Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I Wore: Splendor Trunk Show

A friend of mine and I joined forces on Saturday for a little Cupcake Tasting & Splendor Trunk Show.

Sarah owns "Sweet Treats by Sarah" and makes the most delicious cupcakes! So when she contacted me a couple months ago about getting together to do a combined Splendor Trunk Show & Cupcake Tasting party,  I pretty much didn't have to think twice about it. Because really, she had me at "cupcake."

But also because, I don't do things like this enough and I should. I love to meet and interact with "customers." I truly love talking with people and getting to know little bits of their life. And then to think that a piece I created went home with them into their own little world... Oh what can I say, it just makes me happy.

It was held in the cutest coffee shop in a town near by called New Braunfels. It's a really fun, historic, not to mention beautiful little town. There are lots of fun restaurants and shops through out  and it's got a river right in the middle that people from all around come to go tubing on.

The event was so much fun from start to finish. Setting up the table and display is a favorite part for me. I just wish I had enough time to take better pictures {I actually brought my "real" camera, but never pulled it out} And I wish I had got a shot of the whole room set up because Sarah did a great job on all of her yummy cupcakes too. If you happen to live in the area and need some gourmet cupcakes for a special event, be sure to scope her out!

This is what I wore for the day. I was going for comfort and you can't go wrong with a maxi and a tank. The scarf plays off the lighter coral color in the skirt. I sure love me a good scarf, don't you? As long as its super light weight for these warmer months that is. 

{side note: I have a major sway back. This picture is sure evidence if I ever saw it}

  Maxi Skirt: Old Navy {promo sale 17$}
White tanks: Forever 21 and Old Navy {the top layered tank was 2$ at ON on special promo sale last week!! its AWESOME and nice and long!}
Sandals: Forever 21
Earrings and most of the bracelets: a gift from my sister from her trip to Africa. I'm on a kick with them lately. She went on the trip like a year ago.
Scarf: Gap
Ring and Owl Necklace: Splendor
Tired lookin face, 12 hour makeup and messy hair: End of a long day

pleated poppy

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Did you have a good Memorial Day?

We slept in. Made blueberry muffins.
I went for a run at noon which I will never do again. Nearly fainted from the heat.
Then we went to lunch at Chikfila {or "chikaway" as my kids say} and then headed to my parents house for some pool time.

Hope yours was a good one too! Happy Monday.
 {Sorry this is so late! Feel free to link up your posts whenever you would like. Just leave your link in the comments this week and I'll be sure to go check them out. 
Back to normal next week, promise! }

bits of splendor monday

Friday, May 25, 2012

the Honeymoon is over

I ventured to say I loved running in the beginning. I mean once I got past the first trial of starting {which I think is the hardest thing--just starting!} And once I figured out a couple of things like my breathing and pace... I was loving it. I looked forward to starting out on our trail and seeing the family of bunnies that would hop across it as I ran. I looked forward to seeing the sweet older couple who go on a walk just about every day at the same time. I looked forward to listening to my worship music and letting my mind wander. I looked forward to making up new routes to make my run longer.

Oh it was all so new and so fun.

But now. I honestly am struggling to say I still love it. Aspects of it? Yes. Like I can feel my body changing and getting stronger. Running is a full body workout! I had no idea! I love the way I feel after I finish. I love the mental break. I love pushing myself to do something that isn't easy but is very rewarding.

But all the other aspects? Not so much. The routes are getting too predictable and boring. The music is still good, but just not enough to keep me wanting to move my booty. A lot of times I will put it on one station like Jesus Culture or Kari Jobe and while I love the songs that come on, they are much more of a worship and reflection feel, which makes me want to lay down in the grass and take a nap, instead of keeping my booty moving. Right now, I'm just using my pandora app on my phone, but is there another option??

I'm just at a mid point where I need another kick in the butt to push past 3 miles. I'm not a "beginner" anymore, but I'm also not a long distance runner. I can't wait for the day I can set out on a 6-8 mile run like nothing. At this point, that seems simply crazy, but I know I can get there if I keep at it.  I just need to get up and over this little road-block I seem to have hit.


But. I'm the type of person who needs a challenge, structure and accountability to keep motivated. She had given me a schedule in the very beginning to get from 0 to 3 miles and after I accomplished that, is about when I got stuck. I just need that challenge, you know? something to strive for. So my sister is supposed to make me a new schedule. I'm hoping that this helps. Right now, she says not to go over 5 miles so that I don't get burned out when real training for the half begins in August.


Running is obviously very physical, but it's also hugely, mental. We are all different but I'd love to hear from other runners----how do you keep yourself mentally motivated during the run?  Right now, I'm basically just giving myself no choice. Once I start that's it. It's like Nemo---just keep running,  just keep running!  If you have some ritual or trick that works for you like eating a banana 32 minutes before you run, share it with us!

