I think Harry Connick, Jr. is adorably divine.
I love dill pickle flavored potato chips.
My favorite hairspray is Kenra # 25. Nothing else even comes close…
I always use two capfuls of fabric softener in every load of laundry.
I’m rarely without a glass full of ice water, complete with a straw.
I’m not a big fan of the “is it natptime/bedtime yet” mom…but some days, I’m that mom.
Caffeine free Dr. Pepper (shipped in from Texas) has been my sneaky little treat this pregnancy.
Our family only eats chicken on occasion and usually it’s when we go out to eat. We’re beef eaters ’round these parts!
Some days, small town America drives me insane. Yesterday was one of those days – thank you, Holyoke.
I’m so sad about the Super Bowl this year because I just can’t bring myself to cheer for either team. Cheaters or thugs…how do you pick?!
I get more headaches than any person I know and I can’t wait to take Advil again.
I don’t like having lots of emails or lots of texts or lots of pictures cluttering up my phone. I’m a deleting machine!
I love to bargain shop and 95% of the kids’ clothes come from either the thrift store, hand me downs or from super clearance sales at The Children’s Place or Crazy 8. I don’t like paying over $3 for a shirt or $6 for a pair of pants and I refuse to pay for shipping.
Today is Fun Friday, I’ve finally caught the cold that the rest of the family has and I’m not feeling very fun. Here’s to hoping for a good day without a lot of fuss!
A friend of mine from high school just lost her sweet four year old baby girl. She had a bacterial infection that turned septic and is now in the arms of Jesus.
I found out last Friday night and was so shocked and dumb founded. I was breezing through Facebook and I saw her post and thought it was going to say her daughter was having a birthday or was getting a new sibling or something…anything but that.
Having a sweet little four year old myself, it hit me pretty hard…as most things dealing with death or mommies and babies often do. I sat weeping in my chair for a good ten minutes, crying out to the Lord on their behalf. How incredibly, ridiculously unfair…
One of my biggest fears is to lose my babies…especially too soon. How soon is too soon? Would there EVER be a good enough amount of time that it would be ok for them to go? No. Not yet, Lord. Not yet.
I often feel like I’ve led a decently charmed life. I grew up in a home with two parents, even if their love and marriage wasn’t perfect. We never wanted for much and my parents did everything in their power to make sure that we were more than provided for. They were never sick or seriously injured, nor was my brother or I; we didn’t face any catastrophic childhood diseases or lose a parent before we were married. I wasn’t bullied, nor did I struggle in school with making friends or with academics or with extracurricular success. I married a man that is so much more than I ever dreamed or imagined. We’re out of debt, have 2.6 beautiful, healthy, happy children. We don’t want for much and are blessed more than we even deserve. We haven’t experienced a devastating loss or blow or catastrophe…
When you hear stories about kiddos dying or you turn on the news or venture out past your own front porch…you start to wonder…when is it gonna be my time? When will I be the one holding the cards of doom? When will it be my family that’s going through the agonizing pain of loss? Because, isn’t it due me???
Do you ever feel that way? The defense system in me rises up to be prepared and to take all the steps necessary so THAT doesn’t happen…but that’s not even remotely possible. How do we shield ourselves and our family from every kind of evil or every bacteria or virus or every freak accident or every decision of everyone around us? We can’t. We’d be exhausted. We’d be spent. We’d be dry and weary and empty. Don’t ask me how I know…
These precious people I get to call my family are just far better than I ever imagined they’d be. In my wildest of dreams, I couldn’t have designed a better group of people to share my days with; they are just something else…and the thought of losing any or all of them makes me physically ill.
I am continually dragging myself back to the foot of the cross, laying my family down again and again and again. I KNOW He loves them more than I do (so hard to really grasp that, isn’t it??) and I have to trust that He will protect them better than I ever could…or believe that I could. It’s a process. And it’s going to continue to be a process for me.
Part of the “laying down” is going to have to involve more than just my family, more than just “my arrows.” It’s a laying down of what I think my life should look like. If I truly believe He is sovereign and good and that His ways are best, I have to choose to believe that whatever story gets written for me is good and best. I’m not quite there yet, I’ll be honest. How in the world can losing your little girl be His best for someone?? For anyone??
