Friday, July 29, 2011

Shop Update

Hello Friends!

Just wanted to give a little shop update. It has been open for almost 1 month now and already I have been so blessed by it! I love connecting with each of you whether it is through comments, emails, or just shop questions. It's a big reason of why I do this! To connect and reach!

I know I've said it a lot but in case you didn't know, 10% of every purchase made at the Splendor Shop goes into a fund for the "Speak Louder" Project. I am planning and praying some things through but soon I will be presenting a few things to you for it so you can see exactly where the funds go! If you have no earthly idea what the Speak Louder Project is, click that label over to the right to read up on it.

AND It's Friday!! A few things I'm thankful for today...
-My little lovey boy comes home today!! He has been at the beach the last couple of days with my sister and we miss him a TON. Bella is ready for her best friend/play mate to come home and so is mama!

-After a busy, busy week of filling orders, responding to emails, ordering new supplies, prepping for my first trunk show...I needed a break, so we spent the day at the pool yesterday. It was so relaxing and fun. Not to mention my sweet friend who always brings the best snacks for the kiddos--including my weakness--cake pops. 

-And I am thankful for sweet reminders about the power of connection and a kind word. Always take the oppurtunity to reach out to people, offer a sweet word of encouragement, a compliment, a helpful favor, or just a hug...you never know what that will mean to a person.

-So thankful for My sweet husband who stayed up way too late with me last night to get orders packaged up to be sent out.

-God. I am just so thankful for what He is always teaching us in the every day things. So much beauty and value in a day. Take hold of it and see what He wants to show you today!


Also I added a new necklace design to the shop. I had a lot of fun making these, so let me know what you think!
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An antique rose choker necklace with rose toggle closure
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If you are a facebook friend, I am offering FREE SHIPPING today only. So head over to the facebook page now for the code and then get to shoppin! 

Love to you all and Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sisters

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 "Sisters are a part of childhood that will never be forgotten"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When you say "I can't"

I went to my spin class yesterday.

It was a monday.

It was early.

I ate too many chips and salsa the day before...

The peppy instructor was getting on my nerves. Bless her heart. {if you say that, it makes it better}

The ginormous fan was hitting me directly in the face. 

My legs were aching.

My workout clothes didn't dry before we had to leave so I was wearing longer yoga pants.

Yoga pants are not good for spin.

I was starting to get an ear ache from the ginormous fan 

I wanted to be in bed or eating a shipleys donut.

My seat was too high.

My seat was too low.

My shoes were too tight.

I forgot my water......

All great reasons {or so I told myself} to just say "I can't."

I can't do this, I can't give this my all. I'm just going to get through this so I can say I did and be done. My focus everywhere {mainly on donuts} but there....

Just about the second song into the class, I looked up and out of the windows of the room. The windows looked out into an area of the gym that was sort of hidden but still had exercise equipment. I noticed  a guy sitting there hitting a gym bag.

Then I realized he wasn't just sitting. He was in a wheelchair.  Paralyzed from the waste down.

He was hitting that gym bag as hard as he could. Because he was in a wheel chair and not able to move around with the bag, he would wait until it stopped swinging, then go at it again. As hard as he could.

Every now and then he would stop for some water. In between those breaks, waiting for the bag to stop swinging and close enough for him to hit again, his focus never left that gym bag.

He was so determined. So focused. Completely there. Giving it his all.

Here I was complaining because all of my petty circumstances that weren't ideal and perfect. Saying "I can't"

How may times do we say that to ourselves?

I can't get into it.

I can't get to the gym today.

I can't motivate myself.

I can't put myself out there.

I can't get up that early to pray. I'm not a morning person.

I can't try that.

I can't give that....

I can't do that and I can't do this....

I can't. I can't. I can't.


I get on to my kids every time they say that. I tell them they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. I tell them they are more than capable. I tell them to push through and keep trying. I can't is not allowed in their vocabulary.

So how come I let it be in mine?  Maybe I don't speak it out loud, but I sure think it.

