Waiting on Spring

Spring — It is a time of renewal. A rebirth of those things that died during Winter. I long for it!

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I want to see flowers blooming, feel the warmth of the sun on my face and enjoy a gentle, soothing breeze…..

Flowers

I want to hear lawn mowers and weed eaters and smell fresh cut grass wafting in the wind…..

bleeding hearts

I want to hear birds chirping and bees buzzing…….

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I want to smell grills cooking and hear the laughter of families playing outside……

tulips

I long for Spring.

Rebecca

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A Little Help From my Friends

Today we are having our first ever blog hop with our East Tennessee Bloggers group!

I’m going to be aging myself with this “cheer” but when I was in Elementary School just a few years ago back in the day, we had this cheer where all the cheerleaders introduced themselves and then it went down the line until everyone had finished….It went something like this “Jump in! Jump out! Introduce yourself! My name is Rebecca, and I’m a cheerleader, and I’ve been cheering for a very long time.” Okay, I was NEVER a cheerleader (or a Fly Girl–If you know the 90’s you’re still following me. And don’t try to pretend like you didn’t want to be a Fly Girl too!), but I sure did pretend! Now I’m REALLY rolling laughing at this, but please hang with me here!

The point of that little digression is to let you know that today on my blog I am introducing some fellow, local bloggers!  I want you to get the chance to read their own words about themselves and their blog and check out their blog for yourself!

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So, you all know me, but I want to “jump out” and introduce some of my blogging friends!  Some of them I know personally and others I only follow their blogs, but I can tell you that these ladies can write! If you enjoy blogs, {blog}hop around and read theirs to see if there’s someone that you really can relate to.  You will find inspiring, funny, encouraging & informative things written on these blogs, so get to hoppin’!

858540_10201455575243696_106113655_oCandace from MERCY IS NEW

I’m Candace and I blog at His Mercy is New. I’m married to David and we have 3 children that we homeschool; we live just east of Knoxville where my husband and I met at Carson-Newman College about 15 years ago! On my blog you will find homeschooling posts, great reads, posts about faith and especially encouragement for moms struggling with depression. I pray you are blessed and encouraged each time you visit!

MouseChristina from MOUSE IN YOUR HOUSE

Living in 400-square-feet with our new sweet baby boy. I blog about the hilarious side of parenting, and keep things exciting with DIY and home decorating ideas and projects. I throw in the occasional Q&A with crafty people and dig into lifestyle trends. Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while!

1654194_10202526500740894_458696713_nSarah from SARAHSHEARTSHOME

My name is Sarah and I am a homeschooling mom to three young children. I blog at www.sarahsheartshome.com where I write about daily life as a mom, recipes, homeschooling ,and more. I strive to find Joy in the Journey (as my subtitle indicates.)

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Meghan from KMAC CREATIONS

My name is Meghan and I write. Streamlined & slapstick stories of memories made. Not perfectly, but purposefully. Under blankets snuggled, my space for words is covered with stories of family, fashion, homeschool and design. Faith finds its way in too. Always. My blog {http://kmaccreations.com/blog/} documents time honest, hilarious and most certainly hope filled

melissaMelissa from LIFE OFF THE PAVED ROAD

Hello there! I’m Melissa. I am wife to Stacy and homeschooling mom to five children. We live in East Tennessee, just north of Knoxville on land that has been in my family for five generations. Life Off The Paved Road is my online home where I talk about natural living, marriage, parenting, homeschooling, and adoption. I hope you will stop by, hang out for a while and come back to visit from time to time.

heatherHeather from KISER RIDGE FARM

Hi, I am Heather, stay at home mother of soon to be 5 children. We live on a small farm in East Tennessee. We raise chickens, goats, rabbits, hogs, dogs, cats and kiddos. Kiser Ridge Farm is also my herbal shop, where I combine my 15 years of experience in herbal medicine, with my 20 years in Emergency Medicine, researching and mixing natural remedies. My blog is new and so is my business.

