day

Carpe Diem

"Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone," Colossians 4:5-6.

Carpe Diem...Seize the Day, in Latin. Is anything really a coincidence in this life, or is it a "God-incidence"...a divinly orchestrated moment? As followers of Christ we must be ready to seize the day and tell others about how Jesus has become Lord of our lives.

A certain situation at work had left me alone in a car for at least a half hour drive with a much older man. He's a little on the akward side and maybe even what some would call "nerdy". As I got in the car, the casual, "Hello, how's your day going?" seemed to be drowned out by a cd playing in the back ground. Not music, but more of a book on tape.

As I began to pay close attention, it was clear what he and now I were listening to: "Why I'm an Atheist". All I needed was a pulpit, because I practically began preaching to the man! I told him how a mere two years ago, I had left religion for relationship and found the love of my life; Jesus Christ.

Although he thwarted most of my statements and questions with "scientific facts", I gave my account. When we parted ways, he told me he envied my faith, but said he was never willing to "go back". He was once a believer and the cards dealt to him had made him decide to leave it all behind.

Whatever the result, I knew I had planted a seed and seized the moment.

What's the latest "coincidence" you've had?

 

Heavenly father,

Help me not to judge, but show others how you've changed my life. Help me to always be ready to give an account.

When I speak about you, keep my words light, yet impactful.

I love you for who you are and everything you do!

1 Peter 3:15

"...And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way..."

Open the Blindfolds and Let the Sun Shine In

This is a short story of motherhood in which God answered one simple prayer for running buddies, gave me Haitian children and reunited four siblings separated by an ocean and a new last name.

 Andrew, Fabienne, Fabiola and Audree. Celebrating Fabiola's 17th Birthday, 2010. 

After years of having friends to run with in the hours before dawn, I found myself without company and desiring friends to hit the pavement with. So I prayed. My prayer went like this: "Lord, I know people are starving in many parts of The Earth. (sheepishly I continued my request.) In the big view, my request is shallow but if you are willing, would you send me some running friends? Oh, and if they were all Your followers, that would be great too, so we could pray together on our runs." (If I was asking for so much, why not just go for it?).

Six weeks later at a neighborhood garage sale, my prayer for running companionship was answered.  Amidst a pack of women (all runners), I met Cheryl, whose bold request would come a few weeks later, alter our lives and put Haiti on the map for us.

Fast forward several weeks, runs and conversations, I share about our interest in adoption and this is where the big door opens. One of the runners says, "You know, Cheryl and Scot are adopting two kids from Haiti and I think there are more siblings. You should talk to her." And so I did, the next time we ran.

Cheryl confirmed that they were adopting a set of twins from Haiti and the Haitian government would not allow them to have any more kids (the Haitians made five) and they had been praying that someone would want to adopt the older two. Might we be interested? Within the next 24 hours, my husband and I were intent to pursue the adoption of Fabiola and Fabienne, the two older siblings left in the orphanage.

Pat travels to Haiti in 2007 to ask permission of the nuns, if they would allow us to adopt.

The adoption process is long; mounds of paperwork, your life interrogated and nothing is in your control. It lasted far longer than any pregnancy, two years and nine months. October 19th, 2009 we brought home two Haitian sisters, reuniting them with their birth siblings, Audree and Andrew, adopted by Scot and Cheryl Catlin a few years prior. By American law, they belong to and are being raised by two separate families, but in our world, they are every bit the family God originally made them to be. The Ferricks and the Catlins…we are a bit like in-laws, uniquely knit together by an answered prayer.

2008 several family members travel with me to meet the girls

I have reason to celebrate Mother’s Day every day of my life and as my daughter Fabiola (now a junior in high school) says, “Mom, open the blindfolds and let the sun shine in.”

 

Family Thanksgiving 2012

From left to right, Fabiola, Fabienne, Me, Jessica and Pat in the back.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

CW Beauty Tips & Picks

One of the best ways to find the best Beauty Tips is look around and get the Top Picks from women who look their best! To find out how the  CW writers always look their best I asked them to share their personl Top Picks, the things they won't leave home without. It won't surprise you to see how diverse their choices are. Fownder and owner of Created Woman, Heather, says she's been using Oil of Olay Cleanser and Moisturizer since she was thirteen. "I have tried other products but have always switched back to my tried and true. "

 

 

 

                    Covergirl LashExact Mascara is Erika's top pick.

"After trying all the expensive brands of mascara,

this is the one that gives me the most definition, volume and length."

 

 

Jessica says this about  100% Organic Jojoba oil!

