Clothed with Grace: May 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Getting Real

This last month has been pretty rough. We have been so excited about my pregnancy, but man, I haven't felt like myself. My normal routine of getting up at 5:30, having breakfast and coffee while doing my devotions has not been going well either. I'm so tired and nauseous I can't even attempt to eat until I've been up for a few hours and coffee isn't happening either. So, that means, I'm sitting, trying to stay awake, while feeling nauseous, trying to do devotions. To say it's not going well would be an understatement.

The good news is, I usually begin to feel more like a normal person by about 10:00, although the tiredness just stays with me. I also am not enjoying getting dressed and have been tell me I don't look like myself on a daily basis, or they ask if I feel ok. No, no I don't. I know the first trimester can be the roughest, I think it's just rougher this time because I already have a child and can't just come home and sleep and leave Brian to fend for himself the way I did with my first pregnancy.

Today is the last day I have to be at school, so I am very thankful for summer, but with it comes a bit of anxiety. I don't want to be a slug all morning and have Grant be entertained by T.V. and simply playing solo. I'm hoping I begin to feel more like myself, and when I can take advantage of nap time each day, I'm thinking that will help too. I'm needing to revise my schedule to find a new time slot for devotions, as I now plan to sleep until 7:00 each morning, which will be a real treat. Maybe I'll be able to do them while Grant is watching a cartoon, or maybe they'll have to wait until nap time, but regardless, there needs to be a time slot.

I was reminded today while reading She Reads Truth of God's faithfulness to us, regardless of the season of life we are in. Whether we are exhausted, anxious, overwhelmed, or up to our neck in the a situation we can't control, God remains faithful!

Lamentations 3: 22-24 reminds us:

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

I hope these words encourage you today, as they do me. Every part of life has a season, and He's with us throughout them all!



One highlight of my week was getting my newest Rocksbox. I have to say, this one is my favorite so far. I adore this Sandra Pendant Necklace and am keeping it for sure. I also got a fun bracelet from Margaret Elizabeth.

If you're not familiar with Rocksbox it's a fun monthly jewelry service.  It normally cost $19 a month, but you get a $10 credit towards any purchases. You can also send the box back and forth as many times as you want each month. I'm really loving getting to try it out and you can try it free for a month too. Just go to Rocksbox and use code "newfavoriteoutfitxoxo" when signing up.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Counting Blessings

This past week was a really nice one. I finished up school on Friday and was ready for some time to relax. As I worked to write this post it made me think about how many blessings I have in my life. It can be so easy to take the good stuff for granted, and I want to make an effort not to do that. So today I thought I'd share some blessings from this past week.

1. Brian was out of town for a few nights last week and Grant was at Grandma and Grandpas house. That meant I had two whole days at home to myself. I've been so tired so I slept...a lot, and it was just what I needed.

2. School ended Friday and I was able to have a little party with my advisement kiddos. Each kid brought a few bucks, and two brought way more than that. I made them a breakfast casserole, fruit tray, and bought donuts and juice. It was a really nice way to end the year and we had a lot of fun playing Head Up! on my iPad too.

3. Saturday we went to the zoo as a family. It seems like we often times "divide and conquer" when it comes to weekend tasks, but this was so much needed family time. That night we went to my parents' house for dinner because my sister and brother-in-law were in town.  It was a nice treat and Grant was in hog heaven- evidence here.

4. Sunday we had church and I wore this dress the lovely people at C.C. Lake sent over.  My plan is to live in comfy maxi and dresses like this all summer. The embroidered details are amazing and it didn't wrinkle easily either. C.C. Lake has some other amazing pieces, like this adorable dress for only $28! Definitely go and check them out!

5. After church I wore this to a friend's shower. She and her husband have become foster parents and one of my friends had the great idea to bless them with gift cards and books to help them with the new kiddos they've welcomed into their home.

6. Monday we took it easy, which was great, then had friends over for dinner. They are moving back to Texas after being here for three years for the husbands residency. We will miss them dearly!

