Fridge or Pantry · Good Cheap Eats · Homemaking · Pantry Challenge · Perseverance

Pantry Challenge – Thawed Out

Happy New Year Y’all.
On New Year’s Day, I posted about the yearly Pantry Challenge. I had meal prepped, and menu prepped…and I was excited to get back to it and use what I have over the next couple months. If you don’t know Jessica of Good Cheap Eats, get to know her – she is amazing. Regular mom logic. AND here is her info about the Pantry Challenge. But as life does on occasion – we came home to a change of plans. Our electricity was off and we lost all our frozen/fridge food.

We cleaned up the mess, cleaned out both fridge/freezers, and then washed our pups (who were with a sitter whilst we were gone, who has other animals and watches lots of dogs) and finally got to bed about 2am. I have not given up though.

January 5th was my hubby’s 63rd birthday, and by this past weekend, we were semi stocked up and ready to participate again. We only replaced parts of what we lost and didn’t buy new pantry items… and though we won’t technically save money, we have pledged to eat at home for the next few weeks, and were creative with our purchases.

Speaking of Creative… I wanted to share with you how I made my kitchen bigger by extending/creating a wall. Here, I extended the living room wall with bookshelves and a hutch (it needs painting and was free):

These pics show the pantry (aka the backside of bookshelves) and the refrigerator behind the red piece. The meal calendar was what I’d done before I left.

Our Second fridge/freezer is on our enclosed porch. I will be contacting our insurance company today about how to recoup anything we can. And later on this evening, I will post pics of our apartment we moved into in September (not duplicating today’s pics). Other than power outages, we are really enjoying it.

Don’t let anything sway you from your plan. Regroup and get back to it.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,
LadyEm

Davis Family · Italy · Melvin & Maisie

Updates Abound…

Dear Readers…
I feel like I should say – “Hi – My name is Emily, and it’s been five + months since I’ve posted.” And y’all should all say – “Emily Who?” HAHAHA

When I last posted, we were newly Empty Nesters. We still are. LOL But we are adjusting really well. When we got back from Texas, we packed and moved to a much smaller place. The last year has been an absolutely beautiful and crazy experience… full of so many emotions, and enlightening me on my journey for peace. I will talk about that journey next time.

It’s been a whirlwind y’all. I am happy to put 2022 behind us. The range of emotions was crazy y’all. I’m still adjusting to not having our youngest with us. He did not come home from the holidays. But rest assured – we kept busy, and are headed to the Netherlands to visit friends, for five days. Interesting fact about the Netherlands – New Years is the only time fireworks are allowed. So we got that going for us. HA

I thought I’d share a recent pic of me AND that Marque was Santa this year at the local NATO Celebration. HA. SANTA!!! I KNOW HIM!

Have you met Melvin? Almost a year ago, January 2022 – a friend found Melvin on the street in a local town, and we cleaned him up, brought him to the Vet, and he stole our hearts. We named him Melvin because my dad was a bossy (organized, funny, dude) and so are puppies. You’d have to know my dad to know I’m not putting him down and to know how funny it is. Melvin was about 4+ lbs when we got him and about 5 weeks old, and he’s full grown (they say) at about 15 lbs. He’s adorable. Anywaaaaay… Here he is:

We had a dog named Gianna, but in two years, she never bonded. She was too abused or lost when we got her even though she was only 8+ weeks old. She just never recovered from the trauma… not with training, not with meds, etc. And she became aggressive to us and others… so she went to live with a family in the UK. It was sad, but it’s also so nice to have a dog who greets you, loves you, shows emotion, etc. So just know, she is in a better place.

Also – Meet Maisie. Born around September 11th, Maisie came to us early November 2022. She was found with her siblings in a garbage bag, inside a garbage can. Suffering malnutrition, she weighed about 1 kilo or 2.5 pounds. But now, we know she will be bigger than Melvin. Maisie is a pet name for Margaret, and is Scotch/Irish in origin. It means Pearl and I can’t think of a better name for a beautiful Puppy who was plucked from the garbage and is transforming before our eyes. She is 3.5 months old and shares a birthday with my sister Jennifer. She weighs almost as much as Melvin (she is about 12 lbs). Her name is Maisie Rose.