Also, if you aren't a runner, I don't want you to feel like this isn't for you too. I wanted to share this journey of mine so that others could be inspired too. Anything I learn along the way can be applied to whatever physical goal you make for yourself.  Whatever you're striving to do---I'm learning that the biggest key is simply believing in yourself and your abilities and then not giving up on them. Even when everything in your body/mind screams to stop.

On a side note, I'm getting myself some more official running gear. The v-neck tees and yoga capris, aren't cutting it. I need some shorts {which is huge for me since I've always been a non-shorts wearer.} and running tanks. Hoping that this helps---whatever works right? Have any favorites you can share?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Searching for Treasure

I am so glad that so many of you could relate with me on my last post. It's a huge blessing for me to know that when I let go of my own reservations and share some of my struggles, that God swoops in and uses them to speak to you too. It's always my biggest hope that we can all inspire and encourage one another together. That there isn't a sense that any one of us has it all figured out, but that we are living in a continuous pursuit of Him...not perfection.

I sat under our twinkle lights on our back patio last night. The sun was just about to go down and it was the first time I'd found for some quiet. So I grabbed my books and took them outside

Letting go of the "just right," I was totally ok with this. In fact, it might actually become my new favorite time of day. The kids were fed and watching a movie with B, and there was this sort of "lull" before we started the whole bedtime routine. 

I know a lot of people love the morning. But the evenings? They are really good too. I loved sitting outside listening to the quiet. Our neighborhood is usually swarming with the sounds of kids playing, dogs barking, motorcycles and cars. But just after the sun goes's quiet. There's this sweet stillness that I love.

Mornings are all about the beginning of a new day. New mercies and blessings and opportunities. But the end of the day is a time to look back on all of those. To reflect and remember and be thankful.

I guess what I'm trying to say, is if you've been like me and felt like your quiet time had to come in the morning? It doesn't. It can come any time of the day, and there is freedom in just embracing that alone. Because instead of feeling guilty that it didn't happen that morning, you can look for it through out the day. And you'll realize, as you search for Him, His presence...that time a'll find it.

"Approach Each New Day with desire to find Me.....There are hidden treasures strategically placed along the way. Some of the treasures are trials, designed to shake you free from earth-shackles. Others are blessings that reveal My Presence: sunshine, flowers, birds, friendships, answered prayer.....Search for deep treasure as you go through this day. You will find Me all along the way." {Jesus Calling}

I closed my eyes and started thinking about the ways I felt His Presence in my day. I started thinking it wasn't much of a significant day, just a regular day of getting things done around the house, working on some shop stuff, and the usual mom duties. I was thankful for the stillness of the moment, the quiet breeze, finishing a good run....But then I started to look deeper for the "hidden treasures." The ones I might have missed.

This scene from earlier in the day instantly flashed through my head. There is this young girl in our neighborhood. She and Bella have become friends, but I don't let Bella play outside unless B or I are out there also. Mia was napping and Bella begged me to let her play with her so I told her to invite her inside.

The little girl is pretty reserved. Sort of timid. Kind of hard to read. Shy. But sweet. I can sense something more to her, I just can't figure it out yet. She and Bella were playing in her room, while I worked on some shop stuff in the craft/play room. I always have worship music on while I work so yesterday was no different.  The girls came out into the room and a few minutes later, I noticed the little girl hopping around the room. I thought "well my goodness, what did she just get so excited about!!" Without looking up to see what she was doing, I remember thinking she was like a jumping bean and must have got a spurt of energy. But then I turned around and realized what she was doing.

She was dancing to the music. Like, totally unapologetically, without a care of us seeing her. Just, dancing. I caught her eye and she had this huge smile on her face. So ungraceful, so not coordinated, all lanky and awkward. But you know? I bet to Jesus she looked like the most graceful ballerina ever. Precious in His sight. This little girl giving her all. And don't you know that's how God wants us to be. Willing to just soak Him up where ever we are, no matter who is around.

Obviously I don't mean start breaking it down in the middle of Target {although I've been known} But I mean just being free from the shackles and condemnation that everything has to be just right, or done in a certain way, or heck, even caring what other people think. Lord knows thats one I struggle with. "What will they think of me?"--Pretty sure thats one of the biggest ploys of the enemy. Fear of what others will think. But I think it's time we say, "who cares" and just do it. No excuses. No reservations. Just dance before the Lord, you know? Do your thing!

