Friday, December 14, 2012


There really are no words to describe the emotions that tragedies of this magnitude bring out of our souls. So many unanswerable questions. So much sadness. So much loss. The sweet babies taken way before their time. Families robbed of memories. Futures erased in an instance. 

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The LORD lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
        (Psalm 147:3-6 ESV)

 May the Lord bring peace to the families that have lost so much. May he comfort them. Heal their broken hearts and lift them up. Our hearts are broken but I ask that you, O Lord, bring good from that which was intended for evil.

May we remember in our prayers the families of those that have lost so much to this terrible senseless violence.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Savior Forever

Just finished my #shereadstruth devotional today. We are going through this advent season together :) L.O.V.E  it.  Today as I sat and read the excerpt shared from The Jesus Storybook Bible, by, Sally Lloyd-Jones. I sat there nearly in tears. I had never heard the promise of Jesus' rescue told in such a beautiful way. So personally. So lovingly. So beautifully. A message from God to me. Oh my heart could burst.

(based on prophesies from Isaiah 9, 11, 40, 50, 53, 55 & 60)

Dear Little Flock,You’re all wandering away from me, like sheep in an open field. You have always been running away from me. And now you’re lost. You can’t find your way back.
But I can’t stop loving you. I will come to find you. So I am sending you a Shepherd to look after you and love you. To carry you home to me. 
You’ve been stumbling around, like people in a dark room. But into the darkness, a bright Light will shine! It will chase away all the shadows, like sunshine. 
A little baby will be born. A Royal Son. His mommy will be a young girl who doesn’t have a husband. His name will be Emmanuel, which means “God has come to live with us.” 
He is one of King David’s children’s children’s children.
The Prince of Peace. 
Yes, Someone is going to come and rescue you! But he won’t be who anyone expects. 
He will be a King! But he won’t live in a palace. And he won’t have lots of money. He will be poor. And he will be a Servant. But this King will heal the whole world. 
He will be a Hero! He will fight for his people, and rescue them from their enemies. But he won’t have big armies, and he won’t fight with swords. 
He will make the blind see, he will make the lame leap like a deer! 
He will make everything the way it was always meant to be. 
But people will hate him, and they won’t listen to him. He will be like a Lamb – he will suffer and die. 
It’s the Secret Rescue Plan we made – from before the beginning of the world! 
It’s the only way to get you back. 
But he won’t stay dead – I will make him alive again! 
And, one day, when he comes back to rule forever, the mountains and trees will dance and sing for joy! The earth will shout out loud! His fame will fill the whole earth – as the waters cover the sea! Everything sad will come untrue. Even death is going to die! And he will wipe away every tear from every eye. 
Yes, the Rescuer will come. Look for him. Watch for him. Wait for him. He will come!
I promise. 
Love, God 

I hope that blessed you as much as it did me. If you are looking for some scripture to walk through to prepare for Advent- The celebration of our Savior who came- check out the devotional by she reads truth on You Version.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Endeavors

My poor blog got put on the back burner there for a couple of weeks. The wait is over for all my anxious readers... you know, all 5 of you :) 

Actually, after getting back in town from our thanksgiving fun, I have been working hard on editing photos & my newest endeavor- DIGITAL PHOTO CHRISTMAS CARDS! This is good news, people! I am now designing Christmas cards and the best part is, you can have it printed anywhere you want or not at all. You could just use it to send your holiday greeting online, saving yourself time & money! I'm really excited about this and I hope that at least some of you will allow me to design your Christmas cards this year :) I am actually teaming up with In His Grace Photography to make purchasing easy and seamless :) 

click here to purchase this design

click here to purchase this design

click here to purchase this design

I hope to back again this week- honestly, I hope to back tomorrow to share more of what we've been up to recently :) Missed my little space here :) Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful time of year!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

TWO for TWO!

Today was a good day :) Two years ago, I gave birth to 2 of the sweetest girls ever. Beautiful, healthy & whole. My life was changing in ways I couldn't have imagined and I truly felt like I had just received a double blessing from heaven. 

Today, those blessings feel like way more than double. 


Ava & Lillian, you bring so much joy to my life. Your laughter and conversations light up my days. At no point in my life is this what I imagined as my future but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Just yesterday & today, I have noticed changes in you. What a joy it is to see your brain begin to put new concepts together. For instance, yesterday, you, Ava, introduced yourself to a complete stranger. "Hi! I Ava. I Ava! Hi!" Until finally, the stranger sheepishly answered you, "Hi, Ava." (I think he was afraid of seeming like a creeper or something) Ever since that point, you've been connecting everyone's name. Tonight you knew Daddy & Mommy's "other" names (Michael & Sarah). And right in stride, Lilly, you were right behind your sister. "I Lillian." It is sweet and fun and clear that you are your Daddy's daughters.

I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know your little personalities. I am NOT however enjoying all the temper tantrums and attitude but it's all part of growing up so I still love you just as much! :) 

Ava, you are Miss Bossy-pants. You think you are everyone's mama and will direct and demand anyone that is in your path. You are fierce but sweet. You make me laugh.

Lilly, you are my little monkey- climbing everything in sight! The gate doesn't trap you (or your siblings). You have a sweet spirit and a tender heart. In the past couple of weeks, when someone apologizes your (unprompted) answer is, "give you". (I forgive you.) Sweetest words I've ever heard from a 2yr old. Some of us big people could learn a lesson or two from you.

Some favorite moments I want to remember of your short life so far have to be you both singing your hearts out to 'Jesus Loves Me" & "Oh My Soul" & and any other worship song that comes to your minds. It is not uncommon to walk up to your bedroom door and hear you both but especially Ava singing at the top of your lungs. And a really sweet thing was to be walking through Wal-Mart (same trip as when you were telling a strange man your name), and pushing a cart full of kids singing "Jesus Loves Me." So precious. You blessed me.

All this to say, I am so proud of the girls you are becoming and I look forward to what the future holds. I trust that the Lord has great purpose for your lives. I pray that you have a desire to know Jesus and come to understand all the love and grace He has for you. Daily, I ask the Lord to help me as I help guide you. 

I love you, Ava.
I love you, Lilly.
My life is better with you both in it.
Happy Birthday, pretty girls.


Photo Credit: In His Grace Photography

Monday, November 12, 2012

Let Freedom Ring

I just want to take the time to say Thank You to the service members past & present. To say Thank You to the men & women that have volunteered to leave behind their friends & families to help protect & serve this great country. Thank You to the men & women that help secure my freedom. Men & women that are willing to face things I couldn't dream up- Thank You. 

Thank you to all those families that were left behind. Be confident in this, you served too. You give them a reason to serve and a reason to come home. You are there to support, love and walk with these soldiers when they return scarred and broken. So without a doubt, Thank You, too.

+the countless others that I can't think of or never met...

THANK YOU  for your humble service.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Quiet


It means something different to those of us with mobile children. You know what I'm talking about. You're just in the other room attempting to (quickly) accomplish something besides chasing children- all the while, they are running amuck, little screams & laughter filling air. And then. The air becomes still and you start to almost relax as your ears are being given a small reprieve from the constant noise when your brain snaps back and you realize what you're hearing is:

The Quiet.

This quiet is (usually) never good. It is always just a little too quiet. It usually involves artistic walls, removed diapers, torn books, toilet paper strewn all over or maybe even your toilet filled with half a pack of wipes.

And you never wished more for noise than right then.

Five minute Friday.... brought to you on Saturday (as always around here). I'm not sure if I managed to do a single post on a friday last month and have failed so far this month as well. pish posh... it is what it is. We were having good times with good people so I feel no guilt or shame :) And if you need a fun writing exercise in your life, clink on the link and get hooked up! 

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Embrace the camera


Reading a crocodile book while pausing to watch a performance on The Voice tonight. He was singing along to a song I'm pretty certain he's never heard before. 

Love these moments.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless{ish} Wednesday

On this cold and rainy day, we lounged around the house a whole bunch :)

Seriously, there were some sweet moments going on around here today :) And I managed to have dinner ready and the house picked up before community group tonight :) 
Good times.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Potty Time v.3

Whew! So glad yesterday is over and today is a new day! 

Decided today can be potty update day :)


Ava will sit on the potty all day if you let. I try to get her down and it's always, "potty again, Mommy! potty again!" I'm like, how many times can you pee in 3 mins????? 

Lilly has her own way of getting on the potty. Not sure if these would be deemed inappropriate but I think some of them are  hilarious. She actually likes to sit on the potty backwards- silly girl.

Overall, the girls are pretty much in the same place they were in my last update. Not much has changed but I have lacked the necessary motivation to get it done. I'd like to organize a couple of days to get Malakai out of the house & spend the whole time concentrated on potty time. May try to borrow a little potty from someone so we can have 2 peeing at one time- plus they wouldn't have to climb to go.

The girls are definitely ready, it is just a matter of effort to finish it up. I am really looking forward to no.more.diapers. Anyone with advice, feel free to chime in.

**Oh and just for the record, I'm listening to Presidential election coverage in the background and it is making me sick so I won't be losing any sleep over this... time.for.bed. And yes, I did vote.** #sogladitsalmostover

Monday, November 5, 2012

In the Throws

So today was a rough day for me. I'm not going to totally blame my kids- I mean I was the dummy that stayed up late like a single/childless college student. That being said, some days I am reminded more than ever how hard this season of life is and in NEED of reminding that it really is just a season. More than anything though, when I feel as defeated as I did today, I wonder if I'm doing this parenting thing all wrong. Is my loss of patience going to steer my children away from their savior? Am I doing more damage than good? 


When I really sit and consider how loving, steadfast, sovereign and gracious my Heavenly Father is, I realize that he works all things together for good to those that love him and are called according to His purpose. He put my family together just as it is, for my sanctification and HIS glory. He loves my kids more than I ever will and is knitting them together for His purposes. For His glory. For their good.

So tomorrow? 

Tomorrow I receive as a new day. 
New opportunities. 
New mercies
New reasons to rejoice in Him. 
New day to rebuke the lies and receive the Truth. 

Some days weeks are hard. I don't know exactly why. They.just.are. May the Lord give me the wisdom and discernment to seek out my children's hearts and point them to their Savior. 

Help me Lord to know you more. Help me to lean not on my own understanding. Fill me to overflowing so that what pours out is not leftover, cold coffee but rather, splashes of fresh brewed Starbucks that never runs out. 

I'm know I'm not alone in this & I have some of the most supportive friends and a husband that is super understanding & always has my back but it is easy as a SAHM to feel secluded and lonely which becomes extremely overwhelming on the rough days. 

Praise God that when I am weak, He is made strong. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Stills (A borrowed Idea)

This is not an original idea but it only takes about 5mins to write and is fun so I'm using Rachel's idea of Sunday Stills from over at Finding Joy. Go check her's out, she is has a beautiful heart that ministers to me every time I visit her blog.


Sunday Stills {v.1}

Today: enjoying time in quiet &spending the morning wtih the Saints

Want to Be: teachable & patient  with my houseful of littles.

Blessings: new music, the bottle of olive oil I was just given.

Thinking: I wish I hadn't made this bowl of food so spicy- my mouth is burning!

Planning: to have a good week & daily in his presence be.

Writing: is a wonderful outlet I wish I'd explored more growing up but thankful to be doing it now.

loving: my new music (sons & daughters) & She Reads Truth & my hardworking husband & Jesus that loves me with a steadfast & everlasting love.

grateful: for my children's forgiveness & good news

Today {again}: Is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

linking up w/ Rachel for Friday Favorite Things (on Sunday) :)

friday favorite things | finding joy

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Take Five on Saturday

Considering it only takes 5 mins, you would think I could manage to squeeze one of these out actually ON Friday but it seems my brain is fried by the time I sit down to write. It's all good, I'm embracing my lateness and claiming my 5 on Saturday :) This week is all about Roots. 



Roots. Stability. Foundation. Life. 

Roots dig down deep and find the water.

Roots are the beginning of growth.

I am rooted and grounded in love.

As a friend.

As a daughter.
As a mother.
As a wife.
As a christian.

I am rooted in love.

Without Christ, who IS love, my relationships are meaningless.

I am rooted in love.

Without roots, I cannot live.

I am rooted in love.


Five Minute Friday

Thursday, November 1, 2012

When I don't feel it

Since November tends to be the time of year that we set aside to remember what we are truly thankful for AND since today was one of those days... I'm featuring my little man. 

He is super sweet. He makes us laugh. He makes us crazy. 

It is a fact that I don't know what my life would be like without him in it. It is a fact that I don't want to know. The day he came into this world, I was more blessed than I could have imagined.

No matter how sometimes draining and exhausting it is to mother him, I wouldn't have it any other way. He loves me. He adores his daddy. He is befriending his sisters. It is a beautiful thing to watch the little man that took our family from 2 to 3 and made it so much more fulfilling and meaningful.

So even on days when I don't feel very thankful, I am. 

