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Monday, April 28, 2014

15 Things to Expect When Married to a Police Officer

I came across this being shared on Facebook and thought it was sweet, but undeniably accurate!

15 things to expect when married to a police officer (by Molly McAdams):

1. Always having to sit a certain way at restaurants so he can see everything/everyone.
2. Always having to sit in the back row at a movie theatre -not to make out- but so he can see everyone.
3. If #1 or #2 are crowded, you will have to leave. Not because of the wait at the restaurant, or because someone might sit next to you at the theatre, but because crowds make him anxious beyond belief. Too much can go wrong.
4. When you're at the store, he will randomly shove you down an aisle and whisper, "Go that way" while he continues walking straight because he's just seen someone he arrested, and doesn't want them to see you.
5. If you eat fast food, you have to make sure not to go to certain ones for a few months because the last time you were there, the person at the window was someone he arrested.
6. Eventually someone delivering your pizza will have been arrested by your husband. (Thank God ours now views my husband like a role model, we're good.)
7. Because he is trained to drive a certain way if need be, he will drive like that in your personal car as well all the time, causing you to hold the "oh shit" bar the entire time while working on your imaginary braking skills.
8. When you hear velcro, you smile to yourself because you know your husband has made it home safe another day.
9. Not being able to buy him just any shirt you think will look good on him, because you have to buy him shirts that will cover his off-duty weapon.
10. Knowing where all the guns are in the house, if they're loaded or not, and getting scolded like a child if you're home alone and don't have one within reach.
11. Staring at your phone for the last 20 minutes of his shift, waiting for the phone call that says, "Gonna be late, have to transfer someone and do paperwork."
12. While at the beginning, hearing sirens used to make you hold your breath and pray until you heard from him again, you now just trust he'll come home, and whisper "Get some" to yourself with a smile when you hear sirens.
13. You can text/call him and not hear from him for hours because he's busy. But if he calls or texts you, you better answer or respond within seconds because he will lose his shit thinking something's happened to you, call you 10 times in a row, text you a dozen more, and will be on his way to your house to check on you … all within five minutes from the first text/call.
14. Hearing in detail the smell and look of a dead person no longer fazes you … it's normal conversation, just as guns, bullets, and differences in them are now a daily conversation.
15. Nothing shocks you anymore when it comes to illegal activity that he's seen at work. You just shake your head and say something along the lines of, "dumb ass" in regards to what happened, when during the first few months it was something along the lines of: "OH MY WORD!!! Are you serious?! What has happened to this world?! I can't believe that! Just -- WHAT!?"

So after all that, it also must be said that being a police officer's wife is the best thing in the world. Dinner conversations are never boring. He looks hot in his uniform. And you know he can protect you, and protects your city on a daily basis.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Blurb Mother's Day Deals and Contest!

Publish Your Mom for Mother's Day!
(This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.)

Right now at Blurb you can save 15% on all printed orders through April 30th!! Mother's Day is right around the corner and a wonderful way to surprise that special lady in your life is to make a one-of-a-kind beautifully bound cookbook from all of those tasty treats she made you as a kid. You get to forever preserve a delicious part of your past, and your mom gets billed as the artist she always wanted to be. But be sure to hurry because this deal only lasts until the end of the month... just in time for a Mother's Day delivery. Can't get any tastier than that.

Make a Book About Your Favorite Person and You Could Win $2,500 from Blurb
While you're at it, enter to win Blurb's My Favorite Person Contest. Make a book about why Mom is your favorite person and be entered for a chance to win and to show Mom just how much you appreciate all she's done! Even better...all My Favorite Person books are discounted 30% off.
Details: Entrants must create a Blurb book and submit by dates on the website based upon the category selected. Entrants may submit a book for each category. Books must be made with Blurb (not another print company) to be considered.
Valid: Contest entries must be submitted by April 28 and May 31, based upon respective categories. The 30% off discount is valid through May 31st.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Sale!

(This post contains affiliate links which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)

Looking for a great deal on ebooks, eCourses, printable packs and bonus products and memberships? Look no further!
Follow the links below to buy the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! This is a collection of 78 fantastic eBooks, audio files & printables. All the best ebooks on everything important to us as wives and moms: homemaking, cooking, decorating, parenting, faith and more.

