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!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Grill Party!

Let's get a big group together to do this!  I GRILL because I CARE.

I love the CARE Center, just a few minutes south of us in New Hope, AL.  If you're not shopping their thrift store, you're missing out!  (Great stuff!  Really well maintained store, easy to find things!)

Also, with the start of school just around the corner, I encourage you to think about getting your family involved in Bags of Blessings.  A large percentage of students at New Hope and Owens Cross Roads schools are on free and reduced lunch.  But when they go home on Friday, they do not have anything at home to eat over the weekend.  Let that soak in.  Can you imagine your child just not eating all weekend?  Sad reality. 

It's super easy to get involved in this.  I've done it before with the kids; super simple.  You can bring food (food list on link), and plan to go to a "packing time."  (I just checked the schedule, and nothing is listed yet, but with the start of school almost here, I'm sure it will be posted soon.)

Friday, July 26, 2013

recent naps

Lemme just say this kid totally knows how to REST!  I hope he always enjoys slowing things down and the importance of it!  :)

 Coming home from the pool last week.  And this was after I transferred him from his sleeping position under the shade in a separate chair.  :)

Lucy was so tickled that Connor fell asleep on her.  Little mommy, that one!

And then she pulled him up on her...still sleeping... :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I'm spending some lovely quiet time in study with the unit our CGroup is currently doing, Real Marriage.  I can not say enough how transformational this series has been for our marriage.  It's just awesome.

Anyhow, Jason and I complete and discuss lots of homework together, but there are also individual questions that we reflect on individually as a wife or husband.  In responding to my question of, "Who does God say that you are" I found such encouragement in this one particular scripture, so I thought I'd share :)

Proverbs 31:  25 - 27 says that as a wife, I am, "clothed with strength and dignity; I can laugh at the days to come.  I speak with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on my tongue.  I watch over the affairs of my household and do not eat at the bread of idleness." (I changed the "she" to "I" because I think it's even more powerful to insert our own identity.)

This is so encouraging to me.  I need only tap into the Spirit given to me by Him, and I can be all these things.  Talk about empowering!  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Well, this has just been one of those days that I benefited from repeating over and over to myself, "This is something I get to do, not something I have to do." 

Remember those blow up, weighted down, punching character tube-like things?  Well, that was me, and my kids just took turns all day knocking me till I bled. 

Jack broke into random whiny wailing no less than four times an hour, Lucy ran her sassy mouth constantly (I mean, there was literally nothing I said that she didn't have some counter argument/position/comment that she just had to share.  At one point in the car, I pulled over, turned around, and instructed to repeat what I prompted her to say.  Which was:  "I am six years old.  And I am NOT the boss."), and oh yeah, Connor went outside alone and took a walk down the street by himself.

Jason had golf league and wouldn't be home until after bedtime.  At 4:30, I decided to go back to the gym for a second round of exercising, because, after all, going to the gym means dropping them off in Playcare - where at least a paid employee has to listen to them!  Hitting the pool for some hard swimming followed by the relaxing sauna was just what I needed.  And we ended the day on a better note (well, after bathing all three, which is a massive, soggy undertaking.)

A little treat for surviving the day, I'm listening to some new tunes ("Jesus Paid It All" an oldie, but goodie), about to read, and go to bed EARLY.  Whoo Hoo!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Super Sleepers!

It seems lately, that my kids' sleeping ability has become a topic of conversation and smiles, and I thought it'd be fun to see a compilation of all the great pics we've captured in the past few months.  As you'll see, Jack has a few winning moments, but it's really Connor that takes top trophy!  :) 

These first two are Jack:
at my parents' house in Atlanta after so much fun one day he literally only made it up the first stair-lol!

Aunt Sarah's Wedding last year

I LOVE the Dr. Pepper one because this is how I found him when I came home from a girls' night out.  Daddy had been left in charge :)

Connor and his cars!

On the way home from Chick-Fil-A, COnnor's dessert still stuck in his mouth.  It's the bottom of his ice-cream cone :)

napping on the couch

not asleep here, but it's a fun one of him and bear sharing some snuggles...on the oh-so-comfy garage floor!  :)

Just a few days ago...we could not wake him up.

snoozing at the St. Louis pool party!

Another Jack...plays hard, sleeps hard.  Here, he had decided to put him to sleep in our bed.

And on the same day as above, Connor found his crashing place here.

