9/30/13

31 Days of....

Once again this year I am participating in The Nester's 31 Days challenge.

When I decided to do it my topic came to me very quickly but I rejected it just as quickly it entered my mind.

It seemed so cliche, almost a bit lame, but the more I tried to come up with another topic the more I came back to my original idea. Then I finally decided that I needed to go with my first thought, there was a reason I couldn't let go of it.


Thankfulness. This is my topic. It seriously seems so ridiculously cliche, and not to mention a month early as we usually talk about being thankful during the month of November but my mind (and heart?) just kept coming back to Thankfulness.

This summer has been a bit hard, there have been various things going on in our lives that have caused stress and worry and discouragement.  I have found myself with a negative disposition more than I care to admit.

I think I once talked on my blog about how I tend to go negative before positive. I have always been this way and at the request of my grandma kept a "thankful" journal during a time in high school where I wrote down three things I was thankful for everyday. I still remember doing that, and how wonderful it was to just sit back and count my blessings each day. No matter what kind of day I had, or what my attitude was it helped to just sit back and refocus on what really matters.

So as cliche as it sounds everyday during the month of October I will come on here and journal various factors of my thankfulness. I'm excited to do this, not only because I need to focus on being positive but also became I'm excited about the writing challenge.

I know there will be days where it is hard to think of something, and I may need to come on here and sing of my love of hot dogs and how thankful I am for them....who knows! This is going to be a topic that stretches me spiritually, mentally and artistically.I foresee some days being serious, and some days being a bit silly. But no matter what it is I know it will be a fun challenge!

I hope you want to follow along, also, if you are doing the 31 challenge let me know! I would love to follow along with you!

9/29/13

Beth Moore Weekend

I just had the most amazing weekend. Several months ago the ladies from my church decided to plan a little trip to go see Beth Moore.

Side note, I remember a couple of years ago Luke and I were playing a game about if you could meet anybody who would it be and without hesitating I said BETH MOORE.

I would love to spend time with her, just hang out with her, possibly become her BEST FRIEND. Ya know, just whatever.

Beth (we are on a first name basis thank ya very much) has this way of making the word come ALIVE for me. When I listen to her I just want to my nose in a bible and not take it out. Just soak in His Word.

I had such a good time at the conference. Laughing with friends, praising God through music and just studying his word.

My best friend Kara met up with me and my church girls and stayed in the hotel with us. It was good to spend time with a friend I don't get to see as often as I would like. 


Our group hanging in the hotel:


I was walking around the convention center looking or my mother in law (which seems silly now that I think about the fact that there were 7700 women there) and I walked right past Lauren. I did a double take, at the same time she was doing a double take. It was so funny! We have read and commented on each other's blogs for year! YEARS! So crazy to randomly meet up with other bloggers. It was so fun to see her and chat for a few minutes.


I saw several other friends there and I'm bummed I didn't get pics with them. I just wasn't thinking about pictures. My mother in law was there with a group of her friends and I was able to meet up with them after the conference and visit for a bit, but again, no pics. :-(

It was just such a good weekend, and refreshing. I have been reading back over my notes, (and pictures I took of a friend's notes who is a MUCH better note taker than I am, thanks Ali) and just going back over everything that really spoke to me. I love doing that after events.

Eli spend the weekend with my family. I had to leave for the conference Friday before Luke got off work so it just made sense for me to take Eli with me and leave him with my family. He loves spending time with his cousin and just play, play, plays the whole time. And clearly doesn't sleep much based on his mood after we get home.

Sunday after church Luke's work had an outdoor event so we headed to that and ate lunch with some of his coworkers. It was a gorgeous day and was fun to be outside enjoying the weather.

After the event I went to a Scentsy training. Between Beth and some new Scentsy ideas I'm working on my brain is on overload.

So I'm headed to bed now. I will be participating in The Nester's 31 days challenge. I'm really excited about my topic. I'll admit it's a little lame and cliche but I think it is much needed right now and it will be good for me. I hope you'll follow along!




9/25/13

A Little Life Update

Well I figured no better day to sit down and actually type some words on a screen than a day when I'm trapped inside.

Literally.

My car had to be taken to the shop for what I thought would be an hour or so and ended up being overnight. So Eli and I are spending our Wednesday inside the house with no transportation mode.