Malakai, Mommy really does love you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Peace Like a River

We live only a few hours south of where Sandy took out her fury. This hurricane was no joke. My heart aches for those that woke up to shambles rather than homes this morning. We were spared the catastrophic damage that many experienced yesterday and last night. I feel fortunate and broken. 

One of the things that amazes me with these storms is the calm that is left once they are gone. You look around and see the effects but the wind and rain are just gone. It's amazing. This morning my children needed to get out of the house so we drove around the area to see what Sandy left behind. I'm sure if we had left a little earlier in the morning there would have been more damage to document but honestly, it wasn't bad. Instead, I was able to get some beautiful fall photos as we drove down a rural road I've actually never been on before :)

When peace like a river

Attendeth my way

When sorrows like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot

Thou hast taught me to say

It is well

It is well

With my soul

Truly, let us keep those affected by this storm in our hearts and prayers. By all means, if you can reach out and help, do it. The Red Cross needs blood. With over 300 cancelled drives that account for over 9,000 units of blood/platelets, the need is great. My heart is heavy for those that have not only lost so much but are also spending their time rescuing and assisting citizens that are facing something they never imagined they would face. Let me encourage you to lift these people up in your prayers/

Monday, October 29, 2012

Meal Share Monday V.2 (Paleo Chicken Veggie Soup)

#mealsharemonday v.2 

(use this hashtag on instagram or twitter to link up your favorite meals!)

I'm writing this as Sandy moves in over the area... hoping we don't lose power but we'll see :) So far, it is windy and rainy but we have food to eat and stir crazy children, what more can you ask for??? :) 

Speaking of food, this week I prepared 2 BIG pots of chicken vegetable soup for our church family that was volunteering to get our church building ready for our ribbon cutting service we had yesterday. It was super tasty but there were only a few people working and lots of food so 1.5 pots came home to me. Yay for reheat meals- especially during a storm when all you want to do is sleep! 

Honestly, there isn't anything super original about this recipe but it is yummy and all my kids shovel it in.

Paleo Roasted Chicken Vegetable Soup

Roasted chicken:
1 Whole chicken
-3 cloves grated or finely choped/minced garlic
-salt & pepper
-garlic powder
-onion powder
-whatever other seasoning you like for your chicken

combine olive oil w/ garlic & all the seasons and then rub under the skin and on top of the skin. Bake @350 for 45 min-2hrs depending on the size of your chicken. When it is finished, let it cool some & pick the chicken off the carcass & set aside.

Homemade Chicken Stock:

After picking chicken from carcass, place all the bones in a pot w/ about 12 C of water & season w/ garlic, onions, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, basil, oregano & whatever else you may like. Heat slowly and simmer (not boil) for about 3 hours. After simmering, strain out all the bones, onion & garlic and even any meat that happened to come off in the water. At this point, that stuff doesn't have much flavor or nutritional value so don't feel bad tossing it.


Homemade chicken stock
picked chicken
3 cloves garlic (grated or finely chopped)
1 onions chopped
5 or 6 stalks celery chopped
1/2 head of cabbage chopped
1 lb bag of baby carrots (I cut them in half lengthwise)

When I made this, I split the stock into 2 pots and then added more water (in this case, pretty much double the veggies). If you just want one pot and don't care to have stock to freeze or use later, you could probably just use all the stock and not add water & season to taste :) Throw in all the veggies & chicken and bring to a boil. Allow it to simmer until all the veggies are soft (maybe 30-45mins).


Saturday, October 27, 2012

5 minute friday (on Saturday): VOICE

A Voice.

Everyone has one. Even those that can't physically speak, have a voice. Far too often I have allowed insecurity, lies and fear hold me back from using my own voice. I am learning that even when I don't think what I have to say matters, say it any way. Chances are, if I feel compelled to share it, someone needs to receive it.

So I'm learning. It is a process but I'm learning to use my voice. I'm learning that what I say does matter. Who, how & what matter as well. God has given me a specific sphere of influence and when I choose to be quiet- be still- and listen, I am able to use it for His glory.

Maybe you are like me. You think you're voice doesn't matter. No one care what you have to say. People will judge you harshly for having those thoughts or they might perceive that you are self righteous. Let me encourage you to push past those insecurities. Push past those lies. Push past your fear. Even if you're little. Even if you're big. Even if your voice is really, really quiet or really really loud. Even if you cannot speak at all. 

In the end you may bless someone. 

You might just bless yourself.

Use your voice.

Five Minute Friday