Thursday, August 29, 2013

Game Day, Baby!!

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!?!?



I sure hope so, 'cause it's GAME DAY, Baby!!!

That's right.  I am a Gamecock.  My Man is "Roll Tide" all the way.

We bleed DEEP RED in this house.  Like Garnet.  And Crimson.



Orange (of any shade) is most definitely NOT in our color wheel!!!



Emilee and I are Gamecock born and bred.  Chris, Jake, and Sam, wear their giant "A" with pride. I guess you could say we are a "House Divided", except we all like each other's teams as well, just not as much as "our" team.  And since we rarely play each other, we all passionately pull for both teams unless we are forced to choose. And then, well...  that's when it REALLY gets fun!!



Our flag pole shares equal time with the Giant Gamecock "C" and Elephant "A" during football season. (Except that one year... when Carolina actually beat Alabama.  Then MY FLAG got put back in its' rightful place! ;-))



I just love this time of year.  I love cooking up the tailgate recipe of the week, and getting in our game gear. Whether watching the game with friends, or watching/listening at home, we always have a ball!! (Yep. That pun was definitely intended!)



What's your favorite sport/team??

Holla back atcha girl!

Meanwhile... Gooooooooooooo Cocks!!!!!












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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baby Steps


Ever since I can remember, I have struggled with my weight.
Even in high school, when I weighed 135 pounds (at 5'5") I thought I was fat.  (Looking at pictures, I realize now that I wasn't, but because I didn't weigh a perfect 110 and fit in a size 6, I thought I was.)

Thinking something over and over again, leads to believing it.  And believing something, even if it isn't true, can eventually make it reality.

Today, as I type this, I am at the highest weight I have ever been. EVER.  Yes.  That's INCLUDING pregnancy.

I am 75 pounds over-weight.

I. Am. Fat.

But I have a choice.  I can sit here and wallow, and keep thinking negatively about myself, or  I can take steps to positive, permanent change.

Oh, this ain't my first rodeo.  You name the diet, I've done it.  And I've been successful.  I've lost up to 40 pounds in 6 months, only to gain it all back (and then some) again.

Why?  Why is this SO HARD?  Why do I keep riding this roller-coaster??

In her book Becoming Myself, Staci Eldredge shares a theory:
A list of laws, rules, tips, techniques, and strategies does not a transformed heart make.  No wonder 95 percent of all people who lose weight are unable to keep it off.  Diet programs work.  If you work the program.  But they work from the outside in, and without substantive internal change, it's impossible to hold the ground of a lower BMI.  Yes, we all have areas in our lives we want and need to change, but the only way that is going to happen is when we have a change of heart.
Changing your heart changes your mind.  All those negative, self-defeating thoughts have to change into faith and belief.  Not in myself.  But in the One who changes me.  I will no longer listen to the voice of shame, or the voice of discipline, but I will search for the voice of my King...
The voice of Shame says, I basically hate me; I need to get rid of me.  The voice of Discipline says, I've got to fix me, because me is not good.  God says, I love you.  Let me restore you.  I like that one best.
So today, I am making a very important choice... The most crucial choice I can make if I want to see change.  I am choosing to believe that I am loved.  I am worthy.  I am purposed for good.  And I CAN make positive changes.  But only by letting go, and LETTING GOD have this mess I've made.
God is in the mess.  He is about transforming our inner mess so he can transform the rest of the mess.  Our transformation begins when we believe that we are loved.
I may be a "hot southern mess" but I am God's.  And He loves me.  And by putting my hand in his hand - just as each one of my precious children did with me while learning to walk - He will guide me and help me. He will teach me.

And I. Will. Change.

One baby step at a time.
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Counting Blessings

Thankful Thursday

One of the things I loved about blogging early on, was connecting with others in the blogosphere.  Not “strangers” mind you, but like-minded people, to learn from and share with.  My favorite place to do this was over at Grace Alone for Thankful Thursdays.  I thought I would carry on that tradition here at Sweet Tea Diaries

Today I am thankful for….

