Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I'd thought many moons ago about doing a post like this, and then all of a sudden I was pregnant and my mind has been consumed with all things baby ever since. But here lately I've been remembering what a fun idea i'd once had. I KNOW I'm not the only person who often lives vicariously through Pinterest. Maybe I'll even start a blog series called  "Living Vicariously thru Pinterest." Thoughts?

It's a good thing Pinterest wasn't around when I was planning my wedding. Even though I've been married 6+ years now, I could spend hours looking at wedding inspiration on Pinterest! It doesn't really stop there though. Jordan laughs at me all the time when I have a couch pow-wow watching marathons of Say Yes to the Dress. Apparently I just love all things wedding. I mean, when else in your life do you get to be frivolous and decadent and celebrate being head over heels in love? There's nothing more beautiful than a glowy, in-love bride.

It's fun to be a dreamer, right? So if money were no object and I could do it all over again, here are my Pin-spired wedding ideas:


So there's a little taste of what my Pinterest wedding! I also would've pinned about a gajillion gorgeous lace wedding dresses, but couldnt come close to narrowing down a favorite. It sure seems like the rustic/country/barn theme is HUGE right now. I mean, stick a flower in a mason jar or put a little burlap on something and voila! Instant wedding accessory! 

What would YOUR Pinterest wedding look like?

Got any ideas for the next LVtP topic??

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whiny Wednesday

Last night when I got home from work I got all kinds of frustrated and vented my "issues" with my sister and husband. So even though I've already done a "confession" post this week, I have something else I'd like to get off my chest. Brace yourself for it...

Sometimes I don't like being pregnant.


Gasp. I said it.

Now, let me explain. Hang in there for just a minute and don't cut me loose immediately. I absolutely treasure the child that I'm carrying. I daydream about what he or she will look like and what kind of personality he or she will have. I adore every little wiggle and kick. My greatest desire is that this child will choose to follow after the Lord with all their being and I pray for this often. I am so overwhelmingly thankful for a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. I would never doubt in the Lord's timing and I hope to always cherish the life He has blessed me and my husband with.

But there's one little thing that just bugs the heck out of me.

I am growing increasingly tired of having my physical appearance be under constant scrutiny.

Here's the big paradox: people tell me all the time that it's ok to eat all the junky food I want. I can be a lazy bum. All this because I'm pregnant and I'm supposed to overindulge and gain weight. People gain weight when they're pregnant, so why not abandon all knowledge of health and nutrition just because I have an excuse to do so. Eat 8 servings of ice cream a day! You're eating for two, ya know? Don't have any cravings? Make one up! Tell people you have to eat a brownie with every meal! You can get away with it! Why are you still running? Give yourself a break and go take a nap. You're pregnant! 

The other side of that big paradox is this: the same people encouraging this pregnancy-induced overindulgence also make sideways comments about how my hips are getting big or my butt is getting wider or my face is getting chubbier. Since your hips are getting wider, that means you're carrying a girl. I noticed your butt has really filled out, so that must mean you're having a boy. I can tell you're pregnant just by the way your face has filled out. Are you sure there aren't 2 babies in that belly?

So let me get this straight... you want me to eat pure junk food for 9 months because I have an excuse to pack on 30, 40, even 50+ pounds, but then you're also going to tell me every time you notice my hips getting wider? Am I the only person who hears this from other people??? How is this even remotely okay?!

Sometimes the body comments are even more passive aggressive and underhanded and come in the form of comparison. Oh you're wearing a maternity shirt? I didn't need maternity clothes by the time I was 6 months along, because by that time I'd only gained 5 pounds. Well doesn't that just make me feel absolutely peachy. I'm more than certain it's a personal issue of vanity and pride that's just so deeply rooted in me (and in all women!!) and I so desperately need to break myself away from the ugly cycle of comparison. I certainly resented the scrutiny pre-pregnancy and I'm sure it will continue in new forms on the other side of pregnancy as well. What a lifelong struggle this pride thing is! In the meantime, I do my best to laugh at the negative and focus on the positive.

