Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Highlights 7.31.15

Hello Friday!

Happy Friday friends!
The weekends arrival is always so bittersweet during the summer. I have a pretty exciting weekend planned but another week of summer is now over and honestly that just makes me sad. But, soon school will start back up and I may (May? Ha!  HUGE understatement.) be a bit more excited for Fridays to arrive again. 

Now onto our Friday thing.

{ONE}  On The Blog This Week
This week I shared about a little girl who fell in love with some REALLY big roller coasters.

The importances of making time for yourself.

A Q&A about me and blogging.

And I did a fun hour by hour post with lots of photos. 

{TWO} The Drive-Inn

One thing left to cross off of our bucket list is a trip to our local drive inn. This weekend we plan to fix that by going to see Minions. We are so excited minions + the drive inn it is going to be so much fun.

You can take a look at last years summer drive inn trip here

{THREE} Friendship

There once was a girl who felt she had no friends. She would cry and pray and plead for God to bring friends into her life to walk with her and He did. 6 years later I look back at that girl and wish I could share so much with her and where she will be in a few years. God has abundantly blessed me with so many great friends.

Sarah from Abiding In Grace wrote a beautiful post on friendship earlier this week. 'Five Steps to Finding and Keeping Friendships' I instantly knew that I wanted to share it with others so their hearts could be encouraged too.


{FOUR} Back To School

Today officially marks 10 days until we resume classes at "The Newman Independent Christian School" AKA home school. 

Last year I wrote a post about making back to school special.

I can't help but look at this list and feel the need to go bigger this year. Back to school was so fun, exciting and cute those first few years.... but now Marissa gets it. She has come to appreciate summer for what it truly is and she isn't 100% excited to get back to the books

I plan to do some thinking this weekend and come up with a few more ways I can make back to school as exciting as I possibly can... or at least a few ways to finish out summer break with a bang. 

Do you have any back to school traditions?

{FIVE} Women Of The Word

Tuesday night I spent an hour or two out with my Sarah. Oh it was so good to spend some time sitting in Starbucks catching up on life. We used to meet about every week to talk and read and pray. Things changed when our church closed back in March and with her work schedule and my busy home school mom life we had only got together a few times since then (Not that we don't text multiple times every day). 

There is just something so nice about sitting with someone 

She surprised me with this book Women of the Word.
I can't wait to dive in, in fact I already have. It is a book that teaches you how to study the Bible something I believe everyone could use a little help with. It is going to be so good to read together and meet together more frequently again. 

We were not meant to walk through life alone. 

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 soon!

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hour By Hour {July 2015}

Hello Thursday!

It's Thursday and typically that means I have a guest for my 'Girl Mom' Series but today we are taking a break and doing a fun photo post. 

A few weeks ago my friend Whitney from Work It Mommy participated in a link up where you take one photo an hour and share them in a post. I loved looking through her photos so much that I thought I would share my own today.

Here is a look at our day through the lens of a camera.
July 29th 2015

5:00 a.m. 
I'm up, dressed and headed to the gym

6:00 a.m.
A little core work to finish off our workout.

7:00 a.m.
I sat down to drink my protein shake and read the intro to my new book.

8:00 a.m.
Time for my eggs, oatmeal, iced coffee and some blog work.

9:00 a.m.
Picking up a few things at Aldi

10:00 a.m.
A photo with a goldfish wearing braces before the movie? Why not!

11:00 a.m.
Someone needed a mid movie potty break. 

12:00 a.m.
Lunch time!

1:00 p.m.
We arrive at the pool and coat on the sunblock.

2:00 p.m.
Emily loves jumping to Anna.
Anna is simply amazing.Treading water in the deep end while holding her arms out  for a kid
.... yeah I can't do that.

3:00 p.m.
Mandatory pool break so we cool off at the splash pad.

4:00 p.m.
Time to pick this guy up from work

5:00 p.m. 
I go out to check on Russ and tell him dinner will be ready soon.

6:00 p.m.
Dinner is done, the dishes are mostly washed and I sit down to check some math work and hang out with the worlds slowest eater.

7:00 p.m.
Snuggles and T.V. time with the girls

8:00 p.m.
Brushing teeth then off to bed. 

9:00 p.m.
Milk, a couple cookies, Colorfy (Which I may have downloaded for Marissa then got sucked into playing) and Friends.

Now it is off to bed so I can wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.

Happy almost Friday!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Getting To Know Me & My Blog

Recently I was nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Elizabeth at Chasin Mason.
I am always a sucker for a fun Q & A post so I had to play along. 
I hope you have as much fun reading as I did answering!

1// What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

Initially I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself. I also love the idea of the girls being able to look back on the life we had together. Someday I hope they read it all even if it takes them weeks. It is like our virtual scrapbook/diary that we get to share with others. More recently the blog has been growing and that is really exciting. I still try and keep most of the posts centered around life with my girls but being able to monetize the space a bit has been fantastic. I would love to do more of that in the future, 

2// What have you learned about blogging since you started? 

That bloggers are some of the coolest people you will ever get to know.
Blogging is more than just words on a screen.
Being unique is hard.
Great photos really help to tell your story.
Sometimes you think you are posting something for yourself or opening up about a struggle that you feel alone in and you find out someone else needed to read what you had to say and you aren't alone after all.
It's more than just a hobby. 

3// Provide a link to your favorite blog post.

Picking just one is really hard but the very first time I took off the mask and really put myself out there I wrote this: I Don't Need a New Year.

