Friday, December 30, 2011

Jammin' Mahn!

I hope my phonetic spelling was correct! Anyways, I've been LOVING this song this week and thought I would share some chill, head bopping tunes with you. :)

Jack Johnson is one of my favorite musicians to listen to; keeps me relaxed and smiling and I can often times pretend I'm laying in a hammock somewhere tropical while tapping my foot to his melodies. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Oh yes. The time is upon us! As this brand spankin' new year approaches, I can't help but sit back and think on some 'resolutions'. Oh of course I've thought of the typical 'lose weight, be nicer, find a cure for cancer, etc, etc', BUT (and this may be a resolution in and of itself) I want to make some really good, realistic, challenging, relevant resolutions this year. I don't know about you, but often throughout the year I get stuck in a rut. I don't like who I am at those times; I feel like I've lost my happy, jolly self and don't know what to do. I'm resolving this year to make some important changes.

1) Get in shape. I know what you're thinking- "You just said that was typical!". Well making a big push to lose holiday weight is always a big deal, but that's not what I'm talking about. This past year I lived a very unhealthy lifestyle, and it has taken its toll. My skin, my weight, my moods, my energy- no good!! I'm resolving to cut out simple carbs (this is kind of necessary due to insulin resistance I have developed) and to begin exercising regularly to get in shape!! This is going to be a biggie- and probably the hardest for me.

2) Commit to keeping my house clutter free. I'm a pack rat. I married a pack rat. I have seen way too many hoarders episodes to be comfortable keeping junk anymore. So in 2012 I will continue de-cluttering and keeping my house simple and neat. I'm very excited about this one! Less clutter leads to more projects! And we all know I love projects!!

3) Be committed to serving in a church. God led us in an unexpected direction church-wise this year and it has been awesome to see God bless our obedience, but it is hard to get plugged into and committed to another church. Please pray for us that our hearts will ignite with passion and we will find a place to serve.

4) Get out of debt!! Honestly, I don't really consider 2 credit cards and a home loan a lot of debt but it's important to me to be debt free. We need to purchase another vehicle and will not be able to do so until I get these credit cards off my back.

5) Save, save, save money!!!! Our responsibility with money has matured a whole HECK of a lot (I'm not sure how much a heck is, but it's gotta be a bunch!); however, in order to visit one of my best friends in England, feel comfortable talking about having babies, visit precious friends that live in California, and be able to pay our bills without ridiculous juggling and pushing due dates- we gotta get ahead of the game. Paycheck to paycheck ain't gonna work.

Over all, I think this is a good start. There are lots of other things I would love to work on when it comes to improving myself. It's my firm belief we need to strive to improve. Being content with how we are leads to laziness and complacency. Don't get me wrong! You should love who you are!! For sure! But you shouldn't make excuses for habits and quirks that you know are not letting you live the best life you could. Trust me- I've been through a lot this year and I know.

Dealing with a terrible workplace at the beginning of this year, working for someone who enjoyed breaking down my confidence and self esteem, eventually losing my job due to said person, being forced to find a job a week before I got married, running my credit cards to the max to afford my simple wedding, working so hard to convince an underwriter to approve my home loan, dealing with a variety of serious medical issues, eating spaghetti over and over because we couldn't afford groceries for a few months, and struggling to understand my role as a wife the first 6 months of my marriage almost broke me. Like I said, I know.

But I can still look at this year and my eyes mist over at the incredible amount of blessings I've experienced- having the man God hand picked for me ask me to spend the rest of my life with him, becoming a homeowner and moving into a beautiful house, being showered with love and gifts by so many family and friends before we got married, finding another teaching job before I even got married at a place where I am valued and praised for my very hard work, adding a sweet little girl named Kina and a mischievous little guy named Maverick to our small family, walking down the aisle in a gorgeous dress to become the Mrs. to my very best friend, and because of that acquiring a new family who's been so incredibly helpful and along with the rest of our family been our cheerleaders, and finally reaching a place in our marriage where we understand each other and spend our evenings together, not against one another. Boy am I blessed!!