Old "floor pics":

And look, my floors are actually clean enough to see his reflection!  Amazing :)

Jack's just chillin' with his cartoons while Connor catches some zzzzs.

On the boat with Aunt Kay.

At a restaurant:

At Lucy's school event

By the pool again.

Just a few days ago, Connor was asleep on the floor again, and I actually vacuumed around his head.  He needed to wake up, so I thought surely the vacuum mere inches from his head would do the trick- but, not so!  I'm kicking myself I didn't think to video it! 

Happy Nappy!  

The pics uploaded twice, so just ignore the photos below. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Remember this? When Lucy felt sad while at summer camp, I made her this to keep in her pocket.

Well, Lucy made this below and gave it to me, announcing, "Mommy, this is for you when you get sad and miss me!"  Adorable...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

10 Questions

So our Cgroup is about two-thirds of the way through a marriage unit, based on the book "Real Marriage" by Mark & Drace Driscoll.  It's a very real look (pun just can't be avoided :) at what a biblical marriage looks like - what Jesus said marriage is to be.  Our whole group is getting so very much out of it, and in fact, I told a friend the other day that I feel like I have a whole new marriage. (In providing the link, I actually found videos of each chapter.  Our group is working through the book, but you could even check out these videos if it interests you.)

But, it hasn't been without some tough, uncomfortable conversation, and definitely lots of intentional effort.  That said, it's been totally worth it, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the study might produce.  It's awesome!

But, one of the chapter homework assignments was to get together with a couple whose marriage you feels "reflects the Gospel" and ask them your list of ten questions that you and your husband created.  There were two couples- us included- in our group that had the same couple in mind.  These two are just amazing people, filled with the Spirit, truly the hands and feet of God.  So, our group decided to invite them to share with all of us at one time.  So, last weekend, Jason smoked some more meat, everyone brought sides, and we ate some delicious food, yet filled far more than our bellies that night.  I think their responses were so helpful, that I want to share it.  I'll not go through it question by question (I will include the list at the end, however), but rather, more informally - kind of jumping around in my notes (you know, the same way I probably talk :).  Enjoy!

When asked about the keys of a healthy marriage, they repeatedly mentioned, "keep short accounts," "pray together everyday," "stay humble and teachable," and emphasized that there's never an excuse for unkindness in marriage.  I can speak to the power of praying together.  Jason and I began doing this about a two years ago, and while we aren't diligent and successful enough that we do it everyday, it was obvious to us that it was a game-changer once we had started doing it.  What a weapon against the enemy! and it does truly as the husband said, "bind your hearts together."

And another thing he said that I think ties in with one of the keys to a successful, healthy marriage is that "you have to be willing to initiate those hard conversations."  Isn't communication usually the cause of so many arguments you have with your spouse?  I know it is with us.  Either we've not properly understood what the other is expressing, we assume, or (and this is probably the case with us) we automatically respond so defensively, that we don't even address the real issue at hand.  And this goes straight back to no excuse for unkindness in a marriage.  I don't think it means that we don't have to have hard conversations, but no matter what difficulty we're having with each other, there's NEVER a reason to be unkind.  That just plants bitterness in our hearts, the seed that can (and probably will) bring death to a marriage.

A great way to put forth a good effort to combat miscommunication is the way this couple suggested arguing.  A way to argue that glorifies God?  Do tell!  :)  So, "Passing the Baton" or whatever object you have laying around, a pen, book, whatever. But anyway, only the person holding the whatever talks.  Then, before the other gets to take the baton to thus respond - they have to say, "Okay, what I heard you say was..." and if they didn't hear the other correctly, the speaker gets to correct/clarify before the other responds. 

Good "one liners":

*"Men:  be patient to listen.  Ask your wife, 'how's your heart' and be present just to listen, not fix it."

*"Call forth the truth of what you see in your spouse with gentleness and respect.  Sometimes we see it better than they do."

"It's the hundred little choices you make."

and my personal favorite, because it just gets right to the point:

*"Are you willing to do whatever it takes everyday to make your marriage what God intends it to be?"

Speaking to carving out time for your spouse - because our marriages all began based on friendship, right?  Wouldn't many of us have said, "I'm marrying my best friend" when we were engaged?  Yet, it's so easy to join up "shoulder to shoulder" (as our book names it) instead of "face to face" - the couple spoke about how "you'll never find time, you've got to make time."  Outback America was a program they mentioned that is awesome to do with your spouse (they also do it with children).

