Wednesday, April 30, 2014

nora truth




NORA GIRL YOU CRACK ME UP. Ain't nobody like Nora Truth.
You have an uncanny ability to drive me mad one second, then melt into a puddle of mushy love the next. How do you do that??


very seriously putting on lip balm like mom

She is tough, she is determined, she does not care what you think of her.



I guess when you name someone "truth"....she gon' tell it like it is.

she insists on wearing panties outside her diaper these days

 She eats more than any child I know. She is constantly opening the cupboard, and bringing food to me. Or bringing me a clean, empty plate as a rather obvious hint. Unfortunately, she eats like 3 bites, spreads the rest around, drops it all on the floor, then YELLS for me to get her down. And now she's covered in whatever she just "ate". This happens 72 times a day.


She thinks Ruby is AWESOME. She mostly will comply and listen to Ruby, but to say that she hasn't bitten Ruby in anger a handful of times would be a lie. It's hilariously naughty. Nora has always been so much harder to not smile while disciplining her because she is SO ornery/stinker-y and makes THE MOST frustrated faces that you can't help but laugh. 

She despises having her teeth brushed.
She loves going ni-night.
She loves having a jacket put on her. Like wrapping around the back and putting one arm in a hole at a time is just very cool to her.
She prefers sitting on Kevin's lap at dinner every night.
She says "please" like "ma-ma"
She's speaking LOTS of passionate Nora-lect that only she can understand.
She likes to accidentally rip library book pages.
You can get her to stop crying INSTANTLY if you say "do you want a snack?". Her face lights up and she starts giggling and cheering.



Nora, you are the most beautiful baby.
I love that you have stretched me SO MUCH that I've been forced to grow up and learn a lot and change.
I love that you are short and a little squatty for your age.
I stinkin love your personality.
I love that you are the sweetest cuddler I know. You'll cuddle forever with us.
I love how you lift your arms up and pump them when you run/walk fast.
I love how tough you are and how quickly you get over stuff.
I love that the theme music to Coach makes you SO HAPPY.
I love that you ask "I wanna dance!" and point to the radio and get DOWN.
I love your deep, fast, hearty laugh.
I love your mouth and your eyes and your nose.
I love that the tireder you are, the sweeter you are. If you have to skip a nap, you don't have meltdowns!
I love that you tuck baby dolls into your arm and go about your business.
I love that you love babies and say "awww" and can't keep your hands or eyes off of them.
I love that when a picture is taken of you, you run over to look at it to make sure you looked good in it. At 21 months.
I love that when I lay you in your crib, you lay on your back and excitedly await me laying the blanket PERFECTLY over you, up to your chest. You coyly tuck your chin into your shoulder and I put my hand on your cheek and say goodnight and you say it right back without any words.

I love it all, Nora. I love YOU.

love, mama

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ruby james


This smart, dynamic, bright little girl is, straight up, Yahweh's gift to me. 


She is a helper, a lover, a joker, a learner, an obeyer.


Never ever not once did Ruby go through an "I don't like that new baby in my house because I have to share all my stuff and split all my attention" phase. She just welcomed her little sister with open arms and has treated her like her best friend since day one. That's been such an enormous blessing to us!


She says the funniest things. She will sit on your lap and LISTEN to you. She absorbs what you say in and lets it sink down deep. She wants to learn. She loves to obey. 
After a correction, sometimes she'll give it a few minutes. After it's all over and we've moved on, she'll come up to one of us and say "I want to change my heart. I want to obey" and she really means it.


Good stuff is always happening to her because of this. Obedience ALWAYS equals blessing, and she's learned at a young age that 'wow. this really works' Strangers will buy her stuff in the store, a family member will surprise her and drop in with a gift, she'll get to go on surprise date nights etc. and we tell her if she was a sassy/disobedient girl fun stuff like this just wouldn't be happening. Yahweh is proud of you, Ruby! He loves your obedient and good heart!

And she beams with joy:)


Ruby, honey, I am so thankful I get to know you and be in your life and you in mine. 

You are such a blessing to this family. 
I know that Yahweh loves me because He gave me you.
You surprise me, you test me, you teach me, you soften me, you make me slow down and see what's important. 


