July 31, 2014


:: July is officially over...holy moly.

:: I think it is time for some new glasses...I'm thinking something like this. You like? I'm digging this shape a lot. Will have to see if we have anything similar in town. I think I go for my annual eye appointment in October.

:: We leave for our anniversary weekend tomorrow after work! Weeeeee!!

:: Had a good cardio workout this evening, since zumba was cancelled. I also tried out a few of the exercises I'll be doing for my new workout plan, and oh my. I'm going to have to work up to some of them. I couldn't do one of them at all!! If this plan doesn't bring changes, I don't know what will!

:: We were able to see about 20 photos that Geena took of Aspen and Blake yesterday, and they are super super cute!! I will be sharing them soon! They could both be models.

:: Doing laundry and packing up...I'll be off enjoying life, so don't expect to hear from me here for a bit! We will be returning on Tuesday sometime, and then I will probably blog on Wednesday evening. Have happy days until then!!!

July 30, 2014

it's wednesday

:: So, I asked this crazy ex-military guy at work to create a new workout plan for me -- one that will create some changes in my body. He was up for the task! I have reached a plateau, and am excited to give him exercises a try. He broke it into four day workouts -- upper body, back/legs, arms, and core. Then I have one day for zumba, and two days off. Let's do this!

:: We've been taking our pups on nightly after-dinner walks, when we can...they are loving it!! And we are too.

:: This morning, I woke up and I was miserable. It rained yesterday, and that really did a number on me. I woke up with the worst headache and heavy head, and I was full of snot. Lots and lots of snot. Old Kelley was back in full effect. :( It really makes me realize that that is how I spent my daily life, and that it isn't like that for me anymore. When it is gone, you tend to forget the intensity of it but oh my. What a horrible way to exist. I will forever be thankful to Whole30 for showing me some things. Unfortunately, I can't do anything about the dang rain.It's raining a bit now, so hopefully tomorrow morning won't be more of the same :(

:: I love love love SYTYCD!! Go Ricky!

:: Two more days of work!!

July 29, 2014

tick tock tick tock

:: Today, it rained! We needed it.

:: This evening, I set up the payment plan for Aspen's first semester of college -- whew! It's real now. Four monthly payments starting August 5th. Classes start August 25th.

:: I am determined to try my hand at making sushi! I watched a few how-to videos on youtube, and I already have all of the supplies. I will try with a no-fish roll first, until I get the hang of it. I don't want to waste the fish :) I'm thinking just an avocado/cucumber/scallion roll -- maybe put some imitation crab on Chris'. Wish me luck!

:: Three more work days! Then we are off for our little trip, and then I get to wrap it up with more vacation time. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

:: Today I finished the book The Truth About Drew, which was written by the woman who took our wedding photos. It was a sweet little story. It's available on Amazon.com if you are interested in reading it. I'm going to finish up another book that I am in the middle of, and then will move on with my list. I have so many books that I want to read.

:: Aspen and Blake are getting photos taken tomorrow, by one of Aspen's friends who has a strong talent at it. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of the shoot! They are too cute together, so the photos will be adorable I am sure. I'll share some here, of course!

:: That's about all I've got -- more tomorrow!

July 28, 2014

politically incorrect wife #1

So, as I mentioned, I wanted to share some things from the book The Politically Incorrect Wife...reading this book really taught me a lot and changed my mind set on a lot of things. Maybe these posts will inspire you to read the book yourself; or make you stop and think about things a bit differently. Or maybe you'll skip them altogether and that's fine too.

Here's the thing for me -- I was not raised with the Bible. I am a fairly new Christian, and am still learning what the Bible teaches. I have a lot to learn. But one thing I realized was that I really had no idea what the Bible says about being a biblical wife. We've all heard the most popular wedding verse about "Love is patient, etc." But what about MY role specifically? And even with that, what about HIS role too?

If you have no idea what your job description is, it is guaranteed that you will never hit the mark successfully. What is a wife's job description? Lucky for us, God never intended for us to be frustrated or confused. He was very clear and exact about our role when he created the world.

"It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper for him."

A helper?? That's it?


God gave man the responsibility of rulership and of cultivating the Garden. Then he gave Eve her role as helper. This was determined BEFORE the first sin, while the world was still perfect. So it was not a punishment for Eve; it was the role God wanted for us.

Helper sounds a little mundane and "beneath"; but if you step back to realize that helper is a reflection of who God himself is, that helps it to take on a new light. God uses this tense of helper in two places only -- when referring to a wife, and when referring to himself. When we embrace being a helper, we are living as close to a God-like life as we are able. We are being a reflection of God.

Being a helper is not DOING SOMETHING -- it is BEING SOMEONE.

A helper is one who gives assistance or support to another, making life more pleasant and bearable.

I was raised to be an independent woman, so reading this book slapped my preconceived notions in the face all throughout. I won't lie. As I began the book, I couldn't help thinking -- isn't this a waste and misuse of the talents, gifts, and abilities that God gave me?? How can a woman be both independent and submissive? What was the point of a woman wasting money and time getting a college degree? A lot of similar thoughts were flowing through my mind and I was panicking big time. As I progressed through the book, though, I learned how to work on changing my thoughts on this. Because this is what it boils down to:

I can not rewrite God's job description to benefit myself. It is what it is.

And here's the kicker -- I am either obeying God, or I am disobeying God. There is no middle ground.

So -- Helper. Give that some thought and I'll be back with post #2 soon...

July 27, 2014

weekend in a nutshell

:: We had a sushi date with Aspen on Friday evening and it was delicious!!! I skipped all gluten-containing items (gyoza dumplings, spring rolls, soy sauce, and California Rolls (which have imitation crab) and left the restaurant snot-free. Oh, gluten allergy, I'm on to you...figuring things out as I go. Tonight I am going to make one of my pasta dishes, but am using a brown rice noodle instead. We'll see how that goes, I am excited! Chris was willing to try it and for that I am thankful!

:: After our sushi date, we headed over to Buffalo Wild Wings to visit Blake, who was having a rough day. We sat in his section and gave him a good tip. He's a good waiter!

:: Saturday, we watched the Tour de Gap in the morning to support two coworkers, that was fun. Afterwards we went to the stone quarry to look at landscaping ideas. I will tell you one thing, going to a stone quarry in the dead of a Texas summer, at noon, will make you understand very quickly what it feels like to be thrown into a sizzling skillet. Ug.

:: I spent the rest of my Saturday cleaning the house, while Chris and Neeley worked outside...then Chris and I went to dinner at Red Robin and it was delicious. I got the mushroom swiss burger, without a bun...a great gluten-free option to be sure, but I have honestly always preferred hamburgers without the bun. I prefer to taste the hamburger!!

:: Today, we had a great guest speaker at church, and then I did the norm -- laundry, grocery shopping, etc.

:: The week ahead -- 5 days of work and then we are outta here! Can't wait to head to our favorite place, our second home! Fredericksburg! On Friday, at lunch, we are going on a group Marketing lunch to say goodbye to our summer apprentice Lizzie...we will be sad to see her go, we liked her. She's a sophomore, so who knows what the future holds.

:: Chris and I already know exactly what we are going to eat during our 4 days in Fredericksburg -- is that sad? I don't think so!! We love our foods there!!! We are going to spend a day at our Grape Creek winery too, and hopefully spend some time in the hotel pool. Among many other fun fun things!!

:: That's all I've got -- have a great week everyone!!

July 24, 2014

i can see the weekend

:: Yippie, tomorrow is Friday!!!! We have already discussed, and it will be a sushi night :) Then, Saturday night we may go to Buffalo Wild Wings, where Blake works. See him in action!

:: Since Vanessa is back from her trip to Africa, we were able to do zumba this evening!! Whew, it kicked my butt!!! I've been doing a cardio machine the whole time, but zumba uses the whole body. I will be sore tomorrow! But I had fun fun.

:: Blake joined us for dinner this evening...we had breakfast! Pancakes, bacon, and sausage from the farmers market. Yum yum!

:: No plans for the weekend, which is nice. (Beyond food!) I'm looking forward to filling it. Then...one more week of work, and we are off to Fredericksburg for our 7th anniversary!! We'll be back on Tuesday, and then I took the remainder of the week off as well. Can not wait for the week off!!!

:: Mimi is applying for a part time job -- please say a few prayers for her! The one she wants is at CVS...pray pray pray!

:: That's all I've got -- need to go work on some wedding programs!

July 23, 2014


Aspen had a great 18th birthday!

:: She went to the beauty school with Mimi and had her eyebrows waxed.

