Wednesday, September 30, 2009

She's Done It Again!

It's the BIG CHOP all over again! Ever since we met, Josh has said that he would love to see me with short hair. He had seen pictures of me with short hair from college, but had never seen it in person. You see, in college my hair was actually the longest it had ever been since I was a kid, but after a friend of mine donated hers to Locks of Love, I looked into it and thought I'd go for it. Fast forward six years later and I'm at it again... and this time, it means much much more to me. I did a little more research this time around and found that Pantene also has a program, but your hair is donated to women instead of children. Don't get me wrong, I love children, but after living with my mom while she went through chemo and knowing how her fabulous wig made her feel better about it, the idea greatly appealed to me. My family has seen three women battle cancer, including my Aunt B who is currently fighting, and I realize that there is a very good chance that my sisters or I might have to face the ugly "C" word one day in our future. Cancer stinks, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon (although we all hope and pray that it does!), so chopping off my hair again for a woman who needs it tugs at my heart strings these days. I hope and pray that the woman who receives the wig that my hair is a part of feel stronger, empowered, more secure, confident, and beautiful every time she puts it on. Because what is more beautiful than a woman who is beating cancer? As much as I despise the illness, I admire and adore those who conquer it. In those moments, it is really great to be a woman.

So without further to do...
Here is the unveiling of the BIG CHOP 2009.

And a flashback to the first BIG CHOP 2003...
not a whole lot has changed!

And just for fun (although she might kill me)... a photo of my mom in her fabulous wig! As a funny sidenote, she had more compliments on her hair while she had her wig on than ever in her life. She one time looked at me and asked, "Was my hair really that bad before?" Hilarious... and it kind of makes me want one for those bad hair days!

But even better... my mom these days post-chemo. And we all LOVE the sassy gray! She is one hot mama, but even more so, one beautiful survivor! We love you, Mom!

Check back in 2015... I just may do it all over again!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Shack Series Online

I'm not sure if you're familiar with the book "The Shack" by William Young, but it's an incredibly interesting read. The story is about a man whose daughter was abducted by a notorious serial killer while on a family vacation, which destroyed her father's faith in God. Later, the father (Mack) receives a note asking him to "Meet me at The Shack. Love, Papa" and he does not know what to make of it. "Papa" is what his wife calls God and the shack is the last known location as to where they could trace the killer's tracks. In the days that follow, Mack's curiosity gets the best of him and he travels back to that fated place and spends a few days with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

The reason I bring it up is because our church is doing their sermon series on the book. While the book is fiction, it covers so many important issues such as your relationship with Christ, the process of grieving, forgiveness, and love. We're in week 2 of the series and so far our lead pastor, Keith, has hit on some pretty powerful points. If you've read it (or even if you haven't), but need to hear some inspirational words on these topics, you can check them out online:
So if God invited you somewhere for the weekend, would you go?

Monday, September 21, 2009

A very successful launch indeed

Crossroads is finally here! Josh is officially pastoring a church every Sunday, which is a dream come true for him and I could not be more proud. After months of preparing, putting volunteers into place, getting the word out, and working many long days, all of the hard work has paid off. And we certainly know that moving across the country from a big, sunny city to a tiny, Midwestern town was meant to be... not that we ever doubted it!

Sunday morning was awesome. We weren't sure what to expect with it being our first Sunday and God truly surprised us by filling almost every seat in the house. In total we had 290 people walk thru our doors and many, many new faces. The great news is that everyone walked out smiling. We had some folks who went to other churches and were there to support us, and one family in particular sounds as if they won't be going back to their old church! We had a few folks scoping us out so that they could gossip about us to their friends, and the only thing they found was that (gasp!) we preached out of the Bible and worshiped the Lord! Oh my... what will they go and tell their friends now! We were actually happy those folks were there, because in this small town we've heard everything from us charging $1500 to be a member to us being a cult. Awesome. Regardless of why they were there, many lives will change because of it and that makes it a successful day.
Josh did not preach this past Sunday, but we heard a message from our Lead Pastor, Keith. He started a series on the book "The Shack", which is a phenomenal book if you have not read it already. Either way, the message was incredibly powerful and can be watched online. If you want to check it out, visit you can even download and print the message notes before you watch, which has all of the scripture passages he uses on it. Josh will be preaching in a couple of weeks, and we look forward to that immensely! In the meantime, I am just proud to be standing beside him as we embark on what is shaping up to be an incredibly successful ministry. Praise the Lord!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's starting!

Oh how I am going to enjoy this after 5 years in Florida!
College football, carving pumpkins, picking apples, eating warm bowls of chilli on a cold day, cozy sweaters, hot chocolate... it was just never the same without the pretty leaves everywhere!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Nothing says summer like ice cream... and I have a new favorite place!
Sure, we may not have the Marble Slab or Cold Stone (or even Baskin Robbins for that matter), but where else but a small town can you find the cutest old-fashioned ice cream shop?

And it is complete with the old fashioned soda fountain... definitely worth the trip!

Although, the next best thing (and they are EVERYWHERE here) would of course be the good ol' DQ. Florida never had many Dairy Queens, but considering there is one on every corner here, my love for the Blizzard is growing back to the size of my childhood days. And now they have Girl Scout Tagalong Blizzards... are you kidding me??? Talk about DELISH! But our best trip has been with our new friends, Mike and Jen, and their three cutie-pies!

Josh and Noah (above) / and Mike and Noah (below)

Jen and Leah... I could steal her. Leah that is- but Jen is pretty cool too! :)

Me and Isaiah... this kid is hilarious. Look for him in sales one day soon.

Next up on my ice cream tour of the Midwest??? Whitey's Ice Cream in Moline... super duper Midwestern friend of ours has highly recommended it. Maybe I can send some to Florida on dry ice... now that's an idea for Christmas! So visit us anytime folks... you're guaranteed to get all the frozen treats your little heart (and tummy) desires!

Monday, September 14, 2009


So my oldest sister Angie asked her 9-year old son if he knew who was going to have a baby.

"Aunt Mindy?" he asked.

"Well, yes, Aunt Mindy is going to have a baby in January, but who else?"

He went on to name one of his teachers, to which she replied, "Well, yes, she's going to have a baby, too, but it's somebody else."

"You?" he questioned.

"Nope, not me, but you're getting closer."

"Aunt Kim?" he finally guessed, to which she excitedly told him "yes!"

Without missing a beat he responded, "They're pregnant already???"

Ha ha... we love you, Kevin! And yes, we were just as surprised as you are!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy happy birthday to...

My wonderful husband. It was a pretty low-key weekend, but we managed to have some fun. Ben and Angie came to visit from Wisconsin, we had a surprise cake and gifts after church, and I made Mawmaw's famous cookies (which were quite a task!). He claims that he doesn't need anything special for his birthday, but he is certainly a special man who deserves the world. Here are just a few things that makes him who he is... he seriously has the best sense of humor of anyone I know; in a crowded room he will find the one person who doesn't look to be having a good time and turn their day around; he never puts himself first; he is certainly a man of God and spends hours each morning pouring over the Bible, praying, and watching sermons; if someone is in need, he's the first to be there and ask how he can help; he loves to give hugs; he's good at everything he tries (which aggravates me to death); he misses hanging out with my mom :); if he's excited about something, everyone will know it in a matter of minutes; he makes a darn good pot of chili; he's very handy around the house; he sees the finished project before most people can even see the vision; he inspires me (and others) to be better, work harder, and not settle for anything other than the best I can be. So yes, he's a special, special man... but my favorite thing about him? He's mine.

I love you, Joshua. Happy birthday... it's going to be an awesome year!!!

Little Joshy... so cute!

Too cool for school

High school all-star

Air Force days

Frat-Boy Haircut
27... and more handsome than ever

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dear 18-year-old-me,

You will never believe how blessed your life will be in just ten short years. If you're just patient, you'll see that in ten years you will be married to the most handsome, amazing man in the world, standing beside him and supporting him as he starts a new church plant, living in the house you only dreamed about as a little girl, have two precious puppies welcoming you home everyday, a family who loves you, a faith in God that is growing stronger and stronger, and a little one on the way. Just wait and see... it's going to be better than your wildest imagination could dream up. And no, you won't deserve a single bit of it, but it's all yours.

All my love,

*sigh* What I would give to be able to give this to her... I'm sure you can relate. :)

PS - Here is baby's first picture... our little peanut.... and already a cutie:

Monday, September 7, 2009

The County Fair

And so begins the blog posts that I'm WAY behind on! I know a certain reader is anxiously awaiting the "Bathroom - Before and After" post, but unfortunately we still have a little bit more work to do before that one is ready. So this one will have to do for now!

