Saturday, December 31, 2011

What I found in 2011...

This time every year I try and sit down {like half of America} and write a list of measurable goals for the upcoming year. As I look back on 2011 one seven letter word comes to mind-Content.  This year I have been busy and beyond overwhelmed at times. Stressed and ever so impatient a lot of the time. But when my day was complete and our sweet little castle was quiet I found my heart clocking out Content. Contentment is a beautiful, encouraging, comforting, and yet uncommon word. I don't know that I could have said that and truly meant that any other time in my life. Maybe it's the getting older and maturing thing or maybe it's the Philippians 4:11 that I find myself longing to be. It's funny to me how that wasn't on my so called 'list' last year. In fact, my number one goal is still a top goal for this year. Which is a nice way of saying, I failed but am thankful that I continue to grow as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and a sister in Christ.


The one thing that has been so heavy on my heart for the start of 2012 is enjoying my life. I find myself being content, but enjoying it?... Well, that's a whole other story. Are you enjoying every day of your life? I find myself forgetting that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it to the full.


My desire, for 2012 is simple. I want to enjoy. I'm a "do-er", by every sense of the word, I have the hardest time simply being still and doing nothing. I always feel like something has to be done. I want to enjoy my three boys. I want to laugh more with them, wrestle with them more and feel okay with doing nothing else but enjoying them. I want to enjoy my marriage. I want to go out on dates with my husband. I want to joke with him more and not take things so seriously. I want to enjoy my friendships more. I want to let more people in and be more vulnerable. I am realizing that the more I give in anything the more I get back. I want to enjoy Christ and the freedom that I have in Him. I am realizing that for me, it's an attitude of the heart. 


So, my question for all of you is simply. Have you been enjoying your life to the fullest? I know I haven't. If not, it's time to begin. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. {John 10:10}

I am so thankful for 2011 but I am ever so ready for 2012! 
Happy New Year, My friends!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday {A Christmas Edition}

Happy Wednesday, Friends!
I can hardly believe how fast Christmas came and went this year. 
We spent much of our week eating yummy food, enjoying family, going to Christmas parties and remembering the true reason we celebrate. This week I wore this one outfit maybe three different time. Here is my thought on this. I had three different 'Christmassy' parties to attend. Each one had all different people attending. So, they didn't know I actually wore this outfit three nights in a row {until now}!


Headband- H&M


Necklace- H&M
Skirt- H&M
Tank Top- Arden B
Cardigan- Old Navy



Boots-Target

Our castle has been covered in tiny bits of wrapping paper, twine, toys, electronics of every kind and sounds of three little boys having the time of their life. As thankful as I am for all of the Christmas messes I am ready to get our castle back in order. When do you start to take down your Christmas decorations? I kinda already did....



pleated poppy

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In...

On Christmas Day, On Christmas Day;
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day in the morning.


Then let us all rejoice again,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
Then let us all rejoice again,
On Christmas Day in the morning.


Merry Christmas!
Special Thanks to Nikki James Photography   

Saturday, December 24, 2011

From Our Family To Yours

Merry Christmas


Praying that you all will... 


... soak in the sweet moments with your family 
... make lasting memories
... laugh  alot together
... simply enjoy this beautiful time of year


                                                                                                                                                                         
celebrating HIS birth 
and all that he has done for you.

Be blessed my friends.
Have a fabulous Christmas! 

Special Thanks to Nikki James Photography  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A New Christmas Tradition

As many of you already know I am sucker for family tradition. We started a new one this past week and I just had to share it with all of you. This year, we decided to give the two older boys $10 each to spend on whatever they wanted for their brothers. I wasn't exactly sure how it was going to go. I know there are a lot of times I think I have this great, exciting idea and usually I am the only one who really gets excited about it.
Does that ever happen to you?

I also informed them that I had no say whatsoever in what they were picking out. They could pick out whatever their little hearts desired. I had no idea just how excited these two would get after I said that. I first took Brady out shopping and this boy... my goodness his wife is going to be a lucky lady. He is so thoughtful and intentional in his gifts. He literally thought through every present he picked out for Mason and Cole. It made my heart smile.

I then attempted to take Mason out. He decided he didn't want to go and just wanted me to go pick of few things out and say they were from him. I informed him that he would be the one going and two days later we were off shopping. Once he started picking things out he was grinning from ear to ear. He kept saying, "Mom, I need more money. Brady is going to love all of this stuff." I loved looking at everything they picked out for each other.