It really doesn't matter to God whether we seek Him out in the morning, or afternoon, or evening. Just that we do, you know? And more so? That its out of a simple desire to find Him. Not a task, or a work or something to check off. Just a searching for Him. There is freedom in that. He is in the every day. The treasures of sunshine, flowers, birds, friendships, answered prayers...and shy little girls dancing to worship music without any other care.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I have this really bad habit. I'm not even sure it's a habit. Maybe more of a character flaw. I'm not sure.
Whatever it is, I battle with it a lot. Like I'll recognize it in a certain situation and then I change my behavior or thinking and keep right on trucking.
But sometimes I don't recognize it and it keeps me from trucking all together.

For example. I went shopping for a friend the other day. I wanted to get her something special and thoughtful. I picked up a few things only to second guess that they were THE perfect choice, and put them back. I ended up not getting her anything at all. Because I couldn't find THE perfect gift.

Sometimes when I set out to run 3 miles, I'm only able to do 2.5. Whether it's because I'm just plain exhausted, or because I set out too late in the day before the sun went down. If I don't finish the full 3, I feel like I failed. Or I'm dissapointed in myself. Dwelling on the fact that I didn't do the 3 instead of recognizing that I did 2.5. Which is 2.5 more than I was doing a month ago.

When I talk about these shortcoming or write them out, they sound so completely ridiculous. Which is why I realize how important it is for me process through things. Because when I keep them all jumbled up in my head, they sort of stay there. All irrational and ridiculous...and controlling.

You didn't find just the right gift, so don't get her one at all.
You didn't run your full 3 miles, so you failed.
You can't get up extra extra early to read and pray, so don't do it all. 
You didn't start that 365 day devotional on January 1st, so it's too late now.

See? Ridiculous.

I've been waiting/trying/hoping/planning/ to get into the right routine, or to be able to get myself out of bed early, so that I could get back on track with reading and prayer time in the morning. But sometimes I wake up after Bella {Um. most of the time. The girl gets up with the birds.} And then the day goes on and I think well, I didn't get up again this morning. Maybe tomorrow?

It's an endless cycle of guilt and failed attempts.

I was thinking the other day while running. About how some people tell me they just aren't a runner. And I thought to myself. Well neither am I, technically. I think anyone can be a "runner" if they want to be. Running is a big ol exercise in will. It's a mental challenge as much as it is a physical one. And I thought to myself--when you really want something, you can make it happen.

Then it hit me. What am I making a priority in my life? What does my heart want, and what's keeping me from doing them?

Believing perfection is the only way, and if it's not done perfectly then it shouldn't be done at all. So not true. And I know that. So why do I continue living as if I don't? If I really want that time back, then I can make it happen.

This morning, I woke up after Bella. Again. No I didn't rise when it was dark like the Proverbs 31 woman. I would like to, But reality is, I didn't. I didn't have complete silence except for some Jesus Culture on Pandora. I didn't have the perfect set up with the right amount of work space for my devotional book, Bible, laptop, and notebook.

Instead, I sat outside, balancing them all between my lap and the small patio table. In between conversations with Bella on why the grass grows and if it ever stops and if her nails stop growing when she's sleeping and why do we have twinkle lights on our patio when it's not Christmas and reading books about Bob the tomato and Larry the cucumber.  Was it perfect and ideal? No! But gosh darnet I just don't care anymore. I can't care anymore.

And you know what? God's word and truth spoke to my heart just the same as it would, had everything been "just right." We search all day for the answers to our questions and prayers. We cry out to God to speak to us and reveal and redeem and answer and speak. When all the while, we have His very spoken word in the palms of our hand. Sitting on our night stands, or under a stack of books. Unopened. Because we can't find the right time. That book holds every answer we are searching for. His voice, loud and clear. Written in black and white. It's all there.

How many things are we holding off on because we are waiting on just the right time? I realize that this will always be a lesson I need to fine tune and refine and tweak in my heart and life. It's not like this is a big revelation and my life will now be forever changed and you all are here to witness the glory of it all.

No. It's me, saying hey--nothing will ever be perfect. I realize that. I'm working, daily on letting go of this idea of perfection. I'm giving myself grace to let the dishes sit while I get some reading in, and in the middle of conversations about 4 leaf clovers and spiders. I'm giving myself grace to start a 365 day devotional in the middle of the year. I'm letting my weird anal side, skip to the middle of the book, and I'm going to be ok with that even if I cringed a little doing it.

Maybe one day I'll get up earlier than my morning girl. Maybe one day I'll be able to write and read and light my candle and listen to worship music and it'll all be just right. But today wasn't that day. And tomorrow might not be either. But I'm feeling like maybe thats ok after all.
I don't have a way to wrap this post up perfectly and I can't think of a good "title" for it either. I don't even know if it makes sense because it's just me processing my thoughts. Whatev.. I'm going to hit "publish" anyway....even if I cringe doing it.

