What's Up Wednesday

More Ice, Winter Jam, Work & A Challenge Met!

Wednesday

{Please view this post within a browser to access the included video.}

So, what’s up in your neck of the woods? Here in Georgia, we are shut down once more – but this time, it’s due to an unprecedented ice storm – a storm that woke me up in the wee hours of the morning.

Yesterday Near Where Craig & I Live

It doesn’t look bad, but even the poor doggies were slipping around when I have taken them out to potty in our backyard. I can’t imagine the roads…They are expecting up to 1″ of ice. Yikes.

Our back deck...That's one of Lucy's HUGE bones - buried in ice!
Our back deck…That’s one of Lucy’s HUGE bones – buried in ice!

In other news, this past week, as you know, we attended Winter Jam 2014:

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Look At All Those People!
No rain & not a cloud in the sky...But there were definitely beautiful rainbows peering down on us as we waited in line!
No rain & not a cloud in the sky…But there were definitely beautiful rainbows peering down on us as we waited in line!

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Every different genre of music was represented…There were amazing stories and testimonies shared… Georgia Bulldogs’ Coach Mark Richt spoke; Nik Wallenda walked across the Dome on a tightrope; A youth pastor from Minneapolis shared a wonderful sermon…We were SO blessed by the experience! God definitely led us to the Georgia Dome. There is no doubt.

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On a lighter note, Monday was my first day as a permanent and ‘official’ employee with CHEP. It’s very exciting – This company is AWESOME and I am so happy to be a part of it!

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Oh, and with Craig’s encouragement and expert driving ability during our last icy mess, in January, I completed Pure Barre’s 21 Day Challenge! Yay! Yep, that means, in one month, I completed 21 classes on 21 different days! I won’t say it wasn’t TOUGH (IT WAS!!!!), but it was so worth it!

pb1Hope all of you are having a wonderful afternoon!! Stay warm!!!

xoxo

TTC Tuesday

With A Learning Spirit Or A Broken Heart?

TuesdayYesterday at Pure Barre, at 6AM, there was a young lady in the front of the class…drinking a Starbucks Frappuccino…Yes, in the middle of class…While the rest of us were lifting, tucking and burning…She was half-heartedly going through the movements, rolling her eyes, as if saying, “I have better things to do!”.

Again, this morning…again, at 6AM, there was a different young lady at the front of the class…While she wasn’t drinking a Starbucks coffee, she was half-heartedly going through the movements, looking at her watch, rolling her eyes…

Now, it isn’t any of my business how you participate in your workout class. I’m not paying for your enrollment. But, my goodness, as my husband will attest, Pure Barre ain’t cheap! Why wake up in the morning early enough to make a 6AM class, and pay a premium to participate, if you aren’t going to give it your all and get something out of it?

We should be considering the trials and struggles and hardships we face in our lives in the same way. If you’re currently (or have ever been) trying to conceive, you know it is absolutely the definition of a trial, a struggle, a hardship. It is a disciplined routine of waiting, worry, panic, sadness, hope, and despair. It is hard not to get mucked down with depression after months and months and months (or even years) of placing all your hope in finally becoming parents, and having that hope dashed, repeatedly.

Here is what the Bible has to say about the heartaches and troubles we face here on Earth:

JAMES 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds

So, we should be happy about struggle in our lives? Why?

JAMES 1:3-4 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

Difficulties in our lives are times for learning, growth – a reawakening, if you will. As we face something challenging, we should look to see what God could be teaching us as we navigate through the rough waters. One of the greatest men the world has ever known, the apostle, Paul, says (regarding the perpetual ‘thorn in his side’):

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

What life lessons could we learn through the struggle of infertility? Here are some benefits and lessons Craig & I have gained as we have faced this storm in our life head on:

  • Spiritual Benefits/Lessons/Changes
  • We have used the past 17 months of marriage, without children, to truly build a solid foundation in our relationship firmly (gaining more and more everyday) rooted in the Lord.
  • Our prayer life has greatly deepened. We went from praying separately to (nervously) praying together to holding hands and baring our souls out loud as we have a conversation with God – together.
  • Our relationship with God has deepened. Neither Craig nor I has ever had to go without much. We both come from wonderful, supportive, Christian families, and grew up with equally great siblings. We had everything in the world to be thankful for – but were we, then? I mean, truly, deeply, thankful? Fully appreciative of all the many blessing we had been graced with? No. This difficult time in our life has increased our devotion to the Lord so many times over, I cannot even describe it. If it were appropriate to say the change has been ‘like magic’, I would certainly describe it that way…but it isn’t magic. It’s something so much more amazing. It’s grace.
  • Worldly Benefits/Lessons/Changes
  • Craig & I are truly a team. Dealing with infertility, together, in our marriage has created this strong partnership. We know we can go to each other with any.single.thing, and speak openly and honestly about it.
  • We have a savings account – just for the future Baby Lefebvre – whether by adoption or natural birth.
  • I was able to gain almost a year’s experience as a nanny to (very) young children. This was real world, invaluable, experience I would never have otherwise had. I am now intensely familiar with potty training a two-year old, changing a tiny baby’s diaper while holding his twin sister on your hip, preparing formula, and getting (twin) infants on a sleep/eat/play schedule-all while entertaining a two-year old. Invaluable experience. 

And those are just some of the things we have learned or gained from this angry storm cloud called infertility. I am not, in any way, shape, form or fashion, saying this is fun, ‘not a big deal’, or easy; however, we should absolutely take our trials and grow, learn, and prosper from them.

Just as those two girls in Pure Barre this week were not taking advantage of the workout going on right under their noses, we cannot let the lessons and significant opportunities of our pain and difficulty pass us by. What a waste it would be to sit around and mope (although, the easiest way to pass the time…)… We should be using our time in the tunnel wisely.

james 1.1.12

xoxo

My Choice Monday

Music Monday!

MondayGood Morning!

I know a lot of you may be a little cold this morning! The weather report on my drive into the city this morning seemed pretty dismal for both the South and the North. Bundle up and stay warm!

You may need some music to keep you company next to that fireplace, so today, our My Choice Monday is a little collection of songs to motivate you through your workout, keep you company in the car, or to sing along to as you warm your toes next to the fireplace. (*DISCLAIMER* If you are reading this post within an e-mail, please click the link to view the post within your internet browser; otherwise, you will be unable to view the music videos below! This is a good rule of thumb to follow for most of our posts!)

Adele – “Skyfall”
This is probably my very favorite song at the moment. This one rounds out the stretch/yoga portion of my Pure Barre workout most days, and it is soothing and energizing at the same time. 
 
 
Ellie Goulding – “Anything Could Happen”
Another Pure Barre favorite. 
 
 
Martin Solvieg ft. Dragonette – “Hello”
Great song for a workout. Awesome tune for a road trip!! (Anyone??)
 
 
Mercy Me – “You Are I Am”
This is an amazing song. The video below includes the lyrics, and I think it’s safe to say all of us have “been there”. I especially relate to this, “I’ve been the one to try and say, ‘I’ll overcome by my own strength.'” It’s a great anthem and reminder that with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. 
 
 
Tenth Avenue North – “Worn”
If this one won’t bring you to tears, I don’t know what will. These past 17 months of infertility heartache really ring out true for Craig & I in this song. We are “worn” and we are “ready to see redemption win”.
 
 

Hopefully, all of these songs brighten and enhance your Monday! We can’t wait to see you back here tomorrow for TTC Tuesday!

XOXO,
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What's Up Wednesday

Out @ Opulent & A Completed Great Room!

WednesdayYay! We have finally made it to the middle of the week! I’m in the midst of Pure Barre’s January 21 Day Challenge, and boy, the week is dragging by!! 5-7 days/week of leaving the house at 4:45 am. {Yawn.}

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 But I must say that I am LOVING getting this workout in every day! (No, we aren’t being sponsored by PB) But seriously, if you have a studio near you, try this work out. It’s 55 minutes of pure BURNING, while doing NO cardio whatsoever.

As you can tell from the title of this post, between all the Pure Barre classes & work, we have finally completed our great room/den/family room. I found a pillow & throw for our new French barrel cane chair:

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Here is a close-up of the fabric:

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Against the silver of the draperies and the flat grey of the chair, I am loving the way this fabric is both metallic and flat flax-colored linen in one. Perfect blend of opulence and tranquility – The whole theme I designed this room around.

wpid-IMG957648.jpgAnd if you’ll notice in the back left corner of the picture above, you can just barely see our final addition:

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This antiqued brass and wood inlay Threshold Target Bar Cart was originally $129.99. NO WAY. (Although, apparently, much better than the price at Crate & Barrel – see link!)

wpid-20140109_181506.jpgBut when I found it the other day for 70% off, making it right around $38?!?!? Yes, ma’am. It needed to come home with us. Not only does it fit the character of our room really well, it also alleviates a storage issue as we have way too many things don’t have enough cabinet space. 🙂

wpid-20140109_181542.jpgI found that great set of dessert plates with various gold and white designs, the striped and polka dotted paper straws, & those awesome coasters toward the back made for us by my sister-in-law, Mandy to go with the cart…. And yep, you guessed it! Everything I bought was on DEEP discount. Everything else was a wedding gift, and I’m so excited they now have a space to be displayed!!

I even found this little gem you can’t see in any of the pictures:

I remember describing my ‘vision’ for this room back before I even lived in this house, when Craig & I were engaged. He was a bit skeptical back then. 😉 But the other day, he told me he can see my ‘vision’ in the room now, and he says I achieved it (YES!!!). Win!

I think one of the most important aspects of interior design (or probably any design work, for that matter) is to create a space based around a feeling, an experience you want to have when you walk into that room. You are able to, then, pick colors, fabrics, and pieces that reflect that feeling. Pretty soon, the room has come together and you never had to fret over which style you are – traditional, modern, farmhouse, because it is all based around pieces you love and a feeling you desire.

