Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year...New Things

Christmas was really peaceful and relaxing this year in the Cross household. We hosted Christmas this year. It was so nice to have people over, eat, laugh and play a bunch of games. My husband and I didn't really exchange gifts this year to save money. However I did get some pretty snazy buffet lamps from him, because someone had given him grief for not getting me anything.Ha ha! I didn't mind the gift at all, but was totally content on not recieving anything. I felt kind of bad all I got him were a few books. I love my lamps though, he is so sweet to me!

2009 is swiftly approaching an end. We are merely hours away from 2010! I can't believe it's already 2010! That whole saying time flies the older you get, yikes! Well, it's true! This year has completely passed me by! I look back and see the things that happened that were great and I also see things that I want to improve, things I want to reach higher for and things to let go of.

I was thinking what happened this past year? There was good like Joey and I buying our very first house as husband and wife! We love our little house and know that it will hold many memories for us, just like it already has! Then there were the many blessings like Joey's job, creating new friends, becoming more of the woman God has called me to be. (This is a never ending process by the way-still becoming.)

There were some scary moments too. Like when my mom had to have a biopsy done on one of her breasts. This scared the patooey out of me. The thought of both of my parents not being here, was awful. God gave me piece during that time, like he always does, and it came back benign. Thank you Jesus.

For this year I have many hopes! I don't want to accomplish anything great per say. I just want to become more of a "fuller me". I don't know if that makes sense. I want to know God more. I want to pray more. I want to love my husband better. I want to see God all around me, not just in church. I want to experience Him fully. I don't want to miss out on anything He is doing. I want to hear Him more. Feel Him more. I want to know that exactly what I am doing is exactly where and what He wants me to be doing! I want to be completely and utterly filled with Him and nothing more! I have this desire that is screaming out at me! Life is so much more than resolutions and goals! I feel like God wants me to live life "Simply." We don't need to accomplish anything great. He wants to take our everyday lives, use them to Glorify Him, and in return we are made complete. Full of joy, contentment...happiness. I want more of this. I desire with all of me, this.

This past year I also turned 25. In less than a month I will be 26! Twenty five was really hard for me! Just that realization that I'm not the "young" one anymore. I know some can relate! My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years. Children have been on my mind and my husbands mind lately. No I'm not pregnant. The thought about knocks me off my feet, quite frankly! I want to have kids one day. I know that I am not getting any younger! Ha! Seriously though. Of course I ooh and goo over sweet little babies and want to kiss their little wittle cheeks! But, having a kid is huuuggee! It's not something I just go "ok, lets go honey!" I am completely aware of all that it entails! It frieghtens me to no end, to know that I would be responsible for a little person, and no I can't give it back to it's mother! Oh, me! Oh my! I have talked to many people about my fears, mainly my husband. Maybe it's fears, maybe it's selfishness. I am still trying to work through all of these feelings. I know God wants to bring us out of our comfort zones, this would be way out! So we will see! Maybe this time next year I will look back on this post and laugh about how naive I was. I know that god will give me peace about all of it, when it's time. Until then I wait patiently...hoping that I get that dose of peace soon! =)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Whole Bunch of Random!

I have a whole bunch of random things to blog about today! These past few weeks things have been really slow in the Substitute teacher world, so needless to say I have had a lot of free time. With that, I have been able to do a lot of THRIFTING!! I adore with all of me going to antique shops, resale shops and garage sales! I am not a fan of paying full price for anything and you can get some really awesome stuff for cheap! Like this....

I found this set of canisters that are actually Williams Sonoma, for 6 bucks!! Not bad eh? I have found a couple of other little things here and there, perfect little candy dishes, some stocking holders and such. I have also had a chance to do some crafty/decor things around the house. I got the idea from another blogger, to get an old silver platter and paint the inside of it with chalk board paint to display festive sayings or to keep notes on. Silver can be pretty exspensive and I happen to be in a dollar store and came across one that looks and feels just like one!

