Ting's Mom

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ten Years Later

Ten years, y'all.

Ten years ago today I walked down the aisle and said "I do" to the boy that had captured my heart. I had no idea what we would experience together, but I knew I was ready.

ten years later wedding picture

When we vowed to be together through the good times and bad, we never dreamed that would include the death of my brother or the years we spent begging God for a baby. But the death brought us closer together pretty quickly, and eventually God blessed us with two of the most perfect children in the world (I'm not bias or anything, ha!). We've had family vacations, lazy weekends together, kid milestones, and more good times than I could ever write in this space.

ten years later after wedding picture

We vowed to be together through richer or for poorer. I didn't realize that meant that we would experience times when we could only afford Hamburger Helper for dinner every night. But I also didn't realize I would learn that richer has nothing to do with the number on my bank statement.

ten years later honeymoon

We vowed to care for each other through sickness and through health. We've survived near-death pneumonia, hand surgeries, cut fingers, tough pregnancies, and many many cold and flu seasons. But we are a family of four healthy people, and I thank God for taking care of us every day.

ten year anniversary in mexico

That boy I said 'I do" to has become my very best friend in the whole entire world. I can't imagine doing life without him by my side, and I cherish every day these past ten years have given us. I've vowed to love him until death do us part, and I'm hoping that means many, many, many, many more decades of anniversaries for us to celebrate together.

Happy Anniversary, Hubby!



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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Under Construction: Ladies' Retreat

This past weekend was one of my favorite weekends of the year (and I feel like I probably say that every year when I write about it).

annual ladies spectacular under construction

(The elephant has nothing to do with this post, but I thought he was cute}

Friday morning a group of ladies from my church loaded up in various vehicles and headed to Little Rock for a day of shopping, eating, and fun. First stop was the Longhorn Steakhouse, where I indulged on the Redrock Grilled Shrimp. It was delicious. It came complete with rice and a side of the most amazing butter sauce in the world (not exactly on my low-carb diet, but oh well).

Afterwards, our pastor's wife (who happens to be Hubby's aunt) introduced us to shopping at Gordman's. I'd never heard of Gordman's, but it reminds me of a TJ Maxx type place. I found a ton of things I wanted, but came out with two new shirts and a cute cardigan.

I also crossed the parking lot and ran into JC Penny's so I could grab some face wash at Sephora. The ladies there were super cool and introduced me to a new moisturizer as well (there's a beauty series coming to the blog soon, so I'll tell you about them later).

Then we headed to the middle of nowhere for the Ladies' Spectacular. This was my sixth (?) year to attend this event, and I am always so amazed at the amount of work that goes into welcoming the ladies that arrive.

This year's theme was "Under Construction" and each of the speakers talked to us about ways that we are still under construction. I really enjoyed the session on marriage, as well as an unbelievable testimony from a lady who was kidnapped and lived to tell us how good God is to her.

The keynote speaker talked about the different types of sins we have in our lives and how to overcome them. Everyone was so amazing, and I came home refreshed and renewed. And I'm already looking forward to next year's event. It's going to be western themed and I'm wearing my boots!!



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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Birthday Bash 2015

We are so fortunate to have most of our family living nearby, and one of Ting's best friends is her cousin (she's actually a second cousin, but who really cares). A few years ago we opted for a joint birthday party for the girls, and it was a huge success. Last year we did it again. And this year it seemed like a perfect plan as well.

birthday cupcakes

Lucky for us, the girls are getting older and aren't as "into" the decorations and such as much as they just want their friends to come hang out, eat cake, and bring all the presents. So we simply reserved the school gym, threw a bit of decoration on the wall behind the gift tables, put some hot dogs in the crock pot, and ordered cupcakes.

birthday decorations

Since most of the attendees had just completed their first volleyball season, we also put up the volleyball net and let them play.

girls with birthday cupcakes

Everyone was able to just run wild free, and be as loud as they wanted. And the adults were able to sit in an air-conditioned gym and supervise. My kind of party!

boys at birthday

girls at birthday

birthday presents

birthday games

Ting informed me that she had a wonderful time, and she was so glad everyone was able to come.

