Valentine Love In a Jar with *FREE* Printable Labels

  Need a last minute Fun and Frugal Valentine Gift? Valentine’s Day is so hard for me because there is only so many balloons and boxes of candy you can give and receive. Since I am a canner, I always … Continue reading

What The World Don’t Know

It has taken me a while to write this post, and as I sit here and type my fingers feel so heavy.

Most bloggers, social media junkies or movie lovers were posting, tweeting and commenting minutes if not moments after hearing the news of the suicude of Robin Williams.

But I couldn’t.

I remember standing in my bathroom that afternoon as my husband walks up and tells me what had happened.  For most of our society, they automatically wanted to share their favorite movie or how Robin made them laugh through the years.  But for me, my mind went in a different direction.  My thoughts were, “What battles was he fighting inside?”, “How much pain was he feeling but not sharing with the ones he loved?”, “Did he reach out or try to keep up the facade of everything is okay?”.

Robin Williams was a man who made others smile, while he was dying inside.  When did his laughter turn to tears for him?  Was making others laugh and smile a coping mechanism for his own survival?”  These questions will probably never be answered because for the hurting people its not easy to share or explain.

You might wander why my thoughts went to his pain that day?

See, I also struggle with mental illness.  I am diagnosed with Bi-Polar (aka manic depression), Anxiety and Panic Disorders, OCD and even though I haven’t officially been diagnosed yet, we are leaning toward Highly Sensitive Disorder (HSD).  I knew even as a young child I was different.  I was creative, and enjoyed being by myself.  I would sit in my room all weekend and read or make up stories.  As a teenager, relationships became difficult.  I would get upset over the slightest thing and withdraw from friends.

Relationships failed.

After I was married and had children my symptoms were severe.  I would sit in my closet and rock back and forth.  When the world said something was okay, I had a meltdown.  See in my world little things become big things and they are not okay.  Finally after the death of my momma, I had the trigger that would define me for the rest of my life.  I was under so much stress and grief, that was all it took to flip my switch inside my head.

Mental Illness is cruel.  It is exhausting.  The world does not understand and even though we live in a day of modern medicine where so many illnesses are normal, mental illness is still judged and you can never be normal.  It’s hard to know that no matter how much treatment you have, and meds you take the illness is never going away.

I’m not sure why we all experience struggles and hardships. I’m not sure why when we try our hardest to be a light in the world of darkness, to serve God’s people, to show love when no one else is, why we still become broken.

In the past month I had made a decision for myself and my health to take a step back from so many obligations. To start saying “No” for a change and focus on me, something that I’m not very good at.

See, I’ve never focused on me. It’s always been about everybody else. Isn’t that what we are taught? To not be selfish, that our life is not our own? But what I realized in the midst of giving my whole self away to everyone and everything that needed me, I lost me.

I lost the person I was, the person who had dreams and visions for who I wanted to be, the person who stood out in the crowds for not being scared to take a risk. But everytime I gave a little more of me away, I became someone I didn’t recognize. I started realizing that people are cruel, heartless and so judgemental. People are selfish. It’s all about how much more can they get.
And how we live in a society of laziness. Forget doing anything for yourself. Just have someone else do it for you.

I was raised in a older generation family. A family where hard work was not an option. Where you took care of your family and you didn’t play a victim so you could get help without doing any work for it. You kept your problems quiet. You worked them out within the walls of your own home. You didn’t need to shout it from the rooftops or on Social Media. A time of slower pace and so much more simplicity. I realized, that is still who I am. I am still that person who was raised in simplicity. Who made sure her family was taken care of and who wasn’t in a constant rat race.

I started enjoying being alone, being at home. In the quietness of my own walls I found peace and solace. I started finding interests I enjoyed. Ways to share my creativity without being overwhelmed and overran. I started realizing I enjoyed the companionship of my fur-babies. I loved the joy they experienced when I was around. The unconditional love I experienced from them. I started finding myself living for them. For a living soul who was genuinely happy I was alive. Who, no matter what mood I was experiencing, knew no judgements against me.

