Sunday, January 24, 2010

For the love of taxes!

Or NOT!!  Okay, as much as I hate doing this, I am going to have to take a little blogging break over the next week to complete our end of the year junk for our business.  I don't think that I can quite express in words how much I loathe this time of year (aside from just hating doing the paperwork end of our business to begin with- a job I NEVER saw myself in... and still don't!)!!!!

But don't fear (as if you were), I am going to be back in February and Mama Kenz Studio will be better than ever!  As you may have noticed (or may not have if you read me in a reader) I am doing a serious remodel of my blog (all by myself) and will be continuing to tweak and redesign as time permits!  I will also be revealing my big, long awaited blogging project next month (I am soooo excited to show it to you!!). 

Is that all?  Of course not!  I ALSO have an affiliate blog in the works that will be completely dedicated to reviews and giveaways which of course will be kicked off with a big old carnival! 

So keep your eyes peeled and I will see you in February (or sooner if I just happen to get our business junk done early- Please Lord!!)!

PS- I am still on track with my Bible in 90 Days reading (YEAH!) and will be resuming my Early Bird Challenge again tomorrow... just in case you were wondering!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It finally happened- I officially lost my mind last week!

Yes folks, it happened!  All week long I just felt awful!  My brain was foggy- I could barely put together a sentence.  I was SERIOUSLY emotional- for no apparent reason I would burst into tears and it was so frustrating (for myself and all the poor male members of my household)!  I had no motivation to do anything despite the fact that my to-do list was a mile long.  I would just sit there, bouncing a screaming, teething baby and cleaning up after a puking preschooler thinking I was way beyond my threshold

By Wednesday I finally called my midwife to ask her what I should do.  She gave me some ideas for supplements and vitamins and told me I could call if I ever needed to talk. 

I needed, but I didn't call. 

By Thursday evening I was so sure that I was in the throws of a serious bout of postpartum depression that I didn't know what to do with myself.  I completely broke down in the middle of preparing dinner, packed up what I was doing and said "Let's go to Super Supplements." 

This was a big move because we are so broke right now, but my husband wholeheartedly agreed that something had to change!  We got all of us into the car and made the 30 minute drive in 5:00 traffic with a screaming 7 month old.  On the way there I honestly thought, "Maybe he should just drop me off at the psych ward of the hospital.  What if I just can't pull myself out of this?!"

We made it back home and warmed up some food from the freezer while I downed kelp capsules and vitamins like nobodies business!  Soon after I went to bed, not feeling much better but hoping that the money we just invested in my mental health would make a difference.

Then I woke up the next morning... can you guess what I found?  Yup- Aunt Flo was back!  Ha!  Arg!  I think that my body had been trying for over a month to readjust my hormones and bring back my period because all sorts of crazy things had been happening (if you know anything about natural family planning than you can probably venture a good guess of what I am talking about).  By this point even though I was highly annoyed that my period was back already (what's with all these women who make it over a year?!) I was just so glad to have an explanation for my temporary psychosis

Now I just hope it was that bad because it was the first time back and that I won't be plagued by such a hormonal upheaval every month!  However, now that I am taking my supplements (which I still think were a good investment) hopefully my hormones will get on more of an even keel and life can proceed as normal- or as normal as it can right now!

With all that said- yes, my Early Bird Challenge flew out the window with my sense of reality, but now that things have calmed down that little bird is tapping on my window begging to be let back in.  So I do intend to start my challenge again over the next few days. 

Also, I did get a little behind with my Bible in 90 Days reading last week but am happy to say that I am back on track and enjoying it much more now that I am in 1 Samuel and past many of the more depressing and repetitive books!  They were good to read, and I am glad I digested them in such large chunks to get the bigger picture, but boy am I glad they are over!  Now it is on to all the drama and good stuff!

So, yeah, I'm back!  Hope you missed me and thanks for waiting!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pampered for the crowd!

Okay- quick rundown, to catch you all up before I get to the main goods of this post!  I am still on schedule with my Bible in 90 Days reading (woohoo!!) even after a crazy weekend!  So that is great!  Although Leviticus and Numbers can be quite draining and repetitive at times (okay, a lot of the time) they have also brought some things to light for me that I just had plain forgotten since the last time I read them!  For instance, I don't think I realized just how much time Moses spent with the Lord, intimately, "face to face" it even says!  Crazy!  How amazing that must have been! 

