Tag Archives: Friends

15 Things I Know Now That I’m 37

What I Know at 37

  1. 37 doesn’t feel as old as what my 15 year old self would have me believe.
  2. The best friends I had when I was 17 are still my best friends.
  3. Friends I’ve made in adulthood are fewer and farther between but they are genuine and life-giving.
  4. Having kids has made me a better person.
  5. Going to counseling doesn’t mean you’re crazy, or weak, or on the brink of divorce.
  6. Spiritual growth is never easy or without pain.
  7. Marriage requires love AND work and if you don’t believe me you’re fooling yourself.
  8. Marry someone who is going to be your biggest fan, not your biggest critic.
  9. Kids’ taste buds are liars…everything I cook isn’t “DISGUSTING!”
  10. Just because you start on one path doesn’t mean you can’t veer off onto another; that may have been God’s plan all along.
  11. Shame is a sneaky son of a gun that must be dealt with in order for me to love myself.
  12. I will never know how my parents raised 4 kids, who were involved in multiple activities, without cell phones.
  13. Choosing your battles is a great piece of advice for marriage…and for parenting.
  14. God values BEING with me over anything I could ever DO for Him.
  15. I’ve only got 3 years to lose my baby leftovers because I’ve heard that once you hit 40, losing weight is an uphill battle. Maybe yoga pants and joggers will still be in when I’m 40. And, yes, I’m aware my youngest child is 8. I’m on that really, really long-term weight loss plan.

What are some things you know at your age?

-Courtney

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Best Thanksgiving Craft…Ever.

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This is our Thankful Pumpkin. Don’t let its pristine appearance fool you. I know many of you are thinking, “How did you ever come up with something that clever?! I would never have thought to let my kids just write what they’re thankful for on a pumpkin! This is blowing my mind!” Simmer down guys, I got it off Facebook. Or Pinterest. No, had to be Facebook, Pinterest would have had me do something way cuter that involved…time. This “craft”, if you can even call it that, was my jam this year. No construction paper, glitter, glue, or anything else that would end up with me yelling, I mean lovingly redirecting, my kids. It was foolproof. And let’s be honest, this fool needs all the help she can get. I have low level crafting skills at best. I can cut things out that are traced on paper so pretty much I’m at a kindergarten level. I’m just glad I don’t need safety scissors.

I count it a small victory that I actually remembered to do something this year to remind my kids that we have much to be thankful for. They loved writing on this silly pumpkin. We would take turns writing on it at dinner and then share what we wrote. As the parent, I’m trying to set a good example and write things like “God’s Word” and “Jesus”, and my kids are writing things like “meatloaf” and “OBJ”. We’re really amazing parents. If ever I am on the brink of feeling prideful as a parent, my kids know just how to serve up a hefty helping of humility. They also loved having their friends come over and write what they were thankful for on it. They had so much fun seeing what everyone wrote. Blake even wrote his own name on there. Bless.

As I look at this little pumpkin, I love seeing all the names on there. I’m so grateful my kids have so many people they love in their lives. Some are family; some are friends that feel like family. Either way, we have been given much in the way of love and I have a deep well of gratitude for these people. So on Thanksgiving, I hope you all are with people you love and who love you; whether they are family or friends that have become like family. And it must be said that I am very grateful for all of you that read my thoughts. This is so very kind since I know there are millions of other things you could be doing with your time. So if you land on my page and stay longer than a minute…thanks. And…

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Courtney

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The “why” behind Rooster’s Balloon

The day is so close I can almost taste it. Rooster’s Balloon is almost ready to debut herself to the world. I’m not sure how to put into words what this story means to me. It was born out of pain and grief for dear friends whose daughter died unexpectedly. I have no idea what it’s like to walk that road of releasing your child back to Heaven. It takes my breath away to even think about it. But as I wrestled with God about why He would allow this; why He would take His daughter back, He taught me something I had never fully considered.

This world is not my home and it was never her home either.

I am only visiting here.

Heaven is my home.

This truth that was spoken to me after Evie’s death has remained so ingrained in my thinking that I can’t escape it. It is the only thing that gives me peace when grieving the deaths of children.

After she died, I wondered if she was scared when she woke up in heaven. I don’t even know if that’s how it goes—if you wake up there, or teleport there, or what have you, but I just thought that being so little she would be scared of a strange, new place. Then it dawned on me— if heaven is our home then it will have the feeling of home. She wouldn’t be frightened because she would be with her Father and she would have a room He prepared for her. He had been awaiting her return all along.