natalieNatalie Contributor for KNOXVILLE MOMS BLOG

At Knoxville Moms Blog we are passionate about parenting, community and the city of Knoxville. We strive to provide moms with relevant, timely and fun information about all things mom here in the Knoxville area. We are a collaborative blog written by and for local moms with daily posts on things to do around town, ways to get involved in the community, parenting solutions, personal essays from local moms, local business spotlights, giveaways, and an opportunity to share with one another in the journey of motherhood.

stephanieStephanie from THE MULTI TASKIN’ MOM

Being a wife, mother, full time work-from-homer, and a homeschooling mom, means that I must be able to multi task. Come join in as I share the journey along with several other moms on The Multi Taskin’ Mom:

saraSara from HAPPY BROWN HOUSE  &  CHATTANOOGA FAMILIES

Sara is a Chattanooga area blogger that writes about life in the Happy Brown House: homeschool, crafts, kids, adoption, and faith.

Sara is also the blogger behind the site, Chattanooga Families, a blog dedicated to helping local families find resources and local fun. Sara shares the reall nitty-gritty details about local events and places that are relevant to families in the Chattanooga area through a weekly newsletter. Want to know where the best park is or what restaurant has a free kids meal? Chattanooga Families is your answer.

melissa crabtreeMelissa from FINDING JOY ON THE JOURNEY

Finding Joy on the Journey started as I felt moved to record the blessings that occur in the every day. The beautiful blue sky, the warm sunshine on my face, the sweetness of a good book finished. I used to say, “simple pleasures” in high school and college. Only now they’re deeper than that. It’s deep-seated joy that isn’t based on circumstance. So I write here about joy in the midst of infertility, food allergy frustrations, depression, chronic health problems, and life just not turning out to be what we thought it would. (Is it ever?) The Lord’s name is to be glorified in it all, and that is what I want to do here on my little home on the web. I hope you’ll join me!

Megan

Megan from LIFESONG

Hi! I’m Megan, a wife (to one) and homeschooling Mama of three. I am passionate about Jesus, teaching my kids, and taking pictures. But I also love baking, Amazon, reading and writing. My blog is a little of everything – homeschool days, recipes, stories, traditions, and encouragement. We have made East TN home for the past eight years, and we love it here! Come say hello at Lifesong

Edie

Edie from LIFE IN GRACE

I’m Edie and I’m a lifestyle blogger, wife, momma, writer, home cook, foodie, keeper of chickens, and reader of many books. I’m a lover of home decor, truth, beauty, goodness, cowboy boots, and all things Appalachian.

Kristen

Kristen from WHEN AT HOME

I’m Kristen : Stay at home mom, Bible School grad, writer, yoga pants dweller, and obsessive chai drinker. I blog honestly and sarcastically about motherhood and wife-hood and whatever I feel like hood. I’m a little bit random and lotta bit fun.

Stacey

Stacey from ABIDING WOMAN

Hello, I’m Stacey, and I live with my husband and three daughters in the beautiful hills of East Tennessee. I’m currently expecting my fourth baby! I am very passionate about my walk with Jesus Christ. My heart is to encourage other women to walk closely to Him, and that is my main purpose in my blog, Abiding Woman. As I seek to encourage women to abide in Jesus I also blog about homeschooling, homemaking, fashion and beauty, recipes, marriage, parenting, childbirth, and pieces of my journey.

Thanks for checking out my friends. Don’t forget that you can follow or subscribe to their blogs to receive content when they update. We will be doing a once monthly blog hop on varying subjects, so be sure the check those out!

My $20 dresser update

I have been wanting to update my dresser for a long time! I even took one of the drawer handles off, carted it to Lowe’s and spent time in the aisle trying to match the size to something more modern. My problem was that my old drawer handles were wider where the screws go in than most newer ones. I had an option of choosing all new knobs (about $50 for the ones I wanted–not counting paint for the pieces) or painting the existing handles. Since I wanted to do this on a budget, I opted for painting my current hardware.