So I had made the decision to put focus back on me a month ago. To start worrying about my dreams, and my visions again. To slow down, stop back and get healthy.

Since that time two of my fur-babies have died.

Am I being punished for loving them?

Am I being punished for being selfish for the first time in my life?

I’m not really sure.

All I know is I am broken. I am hurting, I’m mad, and I’m angry. But most of all I have so much guilt that I’m hating myself.

I’m I being taught a lesson or is it just life I’m experiencing?

I don’t know the answer. All I know is that the more pain and hurt I experience the more I want to surround myself within the walls on my own home and try to protect the ones who matter most in my heart.

See I’m human.

And I’m grieving.

Maybe it’s not over a human life but it’s over a life that showed me more love than most would dare to do.

When you have the illness I have, and it already takes an army to fight each day, any loss becomes too much to bear.  The world becomes a dark, ugly place that I no longer want to be involved in.

I hate the battles that are inside me.  I’m not sure why I’m being tormented.

Why did God decide I needed to have this illness.

I can’t seem to find peace anymore.  I keep praying for God to shed some light on the situation but I can’t find the answers.  I feel I’m losing myself.

I’m in an emotional war.  A war I pray that others never have to experience.

So today, I am doing something for myself.  I am taking a huge step to get emotional healthy.  It will not be easy, it will not be quick.  But it will be worth it in the end.  I am tired of saying I’m Okay, when I’m not.  I’m tired of putting on a smile when I’m dying inside.

Today is the day I find peace.  I will be on a health, healing and prayer sabbatical for the next few weeks.  Until I return I ask you to pray for my health and my healing.  I ask you to pray for the others who are hurt and broken but hasn’t found the courage to step forward.  I pray you take care of yourself.

 

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Fresh, Fried Okra & Fresh, Fun Photos

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You might remember a TBT I posted a while back titled “Children of the Okra”.  It was an old post that I re-shared about an awful experience in the Okra Jungle, helping my dad.  I get chills just thinking about that day.  I swore, Yes I swore, I would never eat okra again, but somewhere between then and now the thoughts from that day became less frightening and Fried Okra starting sounding appealing again!

A few weeks ago my dad brought over a few bags of okra that had finally decided to produce.  Well, I certainly couldn’t pass it up so I decided to conquer my fear of okra and fry up some for dinner.  My family was extremely pleased that my fear of okra was gone, because they had been missing my Southern Fried Okra for sometime now!

I got to work right away cutting it up, bagging most for the freezer and saving a bowl for dinner.

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My okra batter is pretty basic.  But it sure is good ole southern amazing!

What you need:

1 cup corn meal

1/2 flour

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 cup buttermilk

(0r 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp on vinegar, let set for appx 3 mins)

2 eggs

2 cups of cut okra

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What you do:

Get your pan of oil hot and ready.  (I use a cast iron Dutch Oven Skillet)

Slightly whisk your cornmeal, flour, salt, and peppers together in bowl.

In a separate bowl mix your milk and eggs together.

Add appx 10 pieces of okra into egg/milk.

Using a metal spoon with holes, scoop up okra and let mixture drain for a second before adding to the dry mixture.

Completely cover in the dry mixture and add to hot oil.

Fry until golden brown and crispy!

Continue until all okra is fried.

You will LOVE this okra!  And to make it extra amazing, dip it in some good ole ranch!  Yummo!

Don’t get much better than this here is the South!

 

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This week it’s all been about Freshness, including Fresh Photos!

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My daughter Lindy Photo taken by Carosello Fete Photography

 

So to go along with my Fresh, Fried Okra, I wanted to share with you some Fresh, Fun Photos taken by my friend and amazing photographer Erin Wilson.

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Erin, from Carosello Blog is a handmade business owner, wife, mom and word mispronouncer.  She  blogs about her favorite things, cooking, business life, decor, DIY and personal style. She just moved from Oklahoma to Boston-ish and then back down to Arkansas. She has been a big city gal most of her life and now living in a quaint little small town. She just bought a new house and are deep into renovating madness. Erin always love a good cardigan, pink pedicures, liquid eyeliner, hot tea and exploring all things local.

This past week, Erin captured some amazing shoots of my daughter Lindy.

I think I will cry now.

She looks way to grown up in this pictures!

 

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I can’t believe this shots!

My baby isn’t a baby anymore ):

You can also find Erin on Facebook.  Head over and show her some Bloggy Love!

Hope everyone enjoys the Freshness this week!

When Love Is Not Enough: The Story of Cowboy Hank JR

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A couple months ago, I wrote a short story titled “The Life of Lola”.  It was about my fur-baby who has been my companion for eight years.  It was a story of love, hope, and healing.  As I finished up the story, I decided I wanted to write about each of my babies.  I wanted to write them all the story of their life and then find the perfect time to publish them as a way for me to hold on to each of them forever.

Little did I know life had other plans.

Let me back up five years.

February 15, 2009, my sister asked if me and husby would take her  to look at a litter of Shorky’s (shih tzu/yorkie). See her fur-baby had just passed away and my brother in law worked out of state, and she was lonely.  She was looking for a new companion.

At that time, we had Lola.  She was my dog, my protector.  We really wasn’t looking for another fur-baby.  Our life was busy, we were constantly on the go with kid activities.

Once we were there,  this cute little ball of fur kept climbing in my lap.  He was absolutely adorable.  And he had eyes that would make you melt.  I looked at my husby and he knew. That ball of fur was coming home.

Home is where he came.  Where he slept in a basket in my room, where Lola treated him like her long lost son, where he soon stole the hearts of each one of us.  And his name became Cowboy Hank JR.

I’m not sure why dogs hold such a special place in my heart.  Often times I feel they understand the over- emotional person that I am better than a human.  They sense a deep connection I feel for them and they feel for me.  I look into their eyes and I see their soul, their heart, their purpose.

Yes, I do believe each dog has a purpose.  They are each here for a companion.  They are meant to help a lost soul find their way, whatever that may be.

Cowboy arrived into my life right as a storm was headed my way.  My family was getting ready to experience rough waters that we had never experienced before.  Cowboy, you could say, was my lifeline.

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See, when we are experiencing tough times, it is human nature to let it consume us.  But if we have something or someone to focus on, it takes some of the struggle of our life away. We look away from the negativity on our own life to find positive purpose in something else. Cowboy was my purpose. A way to redirect my pain away from me and turn it into a positive experience.

Just like Lola, Cowboy became my protector.  He loved me in a way that he loved no one else.  I guess he knew I would always take care of him, just the same as he took care of me.

Cowboy loved Lola with a passion.  As he got a little bigger he would not leave her side.  He followed her around, he had to sleep in the same kennel with her at night, and no way was he letting her leave anywhere without him.  They were best friends til the end.

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Cowboy loved to come to my room with me and lay beside me on the bed, or crawl under the bed and sleep.  He had such a sweet heart, but he also had such an ornery side.  He hated cats, and it was his life goal to chase everyone of them away.  He also made sure everyone knew he controlled the food bowl. (:  No one ate until Cowboy approved it!

And oh how he loved to snuggle.  And his sweet, sweet kisses.

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My love for Cowboy ran deep.  Maybe it was because he was only five weeks old when we brought him home, or maybe it was because he picked me to be his companion, I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s because his love help pull me out of dark depression on days when No one else could reach me. All I know is he held a special place in my heart that will last a lifetime.

