Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I want it to MATTER.

I'm like you.

Did you know that? Oh, hopefully you did.  I'm imperfect and flawed.  I'm courageous and scared. I'm hopeful and skeptical. I'm trying my best and I know so are you.

 I'm a mother who loves my kids a crazy insane amount. I don't deserve those boogers. They are a piece of my heart that I didn't know was missing.  I can turn on the sap real quick with the "I didn't know love until they arrived!" "They make me a better person!" Most days they fill me with joy, elation, and frustration in the very same moment.  Gushy mushy mom pride is the best, AMEN?

Their eyes. They look at you each day for guidance. For acceptance. For love. For fruit snacks--always with the fruit snacks. They need me for everything.  I am their safe place, their home, their world.  There is no greater influence in the life of my child than my husband and I.
Guys---that's SCARY.

I know it scares you too.

 Each day is an equal mix of confidence that I'm doing my best and fear that it's not enough--in reality? These pieces of my heart, these children are only *mine* for a few short years. They don't stay little. Wah.

 I was able to attend the Orange Tour Conference  a few weeks ago.  The conference's focus was all about encouraging pastors, ministry workers, small group leaders, and parents that what you do in the life of a child this week matters

Reggie Joiner is a great communicator and leader.  Read his books and if you have an opportunity to hear him speak? Pounce on that. He spoke during several sessions and I found myself clicking away on my phone taking notes like a crazy  woman. As both  a parent of preschoolers and one of the leaders of a preschool ministry at church I found myself nodding my head, smacking my tongue in my best ooooohh girrrrllllll way  and even raising the roof during his sessions. Wish I was kidding about the raise the roof thing---apparently that's not a thing anymore.  Hashtag child of the 90s.

Because we are alike. Because you most likely will have  an impact on a child's life this week. Because you are trying your best. Because you love them like crazy. I'd love to share some of my take aways with you.

  • The only way you can really convince someone you love them is with time.

  • We can't make a kid love God or even believe in Him---but we can create opportunities for them to have impactful relationships with adults who show them what God's love means.

  • The best way for kids to learn how to love God is to love people who love God.

  • Things every child needs to hear from their parents. I love you. I believe in you. I understand. God loves you. I'm sorry. I didn't know that. I made a mistake.

Oh how I want my children to know that a caring God loves them like crazy. He Loves them more than I do. I want them to feel God's grace and know that He has big plans to use them.

I feel a sense of urgency when I think about their future. Do you feel it for your own kids? Or the kids in your circle of influence?  How can we as parents, make what matters---matter more?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The biggest lie I ever told

I ran four miles this week. I have my first race in a little over a month.  I KNOW I can do it.  I can't wait to, actually. This new love for running is so hilarious and backwards for me. Sitting back thinking on one of the biggest lies I ever told goes back to running and my very first race.

I ran track for ONE season in middle school and it was HORRENDOUSLY AWFUL. I have not the slightest clue why I signed up. It probably revolved around the common theme in my life of WISHING I was athletic and failing miserably at it every. time.  Regardless, I was on the track team. We ran after school and I hated ever step I took.  I hated the uniforms. I hated the running. I LOVED the socializing. I loved the thought of getting a ribbon. I LOVED LOVED the thought of getting my name on the announcements the next day for placing. I LOVED LOVED LOVED the idea of being known as Laura---the race winner.

Gearing up for our first official middle school track meet was a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement for wearing my new running shoes---dread for the actual running part. I was assigned to run the mile. Four laps-------my worst nightmare. I had no idea that you actually had to be really fast to get assigned the awesome race---the 400--the one laper.  The slower kids had to run the mile.

Brushing off the disappointment of not getting the "cake walk" one lap I remember thinking to myself that I COULD run four laps---I'd done it before. It COULD happen. I COULD still win, and get a ribbon, and become famous.

The gun fired-and I was off. slowly. By lap three I was in the back---the last girl.  I was trying and failing......my pride was stuck to the bottom of my dirty shoe and I could see my friends crossing the finish line. The only smart thing for me to do was obviously double over in pretend pain and scream out that "I SPRAINED MY ANKLE OHHHHH MMYYYYYYY WORRRRDDDDDDDD"

I faked a sprained ankle. 

