Thursday, April 3, 2014

Road Trip

This weekend we loaded up and went to St. Louis to visit some of our best friends, the Kruegers. We drove through a horrible storm and I was terrified, but other than that Annabelle did great on the long drive. 4 hours and we didn't stop. She always amazes me!


I sat in the back with her and we read books, sang, and snacked.

When we got there, Annabelle and Neely played like best friends. They've only been around each other a few times, but you would think they grew up together. It's so sweet to me how much they love each other. 

They hadn't seen each other since last July!

Last summer.

Now.



My best friend is such an amazing wife, mom, and friend and she constantly inspires me. 

And Annabelle adores Emily





Belle and Her Cousin

Annabelle has six amazing, perfect cousins. She adores them all! Of those six, there is only one girl. Annabelle and her girl cousin are about 9 months apart. I absolutely love and cherish that these little girls will grow up like sisters. 

I cleaned out Belle's closet and started to cry and be sad as I always do, and then I realized that this was so special because I would share them with her little cousin. I loved wearing my sisters' clothes growing up and hope that Belle and her cousin love sharing everything too!

Plus, it doesn't make me feel so guilty that Annabelle had way too many clothes!



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Water for Elephants


I'm addicted to this enchanting book already. Have you read it? I know I'm about 8 years behind on my reading list and one day early for What I'm Reading Wednesday (that's a thing I think...) but I am loving this book. I've been hooked since the first few pages.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Choose Love

The sermon this week was on Ephesians 5: Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.Therefore do not be partners with them.

The sermon was great and had many points that were relevant to me and that I will continue to think about and pray about. My biggest take away was when the preacher shared how there are certain things in the church ministry that can bring down the community. He shared that he puts safeguards and barriers on the top three things that are identified as bringing down the church ministry. His examples were finances (he doesn’t know who gives or how much and instead has a weekly financial report overall but doesn’t want it to taint how he treats each individual member), laziness (he and his staff have office hours, put in for vacation, etc.) and sex (he has two people that immediately receive notification if he were to go to certain websites on his personal iPad, phone, etc. and he will not be alone in a car or anywhere with a female). These are just quick examples of extreme lengths he has gone to in order to put barriers so that the top offenders don’t ruin his relationship with the church.

 This got me to thinking about my most important relationships. I am going to take some time first to identify these things in my life that have the power to ruin my relationships. On my run yesterday I started thinking about it in three categories. My family, my friends, my work. David and I are going to identify the top things that could ruin our relationship from both of us. They might be different for each of us, but we are going to honestly identify them and set up those barriers so that we can’t falter. I want to do the same things with my friends and at work.

For work, I can tell you that stress and insecurity are at the top of the list. I worry and second guess a lot that I do. I try not to talk too much about it outside of work, but my job is pretty stressful and I have a boss that isn’t always the easiest person to understand or please (*she is a wonderful person and boss, I just have my struggles as anyone does. This isn’t anything bad about her, it’s my own insecurities.).

For my relationship with my friends, I can tell you right now that among the offenders will be jealousy/competition, busy-ness, and gossip. My father in law talked to me recently about how as his kids were born and his sister started having children, he decided right then that he was going to be nothing but happy for his nieces and nephews. Bam. Right there if you decide that you don’t have room for competition, jealousy, or gossip. I want to love my friends and their kids in this way always because I know my friends and know they are doing their very best at parenting. I want to celebrate every detail of their children with them without comparing Annabelle, worrying, or jealousy.

You see, the beginning of this chapter in Ephesians says that we should walk in the way of love, just as Jesus did. Are the things I’m saying and doing portraying love? If I am gossiping to a friend about something, am I demonstrating love? If I am too busy to meet a friend for coffee, am I demonstrating love to that friend? If I am jealous of someone else’s vacation am I showing love? I feel like something clicked for me yesterday. If you are demonstrating love, there isn’t much room left for gossip, greed, mean words, or laziness. This will be a constant battle, but I am going to try to work on these situations and try my hardest to first demonstrate love – then there won’t be time for the other things that God says shouldn’t even be spoken of in our presence. I would never want anyone to think of me and associate greed, envy, jealousy, or gossip above love. There’s not room or time for all of it.

