Clothed with Grace: 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Grateful



Hannah got her tubes on Tuesday and has been the happiest girl in the world ever since. I am so grateful to her doctor and all the nurses and thankful that we could move the surgery up a week. Once the surgery was done the doctor said the fluid in her ears was super mucasy and it was probably like she'd been walking around with ear plugs in for months. This was the worst realization. Luckily she hasn't been surprised by loud noises like he said she could be, but I can tell a diffenence for sure. On Tuesday I was giving her a bottle after nap and she heard one light jingle from Grace's collar in the living room and stopped eating to say "dog!" She has also been walking pretty much everywhere and giggling like it's her job. So fun!

Back to the hospital, though. There were kids everywhere and I made the assumption that most were there for tubes like Hannah, and one of the nurses informed me that was not the case. In reality, Hannah's ear issues were a real problem, but it could have been a lot worse. I think sometimes we can   make our problems seem like they are the biggest or most important and forget there are others who have it much worse. Perspective is everything.

I am so looking forward to enjoying the rest of the days I have at home with the kids and am praising God for their health!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Introvert



A weird thing happened during this last year, I somehow morphed into an introvert. It's pretty weird actually. I used to thrive in groups, at parties, and by being with people. Now, it's exhausting.

If I'm being honest, I maybe have been an introvert for awhile, I just didn't realize it.  I like people, don't get me wrong, but I'm finding that I will totally want to lose it if I don't have a minute to myself during the day.

During my plan I sometimes lock my door and turn off the lights, simply so I won't be bothered. The light from the windows is enough for me to see and get things done, but sometimes people are just too much for me.

I also really enjoy the time to myself doing devotions in the morning and cringe when it is interrupted by the kids, my husband, or the dog.

Same thing goes with nap time/rest time. I need to go to a space to be alone. It's during these times I find myself recharging through reading or watching a show.

For a long time I've felt like I need to be "a hero." Put my own needs on the back burner for the good of everyone else, but it turns out I'm not my best self when I'm not taking care of myself. So, when I find myself about ready to lose it, I've been trying to take a step back, and it its miraculous what a trip to Target for toothpaste a Starbucks can do for my soul. ; )

I want to be a good friend, wife and mother and sometimes that means I need to think about me, and that's ok. After this brief time away I can come back recharged and ready to take on anything.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families! We did. It was busy as can be, but I love seeing everyone and the joy both Hannah and Grant have during this time too.

On Christmas Eve we went to my parents' house, which is our usual tradition. I think my mom felt like we were packed in like sardines, but other than my mom brain trying to keep track of two kids, I had a great time. My husband was there, but not feeling great, so the kid to parent ratio was not in my favor ; )

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Hardest Part



Being a mom is hard. It's not the cleaning, laundry, or always being needed. That part is exhausting at times, trust me. The hardest part is having a sick baby and not being able to do anything about it. Hannah has had more ear infections than you can shake a stick at, and after the last one we scheduled an appointment to get tubes, crossing our fingers that she'd make it until then. Well, she didn't. She got another ear infection, went on meds, a few days passed and no impromevent. She had to get the rocephin shots again, and it tore her little stocmach up, so puking started. It has seriously been an awful few weeks. She's generally in pretty good spirits, but when she's in pain it just kills me to not be able to take the pain away. Luckily, we are able to move her appointment up to next Tuesday and have directions to give her ibuprofen and Benadryl to get her though.

It's in these moments I find myself relying on God the most. I know he can take care of this and I'm thankful a spot for early surgery was available. No matter what we're going through, he is there with us! For now, I'm struggling my girl,  courting down the days until Tuesday, and trusting in God.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Whatever you do for the least of these...


Recently I went through the drive through after work to buy an overpriced coffee. This is something I don't do everyday, but probably once a week or so. It's actually kind of ridiculous how much this cup of coffee can impact my mood for the better. But on this day as I paid I was overcome. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hannah's Birthday

Today Hannah is one year old! We celebrated her birthday over the weekend, so I thought I'd share on here today.

First, I will admit that I had some serious mom guilt about not having a huge party for her. We ended up having a nice time though and we enjoyed the time with family. 

I thought Hannah would be crazy about the cake, and she totally wasn't. This face says it all...

Monday, December 19, 2016

Tree-lined Lane


Over Thanksgiving we took pictures as a whole family-something that hasn't happened since my sister and I got married nearly a decade ago. One of the place we stood was on the driveway leading up to my parents' house. It's a pretty long tree-lined lane and really picturesque. After we got the pictures back I could help but think about this lane.

We moved to the acreage before my fifth grade year, previously living in town. It was a big adjustment, to say the least. I was used to living in a neighborhood and having friends I could easily play with at any given time. Now, plans had to be made, a car ride was involved, and it was more isolated.

I remember years of weekends being spent hauling sticks, if you've never lived in a wooded area, you probably can't relate, but this job was never-ending. With multiple acres pretty heavily wooded and past owners who didn't maintain the fallen limbs we hauled limb after limb to the burn pile for years. Literally years.

I spent most of my high school career picturing myself driving down the driveway to bigger and better things, never looking back, and I gave my mom the hardest time.

The funny thing is though, that while I was there I didn't really appreciate all this acreage and my family had provided me.

The years together, without the constant interactions with friends helped me to appreciate spending time as a family-something that is still true today.

All of the hauling of limbs helped me to understand that being a part of a family means pulling your own weight and contributing....even if you don't want to. It helped me realize what "real work" is like too.

I also learned what unconditional love feels like. My mom loved me when I truly didn't deserve it and was there for me no matter what.

Now, I don't live on an acreage or have a tree-lined lane, but I realize one day Grant and Hannah will probably feel the same way I did, and I hope Brian and I will have taught them the same lessons along the way that I was taught: to work hard, appreciate each other, and to love each other, not matter what.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Life Lately

 We've been keeping busy at our house! Here's a look at our last week or so. : )

We got our Christmas cards back and I love them! I'm beginning to wonder if sending cards is a dying trend. We still send them, obviously, but we are not getting nearly as many as we used to.



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

If I'm Being Honest....



This picture might look nice and peaceful, but it was taken last week at the end of a realllllyyyy long day. For real.

If I'm being honest, the hour or so after we get home from school is not my favorite time of day. In between trying to unload and reload the dishwasher, make dinner, and take care of the kids and the dog I about go insane.

Until it got cold things were much more simple. Grant would play across the street with friends and Gracie would be outside, doing what dogs do. That left Hannah and I and it was so much simpler. I could give her a snack and do my thing pretty well.

Now, it's a different. Hannah really is a tiny tornado, making a mess everywhere she goes and she has a huge fascination with the dog's food and water. She is also really vocal and wants my full attention and I can't give it to her. She's also ready to eat at 5:00 and now we don't eat dinner until 6:00 because of my husband's work schedule. I can't simply feed her early or give her a snack though. Our dog has food issues and doesn't understand boundaries. When it's nice, I stuck her outside, but now she goes behind the baby gate and whines. Super annoying.

Grant obviously isn't playing outside because it's so cold, so he wants me to be his buddy to play with and I obviously can't and get dinner done, so I feel like a ping pong ball- take a minute to work on Grant with his advent activity, move Hannah away from the dog's food, clean up a new mess she's made, listen to the dog whine, try to unload the dishwasher, try to make dinner, Brian calls, Chelsea, calls, and then repeat.

Grant does try to help and he acknowledges how hard I work as a mom, but just the other day he commented on how mad I got around this time of day, obviously I'm not hiding my emotions like I think I am. He wasn't being rude, he was simply making a very actuate but disappointing observation.

After dinner things so much smoother and I think we all have a nice time in the evening, but something has to give during that hour. My attitude has to change and although my husband has told me I can quit making dinner, he's ok with us just "fending for ourselves," I'm not ok with that.

In the midst of my anxiety I haven't been thinking about God, at all. I get so overwhelmed with the tasks I let them consume me. After some thought, yesterday I started listening to Christian radio during this time of day, I think that's a good place to start and as for the dog. I'm pretty sure she'll survive in the basement where I can't hear her whine and can give Hannah a snack freely. Things went much better too, and the only difference was my attitude.

I get to see the kids so little during the day, I want to use that time well to make them feel loved.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Baby Essentials with The Baby Cubby

Baby Essentials


With both Hannah's birthday and Christmas coming up, I've been on the look out for some unique things to get her, so I was excited when The Baby Cubby contacted me. They gave me a gift card and let me shop for some great things for Hannah!

I loved how unique all the things were! First off I chose this Unicorn stuffed animal. It is so cute and just perfect for snuggling! Grant has given Hannah a few of his old stuffed animals, but this one will be all hers!

I also love these puzzle blocks! I think Grant and Hannah will have fun playing with them together, as well as using them to build.

This crinkle book had me at hello! It is so cute and girly! Hannah really enjoys books and I think she'll really like this one!

I've heard about magnetic blocks, but Grant never had any. I love this set and the case for them. Once again, I think Grant and Hannah will fun with these!

Lastly, I'll admit meal times have been anything but enjoyable at our house. Hannah gets antsy, throws her plate, and thinks she can handle a spoon. It's exhausting! I heard about these mini mats and have been wanting to try them and when I stumbled on these utensils I knew they would be perfect! I'm hoping this helps out with meal times at our house.

Honestly, I could have chosen anything from The Baby Cubby and I would have loved it. Right now you can also get 20% off with code SANTASHELPER20, which is perfect this time of year!

I can't wait for Hannah's birthday and for Christmas, and I know both she and Grant will love these toys!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It will probably come to no surprise, but Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year! I seems extra special now that we celebrate Hannah's birthday so close to it! I love getting the tree decorated!



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Life Lately

Here's a look at some of the things going on in my life right now:

We had some more family pictures taken as a group! I love them!


Grant's favorite person is his Aunt Chelsea. This picture makes my heart melt!


We got our first snow, and I'm not very happy about it. I admit it's pretty, but I really do not enjoy the cold, coats, and driving in the nonsense. I guess I should be happy we made it to December before the first one hit!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Return to Him



I was recently reading my daily devotion on She Reads Truth and was reminded of what God requires of those who follow him. "To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8. The reality is, often times I can look just like this: a hot mess, completely unaware, with a smile on my face.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Family Pictures

Hi everyone! I thought I'd check in with you all. We just got back out family pictures and I love them! They were taken at my parent's house and I definitely took for granted how beautiful it was growing up!

Hannah is almost a year old and is starting to take a few steps. She's so excited about it and we are so proud of her!

Grant is almost half way through first grade now and it's hard for us to believe! He switched teachers for his reading group and has gone up two levels in the last month. We are so proud of him too!

