Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hope Spoken 2014 ♥

  photo hsbutton1.png


 H O P E  S P O K E N  2 0 1 4
Hope Spoken is a women's conference where we all can come to know Jesus more, and make Him known in our lives. Our conference will be filled with stories. Stories of Christ in each of our lives, and how we can use these stories for His glory. This is a weekend to rest and feel His love, to lay burdens and hurts down and feel His grace. We want to let women know that they are enough, to encourage women to use their passions, their words, and their creativity for the Lord. We, above all else, want to glorify Jesus' name and share the hope we have in Him.






Y O U  A R E  L I V I N G  Y O U R  S T O R Y. 

J  O I N  U S  M A R C H  2 8 - 3 0, 2 0 1 4 I N  D A L L A S ,  
 T E X A S . 
Tickets go on sale March 1, 2013. Purchase your tickets here.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I can not tell y'all how excited I am about Hope Spoken!
It has my heart and passion all over it....to give hope a voice. 
...to not only live it and speak it, but to share it.

We all have a story to tell. 

Danielle, Casey and Emily and the group of women putting this together have a vision to bring women together...to be encouraged by the stories of others but also to empower them to tell their own!
All for the glory of HIM.

I am completely honored and excited to be a part of it as one of the small group leaders. Among some amazing speakers, worship times, a friday night party and much more....there will also be small group times throughout the weekend!
 I can not wait to meet every one of you who attends and connect one on one with those in our group!

Who is Hope Spoken for?

Women. You, your sister, your mother, your best friend, women seeking Hope in Jesus Christ, and Him alone. This conference is for women of all ages. We want to strongly emphasize that, although many of us involved in this conference are bloggers, this conference is not just for bloggers. 
  
The first 20 people to purchase tickets will get this bundle of goodness.  
To register go HERE. 



So, I will be there! Will you?!
I would love to hug you and hear your story!
 
P.S Tickets are up for sale NOW!!


Photobucket

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

{What I Wore} Target Does It Again


It's no secret that I am a Target lover. And by lover I do mean we see each other a couple times a week.  It is one of my favorite places to shop for clothes, home decor, food, little odds and ends, kids clothes, toilet paper....basically anything. Give me a reason to go and I'll take it. 
In fact for Valentines Day Brandon gave me a Target gift card. Because he knows me well


I follow @targetdoesitagain on instagram. It's two girls who try on clothes and show you all of the latest at Target. It also adds to the Target obsession and makes you feel like you've got to hop in the car and go get that Valentines felt heart garland, like now

So basically if you struggle with an addiction to Target it might not be the best idea to follow them...{says an addict}

On Saturday we celebrated my sister-in-law and her soon to be baby boy {or girl}. She and my brother aren't finding out what their having until the day of, which I'm not happy about, but I guess I have no say.  


She looks amazing doesn't she? She'd be the beauty in green that my sisters and I have our hands on in case you can't tell. Anyway I posted this picture on instagram and got a lot of questions on where the dress I'm wearing is from. So I thought it'd only be fair to go ahead and fess up...

I'm wearing Target head to toe. No lie, from my gold hoop earrings to my brown wedge booties.


This dress is probably the most comfortable thing I've worn....In fact I got it in black first, loved it, went back and got it in gray. I justified this because I could see myself in the hot summer months wishing I had a cute dress to throw on that looked stylish but was still comfortable. So yeah I got it in both colors.

Also loved that it's pretty versatile as far as how to dress it up or down. I dressed it up with wedge booties and a belt. But it could also be worn with sandals when it gets warmer. You also don't need a belt if you don't want to wear one because the waist has a gathering elastic and gives you a nice shape

Find it Here

I do have to say this is one thing I probably wouldn't have looked twice at on the rack in the store because it's by Xhileration and the material seemed a little flimsy. But then the girls of @targetdoesitagain tried it on and made me feel like I had to and then I fell in love.

I blame them. And now you can go get it and blame me. 

You're Welcome
Photobucket




pleated poppy


Thursday, February 21, 2013

{Heaven}


My girls in heaven

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. But some days, like today, I wake up thinking about you and I don't stop until I lay my head down to sleep. 

Your sister Bella is very smart. She asks alot of questions about heaven. 
So we talked about you girls a lot today. I fought back tears many times, because I want her to know it's happy. Heaven is happy. And you all are happy. 

Days like today I can't stop wondering what it will be like when we see you in heaven.

I try hard to imgaine you now. As you are. 
I remember clearly when I held you in my arms, but you were tiny. I know it's different now. 
And I try to close my eyes and imagine. 