I also think that reading the law gives you a greater appreciation for Jesus!  I mean, especially being a woman- you would have spent half your life unclean!  All the symbolism that correlates with Jesus and his death is pretty powerful stuff too- all the while when we get all worried and grumbly God has this amazing plan He is carrying out!

The Early Bird Challenge has suffered, however.  I took the weekend off (as planned and allowed in my rules!), however my return to the journey failed to happen this morning (I blame the return of Chuck last night!).  It basically just comes down to the fact that I have to go to bed earlier (tear trickling down cheek).  I just need to buckle down and do it or I will never have the energy to complete this challenge (and ultimately change my sleeping habits... which have been ingrained since childhood, might I add!).

Now for the fun stuff!  I got to spend my afternoon yesterday at our local Bridal Fair acting as a model for Ajuva Medical Spa!!  Yessirry Bob!  I had a diamond tip microdermabrasion followed by a hydrofacial!!  They then did a bridal mineral make-up application!  So fun!  How did I get the sweet gig?  Well, it doesn't hurt having your mom as the manager of the spa now does it!?  Haha- hey, whatever works?!  When I got home R-Man looked at me and said, "Oh, mom!  You look beautiful!  I love your pants and your eyes!!"

Here are some pics of the process:



Make-up Application

Everything but lips!

Finished product! 

My skin feels soooooo smooth today!  Glorious! It is amazing how relaxing a facial can be, even when you are having it in the middle of a conference center with dozens of people walking by!  I guess nearly anything is relaxing for this tired mama these days if no little people are screaming at me!  Thanks mom!

Friday, January 8, 2010

This post may sound like more of a status update...

I have completed my day 8 reading- yes, through the 14th chapter of Leviticus.  And yes, I did get up early today, only to fall back asleep when nursing Lion Cub 45 minutes later.

Mostly though, today, I am more convinced than ever that having children has turned me into an insecure, social retard- mostly proven by my interactions with other mothers in real life.  Perhaps spending long days with little people who only speak broken English and don't realize the importance of not interrupting is finally catching up with me.

Perhaps I will elaborate more on this later, but for now I am going to attempt to consume some much needed chocolate and head for bed.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bed... well, you know the rest!

Well, that pretty much sums it up!  Okay, I'll elaborate a little since you are just dying to have me explain and grumble like an Israelite for a bit (that was a little shout out to all you B90Dayers out there!).

My day started out off.  Not quite as early as I would have liked (but still earlier than usual, so I'm counting it!), the house was a wreck (another resolution seemingly down the tubes!), and Lion Cub keeps getting himself hurt now that he is mobile.  By 9:00am I already just wanted to crawl back under the covers and call it a day.  Just kept thinking, "This day just needs to be over!"

Obviously, that wasn't an option- places to go, people to take care of!  Besides having errands to run I was scheduled to speak at a local mom's group about natural cleaning options, so I took the boy's to my grandmother's house for a couple of hours.  I made it to the group but on my way back my car decided to completely overheat and break down in the middle of one of our city's biggest intersections!  AHHHH!

As everyone behind me started honking, the guy in the car directly behind me came up to my window and was like, "So, can you not move?  Are you out of gas?"

"No, I just thought it would be fun to sit here for a little while and check my e-mail on my phone, maybe take a nap."  (Okay- I didn't really say that, but I wanted to!)

However, he did say this, "Well, can you call someone to come help you?"

Seriously?!?!  You aren't going to help push me out of the intersection?!!  Luckily, a couple of other guys got out of their cars to help push me around the corner (by the way the doof guy behind me finally did join them- I think out of guilt).  Then, when my knight and shining armor (aka husband) came to my rescue, he managed to push my car single-handedly all the way across the parking lot to a location not right on the street so that he could work on it.

So, my DH took me to my grandma's since Lion Cub was needing to eat and then went back to work on my car.  By miracle of all miracles he managed to get it working again, although I am still pretty leery about just how fixed it is.  It did manage to get us home, however, without blowing up so I guess I can't complain (too much).

