Thursday, September 30

Granny Jones

My sister LeighAnn and my Granny Jones
During a recent visit home, it hit me how old and feeble my grandparents had become. It broke my heart b/c I now live 5 hours away from them whereas growing up they were only 5-10 minutes away. I was very close to my mother's parents as a child and became close to my dad's mom after I began to drive. I miss them. When I go home now, I feel like I never have enough time to spend quality time with them.

I was doing my devotions this morning and praying for them, asking God to keep them healthy and alive for many years to come- maybe long enough for me to move home to be close to them again.

My sister called me. My dad's mom had fallen this morning and is on her way to the ER. My grandmother is a TOUGH COOKIE! She's 83 years old and still drives all over, visiting her sisters. She works in her yard and garden. It was hard for me to 'really see her' the last time I went home. Now, my heart is heavy, knowing she's in pain. I wish I could drive up there to be with her at the hospital.

One of the hard realities that God asked me to face when He moved me 5 hours from my family was releasing them to Him. This is one of those times. She's in God's hands. I can't be by her side and will her to be better. I'll have to pray from here.

Saturday, September 25

Contentment vs Resignation

I wanted to share this while my emotions were still fresh. I had finally reserved a vacation for Jeremy and I towards the end of October. I was already feeling guilty for putting it on the credit card, b/c that goes against all my financial ways of thinking. However, I felt it was something we needed and would be able to pay it off quickly.

I was so excited, telling everyone about the awesome place we were going. Then, I get the phone call from the mechanic this morning. Our main car, the Civic, is in need of some necessary expensive repairs. I can not in good conscience, put both the car repairs and my vacation on the credit card. I know I wouldn't be able to pay both of them off quickly. One was bad enough in my opinion.

So, after a few moments of self pity, (and a phone call to my dad to make sure the repairs really were necessary), I told the mechanic to go ahead. Now, I must cancel this vacation that I was so looking forward to. Why is a good question to ask, but I'll never get the answer. Also, its a pointless question to ask b/c God's will is what it is. You never question it.

This past Thursday, our Bible Study was on contentment. One of the phrases that gave me pause was, "Too often in our attempt to balance our cravings with a sincere desire for godliness, contentment is our canned answer. Written between the lines we communicate, 'Stop complaining, stifle you craving, just resign yourself to dissatisfaction.' Not true! When God says, 'Be content,' He means so much more. He whispers to those with willing hearts, 'I am enough. Find your satisfaction in me.'" So according to this, I am not supposed to just resign myself to cancelling the vacation, I am to turn to God and let Him help me really be ok with it. This will be a challenge.

Tuesday, September 21

Childhood Memories

My husband and I have been cleaning a condo out on the beach for a little extra money. Last night I walked out onto the balcony and was transported down memory lane. For as long as I can remember, my parents, sisters and I would all go down to the beach for a summer vacation. My mom was all about building up the anticipation for our trip. We would go get special clothes put on layaway that we couldn't wear until vacation. Sometimes she would buy us a bucket full of new coloring books and crayons or neat to do books that we were not allowed to DARE touch until daylight (usually around Eufala AL)! I remember how impossible it was to go to sleep the night before- knowing that in just a few short hours we would be beach bound!! My mom would always plan it so most of the driving was done in the dark hoping we would sleep most of the way. I remember as I got older how much harder that was and how eventually I was even able to help drive. It was always a fight for me to drive over the Hathaway bridge- which meant we had finally arrived! I also remember the one year we drove a car down rather than a van. Needless to say, it wasn't a pleasant drive.
All of the memories I have of us on the beach all have the same theme- laughter! Vacation was one of the only times of the year that we had my dad's undivided attention for hours on end! He patiently buried us in the sand, built sand castles, pretended gators were in the ocean, and threw us across the pool. My mom loved having that time to sit on the balcony early in the mornings with a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise over the horizon. She loved being able to sit under an umbrella and read a book for hours, ok more like minutes, on end without being interrupted. My sisters and I could play hours and hours with few fights (as I remember anyway). They were- after all- my best friends. It wasn't until years later after we had all changed that we actually brought friends. I now understand why this was important for my mom. I was lucky to have siblings who I actually liked being with and even preferred to be with.
Going out to dinner every night was a big deal on our vacations. Not only did my mom get a break from cooking three meals a day, but she also didn't have to clean up. We all had our favorite restaurants that we enjoyed going back to each year. We also loved finding new ones to try out. For years we would eat at a place called Penny's. All I remember about it was that it was a 'hole in the wall' where locals frequented and it took FOREVER to get there. My dad was very proud of that find.
All of my memories are painted with the innocence of a child. I know they weren't perfect. I especially remember my mother and I fighting with my dad always stepping in to keep the peace. I remember some years my parents would be stressed about finances, but we still always went. I remember the year my dad stopped coming with us.
Last night as I was standing on that balcony, I felt many emotions, but the most prominent was sadness. Sadness that that family is no longer. Sadness that we will never be able to experience an idealistic childhood vacation again.
I was also angry. Angry that my dad stole those future memories from me. Angry that reality would no longer allow me to ever enjoy times that like again. Life has changed each of us. Yes we still love each other and are still a close family, but those memories were when we were at our best.
My only hope and prayer is that I can give my child a wealth of memories to cherish, each just as special than the last. I also pray that my child will never have to feel what I felt on that balcony.