"I can't do that God"

"I can't put myself out there like that."

"I can't open my heart to people I don't know"

"I can't run in a marathon"

"I can't open a shop or start a business"

"I can't start that project, it's too big for me"

"I can't just go hug that person, they'll think I'm crazy"

I can't. I can't. I can't.

Here's the thing that gets whispered into my spirit in response to those thoughts...."I know you can't...but I can"

I struggled through that class yesterday. My body was tired. But every time I felt myself saying "I can't," I looked up at that guy in the wheel chair. Still giving it his all. Still focused. Still driven. Telling himself "I can".

We wonder why some people are successful, how they do what they do, how they have the courage, the motivation, the ability, why they are so talented or creative, or in shape, or whatever it is...

I think there is one main thing that unites them all and separates them from those who only say "I wish".

They simply say "I can".

People like the amazing guy in the wheel chair, who do not let circumstances, or insecurities stop them from what they really want to do. From achieving what there hearts dream about. From trying something they never thought they could.


The biggest hurdle to get over, in order to achieve great things, is ourselves.

 We all have the ability within us to achieve greatness, the only difference is whether we believe we can.

....Whether we say I can because He can.

And then we DO. Just one step in front of the other.

I'm not sure what happened to that guy--how he ended up in a wheelchair or whether he was born that way. But I do know that regardless of how he got there, he didn't let it determine where he would go.



 Linking this up with Casey

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's a......

Holly Shiftwell!

My little sister is having a girl!! Which according to my son, means the baby's name is officially "Holly Shiftwell."  He might be a bit of a Cars 2 fanatic...

I mean Holly might slide, but we'll have to work on my sister for Shiftwell as the middle name. What do you think?

So because I love to celebrate any and everything, I'm celebratin with a giveaway! How about it?
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Winner will receive a pink vintage rose ring on an antique silver filigree band from the splendor shop.

Giveaway will run until midnight tomorrow and winner announced Wednesday morning.

 Here's how to enter: {one comment/one entry per}
1. Tell me your favorite girls name 
 2. want another chance? be a follower of the blog.
3. another one?? click here to "like" the facebook page so you can keep up with discounts for the shop and giveaways.

 Me? I'm partial to Isabella and Mia. Clearly. But, I also like Brooklyn, Savannah, Lila, Lola, Laura...{just kidding}.

Tell me your favorite!

Baby day!!

.....for my little sister....not me you crazy kids. 

Today, my baby sister finds out what the little peanut she's been growing in her tiny tummy for the past 5 months is. And I get to go with her! I am SO excited. Boy or girl, I can not wait to call that baby my nephew or niece.

My sisters are my BEST friends. They have been with me through it all. Hugged me, loved me, cried with me, laughed with me, made fun of me....they just get me.

I still think of Jacqueline as my baby sister. I still see her as "little"...we spoiled her, loved her, protected her, made her do everything for us. She was the baby. 

But she's not anymore.  She's 25, married to my husbands brother {I know, I know, another story another day y'all} and expecting their first baby in December. 

I am so honored, excited, and blessed to watch her and be with her as she goes through this. She was with me for all of my 3 babies. She was even Mia's baby nurse {she's a pedi nurse}

When I see that little baby on the monitor at the sonogram, I might not be able to hold back the tears. It means so much to me, because I know. I know what a precious, priceless gift that little baby is. And I know, that what she is about to encounter in becoming a mommy is something that can't even be put into words, but only experienced.

And she gets to. And I get to watch her to do it.


Love you Wack Wack.

P.S ---She thinks this is "showing"....I look like this after I eat at Chilis. Come on now. ;)
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Passion

.....a powerful or compelling emotion or feeling.


I listened to a sermon by David Wilkerson called "A call to anguish." It got me. And it has stayed with me over these last couple of days. Reminded me of those things God has spoken to me. The things that make my heart cry.

He talks about anguish being the emotions so stirred that it becomes painful. An acute deeply felt inner pain because of conditions about you, around you or in you. The agony of God's heart. A desire for change. To make a difference. To not settle.

All true passion is born out of anguish.

When we become so unsettled. When we are so distraught over the things of this world- the loss, the famine, the hurt, dying. The babies without a voice, or the child with no family. The lonely, broken hearts of those searching, the disease without a cure....

When we become so anguished by these things, that we can not ignore them.
That our passion for them over powers our complacency and we simply can not sit still or let them go one more day....

That is the heart of God.

When Jerusalem was in ruins, He used Nehemiah to help rebuild it. Not a preacher, not some great public figure, or powerful person....a business man...more importantly a praying man.

He was a man who did not just have a flash of emotion. Not just some great sudden burst of concern and then let it die.

He prayed night and day. He wept, mourned and fasted. And He acted. Despite facing slander, fear, conflict and discouragement, he acted.

I want to act. I want to be like Nehemiah. A praying person. A person who takes actions led by prayer. Someone who's passion doesn't die, or become suppressed by the everyday.

Sometimes it seems too big. Sometimes what has been ignited or revealed to my spirit seems too much. I become overwhelmed. I don't know where to start.

So I don't. I let the moment, the day, the opportunity get by me. But that flame doesn't die. That thought, idea, vision...passion. It doesn't go away.

It's up to me to decide what I'm going to do with it.  Even if it's just with one step. It's one step closer than yesterday.

Doing Something. Taking action.

I wanted to share someone with you. Her name is Danielle. She and her family are in the process of fundraising for adoption. My heart goes out to this precious family, as they pursue a passion. To see a child come to know not only their love, but God's love living through them. Click over to get to know her and her heart.  By the way did you know that there are over 147 million orphans in this world? 147 million

What is your passion? What stirs your soul?


My favorite quote:

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.”

Edward Everett Hale 

 

 


 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our Creative Space

There is something so satisfying and enjoyable to me in taking "nothing" and turn it into "something." In this case it was a room in our house that never got used. Our loft space upstairs that sits between the kids 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a laundry room.
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Originally it was meant to be an office/entertainment room, but really it only served as a walk through to get from one of the kids rooms to the other.  I wanted somewhere that we could be creative. Be inspired. Use our imaginations. But not necessarily a "play room."

So we started on the transformation in February/March. And here is what it is now.
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First thing I wanted to do was paint the walls. Lighten them up. So we painted them "Quiet Rain" by Glidden --a light grey/blue color. The decor was inspired by a sort of eclectic, whimsical, carnival, vintage feel.

This is the view from Mia's room.
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This little corner has a chalkboard that I made simply using chalkboard paint and painting an old frame. The desk. Oh this desk. I LOVE it. It was a 6 dollar thrift store find. Solid wood, well made. I painted over the whole thing with "Vintage White" paint also by Glidden.

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The pennant was a quicky afternoon craft project using scrap book paper and twine. I just cut out triangles, whole punched them and strung them. Can we say easy? easy.

These are the silhouetts I made of the kids...post about that project is here.
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I wanted something to hang the kids art projects from, so I got a bunch of random fabric scraps and cut circles and squares. Then I hot glued them to some twine and strung it from one corner to the next. I use clips to hang the art work
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The sewing machine was also a thrift store find. I painted it red and distressed it. It doesn't work. I just like looking at it.
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I love this little corner for reading. I made a bunch of tissue poms but instead of hanging them, I pinned them to the ceiling. The idea was to make the kids feel like they are sitting under clouds when they sit and read
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room2

Book shelves are from IKEA and the letters I just covered in different fabric, that coordinates with the fabric pennant I made for the opposite wall.
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 I talked about this gallery wall in this post. It's a collection of The Wheatfield prints that I love, 1$ mirror I painted, a "C" {for our last name} that I also covered in fabric and then placed in the middle of an empty frame, and one of my favorite pictures of the kids that I had printed onto canvas.
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Chandelier and entertainment center that the tv sits on are from IKEA. Paper Lanterns from the dollar store, hung with yarn.