Rooster’s Balloon was a gift to me. God knew exactly what I needed to do in order to grieve and He gave me Rooster. The child in me relates to her so well, I wonder if all of us don’t have an inner child living inside us. After writing the story, I sent it to my friends’ whose daughters were the inspirations behind it. Their kindness still brings me to tears even as I write this sentence. Their support and encouragement has completely overwhelmed me. Because of them, I get to share Rooster with the world. Because of their compassion and kindness, children will be helped by this story. And because of their generosity, much of the proceeds from this book will be donated in Evie’s name to Make-A-Wish Midsouth. Their focus on God’s bigger story is allowing the legacy of their little girl to live on and help others. It’s humbling to be a part of.

I encourage you, sweet readers, to buy this book. If you have children, or grandchildren, or friends who have children, or children you love, buy them this book. This book could be the catalyst that shows them God is writing their story. God has a plan for them. And more than anything, God still loves them even when bad things happen to them. He has not forgotten them or their pain and sadness. Please don’t forget to talk about hard things with your kids. Pretending hard things don’t happen does not help your children because the reality is that hard things do happen because we live in a fallen world. Be brave, friends, for we are only here for a short time. Teach your kids about the love God has for them so they have something to cling to when life gets messy.

 

Ok, I promise I’ll let you know when the book comes in. Until then, look at this sweet little pic. Don’t you just want to give her a big squeeze?!

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-Courtney

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To ALL my valentines…

IMG_4677I was reminded the other day that Valentine’s Day is a special day for everyone. If you have yourself a valentine, it’s a special day to celebrate your love for one another. If you don’t have a valentine, it’s a special day that makes you feel like crap. Why can’t we just celebrate that we have people in our life that we love and they love us back? This year, I’m writing a little note to ALL my valentines.

To my parents/siblings’ valentines,

Thank you for never letting me ever forget all the embarrassing stories about myself. Rolling down the window during the car wash is always a favorite; second only to busting my face on the concrete on our trip to Atlanta. Remembering these stories from my childhood keep me humble and remind me that you guys have always been there. Ya’ll didn’t even take vows to love me in sickness and in health but you’ve done it anyway. I’m a better and stronger person because of each of you. I can slay a one-liner and I feel like that’s some sort of spiritual gift, no? We may tease one another but if anybody outside the circle of trust tries to do the same we will cut their throat. I mean that in the most Christian way. We’re not mushy or sappy but I like our gruff love. We act out our love more than we say it, but since it’s Valentine’s Day and I can say whatever I want on my blog I’m just gonna say it: I LOVE YOU GUYS!

To my friend valentines,

Oh friends. Where would I be without you? Without you, I would still be walking around in tapered, pleated jeans. Bless. Without you, I would have no one to be anti-social with at parties. Without you, I wouldn’t belly laugh. Without you, I would have no one to tell me the truth about myself. Thank you, dear friends. If a person is judged by the company she keeps, then I have far outkicked my coverage. You all love me so well and have encouraged me to grow into the uncomfortable places. I don’t know if there will be a corner for us in heaven to share inappropriate jokes but I kinda hope so.

To my Valentine babies,

You 3 little ducklings gave me a whole new definition of love. I never knew that kind of love until I met each of you. You all can make me madder than a hornet and turn me into a pile of mush with a bat of your lashes. You own me. You own my thoughts and my activities. I don’t do anything without thinking of you guys. I can’t imagine a time years from now when I won’t know your daily whereabouts. Ya’ll are like a drug I can’t quit. I love you and I need you but if you ask me one more time what we’re having for dinner I might lose my mind.

And to my til death do us part Valentine,

You had me at hello….

Actually that’s totally untrue. You had me about 3 years after hello but whatever. The point is you have me. You are my biggest fan and I can’t say enough about how important that is to me. I’ve said before that when someone believes in you it gives you wings to fly. Thanks for the wings, Love. They mean more than you know. Thank you for embracing all my new “feelings” that weren’t there when we got married. Thanks for growing with me and always believing the best about me even when I’m not sure it’s true. Because of all these things I will put up with your shenanigans and tomfoolery. Without you my life would be utterly boring. Love you.

 

Love to all my valentines,

Courtney

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