Monday, September 20

Article on Fertility

8 Natural Ways to Enhance Your Fertility (

When we’re young, most of us focus so much on not getting pregnant, we don’t think to wonder if we’ll be able to when we want to. But infertility is more common than you think, striking one in eight U.S. couples. Whether you’re trying to become pregnant now or hope to conceive down the road, there are some simple, science-backed steps you can take today to help enhance your fertility naturally. These tips work for every woman—whether you’re contemplating kids or your family is complete, like mine—because the health benefits extend way beyond boosting your baby-making abilities. Oh, and did I mention they might even enhance your love life? Now, that’s something to get excited about!

Practice, practice, practice!

Weekly sexual intimacy appears to regulate your monthly cycle, as well as delay the decline of estrogen as we get older, both of which can enhance fertility, according to research by Winnifred Cutler, Ph.D., founder of the Athena Institute in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. More estrogen is also linked to increased bone density, a healthier cardiovascular system, lower “bad” cholesterol, higher “good” cholesterol and a milder menopause. After all that, what are you waiting for—consider this permission to get busy!

Weigh in

Having a body-mass index greater than 25 can increase the likelihood of a whole host of health troubles, including polycystic ovary syndrome, which disrupts your menstrual cycle—and may derail your plans for getting pregnant without complications. Aim for a BMI between 18.5 and 25; calculate yours at

Butt out

You know smoking stinks for your lung and heart health—and now studies show that it can also raise your risk for early menopause. Toxins in the cancer sticks can disrupt ovulation, but the good news is that quitting today can help preserve your fertility. For new ways to kick the habit, talk to your M.D. or visit

Hit the hay

Some infertile women have been shown to have low levels of leptin, a hormone that affects hunger and weight regulation. Leptin levels drop if you fall short on zzz’s, sotry to log 7 to 8 hours tonight and every night.

Clean house

Chemicals in home products can impair fertility. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame retardants in some tech toys, plastics and fabrics, and a study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives reports that women with high PBDE blood levels took twice as long to conceive as those with lower levels. The chemicals may alter thyroid function and disrupt sex-hormone levels. PBDEs leach out and linger in dust we breathe and touch, so use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and wash your hands often to rinse away any residual toxins.

Ace your exams

Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes, which can lead to infertility. Practice safe sex, of course, and see your ob/gyn annually to monitor your reproductive health.

Don’t rule out ice cream

All you ice cream lovers, take heart: Full-fat dairy foods (like cheese, ice cream and whole milk) may help you get pregnant, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston finds. A fat-soluble compound in dairy may up your odds of conceiving. Pass the spoon!

B smart

Once recommended only for pregnant women, folic acid (400 micgrograms a day) is now considered good medicine for all women of childbearing age, says Mark Gapinski, M.D., an ob/gyn at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois. We use the B vitamin to make and maintain new cells in skin, hair, nails and throughout the body. Found naturally in lentils (360 mcg per cup) and leafy greens like spinach (260 mcg per cup), folic acid prevents miscarriage and birth defects.

For the latest health and fitness news, check out our Healthy Self blog at

Thursday, September 16

Possible Vacation Destination

Lately I've been really needing a vacation- time away from life with Jeremy's undivided attention. Even though we often go home to Atlanta or Chattanooga, its not the same. Labor Day Jeremy and I went to Eden Gardens. The small amount of time we had made me want a vacation more. I was talking with my friend at work today and she suggested Amelia Island. It has all the things Jeremy and I love (well mainly me, but he is happy if I'm happy)- historic district, bed and breakfasts, ghost tours, 5 star restaurants, history museum, and even something I've been wanting to try- horseback riding on the beach!! I think I will prayerfully start planning a long weekend getaway for mid October.

Monday, September 13

Together We Save: 2 Free Issues Family Circle Magazine

Together We Save: 2 Free Issues Family Circle Magazine: "Get 2 Free Issues on Family Circle Magazine from Value Mags. No bills, no strings, just 2 free issues. Thanks Mojo Savings"

Friday, September 10

new way to get antioxidants!!


Black Rice Is Cheap Way to Get Antioxidants
Study Shows Black Rice Is Good Source of Healthy Antioxidants and Vitamin E

By Bill Hendrick
WebMD Medical News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Aug. 26, 2010 -- Inexpensive black rice contains health-promoting anthocyanin antioxidants, similar to those found in blackberries and blueberries, new research from Louisiana State University indicates.

"Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants," Zhimin Xu, PhD, of Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, says in a news release. "If berries are used to boost health, why not black rice and black rice bran?"