This whiny Wednesday post has really turned into an explosion of brattiness and insecurity, hasn't it? The unfortunate thing is that I've heard this same frustration expressed by many of my pregnant friends and feeling scrutinized is just not fun. Even though this post is largely negatively charged, I don't want to be altogether misleading in my experience as a pregnant lady. I DO feel like I'm glowy and I DO love my little bump! I have been very fortunate to have so many people make such wonderful comments to me regarding my pregnancy and my ever-expanding appearance. As negative as people feel like they can freely be towards a pregnant woman, I have also been delighted to hear many folks voice such nice things. And for that, I am thankful.

Phew. It feels good to get that out there. Whiny Wednesday: Over and Out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Night Confessions

It's good to get a few things off your chest everyonceinawhile, right?

1. I kinda feel a little like superwoman when I'm running these days. Toting this belly around the park (even at an almost unbearably slow page) makes me feel strong. I also kinda imagine those folks I'm passing think I'm pretty much a rockstar.

2. I think the new Fall '12 line of Toms are ugly.
Bleh. No thanks.

3. I'm getting my hair done for the first time in months on Thursday and I'm a little panicky. I hate finding a new hair person, floundering around from salon to salon until you find the right fit. On the bright side, it can't get much worse considering I haven't had it cut or colored since April. Eek.

4. I got a new pair of spectacles almost a week ago. Wearing them makes me discombobulated.
5. I look forward to watching the swimming and gymnastics portions of the summer olympics. The rest of the sports aren't nearly as fascinating. I was in gymnastics for a season as a kid (can you even imagine?). I was a full head taller than the rest of the class, ridiculously awkward, and deathly afraid of breaking my neck. Hence, only one season.

6. While I absolutely love pouring over every single issue of Bon Appetit magazine that I've ever gotten, I've only made one BA recipe ever.

7. I'm not and I don't think I'll ever be "into" landscaping. I doused a weed-infested flower bed with weed killer this morning and I hope that pretty much takes care of it. On the flip side, I don't particularly like to be "that house" on the street with the overgrown lawn. See the quandary I'm in here?

What are your Monday night confessions??? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Highland Lakes 2012

The other camp we attended this summer was Journey @ Highland Lakes Camp. We've been to Highland Lakes the last 2 summers with our entire group and chose this year to bring our middle school students. We ended up taking 24 students and 6 adults, which is an awesome turnout. Separating the high schoolers and middle schoolers into two different camps was a huge success and I think I can say with total certainty that we will be continuing this next summer.

Being at HLCCC is comforting and fun. Comforting because it's familiar to Jordan and myself. We know the campground, the staff, and what to expect. We consistently have high school and college students who spend part or all of their summer working at Highland Lakes. It's west of Austin on lake (river?) Travis, which made for a much shorter drive than Tennessee, but was perfect for our group of middle school students. 

Unlike the high school camp which had a missions emphasis, Highland Lakes is a recreation-heavy camp. Mornings and evenings are spent in worship, quiet times, and church group times, but the afternoons are jam packed with tons of activities. There's no shortage of fun things to do with a pool, lake, high ropes course, low ropes course, archery, BMX bikes, paintball, arts & crafts and about a half dozen other things.

Kooky Hubs-o-mine.

Don't think for a minute that just because these kids played games and made beaded keychains instead of serving a community that they didn't experience the presence of Christ during this week! It was so encouraging to hear how the Lord moved in their hearts and lives. I was impressed that many of them even related their experiences on the zip line or banana boats to their own walk with Christ. Many of the organized rec activities were accompanied by a passage of scripture and an applicable lesson on things like unity within the body of Christ, and perseverance in the face of difficulty.

We ended up spending the first half of the week in the rain. In fact, half of the first day's activities were rained out completely and the kids spent several hours indoors playing games. One of the group leaders later shared with me that her girls told her they were thankful for the rain. She said they realized that they were so focused on the activities that they'd forgotten the reason why they were at camp in the first place. The girls said having the rain step in and interfere with the "fun stuff" helped them redirect their focus on Christ. So proud of these kids! Another high point of camp (according to many students) was when the power went out during worship one night. Instead of panicking in the dark, the lead singer/guitar player of the band broke into a few acoustic hymns and we continued worshipping together (aided by the lights of some cell phones and a few random flashlights). It was in that moment that we all saw God's power in that place.

I had a wonderful time at both of our summer camps this year and after a few great days of rest, my ankles have resumed their normal size. We have a few other things lined up this summer and are already in full-swing planning mode for the next school year and summer. I can't wait to share what's on our hearts and on our schedule for 2013!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

24 weeks!