I was pretty pleased with the way that it turned out. I placed it in our kitchen's window seal. I love chalk board paint, you can use that stuff anywhere and on anything! Thanks to my BFF for letting me you use some of hers, I might have to see what else I can use it on! Love you Christina!

This is some of the Christmas decor that I have in my kitchen. This is the most annoying part of our house! There is the little, actually big corner right behind the kitchen sink. I never know what to put here. It is such an awkward space. Luckily this year I was able to get some apocathery jars that I have been wanting forever at the Nutcracker Festival! I am thinking that once Christmas is over I will put fruit or something in them.

The above picture is of our dining room. I also have been working on our room, it still has more work to be done. The other day I came home with a gallon of Oops paint from Home Depot, and Joey just sighed, like "Oh, great!" Ha ha! He is so good, he lets me have my creative outlet when it comes to our house! Oops paint is paint that someone decides isn't the right color. It's only $5, and if it doesn't turn out like you hoped, it's not that big a deal because you got it so cheap! Here is how the paint turned out in our room:

I love how cozy it makes it feel now. Please excuse the cords hanging under the night table! Eventually new window treatments are definitely needed! I also found another gallon of oops paint and tackled our bathroom cabinets. When we bought our house the bathroom cabinetry had the pickled white wash finish. Yuck! The house was built in the 90's so that was expected! I was just thankful that there wasn't any wall paper anywhere! Here is what I have done with the master bath thus far...

I love the way black cabinets look! I also made some curtains with cute fabric that I got from Hobby Lobby on discount. A lot of bathrooms have the "hole" in between the sinks for laundry or a vanity chair. Now I can put my laundry basket underneath and you don't have to see how high all of the dirty laundry gets! Score!

We are hosting Christmas this year in our house, so of course I am running around seeing what else I can change before we have family over! Thank goodness I have such an awesome husband who lets me! I think that I am doing good, after all I find him such great deals on it all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Biggest Loser Finale

I have watched Biggest Loser since they came out with the show forever ago. I think they said something like 8 years! Wow, it doesn't seem that long! Anywho, last night was the finale, which I ALWAYS get super excited about! All of the contestants looked awesome and it goes to show that hard work pays off!

Last night Danny C. won! I so wanted him to. The new healthy Danny looks just like my dad did in his younger years...eerily alike! That probably had something to do with why I wanted him to win! As they weighed him and the confetti fell over him, I was screaming, balling and hitting Joey (I tend to hit whoever or whatever is around me when I get excited! He he) I was just so excited!! I am so happy for him and he looked great!!

On a completely other note. I am excited for the weekend! I get to help lead in worship with some other really great women at Unified. This is just one of the many great women's ministries that we have at our church. I am so honored to be a part of it! I am also so thankful for the Godly women in my life and most of them are a part of my church family which is awesome!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the year.....

Thanksgiving is already over and Christmas is well on it's way! I am so pumped too! I put my Christmas tree up like two weeks ago! It may have been a little early, but it's our first Christmas in our new place, and well, I just couldn't wait!

I love this time of year, oh so much! The smells, the decorations, the music! I am a fan of Christmas music! I have so many sweet memories of decorating the tree as a kid, or singing in the car with my sister. All of those memories are such tiny pieces that I hold dear, each and every Christmas! I so look forward to creating those precious memories one day with our own children!  This is my favorite time of year!

My guy and my little lady

Maggie already is loving her first Christmas, she is super excited about our tree and always wants to play underneath it, as I watch all of my ornaments hold on for dear life! She is hoping that a big bone will be underneath the tree for her because she knows a new toy isn't going to be, since she demolishes each one she recieves!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving. It's not about Turkey. In fact quite frankly I could probably be a vegetarian, I don't get at all excited about the bird, or any meat really.It's all about the sides baby! Gimme some sweet potatoe casserole, and I am a happy girl!

On a more serious note, this holiday has completely changed for me as I have gotten older and errr..mature! Eeek! Growing up I never really took it to heart. But as I sit and truly think about how extremely blessed I feel and am, I can't help but be thankful!