With this bundle, you'll also get 10 awesome bonuses!
Sample the web’s top stores and services for homemakers with FREE bonus products, memberships, and store credits from Dayspring greeting cards, Dizolve laundry detergent, Hope Ink art prints, Once A Month Meals and many more!

This bundle has a resource for nearly everything you need to conquer as a homemaker, all in one place and all at an incredible price! The eBooks alone are a $698 value and the bonuses are worth over $200! But from today through midnight on Monday, April 28, you can get this bundle for only $29.97! Or if you'd prefer the bonus Kindle editions, it's only $39.97!

Just remember, this bundle is only available for 6 days! So follow the links between 8am EST Wednesday, April 23 until midnight EST Monday, April 28.

How to Add & Sell a Pattern on Craftsy

How to Add & Sell a Pattern on Craftsy
(This post contains affiliate links which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)

In addition to wonderful online courses and craft supplies, Craftsy also has an independent online pattern store that lets anyone upload and sell downloadable e-patterns with no fee!

Do you have a pattern you'd like to add to Craftsy and start your pattern store? It’s so easy to get started!!

1. Make sure you have a Paypal account. All pattern transactions happen through Paypal, and Craftsy requires that you have a Student, Premier, or Business account in order to sell patterns.
2. Put your pattern in .pdf format. You can’t upload any patterns to the online pattern store unless they’re a .pdf file format, so if they’re currently saved as a Word doc, .jpg, or other file format, you must convert it to a .pdf before you upload it to Craftsy.
3. Include a photo. All patterns must have at least one photo to accompany them, but you can add up to five photos. Colorful, interesting photos tend to work the best for catching our members’ eyes!
4. Fill out the pattern description. We will ask you some basic questions around your pattern making it easier for Craftsy folk to find your pattern and know what your pattern is for. Make sure you have info about your pattern handy for this step.

For more information on how to sell a pattern through Craftsy, or to get started, visit Craftsy today!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Peanut Butter Easter Egg time!

For generations, my mother's family has been making chocolate covered eggs for Easter - peanut butter, coconut and divinity cream. It's a tradition that everyone loves, for obvious reasons! And as the family has grown, the recipe keeps getting shared and hopefully soon, everyone will know how glorious these eggs are!

I've only ever made the peanut butter version, because I don't like coconut or white cream. Selfish, I know. But why put the effort into making something that I don't like??

This recipe makes 6 eggs, each about 3/4 cup size.
3/4 Cup peanut butter (cannot use reduced fat peanut butter!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

2/3 cup evaporated milk
6 Cups powdered sugar

1 bag milk chocolate chips

Mix peanut butter, vanilla, and salt until creamy. Blend milk until smooth.
Gradually add powdered sugar, slowly mixing after each addition.
(We've found that using the dough hook in the stand mixer works best. Scrape the bowl often. It can seem like it takes forever to mix, but make sure not to mix it on a high speed)

Using about 3/4 cup of peanut butter mixture, roll into smooth egg shapes.
Place eggs on waxed paper on a cookie sheet and put into refrigerator to set up (a few hours, or about 1 hour in the freezer)

When eggs are firm, melt about 1/4-1/3 of the chocolate chips (I use a double boiler on the stove). Turn the eggs over and spread melted chocolate on the bottom (flat) side of the eggs, allowing it to run over the sides a bit.

Put the eggs back in the fridge overnight (still upside down, still on the waxed paper on the cookie sheet), long enough for the chocolate to harden.

When you're ready to cover the tops, melt the rest of the chocolate chips. When you pull the eggs out and flipe them over, you may have to reshape the tops to be more round. Spread the melted chocolate over the tops and sides, smoothing over the "seam" where you covered the bottoms.

Add sprinkles, if you like, back in the fridge to harden.

Slice or cut them up any way you'd like and ENJOY! They are ridiculously rich and sweet, so one egg can be enough for a family of 4 to enjoy for a while, unless someone has a major sweet tooth!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

God-tinted Lenses

It doesn't take much to change how we see what's in front of us.
If you look out a dirty window, everything looks smudged and dreary.
If you have on a pair of sunglasses, everything looks a little darker.
If you put on colored lenses, everything takes on that same tinted color.