I don’t want to find out. And that’s the crazy part, isn’t it?? That His best might involve loss, yet we hold on so tightly because we don’t want to have to walk through the bouts of sometimes agonizing pain that are sure to come just to see the other side. Is it worth it? I don’t even think I want to know…
And not that His best always includes THAT kind of loss…but there’s always a loss of something; something we have to lay down for our own good…for His best. That’s part of following Christ, isn’t it? We can’t keep holding onto the same old sinful things and expect life to be different. To live your life you’ve got to lose it…
I ran across this post from a friend of a friend who has struggled through more than her fair share of loss in the past two years. Her strength and resiliency and faith have moved me and astounded me more than I can put into words. She wrote this on January 1st of this year; the timing of her writing and my reading was not lost on me. Maybe it’s time for something new…
It was appropriately titled – Lay It Down. (Full credit to Lindsey Dennis of vaporandmist.wordpress.com…my hyperlink button isn’t working)
My rights to how my family may form
My rights to watch a little baby grow up
My rights to what my life “should” look like
Lay it down
Lay it down…
lose your life and you will find it. – Matthew 10:39
It is often not until the expectations of your life come to a crashing halt
that you realize you had any expectations at all,
that you were holding on to your life.
It is the privilege, the blessing of the sufferers,
the broken hearted
to learn to lay it down-
to wrestle in the laying down-
to know HIM in the laying down.
And the laying down gives us room –
Room to dream.
Room to breath.
Room to hope,
to hope in the one who is the author of hope
to hope that all will not be as expected,
it will be far greater
it will be true living
when we lay it down.
To know that he knows the way we take. -Job 23:10
He directs our steps. -Proverbs 16:9
And He knows, He Knows, He KNOWS…
The why of the blessing that has come in a form you never thought would be the way he would ask you to take…
The blessed to be a blessing.
We were blessed with two daughters in the past two years, but for a moment.
To be a blessing both now and to come.
And I’m laying down the “to come”
Because just as this year I anticipated a different path to joy our lives would take,
a baby in our arms, in our home…
I could never have written what unfolded.
It was and is broken and beautiful.
And still the grace that has been given in the broken pieces is finding a way to feed our souls,
To direct our steps
To be multiplied into the lives of others.
I want to plan this next year,
for the blessings I think best.
Lay it down
I will give you ALL.
The blessing has been Him. ALL him. Always him.
We just sometimes can’t see it or want it to be different or think that the fullness of joy can’t really come from simply just His presence.
“No good thing does he withhold from him whose walk is blameless”
The goodness is Jesus, redemption, rescue, grace.
Jesus in the pain. Jesus in the joy.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
“I count all as loss compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
That’s how good it is to know him.
I see it more in the loss,
in the laying down.
“And suffering produces endurance
and endurance produces character
and character produces hope.
And hope does not disappoint.“
The kind of hope that comes from the love of God
Lay it down.
It’s the only way to love, to hope, to joy…
the kind we really want,
the kind we really need.
the kind that will pour out blessing upon blessing,
not the material kind-
the eternal kind.
The blessings that matter.
Lay down your rights,
To the one who Loves. Who is LOVE. Who pours Love out and in and through and around…
and covers us with his love in more ways then we could imagine. -Ephesians 3:20
And let him rebuild
with dreams far greater
JOY found in the most unlikely of places.
It comes in the suffering
the broken pieces
the mundane places
This is where we either lay it down, or clench our fists.
This is where we learn to hope or walk the bitter path.
It is a constant, daily, moment by moment surrender.
It is a life of laying down our lives… to the one who laid down his life for us.
It is a life where beauty is found in the surrender.
Oh Lord, let this be a year of laying it down.
Of counting all as loss compared to knowing you.
That I would know more deeply what the Psalmist says:
“In your presence there is fullness of Joy.” -Psalm 16:11
It is you Jesus. Always you.
And tomorrow when I forget,
and I clench my fists and hold on to my dreams,
remind me to lay it down.
That YOU are where life is found.
I’m trying, Lord….
Ok, so I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it by now but that weather yesterday – killer, right?! I’m not sure how yesterday afternoon could have been any more perfect. I need to find someplace that’s 75-80 all year round, little wind and low humidity. Where, oh where, would that be, do ya know??
Daddy had a really short sale yesterday so Sawyer went with him and as soon as Wryder woke up from nap, he and I headed straight back outside.
It’s nice to have one-on-one time with each kid from time to time. Wryder’s usually going 100 miles an hour and I’m usually attempting to keep him from hurting himself, his sister or just general mischief and outside time is so nice just to let him be a boy!
I’m coming to get you, mom!
Look! There’s a kitty!
There’s a kitty under here, too!
He’s a bundle of energy and joy and rough-and-tumble goodness! We washed about a pound and a half of dirt off of each kid last night come bath time…usually an indication of a good day.