:: She and Mimi went to the mall and looked around, and picked up her birthday dessert.

:: I took a few photos on my lunch break.

:: After work, Aspen, Mimi and Blake met us at the office and then we all rode downtown together for a delicious dinner at The Beehive -- complete with Aspen's favorite filet! Nom nom!

:: After dinner, we headed home for cake and presents! Aspen requested a cookie cake this year, so we had chocolate chip -- it was actually quite tasty! And then gifts -- she got lots of goodies like Park Lane earrings, a mall gift card, a gift certificate for a massage, and a laptop for college! The funniest gift was a pack of cards -- each one had a different type of fart and the definition! :) Aspen and Chris think fart humor is quite hilarious, so she really loved that! Blake gave her a very pretty bracelet.

This beautiful girl -- she is just as beautiful inside!
We could not be more proud of her!
I had about 5 photos just like this -- they get to laughing and there is no stopping them!
Blake's first Baber celebration
This pretty much sums up their relationship -- Aspen is crazy, Blake is crazy, and together they are CRAZY. Never a serious moment.
She savored every bite of The Beehive filet -- it is the best in town!
Aspen -- she is beautiful and loud and wacko and awkward. More than anything, she is filled with joy. She spreads joy. She gives her heart freely. She builds people up with affection and words. She's a crazy dancer. She loves to laugh. She has a huge passion for children. She's an amazing photographer. She has grown an incredible amount in the past year. She has learned the beauty of honesty. Light shines from within her.

She loves God.

She has a full life ahead of her and I look forward to seeing where God takes her and how her uses her. We love you so much!!!

July 22, 2014

aspen is 18

Today, we celebrated Aspen's 18th birthday!! It's 10:00 and time for me to get ready for bed, so I will post in depth tomorrow, with photos. I think she had a really great day!

Welcome to adulthood!

July 21, 2014

hi you

:: Back to work, back to work...my list wasn't so bad today thankfully.

:: Received the Winkflash album today for our cruise...it looks pretty good! I'd say I'm about 95% happy with it. The background on the pages isn't what I was expecting and I'm not entirely fond of it. It's a little too dark. The photos look great, though there are a few that have odd black smudges. Overall, it is a great memory keeper!!

::  Made some progress in The G Free Diet book -- wow, gluten is everywhere. I have already learned a lot, and more to come.

:: After work this evening, we both did our workout and then we headed over to a local gym to watch ladies from our company play in an adult basketball league. It was fun to see them outside of work, running up and down that court! It was their first game, and there are a few who have never played. And the other team was quite serious. They lost 13 - 60, but it was fun!

:: Aspen went today to get her drivers license renewed! She is getting good at taking care of these things on her own :) Then she scheduled her time to retake her math test (this Saturday). Other than that, she did errands with Blake, chilled out at our house, and met us for the basketball game. Then they were off to dinner and a movie.

:: Our coworker Vanessa returned today from her 2.5 week trip to Africa! She came back engaged with a lovely ring, and she was full of stories. Very happy for her. She gifted me with very cute black/white earrings with a pretty tribal design. I am going to wear them tomorrow!

:: Tomorrow, we celebrate #18! Blake will join us and we'll have dinner at her choice -- right now, it is looking like The Beehive. She requested a chocolate chip cookie cake, and that will be yummy too! Looking forward to seeing what kind of gift-giver Blake is :)

July 20, 2014

baber weekend

:: Winding down our Sunday...just got done with a delicious dinner. I made ravioli lasagna, salad, and garlic bread for the family. I had sausage, zuchini, spinach and diced tomatoes cooked in the wok, with salad. I also made some lemon poppy seed muffins, made with almond meal. Very yummy!

:: The more I'm paying attention, the more I am thinking that I have a problem with gluten. I bought this book on Saturday night so that I can become more educated and delve a little deeper. I am looking forward to reading it. I have such a long, long list of books that I want to read, plus multiple magazines. It's never ending and I keep adding to it! Currently I am reading two books and 4 magazines.

:: Friday evening, Chris, Aspen and I had dinner with Greg and Lauren at Casa, and then spent the rest of the evening at Lauren's house drinking some wine. Aspen went to hang out with her friends, and we enjoyed our evening too.

:: Saturday, Chris and I woke up early and headed to the farmers market. We met Greg and Lauren there, and bought all kinds of goodies -- tomatoes, zuchini, cucumbers, cantelope, and fresh pork sausage. Nom nom!! Afterwards, we stopped at Lowes, and then Chris and Neeley worked on the shop. I went dress shopping for my friend Amy's upcoming wedding. More on that in the next bullet :) That evening, Chris and I had dinner at Jason's Deli, and then spent some time at the book store. We hadn't done that in awhile and it was fun. Then, we grocery shopped and headed home.

:: For the dress -- you might remember a previous post where I showed photos of the dresses I had found online. Well, of course, the actual store did not have all of them. Dillards had 2 of the 10. :( I tried on almost every dress in the store, including the junior department. Of the 2 pictured, I tried on the red one with the flounce, and the electric blue one. From the photos, the blue dress was actually the one that I was leaning toward. I did like it, but there was just something that wasn't quite right. I was wanting COLOR, but alas, the one I ended up with was black/white. Here it is. It came down to this one, which looks very nice on, and I can also wear to work -- and another one that was more trendy but fit great, only it was too short to wear to work. It also had 3/4 sleeves, and that would be too hot for an August outdoor wedding in St. Louis. So, I went with practical, because spending money on a dress is better if I can rewear to work! The best part! I had set a budget for myself...and the dress I chose was cheaper than expected. I was able to also get a Fossil bag that was on sale for 50% off, and was still right at the budget price!!! Woo hoo!! It was a great shopping day.

:: Sunday, church was great -- and afterwards, we were invited to attend the youth service so that we could hear the mission trip testimonies. It was crazy to be surrounded by so many teenagers who are on fire for God! It was quite inspiring, really. They have their own youth band that played worship music (teenagers) and the energy there was amazing. Then one after another got up to talk about something that had happened to them on their trip. This summer, there has been a trip to Ireland, Mexico and Dallas. It was really great and I am glad we were invited. From there, normal Sunday stuff...

:: Aspen's 18th birthday is this Tuesday! So hard to believe. So I will be posting about that this week. I also plan to begin sharing tidbits from the book The Politically Incorrect Wife...I learned so much from this book and feel that it is worth sharing since most of my readers are women. I look forward to that.

Hope you all have a great week ahead!!!

July 17, 2014

the weekend is near

:: My awesome souvenier from Aspen (Ireland) was these two pins! Not only did she find my McCarthy name, but she found Kelley too! I honestly teared up when she presented these to me. I love them! I have never been able to find anything with my name spelled correctly -- and although this is a pin for the surname of Kelley, that is A-OK with me!!

On the back of the packaging, it also has a description of what each name means...

Kelley: derived from Ceallach, meaning troublesome or bright haired; means "strife". Soooo, that is not too great! :(

McCarthy: descended from one of the leading septs in Munster. One of the top twenty most numerous names in Ireland. Found primarily in Co. Cork and Kerry. Means "loving". That's better!

I have a project brewing in my mind for these...including some beautiful, felted paper and a display frame. It is percolating and will all come together in its own good time :)

:: I was able to get quite a bit done today at work. Feeling a bit better.

:: Did the Barre 3 workout after work with Tina, and that felt good. We only did 1 of the 2 workouts, and I wish I'd had time for both.

:: Made shrimp tacos tonight for dinner and they were delicious! Any tips for preventing the soft corn shells from breaking??

:: Our cruise album from Winkflash shipped today! Can't wait to have another completed project in my hands. I hope it turned out well!!! What's next? Maui? Tahiti? I've got a lot of older trips that still need to be done.

:: We are all set for our trip to Fredericksburg the first week of August. Leaving Friday after work, and coming home Tuesday. Will be having dinner at August E's (amazing sushi) for our anniversary dinner. Will shop and visit our favorite winery and have a marvelous few days. I CAN NOT WAIT.

:: My Birchbox this month came with all kinds of goodies, including a very pretty purple metallic nail polish and a year subscription to Women's Health magazine!!! Woo hoo!

:: So happy that the weekend is near! We are having dinner tomorrow evening with Neeley and Lauren, and then going back to her house afterwards for some wine. Looking forward to that!

July 16, 2014

quick thoughts

:: I was able to load up all of Aspen's photos, and hopefully she will get home in time this evening to go through some of them. We are anxious to hear stories!!! From my quick browse through, this one jumped out at me and I wanted to share:

So beautiful there! Fun photos to come!