And in what can only be described as irony.... the day we are trapped inside is also the same day our rent house is being painted. I've wanted this house painted since the day we moved into it, so I won't complain about the paint, but the boarded up windows and loud noises coming from outside sort of puts a damper on a day stuck inside.

Our Fall has gotten off to a good start. We are still in transition mode, living in the rent house with most of our stuff in storage, which has still been hard. I'm very ready to be settled with all our stuff in one area. Hopefully soon.

In the past month or so I've been reminded of God's faithfulness. I wish I could adequately explain through words just how faithful He has been to us but I don't think I would do our stories justice. Through hard times, easy times, fun times, and slow times He never fails. It's amazing to be reminded of this.

Pregnancy-wise I've been feeling a bit better. Still nauseous a lot of the time, but we know it's all for a good cause! I'm definitely growing, and not eating as much as I usually do so that seems like a good sign!

We've been on the go lately, spending time with family, staying busy at church and doing our normal routine stuff. Eli is still loving school and seems to be learning so much already!

I've been leading a bible study going through the bible study Stuck by Jennie Allen (I mentioned it in a previous post). It has been sooo good. My girls at church are enjoying it so much and I've seen so much growth from this study, not only in them but in me also. It is definitely one I would suggest!

Not a lot more to say right now, so I will just share the most recent pic of us. 


I'm going to try and write more so that I don't have to do these boring "catch up" posts.

9/13/13

Five on Friday!

Try Mad Magazine, you'll laugh!

Five on Friday!

{one} 
Do you remember those vintage Fisher Price Little People? Yes, there are still "Little People" but let's get real there isn't anything "little" about the new people. They are large and round and supposed to be more safe. Well because we like to live life on the edge we let Eli play with the Fisher Price Little People of yonder years. And he LOVES THEM. They are his most favorite toy. we have billions of toys from the years of 2000's and he only wants my little people from the 80's. The dangerous kind.
That was the best pic I could get cause its hard to get a picture of a moving child, but this is what I'm talking about:


And the above pic is what our Little People look like. Except some of our Little People have the extra touch of chewed heads from some dog during my childhood. Also? I always thought the green guy looked just like my dad. 


{two}
Does anybody watch the show Shark Tank on ABC?

 It is one of my most favorite shows. All this week the show has aired every night and I can't tell you how excited I get to watch it each night. See also: I'm a loser. I wish I could come up with some awesome concept and go on there. I would totally choose Robert, he's my favorite Shark. 




{three}
Crying. Oh my word the crying. And I'm not talking about Eli here. I'm talking about this pregnant girl's hormones. FOR THE LOVE why can't I stop crying?!?!? I'm typically an emotional person, in fact I've even talked on here before about how I once took medicine to help reign in my emotions, but since about the 5th week of this pregnancy I have cried about everything. One day at dinner I just started crying for no reason! When Luke asked why I was crying I said "I don't know I just feel like I should cry right now". He said it was the weirdest thing he had ever heard. Which I agreed with. I'm hoping this doesn't last the full 40 weeks! 

{four}
I am still SO in love with my new blog design. Sometimes I come to my blog just to look at my pretty new design and beautiful tree that Jessica drew for me. Well this week I found out my blog designer Jessica is having an AMAZING special. And when I say amazing I mean INCREDIBLE. Starting today through the 15th she is offering full blog designs for $30. THIRTY DOLLARS. I'm not sure if you have priced blog designs or not but if you haven't that price is amazing. If you've ever even thought about getting a new blog look I would definitely take advantage of this special and contact Jessica. 

{five}
This week is supposed to bring cooler (in the 80's) temps which makes me SO excited!! Eli and I like to go on a walk everyday and lately we've had to go early in the morning because it is so hot by around 9:00. Excited for cooler temps and the fall weather to start heading this way!!



9/11/13

Love {a repost}

Sometimes words fail us and sometimes we are able to properly articulate just how we feel in the moment. I usually fall under the first scenario, many times when I want to express my heart and thoughts words fail me and I can't seem to convey how I truly feel.

But two years ago, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 as I sat next to my sweet six month old baby I found the words to express how I felt about the tragedy. Reading back on the post it's still how I feel, and so today on the 12th anniversary of September 11th I'm sharing an old post. It is an old post but still sums up my feelings on this day.

