Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday High Faves

This post will be short and sweet, my fellow Friday lovers.

I do believe I survived this week by the skin of my teeth. I've battled a nasty cold, navigated major curveballs, and juggled so many balls in the air that seemed to be falling off a cliff and lived to tell about it.

That being said, I don't have too many high fives, however there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. Am I right?

  • Absolutely stunning sunsets. Thank you Lord for magenta sunsets that make you stop, take a deep breath and soak it all in.

  • Our little Munchie mastering his kissing technique. He's been kissing for a while, but it was usually a big, wet open mouth sort of a deal. AKA, not quite the kiss you want to give your son forever. He will now pucker up and lean in for the kill. It seriously melts my heart. Good job to the Hubs who helped him hone in on this life skill.
  • Knowing that groceries are in my near future. I didn't have time to do anything this week so we are pretty bare bones and running out of creative meals.
  • Hitting up a phenomenal rummage sale. With three vintage markets in my future this summer, I'm aggressively trying to beef up my inventory and this sale was a true winner in items and price. There's nothing like finding awesome junk;)

  • Stumbling across this gem. I try, I really do try. I just seem to generate dust at an incredible rate. Sigh.

  • Watching this studmuffin love on his "Bebo". He loves his little blue Bebo like this momma loves cake. I snapped this pic of him watching an episode of Mickey Mouse Club while resting on the couch with his Bebo. How is he growing up so quickly?!

Happy Friday, Y'all! We made it!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Creative Parenting

I've posted before that I'm a fan of creative parenting and creative discipline. Well, this dad definitely took his creativity and his clippers to a whole 'nother level. Poor little Tay Tay and John John.

I'm sure there's probably something a little mean and possibly traumatizing about making your kids look like fools in public, but today I applaud him for thinking outside of the box. We can worry about what sort of counseling this action might require when his boys are 30, but quite frankly, that's not as fun as finding the humor in their current humiliation, is it now? My favorite line "you wanna act a fool, I act one with you." Boom, daddy-o, that's how it's done.

I guarantee this kiddos will think twice about their grades and the amount of effort they put into their school work in the future. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I've toyed with the idea of adding another tattoo to my already existing tat for some time now, and although I don't know that I'll ever follow through, I do know exactly what I'd like to get. It'd be simple and to the point. "Enough. Isaiah 6:8"

The above verse is near and dear to my heart and has become my life verse since 2008. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?And I said, “Here am I. Send me! NIV. Although I fail at times, my goal is to always keep my ear to the ground and to my heart (and more so to Jesus' heart) to see where I can go. Where will you send me? Use me, God. Send me out.

The "enough" part is simple. It's a mantra, it's a reminder and when I'm living amongst awareness, it's a way of life. I want to live in the margins of "enough". I do not needs tons. I do not need extravagance, I simply need enough.

He is enough for me. He is enough power, enough love, enough truth, enough peace, enough grace, enough forgiveness, enough everything. He is enough.

In Him, I am enough. I am beautiful enough. I am wise enough. I am loved enough and sought after enough. I am as enough to Him as the next person is regardless of accomplishments, career, money, and beauty. I am enough. I was enough from the minute he formed me in my mother's womb. Nothing I can do will ever make me not enough in His eyes. Not enough sin nor distance can make His love not enough to redeem and sustain me.

Knowing all of that, today is one of those days where I wish I had that tattooed on my wrist for the world to see, but more importantly for me to see. Today I do not feel like enough. Not even close.

Today I am struggling with a cold and just want to be in bed, but I have a job and a family who both rely on me. I have emails coming in faster than I can respond and tasks piling up no matter how quickly I try to knock them out. I have people that want answers but none to give them. I have people who want results now but also have others in line before them already for their own results. I cannot work fast enough or hard enough. I cannot be in two places at once. Today I feel like I am anything but enough.

There's not enough of me to go around. Not today, at least. Maybe tomorrow I will be enough.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Eight Months and Counting

Our sweet boy is eight months old today. Where has the time gone?! It's really only felt like 5 minutes...under water, as my husband's uncle would say.

Seriously though, I feel like just two short months ago I was 9 months pregnant and the size of a small house, with "cocktail wieners" as toes (thanks to my brother for pointing that beauty out), and a wicked case of pink eye and BAM, I now have an eight month old.

We've survived sleepless nights, RSV, a hospital stay at 3 months old, and now the cutting of two teeth. And through it all, our boy has been the happiest little champ. I don't know what we did to deserve such a phenomenal child,  but I'll take it and thank the Lord for it!

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Puffs
  • Celery stalks for teething
  • Anything that plays music
  • Mickey Mouse Club is our jam!
  • Talking jibberish with an occasional "da-da" and now "ma-ma"
  • His tiny basketball, aka his peepee teepee that he thinks is the best toy in the world
  • Swinging with mom and dad
  • Watching his puppy, Piggy
  • Jumping in his bouncer
  • Pulling momma's hair (which is on my dislike list)
  • Bath time and splashing
  • Stuffy noses
  • Nose Freida aka the snot sucker that is the
  • Going to sleep and missing out (at least for a few minutes til he passes out)
  • Green beans
Munchie, you amaze me more every day. I thank God for you multiple times a day, and every night when I tell you that I'll miss you til morning, I truly mean it. You make my days brighter with your smile and I will do anything to make you laugh. I'm sorry I have the worst singing voice in the world, but thanks for humoring me and snuggling in close when I try to make my way through a comforting lullaby. You are the handsomest boy and it makes me so happy to be stopped by 5 different strangers on the way into church so they can talk to you or comment on your smile or eyes or hat. Every day I see a bit more of me in you and I pray that you somehow inherit all of my good characteristics and none of my flaws. But if somehow you do get my not so great traits, we'll navigate them together and make each other stronger. And worst case, we'll just annoy everyone else together;) Thanks for making me a mom and for not knowing any different so when I do screw up, you still love me as though I'm the only woman on the planet. You hold my heart, little man, and I know without a doubt you always will. I love you so, so much!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spider Trauma

Today could possibly go down in the books as one of the most traumatizing days of my life. I don't even know if I can write this post through the massive amounts of heebie geebies surging through my body, but I'll give it a go.

1) I hate spiders. I hate everything about them. From the creepy way they move around to their webs to their fangs. H.A.T.E. I'm 36 years old and for roughly 30 years, I have done a "spider check" every single night. That's approximately 10,950 checks of my bed for spiders before I can lay down. I just know that one is waiting for me under those sheets someday.

2) I am beyond afraid of spiders. If you want to see my pulse double in under a second, show me a spider. Even the mere thought of having to kill one sends me into a small panic attack. If no one else is around and I'm on my own to kill a spider, I have to do the whole count to 3 thing to get my courage up to get close enough to crush one and even then, it usually takes me 3-4 tries to swing that shoe through screaming and cold sweats. Killing spiders is the stuff my nightmares are made of.

Now that you're in on my unfounded fear of spiders, my morning commute today was a full on stage 5 panic attack. All was going well. I was in the car with the tunes playin', steamy coffee in the console, and apparently a daggum spider dangling less than a foot from my head. Something caught my eye and when I tured in the general direction of said movement, boom, spider man is swinging next to my face from my sunroof. Ahhhhhhh! No, seriously. I screamed and just started swinging! Both hands left the wheel and just began flailing. In that moment I could not have cared less if I hit another car. There was a spider next to my FACE!!

You know what the downfall is of swinging at a spider? You might actually hit what you're aiming for. You know what's worse? When the stupid thing vanishes. Where. Did. It. Go???? It was there and now it's gone and the only thing that caused it to disappear was my ever-lovin' arm. MY ARM! Now we're talking full blown meltdown. I looked everywhere all while frantically shaking my arm like it was on fire. Still no blessed spider. Excuse me while I dab these cold sweats from my brow as I type.

Needless to say, my drive to work this am was anything less than relaxing. You might as well have held a gun to my head. Okay, maybe that's a bit much, but it was so scary, you guys!

And this is where it all turns just about as far south as it can go...

Fast forward four hours and I head to the restroom for a bathroom break. You see where I'm going here?

As I turn to flush, something catches my eye, again. Say. It. Ain't. So. And there he is, people. The DAGGUM spider!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is now in the toilet, swimming. I just can't. Where the he@# has he been for the FOUR hours?????????? He was on me for FOUR hours!!! During TWO meetings, I was chillin with a spider on me! Was it in my hair? On my back? Under my skirt? In my sleeve? Again, I just cannot... It's all too much. I may need counseling. Or a can of raid to spray in my hair and a match to burn my cute new skirt.

When I told my coworker that I had found the missing spider and that it had been on me for the last four hours, she simply stated "well, maybe it was just sitting on your back" all nonchalant like. Oh, okay, good. Thank God it's only been on my back like a dang spider backpack! Thank the Lord you cleared that one up!!! Excuse me while I dry heave into my trash can now.

How does one come back from this? I'm really not sure. But I can confidently tell you that my beloved spider checks will now go from the bed to the car and back again every single day. And if one more spider EVER falls out of my hair or my skirt OR takes a free ride on my back for four hours, you can put a fork in me cuz I'm straight up done. Done. My heart simply cannot take it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Show and Tell- My Favorite Vacation

As we link up with Andrea over at Momfessionals for today's edition of Show and Tell- My Favorite Vacation, this post was BY FAR the easiest one to narrow down thus far. I've taken many a trip and have also lived in the #1 Best City in America, Charleston, SC, which is pretty much the equivalent of living "on vacation", but my favorite vacay would definitely be our honeymoon in 2012 to St. Lucia, BVI.

After planning a wedding in Charleston AND a large reception in our hometown of Rockford, IL for those who couldn't make the trip to the actual wedding, this bride was beyond ready for a vacation. To give you a glimpse at just how exhausted I was, I was so physically ill the morning we embarked on our honeymoon from being overtired, that I asked the Hubs if we could leave the next day instead. Thankfully, he showed a little tough love and off we went.

St. Lucia was exactly what I needed to recharge my dwindling batteries. I had made decisions for 8 months on what everyone would eat, what type of chairs people would sit on, what flowers went with what vase, etc... I was DONE with decisions. That was until I encountered the swim up bar at our all-inclusive resort. From that moment on, my toughest decisions were which fun cocktail to try and what point in my pool lounging should I flip to the other side as to not burn. Tough life, right?

Sandals La Toc had everything we could've asked for and more. The food was amazing and plentiful. The ice cold Piton beer flowed like wine. The nightly entertainment was just that, entertaining.

The views were incredible and colorful and a perfect reminder of how creative God must've been as He planned everything out.

We visited a mud bath that was featured on the Bachelor and then soaked it off in a hot spring, followed by a dip under a waterfall. We visited the Piton Mountains courtesy of Joe Knows tourboat, which was a party in itself. Thankfully I'm not a huge drinker, but I did see that rum punch sneak up a few newlyweds who appeared to be a little seasick after snorkeling while tipsy. It's all fun and games until you create fish food. No thanks.

There was lots of reading by poolside and amazing dinners.

There was a street festival and a newlywed photo shoot compliments of the resort.

And what is a honeymoon without a little "Daniel Son"? Empty, I tell you.

We took out the stand up paddle boards and kayaks, and at one point something VERY large swam under our kayak and scared the life pretty much out of me. Think a "Jaws" sized something. As it swam under our kayak, neither the Hubs nor I uttered a word about it, but I did notice the pace of our paddling increased substantially. I think we were both hoping the other person didn't see it and were trying to remain calm until our kayak hit sand and we bolted. Once on land, I turned to the Hubs and began to say "umm, did you..." and before I could finish he confidently replied "uh yeah, I saw it too." Needless to say we never took that kayak back out. I've totally seen that Lifetime movie and it does not end well, y'all.

All in all, it was the perfect trip with my new husband. We got to relax, re-center and enjoy being us outside of our beautiful wedding haze and hustle. Whoever invented the honeymoon was quite possibly the smartest person on the planet. I would like to meet them and hug them profusely.

Tim, can we go back? Pretty please with a Piton on top? There's a dirty banana cocktail calling my name.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Borrowed & Blue

This week our church group finishes up a 40 day study called the Love Dare. As a fun (and cheesy) way to celebrate the study and our commitment to our marriages, we thought it'd be fun to have a little wedding party. At least us wives thought it'd be fun. I'm not too sure the husbands are exactly stoked, but they're playing along at least. There will be a cake, quess that "first dance" song game, wedding dresses (if they fit), and more. Fun, right?

As I've been prepping for the soiree in our home, I needed to find a few of my favorite photos from our wedding which led me to Borrowed & Blue, a wedding website that featured our June 1st, 2012 nuptials. I have to say, it's a cool way to experience the day all over again through the eyes of the website contributor. It's neat to see which images she thought were worth sharing and I think she nailed some of my fave highlights.

To take a quick walk down memory lane of our special day, you can visit:

What a perfect day, surrounded by our dearest friends and family. I couldn't have asked for more. It was everything I dreamed it would be as I married my best friend on a gorgeous plantation in South Carolina!

Thanks, Borrowed and Blue, for the internet "time capsule"!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter Weekend

Easter weekend is always a magical, special time for many, but if you're a believer, this weekend holds so much more than colored eggs, Peeps and bunnies. This weekend holds pain, loss, tragedy, and then it holds hope, redemption and amazing grace.

I hope this weekend is constant reminder that when we feel ALL is lost, nothing is lost with God. Nothing, not even death, is too great for our Lord to conquer. He HAS overcome the WORLD. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow our His and through Him, they are ours as well.

I wish you all the happiest and most hopeful weekends with your friends and family. If you're blessed to have someone to spend this weekend with, consider inviting someone who might want to go to church but not want to go alone. It's no fun to walk into a building alone when everyone else is celebrating with their loved ones. Who knows, someone we know just might be desperate for a little hope, redemption and amazing grace this very weekend.

God Bless, friends. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Fish Is Born

Y'all. Can I just say how much I love baby "toad bellies" sticking out from under a rash guard and swim trunks? Is there really anything cuter? I think not.

This past weekend we took a quick roadtrip to visit some family in central Illinois and had so much fun watching our little man experience a swimming pool for the first time. Our Munchie loves bath time. He'll kick and play and smile the entire time he's in the bath, so I had hoped his love of water would translate to the pool as well. And it did once the fear and uncertainty vanished when he realized we were going to keep him afloat.

Although the hotel's pool was less than desirable and a true testament to how misleading photos can be (think large, spacious indoor pool with ample room for lounging poolside on the website), we rolled with the punches and hopped right in to the small, cramped and eerily murky water. Let me tell you, that cholrine was working overtime, if it was working at all. The Hubs wanted to dunk the baby so many times, but I pulled the "no fun allowed" mom card out every single time he asked, unfortunately. We'll save that milestone for a pool that appears to have less "pool pee" in it. Can I get an amen fellow mommas.

All in all, I'll call his first swim a success. A ridiculously cute success, tiny swim trunks and all.

Thanks, Lovie, for the float!

The brave swimmers who escaped the crowded, loud, murky hotel water
without a single case of E. Coli.

Such a focused floater.

Look at that belly!

Late night cuddles with his cousin. And by late night, I mean 8pm.  We're crazy like that.

Three cheers for fun family time!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Unsolved Mysteries

When I was about 14, I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina for the first time with my skating coaches and about 12 other ice skaters/my best friends. That trip changed the course of my life and after just 14 days, I knew I'd one day pack up and head south. And I did for 16 years.

On that first trip, I had the pleasure of meeting two special people. They were a mother and daughter duo, Lee and Savanna, who were living in Charleston and were family friends of my skating coach and her family. Upon our arrival to Charleston, our very first stop was to a home where we'd meet the sweet and southern duo. We all took turns holding baby Savanna and she was as precious as she could be. Her mother, Lee, was so welcoming and excited to see all of us, which was a lovely feeling after 2 days of being crammed in the car as we traveled from Illinois to SC. On that first trip to Charleston, we were unaware of any issues brewing in the lives of Lee and Savanna, although behind the scenes, a storm was brewing. That knowledge came later. What I did know though was that Lee appeared to be a wonderful mother who loved her beautiful daughter oh so much. I still stand by that statement over 20 years later.

Fast forward a bit and we're now all back in Rockford. The Charleston tans have faded from our sun kissed cheeks and we're all back on the ice. I can still remember the afternoon skating session when my coach was paged for having a phone call. She left the ice briefly to take the call only to return with the knowledge that Lee had left. She had vanished and had taken Savanna with her. After a nasty custody case, which I will not go into as I'm no expert and have only about 1% of the details, Lee's ex had been granted full custody, so she did what she felt was her only option to protect her baby. She vanished without a trace. And she stayed gone for a LONG time. Twenty years long.

It's pretty surreal to sit on your couch and watch an episode of Unsolved Mysteries and actually know the person on the screen. There's two sides to every story and with Lee being the "abductor", the side of the episode was that of her ex-husband. The light in which Lee was portrayed left out many key elements that would make anyone watching want her to take that sweet girl away as well. Now as a mother myself, I know that I would do anything in the world to protect my son, even if it meant fleeing with him. I also know that for me to abandon EVERYTHING in my life, all of my family and friends, all of my accomplishments and hopes and dreams, I would have to feel as though I had ZERO other options available. Knowing that is how Lee felt kept me praying over the last two decades that she would remain hidden and unfound. Sadly, that changed in November of 2013. I can still remember the pit in my stomach when my skating shared the news with us in 2013 that they had been found. It felt about the same as when she had said they had vanished.

If you'd like to see a bit more into one of the longest, family man hunts out there, you can watch a few clips of the TV special on the case and their story here. "Sam" or Savanna as we met her, is an incredibly mature and well adjusted 20' something woman. It's abundantly clear to me that her mom, Lee, raised her well and gave Sam the life she had always dreamed her baby would have. Even if meant leaving behind all she knew to keep her little girl safe from a desperate situation. Lee is now serving jail time in Charleston, but I know quite a few people who will be anxiously awaiting her release. Especially Sam. The one whom she loved enough to potentially face jail time for.