Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


There's never enough of it, right?  I know it's one of my biggest struggles - fitting in everything I want to do.  One of my favorite books to browse through is "Lists to Live By."  Just yesterday I came across this list and thought there were some really good points; I'll share a few of my favorite.  Perhaps it will be a helpful guideline for you too.

"Taking Control of Your Time"

1.  Remember who's in charge.  Time is something you manage, not something that manages you.  Learn to think through each time committment in its entirety.  Buy yourself time to think by asking, "Can I let you know tomorrow?"

*Love this one because it's just so darn easy to let our days fill up with busyness, only to come to the end of the day and realize that you didn't get around to something you really wanted to do, whatever that might have been.  It's all about prioritizing what's important to you.  To protect ourselves from mindless busyness, we just need to take charge.

In that vein, this one follows:

2.  Schedule in reverse.  Put the real priorities on the calendar first - family picnic or date night.  Then, write in everything else. 

*Our pastor spoke a wonderful message about this topic and how it relates to our relationship and intimacy with God.  Whether it's God, family, or a hobby - whatever your priority is - if you put it first, you can make sure it gets done!

3.  Get your spouse's perspective.  Ask your mate to comment on how you're using your time and what seems to be robbing you of your time.

*LOVE this one.  What a wonderful source to seek wisdom from, right?  :)

Have a great day! -Kelly

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lucy turns 6!

Her birthday fell on Friday, which was Kite Day at school:

 Papa and Lady arrived in time to come!

Friday night, it was family celebration time.  We opened presents, headed to Rosie's, and had ice cream and brownies at home.

Super sparkly dress from Uncle Brendan - she LOVED it!

From Uncle Ryan:

And Lady and Papa sent her on a scavenger hunt to find letter to spell the words of her gift from them, "Princess Camp" this summer!

Birthday party Saturday morning, "Pancakes & Pajamas"

This is one of our favorite Shel Silverstein poems :)

Making fruit wands

Connor kept to himeself - wisely - during the party in my room :)

Her hair nearly caught on fire, but all was well :)
And so many presents! 
She got some out and went to creating right away!  :)

And our annual "Birthday Questions:"
1.  What's your favorite toy?  - the purse you color

2.  What's your favorite thing to do at school?  -go to lunch

3.  What is something you like to say? - count

4.  What is your favorite food? - peanut butter and jelly

5.  How do you treat your brothers?  - nice

6.  Who's your best friend?  - Audrey

7.  Where do you like to play?  - "Kidventure, but we never go there anymore."

8.  What is your favorite tv show?  -Care Bears

9.  What is your favorite book?  -Barbie sticker book

10.  What is your favorite color?  - pink

11.  Who loves you?  -my whole family

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting ready for the party...

When I asked Lucy what color theme she wanted for her party - a pancakes and pajamas breakfast party :) - she named nearly every color of the rainbow.  So, I suggested a rainbow theme, and she loved it (and me too, of course :)

Here, she and Audrey were making paper chains to use for decoration.  I love that Lucy is helping participate in preparing things for her own party (teaches her how planning and preparation help an event go well :) and best of all, is having fun with her friend!

sweet girls!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bear's brush with death

Dramatic title?  Maybe, but not really.  So, last week, I encountered just how much Bear really does hate cats (His original home gave him up because Bear 'didn't get along with their cat'.  That was an understatement.)  If dogs were called to the same standards as humans - to love others, including their enemies - Bear would fail impressively.

Bear was in the backyard while Connor and I were inside having a snack.  I heard him start barking quite ferociously (which was the first time I've heard him bark really; he's super mellow), so I went to check out the situation.