And I'm hoping maybe that by sharing these ridiculous parts of my inner most thoughts and processes, that maybe your realizing some of your own....and maybe you'll let go of them too?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

It was a good weekend here. The kind that gets you excited that summer vacation is so close. This is Asher's last week of school. I am looking forward to having my 3 little chicks home with me again. I plan on wearing them out at the pool every day so they are too tired to get on each others nerves. Think it'll work?

I had a couple of hours to myself on Friday. Obviously I went to Target. Grabbed myself a popcorn combo of course. Anyone else put parmesan on their popcorn? Also, anyone else find themselves putting a ton of things in their cart they don't fully intend on buying, only to unload it all in a random end cap? No? Yes?

Quick story about this Target trip:
I needed some more of my ELF concealer  and it was toward the bottom of the display. So I knelt down on one knee to grab it. I felt something cold but thought the floor was just cold. Then I realized it was water. Then I looked down and realized I was *this close* to crushing the biggest, grossest black water bug I've ever seen. I mean *this close.* I am certain it would have made a crunching noise and I am certain I would have fainted. What in the world was a huge black water bug doing on the makeup aisle of my happy place?!

Not really funny, but B thought it was...later that night, I was sitting on the sofa with my pj pants on and the string tie on my pants moved on its own. Don't ask me how it did but it did. And I didn't know it was the tie and got a flash of the black bug and immediately thought it had followed me home. I might have screamed. Really loud. And jumped....

You didn't see the bug. You would have too.

Anyway, I did redeem the trip by finding myself a cute new notebook. Nothing like a notebook of fresh, empty pages to inspire me. There is just something about the blank pages of one...
Also got myself the "Jesus Calling" devotional by Sarah Young, that I've been wanting for a while. I need a bit of a kick in the booty to get me going in the morning for my quiet time. Finally made it to the bookstore to grab it and it was on sale for 50% off! Only 10$ for the leather version. I was going with the intentions of settling for the paper back. Love when things like that happen don't you? If you've wanted this devotional book also and you have a Family Christian Bookstore, GO get yourself one  QUICK cause the sale ends Tuesday!

Saturday, I decided to try to enjoy the sun in our backyard... Only to find myself dodging water balloons from a war going on between Asher and B. And getting soaked by a 4 yr old little girl who accidentally turned the hose on as high as it could go then tried to control it but couldn't and ended up spraying me instead. Twice.
My tanning lotion still had sand in it from the last time I used it. Which was in Hawaii. Which was so not the same as the scene going down in my backyard.

We also had an impromptu neighborhood movie night Friday. I love that our kids have so many friends on our little street.

I love this sweet season we are in as a family. It's a good one. You know how you can just feel it?
I can feel it.
So how was your weekend? Hope it was good! Time for a new week! 
Happy Monday Friends!

bits of splendor monday

How did you find a little bit of splendor in your week? 
Link it up and share it with us. 

It truly is the little, distinct things that make life big. The important thing is taking the time to see them and I believe it can be in anything. A project, a recipe, a special moment or milestone, maybe just a word or picture you found encouraging. 

"You will miss what matters most in life if you are only ever looking for the spectacular"  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What I Wore: Stripes and Good Deals

I've gone back and forth on whether I still wanted to do these outfit posts. And I decided that what I really hope I share with them, along side some outfit ideas, is that you can look put together and dressed well, without having to spend a ton of money. Keeping in mind that we are all different and at different places in our life, and that it's good to inspire one another no matter what, to be wise with what we have, right?

I would tell you that I don't really shop that much {I really don't} but then you'd probably think I was just denying the truth, and I think they say denial is the first step to something....So I guess the real truth is that I know how to shop. And more importantly--when to. Meaning if it's not in the budget it's not in the budget. Also, I only buy one or two things every now and then to add into what I already have. This stretches my closet even further.

And almost always,  it's on sale or better yet- clearance! I can spot a red clearance sticker like a pro.

We went to dinner Monday night to celebrate Mothers Day with B's side of the family. It was getting ready to pour, we were running a little late, the neighbors were outside, the kids were restless. But I really wanted to grab a couple of shots of this outfit to show you exactly what I mean by looking put together without having to spend a ton.

Now first of all, I love stripes big time. They are always a classic. Stripes rank up there with v-neck tees for me. I verge on being obsessed with stripes. Do you love them too? I mean how could you not, really.  This top was only 8.80 at Forever 21. And the quality is pretty nice. The fabric is pretty thick and it's nice and fitted. That's not to say a thread won't go willy nilly on me at some point, but it was 8.80 and if I get a couple good wears out of it, it'll be worth it.