It is 100% natural and smells great! I LOVE this stuff because it has so many uses and a little goes a long way. I use it:

  • As a lip balm
  • Added to my face/body lotion (you really only need a few drops)
  • Apply to hair then wash out as a hair mask

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every one knows Carmindy, the encouraging makeup artist from What Not to Wear. Coby's Top Pick is from Sally Hansen's Natural Beauty by Carmindy.

This is the only thing that covers my melasma (hormonal discoloration from pregnancies).The melasma was so bad after my third pregnancy and this ws the only product that covered it and still felt light and natural.

 

 

I don't start or end my day without 3 pumps of

Mary Kay Replenishing Serum + C coupled with Day/Night Solution.  

My skin is tout, it's not too heavy and I started getting carded again.

~Kala~

 

 

~Nichole

Stila Natural Finish Oil-Free Makeup foundation gives me the perfect, natural coverage. It gives me a smooth, even look and lasts all day. 

 

 

Express is a clothing store but they have such a great lip gloss! Their "Black Cherry Lip Gloss" is the perfect color for anyone. It's a pinch of red with a little cherry flavor. I love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                       MAC Studiotech Foundation

                                                                  The coverage and finish is flawless. - Lilly

It is the only line that makes a foundation with the color I need for my ebony skin.~Cheryl

 

So, if you've been on the search for a better age-fighting product, mascara or foundation, give these Top Picks a try.

Hot Trends for Fit Fashion

  If you (like me) are one of those girls who may have a cute wardrobe for dressing up and going out with the girls or business attire but when it comes to working out and "errands day" you throw on an old t-shirt from your high school days and a pair of your guys basketball shorts...you need to read this!

Fashion doesn't have to stop when your hair is in a ponytail and your sweating your face off. In fact, after seeing how many cute options there are you may want to hit the gym/trail more often just to get a chance to try out your new duds!

New Hot Trends for Fit Fashion include:

  • Running skirts. Found HERE, this running skirt is a great way to stay chic on and off the trail!

  • Slipless anti-sweat headbands. I love THIS anti-sweat headband by Lululemon.

  • Dry-wick racerback tanks. I could not get by without my dry-wick tanks during these hot summer months! HERE is a great one by Nike found at Dick's Sporting Goods. These are great for yoga, running, or going to the gym!

  • Compression Socks. I've been seeing THESE everywhere from races to the trail I run at Town Lake. They are cute AND cut back on recovery time after a long run!

    

Party With a Purpose

I am a Princess I am very special

I am beautifully and wonderfully made

I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect

I am strong and I am smart

I promise to do my very best at everything I do…. Now and forever!

Once a Princess….always a Princess!

My Party Palace

My Party Palace in Round Rock, Texas is more than just a venue for little girls’ birthday parties although it is certainly stocked with tiaras, princess gowns, and every other accessory needed by a beautiful princess.

As well as  being a clean and attractive venue where a birthday princess can entertain her princess friends, it is a magical place where girls are encouraged  to dream about who and what they want to be.

 

Owner, Michelle Nieto Azuara, offers party packages that include tea parties, being crowned as a princess, and even an  adoption ceremony of a pink poodle. But there's more to My Party Palace than a magical makeup station.Their mission  is to empower girls of all ages and help  them understand that they are wonderfully and beautifully made in a setting of fantasy and fun.

 

Whether it's a birthday party, Summer Princess Camp or a Halloween event the message is the same,"You are beautiful, inside and out." Michelle says," We teach life lessons and instill self-worth into every girl that attends one of our parties. Sometimes Moms book a party just because she thinks her daughter will enjoy the fantasy aspect of The Palace and when they leave they tell me they tell me the girls leave with more than what they paid for."

- - Outreach - -

 

My Party Palace has a history of collaborating with agencies in the surrounding area by hosting social events, workshops, conferences, and seminars for less advantaged girls . They have provided makeovers and "My Special Day" affairs for middle school and high school girls with the assistance of  other like-minded organizations.

 

 

"There are those around us that aren't so blessed. We whole-heartedly believe  it is absolutely vital for all girls to know how valuable and precious they are. We believe that one special event, one special day, and one person can change the course of history for a girl."

 

"By encouraging girls to become all they were 'created to be,' I am' becoming all I was created to be."

-Michelle Nieto Azuara

 

To learn more about My Party Palace or to book your own event, go to:

http://www.mypartypalacerr.com/Round_Rock/Home_.html

My Style Icons

  Each woman has her own "style". Whether we like it or not, the way we dress and carry ourselves shows the world part of who we are and how we see ourselves. We pick up our own style from our mother's and grandmother's, our best friends, our co-workers, something we saw in a magazine or on a walk, where we live. Each of these little pieces adds up and creates our "style".