Earlier this year, Cowboy got sick.  I took him to the vet and was told he had bronchitis.  After a round of treatment, he seemed to be better. But a month later and he was sick again.  Back to Dr Shane we went. This time we tried a new treatment but they didn’t seem to work much. A few weeks later, we were back in the office, but this time the medications didn’t affect Cowboy at all.

I knew that morning, last Wednesday, when I got up that his time was ending soon.

I called the vet one more time and they told me to bring him right in.  I told my kiddos to tell him bye, that at his was probably not going to end the way we wanted.  I made sure Cowboy told Lola bye, little did Lola know she would never see him again.

Dr Shane wanted to run tests.  He called me later to explain that Cowboy’s heart was enlarged and he prayed he would respond to the medication.  He wanted to keep him over night, I think more for my benefit so Cowboy wouldn’t die at home.  The next morning I got the call I most dreaded.  He didn’t make it.  

I knew.  

I had awoke in the night and knew right away he was gone.  So I sat in the dark and prayed.  Prayed for peace. Prayed for understanding.  Prayed for reassurance that Cowboy was in no more pain.

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I made the decision to have him cremated.  I needed my baby to be home.  I couldn’t bear the thought of never having him close to me again. He was always with me through every laugh and every tear and I needed him to remain beside me. I owed Cowboy that much.

Arrangements were made, and then it was time to tell the kids.  They took it better than I expected. Maybe because I had prepared them, but mainly I think they knew they had to be strong for me.  They knew I would take it extremely hard, which I did.

I sat alone in my room for several hours, as tears streamed down my face.  There was nothing left for me to do. And even though I knew I needed to hug my other fur-babies a little tighter that day, I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of my pain, out of the darkness.

My husby called me from work to see how I was doing. He told me to take the kids to the water park, to relax, to let the sun shine on my face, to not think for a few hours.

I sat at the waterpark that afternoon and cried.  I cried for me, I cried for Cowboy, I cried for Lola.  As I looked up I saw a cloud that was shaped as a fluffy dog with a curly tail and I cried even harder knowing he was telling me he was okay.  

Later that day, as I cried some more, a little butterfly decided to land on my hand and sit there.  It didn’t move, it just watched me.  Again I know that was Cowboy’s way of letting me know it was okay to let go.  

I watched as the little butterfly flew off my hand, only to come back once more, as to say, “Are you sure you will be okay?”, then it was gone again.

This past week has been so hard. I have experienced so many emotions. Sadness that I would not see him again in this life, grateful for being his human, angry for him leaving me, guilt for not doing more to help him and happiness knowing he is running free at the a Rainbow Bridge waiting for me. Many tears have been shed, many prayers have been prayed, many memories have replayed in my mind.

Some might say, he was just a dog.  I would say  no, he was family.  He knew me and my moods better than my closet family or friends.  He knew when I needed a kiss, or a snuggle or just company as I lay in my room.

See, when you have the love of a dog like I do, you experience a pure and innocent love.  There is no judgment, no grudges just plain love and adoration.  And that is exactly what I received with Cowboy,  and for that I will forever be grateful he chose me.

I told Dr Shane, the day Cowboy left me, all I wanted was to bring my Cowboy home. When my love was not enough to keep him with me here on this Earth,I just needed to bring him home with me forever.

And today he came home to stay.

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Last Night

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.

I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,

“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,

You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.

I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.

I want to re-assure you, that I’m not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.

I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said ” it’s me.”

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.

I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me, to be so near you everyday.

To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…

In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning

and say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,

I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out…then come home to be with me.

Author Unknown

*Please Adopt, Don’t Shop and donate to your local rescues and shelters

10 Things I want my Children to Know about Me

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Twelve years ago I stood at my Aunt’s grave. as tears flowed and shadows of uncertainty fall on my momma’s face. I wondered to myself, “Does my momma have regrets?”, “Is there questions she never asked her sister?”, “Are there words she never said?”.   I looked at the grave and back at my momma and I realized those were the same questions I needed to ask myself.

See, as we were burying my Aunt after her loss with cancer, my momma was dying.

She also had cancer and even though at the time I didn’t know how soon it would be, I still knew she would be leaving me soon. Some might say I was being too negative. I say I was preparing my self for the inevitable. I was the baby. I was not ready for my momma to leave. But nothing I said, nothing I did, was going to stop her from dying. If I didn’t prepare myself for her death, it would be her death that would defeat me.
That night, after the funeral, I asked my momma and my three sisters if we could start having mother/daughter outings. Just to spend time together, to connect with each other. So on Friday Nights we all would go out.  Sometimes to eat,  to visit someone or shopping. But mainly to talk and make memories.

I asked a lot of questions.
I wanted to hear stories of her childhood and teenage years.
I wanted to know what it was like when her and my dad married?
Why did they wait til almost 40 to have me?
What was she passionate about?
Did she have any regrets?
We continued this tradition for about six months until the time came when she was too sick to leave the house. Three months later she was gone.
I am so thankful for that opportunity I had to share those moments before it was too late. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Life is always so busy, moving so fast, that I begin to ponder if I would have an opportunity to share my life with my children. What if tomorrow don’t come for me? Would they know stories from my childhood? Would they know the story about me and their dad? Would they know what I am most passionate about? Would they know that I love them with a love so pure that only a mother can experience?
I really am not so sure. Life becomes stressful, and my days run into nights and it seems to never stop. I decided I didn’t want this moment to pass. If for some reason I never had the chance to talk to them about me, then I wanted to document it for them.
So what do I want my children to know about me?
1) I AM NOT A SUPERHERO! I do not have super powers. I am human. I am not perfect. I am flawed. As a mother I need you to know that I am just a person who makes mistakes daily. Who will always make mistakes. I try my very best when it comes to your life not to make to many messes but I can’t promise it will always be rainbows and butterflies, there will be days of dark clouds and storms but I will love you every day reguardless of the situation.

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2) God will always be #1 in my life. No matter how much I love you, and believe me when I say I love you so much it hurts sometimes, God will ALWAYS be at the center of my life. God entrusted me enough to bless me with you all. He gave me life that will continue long after this chapter ends. There was a time that God was not my center. I was mad and angry, so I ran far away from God. But what I realized is that God gives us free will. He doesn’t control us, he loves us and gives us freedom to come to him, and even through the bad, he never left my side. I need you to always make sure God is #1 in your life as well.

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3) My heart is filled with compassion. Sometimes I feel like my heart is breaking into a million pieces over the sorrow that I feel for children who have lost their parents to addictions, neglect or abuse. Those children who just want to feel love again and a sense of security. The homeless people on the street with no family or warm bed, that for one reason or another has lost their way, from a failed marriage, a job or even an illness and now they are alone and burdened. For the elderly people, who on their face shows years of hardship. From the cotton fields, to the coal mines, farms and factories they have worked their fingers to the bone to supply a roof over their families head and food on the table. Those same people, much like my daddy who would give you the shirt off his back with no questions asked. For the people in the third world countries who never have the opportunity to freely worship Jesus. Who so many will never know the love that he has for them or hear the stories of his miracles.

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4) Animal Rescue burdens my heart. Yes I am an animal lover. And yes I know you make fun of me because I show you a thousand pictures a day of all the dogs who need a home, or the ones who have been adopted. Animal neglect and abuse lays heavily on my heart. And yes if there was a way, I would bring them all home. I know you think I’m silly for supporting so many rescues and shelters but what you probably don’t know is how many tears I have cried knowing an animal has been put down for lack of space at a shelter. How my wish is that all shelters would become NO-KILL, that all animals would have a chance to feel love and be loved. And when it’s my time to go, I would like that instead of flowers being sent, that a donation for an adoption would be made in my memory instead. And that I believe with all my heart that animals are sent to us to help us thru a hard time when we are not willing to let anyone else in.