Our friend lost their ten month old daughter a couple of months ago. They are choosing joy every day. They are open and share their joy with others. If they can choose joy, I can choose love. That’s what I plan to do. Sounds simple enough.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Williams Sonoma Spring - Free Shipping

Any of you out there that are spending money, Williams Sonoma has free shipping with no minimums. Use code SPRING. 

I will just be over here crying about these napkins, which would be perfect in my kitchen.

(http://www.williams-sonoma.com/m/products/sommieres-napkins/?pkey=ctable-linens-napkins)






Thursday, March 20, 2014

Easter Dress

Last year Annabelle's grandmother bought her her Easter dress. Her mother had always bought Betsy's Easter dress so she wanted to continue this sweet tradition. 

Last year was this sweet, perfect little yellow outfit.



She picked this one for this year. I absolutely love it! Honestly, it made me cry to see such a precious, big girl dress. 


I can't believe it's been a year already since our little Easter bunny was this little.


I hope she's as interested in her basket. :)


Reading List

I have loved making time to read again. I look forward to a bath and book at night now - when I'm not watching Bones of course, my other favorite evening obsession.

I receive emails from Goop and love them! If you aren't signed up for them you should be. It's Gwyneth Paltrow's blog. She always has great health tips, recipes, etc. 

Today's email included a Spring Book List. I can't wait to hunt these down!  I plan to start with the Elena Ferrante series.


Trapp Fragrances

I received this lovely candle from one of my customers. I have to say, it's my new favorite scent! It is so fresh and perfect for Spring!



Perfect addition to my kitchen.

Suzy Quilts

How excited do you think I am when I get a package with this return address?


(Please ignore my janky thumb nail - I had just cut blueberries for Belle's breakfast.)

Look at my fabulous new runner for my entry table! I love Suzy Quilts. Check her out at suzyquilts.com. 


P.S. This was a gift from my mother in law so I haven't broken my Lent commitment yet.

Baby Bug

Annabelle's great aunt and uncle sent her a subscription to Baby Bug magazine. She loves getting these in the mail every month. They are so cute!






Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Music Class


Annabelle started out very timid at music class but by the end she was patting her little lap, handing out instruments to her new friends, and dancing around. I love seeing her try new things and get out of her comfort zone. I have always been very shy and avoided situations much like this music class, but I want to be sure to never encourage Annabelle to be that way.

She loved these egg shakers so much that the Easter Bunny will be bringing them for her! (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00EQ27IQM/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?qid=1395191024&sr=1-6&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70)


Monday, March 17, 2014

Teaching and Playing with Belle

I think that Annabelle is the smartest baby in the world. Duh. I teach her something one day and then she just knows it. Saturday I wanted to help her stop throwing her food on the ground so I told her she could eat it or give it to me. I told her this at lunch and dinner several times. By Sunday she would take a few bites of her food and then hand the rest to me.

I decided I really want to be teaching her more. I am going to start with colors. I found this cute site for some ideas.
(http://www.123child.com/lessonplans/colors/red.php)

Burt's Bees Baby

How precious is this little pink dress?

And why have I never ordered anything from Burt's Bees Baby? So adorable!!

http://www.burtsbeesbaby.com/Waterlily-Dress/LY11081,en_US,pd.html?dwvar_LY11081_color=Blush&start=25&cgid=Baby_Girl_Clothing


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sweet Zeke Baby

My nephew got very sick this past week and was transported by life flight to our children's hospital. I'm sharing this to ask for continued prayers of health and healing and for prayers of gratitude that God has made him stronger and he is out of the ICU. 


Face timing with his twin sister.

Playing with his Poppy.

Easter Basket Goodies

Here are some Target finds I am thinking about scooping up for Miss Belle's Easter Basket... Or the Easter Bunny is.

Each year I think it would be fun to include some new swimsuits and a Spring jacket in her basket. And of course, a one piece because it's adorable.


These are because my baby is a complete mess when eating. Case and point...


And this just because she will giggle and love it!

Here are some other goodies on my list: