Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Last year we had a pumpkin and a berry fairy....

This year we have a bride and groom...

All I know is...

{1} Little people in costumes are the cutest thing ever.

{2} When will I realize that Michigan is COLD every single year at Halloween? Next year, they need to dress up like Eskimos or mummies or both. Seriously.

{3} The faster these kids grow, the stronger they get, which means the more stamina they have to "trick-or-treat", meaning the more candy they I get!!


Hope you have a fun-filled Halloween this year!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Riviera Maya

Five nights and six days at one of the nicest resorts we've ever been to. In one of the most beautiful locations. The Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Thank you for your prayers. We felt them. Our time together was beautifully uninterrupted. Each day started with a little rain but the clouds soon dispersed and the sun made regular appearances. Greg's cold was nearly over by the time we arrived to the resort. There was only one day of work related meetings for Greg. Otherwise, we basically rotated between the pools, the beaches, and restaurants (with the most amazing and exotic food we've ever had). Did I mention I didn't have to cook a single one of those meals? Now that was a treat. And we even had a little fun playing a few sports we both enjoy!


In unedited and rapid fire fashion, here's our trip in chronological order. 

Sad to leave....

As much as we wanted to stay, we couldn't wait to get home to see our kiddos! I had a couple videos and pictures left on my camera that we would flip through during the week whenever we started to miss them. We never worried about them but now and then we'd talk about our favorite attributes of each child. And oh how sweet it was to see them this morning! Jumping and hopping into my arms with excitement, shouting, "MAMA! MAMA!!" It was like seeing them for the first time. 


The trip was ummm dare I say, BETTER than our Honeymoon?? I truly felt like every detail of this trip was designed specifically for us. We did not deserve such special treatment. Thank you Lord! And even more, it was so great to vacation with the person I've shared the past (basically) 10 years of my life with. Our love is so much deeper than it ever was the day we left for our Honeymoon. 

God is good.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Reliving the Honeymoon

I loved our Honeymoon. I know not every newly married couple has a fantastic Honeymoon experience (for various reasons) but I have to say it is STILL one of my favorite memories with Greg.

Seven years and two kids later, we have not been to a tropical destination since.

Until now...

We have the privilege of turning a "work trip" into a tropical vacation starting tomorrow!! I cannot tell you how thrilled and blessed I feel right now. This trip could not have come at a better time in our marriage. The fact that we are going to the same place as our Honeymoon trip is no coincidence in my mind. It's by God's grace 100%. 

A few prayer requests:

(1) Greg is currently sick. Achy, stuffy, borderline feverish. He went to bed at 7:30 last night and basically felt like trash the past two days. Pray he gets better quick!

(2) This will be the longest we've ever been away from the kids. Pray for them to adjust well. Pray for us to not worry about them while we're gone. They are in good hands. 

(3) The weather forecast where we're going is definitely warm but looks like it will be cloudy and stormy every single day. Pray we get just one day of sun. Just one.

(4) Regardless of how the trip goes. Pray that our time together will be fruitful and refreshing. Whether we lose our luggage, our plane gets delayed, or the weather is as bad as it forecasts...pray that nothing will come between Greg and I during this precious time together. Nothing.

See you in a week my friends!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feeling like a zero today...

Maybe it's b/c I took the kids to the library the other day and after specifically telling Mason "NO", he purposefully and successfully cleared off an entire shelf of DVD's in front of three other mom's and their kids.


Maybe it's b/c Greg came home one night from work asking what was for dinner, and I carelessly waved my hand from my comfortable position on the couch saying, "Well, we had the last of the macaroni and soup, so can you make a sandwich for yourself?"


Maybe it's b/c I've been sleeping in and letting my feet hit the floor without any quiet time with my Jesus. I feel frazzled, and unable to get out the door anytime before say, 10 o'clock in the morning. I then try to squeeze some Bible reading in the middle of the day while the kids are "happily playing" only to be interrupted by two screaming children who are fighting over toys. It doesn't make for very good "quiet time". 


Maybe it's b/c I haven't cleaned my house in who knows how long and honestly I don't care to. I mean, I'm ashamed at how unashamed I am. Really.


Maybe it's b/c by the end of the day, I realize I've yelled at my kids more than I've poured loving words into them. And I feel like all I want to do is race through the hours until it's bedtime when I can FINALLY have time to myself.


