Goals for the remainder of summer

Since summer is about half way over I wanted to write a post on some goals I have for the rest of the summer since most of our major summer traveling is over. This post is mainly for my benefit so I can look back on it but I always love reading others goals so maybe whoever is reading this will get something out of it, enjoy!


  • Finish two books- I’m currently reading Gone Girl and next on my list is A Light Between Oceans.
  • Work on redecorating house- Obviously I won’t be redecorating the entire house, but I’m in the process of redoing certain rooms, furniture & walls.
  • Transform the way we grocery shop & eat- This is a goal that has been put off for far too long and it is something that is about to happen for our family and I’m very excited to see the changes that come.
  • Start working on planning our upcoming Christmas/New Years vacation to Boston & New York
  • Update framed pictures in our house
  • Finish Ancestry.com family trees & have them printed and put into a book
  • Get back to cooking more
  • Get back to more crafts
  • Get back to food journaling- I have really slacked off with doing my daily food journal this summer, but its something I really need to get back to for health reasons, as encouraged by my dietitian it really helps me keep my diabetes and health in check.
  • Be more productive and intentional with my time

Houston Stroll For Epilepsy 2014



This post has been a long time coming as Team Jillian has been raising money for the cure, treatments, and awareness of Epilepsy for almost a year since the last walk in 2013. I hope to write a more informative post really about Epilepsy with more details and specifics to help those reading that don’t know about the disease, especially all the current changes that have been made recently. And hopefully I can get that written in the next couple of weeks or so. And I will make sure to link that post to my facebook and twitter pages as well because I know not everyone reads here on the blog.




But before I say anything else or get to the pictures from the day of the Stroll For Epilepsy 2014 I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to every single person who helped in any way by supporting Team Jillian financially you honestly have no idea how much you have done for so many people! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU 🙂  I wish there was something I could do besides what I have already done to show you how grateful Team Jillian is to have your support, love, help, and encouragement always behind us!


Mom & Parker enjoying zoo time during the walk



LOVE them holding hands walking together



You can definitely spot our “green family” a mile away!



LOVE our shirts…thankful for my parents for coming up with the clever and cute design for a Team Jillian tshirt.






One more time with Dad, can’t have Team Jillian without Dad!



It wouldn’t be a true Parker picture if he were standing still!



Loving playing the drums with Chief!



More drums with Chief!



Ferry ride with Chief




Mom & Christo on the ferry ride



Matt & Jenna on the ferry




Jake & I on the ferry




My parents and Parker on the ferry ride over to Galveston Island after leaving the Houston Zoo heading to the beach to celebrate Jenna’s 30th birthday!

Epilepsy Walk 2014

Last year was the first year we have donated, walked, and took part in the annual Walk For The Epilepsy and I’m proud to say with the help of ALL of our wonderful family and friends we raised $525.00! We are doing our very best this year to raise money and participate even more in the Annual Houston Stroll For Epilepsy. We are trying to change things up a bit this year and designing our own t shirts to wear on the day of the walk, while I’m also raising the amount of our goal donation to $1,000.00!  The Epilepsy Foundation of Texas has Epilepsy Walks all over the state during the spring so PLEASE think about participating and/or donating to find a cure for Epilepsy and seizures. Here is our family picture or TEAM JILLIAN picture from last year at the Houston Zoo right before the walk began.IMG_0434Here is the link to my Team Jillian fundraising webpage where you can go online to donate or read more about participating in any of the walks for Epilepsy:  http://eftx.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=19110


2014 goals

I’m going to try to keep my goals simple this year so I don’t overwhelm myself, but I also don’t want to limit myself to one thing, I like to be reminded of other goals so I can keep myself in check in lots of different areas of life.

Here are my Top 10 goals for this new year:

1. Get in shape/lose weight-while this is a constant goal of mine every year, it is a continuous goal and goes along with get my Diabetes under control. I let things go during the holidays and my blood sugar is now way out of control and changing my diet and getting back in shape will get that under control so this is something that must happen.

2.Read more- I want to read at least one book per month. Once I finish the book I am currently reading I have a list of ones that I want to start during this new year and then will continue looking for more to read. It is amazing how much I have learned to read through the past several years.

3.Try one new recipe every week from one of my many cookbooks, pinterest, blogs, or friends. I get really tired of eating some of the same food so I am making this a goal so that some of these new recipes will get put into the regular rotation in our kitchen.

4.Practice more acts of kindness, encouragement, and appreciation on a more regular basis. I notice when you do the slightest act of kindness it can make the biggest effect on the person during the day, such as writing a short, sweet note or giving a simple compliment. I want to do my best this year to show people in my life or strangers for that matter simple acts of kindness, encouragement, and appreciation.