Not long after we said goodbye to you Grace, I prayed and prayed for God to show me what you looked like. 
One night I had a dream. And I saw you. Standing on a huge grassy hill. The grass was really green. 
You had on a blue dress with white lace peaking out at the hem. 
You had a blue ball and you were playing with lots of other kids. 
You didn't look at me, but it was as if you knew I was there. Watching you. 
You stopped for a little bit, almost as if you were letting me take you in. 
You were really happy. And beautiful. 
Light brown hair that reached your shoulders in curls. 

You didn't look like your sisters Bella and Mia, but even still, I see you in both of them. 
I like to watch them both when they don't know that I am and I like to imagine what parts of them are like you. 

I prayed the same prayer after I lost you Faith. Many nights I fell asleep hoping I would see you in my dreams like I had Grace. But not until the day I first held Mia, did I see. 

It was as if I was staring into the face of someone I already knew. I think she is very much like you would have been. I feel it when I look at her.



Today, the veil between heaven and earth has felt thin. 
I went for a run, and just as the sun was setting I looked up into the sky. 
It was so bright and pink.
Sunsets and sunrises are our special thing. 

Grace and Faith, your little bodies are in a place called Sunset Hill. 
It is known for it's beautiful view of the sun as it comes up, and goes down. 


But your souls....your precious souls are in a place far more beautiful. 
I can't even imagine. 
But I find such peace in it.

I want you to know something. 
When you see mommy's eyes fill with tears because she's thinking about you, 
it's not because I'm sad. It's because I am so consumed with love for you. 
And for the gifts I have here on earth...for Asher, Bella and Mia.  
For this life we live...it's such a treasure.

And because I know joy....and hope. 
I live it. And I want so badly to share it with others. 
I wonder how anyone could do this without the hope we have of eternity. 
I hold onto it everyday. 
And some days, like today, I hold on to it even tighter.

I love you both so much. 

love, 
your mama

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mia Glory

She calls skirts and dresses "princess"
She'll say "Oh I like my princess mama!" 
as she spins around in circles.

She is rarely seen without her bear-bear.
The angel wings are worn and we've had to re-sew the nose.



She's a free spirit. Whimsical and artsy.
She never follows directions or stays in the lines.

She doesn't care if her bangs fall straight in her eyes.
She'd rather be bare foot any time of day. 
Especially outside.


She has a fascination with the sky.
She loves to watch airplanes go by and she looks for the moon each night.

She loves to be rocked and snuggled close. 
She loves to sing. Her favorite is Jesus Loves Me and Twinkle Twinkle little star. 


She acts like every little thing is the most exciting thing in the world.  
She could care less about actual food but would live off fruit snacks if I let her. 

She's the joy that came after the sorrow.
My glimpse and daily reminder of heaven. 


She is my living and breathing testimony of God's goodness and glory.
She is hope. 



Photobucket

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Story of Us



I remember exactly the first time I saw Brandon. 
I was standing in the kitchen of our old house on Pecan Gap. There was a step down into the kitchen that led from the dining room and I looked up from whatever I was doing just as he stepped in.

I had heard a few things about him already. My little sister had a major crush on Brian, his younger brother. I remember her coming into my room one night and telling me I just had to meet this brother of Brian's and that I would think he was quote: "perfect." 

I still tease her about saying that...

I had this thing for guys who wore baseball hats with longer hair that flipped out on the sides. That was one thing she told me about him...He wore hats a lot and his hair was on the longer side. Not akward long. Just the right length. It flipped perfectly right around the edges of his hat when he wore them. 


This wasn't high up on the priority list of my "wants" but it was one of those things I just always said I liked. I later found out Brandon had a lot of those things.


But I was too consumed in my own life and drama at the time to even really try to meet him or think about trying to. Our paths didn't cross until a couple of months after Jacquelin and Brian had started dating. 


Brandon was coming to pick up Brian from our house. 

That was the first time I saw him. Stepping down into our kitchen. With an expression on his face that I now know very well. Our son Asher makes it too. It's an unsure face. A nervous- I don't know what to say or think right now-face. Eyebrows kind of raised. 

He had on a red plaid button down shirt with snap buttons.

And I knew right then. The first time I laid eyes on him.
That he was going to be mine. 

The funny thing is, I had another guy there with me that night. We weren't serious by any means. I was just trying to broaden my little circle from what it had been for far too long. I'd been in a really serious, roller coaster of a relationship for a while before this. So this guy, Justin, was just sort of a distraction. An attempt at change and moving forward. 