Today, I had each boy wrap their brothers gifts. Each one of them had to wait in their rooms while their brother wrapped them up. When they were done they would run in and grab their brother and run to the tree. I continue to be amazed at what a bond these three have. The excitement that was in our house was sheer joy. This is a tradition we will carry on for years to come. I can almost guarantee you this...Those boys favorite gifts aren't going to be the ones that were hundreds of dollars. It's going to be those few presents from the dollar store that were bought with so much thought, so much joy and so much love from their brother. For that, I am truly grateful.

I know you all have family traditions you have done or are doing with your kids. I would love to hear about them!

linked to Things I Love Thursday

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

Do you cram all of your holiday shopping into the last week before Christmas? If you’re a holiday procrastinator {like myself}, maybe this year you can make a few of those last minute gifts and save money as well as your sanity!  Here are 10 fabulous gift anyone on your list is sure to love.

1. This Adorable Sock Owl Tutorial would be the best gift for any young girl on your list!


2. For all of you knitters out there. Here is the cutest headband. You must check out the tutorial, you can even download the pattern. 

3. Feathers have been the latest rage this summer/fall and now headed into winter I don't see it ending. So, here is a fabulous tutorial on how to create your very own feathers. Seriously, you could possible be the coolest mom ever if you can make these. 

4. If you are still needed to purchase a gift for me. PLEASE make me these Jersey Knit Bracelets and put them in my stocking. These bracelets have me dreaming of my feet in the sand and soaking up the sun. 



5. This Mini Zig Zag Quilt is perfect for the little ones in your life. 


6. These adorable Alphabet Magnets remind me of something from Anthropolgie. What a great gift to both children and their moms. What momma wouldn't be happy to see these cute things on the fridge instead of those huge plastic letters?!





7. For all of the readers left on your list. Here is the perfect gift. Ribbon Bookmarks. Yes, please!




8. This next gift idea is perfect for the trendy one in your life. I have a feeling if you make these you will be making an extra pair for yourself. I introduce you to the Paper Clip Earring. A.MAZ.ING.

                                                                              


9. For the crafty one in your life...Here is a Yarn Jewelry Holder. Add a few pieces of jewelry on this adorable holder and there you have the perfect gift!






10. The secret of gift giving is the presentation of the gift. Here is perfect example of a way to make pound cake and honey butter look simply amazing. A perfect gift to the food lover in your family!  








This list should help with a few last minute gift ideas. So have you been getting crafty this holiday season? 

This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda.
 Go check out some other fabulous Top Ten lists!

Monday, December 12, 2011

YES. YES. YES.

Happy Monday, Friends!
This past weekend was filled with Christmas tradition here at our castle. 
We loaded up the boys and went to look at lights. It's one of our favorite things to do this time of year. My boys loved every second of it. 
Rides. Lights. Reindeer. 
What more could you ask for?


We looked at Christmas lights and just enjoyed each other. Christmas music playing, snow falling and feeling the warmth of being together as a family.


The nicest man asked the boys if they wanted to feed the reindeer. 
It was such a special time for them. The excited and joy of Christmas was in the air.


What if YOU just said yes? What if you gave up stressing about or resisting what is {and what may be coming}? What if you choose to embrace it. To simply say YES. 
This week I am saying yes....
... yes to celebrating a 'birthday party for Jesus' at my boys school
... yes to laughing and enjoying a work Christmas Party
...in counting it all JOY
... yes to prayer
... yes to dancing
... yes to listening to Justin Biebers 'Mistletoe' 
... I am saying yes to energy
... I am saying yes to drinking coffee in front of my Christmas tree and simply slowing down.
 ... I am saying yes to getting up before my boys
... yes to a heart that is fully aware of how very blessed I am... yes to wrapping presents
... yes to confidence
... yes to hot chocolate with my boys
...yes to baking Christmas cookies

So tell me, What are YOU saying yes to this week?



Be still my heart. Is he not the sweetest thing you have ever seen? 
It's going to be a fabulous week!
Happy Monday, Friends!  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important.


Sometimes I get stuck in a comparison mode-- especially when it comes to being a woman. I find it overwhelming at times trying to look a certain way/ feel a certain way/ teach my boys in a certain way/be a wife in a certain way/and the list goes on... 
It is a constant battle in my head and find it hard at times to listen to the one voice of God that I believe tells me that I am good enough. 

I am thankful that I can go to the one who knows me, loves me, died for me and I am quickly reminded that He is whispering:


                                                                                   source

 Because this just makes me smile I just had to share it with you.
I think we should all remind each other of this truth.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday {A Shopping Edition}

Happy Wednesday, Friends!
This past weekend my mom had my sister and I over for a two day shopping spree. We have all been looking forward to these two days for months. My sister lives in Kentucky so my mom and I don't get to see her as much as we would like. Oh friends, my sweet mom had gifts waiting for us. She had envelopes filled with money for us to spend, our favorite snacks and our favorite goodies all waiting. The woman is one in a million and I am beyond grateful to have her as my mom. Honestly, it has been years since we have laughed as hard as we did. I can remember laughing this much when we were kids and we would all be together but with kids, life and family it had been to long. We shopped anywhere and everywhere you could think of. As we were getting ready for Day 2 my mom looked at me as I was about to walk out the door and said, "This is so a What I Wore Wednesday outfit."Ha! So, I ran and grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots before heading out the door to laugh, shop, and enjoy the Christmas season together.

Headband Ear Warmer- Anthropolgie
Jacket- Forever 21

Shirt- Arden B
Pants-Forever 21

Socks-Van Maur
Boots-Target 

Needless to say this will be a tradition. I can hardly wait until next year. It was by far one of my favorite weekends of the year. I am thankful for my mom and sister and what joy they bring to my life. Tell me... Who do go out and shop with during the holiday season? Do you face the crazy crowds alone or with family/husband/friends? 


What I Wore Wednesday {A Shopping Edition}

Happy Wednesday, Friends!
This past weekend my mom had my sister and I over for a two day shopping spree. We have all been looking forward to these two days for months. My sister lives in Kentucky so my mom and I don't get to see her as much as we would like. Oh friends, my sweet mom had gifts waiting for us. She had envelopes filled with money for us to spend, our favorite snacks and our favorite goodies all waiting. The woman is one in a million and I am beyond grateful to have her as my mom. Honestly, it has been years since we have laughed as hard as we did. I can remember laughing this much when we were kids and we would all be together but with kids, life and family it had been to long. We shopped anywhere and everywhere you could think of. As we were getting ready for Day 2 my mom looked at me as I was about to walk out the door and said, "This is so a What I Wore Wednesday outfit."Ha! So, I ran and grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots before heading out the door to laugh, shop, and enjoy the Christmas season together.

Headband Ear Warmer- Anthropolgie
Jacket- Forever 21

Shirt- Arden B
Pants-Forever 21

Socks-Van Maur
Boots-Target 

Needless to say this will be a tradition. I can hardly wait until next year. It was by far one of my favorite weekends of the year. I am thankful for my mom and sister and what joy they bring to my life. Tell me... Who do go out and shop with during the holiday season? Do you face the crazy crowds alone or with family/husband/friends? 


Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Cole....

Happy Second Birthday To You!


 I am starting to realize that you aren't so much my baby anymore are you?
Lucky for me, you will always be my baby. When I close my eyes and think back of this past year my sweet boy I see your silly grin. Oh that dimple. I hear your laughter. I hear you yelling at the top of your lungs MOMMA! I see you running and figuring out how to jump with both feet. I can see you drop your right shoulder and dance like it's no ones business. I can see you raise both your hands up and at the top of your lunges yell YEAH whenever someone says it's almost your birthday. I see your sweet eyes as they light up when your brothers walk in a room. Can I just tell you they adore you. 


You have brought so much joy to this family. You are the craziest of them all but you 
are the one who is the biggest mommas boy. You bow your sweet little head to pray before you eat. It melts my heart. You melt my heart. You love pizza and anything that has to do with throwing/kicking/hitting/bouncing any type of ball.
You are obsessed with bubble baths. You and I have our own language. You can talk for 5 minutes straight and I know everything your saying. It's great because it's our secret language no one else can understand it like I can. Everytime before bed what do I always whisper in your ear. Who's mommy favorite little boy. You have the same smirk every night. You point to yourself and then wrap your little arms around my neck and squeeze me as tight as you can. 


You are my baby.
You are my snuggle bug.
You are my lover of crazy.
You are my loud one.
You know no fear.
You are joy. 
You make my heart smile.
You are a perfect gift from above.


 I love you with every ounce of my being. 
Happy Birthday My Sweet Baby Cole!

*Thanks to Nikki James Photography for capturing some of my favorite moments with my boys!
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