  • A great start to the school year – All three kids seem to be having a great week, with good teachers and friends. (Yep, even Jake!)
  • Awesome friends – I love that I have “sisters” that I can turn to.  Some of these are by blood, some in spirit.  All are precious!!
  • A fresh start – It feel so good to be blogging again.  Though saying goodbye to Truly Captivating was hard, I think it was just what I needed to rekindle the spark.  Sometimes we have to let go of good things to grasp hold of something better.
  • Being able to re-activate my gym membership – Yep!  The Zumba Madness will be returning to a Twitter feed near you!! (Well, not right away… I will probably start out on treadmill/eliptical and Yoga. Gotta ease back into this.  I don’t want to be hauled out on a stretcher!)
  • My Man – No matter what. He’s always there for me. I happened to “like” a certain book on Facebook the other day, and lo and behold, it gets to delivered to my door two days later!  I am a lucky girl!!
  • My Kiddos – It can be trying sometimes (anybody out there got a 13 year old daughter?? holla!!!!) but the blessings far outweigh the trials.  Precious. Precious. Precious!!
  • Getting to able to be part of THIS STUDY at My Church. Love getting to know ladies over coffee and a Good Word. Can’t wait to start on September 10!

A great way to cure the doldrums is to count your blessings.  Thank you, Iris and Laurie for leading us each week.  I feel better already!! :-)

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Follow Me!

What's your pleasure?

Pinterest?

Instagram?

Twitter?

Facebook?

I finally got my blog icons updated, so feel free to follow along!!

Don't know what in the Sam Hill I'm talking about??

Check out the images to your right, just under my blog header... They look a little something like this:


Just click on the one that interests you, and voila!  You're there!  All you have to do is "follow", "friend", or "subscribe".

Speaking of subscribing... If you don't want to miss out on anything I post here, the best thing to do is subscribe to my RSS feed.  That would be this little icon, here:


Once you click it, it will take you to my FeedBurner link and you can follow the directions to either subscribe by email, or some other type of blog feed reader.

So that's it.  Easy as pie.

Hope to see you around!! ;-)

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

For Jacob

Shoes In Africa

So, the kiddos came home telling me all about their first day of school.  Emilee and Sam were both super excited to fill me in on the activities of their day.  Jake, on the other hand, was a bit quiet. We always play the “Rate Your Day” game, so I initiated. 

He said, “Well.. give me my scale.”

“You know the scale, Buddy”, I replied.  “One = awful, Ten = awesome… so, how was it”??

“I guess a four, he quietly commented.”

“Four?? Really?? On the first day?  May I ask why?” I said, very concerned.

“Well”, as he fought back tears, “I have ABSOLUTELY NO FRIENDS in my class… Nobody to talk to.”

Being a bit of a “helicopter mom” (that’s what my hubby calls a mom who hovers a little too much), this broke my heart.  You have to understand… Jake is not an incredibly social creature; very quiet and mostly to-himself, but he usually has at least one buddy in his class.  6th grade is a very difficult age to feel all alone.

When Papa (my Daddy) called this evening to find out all about how today went for his grandbabies, I shared this with him.

He reminded me of a story…

The Story of the Shoe Salesmen in Africa

Two shoe salesmen were sent to Africa to see if there was a market for their product.

The first salesman reported back, “This is a terrible business opportunity, no-one wears shoes.”

The second salesman reported back, “This is a fantastic business opportunity, no-one wears shoes.”

The only question that I have is, when confronted with a problem or challenge, which salesman are you?

This helped me understand how to encourage Jake.  Okay, so you have “no friends” in your class… YET. But the possibility for friendship is there.  Maybe you’ll make the best friend you’ve ever had in your life… You’ll never know until you try.  Meanwhile you can keep in touch with your other friends at recess, and through texting and XBox Live.  It’s not a total loss.  It’s a growing experience.

Yes.  Growing hurts sometimes.  Just like when you wake up in the night with your legs aching… but it’s part of the process.  Part of life.