Is my B90Days reading done for today?  Not quite, but it isn't completely untouched either, so once again there is a positive (I'm trying here!).  I may not get as far ahead as I had hoped, but if the rest of the evening goes somewhat according to plan I should at least stay on schedule.

Now I am off to try and reconcile some of the already broken resolutions (aka- clean the house, have dinner on the table when my husband walks in the door, and so on...).  Pray for me- I could really use it to day!

Ok, breathe...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Early Bird Challenge- Day 4, B90Days- Day 6: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Okay, I did wake up at 6:00am this morning, nursed Lion Cub until 6:20am and then was up and at 'em!  Got my breakfast and tea and read for a whole hour before Lion Cub woke back up!  At that point, though, all was lost as I climbed back into the warm bed to nurse him again- we both proceeded to sleep until 8:00am. 

So, does this still count as a successful day in my Early Bird Challenge?  My vote is YES!  I mean I did manage to keep my eyes pried open long enough to pull my feet out of bed and proceed upstairs at an hour that hasn't seen me awake much in the past few years!  And I did stay awake for a full hour!  And my every intention was to stay awake if Lion Cub hadn't woken up!  So, while following my new routine may not be completely on course for today, I do believe that I can still count today as a successful Early Bird Day!  Wahoo!

Bible in 90 Days promo button

I am also happy to say that my sixth day of Bible in 90 Days reading is completed!  My goal is to actually finish tomorrow's reading today also (the end of Exodus) so that I can get a good start on Leviticus tomorrow!  I am hoping to catch bits of it all throughout the day (probably on my You Version app on my iPhone while I nurse Lion Cub- a great tool that I highly recommend!) and then finish it up tonight before bed... and go to bed earlier.  Yeah... that.

Anyhoo!  Today I have visited a few more of the other Bible in 90 Days blogs and prayed for them and their families.  Here are the ladies I visited today:
Adventist Homemaker (she actually wrote a novel about the plagues in November!  How cool its that?!)
Adventures in Joyful Living (CUTE kiddos, one of whom had his 5th birthday yesterday!)
Adventures with the Ross Family (this mama can totally relate to the struggles of trying to carve out reading time with a little one!)

If you're on the Mom's Toolbox blog list I'll be stopping by soon!  Best wishes with your reading today ladies!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Early Bird Challenge- Day 3, B90Days- 5: Off to the Races!

Right now it is 7:40am.  I have been awake for about an hour and 20 minutes and by miracle of all miracles Lion Cub is still asleep!  Granted it most likely won't last for much longer, but in this last hour+ I have been able to have breakfast, complete my Bible in 90 Days reading for today, clear my e-mail and begin blogging!  Woohoo!  I may still be exhausted from another night that should have ended much earlier in the evening (sometime soon that is really going to catch up with me) but the act that I really did it this morning spells out a HUGE victory in my book!

Bible in 90 Days promo button

Things are still going really well for my Bible in 90 Days reading (did you notice that I finally was able to snag the code for the button!?)!  I have been managing to get a head start each night on what I need to read for the next day and I feel like even having half a chapter read from the next day's reading helps give me that mental advantage in the morning of feeling like it is less of a chunk to handle.
I am hoping to work my way through Exodus even quicker than planned so that I can really have a leg up when heading into Leviticus in 3 days- I have a feeling that is when the enormity of this challenge is really going to hit me.

I am amazed by how much I am still getting out of the reading while moving through it so quickly!  It reads much more like a novel (so far) than I had expected and reading such large chunks in a day really does give you a better broad prospective of what is going on.  When the reading is broken in to smaller portions I think it is easy to forget some of the connections between people and similarities between stories.  All the while I am still noticing small things and little nuances that I hadn't ever seen before- even simple things like which plagues struck everyone in the land of Egypt versus which ones the Lord reserved for only the Egyptians.  Very interesting and enjoyable reading, and of course I can't help but love getting to check that little box each day telling me I am one step closer to my goal!

In other B90Days news, last night was the first weekly Twitter meeting for The Bible in 90 Days Challenge, and aside from a few technical difficulties on my end, it was great to chat with those who were there and to see how their journey is going thus far.  It really helped me see just how important community and accountability are to this challenge!

