{5 Years}

5 years ago I was sitting in my living room while a makeup artist carefully gave me a “natural” yet beautiful look and twisted my hair into a complicated updo.

Five years ago I was surrounded by girlfriends and family.

I put on a full-length gown with bling that laced up in the back.

I was surrounded by flowers and food and festivities.

Five years ago I married my husband and then we took off for a week of adventure and leisure in kauai.

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Today, I ran to starbucks at 6:30 (the kids were already up) and grabbed a couple of drinks and sausage sandos for the hubby and I to “celebrate” with.  My ever-expanding 24 week pregnant belly made getting into the car with two coffees and a purse a bit challenging.

i then ate breakfast with the hubby while admonishing my children to not spit their cereal out of their mouths, helping my oldest complete a school workbook page and packing a lunch.

We all kissed daddy goodbye and then us three girls finished eating, traced tiny hand and fingers and cut them out for a “project” as my toddler calls them.

I got the girls dressed in stained playclothes and cleaned up their room.

Now I’m letting them watch a Bible verse video, so I can sneak in a shower.

Later tonight hubby and I are pretending we don’t have a budget and are going out to dinner at a fancy spot.

Though life today looks vastly different than that glamorous day five years ago, it is far better.

I wish I could enjoy those first few days of marriage as the woman and the couple that we are now.

So many more challenges.  Two . . . almost three babies, two miscarriages, one rental, one home, five chickens, a dog we said hello to and then goodbye to, vacations, loss of grandparents, new friends, friends moving away, good times, hard times.  All in five years.

Truly, it has all made us so much stronger and closer.  We were just talking the other day about how glad we are that we somehow miraculously got married since now we love eachother so much! HA!

We thought we loved each other then and we did, in a naive and exciting way.  Marriage, however, has grown that love to be so much more! I can’t wait to see where we will be in another five years!

Happy Anniversary, babe!

**If you’ve never heard our love story, here is a link to get you there:


{Even if your rug is Dirty}

My rug is really dirty.

Ok, maybe stained is a better word.

I mean, I vacuum (daily) and have steam cleaned it many times.

However, I chose poorly and the beige and what-was-once-white rug has reached its limit of cleaning.

Between toddlers and a husband who has a job that requires work boots and hosting close to 16 people weekly and having a front door that pretty much opens up ONTO said rug, it ain’t pretty.

And honestly, I’m ashamed.

I am embarrassed.

When it’s just us, I can ignore the stains.  I’ve even been attempting to overcome my fear of others thoughts when it comes to our weekly growth group.  After all, those people are friends.

But tonight, new people were coming.  Suddenly that rug seemed SO ugly, and SO old, and so embarrassing.

My mind started contemplating how I could get to Home Goods and check the rugs and have my husband come pick up a new one with his truck after work and then toss the old one all before 7 pm.

It was silly.  We can’t afford a new rug right now.  I’ve only stalked Home Goods for the past six months looking at them, trying to justify the prices.

Somehow I fear what people will think of me based on my rug.  Will they think I don’t clean?  Will they think I don’t know how to care for a home.? Will they realize it is simply due to funds?  Will they be afraid to sit on it or to let their babies play on it?

This fear and shame could keep me from opening my home and keep me from using our home for God’s glory.

I am not the hostess with the mostest you see.  Indeed I have very little to offer.  Some knockoff bargain candles, homemade snickerdoodles and whatever tea or hot cocoa is in the cupboard. One couch, a few hand-me-down chairs, homemade pillows, and a pitcher of water.

No fancy home.  No designer pillows or furniture.  No gourmet desserts.  No fancy rug.

I have been reflecting a lot on how God has called my husband and I to use our home to serve him.  Our home is so small and our budget so tight, yet God uses them.  He uses us.


Don’t feel that you aren’t in a place to serve or to give or to open your home to others simply because your home isn’t “perfect”.  It’s true that opening your humble home to others can feel vulnerable.  I’ve felt it.  It’s true that you may feel embarrassed at your lack.

But, what is also true is that God doesn’t care about those things.  He can work through anyone, anywhere, and at any time.  He doesn’t need Persian rugs to do his work.

This is what I need to remember when I vacuum my rug for the five millionth time and notice yet another blemish.  I need to remember that my home is God’s, in all its small frame and imperfectness.  It is His.

Now, this does not mean that my search for a rug has ended.  In fact, I truly hope to own a new one before Christmas.  What it does mean, though, is that I will continue to serve and to open my home despite its “readiness”.  I will put on a smile when strangers enter my home and I will hopefully be so welcoming that they won’t notice the rug. I will strive to create an atmosphere of welcome that does not rely on furnishings or finishes, but on a heart that desires to serve others and to glorify God.

Even if my rug is dirty.




{Dreading and Doing}


I often dread certain tasks:

Dishes when they are piled up.

Cleaning the tub.

Folding tons of tiny baby clothes . . . again.

So, I put them off and the dread increases and increases.  As does the guilt, and the mess.

Then, I finally summon the energy and motivation to complete the task and I realize that the dread was far worse than the actual doing.

So, whatever is on your plate today, do it.  Don’t allow dread to weigh you down all day.  Start with that most-loathed task and tackle it first.

For me, that often means tidying up the kitchen before we leave the house.  I know that the sink will only become more and more filled with items throughout the day and then cooking dinner will become a dreaded task since it will require more dishes in an already untidy kitchen.

So, pay those bills. Wash the floor.  Whatever task you’ve been dreading, do it.

Then, enjoy your weekend!

Now, I’m off to do a load of laundry (for the third time . . . oops) and then I will put in the dryer . . . I promise!

Proverbs 14:23  In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.

{Hello Fall}


Hello Fall.

Are you there?

Fall is probably my favorite season, but unfortunately it is a season that does not typically visit our neck of the woods.

I did, however, grow up with fall and miss it often. Despite 90 degree weather, perpetual sunshine, and a lack of color-changing trees I strive to enjoy the season.

So, I am sitting here with my fall candles lit.  The windows are open to the sound of chirping crickets.  My Bengal spice tea is steeping and a slice of just baked chocolate chip banana bread awakens me. Hubby is working late and the children fell asleep almost instantly (a miracle if I ever saw one). So, I’m dreaming of autumn.

Here are some fall-ish things I am looking forward to this year:

  • Apple-Picking
  • Pumpkin choosing and carving
  • Costumes and candy
  • Hot Apple Cider
  • Tea
  • Searching for brightly colored leaves
  • Stew, chili, and soup
  • Apple pie
  • Pumpkin everything
  • Family visits
  • Thanksgiving and gravy (mmmmmm)
  • Crisp air (pretty please?)
  • Watching Anne of Green Gables (maybe reading if time allows)


Are you planning any fun fall activities?  Is it actually fall where you live?

Here are a few fun fall season list links for you.  Enjoy!

  1. 50 FALL DATES

{Menu Monday}

Ya, I know.  It’s tuesday.


I have an excuse.

Yesterday I made 72 burritos, 50 cinnamon rolls, 50 dinner rolls, and about 90 chocolate chip cookies for the freezer.  It was for myself and two friends who were unable to attend our freezer cooking day.  I didn’t want all the ingredients cluttering up the fridge, so I went for it.  Not the best choice, but i survived.

Although I am currently still flash freezing and storing the cookies.

Oh well.

Anyway.  Here is last week’s menu plan and what we actually ate!  Life finally settled back into a bit more of a normal routine and our meal plan wasn’t interrupted as much.


MONDAY: Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  I made some delicious bread to go with this and the soup was delicious! I ate leftovers for lunch all week!

TUESDAY: Salad Bar Growth Group.  I made an apple pie for dessert this night.

  • Kids ate mac’ ‘n’ cheese, turkey dogs, and zuchinni

WEDNESDAY: Crockpot Freezer Meal (Pepper Chicken with rice).

THURSDAY: Tostadas!  Easy night!

FRIDAY: Fish (caught by a friend) and breaded/fried by me, rice, veggies

SATURDAY: There was a heat wave, so I sent hubby to Taco Bell!

SUNDAY: Baked potatoes with cheese and salsa and broccoli on the side.

BREAKFAST:  Eggs and bacon, cereal, oatmeal, apple-cinnamon muffins, Quiche (modeled after this, but with whatever ingredients I had on hand).

LUNCHES: leftovers, egg-salad sandwich, BLT, Pb and J, fruit, smoothies, crackers, etc.

I’m looking forward to the end of this heat wave, so I can do more soups and chilies!  Is it cool enough for soup in your enck of the woods?  Did you find any great recipes this week?



My toddler woke up at 6:20 and woke up the other toddler.  Wait, is a three-year-old a toddler?  What do you call a three-year-old?  A child?  A kid?


I was up super early, so I made a quiche . . . for breakfast tomorrow . . . but I ate some today.  It was delish.

Then, it was play time and dishes and a little play session with the cousin.

Then lunch with Daddy at the park, but it was too hot.  We bailed to Starbucks for a cold beverage.

Home for naps and lunch and work and now my daughter is singing “Poor Old Michael Finnegan” on repeat while coloring with dull markers (shudder).

Here’s a peak into what the rest of the week looked like for us via my instagram feed:

Hello heat wave!  Seriously . . . everyone brags about the weather here, but the past few weeks have been awful!  Too hot!  Too hot for no AC and no trees and a pregnant body! Supposedly this weekend will be hot as well.  I might go hide in Costco! Last week we snuck out to a cooler canyon and hit up a local apple farm for apple cider pops!


We had some exciting news this past week.  It’s a girl.  THREE GIRLS!  Honestly, the concept of having so many girls never crossed my mind because I don’t have any sisters.  But, I’ve been thinking about what this will mean for our girls and the built-in support network they will always have for the rest of their lives.  Isn’t that a beautiful thing?  I think so.


Along those same lines, I told my husband it is a good thing I had brothers instead of sisters and that I grew up hiking and working on cars.  I think it will keep him from being overwhelmed by girly-ness.  Exhibit A:  Addie got herself completely soaked in salt water and proceeded to make sand angels.  She is definitely not afraid of being dirty!


We had like ONE day where it was misty and cooler last week.  I jumped all over that and we lit candles, played music, and made forts!  It was awesome.


Addie is obsessed with school and “doing workbooks”.  So, we do some form of school most morning and then some activities in the afternoon.  Number matching and learning about fall called for a shared cup of tea with my girl.  She loved it and it was a special time for us.


Hubby is gone tomorrow, so I am on my own with the girls . . . in the heat.  Wish me luck!

What is your weekend looking like?  Is it still summer where you are or has fall mercifully arrived?