Thursday, May 24, 2018

Star Maps | Review


Recently I was looking for a unique gift that I could get Justin for father's day.
Men are really hard to shop for. 

I mean I could get him another tool that will sit in the garage until he remembers that he has it but I wanted something different, something that was unique to our family.  

I found what I was looking for when I was contacted by an artist at Modern Map Art, asking if I would like a personalized star map. 

I got to choose a date, time, and location that was special to us and the artist would create what the stars looked like in the sky at that moment. I debated for awhile on which date to choose - when we first met, our first date, when we got married, and then it hit me: I have never seen Justin light up as when he held our son for the first time. 

One proud papa. 

The artist worked with me on exactly what I had in mind. I was able to choose from different types (poster, framed poster, canvas), different sizes, fonts, border, and color schemes.  You get to add the special date, times, place, and even a special saying to your star map. 

After finalizing all the details, Modern Map Art mailed my star map carefully packaged in a mailer tube. It was wrapped in tissue paper and packed with paper on either end to insure my precious gift arrived in great condition.

Not going to lie - when I unrolled my star map, I did shed a few tears.  It is a beautiful piece of artwork on heavy matte paper that can be framed or hung just like it is. I went with a dark frame to match the rest of my pictures.  

So what did Justin think of his early Father's Day gift?  "I think it's awesome. I'll look at it and think of the night I recieved the greatest gift." 

Modern Map Art offers several different items if for some reason star maps aren't for you (I mean c'mon you know they are awesome!).   From pillows to state map art to skyline art to cell phone cases, you can find unique and amazing gifts for everyone.  

Next to buy:  this awesome scratch off travel map for JJ

Again, thank you to Modern Map Art for sending me this beautiful piece of art (which is now my favorite). 

*Please note that this item was gifted to me from Modern Map Art for my honest review and opinion. All views are my own and completely honest.  I do love this item and will be purchasing more for myself and loved ones. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

I Could Be Mad...

I could be mad. 

That the woman who was already finished raising her kids but didn’t blink twice about raising my brother and me, was diagnosed with cancer. 

I could be upset.

That the woman that was my biggest supporter had a hard time recognizing my son and me. 

I could be angry.

That despite the radiation, mounds of doctors,  and thousands of prayers, she got sicker. 

I could be livid.

That the strongest woman I know, needed help to do the simpliest of tasks. 

But I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong.  I was.  When I first heard her diagnosis, I couldn’t fathom how this lady could get it.  She always seemed to be invincible to me.  She has been through so much in her life to just have cancer beat her down. I was mad, upset, angry, livid and a whole other wide range of emotions. 

But now, I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for timing. Had she been diagnosed years ago, I know I couldn’t handle it as well as I am today. If my son was younger, I would be angry with the fact that he didn't really get to know his great-grandmother.  If I didn't have the support of my husband, I know I couldn't see her so helpless.  If I didn't have the friends I have now, I wouldn't be able to be there for my son who needs me more than ever.  I am thankful for God's timing.

I am thankful for my faith.  If I wasn’t as strong in my faith as I am, I would probably have turned my back on God. Hours and hours of praying and seemingly getting no where.  If I wasn’t in my church (which I’ve only been there about 3 years), I wouldn’t have Godly people in my life to help me process.  I am thankful for my faith, knowing that when she does pass, she will be with God.  

" be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord."

She will be there welcoming me into Heavens gates when it's my turn to go.  That when JJ heard about her condition, he was upset but turned to rely on his faith stating, “I was sad but realized God has Maw Maw in His hands.” 

I  am thankful that I’ve had at least 34 years with her, some people don't get that.  I am sad that I wont be able to call on her anymore to ask for advice, ask for a recipe, or to just vent but I am going to take this knowledge that she has given and use it everyday of my life. Do I want more time with her? ABSOLUTELY.  But not at the expense of her being in pain.

Don't get me wrong, the anger still comes to the surface.  I still can't sleep at night.  I still hold out for a miracle but I ultimately know that God is in control and I trust Him thar everything will work itself out, one way or another.  

Luke 18:27, "Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

Job 5:8-9, But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.  He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted."

So I could be mad but I won't. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hello 2018

As I get older, time just seems to be passing so quickly.  I can't believe that it is already 2018.  And almost half way through January.

I have to say that 2017 wasn't the best year for my family and me.  We were definitely tested and went through some trials.  All in all we came out unscathed but as I sat and waited for 2018 to roll around, I made the decision that I would make 2018 the best year yet.

I don't normally make resolutions - those are meant to be broken.  But I did have dreams.  Or maybe I should call them goals.   

Here are my 2018 goals:

Spiritual - I want to grow closer to God and get deeper in His word.  I want to be completely wrecked by God this year.  I want to grow our youth group and be able to reach the teens in our area.

Health - We ended 2017 by doing the Keto diet.  You can find more about Keto here.  I was able to lose about 20 lbs and Justin lost closer to 25.  But then the holidays came and we went on a cruise.  In 2018, I want to get healthy.  I don't have a weight in my head but I do want to have more energy and ultimately complete a fun 5k. I joined a gym and have been going regularly.  We are also slowly getting back on the Keto diet.