So, I drug the dresser outside (with a little help from one of my sons) and got to work! Here is my dresser before

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This is what the handles looked like on the drawers. And don’t mind my headphone wire in the photo. I needed to listen to something while I was working! 🙂

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I also pulled Brian’s nightstand out to paint it. He has had it since we were dating and it needed a lot of help!

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So with 1 can of 2x coverage paint, 5 cans of 2x coverage black paint and 1 can of a matte metallic paint, I turned those dressers into these works of art! I actually also painted the shelf that the tv is sitting on the same color as the handles (it was white before).

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Both pieces are painted inside & out, so the inside of the drawers are black as well. I chose a semi-gloss/satin finish that works well with the handles. I LOVE the transformation!

What can you do with 2 pieces of furniture and $20?!

What’s in a name?

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Coming up with names for things is hard. Everyone has had this problem in one way or another. Even if you haven’t had children (& let me tell you getting 2 people to agree on 2 names is not an easy task) I’m sure you have named a pet or a doll or even wondered why in the world your parent chose the name they did for you! Now, to go on record, I LOVE the names that my parents chose for me…..always have! I have just known people who didn’t.

While compiling a blog that will post on Tuesday introducing some of my blogging friends, I was reading through their bios and really thinking about the names of their blogs. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory because it’s part of a name or goes along with the theme of their blog. Mine, however, might need a little explanation. So I thought I might share the meaning of my blog name. 🙂

Obviously the “Through My Eyes” part is pretty easy….it’s like life through my eyes or how I see the world. Kind of like you are walking along with me and you can see what I see. Now, the numbers are something no one would know unless they really knew me. 4893 – it is the date I got married 4/8/93. So, I chose something special to me to differentiate my blog from others.

And then my “tag line” is Life Changes. Are you ready for change? Life changes every day. We have to be ready to change with it or we are left behind. My life has changed a lot! It changed when I accepted Christ (although I don’t know the date because I was 8 and had a lot of family problems in that age range). It also changed on the day I married my husband and continues to change–when I had my children, each stage of life both they & we have gone through, in heartbreak, in happy times, life keeps changing!

So, that’s what’s in my blog name. How did you come up with yours?

A few of my FAVORITE Apps

I am such a techie girl! You can take the girl away from the iPhone, but you can’t take the iPhone away from the girl–Yes, this is ME! I spend a little great deal of time on my iPhone. BUT–in my defense I do have a lot of great apps that help me stay organized and be productive.

Here are some of my favorites in no particular order:

keyringKeyring

This FREE app allows you to scan and use all those little loyalty cards that you get from everywhere. Just pull up the app and flash that card! evernoteEvernote

This FREE (with some paid upgrade extensions if you choose to add them) app has ALL kinds of great little goodies!  My FAVORITE thing about this app is that any note you type into it can be “tagged”–just like tags on your blog and all those tags are searchable! BRILLIANT! So, it takes a little time to become familiar with this, but do a little google searching on what people are using Evernote for and see what applies to you. I use it for recipes, blog ideas, bills, notes and many other things!

icalendariCalendar

This $2.99 app is worth every penny! I am a color-coded kinda girl when it comes to my calendar. With a husband, myself and 3 kids I learned in order to keep up I needed to color code my paper calendar. This calendar allows me the same flexibility, yet it is always with me! It imports from Google, Exchange, Outlook & Yahoo and you can also type directly into it. It is also searchable. Like I said–worth every penny!

intuitIntuit Money Due

I use this handy-dandy FREE app to keep up with people who owe me money for my photography business. I only use it for weddings because those people can pay deposits and then make payments or pay in full. Instead of me having to keep track of that some other way, it simply keeps track for me. I can also send a receipt when a payment is made or send an invoice reminding them of the amount due. You can coordinate this with your calendar & contact information and have a great all around system for your small business and run it on the go.

squareSquare

This FREE app is a very convenient way to receive payments for anything! Things you make, things you sell, your small business, etc. It charges their credit card immediately and generally the next business day your money is in the account you linked up with (minus the small % fee for their service).

paypalPaypal

This FREE app is the same as Square in that it takes money, but people can use their bank account or credit card info and never have to share it with you. Also, it takes approximately 3 business days to get your money this way. It is a great alternative if you buy and sell items, goods or services.

 

These are just a few of my favorite and productive apps that help by keeping me organized. Do you have some favorite apps? I would love to hear from you!

Laundry closet quick & free update

We have a laundry closet, so there’s not much to really do to it. Pinterest is my favorite place to go for frugal decorating ideas!

I have HUGE plans for my laundry closet, but I have a TINY budget for it right now. So, since we’ve lived here over 1 1/2 years you can understand why I feel like I need to get on the ball with some of my projects! I don’t have a lot of time to do them, so when I have a few minutes I try to get a little done here and there.

Here is my closet before

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Here is my closet after

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I hung up my boys’ baby frames and the outfits they wore home from the hospital. I also put my washtub & washboard up. I added a laundry printable, a piece of fabric on the dryer, a glass heart bowl to hold change or other things from pockets, a light for when I don’t want to turn on the bright light, a picture frame & a command hook for a hand towel to have handy to dry my hands. 🙂

So, there you have it. My FREE upgrade for the time being. The only thing I did was spray paint the frame the printable went in and I already had the paint.

Do you have any free or frugal decorating suggestions? I would love to hear them!

What’s Love Got to do With It?

Did you expect me to write something mushy for Valentine’s Day? Oops! Ha Ha! Well, it’s not exactly mushy, but it is about love & marriage. 🙂

If you are a 70’s or 80’s baby you should have the theme song from Married with Children in your head. Now, I will admit that this show was crude humor, so don’t think I’m encouraging you to stay up late at night and watch marathon re-runs. Ha ha! But the gist of what they were showing is that once you’ve been married for a while and your (rebellious) children are growing up that life turns boring and mundane. Basically, life goes from love to despair and that when you’re older that you just co-exist in the same room with your same routine. Well, that’s not how marriage was designed to be and definitely not how it has to be.

Since I’ve been married almost 21 years and I got married when I was 18 (Yes folks! That means I’m almost 40! Yikes!) I believe I have some experience to speak from on both the “marrying early” and the “been married for a while” sides. So, I’m going to give you my two cents on several aspects of marriage. I will be keeping this G/PG rated. 🙂

Today, people seem to be getting married younger and younger. It seems the 26 year olds planning their wedding after they have graduated College and secured a job and been on their own for a few years are no more. Now, since I was married at 18, I can tell you that I understand! Maybe you (& hopefully your mate) have matured early and you both have good jobs and are ready to be married. That can be a good thing! But what I’m finding is more the opposite. I’m not saying I should be the judge of when ANYONE gets married, but I do have some suggested guidelines (based on my experience) on what you should be sure of before you take the plunge.

loveWhat’s love got to do with it? Well, it has a lot to do with it, but it isn’t EVERYTHING! Read on my friend!

1. You need to love this person. Not lust, not need, not dependence, not thinking they are your soul mate…..but love. Love is not a “feeling” that comes and goes….it lasts forever. And the type of love you have for them should be unconditional–you love them even when they don’t do the right thing, when they aren’t all fixed up, when they have health issues or are struggling with something. You should want the best for them because they are the best for you.

2. They should be what you want in a mate RIGHT NOW. You should not think or plan to CHANGE them into what you want to be. Or believe that “in a few years” this or that will change. People do change as they mature, but in general their personality is not going to change. If they are argumentative, explosive, whiny, clingy, etc….that’s their personality. If you have dated them long enough and they haven’t changed yet, don’t expect it to happen later.

3. Don’t settle! And don’t get married just because you want to or because everyone else is. I KNOW. I know. EVERYONE your age is getting married and having babies! (Remember your Mother or Grandmother’s question “Just because all your friends jumped off a bridge doesn’t mean you should!”) You see all your friends posting on Pinterest their wedding plans–dress, venue, decorations, honeymoon and it doesn’t stop there. They are already pinning stuff about their future children and they haven’t even gotten married yet. It just seems like the logical progression of how life goes. But that doesn’t mean you should settle for someone you love but doesn’t have the same general life plan as you. Someone can say (& act) like they love you, but really they don’t want the same things out of life as you. Just be SURE and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. It will be much harder years down the road.

4. Do not be unequally yoked…..If you are a Christian and your boyfriend/girlfriend is not, you should wait. REALLY!!! Otherwise, you will be dragging your spouse (or family) to church and arguing about it or they will be dragging you down and you won’t be involved in church. Or even worse, you could be going to church while they stay home. You personally cannot save someone. Only God can change their hearts, so make sure that is the case before you are married.

Do you know what the 4 most causes for divorce in today’s society are?
Money, Sex, Children & In-Laws

You may look at this list and say “We don’t have a problem in any of those areas. We agree on everything and have made a budget; we have discussed intimacy; we know how many children we want and have agreed on things like discipline, school and religious upbringing; we love our in-laws …… Well, I know this sounds good, but listen closely THINGS.CHANGE.

You have a budget, but one of you loses your job or gets sick or has a hidden spending problem, your parents become ill or both your cars break down at the same time.

You have discussed intimacy, but one of you develops a health problem that is ongoing, becomes addicted to pornography, finds yourself in a situation with the opposite sex when you are having an emotional low, or you use sex as a weapon to get your way.

You have agreed on children, but one of you decides you want them closer together, sooner, more, less or you cannot have children of your own. Then what? What happens when you have a special needs child or they become rebellious as teenagers? What happens when you have agreed on discipline, but one of you can’t carry it out or worse yet goes behind the other one’s back to not follow through.

What about when the in-laws have a falling out, your spouse tells them WAY more about your flaws than they should and they start disliking you, they treat you differently or your children differently?

Now, I know you are saying “That will never happen to me.” But trust me my friend, it can. Maybe just 1 will be an issue, maybe all 4 or maybe at different times you will deal with different ones. But take my advice It.Will.Happen.

So, why am I telling you this? It isn’t to discourage you from falling in love and marrying that person. Quite the opposite really. I just want you to be prepared for reality–not Nicholas Sparks’ books reality or Hollywood reality, but “normal” people’s reality.

Your spouse is the person who you should feel safe with, who should keep you in second place in their life ONLY behind God, who is united and committed to you and you alone and who never gives up on your marriage.

Let me share a piece of advice I was given, albeit 20 years too late. LOL! “Don’t do anything for your spouse now that you don’t want to be doing 20 years later.”

What does this mean? Well, I’m a “server”. I love to serve my husband. So I have always (literally almost always–like when I wasn’t laid up with surgeries or bad illness) gotten up to pack my husband’s lunch for work, laid out ironed his clothes and seen him out the door. Now, I love this time with him, which is why I started doing it when our boys were young. But, do you know what happens when you’re tired or you have a day off and could sleep in or they are in a bad mood and decide they don’t want to wear the shirt you just ironed or eat what you packed them for lunch? You start feeling unappreciated and taken advantage of. So, make sure you can work through those feelings too. If you want to truly serve someone because you love them, you MUST do it without strings attached. True service is done regardless of whether you get anything in return.

So, do you think you have what it takes to get married? Do you have more than just love & butterflies? Do you have that love that can carry you through the good times and the bad? Good! I applaud you! Just remember that any marriage that is going to succeed needs to have God at the head. That won’t mean you won’t have any problems or bumps along the way, but it is the best way to start your life together–as ONE.

Oh, there will definitely be a follow up post to this. I have WAY more to say on the subject. 🙂

 

Rebecca