I’m so glad I have wise people in my life (like Papa) to keep me grounded, so that I may in turn keep my kiddos grounded, while seeking for new journeys and adventures.

As a Mama I experience growing pains, too.  It’s hard to watch your little chicks fall and struggle as they learn to fly.  But it’s completely necessary to teach them how to spread their wings, so that one day that can not only fly the coop, but soar on to great things!

My Mama has a cross-stitched quote that hangs on the wall beside the entrance to her family room.

There are two great gifts we can give our children.

One is roots, the other is wings!

Lord Jesus, give me the strength and wisdom to do just that!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why Begin Again?


There was an old man named Michael Finnagan....

Nah.  Just kidding!

But seriously.  Why did I start a new blog?  What's the big deal?

There isn't one really.  I just felt like starting fresh.  Blogging had become more of a chore than I wanted.  I felt like I had this "image" to uphold.  What should I talk about? Which audience to address?  Etc.. Etc...

So I decided to get back to the basics.  When I first started blogging back in 2005 it was for ME.  To give myself an outlet.  To tell about the cute little things that the kiddos were doing each day.  To share things that I've learned.  Whether about parenting, home-making, through Bible study, or just everyday life experience.

I know it sounds selfish.   (If you really know me, you know how funny that sounds - I'm one of the least selfish people on the planet.  To my detriment, really).  But I want my blog to be for me.  About me.  To me.  I want to look back on things and see how I've grown.  I want to be able to reflect upon lessons I've learned and memories I've made.

I lost my voice with Truly Captivating.  She was an awesome friend for many years, and took me through some really special times, and some really rough times. She introduced me to the blog world, and many special friends with which I hope to reconnect. But, like I said before, I felt lost in expectations.  Mostly expectations that I placed upon myself, but expectations none the less.

So with this new blog, I am starting fresh.  I named it Sweet Tea Diaries because I wanted it to reflect a myriad of subjects, but mostly just living life in the south as a woman who is wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.  A lover of Jesus, and music, and cooking, and tasting, and love and laughter and FUN!


Sweet Tea is the "house wine of the south.  I was raised on it.  People flocked to our house when I was younger just to get a taste of my Mama's sweet tea.  And now, I am passing on that same hospitality to my own children's friends. (They always ask how we get our tea to taste so good. I just say it's a family tradition!)  Home is more than a place for you to hang your hat.  It's a place for you to be yourself.  To bring your friends.  To feel safe, and loved, and free to learn and grow and continually change.  To become all that you were meant to be.

That's what I hope this blog is.  A place for me to struggle.  And share.  And laugh.  And tell stories.  And ultimately spread my wings. And soar!

I am so excited for the journey.  I hope you'll join me.  Any time.
Just stop on by and sit a spell.  There's plenty of southern hospitality and sweet tea for all!


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Friday, August 16, 2013

Theme Song

"American Honey" - Lady Antebellum

She grew up on the side of the road
Where the church bells ring
And strong love grows
She grew up good
She grew up slow
Like American honey

Steady as a preacher
Free as a weed
Couldn't wait to get going
But wasn't quite ready to leave
So innocent, pure and sweet
American honey

There's a wild, wild whisper
Blowin' in the wind
Callin' out my name
Like a long lost friend
Oh, I miss those days
As the years go by
Oh, nothin' sweeter than summertime
And American honey 


Get caught in the race of this crazy life
Tryin' to be everything
Can make you lose your mind
I just wanna go back in time
To American honey

There's a wild, wild whisper
Blowin' in the wind
Callin' out my name
Like a long lost friend
Oh, I miss those days
As the years go by
Oh, nothin' sweeter than summertime
And American honey

Gone for so long now
I gotta get back to her somehow

To American honey

There's a wild wild whisper
Blowin' in the wind
Callin' out my name
Like a long lost friend
Oh, I miss those days
As the years go by 
Nothin' sweeter than summertime
And American honey
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