Show and Tell Tuesday and 2016 Goals

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

 Happy Tuesday, y'all!
I've slaved over the PB&J sandwiches this morning and sent the kids back to school.

Before I start gettin' after some of these goals, I'm linking up for Show and Tell Tuesday! Today on Show and Tell Tuesday we're asked to "reintroduce" ourselves.  Since I have never formally introduced myself, here are the cliff notes.  :)

I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. I'm a Wal-Mart brat (not an army brat although my dad was in the army, but it was before I was born).  My family moved quite a bit due to Wal-Mart, but I do call Batesville, AR home even though I graduated in Pocahontas, AR.  Lost yet?!  Hold tight.   

I had a great childhood.  I loved dance, cheering, and friends. And I was a fan of the pageants. And big hair.  And the occasional perm. 

 But moving was hard on a girl, especially in high school.  Moving to Pocahontas was not considered one of my favorite life events, but I know all these roads have led me to where I am today so I have to give thanks.  And some of the sweetest people have come from there and still live there so there's that.  ;-)

I spent my Freshman year of college at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.  It's not where I wanted to go (insert some crazy boy reason I stayed), but it is what it is.  I'll refrain from posting pictures from that era because I was going through that hippie phase and well, that's never good for anybody.  Although, I still love some of the music.  My clothes tho.  

I made the move to Fayetteville in 1999 to attend the University of Arkansas and the rest is history.  OK, not so much really.   When I moved to Fayetteville I didn't know who I was and I spent a few years finding me.  When I moved to Fayetteville I was planning on law school.  Instead, I switched majors 150 times and ended up as an education major with plans to be a buyer for Wal-Mart.  Because that all makes sense, right?!  I worked an insane amount of hours in a management internship with Wal-Mart and took way too many hours, but along the way I met this guy. 

engagement photo circa 2004.

 John and I started dating in 2003 just as I was graduating from college and applying to grad school.  You missed that part, right?  I did too.  Somewhere along the way I decided to use that degree and get my Masters in Teaching.  I had decided I wanted to teach school.  My ah-ha moment, finally! John was transferred to Conway, AR (he was also with Wal-Mart) and there may or may not have been some fraternization (but I had quit so we were good).  ;-)  We spent a year apart with me heading to Conway on the weekends or him coming to Northwest Arkansas, depending on schedules.  
Sometime in early 2004 he called me early one morning.  He said that he was tired of Wal-Mart (they were wanting to move him to Avon, Colorado) and wanted to open a store similar to his parent's store in Branson, MO. 

"Where would you go?"  He asked.
Without hesitation, "Gatlinburg.  It's so much like Branson."

A few hours later he called his parents and asked them the same question.  

"Gatlinburg.  We've been trying to get there for years."

On his next long weekend (the weekend before Memorial Day) we made our first trip to East Tennessee to scope it all out.  I'd been there a ton growing up, but John had never been.  We were hooked.

On June 20, 2004 we were married in Maui.  Absolutely one of the best and sweetest days of my life.  We had an incredible honeymoon in Hawaii and came back to Arkansas to pack.  We made the big 13 hour move to East Tennessee on July 21, 2004.  

We worked our booties off for the first two years, 150 hour weeks, 7 days a week, and holidays (except Thanksgiving Day, Easter, and Christmas).  We were so tired exhausted, but it was one of my favorite times in life.  I have the best memories of just us opening our business and working our butts off to make it work.  And it did.  We worked hard, but played hard too.  We traveled a ton during the off season and had the absolute best time!

In February 2006, as we were getting ready to head to Las Vegas for some fun and Market, I decided to take a pregnancy test.  It was indeed positive and we welcomed the one that changed our world, Anna Claire, in October 2006.

I became a stay at home mom to this 6 lb 5 oz beauty and she became my best friend (although she really didn't know it yet).  I had the best time with this girl and it wasn't long before we decided it was time to give her a sister.  

On a weekend trip back to Arkansas for Halloween and a Razorback game we found out we were pregnant with #2.  Ava made her incredibly loud entrance in July 2009.  She was perfect.  

My brother and I were 8 years apart and while we have been close in our adult lives it was hard to be close when we were younger.  With all that said, John and I wanted 4 kids and we wanted them relatively close in age.  Anna Claire and Ava are 3 years apart, which has turned out perfect, but I really wanted them a little closer.  It took us about a year to get pregnant with Ava so when it became time to discuss #3 we decided we better start sooner rather than later (you know in case it takes longer than a year).  

I was pregnant with Alli Grace the first month.  And after a terminal pregnancy diagnosis, months on our knees, and more grace and mercy than I have ever seen poured out she entered the world in January 2011 weighing only 14 ounces. Alli turns 5 this month and the rest is history and our present!

I began blogging in 2011, the day after Alli was born.  I had always secretly wanted to, but also secretly made fun of my friends who did.  Now I look back in envy at the years they have documented so well.  This little space shows our life, the good and bad.  The love.  The crazy.  And everything in between.  I hope my girls treasure this as they get older.  Because let's face it.  I've failed miserably in keeping up with their pictures.  

On that note....

I don't make resolutions.  Resolutions, for me at least, are always broken.  As I look into 2016 I want to make monthly goals.  Things that are within reach and reasonable for that time and that particular month.  Not the year.  We know I'm notorious for making totally unreasonable goals.  And then I just stress and wear myself down and out because they a) didn't get done, b) didn't get done the way I wanted, or c) I ran out of time. I'm hopeful, in this small way, my time management skills will kick it back in gear!  ;-)

1.  Changing up the blog (a little not a lot) 
I always want to be purposeful in what I share, but I also would love to see this grow.  I started last year growing my little space here little by little.  This January I want to make a few little changes that will lead the way as we travel through 2016 and beyond.  Content won't be changing for the most part, but I do feel it needs a new name??!!  While I will always be Parenting the A Team, I just don't feel it fits my little vision for this space (or maybe my ADD has just kicked in....ha!).  Luckily have all month to figure that out.  ;-)  

2.  Quiet time
Just like on War Room my quiet time with the Lord is either hot or cold and in 2015 it was more cold.  I want to be purposeful in my time with Him.  I know that my demeanor, my relationships, my parenting skills (or lack thereof on some days) are all greatly effected by my time with God.  I started 2016 off with Havilah Cunnington's Eat. Pray. Hustle online Bible study.  And am loving it.  It's FREE and you can still join us by registering here!  You don't have to have the book, but I think it's super beneficial.  If you are unfamiliar with Havilah, I promise you you will be in love.  Oh, and I'm tossing around a giveaway on this so stay tuned!  :)

3.  Water goals
 I've never liked water.  At all.  But I crave water and I know that's because my body knows it needs it.  I'm going to refrain from throwing a dieting and exercise clause in here because I've already started.  And I've already failed like 4 times, but thank God for grace.  

4.  Picture goals 
Here's the deal.  My pictures are an absolute mess.  I have them on 65 different removable drives, 16 different computers, and there is no rhyme or reason.  I've lost them before when my computer crashed.  Sent the hard rive to some place in Minnesota that the Pentagon uses and spent $4,000 to retrieve 85% of the pictures.  I still haven't printed them off.  And to give you an even bigger idea of how bad it is....our oldest is 9.  N-I-N-E years old.  As in almost ten.  A decade.  The ONLY pictures I have printed OR that are in a book (like from Shutterfly) are 1) our trip to Disney and 2) her first three birthdays (and that's because someone made it for me). 

What are my kids going to do when I'm gone??!  Climb into the attic and turn on the computer to look at pictures??!  Eeeekkk.  I CAN NOT believe I have let this go as long as I have.  So it begins this month and this will probably be a recurring goal until they are finished.  You all are my accountability.  ;-)

5.  Purging 
I told John sometime in 2015 that I really felt like the Lord is calling us to a season of purging (actually he has been, but I'm just now hearing it).  ;-)  We have been broken, poured out, refined, and redefined more times than I can count.  And yet, I know there is more.  As I look around at our little rental house, I know it begins here.  We moved from our 5,600 square foot home in Tennessee to this house that is 2,600.  And pretty much didn't get rid of anything.  Sure, there is still quite a bit in storage, but I packed it in here like sardines.  At the time (mourning our 13 hour move from Tennessee to Missouri) it made me feel like I was home having all our stuff around and where I could see it.  Now I recognize that and know it's all just stuff (and it's all pretty stuff, but still stuff).  ;-) I mean I knew it was stuff then, but my head and heart weren't in great places.  We're hopefully buying a new home in 2016 and I don't want to take a bunch of stuff.  Whether the home is 5,600 or 2,600 I'm done.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm keeping a lot of things (I absolutely LOVE to decorate and it wouldn't be me to have everything plain).  But all the stuff has  I truly believe that purging some things will allow for God to come in more.  And allow us to breathe more.  And who doesn't want that??!  

This was purging day number 1.  6 contractor bags full of stuff later, this playroom is in much better shape. And I already feel lighter. #thankyoujesus

I'm going to keep with those 5 for January.  Purging and pictures alone are going to give me a run for my money.  But I'm open and ready.   

What about you!?  Do you do resolutions, goals, or just roll with it?!

Hope your day is the best!



I would love to connect with you:


  1. Your girls are precious!!! I'm originally from Little Rock too! My husband and I both graduated from Arkansas State- he's from Hardy! such a small world!!! Can't wait to follow you more!

    1. Oh, girl! What a small world! I spent many a summers in Hardy and on the Spring River. :) Can't wait to follow you more!

  2. Loved your introduction! I feel like I knew bits of pieces of it, but it was great to read through it and see how it all links together. Such a small world (Little Rock connection-yay!), and so thankful to know you and your sweet family! Those pictures of your girls--so precious. Sounds like God is at work with you guys already this year. Let's get together soon!

  3. This place was amazing! Great food, it's smaller than others I guess but it is still a fair sized fun. The decor at venues in NYC was amazing as every note of music reverberates off the beautiful walls. Everything about this venue is nothing less than 5 stars.


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