Tuesday, June 8, 2010

1950's Wife Blog

As many of you know, I have started a new journey for the summer. For fifty days, I will do my best to live as a 1950's housewife. This includes making ALL my husband's meals, making homemade jam, wearing aprons and pearls, and writing handwritten letters.

The blog is located at www.everydayexperts.com.

I hope to see you there! I will be waiting with my homemade cake :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Beauty of Teaching

I could list one hundred reasons why I love teaching, but today I am reminded of at least twelve. Today is the last day of school, and as I walked through the halls of Strong Rock, I saw teachers smiling, students laughing, and parents taking pictures. It was a great celebration! Around 11:30, one of my favorite students ran into the room and threw his arms around me. "You are my favorite teacher," he said. I can live for a whole year on that compliment.

After six years as an educator, these are my top twelve reasons to teach:

1. Where else do you hear the words, "I love you" so often?

2. If you have a bad day, someone might draw you a picture of your dog, and even though the dog looks like an angry dragon, it's a masterpiece.

3. Six year olds explain new features of my laptop.

4. Starbucks Giftcards, oh yeah!

5. If I get a new haircut, everyone notices. They might say, "You look beautiful," or "You look weird today, Mrs. Osburne," but at least they notice.

6. Fall Break

7. Winter Break

8. Spring Break

9. Summer, of course!

10. It is surreal to hear a second grader repeat your words.

11. I love working with adults who spend extra time, money, prayers, and effort to see a child succeed.

12. It's a privilege to be a small part of the plan God has for each child in your classroom.

If you have ever taught, what did you love about it? What do you remember about your teachers?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hope Remembered

I am happy to report that I am adding a word back into my vocabulary. It snuck out for a while, but it somehow found it's way back home in my heart.


When it comes to having a baby, I have tried not to be too hopeful. The greater the hope, the greater potential I have for let down. The last time I allowed hope to run wild in my heart was in November, when Clay and I had an IUI. I just knew I was pregnant. I swore I felt morning sickness and craved pickles, but apparently, I just like pickles and happen to be a grump before 9:00 AM because the test came back negative.

Since then, I have been somewhat guarded.

So last week, I had surgery to check for endometriosis. And guess what? I had it! Praise the Lord! I have never been more excited to hear that something was wrong with me. It was almost as exciting as hearing that my teeth were messed up enough for the orthodontist to recommend braces.

I told my dear friend Carolyn last night that I feel hopeful again. But after I hung up the phone, I wanted to retract my statement. Should I feel hopeful ONLY because the doctor found endometriosis? If that is the case, where am I placing all of my trust? In the hands of doctors? Of mere human beings? They are not the source of my optimism.

Psalm 20:7 reads, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." If I get pregant soon, it is because God has ordained this time for it - not because I finally realized that the reason I have horrible cramps is because I have had endometriosis. And if we don't get pregnant immediately, I will not lose hope. Because God hasn't snuck out the back door of my heart. He is always there.

So I always have Hope.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Surgery on Mother's Day Weekend

Have you ever HOPED you were sick? PRAYED for an illness?

I have been doing that lately. I am hoping that I have endometriosis. It just makes sense (that is what I've been telling God - I'm sure He's laughing). If everything else - like my eggs, hormones, and tubes are okay, then the only possible answer my infertility must be that I have endometriosis.

Okay, that's not exactly true. Here are other possible explanations:

- God has been teaching me patience, developing my character, and drawing me closer to Him.

... OR, maybe I picked up some weird germ when we lived in Spain... this is also the reason why I still can't seem to do the Cupid Shuffle.

- More likely, God has a plan for my life, and He is still weaving all the threads together to make a tapestry that only He can see.

.... OR, maybe I shouldn't have fed my broccoli to the dog as a kid. I missed out on some very important antioxidants when I skipped the veggies and headed straight for dessert.

- I think it's probably that God is working all things for my good, even when I don't understand it.

....Or, maybe the radiation from all my electronics has finally reached a tipping point.

- I am pretty sure that God is still in control, that He is blessing me beyond comprehension, that He has chosen the perfect family for me, including my beautiful Mother, precious Father, talented brother, wise husband, sweet dog, and all the friends who bless my life on a daily basis.

... Or maybe I do have endometriosis, and by having it cleared out, all my problems will be solved.