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5) Children’s Ministry is my passion. I will always be thankful for the wondeful leaders and teachers who saw a raw gift in me and took a chance on helping me grow as a Children’s Leader. And even though I knew after a season in my life, that full-time ministry was not what God had intended for me in our family, I still love to be involved, creating programs, putting ideas and events to life. Being able to be a part of leading a child to Christ will always be worth the sacrafice of serving an extra service or spending an extra day preparing lessons and activities. Use the gifts and talents God has gave you for his good. And if the season your in is not one to use your gifts, continue growing your faith and your walk with God until a new season approaches.

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6) I will never regret Homeschooling you. Being able to teach you about life has been such an incredible blessing. Spending the days beside you as we learn together will be a gift I will always treasure. Watching you each grow into young adults might have been missed if we didn’t take the opportunity in front of us to school at home. I have enjoyed all the field trips we took together. I am not scared of the adults you will become. I know you will succeed at anything you put your minds and hearts to. And I am so proud of who you both are becoming.

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7) I would give you the world if I could. Not because I think you deserve it. Not because I think you have earned it, but because I love you enough that I want you to see first hand how unfair and cruel this world can be. Don’t set your eyes on worldly desires but on God and his promises. The world will fail you, but God never will.

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8) I loved my life as a child. It was a happy and carefree time with chasing fireflies in the summer and rabbit hunting with my dad in the winter. Watching tornados form the top of the celler and big family dinners and reunions with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Plastic water slides down a hill and pizza/french fries on Friday Nights while watching Full House. My playhouse out back with homemade curtains from my sister and tomato and salt rock soup. Swimming at the Lake, family trips to Dog Patch and weekends spent reading my new books. I may not have had big things or big trips, but I had family and love. Those are the things I remember the most.
9) I knew the first time I saw your father I was going to marry him. We met at a factory job when I was 19. There was something about the way he talked to me, that made me feel safe and content. I felt like I was home with him. It is a love that will last. Not always perfect but by morning the sun is always shining again. I will always be thankful for the love we share, for the home we built and the life we have.

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10) I have dreams. My dreams consist of following God’s plan for my life. Of course I have visions or ideas of one day owning a Tea Room, finding an old 1900 Farmhouse to fix up/live in and to own a Dog Sanctuary. I would also love to visit London, Paris, Venice, Maine, Hawaii, Seattle, The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. But I know as long as I follow God’s plan for my life, I will have no regrets at the end. Just know that you are my dreams. You are my life.

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I completely understand if you don’t quite know what to do with all this information right now. But there will come a time in your life when you will be so thankful and grateful that you have my dreams, visions and stories. That there won’t be regrets on knowing what I was like as a child, or why I love animals the way I do, or what did I really think about homeschooling you.
Just know this was from my heart, for you to cherish and love.
I have no regrets in my life. There is no choices I would redo. Each struggle, each heartache, each laugh and tear has formed us to the family we are. Enjoy your life. Love deeply and have no regrets about anything. Remember we are just passing through so make as many memories as you can, serve as many people as God allows you to, and always strive to be better tomorrow than you were today.

Summer Dates on a Budget: Farmer’s Market Morning Date

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My husby and I love to have day nights (or mornings).

For many years when our kiddos were small, getting away for a day or night out together was almost obsolute. As our kids have gotten older, it is very important to us at least once a month to get away even for a few hours.

When your kids are small, you are so busy with their wants and needs that it consumes all of you. There is no time for your hobbies or activities and your day in and day out schedules rotates around them and them only.

I realized at some point during this journey, that my husby’s and mine conversions consisted only about our children. I think that was a wake up moment for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my children with all my heart.  But my world should not revolve around them.  My world and life should revolve around God, then my marriage.

I thought to myself, if husby and I don’t have any alone time together having fun, finding out what we each like now that we are older, then will we even have anything to talk about when the kiddo’s leave home? Will we know anymore what little things make us smile? Will we be able to sit down to dinner and have a conversion just about us?

