the things he could ever want and all of those blessings showered down onto all of his kids. Satan challenged God and said, hey God... I bet if you take all that away, he won't be so inclined to be worshiping you anymore. (Job 1:9-11) So God is all, "yeah right Satan... I know Job. He would never do what you think he would... go ahead... take everything he's got." And so Satan does.

And what does Job do? Job 1:20-21 says, then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

When you're going through trials and you can still lift up your hands and praise God and worship God for all of the amazing things that He has done and the amazing works He has performed in your life, that is how someone can successfully witness to others. Watching someone who has it all, (especially because most of us feel like we don't, right?) enjoying everything they have sure doesn't make us feel good. Sure doesn't make us sit up and take notice.

But when someone is scraping by and barely hanging on and they fall down and worship, well now, that turns heads.

I feel like this philosophy is highlighted throughout all of scripture. That all of these people going through the valleys of their lives worshipping and loving God with all their heart, all their mind and all their strength, that's how they lead new believers to Christ.


Back to the point of this post... Why do we share what we are going through and experiencing?

If we didn't share it, there would be no way to truly show the magnitude of God's love for us. If we didn't share how much sorrow comes with infertility, how can anyone really and fully understand how powerful God has been in our lives?

If I say, wow, infertility sucks. God is great! God is our strength. God makes me so happy.
No one really gets to know God. No one can see how He moves mountains in our lives. No one can see how he works miracles and weaves this amazing story through our lives and through us and through others that we meet.

Now if I tell you how many nights we fall asleep holding each other and crying, how sometimes we have called in sick to work because we were literally up crying the entire night just trying to make it through. If I explain to you what a horrible heartache it is to go through this and then because our friends don't understand our struggle that we lose our closest friends, when all we need more than anything right now is those friends. What about if I explain how infertility can rip apart a marriage. If I explain to you all the nitty gritty, things no one wants to hear because they never even could imagine how bad, let alone ever want to think about type of things... THEN and only THEN can you begin to understand what it means when we say that we LOVE God with all of our hearts. And only then does it matter when we praise Him for what He has done for us and how He has blessed our lives.

Starting my second job today!

Of course, I would go out and get a second job a few weeks before Christmas and during my busiest time of this year!

This year we are super excited to be having a lot of parties to get together with friends and family at our house.

We hosted Thanksgiving here for my mom's side of the family last month.

Next Saturday, we are having an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party! It should be super fun! It looks like it's going to be relatively small, but we are all going to be wearing the ugliest Christmas Sweaters we can find and eating Christmas cookies and drinking egg nog and listening to Christmas music!

I should probably hang up some mistletoe too just for fun!

After that, on Christmas Eve, I am having my Dad and his wife over for dinner with my 3 siblings. And then on Christmas morning, my mom and my 3 siblings will celebrate together. Christmas afternoon around 2pm, all of Jack's extended family is going to start piling in to our house. There should be over 30 people at my house when all that is said and done! It should make for an exciting day :)

I sure do need to get cleaning the house, which is always fun! And then I also have a few sewing projects that I need to get finished before Christmas. One small, one medium and one large sized quilt! I can't wait until after Christmas when I can show pictures of those and show pictures of the recipients opening them!

It's time to head out the door to go to my first job and then later this afternoon it's first day at job #2! I am pretty excited and I can't wait to see how it goes.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

In all things, give thanks!

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. Psalm 30:12

This is one of the verses that our Pastor shared in church this morning. I heard it and even though I had just read the 30th Psalm the other day, it didn't really strike me. Until he read it again.

I felt incredibly convicted! To God's Glory that I will sing His praises and not be silent... Well I'd like to think that this blog is my little soap box where I sing His praises, but I'm afraid that I'm not doing this to my full potential every day!

I have been given so many opportunities and for all of that I'm very thankful.

I was recently given a new opportunity for another job. I have accepted and I will begin to work 2 jobs each week, one at my office/administrative assistant position and the 2nd as a caretaker at a group home for elderly women. God has just blessed us so much financially in this unstable economy and every time something ends job wise, another job just shoots up out of nowhere!

So in all things, I give God praise and Glory!

Glory to God for my newest job!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

God opens doors.

Jack and I have committed to not making any big decisions one way or another and have promised to each other to spend the entire month of December in prayer and digging as deep into the bible we can about our situation and what should be our next step.

Along with that, we have both felt like it's time (regardless of what our next step is) to start saving money for that next step. I work part time right now and I have been wanting to get another job but I'm always really torn about what kind of job to get. Working in restaurants is something that is easy for me to do, but hard emotionally. It's hard for me to see families all day long and things like that...

And today I was texting an old friend that I recently got back in touch with again. She runs a home where she has elderly women live in it and she takes care of them and she recently found out she's needing to replace her employee of 2 years ! So I offered to let her see what it would be like with me helping her out and see if she'd like me to do that. I go in on Friday morning to run through a typical day for her and see how it works out!

I am pretty excited about this. And, it's literally 7 minutes down the road from my house. It is halfway to where my current job is now!