I love your confidence.
I love how you watch me and then act just like me (which certainly keeps me accountable!)
I love that you eat anything I give you, and love healthy food and never complain.
I love that you ask "So, how was your day" every single night at the dinner table. 
I love that you say "good morning, Yahweh!" when you wake up.
You actually get me laughing hard when you tickle my belly.
I love that you sometimes sneak into our bed at night and when I say "hey! how'd you get in here?!" in the mornings you are kind of embarrassed and quickly change the subject so as to avoid me making a strict rule of NO children in our bed! 
I love that for YEARS you've said "i got your penny in my neck" so we chase you and tickle your neck and try to dig that penny out.
I love your tiny teeth.
I love that you are lean like a big girl but STILL have a layer of soft baby fat on your arms and legs. Especially your forearms and wrists. Oh! Your heavenly forearms and wrists.
I love that you are a leader with your friends.
I love how you sister your sister.

Sweetie, you take our breath away! Thank you for being you.

love, mama

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

and now i'm 28!

 Friday, April 11, 2014 was my 28th birthday and I'm pretty positive it was my favorite birthday so far.

I took a hot yoga class.
(still not sure how I feel about yoga. I have LOTS of thoughts. I'm certainly not 100% sold, I'll say that)
But I had seriously hurt myself in a really tough run and it felt really good and necessary to stretch in a hot room that warmed your muscles up for deeper stretches.


Kevin is smart and gave me shopping money and just told me to go.
I love alone time. I'm always always always with a human, be it my family, clients, or church friends, so alone time is FABULOUS to me. The shoe salesman commented how "sad" that I didn't have a friend to be out birthday shopping with me and I just smiled. No lady, I want to be alone if I shop!

He and the girls got me other PRECIOUS gifts, like my favorite coffee shop's gift card for when the girls and I are on walks around town and we stop in for iced coffees! And a hat for summer that I LOVED but would never buy myself but Kev did for me AND Quest Bars...my favorite protein bars ever:) Isn't it SO sweet to get gifts that your husband and children collaborate on to give you? It's just so sweet!

yes, I bought these shoes. i love them. 
 My fabulous in-laws gave me shopping money and in years past I've gone around and bought a bunch of cheap stuff to satisfy my I-never-get-to-shop-so-soak-it-up feelings but this year I was smarter and bought one awesome thing - Ray Ban Aviators. It was a total TOTAL splurge for me and I'm stoked. I want to have less stuff, and really value and take care of the smaller amount of high quality things that I do have.

thank you Papala, Gramala, and PJ!!!
Every year the actual age I am is pretty anti-climactic because Kevin is always one year and a couple weeks ahead of me. So I'm forever RIGHT behind him and by the time I turn the next age, that number's already been thrown around a lot because it's what Kevin's already been for a year. BORING. Oh well!
I'm looking to the year of 28. Excited to see how I will get to see Yahweh in new ways.
Excited to love more and control less.
Excited to see big picture more and more.

beautiful birthday flowers from my momma. I love fresh flowers!!


Was 28 a special year for you? What was your "big year" that you remember being monumental in your life?

Monday, April 14, 2014

what kevin and i have learned about marriage

Marriage is such a vast subject that it's impossible to really narrow too many specifics down.
I can, however, speak for myself and my marriage (only 7 years. We still have MUCH to learn!) and share what has worked for us.

1. Choose wisely.
This is probably the most important part of it all. If you're not crazy in love (not in lust) about the person to begin with, it's gonna be a lot more work to muster up that love for them later on. But it's not impossible so don't give up.
You cannot just get married because you feel pressure like it's time, you cannot marry someone that you don't have a peace about or hope that _____ will change about them after you get married. Nobody's forcing you (at least I hope not) to marry anybody. You get to choose who you marry, so choose wisely. Judge a potential spouse on their character, their heart.

2. Lay your life down for one another.
I could end it all there, but I'll explain.
In any argument, in daily situations, etc. when Kevin and I choose to lay our life down for each other - awesomeness happens. I know he loves me and he knows I love him by our actions and our attitudes.
We have to ask ourselves - What is the point of having to be right?
Good for you, you're right. Ok. You won that arguement. Feeling happy? No? Why? Because now, even though you're standing on your "right" victory podium...you're all alone. There's no unity between you and your spouse. Step down and humble yourself and go to your spouse and say "I'm sorry" or "I think I understand what you're trying to say" or "I'm on your side. I really want to see what you're talking about. Will you explain it to me again?" When this is the LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO...is when you need to do it the very most.