The other night I was lying in bed, and talking my husbands ear off, as usual, as he drifts in and out of snors. Poor guy! I layed there so warm and cozy in my oh so soft sheets and thought...Thank you God. Thank you for this bed!! How often I take something that seems so expected and basic for granted. Thank you for our house-shelter! Thank you God for my husband! He was and is the sweetest blessing by far! Even this blessing I tend to take for granted at times.

I am blessed more than I know or deserve. I am also so thankful for a loving God, who gives a new strength and an abundance of grace each and everyday! This scripture stuck out to me the other day: It's in Isaiah 38:17 " God's love has delivered my soul from the pit and He has cast all of my sins behind His back!" I am so in love with this! God has totally taken all of the way I used to live, think, act and speak and thrown it over his shoulder! In His eyes, none of that no longer exists. Thank goodness.

These are just a few of the things that I am thankful for! I want to work on this mindset to continue year round, not just around a holiday. Don't you?

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for family and friends...and all of the yummy food!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Date Night!

Date nights..don't you love them? I know a ton of my friends with little kiddos, would look at me and say you always have date nights, no need for baby sitters and such. Well, dinner for us isn't always a date. I guess it could be considered as one. But a real one, where you have to get some what dressed up and go somewhere downtown. You know, that kind of date night. We had one! Wahoo!

On Friday night, we went and saw this lady:

I just love her! She is one of the Christian speakers out there who tells it like it is! We got there extremely early, so we could get good seats. Darlene Zschech lead worship and the music was fantastic! We actually ran into some women from our church and we all sat together.

There was a ton of people and we sat for what felt like forever before it started!

So, what do you do when you are bored and have a camera you ask? Take a million cabillion pictures of everything...! Ha ha!

This was my waiting forever, want to start worshiping look! Well, hello there nostrils! (Sorry about that!)

The message was great! It was actually a three day conference, but we only went that night. She spoke about, how before you were even born, God had a purpose for your life. How he still does, not our purpose-but His! Sometimes it isn't what you have dreamt about doing your whole life. Sometimes it is something that you never imagined. Perhaps something that you think: "No way, no how! I can't do that!"  But, if we get past that and our selfish desires, he wants to use us! We are a part of His plan! How lucky we are that He would want to work through us, for His Glory!

God completely changed my life and showed me where He wanted to be able to use me. At the time I remember thinking, Un Uh! I don't want to, God, there has to be another area, somewhere else I can help out. He is continuing to this day to make it clear to me.

I grew up being forced to sing in front of my little Baptist church. "Melanie, how about you sing the dreaded special?" My worst fear, getting up in front of people, with all of my insecurities exposed to the fifty something members we had! No way! Then I would have the guilt pushers say: "God gave you a singing voice, if you don't use it, He might just take it away!"

Who wants to hear that?!?! So I sang my only three songs that I knew practially every other weekend. It got old, fast. I dreaded coming to church, because of something so silly.  Years passed. I realized I wanted more of a realtionship with my God, that He so desperately wanted to have with me. I went searching all by my lonesome self, and found my amazing home church that I go to now.

I thought I was home free! No more getting in front of people anymore! Whew! Worship at my new church was amazing! The presence of God was all over, something I had NEVER experienced. I remember getting a vision once of me singing on stage during worship and it totally freaked me out! Why would I want to do something that I am finally free of? Our worship leader approached me one day and said, "I hear you can sing and feel that God wants to use you on the team. Pray about it, and see what God wants you to do."

All that I knew, was that it was something that I was terrified of and it didn't make sense at all me doing. However, I knew that God wanted me to help out. Of course it wasn't easy. My legs would physically shake when I was on stage, I think I even gave myself a panic attack one morning! I know...that  is crazy! But it is true! I would get soooo nervous. I still have my moments too! Belieeeve me!