7. Getting to try Rocksbox jewelry out. I love this service and recently got my favorite Rocksbox yet. I'll share more tomorrow, but am wearing two pieces today...and pretty much everyday until the box goes back. : ) You can try Rocksbox for a month for free when you sign up with the code "newfavoriteoutfitexoxo"


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fresh and Inviting with method





To me, it doesn't get much better than cozying up in bed to freshly washed sheets. The fresh scent and clean feeling make getting that much needed sleep even easier.  Lucky for me method has come out with the perfect laundry detergent. I got the chance to try "fresh clover." The scent is light and inviting, and cool thing is, method comes in a bunch of great scents. They even offer a "free and clear" for those of you who like to steer clear of scents.

I also love how method has a new 4x concentrate, so a little goes a long way, which is great for the wallet.  It's naturally derived cleaning power is tough on stains and even works with cold water and as a stain pre-treater.

Recently Brian and I wanted to make our bedroom more fresh and inviting too. We found a new comforter at Target, you can also find method products there too, by the way. We then picked up some great cozy sheet and throw pillows at Kohls.  Having a comforter that was machine washable was really important to us, and method detergent worked great when we washed it too.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Trust

Today I am thankful for morning sickness. Sounds weird right? Here's why: I shared with you all the big news on Monday that Brian and I are expecting our second child. This is definitely an exciting time, but last weekend especially, I  found myself dealing with some anxiety. I'm about 10 weeks along and although we've heard the heartbeat and seen our little one wiggle around in my tummy on an ultrasound, I still found myself worried. What if we have another miscarriage?

I've been taking medicine to help with my nausea, so when I wasn't nauseous, I found myself worried. I generally haven't been sleeping well, but if I do sleep ok, then I found myself worried again. I'm uncomfortable in my normal pants, but as I pulled off the tag on these maternity jeans, I found myself worried that I won't need them. It was all pretty awful.

I'm so thankful for our small group at church. We shared that we were expecting this last Sunday and I asked for prayers for dealing with my anxiety and reassurance that things are going ok with the baby.  That is why I am thankful for morning sickness. It's a reminder of the little one growing inside me, and I'll take that any day over fear and anxiety.

I know God has a plan, I pray each day for our child's health and safely, and I'm reminded His promises in these verses, as well as so many more:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5-6

Life has so many unknowns, but me being worried was robbing me of the joy I should be feeling right now. It was keeping me from fully trusting in God and his plan. 

Being a Christian doesn't make me perfect, and I think sometimes we can tend to gloss over the difficult times in our lives, thinking if we show weakness, it makes God anything less than perfect. This reminds me of what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecution, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 

Our weaknesses, hardships, and calamities are part of the reason why we need God. He remains faithful to us and is there to carry our burdens. I hope you can find comfort in this today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

White Shorts: Three Ways

White shorts are one of my favorite things. I recently picked up this white maternity shorts, but am also loving this white short option, which is non-maternity style. Today I'll share some inspiration for how to wear white shorts, and I'm linking to some cute options down below.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

House Rules


Today I have another book review to share with you, I think this might become a staple part of this blog as long as I have good books to share. : )

Since I teach middle school Language Arts I have had a tendency to read a lot of YA fiction. Much of which has been great, but this last year a book club started up at my school and I've really been enjoying getting my hands on some books other than YA. My mom loaned me House Rules by Jodi Picoult a few years back, and I guiltily kept it unread on my book shelf. I had just finished this month's book club book and couldn't wait to start another book, so I picked this one up.

In the past I went through a big Jodi Picoult phase. I read My Sister's Keeper, then went on to devour anything else by Jodi Picoult I could get my hands on. For those that aren't familiar with her books or style, Picoult option writes about hot topics, most books involves court cases of some kind, and she writes for the voice of many different characters in the book, each chapter taking on a new characters perspective to help continue telling the story.

 House Rules follows this same style. The story begins by introducing us to Jacob Hunt, a teenager with Asperber's Syndrome. He also happens to have a huge fascination with Criminology and crime scene investigation. Shortly into the story Jacob's life skills tutor ends up dead and Jacob is accused of the crime. The question is: did he do it?

In this gripping page turner we hear the story told through his mother's point of view. Jacob's father left shortly after he was diagnosed with Asperger's as a child, so she's been going it alone for years, taking care of both Jacob and his brother, Theo.

Chapters are also told by Theo, with the perspective of what it's like to be a sibling to a child with special needs.

We also hear from Jacob's lawyer, Oliver Bond, who is scared to ask Jacob if he really did it, fearful to hear the answer.

Lastly we hear the story told by Rick Madsen, the lead detective on the case. He's working to put the pieces together, which is much easier said than done.

House Rules is definitely not a light read, but deals with real issues. Did Jacob do it, and if so, can he be held accountable due to his Asperber's Syndrome? If you're looking for a new book to read, I would highly suggest picking up House Rules by Jodi Picoult.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Big News


You read that right Brian and I are expecting our second child, and we couldn't be more thrilled. I'm due December 17th, so that puts me at about 10 weeks along. It's getter harder to hide our little secret,  I swear I started showing at conception! So, we decided it was time to share. : )

As open as I am on this little blog, there are some things I've kept private about and one was the fact that I had a miscarriage last summer. It was awful, unexpected, and devastating. I had a few close friends praying for me during the week we were trying to keep the miscarriage from occurring, and if it wasn't for them and the reminder that God is in control, I'm not sure I could have gotten through it. I don't understand why it happened, but I do know that our sweet little baby is up in heaven and we'll be reunited one day. 

Once we found out we were pregnant again, just as quickly as joy washed over me, anxiety did too. What if the same thing happens again? I spent a lot of time in prayer and it seemed as though every time an anxious thought came, a verse came just as quickly.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of 
the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” Mathew 6: 25-27

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    
and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5-6


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jerimiah 29:11

Fear wasn't doing me any good, so it was up to me to remember God was in control and He had a plan.

About a week ago we had our first appointment and hearing this put all my fears to rest!

video


It can be so easy to try to control everything around us, but God is bigger! Brian and I are ecstatic and Grant has been telling the world "Mommy has a baby in her tummy." He also kisses my tummy and tells the baby "I love you daily." It's adorable. 

As I move forward with this hobby, I'm not sure how crazy I am about showing maternity OOTDs.  I feel like unless you're pregnant along with me, it's hard to gain any inspiration.  I also have to be honest in that I do not feel "glowing" and "beautiful," I actually feel puffy, tired, and do not look forward to getting dressed. True story. I'm not writing out OOTDs just yet, but I want to make them relevant to all you girls who aren't growing larger by the day. ; ) Thoughts?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Four Ways to Wear: Striped Shorts

Last year my striped shorts from Loft ended up being pretty much my favorite thing. Luckily this year Loft is back with a bunch of new cute options, and I'm loving these. I've got a college with a bunch of cute options down below for you. My shorts can be so easily dressed up or down, I thought I'd try to give you some inspiration today.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rocksbox

 I'm excited to get to work with Rocksbox for another four months.  It has been such a fun service, and I look forward to each box I get.  This time I got the chance to try some jewelry that was more edgy than my usual, but so much fun to wear.

If you're not familiar with Rocksbox it's a fun monthly jewelry service.  It normally cost $19 a month, but you get a $10 credit towards any purchases. You can also send the box back and forth as many times as you want each month. I'm really loving getting to try it out and you can try it free for a month too. Just go to Rocksbox and use code "newfavoriteoutfitxoxo" at checkout.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Yes, Please



Today I have another book review to share with you all. I recently read Yes, Please my Amy Poehler.  It's our book club book for May and I was initially excited to read something "lighter" and different than the usual books I read.

I'm not a huge fan of Amy Poehler, however I was excited to read about her life, as well as stories about her time on Saturday Night Live.

When reading this book I think you need to keep in mind that Amy is first an actress, then an author.  She writes as though she is talking to us, which I really liked, but I felt like a lot of parts were disjointed. The titles to the sections are thinks like "Say What You Want," which to me inferred advise on how to do this, then the section wouldn't seem to clearly have anything to do with that topic.

I really enjoyed hearing stories about how she began her career, her friendship with Tina Fey, and her times on Saturday Night Live. I'm not a huge fan of the show, but I loved hearing the behind the scene stories. She has met a lot of really cool people and that was fun to read about.

I appreciated how she was able to talk about her ex-husband in a really respectful way. Obviously I have no experience, but it's nice to hear that they are still able to co-parent and the mutual respect they have for each other. She also spoke very highly of her parents and life growing up, that was pretty cool to hear too.

There were really sweet moments in the book too. Amy shared a story about a time she apologized for a big and unintentional mistake. It took a lot of courage to first off apologize, and then secondly share it with us a readers. I tip my hat to her there!

She's had a pretty wild life and has also done her share of drugs- unapologetically, I might add. I appreciate her honestly, I'm just a bit more traditional and like to her the "don't do drugs." We get older, we get wiser, we grow up. There's also a decent about of "language" in the book, so keep that in mind if that's something that offends you.

Overall, I enjoyed that book, but I didn't love it. My book club girls on the other hand really liked it. So, if you're looking for something light to read, add this to your list.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Kimono Craze

One trend I'm really loving right now is Kimono cardigans. I'm not a fan of the super long ones, but the ones that hit at the hip or above are right up my alley. Earlier this spring I ordered two from Target, but they ended up being to long and big on my 5'4" frame. Luckily Forever 21 has about a million options and all at really reasonable prices, which I think is great on a "trend" item like this. I'm excited to try a few of these out and hopefully one will work on with my shape.

What about you, are you going crazy for Kimonos, or is this a trend you're passing on?

Kimono



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fix My Eyes

One song that has been running though my head lately is "Fix My Eyes" by King and Country. Take a listen!

         

 The author is singing about wanting to rewind back to past and fix the mistakes he's made and instead choose this:

"Love like I'm not scared
Give when it's not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on You
On You"

It can be so hard to look back at the mistakes we've made, or are currently making. We can't change the past, but with Jesus we can impact our future.  Once we ask for forgiveness, all of our past mistakes are forgotten. We get a fresh start! I feel so much joy in that.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here!"

Thinking back to the lyrics above, I know I haven't done everything the author wishes he'd done earlier, but I can do those things today, and you can too. How much better would each day be if we spent it with our eyes fixed on Jesus. 

He'll set our paths straight.

He's our light in the darkness.

He is the there to carry our burdens, when the are simply too heavy.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

White Jeans: Six Ways

White jeans are one of my favorite things. I adore my pair from Loft. Today I thought I'd share six ways I've worn then, although the possibilities are nearly endless.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See


I recently finished reading All the Light We Cannot See, which just won the Pulitzer Prize, by the way, and today I thought I'd share a review with you all.

This novel is set in the times of WWII, but is in a perspective I haven't seen before. It seems to me most WWII stories are from the point of view of Holocaust victims and survivors, whereas this one is from the point of view of two teens: a blind, French girl and an orphan German boy who becomes part of war through his talents in engineering.

The story goes back and forth in time, and is told from both the point of view of the Marie, the French girl and Warner, the German boy. I'll admit, although beautifully written, it took awhile for me to get used to the flashback chapters and the switching of perspectives.

Both Marie and Warner come from very different places, but both have unique and dynamic stories. The author has done an amazing job of creating such life-like characters. There is also the mystery of a missing jewel, whose value is great to those within the German government. You see this jewel and it's power intertwined within the book, which adds to the mystery.

For much of the book it's unclear what the connection is between these too, as their stories are so different, however they collide in a powerful way, change each of them forever.

I would definitely suggest check this book out as a summer read, I don't think you'll be disappointed!

I need some more books to add to my list, what have you read lately?




Monday, May 4, 2015

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd share update of some things I've I shared on Instagram:

I finished Gossip Girl on Nexflix, now I don't know what to do with my life. Ok, that's a bit dramatic, but I really enjoyed the show. If you're looking for a guilty pleasure, this might be right up your alley. #chuckbassforever