Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bouncy Beach Wave or Curls Tutorial

I've gotten quite a few questions lately about how I curl my hair so I made a little video tutorial of it. It takes me about five minutes to do this on my already washed/dried hair, which is pretty quick!
(You may even hear my little assistant in the background more than once. LOL, should've done it during naptime but I did it when I was getting ready...)


Friday, April 14, 2017

The Greatest Love Story Ever Written

We are about to celebrate the most pivotal weekend of the Christian faith. Good Friday, which is the day Jesus Christ was crucified and bore the sins of the world starts the weekend off.  Then it joyfully concludes with His resurrection on Easter Sunday!

Today is the day 2000 years ago that the greatest injustice happened in history. Jesus, who was fully God and fully man and completely perfect in every way, suffered and died on the cross. He gave up his spirit and it was done. But the good news is that wasn't the end. It was the beginning of the most beautiful love story every written. Jesus was buried and then three days later He was alive again!

You see, God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to earth to pay the price of all the sins of the world. When mankind sinned in the garden of Eden we separated ourselves from God. The only way back to Him was through a great payment, an ultimate sacrifice. Jesus came to earth to be constrained to a human body, live a perfect life and die. He didn't do anything wrong. He didn't deserve the horrendous, painful death He endured but He was obedient to His Father, even to the point of death on the cross.

On Good Friday Jesus died and the wrath of God was satisfied. The curtain was torn and we gained access to God. No longer were burnt offerings needed or high priests. If we believe God and what Jesus did on the cross, we have direct access to God through prayer. And when we die, we will be with Him for eternity. Then on Easter Sunday, Jesus arose from the grave and the tomb was found empty. Prophesy was fulfilled and Jesus was who He claimed to be. Now, that is what a I call good news! Happy Good News Friday and Resurrection Day! Here are a couple of fitting songs for this Holy weekend friends!

This is one of my favorite songs and so fitting for Good Friday. (Isaiah 53 is where most of the lyrics are from)

This is one of my favorite Easter songs.

(Romans 3:23, John 3:16, Matthew 27, Mark 16, John 20, 1 Corinthians 15 and Isaiah 53 are references as well as the rest of the whole Bible.)

Monday, April 10, 2017

5 Tips to Help Manage Your Time (for Moms of littles)

Managing time is such a fitting topic for this Mommy Style Monday because one of my goals for this year was being more intentional with my time!  I have been evaluating how I am doing with that for the last week or so.  While there is always room for improvement, I'm doing better than this time last year which is pretty cool!  There are a few things that I have realized are really helpful for managing my time and also keeping my sanity in general!  I hope you find them helpful too!

(As you probably know, I stay home with my 2 year old son.   Little J is the best (well, of course I think so!) and so much fun.  He is very high energy and also still a good napper which is awesome.)

1.  Make a Schedule: (and try to stick to it most days!)  We still have a pretty set schedule because I find that works best for both of us!  I realize not everyone is like us, but most kids do better with schedules and I seriously have found that I do too!  There are times when I am not super strict with nap time, like when we are hanging out with cousins during their Spring Break or something or on the weekends, but during the week we are home by at least 2pm for J's nap!

2.  Utilize Nap time:  I realize not every still naps, but if yours (or any of yours do) take advantage!  Drink a cup of hot coffee and sit down for 5 minutes.  It's amazing how refreshing that can be.  Then what I do is try to pick up the house, do laundry (or other chores), write, craft or sew while J sleeps.

3.  Consolidate Errands:  Obvious I know, but unless you live in the middle of a large city (or small town) where everything is super close, it helps save time by combining errands.  I do this one of two ways most of the time:  by type of errand or location.  So with the type of errand, like grocery shopping where I get all of our groceries in one morning regardless of whether I have to stop at three stores to get everything (like trader Joes for staples, Whole Foods for meat and King Soopers/Farmers Market for produce or something).  Or if I am doing it by location, I will go to Super Target and Toys R Them the day J has gymnastics because it's on that side of town, and I will also take my ring to get checked while over there.

4.  Outings:  I found out after I was home bound in a walking cast for a few weeks last November, that my son and I both get a little stir crazy if we are at home too much.  It also adds a nice variety to your schedule and week to get out to different places too.  So we try to go somewhere everyday!  Sometimes it's structured and paid activities like the toddler gymnastics class, but most of the time it's something like going to the park, meeting up with friends for a play date, my walking group, story time or the library.  This is also a great time to hang out with other adults (and kids)!  My mom and I try to get together once a week and it's so nice to be able to talk, catch up and just live life together.

5.  Notepad:  I always have a notepad with me.  There's one on my nightstand, kitchen counter, car and purse.  If an idea for a post or item that's needed on the shopping list comes up I (try to) write it down immediately.  Getting it written down quickly helps you to be able to focus on the task at hand instead of trying to remember that great idea you just thought of.  Then I transfer that to my phone when I have a chance later.  (My husband and I also use an app called ToDoist that we love and can share shopping lists, etc.. on it.)

Does my son always take a nap? Nope.  When he does is it always for 2-3 hours? Nope.  Do I always consolidate errands and outings? Nope.  Nobody and nothing is perfect, so this doesn't happen all the time but I find that if I do these things everything just runs more smoothly and I can manage my time so much better!

What helps you manage your time?  Are you a hardcore scheduler or just a wing it type of person?

Be sure to check out how everyone else manages their time at the links below.  If you'd like to sign up for the next Mommy Style Monday go to Kiana or Madeline's blogs!

Kiana at Glitter&Donuts | Madeline at CaseyLand
Erica at Good Job Momma | Cayli at Nightchayde | Alexis at Witt Family Happenings
Rachel at Tutus and Heels | Monica at It's All About

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Our family's growth update and the jealousy monster

So it's been quite an eventful end of winter and beginning of Spring around here.  We've gotten to see a lot of our family, spend time with my grandmas (J's great grandmas), visit the zoo, ice skate, finish Financial Peace University, change the timeline of when we may buy a house and attend an info meeting that I shared about a few weeks ago.

As you likely already know, we have always wanted children, which is obvious I suppose, but I also specifically mean that as the plural.  We'd love little J to get the chance and challenge (ha!) of growing up with a sibling(s).  Big J and I prayed, talked  and looked into ways to make that happen.  I was SO excited to announce the direction we were going to go and perhaps got a bit ahead of myself in announcing it.

My sweet and supportive (so thankful for him) husband reassured me that I didn't overshare, and that sometimes things just don't turn out the way we planned and that's ok.  So, here I am. . .kind of backpedaling or so it seems.  We had a great meeting, and actually had a great experience with our first babysitter (who wasn't part of our family).  We met some great people, even someone we already knew, at the meeting and left with two definite things.  Before the meeting I was praying that this meeting would be something that God would help give us clarity and that He did.

1.  We both definitely want to pursue foster care and adoption through foster care.  There are no ifs now, but rather when.

2.  Now is not the right time for us to enter foster care/Foster adopt.

I could get into all the reasons as to why it isn't going to work for us now, but I don't think that actually matters.  If you are interested send me a PM, email or talk to me in person.  We both still have such a heart for kids and specifically hurting kids without families or who can't be with their families right now, and while it's sad that it isn't going to work out for the near future I'm excited to see how God uses this and also for the other peeps in our class that do move forward with it now.

Don't get me wrong, we are thrilled that we had the opportunity to have been chosen to raise our sweet boy.  We are parents (!!!!), and it's been the most amazing, and at times challenging, thing we've ever done!  So I don't mean to sound ungrateful (if it came across that way) in anyway!  We'd still love to J to get to be a brother though. I don't know about you but things like this have the tendency to let jealousy creep into my thoughts.  Sometimes I even end of thinking these things and repeating them.  Destructive things like "If we were normal we could just have more babies whenever we wanted." or "Too bad I'm not a fertile myrtle." or "If we hadn't lost that baby, little J wouldn't be the only child."  Or I think of the friend's cousin who found out she was pregnant only when her bloodwork before surgery came back oddly.  She was 36 weeks along and had about 3 weeks to prepare for their first babe.  Then there is the childhood friend who is pregnant (!!!) after their 4th round of IVF and 3 failed rounds.  Then there is my other childhood friend who I just found out had two miscarriages between her first and second children (she has three kids now).  But there is no point in thinking those negative thoughts, or looking at other people or their families for the answer.  There is always going to be someone who had it easier (or so it appears) and someone who has had it harder.

Let's stop comparing.  Each person is different.  Each family is different.  We don't know what hurdles they had to jump over or mountains they climbed to get to where they are now.  We can trust that God working together ALL THINGS for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose though.  (Romans 8:28)  So, in all things I will trust God and His plans.   Even when I don't understand.  

So, as for adding another "J" or other letter to the family....we still 'plan to'...just possibly in a much longer, more round about way.  But then again, we never know....

Pray with us about:

-For all the children in the foster system currently.
-For the birth/bio families of these kids.
-For all the families fostering and those pursuing fostering.
-For those who are thinking about fostering, there is definitely a need, especially for older kids (10+).
-For the kids aging out of foster care, that they will have support to get into the world even if they don't have a permanent family.
-For our hearts and our little family.  We were so excited to pursue this now, and are saddened that it's not the right timing.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Women amaze me, here's why!

It's Women's History month!!  It wasn't until I was eating lunch at a cute little Taqueria with my little fam after Church yesterday and I saw her.  I've seen many like her my whole life.  I am even basically her right now.  But it wasn't until I saw her sit down with her infant carrier in the booth...and it hit me again.  Women are amazing.  Always multitasking (well).  Always caring for others.  Always on call.

Who can do just about everything that men can do IN HEELS?!  Women!

Who are the only ones who carry and birth babies?  Women!

Who are the ones who can heal a cut or scrap with a simple kiss?  Women, specifically mamas!

Who fiercely protects their children?  Women, specifically mamas again!

Who else can carry a newborn or 30+ toddler and do housework?  (Like all day everyday!)  Women!  Women are remarkably strong.

I know what you’re thinking.  Men can do some of these things.  True.  Men are pretty cool too.  Single dads especially can do a lot!  But really, women are just rock stars.

Look at women in the context of the Bible.  In Genesis after God had created the earth and everything in it including man, He saw that it was not good for man to be alone.  So the answer to that?  God made a suitable helper, and it was a woman.  (Genesis 2)  A woman was the answer to the first question in creation!  Pretty significant, right?!?

Then let’s look at just a few other instances of women in the Bible.  Hm…who bore Jesus when he came to earth as a baby?  A woman named Mary.  (Matthew 1:18-24)  Who were the first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection?  Women!  (Mark 16)  Not a man, not the disciples, but women!  That’s definitely significant, friends!  There lots other key women in the Bible:  Esther, Ruth, and the list goes on….

Let's think about it ladies.  I'm not saying we shouldn't get paid the same as men for the same work.  In fact, this is not a political post at all.  But, let's face it.  We are different than men.  We were made to do different tasks.  We were made to carry babies (on our hips, etc.).  We can feed our newborns & toddlers at the same time as ourselves.  We are different.  Different isn't bad.  In this case, no offense men, but different is BETTER!  

 Let's embrace our differences and do it all the while IN HEELS!  (Or Vans or Nikes or whatever you want to wear!)