I CHOOSE LIFE.

 

To quote a friend “It is too small of a thing to believe life starts at conception.”

Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord -Psalm 102:18

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The sanctity of life… something that is currently in jeopardy. A phrase that has been fading from our consciousness. A bit cloudy, or as some would say “a grey area.” Even though most of society can agree that we are not the “creator” of life, We can put our own values on life and in turn, eliminate life in certain circumstances.  I disagree. I disagree with every fiber of my being. All life has dignity and value .

Recently I’ve heard the term “Partial Birth Abortion” and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what that meant besides a late term abortion. Even the term late term abortion was not something I had looked into as to how that was preformed or what that meant besides the obvious factor of taking a life. I came across a diagram explaining the process of a “partial birth abortion” and it was with tears in my eyes and a sour stomach that I read more about what exactly this is and people are supporting and defending. Do you know what “Partial Term Abortion” means? Or are you slightly ignorant about it like I was?

Here is a testimony of a Registered Nurse who witnessed a partial birth abortion and what she saw:

“the baby was alive and moving as the abortionist “delivered the baby’s body and arms – everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby’s head just inside the uterus. The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks he might fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby was completely limp.”

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People who are in defense of this process want you to believe it is for the health of the mother or medically necessary. I have read many accounts of Dr’s and Nurses sharing reasons why someone might have this procedure preformed, and almost never is it medically necessary, unless you consider a cleft palates, cystic hygroma (which both can be easily corrected ) cystic fibrosis, or Down Syndrome. As for the mothers life in jeopardy, these were reasons listed from Dr’s : depression, chicken pox, diabetes, vomiting. If its not for the health of the mother or baby, other reasons might be for psychiatric or pediatric indications such as rape or incest.

Here is another quote from a Nurse :

“As a nurse, I want to be absolutely clear: If a mother’s life is in danger at any time after 24 weeks, let alone in the 9th month, the infant can be delivered via c-section to save the mother. The infant is given a chance at life. It does not need to be killed to save the mother. Never in the 9th month would that ever be a thought for most healthcare professionals. That’s not healthcare. That’s murder.”

I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with my son, Cooper. I was in bed last night awake because he had the hiccups and was moving around inside my belly, kicking me. A few days ago I took my two other kids to my Dr apt, and they were able to hear his heartbeat loud and clear and they were laughing because he was kicking as they were listening. There is a life inside of me that I am carrying. I am not “full term” but if he were to be born today he would likely survive and grow up to be a strong and healthy young man. At this point in pregnancy and still weeks after this is still an option for mothers to choose to abort their child. I cannot begin to wrap my head around why this form of abortion is even an option, let alone that people are fighting for and defending this.

I believe that life begins at conception. This is my 3rd pregnancy. I am a lot more in-tune with my body now than I was when I became pregnant the first time. I remember standing at the top of my stairs hunched over in pain with cramping and looked at my husband and said “I am pretty sure there is a baby growing inside me” I knew what I was feeling. I was feeling Implantation. Implantation refers to the process in which a fertilized egg attaches itself to the walls of the uterus. Every month, an egg is released by the ovaries, into the fallopian tubes, where it can get fertilized by the sperm. Once that happens, the fertilized egg travels to the uterus, where it attaches or “implants” itself into the uterus. This happens usually within 6-10 days after ovulation. LIFE IS CREATED. Even then, if I believe the Scripture, which I do, His life was already in the plan. The Lord already knew and knows who Cooper is going to be. Before he formed him in my womb, HE KNEW HIM. He chose me to be the mother to him and care for him and nurture him.

I cannot support a platform or a person who does not fight for the sanctity of life and will not speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Proverbs 31:8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” I cannot be quiet on this issue anymore and I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but I believe this with all of my heart and will stand up for what I think is right. Children’s lives are at stake and our future generations.

This is not just a political issue. Its a world view. Its a way at looking at human life . We are all uniquely created in the Image of God and this is why I CHOOSE LIFE.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Proverbs 24:11-12  Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”   does not he who  weighs the heart perceive it?   Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?

I CHOOSE LIFE.

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( My firstborn’s  toes and wrinkled feet just days after he was born at 38 weeks )

Hope in the Hard Days

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It was one of those days. I sent a text to my husband in tears saying ” I can’t do this. Day after day, its too much” I told him when he got home I was leaving the kids with him. I needed space and I needed quiet. I wanted to “quit”, but there is no quitting in being a mom! I grabbed my books, and went and got myself a coffee and enjoyed the peace. It wasn’t even 30 minutes later I was already missing the kids and wanting to be back with them!

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When I made the decision to “work from home” and be a “stay at home” mom, I had no clue how hard it would be. I had no clue how many hours I would spend just getting my kids to stop fighting, or how many hours I would spend telling them constantly to go back to bed . I had no clue how many days I would just want to sit in a closet alone and cry because I feel like a failure and I just need a break, even if its 5 minutes! It has been a season of difficult days recently with two toddlers who are going through a fit throwing/tantrum phase at the same time. I’m 20 weeks pregnant with another little stinker and the thought of adding another child in the mix can be overwhelming on days like these.

Day after Day , it is so easy to forget the blessings and focus on the bad and focus on how tired you are. Drinking my Cinnamon Dolce Latte and nuzzled in a corner of a coffee shop, reading a book, I was reminded that being a mother is my calling. Motherhood is not an easy calling…In fact, I think a lot of our culture looks down on it in a way. The choice to have a child is often times the last thing you do after college, after you get a nice paying job, after you travel the world, after you have the perfect body, after you are done with going out late at night with friends. I cant even begin to count how many times I heard that I could be done having kids after Josie because I had a boy and girl now. Now that I’m pregnant with a 3rd !! OH MY! I must not know how to prevent this from happening. The boldness strangers have to say the things they do is really astonishing. It can be really hard to continue to have a biblical perspective on motherhood in a culture where children rank so low, and being a “stay at home mom” is looked down on- or told we don’t work, or think how nice it would be to sit around on our butts all day ! HA!

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(Photo above was after an HOUR long fit, I just needed a break – So we went and got Icee’s and Pizza #dowhatyougottado)

I never knew how selfish I really was until having a child. I distinctly remember having a screaming infant and throwing a pity party thinking to myself “but I don’t WANT to feed you right now, I’m tired, I don’t want anyone touching me, and I want to do what I want to do!! ” Gut check- man I am a selfish person! As a mom, we are constantly laying our life down for another. I’ve had to learn to lay down my hopes, lay down my annoyances, lay down my desire to be recognized, lay down my clean house… The list goes on. I have to lay them all down. BUT! But, laying down my life is not the end of the story, friends!

There is HOPE!

“At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel…..they are your children, they are your mission field.”  This quote is from a book I am reading called Mom Enough . ( Totally recommend this book! )

Oh how easy is it to lose sight of your calling as a mother. Tough days can lead you to forget that what you are doing MATTERS. I often find myself in a place of discouragement looking at my messy house with dirty dishes and sticky floors, laundry piles in every room, and screaming kids in the background. Its easy to feel like I am not doing anything for the kingdom of God when I stay home with my kids and I don’t even have it together then.

Have you ever looked at your children and thought about how many people might be impacted by your children because of the way you impacted them? Thinking of generations to come and how they might be influenced because of how I am influencing my children… man that puts a different perspective on the daily grind. For me it makes the thought of laying my own life down a little easier pill to swallow.

When I choose to lay myself down I start to see a little of the lovely in the moments that could easily frustrate me. Driving in the car today, both of my kids were just yelling and being extremely loud. I was starting to get annoyed but didn’t get on to them for annoying me, then for a brief second it was quiet and my son says “mommy, I’m being a lion!” I was able to take that annoyance and see it as a blessing that my kids were enjoying themselves and using their imagination . I could of easily squandered that by shutting it down and telling them to be quiet. Lay yourself down for them. Lay yourself down and make dinner for them, even though you know they will say they don’t like it, or take one bite and say they are all done. Lay yourself down when they are annoying you and disrupting your quiet. Look for the joy in them and continue to sacrifice for them!

In my time away from the kids, God revealed to me that I wasn’t putting my hope in Him. As silly as it sounds now, I was putting my hope in my kids taking a nap and getting 2 hours to myself. When that turned into 2 hours of me fighting with the kids about taking a nap, constantly bringing my tired, pregnant self up and down the stairs to tell them to get in bed and go to sleep, I was done. I realize that nap time is something every mom probably looks forward to and its an okay thing to want and look forward to.. but what I realized was I wasn’t just looking forward to it. When the nap was not happening and my quiet was being taken away, and instead of resting I was using more energy to try to get them to lay down than I should, my day was ruined. I was emotionally and physically drained. I realized I was putting a lot more faith and hope in that nap taking place than the hope of the gospel.

God is in all of these moments that seem like chaos to you. God is in the moments you feel like you are failing. He is teaching us , showing us the way, and refining us, unwavering in his pursuit of us. Don’t let your hard days define you as a mother. Don’t wallow in self pity. Believe God is who he says he is and be forgiven. Receive the grace he so freely gives , and extend that to your children. Apply the gospel in your actions! Friends, there is hope in the hard days. I encourage you to choose to have eyes to see that the Lord is GOOD. Choose to see the moments that bring you joy and hold onto those. Let the good days and the small moments of joy remind you on the hard days to not give up and to see past the present, which might seem like chaos.

_Choose to see the moments that bring you joy and hold onto those. Let the good days and t

Raising children is the hardest thing I have ever done , but there is great reward with it. Don’t lose hope, my friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Splash Party

I did not take one single photo the day of Josie’s party, which I kind of regret! BUT my sweet sister in law took some great photos and I’m so very thankful!

We set up different “stations” with little pools and had lots of water balloons! My dad brought us this huge inflatable water slide that was the hit of the day! The kids loved it and most of the pictures are from that!

We had lots of yummy food – mostly cold salads and fruit since it was outside and Eric grilled his mouthwatering burgers in slider form which was a hit! Of course we had cake and cookies as well!

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Loving those hardest to love

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A while back there was someone who had really hurt me. Not just once, but over and over again it seemed. I was angry and hurt at the same time. Not a good combination :]

One day I was working and I heard this song on the radio, and started laughing a little inside as I heard the lyrics

 

I pray your brakes go out runnin’ down a hill
I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill and knocks you in the head like I’d like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you’re flyin’ high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know whereever you are honey, I pray for you
It was then I had I started to see this ugliness in my heart. The song is a little extreme but in reality, I didn’t want to see good in this persons life and I wanted to see failure. I didn’t want to see them succeed or find happiness. I really began to struggle internally. I became bitter. My heart was completely hardened – not only towards this person, but began seeing this hardness come out towards everyone. Bitterness taking over my heart.
I was at a conference where someone spoke about forgiveness. I felt burdened by this and knew I was only hurting myself with this lingering bitterness in my heart. But the thought of truly forgiving was hard. It sounded good and easy to say, but deep down I knew I was struggling with it actually playing out in this situation. I felt I had tried to forgive but I just kept getting hurt, or I would realize I was still bitter when something else would happen. I shared my struggle with the person who was speaking at the conference. He asked me if Ive ever heard the term “frenemy”. He began telling me about a man he knows who started praying for people who have hurt him, or people he struggled with loving. He adopted the term “Frenemy” for these people.
praying for your “Frenemy”
Before even praying for his family he would pray for his “frenemies”. He began to share stories of how praying for people when it was hard to forgive them, began to change his heart. It didn’t always change the situation or change the other person but it began to change him. He was at peace. His heart was softened.
That day he challenged me to begin praying for this person who I was struggling so much to forgive. To pray for the success of this person, for good, for my heart towards this person. It all sounded good and truly wanted to pray , but the ugliness in my heart kept creeping in and the lyrics of that awful song kept coming in my head..
I still remember the first time I prayed for the success of this person, it was like pulling teeth. I struggled to even let the words come out of my mouth. Tears streaming down my face as I prayed that this person would become a strong leader and faithful follower of the Lord, for goodness to flow out of this persons life.
I made a commitment to myself to pray for my “frenemies” every day. I began to do so, and it truly is astonishing how from the first time I did this, to even a month down the road how much softer my heart was and how I began to truly change on the inside. Somewhere in those prayers my heart shifted from gut wrenching, pulling teeth to even say the words, to truly finding joy in praying for the success of those who have hurt me. I wanted this person to succeed.
Col.3:13      Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you

 

Romans 12:18    If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Lord, help me!

Fast forward a few years – the struggle creeps back in a different form. This person didn’t hurt me but there was tension. I just didn’t really like the person. They pushed my buttons, and irritated me.

Over the course of 6 months God really began to tug at my heart that I needed to love this person, even when it was hard. Even when it hurt. I remember watching a clip of Beth Moore and something she said just hit me in the face.

“You (God) put people in our lives

that bring out the WORST in us,

so that you can bring out the BEST in us”

It was like she was talking directly to ME ! Funny how God speaks to us even when were not expecting it. I began my journey of praying for this person, and for God to truly change my heart. Friends, let me tell you…there was a lot of work to be done. My heart was ugly. This song by Rush of Fools began to speak to me..

Just like the oceans
You crash on me
Just like a tidal wave
You ruin me
Just like a hurricane
You devastate everything that needs
To change

You are the only thing that’s
Beautiful in me
Beautiful in me
You are the only thing that’s
Beautiful in me
Beautiful in me

Bring out the ugly inside of me

Months after hearing Beth Moore’s message it was still lingering in my head. You put people in our lives who bring out the worst in us SO THAT you can bring out the best in us. I wanted to believe that. I wanted to let this change me and bring out the best in me but all it was doing was bringing out the WORST. I would cry out to God asking how do I change? I asked for patience and wisdom. I asked Him to show me how to love when I didn’t want to. I asked him to bring out the ugly inside of me. Asked Him to help me forgive, and to grow a loving heart towards this person.

After I began praying these things God answered. He answered in a way that I didn’t really want him to, but God truly knows best. I was put in a situation where I was going to be around this person ALOT. Not just around them, but had to interact with them and engage with them consistently. I remember thinking are you kidding me??  But again…. what kept ringing in my head was God puts people in my life who bring out the worst in me so that He can bring out the best in me .

OK God, I get it! You are using this person in my life right now to change me.

John 15:2 started to be my prayer. Prune me, take away the branches in me that are not bearing fruit. Prune the ones that are, so that I may bear more fruit.

 

 

Compassion

Have you ever met someone who seems like they don’t have an ugly bone in their body. They never have anything bad to say and are just super sweet people, who I’ve been guilty of calling “too nice“?  I remember thinking and telling myself “that’s just not my personality”. I knew I would never be like that. I’m beginning to think I was just looking for justification for how I knew I felt towards people sometimes. I do not at all have this down, nor do I view myself as a person that doesn’t have mean thoughts from time to time. I do. But I do believe over the last year for sure, but even longer (like 6 years) God has began to change me in this. Praying for those that are hard to love has changed my heart, softened it, and I have grown to have much more compassion on people.   Now, I’m not saying that people wont ever bug you or push your buttons, or hurt you. They will. I’m also not saying that you will like everyone and get along with everyone 100% of the time – But it is no excuse for you to be rude to them or to not show forgiveness and compassion towards them.

Its easy to say that its just better for you to not be around this person, or you just clash or whatever it is… but I would encourage you , friend. Pray for them. Check your heart.  Are you looking for justification for how you feel ? Do what is right, not easy. Pray when its hardest to pray. Love when its hardest to love. Forgive people in your life, even when they are not sorry for their actions. Holding onto anger only hurts yourself, not them.

How true...!:

DIY Whitewash Plank Wall

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I have this awkward wall in my house. Its the first thing you see when you walk in and its been a struggle to know exactly how to decorate the space. A close friend has a similar floorplan and they added built-ins with a  plank wall in the middle. I LOVED it. We often joke that we share a brain when it comes to decorating and DIY projects. The more I thought about what to do with the wall I didn’t think adding a built in would be the best use of space for our house, but loved the idea of a plank wall.

Awkward wall

Once I get an idea in my head I’m ready to just go for it. I start researching and pinning ideas and figuring out how I can do this cheap – but to not look cheap. I have all my pictures and inspiration ready to show Eric and ask him what he thinks.. I always get nervous about that part! Ha! He truly is so great and usually goes along with my crazy ideas and brings them to life for me! So the verdict…. he liked the idea and said we could do it for about $60 and it really wouldn’t be that much work. YAY! As I bring this idea up to him we are in the middle of installing crown molding to our insanely high ceilings with lots of tricky corners and angles ( meaning a slightly complex ordeal) and we get to this awkward wall and in order to put the trim up he needs to know if I really want to do this because he would rather do it BEFORE putting trim up to make it look the best. So we go for it!

 

Supplies needed

3 sheets of common 7/32″ underlayment at $11.97 each.

6 tubes of liquid nails paneling adhesive at $3.57 each.

2in nails

Classic grey stain

White paint ( we used antique white )

old rag

paint brush

pennies

( we used a table saw and nail gun as well )

 

Eric cut the wood into 8in panels using his table saw. After that was done the next decision for me was if I wanted to paint them or stain them? Well that was a hard decision for me. I love the look of the stained wood plank walls, but I have been feeling weighed down by the dark walls/dark floors( which I LOVE but with everything dark it was driving me crazy )  in our house and wanted to lighten the room up. I ultimately wanted to paint the whole room, but like I mentioned earlier, we have insanely high ceilings and its not really and easy ordeal . That left me with paint. Ultimately I decided to do a mix of both.. that’s usually how I roll with things you’ll notice as I post more of out DIY projects 😉

Penny-width apart

I stained all the pieces with a “classic grey” stain from Home Depot. Let them dry and then we starting at the bottom left corner and worked our way up staggering them like you would a woof floor. We would cut pieces to length we wanted and put the wood glue on the back and press it on the wall and Eric would follow up with his nail gun and 2in nails in the studs of the wall. We made them penny-width apart, meaning we literally put pennies between each row to use as a spacer.

Once the wood was up I went back and white washed the entire wall. White washing is actually super easy and there are many techniques and formulations of paint to water, dry brush to rag, etc…. I had a small paint tray that I poured some white paint in and added water ( I didn’t measure ) but usually its about 50/50 paint and water or maybe a little more paint . Mix it up, then brush large strokes, going in the same direction every time. Depending if you want it to look more blended or not, go over the strokes with a rag and rub out some of the brush strokes. I tend to like it more blended, but still like to see the variation. Its just personal taste how you do it. No right or wrong way. Hard to mess it up!

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Before whitewashing (this image is darker than it actually was because it was dark outside but you can see how the dark grey was heavy in the room)

 

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After Whitewashing

 

It was amazing how much that one wall lightened up the whole room! I was so happy with how it turned out. We were able to finish the crown molding along the top of this wall and what a difference it made! Now the dilemma is do I leave the wall empty and let the planks be the décor or do I add a piece of artwork to the wall? I’m already scoping out which sign I’m going to make if I put one there. Which I think I am leaning that wall, just another project on the never ending list;)

Awkward wall (2)

10 Tips for Flying with Toddlers

If you’ve ever flown with a child or thought about flying I’m sure you’ve had the dreaded thought that you might have the screaming child on an airplane that everyone is looking at with no way out!! Traveling with a toddler can be difficult and stressful, but It doesn’t have to be ! Both of our kids have been a couple of airplane rides and none have really been terrible. We’ve had a few bad moments where the stress was pretty high but I think they have done pretty well flying!

tips for traveling to Disney World with toddlers (1)

  1. Baby wearing: If your child is still small enough to be worn in some sort of wrap its kind of a life saver for the airport! Frees your hands up for everything and keeps them from running around the airport! It also saves time going through security – They don’t make you go through the body scan and they just have to test your hands. I traveled alone with my daughter and I don’t think I would of been able to do it all if I wasn’t wearing her with the age she was!
  2. Stroller: If they no longer like to be worn a stroller is also very convenient, but it also has its drawbacks. Having a stroller helps the kids stay close and not have to carry them or hold their hands. It also is nice to have some extra space to have purses, bags, coats while in the airport. It can be more of a hassel through security because you have to fold it down and it has to go through the conveyer belt, then unfold it and put everyone back in. And do it all again when you are walking down to board to plane. Even though those two times are super inconvenient, a stroller is still might be worth it to bring! My advise would be if you have an easily collapsible stroller, bring it. If it takes a lot to collapse and is difficult, maybe try and do without .
  3. Family Boarding: Make sure to take advantage of family boarding! We’ve only flown with southwest with the kids so not sure how other airlines work with this. Family boarding allows you to board after all of the “A’s” before the “B group.” Obviously if you got an “A group” it wouldn’t do anything for you but otherwise its really nice to take advantage of!
  4. Snacks: Having snacks on hand was great! When they would start to get agitated I could distract them with a snack and usually made them happy for a while. I didn’t give them one right away so it was kind of a surprise when I got it out!
  5. Security items: Both my kids like having a blanket and my son loves his Mickey Mouse. Always good to have a little comfort from home 🙂
  6. Sleeping schedule: If at all possible schedule flights with nap time or bed time in mind. I know that’s not always feasible and with the time it takes to get to the airport, through security, flight, and getting luggage its near impossible to not mess with schedule, but traveling with tired kids makes things much worse.
  7. Activities: Have something for them to do! We went a picked out new coloring/activity books and told them they couldn’t use them until we were on the airplane. They were excited to use them once we pulled them out! We also downloaded a couple movies on our Ipad for them to watch. (had headphones that went OVER ears instead of in)
  8. Backpacks: For Christmas we got our kids little backpacks that they could pack with a  few little things in it. They thought it was so cool to have their own bag!
  9. Car seats: We have done it two ways. The first time we flew we checked our car seat when we checked our luggage. We put it in a large black trash bag and just checked it like any other bag. The other option is if you are renting a car once you land , usually rental car places have the option to have a car seat in your rental car. Super convenient if you are going to rental car route.
  10. Don’t stress and be flexible: Traveling can be tiring and stressful, but if you are tense your kids can feel that and they will not do as well! Even if your kid starts to have a breakdown, its ok. Any one who has had kids understands sometimes no matter what you do, you’re kid is just going to throw a fit. Just do everything you can to comfort them and try to distract them from whatever it is! Be flexible . I say that because the last 3 flights I have been on have had delays on the way home! Which, lets just be honest… flight delays suck.
I’m no expert in this, and like I’ve said, we have had a few times where our kid was screaming or throwing a fit but we got through it and made the best of it! Don’t let the fear of traveling with them stop you from your next adventure! Hopefully these tips will help you feel more prepared and ready to go!
What tips do you have? What has worked for you?

Finding Joy in the Ordinary

“This is the theme of my life right now!” I was having a conversation with my parents as I stopped them and couldn’t help but say what was on my mind. We were talking about how life can seem mundane or boring...but in the midst of that God is doing incredible things! Some we can see and some are far more intricrate and bigger than we can even imagine. God has been teaching me that in the ordinary He is doing extraordinary things and as a mom who stays home with my kids, He will use that for HIS GLORY! Rather than trying to escape the mundane, the boring, the ordinary,  I am to find JOY, MEANING, AND SIGNIFICANCE in it, because in reality…When you live the life God has set before you, there is NOTHING ordinary about it!

Looking back over the last 5 years of my life, really even further than that…there are all these things that Ive said, done, or happened to me that have seemed like a coincidence. There was not much significance in any of those things when looking at them individually, but when I take a step back and look at it as a whole I am blown away at how intricate our Father works things together, and how when I was in high school He was already preparing me for where I am right now. These seemingly coincidences were actually the work of the Lord in my life! The “coincidences” that led Eric and I to be a part of a new church plant in Kansas City are ridiculous! God is very creative! (I will share that story sometime)

I just finished a book called Boring by Michael Kelley. I love what he says here :

_The Question isn't whether or not God is present and active; the question is just how aware%2

 

There are times that I want to escape the mundane. The culture we live in gives words like that a bad connotation. Everything is about finding the next best thing, and having options. Or being able to leave when something doesn’t meet our expectations, or isn’t exciting enough for us. If we reject the consumeristic mindset, and rather than trying to escape the daily routines of marriage, parenting, and our work – but stay the course and look for MEANING in the everyday routines of life, I promise you will find it! All throughout scripture the Lord uses common, everyday things and people and makes them uncommon. I can easily get discouraged on a bad day and wonder where the significance is when all I am doing that day is changing dirty diapers, cleaning up messes, and stopping my kids from hurting themselves. Some days I just want to lock myself in a closet and cry because I feel like I’m failing. I question how God can use me when my life seems so insignificant.

Raising kids is hard work! Some days I feel like I’m losing my mind! Staying home with my kids was always something I hoped I would be able to do. I am incredibly grateful I am able to and imagine it would be very hard for me to work full time and be away from them .it is a blessing in many ways. To be honest though, staying home with them has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. It has tested my patience in ways I never imagined. I’ve seen some of the ugliest parts of my heart and have seen a selfish side of me I didn’t know existed. I’ve yelled, and cried and embarrassed myself in how I responded to my kids. I’ve had resentment towards the mundane days, as well as thoughts of being unquailified for the job at hand.Those are the things stay at home moms don’t usually say to you when asked if you enjoy staying home ;]  We are their primary  influence in life and there is a lot of weight in that. But the cool thing is that God appointed ME to be the parent of my children. He knew and eqipped me with everything I need to be the best mom for Easton and Josie. I have to call on Him daily for help, but even on my worst days, I am STILL chosen to be the mom to them because God thought I was best suited for these two precious beings.

We as parents are responsible for teaching our kids right and wrong.Even when we don’t realize we are “teaching” them, we are. They are watching how I interact with the person who made me mad, they are watching how I treat their dad, they are watching everything and learning from it. By embracing the role as a parent, rather than running from it, I can start to see meaning in the ordinary every day things I do with my children. I have to be intentional about how I engage with them in the ordinary things. As frustrating and messy as it might be to let my son help me bake cookies, it says something to him about his value and worth. Its difficult to invite them in sometimes because it usually always takes longer, makes a bigger mess, and takes time to explain everything step by step. But the vaule that comes from it undeniable. Every. Single. Day. the Lord is refining me as a mom and teaching me and giving me moments with my kids that He is using for His eternal glory! There are times for opportunities to be seized in the “boring” day to day, but we must SEE them. Not only see them, but be intentional with how we use these days.

I realized EVERY interaction I have with someone isn’t just an ordinary interaction. Our relationships were meant for more than “shooting the breeze” and looking for what we can get out of them. Our relationships are to have value, to be treasured. The person I interact with at the grocery store , or at the park with my kids can have great significance if we only are looking with expectation. God will move. I thrive on deep, personal relationships, but getting there takes work and intentionality. I am learning to seek God in my interactions and asking for His guidance as I interact with friends, my family, and strangers. I am learning what it means to find JOY in the ORDINARY.

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StitchFix Review #2

This is way overdue, but you know…sometimes “Life” happens and I haven’t exactly had time to sit down and blog!

This was my 2nd box from StitchFix! I was so excited to see what was in this box! When I first started opening the box I was not really that thrilled, to be honest.  I have a pinterest board called “my style” for them to look at and get a pretty accurate idea of what I like and don’t like. In this box I had a couple wins, but I also had a couple of fails!

The first item I pulled out was this dress

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I mean… this fabric..really? I’m sorry if I offend you if you really like this but never would I personally like this fabric or the colors together like this! T he dress was a complete fail and totally NOT flattering on me. it showcased my “mommy pooch” or whatever you want to call those extra pounds that seem near impossible to get rid of after having kids! Not only that, but tight around my arms and I usually don’t like to “flaunt” my flabby arms 😉

Next item was this necklace.

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I actually really liked this but I thought it was too expensive. It probably wasn’t too bad but I’m not one to spend a lot of money on accessories because I don’t wear them often.

The next item I pulled out was this black blouse

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I realize these photos are pretty poor quality but when your husband’s out of town you work with what you’ve got! I actually really liked this top. It fit well, wasn’t too tight around my arms or too loose. it was a little longer in back but not “short ” in the front.

Next was this skirt

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This skirt was very soft and looked very comfy. I was not sure if I liked that pattern or not and If I could see me wearing it. It had a maroon tinted color in the pattern which was cool. I felt it fit me well but in the end decided against it because I didn’t LOVE it. I felt it would be one of those items I purchase thinking I will like but never actually reach for to wear.

and lastly.. the jacket.

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When I pulled this jacket out I didn’t even want to try it on. My first thought was “really, a jean jacket? boxy uncomfortable restrictive ugly jean jacket” but as I felt it and picked it up it felt a lot softer than I was anticipating and so I decided to at least try it on. To my surprise I ended up loving this jacket! I didn’t want to take it off. It was stretchy , fitted and very comfortable and could see myself wearing this jacket a lot. So this was a win!

Overall, I wasn’t as impressed with this box as I was with my first box. my first box only had one item I didn’t like in it. This box ended up being a 2/5 for me. I gave my honest feedback and still am excited for my next box!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4767610

 

 

A Look Into the Chaos

We have had A LOT going on. It’s been an exciting month, as well as a draining month to be honest. This post might seem a little chaotic and scatterbrained – but that’s the point! It’s a look into the chaos! A look into the month of September with the Schroeder’s 🙂 !

#pinterestfail 

The beginning  of the month was my sister-in-law and father-in-law’s birthday. I of course tried to be craft had what you call a #pinterestfail to say the least! I thought I would make her these cool photo blocks where you transfer the photos onto the wood. I’ve made some cool pieces before using this technique but it was on a larger “canvas” so maybe that’s why I was successful.

My inspiration :


 

Pretty cool, right? Well I thought this would be even cooler and a way to more photos displayed… But as you will see in a minute .. It was a FAIL! Quite humerus actually 😉

#pinterestfail


  

Bridal Showers

One of my best friends who I’ve known since I was 4 is getting married! Earlier this month we celebrated with two showers ! It was so great to be celebrating her and her and her soon to be husband! Her sister had the best idea for her personal shower which made the morning so meaningful and something she can look back on all throughout her marriage. She had asked some ladies who have had an important role in her life to share some advise and answered some questions via video. The different videos were put together as one and played for Casey . It was really special!

Here are some photos of the decorations! We kind of had a bohemian vintage theme going on.


  
  

Family Photos 

We took family photos right after the couples shower ! Allie Burns Photography did great! She was so easy to work with and super friendly! We would reccomend her to anyone in Wichita! Here are a coupe sneak peeks


Stitch fix 
We came home from the busy weekend and I had my first stitch fix box ready to be opened! Many of you saw that post   

Emergency Room visit

The same night we ended up in the emergency room with our kiddos. We had Eric’s family over for dinner . We were finishing up eating and the kids were playing. Next thing I know we hear a loud thump and I see Eric’s dad rushing out the door and I see the window screen is gone.  Adrenaline is going and I am so confused as to what just happened. I rush over to the window to see both of my kids laying in the flower bed about 3 ft below SILENTLY screaming! I’m panicking inside and rush outside to get Easton- who is STILL silently screaming. I’m holding him, hugging him, saying it’s going to be ok , it’s going to be ok over and over. My mother in law is in the house at the window and she sees blood. She says “oh no- there’s blood” I try to look but as she is looking I just see blood. Lots of blood. At this point I feel like I’m going to faint and I hand Easton over to Marcia and she rushes him upstairs to our bathroom. She can’t see how big the cut is because of the blood so we go to the ER. Eric was so great and already had the car ready and keys in hand. We rushed there and were seen right away! He ended up having to get one staple . We had a CT scan and everything was normal praise the Lord! He was in shock for a while and pretty shaky but by the end of the night he was himself again.

          

Aging Booth

Check out the app “aging booth” it’s pretty funny !

whitewashing brick 

I’ve helping a friend with her house and giving her ideas on renovations it! She has a GREAT house but it just needs some TLC. They got it at a great price so they have some room to update! One thing you noticed when you walked in is there is just a lot of brick! And it’s dark brick which made the room feel dark. I’ve seen so many people update brick fireplaces by whitewashing them! I told her we should try that and was excited to get to experiment with it since I don’t have any brick in my house to whitewash. If you haven’t ever whitewashed anything, it is SO easy and quick to do.

All you do is dilute your paint with water .. The ratio can change depending on how much paint you want for coverage. You get a brush and just brush it on – not trying to cover everything. Grab a rag and then wipe over where you just brushed. If you want more coverage it’s simple, just got over it with a brush again!

Here are some before and after photos. The fireplace we didn’t do as much coverage , it was more watered down. Once she paints the room and stains the mantle she can decide if she wants more coverage and it will be so so easy to do!

              

Here are the paint colors /color scheme for her house right now

Trim color is “white Dove”

Wall colors “revere pewter” “gray owl”

Cabinet color “boothbay gray”

Accent colors “Jamestown blue” and “golden harvest”

I am so excited to see it all come together as she gets more done!

#diy arrows

Working on my gallery wall on my stairs and made a few pieces !


  

Pumpkin patch  

  

 
  
  
Yes, that is a giant pool of corn! How cool is that?!

1st Bonfire

We had our first bonfire of the season with our old small group over with their new small groups to worship together and take communion. It was such a sweet night in fellowship and I wish I could push pause on nights like these and just rest. Seriously some of my favorite nights!

Random days 


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Liberty Fall Festival 

  

  

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The Grove 

So excitedfor the announcement of our new church name! The Grove – a church community where faith is growing .

 We have been praying , planning , and following Gods call on our life to be a part of pleasant valley’s first church plant . This whole process began around a year ago and this last Sunday was our first worship service as a new church! Eric have a 10 min teaching lesson on one of our hear attitudes – putting the success of others ahead of your own . He did a great job and I was very proud of him!

We had 35 adults total and about 10 kids – not sure on the exact number for kiddos .

We ended the night at Dairy Queen with the kids

This month we’ve also continued our half marathon and full marathon training for the race in a few weeks and also had sick kids. And to say the least-it has been EXHAUSTING. It has been HARD. It has taken a lot of energy and patience and been a challenge to enjoy the days when they are long. God is teaching me a lot through this season of life and I know He is growing me and stretching me. Life is busy, and chaotic. But it is also sweet. It has been full of community and we’ve done a lot of fun things! I would encourage you to find joy in the little things. Thank God daily for the blessings in your life!

#mommyfails 

It’s 4 am and I wake up to my son laying completely on top of me . Completely confused and incredibly uncomfortable,I take him off me and try to lay him between me and my husband. He won’t have it. He comes right back on me . At one point I’m laying on my stomach and he lays on his stomach on top of my back. Are you kidding me?? It’s not uncommon for Easton to come in our room around 5 or 6 am and tell us he needs to go potty , and then go back to bed. I guess sometime early in the night this happened and he wanted to lay with me. Usually it’s not a big deal because it’s only for an hour or so. I had NO IDEA it was the middle of the night.. Needless to say – it was a long night and an early morning .

Do you ever have those days where you feel like your failing as a mother? Today is one of those days.  . Today did not start off on the right foot. Today I was selfish. Today I forgot for a moment that my “job” as a mother is to love on my kids and to shape and mold them. My “job” is to show them who Jesus is – and a big way I do that is through my actions and how I treat them and love them.

It wasn’t even 8:15 in the morning and I had already yelled at BOTH of my kids. Guys- Easton is 2 and Josie is 1. I do not need to be yelling at them. As soon as I did I felt embarrassed and was glad no one had heard me . I instantly was reminded of a quote I saw the other day  “when our little people are overwhelmed by big emotions it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos” join their chaos- that’s exactly what I did today. #mommyfail no.1


Eric is preparing a lesson for Sunday  on putting others needs ahead of your own, so that’s been on my mind a lot this past week. You would think with that on my mind I would do a better job of that . I would be more aware and would want to work on that aspect of my life. Today was a day where that was extremely hard for me.


Yeah… I sent that. I realize how selfish that sounds and how petty that is. #mommyfail no.2

I put my daughter down for a morning nap and went downstairs with Easton and he just wanted to cuddle. I did for a little while but honestly , he was on top of me all night and I really didn’t want to be touched. I slightly scooted myself over and he pushed his toes out to keep touching me. Finding it quite humerus I scooted over a little bit more  and what do you know – he scooched himself down on the couch so he was still touching me . At that point I realized again… I am being so incredibly selfish. I need to get it together. My son just wants to cuddle up next to me and read books. Why am I so frustrated and being so selfish?  All because I was inconvenienced and didn’t sleep well. All because I woke up early and had to be responsible. All because I wanted to drink my coffee and read my book. As I look back on my day that’s not even 1/2 over I realize how I should be treasuring these moments. My son wanted to cuddle with me. He wanted me to read him stories all morning and I was missing it. I was too selfish to realize the sweetness of it. #mommyfail no.3

When Josie woke up she was a wreck. She was almost panicky when I would try to put her down. I had to laugh because on the day I’m struggling with wanting my space and to not be touched- my kids need it the most. So I searched our house high and low until I found our baby carrier and I put her in it and finished up a haircut I was doing while carrying her. And as soon as I took her out, Easton wanted in.



Some days it takes 1/2 a day to get my but in gear. To realize I cannot be selfish. To treasure these moments and not lose sight of my purpose.

These are the days I realize just how incredibly much I need the grace that our Father so freely gives. He sees my flaws as a mother but still CHOSE me to be their mother. He knows the ugly thoughts I have in my heart and knows how selfish I am but he still thought I was best suited to be their mother. He is using days like today to shape me and mold me into the mother He wants me to be. He is using days like today to help me see that I cannot do this on my own and I need Him daily.  I was reminded today that the gospel in not about “getting saved” but it’s about my life being transformed! 

Ezekiel 36:26-27

I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove he heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules 

God transforms us! He literally can change us from the inside out! Oh how I need that today! The transformation comes through the Holy Spirit , through reading His word, and through prayer! There is POWER in the name of Jesus. I firmly believe that if we fervently pray to be changed by Him and let Him , He will change our hearts. He can change my selfishness into selflessness ! Through the gospel you can be set free! Through the gospel we can uproot , get rid of, destroy the sin in our hearts and live a life that honors God.


As much as I wish I could have a do over today, I am thankful for what the Lord has taught me today. I am thankful to know I am not failing as a mom- I’m just a mom who needs grace. I am thankful for a fresh look at the gospel and oh how I need it daily!!!! I am thankful for Grace. I am thankful that his mercies are NEW EVERY MORNING .

This one thing remains -Your love never fails it never gives up on me
Xoxo , Kaili