Happy Thanksgiving from the cutest pilgrim.

November 26, 2015

Wishing you a spirit of thankfulness and gratefulness today and through the rest of the year.  Whether you’ve had the best year or you’re ready to leave 2015 in the dust, I pray that you’d find small blessings each day to be thankful for.

There are too many things to thank God for, but this guy is definitely in my top 3:



His uniquely thankful spirit.

November 25, 2015

This week at school, Brooks has done several “I’m thankful for…” activities.  When I drop him off in the mornings, I walk around the room and we look at his masterpieces.  And when I see his artwork, it’s such a true reflection of my sweet babe’s personality.

Brooks marches to the beat of his own drum.  He doesn’t give the canned response you’d expect from an almost 4 year old. He’s got his own special way of viewing the world and I love that he doesn’t follow the norms but instead does it his way.

While other kids are thankful for their mommy and daddy and their siblings, my kid is thankful for castles, schools and babies:


Or as his newest creation said this morning, “I’m thankful for people and dino movies.”

That boy.  I hope he never changes.



Finding Balance.

November 19, 2015

Balance is tricky for me.  I always feel like I’m skewed on way or another in so many areas of life:

Parenting – trying to find the balance between being too firm and suffocating my kids and being too lose and letting them run the show. Or giving them rein to try it by themselves and see if they can figure it out versus helicopter parenting so they don’t get to make a mistake.

Quiet Time – Not that there is ever too much God, but I’ll have months where I’m in my bible a ton and every passage speaks to me and I’m shooing my kids away so I can finish MY quiet time and then months when I don’t pick up my bible once.

Work – Figuring the perfect balance between getting it done and keeping tabs on everything (including checking my emails at home) versus feeling like I’m not into in and not giving my best work.  Making sure I leave early enough to spend time with my kiddos at home and it’s more than just time to do dinner and bed.

Shopping – Most of the time I am anti-shopping. Especially this time of year when stores tend to stay packed.  But a couple times a year, I’ll go out and blow a couple hundred/thousand bucks just because.  It’s like I’ve saved for too many months in a row and just need to buy something.

Exercise – Trying to fit in so many workouts that I miss free time with my kids or weeks where I don’t exercise at all.

Filling Our Calendar – Saying yes to every invite that crosses our mailbox or replying no and completely turning down any outside activities because I don’t want to put anything extra on our plate.

Date Nights – Times where Dean and I have tons of couple activities to reconnect but away from our kids compared to never taking a minute for ourselves and only revolving around our kids.  There’s got to be a middle ground in there somewhere!

There are so many categories in life where I feel like I sway from one extreme to another.  I know there needs to be more balance, but it’s hard to find.  I think it’s especially difficult because there are so many areas to find balance in. You might have balance in your exercise plan but be skewed with spending.  It’s like I need to find balance within my balance.

And I’m still figuring it out.  Sometimes I’m doing well and sometimes I feel like I’m so far off target that I want to throw my hands up and quit.  But I remember that the only way I’ll get better is to keep working at it each day.



Even a little bit…

November 17, 2015

I am finishing the book Soul Detox by Craig Groeshel and it’s been great to dig into many areas of my life to determine how both internal and external influences affect who I am and who God wants me to be.

One thing I want to work on is how much I let outside media (news, tv, social media, movies, etc) affect who I am.  I realize how much I’ve become desensitized to over the years and I want to do a better job of what comes into my mind.  That means doing a better job filtering what I read, what I watch, what I listen to, etc.

One of the stories in the book talked about how a teen boy wanted to watch a movie that was above his years and his mom asked him about it. He told her there was only a little bit of the bad stuff in it – so it was ok.  So, the mother decided to show him how a little bit makes a big impact.  The next day, she baked him a batch of his favorite brownies and the smell summoned him to the kitchen.

Before he took his first bite, she told him, “When I was baking these, I put a little bit of dog poop in it. But don’t worry, it’s just a little bit, so it’s ok.”  He quickly realized that sometimes a little is more than enough.

I want to be aware of the times in my life where I let a little in and it can quickly turn into more.  I want to be more aware of what I’m putting in my head because that’s what comes out of my mouth and that’s what influences my thoughts.

The adage is true – Garbage in, garbage out.

I want to fill my life with good things so I don’t let (even a little bit) of junk to bring down who God wants me to be.


Sweet moments.

November 10, 2015

Now that Brooks is more boy and less toddler, it’s fun to watch how my kids interact with each other on a regular basis.  Too often they will trigger memories of my own childhood. Of me bossing around my little sister and brother, just like Landon tries to tell Brooks what to do.

  • Unprompted brother snuggles.  Brooks just asking his brother for a hug and Landon quickly obliging for a sweet brotherly embrace.
  • Sneaky bedtime tactics.  Where Brooks sneaks out of his room after tuck in so that he can sleep with his big bro.  As much as I get tired of yelling “get in bed” when I hear the thump of running feet across the floor late at night, I really love the surprise I get when I go to check on Landon and find two sweetly sleeping boys in bed.
  • Giving in for the benefit of the other brother.  (Brooks is better at this but they both do it.) When I let one brother be in charge of choosing something (the movie, picking out dinner plates) and the other doesn’t get to pick so he gets really upset.  I love when the “picking” brother offers to put his turn on the line and do what the sad, non-picking brother wants.  It is so sweet to see that humility and generous spirit that my boys are showing. “Ok, Landon we can pick your movie instead of mine.”
  • When they practice reading together.  Landon has started basic reading in kindergarten and it’s so cute when Brooks wants to butt into Landon’s practice to “read” some of the words on his own. I also love seeing Landon try to teach Brooks how to figure out the words.
  • When playing “Guess who” and of three rounds, Landon and Brooks both picked the same object two of the times.  One round they were both trying to guess the strawberry. The other the blue bird. I love them having the same favorites.

Yes, these are the sweet moments that fill my day.  Unconditional love.  True care and concern.  I don’t know what these boys would do without each other.  They are truly best buds.



A Knight in Shining Armor. A Firebreathing Dragon.

November 4, 2015

Dean and I got home from our adults-only vacation just in time to see these two crazies hit the streets for some sweet loot.  They racked up and had so much fun hitting all the different houses.


They really are at the perfect age. Old enough to understand the concept of trick or treat. Young enough that it’s not lame or cool.

I’m loving this age.

And of course, the knight had to slay the ferocious dragon:



It’s amazing…

November 3, 2015

It’s amazing how…

…quickly my kids forgive.  They don’t hold a grudge longer than 5 minutes.
…much fun a kids game can be.
…a simple prayer can calm the most stressful situations.
…excited kids can get about playdoh.
…happy a word of encouragement can make you.
…fun uninterrupted time with my husband is.
…quickly the hot summer turns into a cool fall.


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