Friday, November 6, 2015

November Currently

I did a similar style post back in September when I was doing the blogging challenge. And it was so much fun I thought I'd do it again! 

cooking: eggs. toast. seemly lots of breakfast items. since we moved I haven't really done much cooking. I have reheated plenty of left overs and scrambled eggs just seem really easy to make. maybe once the kitchen is more in order I will feel up to cooking again...

planning: how to organize our new place. I really do love our new place but trying to figure out where things should go is a little overwhelming at times. along with all of that, I'm trying to plan for the upcoming holidays...

smelling: my fall scented candles. I love Harvest from Yankee Candle and recently purchased vanilla sandalwood from ePantry. they bring the cozy smells of fall into our home and with all the chaos of moving, those smells bring comfort and a little bit of sanity to my life.

appreciating: the people God put in our lives who have been so helpful the last couple of weeks. we have had many people babysit the littles so we can pack or sort or whatever needs done. many guys came out to help with the actual move and several ladies helped me clean both our new place and the old one. others have brought us food so we don't have to cook. so many people have pitched in to bless and encourage us in this difficult process.

anticipating: the upcoming holidays! let's not skip straight to Christmas. I love Thanksgiving as well...spending time with family, eating delicious food, making memories! I'm really looking forward to decorating for Christmas in our new place. I've even tried to envision where I want the tree...and where I will sit to enjoy it's warm twinkling lights. 

what are you doing currently?
join us over here for a link up!


Friday, October 30, 2015

6 Things I learned in October


It is really hard for me to comprehend that October is basically over. Wow. 
I love Fall and this October has not disappointed! 

I'm linking up with Emily P. Freeman today to discuss some things I have learned as I reflect back over this month before moving on to the lovely month of November. 

1. We are moving. 
Yes. You read that correctly. Not a big move. Just down the street basically. To a more permanent type of place. 

In just under 8 years of marriage this will be our 7th move. All. The. Craziness. 

The packing has been horrific this time and as I type this my dining room table is covered with random junk that doesn't really have a home but needs packed, my bedroom is full of clean laundry that I can't decide whether to fold or just throw in a box and move it, and my kitchen is half packed and half full of dirty dishes. This is by far the most difficult move we have made...because I am moving with 2 littles. Last time we moved we only had E BUT it was 10 days before Gman's due that included its own level of stress. 

2. Speaking of due dates, we are adding another little to our family... May. 

We "learned" about this waaayyyy before October, but we finally started telling our families and making the news public last week. 

Baby #3 will be here in mid-May...right about a month before I'm supposed to be Matron-of-Honor in my little sister's wedding...perfect timing ;) 

3. The Good Wife is my new guilty pleasure
I don't really feel all that guilty about it actually. Hubs and I watched Parenthood together over the course of a couple months. When it was over we were sad...I was probably more sad than he was. It took a while to find something that we both enjoy watching. Thanks to Megan Tietz and the Sorta Awesome podcast I heard about The Good Wife

The pilot episode hooked me. 

How many shows can you say that about? 
I mean, even Downton Abbey took me more than one episode to get caught up in the show. 

Not this one. 

There is an underlying story line that carries from episode to episode but there are quicker story lines that finish out in just one episode. Best of both worlds. I think that's what keeps me hooked...that and the fact that Alicia is just so amazing. 

4. My girl likes chai lattes
And she stole mine.
Don't ask me why she is wearing mittens. She is her own person...I'll leave it at that.

She decided she really likes chai lattes now. So much for Momma having a little treat for herself. 

5. Making soup really is beautiful
and grounding. 

Emily P. Freeman mentioned this in her book Simply Tuesday. I found it to be true as I made vegetable soup one chilly Saturday afternoon. Chopping the veggies, letting them simmer, browning the meat. All very simple, yet very grounding. Like this was the work I was made to do. It made me feel at rest rather than rushed. 