Here's to celebrating birthday number six.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Musings: The Things I Didn't Get To Say

We have a strict policy that we don't post on social media when we are on vacation. We don't like to advertise that we are away from home, or when the kids are not with us for periods of time. But my thumbs really like to express my thoughts, so here you go - all the things I didn't get to say while we were in Mexico (this is a running list that I kept going through the week)



Shopping in Dallas: proof that I life a very sheltered life.

Have I mentioned I hate Dallas traffic?

Just got a call that our flight tomorrow is delayed FIVE hours :(

I'm a hot mess. Our flight leaves in four hours and I'm already nervous and crying #ihateflying

Made it through airport security. Now to find our gate.

It's 2:00 and we're still sitting at the gate. Apparently our 2pm flight is going to be late.

Dear @suncountry, I just want to go to Cancun

We made it to Mexico. My luggage did not. How does that happen? It was a direct flight. I'm really not happy with Sun Country Airlines today. We've lost an entire day of our vacation and I don't even have my swimsuit.

Ahh..  We are here! Silversands is beautiful and worth all the trouble we had getting here. Our room is perfect and we have all our luggage. Headed to explore.

There is a wedding reception going on behind us and the speeches are horrible! Sounds like something from a hit comedy movie.

Breakfast buffet - I have never seen so much food in one place. Whatever you could imagine for breakfast is in this room.

We left the room for an hour and someone made our bed and tidied up the bathroom. I could get used to this!

I have no idea what I just ate, but it was good.

The US Open on the huge screen is pretty cool.

You haven't lived until you've heard 'I've Got Friends in Low Places' covered by a Mexican band with a thick accent.

Three hours in the pool without sunscreen, and suddenly my makeup looks really white :/

My book and I are sitting on the beach and I can actually see rain way off in the distance. What a cool view.

The weather channel app says it's currently sunny and 86 degrees with 0% chance of rain in Cancun. Only I'm sitting on a beach bed, reading a book, and watching it rain down on the beach. Perhaps The Weather Channel doesn't understand Mexican weather?

I just watched a girl stand on her hands, bend backwards, and use her feet to shoot an arrow through a balloon. No words.

Spanish speaking people can't pronounce my last name. But I kinda like they way they say it instead.

I've always said I prefer the pool to the beach. But I spent several hours sitting in the sand with waves splashing on my legs while I read a book. I think I might be a beach person.

I just went on a full kitchen tour at the resort and it was awesome. And some seriously good snacking.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about tonight's entertainment.

A guy at our resort got stung by a stingray today. Hubby has now banned me from entering the ocean. With our luck, that's probably a wise decision on his part.

It's a room service kind of night. We felt like staying in and had a four course meal delivered to us.

Leaving the pool and the ocean view for the last time was brutal. I'm going to miss this place so much.

Up and at 'em. Leaving here at 9am this morning. Lots to do.

We just spent 30 minutes shifting around stuff in suitcases so we would be under the flying weight limits.

So long, Silversands. It's been amazing!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Photo Dump: Church Camp

Last week while Hubby and I were living it up in Mexico, the kids spent some time with my in-laws and also headed to church camp. Ting attended camp last year and loved it, but this was Bug's first year to go. Several of our family members attended, as well as many of the kids' cousins.

From what I've heard they had a wonderful week, and a fun time at camp. Obviously I wasn't there to tell you about it, but Aunt Deb was nice enough to let me swipe some of her pictures from camp week for the blog. So...

church camp

church camp

church camp

church camp

church camp

church camp


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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Anniversary Trip: Secrets Silversands

The end of the month will mark 10 years of wedded bliss for Hubby and me! Ever since our honeymoon we have been wanting to get back to Mexico, and we decided our 10 year anniversary was the perfect time.

Last week we spent seven amazing nights at the Secrets Silversands Resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Silversands is a couples resort that touts itself as "Unlimited Luxury". Let me tell you, luxury is definitely a word I would use to describe our week.

secrets silversands anniversary trip


We spent most of the entire week camped out in one corner of the infinity pool, just watching the waves crash into the shore. We ate foods that came from gourmet chefs, and we watched some amazing live entertainment. Our room was perfectly cozy, and our week couldn't have been better.

