Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Giveaway: Project Hope Embroidered Hoop from Take the Cannoli

 I have someone I would love for you to meet today. She is one of the sweetest people I have "met" through this blog. I am honored to have her with us today

...Meet Nat!

Hey there Bits of Splendor fans. I'm Nat from Take the Cannoli. I am so excited to be part of Laura's blog today and even more thrilled to be able to help out with  Project Hope. I met sweet Laura through another Project Hope raffle and instantly fell in love with her heart, blog, shop and basically everything about her! Though I have not personally lost a baby, my heart aches for those who have. Being a mama of two precious babes,  I could not even imagine the heartache. Although I haven't experienced a loss of this nature I have experienced loss but even more so an aching heart. I have had the feeling of hopelessness during dark and difficult times in my life. Feeling lost and hopeless is probably the worst combination of emotions. However, God was bigger than my circumstances. He was faithful and restored my hope.

"...but those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

HOPE is such a beautiful word. The opportunity to deliver new Hope to women after such tragedy is something we should all desire to be part of. We've all been there. Some with similar situations, some completely different, but each its own experience. 
I knew I wanted to be able to help raise proceeds for this cause. To be able to bless others when they may be in their darkest hours to ultimately bring all Glory to God. Because he is our everlasting Hope. Our Refuge and Strength. Our comfort.

I specifically created a piece for Laura and Project Hope. A very limited number will be made with 100% of the proceeds donated to this cause.Today one of you will be able to win the "Hope Hoop". I pray that it will be displayed in your home, workspace or given as a gift to be a daily reminder of something which we all need. HOPE.


Thank you Laura for letting me share in this wonderful ministry. I can't tell you enough how it has blessed me to see the hearts of women wanting to touch other women by sharing with them God's love. 

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Thank you so much Nat!!
 It means so much to have people come along side Project Hope to bring awareness and support. Please be sure to go check out Nat's shop. She has so many adorable hoop arts and she is also offering my readers 10% off in her shop! Enter HOPE10 at checkout. {This code can be applied to all of her items except the Hope and Shine fund raising pieces}

Ok so here's how you can win one of these Hope Hoops for yourself! 

 *You must be a follower of this blog to enter* 

1. Follow Nat's Blog
2.Head over to Nat's shop and leave a comment letting me know your favorite piece.
3. Pin a piece from Nat's Shop to your Pinterest board, and leave a comment letting me know  that you did. 
4. Tweet and/or Facebook this Giveaway and let me know you did.

Winner will be announced Next Tuesday using random.org. 

*Also be on the look out for a post coming soon about Project Hope and what we will be doing next!*



Monday, February 27, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Well, It took me almost the entire week, but I read through every one of the link ups of last weeks first Bits of Splendor Monday. I loved seeing how you each picked out the beautiful distinct moments of your every day life.

Megan from Beautiful Bits of Grace has me searching for a high chair just like this, just so I can paint it pink. I'm just not sure there is anything sweeter.


I  also loved what Carina from A Punk, A Pumpkin and Peanut said about grace and parenting:
"There are moments that I need to give up the "right" way to parent - to let go 
and meet my kids needs in the moment. To extend a little extra grace.
And I also need to allow God to do the same for me."


I loved reading through every one of your posts and getting to know you a bit more. I hope you took a few minutes to hop over to a couple of new places and make some new friends. That is really one of the goals that I have for this link up. Not only do I hope to encourage you to seek out those little bits of beauty in your week, but also to cultivate a community here of people who are willing to encourage and motivate one another

Something God has really been showing me lately is that every person has a desire to be heard. We each have a voice, an opinion, a story to tell. If you think about it, we hold a lot of power in our voices. In our words. We have the ability to encourage, inspire, motivate and even change things with just a few of them.

What I hope to encourage most here is to not only seek out the moments and small details
that make life so distinctly beautiful, but also the people. Your children, your husband, your parents, a friend or neighbor....but strangers too. The person at the drive thru window,  your mailman, or librarian. Those people that very often go unnoticed. Seek them out. Say hello. Ask how their day is going. You will be surprised at how a persons face will change when you show even just a bit of interest in their day.