Nothing is worth letting walls be built up and lies be painted as truths.
And when you tear down your wall, it opens things up for your spouse to stop building theirs as well.
Always be the first to let go - don't have the "THEY should apologize to ME" attitude.
Humility and forgiveness is a beautiful thing, and an integral part of marriage.

3. Fight for unity.
Marriage is two separate people coming together and becoming One. That's huge. Yahweh designed marriage and sex so specifically, it's really amazing. He calls the body of Christ His bride and says He is our groom. Hello. That's a huge sign for how our marriages need to work and look.

4. Be respectful.
Wives, we have no idea the power our words have over our families, and especially our husbands. If we tear down and mock, thinking guys are tough and they can take it because they just aren't as sensitive as us - then we are dead wrong. In my experience, men are more sensitive than women, they are just less emotional. Our words must be ones of edification, respect, honor, love, humility, encouragement. For our spouses, for ourselves, and for our little ones watching the husband-wife dynamic in the home.

5. Selfishness must die.
This one is on the forefront of my mind and heart right now. I realize how very selfish I am, how very self-centered our culture makes us. It's all about yourself. Look better, feel better, you need YOU time, etc and those things are fine to a degree, but it's all so very repulsive and makes me a person that I don't want to be. I want to be a serving person with a happy heart and attitude. I don't want to be disappointed at Kevin because he didn't read my mind and pet me and console me because I had to be a mother today. In that instance, I'm thinking only of myself and how hard my day was and miffed at him for not just sensing that.
What if, instead, I asked him how his day was and encouraged him? Guess what - 99.9999999% of the time he then turns to me and gives me the validation I need as his wife and mother of our children.

The real issue here is that we must go deeper in knowing Christ, and gaining such sure, deep identity in Him that nothing can shake us and we aren't looking to people (even our spouses) to fill voids that only the Holy Spirit can fill. When we know and serve Christ and love and serve others....our own desires and petty needs grow dimmer and dimmer. And life gets sweeter.

6. Pray together.
Out loud, every day. It's so amazing to get to be on the same page spiritually. Praying together opens up so many avenues to breakthrough together and individually. Pray for each other, speak over one another out loud, lay hands on your spouse's head when you see they are worried and just pray peace and rest in Christ. It builds trust and creates the most amazing spiritual and natural bond. There is nothing I find more attractive in Kevin than the fact that He leads this family by dwelling in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The more you feed that - the more it will grow and become stronger.



Now go kiss your husband or send him and mid-day text with love:)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

zzzzzzz


This photo is a few months old but I just re-found it and wanted it to be here for memories' sake.
Open-mouthed tired is a whole level of exhaustion in and of itself:)

Nora has always been our snuggly bear. She'll lay on your back like this, or tuck right into your neck, she loves to rest her head on your chest or shoulder. To me, when my children do things like that, it's like getting my motherly paycheck. Lots of hard work, but worth it on pay day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the one where i talk about every picture



If you lay a blanket down in front of my girls (particularly Nora) an uproar of cheering will happen and they will immediately stomp and then sit on it. It's magical to them. We have living room picnics quite a bit.


I'm a firm believer in "start 'em while they're young". YES it takes so much more time. NO they can't do it as well as you can. But if we don't train them now to put take their dishes to the sink, and empty the clean silverware from the dishwasher into their spots in the drawer, etc. we're in for it. They certainly aren't going to just pick it up on their own be hard workers naturally.


It's also our experience that children LOVE being a part of something bigger than themselves (don't we all?) and they feel like a million bucks to do a "big kid" job.
Sometimes the excitement of helping dies out, let's be honest, and it's like pulling teeth to pick up one sock. But keeping it different, entertaining, different systems (award system, praise, threats, whatever :)) always helps.
Kevin just invented this and Ruby loved it:
While we're all cleaning the house, let's say her job is to clean her bedroom. That usually leads to not cleaning her bedroom, but finding an obscure toy she hasn't played with in months and, well, playing with it.
To keep her on task, we set a timer. She has to clean (without stopping) for, say, 10 mins. Then at the beeper, she gets to rest and read a book/play a Leap Pad game/color whatever for 5 mins. When the timer beeps again, back to cleaning for 10 mins.

That way she knew there was an end in sight and she worked hard for those short little cleaning spurts.
p.s. Nora loves to clean! She wipes up her own messes, etc. 