And because I can't really begin to accurately describe our week in words, I'm giving you a Mexico photo dump!

secrets silversands food

secrets silversands resort

secrets silversands resort

secrets silversands resort

secrets silversands resort

secrets silversands resort

secrets silversands resort



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Friday, June 26, 2015

5 Tips For Healthy Eating

As part of our #TingsMom5K project, we are making an effort to eat healthier at our house. I've mentioned that my college bestie, who I recently reconnected with, has been a huge inspiration for our lifestyle change. So today, I asked her to give her tips on transitioning to a healthier eating lifestyle. I hope you enjoy!




Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. All of the information in my posts are based on general knowledge and my own experiences.

Hey, I'm Melanie!  Self-proclaimed fitness fanatic and healthy eater. I would describe my daily food choices (I don't like the word "diet", it sounds too restrictive) as "basically vegetarian" and "vegan-ish." Which means that I generally don't eat meat and I limit dairy. I also limit wheat and gluten, so I basically I eat a lot of beans and vegetables. I haven't always been this way, so I thought I might offer a few tips on how to get started on a healthier way of eating.


healthy eating tips


A little background about me.... I grew up in a normal household where we ate "normal" food. My family was always generally in good health so we honestly didn't think too much about what we ate. I was blessed with good genetics and have always been thin, so as a teenager, I really just enjoyed being able to eat whatever I wanted and not worry about gaining weight. But as I got into my 20's (okay, maybe late 20's) I really started to focus on how I felt instead of just how I looked. I was getting into exercising more and realized that you really can't sustain an adequate fitness program if you're not feeding your body the nutrients that you need. So, I decided to start cutting out certain types of food to see if I felt any different.

The first food that I eliminated was meat. Most animals today are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to make them grow bigger faster, and when we consume meat from these animals, we are also ingesting these toxins. For me, I felt better not eating meat so I eliminated it from my diet. The next food category that I tested was dairy. Since dairy products come from the same animals, the toxin theory is true for them as well, so I felt even better after limiting general dairy products (I do eat Greek yogurt every morning so I haven't eliminated dairy completely). The last food group that I tested (because let's face it, there's not a lot of foods left to pick from after eliminating meat and dairy) was wheat and gluten. I personally didn't notice much of a difference in how I felt when not eating wheat/gluten, so I didn't cut it out of my diet completely, but I did decide to only eat it in moderation.

So, now you're thinking, this girl is nuts! I could never be that extreme! And, honestly, you probably shouldn't be. I tend to be a little on the compulsive side, so eliminating that many food groups may not be right for you. But here's how you get started on the road to healthier eating:

1. Try eliminating certain food groups from your diet for a week or two and see if you notice a difference in how you feel. Everyone's body is different. Listen to your body. You may notice better digestion, more energy, clearer skin, etc.....

2. Once you've established your basic food choices (what you are going to eat and what you are going to limit or eliminate), see if you need to add anything. I have never been much of a fruit eater, so I really had to make an effort to add more fruit to my diet. Start by eating what you already like and then begin trying new things. I started adding blueberries to my Greek yogurt in the mornings, and dipping green apples in peanut butter.


3. Realize that this is a lifestyle change, not a diet! Diets make you feel restricted and you often gain back any weight that you lost when you go back to your normal eating habits. Establish new eating habits and you will not be constantly thinking or worrying about what you eat.

4. This is a marathon, not a sprint (sorry, that's the runner in me). You will not change your habits overnight. Start slow and you won't become overwhelmed by trying to do too much at once. Don't beat yourself up if you "cheat" and eat something not on your plan. Cheating actually helped me because I would usually feel bad (physically, not so much emotionally) when I would eat meat or cheese and it would remind me why I was choosing to eliminate those foods. It's a choice, not a restriction that you're placing on yourself.

5. And finally, get moving! Even if it's just walking a few minutes a day, regular exercise can make a huge difference in how you feel. When you put in the effort, you really don't want to ruin it by eating unhealthy foods.

I hope some of this advice has been helpful and good luck on your journey to better food choices! Food is both the greatest medicine and the greatest poison that we put into our bodies. Here's to better medicine and less poison ��

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