Monday, February 28, 2011


Ok I know, I know, it has been WAY to long in between posts and for this I am sorry.  I do have a slight excuse though.  I have all the pictures that I need to put up, some of recipes, some of projects, most of the Reid Man, but my  card reader has been broken so I had to wait to get a new one.  Until I have time to sit down and write a fairly decent post, here are a few pics to hold you over, and a preview of some blog topics to come.

This would be one project I undertook myself, building Reid's bookshelf

We had a d-now in Jan.  I am nex to the kid in the gray jacket on the right.

I've tried a new cookie Recipe

This big boy has turned 4 months old!!!!

And is still happy as ever!

We've taken a trip to the lake and had a picnic

Reid's first lake trip with Mommy!

We have started solid foods!

I have made a cake and icing from scratch. . .

And celebrated Daddy's 25th birthday

With some big smiles

and extra cuteness!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


So I left you guys off where at the meteor shower. . . When I think back to important moments and nights in my life this ranks right up there as one that I will never forget.    Seriously, read about this night and you will see why!  Ah, I am getting ahead of myself, let us begin where I left off.

As I said we pull off this disinigrated old highway into this random field that just happens to be perfect for star gazing because there are no streetlights anywhere close.  We are there with the mutual friend Josh and my roommate Channin' who are all standing around talking.

I remember I kept saying we all needed to sit down, it would be much more comfortable, especially to me because I have tendonitis in my heels, I honestly can't stand for long periods of time, especially in one place.  Obviously Mark was thinking the same thing because finally he just lays down on the ground in front of the truck and begins to watch.  Now me, knowing I was highly interested in him (remember he had hung around with us before hand as a group), knew I wanted to lay down to, not just to look at the stars but to get a chance to talk to this boy, that I just had such a peace about getting to know.  It had to have been God giving me the courage because Kristen Jones just wouldn't have decided to lay down too.  So we are both layin on the ground, and there are a few awkward moments of waiting on everyone else to follow suit, but no one does.

At this point Mark thinks to himself "if this girl stays down here then I am going to take the chance to get to know her."  And wouldn't you know it, I stayed.  We laid there just talking and sharing our hearts about God, family, ministry, it was one of the coolest times in my life, something I wish I could go back and do all over again.  It was so nice to just get a chance to figure out what the other was all about, so much mystery and excitement.

 I remember at one point, once the stars started really falling (best meteor shower I have ever seen,  honestly, shooting stars everywhere.  This so sounds like out of a movie, but I swear it all happened), a huge, and I mean HUGE star fell out of the sky lightening fast.  Like so big it left a lingering tail!  It was the biggest shooting star I have ever seen or will ever see I am pretty sure.  Mark and I both see it and immediately sit straight up both shouting "Oh my gosh, that was huge, did you see it?!"  fully expecting the others to be as excited as we are.  However, nobody else saw it.  It was the strangest thing.  Even now as I write this post I asked him "Hey do you remember that huge star, you saw it to right, we both really did see it?"

This was such an amazing catalyst to our relationship, I could think of no better way to kick off my love story.  Isn't God just amazing like that, honestly, I couldn't have written anything more romantic.  I should have been expecting that of Him though, I mean the one who paints gorgeous sunsets everyday and made the whole world, why wouldn't He write an amazing love story for me.  In fact this is the theme to one of my favorite books about dating called When God Writes Your Love Story.  It talks about how we as humans want to keep the pen in our own hands and try to author what we want in a love story instead of trusting God to do it and to become the author of our love story.  Thankfully God had removed all obstacles in my life the year before, gave me a wonderful summer where I learned what it meant to truly love, follow, and trust Him with all my heart, and then and only then did he allow me to meet the prince charming he made for me.  Isn't He is amazing?

Next you will hear about when we finally made the decision to start dating and how that all worked out.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

All Because Two People Fell In Love (at the "Bu")

With Valentine's Day approaching (and a little one napping), I thought I would steal my friend Jen's idea and blog about how Mark and I fell in love.  At least the beginning of the story. . .

For those who don't know I grew up in the same town my entire life, went k-12 at the same school with two parents who also worked at that school.  I was a good girl, never really rocked the boat, in church every time the doors were open and learned to love God through the direction of my parents.

Mark grew up in Tyler as the youngest of four boys and a twin.  He was and still is head strong, wanting to do things his own way and when he wants to do them.  His parent's decided to homeschool him and the rest of his siblings when he and Blake were in the 2nd grade.  So from 3rd grade through graduation they studied at home.  Like me, Mark grew up in a Christian home, was always in church, and grew to love God through his parent's leading.  All in all we were both pretty blessed.

