Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Highlights 2.27.15

Friday, Friday!

So thankful for the arrival of the weekend.

Plans for this weekend are hopefully uneventful. I am thinking Russ can work on the project car and I can prepare stuff for a consignment sale. Throw in church, NASCAR on Sunday, blog post writing, grocery shopping and you have yourself a complete weekend.

We're living the crazy life, I know.

{ONE} Emily's 4th Birthday

Last week we celebrated Emily's 4th Birthday!

It was celebrated with everything Minnie Mouse (for the 3rd year in a row), cake, and quite possibly the largest stuffed Minnie you have ever seen. 

Can anyone say obsessed?

{TWO} Disqus

Many of you have noticed that I recently installed Disqus.

A few of you have asked me questions so I thought I would address them on the blog.

1. Why the change? Simple answer I am SO, SO tired of no reply bloggers. Blogging for me is all about getting to know those who read my blog and interacting with them. I could not do that with 50% or more of my readers and for me that was a huge problem that needed to be addressed.

2. Was it easy to install? Crazy easy I did it in minutes from the comfort of my local Chick Fil-a.

3. Do I like it? It has only been one week so I don't have an official opinion on it yet. There are a few things that I am not crazy about, but others I am. Ultimately if it means better communication, I think I will be keeping it around for a while. 

{THREE} Girl Mom

It's here, its finally here!

Yesterday I kicked off my first ever blog series.

I shared my story about being a girl mom and what that means to me. 

Starting on March 12th I will have one guest post every Thursday for several weeks. I can't wait to share so many other amazing girl moms and their stories with you.

If you would like to join the fun you can fill out this survey.

{FOUR} Romance & Parenting

This week on Tuesday Talk I linked up with Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me for this months Mom Talk Tuesday subject: Romance & Parenting. 

For us, it is all about keeping our priorities straight and the little things.
Check out my post to read more about how we mingle the two together.

{FIVE} Church

 If we're personal friends on Facebook you may have seen this post. 

Yesterday at 7:14 am · Edited · 
6 years ago we found a church that loved us just the way we were. Flawed, stained, busted and bruised. I came to have an understanding of grace and the gospel that I never imagined possible. My walk with Christ became something real. They were the face of Christ when we had physically lost almost everything after the 2011 tornado. I am so thankful that God brought us to be a part of this body, even if it was just for a season. Change is coming as our church closes it's doors. The next few weeks may not be easy but we know that God is good and promises to always be with us. He has a plan and God will be glorified.
Your prayers for the people at Mystery are appreciated.

We found the news out a little over a week ago but I have been taking my time letting others know. I wasn't sure how to put this on my blog. I try to keep things real around here and I want to share my life with others, this is a HUGE part of my life. 

Our pastor also wrote a beautiful letter that I wanted to share with you. It walks through the history of our church and what ultimately brought our church to this point.

Our family is dealing with so many emotions right now but the one I feel the most is completely overwhelmed by God's goodness. I feel like He has been preparing my heart for this for weeks before it happened. I know He is good and faithful and is glorified in all things, including this.

Please join me in praying for our family, both physical and spiritual, over the next few weeks as we finish strong and find a new place to call home.

Friday Linkup Parties
To see where I am linking up check out my link-up tab.

Have a great weekend!
We will see you back here on Monday.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Girl Mom Series: My Story

Two weeks ago I announced my first ever blog series.

I asked for guest posts from those who wanted to share about being a girl mom. You can write about your daughter, what you love about being a girl mom, life as a girl mom, a letter to your daughter, your favorite mother daughter activities. Anything and everything that highlights your life as a mom of a girl(s). Your response has been overwhelming. What started out as twice a month has turned into every week for the next 4 months and I am still scheduling after that.

Thank you! Before it's beginning this series is already a success because of you! If you have yet to sign up but would like to get involved you can do so by filling out this survey.

Meet My Girls

Marissa Renea: first grader, 6 years old, biggest dimples I have ever seen, amazing reader, motherly instincts beyond her years, super inquisitive, my mini me in spirit but she looks just like her daddy.

Emily Elizabeth: pre-k, just turned 4, a girl of many expressions, curly haired cutie, super snugly, so smart she scares me, my free spirited creative child. Who also looks like daddy. 

There are many things in life I imagined. Marriage and kids were probably always at the top of the list. I always imagined two children however I never expected both of them to be wearing pink. 

I was just so sure she would be a he.

My pregnancy with M was less than ideal I had issues with placenta previa for the first 20 weeks. The worst of the episodes landed us in the ER all night around 18 weeks. Hours after arriving we were finally able to see a Dr. and find out our baby was okay. I never expected for her to ask if we wanted to know the gender. I just "knew" it was a boy and I couldn't have been any more surprised when she said I was wrong. 

Fast forward a couple years. I can vividly remember going for an early gender reveal appointment at 16 weeks with Emily. I stopped Russ in the parking lot and said "You know it's a girl right." When she said the famous words "It's a girl" I grinned and cried. This time my gut was actually right.

I felt overwhelmingly blessed. Not only were we getting daughters, they would have a sister a best friend. Something that I always imagined would be wonderful, but had never pictured as a part of my life. 

And it is wonderful.

Being a girl mom is everything I expected and so many things that I didn't.

I never knew that pink was a neutral color.
That glitter truly is evil and a princess dress can leave your cars sparkling for months.
The level of drama on a daily basis over what color your spoon is can be Oscar worthy.
My 4 year old can provide me with great fashion advice.
The amount of clothes. SO, many, clothes.
When I want to paint my toes, that almost always means painting 20 more.