Remember us telling you we went to Opulent for dinner the other night with my parents and brother? Thought we would share these two cute pics today:
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Just like all of our family, we really wish we could spend more time with this bunch! Dinner was delicious and alot of fun!

One other note for today, keep your eyes and ears open for Jesus. Yesterday, we talked about how God has been really speaking to us with the book of Isaiah…Well, yesterday, He put yet another verse from Isaiah in front of us. Sometimes God’s Will for your life, and His promises are right in front of you.

Join us tomorrow!

xoxo,
Pier & Craig

Thirsty For Christ Thursday

A New Habit To Form!

ThursdayGood Morning Folks!

Is everyone back to work and settled into their routines this morning? I know we are! Craig and I got up bright and early this morning at 4:15 AM. He headed to work, and I raced to make Pure Barre at 6 AM, then on to my office at 7 AM. After two weeks of short work weeks, road trips, vacation days, family, too much food, and too many presents, “real life” has returned and we are blessed with a new year. I don’t know about y’all, but I wasn’t ready. Not yet. A few more days, please! 🙂

As we all know, new years are ‘supposed’ to start with resolutions – commitments we make to live better and differently, changes for a more fruitful year ahead. I know one of mine is to finish reading straight through my Bible. (The Learning Bible is one of our favorite versions of the Bible to read with and study from.) I’ve just begun 1st Samuel, but I dilly-dallied and getting to that point took all last summer until now. Getting into daily Bible reading means developing my relationship with the Lord. Craig and I are in the midst of one ‘heavy’ devotional right now, plus two daily devotionals – and while, to some, that might sound like ‘more than enough’, it just isn’t.

As Christians, we are blessed with this amazing gift of being able to spend time with God, our Creator, our heavenly Father – to spend time with Him! Wrap your head around that one…

Shouldn’t we take as much advantage of that as possible? Is reading a chapter or two from our Bible each day really too much to ask – even if that is in addition to studying His word with our spouse or friend or family member daily? A dear friend of mine said something to me about 20 years ago (oh my goodness that was so scary to think it’s been THAT long), that has always stuck with me… She said, “Think of the Bible as a long love letter from the Lord, written especially to you.”

Wow.

I challenge you in this new year to develop a new habit, not try to kick one. Get in the habit of beginning with just one chapter of the Bible per day – just one, followed by a short prayer of thanks – and see what amazing changes God will make in your life, just with this one little addition to the daily routine.

Here are a few verses to get started (beginning with Craig & I’s favorite – God spoke these words to me on a bike ride almost a year ago, and they have been a banner over our household ever since):

Matthew 6:33

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

1 Peter 2:2

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby

2 Timothy 3:16

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

I’ll leave you with this verse and corresponding song, sung by Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith:

Psalm 119:105

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Enjoy your 2nd day of this glorious new year, and check back in with us tomorrow for Food For Thought Friday!

Much Love,
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TTC Tuesday

All It Takes Is One

Tuesday

Good Morning Everyone!

Remember how I told y’all last week the Metformin is really helping my insulin resistance?! Well, it continues! Probably the most common ‘symptom’ of insulin resistance (which is the root cause and/or side effect – depending on how you view the situation – of PCOS), is fatigue, and not only has the medication greatly improved my morning commute to work, but this morning, I was able to leave the house at 4:45AM and make a Pure Barre class near my office that began at 6AM! I even made it through the 55 minute class, and arrived at work with 10 minutes to spare! Winning! 😉

Yay for Metformin and for exhilarating morning exercise!

In other TTC news, our doctor’s office called late last week to:
    • Let me know that after looking over my sonogram results, it appears I did have one mature follicle. (That’s improvement over NONE and means the Letrazole and Metformin are doing their duties!) ALL IT TAKES IS ONE!!! {Praying. Praying. Praying.}
    • Inform me the doctor had written “PCOS” on my sonogram results. “Ma’am, were you aware you have PCOS?” REALLY?!?!?!? Oh my goodness. This practice…

Craig & I both read an AMAZING daily blog you too can read here. Basically, it is a daily devotional based upon one of our favorite books (as you well know), Jesus Calling, and today’s devotion gave me chills as I read it – thinking in conjunction with our journey of hope, disappointment and sadness as we have tried to conceive to no avail.

Today’s Jesus Calling contains these words:

“Come to Me with your gaping emptiness… Facing the emptiness inside you is simply the prelude to being filled with My fullness… If you persevere in this dependence as you go through the day, you will discover at bedtime that Joy and Peace have become your companions. You may not realize at what point they joined you on your journey, but you will feel the beneficial effects of their presence.”

God is so good. Thank you, Lord, for the hope you give for tomorrow, and the joy and peace you provide for today.

Keep us in your prayers, please.

All Our Love,
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