Wednesday, July 20, 2016

14 years

Happy Anniversary to this amazing man of mine! Fourteen years ago we had no idea what was in store for our life together. God knew what he was doing when he gave us each other.

So grateful for you, my love! xoxo

"It's a sweet, sweet thing
Standing here with you and nothing to hide
Light shining down to our very insides
Sharing our secrets, bearing our souls,
Helping each other come clean.

Better than our promises
Is the day we got to keep them
I wish those two could see us now"

Friday, July 15, 2016

July Top 5-ish

Hey, Happy Midsummer! Here is this month's list of things I'm enjoying right now. :)

1) Friday Night Lights

So I finished Grey's Anatomy and still haven't found another show to watch during naptime. I'm not in too much of a hurry because naptime is a different beast when Jack and Leah are home, but I'll find something once school starts long as Will is still napping! Anyway, Dan and I needed another show to watch at night when the kids go to bed. We've had some great ones (Lost, 24, Parenthood, Breaking Bad, and most recently Parks and Rec.), so it always feels like we have big shoes to fill with what we pick. I had read something about Friday Night Lights recently, and I knew at least one of the writers also wrote for Parenthood, which we adored. Plus Dan played high school football and I love Kyle Chandler, so it seemed like the stars were correctly aligned. We're only a few episodes in, but we're both hooked! The culture of high school football in Texas is just so fascinating. I'm looking forward to getting further into the story, but so far so good. :)

2) Outshine Peach Fruit Bars

I mentioned in June that I crave cold things in the summer, and these fruit bars are always in my freezer. There are a ton of awesome flavors (pomegranate is another fave), but the peach are pretty perfect. I don't share them with my kids--they get the cheap Target popsicles and they know the "big popsicles" are mine. Ha! I'm so mean. ;)

3) Sara Groves

I recently organized some CDs (do other people still own CDs?) and realized I have a ton of music that I never listen to. I'm generally listening to the radio in the car or Pandora in the house. So I bought a mid-90s-style travel CD wallet and filled it with CDs to keep in the car to mix up my radio listening. A HUGE chunk of the CDs--at least 10--are Sara Groves. I've been listening to her older stuff and remembering why I've loved her for so long. She's so real and an extremely talented songwriter. Her albums have spoken to me in so many stages of my life and it's been fun to remember as I listen to everything. 

4) God Centered Mom podcast

I found this podcast on a couple different lists as I looked for new podcasts to get into. I'm usually not a huge fan of the typical "Christian mom blog," but I decided to give this a try anyway and I'm SO glad I did. God Centered Mom is Heather MacFadyen and so far the episodes I've listened to have been applicable and encouraging. (Some favorites are "Pain Not Wasted" with Peggy Banks and "The Respect Effect" with Emerson Eggerichs). She's been doing this for a while, so I have LOTS of episodes to choose from!

5) Seth Haines' "Coming Clean"

Okay, this one shouldn't actually count until next month because I haven't technically STARTED the book. ;) But I somehow subscribed to his "Coming Clean 30-day Journal" and it's awesome. (I really wish I could tell how how I signed up for this, but I cannot. If you want to search longer than I did just now, check out his Facebook page or website). As Seth says, everyone is addicted to something. And the journal prompts he has put together are kind of cool. I also have his wife Amber's book "Wild in the Hollow" on deck for vacation reading next week, so stay tuned for that review too. :)

(Which reminds me of one of my favorite children's books, The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! by Steve Martin. Yes, that Steve Martin. The book is alliterative and so hilarious. Check it out here)

Okay, on to my final favorite thing this month....

Our new ice cream maker!!! So about a month ago, I got an Amazon credit because of some weird settlement with Kindle. Anyway, all of a sudden I got $30 from them and then my brother gave me an Amazon giftcard for my birthday. I had been sort of thinking about looking at ice cream makers because it sounded like something fun to do with the kids this summer. And then I remembered how much a friend of mine LOVES the ice cream maker attachment for her Kitchenaid mixer, so I decided to get it. I have had my Kitchenaid mixer for over five years and I don't use it for very much. But I like it enough for the things I DO use it for (pizza dough and whipping cream--about 3 times a year for each), that I keep it around. Well now I have a whole new use for my mixer! And it's been really fun. As soon as it came (well, 15 hours after it came--the bowl has to freeze first), we made some vanilla ice cream. Then we made strawberry and chocolate. All of them were delicious (and I think all of us liked a different one best). We're having friends for dinner tonight, so last night I made more vanilla and this morning I made raspberry sorbet. I snuck a taste before sticking it in the freezer, and it's pretty amazing. Looking forward to dessert. :)

So there you have it. Happy July! And here's to enjoying more of the sun and ignoring the back-to-school section at Target!

Friday, July 08, 2016

Be all there

It feels as though the world is coming apart at the seams right now.

In the last few days alone, the loss of life has been staggering. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Five police officers in Dallas, TX.

There are not adequate words right now. Nothing can make this right. Doing noting feels helpless, but really, what is there to do?

Jim Elliot said, "Wherever you are, be all there."

So here I am. Loving and mothering three littles who are growing up in a painful, scary world. But I can raise these babies of mine to love. To cherish and respect people regardless of the color of their skin. To bring peace to the chaos. To forgive and to help and to unite. To pray for each other and this world.

It doesn't feel big. But it's I'm supposed to be. So I will be all here.