And I cannot wait to see what next year has in store!!

Until the new year,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Heart of the World

Wow. Just wow. The past 6 months have absolutely flown by. Truth be told, some days seemed like they would never end and hours passed like incredibly awkward moments. All in all, though, it's hard to believe Josh and I have already been married for six months!! I have heard from many friends and family members that the first year of marriage is the hardest- Lordy I hope so! From injuries to new jobs to important things in the house breaking, these six months have been full of trials and errors and fights and feuding and the butting of heads. Many of the highlights are found here on this blog- a living memory book for us to look back and remember the feelings, emotions, and moments that are so special to us; good and bad. That being said, I will also say there were definitely days I wanted to run away and forget I had ever attempted this thing called marriage. And one time I did. Hahaha! I was so mad at my poor husband I led him to believe I was taking trash to the garage and I left! I drove around for about an hour with no idea where I was or where I was going. I ended up going back home. And we talked, and we worked things out. But the fact of the matter is marriage is not easy.

So, Andrea, why even go at it? Why try? I'm so glad you asked. :) God brought Josh and I together. Forever. We promised in front of our cherished friends and family members to love each other through good and bad, thick and thin, and use our marriage to better serve and bring praise to the name of God. Oh, what about the love and passion? I'm glad you asked that as well! I love him. Period. He loves me. Period. Although sharing chores and paying bills doesn't always lend itself to heated passion, we've got it for sure! And there is something about true love between a man and a woman that even when you detest the thought of even being in the same room as your spouse, you still feel your heart crack at the thought of never waking up to that sleepy smile or feeling those arms around you ever again.

You're sorry you asked now, aren't you?? Enough with the mushy gushy already!! Okay, okay. Basically, even though life these first sixth months has been less than desirable financially and circumstantially, we are still incredibly blessed to be able to wake up next to each other and choose to love. We are blessed with a good sense of humor to look back on our misfortune and laugh together, enjoying our current Pax Romana. There's no telling how long this time of calm and balance will last, but we are enjoying it and soaking up every. last. second. of it. 

I found this song on Spotify and cried my eyes out. Maybe it's my hormones still working themselves out, or PMS, or maybe I just really love Josh so much that the words of this song go straight to my ticker. It also reminds me of the reason we are all held hostage by the magic and twinkling lights and wonder of this beautiful time of year. There was a baby in a feeding trough, wrapped in cloth, being kept safe in a cave that housed animals. His mother gave birth to him a virgin, and His earthly father stood watch with pride. Jesus is the reason this season brings out the sap in me.  A sinless man loving a sinful world. Warms me up from the inside out, people! I would not be who I am- strong, independent, in love, joyful, hopeful- without the precious sacrifice that baby made as a man!! I'd love to tell you my story. You just need ask.

Enjoy. :)

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


No, not the laundry detergent. Or the short skirted, toe touch & high five variety.

I am talking about CHRISTMAS CHEER my good people!!!!!

I adore this time of year. Lights, the excited faces of Santa and elves and snowmen and sweet mooses (yes, I am a firm believer that moose should have an 's' on the end if its plural- don't judge), and just an overall sigh of relief that another hard year is almost over. Cozy nights and a fresh start are around the corner.

To celebrate the Christmas season, I created a (reusable!) wreath. I got the twig wreath at a thrift store for 60 cents, bought a few embellisments and a letter at Walmart for less than $7.00 all together. So with a little ingenuity and some hot glue,  this is a less than $10 wreath to hang on our door and welcome this wonderful time of year! (Plus, I can take the greenery out and recycle it for Spring, Summer, and Fall too!! Booyah!)

I used a lighter to burn the edges of the 'A' and shabby it up a little bit. :)

The burlap holding the wreath is cut from burlap used in our wedding as the runner.

So, Merry Christmas from the busy Atkins household to yours!!

Until next time,