Nora got her first black eye (fell into the corner of a wooden box) last month and it only deeper solidified our calling her a puppy. That little ring around her eye just sealed the deal. She believes she's a puppy and at any moment will drop into character, stick her tongue out, and pant for you.
She's been known to be crying, and we say "oh, puppy! you're a puppy?! hi puppy!" to distract her and BAM. You can tell she's thinking tears must stop - get it together Nora - beeee the puppy.


Speaking of puppies...whenever the weather is nice, our front door is open. One morning we were playing and all of the sudden, in comes a visitor.
The basset hound snooped around, ate any and all food it found on the floor, let our girls squeal and pet, and then it was off. No idea who's it was, but it was hilarious.


The other day at the park I looked over at Nora and saw this and just grinned because even at a young age, she can tell that boys are cooler to have as friends. So much less drama and so much funnier than a group of ol' girls. Smart thinking, Nora.


This dress sucks on to me and even with a slip will not stop being clingy/staticy. It's also pretty short in the front. Basically, it's un-wearable and still has the tag on because I know it. I try it on about once a week to see if maybe it's magically changed and works now, but every time...nope.
Any ideas how to get it not-so-clingy? It's a cheapy, flowy material, I'm sure that's the problem. But I love it! I don't want to part!


She was eating raisins, looked in the mirror and said "mom! look! my teeth look like yours!"
Awesome. #ihaveathousandsilverfillings


Movie theatre bathroom selfie? I'm seventeen. Kevin and I went out for his 29th birthday at the end of March. CAN YOU BELIEVE we're almost 30? That is like, straight up adult. So crazy.
Still so young! I tell myself.
We saw Noah, which has several parts that are soooo not Biblically correct, but is great nonetheless. It had me thinking about it for days afterward. It's so humbling to be chosen by such an enormous God.


The weather is starting to warm up which means I keep getting happier and happier. Before I know it, we'll be splashing around at the splash pad, swimming in friend's pools, making homemade ice cream, and eating dinner outside often. For now, we are thoroughly enjoying watching every tree in our little town bud and flowers bloom. The earth declares His majesty with every season!
HAPPY SPRING!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

nora truth




NORA GIRL YOU CRACK ME UP. Ain't nobody like Nora Truth.
You have an uncanny ability to drive me mad one second, then melt into a puddle of mushy love the next. How do you do that??


very seriously putting on lip balm like mom

She is tough, she is determined, she does not care what you think of her.



I guess when you name someone "truth"....she gon' tell it like it is.

she insists on wearing panties outside her diaper these days

 She eats more than any child I know. She is constantly opening the cupboard, and bringing food to me. Or bringing me a clean, empty plate as a rather obvious hint. Unfortunately, she eats like 3 bites, spreads the rest around, drops it all on the floor, then YELLS for me to get her down. And now she's covered in whatever she just "ate". This happens 72 times a day.


She thinks Ruby is AWESOME. She mostly will comply and listen to Ruby, but to say that she hasn't bitten Ruby in anger a handful of times would be a lie. It's hilariously naughty. Nora has always been so much harder to not smile while disciplining her because she is SO ornery/stinker-y and makes THE MOST frustrated faces that you can't help but laugh. 

She despises having her teeth brushed.
She loves going ni-night.
She loves having a jacket put on her. Like wrapping around the back and putting one arm in a hole at a time is just very cool to her.
She prefers sitting on Kevin's lap at dinner every night.
She says "please" like "ma-ma"
She's speaking LOTS of passionate Nora-lect that only she can understand.
She likes to accidentally rip library book pages.
You can get her to stop crying INSTANTLY if you say "do you want a snack?". Her face lights up and she starts giggling and cheering.



Nora, you are the most beautiful baby.
I love that you have stretched me SO MUCH that I've been forced to grow up and learn a lot and change.
I love that you are short and a little squatty for your age.
I stinkin love your personality.
I love that you are the sweetest cuddler I know. You'll cuddle forever with us.
I love how you lift your arms up and pump them when you run/walk fast.
I love how tough you are and how quickly you get over stuff.
I love that the theme music to Coach makes you SO HAPPY.
I love that you ask "I wanna dance!" and point to the radio and get DOWN.
I love your deep, fast, hearty laugh.
I love your mouth and your eyes and your nose.
I love that the tireder you are, the sweeter you are. If you have to skip a nap, you don't have meltdowns!
I love that you tuck baby dolls into your arm and go about your business.
I love that you love babies and say "awww" and can't keep your hands or eyes off of them.
I love that when a picture is taken of you, you run over to look at it to make sure you looked good in it. At 21 months.
I love that when I lay you in your crib, you lay on your back and excitedly await me laying the blanket PERFECTLY over you, up to your chest. You coyly tuck your chin into your shoulder and I put my hand on your cheek and say goodnight and you say it right back without any words.

