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.


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.

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!!


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:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Does it count as cheating if I used a gift card? I sure hope not. I love this turtle latte from Scooter's Coffee. I didn't pay for it, but now I have 34 days until I can have another... So I will pay for that.


Yesterday was beautiful!! I couldn’t wait to pick up Belle and grill and play outside all night. I’ve always said that Annabelle and I weren’t meant to live in the Midwest. We are both at our best while we are outside in the fresh air. I bundle that little thing up anytime it’s above freezing (which has been next to NEVER this winter) and we head outside even for ten minutes.


We have been blessed with some signs of Spring weather the last couple of days. Annabelle even got to play outside at daycare with the big kids! As soon as we got home we headed straight to the deck to grill out, eat dinner out there, and to walk around and explore.

She loved “helping” David clean up some leaves around the pool and hold my hand and walk everywhere. She points to things and says “hmm?” which I have found I say a lot! I tell her the names of those things, colors, and then let her touch them and try to give her words to describe them. We did this for an hour last night. I know she would do this for hours on end, and I could too! It’s one of my favorite games – watching her learn.


Last night she slept better than she has in months! This weather is good for our souls.

Just look at those pants and shoes covered in dirt. I love it!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Birthday Summary in Pics

This weekend I turned 28. Sheesh. That sounds so much older than 27.

Anyway, we had the best weekend! David and I spent both evenings relaxing, watching movies, and being together. Saturday I was able to meet all of my sisters for a special lunch. It means so much to me when they all come together and we get to celebrate and laugh and cry. They are the greatest women.

Also that day we spent some much needed time with David's family at his sisters (I get so sad his oldest brother and his wife and son live far away, but we've booked our tickets to go see them this summer!) We spent the afternoon there and I got to hold this sweet little guy!

This morning we made breakfast with miss Belle and played outside all day and went for walks. It was honestly exactly what I wanted to do. Spend every waking minute with my little, sweet family.

(I didn't take many pictures with my phone ((which is where I've been posting from)) because I'm using my actual camera and video camera more , in hopes of having my phone out less and less around Belle. It is driving some people crazy because I am bad about responding to texts in a timely manner and I have an even harder time answering calls. I'm trying to find a balance.)


I could do a whole post about my wonderful Birthday weekend, but right now I am drinking some tea, getting ready to read in my warm bath, and saw this gem of a picture. I spent today with my two favorite people and favorite animal, Dave and Belle and my Bozy.

This was from right after her nap. I love how cuddly she has been lately. I treasure every second because she's such a busy little thing, these times are rare.

I will post more later.

Friday, March 7, 2014


I know I seem to always come back to this, but how does time keep flying by? I can't seem to get it to slow down. One glance at my calendar at work shows I might just be in denial.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Old Navy Steals

I didn't realize how hard the spending freeze would be...

Day two and I feel like cheating with Old Navy.

These cuties are so perfect for Spring and are on sale for $25. Sob. (All of these are Oldnavy.com - eat your heart out.)

And look at these adorable bubble onesies for Miss Belle for $16!

Remington Nature Center

We took Belle to our local nature center last weekend. If you need a fun winter activity in St. Joe you should check it out. Belle loved running around and pointing to all the "Bobos" (her word for any four legged beast). 

Oh Pottery Barn

You know I love Pottery Barn Kids chair backers. Well they definitely nailed it with the Spring one. Am I allowed to still shop for Miss Belle? Unfortunately, I don't think this is a "need".

Probably not this either also from Pottery Barn Kids....

And definitely not this from Pottery Barn even though it's on Sale. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hunter Boots on Sale

For those of you that are not giving up spending for Lent, these lovely, perfect, purple Hunter boots are on major sale. Buy them and I will borrow ;)



I know a girl who is working so hard to provide for her little family. She’s a single mom with two adorable kids. She works hard to give them the safest and best care possible. She keeps coming up just a little short. I’ve had many conversations with her and have had a tiny view into her life and tried to help in ways that I can. It has really hit home with me. The circumstances she is overcoming or worrying about are ones I wouldn’t have thought anyone in my town truly deals with and ones I wouldn’t have to ever really think about. Anyway, this post isn’t to tell her story though. I never feel that it’s my place to share other’s stories.


This is just a little background about what God has been telling me in the past few months. This friend, together with a sermon a couple of weeks ago, has really inspired me to ask God what he wants me to do with the money he has lent to me. It’s sad, but I have to admit that I’ve not committed to asking God for help with my finances. This sounds so stupid to me to actually say. But it’s true. I thank him for my career and money that provides, and I thank him for things like my house and other material blessings. And I definitely thank him for my hard working husband who provides for us and handles all the money because goodness knows I wouldn’t have a clue. But I haven’t truly asked God to show or tell me what to do with money – I haven’t asked him how much we should give to missions this year, or how much we can spend on gifts, etc.


I’ve talked before about little challenges I’ve tried (and failed or quit) like No Spend November and the likes. Today there are some posts on Instagram for a mini-challenge for Lent to not shop. I think this is a great idea! I am going to give it a full try. I will try to not spend any money on things for myself or things that I don’t need. I know that’s a loose definition. What I mean is that I’m going to buy groceries, gas, medicine and vitamins, and things like that. But I’m not going to buy shoes, clothes, jewelry, candy, Starbucks, etc. And I’m going to take it one step further and try to keep track of these things I pass up and do something with that money.


Wish me luck! And if you are interested in this little challenge, look up the1yearwardroberesolution on Instagram. She has great tips!