(...plus 3 days.) 

So I reached that all-important viability milestone while we were at camp this past week. I feel like I can breathe a little easier being past this significant mark, however, I won't feel completely at ease until I have a baby in my arms (which will bring a whole new set of worries and anxieties to light!). I guess it should sink in a little further now that we will actually be bringing a child home eventually, but it still remains really surreal and bizarre that I'm growing a person. 

(Too lazy to change into the ubiquitous red tank top and jeans.)

So here's the basics: 
My baby is maybe about a pound plus a quarter or so and is the size of an ear of corn!

I'm still not craving anything. It's gotta be one of the most frequently asked questions and while I'd love to capitalize on something like a brownie-a-day craving, I'm just not desperate for anything at any time. In the same way, I'm also able to eat anything I would eat pre-pregnancy. One magical day back in my first trimester all my nausea melted away and I've been shoveling the food in ever since. Which means I've gained an undisclosed amount of weight and despite having a "valid reason" for gaining some poundage, I'm still not thrilled with stepping on the scale and seeing that number creep up and up and up.

Despite sporting a bigger bump, I'm still kind of in and out of maternity clothes. Most of my pre-pregnancy pants and shorts still fit underneath the belly. Some days the belly seems bigger than others and my regular tops are a little on the short side. It's all just a toss up. I am thankful to be noticeably pregnant now instead of just chubby! Spending the last few weeks with our students was really sweet, because I got lots of bump love in the form of belly rubs, funny jiggles, and one-sided conversations with my baby. I feel so blessed to know this baby is already so loved.

We still don't know what gender baby Mims is! And we don't plan on finding out until he or she makes a grand entrance into this world. That is by far the most frequent question I hear, especially since I'm now noticeably pregnant. Jordan so far thinks baby Mims is a girl and I have no intuition or feeling one way or the other (don't forget to put your gender vote in! Check the sidebar!!). We've narrowed down our list of girls names to a couple and I think we've almost decided on one of them officially. Boy names??? No clue. Not a stinkin clue.

I'm feeling stronger and more frequent movements now and many of them are easily visible by other people. It's still just totally bizarre to feel these bumps and wiggles. Some days the baby seems to be lazy and then I have days like yesterday when it seems like he or she is constantly on the move.

I'm looking forward to finally cleaning out this little baby's nursery soon and picking out furniture, bedding, paint and decorations. I'm excited to be in the early planning stages of two (maybe even three!!!!) wonderful showers! I am humbled by so many people who want to celebrate this little one. We are so blessed.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Audacious 2012

Our biggest summer plans are now behind us and I have a few days with nothing to do. Inconceivable! Jordan and I spent a few minutes reflecting over dinner last night at how gracious God has been to the two of us during this busy summer season. Several months ago, we were unsure about so many things, but God has worked out all of these details and brought great glory to Himself. I am thankful to say that having separate high school and middle school camps was hugely successful. I am thankful to say that despite being pregnant, I was able to attend both camps and I like to think I did a pretty good job keeping up with the students. I am thankful to say that our travel to and from Tennessee was smooth and uncomplicated. So much to be thankful for.

Our high school camp was a ginormous success. Honestly, in the days leading up to this trip, my dread was increasing exponentially. I couldn't help obsessing over the 16 hour drive in church vans. I was fearful over the lack of sleep that camp always brings. And of course, the fear of the unknown- we had never done a Student Life camp, much less a Student Life camp in Tennessee. All things combined, this trip could've been a disaster, but I'm so proud that my husband followed the Lord's leading because camp couldn't have been more wonderful. 

Check out some pictures and stories from our week at camp with the high school students.

We arrived Sunday afternoon to Lee University in Cleveland, TN (just outside of Chattanooga). I've known many people who attended Lee for college, but have never visited the campus myself. The school was beautiful and our accommodations were awesome. We stayed in apartment style dorms, which meant 2 things: 1. NO communal showers and 2. I got my own bedroom (Remember me being worried about getting enough sleep? I was more than taken care of in the sleep department by having my own quiet bedroom to retreat to each night.)
A group shot of our kids and fearless leaders. We pulled a nice person out of Dunkin Donuts to take our photo so that each person in the group would actually be in the picture. Once I got home, I realized really quickly that every single one of the pictures was crooked and some of them had people completely cut out. This was the best "serious" photo from the bunch (after correcting the obvious tilt), despite having a few folks looking around. 
The camp speaker was Jeremy Kingsley, who happens to be a personal favorite of Jordan's.  Jeremy is one of the major reasons why Jordan chose this particular camp (Student life holds dozens of camps throughout the summer all over the US). He's a pretty lively character and even though I snapped like 30 photos of the guy, hardly any of them are in focus because he bounces all over the stage. When one of the students told us, "this is the first time I've ever looked forward to the speaker, like I 'm ready for worship to end so that I can hear Jeremy's message." I considered that a majorly awesome compliment. 
Bellarive led worship in both services each day (morning celebration and evening worship). I'd never heard them before, but ended up really enjoying them. Their hearts were obviously centered not on a performance, but on true worship. If you get a chance, check them out on iTunes. I especially love The Father's Heart. 
Student Life definitely has their act together, which is to be expected, considering camps and youth materials is their business. Having never been to a SL Camp, I was really impressed by the overall organization and how smoothly things ran. I thought the skits were fantastic. The materials were really good quality. The videos were funny. Basically, Student Life has nailed their key demographic, which both engaged our students and took a load off the adult leaders.

The camp had a mission emphasis, which means our students went out during the day and did service projects  in the Cleveland community. It was a huge difference from the recreation-heavy camps we've done in the past and I personally loved the service. The kids truly seemed to gain so much more from the work they did and I hope it has a much further reaching and long lasting impact than zip lines and relay races. We split our team into 2 smaller groups and sent one group to a Nursing Home for Alzheimer's/Dementia patients, while the other group led a VBS/Bible study at a low-income apartment complex. Due to the nature of the folks each team worked with, I took very few pictures at each site and chose not to post any. But imagine our students singing and dancing with sweet elderly ladies and playing kickball with some funny kiddos. It was pretty awesome to see them at work. 

All in all, we had an amazing time with our students and leaders. Sure, we were tired, the travel was long, the church vans smelled like teen spirit, and my ankles had all but completely disappeared beneath a massive amount of swelling by the end of the week, but in the end, it was worth it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Death and Taxes

Its funny how life swoops in every so often and turns your great plans and "important" priorities upside down. We've been home from camp for a little over a week and I was planning to update the blog long before now with lovely pictures of our students doing wonderful things (oh, it's still to come... hang in there.). I had made it a priority to get some sleep and put my swollen feet up on the days between camp and work. Then the half-expected but never-prepared-for passing of my uncle from brain cancer took my self-serving plans and lazy priorities and turned them over.

Shortly after returning from our trip to Tennessee, Jordan and I boarded a plane and headed home to spend time with my family. It was a bittersweet time; both spent reliving fond memories of my uncle Jim and mourning his passing. He had been battling an aggressive cancer for the last year, which took a rapid turn for the worst around Mother's Day and claimed his life on June 29.

It's always curious to spend time around death. I can't imagine that anyone other than the occasional mortician would choose to fill their day with death, but it is a sobering place to be. Considering I already pay taxes, they say that death is the only other certainty in this short life. My grandparents mourned the loss of their child; my mother grieved the death of her brother; and my cousin lost his father, who should've otherwise been in the prime of his life. Despite it's certainty and lack of favor regarding age, gender, or race, people just don't seem to spend a great deal of time meditating on the reality that this life is short and will end.

Participating in the planning of a funeral service with my other family members brought that truth screaming to the forefront of my mind. While my life is filled with failures and shortcomings, I pray that one day someone can stand up and say that Christ was the center of my life. While I know I am far from perfect, I hope that one day others can stand up and say that I pointed them towards Christ. Of course I hope to be a wonderful mother, strive to be a great wife, and work hard to be an excellent nurse, but my overarching goal is simply to bring great glory to my Heavenly Father.

Jordan has a tshirt that says, "Don't fear failure, fear spending your life succeeding at things that really don't matter."

What have you spent your life succeeding at? Does it have any Kingdom value?

What would your family say about your life at it's end?

Curious about what the Bible says regarding life after death? The Creator of the universe is willing to pour out His glorious mercy over your life. He has gone to great lengths to bring redemption to His children. His heart beats for you. Send me a comment or email and I'll be thrilled to share God's truths with you. 
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