The most awesome part! God uses the people, who you wouldn't expect! The area of your life that you feel may be your worst fear, He uses. I know that the Bible says that we can do ALL things through Christ, because He gives us the strength an ability. I think sometimes, He wants to prove it to us. He wants to show us what we are capable of, when we ask....ahem, beg Him, for His help on. ;)

I started singing on the Worship team about four years ago. I love it! Right now, this is where God wants me to be. I may not always be doing this, but right now, I know that this is where God has placed me. I sing in front of a lot more than fifty people, and thankfully more than three songs! I feel so blessed to be a part of His plan! I absolutely couldn't do it without His help.

Hopefully, this is encouraging to some of you who are trying to find your place in the church. Just know that where God is calling you, might just be the place you least expected!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Families Reunite!

This past weekend I had a fantastic time at my first family reunion! Growing up we never really did this with my family. Needless to say, I wasn't sure what to expect. People from so many generations, young, old all were there ready to meet people they knew or didn't know. It was really a fun time. My husband has an Aunt and Uncle who have retired and built an awesome cabin from the ground up, the absolute neatest place to live! Maybe next time I can design some cute t-shirts that are personalized! How fun would that be!

The weather was crisp and autumn like. It couldn't have been a better day. Here is the man that I love now more than I did the day that I married him!

That's all, happy week all!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Finally Fall!

Nothing new has really been going on around our house hold lately! Hopefully this post isn't too boring! Has anyone been keeping up with The Biggest Loser? I really love this season! Last weeks episode was a doozy! Jillian has always been loud and known as the yelling one, but she let loose on Tracy. I must admit, I was glad and a little surprised! I love it though, and it is getting good!

On another note, we have been in our house for about 6 months. I have been so excited about finally decorating a space that has the space to decorate. We lived in apartments before, so that was sort of challenging. But, now I can! I want to make our house look more "fally." He he, is that even a word? Anywho, I have done a couple things so far, but am looking for some budget friendly things as well. I love reading everybody's blogs, so inspiring and everyone has such good ideas!

Can you see the little pumkins & leaves? He, he this is our fireplace, I seriously need something more eye catching here! ;)

This wreath I made for really cheap, everything is from my fave Hobby Lobby!

So, not much. But still a work in progress! I still have time, it's just now October! ;)

Also I recieved my new David Crowder Cd Yesterday!! I won it from Kellys Korner . Thank you to Kelly for giving this goodie away! Seriously, EVERYONE should go run out and get a copy, it really is soo good! Not to mention it's a really great work out Cd!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Love, Me

Time has come and gone since you left us four years ago. I miss you. I miss your goofy laugh and big smile. The way you would cry when you were proud of me. Things have changed, memories have been created. All these things you missed. Seeing me get married, new jobs. The day we put an offer on our first house. I had this weird moment where I thought "I need to call my dad!" I smiled and thought, he would be excited for us. There are still times when I think of you and forget that you're no longer here. It hurts. It is sad. No one truly understands until they loose someone close to them what this feels like. You would have been 52 years old this Friday. We would have had a cake for you and all of the family would have got together! You would have cried reading your cards, and we would have giggled because you always said a real man cries! You would have laughed that goofy laugh. I am afraid that one day I will forget what it sounds like. I always thought when you first left how lucky you were to be with Jesus first! To be with the Father, safe in His arms, full of happiness and surrounded by an eternal love! Look down on your Birthday and know you have a daughter who misses you and loves you, still.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tired Girl and her Pup

Whew! Today has been a day! I substitute teach and today I had Kindergarten....Bless all Kindergarten teachers!!! The kids are adorable but exhausting! I came home and collapsed with my feet throbbing. That probably had something to do with my new flats that I wanted to wear, but have yet to brake in. Ok, so far not the most comfortable-but they're really cute! That counts right? Beauty is pain, ya know! I really didn't want to cook dinner tonight so I convinced my husband to go to Mission Burrito. If you have never heard of it, it's a lot like Chipotle's. Which I love both of them! So once I had that and my Diet Coke I was a happy girl again!