_________________________________________________________________________________


Every morning when Eli wakes up either Luke or I will go and get him and then bring him back to our bed.

Call this "forming a bad habit" all you want, but I LOVE this time. Those few moments in the morning are so special. And if I've learned anything these past six months it is that time FLIES by and I want to cherish every minute of this baby. Whether I'm doing what the books say is right or not.

This morning Eli woke up a bit later than usual so when I brought him to our bed Luke was already up and about to head out the door for church.

I settled into my normal Sunday routine of feeding Eli in bed while watching some gloriously lame movie on TV. You never know what movie you will find on Sunday mornings, but I always end up watching it, no matter what movie it is.

As I turned on the TV this morning to watch my movie I was quickly reminded that it was in fact September 11th. Somewhere between drifting off to sleep, and being woken up abruptly by a crying baby, the date had slipped my mind. But it all came flooding back in an instant. Ten years ago today our nation was changed.

I sat in bed with Eli, watching the news coverage and remembering everything about that day. And because I'm human, my mind started to think about myself, and what I was doing that day and how much my own life had changed these past ten years.

Ten years ago I was a senior in high school watching the news coverage unfold on TV. I remember sitting in speech class watching the towers fall. To be honest, I didn't understand everything. I knew to be scared, and I knew that thousands of families lives were changed forever, and I knew that pure evil was behind this, but as a senior in high school the true extent of it all didn't really get to me.

Fast forward to present day. I'm now a 27, watching the events unfold once again. But this time I'm sitting in bed, with my six month old baby. Today it hit me in a way it never has before.

ABC rebroadcast scenes from their Good Morning America from that September morning and I watched the scenes all over again. I have seen these images dozens of times, but today it was different. There next to me was my sleeping baby. A precious, innocent child that is going to grow up in this world.

I sat there, with my hand over my mouth watching the images as if it was my first time to see them. I looked over at my sleeping baby and immediately wondered what kind of world would he grow up in? In that moment it was easy to let fear, questions and uneasiness flood my heart.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot shield him from hurt, I cannot protect him from pain.

Many times after we first brought Eli home from the hospital, as I would gently kiss his cheeks and rub his head and watch his sleeping body gently move up and down with his every breath I would look at Luke and say "I only want him to know love, I don't want him to know ANYTHING BUT love"

I was completely serious, as any mother would be, but every time I would say it, Luke would laugh a bit and tell me, just like I already knew, it was impossible for Eli to only know love. He lives in a fallen world.

My desire is for Eli to only know love, but unfortunately he will see much outside the realm of love, and there is nothing I can do about it.

The only thing I can do, along with Luke, is teach Eli the love of Christ. Teach him HOW to love others. Teach him what it is like to show love in the face of unkindness, unfairness, disappointment and hurt.

This world can be scary, and there are many questions and many things that are out of our control, but we know Who we put our hope in. We can't always protect Eli, but we can direct him to the greatest Protector.

So as I sit here ten years later watching the shocking images unfold once again, I am changed. I do not want to sit and fear the world that we live in. I do not want to question the future.

Instead I will use the time I have to lead my son to the Truth I know, and teach him the Love we have been shown, and pray that he continues to spread that love in our world, no matter what it may be like.


9/10/13

Slow to Anger?

I recently started working on a bible study called Stuck. The study is by Jennie Allen and is the first of her studies that I have done.

I went into the study not really knowing what to expect, but so far three weeks into it I can tell you that it is rocking my world.

Which can be a good and bad thing when it comes to God rocking your world. I mean of course it's always good but sometimes when going through growing moments you can also experience moments of going through valleys, hurdles and just plain feeling growing pains.

This past week the study was covering anger. When I turned to my page in the study and saw that it was covering anger I sort of laughed to myself. Anger? Me? No. I do not have anger problems. I will just quickly get through this week and get to something that more appropriately applies to myself.

Are you laughing with me?

While reading the verses for this week, questions and stories I was knocked off my feet. I was face to face with bitterness I was holding, anger towards past friendships and feelings of resentment towards others.

There was a whole lot of anger going in on this body that needed to be dealt with. And I never even knew it! I began working through it and studying scripture on anger and how to handle it in my life.

