Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My first book is at the publisher!

I am beyond excited, relieved, and grateful because... I just pressed "send" and my first full-length book is at the publisher! WOW!

(That's one reason I've been quiet on here; all my extra writing energies have gone to that! The other is my two children...!)

I can't quite describe the feeling I had as I did my final review and edit of the process. Every devotional represents a "eureka" moment I had in the past few months. A moment of, "That would be perfect!" Sometimes it involved other people... I asked a few of you for permission to share your story and I'm blessed that you were okay with it! I grabbed lots of Sunday sermons, your conversations, my random thoughts, my mistakes, my stories, your stories...

I hope it turns out to be a vehicle that truly encourages and blesses its audience and that they feel a touch of God's love and encouragement every time they read it.

Oh, the book is titled "Today God Wants You to Know... You Are Loved." It's almost two hundred short devotionals with a title, verse, and copy. It's published by Barbour Publishing... to whom I am very grateful they have provided me with this opportunity, as well as the previous books to which they have allowed me to be a contributing writer .

I do have to thank my husband for allowing me to go on this journey. I know it took a lot of mental time and energy and a few late nights for me, but you were gracious enough to let me go on it. THANK YOU! I love you dearly.

Thank you to my parents and my in-laws for helping with the kiddos so I could write... Erik and I couldn't have done it without you! To everyone who allowed me to share your story (a few of you don't yet know that I shared it; some of you do!), a big huge thank you!

Thank you also to my BFF, April, who edited the project the summer she's preparing to get married! She's amazing and had excellent feedback!

I'll keep you posted when it comes out next spring. Maybe I'll get to post a few sneak peeks too. We shall see!

Thanks for enjoying this journey with me.


"Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it)" Ephesians 3:20-21, Amplified

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Shutterfly update... pics of the family!

Today I got another bright orange box in the mail. If you haven't gotten one yet, I highly encourage you to check out Shutterfly! Every time you get a bright orange package, you have family memories coming your way in a unique form.

This time it was another book. I was catching up on winter/spring of this year, so I had a lot of fun as I pulled pictures together. I consider this my scrapbook for the kids!

Here's a peek:

8x8 photo book is the one I most commonly get; I always try to remember to label the spine with the time of the year the book covers. This time it was "winter/spring 2015."

Occasionally I love putting pages in my book that are all photos. Sometimes on the page before or after I'll have a note describing the event. This time it is picture of our boys birthday and the cakes we made for them! (top left and bottom right) 

I liked this particular style because I could put a bunch of pics on a page and then there was plenty of room for text/description. Erik and I tried to write a bunch of fun things about the boys that we will love to remember years down the road!

This isn't the only Shutterfly package I have at home right now. My grandma's 91st birthday is Saturday, and I thought a mug was a nice choice... that's something I like getting for grandparents who like coffee! One grandma has gotten a new mug every year for the past three Christmases!

Mugs are an easy and practical way to give pictures to family members!

Anyhoo, I thought I'd share. I love the accomplishment of getting photos printed and memories documented and sharing them with others. :-) Thought you may like it too. 

The boys are doing awesome right now. Such a fun stage... Glad it's summer and we can always get outside!

All for now! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

You are not alone. Parenting is hard. And we're just in the beginning.

Just put the final kid in the bed for the night. I played a game on the iPad outside their door decompressing while hoping I didn't hear any noise from the bedroom before going downstairs. And yes, I came downstairs a few minutes ago... the boys are down for the night.


It was one of those rough days. The kiddos were testing mommy's patience and boundaries over and over and over... if you have dealt with toddlers at any point, you know what I mean. Add in all the normal "stressors" for a day, and let's just say it was a very loooong mommy day that I am glad is over.

Oh and it top it all off, we had to clean up pee off the floor after bath. B is not potty trained yet, but he knows better. Then, after being disciplined by going to bed without stories, he wouldn't stay in bed. Oh and he laughed at all my spankings. I'm going to have to come up with a different discipline plan, apparently!

I started lamenting to a friend, then thought you mommies out there might understand my "drama" of the day... and the fact that that I am sweaty and tired of being a mommy today. Very ready for an evening of... cleaning the kitchen and eating chocolate teddy grahams that I bought for a specific recipe.

Tomorrow our cousins are coming over and I'm very excited. The kids will have more than just me to entertain them and then we are going to grandma and grandpa's for a birthday party. RELIEF!

So yeah. Know that you are not alone. Parenting is constant and exhausting. You try not to be led by your emotions and you try not to let your emotions get the best of you as you show these kiddos their boundaries. It's always good to remember these are just kiddos trying to have lots of fun and learn how to live life well in this world.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." -Prov. 22:6

Monday, April 27, 2015

a sneak peek at ONE devotional

Hi there!