The same goes for here. A simple, thoughtful, genuine comment, could mean so much to a person and end up cultivating a friendship that might not have ever been. Stretch out a bit. Expand your walls. Meet some new people. Whatever you do this week to seek out the splendor of the every day, seek out the people in it too.
 
Also be sure to check back this week for a really special GIVEAWAY that I am really excited about!!

I can't wait to see what you have to share. Happy Monday Friends!
bits of splendor monday

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

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.

Please remember to link up to your specific post and also include the Bits of Splendor Monday button in your post. 





Friday, February 24, 2012

Currently

Current Guilty Pleasure: 
The Bachelor. Sunday evenings with my little sister, pizza and brownies.
Seriously ya'll how crazy is Courtney??


Current nail color:
I was really into Commander in Chic from Sally Hensen for a while, but lately I've been summoning spring and sporting brighter colors. Mint Sorbet is an all time fav. Yellow is currently on my toes.
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Current read: 
B and I are just about done with this book. We started it a few weeks ago and read a chapter or a few pages together when we can in the evenings.  Don't judge it by it's cover. People tend to. Here is what it is essentially about:
  • A greater sense of purpose for your life together
  • A deeper understanding of God’s plan for your marriage
  • A more intimate connection with your spouse
  • Richer purity in your lives
  • A lasting legacy for your future
  • Open communication in your marriage
  • True oneness as a couple 
Current drink: 
Crystal Light in "Energy" Strawberry. I drink two a day. One in the morning, one mid-day. The rest of the day is water and a ton of it. I love water.

Current food:
I'm a pizza lover.  Forever and Always. Amen.
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{Old Navy is having a big ol sale---got this super comfy top for 5.99, you should go check it out}

Current favorite show: 
Greys Anatomy is the one show I have to watch every week.
{aside from the Bachelor}

Current wish list:
I wish I had a maid. For real. It would be awesome to let someone else worry about picking up and cleaning so I could just spend that time with my family.
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Current needs: 
I need to finish a couple of projects. But first I need to find the right paint.

Current weather: 
50-60's. Yesterday it was in the 80's. Hello Texas weather.

Current triumphs:  
Stuck with my goal to go to spin 3-5 a week.  Also went without a bowl of cookie dough ice cream every night. That's a major triumph yall.
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Current bane of my existence:
Laundry. Forever and Always. Amen.

Current blessing:
B is off today. I love when he is home with us.
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Current excitement: 
We let Asher play hookie today and we're headed to the Rodeo! Bella is pretty excited to wear the cowboy hat I bought her yesterday at Target. Seriously, how could I tell her no?
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Current mood:
Happy.
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Current website: 
Pandora. Adele. I'm about to go clean the kitchen and I like to turn up some good music when I start cleaning.

***** pictures are from my instagram {@bitsofsplendor} and I got this little survey from my sweet friend Ashely. Who has also just opened her shop this week and I think you should go check out.

 Have a great weekend friends. See you on Monday for Bits of Splendor Monday!!!

P.S Justin wants you to know something....
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

What will be

 

I snapped this picture quickly yesterday afternoon.
In the midst of laughing, and squirming and kissing and cuddling.

My two girls and my sisters sweet baby girl. Olivia Joy.

New babies, I always think, are the closest thing to heaven we will ever be here on earth.
Holding them makes me feel a little closer to my own babies waiting in heaven.

Just when I think I've settled it within me, I hold this little girl and it hits me again.
"What could have been" I sometimes think.   

But then I wouldn't have my Bella Grace and Mia Glory. 
My gifts and my joy.
And I wouldn't want it any other way, really. 

One day, I know I will see mine all together. And I am thankful that I do.

But I think God gives me little glimpses now and then.

Not of "what could have been" 
but of what will be.






Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Starting Again

After a few months off, I started spinning again yesterday. A gym membership was one of B's gifts to me for Valentines Day. I'd been hinting and asking and begging for one. Spin is something I love to do and I missed it. There is just something about the dark room, music and instructors with calves the side of my head. I love getting pushed hard, sweaty and sore. Call me crazy.