Family - Be Present would be my motto for 2018.  I want our time together to count.  Maybe we won't take another big family vacation like the cruise but I want even the time at home spent being present.  This means turning off the phone and electronics that may distract me.  This means not thinking about the all the things that need to be completed but enjoying our time together. This means actually listening and paying attention to what is happening around me, to put multitasking on hold for those moments that I get to spend with my family. 

Blog - This is my diary.  I want to be able to look back on these post and remember where I was and what we were doing.  I would also like to grow into maybe vlogging for bigger events that we participate in.  I put a hold on blogging when I lost my Nikon at the end of 2016.  I haven't really been focused on finding a new camera but I have one on my phone right?  But by doing this, I mentally shut down my blog as well.  Now we will do things or see things and I will want to blog about it but I figure that I am so far away from blogging that I can't start back up.

I will stop making excuses for what happens in 2018 - I will hold myself accountable.  And hopefully be able to take you guys along for the ride here on Another Ordinary Day. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Paper Bag Pumpkins | PreK Craft

It's finally starting to feel like Fall here in Texas.  Finally.

This week we started our fall lesson.  We discussed the changes in the weather, used pinecones and pumpkin seeds in our sensory bin, and spent more time outside.

We also discussed pumpkins, because what's Fall without pumpkins?

We were able to go outside and dissect our pumpkin.  The children were able to use their senses to explore the pumpkin.

Getting an extreme close-up of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin guts & stuff.

We also made our own pumpkin patch out of paper bags.

Our cute little pumpkin patch.
I would highly recommend covering your tables in brown paper or newspaper.  Clean up is so easy.

What you will need:

- orange paint  & paint brushes
- newspaper or in my case we used pages from a phone book
- green pipe cleaners
- paper bags


01.  Crumble the newspaper and place in the bottom of the paper bag.

02.  Gather the top of the bag to make a stem and tie it with the pipe cleaner.

03.  Then I encouraged the children to color the bottom of the bag orange.  

04.  You can paint the top of the bag (the stem area) brown but the bag was brown so I didn't see a point.  Also, you can have the children add a face once the paint dries. 

It was a simple and easy craft for the children to do.  I highly recommend it. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What Matters Most

Growing up my favorite part of the holidays was having my grandmother in the kitchen cooking.  The smell of the cornbread dressing and desserts. Spending time with the family that got together for whichever holiday it was. My brother sneaking us food.  It was the best. 

But we grow up.  We become busy with our own lives, families, and responsibilities. We make excuses as to why we can't get together this year.  Maybe next year.

Last Thanksgiving my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer.  It literally shook my world.  I was six hours away and the woman that raised me was just diagnosed with cancer.

I was devastated.  

Over the past year, I have learned that what I once though mattered, doesn't anymore.  What matters to me the greatest is spending quality time with the people that matter most to me.  

Like playing UNO for hours

Like spending time learning my grandmothers holiday cornbread dressing recipe. 

Like watching MaMa's Family as a family. 

These are the things that matter.  

I'm sorry it has taken me this long to recognize this.

But recognizing this before it was too late is what I am thankful for this year.

JJ, Paw Paw, and Maw Maw

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am thankful.

There is a lot that I can say I am thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband and an amazing son who are the world to me.  I have a great job that helps put a roof over our heads and food on the table.  I have my health.  I want for little and my cup overflows. But this Thanksgiving I get a chance to really understand what I am thankful for:  Family.

I've never really had the best relationship with my family.  I never really knew my mom [though recently we have tried reconnecting] and my dad worked a lot, leaving my grandparents to raise my brother and me.  I was angry, confused, and a pain in the butt.  

But I am thankful.

I am thankful that my grandparents raised me.  I honestly do not know where I would be without them.

I am thankful that they are the head of our family.  That we gather at their house for holidays.  That I can turn to them if I need help or just someone to talk to. 

My grandmother was recently diagnosed with cancer and my world stopped. I can think of a million things that I want to say about it but mostly it just straight up sucks.  I can't image my world without her.  I hate that I took her for granted so many years, thinking that she will always be here for me.  

I have to stand strong on my faith and my God knowing that everything will work itself out.  That this will not be the last holiday that I get to spend with her, listen to her stories, and just enjoy her presence.  I am soaking up her knowledge, watching home movies, copying down her recipes, and just enjoying life.

I am thankful. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Life Update

Feels like forever since I've blogged. 

[Probably because it has.]

What have the Gould's been up to?

Amie - I am currently in the process of becoming a PreK Teacher at an Academy close to my house.  I didn't think this is where I would be at but I am really excited about what the future holds with this job prospect. 

I am also the Den Leader for JJ's Wolf Pack.  I was hesitant about adding this to the growing number of things, but I am honestly enjoying it and I think its a great way to be involved with my son.

Justin and I are in training and prayer to become the next youth leaders at our church. This has been something that has been on our hearts for awhile now.

I am still doing Juney Cakes on the side but I haven't been focusing on it all too much. I still have a couple of orders that come in and that has rekindled that fire. 

Justin - Justin is currently a chef at a school.  He is looking into doing his own catering business.

He is also an Assistant Cub Master of JJ's Pack.

JJ- He is now in 2nd grade and loving it.  He is trying out for the chess team and storytelling team. He is loving Cub Scouts this year and hopes to pick up a sport or two.

Life has been crazy and chaotic but I have been loving every minute of it.