We were going to foster her at first, because Melvin has a big personality. But the vet advised not to let her go before shots, but that we couldn’t do shots for a couple weeks to make sure she wasn’t exposed to Parvo or anything that may hurt her when getting vaccinated. Sigh. But the family decided they didn’t want her, so we kept her. But when we took her out one night (in the carrier) we met a little girl who asked to hold her. And I said, “sure honey, her name is Maisie.” The dad got all excited and said, “what did you say?” I said, “I told her the dogs name was Maisie.” And that was also the little girl’s name. Sigh it was meant to be. She’s such a love this one.

I wanted to wish you all a blessed Christmas Season. AND a very happy new year. 2023 is going to be blessed y’all.

Let me do a quick catch up. If you’re still with me – thanks…

  • I’m excited to turn 60 in October of 2023.
    • My 59th was a flu-ridden debacle. haha
  • Finally fitting into mediums (depending on maker) and even a few size 10 pants. My goal is a size 8 – maybe 6. We shall see.
  • My mental health is better. Not just saying it – but actually concentrating on ME!
    • Resigned from Board of women’s group.
    • Crafting again.
    • Reading.
    • Getting back to faith.
  • Marque and I both need to move more.
  • I’m not going to say his health is great, but I am prayerful he will work on it in 2023.
  • Chris is doing well (yes, he goes by Chris now – AACK!).
    • He has learned a lot in the past six months.
    • Unsure where he will go to college next year. Tarleton is not working out. He really wants Aeronautical/Aerospace instead of Mechanical Engineering. And I think the whole process of living without us and adjusting to the states again was rough. But he’s powering through. Maintained a 3.2GPA (he thinks one grade should be higher and is working with the professor).
    • He was with family/friends in Texas for the holidays.
    • He is in VA with his girlfriend now through New Years.
    • Working PT/Saving for a car.
    • I hesitate to say more on a public forum because it’s his story to tell as a budding adult.
    • We are super proud of him.

I have to close because I have a list of things to do.
May God bless you, and may you trust Him More.

Friends, 2023 is our year. Let’s make it a good one. Christmas Cards will come out first week of January – and arrive whenever the horrid base post office gets them to ya.

Love and Hugs,
LadyEm

Anxiety and Fear · Catholic · Catholic Faith · Currently · Emily (Me) · Faithsanity · Italy · Mental Health

Faithsanity – We All Need It!

Dear Ones,

#truth

Did you ever experience heartbreak whilst praying a Novena or Listening to a suggested video?

Ahem, I have a point.

Well yesterday I had one of those moments. I was reading the forward for the St. Therese Novena, and it was suggested we listen to a video from the Pray More Novenas Retreat. Y’all – it was overwhelming. My chest and heart were heavy with sorrow at how lacking I am in my trust for God. But it was AWESOME and NECESSARY! And it took every fiber in my being to not beat myself up for being weak.

I really do try, every day, to look on the bright side. And I find that actively praying and being involved in Catholic Community is essential to my Faithsanity. You say, “what is Faithsanity? That’s not a word!” I say, “yes it is, I just made it up!” To me it means – being present in my faith and having good and faithful people around me that keep me on the right track. No – it’s not their job. But when you spend your time with quality, uplifting people, your attitude and angst can turn around. I promise you that. And anyway – the back and forth mentally can make life feel insane. Without my faith – on days I doubt and turn my back – I feel insane. Therefore, the word Faithsanity stands. I’m gonna say it’s an ACTION VERB! The art of purposing to stay active in the word and surrounded with Faith so that you won’t lose your mind. How’s that? You’re welcome!

I won’t bore you with everything I’ve walked through in my life. If you have read my various blogs the past nearly 20 years, you know the craziness of my childhood, and all the details that brought on a monumental lack of confidence in myself and my talents that God gave me… And sadly, my lack of trust for God himself.

I don’t know if you are like me, but for as long as I can remember, my mind, when any little thing goes wrong, spirals very quickly to a dark place… Not a place where I would harm myself (though I have thought of it at times in my life)… But a place where the doubt and the “well of course things won’t go right, how could it… no body cares about me…why do you hate me God?” thoughts trickle in. And I’ve made a lot of bad decisions based on how little I thought I was worthy of God‘s love. It could be the smallest thing and I spiral. So weak – right? In my mind, I’m so weak… and yet, in HIM I am strong! Come Holy Spirit – help me remember.

I am here, in Italy, separated from a truly faithful community. Even though I teach CCD and am involved, I do not feel close to these folks, many who truly do not put God first. I’m sure there are people here who would take offense, but it’s very weak Catholicism here. Very weak indeed. Our Catholic Community at home was close and strong and lived liturgically. And it was awesome… Admittedly, I did not always see it. But that’s not the point. The point is – I need that close Catholic Community. I need to stay in the word and bridge the gap of being away from home whenever and however I can. Because this whole hiding thing I’ve been doing – it doesn’t work! lol

Anyway – before I talk your heads off, Let me lead y’all to this clip I watched yesterday… If you are struggling with self worth, self doubt, and any kind of spiritual negativity – Please click the link (look for the study sheet too)… and LISTEN to this. Memorize it. God knows our world and knows how much we need him. I implore you!

I may listen to this daily for the next several days. I want it to really sink in. As I was watching, I became hopeful that I will once and for all, really take the words in and realize that I am special to God and That I have a purpose. If you are walking through a period of time, be it daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly or just randomly periodic… where you need assurance that God loves you and that he doesn’t need you to be perfect he just needs you to trust him…

This is for you: The Gift of St. Therese and Her Weaknesses

Additionally – Please sign up at Pray More Novenas for a great spiritual experience. John-Paul and Annie are spectacular and bless us all so much. I always get so much out of it. Being honest, there are times I miss a day, and that is ok. God knows your heart. Catch up and keep going. Without great and encouraging people like these faithful two, I’d be lost. I’m so thankful.

I just thought I’d share that with you! It may make absolutely NO sense to you.
But I am struggling – obviously… and I am going to keep coming back and reminding you that there is hope in God and our Faith! We are blessed and we are strong. And our Weaknesses will teach us what we need to learn – therefore to view them as gifts is necessary!

1 Peter 5:7 –   Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. 

Be blessed Dear Ones. I miss you all.

Love & Hugs
LadyEm

Catholic Faith · Emily (Me) · God's Plan · Health · LadyEm · Self Improvement

Season of Me? Building a Relationship With God…

Dear Ones,

It has nearly been four months since I’ve blogged…

Currently, I am participating in Mary Lenaburg’s 30 Day Encouragement Challenge “You Can Do Hard Things”. And I write this to her in the comment of her Day 4 video… “I’m walking out of a season where I simply was tired of being bold/courageous. Tired of putting a smile on my face and pretending all was well. Just exhausted with the hard things in life. This is truly a time of refocus for me and I really appreciate that you have put this together. Thank you again Mary!”

The funny thing is, in my mind I had been dealing very well with everything life tossed me. And, as a Catholic, I had been performing well. Do you say performing? Yes after much thought, even though the love for God is there I was somewhat going through the motions. I told myself I had to do certain things in order to be a good Catholic. But I was not taking care of myself.

I gave up my career many years ago to care for our youngest child who is autistic and anxiety ridden. And I even began to speak words of anger to him and my husband as well… As I became increasingly resentful that all of my life goals and dreams seemed to be disappearing. Embarrassingly, The evil one was starting to creep into my mind and tell me lies.

No matter what I did, I could not shake the overwhelming feeling that I was never gonna be good enough for God. And I think somewhere along the way I stopped believing that He cared. Even as I thought children that God was love… I did not believe that He loved me. Because I have been through so much I allowed the insecurities of my past to convince me that I was not a good mom or wife or even a good person…

In the sessions that we have with Ms. Mary, she asks us basically to determine the HARD thing we need to overcome. Mine is learning to love myself; To Deem myself worthy, And to know deeply the love of God again. In order to do this I have to allow Him to love me and build my relationship with Him. In order to be a better mother and wife and friend… I need to relearn how to love myself. It’s weird to say out loud it almost 58 years old that I will battle the demons of my past and my present… But I intend to do so with the full armor of God.

If I’m not here, lol it’s not because I don’t have a lot to say or things that I want to write about. I just need to make sure that I’m writing in the correct spirit. I don’t want to be a negative person. The anxieties and stresses of life have caused me to not be well physically and mentally. And I need to concentrate on regrouping for me and my family.

I want my legacy to be one of ministry, not misery. I want to impart the right wisdom from growth. I need to listen for God’s plan in my life. And I’m excited to see what He needs me to do for Him.

I don’t say these things to worry you. Honestly I say these things to encourage you because I know that I’m not the only one who is walked through childhood abuse, incest, self degrading behaviors, loss of children, and this overwhelming need for life to look perfect for others… P.S. – it’s not. Lol

I’ll be fine. There is much good in life. And I will be back at least weekly. I have some work to do in order to get my mind right…and I will be praying for you.

Thanks for understanding.

Love & Hugs,
LadyEm

Uncategorized

Word of the Year…

Dear Ones,

Italy has broken me…

what do I mean?

Well, I had a pretty rough two years since my daddy died, surgeries, etc…. I became depressed and had to take meds on a regular basis. We thought Italy was going to be just what we needed… and we were very overwhelmed and disappointed in the beginning, to say the least.

If you knew me when I was working, you’d be in shock to know I’ve forgotten birthdays, been late or totally forgot about meetings… I forgot that I’d signed up to take visiting Deacon’s to breakfast. I accepted and then turned down a hospitality position at our little Military Parish. SERIOUSLY!

I really was falling further into the rabbit hole of self-doubt and depression, of feeling unloved by people and by God… it’s a strange place for a grown up Christian to be, one who prides herself in loving and following God.

And then it hit me, and I was believing the Father of lies and it was affecting my family. Broken, I turned back to God. I have promised him to stop letting the people and things of our world come between he and I. I have a lot of work to do… which is why it’s no coincidence when I went to @JenFullwiler’s link to choose my word of the year, it was… Are ya ready….

RISE!

No, I’m not joking.

You might be saying, “hey Catholic blogger who rarely blogs, shouldn’t you have shared this at the beginning of the year?” – to you I say – well, I thought about it, but I wanted to wait until I knew I could rise. You see, I have a monumental Ego (which you know) and I feared I would fail. But it turns out, the joke’s on me and I am RISING!

You might be wondering how I will rise? Well, I have committed to praying more, trusting God more, and allowing him to work through me more. It’s not easy because I love being in charge. HA. No, it’s not really funny… but I laugh when I am nervous or fearful. Oh and that brings me to getting rid of the fear.

And it’s amazing when you stay in the word more, how much you are inspired to RISE! Let me share two of the MANY things I have found lately to inspire me in my daily readings.

Life is a whirlwind y’all. Wear a twirly skirt so the wind makes ya look pretty! LOL No, but seriously, we are born to bear the storm. It’s NOT easy, with a capital N, NOT! We do it because God asks it of us.

Do you SEE the promises in this passage?  I WILL GIVE FULL COMFORT TO THEM – y’all God is talking to you and I. NO ONE is without turmoil. I love it when people say to me, “your life is so chaotic”. DUDE, I am no different than anyone else. Your life will be chaotic if it isn’t now… learn from me and my poor handling of things… my mistakes! Handle life’s turmoils with grace and trust in THE LORD!

What am I gonna do? For starters… I’m gonna:

  • Rise to the occasion.
  • Rise above the fray.
  • Rise up off the couch and get things done even if I don’t wanna!
Italy/hard times will NOT win. I will be whole again. I know this, because GOD said so. He is the ultimate Father. Amen!

What is your word of the year?
Share it with me. Link it in the comments if you are a blogger.

Let’s hold each other accountable.  I’m rising… what are you gonna do?

Love and hugs to all, and MANY blessings too!

LadyEm