That's probably it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mother's Day Gifts That Save the World

In preparation for Sunday School, Clay and I have been re-reading The On-Purpose Person. It always encourages me to utilize every minute, every decision, and every opportunity to do something purposeful.

Well, Mother's Day is coming up and I hate to waste money on some random trinket my Mom won't even use. So, I thought, "How can I be purposeful with this money?" And of course, God answered my question immediately.

I was reading Erica's blog where she mentioned that she was buying her Mom a necklace that was made from recycled magazines that benefited orphans in Uganda. How much more purposeful can you get? It is perfect for four reasons:

- It helps others.
- It helps the environment.
- Mom will love it.
- It's a great price.

Check out the Ugandan Magazine Beads.

Here are four other Mother's Day Gifts that meet those four purposes:

1. TOMS Shoes - For every pair of TOMS Shoes purchased, the company gives one pair to someone in an underdeveloped country. By purchasing these durable, super-cute kicks for your Mom, you will give another pair to someone in need.
2. Fair Trade Coffee and Chocolate - Purchasing anything under the Fair Trade Label ensures that you are supporting small farms and encouraging good practices among trading partners.
3. Sponsor a Woman on Kiva - Microlending is hot! You can donate as much or as little as you'd like to help someone in an underdeveloped country purchase materials to start a business. Your Mom can even choose who she wants to sponsor. And the great part... It's a loan, so you will be paid back!
4. Clocks Made from Recycled Materials - These little clocks are hysterical. They will be a conversational piece for your Mom, and environmentally friendly for everyone else.

Do you recommend any other purposeful gifts?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Free Design Giveaway

If you had to rank the rooms in your house in order from BEST to WORST, what would that list look like? Is it just me or does everyone have rooms they love, rooms they are proud of, rooms that scream, "Hey, look at me! I'am a designer!" Then, you also have rooms that remind you that your house is a work in progress.

Here is my Room Ranking:

1. Living Room - Thanks to Kellye who made the window treatments.
2. Dining Room - Thanks to my grandmother who had no space in her new house for the dining room table.
3. Master Bedroom - I love to sleep!
4. Office - It's not perfect, but any room full of books will make me smile.
5. Pool Table Room - The pool table was given to us when my parents downsized. Did we buy ANYTHING in our house?
6. Man Cave - Cool TV.
7. Guest Bedroom #1 - A hodgepodge of unrelated, unmatching randomness
8. Guest Bedroom #2 - It's almost completely empty (I obviously don't take good care of my guests).
9. All the bathrooms - The fixtures are from the '90's, but look like they are from the '80's.
10. Kitchen - It needs so much work... I don't know where to begin.

Luckily, my friend Erica, a great designer and humanitarian, is giving away a free room design on her blog. If you have a room that is in need of love, or a kitchen with brass fixtures (I have this, too), or a guest bedroom full of boxes (I used to have this), go ahead and win her giveaway!

If not, then help me win. Post a comment on her blog and let them know that I sent you.

Here is the link: http://ericaharless.blogspot.com/2010/04/giveaway-free-e-design.html
What is your favorite room in your house? Least favorite room?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Cup

Just now, I was quickly checking my e-mail for the tenth time today, expecting to see Pottery Barn Spam, Facebook Mafia War Requests, and maybe an e-mail from Clay about dinner.

Instead, I found two e-mails from dear friends telling me that they are praying for Clay and me... for our family, for our adoption, and even for our marriage as we wait. I felt tears well up in my eyes, not out of sadness, but out of the most unbelievable peace my heart could ever know.

Last night, I had a similar experience. I got home at 10:20 PM, and before I could raid the fridge for leftover lasagna, I saw a card on the counter. It was from Clay's sister. She wrote, "I want you to know that we are praying for you guys everyday, that we stand boldy before God's throne on behalf of your future family."
I just stood in the kitchen and wondered how my life could possibly be so blessed.

Baby or no baby, I have never felt more abundance.

As if that wasn't enough, Clay and I were having a discussion about THE BABY THING and about all the people who have encouraged us, when out of nowhere, he said, "I just want to make sure you know that you are enough. If we never have a baby, you are all the family I need."

Yes, I cried.

Like the Psalmist wrote, "My cup runneth over." That is also a quote from Hope Floats, and sadly, I remembered it as a quote from the movie and had to look up the Bible verse. Oh well. It's Psalm 23:5, if you were wondering.