But I'm not going to lie. After months of not going, it was rough at first. I found myself looking at the clock after 5 minutes going "how long is this class again??"

Just as I was about to think "I can't,"  I remembered this post I wrote a while back. I thought I'd share it again today because it was so appropriate for me yesterday. Maybe you're saying "I can't" to something today...Maybe this is something you need to read today too. Hope you are encouraged by it.

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"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 up with Jami 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Welcome Welcome Welcome to our FIRST Bits of Splendor Monday!

I am on overload at the moment and feel like I could explode with all sorts of ramblings from my heart. But for now I will simply say, I am so glad you are here. I am honored to be a part of your day. Your time. I know it is precious. And please know I love that I am able to be. I love that these words on a screen reach people across states.

I would love to meet every one of you. I would love to hug you and sit and talk with you and learn about you and your little bits of life. The things that make you happy, make your heart skip beats. The things that you want do, your goals and your dreams. I love to know these things about people. I think in another life, I would have loved to be an interviewer of some sort because people fascinate me and questions for them flood my mind constantly.

That is one of the reasons I am excited about this link up. I want to learn about YOU. What bit of splendor did you find in your day or week. Life is truly so beautiful in every way, big and little. I heard a quote this weekend that I LOVED....

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

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.

There are no rules. Just include the "Bits of Splendor Monday" button in your post so that others know where to find us. Please remember to link to your specific post and not your blogs main page.

And then I hope you will click over to some of the other blogs and make some new friends.

I plan to read each one and will highlight a couple next week! 

Happy Monday!




bits of splendor monday








Friday, February 17, 2012

Hello Hello

Just wanted to drop in quickly to remind you about the first Bits of Splendor link up on Monday!

My hope is that this is something that will serve as a place where we can encourage one another. Where we learn more about one another and where we can just share life together.  The special, distinct moments that make it so beautiful.

I am so looking forward to reading what you have to share!

If you want to know what this is about, just click here and scroll to the bottom of THIS post.

And P.S My sweet husband did earn some points for the surprise post on Valentines Day. He blesses me and loves me so well. So thankful for him, he is truly my best friend and my rock! 

Love to you ALL. Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Valetine's Day Husband Hijack

First of all, if you came here expecting the eloquent and witty writing of my beautiful wife, let me apologize now. A couple of days ago I decided it would be a good idea... an extremely romantic idea... to takeover my wife's blog for Valentine's Day. I guess I'll find out soon enough just how amorous my idea really was.

 The early years

For those of you who are new around here, my name is Brandon, often referred to as just B. Laura and I have been married for 7 years and I would not change a single day. If you have not read our story, I would highly encourage you to do that at some point. It will really help you to understand all we have been through and why our love for each other grows deeper and stronger everyday.

 Chili's.. our "go to date"

When I think about my wife, I am overwhelmed with thoughts of true beauty. She is not only the most beautiful girl I have ever laid eyes on,  she has a heart for God and people that I have never seen before in anyone. She is real.. She is so genuine.. She is exactly who she says she is. She doesn't have to convince me, she simply lives it out in front of me. She has more wisdom than she even knows. She sees the best in every situation. She is so talented and communicates the little moments of life so well. I really could not have asked God for a better women to spend my life with and everyday I am so amazed and thankful that He blessed me with her.

Lastly, let me just say...

Laura,

I love you! You have been a true example of what a wife should be. There is no better Mom on the earth for our kids. You have been all that I prayed for and everything I didn't know I needed. I am so excited each and every morning I wake up next to you because I know I have the honor and privelege of being called your husband. You love me beyond my wildest expectations and I know that there is no better place to be than right where I am. Happy Valentine's Day to you... the most beautiful girl in the world!

Love,

Brandon

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cute Valentines and New things

Hello my lovely friends! I hope you had a good weekend. It was another fun but busy one around here.

Saturday we celebrated an early Valentines with my side of the family.  We get together for a little party each year. My dad always has something special for the "kids" --us older ones and the little ones too. It was a lot of fun and basically we've now acquired way too much candy that has been stashed away for mom to eat after the kids are in bed  special treats for the kids.


Bella and I made some little valentines for her to give away also. If you haven't seen this sweet little idea at 30 handmade days, you need to!  It was so simple. We made it even simpler by using store bought cream cheese icing. The cookies are delicious and adorable and the free printable is perfect.



Seriously you can't buy something this cute in the stores and I love the handmade touch. If you are wondering, yes Bella really did help me. She rolled the dough into balls for me and I shaped them into hearts. It was alot of fun to do with her, she loved every second of it.

Asher and I will be working on his tonight for his class party tomorrow. He's decided on these Superhero tootsie pops and I think they look really fun.










I also thought this was another cute idea too, but Asher went with the super hero.

Tough call though right? So many cute ideas.

So did you do any early celebrating this weekend? What are your plans for Valentines?

Also, I wanted to let you in on something new coming to the blog next Monday! I've been talking with Heather at Life Made Lovely and asked if she would be willing to let me pick up where she left off with her Life Made Lovely Mondays. I  just loved her heart and the meaning behind this link up she started. So I am so excited to now be hosting one here called Bits of Splendor Monday.  

Splendor: A Quality that outshines the usual. Brilliant distinction.

Each Monday, you can link up with your post about whatever Bit of Splendor you found in your week. The little moments or things in your life each week that made it fun, distinct and beautiful. Maybe it's a fun craft or new project {I love a good craft or decor project!} an encouraging word, a special memory or milestone you want to capture with your loved ones and kids, or simply something God taught you that week. Whatever it is, I'm a firm believer in documenting these things.

So that's what this link up is for!

I'm excited to begin this and can't wait to see what you have to share. I'll feature a new post each week. I am looking forward to meeting some new friends and hopefully connecting you with new ones as well. 

My heart for this is to continue cultivating community and encouragement among us, and to capture the distinct moments of life that make it so beautiful. I hope you will join me. Next Monday the 20th!!  








bits of splendor 
monday







Also, do you love the new design? Sweet Danielle from Take Heart did it all and I could not love it more!! If you are needing a new look or just some tweaks for your blog, she's your girl. But you better hurry cause she's about to have herself a sweet new baby girl to keep her arms busy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

On being open

So because of my last, simple post about meal planning I had comments and emails from people who don't normally try to connect with me. But they finally decided to. I had a couple of sweet emails in particular from people I loved "meeting." 

Apparently talking about meal planning is a real ice breaker. ;)

It was a good reminder that wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whatever you are striving to be better at, or need help in...God wants to use that. He simply wants to use you.

Sometimes we don't talk about our struggles, as little as they are, or even our bigger ones, because we fear what people will think. I fear what people will think.

Writing about my girls, about my story, our story. It's easy. It's easy for me to write about how much I miss them. About the days I lost them. About how I want to speak into and minister to other women who have lost babies like me. That's my passion. My heart. It's where God has healed my heart, restored my spirit, renewed my strength.

I could talk to you about that all day long.

But what isn't easy are the little every day struggles. About how sometimes I look in the mirror and only see things I want to change. How I condemn myself for this because it means I'm being too inward focused. About how sometimes I don't feel good enough to do something or I'm just too afraid to try because I might fail.

I struggle to talk about the imperfections of my life and my heart.

But I've found that when I do, even as little or silly as they may be like the fact that I'm not a cook, or sometimes I'm too tired to cook a healthy meal, or sometimes I just want a darn pizza. That God can use even that. That he wants to use even that.

I heard an interview on the radio the other day with the singer Natalie Grant. The beautiful, anointed, gifted and talented Natale Grant. She said that one of her biggest battles is intense insecurity. I immediately thought to myself, what if she had let her insecurities keep her form doing what she does. From using her gorgeous voice to reach so many.

I shared a picture on my instagram yesterday. I usually wouldn't do something like this, but I wanted to show something God had done. it was a picture of my stats from the night before. My page views on one post within in hours. It was close to 16,000 page views. It was a post I had written about Mia's Birthday Party. Someone had "stumbled" it on stumblupon {still not sure how it works} and then someone else did the same, and so on. 16,000 page views with in just a couple of hours.

This blew my mind. At first I was a little resentful because I wanted it to be something deeper, or profound or one about Project Hope. You know one of my "good ones" ;) but instead it was a simple DIY post about a first birthday .....I will be honest, and this is the truth...I very rarely check the stats on my page. The page views or sources etc. I don't want to. I don't care to. I just feel like if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, God will draw people to me. The one who needs to read whatever I'm writing. Silly, or Serious.  Whatever it is.

And then, I got an email, It was from a woman who randomly found my blog through this "stumbling" and read about Project Hope and Threads of Love and was so inspired by it that she was contacting her local Threads of Love to volunteer. Someone who might not have ever read my blog, happened on it because of a crafty/DIY post.

And God reminded me.... It's about the 1....not the 16,000, not the 1000, not the 100, but the 1.

We can get so lost in who we think we are reaching, how we are reaching, what we're saying, what we're not saying, what they will think, how they will judge....when God is saying---just let me use you. Let me use a post about a first birthday party, to reach one woman who has been searching for a way to use her sewing and crafting for the Lord.

That right there. That makes my heart swell up and brings tears to my eyes. It's awesome the way God uses us when we let him. When we put ourselves out there and open up our hearts.

So I guess what I'm getting at here is don't be afraid to share you. To be you. Your struggles and weaknesses. Your joy's and your victories, your talents and your passions. Because God wants to use every one of them. Every. One. Of. Them.

Even meal planning. Which P.S Thank you to everyone who responded on that because this girl needs some help in getting intentional in the kitchen. and I don't mean pre-heating the oven to 375 and throwing a pizza in, unfortunately.

Have a beautiful weekend y'all. Oh and I have a fun announcement for Monday!!! So see you then!!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Meal Planning

Ok so first of all, ya'll are not making this color decision easy, looks like blue is leading the way at the moment though. And B actually weighed in too with blue. BUT that coral is so pretty. I gotta do SOMETHING in it, right?

So here's something else I need an opinion on. I have never been a menu planner. I just sort of buy stuff to make meals on a whim. Sometimes I'll do one big shop and other times we are running to the store numerous times a week based on what we need/want. I don't want to continue that bad habit. I'd love to start doing some menu planning and do one big shop each week.

We were eating really good and healthy up until our fast ended about a week and a half ago, and then I sort of went on a pizza binge. I love pizza. Any kind. Delivery, Digiorno, I don't discriminate. So unhealthy! But also so easy! Once a week is fine, like Fridays, so I'm not banning them completely, but we gotta get back into some healthier eating habits.

During the day I do much better and I really do love healthy snacks like bananas and yogurt and apples and pb. That's not our problem area, it's dinner time! I would like to start planning meals so I know early on what we're having for dinner. Whether I need to prep ingredients early or get the crock pot out etc, so that we aren't making decisions when we're starving and just go out for dinner instead {or grab a frozen pizza}

So, do you meal plan? How do you decide on what to buy and what to eat and do you spread things out in a couple of different meals, like say if I buy some ground meat or a bag of chicken? If so what are your favorite meals where you do this. Is there something online you use to help you with the planning? Any good blogs with some recipes? 

Help a sister out....Give me all your tips. I want to start cooking and planning better!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Finding our perfect grey {And help me choose the color for our cabinet}

Hello my lovely friends. How was your weekend? Ours was pretty busy as usual. B has Fridays off, so we usually spend it running errands or grabbing more supplies to add to my list of projects. My husband is a gem I tell you. A gem.

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{We also made it out on a date night Friday too!}

Not sure I mentioned this but we are repainting our living room and kitchen. It is basically one big connected space and has been the same color since we moved in almost 5 years ago. I take that back, the kitchen has changed color, but just once. Started out as green, and landed on chocolate brown.
The living room walls were a taupy beige color. Not sure what I was thinking, but I think I was thinking I had to be "formal" in the colors of the main areas. Like once you buy a house you have to act older and of course decorate older. Which really is irrational but I tend to think irrationally. Until it dawned on me recently that that is just crazy talk and my house should reflect me and us in every room. Who cares if people think we're crazy for having a yellow chandelier in our kitchen, right?