Well tonight I had to call a certain mobile phone company to ask about some weird charges we had on our phone bill. Our bill was significantly higher than usual and it just didn't make sense, so being the dutiful homemaker that I am I called to investigae.

Actually Luke had to ask me multiple times before I finally did it. I also have procrastination issues.

I was on the phone with an agent from this particular phone company when I started to lose my patientce. I wasn't understand what he was trying to say and he wasn't explaining it well and I STILL didn't understand why we were being charged so much more than usual.

I might have gotten angry a couple of times (key word) and even told him his company was stupid. Which let's admit, he later laughed about with his friends when they described INSANE and CRAZY customers.

Because that was me.

I got off the phone and immediately felt conviction wash over me. Not a guilt like I was a bad person or undeserving of grace, but conviction like I KNEW better. Just this week, repeatedly I studied James 1:19  "....be slow to anger'. There was nothing about me that was "slow to anger" while on the phone.

I hated the feeling I had. Knowing that everything I do I have the oportunity to be a light and instead I chose to be rude to someone who was just doing his job, and who probably thinks I'm CRAZY (because I sort of was).

So I did something that wasn't easy, I got my phone back out and called the company back. I remembered the agents name and I was hoping that I could speak to him directly so I could apolgize.

Would he think I was even crazier? Probably, but I felt like it was what I needed to do.

I reached another (much more chipper if I might add) agent who told me he couldn't transfer me to a particular agent but he would be happy to help me.

I tried to explain to him that I wanted to speak to the same person I just spoke to but I ended up sounding like a psycho ex stalker girlfriend.  And after that he for sure wouldn't connect me to my past agent.

I finally in a round about way explained to this (VERY happy agent) why I was calling.

He was already an energetic person so he might have exclaimed something like "OH EM GEE" you are the sweetest little thing ever" which I'm pretty sure is completely opposite of what the prior agent was currently saying about me.

Obviously I never got to talk to the person I was rude to, but the very happy 2nd agent said he would mark it on my account that I called back to apologize. GOOD. So now EVERYONE I speak to in the future will know I was rude at some point. Sounds about right.

I don't say this story by any means to "toot my own horn" in fact it's embarssing to admit that I'm one of those crazies that got angry with a poor innocent person on the phone, but I say it to show that if you ask God to grow you HE WILL.

And while it may not seem fun in the moment, it is all for your benefit. He longs for us to be more like Him. I know it sounds crazy because it was definitely a humbling moment, but I was thankful for this moment because it once again reminded me that God listens to me. He knows who I am and what I'm doing.

I've been praying through anger, reminding myself to be slow to anger, and God gave me an opporunity to show my growth.

It also reminded me not to pray for patience, or non-procrastination...what would that word be? I have no idea.

Times of growth are hard, and challenging but I know the outcome is always worth it.

Even if you do have to call a mobile phone company agent and sound like a crazy person.

9/9/13

Baby Tree #2

In case you don't follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or FB (which is probably no one) we have big news....


Eli is going to be a big brother!!! We are so excited to welcome baby tree #2 to the family and watch Eli become a big brother!

I am due April 7th, which means I am 10 weeks. 

This pregnancy has been extremely different from my pregnancy with Eli (so far). With Eli I never felt pregnant and breezed through the first trimester. I *thought* I had feelings of sickness with Eli but nothing big.

Whoa. I did not know what pregnancy sickness was. I now do. 

I have been nauseous 24/7 with occasional sickness. Some women have it so much worse so I've tried not to complain too much (I'm sure Luke just laughed out loud while reading that) but man I'm ready for food to taste good again! 

Eli has been so good. There have been a couple of days where we haven't left the house because I feel so bad, but he just rolls with the punches and is always right by me, whether I'm sick or not.  One day while playing with friends I watched Eli mock throwing up to his friends. That was a wonderful experience. 

I've always heard that with the second baby you show a lot sooner and that seems to be true. Even though I've been sick and haven't been eating as much I have still managed to gain weight. 

I think I'm one of those people that just gains weight really easily while pregnant. At least that's what I'll tell the doctor. 

I'm only 10 weeks and I already have belly. 


I'm not saying it's huge or anything, I'm just shocked that it's already forming. 

I will be doing pregnancy updates again. Luke has already tried to get out of taking my picture, sorry buddy. I still love going back and looking at my updates with Eli and reading them. I know I will want to do the same with this baby. 

So that's our big news!! It's always hard keeping such a big secret!

Thank you so much for all the congrats and excitement! It's so fun to have others join in our big excitement!

We are so thankful for this new baby and this new journey for our family! 



9/5/13

Eli's First Day of MDO

Today my baby boy started his first day of school.

Well maybe he isn't a baby anymore but it sure feels like I carried him in my womb YESTERDAY, and maybe it's not really school, just a two day a week, couple of hours, Mother's Day Out program, but it will be two days a week that he is somewhere else without me, living his own little life.

And so it begins.....This whole process of raising a child, raising our hearts, only to let them go. A little bit here and a little bit there.

It seems a little bit backwards and a little bit twisted.....you mean I receive this PERSON, who I love more than I ever thought was possible and then I'm supposed to just hand them over to the world and hope we did ok with him? Weird. Yet normal.

Today it's hoping Eli remembers to share, and how to chew his food properly so he doesn't choke when I'm not there, and also that he remembers that gentle, but important rule of "NO HITTING".

I'm sure this is how it will be with each milestone, each time I send him out I hope he remembers what we taught him. When he goes to a friends house for the first time I hope he remember his manners, when he enters those higher grades in school I hope he stands strong in who he is and doesn't cave into peer pressure, and when he goes off to college I hope he remembers not to wear white socks with black pants, and that fast food isn't always the best choice, although the easiest.

And yes, all of this stemmed simply from the fact that I took Eli to a church to play for a little while. But I imagine this is how it will be with each milestone. Wanting to watch him grow but wanting to keep him little, wanting to experience seeing my child go out into the world, but wanting to hold his hand and keep him close.

Ahhh parenting. It's complex.

Clearly I'm getting way ahead of myself, today I need to focus on today.

This sweet boy was so excited about "CHOOL". He has talked about school for about a week now and tells everyone he meets that he's going to chool!!!


All morning while we got ready and packed his lunch he kept telling me he was ready to go to school. He would say "mama I go to chool NOW".

I was a little nervous that he might cry or get upset when I left but he walked right in, told me bye and started working on a puzzle.

I looked around to what seemed to resemble a war zone, children on the floor crying, moms walking out tears running down their face, the echos of children screaming everywhere, and then there was my independent child sitting at a table working on his puzzle.

I tried to create some sort of emotional goodbye because that seemed to be the thing to do but Eli wanted no part of it.

And so I let go. As I will do many other times in his life.


After I got Eli we went and got a celebratory cookie. Because he did so well on his first day and because his school is close to my favorite cookie shop. Win. Win.

I'm glad we made this decision to put him in school, today was just the first day but I think it will be so good for him.

And probably good for mama, a little bit of practice for putting his needs before mine when I just want to keep him close.

It's true. I can make any life experience dramatic. It is my gifting.

Happy first day of MDO Eli!






9/2/13

September is Here!!!

Gosh! I can't believe I am going this far between posts!

I guess I'm just not in a season of blogging right now. I do miss it and do plan to come back to my normally scheduled blogging routine but I also don't feel like I have a lot to say lately, and I'm not one to come on here and just ramble on just for the sake of posting.

Soon.

But, it is finally September which means it is one of my favorite times of the year, not only is it getting close to Fall but the new Fall/Winter Scentsy catalog is now out and all the new fabulous warmers and scents can be purchased!

I absolutely cannot wait to warm my favorite Fall scent Pumpkin Marshmallow. Or maybe my favorite Fall scent is Autumn Sunset? So many amazing choices.

Instead of talking about all of the new products I'll show you some pictures....


 New animal print warmers


 Is chevron still a thing? It is with Scentsy warmers! So cute!
an awesome new wrap for the popular silhouette warmers


the "mossy oak" collection is inspired by none other than Duck Dynasty


fun new Halloween warmer (and this one is 10% off this month) Check out all Halloween warmers HERE

Service & Sacrifice -  proceeds from this warmer go to "The Mission Continues" charity which helps veterans transition into life back at home. 


This was just a glimpse of some of the new products in the catalog. Be sure and check everything out on my full website.

Also, I have plenty of out of town customers that earn free products by hosting a catalog party - if you are interested in this send me an email!

As always please let me know if you have any Scentsy questions!

Happy Shopping!