The white trouser jeans are the staple piece in this outfit. They can be worn with so many different tops. And I was lucky enough to find them on clearance at Target for under 9.00! I saw that red tag I know and love, and almost jumped up and down because I've been looking for some white pants to carry me through summer. These trouser cut are really flattering. The flare leg is perfect for wedges. The price said take me now. And so I did. I will be able to get a lot of wear out of them for sure.

Speaking of the shoes. Here is where you might call me a liar. These wedges are from Old Navy right at the end of summer last year. And. They were only 1.97. No seriously. One dollar and ninety seven cents. They basically begged me to take them home. And so I did.

They also happen to be the most comfortable wedges I've ever worn. I didn't get a good shot of them but they tie up the ankle into a cute bow.

Navy and White striped top-8.80, Forever 21
White Trouser Jeans- 8.90, Target
Wedges- 1.97, Old Navy

Now I will get to the part that I know you all want to know about. The necklace. Is it not beautiful? I want one in every color. And I owe all credit to my friend Annie for showing a picture of hers on instagram a while ago. I promptly did some investigating and found them here.

Before we left, I thought it'd be a good idea to try and get an official Mothers Day 2012 picture of me and the kids, but it didn't exactly work. First attempt Asher's got a goofy smile and Mia was concocting an escape plan.

Second attempt is a little better except Mia decided something on the brick wall was much more interesting than the pretend little birdie daddy was holding.
Oh well. What are you going to do. The imperfections are what we will remember and laugh about later, right?

Do you have a good 1.97 wedges story? What are your tips to shopping wise?

pleated poppy

Finally "Foe"

 My Bella Boo,

Tomorrow you will finally be "foe." You've been waiting for this day for a very long time. We celebrated your birthday with lots of friends and family on Saturday and when I put you to bed that night you said "I can't believe I'm finally foe, right mom?"

Maybe it was me wanting to hold on to you still being "shree" but I decided I better break it to you that you weren't actually "foe" just yet. That you would be, on the 16th...just a few more days.

Today I told you that tomorrow is your birthday and you will finally be four. You got so excited and scrunched up your nose and did your little giggle and gave me a big hug. I've been soaking you in today. I know that tomorrow you won't have changed from today. You'll still look the same. Your little thighs will still have that roll in them that I absolutely love. You'll still have a hard time saying your "l's"and "r's" and you will still talk with a new york accent.

But. You'll be 4. Thats a big difference from today. Today you are still "shree."
We sat on the patio this afternoon and watched the rain. It started to slow down so you asked to go put your rain boots on and try to catch some rain drops. I love how clever you are. How independent you are. How incredibly imaginative you are. I watched you as you tried to catch them in your net. Mismatched pj's that you had changed twice already. You pick out your own outfits and are very opinionated on what looks right.

I've always loved your name. Even before I knew who would have it, I loved that name. Isabella. It means consecrated to God. I always said we would only call you Isabella but when you came, it just seemed natural to call you Bella. Bella is a bit more sassy, a little more spunky. And that fits you perfectly. Grace was your sisters name before you. You ask me about her a lot because of your middle name and that makes me smile. It's why we gave it to you. To remember and to remind of God's grace daily. And you do just that.

I won't lie. The last couple of months I have found a bit of a challenge with you. I have sensed you growing up. Trying to establish your self in this family more and let us all know you've got an opinion. You always have to say something. You love to talk. I always say you wake up talking and go to sleep talking. But thats not what I'm referring to. I'm referring to this need you have to have the last word. I recognize it. I remember that need. I remember running up the stairs as a 17 yr old girl, trying to get the last one in during an argument with my mom. I remember it so clearly. And I see it in you.

Can I tell you something? One day you'll realize that having the last word isn't all that important. One day you will learn that just being quiet can actually speak louder than any words could. One day you will learn this. But I know telling you this now won't matter. You have to learn it on your own. I know this because I did too.

You are strong willed. opinionated. Bossy and sassy. Not bad qualities. But qualities I know I need to help soften in you. I can see this part of you that needs to manage something all of the time. I can see this part of you that wants to be in charge. I don't want to take these parts from you because they are parts of who He made you to be... but I want you to learn how to do those things with love and sensitivity. With compassion and kindness.

I look at you and how unique and complicated you are and I think surely God gave you to me for a special reason. He matched us together perfectly. So that I could soften you and sharpen you and help shape you. And so that you could do the same for me. You have already taught me so much as a mother Bella.

You are my little buddy. This season we are in of you and me and Mia at home during the day... it's a sweet one. You wait all day for Asher and Dad to get home, but during our time together you soak it up. You love for it to be just us. When Mia goes down for a nap you start naming off all kinds of things we can do. Sometimes that includes cleaning the windows because you are my mini me. But mostly you just like our time together, no matter what we do. You help me remember things. You tell me you love me almost by the hour, and somehow you know just when I need to hear "you're beautiful mom." You keep me on my toes and you are really good at finding my phone for me because you know the spots I tend to leave it in.