Soooo.... the fair! Let me start by saying that my family spent six years in a small town in Louisiana and the fair was the highlight of the year... chili pies, the Radar, the double ferris wheel, the livestock... so many great memories that make me a bit nostalgic. So I was probably more excited for the fair than the average person and was like a wacko tourist who took pictures of EVERYTHING!

So the highlights? Well, there was the chainsaw competition, barrel racing, the draft horses, a crazy type of horse racing where the jockeys ride on little carts, the funnel cake, the carni-games, and of course the rides. My hubby was a perfect date and won me a stuffed animal and while the youth kiddos dragged him on the zipper, I had the perfect excuse to stay safely on the ground (this baby is already coming in handy!). While it wasn't quite the same as the fair from my childhood, it was certainly a good time and something I will look forward to every year here in Small Town, Illinois.

Oh, and just so you can see for yourselves:

CLEARLY this one should win! Someone did this with a chainsaw!
Horse racing... the jockeys are riding on little carts behind the horses. Strange.

The winning draft horses... he's an Iowa State Fair champ, too!

We are pretty convinced these games are rigged!

But yes, he still won a stuffed animal for me!

The Zipper... better him than me on that thing!

A barn full of bunnies. Just what every fair needs.

What do they FEED these things???

Mmmm... funnel cake. The perfect end to the day! Until next year...

Friday, September 4, 2009

BIG (or wee little) News

Is that a plus sign I see??? Well, maybe it did not show up so well in the photo, but the big blue plus sign only took about two seconds to show up in the little window.

So word is out! While it's probably not news to most of the Mauneyland readers, we wanted to make an official announcement anyway so that we can post updates and pictures moving forward. As most of you know, we are expecting a wee small member of the family next year around March 28th. Although we were very surprised to say the least, we could not be more thrilled or excited about it! So officially we are at 10 weeks and it's been a (thankfully) easy experience so far. Aside from a little bit of fatigue, there has been no sickness and I've been able to continue with my usual activities. It's customary to wait until after 12 weeks to make any sort of announcements, but as you all know, we are really bad at waiting for things! Hence why we're going to be parents nine and a half months after getting married. We don't waste any time!

The day we found out was quite funny and surreal. I just had a feeling that something was going on and was pretty convinced that I knew what it was. Josh had told me that if I were to ever find out that I was pregnant, he wanted to be told in a "cool way", which would totally be my style anyway. Well, there's no such thing as a "cool way" when you've only been married for a month and are kind of freaked out by how soon this might be happening! Instead, I came into the living room with a bit of a panicked look on my face and sent him to the store to buy a test. While he was gone, I definitely wasn't thinking and I used the restroom. Needless to say, when he came back from the store there was no part of me that needed to go again. I seriously have the world's largest bladder and knew it would be awhile. But like a trooper I tried anyway, and we both leaned over and stared at the test while we waited for something to happen. And... well... NOTHING happened. Nothing at all. Josh then proceeded to fill me up with every liquid in the house- water, juice, soda, and whatever else we could find. About an hour later I was finally able to go again and I did not even make it out of the bathroom before the blue plus sign showed up! The two of us just stood speechless staring at the stick in disbelief! Just to be sure, I went back into the bathroom and re-tried the first test that didn't work (since I was now filled with liquid) and sure enough, this one worked within seconds, too! Before I could even process the information I looked at Josh and said, "How did this happen?" to which he told me that I clearly needed a biology lesson. Very funny. So we kept the news amongst family for a few weeks and then started telling friends, and now there is no holding back! We're so excited that we can't even stand it!

For those of you that don't know, it's a super exciting year for babies in the family! We will be welcoming our little one's brand new cousin in January 2010 as Michael and Mindy are just 9 weeks ahead of us. All of our cousins are quite a bit younger than us, so we're looking forward to our kids having a bunch of cousins who are all around the same age... it's going to be so much fun!
So keep checking for updates. We go to the doctor again on September 16th and will get to hear the heartbeat at that time! We absolutely cannot wait! And now that it's out on the blog, I don't have to feel like I'm going to absolutely bust with the news every time I post something!

We can't wait to meet you, little one!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bad Blogger!

What a blogging slacker I have been lately! Please forgive me and keep checking back because we do have LOTS of fun stuff to share from Mauneyland... including (but not limited to):
  • The Whiteside County Fair
  • The upstairs bathroom... before and after
  • The Union Dairy Bar
  • New Friends and Faces
  • Crossroads... our first practice service is THIS Sunday!!! We're SO excited!

And a few more surprises that we have up our sleeves! So stay tuned... we'll make up for it soon... we promise! :)