Sunday, September 30, 2012

us, lately.

i can not believe it is officially october. 
my most favorite time of the year. i want time to slow way down so we can enjoy these next couple of months.

September was a busy but fun one around here...
let's catch up a little shall we?


Mia got her first official hair cut. home girl was crying out for one. i was a little nervous about it because we had a previous mis hap with a "bang trim" gone wrong, a couple of months ago.
but one night i looked at her and said, "mama's gotta help a girl out" and took her to get it cut the very next day. she got a cute little bob to match bella's. 


 you should know something about me...  im a huge goof. 
if i think something is going to make someone laugh, i'll do it. particularly if it's my mom and sister and we are in the costume aisle at target and i spot a hot dog costume just begging me to try it on.
and then because i have no shame, i will totally post it on instagram and ask if i should get it. and some people may or may not have thought i was serious.

Even more hilarious is that a few days later we went back with the kids and Bella must have felt the same compulsion to try the hot dog costume on. she had no idea i had done the same thing a few days before. she did it all on her own and i must say she made this mama proud.
this is one of those pictures i'd like to reach into and squeeze her. have you ever seen a cuter hot dog??

We went with my mom and sister to walmart to get some new "bubba's" and "betty's"{that's what we call scarecrows}. We made quite the scene. as always. because the decision of which bubba or betty to get is life or death, if you didn't know.  contemplating which one had a better hat, or a cuter face. oh the decisions. you probably never want to go shopping with us.
the kids were getting restless so they decided to make themselves comfortable right in the middle of the display of hay bales and bubba's.
Asher was there too, but he fell off a hay bale right before this picture and well, he was no longer feelin the photo op. we were totally the people of walmart that day.

bella started a mother's day out/ pre-k on tuesdays and thursdays.
i thought it was a good idea for her to go boss around some people her own size. 
she looooves going to "school"
she also gets her own special "homework" assignments sent home because she likes doing homework. 
she might not be my child.

other tids and bits:

-i am planning to post my training schedule with a little update on my running this week. i was supposed to run 7 miles today, but pushed it off till tuesday. sometimes you just have to know when your body needs a night on the sofa. or sometimes you choose to walk around target with your mom and sister and by the time you get home, it's dark and you can't run in the dark because you mistake fire hydrants for people and scream. 
either one.

-brandon and i are headed to cal-i-for-nie-a on saturday. that's how i always say it in my head. anyone else? im kind of nervous. this is a kid free trip. this hasn't happened. ever. but im looking forward to a few days with just brandon and i. 

-it's starting to cool down here. i think i heard we are getting a low in the 50's tomorrow. this makes me super happy. 

whats the weather like in your neck o the woods? 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

at the root of it all.

i keep finding myself wondering when i found the time to blog before. like all of a sudden life seems so busy. as im transfering wet clothes into the dryer, or im rocking mia to sleep, or fixing bella a snack for the 10th time that day, or finding something for asher to work on when he gets home from school, or scrubbing baseboards, or getting orders filled, or taking pictures for the shop update, or getting ready for a couple of big market shows, or training for the half, or getting hair cuts, or making lunches, or watching old episodes of CSI into the late hours of the night with brandon

....i keep thinking when did i find the time?

truth is, life is really not any busier than usual. i mean we are in a new season for sure. it's a different one, and i am learning the rhythm of it all. of being a mom to school age kids, a toddler who doesnt stop, a pre-schooler needing tons of attention, a business owner, and a wife to a pastor....

when i was a little girl, i remember the first time i read something i had written to my parents. i sat on the end of their bed and read it out loud. they would always tell me what a great writer i was. that i would write a book one day. 

at the root of it all. all of these roles.... i love to write.  i am not the best writer. i'm really not even a writer i don't think. at least not by defintion. whatever the defintion is, cause i actually don't know. but anyway, what im saying is that, i like to write. and this blog is an outlet for me to do that. to share my heart and my thoughts and stories. i like to tell stories. i like to make people laugh and smile. i like to entertain people and make them feel good. to encourage and inspire. 

so maybe my life is different right now. maybe i rarely find a minute to sit down and gather enough thoughts to type them out in a cohesive manner. but writing is part of me. who i am. who i was made to be. and the truth is that finding time is just an excuse i've been using.

i've let other things get in the way. distract me. rob me of what i really love to do. 
i heard my brother in law say it this weekend--- "comparison is the thief of joy"
i nodded my head as if i knew that. like it was a really good word... for someone else. 
but then i realized, maybe i needed it for me.

i have read posts by other people before about why they blog. i sort of struggled with my "why's" it because i have a story to tell? of hope, and joy? of loss and heartache? of redepemption and grace? yes. 