What if we had the opportunity to see the world through God-tinted lenses, even just for a few minutes?
To see every person, every situation the way that He does? What would that do for our world view for the rest of our days? I believe that the opportunity to see people the way that their Creator sees them would change us forever. We wouldn't be defining people by our own observations and judgements, we would just love them unconditionally. Our hearts would be broken by the same things that break His heart. We would be overwhelmed and consumed by our love for humanity.

But more than that, I believe the way we see ourselves would be changed. We tend to put ourselves on a platform that is higher than we probably deserve. To see ourselves as God sees us would be incredibly humbling. He loves me with a love that I can't even begin to imagine, but I know that I break His heart daily as I make choices that hurt Him. Just a few moments of seeing myself in that light and I don't think I would ever be the same.

I pray that we would all strive to find a way to put on some God-tinted lenses see the people we interact with through His eyes, with love and see ourselves in the same way. I pray that our eyes would be open to the ways that we can honor our God and make Him proud with the thousands of choices that we make in a day.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A word about affiliate ads here...

I know that every page we visit these days is drowning in ads the whole perimeter of the page and I know it can get annoying, but please bear with me!

The ads that you see on my page are tried and true. I won't place an ad unless it's for a company that I've dealt with before.

Today, I'd like to give a specific shout out to Zulily!
Zulily is an incredible discount sale site that carries baby gear/clothes, women and kids clothes and shoes and home decor goodies. Their sales update daily, so it's become a little morning ritual of mine to be sure to spend some time browsing the new additions to Zulily. Sales open at 6am PST (9am here) and usually last 72 hours, some may be a bit shorter. There is limited inventory of each item, so if you find something you love, you've gotta snatch it up quick! After the sale closes, Zulily places a bulk order of the items, which ships after Zulily receives everything.

It all may sound a little odd and unconventional, but it's worth it for the great deals! Shipping can take a little longer than you're probably used to, so I'd take that into consideration if you're ordering for a birthday or holiday, where you'd need your item by a specific date. When the product is high quality brands for really great sale prices, it's worth the wait!

A recent order I place with Zulily hit a little snag. I had ordered a few items for myself, nothing major and nothing that I needed on a deadline. Within about 2 weeks, I got notice that one of my 3 items had shipped.I wasn't able to tell why the other two hadn't, since they were all ordered from the same merchant. Some more time passed, I received that one item but still no notice about the other pieces. After about a month, I decided to call Zulily to check on the status.

Something incredible happened when I called...a person answered the phone! A REAL, LIVE PERSON! No recording, no prompts to press 1, just a lovely, perky person. In less than 5 minutes, she updated me on the status of these other items, apologized profusely for the delay and gave me a credit on my account for my next purchase. I was blown away! Shortly after, I also received a follow up email.

It's not often that we see great customer service anymore. Especially from a company that also offers such great bargains. It always seems to be that you get what you pay for...find a great deal and you'll be sacrificing good customer service. But not with Zulily!

I strongly recommend you check them out next time you need any baby, kids, women or home products!

Follow the link to sign up now!

[Disclosure: Creating a Zulily account through this link will result in my getting credit for a referral]

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Living with the disrespect

Looking for a fool proof way to get your blood pressure up?

Go online and find a news story involving the police. This should be easy, there's something new every day. Read the article and note the negative spin and overall tone that the LEO involved was in the wrong. Then keep scrolling to the comments, sit back with some popcorn and get ready for the pressure to build.

We all know that our law enforcement community isn't the most well-liked in the world. People have one bad run-in and decide that all police are dirty and worthless. Sometimes these people haven't even had a bad experience, they're just assuming that nothing good comes from the police getting involved in anything.

Why is it so hard for our world to understand that most of those in law enforcement are good, selfless people, truly sacrificing themselves for an ungrateful community?

Every day, my husband puts on a ridiculous amount of gear and a target on his back and heads out into a world full of angry people who would love a chance to cause him harm for no reason.