With this in mind, I have decided that along with the challenge of reading the Bible in 90 Days, I am also going to commit to visiting each blog that is officially participating and listed on the Mom's Toolbox sidebar in that same time frame.  I intend to personally visit each blog, introduce myself, and pray for that blogger and her family while I am there.  So far I have visited & prayed for:
5 Kids & a Dog (super cute blog design, by the way!)
A Dash of Wife and a Pinch of Motherhood (a fellow crunchy mama!)
A Quiet Heart (this is her 2nd time in the 90 days program- such encouragement!  It can't be that bad then right?!)
A Safe Haven (cool links in her sidebar!)
A Stable Beginning (She has the CUTEST daughters!  Five of them!)

Great blogs ladies!  So, if you're in the challenge and you're listed, I look forward to visiting you soon!

That's my check in for today!  Now I am off to hopefully having as successful of a day as I have had morning!  Wish me luck!  Better yet, pray for me!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Early Bird Challenge- Day 2: Utter Failure!

Do you know how difficult it is to keep your eyes open and stay awake when your alarm wakes your baby up along with you at 6:00am and you have to lay there and nurse him back to sleep for 45 minutes?  I equate it with teleportation or time travel- IMPOSSIBLE!

Yeah, so, the schedule kind of flew out the window by the time I woke up two hours late and had not accomplished much of anything that I had intended to by that time of the morning!  My husband pointed out that this may be a common occurrence with a crazy (almost) 7 month old, but I really do hope to do better!  At least yesterday I was able to get up and grab a cup of tea and some breakfast before I had to nurse him back down, so it was easier to stay awake.  Oh well.

I did however manage to do our full day of preschool curriculum with R-Man (we are LOVING Itty Bitty Bookworm!!!) and get my Bible in 90 Days reading done for the day (mostly because I read ahead yesterday!).  I do still need to watch the video teaching for this week... maybe during naptime.

Actually, as far my Bible in 90 Days reading goes I am doing really well (at least one of my goals is panning out).  I am ahead in the reading which is great- I figure there may be slow or difficult days later on (can you say Numbers and Leviticus?!) that I could need some padding for!  

Plus, I totally got sucked into the story of Joseph!  I know it quite well because I have been involved with the musical a number of times, but there is just something about reading the actual account that can make it seem so much more alive and real!  I can't wait to meet that whole clan when I get to heaven- how interesting will that be?!  I really hope that God has a big playback screen so that we can all see this stuff as it actually happened!  Then again, heaven is not held by time, so maybe we can all just watch the original!

Another thing that sucked me into the story of Joseph this time is the fact that we named our baby after one of his brothers!  I even realized today that the nickname I have given him is actually something that Jacob called him in Genesis!  I hadn't read the actual story in so long that I had completely forgotten!  For any of you who know our baby's online name I am sure you can figure out his IRL name, but I'll leave it as a little riddle for you!  If you really want to know the answer and are a consistent commenter on my blogs (aka- an actual bloggy friend, not some random creep who happened upon my blog!) then you can e-mail me your guess I and I'll let you know if you're right!

Anyhow- now I'm off to play catch-up and get things ready for tomorrow so hopefully it doesn't have a similar fate!

Monday Mentions- January 4!

There are so many cool things that I have found lately and I am just busting to share them with all of you!  So, let's not waste any time!  Check these out!

  • SWAGBUCKS!  Okay, many of you may have heard of this site already but this is a new one for me.  I had heard of it here and there and just thought it was another one of those scamming, time wasting sites that you never really get anything out of.  Well, it's not!  All you do is sign up for an account and start using their site as your regular search engine (instead of, say, Google).  You randomly get points, or "swagbucks" from the searches you do (and you know we all search for things all the time!) which can be traded in for such things as giftcards (to stores like Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble and so many more!), electronics and so forth!  You can also earn points for referrals and such, and whenever someone signs up under you you get points when they get points too!  I know of people who bought all of their Christmas presents this last year just with the bucks they had earned from Swagbucks!  Now seriously, that is pretty darn awesome!  Give it a try- what do you have to loose?!
Search & Win

