my favorite shade...

grass green...
...it's everywhere around me...
...decorations...
...coffee mugs...
...I dress my table in it...
...and myself...
...my dining room is painted in it...
...my favorite gifts tend to include it...
...I dress my kids in it...
...both of them...my husband too. :)

what's yours?

xoxo
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happy monday!

Our weekend was packed...with walks collecting wildflowers...
...cuddling and snuggling cute babies...
...admiring the blue skies and dogwoods in bloom...
...the usual household chores...
...and hanging out with friends at the park! :)
This past week I worked really hard to lose baby weight...and I lost a little over 7lbs!!! So I rewarded myself with these tasty brownies...smores brownies! The actual recipe called for making the brownies from scratch...but I turned to good old Betty Crocker instead...threw in a half a package of crushed graham crackers...some chopped up marshmallows...poured that all into a 13 by 9in pan....then placed large marshmallows on top of the batter like so...cook as directed on the box. yummmmm! :) the marshmallows get all toasty. :)
Two things in case you don't know...cut brownies with a plastic knife...the brownies won't stick...and to tell for sure that a cake/brownies are done without jabbing them a million times with a fork in the middle...look along the sides of the pans...the cake is ready when it starts to pull away from the sides. :)

The only bump in the road this weekend was the nasty case of food poisoning that I had all Saturday night...that led to a whole lot of nothing being done on Sunday...so thankful that Doug was home to take care of all of us. :)

Hope your weekend was just as wonderful and as full of sunshine! :)

xoxo
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what's that song...

As I was driving home from MOPS yesterday one of my all time favorite songs came on the radio. All time favorite meaning it is one of two songs that I l.o.v.e. to sing along to...as loud as I can...like no one can hear me. :) Well my two kids were in the back and they can hear but I consider them tone deaf until they are able to say other wise. :) One of those songs is "Stay" by Lisa Loeb. LOVE IT!!
The other is Duncan Sheik's "Barely Breathing".

I could have a CD with just these two songs on it and be happy for a pretty long time.
Is that sad? You probably didn't need to know this about me, right?

So I want to know...what is your song?
That one or two that you can hear over and over and never get enough.

Happy Friday!
xoxo

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remember.

to pray for the hokies today.

xo
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cute gift-3d photo...re-post. :)

Here is a re-post of one of my favorite how-to's...just in time for Mother's Day!What mother or grandmother wouldn't love to get something this precious? A cute 3D photo of their favorite grandchild...The best part is that it is inexpensive AND easy to do! Wanna know how?
First take some photo's of your kids holding something like they would a flower-like a pencil or crayon...nothing too large. I gave Moses one of my button flowers and told him to smell it (one of the few things he will do on command---the boy will smell anything). I couldn't believe how lucky I was to get this face!! If you have an older child you can get them to show you the "flower" this makes a cute photo too...keep clicking until you get one that will work...

Then I took an exacto knife and cut slits along the top edge of his hand (where it looks like the flower going into his hand) and again at the bottom. Then you just slip an artificial flower into the slits...this photo is a 4 by 6 so I used a small flower but you can use any flower you want...especially if you do an 8 by 10. When you put the photo into the frame take the glass out and put it in behind the photo or if you are mailing it, use cardboard to provide support instead of glass. Ta da!!! Cuteness you can do!!

Make sure you let me know if you do this project...I wanna see!!! :)

xoxo

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consider yourself warned.

Remember this bag?
My imperfect sample.

I will be listing it in the shop soon (as in the next couple of days)...for FREE!!
(almost free...you pay shipping)

So keep your eyes opened...it could be yours. :)

I am working on a new, less vinyl and more perfect one as we speak.
xoxo
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tasty.

Layered Strawberry Cheesecake Bowl
You need:
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping, divided
2 cups frozen pound cake cubes (1 inch)
COMBINE berries and sugar; refrigerate until ready to use. Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix; mix well.
BLEND in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP. Spoon half into 2-1/2-qt. bowl.
TOP with layers of cake, berries and remaining cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Enjoy! It's super yummy and nice and light. :)

xoxo
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Easter weekend...

We started the weekend on Friday by having Dish Network installed...the photo above is Moses flashing his tummy to the installation guy outside...yep...that's my son. :)
Moses helped me make a pound cake for Easter dessert..."help" meaning he licked the beaters. :)
We managed another year of non-candy Easter basket...full of Thomas, marshmallows and rainbow goldfish. :)
He didn't seem to miss the candy when there was play-doh in his eggs.
He showed off his "this looks painful" fake and cheesy smile.
The Easter bunny slept through most of it. :)
I made this dessert for Easter...along with homemade pulled pork and homemade mac and cheese. yummmm!
Here is Moses on Easter last year. :)
And here he is this year...hunting eggs with his good friend Kai. :)
And here they are...high-fiving each other over all the eggs they found. :)

Sadly, we didn't make it to church...I am just not ready yet...is that normal?

We did have a great Easter, though. We had some great time together as a family and then our good friends joined us for dinner and dessert.

I hope your Easter was just as lovely and full of the warmth of family you love.

xoxo
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also....BOGO

A HUGE Easter BOGO sale in the shop...see shop announcement for details!
Friday, Saturday and Sunday only!
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here but exhausted...

mentally not physically exhausted. Here dealing with some of my same old issues. The ones I have to conquer every so often. This time they are especially painful and exhausting. I can't really go into them here...wish I could...it would probably help.

It's been a really long week. I am hoping for a refreshing weekend...a visit with Uncle B, Easter dinner with friends...seeing one of my very best friends on Wednesday...spending time pondering the wonder and beauty that is Easter.
Here is this again. Always refreshes me.

Thankful for My King once again...and thinking on His limitless love and His selfless sacrifice. Wishing more than ever in my life that He would come back already.

I'll be here waiting.
xoxo
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one more thought...or two...

So, since that post a couple back I have had some lingering thoughts. Most of them sparked by something an Etsy friend said that has really struck me. Sara said something to the effect of how comparison is the enemy of contentment and gratitude. Ever since I read those words I can't help to think about that statement and how true it really is...it also made it very clear to me just how much I compare myself to others...and it never leaves me feeling good. Just this statement alone has changed the direction of my path...since reading her thoughts I have managed to catch myself mid-comparison and change my thought pattern...change from looking outward to looking inward. I get a better feeling when I compare myself to me...as in how far I have come in life from so many years ago than if I compare myself to someone who isn't on the same path as me. We all have different destinations (ultimately the same destination...Heaven...but on Earth different) so why should our path look the same?

Another thought. I have been wondering about the things that make motherhood so tough. For me a huge part of it is that it challenges my faith more than anything in my life. In no other area do I feel like the Enemy is waiting to see me fail as much. I feel like he is breathing down my back just waiting...because I know there are times when I am begging God to help me...get this baby to sleep or keep him asleep...or to help my toddler do this or that...or to heal my child, etc and He does none of it. And the Enemy is waiting to see how I respond...waiting to see how mad I get at God. And the truth is, I do get mad. Ugh. I do. But the moment I realize that this is what the Enemy is watching and waiting for...I change my tune...and concentrate more on the sweet moments in a day of chaos. Like my baby boy who is just learning to smile...or my toddler who will randomly hug me...or my husband who likes to bring me home new Starbucks mugs. :)

So last night, after an emotionally draining day of non-napping boys and huge hospital bills arriving in my mailbox...it was suddenly 8pm and all the boys were sleeping. I had alone and I had quiet. I finally pulled a daily devotional out that I had recently been given. I was dying for a morsel from God...even a crumb. Here is what he gave me:

Sing a new song (or tune!) to the LORD because he has done miraculous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gained victory for him. Psalm 98:1

I feel like He and I are gaining victory in these two areas. And that was just the crumb I needed to continue my search for a new song...new attitude...new outlook. I am thankful for my fresh start today...and tomorrow...and the next day.

Sorry for such a rambling post...I don't know if any of that makes sense to anyone but me...but I had to get it out so I could stop thinking about it during the wee hours of the morning when I should be getting back to sleep. :)

xoxo
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finally...

