Friday, April 8, 2016

Broken - Part 2

So, as I mentioned in my last post, this not-walking thing has proven to be unusually difficult for me.  Not physically, mind you, but mentally and emotionally.

After the initial shock of the pain and figuring out what to do subsided, I was scared and sad.  As welcome as a break should be, I found myself breaking down - multiple times - with my sweet, patient husband as I realized how helpless I would be for the weeks to come and considering what that meant for him, my students, etc., etc.  I sobbed and sobbed saying, "These things don't happen to me." and "I can't believe I broke my foot." and "Why will it take so long to heal?"

After coming home with my lovely boot and taking a dose of pain meds, I proceeded to make a to-do list of all the things I could (and needed to) do while sitting the living room...for days on end.  While it has been really great to have (forced) time to get these things done and feels good to be able to check them off, it has not been awesome to not be around people - esp. ones I care about and am used to seeing on a weekly basis.  I'm realizing more and more how much social interactions fill my bucket and how empty it gets when those are limited.  I'm continuing to remember to find fulfillment and worth in the Lord.  He freely fills my bucket to overflowing no matter what my physical state or circumstances.

I've said this a couple times this week, and I'll "say" it again: I feel like God literally broke me to break me of some other things in life.

My broken foot has broken me of:
  • the insistence on doing everything myself - This is a big one.  Since I'm home more than Bryant during the day, I try really hard to do all the housework (laundry, cleaning, cooking) while he's not here in order to maximize our time together when he is.  He's always willing to help, I just never take him up on it.  Not so for this week, though.  He has insisted on doing EVERYthing - down to packing my lunches (something I usually do for him).  He has been the best helper and is the reason my recovery is going so well.  I really can't thank him enough for taking such good care of me.  Give him a big pat on the back and a "Good work!" next time you see him!
  • the necessity to fulfill every obligation and attend every event, all the time - Hear me out on this one: We are involved in a variety of weekly activities, both separately and as a couple.  Each one makes our lives fuller in its own way, and we have varying degrees of responsibilities in each.  We are committed people in that we don't skip these various activities "just because," and make sure to prioritize our time accordingly.  That said, there are times when we need to step back and take a breather, and a couple broken bones was a good reminder of that and excuse to do so.
  • the habit of getting up 52 time to go to the bathroom after getting in bed - I'm guessing this one will come back, but one can hope...
  • the "push through" mindset - If you've known me for long at all, you know I rarely take a sick day.  If I'm not feeling well, I sometimes don't even tell my husband, much less others I encounter on a day-to-day basis.  To be honest, my first thought when I fell and heard the bones snap was, "I'll give it a while and see how I feel later.  It can't be that bad."  That was before I tried to walk on it.  Ha.  This has taught me that it's ok to be "down."  It's ok to need help (and to ask for it!).  It's ok to take time for myself - sometimes it's very necessary, in fact.

I feel kinda weird getting so introspective over a couple tiny cracks in my metatarsals, but I really think it happened for a reason - I've learned some valuable lessons, and I wanted to share them.  Because...what else was I to do after I'd crossed everything off my "to-do?"  ☺

Thank you for your well wishes, cards, calls, and visits.  Thanks to those of you who have brought food, modified plans to come help (instead of our original plans to go do other things), and to those who have been understanding of and flexible with our absences.  And, again, thank you to my sweet, capable husband for forcing me to keep my foot up for many days.

Thanks to Charlie for being so attentive.
Thank you to my mom for reminding me to take advantage of this device, to my husband for initiating the trip to the grocery store, and for the teenage boy working at HyVee who took my picture on his phone when we didn't have ours on us.

And thanks for reading.  Would love to hear your experiences/thoughts/questions!  ☺


P.S. As may of you have probably seen on Facebook, we listed our house for sale this week.  (That's the "big projects around the house" I mentioned in the previous post.  Lots of packing, moving to storage, and cleaning done in preparation of this.  In fact, I broke my foot less than 10 minutes after our realtor left after taking pictures for the listing.)  Such a bittersweet feeling to think about saying good-bye to our precious starter home - our first home together - but also exciting to think about finding a new, bigger space together (Bryant owned our current home before I moved in, so this is a "first" for us).  
No, this is not a pregnancy announcement.

Favorites of the day:
The Great British Baking Show
a crafting "win" I'm excited to share soon
The fact that we got our Chipotle meal for FREE, thanks to coupons.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Broken - Part 1

Hi.  Gonna jump right in, here (figuratively, of course...).

I had a "first" on Friday: I broke my foot.  Not only was this the first time I'd broken my foot, but it was also the first time I'd broken a bone.  Ever.  Guess I broke my record (pun intended).

Yes, it was April Fool's Day.  No, this was not a joke.

It was a complete accident, and I knew right away something was wrong.  In fact, I heard the snap - I just didn't want to acknowledge it for what it was.

My knight in shining armor rushed home to take me to get an x-ray and diagnosis.  Thankfully, we got right in and all went as it should, given the situation.  After inspecting the x-ray pictures, I believe my doctor's words were, "Well, you broke it."  Yay.  The third and fourth metatarsals in my left foot are fractured.  They're not out of place, so that's good.  As far as we know, no surgery or anything will be necessary.

So, she sent me home with a prescription for pain pills, instructions to stay off it as much as possible, and this:

As inconvenient/annoying/frustrating as it is, this really couldn't have happened at a better time.  I had just completed my pressing obligations for the day when it happened.  We'd just come off a week of lots of big projects around the house.  I'd been busy with Pampered Chef parties and nannying, in addition to the rest of our activities, but have a less-full couple of weeks coming up.  We don't have any travel plans for a few weeks.  We don't have children.  We don't have a huge house with stairs, etc. to navigate.  If I had to break a bone, now would've been the preferred time, anyway.

That being said, if you know me at all, you know how difficult being fairly helpless and un-useful is for me.  I'll be writing more about this in a future post.  For now, though, I just want to praise my amazing husband for being such a good and capable caretaker.  Apparently, we're supposed to be practicing the "in sickness and in health" stuff, lately - he had gum surgery a couple weeks ago, so I'd just completed my "turn" at playing nurse.

So, here's to a couple days of completing all my "able to be done while sitting down" tasks and a few weeks of wearing a new kind of footwear.  ☺


Favorites of the day:
live online streaming for church services
fresh flowers

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Guess what, you guys?!

The Scoop from The Coop hit over 20,000 views this past week!

I wish I could have an "in person" reaction...but we'll have to settle for a "WWHHHAATTT?!?!?!!??!!"

So, in honor of this milestone, I thought I'd do an ultimate favorites list - say...20 Favorite Things, perhaps...?  ; )

(in no particular order)

1. Favorite color: red

2. Favorite animal: cat

3. Favorite game show: Wheel of Fortune
The Price is Right is a close second.

4. Favorite Pampered Chef product: Crinkle Cutter
This is both a nostalgic and practical choice.  Except, they stopped selling them - have I mentioned that here, yet?  Yeah - they discontinued my favorite product a few weeks after I signed on to be a consultant.  I literally almost cried.  Don't worry, though - I stocked up before they were completely out.

5. Favorite place to get a burger: Five Guys
The fact that I actually have a favorite burger place was a recent epiphany...and has proven itself true on multiple occasions, already (as in, I am disappointed by burgers elsewhere).  I crave these burgers regularly (stop right there - no need to read into that), and am always satisfied when we do indulge.  Plus, they just started selling pretty killer milkshakes, too, so...

6. Favorite web browser: Chrome

7. Favorite pizza: Papa John's
I'm going to have to specify "carry-out or delivery" here, because I could never choose between the traditional pizza I've had on the streets of Italy, the deep-dish deliciousness found in Chicago, and the homemade creations I've had in some of your kitchens.  They're just all too good!  So, favorite readily-available pizza would have to be Papa John's.

8. Favorite way to eat corn: on the cob

9. Favorite card game: Pitch

10. Favorite retail store: Target
Honestly, I think I have lots of favorites, but this is the most consistent one - I've always loved Target, and I'm pretty sure I always will.