I bought the book shelf at World Market a couple years ago and painted it in the same vintage white paint, that I used on the school desk.
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Then I just filled it with random things I collected from the thrift store and things around the house.
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My sister in law found me the old typewriter. Love it. I bought the vintage scale, book, old borax tin and sugar container at a local antique store that I need to visit again. Just as soon as it stops being 105 in Texas, cause Lawd knows that place is not air conditioned and this sister girl can't take the heat.
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The white table and chairs were generously given to us and originally from Bombay Kids. Then I spray painted some dollar pinwheels from Target to match the room and put them in a yellow tin for the center of the table

To read about this desk makeover click here.  It was a lot of work, but definitely one of my favorite pieces of furniture.
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It is an old 1950's desk that I bought from a young couple who had inherited it from her grandmother and didn't have any room for it with a new baby coming. Score for me. It's gorgeous. I love it. Print beside it says "She Believed She Could so She Did" from this etsy shop.

This chair was also a thrift store find. I just painted it, distressed it a bit and covered the seat in some Heather Bailey fabric.
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Here's what it was before:
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{sorry for the blurry picture but you get the idea of it's rather ugly "before". P.S wheels on chairs like this remind me of Luby's 
 Cafeteria...anyone else?}
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Then I needed something for above it and found this print that says "The glass is half full." It was a free printable, found here at tip junkie. I placed it in the middle of a the glass and kept the back of the frame off.  And of course I had to hang some tissue poms. It just wouldn't be right if I didn't.
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Next to it is my work table. Where I package my orders, work on projects, and sometimes sit at to write. It's a sturdy, solid wood table that I feel like could do anything to. I painted it and put a protective coat on it.

The large white framed above it is my inspiration bulletin board. To see how I made it, read here.  It's cork board covered in fabric but I also strung twine across it to have the option of hanging things also. The picture shows 2 flower headbands I'd made for the girls.
Oh and Don't let that sewing machine fool you. I've never used it. One day. But it looks cute sitting there for now. The stool is also a thrift store makeover.


I found the green table at a local kids resale boutique. The top of it looks like an old door. It mainly gets used as the foundation for tents {and perhaps some laundry folding}
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 And there you have it....

A room that was never used, is now the most used room in the house. It's become our place of creativity. Of imagination and of learning.  I'm so glad I decided to transform it into a space that is used and loved.


What about you? Is there a space in your house that you are keeping a certain way, just because you think you have to? An office, dining room, or a spare bedroom? Maybe even a closet? I love how Kim from Oh Sweet Joy used one of her closets and converted it into a sewing room! Genius.

Don't be afraid to go outside the box and make your space into something you will use and love! A home is about you and your family. Making it a place you love to be and that reflects you. So what if it goes against the usual or the traditional way of using the room? If you like it, do it! Promise you will be so happy you did!


 Linking up with Heather!







Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hey Friends!

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I'm over here today with my new sweet friend Jessi at Naptime Diaries.

I'm so honored to be a part of her amazing blog. Be sure to head over and get to know her. You will love her, like I do!

Happy Saturday--I'm off to run errands solo with the 3 munchkins. Feel free to pray for me. I receive it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

FAQ {part 2}


 Part 2 of FAQ...

I am part spanish/mexican and irish. With other things mixed in there, I'm sure. My mom's family is from Spain and her other side is from Mexico- Hollah! Dad on the other hand, well he is the whitest white guy you will ever find. He is irish and some other things I'm not sure of. BUT as white as that man is, he sure can roll with the spanish speakin mexicans. He knows fluent spanish.

These are my parents. I think they're pretty cute.
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What does your husband do?
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  He is Associate Pastor for a church here in San Antonio. He loves what he does. He is the most compassionate person I know. He has a soft heart and gets choked up over stories and shows like the ones on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. He is very sweet, tender, loving and wants to see peoples life changed.

How many kids do you all have? Can you give the chronological order of all your babies.
I guess I forget most of you haven't known me for years so when I mention my kids or the babies we lost, you may get confused as to who is who and when is when. Ok, her goes...

I've been pregnant 5 times. We have 3 kids here on earth and 4 in heaven. Yowza 7 kids. When I told Asher we would have 7 kids in heaven {possibly 8} He asked if I was going to have some help to take care of all them. ;)

Asher is our first. He's 5 1/2 yrs old.
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Grace was our second. We lost her at 20 weeks
 


Bella is our third. She is 3 years old.
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She had a twin that we lost very early on. We named that twin Hope.

Faith was the 4th. She passed away at 23 weeks. 


Last is our Mia Glory. She is now 7 months old.
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She also had a twin that we lost at 14 weeks. Asher named him. Jett Samuel. Read about him here.

That should get you caught up. And it should also shed some light on who I am and why. Each one of these children/pregnancies have been a blessing and each taught me and grew me in more ways than I could have imagined.

What is the Speak Louder Project? 
A few months back I was inspired to start a project that encouraged myself and others to reach out, act, and do things for others to let them know and see God's love. Simply DOing for others. The name comes form the phrase "actions speak louder than words" and the project is based off the scritpure in 1 John 3:18  "Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth."

For the first project, we reached out into the community here in San Antonio and were able to raise 1200 dollars {through all of you} to buy a new pair of shoes for over 35 kids in need. It was an amazing testimony to see all of you-those who gave- reach from around the world, to see others blessed. It only served to drive me even more, push me further, and to do more.  Our actions don't always have to be on a big scale. They can be a simple word, or a small gesture. Something that shows a person we love them, because God loves them.

The next project is in the early planning stages. We'll be connecting with an organization that is very dear to my heart. There are so many details to be planned out. I'm having a hard time finding the balance between not needing to know the full plan and just getting started, to wanting my steps ordered. Either way, I'll be presenting the project here on the blog very soon and I hope you are inspired to get involved!
If you want to read where it started and about our first project with Agora Ministries, check it out here. 


When you say that 10% of the purchases made through Splendor Shop goes to the Speak Louder Project fund, what does that mean? 
It simply means that I take 10% of the amount that comes into the shop each month and put into an account allocated to the Speak Louder Project. The idea is to have funds set aside for designated projects, or to giving as we see a need arise. That could be for an individual, a ministry, organization, missions trip etc. Whereever there is a financial need for someone else and we feel led to give to it. Any other donations that come from outside sources, will be communicated to the donor and allocated to specific projects. 

Why do you drink so much caffeine? 
Ha! This one made me laugh. Because I despise the feeling of being tired and/or lazy. I do not sit well. I don't relax well. I am always doing something or thinking about doing something. So I drink caffeine to fuel the madness. Whatever. Stop judging.

This is my drink of choice and I talk about it here.
Crystal-Light-On-The-Go-Energy-Wild-Strawberry


I love your hair. How is it cut. How do you style it and what hair products do you use?
See, now this is just funny. Ok, wait for it....I haven't got my hair cut since November. 3 weeks after I had Mia and it was SHORT. But I haven't cut it since then. I'm growing it out and I am determined to have long hair like I did when we got married.

{This was almost 7 years ago!}
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 I have women ask to take pictures of my hair all of the time. I find this incredibly humorous, since my poor hair gets like no attention, but if you are wanting yours cut like it is now, at the moment it's pretty much one length except for chin length bangs, and a bit of a stack in the back. This shows you what I mean
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I use pantene (don't judge) shampoo and conditioner, the one for volume to add body. I condition it every day to keep it from looking dry because of the highlights and the sun. I use bumble and bumble surf spray and spray it only at the crown for texture. Then I blow dry it and sometimes I'll use a straightener. I have really straight hair but for some reason, since having Mia my hair has changed. It's thicker now, so the ends tend to want to go under. I ain't havin that. I am not a curl under girl. So I straighten the ends. Then the last thing I do is use tres semme hair spray all around and some in at the roots to hold the body.
Done. Bye.

Do you work out, how did you lose the baby weight?
No I don't work out per say, but I do cart around a baby all day long, and I climb the stairs at least 50 times a day, and I am constantly "going". We are pretty active in general. I have horrible eating habits. I eat too much junk, but here's the thing. I don't eat a lot. I eat what I want, but in moderation. I don't over eat. I think that's key. I don't do well with telling myself I can't have something, so I don't. I just keep it all in balance. I naturally like a lot of healthy foods. I snack on bananas, yogurt, grapes, cottage cheese, apples and natural peanut butter, etc. But then I also like a lot of junk...cake balls, brownies, frozen pizzas, cookie dough ice cream, cheese burgers, glazed croissants.....I eat it all and I eat it in balance.

Oh and I am a 24/7 buffet line for a 7 month old little girl who is not interested in baby food or bottles. So pretty sure that has a lot to do with the calorie burning.

I would love to lose another 5-10 pounds but my biggest tip for keeping your weight in check is to not focus too much on it. Balance. Don't stress over it one way or the other. Stay active, eat healthy, give yourself treats when you want them, and focus on others- your kids, husband, friends, other people, not yourself. Seriously it works. Promise.

Where do you shop?
Target, Old Navy, Forever 21 and Express. In my fantasy world I'd tell you I shop at Nordstrom and Anthropologie for all my clothes and home decor like it is no big thang. But then I'd be lieing. So instead I shop at these other places and put together looks I like, at half the price. Hollah. Oh and very recently I ran into the thrift store to look for some vintagy items to use as props for my shop pictures and instead came out with an entire outfit for under 10 dollahs, yo.

I'm going to do a blog post on this because I am always asked where I shop for clothes and I love to say where I got it and how much it was because people think I shop a lot or spend a lot of money on clothes. I don't. I just know how to shop smart and to use what I have. I used to work full time for a christian tv broadcasting company before I got married. I was still living at home and had like no bills, so I shopped. A lot. And I still have and wear those clothes. That was like 8-9 years ago. Holy Moly!

Do you blog for income? Will you accept sponsors for your blog?
When I began this blog I was in a very different place. I was pregnant with Mia and had just lost her twin, Jett. I started to write in order to let people in, for support, encouragement and to share my journey through it all. I share whats on my heart and above all, I hope to inspire others in their own gifts and talents and allowing their stories to be heard. We all have one. I blog to share mine, in order to bless others. I also hope to get the Speak Louder Project out there as much as possible, so we can get more people excited about it and want to participate. Thats my hearts desire and number one priority right now.

Will I ever accept sponsors? Honestly, when I began this blog, I had no earthly idea that people had sponsors for their blogs. I just recently began learning about that side of it. There is a lot more that goes into this world of blogging that takes time to understand and learn. I was clueless. I'm definitely open to sponsors, eventually. But one thing at a time, one step at a time, walking through doors as they are opened. I have a lot on my plate right now and I want to keep my focus.


Who did your new blog design? 
Jacquelinne at Smitten Blog Designs. She did an amazing job. She was incredibly patient and easy to work with. Love the finished product!

Who took all of the new pictures of you for your blog and shop? 
The amazingly sweet, talented and generous photographer was my sister in law Ginger! She made me feel so comfortable and we had a lot of fun.  A cop may have even showed up, right Ging ;) If you live here in San Antonio and are interested in using her for your photos, contact me and I will pass her info along to you.
 Picnik collage


Got any more questions? Most have been emailed, but you can leave them in the comments, I don't mind either way

Monday, July 11, 2011

7 months

See this little girl?
Mia7months
She's 7 months old. She's sitting up and reaching out her arms. She loves to watch Baby Einsteins with her sister and laughs hysterically when her brother blows bubbles on her tummy. She's saying dada and mama. She sucks her thumb when she's tired and she has to have her little faithy bear with her to sleep.



She's my sunshine girl.
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and SUCH a mama's girl. So attached.

I soak it up. I cherish her snuggles and her reaching arms.

Some days are exhausting. Some days I go to bed with aching arms.

But they are so worth it.
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I was talking with someone about her not long after she was born. I was trying to explain the connection we have. The feeling I get when she looks me in the eyes. It's a familiar feeling. Hard to express. As I was trying to, the person I was talking to, said it perfect.

She is part of your healing.

Your healing gift.

My healing gift. My Mia Glory.
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You know, there is a lot of pain, suffering, heart ache and even struggle in this world. But there is also so much beauty. So much joy, and hope and moments to be treasured that far outweigh the other ones. And those hard ones, are not to be forgotten, but used. Used to grow you, strengthen you, inspire you.

And to learn value.
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There is so much value in life. In this world. In our children and bringing them into this world. So much value in multiplying ourselves in others. In giving, loving and extending ourselves to others.

My sweet girl, you are my healing gift. Words will never be enough to say what you mean to me. You wear your mama out. You want me to hold you all of the time. You want to be near me always. But with every wimper for me, every little stretched out arm, every sweet look into my eyes....I feel it.

Healing.

Each day brings healing. Each day brings beauty and life.
 




P.S- Winner of the giveaway was posted on the facebook page!





Friday, July 8, 2011

Splendor Shop Giveaway!

Let me start out by saying, I am incredibly blessed and honored by all of the comments and emails on my post yesterday. It was truly from the deep parts of my heart and one of those things I just know was all Him and none of me. I am so touched by every person who let me know that it was an encouragement or blessing to you. So thank you!

I spent a special afternoon with Bella yesterday. We don't get a lot of one on one time, but my Dad took Asher to run some errands and Mia took a 5 HOUR NAP!!! {say whaaaaa???} So, I took advantage of the time with Bella and did some special things with her. I dressed her in one of her favorite dresses and then did her hair up in a princess bun. Then we made a cake. Ate too much of the batter and played restaurant with play-doh.

It was special. It was needed. It was a day full of my Bella Grace. So thankful.

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We reached 100 friends on the Splendor Facebook page, so to celebrate, I'm having a little giveaway today!

Are you a facebook friend? Be sure to become one. That is where the latest Splendor updates will be and some other fun things I plan to do with it in the future. Also, would you mind sharing the page with your friends?

I am planning a very big project for the Speak Louder Project and I will need all the help from YOU that I can get! So help me get the word out! Also, remember that every purchase made through Splendor Shop goes to the Speak Louder Project fund. Want to know about what that is? Read where it all started here.


On to the GIVEAWAY!!


Would you like to win a pair of these super cute "pretty in pink" mini mum earings?
pinkmumear

I'm going to make this very simple. To be entered into the giveaway, just leave a comment letting me know you are a follower. Not one yet? Just click that follow button to the right and become one, it's very simple! I LOVE meeting and seeing all of you, so take a quick second to show a little support. It means a lot to me :)

How about the chance for a second entry? Go check out the Splendor Shop and leave a comment letting me know what your favorite piece is.

That's it! Giveaway will last through the weekend with the winner announced Monday morning through random.org

Oh yeah---how about a little discount to help us celebrate? For TODAY ONLY get 10% off your order! Enter code GIVEAWAY at checkout.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Calling Grace Mine


May 21st, 2007

Asher was about a year and a half years old. I was 20 weeks pregnant with our new baby. It was our 20 week ultrasound appointment to find out if we were having a boy or girl. Brandon, my mom and two sisters were there. We were so excited.

As the lights went dim and the ultrasound screen lit up the room, I felt it. I didn't know what it was, but I felt something. I saw it on everyones faces as I looked around the room. Saw it on our doctors face. Felt it in the silence.

Finally the words came..."Things do not look right. I'm so sorry, but there is no heart beat."

Those words. Such heart wrenching words. I didn't know how to handle them. I didn't know how to accept them. A hand reached out to take mine, to help me sit up. But I didn't want to. Sitting up meant it was real. Sitting up meant it was true. My baby was not alive.

My first questions were not, "Why" but "How"...

How
am I going to get through this.

How
am I going to face the world.

How am I going to go home and wait 2 days before I could be admitted to the hospital.

How
was I going to walk around knowing I'm carrying a baby that was not alive.

How did I not know?

How did this happen?

How
was I going to deliver my baby.

How
was I going to react when I saw her or him.

How?


Grace

I woke up the morning we were to go to the hospital to deliver the baby. I sat up in bed. I couldn't get out. I couldn't stand. I cried out to God. I didn't know if I could do this.

That prayer was one that has changed my life. Changed me.

In my moment of weakness. In my moment of desperate need. God met me.

I knew that I could get up and face the day with my head help up. That I could do this. And that I had a choice to make. Face this day with God's strength and grace, or crumble right there to the ground and never get back up.

I got up.

I delivered a baby girl. We held her and said goodbye to her. I was on so much pain medicine that the details are a little blurry but there a few details that I remember clearly.

I remember right before I was going to push, I got a wave of peace come over me. Words came out of my mouth that were not my own " I can do this"

I remember our parents standing around the bed, holding her. I remember what it looked like. But it didn't feel real. I just wanted to lay back down and pretend it wasn't happening. I'm thankful for that memory though. As we prayed over her little life. As we kissed her goodbye.

And we named her, Grace Ann. It was the only name for her. It was her.

DSC_0041

Grace.

That was 4 years ago this past May and I'm still learning grace. I still think about those moments. I still think about her.

I think about that day in May often. Not because of the pain and loss and hurt, but because of the real revelation of Grace that I found in those moments. The day I held my baby girl and named her Grace Ann. I took her up in my arms and held her. I called her mine.

I called Grace mine.

Do we remember to do that each day? Do I remember to do that each day? The answer is no.

Grace is for everyone and something we are granted every day. It's what makes us who we are. Makes us better people. Washes over our flaws and sins and bridges the gap between our short comings. It's what brings beauty out of ashes and hope from loss. It's a gift we are given new each day. It meets us at our weakness. It makes us-sinners- beautiful before His sight.

I fall, I make mistakes. I speak before thinking, react before processing, judge before knowing, want without needing, forget to thank, forget to wait, forget to ask, forget that grace is freely given for me through that.

But God reminds me. Grace is mine. A gift to take new each day.

I went to bed last night thinking about something that happened with Bella earlier in the day. She did something she wasn't supposed to. I reacted. I got angry. I lost my temper.

I kept replaying the pictures in my head. The things I said. The way I reacted. And I beat myself up over it. I cried to God. Forgive me God.

I fell asleep praying. God help me to be patient, to be quick to teach and to listen. Slow to anger. God help me to be the parent she needs. God forgive me. Help me to show her grace and love and to show her how to handle situations in a calm way. Give me new opportunities to show her how. Not just talk about it, but to show her.

This morning I woke up thinking about my baby girl Grace. God was reminding me. My Grace is yours to take today. Take it.

A new day. New chances to take His Grace. To let it meet me right where I am. All of my imperfections and short comings. He's there to help me through them. I just have to take it. Scoop it up in my arms and call it mine.

It is only 9 am and already, Bella has spilled her yogurt and splattered it all over the kitchen floor and then spilled her chocolate milk all over the rug.

I took her in my arms and I held her. I told her it was ok. It was an accident. Then I took a deep breath as she watched me bend down to clean it. And there on my knees, God whispered....Take it. Take my Grace. Call it yours.

My sweet Bella girls middle name is Grace.

DSC_0023


She was the baby girl that God blessed us with after we lost her sister. Such a sweet daily reminder to take up God's grace every single day and to call it mine.


"If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking"

Call grace yours.