That part of the story is one I usually skip over, but Brandon always likes to tell it. Because he thinks he stole me from Justin that night. But little did he know that the second I laid eyes on him he already had me.




He stayed to watch a movie with all of us. His side of the story is that Brian had told him the same thing - "you need to meet this sister of Jacquelin's."  So when he saw that I had another guy with me he automatically thought it must be our other sister Vanessa that Brian was talking about. And it actually was, because Brian had told him he thought we were too opposite and that I was too "loud" for him. 


I have no idea why he would think that.


But it didn't matter because I knew he would be mine. Something in my heart just knew. 




But then there was Justin...

I could see that Brandon was scoping the whole scenario trying to figure out what was going on. So I decided I better make a statement. All of us sitting spread out around the living room, me and Justin on the sofa, I grabbed the biggest sofa pillow I could and stuck it between Justin and I.

I felt like that would make the point. 

And I think it did. 
Poor Justin. I never saw him again after that night. 

Brandon stayed for a while after the movie was over. He played the guitar a lot back then, and he sang too. Which side-note, was one of the other things I wanted in a guy besides good hair.   

One who truly loved the Lord and could sing. 
He started to play the guitar and as if I needed any more convincing, I knew even more he had to be mine the second I heard him sing. 



I didn't waste any time and invited him to a family birthday lunch the next day. 

We saw each other as much as we could from that day on. I remember thinking that he was exactly what I wanted and didn't know I needed. We stayed up almost every night talking. I mean, for hours and hours. We would talk until I couldn't keep my eyes open. He thought about every word he said. I loved that about him. I would listen to him and knew he meant exactly what he said. Every single word. 

I still know that about him. 




One month after we met he told me he was falling in love with me. Another month after that he kissed me for the first time. In the drive way of his old house. Caught me completely by surprise and I still smile about it. 


We had one rough patch for a couple of months. We broke up right after my birthday. I was really confused, and quite honestly I just think God knew we both had some ties to cut before we could move forward together. More than anything it just proved to me how much I knew he was meant to be mine. He had given me a pair of running shoes for my birthday and a few weeks into our breakup I found a note he had written under the sole with a black sharpie. 


I love you. 


Brandon has always had this crazy way of just knowing things. Especially about me. And I think in a way he could sense that we would come to a point in our future where I would need to close some doors to my past and make some decisions for myself.  I think he was banking on that little sharpie note being just what I needed to lead me in the right direction. He's kind of sneaky like that. 


And he was right. After feeling and knowing true love, there was no going back.


I have honestly never felt so strongly about something as I did when I just knew that breaking up with him was the wrong choice. It was a constant tugging that I couldn't shake no matter how hard I tried. 


It's clear to me now that then, and many times throughout our relationship, God has had his hand on us. That he designed us for one another.


Before we met we were both in our own little worlds. No clue about the other. Our lives headed into completely different directions. And then one night, he literally walked straight into mine. 


Nothing was the same after that. 




We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2003 and married in Hawaii in November of 2004. 

He sang "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain to me on our wedding day. He vowed to always love me, care for me and took my hand from my dads.
And that day, like I always knew he would be, he became mine forever. 




His brother was right when he said we were opposites. And he was even right about me being loud. 
But thats what makes it work with Brandon and I. 
He's my perfect balance.

I often think there is no way I could ever doubt God's love for me because it is shown to me in a real and tangible way, every single day.

Through the guy I call mine. 



11 years from the day we met, 3 kids here on earth, 5 babies waiting in heaven, many memories in between...and I still get butterflies when he wears a hat. 




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

♥ A Few of My Favorite Things ♥ {Giveaway!}


I recently wrote a post with a few things I was loving at the time called currently digging.
One of those things were these sweet earrings I had found while searching through etsy one day. 
Not long after I posted about them, the owner Dina, from Misty Aurora, contacted me and let me know she wanted to give a pair of those adorable earrings to one of my lovely readers!

I thought it was so sweet of her. And then it got me thinking...I would love to share some love with you too. 
  
Because I truly do appreciate and value every one of my readers.  And because I also believe that we can all find ways to spread love in many different ways, wherever we are.

So, along with the earrings,
 I'm giving away a few of my own favorites as well.



1. "Ideas Grow Here" Notebook.
2.  C.O Bigelow Rose Salve Lipgloss.
3.  My favorite Essie Neutral- "Sand Tropez"
4. A Pair of my favorite socks from Target.

The winner will also receive one of my favorites from the Splendor Shop:  
The Antique Bronze Arrow Necklace. 

One person will win all of the above. 
  
It's my hope that that person will be inspired to spread some love in their own life to someone else. 
 
