Wednesday, October 3, 2012

{the october dress project} Day 1, 2, & 3

The October dress project is something that has been done before, but this is my first year participating. I am so excited to be stepping out on a limb, going out of my comfort zone, and doing something so simple, yet so beyond... me.

For 31 days I am wearing the same dress. Every day.  It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Jesus.  He calls us to be less so He is more.  To do less for ourselves and more for others, so I, and a bunch of my friends, are doing something.  The ODP is part of a larger event called the 12 x 12 Project (see the page on FB for more info) and this is the first month.  In addition to ridding ourselves of excess this month, we will be raising awareness for the people of Uganda.  While we live with abundantly more than we could possibly need, there are people around the world starving, without homes, clean water, and basic necessities.  

While it is easy to seem like one person can't make a difference, I beg to differ.  Even small purchases, like my dress from One Mango Tree, contribute to changing lives.  This company makes clothing from seed to sew and supports women fairly so they can take care of their families.  
You can do it too!

I have two friends whose families are both adopting two little boys from Uganda.  How awesome is that? It has been amazing to follow their stories the past few months and has stirred my heart for international adoption.  They are changing the lives of 4 little boys.  Those little ones will never be the same because of these two families obedience, sacrifice, and most of all, their love.  Could you help them on their journey? If you are interested, comment below and I will let you know how YOU can help and be a part of their journey.  

It is not to late to be a part of these projects.  We would love for you to join us in the adventure of a lifetime.  But whether you participate in 12x12 or not, don't be content to just sit back and go along for the ride.  Step out in faith and dare to love those who have no voice.  Be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Reach out to the "least of these".

much love,

Day 1:
Pink Tank, Black Flats, Uganda Bracelet

Day 2:
Yellow Scarf, Black Flats
 Day 3:
White Tank, Blue Uganda Beads, Gold Sandals

Friday, August 24, 2012

{Treasure every moment}

[Apparently, I took a summer break from my blog.
I can't believe it's been four months!]

Every once and a while, the hubs gets really sentimental. 
 Last night was one of those times.  
He practically had me in tears, but reminded me of something valuable.
(hey, it happens once and a while)

 It is so easy to get frustrated and see how busy we are 
and how our kids don't eat or sleep or calm down or help or 
keep their room clean or keep your house clean or 
leave you alone for five minutes to use the bathroom.  


One day they will grow up.  
Your influence in their life will be greatly diminished.  
Your time with them will be greatly diminished.  
And you. will. miss. this.  

They will go off to college but you will remember taking
them to their first day of preschool.
They will get married, but you will remember dancing
with them in your arms in the living room.
They will have children of their own,
but you remember a tiny baby nestled in your arms.

You will miss snuggling your little one at
1:00am and again at 4:00am and 6:00am. 
You will miss hearing the scrambling little feet that found you 
when you were hiding for just two minutes of peace and quiet.  
You will miss the 400 questions every day from your preschooler.
(I promise, you will)
 And you will miss the days your kids just needed to snuggle on the couch 
even though you had 1,000 other things to do.  

So, don't view them as interruptions or inconveniences, they are blessings.
Sometimes you will have to look really hard to see the blessing.
Like when your daughter decides to color on her light bulb 
and almost sets her room on fire.

Take each moment 
and treasure it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Our Accidental Butterfly Garden

Last year, we planted a few butterfly plants in our raised bed in the back yard. 
 Among those we planted was a milkweed bush. 
 Towards the end of summer the seed pods burst open. 
We had fun blowing the seeds all around the yard and watching the wind carry them everywhere.
 I knew that they wouldn't sprout in the yard because Josh mowed regularly (haha.) 
 In our back yard, there is a small section that sits between the fence and the house, and apparently, doesn't get mowed.
Imagine our surprise when we happened to glance around the corner and found this.

The milkweed seeds had gotten trapped in this corner and 
this year sprouted into a bountiful butterfly garden!
I guess I should be glad my hubby wasn't mowing back here?

Its been fun every morning coming out to hunt for caterpillars.  
There are tons of Monarch caterpillars munching leaves everywhere. 
We get to see them eat, grow, build their chrysalises, and then hatch and test out their new wings! 

Its been quite the educational experience for Madi.  Homeschooling at its finest! :)

The very hungry caterpillar.

Searching for a good chrysalis making spot.

When they make a "j" and start getting darker, you know they are making their chrysalis.

Chrysalis almost ready to hatch!

It's empty!

I couldn't catch a picture of the new butterfly.  It was very skittish and as soon as it saw me flew clumsily away.  

Isn't this cool though? 

If you'd like to come visit, just let me know! :) 

much love,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Redeemed {Review and Giveaway} ((closed))

Congratulations to 
You have won the Redeemed Wallet! 
(winner chosen by RaffleCopter with

Redeem.  To pay off, buy back, recover.  

All of those, and more, describe what Jesus did for us.  He paid the price for our sin.  He LOVED us so much that we were worth dying for.  He redeemed us from our sin.  He paid the price for our eternity.  

We are beautifulvaluable, loved, treasured.

I am so thankful to be reminded of how important I am to my Savior.  

I was contacted by Dayspring to do a review of their new Redeemed Makeup Bag and Wallet.  
They are awesome! Not only are the patterns beautiful, they are embroidered with scripture.  
The makeup bag has inscribed "truly beautiful Ecc. 3:11" and the walled has "truly treasured Rom. 8 28".  

They are both made from glossed canvas and oil cloth. 
Take a look. 

The makeup bag is roomy and can be used as a clutch also.  Or, if you are a mom, a nice little take along wipe and diaper case.  :)  

The wallet has a snap enclosure and an adorable chevron pattern across the front.  It has just enough room for some, important cards, and if you are lucky enough to have some, cash and change! :)

Don't you want one? You'd like the chance to win the Redeemed wallet? 
Well, enter here! (winner must cover shipping costs)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I love Lakeland.

As a teenager, which is pretty normal, I couldn't wait to get out of this city! I thought there was never anything fun to do and I was always soooo bored. 

But now, as an adult, wife, and mother, I love Lakeland! It is such a great mix between a big city and a small town.  And while yes, the ever increasing traffic is giving my patience a run for the money, there are so many things I love about it.  I have lived in other states so I know what else is out there, and nothing has felt like home quite like here.    

I LOVE that almost anywhere I go, I run into someone who I know.  
I LOVE that we have events like First Friday, Pics on the Promenade, and a great Christmas Parade where the attraction is more the fellowship beforehand than the actual parade.
I LOVE that I have a group of friends who we have grown up together and now are having babies together.
I LOVE that my husband is a pastor at the church where we have attending almost our entire lives and now, where my children are growing and learning.
I LOVE that I live in central Florida and the beach is an hour in either direction.  
I LOVE that the weather is beautiful, and while this summer promises to be scorching hot, we don't have to shovel several feet of snow.  Ever.

Most of all, I LOVE that I am growing my family surrounded by a great community.  A "village", if you will, full of church family, MOPS family, friends of all ages, and an ever changing flow of people God puts in our path to serve every day.

I don't know why I felt the need to write about this, but if you are a part of my Lakeland family, or anyone we have had the privilege of crossing paths with, know that we love you and are so glad to have you as a part of our life.  


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Purity - Fighting for Our Children

If there was ever a topic that is near and dear to my heart, it's purity.  
My husband, Josh, and I dated for over 6 years and we were able to exchange vows to one another on our wedding day knowing that we kept our hearts and bodies pure for one another.  

This world is trying to steal the purity of our children.  It doesn't just start once they become teenagers.  We have to begin praying, teaching, and guiding our kids from preschool age.  We have to fight for our children.  We cannot just sit back and let the world decide what they learn and know.  The media, even some "children's" programming, is saturated with sexuality.  It teaches our young ladies that is ok to show off parts of their bodies and boys and girls that there is nothing wrong with exploring sexuality before marriage. Satan will use whatever means necessary to steal a generation from knowing and loving marriage the way God intended.  

Seeds Family worship has long been a favorite in our house. It is plain and simple.  Scripture set to music.  Word for word, without extra fluff.  
Its great, not like those annoying children's songs that make you want to pull your hair out.  Instead, I enjoy listening to it right along with my children.  

Seed has just come out with a Purity album.  {{Big Smile}}

I have only listened to one song, but its fantastic! 
They are marketing it to youth aged children, but there is no reason preschoolers cannot begin to hide these words of purity in their hearts.

The entire album is just $9.99 and you can purchase it here:  

If you would like to receive a free download of the song "Your Word" and a free devotional download, 
you can take the Parent's Purity Pledge here:

Teaching purity won't be taught in schools and it isn't the sole responsibility of the church, 
it begins in our homes.  Pledge to begin instructing your children in purity.  
Teach them that real love and lasting relationships don't come from anyone else but Jesus.  

much love,


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Strikes Again

So, Josh and I don't have the best luck with Valentine's day.  I know some people are of the mindset that you should show love all year long and that it is silly to celebrate such a holiday... but we are of the mindset that we do show love all year long and Valentine's day is a special day set aside to celebrate how blessed we are and how much we love each other. You can't plan special dates, surprises, and buy flowers and gifts every day; at least, we can't, we don't have the money to.  So, a couple of times a year (like valentine's day and our anniversary) we treat and spoil one another. :)  

Anyway, Josh was determined that this Valentine's day would be different... seeing as how our past history included no dinner reservations, trying to make reservations a few days before, failed back-up plans, or nothing at all.  And people, that went on for 12 years... This year, Josh made reservations (!) and he made them 7 weeks in advance (!!), which was a miracle in itself.  He didn't tell me any of the plans just that we'd be gone for several hours and to wear something dressy.  

Valentine's day just happened to fall on a Tuesday and you all know that means its a MOPS morning! So, the day begins with a special MOPS.  We had a couples panel (3 couples) that answered a few questions and shared about their Godly marriages and how they handled different circumstances through the years.  While one couple was sharing, in comes my husband with 3 dozen roses, a giant bunch of balloons, a card, and a box of chocolates.  Now, mind you, this is in front of about 70 ladies.  I was blushing as red as the roses he brought in, but can I tell you, it was the sweetest thing.  He strolls in looking as proud as a peacock and I am a little shocked that he even attempted such a thing. It was a little out of character for my man, but completely and utterly wonderful.  The flowers were beautiful and the card, perfect.  

That was just the beginning of the special day he had planned.  

Following MOPS we went to lunch with some friends and then I ran out to find something to wear.  I found a beautiful top at Versona - I love that place!- and then I raced home to get ready.  I spent the normal amount of girl time getting dressed and fixing my hair and then by 4:55pm I was ready to go.  

Now, the babysitter had arrived and received instructions and we were all set to jet.  He walked me to the car and in my seat was another rose waiting for me. Then, we got on the road and headed to Orlando. I knew this was going to be a night full of sweet surprises. 

I wish I could say the night continued in lovely bliss as we drove into the sunset, but alas, it was not meant to be.  Headed down the parkway, I get a call from the sitter.  My dear, sweet, precious son could be heard screaming in the background.  The sitter informed me that he wouldn't drink from his bottle and was now inconsolable.  After sharing all my tricks of the trade to get him settled down with no results... we had no choice.  We had to turn around.  

It was on the drive home that my husband informed me of the plans he had for the rest of the night.  Dinner at my favorite restaurant, Seasons 52, a table reserved on their back deck overlooking the lake so we could watch the sunset together, dessert, and then to see a movie I've been looking forward to for months. Awesome, right? Yeah, thats what I thought too.

So, while Josh was canceling our reservations, my thoughts were swinging between love for my precious husband who went through so much trouble to make the night special, sadness for what was not meant to be, and thoughts of peril that I might never be able to leave my son again, that I would forever have a permanent accessory... (haha).  

We get home and neither of us could get Jake to drink the bottle.  I was trying to refuse giving him exactly what he wanted, because I still wanted my hot date.  But, he wouldn't take it, and I'm not going to let my son starve.  He ate and as soon as he finished we, the three of us now, went on the prowl for a something to eat.  Now, remember that Josh and I are dressed quite nicely: he in a suit jacket and me in my dressy black pants and new top.  Of course, we all know, me especially, that you cannot get into a restaurant on Valentine's day, even more so a nice place.   We quickly eliminated the obvious non-contenders like Bonefish, Louie Mack's, Carrabas, then eliminated the second place choices like Outback, Mimi's, and Abuelo's, and then realized we didn't have many options left.  

And then we saw it.  That famous (at least around these parts) little man wearing an apron and a cowboy hat.  Oh yes, we were so going to do it.  We are going to eat at this barbecue joint wearing our dressy best and toting along a little munchkin who was not on my favorite list at the moment.  

Our valentine's day dinner was going to be Sonny's.  

We walk in amid several people wearing jeans, shorts, and t-shirts and are given slightly confused glances.  We put our name on the list because even Sonny's is on a short wait, and then step back to wait our 10 minutes. We even see a couple from church sitting across the room so we go over and say hello, and then resume our wait.  Now, the humor of the situation is not lost on us. We stop and laugh every few minutes.  And my poor husband ruminates on the fact that he actually planned valentine's day this year and we are still eating at Sonny's.  There is nothing wrong with Sonny's, we eat there on a regular basis.  But it wasn't a place that had any special meaning to us.  And didn't exactly strike us as romantic. 

By the time we were seated, Jake, our little third wheel, was asleep.  And y'all, can I tell you that what followed was the BEST date we have been on in a very long time.  As a part of MOPS we are doing the 4 great dates and we were on date #1.  We had a fantastic night of conversation, fun flirting, and we reconnected in a way that we've needed.  Looking across the table at the man I married, eating a "big deal", I fell in love with him all over again.  

We ended the night going to Walmart to get Ben and Jerry's and a movie.  I know, the date locations just keep getting better, haha.  

After getting home to put Jake to bed, we snuggled on the couch while our babysitter (who was also my sister) snuggled in the chair beside us, and watched Inception.

The perfect Valentine's day.  

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shatter the Box

What a great day it has been today! After taking a small hiatus from the blogging world to thoroughly enjoy my new baby boy... I was inspired today to share with you a small excerpt from our MOPS this morning.  

A friend of mine shared with us today about the incredible things God is doing in her life and how He is using her family in incredible ways for His glory.  She shared with us how we often put an invisible box around God and keep things need and tidy in our relationship with Him.  Yes, God is good, yes, He loves us, yes, He takes care of us... and we completely miss out on how INCREDIBLE He truly is.  We forget about how huge and awesome He is.  How He is able to do more than we can possibly imagine.  That He is still performing miracles - even healing the blind and sick - all around the world.  


Are you limiting God in your life? Do you really believe that He is all powerful? 
Do you live like He is all powerful? Do you believe in faith that He can actually 
do what you are praying for? 
Do you risk everything that you have and step out in faith every single day

I know this is something that I need to work on.  

I would like to share part of her notes:

"The issue comes down to how much of ourselves we invest in Jesus.  
Have we held some back for ourselves - just in case He's not as real, 
as powerful, as active as we thought? Just in case He doesn't come through? 
Just in case He can't be taken at His word? 
Or have we banked everything we have and everything we are on the 
reality that Jesus Christ is Lord of all the earth?"

God is who He says He is.  
He is unchanging, worthy of our trust in Him, and ALL POWERFUL!

Trust in these things and don't let your fear or doubt hold you back! 
God has called us to so much more.    

much love,