5.Be in God’s word more often- While some might put this in the same category as reading, this is an entirely different goal for me. I would love to read through the bible in a year, but my goal is just going to be to have daily devotionals deep in God’s word because I have discovered you can never truly hear God’s voice and what he wants you to do in your life unless you are really in His word.

6.Be more connected with God-Along with reading God’s word, being connected to God through my relationship with him is something I really want to work on. There are so many tools we have that can strengthen our relationship with God, but we take advantage of them and I want to totally change that this year. The top two being reading and being in God’s word and powerfully praying consistently and constantly.

7.Learn to sew- I got a sewing machine last year for my birthday and I have yet to really learn how to use it and sew. I really want to but find myself being a little intimidated by the sewing because I’ve really never used one. But this is my goal this year because there is so much cute, crafty stuff that I want to be able to make and start selling.

8.Start selling my stuff on Etsy-I recently started an Etsy shop online to try and sell some of the different things that I make for different occasions. I want to broaden my selection in what I am making, but really want to try to sell what I enjoy making so much.

9.Decorate our new house-We just moved into our first house almost two months ago and we are still in the process of putting our stamp on it and making it feel like our own. So one of my goals throughout this year is to decorate our house with our style and to really make it feel like our own.

10.TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL-We are hoping to take a fabulous holiday vacation next Christmas or New Year’s to the east coast. And we are already in the process of planning our summer vacation with my immediate family to the beach. Traveling whether far or near is always always a big goal in our lives, we love to get out and see the world that was created for us.

Happy 2014, we are excited for this year and what it will hold! I know there will be lots of fun planned and I cannot wait to make a dent in these goals/resolutions! 🙂

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a great new year’s celebration and that your 2014 has gotten off to a fabulous start! We had a very relaxing new year’s eve & new year’s day celebration by just cooking dinner at home and enjoying some bubbly to ring in the new year with just the two of us. And on new year’s day we hung out, cleaned and organized stuff around the house, watched the rose parade, watched some football, and had some friends over to enjoy drinks and celebrate the new year while watching more football. But of course we cooked a yummy new year’s day lunch of roasted chicken, black eyed peas for our good luck in 2014, roasted potatoes, spinach salad, and rolls.

This new year’s was a bit different for us because we are usually the type to get dressed up and go out to dinner and stuff on new year’s eve. But this year we decided to just hang out at home just the two of us enjoy dinner, some bubbly, and watched some tv, and enjoyed some yummy dessert and I had a great time just doing that! I’m happy to say that even though we weren’t with either of our families we spent new year’s eve together and I was with my favorite person in the world and new year’s day we spent with some of our good friends so it was the next best thing to family!

We are really looking forward to 2014 and what all this year is going to hold for our family. We have so much fun things to look forward to, lots of goals we plan to reach, and cannot wait to see what God has in store for us! I hope the new year is great for everyone reading this.

And a happy Friday to all 🙂

My Reading List

It was one of my most important 2013 New Year’s Resolutions to consistently read more books. I love reading and more importantly the feeling of really of being so into a book. Throughout grade school, middle school, and high school I hated reading mostly because I was forced to do it and we all know when someone is making you do something it makes you hate it even more, at least that was my own experience. And the one other reason that I now know why I hated reading and school so much growing up would be because I didn’t understand what I was reading at all, it was like one never ending, run-on sentence. There was never a story, plot, theme, or anything, it was all just words. I’m so glad to finally know now why reading frustrated me for so long and to finally be able to enjoy it!  I suppose it was sometime in college or after that I began to learn to like to read and in the last few years it has turned into a love to read.


I started out this new year by reading Room By: Emma Donoghue. It was definitely a different, but enriching book to read. It was totally a ME book, a typical book that I would love so I thoroughly enjoyed it. It amazed me how someone could actually think something like this up since it was a fiction book. Also one thing that really struck me after reading the book was how different being in our world can make us and how evil one person can really be, our surroundings in our lives can change so much. This book was about a woman who at nineteen gets kidnapped and is held hostage in a sound proof metal shed in a backyard. She is kept in the shed for seven years, every night is raped, but becomes pregnant and has a baby inside the shed. This shed is where the little boy, Jack grows up, there is no window, no outside, he has to sleep in a wardrobe. I won’t say much else about the book but that it is horrifying (just to think about a situation like that, especially when we all know they happen everyday in our world), unimaginable, brilliant, especially that it is written in Jack the five year old’s voice and point of view.