Thanks, Emily for your thoughts on soup making. It helped me to pause as I was making my own and recognize the beauty in that simple task. 

6. My littles make everything an adventure
I'm almost certain I already knew this, but they proved it again a couple of weeks ago. Replica ships of the Nina and the Pinta (Columbus' ships) were docked in our city for a couple of days. Since E had learned about them in preschool that week we decided to go see them. 

They thought the ships looked like pirate ships so they were convinced they would see Zarina (pirate fairy) and Captain Hook. E dressed as Zarina to go on the ship (see photo at top of this post). Complete with a cape and tiara. She also brought along her bunny Lilly Rose. Gman kept asking where Captain Hook was. 

Those littles of mine really had fun that afternoon. We finished the evening out with my favorite gluten-free pizza in town! 

There are so many other things I could think that I learned this month, but these are the highlights. 

So thankful for even the hard weeks God took my family through in the last month or so. It hasn't been all smiles, but we have learned a lot about who we are and who He is. 

Looking forward to November...and getting ready for the Holiday season! I know some people dread it and in some scenarios I do too (like the busy-ness of it all) but there is such an excitement around that time. And traditions. I absolutely LOVE traditions! Maybe that's another post in itself. ;) 

I hope you enjoy your last couple of October days!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

When the answer is "No"'

I remember being a child and hearing my parents answer "No" to some of my requests. I had the same rebuttal in my head (and sometimes out loud) that most children do-- 

Then you don't love me.

As a parent I now realize how untrue and frustrating that is! 

As an adult, I still struggle with those thoughts. But not toward my parents. 

The last couple months have been difficult for our family. Mainly Hubs and me. If you've been around this little space of the web very long you know our desire for church planting/revitalization ministry. You also know how we have been pursuing that for years while trying to live patiently and contentedly in the waiting. 

About a month ago I would have told you that it was happening. We were on the brink. We even looked at houses for sale in a new area of our state! And we found was that was beyond perfect...complete with every want we have when it comes to a house (built-in book cases, hardwood floors, loads of natural light). While I wasn't totally convinced, I was becoming more excited for the possibility. Everything was falling into place.

With one email response, it was over. 

It was unexpected. 
It wasn't foreseen.
There was nothing anyone did to cause it to go wrong. 

God just said "No". 
And this wasn't the first time. 
About a year ago, the same thing happened. 


was my first thought. 

Now what?

came second. 

More waiting? 
Really, God? 
This was not what we had planned.

Everything changed. 

The days that followed held hard words from those we love. Words that weren't meant to, but brought discouragement. They brought doubt. They brought fear along with loads of tears (mainly mine). They brought confusion. 

We were under a spiritual attack unlike anything we had ever experienced. Holy Spirit was moving all around us, but so was the enemy. I simply cannot explain the heaviness and hope all at once. I can't put words around the sense of spiritual oppression we felt in those weeks. 

I kept waiting for something big to happen. 
Nothing really did. 
Except that God has spoken so much truth to our hearts over the last few weeks that he would have never been able to speak if we had not been desperate to hear from him. 

One of the voices he used for me was of a new author, long-time blogger Amber C. Haines. 
I heard her on a podcast and then a friend let me borrow her new book
Wild in the Hollow

I cannot recommend it enough. 

Just today, I finished it. 
I wept through the last chapter as her words cut my heart and I knew Holy Spirit was using her words to bring healing to my soul. 

God has said "No" to so many of my hopes and dreams and things that seem so right and so good. 
The last few weeks have seemed full of "No"s from him.
My thoughts return to that of a child (because aren't we all still children when we come to Him?). 

Then you don't love me.

Amber's words in the last paragraph of her book struck my heart right in that place where I believe he doesn't love me if he doesn't give me what I want or think I need. 

"How he must love me to have said no to so many other things to bring me here."