is it because i want to document our life, for our kids, for their grandkids? yes.
 is it because i like to connect with other people and encourage and relate and inspire something in them? yes. 
is it just because i like to write? yes.

i don't have one specific reason for why i blog. i don't have to have a reason.

you don't have to have a reason for doing whatever it is you like to do. you don't have to follow rules or fall into a category. 
  figure out who you are at the root of it all. deep down, what your heart wants to do. what your passions are and your gifts. and then do them. 
don't look to the right or the left, look ahead. 
and just do them. 

part of this is for me. reminders for myself too. 

because at the root of it just a girl who likes to write. 
who may not be the best at it, or may not follow rules. who doesn't always use proper punctuation and hardly uses spell check. 
just a girl who likes to write. 

i think we all have something that is just part of who we are. that needs to come out. that flows straight from us freely. easily.

i think it's a gift. i think it's not for us to keep. 
it's just there. at the root of it all. 
whats yours?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

a Sunday Spotlight

If you know me, then you know I am a words girl. 
Quotes, sayings, bible verses, or just one simple word....I love the emotion and thought they can provoke. Reminders through out our day, to see the bigger picture. To look beyond our current situation. To step outside where we are and remember there is more.

So one way that I love to decorate our home, is with inspiring prints and quotes like this. You will find them sprinkled in almost every room of our house. 

Many of my "on-line" friends are talented graphic designers that I admire and am so inspired by! So I thought I would start introducing you {if you haven't been already} to their work now and then.

  You can find these prints {and lots more} here: Katygirl Designs
And use code Katygirl20 for 20% off your purchase through Monday night!

Happy Sunday

Monday, September 17, 2012

Possibly one of my new favorite pictures of all time


This was Asher the first day he rode the bus home from school. Our entire family walked to the bus stop to get him. I don't know why I expected him to jump off, run to me and give me a gigantic hug.

Instead he was totally embarrassed.
We have some neighbors who also take the bus and walk home so he wanted to walk with them.
apparently our being there was totally cramping his style.

I might have been totally hurt, but I know Asher. And even though I can see him growing up into this big kid who is too cool for school, I know who he is inside.
And inside he loves his mama like no other. Inside he is still the little boy who begs to sleep with me each night, and attacks me with hugs and kisses. Inside, he'll always be that tiny little first born who stole my heart forever.

So this picture makes me smile more than anything. I am so glad I caught it and didn't delete it. 
It's not perfection in the sense of what I had envisioned, but it's perfect for showing the stage and time we are in.
I'm learning how to be a mom to a "kid"
...not a baby, toddler, or pre-schooler.
It's a different story for sure, but one I am loving too.

People say to enjoy them while they are babies because they grow up so fast.
I totally get that. I agree with it.
But growing up isn't a bad thing either, you know?
It's all what you make of it. And I could very well be crying over this new stage and time, because he is clearly not my baby anymore. But instead I'm embracing this new phase as a mom.
There is plenty to cherish right here and now too.

When I get to watch him sitting at the table after school, doing his homework and eating a's almost like the first time I held him, or watching him take his first steps, or when he lost his first tooth.
Firsts are all special.

But I mean seriously you guys, who would have known that having your sisters, dad, and mom waiting for you at the bus stop could be so embarrassing!? ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

no pressure blogging

i think if you were to read between the lines of some of my posts in the last couple of months, you might see that i've been struggling just a bit with this whole blogging thing.

ive been reminding myself of why i started it to begin with.
reminding myself that it's ok to go days without blogging.
that it's ok to "un-plug" and just live life.
i mean how did we do it before twitter, facebook, instagram & blogs anyway?
we just lived right? without a thought of how to document it and re-tell it.
we just lived.

im going to be honest.
its hard to keep up with this whole blogging thing.

i have never been the competitive type.
in high school i tried out for the cheerleading squad and didn't make it.
me and my best friend carla both didnt make it.
so we went to her house and made brownies.
i could totally joke that i was drowning my sorrows in brownies, but id be lying.
cause truth is, i didnt really care that much.
i knew who i was.
even though i wasn't totally secure in that person yet, i knew who i was,
and sports and organized competitive group things, were not my thing...

i did play softball for like two weeks though.
correction. i practiced for the season for two weeks. then on the day of our first game, with my family there taking up two rows of bleachers, the administration decided to come tell me i couldn't play due to my grades and that i was on academic probation.
i guarantee you my grades were suffering because of my socializing.

because while im not competitive, i am social.
and that is a part of blogging that i love.
....connecting, and encouraging and nurturing new friendships.
i never thought i would say it but, blogging has actually allowed me to meet some pretty great people that i would now consider friends.

Trust me when i say that about a year and a half ago, if you told me i would have friends that i made from the internet, i would have laughed at you. because only people who end up being stalked and killed on lifetime movies, make friends on the internet.

or so i thought.
but this blog has proven me wrong.
and never have i been proven more wrong than with project hope. watching how women have stretched from across cities, states and even countries for one cause. one heart.
i realized even more, the power of connection. of using our platforms, to unite us together for one purpose.
it is a powerful tool. And one that i can only pray i use wisely.

with all of that said, i have decided not to keep moving forward with bits of splendor mondays.
initially i started it as a way to connect us all as community. to see the beauty of the little things in our week. to capture and preserve those things we want to remember.

and my heart is still to do that.
but somewhere along the way, i found it to be more of an obligation for me. and i never ever want to blog out of obligation.
because to me, that is not me being real.

when i found myself having to put off starting a movie with brandon the night before,or cutting my morning quiet time short, in order to get the link up, i started to really look at my heart for it and why i was doing it.

monday i didn't get the link and post up.
i probably wouldn't have thought twice about it, except that i got a couple of emails questioning whether i was going to post it at all.
this is where my thinking really started. i am super conscious of letting people down. in the back of my head, i have this nagging feeling that when im not blogging, or not staying committed to a link letting people down.
and i really don't like that feeling.
it makes me feel pressured.
and feeling pressured to blog should never happen.

the truth is, i had no reason for not getting it posted.
except that i was just loving the drop of temperatures we had here, and took advantage of the nesting that it kicked in by cleaning my house top to bottom. lighting my fall candles, and working on crafts with the girls. i could very well have stopped what i was doing to sit down and write a post. i had time to. i had opportunity to. but i didn't.
because i've decided to never let this blog keep me from living.
that may sound dramatic, but trust me. there are many times where i have sat in front of my computer screen, or stared into my phone and all the while life was still going on around me.
real life.

so heres what i decided.
i do want to preserve this life im living.
i want to cherish it, and remember it, and capture still frames of it forever,
but most of all,
i want to just live it.

when i first began blogging i had no idea about link ups, or tweeting my posts, or advertising, and sponsoring, and giveaways, and comments. i just knew what God told me to do. and that was to tell our story.

sometimes God has to bring me back to that organic, no pressure, naive place where i once was. when the only person i thought was reading this was my mom. 
and sometimes, its so he can bring out of me what he needs to. 

so here is what i will keep doing...
ill keep blogging about our life... the little and big things.
ill keep sharing things that are on my heart.
ill keep proving my love for target and sonic all the live long day.
and i'll keep doing it when/if i feel like it.
because thats just me.
not scheduled, or forced.
{and probably also slightly terrified of commitment}

you may or may not come along with me.
unlike me, unfollow me, whatever....
either way its ok.
if you need me, ill be baking me some brownies.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Project Hope Crafting for A Cause Event- A Thank you & Photos!

I can not believe that we are at the end of the week already. It has been a busy one for us. A really good, busy one. So many new firsts for our family. So many things happening and changing. I literally feel like my heart could just burst wide open with all of the gratitude and happiness I feel.

It took me a few days to sort of "decompress" from the Project Hope event. It was overwhelming for me. In the best way. Completely humbling. Totally blessed. Beyond words.

I told this story at the event. God reminded me of it as I laid in bed the night before. I was remembering the night we had Faith. The night I get the memory box that sparked Project Hope. The lovie bear....I've always remembered the story as picking up the lovie bear and telling myself that I would have another little girl one day and it would be hers. And that is still the story. But moments before that. Before holding the memory box in my hands, I held Faith. My sweet girl. Lifeless in this world, yet full of it in heaven. And rather than feeling anger or sadness, I felt a strong determination rise up in me. I felt something stirring in me even then, to do something. To make her name known. Her and her sister Grace. I didn't want there short lives to be in vain, but to live on somehow. I wanted to do something to carry on their names.

Last Friday night, I stood on stage in front of a group of about 60 women all there for one purpose and one cause. Lovie bears filled a basket, boxes waiting to be decorated...and I realized...I was doing it. The something I was determined to do. It was happening.

Something that started as a small seed in a hospital room, has grown beyond what I imagined. And in my heart I know it is really just the beginning.

Thank you to each person who made this happen. Every donation, every bit of time, gifts and talents that were given...thank you.

One of my favorite things about the night was that Liz Page, the founder of the Threads of Love, Sarah Chapter, the sweet woman who I have worked with from the beginning,  was there. She brought some of her friends and they all got to be there. It meant so much to me. One of them came to tell me thank you and I almost had to laugh. These sweet women who have been doing this for years, telling me thank you....