In May of 2005 I had graduated high school and was beginning to get ready for college.  However, this year would prove to be hard, one that God would use to bring me closer to Him and His will.  He ended up removing several distractions, one of which was a boyfriend that I had dated all through high school. I went to the University of Texas at Tyler for my freshman year, but I didn't live on campus.  Because of this I felt like I wasn't getting the true college experience (although I didn't want to live on campus there, where there were really no rules, especially where boys and girls could live right beside each other).  So after the first semester I felt like God was telling me to transfer to East Texas Baptist University.  Little did I know this would be one of the best decisions I would ever make.  I also tried out for the cheer squad and made it. I couldn't wait to finish out the spring semester in Tyler and get down to ETBU.

I came to ETBU a bright eyed cheerleader, bubbling with passion for the Lord after a summer of mission trips and camps where God really revealed Himself to me in mighty ways.  I SSSOO enjoyed my choice to come to a college where my teacher opened his class in prayer and everyone was really so nice and helpful.  I began learning and searching what God's word really said, it really was a growing experience.  I was also cheering which kept me busy as well.

To make a very long story semi-short I will cut to the chase.  There was a guy on our cheer squad who was very good friends with Mark, so when we hung out with him, Mark would tag along.  We all hung out and saw we really liked each other's company.  One night there was a projected meteor shower and so me, my roommate, Mark, and our mutual friend Josh, all decided to go and watch it.  We decided to all go somewhere where there were no overhead lights so we could see the stars clearly.  After driving around some we find a highway that leads to a random field, actually dissolves completely into the field (weirdest thing ever).  Next is where it really gets good. . . in the next post!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hmm. . .

I was reading some of the headlines today on AOL and came across this article. . .  It made me think a little because it partially describes me in many areas, but since I have become a stay at home mom, I am having a pull towards changing these. . . Take a look:

Study: Women losing
Flickr, toniwbusch
While today's women are advancing in the workplace and making more money, a new study found that few of them know how to do the same domestic chores their mothers and grandmothers did every day.

Researchers found that only 51 percent of women under 30 knew how to cook a roast while 82 percent of baby boomer females thought it was a cinch. "Women of today tend to be busier, juggling more roles, and are quite prepared to compromise a bit of the homemade just to save some time," social researcher Mark McCrindle told Australia's Courier-Mail.

McCrindle also noted that because these women have bigger paychecks, they don't feel the need to have to bake a cake from scratch or iron their own clothing when instant mixes and dry cleaners are readily available.

"We live in a throw-away culture where, rather than repair something, we will buy a new one, even if it is just a matter of darning holes or sewing on buttons," he said. "As such, many women have lost these skills. If we do want something repaired, women today are more likely to take it to their local drycleaner because they are busy and can afford it."

While older generations may find it disheartening to know that their daughters and granddaughters are without these "lady skills," there are some jobs that research has found women today do more readily than in the past. Over 70 percent of women under 30 admit to taking out the trash, mowing the lawn and washing their own cars.

Which leads us to ask: Why is sewing a button back on still a "lady skill" if we've taken over in all of these departments?

While I am not against moms who work (goodness my mother worked all while doing an excellent job of raising me and keeping her house), it is something to think about.  Right now I don't have a paycheck that contributes to the household, which means there are certain things I am having to learn to do better, cooking being the main one.  I think that the older generation that knew how to do the things such as make a roast or mend a shirt had the gift of one thing that many women don't have today, a gift I have been somewhat granted with by staying at home. . . Time.  

The women had more time to learn how to do those things, so they could be helpful and do them out of necessity since they didn't have the extra funds.  I just found it kind of funny, because honestly never did I see myself on the "domestic" side of the spectrum.  Believe me I am not very domesticated at all, and I am finding it is a learned thing. . . something that has taken some time to get used to, but slowly I am beginning to see the beauty in it, and the gifts it has. . . 

So maybe I have to become one of those women who doesn't have the money to run out and buy a new shirt whenever a perfectly good one loses a button, or get a store bought cake for every birthday, but you know, that is starting to become okay with me.  Strange as it is. . .

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy 3 year old birthday. . . to my blog. . . Yesterday (the 5th)!  Haha!  I forgot to update this yesterday, however it is hard to believe that I started this blog 3 years ago!  Wow, what all has happened in these short three years.  I have gone from being single and in college to being a married, college graduate, who worked for a semester, and now has a kid!  Soo much has happened, and I am thankful that I have been semi-faithful to record what all has gone on for the most part. 