  • Make Your Own Blogger Background Tutorial!  Okay- this is pretty darn cool too!  I have been really wanting to redo the look of my blog (as well as change the name- more to come on that!) but just haven't found anything that really suits me that is free and I can't afford to have it professionally redone.  Then I stumbled upon this tutorial the other day on The Cutest Blog on the Block and I am so excited about it!  I obviously haven't done it yet, but I am working on it and can't wait to show you all what I come up with!
  • Well, in order to make a really nice background and such of your own, you really need to have some cool digital scrapbooking stuff!  Robin @ the Heart of Wisdom has been featuring some really fun free scrapbooking kits lately and the ones she posted today are SO cool!  They are from The Shabby Princess and I am in LOVE!  They have the coolest download for holiday recipe cards, so of course I am already planning my Christmas projects for next year (hey maybe if I start working on them now they will actually get done by Christmas!)!  Anyhow, they are definitely worth checking out!
  • And lastly for today, here is a project I found through UCreate on Bright & Blithe for a super cute mail sorter that I want to make!  Such great ideas- I think I am going to have a very crafty year!

If you have great things you have found lately then definitely share them in Monday Mentions on Daily Mish Mash!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Early Bird Challenge- Day 1: I See the Moon & the Moon Sees Me!

Alright- here I am on the first morning of my early bird challenge and it feels a bit like I have woken up in the middle of the night!  It is utterly dark outside my window and having not gone to bed at the hour I intended to last night, I can't help but feel ridiculously groggy! 

None the less, I am up.  The Lord made sure that I had no choice but to get up!  You see, when that blasted little alarm went off at 6:00am I quickly rolled over and reset it for 6:20- wouldn't you know that at that precise moment my sinuses launched a full blown attack and there just so happened to not be a tissue in sight, forcing me to get my butt out of bed to go get one.  At that point I begrudging so the Lord's humor and hand in the situation so made my sluggish trek upstairs, got my tea and a light breakfast and embarked on my Bible reading (see below). 

By this point it was about 6:20.  Of course no less than 15 minutes later Judah was waking up ready to nurse again, so I took my iPhone downstairs and somehow managed to keep my eyes open and finish my reading for the day while laying next to him in bed nursing.  He finally did conk completely out again which gave me the chance to come back upstairs to my computer and right about my already seemingly eventful day to all of you!

Really I should be thrilled with my progress since I had actually intended to start this little challenge tomorrow.  However, since my husband had to work today and we still haven't found a home church (erg!  So annoyed and frustrated on that front!) it felt more like a Monday, and since we have a busier week planned than I had originally thought I figured I might as well give it a jump start and get the ball rolling today!

Update- Now it is 8:26am, both boys are up for the day and I am scrambling to finish this post so that I can continue with the new schedule/routine I have laid out for our days in the new year!  Wish me the best of luck!

Now for my reading update!  I have my third day of reading for the Bible in 90 Days Challenge (from Mom's Toolbox) completed! No small feat!  To be honest though, I did actually start the challenge on December 30 because I knew that we would be staying at some friend's house for a few days to ring in the new year and I just wouldn't have the time to steal away and accomplish such large chunks of reading the first two days. 

So know I am back on course with everyone else in the challenge- and I must say that it feels pretty darn good to have read to the middle of Genesis 41 already!  So many of the stories in Genesis are so familiar that I think it is easy to forget or simply overlook their intricacies or the connections between people.  As I read about these ancient ancestors I find myself thinking how messed up, selfish and sinful they are, but then I realize that in so many ways I am not all that different from them.  It amazes me also that despite the blatantly horrible things many of them did at different points in their lives, the Lord still called some of them righteous and used their line to bring forth the Savior! 

It also jumps out to me how often in Genesis it says that the Lord heard His people and took pity on them or rewarded them.  The Lord heard Hagar in the desert, saved her and blessed her.  Isaac prayed on behalf of Rebekah and she became pregnant.  The Lord heard Leah, saw that she was unloved, and so gave her children.  The Lord remembered Rachel, listened to her and allowed her to become pregnant.  It shows you how important prayer is.  Undoubtably, these were things that each of them had prayed for over and over again for long periods of time and had most likely felt would never be answered.  But the Lord did answer them, remembered them, rewarded them- even at (or maybe mostly at) unexpected times.  It is encouraging to me to maintain (and increase) a strong prayer life, even for things I feel like will never change or happen.