To be quite honest, I don’t think so.

That was when it became my goal, my passion, my desire to have Date Nights just to find out who we are are as indivduals, not the mom and dad of Keegan and Lindy, but who Miranda and William are as people and fall in love all over again.

If you are anything like us, and you live month to month on a strict budget with not a lot of wiggle room, then finding extra money to have a day or night just for the two of you can be hard to come by.  I understand that after bills, groceries and children needs, there isn’t always a lot of money left over for dates so I am sharing some “Summer Dates on a Budget” Ideas that I have put together that we like to do and have fun with.

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Farmer’s Market Morning Date

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Who said Date Night had to be at Night?

My husby is a morning person. He is so used to getting up when the roosters crow for work, that he funtions so much better in the morning than the afternoon.

And evening, Well just forget that! LOL ! That is when you find him zonked out of the couch!

Me?

Well I won’t lie. I am not a morning person at all. I can do mid morning, but please roosters, just let me sleep. But by evening my mind has been going in twelve different directions all day so I’m no good to anyone at that point.

So last week my husby told me he was taking Saturday off. The kids had been going non-stop all week long with friends and family.  This is not normally something we let them do, but my sister was in from Texas and they wanted to spend a lot of time with her last week. And Lindy has been helping a friend from church at her and her husbands dr office to help raise funds for Guatemala Mission Trip.

It seemed like they were not home but a few hours last week at the most.

I decided that since the kiddo’s had been enjoying their week with friends and family, then husby and I needed some fun time together.

I was really looking for something fun that wouldn’t cost much, when I thought “How about the Farner’s Market?”

Well why not.

Our Farmer’s Market is fairly new.  There is booths with veggies and fruits straight from the gardens, jams/jellies and salsa, homemade items and even live music.

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Farmer’s Market might have not been your first thought for a date, but it was early, the weather was beautiful, we could walk around main street holding hands and the items we bought were groceries for the week so we didn’t spend extra money for an activity.

One booth was selling homemde blueberry yougurt pops, Yum!  We each bought one, found a bench and sat down and listened to the bluegrass/folk music that was playing.

So relaxing!

What was also great, was husby helped me decide what to fix for dinner that week by what fresh fruits/veggies we were buying. We ended up with squash, zucchini, green tomatoes (ummm fried green tomatoes), kale, mustard greens, fresh lavender, fresh basil, onions, green beans, potatoes and homemade wheat bread.

With all that we decided on grilled chicken with grilled poatoes and veggies with homemade bread, boneless bbq ribs with mustard greens, kale, fried green tomatoes and corn bread, a chicken/spinach pasta dish with fresh basil, zucchini and  squash added in pasta with fresh green beans on the side and taco night with all the fresh veggies and kale as toppings (maybe not traditional, but hey it works).  And we could use the rest of the homemade bread for sandwiches and make homemade kale chips for the side! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

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I didn’t forget about the lavender i bought.  That will be made into something something special to share! (:

After the Farmer’s Market, we walked around town, just talking and holding hands, enjoying being with each other.

We stopped at a couple thrift stores for any “thrifty finds, and since we had splurged with the blueberry/yogurt pops at the Farmer’s Market, we settled for a light brunch at a local restaurant (if you have a local coffee shop, stop in there for a light breakfast).

It might have only been a few short hours, but it was a great Morning Date! We had woke up feeling great from a good night’s rest and I wasn’t cranky (yes i get cranky) from the stress of a full day. I do believe there will be many more morning dates in our future.

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Remember, having a day out with the one you love, doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. We spent a total of $20, for brunch and our thrifty finds, and we spent $20 at the Farmer’s Market which came out of our grocery budget.

Find an activity you both enjoy and build from it.

Be checking back for more posts of “Summer Dates on a Budget.”

Love Miranda