Finally a warm spring like weekend with NO rain!! :) It was beautiful and productive...even if the boys both went crazy on Saturday. :) Just wanted to say thank you to all of the wonderful feedback from the last post. I really REALLY want this blog to be encouraging to all who come here...and I hope that it helps you get to know me better, too. :)
So like I said...Beautiful, warm, dry weather! :) Lots of bare toes at our house...Moses has his first pair of flip flops (or slippy shoes as he calls them). It's been cute to watch him learn to walk in them...and to occasionally look down at his feet to see the shoe wedged between the wrong two toes. :)
I just threw this in because I think he's so handsome. :)
We had a visit from my Uncle B this weekend...Moses ADORES Uncle B visits...so much so that I can't tell him that he is coming until like two minutes before he is about to pull in the driveway or I have to hear Untol B? Untol B? Untol B? Untol B? Untol B? Untol B? Untol B? Untol B? You get the picture right? So Uncle B comes to see us once or twice a month...and by come to see us I mean come to see Moses. :) Moses loves it because when he is here Moses has his undivided attention...he never brings mounds of toys or gifts...he brings his time and spends it all on Moses. :) I love the Moses never expects anything of him but to play cars or trains or to play in a box for hours at a time. Gotta love when someone loves your kids like that right?
Uncle B does help us out with a lot of projects around the house though, while Moses is napping of course. This weekend he taught Doug how to change his brake pads...YAY honey!! :) Then he stained our back fence for us. :)
I LOVE how it turned out...we have had to work a LOT on this fence since moving in here...now I am itching to make a trip to Lowe's to pretty it all up with some plants and bushes. :)
Then on Sunday we got to break out the new double stroller...quite a work out on our hilly trails...but the weather was amazing and we all enjoyed getting out. :) UNTIL I got home and realized that I had locked us out of the house...oops. Luckily Doug only works fifteen minutes from home and was able to come rescue us and Moses didn't seem to mind staying outside to play. :)

And the winner of the FREE silhouette is the blogger from http://faithfamilyhomefriends.blogspot.com/
She didn't leave her name but her blog is darling. :)
So mystery blogger...just contact me via Etsy to get started. :)

As for the rest of you...if you entered you can still get a silhouette...I genuinely felt bad that I couldn't do one for everyone...if you order between now and next Monday I will give you $5 off of each one you purchase! :) Just be sure you write "giveaway participant" in the notes to seller when you check out...or contact me via Etsy.

Happy Monday to you!
xoxo
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inside.

Something I have been thinking about a lot lately...the mom game. The game that I am sure that every single mom, and woman for that matter, plays with the world. It goes something like this...often I find myself thinking that I must be the worst mother in the world. That no other mother would do things as badly as I do. I find myself comparing every element of myself to my friends and other women around me. EVERY element. Thinking surely every woman I know is a better mother, friend, wife, sister, daughter-in-law, etc. I find myself thinking that I am less able, less creative, less stylish, less attractive, less everything. That every mother I know has it more together than I do. That no one else's two year old is making them crazy. That no one else wants to lock themselves in the bathroom, just for a moment of silence. That no one else wonders why God even thought that they could handle raising children. I often get lost in what I think is an individual experience of motherhood. Trying my best to learn my new babies pattern of life...only to have him poop himself awake once I FINALLY get him to sleep. Wanting my toddler to be quiet just for ONE minute so I can have a clear thought. Wanting to be able to concentrate during a conversation...just once...if even for a moment. Wanting SO desperately to parent in such a way that I nurture the darling and wonderful people my kids are and NOT parent in a way that forms their characters in any other way than what God wants for them. And failing a lot.
Then there was a moment at MOPS. A beautiful clear moment where we were ALL talking about having the same experience. Comparing stories that were wonderfully similar. A bit of relief settled over the table...at least over me...conveying that we are ALL in this together...that there is no such thing as a unique mothering experience...that every mother has moments of insanity...that we all wonder what if...or miss our former bodies...or want a moment of peace and quiet. For me this was a great reminder of why I love transparency. Of why I love and strive to be an authentic person...because when you are others can relate. No one can relate to supermom...which I think is someone we all want to be...or at least convey that we are. I am not. Nor do I want to be.
So this is me. Throwing down my cape and saying that I am not supermom. I do not have it all together. I let the TV babysit my son sometimes. I enjoy being alone sometimes. We have cereal for dinner sometimes. I lock myself in the bathroom sometimes. I am not always pleasant. I don't always parent the way that I should or the way that God wants me to. I make mistakes every hour. Every minute some days. Some nights I just want to sleep through the baby crying...I don't but I want to at times. I stay in the shower until the hot water runs out just for a few moments of quiet and alone. There were moments when my newborn was just home that I wondered what in the world I had done to my family. I don't always enjoy playing with my toddler. It's true. This is real mom stuff. And I know that if you are a mom that you have felt this way too. So I am just laying it out there in case you need a "we are all in this together" moment.

The best part is that I know that God knows all of this. Knew it all would happen and how I would handle each and every moment...yet still gave me two beautiful and wonderful boys. He thought high enough of me to give them to me. And that is amazing and humbling all at once. He knows how much and how deeply I love all three of my boys...and knows how much I want to give my best and do my best in each role of my life. I know that He forgives my mistakes and that if He does then I need to forgive myself as well. And so do you.

Happy Saturday!

xoxo
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