Maybe it's b/c after taking nearly three weeks to fast from Pinterest and FB, I'm right back where I was before the fast. Thankfully I'll be away from the internet ALL next week, so there will be NO temptations.


Maybe it's b/c I've had zero comments 5 out of the last 6 posts, and I've contemplated giving up the blog. Why is it that comments feel so gosh darn good?? And when I don't get any I feel as though this blog is not compelling enough. There's something about feeling "heard" that is motivating. I guess I need to keep asking myself, "What is the purpose of this blog?" Maybe it's just simply a way to record and keep track of my life. But, I sometimes wish it could be more than that. Still sorting that out...


Maybe it's b/c of this yucky, rainy, dreary weather. I miss summer. Period.

Anyway, if YOU are feeling like a zero sometimes, just know that I do too. We all do. And that's okay. What I need to remember is my purpose is not about succeeding in every area of life. It's about seeking Christ in every area.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The potty

It's a milestone for all toddlers but especially true for our sweet little girl...

Kensie sat on the potty seat by herself for the FIRST time yesterday!

This is a big deal for most first time parents, but I feel the need to give you the "back-story" for exactly why I'm so proud of this girl and why it's such a big answer to prayer! I haven't blogged about this topic other than to say I've simply been dreading it. I guess there's a certain amount of embarrassment all parents feel when it seems like their kid is "behind" in a certain area. 

When Kensie turned 2, I thought to myself, Okay! Here we go! This is the year of potty training! I wasn't looking forward to it but kept it out on the table. I lovingly tried to introduce the topic with little discussions now and then--always with a positive outlook and affirming words. We had a special day where we went with excitement to the store and Kensie picked out her favorite princess undies and princess potty seat. She was so excited to bring them home and try on her new undies. We chatted with slightly older kids who were fully potty trained and Kensie would cheer for her friends as they showed how they could go "all by themselves". But, she had zero interest. Then one day during bath time she accidentally went #2 in the tub and it freaked her right out! Screaming and crying. I don't think she understood that's what comes out of our bodies! Understandable, right? Anyway, I was extra careful not to react negatively and calmly tried to assure her that it was okay, I wasn't upset and that nothing was wrong. Ever since then, her lack of interest turned to straight up fear of the potty. I would casually ask if she wanted to try sitting on the potty and she would immediately start to wimper. "No Mama. I no want to. I so scared..." It broke my heart to see how terrified she was. So I just let it go and stopped bringing it up. I don't believe in throwing a child into a situation their not entirely ready for. She clearly wasn't ready.

Thennnnnn she turned 3, and I was like Okay! We're still in full-time diapers over here and she has never even attempted to sit on the potty! What can I do to help this girl?

Then it hit me.

I realized I hadn't been giving it to God. There was no way I could change this little girl's heart. But, God could! So, a couple weeks ago I talked to Kensie about her fear of the potty and how maybe if we asked Jesus to help us, maybe we wouldn't be afraid anymore! We prayed out loud together as often as she wanted, sometimes twice a day. Usually it was something like, "Dear Jesus, we know you can calm our fears. God, please help Kensie not to be afraid of the potty anymore. We pray with all our hearts that you would give Kensie a desire to want to use the potty when she's ready. We trust you Lord. Amen." No other discussions or conversations about it--just simple prayers.

So, yesterday sometime shortly after breakfast, when Kensie ran up to me and shouted, "MAMA! I want to use the potty Mama! I really want to try! I want to be a BIG girl Mama! I not scared anymore!", tears started to fill my eyes. We rushed into the bathroom and I watched as she climbed up without any help onto her princess potty seat. Her eyes radiated with excitement and joy as we praised Jesus right there in the bathroom. 

"Kensie! You did it! I'm so proud of you! Isn't Jesus so awesome?...he helped you not be afraid anymore! Praise the Lord!" 

"I know Mama! I like a BIG girl now! I not scared anymore! Hallelujah!!"

She asked me FOUR more times throughout the rest of the day to use the potty. I was in total shock and amazement. (PS-Nothing "happened" while on the potty yesterday...but just the fact that she wants to sit on there is enough for me right now!) 

We're gonna take it as slow or fast as she wants to, and no doubt there will be some ups and downs ahead of us. Right now, we're just excited to start the potty training journey!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Family Beach pics

We were able to sneak in some beach pics a couple weeks ago. 