He had brought me here. And he is taking me other places. I can't see it all yet and I won't see it all clearly...ever. 
But I can know this. 
His "No" does not mean he doesn't love me. 

His "No" means he knows me. 
His "No" means he knows best.
His "No" means he loves me so much that he is bringing me to the place where I am most satisfied in Him...not in my circumstances. Not in my dreams or desires. But in Him. 

He knows what will satisfy me.
He knows what I need. 
It is Him. 
His "No" really means

I love you.


Friday, October 2, 2015

5 Things I learned in September

Hello October. 
I'm glad you're here. 

September was a great month! 
Much has happened in the last 30 days. 

I decided to link up with Emily Freeman this week and share some things that I learn in September. 

1. Car-line at school is THE BEST
E started preschool this year. At first I was walking her into school each day which meant getting G out of the car too...lugging him in and waiting for E to catch (because preschoolers aren't fast about anything in my experience). It was just a bit of a hassle. I enjoyed walking her in and hugging her goodbye, but when we tried car-line for the first time, I was sold! Pull up. Drop off. At pick up, put your number in the window, pull up, they bring child to you. Seriously easier! Sometimes it takes longer, but it really is a life-saver for mommas who have littles in the car with them!

2. My girl loves Little House...and our copy is ancient
We started reading Little House in the Big Woods...the actual chapter book. We had read the My First Little House books and I felt like it was time to move on to the chapter books. I rummaged through the attic to find our copies. The really cool thing? These books were mine when I was younger. But they were first my mom's! She documented when she read this one to my sister and I...way back in 1995! Once we finish I will document when I read it to E. Such a fun tradition to continue. Legacy of readers. The book is totally falling apart, but that's part of its charm. 

3. G-man is easily self-entertained
Since E has been in school a few mornings each week, I have recognized just how easily G-man entertains himself. It is amazing! These two littles are so different from one another and I haven't had a chance to get to know G in this way. I love them both and how different they are. I have been able to get a few extra little projects done because G just goes into his room to play with tools or trains or read books. It has been such a sweet blessing!

4. Low-key Fall evenings are refreshing
The summer kept us SO busy! Between work, ministry, and extra-curriculars (like softball, etc) we were gone basically every night of the week. The last few weeks have been so much slower and we are so thankful. We have taken many family walks, played soccer at the Capital complex, and simply enjoyed evenings by the fire. Our kids found this amazing tree that they like to call their "tree house". Watching them explore and climb was so much fun. These slower evenings have been a much needed refresher for us. 
5. That husband of mine is such a gift.
So, I already knew that but you know you can forget in the hum-drum of life. The last few weeks have been difficult for us as we evaluate our lives and pray about what God has for us next. Through critiques we received I was really able to see all the positive things about him. He is so gifted in relating with others and simply making them feel loved. He is passionate about Jesus, others, the gospel and our family. He leads with a vulnerability and genuine-ness that is so attractive to others. I have become distinctly aware of just how different he is than some other men, and for that I am profoundly grateful! 

I'm really excited to see what God is going to do in our lives this month! 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Blogtember-- Sept 17

latest obsession

Maybe this isn't my "latest" obsession, but it was definitely an obsession all. summer. long. 


I purchased an absurd amount of blueberries this summer. 
Sometimes I even eat frozen blueberries if that's all I have. 

blueberries were my go-to all summer and now that they aren't in season and they are crazy expensive, I am sad. I did break down and spend roughly $3 on a pint the other day which hurt (a little) after typically spending $1-1.50 per pint this summer. but, boy, were they delicious. 

my mouth is watering just thinking about them...

Brave Love Blog


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Blogtember-- Sept 16


This is probably one of the hardest prompts of this challenge. 


I want the online me to be the real me. 
But I know the tendency to make the online me look much better than the real me. 

I really do try to convey my real life in all social media areas as well as this blog, but I know I fail many times because of the pressure to make life look beautiful. all. the. time. 
Sometimes it is. Other times it is messy. Hard. Ugly. Real. 