Xu and colleagues analyzed samples of black rice bran from rice grown in the Southern U.S.

He says black rice bran would be a unique and inexpensive way to increase people's intake of antioxidants, which promote health.

Black rice is rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, substances that show promise for fighting cancer, heart disease, and other health problems, Xu says.

He adds that food manufacturers could use black rice bran or bran extracts to boost the health value of breakfast cereals, beverages, cakes, cookies, and other foods.

Black Rice vs. Brown Rice

The most widely produced rice worldwide is brown. Millers of rice remove the chaff, or outer husks, from each grain to make it brown.

White rice is made when rice is milled more than is done for brown rice; the bran is also removed, Xu says.

The bran of brown rice contains high levels of one of the vitamin E compounds known as "gamma-tocotrienol" as well as "gamma-oryzanol" antioxidants.

Many studies have shown that these antioxidants can reduce blood levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol and may fight heart disease.

So black rice bran may be even healthier than brown rice, Xu says.

He and his colleagues also showed that pigments in black rice bran extracts can produce a variety of colors, from pink to black, and may be a healthier alternative to artificial food colorants that manufacturers now add to some foods and beverages.

He writes that several studies have linked some artificial colorants to cancer, behavioral problems in children, and other adverse health effects.

Currently, black rice is used mainly in Asia for food decoration, noodles, sushi, and pudding, and Xu says that he would like to see it eaten by more Americans.

Black rice bran could be used to boost the health value of foods, such as snacks, cakes, and breakfast cereals, Xu and his colleagues suggest.

This study was presented at a medical conference in Boston. The findings should be considered preliminary because they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

SOURCES:News release, American Chemical Society.2010 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Boston, Aug. 22-26, 2010.

© 2010 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserve

Thursday, September 9

Hearing from God

I had an Epiphany the other night about something that God was trying to tell me and I ignored it. (don't we all do that once in a while?) Well, today, He made his message really clear. Even though I know I disobeyed the first time, I'm so thankful that God is moving in my life and convicting me of things.

This morning my bible study on contentment talked about how we (Christians) can not be content if we are unholy. So if we have thoughts actions words etc that are not glorifying our Father, there is unrest in our hearts. Then, reading my bible study on changing my attitude this afternoon I came across Luke 12:15, "And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness,for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
Life is not about stuff. The sooner we get that in our heads, the more satisfied our hearts will be." (Lord Change my Attitude)

Here's another reason why we (Christians) lack contentment- we place too much emphasis on THINGS.

This is all ideas we've all heard before, but I am so excited about getting convicted about my life and growing closer to God.

Luke 12:31 and 32 "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Thursday, September 2


My brother in law said something the other day that resonated with me. We were talking about how awesome it was that his parents had FINALLY after two years sold their house. He explained how he and my sister had prayed out loud, together about it. This was a subject that was very important to them, and they wanted God to sit up and listen to their prayers.

A few days before that, my mother and I were talking about my husband and I adopting or having a baby. My mother, a children's librarian, has wonderful mothers who come through there daily. Many of them she knows well enough to share prayer concerns with and several of them have adopted themselves. She shared with one of these women about our desire. This lady explained to mother that after years of disappointment and discouragement, she started CLAIMING the PROMISES of God. I didn't really understand this completely, but I got the concept.

I began to contemplate these things over in my head. I know my God can do anything and can answer YES to every prayer I have, but that doesn't mean I need or want Him to. There is also a song that someone dear to me used to sing about God being an ON TIME GOD.

Today I was talking to my friend/coworker (who is another blessing) about searching for a verse to CLAIM and she found several blogs that had the perfect ones to choose from.

1 Samuel 1:27

For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.

Psalm 68: 4-6 Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Extol Him who rides on the clouds,
By His name YAH,
And rejoice before Him.
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families;

Wednesday, September 1

Dine United Restaurants

Bay County, Fla:

The United Way of Northwest Florida is hosting “Dine United” on September 2nd. Here is a full list of restaurants participating in the campaign.


The Bagel Maker

Barefoot Beach Club

Beef O” Brady’s

Boon Dock’s Restaurant

Buffalo Wild Wings

Captain Anderson’s

Capt. Jack’s Seafood Buffet

Cici Pizza

Calypso’s Beach Cafe

The Cheese Barn


The Cantina Bar & Grill

Dockside CafĂ© – Gulf County


The Fish House

Killer Seafood

Los Antojitos

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville

J Michael’s Restaurant

My Best Friend’s Kitchen


Outback Steakhouse

Pineapple Willy’s Restaurant


Provisions – Gulf County


Red Elephant Pizza & Grill

Sunset Coastal Grill – Gulf County


Great Southern School of Fish – Gulf County

Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q

Subway - 32 locations, 6 counties

Sonic Drive-In

Smitty’s Barbeque & Salad Bar

TGI Friday’s

The Place

Tom’s Hot Dogs