Maggie has grown so much since we got her! She already weighs 30 pounds! Oh Lord help me, she is only 6 months! Back a few months ago when I was trying to convince my husband to get a dog, I was looking for a Shih-Tzu. Yeah, I know your laughing! What did I end up with- a German Shepherd Grey eyed cutie! Compleeeetely different! She was just so sweet and pretty. Now I wouldn't change anything! Puppies are a lot of work but a lot of fun too! Here are some sweet pics of my Maggie Moo!

This was probably right after we got her

Here she is today! So sweet!

This is what I get when I tell her something she doesn't want to hear! Such Attitude!

I love this hyper chickeedoo!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Losing & Biggest Loser

That's right! It's back! I have, even Joey has been waiting all summer, and it has finally become that time again! I started watching The Biggest Loser back about five or six years ago. Back when I was wanting to "Lose Big." I had always struggled with my weight my whole life. I knew that I was ALWAYS unhappy with my body and self esteem when it came to my weight. I just never knew how to fix it, or where to start. I had tried the No Carb or as I call it the "Miserable put me in a bad mood and give me a piece of bread Diet!" I lost twenty pounds during those awful months, only to put that back and more once I rediscovered my love for floured goodness.

I was left back to square one. Not sure where to go next. I am a girl who relies on a strength that is higher than me. The only place that I knew, the only one that I knew would give me the strength and ability to help me conquer this area in my life was the Lord. I began asking God to Please, Pleeeaaase help me. You know what? He always helps. He did! For me! Little or well Chubby me! He gave me an understanding about food, and the ability to look to the future of what life would be like if I just put my feet down and said no to the Sugar!

That was what I had to do! Anything sweet was my weakness! (Still is!) My new life of food was full of Organics, God-made products! No processed stuff. Only all natural, whole grain, I also omitted anything white from my diet. I soon got the eating down, which was not easy I might add. At least not for me. I thoroughly enjoy food and I am not about to act like I am not! I then drove my happy self to Wally World and bought close to the cheapest treadmill I could get my hands on. Not the self propelled kind without a motor. I knew that if I got on it, I would have just stood there! I needed to be moved by a you better start walking or you go flying treadmill! I did this EVERYDAY, for at least thirty minutes. Not sure why but I committed myself to that. I wanted to see change. This in my mind was the quickest way. I started to see results! Big results! This was so unlike me! I had never, ever lost weight before. I forgot to mention that I started this diet, right about this time of year actually. It was nearing close to the holiday season, but I had reached my point of now! I didn't want to put my happiness on hold anymore.

By my 21st birthday in January I had lost probably between 20-30 pounds. Eventually after a lot of hard work right before my wedding day I had lost close to 60 pounds! I have kept it off for about four years now. Unfortunately I don't have a skinny gene, so it is a constant battle. I had and continue to have to change my mind set. I love eating healthy and finding healthy alternatives. In all honesty I still probably should lose another twenty. I tend to get down on myself and start to look at my body and criticize. Staying as focused as I once was doesn't come as easy as it did back then. I like to pull out my old pictures and remind myself of how far I have come. I have kept it off for four years! That was with a new marriage and all! If you knew my husband you would think that this is a miracle. He was your portrait of a horrible college boy eater when I met him. I'd like to think that him marrying me was the best thing for him. (Hehe) Now he likes to eat healthy and is so supportive! I must admit, we LOVE mexican food. In our first year of marriage I gained 10 pounds back. I've lost those thank goodness!

I wanted to share for those out there who are struggling just like me, like I always have. It isn't about going on a "Diet." It is about a life style change, a change in your mind. Relying on a strength that we don't create. Only God can give us. Don't believe me that God can't help you lose weight? Give Him the opportunity, and see what He is capable of! Many people out there can discipline themselves to eat right and excercise, and have awesome success stories. I needed the Lord's help because I couldn't do it on my own. We are all beautiful in God's eyes, but I wanted to make this body, this temple, a healthy one!