Will there be more to Project Hope? Yes. This is only just the tip of what I believe God has in store for it. I've always known and felt that it would be bigger than I could even try to imagine. So I don't even try. Last year when we sat in a school cafeteria with 15 women, I knew it was where Project Hope was supposed to be. And this year as I was surrounded by 60 women, fun decor, and amazing food, I knew it was where Project Hope was supposed to be.

One step after the other. Making much of Him where ever we are.

And in the end it is about that one mom, grasping for hope in moments where she feels none at all. My prayer is that though she won't hear our words, or see our faces, or feel our arms around her...she will feel His presence as she opens that box.

I will continue to take donations for memory boxes, so if you still want to donate any of the items we use for them, please feel free to contact and send them at any time. We will be doing this again...and again.

On that note, I have been asked about getting Project Hope into other cities. That is most definitely in the plans and I will keep you updated on it as it unfolds.

Here is a video of photos taken at the event by an amazing {now} friend of mine, Sandra of Sandra Bludau Photography. She captured the special moments and details of the night so perfectly. I can not thank her enough for giving us this priceless gift. So grateful. Be sure to watch through to the end {there are two songs worth!}

Project Hope Crafting for a Cause 2012

I would also like to give a thanks to these special people & businesses who donated to Project Hope. Thank you for the seeing the heart of this cause and joining it. Thank you for allowing me to to tell my girls' stories. To let there names be known, not just for their short precious lives but for the hope that their mom carried and wants so badly to share.
Thank you.

The food, door prizes, craft supplies, decor---all of it was perfection and all made possible because of you who donated in one way or another. 

And to Vanessa, Monica, Kristen, Liz, Jacquelin, Heather, Beth, & Abby....
Girls, there are just no words for what you mean to me.
I could not have done this without you.
Thank you!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

favorite fall candle

 my all time favorite candle for fall. Ever. 

Bath and Body Works always has crazy sales at the end of the season, so I always make it a point to pick up my favorites like this one. That way I am stocked and ready when September comes. I actually may or may not even have 10 or so bottles of the sweet cinnamon pumpkin scented oil in my cabinet right now.

This one has become a close second

I haven't busted them out just yet. I like to {try to} wait and celebrate fall on the first "official day of fall." This year it is Saturday the 22nd. Yes I looked it up already. Yes I fully intend to break out every piece of fall decor I have on that day, sweat dripping from my face or not.

Do you have a favorite fall candle too?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Some random thoughts this fine Monday morning afternoon.....

-Asher and Bella spent the night at their grandparents house last night. 
-Mia is still sleeping. 
-We didn't get home until close to 1am last night from a bbq. 
-We slept in till about 10am. 
-I have a list of projects I want to get done with Brandon today. 
-Bella's first day of pre-k is tomorrow. 
-I have to go find a nap mat somewhere.  Talk about last minute. 
-I like that I have an excuse to go to Target though. 
-I am still processing and digesting the beautiful night that the Project Hope event was on Friday. But to say that I was humbled and overwhelmed in the best way would be an understatement.
-Asher finished his first full week of first grade. He did great. He is also growing like a weed.
-I am re-thinking the structure of these Monday posts and also some of the way I do things here on my blog.
-I got caught up on all of my shop orders yesterday afternoon and it feels so good. 
-I am getting tons of custom orders and I love it.
-I have a ton of new pieces to add to the shop but just haven't had the time. Hoping to do it very soon though! It's my next focus. 
-I am ready to get cooking in my crock pot again and back on a normal routine now that Project Hope is over {for now.}
-My crock pot broke the last time I used it, so I need a new one. Totally bummed because it was the one we got for our wedding.
-I am ready to light my fall candles. 
-I am ready for cooler days so that I can run any time I want and not just early in the morning or late evenings. 
-I failed my first week of training for the marathon last week. It was too much to keep up with all at once. But this is a new week and a new day. Praise Jesus. 
-I have a wall of empty frames that I have yet to fill because I haven't had the time. 
-I'm ready for a slower pace. 

I would love to be able to write a full on post about so many of the things on this list, but right now my brain is just not functioning that way. So instead I'm off to spray paint some chairs that have been waiting to get painted for weeks. And then maybe finally pick out some pictures for those frames. 

How was your week? How did you find a bit of splendor? 
Link up with us and share!

bits of splendor monday

If you link up, please grab a button or include a link back to here. It's sort of the polite thing to do. 
Also, go visit some other blogs and say hello!

P.S Enter code "EndofSummer" for 20% off in the shop this week only!!
Happy Labor Day!!!!