Brian also got a promotion at work, which is super exciting!

I am starting to feel more in a grove at school. The kids have learned so much this year and I'm really enjoying them!

It's basically been a month since I've posted anything and I have totally enjoyed the extra free time and one less thing on my plate to do. However, I do miss this as an outlet for me. I miss the writing and with life being so busy, I rarely get time to myself outside of the house. I didn't realize how much writing posts helped me get a sense of "me time." 

That being said, I am not at all interested in taking outfit pictures at this point, but I might start sharing more life, kids, and faith posts instead. I don't want to commit to a certain number a week, but I really like this space I created, and would like to share when I feel like it. I'm not saying that outfit posts are out all together, but I like not feeling like I have to over think my closet. I'm pretty happy just grabbing clothes in the morning and leaving it at that.

So, here's a look at our pictures, and until next time....

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Currently

Live is still crazy busy, but I feel like it's getting to a point of being more manageable. The kids were working on a project in my class last week, so it gave me some time to plan for the rest of the quarter, which I needed to do super badly. My to-do list was about the biggest it had ever been and I couldn't quite see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Our curriculum changes this year have ended up being a really good thing, but I totally have forgotten what it's like to have to come up with lesson plans from scratch. As a fairly seasoned veteran, I usually am making some changes to each unit,  but rarely starting at square one. Anyway, I was able to get a lot done and checked a bunch of things off my list too.

Brian was also out of town for work last week, so that added to the busyness. Getting both kids out the door by 7:10 isn't super fun, but I did get a bit of a break from cooking dinner. When Brian is gone we don't do much more than spaghetti and hot dogs with mac and cheese. ; )

This week is also pretty busy with trick or treating event at both Hannah and Grant's schools and book club for me too. I think busy is just my new normal. #momlife


I recently got this top and am really loving it. I think the bell sleeve trend is really fun and I really like the embroidery too. I did get a large and it's about as fitted around the check as it can be, so I'd keep that in mind if you order (I'm normally a medium in most brands).

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

10 Months Old


Hannah is 10 months old!  A lot has happened this month. Hannah is cruising like crazy and using her walking toy to get around too. She's even standing alone for a few seconds! I'm not sure when she'll officially decided to walk, but I think it'll be sooner than later. Grant walked sometime around 10 months too. 

I think it was a total fluke I actually got a picture of Hannah still, she's like a little tornado and always on the move. She's so curious and love emptying anything out she can. Currently the books next to my bed are a favorite thing, I think I need to move them for the time being.

She's also been eating table food for the last month. She loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and mac and cheese, and spaghetti. She's still not crazy about fruit and veggie pieces; sometimes she likes them...sometimes she doesn't.

Hannah has also started waking up early, which isn't super fun. It's been throwing off my morning routine. I'm not sure what to do about it though. It seems like it doesn't matter what time the kids go to bed, they are up with the chickens. I can handle 6:30, but the scattered 5:30s in there are not my favorite thing.

Hannah also is obviously a fan of Brian and Grant. She does well at school, but is pretty unsure of strangers and really prefers me most of the time. Although she was been pretty content standing next to the tub which Grant takes a bath and I try to clean up the kitchen from dinner, so there is that. : )

Having two kids can be such hard work, but I can't imagine life without her! Looking forward to what this next month holds!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Update

I know it's been pretty quiet around here, but honestly time is just not in my favor right now. I am so busy, and when I do have free time, I'm not using it to blog.

I did snap this outfit picture Saturday morning and write up this post pretty quickly, then planned to rest while Hannah naps and Grant rests in his room.

I haven't really been shopping, in fact, I've been doing the opposite. I've gotten rid of probably five trash bags full of clothes since school started and I still have way more than I need. It almost makes me feel silly for buying this sweater, but I really like it and when Loft had a 50% off sale lately I decided it would be a fun addition, since I don't have anything else like it.

Outfits like this one are my usual these days. I'm much preferring a top and pants to complicated layers. I still love a good cardigan, but I feel like my days of layers, button down, and vests are done. I also rarely wear more than earrings and a necklace and have sold off a lot of my bracelets and necklaces too. I still have a few I like, but loads of bracelets and big necklaces just aren't my thing anymore. I've been doing a lot of grabbing clothes in the morning without a lot thought, and I'm totally ok with that.

School has been the busiest it's ever been, and having two kids is so much more work than just one....obviously. I love them dearly, but I'm lucky if I get to sit down on the couch before 8:30 at night, and honestly at that point I just want to go to bed. I probably would, but Hannah still takes a bottle at 10:00. In between the kids, work, cleaning, cooking, and actually finding time to spend with Brian not a lot of time is left for much else. I've been carrying the same book around for nearly a month and my quiet time in the morning has been hit and miss as Hannah has been waking up between 5:30 and 6, which causes Grant to wake up too. That means no quiet time and getting ready with two kids in the bathroom with me.

I love this crazy, busy, life, but I am just spent. I didn't intend to write you all a novel, but there you have it: an update and an outfit. I hope you all are doing well, and I'll check in when I can!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wardrobe Staples

The best part of cooling temperates is getting out clothes that I haven't worn all summer. It makes them feel new again! I've had this top for a few years, but did just replace my old tan cardigan with this one from thredUP (Use this link for $10 off your first purchase). It was only $16 and came looking brand new, plus I had credits to use, which was an added bonus. Although Target has great basic cardigans, they just don't last. I love all the ones I've gotten from Loft, but the full price is a bit tough to swallow. If you need to replace your basics this fall, I'd definitely recommend checking out thredUP!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dressing for Fall

Outfits like this are my favorite for fall: cardigan, dress, and booties. I wore this last week and was comfy all day long. These booties are definitely a new favorite and I've been wearing them like crazy!

I'm definitely not ready for tights and riding boots yet, but as far as cool temps go, fall and I are getting along pretty well right now. : )


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Four Years

Over the weekend marked four years of me blogging, which seems pretty crazy, actually. I didn't even remember, except I was checking my Timehop for the day and an old picture came up on Instagram. Then I started to scroll through my Instagram feed and started to delete photo after photo.

Those of you who have been following for awhile have heard this before, but early on blogging and clothing took up way too much space in my head and life. What started as a hobby to get me feeling good in clothes again, turned into an all consuming monster. Almost two years ago I began to pull back the reins and changed the name of my blog to reflect who I am, "Clothed with Grace," more than ever just wearing clothes and always looking for "My New Favorite Outfit."

Looking though my feed brought back so many emotions and showed so clearly my obsession with clothes. Mathew 6:21 says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart is also." It was clear my treasure was in my closet and a focus on me and growing my blog. I am soooo glad that is no longer where my treasure is. Letting anything take up too much head space that isn't eternal is never a good idea. Whether it's Social Media, Pinterest, food, coffee, Target....whatever. If it does't have eternal value, what's the point?

As I was deleting Instagram photos the ones I kept were pictures of my family and images sharing my faith. Now, I still have some #OOTD pictures on there from this last year scattered amongst the MANY pictures of my kids, but it's no where near how my old feed looked a few years back-consumed with pictures of clothes.

So many more important things have happened since this blog started than just me wearing clothes, and I'm very thankful for that! Thanks to those of you who have followed along!


It seems like the theme for me lately has been buying and replacing shoes. My feet didn't grow after Grant was born, but my 7 1/2 definitely don't fit now. I was super excited when Vionic sent over these booties. This is my forth pair of Vionics and I'm hooked. If you're not familiar, they are built for comfort and style. In the past, I was simply concerned about style, but that is no longer the case. If they aren't leather and comfortable, they aren't happening. If you need new shoes, I would definitely look into purchasing Vionic shoes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Verse

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like God's trying to tell me something and I just don't seem to get it, for some reason. Ephesians 6:2 seems to be a verse that has been recurring in my life for this last year. It says: "For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens."  I don't feel like I am someone who is in conflict with others often, but I am in conflict with myself. I find myself getting annoyed when things don't go my way and bothered when others try to interfere with my plans. 

For years I considered myself an extrovert and I always wanted to be around other people, now I can't wait to have time to myself. I get annoyed when I can't even use the bathroom alone at home and when people interrupt my plan time at work.  If I don't get a bit of time to myself at home, I about lose my cheese about the most ridiculous things. 

I used to have such a desire to feel needed and wanted, and now I just to be left alone. Strange isn't it? Back to Ephesians 6:2, I can find myself being so annoyed when I am "needed," then I react in the worst way sometimes. However, my battle isn't with others, it truly is with Satan trying to gain a stronghold in my life in anyway he can. I think it's safe to say clothing used to be a major stronghold. Now that my focus isn't on that, I believe Satan is looking for a new in, by making me resent being needed. I need to really remember what truly matters and think about how good it can feel to be needed. 


I just got this jacket and love it. The quality is great and the sleeves are the perfect length on me-often times they are too long. It's also a great weight, not too light or heavy, so I can wear it during the day at school and not get too hot. I thought it would be fun to wear it with my white jeans and new booties to transition to fall.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Life Lately

This weekend was a busy one! Brian was out of town, so I had to "mom it" alone, which is no joke, by the way. We had a  nice time and ended up being pretty busy. Yesterday we went to see Shrek the Musical with Grant's favorite girl and her mom, my friend. I was a bit nervous about having to bring Hannah, usually stays home with dad when we go to the theatre, as we have season tickets for our local theatre, but with Brian gone and my mom busy, we didn't have another option. She did great and the play was really good too. Grant loved the bathroom humor with Shrek, of course.



Afterwards, the kids played at our house for awhile. This, by the way, is who Grant is planning to marry. They've know each other since they were babies and have been planning to marrying since they were about three...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Reality Check

As a mom I get very little time to myself. As in, I'm lucky to get one uninterrupted hour a week at home. Last weekend, while I was working on this post, actually, I had put Hannah down for her nap, Grant was headed to a birthday party up the street, and Brian was running errands. I was excited for some peace and quiet! Not five minutes into my alone time someone rang our doorbell, Grace started barking and Hannah woke up. I told the person at the door, that no, we didn't want to buy what they were selling, shut the door and just started fuming.  I know, they didn't know we had a sleeping baby and how much I needed a break, and I know dogs just bark, but I was soooo mad.

I love Hannah to pieces, but she definitely needs more than that short of a nap, and dang it, can't I just have some time to myself????? It was about that time Brian came home. Hannah wasn't upset, so I let her be in her crib. Brian suggested putting a note on the door asking people not to ring the doorbell, and Hannah put herself back to sleep. Yessss!

I admit, I felt pretty like my emotions were pretty valid and warranted at the time. Poor me, not getting any time to myself, so I thought. Then I got some perspective the next day at church. We have some friends who are really struggling right now. The husband (who is not even 30) just went in for heart surgery and they found out what they thought was the problem wasn't, so they couldn't fix it like they thought. He also happens to be a personal trainer for a living, so heart issues are even a bigger deal. The wife just had a miscarriage and is currently doing two teachers jobs at school, and they have two kids under 4. Whoa. My anger over what I thought was so bad suddenly seemed ridiculous.

When I focus on me, my view of things looks very different than when I look at the bigger picture though God's eyes. I have it pretty good right now and I need to be thankful and grateful. AND I need to do what I can to help others who are struggling in any way I can. It is not all about me, that is for sure!


I just got this top and although it's cute, it's not my favorite. It's a bit shorter in the front than I'd like, so my cami shows, which I didn't realize before taking these pictures.  I loved the idea of the back, but it did not lay at all like the picture on the site shows, so I ironed it flat, but ended up burning the fabric. You win some, you lose some.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall Transition

I'm starting to transition my wardrobe a bit into fall. I am definitely not ready for the cold temps or the big cozy sweaters and riding boots, but I do love pulling out my booties, adding layers and the warm colors like burgundy, mustard, and and navy that are great for this time of year. They are my jam!

I just got this dress in the mail and love it! The fit and length is super flattering and it's perfect for fall! I did wear a slip underneath it, as the fabric was a bit thin, so I decided better to be safe, than sorry.  I also just got these booties and am over the moon about them! My old ones had been faux leather and needed to be replaced badly. Since having Hannah my feet have changed and comfort is essential. These are great and I think I will get a lot of use out of them!

I also still love this Gap jacket I got from thredUp a few years back. If you haven't tried it yet, use this link for $10 off your first purchase.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Rosie Project: Book Review



This month's book club book was The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion. I'll have to admit, I was NOT excited to read it at first, but then it showed up in my neighborhood Little Free Library, so I knew it was fate. : )

The premise of the book is that the main character, Don Tillman (picture a guy like Sheldon Cooper) thinks he can find the perfect match usually a perfectly-planned questionnaire, but then meets Rosie- a girl who is about as opposite from him as possible. She is on the search for her birth father and a friendship is formed. Rosie breaks Don out of his shell and you begin to wonder if there's the possibility of a love interest forming.

The story is light and funny and a book break from my normal genre. It was also a pretty quick read, which was nice. If you're looking for a new book to read, this could be the one. : )

Monday, September 26, 2016

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd share what's been going on in my life lately. These really are my favorite posts to share. : )

Grant snapped a picture of Hannah and I yesterday before we headed off to church. I'm starting to try to transition my clothes to fall...ish. I was going to wear my white cardigan, then decided this tan one would be fun instead. And Hannah in a tutu: I can't even.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Life Now

It's hard to believe I'm more than a month into school and it is going really well. I had some anxiety going into the year, as our curriculum changed over the summer with no notice or time to plan. It has really worked out for the best, though! I feel like a first year teacher again, having to create all new plans, which is not awesome, but I think it's just what I needed. 

After 12 years of teaching I'd gotten into a groove and was only making "tweaks" to units each year, not having to start from scratch. I feel excited about the new plans, the one downfall is a lack of "down time" at school. I used to be able to read when the kids read, or during plan when I was caught up, and that never happens now. I always have a big to-do list and barely have time to breathe. 

The same is true at home, I am always busy! I've found that if I don't spend an hour on the weekend blogging, it won't get done once the week roles around. I'm honestly not sure how much longer I want to keep this hobby up. I still like to look nice, but fashion definitely isn't a priority, nor is spending much time sharing and amplifying my posts on social media. I can't even remember the last time I was even on Pinterest, and that used to suck a good hour of time from my life each evening. And Twitter? I think I might even delete it.

I also wonder if I have anything worth saying or showing to you all. There are times when I feel like I have something worthwhile to share and am excited to write. Other times I feel like it's obligation, quite honestly. I'm not ready to sing my swan song yet, but I figured some honesty is good. 


This top just came in the mail and I adore it! The quality is great, I will say I got my normal "medium" and if I could do it again I would get a large. Although I think it looks find, it's a bit more fitted through the chest than what I like, so keep that in mind when ordering.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Trust Issues

Today I thought I'd share a bit more about what I'm learning while I'm reading Uninvited. If you haven't read it yet, I totally think you should! Chapter 5 was about "trust issues." I'll tell myself that I DO trust in what God has planned for me, but I find myself wanting to steal control back and getting pretty upset when MY plan doesn't work out. I also find myself upset when I can't control things at home, or Grant's behavior. He seems to be pushing limits right now (some days are great, other days are not) and I get so angry when he won't listen. "I am the parent, do what I say!" This, by the way, isn't a super effective style of parenting.... 

It's in these moments I remember I'm trying to accomplish MY plan, not listen and trust in God's plan. Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight." I know this truth, but I'm not always following it. 

I have to admit, the problem lies in my ineffective quiet time in the morning. After finishing my last study, I planned to do the Uninvited study, but the structure of it isn't really working for me. I think I'm just going to continue to read the book in the evening, but start going back to She Reads Truth as my daily devotion. I need to structure and consistency, and when I lack that, things that were working pretty well begin to fall apart all around me. I quit focusing on God and I start to focus on me. Not good. 

I'm excited to get back into a more predictable structure and know God will reveal himself to me there and help me refocus and trust in him.


I just got this jacket in the mail and I am totally a fan! I've had one on my wish list for a few years, but never found the right one at the right price. It does come in "one size" and fits like a medium. I should note the sleeves are a three-quarter length, which I like, as sleeves tend to be too long on me in jackets. I thought about my lace top and black pants, but ended up wearing this last Friday for a road trip. Although I love the books here, I did end up wearing sandals instead, these booties will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

9 Months Old


Hannah is officially 9 months old tomorrow! This has been a big and busy month! She finally had two teeth come in, started crawling, pulling up, and cruising. She also has been sick. Like way more than I am ok with. She has had her first ear infection and had another fever over the weekend. Not cool. When Grant was sick, we gave him meds and he acted completely normal, with Hannah, Brian calls her my "joey" because she only wants to be held by me. All. The. Time. I foolishly gave away my baby wraps, as I wasn't using them, only to wish I'd kept them around for times like these. I ended up having a bit of time to myself Sunday while Hannah napped and Grant was entertaining himself to write up my posts for the week.

I'm excited for Hannah's 9 month check next week and want to better understand when we can start trying little pieces of chopped food. Hannah is NOT a fan of the step 3 stuff at all! I think skipped it completely, but his teeth came in quicker than Hannah's have. 

Life continues to be super busy, but I'm trying to make the most of each moment, I know she'll be walking and talking before we know it!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd share what's been going on via pictures I've shared on Instagram!

We are ready for football and the Huskers are off to a great start! I have so many pictures of these two staring at it each other. Love it!



Thursday, September 15, 2016

No Time

Once again, I thought I would have time to write some meaningful content to go with this outfit post, but you guys, I have been so busy! We had parent teacher conferences last night until 8:00, and there was no way my brain had anything inspirational left in it after that. So, here's a simple outfit for you again.

My one thought for you to take away today is to think about the expectations you put on yourself. I know I have pretty high ones for myself. I think I can be super mom, super teacher, super wife, and super blogger all at the same time. It's not happening. No one else put these expectations on me, I did it myself. I'm realizing sometime you just need to let the things that aren't as important go, and focus on what really matters. Hope you all have a great day!


I've had this dress for years, but it's remained a favorite. My clare cardigan's remain by favorite for dressing up, and this one is no exception. Although, I' still able to wear wedges, I am on the hunt for a new nude heel, anyone have recommendations for a comfortable pair with a heel height that won't kill me?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

OOTD

I fully intended to find time to come up with interesting content, but time was not on my side. Life is busy, so just talk about my outfit today. Hope your week is going well!

Recently I went though my closet and did a major clean out. I sold some things on my Instagram closet, then took a bunch to a resale shop here in town. They ended up buying a lot, and I ended up coming home with this top and cardigan, both of which I've already worn of times. They are both from Loft and the cardigan was new with tags for $14 and the top was on sale for $6, sold! I first wore these together with white jeans, but thought I'd try my boyfriend ones this time.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Where'd You Go Beradette



Where'd You Go Bernadette has been on my "to-read" list for nearly a year, so I was super excited when it was at our Little Free Library down the street. It's unlike another book I've read and I have absolutely adored it. 

Here's what Amazon has to say: "Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world."


I love that this book is written from the viewpoint of so many different characters and I love the different styles of writing throughout. Getting to see everyone's perspective, and how their stories intertwine add to fun of reading this book. If you haven't read it yet, it should definitely go onto your "to-read" list today!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tornados of Life

Yesterday we came home from church, and instead of feeling relaxed and at peace, all I could do was focus on the "tornado" that had hit our house. It was only yesterday afternoon when I cleaned and put things away, and already today everywhere I looked was a disaster. It's as though the toys and shoes were like Gremlins duplicating themselves and taking over every inch of the floor. As for the kitchen, the counters were scattered with cereal bowls and over remnants of breakfast I hadn't cleaned up before leaving for church. Add to that all the "stuff" from lunch and it just felt like I was going to be cleaning up all afternoon.

Sometimes life can feel like this too, like a tornado has hit and you're never going to get back to how things were "before." Here's the reality though, I could try to tackle the mess alone, or I could enlist help. With help, the house was back in order in less than a half hour, and I realized it was not near as bad as I had thought it was. Perspective is everything, right?

The same thing is true for the "tornados" that hit us in life. Alone it seems unbearable, but with help, we can tackle it. It's in these times we need to call on God, the one true fixer of destructive tornados. Mathew 11: 28-30 say, "Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will learn from me. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 

I could try to go it alone, but why? When help is there, it's up to me to take it and breathe a big sigh of relief, I'd like to challenge you to take it too!


As for this top, I am beyond excited about it! It's less than $20 and the quality is phenomenal. I ordered a medium and it fits well, I also like that the back is longer than the front, so I don't feel like my rear is exposed. I wore to church with these Loft ankle pants I've had for a few years, these are super similar and on sale for $18, they also come in red! I look forward to wearing this top with jeans before it cools down to much and shorts next summer too!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Live Loved

As I'm getting a few chapters into Lysa TerKeurst's book  Uninvited, she's beginning to talk about "living loved." What she means by this is working to live each day knowing that God's love for us isn't based on anything we have or have not done, but it's simply based on the fact that He created us. 

God's loved isn't based on our fragile efforts to please Him or others, it's placed on us. As we go throughout our day doing any number of things, the way we chose to handle fear, rejection, and disappointment can be fruitless if we try to tackle it on our own. Although that latte, chocolate, or pedicure might make me feel better for an hour, I'll be once again left feeling empty if I don't realize that God loves me for "me," and nothing I can and have done will change that in the slightest. The same is true for you!

God says, "Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest." (Mathew 11:28) Accepting and living that truth changes everything!

Today I'm working to "love loved," showing others the same love that God has for me. I am holy, chosen, righteous and redeemed, and that is pretty powerful stuff!



Over the past few years I have gotten so many things from thredUP (Use this link for $10 off your first purchase.) I love quality pieces, but Target pricing, so thredUp is the best of both words for me. Both this top and cardigan are thredUP finds. The top is from Talbot and was $8 and the cardigan is from J.Crew factory and was maybe $14 and is still available in stores. I decided to dress these pieces up with my classic pencil skirt, but I think it would be great with my white jeans too!

Also, evidently I didn't take any pictures that actually show my feet. Whoops! They are just my basic black heels, so you're not missing much. ; )

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Real Love

I mentioned to you all a few weeks back that I was inspired by this video to make sure that I was making each student that enters my class feel welcomed and loved.  In the past, I think my classroom has been a positive place, but I think I've failed to connect with all my students and make them feel like they individually matter. I've been really working to change that this year and I do feel like the community being built in my classroom is authentic and that kids are feeling valued. So, success right?

Here's a bit of a problem that I'm now working to face head on: I've been selfish with my ambition to make students feel included. What I mean by that is, I've now realized that yes, I want them to feel included and loved, BUT I also want them to like me and being in my classroom. I now realize I wasn't choosing to build community in my classroom simply out of the goodness of my heart, I wanted it to come back and benefit me too.

Even though I want to say I've grown out of a desire to be accepted and loved by others, I'm being faced with the reality that isn't entirely true. I picked up Lysa TerKeurst's new book Uninvited without putting too much thought into it. I like Lysa, there is a lot of buzz around the book, I thought I'd read it. (An online Bible study for the book has just started here, which I'm super excited about).  I wasn't at all prepared for what I would learn about myself when I starting reading Univited though.

One of the things she says explicitly right towards the beginning of the book is "We run at a breakneck pace to try and achieve what God simply wants us to slow down enough to receive." I find myself unintentionally doing, saying, and buying things in hopes it will satisfy my desired to be loved. Reality: I already am full, completely, perfectly loved by God. That is what I need to reflect on and focus on, and it's through that realization that I can then go out and show pure, honest love to others. Not because I want love in return, but because my actions should reflect the God who wholly loves me!

Colossians 5:12 says, " Therefore, as God's chosen people, hold and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." I'm working to meditate on this verse daily and show it to all I meet. If you haven't picked up Lysa's book I would totally recommend it. I can not put into words how powerful it is! I'm planning to share more with you in future post too.


I told you all last week, I planned to show a lot of closet that are no longer available in stores, but I did actually find the one thing that was on my wish list for fall last week at Loft. I've been trying to replace my worn out burgundy cardigan for quit sometime, but haven't found a good replacement. Then I found this cardigan and couldn't pass it up. I love the length and think I'll get a lot of use out of it. I did size down though as it is pretty roomy. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Currently Craving


Currently I have four books just waiting to be read. All look super good, however, I'm getting through books at a pretty slow pace right now and actually quit even taking my book to school; I'm too busy to do any reading there right now. Total bummer. I thought I'd share them with you today though, maybe you want to add them to your list too!

Synopsis: "Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world."


Synopsis: When high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, while Caelum is away, Maureen finds herself in the library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed. Miraculously, she survives, but at a cost: she is unable to recover from the trauma. When Caelum and Maureen flee to an illusion of safety on the Quirk family's Connecticut farm, they discover that the effects of chaos are not easily put right, and further tragedy ensues.

Synopsis: Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

Synopsis: Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, seem to attract attention everywhere they go. Together, laughter, drama, and mayhem seem to follow them. But apart, each is dealing with her own share of ups and downs. Lyn has organized her life into one big checklist, Cat has just learned a startling secret about her marriage, and Gemma, who bolts every time a relationship hits the six-month mark, holds out hope for lasting love. In this wise, witty, and hilarious novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio.





Thursday, September 1, 2016

Challenge

Another thing I took away from the Belong Tour was a quote by Angela Davis, a fitness and faith motivator. She said, "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." I think we all have things we'd like to do better, but change doesn't just happen. We have to work for it. If we know we have been given a gift my God, it's our job to use it. Sometimes it can seem easy, and sometimes it can seem really, really hard. 

There is just magic in the process though. When you're in the middle of change, it sure doesn't always seem fun, but when you look at where you've come from to where you are know, it's pretty amazing.  

Take for example, the choice to make daily devotions a priority. When I started doing this a few years back, it was definitely a challenge. I really enjoy my sleep, so getting up an extra half hour early was not my idea of fun, but once it became a habit, the days I didn't do it felt dramatically different. It both challenged me and then changed me! 

Sometimes we can feel like we just can't stop hearing that little whisper in our ear for the area in our lives we need to change, and it won't stop until we finally decide to listen.  That can be so scary, but God is with us every step of the way. He says in Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." So, if God is with us, who can be against us? Is there something God is calling you do it? Now it the time to do it, for without challenge there is not change.


Today I am wearing another outfit where nothing is new. Honestly, I'll be doing a lot of this from now on. I'll do my best to link similar pieces, but I need new clothes like a whole in the head. I actually have been getting rid of a lot lately that have been sitting, unworn. Since so many things went unworn due to my pregnancy, I have a lot of clothes that feel new and a lot I didn't miss, so it was time to let them go.

There was a time in my blogging past where I felt like I needed to be showing new stuff all the time, well that day has come and gone. Reality is, most people don't get more than a few (if any) new things each month, and I'm "most people." I hope this is ok! I still like to show fashion and hope you can be inspired to create something similar with pieces in your own closet.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Best You

Like I told you all earlier this week, I had a great time at The Belong Tour. My head has been spinning with a few of the things the different speakers shared, so today I thought I'd share what I've been thinking about. Shauna Niequest spent a lot of time focusing her talk on her journey to get back her "best self," the self that God had created her to be. I thought this was really interesting. She asked us to all think back to when we think we were our all around best, and use that as inspiration. 

I'm sure different thoughts went through everyone's head. Some probably thought about when their body was the best and most healthy- for me it was probably my senior year of college. However, just because my body was best, I definitely was not my best self. Plus, that self was single, selfish and self-centered.

Some people probably thought about when they were at their best with their walk with God. For me I was having the most impactful quiet time for about the two years leading up to getting pregnant with Hannah, so I don't want to be there, because that means no Hannah. 

Some people might think about when their relationship was the "loviest." For me, that was probably when Brian and I were doe-eyed newly weds, totally unaware that marriage takes work, and that there will be challenges we will have to face, coming out better on the other side. 

Then I decided, this is exactly where I want to be. Now. Even though my body isn't at it's best, I can struggle to get in quality quiet time with God, and I realize marriage takes work. God can use me each day right here- in the messy house, the noisy kids, the and the often less than perfectness of everyday life. He can use you too.

It's though each stage of my life, I've learned so much. I know I am a much more patient person now than I ever was. I have also learned that it is not about me the majority of the time, and that others can teach me just as much, if not more, than I teach them.

This also makes me think about what Patsy Clairmont said, "If you know something to be true, make adjustments and stop whining about it." If I know this is where I want to me and am listening to God and allowing him to use me right here, I need to stop whining about the messy, the crazy, and the fact that it is not about me most of the time. I really am happy in in "the now," so why whine? 

I do want to continue to be better each day, but I think "best self" is a work in progress, not a destination.

What do you all think about the concept of finding your best self? Are you where I am, or do you have a different take entirely?


Absolutely nothing I am wearing is new, but I am excited to pull this dress out again! I got it from thredUP (use this link for $10 off your first purchase), for less than $20, and I hadn't worn it since I was pregnant, for obvious reasons, but now that I'm back to school and nursing during the day isn't an issue, I've been really enjoying wearing dresses again.  Although this dress is old (ish) JCrew has a really fun option this year, and it's on sale!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd share a recap of life Lately via Instagram.

Recently I got another pair of Nickel & Suede earrings in the mail! Love those things! I also lucked out and found "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" at our neighborhood Little Free Library. I'm still working on another book, but I can't wait to read this one!



Monday, August 29, 2016

The Belong Tour Recap

This last weekend I had the opportunity to go to the Belong Tour in Lincoln, Nebraska with one of the great friends. It was so much fun and today I thought I'd share my experience with you!


The Belong Tour's purpose is to create a space that will bring together women, so we all can embrace our stories with courage and honor. It's a wide open space where women can share, heal, connect, learn, laugh. It's an opportunity for us to to dive into who we really are at our core, and how we can best become who we were created to be.

I will add, this is NOT "Women of Faith 2.0." Each of the women's stories are filled with ways in which God's presence in their lives has helped them become the best version of themselves. Books of the Bible are mentioned, as well as verses, but the actual verse is not cited. This really seemed to bother some people on the Facebook group specific to the Lincoln event, so I want to share that now, so there is no confusion. It didn't bother me, as it didn't change the truth of God's word for me. Plus, if you're considering coming and the idea of Bible verses seems overwhelming to you, the way stories were shared was very understandable without being overwhelming.

What I really liked the was "realness" of each speaker, so whether the concept of God is something that is ambiguous to you, or you consider yourself a Christian walking in faith daily, this tour is for you. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Time

I recently had an IG buddy wonder how I had time to be a mom, wife, read, work, blog and keep my house clean (ha!). She joked I must have found some kind of time space continuum (I wish!) But, in all honestly, I could really use a bit more time in each day. Couldn't we all?

School is keeping me extra busy with huge curriculum changes, and I've been carrying a book around for the last week and haven't had time to crack it once.  I had a moment last night (right before I wrote this) where I was like, "Oh yeah, I need to get a post ready for tomorrow..." I hadn't written it over the weekend, because I had nothing interesting to say, and I still don't. Whoops! I also have nothing planned for next week either, and honestly, I'm ok with that. 

I have the Belong Tour this weekend, which I'm really excited about, but that means no time to take pictures, which is fine by me. I'm hoping to share a recap of the event next week with you all, we'll see what else I have time to share. So, moral of the story, I'm not aware of any time space continuum, and now I'm going to finish up this post and go read my book while sitting next to my husband....that's quality time right? ; )


I just got this top and love it! It's so fun and different and it's less than $20! I wore this outfit last weekend. It was pretty cool, so it was nice to get out my flares again!

I also just got these Nickel & Suede earrings on sale.  I'm pretty sure I want to add every color to my collection at this point....