I am so excited that the Biggest Loser is back on for another season! Aren't you? Time to be motivated! I will try to ignore the corny advertising and be motivated! For me that is what this show is about! I also will try to get some before/after pics up. It's hard finding ones, when you tried to avoid the camera! Isn't that awful!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happiness On A Plate

Last night we went out to dinner with a sweet couple from our church. We had such a good time! Afterwards we went and relaxed at this outdoor shopping center in the area where we live called La Centera. I love this place! You can get dinner, desert or coffee and then go shopping, very convenient, right? It is one of my favorite places to go that is close to where we live.

For dinner we went to Chili's, which is never a let down! I will leave you with a picture of what we had for dessert! The Molten Chocolate Cake-sooo good! I should have taken a picture of what it looked like after, but I am pretty sure you would know what that would look like!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Being Good Isn't Good Enough

Do you remember that lovable little family show that used to come on television called "Full House?" I can pretty much guess that most of you have! I can remember loving it as a little girl and having to watch it! Well, I am not sure how I stumbled across this earlier, but I did!

Candace Cameron Bure who used to play DJ on Full House, is now a lot like her brother Kirk Cameron and leading a Christ centered life! How cool is this! It is very rare that we hear about celebrities giving their lives to Christ, I just love it!

If you go to her website, which is, she has a great clip of her testimony. She brings up some great points about Salvation and how "Being good isn't good enough." We are so easy to say that because we are "good" people and we do what we think is right then we are given the keys to heaven and we are cool with God. This is not the case despite, how good it seems. God will one day judge us on His standards and His law according to the Ten Commandments. Not what we think is good and just compared to the world's standards. Wow! It definitely makes me want to evaluate the way I live my own life. Just because I am a nice person, and do nice things for people (we should do these things) doesn't mean that I will be living for eternity with God. Yowza!

The Good news: We have a great Instructional book (the Bible) and the Holy Spirit to help guide our every step! More importantly we have Jesus, the one who sacrificed His life so that we could live for Eternity with the father.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Marvelous Mondays

So, my husband Joey refers to Mondays as Marvelous! I always am like, "yeah, it's Monday!" I guess he is a little more chipper than I am, at least when it comes to Mondays! The weekend went great! The auction was more entertaining than anything! I don't know if anyone has ever gone to one, but wow! I couldn't even understand the auctioneer until we were about to leave. The had some really great pieces and every time I thought about bidding I chickened out! I would hear "twenty, twenty-five" then before I could raise my little number that I was using as a fan every five minutes, he would already be saying "give me fifty, do I hear fifty, fifty, fifty!" Ha ha, I just knew the moment I waved my hand, I would be agreeing to buying something for two hundred dollars!

My husband and I love our home church and are pretty involved. I help sing on the worship team along with my husband being one of the musicians. I also help lead children's worship and this Sunday was my turn! It went great! I love seeing kids getting pumped and excited all while worshiping God! I love seeing kids receiving the chance to be introduced to Jesus at such a young age. I grew up in a little Baptist church, but there were like two kids my age, so needless to say, there weren't camps and really successful Sunday schools or anything. Still, I am so thankful for my mom for taking me to church every Sunday, even if my sister and I would end up having laughing fests the entire time!

So far today I have been somewhat productive! I took Joey to an eye appointment. Now I am about to go meet a friend for lunch, then come home and catch up on some laundry! I need to enjoy the free time while I can! School starts next week so work will begin again! Ahh, the world of Substituting! Have a Marvelous Monday!

Friday, August 14, 2009

First of the First

This is my first of many blogs to come! Hopefully I will not ramble too much on all of them! Currently I am totally pshyched, because tonight I am going to my first antique auction! I have never been before and hear (for those of us antique lovers) that it is totally a lot of fun! This particular one that I am going to gives you FREE non-alcoholic dacquiries! I will try to ignore how many calories I will be drinking. I have been trying extremely hard to watch lately what and how much I have been eating. We just came back from vacation and when I came home and got on the scales...let's just say Ahhh. I mean come on, when you are on vacation, who wants to eat salads at every restaurant! Not me!

So, needless to say I am back at it! Maybe I should just sip someone elses tonight! Ha! I will have to let you know how it goes and if I come home with anything! Hope everyone has a great day!