My biggest prayer is that through these next years we can stay close. We can keep talking and laughing and growing and learning and most of all, loving. Because I know these precious early years are laying the foundation for the harder ones. The ones when you are 17 and running up the stairs trying to get the last word.

I want you to know I will always be here, loving you. There will be times where you think you have it all figured out and you don't need me. I'll still be here. There will be a time where you think your too cool for me and I know nothing. I'll still be here. Because there will be a time where you realize you need your mama more than anyone else. You'll realize that maybe I did know a thing or two and that not many other people "get" you like I do. And you will just want someone to "get" you....I'll be here.

Bella, you are incredibly sweet. You are loyal and loving and you were born to take care of people. You are a nurturer and an encourager. You hold a conversation better than some adults.You are a true beauty. Inside and out. You are ours--your daddy's and mine. And we couldn't be more honored that you are. Happy Birthday my sweet girl. You are finally "foe"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Two people in my life have played a huge part in the kind of mother that I am. It wouldn't be right if I celebrated today {Mothers Day} without celebrating these two also. I am beyond words thankful for them.

My mom taught me to celebrate the little things. That anything could be made into a party. Especially Christmas decorating and even cleaning wood floors. She taught me affection and love. She would scratch my arm while I fell asleep and always let me into her bed at night when I needed her. She taught me to make sweet family traditions like Friday night family movies, with a bag of skittles and popcorn and make your own sundaes on New Years Eve. She taught me that friends would come and go but my sisters would always be there. She taught me to serve the Lord and the power of prayer. She held my hand and celebrated with me each time I held one of my babies for the first time. She held my hand and cried with me each time that I had to say goodbye too. She taught me loyalty and truth. And to always walk in faith, confidence and joy that God's got a good plan. Best of all she prayed for me. And never stopped. She prayed for my future husband and the very first night I met Brandon she knew he was the one I would marry. She never told me that until the night he proposed. She trusted me to make my own decisions because she knew that I would.

That is one of the biggest lessons I learned from her as a mom. To pray, guide, nurture and then trust your children to make the right choices. She gave her very best for her family and still does. She is sentimental and soft hearted and cries when reading birthday cards. She is the very best mom I could have ever hoped for.

And Brandon. He is my greatest supporter, encourager and my very best friend. He loves me in big and small, loud and quiet ways. Ways that could easily get missed and he would be ok with that. He does, just because. And I love that about him. He has taught me selflessness like no other person I have met. He loves our children, he shares the load of parenthood and he never complains when he stays up really late with me packaging orders or making party favors. He's my biggest fan and makes me smile on a daily basis. He will go to the store at 11 at night if I needed him to. He makes me feel beautiful when I'm dressed up cute or when I'm just out of the shower with wet hair and old pajama pants on. He knows the importance of giving me my time alone, of making sure my "pink waters" are always stocked and being quiet when I say things I shouldn't because I'm irritated with something else. His silence in those times has taught me more than he realizes. He makes me a better person. A good mom. And a happy wife.

We sat in the backyard of my parents house today. Watching the kids jump in and out of the pool. Mia was on my lap, as usual. Sticking close to mom, and Brandon was beside me. I just had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude as I looked at each of my kids. Sometimes it hits me really hard that I am the mother of 3. When I look at them and how perfect and beautiful and healthy they are, I don't ever take it for granted. We have 4 more waiting for us in heaven. I can't wait to be mama to them one day, But right and now, my heart is content and full and grateful. The here and now is beautiful and noteworthy and reason to celebrate. Always.

You know what else is noteworthy? Asher trying chicken nuggets for dinner for the first time in 6 1/2 years.  Not just trying them though....actually eating them all up and liking them! My life just got easier. The worlds pickiest eater has finally expanded his repertoire. Happy Mothers Day to ME! How was yours?

bits of splendor monday

Friday, May 11, 2012

Checkin on in

So basically what just happened here is I was about to do my 30day shred and then sat down and grabbed the lap top instead. What can I say, when the house is quiet all I want to do is write, clean, or craft. And since my house is clean already and I've got tons of crafy projects to do for Bella's birthday party, I decided to write. Makes total sense.

The kids all spent the night away last night. This was the first time EVER in all of Mia's little 18 months of life to spend the night away from me. I thought it would be great to get a full nights sleep {can't blame the sleep interruptions on Mia though, that'd be the 6yr old cuddle bug} But instead I woke up every couple of hours praying and hoping she had slept through the night since she wasn't in her own bed.