I am excited to share that I am a contributing author on the ONE devotional recently published by Barbour Books. I loved writing my portion of the devotionals; I hope you enjoy reading them.

Here's a sneak peek of one of my devotionals. Enjoy and then click on the link below to order your own copy of the book!

Follow Your Leader
Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man's eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, "Can you see anything now?"
Mark 8:23 nlt

Not once in my thirty-some years on earth have I had the thought to spit in someone’s eye. Even if I had, I can’t imagine acting on it because spitting in someone else’s eye is quite frowned upon by society.

Jesus, on the other hand, did just that. Not only did He spit in the eyes of the blind man in Mark chapter 8, but He also used spit to heal a man born blind in John chapter 9. That time, He spit on the ground, made mud, and put it in the blind man’s eyes.

Mud in someone else’s eyes? Now that takes direction from the Heavenly Father.

In John 5:19, Jesus said that He only did what He saw His Father do. That means He had specific direction given to His heart from heaven to use spit in these healings. Jesus could have easily said, That’s too strange for me, so I’ll pray for his healing my way. Instead, He obeyed the Father’s instructions.

God’s ways are unique and beyond our comprehension. Just as Jesus imitated His Father, we are to imitate our Lord. When He directs—even when we don’t understand—we are to trust and follow His lead.

Father, teach me to trust your leading, even when it is out of my comfort zone. I want to trust and obey you every time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you want to read more, here's a link to purchase the book!,11238.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=821 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

YouTube - could you be more kid-friendly?

YouTube can be kid-friendly... lots of videos available for them to watch and can help pass time as you cook dinner, etc! But the whole advertising thing is where it gets tricky, sticky, and icky. Although it's not my favorite, I don't mind advertisements before, during, or after videos. What I do mind is when they aren't appropriate.

Take for example, today. I sometimes put on a short Veggie Tales YouTube video or Thomas the Tank Engine video for Brayden while he eats breakfast as I nurse Jase to sleep for his nap. It's one way to ensure a lack of chaos downstairs while I am upstairs. This time, the video had an ad interruption... thankfully I was downstairs at that time to hear what it was because it was 50 Shades of Grey. I covered the computer from Brayden's eyes and tried not to watch it myself for 30 seconds as it ran because it wasn't one of the ads you could skip.

It was a reminder for me that I need to continue being cautious and careful every time Brayden is on a computer, but it was also a call to action. I've seen other non-friendly kid ads on YouTube during kid videos, mainly for TV dramas and I've meant to comment to YouTube on it... but this was the last straw. It's absolutely unacceptable that a clearly adult-rated advertisement was played in the middle of a kid-friendly video--not at the beginning or end, but the middle.

YouTube, please stand up for our children and find a way to ensure that kid-friendly ads are placed in and around kid-friendly videos.

If you agree with me and my request, please sign the petition below. I know this world is a dark place and everywhere you look there is nasty crud that I don't want my kid seeing... but that doesn't mean I should stay quiet. I can speak up and let them know when I see something wrong.

Here's the petition.

Thank you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Patience works...

...even when doing things your way is much more appealing. I was reminded is this when I woke up:

"Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future." (‭Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭1-4‬ NLT)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My boys are 3 and 1!

Happy birthday to my boys! Last Sunday (1/11), they both turned a year older... for Jase, that means 1 and Brayden, 3.

As you can imagine, there's much I could say right now... but for now, I want to show you what I got in the mail. On the right is a picture of Brayden at 1, which I've had for a couple years. He was in the middle of eating his one-year-old birthday cupcake... I love this pic... he's just a-staring at the camera. I thought I might get a similar pic during Jase's one-year cupcake celebration, but didn't, so I printed this one instead (and just got it in the mail!)... one of my favorites of him smiling in the bath! Although they often look alike, I think these pics show their differences.

Now, here's the cool thing... Shutterfly always has fun credits, coupons, and freebies that they send to their email list or have on the Facebook page. I definitely recommend signing up for their email and following them on Facebook to see what they are offering. (By the way, if they do offer you a free gift, you cover shipping, which usually isn't too bad compared to what you are getting!)... I often take them up on it, partially because it's a great way to make sure I actually take the time print pictures and/or make photo gifts. I use them a whole lot around Christmas. 

These pics I have pictured are "desktop plaques" and I've actually given them for gifts as well as purchased these two and I love them! They are frameless... just the picture with a nice shiny finish. I would highly recommend them! Great gifts and great to have around the house. 

Anyhoo... hopefully I'll take the chance soon to share more stories about the boys. Until then... go make memories yourself. Life is beautiful, crazy, and definitely worth living... and yes, it's all with God at the center, as best as possible. :-)