That someone would imitate me, simple boring stay at home me.

 I don't have a career or a glamorous life style. My home is not perfect, my clothes are not trendy, some days I don't even brush my hair. But they look at me and they tell me I am beautiful, that I am as pretty as a princess. They see me in a way that I have never seen myself and love me despite all of my many imperfections

I always expected to love them to the moon and back, but the way they love me has completely blown my mind.

They have taught me so much about what it means to truly love.

Two girls, so much pink. Dress up, pretend food, dolls and my daily dose of drama.
Never what I imagined but exactly what I need. 

I thank God for the gift of these beautiful girls every day.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Emily's 4th Birthday!

Saturday we celebrated four years with our baby girl, Emily Elizabeth. 

Four amazing, crazy, wonderful years.

This year we had a simple birthday party. We didn't have tons of decorations or people but boy oh boy did we celebrate. From donuts for breakfast, Chick Fil-A play time, cake, and pizza. 
We had so much fun.

It wouldn't be a birthday without a "few" photos

Cake was definitely a must too!

 She requested an orange cake that tasted like strawberries. 
Whatever you want baby girl, whatever you want. 

She received what might just be the largest stuffed Minnie Mouse in existence.

Seriously guys. I can't even explain how huge that doll is.

Maybe this will help a bit.

It is HUGE. Thank you Meme and Papa for that one *Ha*! Seriously though it might just go down as one of the best deals ever. They located it in the clearance section it didn't have a tag so they went to the register to price check it. 30 minutes later, they were finally given a price of $37! What?!?! I know for fact a Minnie that large is generally around $200. I really hope this little lady doesn't grow out of her 3 year Minnie phase anytime too soon. 

Photos with Daddy and Mommy


Oh look, more Minnie Mouse stuff. After 3 years of nothing but Minnie, we thought she had it all. Clearly we were wrong. 

Those dimples, oh my heart.
Her silly cousin has photo bombing down.

The perfect pair of high tops for a Minnie Mouse loving girl.

What a wonderful day of celebrating 4 years with this beautiful, silly, hilarious, clever, sweet girl.

We love you so much Emily!

Happy Birthday!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Talk: Romance & Parenting

Welcome to Tuesday Talk!

I can't believe this wraps up month #2 of co-hosting this linkup. If you have yet to join us I hope you will this week. It is so simple, just grab the button and link up your post. We would absolutely love to have you.

Our Pretty Little Girls
This is a special week! Not only am I co-hosting my regular Tuesday Talk link up, I am also linking up with Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me for Mom Talk Tuesdays.
Wife Mommy Me

This months topic is a tough but important one.

Romance & Parenting

First off I feel like I need to say that we definitely are by no means experts in this department.

Romance and parenting are two things that have always been very intertwined in our marriage. We were married in mid August of 2007 decided we would waste no time in starting a family and found out we were expecting in early October about 7 weeks after our wedding. We didn't have much of a "honeymoon" phase.

Over the past 7.5 years we have discovered a few things that work for our family.
Today I wanted to share some of those with you.

* Priorities: God first, husband second, children next. Keeping these in check has a HUGE affect on the quality of our marriage. Especially when it comes to the kids. It is so easy to move them into that # 1 or #2 spot.

* Be creative with finding ways to spend time together: This past Valentines we celebrated at Chick Fil-a. That may not scream romance to a lot of people but we ate together as a family the kids went to play and we had a nice quiet conversation. Sometimes you have to look for the unexpected ways to date your spouse. As our girls have grown older and a bit more independent we are learning to take advantage of these little moments.

* Solo Time away: As rejuvenating as a date night can be some times Russ telling me to get out of the house is even more helpful. Giving your spouse a break speaks volumes of love and sacrifice.

* Hugging: I think people underestimate what a good hug can do. Taking the time to hug and not feel like you have to be rushed is always so good for my heart. Best part is who cares if the kids are watching.
Side note: I feel pretty certain I may have married the best hugger ever.

* Love Notes: This has looked several different ways over the years. Pieces of paper, dry erase boards, mirrors, texts, notes in lunch boxes, I love when Russ leaves me a note. The unexpected affirmation of him thinking about me always makes me smile.

* Favorite things: Picking up a favorite candy bar, beverage, making a favorite meal, watching a favorite movie. You get the point. Something to say I know you and I'm thinking about you. I do this for my kids all the time. Why not my husband to (This kind of throws me back to my first point, priorities).

* I love you: Three little words I never want to take for granted. In a world where sometimes it is so loud, busy, chaotic and just down right exhausting may I always find the time to proclaim my love for my guy.

How do you mix romance & parenting?

Now it's your turn. What are you posting about today?

Thanks for joining us!

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Project Sunday 2015: February

At the beginning of the year I decided to take more photos this year, a lot more photos. 

One way I decided to do this was by taking a weekly photo of my girls every Sunday morning before church.

February didn't bring the warmer weather I was hoping for, so we were stuck still taking our photos inside.

I curled Marissa's hair this week. So cute! I really should fix it this way more often. 

Week six we stayed home. Dad was pretty sick and Marissa had just gotten over a cold. We did get outside for a bit to play and made sure to snap a picture. 

BBBrrrrr!!!!! It was so cold this day we decided dresses were over rated and went for warmth/comfort.  Emily.... what can I say really?

Two things...
One Emily's high tops, so cute (of course they are Minnie Mouse). Two Marissa's dress, love it. 

February has been a very cold, very long, very hard month. But we are optimistic and praying that March will bring good things and warmer weather too!

How was your weekend?

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