I made all kinds of first time mom mistakes with Asher. Like he slept in our bed a lot as a baby. When he'd cry I brought him into bed with me {sucker}.....This went on the whole first year, till finally I had to try to break it and it was hard. Mama was tired. I'm not saying I'm anti co-sleeping to an extent. I'm saying I'm pro- sleep. And obvi I didn't actually break it since I now have a 6 yr old cuddle bug who is more like a pesty bed bug. Kidding!

Bella and Mia are different though. You put Bella to bed and you don't hear from her again until morning. She loves her bed and she loves her sleep. Same with Mia. I always say my saving grace with Mia is that she's an amazing sleeper. It's my only break. Cause when she's awake, she's on me like white on rice. Attached at the hip. No joke I cleaned the kitchen and vacumed the other day before I realize she was still on my hip. I'm that used to it.

I'm not complaining. I love that she is my little buddy and I've probably had a lot to do with how she is, because I've always just wanted her close and to never let go. Can't really blame me.

HOWEVER. breaks are grand. Like.....Bliss.
Blissfully grand.

I slept in this morning, and then went on a good run. Yes I'm still running. Yes I'm still loving it. Working on my time for 3 miles right now. But I'll write a running update next week.

Last night B asked me what we were doing today with no kids and I said "We?" I don't know about you, but I plan to crank up my pandora and get all kinds of projects done. That sounds totally perfect to me. He looked at me like I'm crazy. {we are doing something just us two later this weekend though!}

But sometimes a girl just needs some alone time. Am I right, or am I right? Doesn't make us less of a mom and wife to admit that. In fact I kinda think it makes us better ones.

I'm off to go take an uninterrupted shower.
Happy Mothers Day to all you mama's. Hope you get a little alone time to yourself, even if it's just a Target trip....grab yourself a popcorn combo and walk those aisles aimlessly! You deserve it!

Be back Monday for Bits of Splendor!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Hi Friends! I am sorry this is up late. Hope you have your posts ready to link up. I also hope if you missed it, you will read THIS post from last week so you get a good idea about why I do this link up.

I firmly believe in noticing and loving the small and big things of life. In living and being present. In recognizing and learning. I believe each of these things can be done every single day.

So with that in mind, I may be a bit quiet this week. I have been going full force with the shop for the last few weeks, which don't get me wrong, I LOVE and am so blessed by. BUT, that added to the every day mom "to-do" things, spending time with Brandon, keeping up with running, etc.... I'm needing a break. To slow down and put the laundry away that I folded last week. To finally use the vacuum that I dragged out of the closet a couple days ago,  sit and watch the Office late at night with Brandon without the computer in my lap, and just finish a few things around the house.

I've had a lot on my mind lately and a lot I am trying to process through. Self Evaluating, I guess. One thing I know is that my number one desire is to bring God glory and fame through my life- Every aspect of it.  I read this quote by Lisa Bevere the other day :

Your life is the most powerful platform you'll ever stand upon. Live it well!

I can sit behind a computer all day long and tell you how much I love Him. How much I want to live for Him, How much my heart wants to serve him and do great things for Him, but more importantly I want my life to reflect that. 

And it doesn't have to be spectacular or status worthy, it is just simply living. Living this beautiful life He gave me {us} and living it well. Serving my husband, loving my children, caring for our home, talking with neighbors. Simple every day things. And with that alone He is pleased. I know He is. But I want to do so much more. And I firmly know things he's planted in my heart are there for a reason and it's up to me to nurture them. To bring them out. 

I've been feeling restless lately. Unhappy with a few things. Not in a discontented way, but in a way I know He is drawing me to examine my self. My priorities, my life, my every day tasks and asking me where He is in them.  I want Him to be front and center. 

He's also been reminding me of my passion behind Project Hope. The heart tug behind it, the reason I could almost cry over it, I'm so passionate about it. I've been waiting and waiting for things to slow down or other things to line up just right before I start it again, but I know it's time. More importantly I know it will always be time and there won't ever be a perfect one, you know? I've just got to keep going. It's not about me or the amount of people who come along side me, follow me, support me {although those are needed and appreciated} It's about Him and bringing Him fame. Putting Him front and center. Thats where I want to be. Living for an audience of one. Using this influence, this platform to bring him fame.

Matthew Barnett
"When we become people of the cross, the pressure to perform ceases to exist, because we are living for an audience of one"

Bella's birthday party is this weekend. She is turning 4 {going on 16!} I want to take this week to focus on her and making her day special. Which doesn't mean you won't be hearing from me, just that if I don't have the time to post that day, I don't have the time. I love planning and preparing for parties and I want to enjoy it. Soak it in, make it special with her. Not a task to do wedged into other things.