They suggested going to see a counselor for marriage "tune ups" just as we do to take care of our cars.  *Jason and I did this once about a year ago, but I cowered away from returning to dive into some of the issues that it actually, quite unexpectedly revealed.

As to how their marriage glorified Christ, it was beautiful to hear them speak about how they were "drawn to Christ IN each other.  They spoke to "submitting" - that touchy word Christians so very often get all wrong.  They said, "Submit to each other, as you submit to Christ.  It's a selfless marriage that glorifies God."

(This gets me going when the scripture is used wrong about submission.  2 Peter 3:1 says, "In the same way {'same way' speaking to "when you become a Christian"}, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands."  But, don't stop there, where people do when they misuse this scripture.  For, just a few lines later, verse 7 says, "In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives.  Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.  She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life."  If you ask me, the husbands have the far tougher end of the bargain.  They are to love their wife like God loved the church.  Remember what God did for the church?  Oh yeah, he sent his son to die so that we may be saved.   They are to sacrifice themselves for us.  And this takes many forms, not just literal death, although I know Jason would take a bullet for me.  Sacrificing themselves in working a job to support the family; being the sole provider for a family is a stressful, burdensome responsibility.  I appreciate Jason so much because of his willingness to do this so that I can stay home!   But back to the scripture, 1 Peter 5:6 sums it up nicely:  So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God...  It's not about submitting to a person, it's about submitting to God.

So, there ya go.  And if you find yourself wanting to do a little interviewing of you own, here's the list of questions we asked.  I encourage you and your spouse to set aside a night to get together with your couple that you think has a marriage that reflects the Gospel, treat them to dinner, and let yourself be filled with new wisdom. 


What's the root cause of most of your arguments?  (Kids, sex, money, a
past wrong, etc?)

What's your approach on working through conflict when it arises, and
what does your reconciliation process look like?

What would you say is/are the "key(s)" to a healthy marriage?

What's a specific behavior (or few) that you've put into place which
seems to make a real, positive difference in your marriage?

Is there a book (other than the Bible) or class/seminar you would
recommend to a couple that's trying to improve their marriage?

What are a few core principles you try to stick with, that help to
keep your marriage harmonious?

What are your policies for carving out time for one another?

In what ways do you assure your spouse of your love for them?

What would you consider your greatest stumbling block?

As your children have aged, how have the different stages of their
lives affected your marriage?

What does it mean for you to "Glorify God" through your marriage?

Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July

St. Louis bound, we headed out bright and early Wednesday morning (5am alarm just to be out the door at 7:04 :) to visit Jason's extended family for the big 4th of July celebration that his family has each year.  And a quick seven hours later, we arrived.  (Thank goodness for hand-held kid devices, right!)

There's golf, pool parties, and LOTS of good food and drinks.  (I'm skipping weigh-in this week :)
It's always so great to see everyone, and the kids had an absolute blast!  The weather was absolutely perfect - mid 80's, low humidity, hardly a cloud in the sky - what I wish everyone back at home could have had instead of the dreary, rainy weather that apparently lasted all holiday weekend  :(

There are lots of pictures to share:

Lucy loved the drink machine at Aunt Sue's house that was fully stocked with sparkling flavored water.  Help yourself!

And it wouldn't be a day at the pool without Connor enjoying a nap on a lounge chair!  (We did move him out of the sun :)

Jack lounging in the "3 seasons room" I heard it called.  In the south, we'd call it a sun room :)

Lucy and Aunt Ann (or as Connor called her, "Baba too" {we all belly laughed at that one}) in deep discussion. 
Lucy really adores Ann and always looked first to find her when we arrived somewhere.  :)

Grandpa Galik and his daughters.  His son, Bobby wasn't able to be at this pool party, but they'd be at the one the next day.

And Connor's best friend, Uncle Justin.  Last time we saw him, he was in his fancy wedding attire.  I think both boys prefer casual attire so they can play in the grass! 

Pool Party #2 was at Ann & Dennis's house:

 And by now in the trip, poor Jack had come down with something that took the wind right out of his sails.  Poor dear hadn't eaten anything in about two days, and he just wanted to be close to one of us all day.  We felt so bad for him...

But he still gave me a sweet smile :)


And grub...

Then baseball with cousin Matthew (who was our ring bearer :)

relaxing, eating, golfing, fireworks (Lucy loved, Connor did not :) catching up with family - it was an awesome 4th!  Thanks St. Louis family, for everything!