Embarrassed. Ashamed. In Pain. and DONE---I fell to the ground and pretended like I couldn't move.  In my 12 year old brain it was 'brilliant' . It was broken. I had a just experienced a  career-ending sprain. Retire my reeboks, coach---A promising career was ended before it could truly start--TRAGIC. The tears were real. It was one of the most miserable moments of my teenage life--that dreaded race. Coaches carried me off the field---and  I believe there were even some claps.

My running career was over and I became the track "manager" the next day thus ending my dreams of ribbons and hearing my name on the school announcements.  A day that was filled with tragedy and  secret joyous relief.

So my race is in a month. It's FOUR AND A HALF MILES.  And this will be the SECOND race I've ever ran in and hopefully the FIRST ONE I ever finish. :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Welcome, friends

Well looky there. Here we are at my new blog. How fun, right?! I'm proud of it. Does that make me nerdy? #yup #whohashtagsinblogs

Shoot, now I'm probably scaring you away. Please don't go. I like that you're here. For those of you that are new, I'm Laura. I've been blogging for over 5 years and this blog has grown and transitioned with me through lots of life's fun stages. When I started publishing my business on the internet I was a young 25 year old mom-to-be who was just following all the cool kids and starting my own blog. Well, come to find out---I REALLY like sharing my business on the internet with strangers and haven't stopped.

I'm now a glowing 30 year old momma and wife to two. Wait. Let me clarify--two kids NOT two husbands #aintnobodygottimefordat . I work part time in children's ministry at my AWESOME church and I loooooove and I mean LOVE working with preschoolers. They are downright ridiculous and amazing all. the. time.  I used to have a handmade business that made accessories, jewelry, and fun headbands. That's probably where I "met" most of you! Heyyy....lillypie friends!

Now??? Well, I still love writing (Although my grammar & punctuation would make most editors and teachers cringe) it's the content I love. I love sharing stories. I'm always up for a chat over caffeine. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. If you have a blog, I'm probably following it.

I recently have been reading one of my new favorite books (are your favorite books always the ones you're currently reading like me?) called Losing Your Marbles. In this book Reggie Joiner says that stories over time give us perspective. True that. The more stories I hear about how the Lord is working in their lives, or helping someone overcome a huge hurdle the more I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that my God is real and that he loves me. Scripture is wonderful---but oftentimes it is a STORY that gets me hooked. A personal story shared with me through a conversation, email, or blog post.

So what if MY story could help others come to know My God?  Sign me up! 

Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. I hope you come by often.

And also---you should know---- ALL stories are great. No matter how simple they may be.

Love, Laura Beth ( new blog, new name, same me)

I walked away from Lillypie in March of last year. Can you believe its already been 7 months?! I knew that it was the right decision because of the flooding of peace I felt when I came to my decision.  I wrote about it HERE if you'd like to read. You know what, I don't miss it. Let me be clear, I DO miss the income. That was such a blessing.  I DO miss the connections and relationships built with my customers. I don't miss the long hours. I don't miss the late nights. and weirdly enough I don't miss the creating.

How can something that defined me for so long not be missed?

The answer is because I've grown as a person. I'm learning to not define myself by hobbies, interests, or even my family. I'm learning to define myself and someone who is LOVED by God and made in his image.

So while Lillypie was ME for 3 years---it's not anymore. I'm so much more.

It's easy to put yourself inside of a find of  "this is who I am."  Did you not spend most of your twenties trying to find out who you were? ohhhh Phewy, I sure did.  I wanted to fit in a mold. I knew I was creative. I knew I was artistic. I knew I was emotion-led. I knew I was outgoing. So by golly I tried to put myself in one of those categories at all times. Looking back I can see how important it was for me to find out WHO I WAS. But now, I feel more of a tug to define myself by   to WHOM I BELONG.

He created me. He knit me. He has a purpose for me----and you know what? That's fricken amazing. He also did that for you. YOU.  Don't allow yourself to be defined by things, character traits, or even people. While amazing and life giving---they aren't the entire you. All those THINGS can be stripped from you in a moment. Ohhhh how that scares me--you too right?!  Ack! Stop thinking about it Laura.

Okay. So with all this thinking I've been doing I've decided to revamp and improve this blog. This blog has always evolved with me. Take a trip down memory lane?

((I've linked these words to my favorite post from that "stage" if you'd like to click back and read my previous posts.))

