Thursday, June 28, 2012

Embrace the Camera: Little Stinker Style

You know? I wanted to "embrace" my daughters today BUT...

Apparently, Ava has gotten a bit too much taller or her reach has just a bit too far because....

She can now reach the top of her dresser from the inside of her crib and pull everything off the top- INTO her crib when...

She is SUPPOSED to be napping and...

Lilly has a huge swollen eye so...

I gave her benadryl which should have made her extra sleepy for that morning nap however...

she is STILL awake after over an hour in her bed.

Little stinkers. GO TO SLEEP! Don't you know have a busy afternoon ahead and they really need naps and I SHOULD be cleaning, packing, planning but instead I'm venting on here & wasting precious moments? silly me. Oh well.

I guess I'll embrace 'em anyway... they're too adorable not to.

The REAL Ava 

Okay, okay... I'll share a nice one :) 
But come on, we all appreciate a little real life stuff every once in a while... 

This girl loves her some fish lips :)

I still love to wear my girls <3
Is this not the sweetest?
Love my Lilly girl!

ps- look at her eye! :( Poor thing. 
Pretty sure it is from a mosquito bite from a couple nights ago :)

So, are you ready to embrace the camera?
here's the nitty gritty:
1.  take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2.  blog about that picture and include a link to our blog, or grab our button.
3.  link your blog post up on the link tool here (@ the anderson crew).
4.  visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair andsweatpants velour jogging suits on.  cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5.  have fun!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

gracious goodness

You guys, can I just say... this season of my life is so wonderful. Not much about our circumstances have changed (which, it's not like they were bad to begin with) but there is a lot stirring in my heart right now. I feel the Lord nudging me toward some change- not sure what it exactly will look like but I feel the movement.

Today was Day 1 of some intense working out- thank you, Crossfit! I'm not sure I'll be able to get out of bed tomorrow but we'll just pray for the Lord to massage my muscles & help them recover quickly :) Regardless, I'll be going back on Friday for Day 2. 

I'm excited to say, Day 2 will be followed by a week off because the kids & I will be road trippin it with my friend. Again- THANK YOU, FRIEND!!!  We're heading off to KY so we can enjoy the 4th of July with lots of family!!! YAY family! I am super excited! It is actually a testimony of God's goodness & provision that we are even able to make the trip, I am so thankful :)

Also- sidenote- if you are in the Lexington area next week and would like some photos taken, I've got a little thing going so email me, call me, tweet me, whatevs, and we'll see if we can work it out :)

Truly, this season of my life is becoming filled with so many evidences of His love & grace. He is faithful even when I am unfaithful. He kind and gracious even when I am rotten & selfish. He is so, so good and thank goodness, he is patient!

Currently, I am praying to truly begin to walk in the power that is given to me- the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. This is good, y'all. Real good.

Does it get better than THIS?
(fyi: top R- Lilly/bottom L- Ava)

ps- Check out my friend Amanda's blog, Rambo's Rampages- her little guy, Rambo is sick in the hospital & I know she'd love to have some comment love & especially prayers. They have been home for a total of like 7.5 days since May 22nd... Little Rambo is on his 3rd hospital stay in the past month & this one could be an extended stay... SUCH a stress on this family. Let's pray for the Lord to bring healing to his body & get him (and mama) home quickly!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Time The...

...RocketCrashed Into the Firetruck....

So, today I'm posting something a little different... I don't really have any Embrace the Camera photos this week but I do have this embrace the Moment audio clip and plenty to be thankful for. A lot of our family already heard it but I thought it would be fun to share :)

Today, I am embracing my Malakai and all his imagination. He is the best storyteller and so funny. I wish I could have taken a video of this whole thing but I knew he'd quit if he realized I was recording. The Lord has truly blessed our family with this little man!

Lord knows, he is assisting in my sanctification process but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love him so much! Enjoy the next 5mins of listening pleasure :)

Linking up again w/ Brown Eyed Bell(e) this week :)

So, are you ready to embrace the camera?
here's the nitty gritty:
1.  take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2.  blog about that picture and include a link to our blog, or grab our button.
3.  link your blog post up on the link tool here (@ the anderson crew).
4.  visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair andsweatpants velour jogging suits on.  cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5.  have fun!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Held So Dear

A few months ago, as some of you may remember, Malakai graciously gave up all of his pacifiers to the Paci Fairy. We were so proud of him! He didn't even really fight it too much- I was actually shocked by how easy the whole process was. I was prepared for a couple of rough nights & long nap processes. I was pleasantly surprised to not deal with any of that- for the most part, anyway :)


Michael & I discovered something last night. No, he wasn't sneaking a paci every night. He had just replaced the comfort.

It all started when...

Daddy had just finished the usual bedtime routine with little man... water, story, pray, night-night.  Malakai had the sudden urge to potty- i.e. prolong going to sleep. When he finished, I took him back to bed because he always likes to get covered up. Just as I was saying "love you, nighty night," he yelled in a pretty nasty way at me, "I LEFT MY WATER IN THE LIVING ROOM!!!!" I reminded him that he doesn't need to yell at me that way and gave him an opportunity to correct the tone & ask for his water nicely. He didn't so I left the room.

That's when the wailing and yelling began. Daddy went in and let him know that was unacceptable and had a conversation about why he didn't have his water & explained that he needed to use nice words. He then said he wanted to ask me for it nicely so I decided to show some grace & give him another chance. Instead, he chose smugly to tell me, "I don't care about it." I was pretty shocked but hello, he's human & has a sinful heart just like I do. I left the room.

Thus began worse wailing, screaming, yelling, demanding. It was craziness! There was so reasoning. He was well beyond that. Michael went in again because he was seriously going to wake his sisters up. He kept saying he wanted to ask nicely for it but he had lost that privilege at this point and even when we gave him the opportunity, he still didn't do it. He was unconsolable and said his feelings were hurt and he just really wanted his water.

Now, I'll be the first to admit, this was 1st of all, a battle of wills. I know that because I know my son. This was a test. I'd say, we passed. However, I also know his crying and Michael and I both had the sense that this became more than just a battle of the will. When he comes in our room in the middle of the night, 2 things always accompany him- #1 his blanket, #2 his sippy cup of water. Occasionally, Buzz or Curious George are in hand but always, always, blankie & cup. I never really thought much about it until last night. Who knew something as silly as a cup could be a comfort? Weird. My son is weird.

This got me thinking... What things do I hold so dear to my heart that when removed would leave me  wailing & kicking my feet? I mean that (mostly) figuratively.  Relationships? T.V.? Phone? Internet? I know last week I had a splitting headache from 2 (unintentional) days without coffee. (pathetic, I know) Are there things, that if the Lord directed, I'd be unwilling to surrender? Is my attitude robbing me of abundant blessings from the Lord?

"He who has clean hands & a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false & does not swear deceitfully, He will receive blessing from the Lord.
  Psalm 24:4 (ESV)
This is something the Lord has been laying on my heart for the past couple of weeks. The devotional I've been doing, Soul Detox, gave this little check list to help test out some of the things that may be choking my spiritual health.

1. Am I being entertained by sin?

2. Is it pleasing to God?

3. Does this lure me away from Christ?
So, Malakai, I get it. Sometimes it's hard to deal with the consequences of our sin & sometimes it's hard to give things up that are special to us. Not sure how a cup makes you feel safer but we're all in this life together, learning & growing.

And buddy, you may be weird but ask anyone, they'll let you know, 
the apple doesn't fall far from the tree 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

sunny naptime nonsense

**I apologize in advance... this post is a bit scattered but hopefully the beach pics will make up for it :)**

Sitting outside on a blanket that reminds me of home. Not my Maryland home... which is special too... but my Kentucky home. It's blue & white... stitched my mother in-love. Generally, I just sit at my computer to write... seems my typing keeps up with my thoughts a lot better than a pen... but today the weather was too beautiful to pass up the opportunity for a quiet few minutes, soaking up some extra vitamin D & writing.

Today, June 15th, marks 19 months in this journey as a mom of 3. I can't believe how quickly time flies. Like the wind- fleeting & gone in an instant... constantly moving & changing everything in it's path. Days like this help remind me to soak it all in while I can. Far too quickly, my babies won't be babies.

How blessed I am just to be able to lay here, on this sidewalk in peace. Able to take these few moments to reflect on God's goodness. Able to bask in this wonderful creation... the thoughts of my growing children running through my head.

Just today, Malakai showed compassion for the stress Mommy was feeling. He said he was sorry. I don't think he knew for what except that he wanted me to be happy. This snapped Mommy right out of her selfish grouchiness & brought out an apology from me. It just blessed my heart that he recognized my frustrations and wanted to help me.

This past weekend we went to the beach. Michael wanted to see an airshow... I was happy to go enjoy a day at the beach. I love the ocean and I don't mind the sand. As a parent, it can be a bit stressful trying to keep track of little ones but it was worth it. We had such a wonderful time as a family & really enjoyed the company of our friends that went with us. The girls played in their little blow-up pool (those things are a TOTAL God-send for little ones on a hot day at the beach). Malakai enjoyed splashing in the surf. He has a pretty healthy respect for the water & didn't even like me going out up to my knees... haha... my sweet little worrier. I'm not completely sure if he was afraid of the water/waves or the sharks but either way, he was concerned :) We had a grand time watching airplanes, relaxing & just enjoying life.

Back to the present... knowing I was feeling stressed & wanting to do something to relax the children before their impending naps- I stuck them in the tub... Glow sticks & all! At first the girls just wanted the light back on but then they realized the glowing goodness. It was nice to break up our day & the perfect nap time preparation.

I guess I'm feeling a bit reflective & trying to find creative ways to share a bit of our life- especially for our family that lives so far away! We truly do miss you all so much! And hey! If anyone is interested in funding a 4th of July trip to the Big Blue for the Cain mama & kids, let me know :) Haha... Donations will be accepted :) lol

Everyday lately, I am overwhelmed at some point, at the goodness & faithfulness of God. My heart truly feels different & I know it is because I am seeking Him & being open to receive all that He has for me. I am far from perfect & I have bad days but God is still good & I truly have peace & joy.

Thanks for reading my random sunshine writings... :)

friday favorite things | finding joy


Linking up again w/ Brown Eyed Bell(e) this week :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Life Giving

How often do we look around and the junk begins to overwhelm?
You feel it happening. 
It creeps up like a weed; starting small and growing until you begin to suffocate. 
Sometimes it's big stuff but more often, it's all the little things. 

And enter: grumbling. 
Out come the toxic thoughts that have  been stirring- filling your heart & mind.
Who receives the blunt of it? 
Of course- those that matter most.

 The husband. The son. The daughters. 
The ones you cherish. 
The ones you love so much your heart could burst.
The 'Old' self showing up to bring destruction.

So what are you going to do about it?
How are you going to put out the old?
Jesus makes me new.
So how are you going to embrace the New?

Thank you Jesus for the truth of your word...

A kingdom divided against itself is laid waste & no city or house divided against itself will stand.
(Matthew 12:25 ESV)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
(Ephesians 4:29 ESV) 

Speak TRUTH in LOVE.
Be willing & open to speak life.
Recognize & speak to the 
in people's lives as you see them.

Some life-giving words for my family...

Dear Husband,
I love you. I know I do not always show it in the right ways but I do. You are a good man. You bless me, daily. You have a servant's heart and I learn so much from you. You have gift of loving people. This week, today, I want to thank you. Thank you for washing the dishes and cleaning kitchen. Thank you for putting dinner away. Those are small things but sometimes it is the small stuff that says the most. Thank you for getting up every morning & going to work. You are such a hard worker and are doing your best to provide for our family. My desire is to honor & respect you. You are a living example of a good man for our son. Your love for your daughters will spur them to never settle for anything less than a man that cherishes them like their Daddy. Thank you for doing your best as you lead our family. I love you always. Really. Really.

Dear Malakai,
Mommy loves you more than you know. I am so proud of the sweet boy you are developing into. It brings my heart joy to see your smiles & your precious belly laughs. Today we left the playground and you didn't complain. Most of the time, I can count on you to do not complain when I say it is time to go. That makes me so proud. Watching you love on you little sisters could just make me burst! It is such a wonderful thing to hear you sing to them & express your love to them. They absolutely adore you. I hope we always do a good job of pointing you to Jesus & telling you how much you are loved. Your love for people is such a wonderful gift & I hope you hold on to that. It makes me smile to see you talk to everyone as if you'd always known them. God is going to use you in BIG ways, Little Man. Can't wait to see it all unfold.

Dear Ava,
I love you dearly. The Lord knew what he was doing when he brought your sweet little life into mine. You are so smart! I just love how intuitive you are and how you already show signs of being a "little mama." I can see gifts beginning to develop. Thank you for always giving the sweetest lovies to your brobro & sister. I pray for the Lord to give me wisdom as I have the beautiful opportunity of training up two beautiful girls. May the Lord turn your little heart toward his. May you receive all that He has for you. I love you, baby girl.

Dear Lillian,
I love you, sweet baby. You are so precious! It is amazing to see you grow and learn new things daily. You are always listening & absorbing like a sponge. It is evident that you have an adventurous spirit in you. I look forward to seeing how the Lord develops that in you. I love how you have such a special relationship with your sister. You know what you want & will work hard to get it. God is going to use you in some big ways, girl! I pray that I can help steer you always toward Jesus and his will for your life. Your laugh, humor & affection are beautiful love letters from Jesus every day. Thank you for being such a blessing to my life. I love you, Lilly girl.

These little love notes are hopefully just the beginning of training my heart to recognize all the beautiful evidences of grace in the lives closest to me. The Lord is working in my heart to speak words of life to those around me. It is so easy to allow the complaints & negative junk around me flow from my mouth rather than putting them to death. Thank you, Jesus that your truth equals life, freedom, peace & joy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I've been working on the same blog post for like 2 or 3 days... but I guess it just hasn't felt right. (and it isn't this one... it is still sitting in my drafts). Oddly, it isn't anything serious or controversial. It just didn't seem to be coming together. 


I'm starting over.

Saving that one for another day.

Or never.

Here's the real deal. I've actually had a lot of pretty good days. With the kids. In my heart. Even the weather has been A-Mazing. Not to say, all the circumstances surrounding me have been perfect. 2 of my 3 children have decided to contract some kind of yuck. Their tummies are yuck & they've been low-grade feverish (well low-grade except for 102.8 temp - thank you, Malakai- on Monday night). The laundry is quickly piling up... a nighttime mishap (the 3yr old) & a naptime nightmare (aka- Lilly removed her dirty diaper), in addition to the normal collection of clothes, certainly leave me really wishing I didn't have to cart my laundry out. boo. 

All those things certainly are kind of blah and I've had "my moments" but somehow, the Lord is truly sustaining me. I feel like I've picked up the same toys, the same diapers, the same dishes, a thousand times  but this is where we are right now. I am excited for vacation at the end of July... BEACH! HOLLER! But dreading the fact that my husband will have to work for most of it because he doesn't have enough vacation time to take a week off. He works so hard and not only deserves it but could really use some relaxing time. At this point, I'm not seeing that happen.

It's where we are. 
Doesn't mean my wheels don't spin on how I can make things better. 


The Lord is revealing to me more & more the importance of relying on him for everything. Trusting him in ALL things. Trusting him in the midst of my chaos. Allowing him to be my peace. Learning to find the stillness in the storms. He IS faithful. He IS good. He IS trustworthy.

I have so many irrational fears. And even some rational fears. At least according to the flesh. This is what God says...

Then the Lord said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute or deaf or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth & teach you what you shall speak."
Exodus 4:11,12
I was SO encouraged by this! The Lord told this to Moses when he doubted if the people would believe that He was coming on behalf of the LORD. God essentially said, I got your back. I will prove myself. I will be glorified through you.

This week I've been memorizing this scripture:

Such a beautiful encouragement that this world is not our home. 
He is good.
Flesh has nothing on me.
This world has nothing on me.
He is always with me.
He protects me.

Thank you, Jesus.

Let me encourage us with this ...

This life is a journey.
Do your best to enjoy it.
Look up.
Breath in the fresh air.
Walk with him.
When you can't walk any farther,
Trust Him to carry you.