We’ve talked about how Wryder is moving upstairs so as part of that process, I’m getting his room all ready, just for him. I’m not real big into themey rooms (Mickey Mouse or Disney Princesses, etc.) but I caved the other day at WalMart and bought the boy a John Deere curtain.
I had been online looking and looking and looking for something I liked and hadn’t found a THING. Bleh. In the store, I wandered over to the bedding to find him a pillow case that matched his toddler bed comforter and I stumbled upon John Deere, uh, everything.
The curtain was the perfect color combo (with some good ole green thrown in) and I just couldn’t resist it. He was THRILLED! He held it in his lap for the rest of the shopping trip and proudly held it up and shouted, “TRACTOR!” to anyone who’d listen.
The dresser upstairs is his new room needed a little face lift to look a little more boyish and a little less like this-used-to-be-mom-and-dad’s. I kept the frame the same off white color but made the drawers a little funky!
I had bought some wrapping paper in the dollar section of Michael’s the last time we were in Denver and with the new John Deere curtain *ahem* it was the perfect accent piece to tie everything together.
Wrex cut the strips to size, we mod podged them on and voila – “new” dresser!
To die for, yes?
I am soooooo in love how with how it turned out and I have a little bit of dresser envy…
Don’t mind the mess on top…
Little man is down for the count right now. We got a surprise visit from Aunt Deb (whom he adores) over lunch and now he’s catching some zzzzzs before he’s up and at ‘em again.
Now I’ll cheeeese!
Love my little man…
My word, the weather was B-E-A-UTIFUL today! 71 degrees in January, are you kidding me??! It was gorgeous!
We went to work with Wrexy today. Wryder went grocery shopping with me, Sawyer stayed at the barn with daddy and then we all met up again.
Learning from the best…
We watched cows sell for a little while and then the kids and I took advantage of the weather and hit the park. The kiddos had a ball and were covered in sand from head to toe.
Riding a squirrel? Chipmunk? What IS that thing??
Wryder loved this yellow horse…
Going down together!
We got home, unloaded groceries and decided we STILL couldn’t drag ourselves indoors so we saddled up sweet Ozark and hit the road.
My evening view…
Old man looks really good these days. We are so thankful for all of the days we’ve had with him and we’re praying for more…
After supper, they weren’t quite done riding horses so Sawyer volunteered.
Ride a little pony…
It turned out to be more of a bucking bronc fest but it was good watching!
I posted this picture of Sawyer on Facebook a day or so ago…
I love this girl’s style! She loves accessories and shoes and fancy dresses; she is all girl and I love it!
She went upstairs to grab some jammies tonight and brought down some beads for me to put on her, too.
Jewelry with pajamas?! Of course!
With all of the nesting/cleaning/rearranging going on, Wrex and I decided that our room would officially be downstairs and the kids would each have a room upstairs. I always feel like our room gets neglected – does that happen to anyone else?? It’s the place we sleep and get dressed and other than that, we don’t spend much time there and I feel like it shows.
We used a little paint, bought a new bedspread, made some paper flowers, rearranged the room and voila – “new” bedroom! I’m really happy with how it turned out…Hoping to get lots of rest in there tonight. I feel whooped!
It was just SUCH a good day. A REAL good day. And tomorrow…with 75 degrees as a high…I hope is even better.
If you give a wife a paintbrush, she’ll go to town and buy a gallon of paint.
Then she’ll ask you to take four doors off of the hinges and set up a painting station in the garage.
The garage will be too cold, so she’ll ask you to dig some heaters out of the basement.
Once the heaters get turned on, she’ll want to shut the door to trap the heat inside.
Now that the door is shut, she’ll need more light to be able to see to do her painting.
When you set up more lights and the garage is nice and toasty, the flies start waking up and dive bombing her work, so she’ll ask you to run interference with the air compressor.
As she paints more and more in the closed up garage, the fumes start to get really strong.
She’ll ask you to you help her finish…and you happily oblige.
The story of my Saturday…
Wrexy’s boss and good friend came up from Texas for the National Western Stock Show in Denver and he kindly brought us some meat from the plant, so we headed west to snag that and let the kids see some stock.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous! I’m positive I’ve never experienced anything near 60 degrees any other year we’ve been there, but we did this time. It was nice to see lots of old friends…and see how many people actually paid $50 to park right next to the yards. Freaks. Me. Out.
Uncle Trav and Sawyer
Wryder and Aunt Kasey
Checkin’ out the petting zoo
Who doesn’t love a pot bellied pig?
Sawyer thought this little donkey was pretty cute…
There were a LOT of goats
Wryder the spud farmer
Sawyer LOVED the milk cow. She now thinks we need one…
We figured out Wryder needs to attend a farm show, rather than stock show. He was all about the tractors, surprise, surprise.