First it was a pregnancy journal called Oh, Baby
Then it was a mommy blog with the name of  LillyLoves
After a few months I announced my struggles with post partum depression ( that was so scary!) and I changed the name to The Big Cursive L.
I got healthier and really started to be inspired by women around me who were starting their own businesses.
  I had my I CAN DO THIS TOO moment and started to dabble in a handmade business called Lillypie and then changed the name to Lillypie.
The next few years I went back and forth between blogging about my life, handmade business, parenthood, and following pregnancy.

Right now? I'm trying to lose weight. I'm trying to treat my body better. I'm  coming into my own and getting healthy---after years of putting my body through hell and blaming others for my pain.

Lillypie doesn't define who I am anymore so it's time to change again.
I'm changing my blog name for the fourth time to:
  and I'm even changing the url! Throughout my 5 years blogging one thing has remained the same.  These  posts are my thoughts. I'm sharing my ideas, thoughts, stories, and struggles with you----like a letter to a friend.  So while I am not the same person I was five years ago---my purpose for writing is the same. Stories are pretty great. I don't know a soul who doesn't love a good story. The author of mine is pretty great. The Lord is writing a pretty spectacular story through me, Laura Beth.

I'm sharing it with you. I'm so glad you're choosing to listen.  I'd love to swap stories with you.

My new url will be: www.lovelaurabeth.blogspot.com
My new IG name is ; love_laurabeth
Twitter: love_laurabeth

 Come back Monday and see the new look! :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Where Old Habits Go to DIE.

It was a big week in the weight loss category today! I lost 4 pounds this week!! I'm down 33 pounds.
Right now I'm sitting at 162 and I'm 12 pounds from my goal weight. Here are the weight loss pics!

Heyyyyy Noah!! Cutest little photobomber ever!

That's a lot of hard work right there......
Dang, that feels good.

I'd be lying if I said that it's been easy. I had a rotten Wednesday. Plain rotten. There were four instances of crummy circumstances that led me to my old thoughts that a large Dr. Pepper and two cheeseburger meal from McDonalds would fix. I had the keys in my hand. That's my go to escape mode--Drive thru fast food and large amounts of soda.

Ohhhhh I wanted to. and here is the difference between Laura 4 months ago and Laura today.


I actually decided to leave work a little early and go for a jog. You know what, a Dr. Pepper woulda tasted AMAZING. I would have enjoyed those fries and licked the salt from my fingers with wild abandon----but after would be an INSANE amount of guilt. Guilt that would eat at me from the inside for the rest of the day. I knew that indulging in that fast food binge that was calling my name would only add to the stress and  foul mood of my Wednesday.

So I went for a jog. and ended up pounding out my first three miler. I left the park feeling better  about myself. I was able to think through the events that were weighing too heavily on my mind.

I know I won't always be able to curb the cravings. The emotional eater in me will always be there. I'm trying to learn ways to cope with the mental moosh munchies in small steps.  I have to be able to combat my own thoughts without turning to food to cheer me up. It's a work in progress-- that's for sure.

What do you do? Do you have a strategy? I'd love for you to share!

***Also! Come back on Monday to see some BIIIIGGGGG changes to this blog. P.S. I'm moving spots on the web.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

my struggle with the 13.1 stickers

Those 13.1 and 26.2 bumper stickers have always bothered me.

Running is a fantastic cardio vascular activity. It's great for your heart and lungs. It keeps your body lean and sculpts killer legs and bootie. The last place I want to be reminded that I CHOOSE NOT TO DO IT is while I'm busy driving  my 2 kiddos around, eating fast food, and running late for work. AGAIN. Your  sticker only makes me want to cut you off. Pin a rose on your nose woman! To me those stickers are a numeral way of saying I'M BETTER THAN YOU FAT HOOKER. Okay I added the hooker part because I'm snarky.

You ran a half marathon? Fantastic! You SHOULD be proud of yourself. I don't see how displaying a sticker on your car is doing anything but being boastful and prideful. Eeks am I going too far?

Maybe I allowed myself hate those stickers because not so secretly I was convicted by them.

0.0 I don't run was always the sticker I wanted. Only run when being chased. Ain't nobody got time for that. #wasteoftime

Truth be told---those stickers always make me feel inferior.
Yep, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Well my overweight self was consenting.

Those stickers made me feel like a failure more than annoyed. I allowed myself to feel the pang of guilt that whispered---she's like you--kids, job, husband, house ONLY BETTER because she takes care of her health. Comparison---the theif of joy. She runs. MILES.  Miles =A Bad Mambajamba

Could I be a runner? A bad mambajamba?

 I have legs, a brain, and hot pink running shorts.  Maybe?

I'm taking it  a half mile at a time. It's rarely pretty. But it's getting easier.

My farthest run to date is 3 miles. Dare I say I'm starting to enjoy it? RUNNING! ME!!! 0.0 girl. It's really enjoyable to leave the house and run out the stress of the day. I've struggled with anxiety for a long time. I'm  your classic worry wort. I worry about my worrying.... The evenings I set out for a jog do wonders for clearing my head and focusing my thoughts.

I'm signing up for my first 5K. I'm so nervous. I'm worried I'll fail. or get injured. or collapse.

and I'm even more worried that I'll enjoy it.

5Ks turn into 13.1s and turn into 26.2s......

which means I'll want a bumper sticker.

Monday, October 7, 2013

30,000 square feet of tantrums

 The mother dragging her screaming three year old through the 4 story museum while also wrangling a wiggly 14 month old was me. In case you were wondering who she was---over here. This blonde with the frazzled hair.

Children are such a miracle. The fact that conception can happen and a human is formed and then birthed is so mind-blowing to me. Add on top of the fact that God knit this miracle in ME and decided I would be her mother. She's so beautiful with her whispy blonde hair like me and big baby blue eyes like Scott. A perfect creation for us to nurture.

and then she threw a monster fit through approximately 30,000 square feet of public space over a WATER TABLE. 

Dear Lord above help me get this kid out of public before a mockery is made. Clenched teeth--yet smiling eyes as to not alert bystanders of  a need to dial CPS. Quick steps. Deep breaths. Sweat....ohhhhh the sweat.

Frustration. This is ridiculous. You didn't listen! I told you if you threw yourself on the floor one more time we were leaving. You brought this on yourself. Water is NOT that cool. The boats are actually dumb. This is dumb. Whose kid are you?  GET UP. WALK.  No, you can not have fruit snacks. Wipe your snot. AHHHHHHH!!! CHILDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Parenting is hard. Those who say it's not are liars and are the reason most moms struggle. You bring your perfect stories of your perfect kids and while we are side-eyeing thinking ahhhh bullll craaaappppppp....inside we believe you. And when our kids act up and we have to follow through with consequences---we cry on the way home. We blame ourselves. We've failed our toddlers. We're failing as moms. You have it together. We don't. I don't.

But we're not failing. I'm not failing. I'm doing my best. and on that day my best  was not crying while  dragging 35 pounds of flopping, snotting, dead weight out of the World's Best Children's Museum in hopes that following through will one day result in a young lady that doesn't lose her mind when told no.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

rings update and memory lane

Weight loss was "meh" this week. I lost one pound. Would have loved to lose more because I'm creeeeeeeping up to the 30 pound mark---but a loss is a loss right?! Months ago I was only dreaming of a thinner body and today---I'm achieving it. It's all about perspective. I'm down 28 pounds from June. and...........

My wedding rings??

They fit. They hoo-rah fitty fit fit!!! :)

What a fun morning. I'm wearing my wedding set that I haven't worn in two years. TWO YEARS I've been purchasing fake rings at Target. I'm so excited to share that with you today.

Since I'm BASICALLY a newlywed today--Here are some wedding fun facts from my big day.

  • I kept my lip gloss in the bustier of my dress the entire day. Somthing needed to fill those suckers up.....weird.

  • I melted down in the bathroom at the hair salon that morning. My aunt Patti came in and talked me off of the "my wedding is going to be a disaster" ledge. She assured me that I was beautiful and that the plans would go as such. She told me it was okay to ask the stylist to redo my hair if I wasn't happy. It's one of my favorite memories of her. I loved how she told me that it was OKAY to be full of emotions.
  • my best friend had balloons let go from the catwalk at the church when we had our kiss.. I'll let this photo do the talking on how I felt about it...

  • despite my confusion with the balloons---our wedding day was fantastic. What a fun celebration we had that day. I love my husband and I think it's pretty spectacular when I look back and see what our love has done.
and HECK YES my rings fit again.
I'm never letting myself get too big for my rings. like EVER.