A duty belt weighed down with handcuffs, pepper spray, an asp, a pistol and extra magazines.
A Kevlar vest that weighs more than you realize and doesn't allow for any air circulation (extra fun when it's summer in the South).
A badge that only weighs a few ounces, but carries more with it than anyone knows.
And he drives off in a car that is filled with even more gear. The trunk, the backseat, the passenger seat, even the little pockets in the door are all stuffed to the brim. Safety gear, protective gear, more guns and endless folders, files and notebooks of paperwork.

He spends his shift being polite with people who hate him for no reason other than the badge on his chest. His eight hour shift almost always turns into 10 or 12 hours. Even when he is home in bed, the phone has a tendancy to ring and call him back out. He works birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and most weekends. He does this for a paycheck that is much smaller than you'd probably guess and no thanks.

My husband has one simple goal every day: To come home.
It has nothing to do with speeding tickets or DUIs or anything else. He wants to help people, with the end game being to make it home. All of that gear, all of his training, all of those hours go toward making him better at his job and more likely to come home to me. If only the rest of the world understood that.

Unfortunately, the target on his back also means I have the same one. I'm so proud of my man and what he's accomplished for himself and our family on the few years that he's being in this line of work, but I can't talk about it. New people and strangers can't be told what he does for a living. I can't put a sticker on my vehicle. I can't wear shirts or jewelry that advertise my status as a police wife. I've never been more proud of anything, but I have to keep it to myself.

I get so jealous of military wives who can do all those things. They can beam with pride and tell random people in the grocery store, "My husband is in the [pick your branch]!!" They have car decals and shirts and Facebook statuses that shout with pride. Why can't I do that? What makes police service so evil and military service so honorable? How many of these hateful people realize that most law enforcement are either prior or current military members? How many people will shake a soldier's hand and thank him one day and the next day curse him online for being a police officer, without realizing that he is the same person?

The disrespect and hate that our law enforcement officers face every day can be exhausting and frustrating as a wife. And unfortunately, most days our only option is to sit quietly and bite our tongues and pray every day that the good guys make it home and that maybe one more person will learn to have some respect.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Don't pray when you feel like it...

This sounds backwards, I know. Bear with me.

If you don't know Corrie ten Boom's story, I encourage you to do some reading. The best source is her own book, The Hiding Place, but some online reading would give you a great understanding also. I read The Hiding Place during one of the hardest times in my life. I was throwing a rocking pity party for myself and doing some fabulous wallowing. Seriously, it was impressive. And while I was dealing with one of the toughest challenges I had faced yet in life, I needed some perspective and some hope. My aunt mailed me this book, along with a prayer that I would find what I needed within the pages. This is really a long story for another day, but by the end of this book, Corrie was my new hero. So this quote from her really struck me hard, especially since it relates to something I've been struggling with lately.

Lots of changes are coming up in my life. I'm pretty sure that nothing can make you feel as completely unprepared as trying to prepare for a baby. At this point in life, with all the emotions that go with it (special shout out to pregnancy hormones!), it's so easy to stress. And goodness, there is so much to justify stressing about! But late at night, when the whispers start creeping in and worry starts to suffocate, panic seems like the best option.

God has been trying to get my attention for some time, trying to show me that there is a better way to deal with the unknown and all the change that is looming ahead. And the best way is to draw closer to Him. He is my Savior, my lifeline, but so often, quality time trying to get close to Him is pushed to the bottom of the do to list. There's an assurance that comes with knowing that He'll be there anytime we call, even if it's been years. Unfortunately, that can lead us to become complacent. When I know that I'll always be welcomed back, it's easier to stray away.

So this week, I have new goals and a new commitment. I'm committing to rising early and starting my day with God. This is easier said than done most days. With a husband that is usually getting home around midnight or later and I'm having to work at 8am, most mornings, I take every bit of sleep I can get! My relationship with my God has to be a priority though. So I can spare 20 or 30 minutes of sleep to connect with Him and take a nap later if I need to. I'm learning how important it is to start my day with God, how much differently my day will go when I make that a priority.

I have a new Bible study plan (more on that later), a new binder (yes, I have a sickness), and a new perspective.

"Don't pray when you feel like it. Make an appointment with God and keep it. A [wo]man is powerful on his [her] knees."