Tuesday, December 20

Feed The 5,000

This Saturday I was blessed by spending the day celebrating Christmas at Coolray Field and handing out food to more than 3,000 families. Humbling. Honored. Emotional.

For the second year, our church decided our Christmas initiative would be to feed 5,000 families, which turned into 6,000 this year as the cars spilled off Buford Drive into the Gwinnett Braves parking lot.

Tears flowed all day from those grateful for the food and those grateful for the ability to serve. Meeting so many wonderful people who have fallen on hard times opens my eyes to the undeserved blessings the Lord has graced us with this year. From the restoration of health, to financial stability, from jobs to our future house hunt, none of what we have is possible without the Lord's blessing poured upon us.

This Christmas, I have learned to make a list of all that I have and be thankful for that instead of making a list of things I don't have... God is good - all the time!

Tuesday, December 13

So this is Christmas...

Can you believe that that we are 12 days out!? Sheesh... My failed attempt to have all my shopping/wrapping/crowd fighting complete by now. I'm sure you've guessed it since I'm writing this post that my Christmas list hasn't crossed off everyone's names. You'd be correct.

My husband and I have mapped out a strategic route to complete our shopping. One evening to hit 4 stores, grab the items we have thought of, scan the coupons we have gathered and out the door we will race. It's exciting, it's overwhelming, and it's got to be done.

Pray for the safety of all involved. I have a tendency to get heated in crowds and I'll throw an elbow or two of the situation arises ;).

Off to the races.... Go!

Friday, December 9

Christmas Pretzel Treats

These are the easiest goodies ever and super delish to match.

Candy Cane Flavored Kisses

1. On a parchment paper covered cookie sheet lay a single layer of pretzels.
2. Unwrap and place kisses on each pretzel.
3. Place in a preheated, 200 degree oven for a few minutes... Just long enough for the kisses to melt.
4. Remove from oven and place another pretzel on top of the melted kiss making a yummy pretzel sandwich.
5. Place treats in the oven to cool...

Simple as that! You can use other candy as well - I'm thinking Rolos would be really good too.

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 5

Christmas Cards 2011

Our family Christmas cards have arrived! Woo!! Love showing off my precious family...

Wednesday, November 23

"Thankful" Doesn’t Cover it.

This entire month I’ve watched as people post daily items for which they are thankful.  They all make me smile as I Facebook stalk people (everyone does it… so I can be open about my habits).  I didn’t want to jump in to the mix this year because thankful doesn’t cover the way I feel about my life. 

Let’s rewind a year – I was deathly ill with a never-ending case of Salmonella that my doctors couldn’t cure.  The Salmonella caused severe dehydration that sent my body reeling against itself which eventually lead to me developing an allergy to gluten and altering my immune system enough to trigger psoriatic arthritis.  However, a year ago, I had no answers and no end in sight.  I had been extremely sick since September and had no idea the worst was still to come.

I won’t go back through all the details – check earlier blog posts for those.  The thought of reflecting on how the past year has changed my life forever makes a knot catch in my throat.  My health is nearly restored and my faith in God is abundant.  How blessed am I?

My top 3 “I’m SO much more than Thankful for” list is:
1.  The Healing Power of Prayer & those of you who have prayer for my health and well-being this past year.  Because of YOU I’m recovering very nicely.
2.  The Gift of Baptism which I was blessed to receive on August 28, 2011.
3.  My amazingly supportive husband who has been tested tremendously in our first year of marriage.  Our first year put our vows of “for worse…” and “in sickness” to the test.

My wish for each and every one of you is that you receive as many blessings as I have within the past year; that you get to spend this wonderful holiday with your family; and that you always remember the true reason for the Christmas season.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 8

Mountain Weekend

Though I'm a few weeks late, I have to share that our weekend to the mountains was the best... Ever! Spending time with family, learning to "junk", Brandon went on a hike, a visit to the apple farm and a trip to Blue Ridge. A perfect weekend to say the least.

Here is my favorite picture from the weekend:

Tuesday, October 18

Wishing For a Weekend

So I'm just a little excited for this weekend to arrive...

Well, I thought you'd never ask! You see, we are going on our second annual trip to the mountain house to spend the weekend with some super people. Picture it... Beautiful North Georgia mountains dawning the seductive colors of harvest, apple stands and pumpkin patches and most importantly:

COOLER WEATHER!! I'm busting out the boots and cute sweaters this weekend y'all.

One of the best things about this trip is the drive up. Just an hour in the car with my sweetie. Being giddy with excitement about the weekend, stopping at random joints for boiled peanuts and a diet coke - you know, the things that make the world go round.

Here is to a FAST week followed by a wonderful weekend reminiscing on why I love my state.

Much Love,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 16

Fight for it... Pray for it...

Church seriously rocked my world this morning. Abundant thanks for the hour or so spent listening to a wake up call that I SO needed to hear. It was almost a gut check to me, making me stop and ask myself "what am I praying for".

As I kick off the new week with newfound fight and more focused prayer I'm extending it to you... What are YOU praying for?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 16

A Special Thank You!

Words cannot begin to express how thankful I am to have such an amazing group of women who I can call my customers.  Yesterday we came together and raised funds for the Walk to End Alzheimer's, we pushed towards business goals and purchased more mascaras than ever before. 

For those of you who participated, I will draw our lucky Satin Hands winner this weekend!  Orders will be shipped early next week - my inventory ran out of mascaras and more had to be ordered.  (What a wonderful problem to have!)

Such a joy to work with each of you.

Happy Friday & Much Love,

Thursday, September 15

Giveaway #2: Satin Hands All Around!

Today, I'm stretching more than I ever have with my Mary Kay business.  Today, I'm selling 100 mascaras.  Yes, 100!

These mascara sales will help me reach my quarterly business goals as well as raise money for the Walk to End Alzheimer's.  On October 1st, I'm walking in the Duluth event in loving memory of my grandmother who we lost in 2008.  I want to make a difference by selling 100 mascaras in her honor!

ANYONE who purchases from my website today will be entered to win a FREE Satin Hands set.  For those of you who don't know about Satin Hands... you're missing out.  Think of a manicure at your sink.  Fab-U-Los.

I've selected my two favorite mascaras to include links here... check them out!
If you're looking for va-voom volume, try the Ultimate mascara.  Think bigger, bolder, longer-looking lashes with extreme volume.  Check it out HERE.

Want to try the new Lash Love for extreme definition?  This mascara defines, defends and delivers four times the volume without looking overdone.  Check it out HERE.

Looking for a little more?  Check out the NEW Lash Love Mascara Bundle that includes the Lash Love mascara and our top selling Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover (free gift included!).  Check it out HERE

Much appreciation to all of my wonderful customers who have helped me thus far.  As of 2:00 pm, we have 57 to go!!

Mascara Love to all,

Wednesday, September 14

Switching into a Legacy

Today I was blessed to spend some time chatting with the amazing Connie Kittson.  Those of you who are not in the “Pink Bubble” do not know how amazing her achievements are – just take it from me, I was honored for the time.

We spoke about my current place.  Not necessarily where I am physically, but mentally & emotionally; how these places are changing my business; how these places are helping my family – hurting my family.  She said several things that I scratched onto a piece of paper that will be carefully folded and stuck into my purse for future pick ups.  Some I have to share here.

“Switch it off”

One of the troubles I’ve had is balancing the hats I wear – I’m a wife, a marketing professional, a Mary Kay beauty consultant, and a friend/family member/stranger/etc.  Each part of my life should receive equal parts and right now, I’m not doing the best at switching from one part of life to the next.  Connie described it as this:

Men are able to focus on the task at hand.  When they are at work, they work.  When they are playing golf, they golf.  They do not think about the negative environment here or the deadline approaching there.  Women, on the other hand, scatter from one corner of life to the next always blurring the “hats” by crossing negativity or positive thoughts from one place to the next.  It’s time to think like a man.  (chuckle here)

The box shows the 4 portions of my life at this time.  As life changes, my boxes will have to tweak to accommodate.  As you see, I’ve split everything equally to show that every part of life has its time, its place and its importance.  Of course, I’ll always be a wife, but now I’ve got time set aside for that and only that.  “Be present in the present”.

“What legacy do you want to leave?”

I want to be known for so much more than just the marketing coordinator of an art gallery.  Life should be about making strides in the lives of others; it should be about using the talents that God blessed each of us with.  When Connie asked me that question I didn’t have an answer – never before have I thought about what I want to leave behind.  Living each day for the day, I’ve missed on thinking about the longevity that will last long after I am gone.  What DO I want to leave when I’m called home?

It is time to start living for my legacy.  I shall “step into [my] greatness” and “allow the talents God gifted [me] to shine”.

Much love, BIG dreams & blessings,

Friday, September 9

Baptism Photos

Lookie what came in the mail from 12Stone this week:


 If you missed my previous posts about my baptism on August 28, 2011, check them out here and here.

Thursday, September 8

Winner! Winner! Winner!!

 Whew... it's been busy around here with life, redesign and much more.  So much so that I almost forgot about selecting our winner for the FiberOne Package.

The winning comment was:
"TLK said...
Hello! Yogurt was my hate food anytime but you want to set a good example for the young kids around you. So, I add Fiber One Cereal to it and WOW!WOW!WOW! It is perfect to have a container of cereal in the frig with the yogurt on top as a grab any go to eat on the morning train/bus ride. Once I got a sample of the bar from a friend and keep in it my purse. A week later, I need it and was surprise how nice it held up. Growing up, we ate BIG breakfasts, and light meals/snacks over the day. Big dinners were for holidays and served at 3pm. When I got away from that I gained over 100 pounds. Going back to that style of eating I'm back to a comfortable weight without sugar problems. Breakfast does more than what anyone knows."
Please send your mailing info to steph.w.hunt@gmail.com so I can get your prize on the way!

Perhaps we'll do it again someday...

No Bubble Bursting ‘Round Here Please

You heard me… I said “NO BUBBLE BURSTING.”

We’ve been there – a moment of rejoicing and celebration, destroyed by one statement, one look, one person.  The happiness is quickly dispersed as if it were a bubble, pierced with a negative response.  Shame on you Bubble Bursters of the world, you Dream Crushers and Momentum Barriers squeezing the life out of every shining star!  You should be an active participant in the good tidings shared with you, but instead you’re dead weight mind set only destroys.  Shame.  On.  You.

I found a quote online that made me smile after an encounter with a Bubble Burster…
Each of us represents a star in Heaven. Sometimes we shine with the rest, sometimes we twinkle alone and sometimes, when we least expect it, we make someone else's dreams come true.

Just remember, no matter who you are, you will make an impression on someone.  It’s just your choice if it is a good one or not. 

Wednesday, September 7

Heartache and Tears Shared with Friends

This morning while scrolling through tweets I’d missed from the previous night I stumbled upon one from a dear friend sharing the news of her grandfather’s passing. Immediately my heart began to beat faster as I remembered the feeling of losing a grandparent. Tears of sympathy began pooling in my eyes – for my friend and, selfishly, for myself. October 15, 2008 – a day that I’ll never forget. You see, this was the first time I’ve ever lost anyone so close to me. Barbara Edmondson, “Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother” as read on her headstone, was such an incredible woman.

My thoughts and prayers go out to my dear friend and her family as they celebrate the life of a wonderful, God-loving, man.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 2

Dear Self, Please Forgive Me

I’m trying is all I can keep telling myself after a night of stomach pains and expelling my evening meal exorcist style.  This gluten free living is hard work when you still lust after cheap Chinese food and mounds of spaghetti.  Last night, my fat kid cravings got the best of me and I gave into temptation, tossing aside all memories of past experiences and giving myself over to the demons of Chinese take out. 

When selecting my poison of choice I was giddy – bouncing on the tips of my toes as my fingers ran along the list of combination dinners.  Arriving at C19 the tiny pepper grabbed my line of sight and my mouth began to water as I read aloud “General Tso’sChicken”.  Selection made I dialed the number and relayed our order to the ill spoken voice on the other end of my conversation.  Upon hanging up I had a slight moment of sanity – my mind trying to call out to my stomach and advise against the pending doom.

Of course, you’ve all experienced the results from bad decisions made.  In my case, they were felt about 20 minutes after I had devoured my serving of chicken, rice and pot stickers.  The rumblings of gluten intolerance began to ring and my “I knew I shouldn’t have” come to the forefront of my mind. 

How am I supposed to tame these urges for foods that used to satisfy and comfort?  Today, I’m fine recovering.  My body feels as though a fierce battle was raged overnight leaving behind a single victim.  Achy joints and uneasy stomach leave me to believe I was sleepwalking to the local drinking establishment last night instead of balled up in bed. 

Here is my cry for help – other g-freers out there, how did you stop your cravings for the foods that cause so much damage? 

Wednesday, August 31

My Story

I got a phone call today from one of the pastors at 12Stone asking me my story and what led to me jumping in for open baptism this Sunday.  I’ve been tossing around the right words since I came from the baptismal.  As a blogger I wanted to present my story but it just seems like words just didn’t work!  As you know, I posted about the baptism itself, but my expression seriously just doesn’t do it justice.  Below is what I emailed to her.  She was moved, so perhaps I have the right words and have just been wanting to revise so I can relive.

I was raised Presbyterian.  Baptized as an infant and presented to my family church congregation – still have my little pink Bible I was given that day.  My father was a elder and assisted my mom as the high school youth leaders.  I loved being at my church; always gathering for the typical church potlucks with dish after dish of macaroni and cheese and endless gallons of pink lemonade.  I had friends there.  Life was “normal”.

When I was in the second grade, my parents divorced.  With that, my mom slowly pulled away from the church we grew up in – not all at once, but gradual.  My brother and I grew up semi-involved, but nothing like the experiences I had as a child.  Through middle school I joined the choir, only to quit after the Christmas program.  I joined the handbells because of my musical talents and their need, but that didn’t last either.  There was something missing that I just couldn’t find anymore… I didn’t feel anything.

After entering high school I became a twice a year Christian – Easter and Christmas Eve you could find me draped upon the pews.  I’d never fully listen, just show up out of duty if you will.  The messages never grasped my soul and I longed for noon to arrive so I could get out and get food.  My mom and brother joined in on the twice a year appearance schedule out of convenience.  Our family just lost the love for church and I lost touch with Christ.  I never felt abandoned or alone, I just took for granted the blessings I received as if they were just there and not gifts.

I went off to college at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) where I became best friends with a wonderful girl who is now married to a wonderful man.  They both have amazing faith and love for Christ.  I visited their church back in their home town a handful of times, but still didn’t have a connection.  I would reminisce about the times I had a church, but couldn’t find what I was looking for – the burn.

Upon graduating from college I returned to Lawrenceville to begin my “adult life”.  After finding a job and settling back into life in Atlanta, I decided that I needed to seek a church home – not for me, but for the family I was going to have one day.  I knew the amazing experiences I had as a child and felt it was my duty to my future family that I found a home for us even though I was not married, had no intentions of marriage and had no children.  So I began my search.  I visited the Vine in Braselton and frequented several Sundays there, but then fell out again. 

In February 2008 I visited 12Stone for the first time.  Overwhelmed by the size of the church, the friendly volunteers, the amazing music it was almost too much for me to take – and then PK began to preach.  I listened; held on to every word that he spoke.  I learned; his explanations and stories brought everything into perspective.  I loved; from five minutes into the sermon, I knew I had finally come home.  After that first Sunday I began raving about my new church – the big one that blocks traffic.  I invited my mom who fell in love immediately, joined a small group and continues to come every Sunday.  I invited my little brother, who struggled with his beliefs for a long time.  I am proud to say that I watched him accept Christ last year.  My husband and I joined a small group that changed our lives.  This “family” has held my hand and helped me understand so much of what I had left behind or forgotten over the years.  12Stone has brought my family back to living Christ-centered lives and I’m forever grateful.

The baptism was something I had wrestled with for about a year or so.  I believe that I was baptized at birth when my parents presented me to their church, but wanted to proclaim my love for Christ myself.  I struggled back and forth on whether it was the right thing to do or not.  My husband told me to ask God, that He would tell me what to do.  As much as I don’t want to admit that my husband was right, he was.  On the 21st when PK mentioned the open baptism I immediately got excited.  I elbowed my small group friend sitting next to me that Sunday and said, “I’m doing it.” 

On Sunday, I was beyond excited to be a part of open baptism at 12Stone – so much so that I was the third person to be baptized!  The whole experience is something that I will relive over and over for years to come.  The volunteers who helped me before, Travis for helping me into the baptismal and being the catalyst for such an amazing part of my life, the wonderful team who greeted me as I exited the church with hugs and dry clothes.  Every face is imprinted on my mind forever; every word will ring through my ears. 

I also have to thank the lady who honked at me driving by the Gwinnett Braves stadium and giving me a thumbs up and the wonderfully kind lady at Costco for stopping me to share that she too had witnessed my baptism.  

I still tear up when I write this down because I’m so grateful of the love that surrounds me everyday I’m a part of the 12Stone family.  

Tuesday, August 30

Mark Your Calendars - August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 will be a day that I will never forget.  Furthering my walk with Christ, I was baptized as an adult.  When reflecting on the experience itself only single words come to mind.  Inspiring.  Exciting.  Peaceful.  New.  Forgiven.  Unworthy.  Loved.  Happy.  Blessed.  Awestruck.  I could go on and on here because it was as if time slowed for me to take in every second of the experience.  I remember the face of the gentleman who helped me gather my belongings, the elder who helped me into the tub, the face of the man who asked me the two most important questions of my life, and my nervously answering with “yes I do”.  The sounds of the thousands of people who witnessed my public proclamation of my faith will ring through my ears for ages.  The warmth of the baptismal water rushing through my hair and the feeling of being renewed will continue to crawl across my skin.  I will relive those moments forever.

I need to express extreme gratitude to several people…
 - Thank you to my amazing parents, who baptized me as a baby and taught me that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.  Thank you for your guidance, your love and your faith journeys for showing me the way. 
 - Thank you to my husband who has continued to help me along my journey.  Thank you for loving me and showing me how God can run a marriage.  I love you forever Sweet Tea!
 - Thank you to my amazing small group family.  Y’all are such a vital part of our lives and spiritual journey.  Each of you bless me every day with your friendship and love.
 - Thank you to my college roommate, Becca, for being there through those years were I was lost.  Your Christ-centered life inspires me all the time!
 - Thank you to my extended family (the Hunt crew) for being there to witness such an important day in my life.
 - Thank you to all the friends and family members who sent encouraging words via text and on Facebook.  Each one of your responses brightened my day.

And finally, most important of all, thank you dear Lord for stirring my soul to be baptized as an adult.  Your blessings are more than words could ever proclaim.

God bless,

Wednesday, August 17

Nothing Like Fiber in the Morning…

Do you love breakfast?  I won’t lie… I don’t!  I feel it is a necessity that helps me bridge my way to a delectable lunch.  The whole aspect of breakfast foods – eggs, waffles, muffins and donuts – make me want to skip the meal all together.

When I first roll out of bed and stumble into the shower the only thing I’m thinking is “can’t I have just 20 more minutes?”  Once I’ve steamed up the mirrors and put on my face (also known as my Mary Kay billboard) I begin thinking about the gentle aroma of my morning coffee.  No where in my routine do I think about food, which is odd for me since I truly enjoy a good meal.  Once I pour myself into my car, fight the traffic known as Atlanta morning rush hour and plop into my desk chair I begin to notice a rumbling in my belly that can only be caused by neglect – breakfast has finally crossed my mind.  Though I never “crave” breakfast foods, I’ve trained myself to munch on the items of norm during my morning routine at work.  Normally consisting of some kind of fruit and starch, I’ve never found one that just made my day… but perhaps, now I have changed my mind.
You see, BlogSpark sent me this care package that included a little something for you and a little something for me.  I’ll start with my part:  Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal.  I know what you’re thinking, because I did the same, “a decent tasting cereal that is healthy for you AND has only 80 calories… no way.”  I’m here to tell you, YES WAY!  It is so good I seriously forgot it was healthy eating.  The squares each hold the sweet taste of honey while swirling around in you milk, leaving a little sweetness as they go.  Staying ever crunchy to the last bite, I gobbled up my cereal in amazement.  This stuff is good y’all.

Not wanting to be a lone in my trial, I shared a bowl with my hub who also raved about how “this stuff tastes like kids cereal… so good” with his mouth full of health.  We are fans, so much that I’ve started collecting coupons for our next grocery run.

Ok, enough about me, let’s talk about YOU, my wonderful, fantastic, supportive readers… my first giveaway has arrived.  I never thought little ol’ me would have such, but here we are and here is how to enter:   
     1.  Comment here about your breakfast routine or if you've ever tried Fiber One.
     2.  "Like" Fiber One on Facebook.  (Make sure to comment here so I know)

You will win:
     ·  1 box of Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal
     ·  1 sensor pedometer with USB connector to chart walking progress
     ·  1 neoprene iPod/smartphone holder with armstrap

Come on y'all... help me make my first giveaway a success!!  

Enjoy a little Fiber in the morning, 

Disclosure: Fiber One 80 Calories cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.