 ♥ Here's how to enter ♥
Leave one comment for EACH entry 
{this just ups your chances when the winner is randomly drawn} 

Mandatory
*Be a Follower of the Bits of Splendor Blog

*Extra Entries*
* Follow me on :Instagram @bitsofsplendor 
{and leave me your username so I can follow you back!}
*Tell me one way you have spread some love to someone this month. OR how someone has made you feel loved. 

That's it. I'm making it easy. 
Giveaway will run through Monday 2/18 and announced then.

Photobucket

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blossom & Vine

We all know I'm a words girl. Most of the artwork on the walls of our home are either words, scriptures verses, or quotes. I love to surround my family with encouragement any way I can. And I feel like, especially with the bible verses, if we see them every day, read them every time we walk past...it has no option but to get down deep in our hearts. 

Aly's shop, Blossom & Vine, has always been one of my favorites for prints like this. I have many of her designs in our house. She is super talented and creative.

I recently added this one to Bella's room. 
I pray she always holds on to this truth...

And I hung these two in our laundry room. I chose them specifically because I am in there so often through out the day, and I stand looking at that wall as I sort and fold laundry. So I wanted words that would encourage me as I read them over and over.

Aly has just re-launched her shop with lots of new designs and I love so many of them. Like these for the kids bathroom and this one for my kitchen.

Head over to her shop and check out all of her new stuff for yourself!


Find something you want?
Use code "splendor15" for 15% off through this week


{Trust in the Lord print is from Pen and Paint. Splendor Hoop art is from my sweet friend Natalie at Take the Cannoli}

Photobucket

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Where I Am


I don't even know where to start with this post. I have no plan, or point to it really. So I'm just going to write from where I am at this very moment..

Even though it has been a little quiet here on my blog {honestly, the word blog is a strange one isn't it?} it has been anything but quiet in my heart and life.

I am craving change. Which is weird. I typically despise change. But I can feel my heart tugging towards it in so many ways that I've pretty much given up on avoiding it. And I don't just mean changing my house decor or hair color....although both of those things have basically happened naturally--like an outward reflection of what is happening on the inside, maybe?

I've been listening to a podcast by Steven Furtick called "The New Rules of Resolution." It's about -changing the way you change- It is amazing and if you have a chance to, you should listen too. I started this new year with a phrase in my head-- "out of the overflow" and just when I thought I knew what it meant, God keeps showing me more. It's amazing how when we press in, he pours out.

I've been being challenged as a mom, more than I ever have been before. Asher is at a delicate age. He started a new school in August, but it wasn't just that. That has been good for him. It all has been good for him, but good doesn't mean easy. He's being challenged in more ways than one. I never want my children to live a sheltered life, yet I want to protect them from so much.....there's got to be a way, right? I'm trying to learn that balance....

I'm learning him. Asher. At this age and phase. I'm learning how to work with him, how to encourage him, how to love him, and how to help him become who God wants him to be. Putting him in a whole new environment has seemed to shine a light on many of his character traits. He is passionate and sensitive. These qualities are his strengths...I fully believe that. But they can also be his weaknesses..

This delicate season of motherhood has needed much more of my attention. All 3 of them are in different phases, and I don't want to miss the preciousness of it. The fleeting moments where I could either take the time to teach and absorb, or default to ignoring it all together. The heaviness of how much responsibility and honor there is in raising our own little lights to a dark world, has been my focus.  And some days it's hard.
Raising good kids is hard.

As I walk with Asher through this time, I am completely aware that it is a mirror reflection of my own walk with the Lord right now. An intentional, correcting, loving, time of change and refinement.

You know those 3 way mirrors that show you every angle of yourself? I like to ignore the angle that gets me from behind,...it's not my most flattering one. But just because I close my eyes to it, doesn't mean it's not there. 

This season of my life has felt like I'm standing in one of those mirrors and even though I really want to, I can't ignore the not so flattering angles. If I sincerely want change, like I do...then I can't ignore them.

The first teaching in Steven Furtick's series is called: "It's not a project, it's a process"....our relationship with the Lord is a process. Our pursuit of being intentional mothers is a process, our heart change is a process...That's where I'm at...walking through the process.

Maybe you are too? Can I encourage you to keep on? Change isn't easy, but the place it is bringing you to is worth it.


" A confident person is open to learning. 
She knows every unknown is a chance to learn more about herself and unleash her abilities"



Photobucket

Friday, February 1, 2013

Giveaway Winner





Contact me and I'll hook you up with the goodies!



Happy February friends! 
Enjoy your weekend 
xo, 
Laura