:: Today was a bit frustrating at work, but my workout helped to relieve some stress after work. I also made a pit stop to visit my donkey Huck -- that helped too!

:: Chris is busy booking our long weekend trip to Fredericksburg for our 7th anniversary!!! Can't believe we are coming up on 7 years. Wowza! Can't wait to spend time with my sweet hubby in our favorite place!

:: Watching SYTYCD -- such a good dancers. Still sticking with Ricky for the win!!!

July 15, 2014


Well, Tuesday is in the books...

:: Super busy at work...nearing the "drowning" feeling. Need to make mucho progress tomorrow so I can make that feeling go away.

:: I'm doing CARDIO week this week -- no weights, and upping the cardio time. Felt the need.

:: We picked Aspen up at the church at 12:30 am, and talked with her for about two hours...so happy to have her home! She is full of stories. She took about 1500 photos (I have trained her well!!). I uploaded them tonight and we will soon go through them all and hear her stories.

:: Dragging a bit from missing some sleep last night...need to catch up tonight!

:: Aspen has spent the day with Blake...those two sure did miss each other. He stayed for dinner tonight -- beef stroganoff :)

:: We're discussing the things we'd like to do around the house to finish it up -- it's quite a list. Need to figure out a plan. And get some things done.

That's all I've got I suppose -- brain dead tonight...

July 14, 2014

monday photos

So -- Ms. Aspen is back in the U.S!!! They had some more travel trouble though :( The bad weather had things out of whack, so they were delayed leaving Philadelphia, and then once they arrived in Dallas, the weather was bad there as well and they had to be put into a holding pattern for an hour of flying in circles. It's been along day for them. They were supposed to be back at 6:51, and it's now 8:30. They are just now getting off the plane to get their luggage, and then a three hour bus ride to Abilene. They must all be exhausted!!!!

We were able to track their flight, and watch them go round and round...it was so exciting to see their plane break out of the pattern and descend!!! She texted us right away and said that it was a very rough flight.

I don't think you guys are checking out my Instagram page, so I wanted to share a few photos from the last few days! The one above was me on Saturday morning, getting ready for our retreat. Fresh out of the shower, clean face, hair in a towel. Natural.

My retreat girls, hard at work! Kim, Paula, Pam, Roxanne and then Terry off to the right, searching for something :) Pretty typical!
Chris got a good deal on a used foosball game! It will eventually go in our upstairs game room. It's a tough game!

My friend Roxanne informed us that she has fresh eggs!! $2.00 a dozen -- which is cheap because a guy at work sells them for $4 a dozen!! I bought two, and they are yummy!!!
This makes me super happy -- Kim and Ocho bonded a lot over the weekend!!! He let her pick him up and hold him, and they played ball too. She took him outside when he needed to go. She also brought a baggie of Fruit Loops on Sunday and he was convinced that she was his new best friend. It was so great!! And Kim absolutely loved it!
I call this the "three minute changeup"! From classy professional to workout queen :) In three minutes flat. I did a full 30 minutes of cardio today because I felt like I needed it after the weekend. I typically do 15-20 minutes and then do arms/abs/legs -- 30 minutes seemed like forever!!! But it felt good.
So, now we wait for Ms. Aspen...they will be getting in late, and we'll need to pick her up at the church. We can't wait to see her!!!!!

July 13, 2014


This weekend was our scrapbook retreat, hosted at my house!! So, a busy weekend for me! The girls arrived on Saturday at 10:00 and stayed until midnight, and then were back on Sunday around 11:00 and left at 6:00. I got a lot accomplished -- completed our cruise album and ordered that, caught up on Project Life and got a lot of pages finished too. Great weekend!!!

After grocery shopping this evening, no time left. So, I thought I would take a moment to introduce you to Blake, Aspen's new boyfriend. He's a pretty cool guy and we are looking forward to getting to know him better. He's a bit of a kook!

Chris told Aspen that once she determined that she would like to date Blake, that he would need to have a conversation with him. So that took place before she left for Ireland. Blake came over for dinner, and Mr. Baber and Blake sat out on the back porch for a good long talk. Chris felt that it went well, and thinks that Blake seems like a sincere guy.

God has a plan for Aspen, and it will be interesting to watch it unfold...