That said, the online me is typically a cleaned up version of the real me. I desire vulnerability and you'll see posts in which I share my heart and the deep things stirring there. You'll also see pictures on Instagram that display my life through a rose-colored filter...or maybe just a dreamy black and white one. ;) 

Real life is usually messy and hectic as I care for my family and my two littles. 
But I don't want to focus so much on the messy that I miss the messy-beautiful. That's why I take the photos I do for my IG feed or this blog. Even in the midst of the hard, long, chaotic days of raising little children I want to capture the beauty that is there...because beauty is always there if you look for it. 

So, forgive me for not always being totally honest in the online realm...or maybe sometimes I'm too honest for you. Either way, I want you to see both the difficult and the beautiful moments of my life. 
Brave Love Blog


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Blogtember-- Sept 15

What's in your bag?

I mean really? 
Girls, this ended up being a bit embarrassing but good too.
You see, I carry around this bag that is big which is good for a momma, right? 
Only it gets cluttered with SO. MUCH. STUFF. 
This ended up being a major purse purge that was desperately needed. 

So, thanks for the writing prompt...
and maybe a few of you will get a chuckle out of what was in my purse. 

At first glance it doesn't look too bad, but that's because you can't quite see all the receipts and paper. Its stacked under the church bulletin ;) 

The important things--
cash envelope wallet
hand sanitizer
a few too many bobby pins
burt's bees lip balm (**fave!)
PastTense essential oil blend (for headaches)
target gift card

Not too important things--
necklace and earrings
an entire package of pony tail holders
dish towel (??) (to be fair, I took it to Joann's because I want to embellish it and needed to have it with me to see how much trim I would need...but its still in there...really?)
hour glass for teeth brushing
church bulletin and hidden receipts
key to beach condo (we went in MAY, people)
clothes pin
and we can't forget--a Little People shepherd (I'm obviously a mother...normal, single people or not-yet-parents don't carry Little People in their purses).

So, there ya have it! 

What's in your purse?

Brave Love Blog


Monday, September 14, 2015

Blogtempber-- Sept 14

5 books that have impacted my life the most? 
Just 5?

I read this 3-4 times.
Really, it changed me. 
It helped me to see the grace gifts that God gives...even those things that don't look like gifts.

I think I have read this twice as well. 

It gave me a new perspective on parenting and helped me to see
my role as mother with more clarity. I am called to disciple my
children and teach them about Christ. Every thing I do, every 
type of discipline I use, every conversation can point to Jesus or point away
from him. It has made me more intentional with how I 
parent my littles. 

Just finished this one. And. WOW.
Go buy it now. 

Conviction and encouragement. 
I am learning to celebrate my smallness and the
life God has given me...even if it feels small...because
Christ works in the small. 

Are you struggling with desires and dreams and how they fit
into reality? 
This book is for you! 

I was on the launch team for this book and wrote a more detailed review here. 

I read this a long time ago and have referenced it a few times. 

I think the biggest take away was developing a family mission statement
and living holistically with that purpose in mind. Working toward
that mission in everything...even the way you run your home and what kind of 
stuff you have in it. 

Very practical advice here.

Brave Love Blog


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Blogtember-- Sept 13

seasons of life

Today's challenge was to create a college that represents my current season of life.
I feel like this sums it up

1. Coffee cup--I drink a pretty good amount of coffee these days...because (refer to #2)

2. "Mom of the Year"-- Not that I think that of myself, but I am a mother. I spend the bulk of my time keeping my littles alive. Which is the main reason I need all. the. coffee.

3. Table of food-- We do a lot of cooking and eating. I joke sometimes that all I do is feed people. But I have people and my people need to eat.

4. Running shoes-- my current favorite running shoe (Mizuno). I don't run super long distances or spend a ton of time on it, but I do enjoy running a couple times per week.