11. Favorite nickname I've been given: Kens
That can be considered a nickname, right?

12. Favorite Pandora station: shuffle

13. Favorite Wii game: Just Dance

14. Favorite season: fall

15. Favorite thing about building a fire: s'mores

16. Favorite footwear: flip-flops

17. Favorite late-night host: Jimmy Fallon

18. Favorite Olympic sport to watch: figure skating

19. Favorite flower: roses
But I really love all flowers!

20. Favorite person: Bryant ♥
There is a pretty extensive tie for second-favorite. ☺

Thank you so much for contributing to this ever-growing view count!  I so appreciate your interest and support.  You are the reason I keep writing.

I'd love to answer any questions you have and/or write about whatever topics you'd like, so please let me know if you have any!  (You can leave an anonymous comment, if you're more comfortable with that.)

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Favorites of the day:
checking things off to-do lists
The "new perspective" I gained this past weekend. ☺

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Reason(s) to celebrate in February

Can't believe we're already halfway through month #2 of 2016 - wow.  As my husband says, "Time's fun when you're having flies."  ; )

You may have guesses about what the subject of this post might be - we'll see if you guessed correctly.  Here's what your train of logic might have looked like:

This post is about February.
February is host month to Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day is about love.
Therefore, this post is about love.

If so, you'd be partially correct.

What you may not have known, however, is that February is also Bryant's birth month (which means even more chocolate and goodies and celebration at our house).

So, with your blessing, I'd like to tell you about the wonderful man I married and some of the reasons why I love him so much.

(If you've blessed this post, read on; if not, this is where you can stop reading.)

As we draw closer to the halfway mark in our second year of marriage, we'll be the first to tell you that marriage is an adventure, a learning process, a growing process, and a beautiful mess.  Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it is unbelievable, sometimes it heals, and sometimes it is so, so joyful.  It isn't always easy, but gosh, it sure can be fun and amazing and wonderful.

It's really difficult to explain how marriage can be all those things at once, so I'm not going to try.  What I would like to try to explain, however, is how my husband makes our marriage and life together better with each passing moment.  

(Which means I'm going to write a list, because that's how I get through life: lists.  haha.  But seriously - can I get an "Amen!" for Post-its?)

In no particular order (except for the first one):
  • He is a God-fearing man who regularly shows me a picture of Christ's love for His church.  He encourages me to seek the Lord first and dig deep into His Word.  He prays with me and for me and leads our family to follow Jesus in all we do.
  • He loves me unconditionally and makes sure I know it.
  • He is so smart!
  • He isn't afraid to kiss me in public.
  • He is funny.
  • He asks about and is genuinely interested in the happenings of my days - no matter how big or small.
  • He is kind and thoughtful.
  • He plays with Charlie (the cat).
  • He leave me notes.
  • He remembers things I don't and doesn't blame me for forgetting.
  • He makes me surprise breakfasts (and other meals).
  • He can fix anything!
  • He is always willing and wanting to help, not only me, but also those around us - strangers included.
  • He encourages and supports me in all I do.

I could go on and on.  I am so thankful for the man I married and get to spend my life with.  Praise the Lord for bringing us together!

Please join me in celebrating him today/this week/this month - he deserves it so much!

Continuously falling for Bryant,

Favorites of the day:
my husband!
birthday coupons/deals/etc.
quality time

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

IF: 2016

Hey there, friends!

This past weekend, I got to take part in something pretty cool.  "Pretty cool" is an understatement - it was awesome.  Actually, I could use #alltheadjectives to describe it, but I'll just let it speak for itself.

The IF:gathering is an annual international Christian women's conference.  Yes, international.  It was held live in Austin, TX, and women/groups/churches around the world had access to it via webstreaming.  (I've said it before, and I'll say it again: technology amazes me.)

The IF mission is to "gather, equip and unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose."  This idea had humble beginnings in the heart of a brave woman who found friends to come alongside her and make her dream a reality.  It's pretty amazing to see how God has moved and worked through the process and this year, brought thousands upon thousands of women together to partake in His word, worship, fellowship, and so much more.

So, moving on...

I got to attend one of these gatherings at a local church with about 20 women from our church.

I was so excited to hang out with and get to know these women better, and I was even more excited to hear and learn what God had to say through the speakers, times of worship, and conversations that were going to take place.  I went into it ready to focus and try my best to let go of all distractions.

And then, Satan showed the form of a neck hair.

I know - probably the strangest sentence you've read today...and probably the strangest sentence I've written...ever.

But it's the truth.  Hear me out, here.

Yes, I get neck hairs.  I always thought they wouldn't be a thing in my life until my "later years."  I thought maybe the chin hairs would make their appearance first.  But, low and behold, I've been blessed with random, wayward hairs on my neck for a few years, now.  And here's the more embarrassing thing: once I am aware of their existence, I am obsessed with ridding myself of them until they've been cleanly removed from their unwelcome place on my neck.  I can't handle it.  It's a problem.

So, needless to say, when I discovered one of these feral follicles right before we began the opening praise and worship set of the IF:gathering, I was done for.  All of my hopes and dreams of going into this event sans distractions went out the window.

Yeah, this sounds funny and weird and may seem a little tongue-in-cheek, but honestly, I was really bummed about it.  I truly believe Satan used the open door of my neck-hair-distraction to let all the other worries, doubts, to-do's, and countless other distractions I was so desperately trying to keep out walk right in.

I tugged and pulled at that little sprout of a hair for a solid 5 minutes before discretely unsheathing the tweezers from the itty-bitty Swiss army knife I keep in my purse (yep).  Those didn't do the trick, either.  (I don't know if the ladies around me witnessed any of this, despite my discreteness, but if ya'll did, thanks for ignoring it. ☺)  I. was. so. annoyed.  And I refused to get up and go to the bathroom to take care of it.

So, in my discouragement, I literally prayed, "God, please help me get this neck hair out, so I can focus completely on you and your Word."

And guess what?  He showed up - in such a real, tangible way.  I got that neck hair out - with my fingernails, no less - a few minutes later and before the worship set was over.  I can't explain the sense of relief, joy, humor, and awe that came over me.  Seriously.

I know - this sounds so, so ridiculous.  And yeah - it's pretty embarrassing, seemingly trivial, and perhaps TMI.  But I wouldn't share it if I didn't think there was some merit in it.  It's just one of those times I felt so heard and recognized by God.  I don't always recognize or remember times like this, so I clung to the moment.  And I wanted to share it, because it meant so much to me...I can't really explain it.  But thanks for letting me try.

I still feel really silly about it.  You're probably thinking, "Really?  All this over a neck hair?"  But, yes.  That's what Satan chose to use and that's what God chose to use to, once again, reveal His power over Satan.  Mysterious ways, am I right?

And then, there was the rest of the conference!  So, so much truth was spoken through this gathering of amazing women (and a couple men) who shared their stories, their hearts, and the words to which God had led them.  I'd really love to share it ALL with ALL of you, but that would probably take a day or two.  So, maybe we can meet for coffee or lunch, or maybe have a phone date, and I can tell you what I learned.  And/or maybe I'll write about it someday.

For now, though, I'll leave you with this thought:

What IF we lived like Jesus did?  What IF we loved like He loved?

In Him,

P.S. I just remembered I wrote about something similar a couple years ago here.  Satan fights a constant battle.  Aren't you so glad God is on our side?!

Favorites of the day:
building relationships with church friends
(building relationships, period - haha)
delicious strawberry poke cake from two of the sweetest boys I know

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, new news

Happy New Year, all!

I trust this finds you well and excited for the year ahead.

You already know how I feel about resolutions, so this isn't a post about those.  It is, however, a post about a new adventure I'm embarking on starting this year:

I'm officially a Pampered Chef consultant!

This is something I've been considering doing for years...literally...almost 20 years, probably.  No joke.  My mom hosted many a Pampered Chef party throughout my childhood, and I've grown up using the products as long as I've been active in the kitchen.  So...I guess you could say it's in my blood...or something.