This blog holds so many great memories from the wedding, to senior year of college craziness, to Christmas number 1 with my man, to a new job/moving/getting a puppy, to our first anniversarymy college graduation, to a new job, then finding out we were pregnant shortly after, to deciding to not return to my new found job the next school year to stay home with Reid, finally figuring out we were going to have boy, to another anniversary/ start of a long summer on the road, to having to move at 8 months pregnant and remodel an old house before we could live there, to giving birth naturally to a beautiful healthy baby boy, to our first Christmas as a family, as well as Reid's first snow day , I would say it it has been a pretty eventful 3 years!  It really makes me wonder if life will ever slow down!!!  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I can look back and see how much God has blessed me and taken care of me and my my family in more ways than I can count.  To Him be all the glory, we did none of it, and deserve no credit.  We have had the help of great family and friends and I owe a big thank you to all of them for the time invested into Mark and me.  We love you all.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Many Things A Happening

Many things are going on here at the Clifton household.  Well actually not really going on, but are in the works I guess you could say.  Reid is a major part of that, he is growing and changing just about every day!  It is crazy!  Just trying to keep up with him is exhausting at times and he is not even mobile yet.  Here are just a few things looming on the horizon. 

1.   One of the things that is going to happen soon is hopefully the start of solids!  Yikes, where did the time go?  My baby boy is getting so big and I really think this will be good for him and that he is ready!  While I am not sure what solids we will start him on exactly, whether it will be cereal or veggies, he will begin it hopefully within the next week after our 4 month doctor visit!

2.   Another looming prospect is the possibilty of us selling our car.  Now so you know I LOVE THIS CAR!  If I didn't have a baby it would be perfect!  It is small, cute, compact, has tons of great features, and it was a car that a grandma drove from her house to the store and beauty shop and back (hence only have 15000 miles when we bought it!).  Sadly though it is just too small now.  In order for the car seat to fit in the back, my seat has to be scooted up all the way to the dash just about!  Not only is this not safe, but if we have another kid sometime in the future, they definitely wont fit, becuase there is no way Mark could drive and be that close at the same time! Luckily we have an interested buyer, my cousin who is heading off to college soon, and needs a good reliable car, with low miles.  We just have to find something that is big enough for two children at least.  Thus the search begins.

3.  Another thing that I am debating on purchasing is the zumba fitness workout DVDs.  I am looking for something that I can do fast, and most importantly, that I enjoy doing and would look forward to doing every day.  I love dancing, so I think this would help solve a lot of my problems.  Mark and I are currently giving weight watchers a try (me on the free week long trial) and are seeing good results, I just need a work out routine, something that would help me get back in shape.  My goal is to fit into my wedding dress by our anniversary on June 14.  I think that this is a good and achievable goal.

So there you have it, some of the musings that are going through my head at the moment.  If you have any advice on any of it then please leave me a comment and an opinion!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Worst Blogger Ever! AAANNNDDD Happy Birthday to a Great Mom!

Seriously I am sssoo the worst blogger ever!  It is so sad that for 3-4 weeks I have been meaning to sit down and blog, but just HAVE NOT DONE IT!  How sad am I?  Honestly. . .

I think the lull is due to lack of pictures which is due to the fact I thought I had lost my camera, when in reality it was stuck inside the Hubby's office after he took it without asking (silly boy).  We have had many things go on, the first of which being a disciple now that my husband along with other youth ministers from the surrounding areas put on.  I have to say I was a little nervous about this, how it would all work out, whether it would actually go ok (read: minimum disasters), and it went sssooo good!  I really have to hand it to the hubsters, he did a GREAT job!  Usually details are not his thing, but everything was thought of, all possible scenarios accounted for, he out did himself!  Unfortunately there are no pictures because he had stolen my camera.

We have also started weight watchers together in the past week or so.  Mark is really liking it (I would too if I got 50 something points) while I as a nursing mom get like 30 something.  It is good, really makes you think about what you're eating, but sometimes I would just rather not and eat the brownie that is still sitting in the kitchen lol.  However, I must remain strong, and must loose weight, because let's all face it, summer is right around the corner and I want people to be astounded that I look that good after just having a baby (let's see if that happens, I still have slight stretchmarks around the belly button as well as that dern dark line, which is fading, put still stinking there!).

Today is also a very special day because it is my mother's birthday!  I cannot tell you how happy I am to have this woman in my life and to call her mom.  She has been a constant rock for me, especially this year when I had a rough time easing into motherhood myself.  She has been by my side all of my life and I couldn't make it without her.  She is also the best Grammy to Reid, loving on him, playing with him, telling him stories, and making him do knew things!  Really our whole family depends on her for a lot, as well as the school, I don't see how she does it all, it must be because she is super momma!

He loved his grammy from the moment he met her!  Look at that smile!