Growing up I was pretty much a "jock" so I sported lots of t-shirts and adidas basketball shorts (I did wear dresses for "special" events like Mother's Day and Easter :)...as I've grown so has my sense of style (and I LOVE dresses!). Here are a few of my style icons I've collected over the years and what each of them brings to the table - no matter what season or trend is in:

Audry Hepburn - we'll start with the big guns. Audrey had a timeless beauty that was evident no matter the year.

  • Pearls
  • Black Ballet Flats
  • The original "Little Black Dress"
  • Bold Sunglasses
  • Great, strong eyebrows
  • Compassion for the poor, sick, and orphans

Jennifer Aniston - classic with a bit of "laid-back California girl".

  • Tailored Jeans
  • Crisp White Button-down Top
  • Fitted Blazer
  • Simple Jewelry
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Always Smiling

Gwyneth Paltrow - incorporates trendy with classic, and is always lady-like.

  • Boots
  • Leggings
  • Military Jacket
  • Classic Trench
  • Striped boat-neck tee
  • Gladiator Sandals
  • Dedicated wife and mother, who loves to cook for her family   

Who are your style icons?

Facing Another Dark Valentine’s Day? How ‘bout a little light…

Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day can be really hard. I remember a few years in particular that were gut-wrenching for me.  I got so annoyed with those stupid jewelry commercials. I had to leave the room when they came on.  I went out of my way to avoid the Hallmark store. I remember watching The Notebook and feeling utterly lost in the heart-break of my own story.  The last thing on earth I wanted to see was someone else’s romance.  My happily-ever-after seemed trashed and life was very dark. But, there was a light that shined into my darkness. If you’ve faced another Valentine’s Day alone, or you are in a difficult place in your relationship, allow me to share a little light:

You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Psalm 18:28

Know that God is in the business of turning darkness into light. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to do that yourself. You don’t have to make yourself shine-y. Allow God to shine on you.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God…my Savior…Psalm 42:11

It’s helpful to talk to yourself! The Psalmist did it all the time. Put your hope in God. There is nothing to hard for Him. When life comes crashing in around you – that’s exactly when you need a Savior!

Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord! Psalm 31:24 AMP

Let your heart take courage. Wait. Hope. Expect.  Some relationships end. Sometimes, it just feels like the end.  But this is not the end for you! There is always a new beginning with God!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned… Isaiah 43:2

The key word here is THROUGH.  Whatever you are facing, there is an “other side.” God so sweetly beckoned my wounded heart with this verse.  Just Keep Walkin’ Baby. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will make it THROUGH.

Lynn Marie Cherry has a heart to encourage women towards freedom and plant seeds of hope. She enjoys sharing insight from God’s word and the world around her. She has been married for almost 20 years to the same great guy, they have two amazing boys. You can read more at http://lynnmariecherry.blogspot.com/

Valentine Shmalentine

I have never been much for Valentine's Day. I'm actually not crazy about many holidays but Valentine's Day just seems especially unnecessary. However, when Kristian and I first started dating I can't say I wasn't excited to have someone to celebrate this otherwise lame holiday with.On our first Valentine's Day together, Kristian went all out. He told me to get dressed but there were no specific instructions, just don't wear heels. I waited in anticipation the entire day wondering what he had up his sleeve. I bought him a few gifts that I knew he would enjoy, new shoes and a book about art techniques, since at the time he was very into art. I also gave him a journal full of things I had written that I thought would help him get to know me better. When he finally picked me up I was in a new dress and flats. We drove to a place I had never been before, a park just 15 minutes from my house! He handed me a rose and walked me into the woods where he set up a tent and was making dinner inside. Oh my gosh, how romantic! We ate dinner and exchanged gifts and with this being the first Valentine's Day I ever really cared about, everything seemed perfect.

The next year we moved to Florida and spent Valentine's Day riding around on scooters and discovering our new city. This was its own kind of romantic. We were on a new adventure and so excited to be doing life together. To be honest I can't really remember what we did the year after that. I'm sure it involved flowers and dinner though. And this year, well, we both have to work so our Valentine's Day will probably be spent with a quick chat over the phone.

Now this isn't to depress anyone or to say that we get any less romantic as time passes. In fact, I don't think we need one day to show someone we love them or expect to be spoiled by our significant others. I can only hope that as Kristian and I get older and things continue to change, we still remind each other everyday how much we love each other. As cheesy as it may sound, I hope that we don't ever need Valentine's Day to celebrate each other. Don't get me wrong, its nice to have one day where you can say "Okay, we're going on a date, no work, no wedding planning, no chaos, just a normal dinner", but that day won't be tomorrow... and that's okay! Maybe you have lots going on, wedding plans, work, maybe kids, but whatever the busy circumstance take a minute each day and let the people you love know that. Life is too short to wait for one day a year to make someone feel special. Surprise your husband with a new watch (or new lingerie) any old day! Give your boyfriend that x-box game he's been asking for... I know it'll take away from your "quality time" together, but lets be honest, he stops listening after the first 10 minutes of your story anyway. Splurge on any random day of the week and just see how it changes the mood of the relationship. Even if you are a roses and chocolates kind of girl, the more time you spend figuring out nice things for your man, the more he'll actually think about getting things you like. Not that that's the point... but hey, it doesn't hurt.

Sprinkle your Valentine's date

Everyone loves sprinkles. Sprinkles on cupcakes. Sprinkles on cookies. Sprinkles are a universal love language wherever you find them. Yum. They make you smile, don’t they? Kindness is a universal love language as well, no doubt. Yes, even with men. Never underestimate the impact of kindness, especially when delivered from a confident, powerful, and feminine woman. This Valentines Day, try one, two, or a dozen simple thoughtful ideas that ooze kindness and caring compassion to melt the heart of the man in your life (or the one you want in your life). Notes. From a long love letter, to a simple card, to a series of small notes scattered about, written notes can touch his soul. Tell him what it is that you like, love and admire about him- his personality, values, little oddities, likes and dislikes. Tell him how much you appreciate what he does on a daily basis or maybe something big over the course of your relationship. What does his soul possess that you are grateful for?

* I love the way you look in a white t-shirt, blue jeans and Frye boots. * It’s so cool that you love to build things. * I really appreciate it that you make coffee every single morning, and never complain about it. * Your curiosity about life and learning new things really makes me smile.

Actions. Think about his favorite things in life and pick one, two or a dozen to incorporate into his day. What is his favorite food, candy, or drink? What is his favorite pastime? Maybe it’s a thumb’s up to a hunting weekend, a Vegas weekend or night out with the boys. Which outfit does he love you on the best- that extra short little black dress with those uncomfortable stilettos? Maybe it’s the racy lingerie instead of the sweet cute ones? How does he like your makeup and hair- curly or straight, smoky eyes or au natural? Put away those frumpy sweat pants, shave, wax, and paint your toes (and not blue, unless that really makes him smile).

Don’t let your man’s tough exterior fool you. All men are little boys deep inside who absolutely love (and dare I say, even, need….) the caring, thoughtful, and gracious touch from the woman in their life. Don’t be skimpy. Would you rather get 3 roses or two dozen?

Let kindness sprinkle your Valentine’s date, and entire day this year, whether you cook a foodie feast of all his favorites or let him take you out to a fancy dinner and dancing, to putting together a creative scavenger hunt through out town to even snuggling up and having a non-traditional evening in, being cozy, ordering pizza, and watching a movie. One of my most favorite Valentines was skipping the fancy dinner and having a hamburger at Hut’s Hamburgers (a beloved, funky dive in Austin, Texas). It was oddly intimate and a whole lot of fun!

Kindness will make whatever you do- traditional or out-of-the-box, an extra special event that he won’t forget. Neither will you. Everyone loves sprinkles. Happy Valentine's Day!

Memories=Love ....Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine's Day is around the corner and  there's still time to plan and make the day spectacular for those you love most. Longtime Love

  1. Pull out those photos that are piled up in your desk or displayed on your frig. Put  them in chronological order in a small photo album. Write a sentence or two about the occasion pictured and you have just documented your relationship.
  2. Do the unexpected and plan a date doing something he loves and you generally avoid. Whether it is a weekend camping, a hockey game or an afternoon of ESPN, he will know you care when you give up your own interests for his.
  3. Create a  coupon book he can redeem with coupons that include things he loves like:
  • an hour long massage from you
  • breakfast in bed
  • take his car or truck to be washed and detailed
  • sitting with him and watching the movies he loves and you don't (for me that would be war movies)

Children

  1. Develop a traditional Valentine Breakfast and prepare it each year. I've made individual Strawberry Shortcakes for my family for over twenty years. It's a treat reserved only for Valentine's Day.
  2. Hide some treats in your home, give your children clues and have a scavenger hunt in your own home. Follow this link for great  clues that are already written    http://www.pepperspollywogs.com/blog/index.php/a-valentine-scavenger-hunt/
  3. Teach your kids about loving others. Make or buy Valentine cards and deliver them to residents of  nursing home in your area.

Lonely Loved One

  1. Frame a photo of the two of you together. Attach a note that includes I remember when....... and you made me feel....
  2. Set aside a little time to spend with Lonely Loved One.  Someone who feels alone would probably love joining you as you grocery shop or sitting in the car with you while you wait for your child in dance class.

No matter what you do to celebrate Valentine's Day or whom you celebrate with, keep this thought in mind:

Love does not dominate: it cultivates.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe