Thursday, August 21, 2014

Embracing Kindergarten with a Kinder Party!



As hard as it will be to not have Brylee at home with us anymore, I am also so excited for her to get to start this new journey in her sweet little life called school. I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to embrace the fact that she is growing up and do everything I can to make this stage of her life amazing! She has brought so much joy to our home for almost 6 years and I know she will carry that same joy into her kindergarten classroom.

I have been spending a lot of extra time with her lately and I thought it would be fun to have two of her sweet friends over for a "Kinder party!" 

She loves Sarah and Zoe so very much and I wanted to love on them a little extra before they started school. 

We had the best time dressing up, doing make-up, and they enjoyed an hour and a half of pampering! I gave them massages on their hands and feet and then we painted nails. 

They were so cute sitting there relaxing. At one point all three of them said...."oh this feels so good!!" Haha I was just giggling inside. We talked about how fun it is to be a girl and how to have fun friendships by being kind. 

It was so special. 

I definitely got a glimpse of my life for the next 15 years....dress up, giggles and sleepovers! 

What a blessing it is to be a mom of little girls...... 




Cheers! I don't know where they learned to pose but they had me laughing!


Brylee,

I pray you always have friends as sweet as these friends. I pray you work hard to be a good friend as well. Life will have many ups and downs and true friendships will play such a huge role in helping you along the way. I look forward to many more years of doing girl things with you and the ones you love!

xoxo, Mommy


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Kinder Sweethearts!"

Today we had a "Kinder Sweetheart" party for Brylee and two of her friends Zoe & Sarah. I enjoyed every minute of it and it was so special. I wanted to pamper them and make them feel special before they start kindergarten....it was the perfect girls day! I can't wait to post more pictures but here is a little teaser.....mama is worn out, in a good way!

Aren't they precious?!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Little Cinderella

I have been calling Audree my little Cinderella lately. Every time she spills something she gets a towel, gets on her hands and knees and starts wiping up her mess. For a one year old she is actually pretty good at it.

As we get older I think we all get pretty good at cleaning up our messes when we make them. Physical messes as well as life messes. Over the 34 years of my life I have found myself in many messes, some bigger than others, but regardless of how big a mess is a mess. When we find ourselves in the middle of a mess it can get confusing and our thinking usually becomes clouded. Sometimes it is hard to clean up the mess when we can barely identify how. It just takes time. 

If I have learned anything when it comes to this, it is that it takes patience to fix/clean up a mess. Most of the time we didn't make the mess in an hour and so it is usually impossible to clean it up in an hour. Sometimes it takes days, weeks or even months. And that is ok. 

So wherever you are at today I encourage you to give yourself grace and give the situation time. Take baby steps when attempting to clean us whatever mess you may have made. You can do it. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Conference & Family

The last five days have been filled with a leadership conference and some family fun.

Our church staff & teams spent two days learning how to be a better leader and I really enjoyed it. Zeke man got to join us so that made it a little sweeter :)
Kyla and I were roomies for the conference--we were like 2 highschool girls taking pictures on the hotel bed! Love her so much!

After the first day of the conference the staff went to ride go carts together. These were not "putt putt" easy go carts either...they were SO fast and so much fun!



We had some sweet cheerleaders :)

Papa Tommy and Nana E came to visit us for the weekend so of course the girls were loving it!

Baking cupcakes and making messes...


And then Miggie came by to say hi and all the girls turned into bow heads! The girls love to do this to everyone who comes over haha. Two weeks of summer left for us!



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Addictions. Breaking the habit


Any addiction is hard to break.

Smoking, overeating, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual addictions, caffeine.....

This list is endless. As yucky as these addictions are, I would bet that most people struggle with something. Maybe yours is on the list, or maybe it's not, but my guess is that most of us can identify with the feeling of being addiction to something. Being controlled by something that we would rather not be controlled by. Waking up each day with the temptation to give in to your addiction. Falling into your addiction and then quickly experiencing regret because of it. 

There is nothing fun about addictions. As humans it is easy to put our addictions on levels and try to convince ourselves that "our addiction is not as bad as others." There more I have thought about this, the more I feel that addictions are all on the same level because anything that we run to, that isn't God, is not healthy for us. 

We all have different weaknesses and the enemy knows that. He would not waste his time tempting me with cigarettes because I have asthma and it is just not a temptation to me. He knows me, where I have fallen before and he knows the areas of my life where I struggle most. So he attacks there and nowhere else. He attacks my emotions, he attacks with food, he attacks my thoughts. 

When we choose to allow "something else" to fulfill us, instead of God, then we are resorting to temporary happiness that will soon fade. That is why I feel that all addictions are ranked the same. The consequences of our addictions will differ, of course, but the heart behind it is the same. 

We become addicted to things because we are running from something. We are avoiding dealing with an area of our heart that needs attention. We know that it "feels good or taste good" and we selfishly give in for that happiness. We are trying to numb the pain or numb an experience that we would rather forget. We are trying not to care about our problems....but deep down we still do. 

It doesn't feel good to be addicted to anything because that means we have lost self-control. Addictions eventually leave us empty.....every single time. 

The bible says that God will not tempt us beyond what we can bear with His help. As difficult as it is, God promises that we can overcome if we choose to run to Him and allow Him to heal us through the process. Addictions are just band aids to something else going on inside of us. 

It's time to uncover the band aid, run from the addiction and deal with what we find underneath. It will be worth it.

I have walked through several addictions in my life but lately it's dr. pepper. Sounds silly compared to the "major" ones but remember what I said in the beginning...we have to look at the heart and not where the addiction falls on our rank. 

Lately I drink between 2-5 dr peppers a day. I hate typing that out, it's embarrassing. I know better than that. I know what it's doing to my body, my sugar levels, and I know how bad it is for me. I know better but yet I have been doing it anyways. 

Thursday I felt very convicted. I was away at a conference and we were all having lunch. The waiter brought me my third drink, and we had only been there about 40 minutes. I knew then that I needed to stop. Not only stop the dr.pepper but really try to figure out why I am being rebellious and doing what I want even though I know better. There is more to it than a flipping soda.

A friend of mine at the table encouraged me to stop, right there in that moment, and choose to overcome. And I did. 

My goal is 21 days. Cold turkey. Headaches are crazy and I am upset at times that I allowed myself to become addicted to soda. When I am struggling, I pray. When I do well, I thank God. I don't know if this will be a forever thing or if I will be able to eventually enjoy one drink in moderation but for now it has to be nothing. 

No matter what our addictions are we only have two choices. We can allow them to guide us and steer us through the day OR we can stop. And if we fall, we have to get back up and try again until the day comes where we experience freedom. 

There is no middle, at least in the beginning. For me it was time to make a choice....maybe you could join me for 21 days and just see what happens?!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Great Wolfe Lodge 2014!

Our annual trip to Great Wolfe Lodge with the Grimes family was a success! We love them so very much and this is an overnight that we really look forward to. Jon and Brandon didn't get to come visit us this year so it was just us mama's. Audree stayed with my mom because chasing all three at that big place might just be a disaster :)

The kids looked so cute and we enjoyed watching them play and smile!! 

One day they will be older, and won't let us match their outfits, so for now we are embracing these toddler years because we know they are fleeting.

I seriously adore these faces. Pictures from our time together.....














Until next time....