So we started with "Project Living Room/Kitchen makeover" a couple of weeks ago and began with painting. I wanted a neutral grey color. This didn't sound too complicated to me. I didn't pick out a color before our trip to Home Depot because I just felt like I would know when I saw it. Like it would call my name and tell me it was meant for my walls. That didn't happen. Who knew picking the right grey could be so stressful. There's greyish blue, greyish green, greyish yellow, greyish purple....

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I went back and forth, back and forth, while Brandon tried to offer suggestions and the girls shared a bag of skittles. By the time the skittles were gone and the girls were both sticky messes I decided on a color. "Silver Screen" by Behr.

Yes. Thats the one.
B- "You sure?"
Me: "Yes? No? Why are you asking me that don't ask me that!"

So we get the guy to mix it. He shows me the end result. Looks lighter than I thought it would but he assures me it'll be darker on our walls. I ask him "So, this is what you would consider a neutral grey color, right?" Guy- "Yes"
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{here you can see the "silver screen" going over the old taupe color}

We got home and B got to painting right away. As soon as it went up I thought to myself---"hmm sure looks lighter than I thought. Maybe even a tinge blue." I didn't want blue.
But I didn't want to stress and thought that once it dried it would look darker. So I left. Because basically I get super anxious with things like that and have to go busy myself with something and B won't let me touch a paint brush because apparently I get paint on baseboards. Once. I got paint on the baseboards once and now I'm banned from the paint brush.

So I left for Hobby Lobby to busy myself and by the time I got back he had done a huge portion of the walls. Mind you there is a ton of wall space to paint and he had done a good chunk of it so I would have a good idea of what it looked like when I got home. A gem I tell you! But I walked in and right away---I hated it. It was not the color I wanted. Not what I had envisioned. I didn't want to say anything to B cause he worked so hard. But gosh, I didn't like it.

He could tell. I mean who am I kidding, I do not hide my emotions well. Never have. But I insisted it was fine, that I would live with it, because I didn't have a choice, I mean there isn't really an exchange/return on paint.

So I did the next thing I do when I'm stressin. I got in the shower. Things are better in the shower. Time sort of stops and you can clear your mind. Put things into perspective, dramatically cry into the streaming water....

But then my awesome husband comes in to tell me called the manager at Home Depot and they were going to let him trade out the paint. He was actually calling to see if he could bring it back and have them darken it, but when he did, a really rude girl answered the phone and then hung up. B called back to talk to the manager about the rude girl and he apologized and told him to come and they would do a complete trade. Hollah! So thank you rude paint girl. I'm sorry for whatever was making you grouchy, but I'm happy you were rude to my husband so we could trade out the paint.

So B left for Home Depot and I jumped on line and pinterested and googled the best neutral grey's out there. Thats when we found Dolphin Fin by Behr. Or maybe it found us? Either way, my walls are now a perfect neutral grey. And phase one to our makeover is complete. I'll share the pictures when my kitchen is back in order, cause right now it's missing a table. Since we are re-doing the one I found and  talked about here.

Brandon sanded down the top this weekend and under neath all of the dents, scratches, fork markings, and apparently some family clog dancing sessions, is some super beautiful wood. If you follow me on instagram you got this little peak at it.
IMG_4577

Next we are going to stain it and paint the bottom portions white. Project Living Room/Kitchen Makeover is coming together. Not exactly as fast as I would like for it to, but according to Brandon if we did things at my speed we end up with painted base boards. Whut-Ever.

I'm currently obsessed with furniture makeovers. Looking for the right color to paint my antique cabinet that I talked about here I happened upon this coral beauty.


and on that same blog, this beautiful blue!




Now I'm torn. Coral or a Robins Egg blue? Tell me what you think. Leave your vote in the comments, you can simply put coral or blue and I'll go with the majority! Do it. I'll be your best friend and Brandon will thank you for taking the pressure off him to help me decide :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Seasons and Rhythms

I've had something brewing in me over the last couple of weeks and an email I just read pretty much just confirmed that maybe I need to share it here.

This may not be the most thought out or eloquently written post I've ever written but I'm going to pray God speaks through my words. Cause I think a lot of can be encouraged by this. Especially other moms.

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about my mornings and how I wanted to be more intentional to get up and make time with the Lord.

My intentions for that are still the same. I still aim to wake up earlier than Bella and Mia {Asher and Brandon leave pretty early in the morning} so that I can get some quiet time in before the day begins. My reason for this is so that I can begin my day with some good worship music, a notebook and pen, and my Bible. I enjoy this time. It's something I love to do. It's not something I do because I feel like I have to, but because for me personally, I know it's something I need to be obedient about in this season I am in. But.

This doesn't always happen. 

I don't always wake up before the girls. Sometimes Bella wakes up really early. Sometimes one of the kids has kept me up a lot the night before. Sometimes I need that extra hour of rest.  Sometimes I just don't get up.

But please know this---I am ok with that.

Something I'm realizing is that there is no perfect balance. I think we all strive for this "balance" that is actually unattainable
I mean think about it. Have you ever lived for more than a day, or week, or season in complete and perfect balance? No. Because once we do find that perfect schedule where we fit everything in, something else gets added and that balance is thrown off. We find ourselves once again striving to find it, juggling life--kids, husband, wife, work, play, family, church, God. Beating ourselves up emotionally because we let it all fall off balance again. 

But what if, instead of always trying to find that perfect balance, we instead gave ourselves grace to just go with the rhythm of life. 

For me that means that I don't always get up early like I'd like to. That my loads of clean laundry get piled up, or that the dryer gets turned on more times than necessary so I can "de-wrinkle" the clothes......for the 4th time. Or Brandon and I don't eat dinner until 9 at night, because it was all we could do to just get the kids clean, fed, and in bed. Some days I don't change out of my pj pants until 3 in the afternoon and some days I spend more time playing with the girls, making messes, then I do cleaning them. And other days, I spend more time cleaning then I do playing.

I mean it happens. To all of us. And I'm ok with the days like that. They may not have been totally balanced, but it was still a good day. Because where I used to beat myself up for not "doing it all" and doing it well, I've learned to instead give myself grace for those days. 

I realized balance won't always be found and find such freedom in just going with the flow, of whatever the day brings....living in the the rhythm of life, rather than always striving for balance. There is so much freedom in this revelation and it's for you to take also.

As the wife to a pastor, our lives can get really busy. During certain seasons, we might have the kids out later than I'd like to. Sundays in particular can be hard because they begin really early and some times end late in the day. This is all part of the season we are in. It's where God has us. And with it, He gives us grace for it. 

Everyone is in a season. Everyone's season is different. 

My little sister just had a baby. She is adjusting to life as a mom. It's a new season for both her and my brother in law. Sometimes she will text me to see what I did that day and when I give her the run down, she will text something back like "wow- super mom!"......This has got me thinking. I'm not super mom. I've just been in this mothering season for a bit longer than she has. I've learned how to divide my time, to multi-task, to prioritize and to just adapt. That "know how" doesn't just come the second you have a baby. It's learned. It doesn't make me a better mom than her. Right now her season is learning how to take a shower while the baby is sleeping or grocery shopping with a newborn. It's all new for her and it's a fun, beautiful season. 

Do you get what I'm saying? We all are not in the same season. We shouldn't compare what God is speaking to us or doing in us, to what He is speaking to and doing in someone else. 

For me, He's been speaking to me about my mornings. About starting off my days with Him. That's just where I'm at right now, and in sharing that I hoped to encourage others. It may not be your season. You may be struggling to just get up in the morning after a night with sick kids or newborn babies. OR this may not be new to you at all. Getting up early for prayer time may be so a part of your lifestyle that it's normal.

My point is this. Your season is not mine and mine is not yours. If there is one thing I hope to encourage most here is to be still to listen to what God is speaking to YOU and don't ever assume it's the same for everyone.

And most of all, give yourself grace. Because it's yours to take, daily! We can strive to be the women God designed us to be. It's ok to do that. But what we have to remember, what I have to remember is that while striving, we're going to make mistakes. We're going to fall. We're going to lose our balance. It will happen. But it's in the getting back up and beginning again that we get that much closer to becoming who we were meant to be.