Seriously, though - I'm really excited about this, you guys...for these reasons (in no particular order):
  • I don't know how much I've written about this somewhat-little-known fact on here, but I could watch cooking shows all day.  We didn't have cable/satellite growing up (still don't), so whatever was showing on PBS on Saturday mornings started this obsession.  Late-night baby-sitting gigs fed it, because, so long as there was cable, there was the Food Network.  Nowadays, Nexflix provides my fixes.
  • I've always dreamed of having my own cooking show.  When I was younger, I was in 4-H cooking class (led by my mom!) and put on live cooking demonstrations on a regular basis.  Somehow, I discovered Rachael Ray and watched her shows every chance I could get!  I've been told on numerous occasions I not only look like her, but also remind people of her in other ways, too - which I take as a very high compliment!
  • There are days when I miss being in a classroom setting.  I'm a trained teacher, and though I prefer one-on-one lessons, I still enjoy being in front of a class every once in a while.  This setting seems like a great way to itch that scratch (probably I should find a different way to say that, huh?)...and also a great opportunity to utilize all my little bitty mise en place prep bowls even more!
  • I love meeting new people and building relationships.  There's probably a whole blog post here, but we'll just leave it at that. ☺
  • The extra cash won't hurt, but that's not really the reason I'm doing this.
  • I haven't done something truly new in a pretty long brain is ready for a new form of exercise!
All of these are pieces in the puzzle of reason I put together in deciding whether or not to (finally) sign on to Pampered Chef (poetic...and slightly cheesy, I know...).  I'm anxious to see what I get to do with this puzzle!  ☺

Charlie is also excited...mostly about the packing materials that came in my new consultant kit box (he's excited about the box, too).
If you wouldn't mind doing me a favor, head on over to Facebook and like my new page.  I plan to use this page to promote awesome deals, share recipes and ideas, field questions and comments, and minimize all these posts from coming through my personal account.  ☺

Luckily, I already had a picture of me in a PC apron to use as the profile pic!
Can't wait to help host bridal showers like the one that was put on for me! ☺
As I embark on this journey to share my love of cooking, of baking, of teaching, of meeting new people, and of course, my love of Pampered Chef, I ask for your prayers, suggestions, etc., etc.  Let me know if you have any interest in any part of it, of course, and if there are any questions I didn't answer in this post!  ☺

Thank you, thank you.

Pampered Chef-ly (of course),

Favorites of the day:
quality time with friends and family
post-holiday clearance
merely glancing over the list of items to come in a new consultant kit and getting to be so pleasantly and genuinely surprised by the contents of the package when it arrived at our door ☺

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Our Favorite Things: 2015

“Our Favorite Things: 2015”

Lyrics by: Bryant & Kensy Byers
To the tune of: “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music

New jobs and good jobs and trips to the mountains,
BSF, small groups, and praise team rehearsals,
A season to celebrate Jesus’ birth…these are a few of our favorite things.

Family time, good friend time, and new adventures,
Seared steak and cookies and sweet surprise flowers,
Ballroom dance lessons and grand piano strings…these are a few of our favorite things.

DIY projects and seeing new movies,
Our dog and friends’ dogs and even our kitty,
Concerts and cooking and dates at the range…these are a few of our favorite things.

When it’s trash day, and a raccoon, opens up our bag…
We simply remember our favorite things, and then we don’t feel so bad.

Toddlers and students and funny coworkers,
Netflix, vacations, and chats with the neighbors.
Warm, cozy nights that do not have to end…these are a few of our favorite things.

Fresh air and trimmed hair and time at the pool,
Long walks and Zumba and good bargain hunting,
Weddings and parties and Amazon Prime…these are a few of our favorite things.

New tools and Craigslist and clearance at Target,
Pen pals and board games and notes in the mail,
Road trips and cooking and trying new things…these are a few of our favorite things.

And when we’re asked, more than one time, when we’re having kids?
We’ll simply say, “We plan to wait just a bit,” and in the meantime, we’ll live… 

Thank you for reading/singing! Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season! May you find time to enjoy some of your favorite things now and in the New Year to come.

Kensy & Bryant

Favorites of the day:
our Christmas tree
Masterchef Jr.
these two:
When we finished their puzzles, they said "Keke, let's take a picture!!"