5. Pen-- writing. In this season I am seeing how much I process when I write. I journal daily and picking up the pace on this blog has really felt good too.

6. Books-- I've also been devouring books recently. Its difficult with littles around all the time, but I have started to make it priority because of how my soul is refreshed through reading.

What does you life look like in this season?

Brave Love Blog


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Blogtember-- Sept 12

A "currently" post.
This was fun!

Reading... A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman
Playing... a ridiculous amount of Candy Land
Watching... The Office...because I'm the weirdo who hasn't watched it. ever. until now.
Trying... to complete loads of laundry which means folding & putting away on the same day
Cooking... quick and simple dinners...our evenings have been super busy!
Eating... lots of fruit because it just seems to be what I am hungry for
Drinking... chai lattes...favorite from a local shop
Calling... my mom....basically daily...doesn't everyone?
Texting... quotes from Simply Tuesday to girl-friends
Pinning... new recipes and books I'd like to read and home decor for the upcoming holidays!
Tweeting... basically nothing. I'm more of an Instagrammer. ;)
Going... all the places. School. Soccer. Grocery store. Post Office. Errands seem never ending
Loving... the community God has placed around me and the relationships He is deepening
Hating... the season of "limbo" our family is in...more on that later
Discovering... a love and desire for writing
Thinking... about the desires God placed in my heart, what makes me come alive & what does it mean for my life?
Feeling... all kinds of feelings because we are still trying to figure out our next steps in this life
Hoping (for)... a long, cool, beautiful Fall
Listening (to)... uplifting instrumental relaxing!
Celebrating... the smallness of my everyday life
Smelling... Harvest candle from Yankee Candle...Fall in a jar.
Thanking... God for the gifts even in the mundane
Considering... what God has for me & this blog
Starting... to get my shop ready for Fall with new nursing scarves!
Finishing... Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman. This book touched my soul deeply.

Brave Love Blog

Friday, September 11, 2015

Blogtember-- Sept 11

So, its Friday! 


Let's pretend I have decided to just stay in on this lovely Friday night. The possibilities for enjoying a Friday night in are seemingly endless right now! 

Maybe I'd enjoy a simple dinner and then get the kids to bed so I could enjoy some time with Hubs. 

Or maybe after the kids are down I'd....

spend time sewing. 

read a book. 

sit out back by the fire pit just talking with Hubs. 

play Settlers of Catan with friends.

bake and eat chocolate chip cookies.

watch a movie (aka fall asleep).

I know what you're thinking... "This girl lives on the wild side"! Haha! 
It might seem a little boring to you to spend a Friday night like this, but life for us right now is so busy that a quiet evening at home just enjoying some of the things that are life giving to me sounds amazing! 

Brave Love Blog


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blogtember-- Sept 10

10 bucket list items

I have never really sat down to write out a bucket list. So I did that today. 
Granted, I'm sure there will be future additions as I think about things that I couldn't think of today, but its a start! 

Can I just say that its a little scary to put your bucket list out there? Like, I'm not accountable to do these things! If I don't will I be a loser? Are my bucket list items considered silly in the eyes of others? Guess its time (again) to be brave and put a little piece of my heart out there!

Here are 10 items from my bucket list. 
Some I have already done others I am still waiting to do. 
These are just random priority placed on this list...just a list. 

1. Have a garden that is fruitful from which I can feed my family. I'd like to eventually have enough produce to can for my family's use. 

2. Get a tattoo. I just can't decide what I want and I want it to be meaningful. 

3. Donate my hair. 

4. Learn how to capture beautiful pictures. 

5. Visit Greece. 

6. Live in a big city. 

7. Plant a church with Hubs. 

8. Buy a house. 

9. Read through the entire Bible. (Haven't decided if that should be "in a year" or give myself a little longer to complete the task). 

10. Have a signature/secret recipe.

What's on your bucket list?

Brave Love Blog
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