The neighbors gave Sawyer a pair of roller blades last year and here lately she’s been dying to strap them on and go for a skate. Our garage has a concrete floor, the perfect place for her to do so…but we haven’t seen it in a while. Anybody else have that problem?
On Thursdays, Wrexy doesn’t have to report to the sale barn until late afternoon/early evening so we’ve spent our morning cleaning out the garage…again. Is it just us or is that a never ending project for everyone??
The garage is where we store, uh, everything. Tools? The garage. Christmas decor? The garage. Tricycles and wagons and scooter and toy cars? The garage. Totes of kids’ clothes that we’re saving for the next baby(s)? The garage. Rakes and shovels and brooms? The garage. Decor and party supplies? The garage. Everything you might ever need to do any project ever? The garage.
It’s nice to have a space to put all of those things but man it gets crowded in there. Half the time, we’re in a hurry to clean up after a project…or we’re going to need the same equipment for a project in a few days…or we we need more totes to store the clothes the kids have outgrown or the clearance Christmas items we just bought…or the kids got really imaginative with a cardboard box and every little trinket they could find and made
a mess a creative little play station.
And none of those are necessarily bad things but it ends up creating a big, jumbled mess that has to be resorted and reorganized and cleaned up again.
Isn’t that how life can be? There are so many good things we can dip our fingers into, things we can fill our time with and some of them can be life giving, but after a while it’s just…a lot. Just like we are constantly going back to the garage to declutter again, we have to do that with our time and priorities. What brings the most life to our family? What is helping us grow in our relationships with the Lord? What is benefiting us and what is stealing joy? What are the things that we can lay down in order to have a little more peace or restoration?
Just like re-cleaning the garage, it’s not always a simple task (it took us a few hours and a lot of physical labor) and not everyone will agree with what works best for you, but YOU do. Pray about it with your spouse and ask the Lord to show you what in your schedule needs weeded out, then make those changes. I promise that what you give up in obedience will be replaced ten-fold with peace and joy and life!
Just be careful not to let all of that busyness sneak in again. It’s really good at that, ya know? You’ll be back on your hands and knees scrubbing your calendar again before you know it…
We finished up a little after noon today and Sawyer got to strap on her skates and fly like the wind (read – have a death grip on my hand as I led her around in circles, ahem). Regardless, she was a joyful little ball of energy!
We’re quite glad to have the cleaning part behind us. Here’s to hoping it stays that way…
I posted this picture last night because, well, it was funny but also because he just looked so darn cute sitting there with his feet up and his BUCKET of ice cream.
I had gotten up to get some water and I came back and took in the full view and I just couldn’t help myself…
Wrexy bought this chair for me (us) after Christmas. We got it on sale at Menards and it is really comfy. The later weeks and months of pregnancy can be a little uncomfortable and he thought it would be nice for me to a have nice place to sit when I get the chance. Trust me, I know; I’ve got a good one.
The first week or so, we were both so careful not to sit in it all the time; we always wanted the other one to have the option to have it first. Now, it’s a mad dash into the living room after the kids go to bed and chores are done – ha! I told him we should’ve bought two…
The kids have loved it and I have too. The chair has already brought lots of snuggle time and lots of rocking…lots of praying together and over each other…a place to read lots of books and watch a lot of football. It’s been a little refuge when someone got hurt or just needed a little bit of a time out with mom or dad. The chair has been where the kids have felt Sayble kick for the first time and where I’ve taken refuge after a day of taking care of my family. It’s been a place where Sawyer has cuddled with Wryder while she helped him learn the words in his picture books and where he has rocked it as far back as he could without knocking it over. Ahem.
It took us weeks to agree to make the purchase but we’re really quite glad that we did. It’s become more than a place to sit; it’s a little haven of memories and closeness and time together…and you know I love that.
Nesting has hit an all time high around here. We’re rearranging rooms and making plans and cleaning things out and organizing nooks and crannies and and and and…
I’ve been on Pinterest a bit more than usual lately. One, because the nesting just puts me in that creative mode and two, because at the end of the day, after all the nesting, I can’t move anything but my fingers. Kidding. Sorta.
Here are my latest and greatest Pinterest Picks!
How incredible is this cake? Swoon.
I can see this happening to pink teddy in a few years…
YES. Holy, not happy.
I need this quilt for our room STAT. Isn’t that divine??
EVERYTHING about this room is great but I love the little nook in the corner…
What a FAB bag…
How cute is this??
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Who doesn’t need a gold metallic cow hide?