I love it all, Nora. I love YOU.

love, mama

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ruby james


This smart, dynamic, bright little girl is, straight up, Yahweh's gift to me. 


She is a helper, a lover, a joker, a learner, an obeyer.


Never ever not once did Ruby go through an "I don't like that new baby in my house because I have to share all my stuff and split all my attention" phase. She just welcomed her little sister with open arms and has treated her like her best friend since day one. That's been such an enormous blessing to us!


She says the funniest things. She will sit on your lap and LISTEN to you. She absorbs what you say in and lets it sink down deep. She wants to learn. She loves to obey. 
After a correction, sometimes she'll give it a few minutes. After it's all over and we've moved on, she'll come up to one of us and say "I want to change my heart. I want to obey" and she really means it.


Good stuff is always happening to her because of this. Obedience ALWAYS equals blessing, and she's learned at a young age that 'wow. this really works' Strangers will buy her stuff in the store, a family member will surprise her and drop in with a gift, she'll get to go on surprise date nights etc. and we tell her if she was a sassy/disobedient girl fun stuff like this just wouldn't be happening. Yahweh is proud of you, Ruby! He loves your obedient and good heart!

And she beams with joy:)


Ruby, honey, I am so thankful I get to know you and be in your life and you in mine. 

You are such a blessing to this family. 
I know that Yahweh loves me because He gave me you.
You surprise me, you test me, you teach me, you soften me, you make me slow down and see what's important. 


I love your confidence.
I love how you watch me and then act just like me (which certainly keeps me accountable!)
I love that you eat anything I give you, and love healthy food and never complain.
I love that you ask "So, how was your day" every single night at the dinner table. 
I love that you say "good morning, Yahweh!" when you wake up.
You actually get me laughing hard when you tickle my belly.
I love that you sometimes sneak into our bed at night and when I say "hey! how'd you get in here?!" in the mornings you are kind of embarrassed and quickly change the subject so as to avoid me making a strict rule of NO children in our bed! 
I love that for YEARS you've said "i got your penny in my neck" so we chase you and tickle your neck and try to dig that penny out.
I love your tiny teeth.
I love that you are lean like a big girl but STILL have a layer of soft baby fat on your arms and legs. Especially your forearms and wrists. Oh! Your heavenly forearms and wrists.
I love that you are a leader with your friends.
I love how you sister your sister.

Sweetie, you take our breath away! Thank you for being you.

love, mama

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

and now i'm 28!

 Friday, April 11, 2014 was my 28th birthday and I'm pretty positive it was my favorite birthday so far.

I took a hot yoga class.
(still not sure how I feel about yoga. I have LOTS of thoughts. I'm certainly not 100% sold, I'll say that)
But I had seriously hurt myself in a really tough run and it felt really good and necessary to stretch in a hot room that warmed your muscles up for deeper stretches.


Kevin is smart and gave me shopping money and just told me to go.
I love alone time. I'm always always always with a human, be it my family, clients, or church friends, so alone time is FABULOUS to me. The shoe salesman commented how "sad" that I didn't have a friend to be out birthday shopping with me and I just smiled. No lady, I want to be alone if I shop!

He and the girls got me other PRECIOUS gifts, like my favorite coffee shop's gift card for when the girls and I are on walks around town and we stop in for iced coffees! And a hat for summer that I LOVED but would never buy myself but Kev did for me AND Quest Bars...my favorite protein bars ever:) Isn't it SO sweet to get gifts that your husband and children collaborate on to give you? It's just so sweet!

yes, I bought these shoes. i love them. 
 My fabulous in-laws gave me shopping money and in years past I've gone around and bought a bunch of cheap stuff to satisfy my I-never-get-to-shop-so-soak-it-up feelings but this year I was smarter and bought one awesome thing - Ray Ban Aviators. It was a total TOTAL splurge for me and I'm stoked. I want to have less stuff, and really value and take care of the smaller amount of high quality things that I do have.

thank you Papala, Gramala, and PJ!!!
Every year the actual age I am is pretty anti-climactic because Kevin is always one year and a couple weeks ahead of me. So I'm forever RIGHT behind him and by the time I turn the next age, that number's already been thrown around a lot because it's what Kevin's already been for a year. BORING. Oh well!
I'm looking to the year of 28. Excited to see how I will get to see Yahweh in new ways.
Excited to love more and control less.
Excited to see big picture more and more.

beautiful birthday flowers from my momma. I love fresh flowers!!


Was 28 a special year for you? What was your "big year" that you remember being monumental in your life?

Monday, April 14, 2014

what kevin and i have learned about marriage

Marriage is such a vast subject that it's impossible to really narrow too many specifics down.
I can, however, speak for myself and my marriage (only 7 years. We still have MUCH to learn!) and share what has worked for us.

1. Choose wisely.
This is probably the most important part of it all. If you're not crazy in love (not in lust) about the person to begin with, it's gonna be a lot more work to muster up that love for them later on. But it's not impossible so don't give up.
You cannot just get married because you feel pressure like it's time, you cannot marry someone that you don't have a peace about or hope that _____ will change about them after you get married. Nobody's forcing you (at least I hope not) to marry anybody. You get to choose who you marry, so choose wisely. Judge a potential spouse on their character, their heart.

2. Lay your life down for one another.
I could end it all there, but I'll explain.
In any argument, in daily situations, etc. when Kevin and I choose to lay our life down for each other - awesomeness happens. I know he loves me and he knows I love him by our actions and our attitudes.
We have to ask ourselves - What is the point of having to be right?
Good for you, you're right. Ok. You won that arguement. Feeling happy? No? Why? Because now, even though you're standing on your "right" victory podium...you're all alone. There's no unity between you and your spouse. Step down and humble yourself and go to your spouse and say "I'm sorry" or "I think I understand what you're trying to say" or "I'm on your side. I really want to see what you're talking about. Will you explain it to me again?" When this is the LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO...is when you need to do it the very most.

Nothing is worth letting walls be built up and lies be painted as truths.
And when you tear down your wall, it opens things up for your spouse to stop building theirs as well.
Always be the first to let go - don't have the "THEY should apologize to ME" attitude.
Humility and forgiveness is a beautiful thing, and an integral part of marriage.

3. Fight for unity.
Marriage is two separate people coming together and becoming One. That's huge. Yahweh designed marriage and sex so specifically, it's really amazing. He calls the body of Christ His bride and says He is our groom. Hello. That's a huge sign for how our marriages need to work and look.

4. Be respectful.
Wives, we have no idea the power our words have over our families, and especially our husbands. If we tear down and mock, thinking guys are tough and they can take it because they just aren't as sensitive as us - then we are dead wrong. In my experience, men are more sensitive than women, they are just less emotional. Our words must be ones of edification, respect, honor, love, humility, encouragement. For our spouses, for ourselves, and for our little ones watching the husband-wife dynamic in the home.

5. Selfishness must die.
This one is on the forefront of my mind and heart right now. I realize how very selfish I am, how very self-centered our culture makes us. It's all about yourself. Look better, feel better, you need YOU time, etc and those things are fine to a degree, but it's all so very repulsive and makes me a person that I don't want to be. I want to be a serving person with a happy heart and attitude. I don't want to be disappointed at Kevin because he didn't read my mind and pet me and console me because I had to be a mother today. In that instance, I'm thinking only of myself and how hard my day was and miffed at him for not just sensing that.
What if, instead, I asked him how his day was and encouraged him? Guess what - 99.9999999% of the time he then turns to me and gives me the validation I need as his wife and mother of our children.

The real issue here is that we must go deeper in knowing Christ, and gaining such sure, deep identity in Him that nothing can shake us and we aren't looking to people (even our spouses) to fill voids that only the Holy Spirit can fill. When we know and serve Christ and love and serve others....our own desires and petty needs grow dimmer and dimmer. And life gets sweeter.

6. Pray together.
Out loud, every day. It's so amazing to get to be on the same page spiritually. Praying together opens up so many avenues to breakthrough together and individually. Pray for each other, speak over one another out loud, lay hands on your spouse's head when you see they are worried and just pray peace and rest in Christ. It builds trust and creates the most amazing spiritual and natural bond. There is nothing I find more attractive in Kevin than the fact that He leads this family by dwelling in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The more you feed that - the more it will grow and become stronger.



Now go kiss your husband or send him and mid-day text with love:)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

zzzzzzz


This photo is a few months old but I just re-found it and wanted it to be here for memories' sake.
Open-mouthed tired is a whole level of exhaustion in and of itself:)

Nora has always been our snuggly bear. She'll lay on your back like this, or tuck right into your neck, she loves to rest her head on your chest or shoulder. To me, when my children do things like that, it's like getting my motherly paycheck. Lots of hard work, but worth it on pay day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the one where i talk about every picture



If you lay a blanket down in front of my girls (particularly Nora) an uproar of cheering will happen and they will immediately stomp and then sit on it. It's magical to them. We have living room picnics quite a bit.


I'm a firm believer in "start 'em while they're young". YES it takes so much more time. NO they can't do it as well as you can. But if we don't train them now to put take their dishes to the sink, and empty the clean silverware from the dishwasher into their spots in the drawer, etc. we're in for it. They certainly aren't going to just pick it up on their own be hard workers naturally.


It's also our experience that children LOVE being a part of something bigger than themselves (don't we all?) and they feel like a million bucks to do a "big kid" job.
Sometimes the excitement of helping dies out, let's be honest, and it's like pulling teeth to pick up one sock. But keeping it different, entertaining, different systems (award system, praise, threats, whatever :)) always helps.
Kevin just invented this and Ruby loved it:
While we're all cleaning the house, let's say her job is to clean her bedroom. That usually leads to not cleaning her bedroom, but finding an obscure toy she hasn't played with in months and, well, playing with it.
To keep her on task, we set a timer. She has to clean (without stopping) for, say, 10 mins. Then at the beeper, she gets to rest and read a book/play a Leap Pad game/color whatever for 5 mins. When the timer beeps again, back to cleaning for 10 mins.

That way she knew there was an end in sight and she worked hard for those short little cleaning spurts.
p.s. Nora loves to clean! She wipes up her own messes, etc. 


Nora got her first black eye (fell into the corner of a wooden box) last month and it only deeper solidified our calling her a puppy. That little ring around her eye just sealed the deal. She believes she's a puppy and at any moment will drop into character, stick her tongue out, and pant for you.
She's been known to be crying, and we say "oh, puppy! you're a puppy?! hi puppy!" to distract her and BAM. You can tell she's thinking tears must stop - get it together Nora - beeee the puppy.


Speaking of puppies...whenever the weather is nice, our front door is open. One morning we were playing and all of the sudden, in comes a visitor.
The basset hound snooped around, ate any and all food it found on the floor, let our girls squeal and pet, and then it was off. No idea who's it was, but it was hilarious.


The other day at the park I looked over at Nora and saw this and just grinned because even at a young age, she can tell that boys are cooler to have as friends. So much less drama and so much funnier than a group of ol' girls. Smart thinking, Nora.


This dress sucks on to me and even with a slip will not stop being clingy/staticy. It's also pretty short in the front. Basically, it's un-wearable and still has the tag on because I know it. I try it on about once a week to see if maybe it's magically changed and works now, but every time...nope.
Any ideas how to get it not-so-clingy? It's a cheapy, flowy material, I'm sure that's the problem. But I love it! I don't want to part!


She was eating raisins, looked in the mirror and said "mom! look! my teeth look like yours!"
Awesome. #ihaveathousandsilverfillings


Movie theatre bathroom selfie? I'm seventeen. Kevin and I went out for his 29th birthday at the end of March. CAN YOU BELIEVE we're almost 30? That is like, straight up adult. So crazy.
Still so young! I tell myself.
We saw Noah, which has several parts that are soooo not Biblically correct, but is great nonetheless. It had me thinking about it for days afterward. It's so humbling to be chosen by such an enormous God.


The weather is starting to warm up which means I keep getting happier and happier. Before I know it, we'll be splashing around at the splash pad, swimming in friend's pools, making homemade ice cream, and eating dinner outside often. For now, we are thoroughly enjoying watching every tree in our little town bud and flowers bloom. The earth declares His majesty with every season!
HAPPY SPRING!!