Our neighbor's cat was perched on our shared fence line - paws tauntingly hanging over our end of the fence.  And bear was obliged to lose his mind; he began jumping up wildly on the fence.  At this point his back legs were on the ground, so I was merely trying to coerce Bear to calm down - "Don't mind the cat, Bear.  Come here"  yada yada.  Well, before I could say it again, Bear's hind legs were off the ground, and with super-human strength (well, super-dog strength, I should say), he must have dug his nails into the wood of our privacy fence, and he jumped over the top of the fence!  (see illustration, "jump #1 :)

This agile cat quickly headed to one side, and Bear landed in the other yard.  This was when the "Oh, shit!" yelling began.  I couldn't help it...Even though my heart started racing, I realized all I needed to do was go find my keys, get in the car, drive to the street behind ours, and go in their fence to get our dog (hopefully it would be unlocked, fingers crossed!)  So, I took a deep breath, and headed inside.  Well, just as I was searching the kitchen counters for my keys, I noticed a black head start bobbing up over the fence line again.  Bear was at it again, this time trying to jump into the other neighbor's yard.  I run back outside, this time screaming at Bear to stop jumping (total waste of breath; dog was possessed with getting that cat - who I kid you not, had jumped back up on the fenceline, in Bear's line of sight!)

And then his next jump was enough.  He starts scaling the neighbor's fence, but gets himself stuck halfway over - on top of a fence spire.  (See jump #2).  My. Heart. Stopped (has a habit of doing that lately, though, LOL :)  At this point, Bear's eyes are wide with horror, he's desperately scraping his back legs along the wall, but nothing sticking, and his front paws are hanging over the other side, dangling.  And I fear that what' keeping him from being able to move forward or backwards is a giant wooden spire impaled in his underbelly.  The "Oh, Shits" start coming forth loudly and regularly (and at one point I even stopped, realizing that one of the kids I tutor lives behind us, and his parents very well may be home, hearing this rant of mine, oh great).  What do I do?

Fortunately, very fortunately, there's a fence door that goes to the sewer drain behind the house, and after battling with the not-often-used door to actually open, I was able to get inside, and reach the point where Bear - all 106 pounds of him - was stuck.  Terrified to push him up and find out if he was in fact impaled, I prayed really fast, and then pushed him up and back.  He slid back down, and thank God, there wasn't any blood on my hand, fence, or gushing from his belly.

At this point, I'm literally shaking, and Connor - who had been plopped on the ground somewhere in the backyard - was asking, "Mom, what's wrong?  What's wrong, Mom?"  Bear seemed stunned for a few moments, but then went back to jumping.  I had no other choice but to haul ass to my neighbor's street, and just hope that I got there before further incident.

So, I scooped up Connor, grabbed the spare keys, and raced to the garage.  We peeled of the driveway and headed over.  Like the Apollo astronauts who had lost communication with Houston for a period of time when passing behind the moon, for about half a minute I couldn't see our backyard and whether or not Bear was popping up and down or stuck again.  On two wheels, I pulled into the neighbor's driveway, and thankfully they are trusting people who left their gate unlocked (Which in retrospect, is interesting considering that there was a homicide a few doors down just a few months ago).  Anyhow, thankfully for me, Bear was still trying to jump over, and when he saw me, he trotted over, and got into the car.

Ordeal over.  Shaking lessening.  It's going to be fine.  Oh. my. soul.  Was it seriously not even noon yet?!?

And with impeccable timing, our underground fence system arrived that afternoon.  So, instead of installing in only in the front yard, as originally planned, Jason also ran the wire along our back fence.  Bear is in the process of being trained to learn where the boundaries are, and so far, he's doing excellent.  The real test will be when that damn cat decides to come back around.

The rescue agency had told us that Bear's "negatives" were that he could jump a four-foot fence and didn't like cats.  We had responded by saying, "No problem!  We're not "cat people," and our fence is a six-feet tall...Ha freakin' ha.

I'll end with a super sweet pic I snapped the other day:  Connor and bear spooning in the backyard.  (See his paw draped over Connor's tummy?  :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A bridesmaids dress you'll actually wear again!

While reading Lauren Tomasella's newest blog post covering a recent wedding she did, I was captivated by the bridesmaids' dresses.  They were so unique and just stunning.

Made me want to get married all over again just so I could use these dresses.  Or better yet, would anyone who likes these dresses like me to be their bridesmaid?!?  Ooh, wait...a vow renewal!  Jason's and my 10-year anniversary will be in June of '14.  :)

Check out these beauties!

What's your favorite color palette?  I love the soft blue hues.  Imagine those in a vintage style wedding!  LOVE!


The bombings yesterday:  abhorrent, disheartening, shocking, pure evil.  It's been encouraging to see the selfless, brave acts of so many surrounding the events yesterday.  And of course, Facebook has been abuzz with posts of encouragement, hope, and patriotism.  I, myself, even shared a sweet quote from Mr. Rogers:  "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers; you will always find people who are helping.'"

But what's even more comforting to me personally, comes from the pages of the Bible.  Reminding me that despite the evil and terror we find ourselves witness to, our Lord and Savior is always there, wanting to comfort and provide peace.  I'll share some of my favorite versus in a second. 

See, I know it's easy to point a finger and say God allows evil to happen.  But I believe God created us with a little something called free will.  He was not a god that wanted to demand obedience, force us to follow him, and thus be able to create a world where there was no evil.  He could have been, but the very existence of Jesus and the way He lived his life on earth proves to me that we have a loving God, who yes, made people in His own image, but also gave them freedom to live freely and make their own choices.  The person responsible for the bombings yesterday acted with evil and malice, two adjectives that couldn't be further from the way Jesus lived his life.  To me, it's clear that in this world, we have both Good and Evil, spiritual warfare if you will.  I bear witness to this battle every single day, in my own life in small and big ways, and definitely when I see what happened in Boston yesterday.

Some encouragement:

So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24

I am leaving with you a gift - peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don't be troubled or afraid.  -John 14:27

Also from John, v. 33:  I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.  

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.  -2 Timothy 1:7

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you.  He will be with you; he will neither fail nor abandon you.  -Deuteronomy 31:8

So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  - 2 Corinthians 4:  16-18

Monday, April 15, 2013


 Playing in Daddy's closet, announcing, "I hiding, Mommy!  I hiding..."

Friday, April 12, 2013

Someone lost a tooth!

This morning, it just fell out while she was watching cartoons :) 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bear - he's quite a bear :)

Meet our new dog!  His name is Bear, and appropriately so.  (Well, with the exception of the name having anything to do with Alabama's Bear Bryant :)  Which, ironically, was the very first thing Jason said when he arrived home on Monday to find our new dog already here.  No big deal, I knew Jason would love him and agree he was the perfect dog for us ;)  But back to my point, Jason remarked, "Bear?  We've got to change that name."  To which I replied that the implication of that name, in that specific regard, had not even occurred to me, and that I thought it was likely a perfect name in many other ways.  And I was right...Bear is a "bear.")

The name is fitting as in:

the noun form- this dog is huge (already 106 lbs. and predicted to gain another 15 lbs.)  And think of a black bear; they're similar ;)

the verb form "to hold or support" - the kids lie on him frequently, and although we've yet to put a saddle on him and let Connor go for a ride, I don't doubt that would be successful.  And also in the sense of bearing as "bringing forth something."  Our family has experienced the kind of joy a family pet brings that we haven't had in a while since Toby passed.  Bear has bore that kind of contentment and happiness that comes with a good family dog.  Jack expressed it best the other day, when he burst into smiles, and shouted - in the sincere, sweet way Jack has about him, "I love my dog!"

So, where did Bear come from?  Our friends the Carney's had adopted a dog not too long ago from an organization here in Huntsville, called FOR (Friends of Rescue).  They had a great, smooth experience, and so since then, I've "liked" the organization on Facebook and watched all the animals pop up on their feed.  Through perusing that site, we visited with a few foster parents who brought dogs over for us to meet.  I particularly liked being able to talk with a foster parent who had experience with the pet, since getting a dog that had experience and was good with young children was an obvious requirement for us.  FOR takes care of all vet visits, shots, etc, and when you adopt the dog, you receive the vet records and such.

Bear's (appx 18 months old now) originally family had to turn him in because he wasn't fond of their family cat.  And also because Bear could clear a four-foot fence, which he was doing there.  Neither was an issue for us, and since we have a heart for big - like, really big dogs - I thought it was worth a visit to see him in his foster home.  Of course it didn't hurt that he looked like Toby, either.  (I could almost be convinced of reincarnation, considering what we've learned about Bear the past few days.  Looks so similar and acts just like Toby used to.) 

Oh, and don't let me forget to tell you the most ironic detail of this whole thing.  Know what Bear's foster's mom name was?  Tobie.  I kid you not :)  I told Tobie we'd love to take Bear, and home he came with Jack, Connor, and me in the van.  Lucy flipped out when she got off the bus, running down the hill, yelling, "I have a new puppy!  I have a new puppy!"

FOR suggested that he's a mastiff/lab mix, and here's what the internet says about this mutt breed, labeled "mastidor":  http://www.designermixes.org/breed_info/272/mastador.aspx  Seems a correct suggestion from what we've experienced with him so far.

Bear is a big teddy bear; he's been nothing but gentle, calm, lazy, affectionate, and eager to please.  He hasn't been without his hazards...that tail is something of a weapon, whacking kids in their legs (only Lucy seemed to mind :)

So, onto the cute pictures, and you'll have to forgive me for how many there are.  I'm not a "dogs-are-people" person, but hey, I'm not having any more children, so indulge me.  :) 

First day home:

Headed out for a family walk that evening.  He needs a little training not to pull, but he seems a very quick learner.  Jason had him walking side by side with him by the end of the walk. 

Super snuggly Connor:

Bedtime!  (His foster home allowed him up on beds, and while that won't allow that, it was fine for the first night here.  Although, Lord knows Lucy argued with us to allow it :)


Connor likes to have his snacks while lying against Bear.

 Morning snuggles; these two wake up and head to wherever Bear is.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pinterest Fails

Pinterest, it's popular.  Even my dad has pinned and completed projects. 

I totally enjoy spending time pinning all the adorable ideas, and most of the things I've actually made have turned out okay.  That said, I don't attempt the really fancy pins.  I'm talking simple wreaths, paint chip projects, those have gone well.   

A negative aspect of it, I've heard someone (or maybe it was a blog) remark, is that Pinterest has the potential to really stress out some people and makes some moms feel even more pressure to be "super mom."  Like you have to be proficient in Pinterest to be be a good mom.  I think that's a bit of an extreme, and, personally, I don't feel that pressure, but I can certainly agree with the point.

I've been to birthday parties where the moms have spend hours - often into the wee hours of the morning - hand-making every decoration, accessory, and party favor for the party.  (I enjoy baking my kid's cake myself, but I enjoy baking, and I think it's a nice tradition.  Beyond that, only if I find myself with large periods of free time can I tackle these projects.)  It all looks beyond adorable, don't get me wrong, but what's the ultimate goal I wonder.  If the mom is gaining sincere enjoyment and fulfillment slaving away wrapping packaging tape around personalized logos with their child's name on it, then more power to you, but it never seems that people who go to those lengths actually enjoy the process, and they're too exhausted and sleep deprived to enjoy the end product.  Anyhow, I digress...

I came upon this list of "20 Hilarious Pinterest Fails,"  and I had to share.  If it's not staged - some I wonder about -  then it really is hilarious.  Check it out, and if you've ever had a Pinterest fail,  you'll totally relate.


Monday, April 8, 2013

A boy and his cars...

When I'm unloading the dishwasher, this is what Connor likes to do. 

Not sure which shot I like better.  :)