Tuesday, October 30, 2012


When making goals, I normally want a complete overhaul but that's not very realistic or sustainable for me.  I operate in extremes.  I have learned though that I need to take change in strides.  Here are a few general goals that I have listed out for myself:

  • Drink more water (at least 8 glasses a day).
  • Read the Word each morning. 
  • Exercise 20 minutes at least 5 times a week (I am shooting for everyday, but I know that I will inevitably miss some days).  Remember, set realistic goals that are attainable and sustainable.  
  • Spend quality time with my kiddos everyday.  Do something fun with them for at least 15 min.
  • Plan out our meals each week including breakfast and lunch.
  • Get Harper and myself outside at least every other day.
  • Bedtime routine includes clean up time.  Pick up toys, put away clothes, etc.
  • No computer time while kids are awake.  This is a biggie!
  • Study and use the language everyday.
  • To update this blog at least once a week, hopefully more!  (Let me know if you are reading/lurking on here.  It will give me more motivation. :-)
These are the beginning of my goals.  I have more involved goals but this is a good place for me to start, especially with a two month old to care after and feed every 3 hours. :-)  I already tried the more extreme version; day one was an ultimate failure. Ha.  My attitude was horrendous if the schedule was not followed or if my children did not feel like cooperating with what HH had planned next.  Imagine that!  I am learning folks!  

What are some of your goals?  Do you normally need a gradual process or do you just go for a complete overhaul?

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I hate the word discipline.  It just makes me want to cringe, crawl in bed, hide underneath the covers, run away, etc.  Why is discipline so hard for so many of us?  Because it's painful.  Not fun.  Hard.

Most of you have probably noticed that I signed off Facebook for a time.  I didn't actually close my account, but I did have my husband change the password so I can't log on.  My reasons:  I spend too much idle time on Facebook, as well as the computer/internet in general, it's distracting, I compare my life and lot too often with others on Facebook, it reminds me of things in America when I need to be focusing my time and energy where Father has me.  This was only the first of many things that Father has pointed out to me in regards to how I spend my time.  So much of me wants to blame my lack of discipline on our circumstances.  In fact, this is what I have done up until this point.  I have begun to notice that it is not our circumstances (they are ever changing), the problem is in fact ME.

That's not pretty folks.  I hate admitting that the problem is ME.  I hate admitting my sin, period.  I want to seem like I have it all together.  I can dress in my fashionable clothes, put on makeup, fix my hair, and put a smile on my face that will make you think I have it all together.  The fact is, I DON'T.  Why do so many of us hide behind all of these things and pretend?  That's right ladies, I am calling you on the carpet.  I know I'm not the only one out there.  We love to post all the good stuff in our lives on Facebook and seem like we have it all together.  Then other women read what we've posted and think, "Wow, their life is so attractive."  Let's all be honest.  Our lives are messy.

I am trying to learn more about how to have more discipline in my life while staying honest about my own heart.  I have been reading Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess.  It is Honest. Real. Encouraging.

In the next 30 days I am going to be taking steps to a more disciplined life, but not in the effort to have it all together.  I will never have it all together.  I believe God has brought me to this place in my life to humble me.  It is in our weakness that Christ's strength really shines through.  If we have it all together then we aren't weak.  I will be posting from time to time about my new journey to discipline, my heart, and everything I learn along the way.   In the next post I will share about my goals.

What are some areas where you lack discipline?  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sights of the Big City

Vacation is such a lovely thing.  It is even more lovely when you've been living overseas for 10 months and family come visit.  We loved seeing the familiar faces of family.  Matt's mom, dad and brother were able to come and spend 10 days with us.  What a blessing! They were able to see/meet their new grandson and nephew, as well as, have lots of playtime with Harper.  We loved having the extra hands, and Harper loved all the playtime. While most of our time was spent talking, catching up and playing, we were able to show them some of the sights of Istanbul.

Istanbul is one of the top ten international destinations.  This city is absolutely HUGE. We have been here three times now extending over eight weeks total and have yet to see everything.  Dare I say, maybe not even half of what there is to see.  We were able to show them most of the touristy attractions, as well as, take them to some of our favorite restaurants (non-Western!).  It was fun to show them around and try to communicate what little we know in Turkish to survive.  It was a little bit of a challenge having a six week old, but we all willingly opted for rest times when we went out.  We gave us all rest days in between big touristy days.  We are so glad that they were able to come.  It was fun and we hope to meet up again for the next vacation summer 2014.  

Istanbul Fast Facts:
  • Istanbul is the only city in the world that spans across two continents, Europe and Asia.  Most people think of it as Asia, but actually the most historic part is on the European side.
  • Although it was the capital of some of the most important empires in the world: Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman; Istanbul is not Turkey's capital.  Ankara is the country's capital.
  • The population of Istanbul is around 12 million.
  • The Blue Mosque is the only mosque in the city with 6 minarets and stands directly across from Hagia Sophia.

Here are a few pictures from our trip and the sights of Istanbul.

Rumeli Kale Cafe: The BEST breakfast (Kavalta) in all of Istanbul. 

Did someone say bread, kaymak (cheese) with honey, more bread, and more cheese (fried cheese even)?! YUM!!!

 My international daughter drinking her tea (chai).

In front of Rumeli Fortress.  This is a cool place to explore, but be careful because there are no handrails.  

 Harper and her Peepaw on the ferry boat.

 The Kiddos and HH

A Catholic Church on famous Istiklal Avenue.

Eating at a traditional Turkish restaurant for lunch on Istiklal Avenue.

Bryan enjoying his tea.  You always have tea after every meal.

A lady rolling out Gozleme, a traditional Turkish cuisine.  It is most similar to a tortilla filled with potatoes, chesse, spinach, or meat, etc.

The Grand Bazaar.  It is quite grand.  My senses are always on overload in this place, but I get a high from it too.  I can't make quick decisions in here, that's for sure.
Matt and Bryan

From the ferry.

AHHH!!!  Look at all those beautiful Turkish plates.  I have started a Turkish plate collection.  I got my first one from this store!  Now, if I can only remember how to get back there!

Harper & Uncle Bryan

Uncle Bryan & Harper having fun drinking tea at sunset.

Istanbul from Chamlija.  The overlook on the Asian side.

Harper & Meemaw

The Blue Mosque from the ferry at sunset.  Gorgeous.

The back side of Hagia Sophia.

The weekly local produce bazaar (market).

Anyone want some fish?!

Meemaw and Elias