She wants strawberry shortcake. So fun, right? Can't believe I have a daughter who loves Strawberry Shortcake. Pretty sure I was just watching them with my sisters in our old house in El Paso. 
Time flies! Life can pass so quickly.
I want to live it well.

Winner of the Mothers Day Giveaway was Handbags *N* Pigtails. Look for an email from me in your inbox friend! 

Love you all! 

bits of splendor monday

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mothers Day Giveaway from the Splendor Shop!

With Mothers Day just about a week away, I wanted to do a little something to recognize the special women in our lives.

I'm giving away this little bundle of Splendor goodies to one person from the Splendor Shop

Nominate a special woman in your life who you think would be blessed by this gift!

She will receive:
 a Large soft yellow Peony Necklace, on a 24inch silver chain {so perfect for summer}
A vintage Teal Tose on Antiqued silver filigree band {fits sizes 6-10}
And a set of petite cream roses. 

Leave her name and a brief reason why you are nominating her. 

You can nominate more than one person if you'd like and heck you can nominate yourself too!  Every woman deserves a little special gift. Just leave a separate comment for each person you nominate.

This will be open until Sunday evening, I will choose someone at random, and then I will send the package first thing Monday morning, gift wrapped with a tag from you {the person nominating} to her.

I wish I could do more and give everyone of you something, but I hope this blesses one special woman in an unexpected way.

Much Love to each of you!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kitchen/Living room Makeover Progress and our Antique Hutch Re-do

Finally getting around to showing you the progress on our mini kitchen and living room makeover.

Remember this antique hutch/cabinet I got a couple months back on one of my antique shopping trips? Well I finished it and then kinda forgot to show it to you. After much debate and many of your suggestions, I chose to go with the robins egg blue.


Just so we get a good idea of how far it came, here's a look at the before

{don't mind the bad garage lighting}

I love how it turned out! It's a nice pop of color to the spot between our kitchen and living room. I used a bunch of white dishes I already had to "decorate" it. The clean and simple contrast of the white with blue is workin for me.


So glad I went with the blue and I think it's pretty close to the color I was aiming for, what do you think?   I also switched out the knobs for some distressed white ones that I found at Hobby Lobby when they had them for 50% off.


This is a shot of it with our kitchen table that we also re-did. You can read about that whole process here, if you missed it. The kids have already done a bit of "distressing" to it on their own, which I was hoping for.

The white semi-gloss paint has been really easy to wipe clean too which, with kids, is a major major plus.   We still plan to switch out the sliding glass doors for french doors one day, and also painting the cabinets white with some dark hardware is next on the list. I think it will make a huge difference. 


And that chandelier. Shall we talk about it for a quick second? It was a 7.99 brass one that I found on a quick "just to see" goodwill trip. I spray painted it with krylons yellow. It's fun for now. I have one from Pottery Barn that I would like to get one day, but this one is just fun for now.

If you've followed a long with this mini kitchen/living room makeover at all, you know we started around January. And we started by painting the walls a gray. I think that alone made a big difference in brightening it all up.

We're going to add a chalkboard of some sort to that island wall.

Again for perspective, here's a before picture of our kitchen about a yr ago

There was nothing necessarily 'wrong' with it, I just felt like we needed to lighten it up.

I still have a blank wall in our living room that I was trying to figure out what to do with. I was between all white plates, then all white open frames {b totally did not get the open frame look} and now I think I'm going to go with a mixture of a whole lot of whatever. Like an eclectic mixture of wall decor I already have, with some of our favorite pictures in frames and other random things like numbers and monograms. I kinda wanted to veer away from the gallery wall thing but it might be the best option for that wall space.
 I also might just put the 3 silhouettes I made of the kids there for a clean, simple look. 
I don't know...

 {yeah thats B's pull up bar on the guest bathroom door way. lovely.}

To tell you the truth, I kinda stalled out with it all. I just had to step back for a bit. Away from pinterest and the Do It Yourself blogs and decide what I liked and didn't like. I'd see something and then think I liked it, or I could do it/make it/paint it, then I'd see something else the next day and decide maybe I liked that better.

{the Living Room. Before}

{And now. Hi Bella Boo on the ottoman}

I love pinterest and DIY blogs. I think they are a great place to gain inspiration and ideas and that's exactly what it's all for. But I just had to take a break and let myself figure out what I wanted. Because it got to be a little overwhelming.

It will always be a work in progress, I know that. I think a home sort of always is as it transitions with you. And I kinda just like that idea of living, adding as we go, and just letting our life reflect through it. I just needed to get to a point of contentment instead of wishing or wanting something different every time I get on pinterest ;)

So, any ideas for that blank wall?