The book I am currently reading now is SO DIFFERENT from Room, but still I am loving it! I actually intended to read this book much much sooner but haven’t been reading much at all in 2012. This was one of the many books I got for Christmas last year and I’m so happy I’m finally getting into it. It is the perfect balance between a love story (one that isn’t cheesy and over the top) and good story from the old times. I love old stories, especially love ones. And this book is also fiction which is surprising since I normally don’t go for fiction at all. I’m loving reading it every night while Jake and I are laying in bed both reading our books, that honestly couldn’t be any different. I have about ten chapters left and I can’t wait to see how it ends, it has been so great so far!



I am hoping to finish this book over the week and through this coming week before I go on my trip to Abilene for a week. While I am there I am planning to start Gifted Hands by: Ben Carson


And we shall see what comes up next, book suggestions are always welcome!!

2013 Here We Go!!

I have always LOVED the beginning of the new year and all the freedom and fresh feelings it brings and 2013 has proved to be no different! This year has gotten off to a great start and we already have SO MUCH to look forward in the next few weeks and months! And like every year I love to set New Year’s resolutions or goals for my life and I just wanted to have those goals written down here on this 2013 post so I can come back weekly and monthly and see how much I have achieved in these goals. And with me being the list maker that I am, this will probably not be the last list of goals I am going to try and achieve throughout this 2013 year.




1. First & most important goal for 2013…Weight loss & getting healthy/fit. This goes from anything to making that number on the scale go down to working out much more often and eating, cooking, even choosing healthier meals when out to eat or traveling. This has so much to do with our health (both Jake & I), bettering our future years, and just being smart about healthy living. Like I said this is our MAIN and MOST important goal and if I’m not as productive on all my other goals for this year, I’ll be ok with that as long as we can achieve this one!

2. Redecorating/Projects around our house…I have really been wanting to update/redecorate all of our decorations in our apartment and I can think of no better time to start than the beginning of the new year. So we have decided for budgeting and productivity purposes we are going to set a goal of two projects per month. And I’m hoping to blog about each of the different projects we do along the way. This should be a fun goal since I have SO SO much creative things I want to do around the house right now!

3.Photography…We bought ourselves an awesome  Nikon camera a few years ago and really love it and the amazing pictures it takes. But I really really want to learn more about the camera itself, the different settings, details & special features. Especially as we buy a new lens for it soon, I’d really like to improve my picture taking skills this year!

4.Etsy…Since I am an stay at home wife right now, I’d really love to use my skills for something aside from my own home decor, Pinterest ideas, or great gifts for my family and friends. I would really LOVE  to open my own Etsy shop and try and sell some of my favorite creative creations I make. The way I look at it is if I make money off of it then awesome but if not then oh well!

5.Reading…For a long time I had really gotten into reading, Jake was actually the one that truly taught me to enjoy and love to read and I couldn’t thank him enough for that! But for some reason I had fallen off of the reading wagon for quite awhile, so after reading a really great book the first week of January I decided to really jump back into it and I LOVE IT already!

6.Studying My Bible…I hate even writing much less admitting this but this is such a hard one for me to stick to for some reason. Now don’t get me wrong I grew up from birth in the church, have know scripture and bible stories from the very beginning of my life so this goal is nothing new to me. But it is always something very hard for me to stick doing on a daily basis like I really want it to be this year. I am planning on starting simple because I know this is the only way it will happen, possibly one or two Psalms & Proverbs daily and then a chapter a day starting with the Old Testament.

7.Blog…I wouldn’t say that I don’t blog, but I’m not very good at doing it on a consistent basis, which is what I really want to try and accomplish so that I can have something to look back on all these memories one day. Also because I know how good it is for me to just be able to sit and write, so good for the soul, I’ve always LOVED to write and this is a perfect place for it!

8.Praying…I want to my absolute hardest to be more intentional about praying about the things in my life whether it is an important decision, something silly, family, or simply just wanting God’s guidance in my life. Prayer is something I have just always struggled with, either only doing it when something is really wrong or just thinking prayers in my head instead of praying my hardest to God.

9.Daily Routine…Since I’m at home all day and for now not working at all, I’m always feeling the need to cross things off my list. So it is really one of my 2013 goals to have a daily goal list of things that I want to accomplish every single day. Some days they will be strictly simple household things, laundry, vacuum, clean bathrooms. While other days it will be to organize the closets or whatever else comes along, but everyday I want to have a simple list of productive things I get done.

10.Take Less Medicine…Obviously this has alot to do with my medical conditions and how much better they get and how my doctor appointments go. But I’m hoping throughout the year,( as long as I continue to do well) that I will be able to VERY SLOWLY decrease the amount of medicine that my body consumes since I wouldn’t want to do anything against my doctor’s care and medical opinions! But for now I am BEYOND thankful for my health and the progress I have made, especially in the last few months, which I am going to do a whole post on soon. And extremely grateful that we have health insurance that we can afford such amazing medical care, I don’t know where I would without my awesome doctors and medicine!