The kids were troopers even though it was somewhat cold and windy.

This was pretty much my dream photo session and I was so thankful we caught one of the last semi-warm, beautiful sunsets of summer.

1) the beach
2) the sunset
3) holding hands with the ones I love

And heaven will be even BETTER than this!? Our God is awesome.

I'm telling you, this gal Tammi has outdone herself this time!

You can get to know Tammi HERE. We are always blessed by her incredible talent. 

Capturing moments like these are truly "more than words". 

Thank you, Tammi.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book recommendation

I have been relishing the ways God has been speaking to me these past couple weeks. Deep and personal ways that can only come from the Father.

One of His tools are books. I've mentioned before that I don't really prioritize reading in my downtime. But lately I've been craving it! Rising early to be in the Word and seeking communication with Him. Staying up late reading other books that speak directly to my life. He's given me such a hunger for truth.

I picked up this book at the True Woman Conference I attended.

Just the way God pointed my attention to this book in the midst of thousands of other books on display is a story in itself.


It's one of those books that's more than just inspiring. It tells a story we can all relate to. 

"There it was. The wilderness. Settled at Etham, they could see it--coughing and swirling in the hot desert wind. The last place their tired feet wanted to take them. The wild, time-wasting wilderness....

What do you do in a situation like that? How will you respond when you're at Etham with a clear view of a more comfortable route but also a sure certainty that God's presence is leading you another way? The Israelites  had that kind of decision to make: should they turn back and take what seemed to be the most simple path to where they were headed, or should they continue pursuing God, knowing full well that the direction He was going would lead them on a more difficult route?" - pg. 62

I think it's safe to say, we have ALL experienced the "wilderness" in one way or another.

This book is powerful. No doubt about it. I can't even explain how much God is reaching out to me through each page. It's exactly what I need to read right now.

God bless you as you travel through your own wilderness...


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Proud moment

Leaving the mall playground.

It's close to lunch time and of course I forgot to pack snacks and sippy cups. Meltdowns are on the horizon. Kensie refuses to put her shoes on by herself, b/c velcro straps apparently are "too hard". Just as I'm regretting my decision to not bring a stroller for Mason, I look up to see him running away from the playground. 

More like sprinting. 

Towards the mall entrance. 

I drift away from Kensie leaving her to fend for herself and her half-velcroed shoes. I yell after Mason to "STOP!", which clearly means "FASTER". Regrettable decision #2. Sprinting and now giggling he approaches the handicap button (which ALL mom's know magically opens the door). By this time I'm half-way between both children. 

Kensie's yelling from behind, "MOM! WAIT FOR ME!! DON'T LEEEEEEAVE MEEEEE!!!!!!!!", 

I'm yelling to the escape artist up ahead, "MASON! COME 'ERE! RIGHT NOW!!!". 

Mason is giggling hysterically by now, realizing how fast his chubby legs have carried him and all that's separating him from the parking lot are two gigantic "magical" blue buttons.

First button pushed. He sweeps through the first door. 

It was like one of those bad dreams where you are running but not really moving that fast. 
How was I not there yet?!

During all this there was a small group of "old folks" nearby enjoying food and fellowship. When they realized my predicament, and that they were located closer to Mason than I was, a sweet little 70 year old woman popped up out of her chair and was able to grab Mason's hand before he pushed the second button.


Just thought you'd like to know how thrilling our day to day adventures are.

You're welcome.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fine motor skills

I'm totally loving these "preschool" years but I must admit I'm not always thinking about preschool type activities. Kensie is not currently in school yet but loves pretending to be a student. We like to color, do puzzles, stickers, and an occasional matching game. But overall, I'm not a natural teacher. It doesn't help that I have a hard time letting the kids "go to town" and make messes.

So when my friend suggested focusing on activities that help develop fine motor skills, I thought I better try some! 

Today we made a cereal necklace using yarn and Cheerios...

Kensie got the hang of it pretty quick and dove right in.

She fizzled out after about 10 minutes, hence the necklace turned to bracelet...

Oh well, she enjoyed it.

I figured I'd make one for Mason too...since all he wanted to do was eat the Cheerios. 
(surprise surprise)

Cute right?


They lasted about 5 seconds before being totally consumed.


If you want more fun activities to do with your kids, check out my friend Jessica's blog. She's always got something fun going on at her house.