Clothed with Grace: September 2016

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


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


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.