Through writing this post I learned so much about myself. 
I also learned that I can use this blog as a powerful tool to share Gospel truth with others. 

4// Have you made virtual friends because of blogging? Have you met them "in real life"?

Definitely! The friendships have easily been the best part of being a blogger. I never in my life imagined I could connect so strongly with individuals I have never met but time and time again it has happened. I have yet to meet a blogging friend in real life but hope that I get a chance too in the near future.

5// Does your family read your blog and if so does this affect what you say or how you say it?

When I started nobody read it (literally no one) but now parents and grandparents read it. I love that they are able to stay in touch with what we're doing and they get to see plenty of photos of the girls too. I do feel I must point out that Russ does not read my blog. He says "Why do I need to read it, I live it". I am WAY to nosy to take that approach but if it works for him that is fine with me.

I would be a liar if I said that knowing my family reads my blog doesn't affect what I post about because it does. Probably best that they are around to keep me in check ;).

6// What's your favorite thing to eat and drink in the summer?

The summer means a garden and the garden means fresh homegrown organic tomatoes. That said we have definitely been eating our fair share of BLT's add a little avocado and it's the perfect summer meal. 

My favorite summer drink has to be iced coffee which I have recently nailed. Be watching out for a post on that in the next few weeks. 

7// Are you a nail polish fan? If so, what color and what brand are your favorite?

Nope. I am pretty no fuss and even something as simple as nail polish just doesn't work for me. I used to always keep my toes painted but just this year I have recently gave up on that too..

If I do paint my nails it is something dark like a red, purple or gunmetal color. 

8// What is your go-to meal for dinner?

If I am looking for something I can make pretty quickly that everyone in our family loves I usually make grilled pizza. Other favorites are tacos, hamburgers or grilled chicken. 

9// What is your favorite holiday and why?

I LOVE Christmas. The decorations, the magic and the celebration of our saviors birth. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. 

10// What is one piece of advice you would give fellow bloggers?

You get out of it exactly what you put into it.
Growing a blog is a lot of work and something that does not happen over night. Keep posting, sharing and reaching out and the growth will happen. I also have to add be yourself and be real. 

Thanks for the tag to do this post Liz.
I hope it has been fun to learn a little more about me and my blog.

Your turn: If you are a blogger what is your favorite part about blogging?

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Making Time For You

Welcome to Tuesday Talk!
Meet your hosts!
Becky from BYBMG, Beth from Our Pretty Little Girls, Whitney from Polka-Dotty Place, Elizabeth from All Kinds of Things, Tara from Mrs.Coach Sims, Keri from Living In This Season, Sarah from Abiding In Grace, Lauren from Simply Free , Emily from Morning Motivated Mom, and Jessica & Katie from Sweet Little OnesChristina from Waltzing In Beauty, Amy from Go Forth and Mother & Michelle from Grammie Time
This week I am excited to also be linking up with Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me for Mom Talk Tuesdays.

Wife Mommy Me

This months topic...

First off I want to start by addressing a lie that I have fought and struggled with for years and years.
The lie:
Taking time for myself is selfish, bad moms are selfish, I don't want to be a bad mom, I don't need me time.

The truth:
Taking time for you does not make you a bad wife or mother.

I remember being a young mom and feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt any time I took a break. 
At the time I was working and I already felt awful being away from the baby during the day. The idea of spending more time away from her seemed like such a bad idea. I would convince myself I didn't need any me time until I would near having a meltdown, feel forced to finally take some time away and then I would just start the cycle all over again.

I was so certain that things would be easier when I became a stay at home mom after the birth of our second daughter. WRONG! I faced a whole new set of challenges and the feelings of abandonment and guilt were still there. I didn't want to "burden" others just so I could escape and several of my favorite ways to spend me time were no longer an option since we were now a one income family. 

I was so young, naive, proud and wrong.

Which brings me back to this:

Taking time for you does not make you a bad wife or mother. 

 8 years of marriage later and 7+ years of being a mom and I am still struggling to fully believe the truth.
I'd love to say it gets easier and one day it will all just click, but honestly I don't think it will.
However, I do think that maybe we can grow wiser.

Wise enough to see that me taking time for myself can make me a better wife and mom. 
It gives me a chance to step back and look at things from a different perspective one that sees the big picture instead of that moments current chaos or crisis. It gives me a second to catch my breath, recharge my batteries and to just be Beth. A chance to connect with friends, rediscover something I love or try something new. I can eat an ice cream cone without sharing, read a book without stopping or drink a cup of tea without microwaving it 15 times. Sometimes the little things can make such a huge impact on a weary mama's heart.
Never underestimate them.

I love my life.
I love being a mom.
 I love staying home with my girls, more than anything in the world.
It always has and always will be my dream job.

But why do I so often take something I love and completely submerge myself in it to the point that I feel I will almost drown?

I rob myself of true joy by not taking time to simply rest.

Sharing my heart like this is never easy, but I can't help but feel that I am not alone in this struggle.

Moms, I want to challenge you to take more time for you.
I know this may look different for everyone, but let's say once a week for the next month we were to carve out at least 30 minutes of time to get away and do something we love, catch up with a friend, or just sit and do nothing.

How would taking a more frequent time of rest affect us as wives and mothers?

There is only one way to find out.
Why not give it a try?

Do you struggle to make time for you?

Will you accept the challenge?

Now it's your turn!
Grab the button on my sidebar and link up for this weeks Tuesday Talk!

An InLinkz Link-up

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Ready To Ride!

Hello Monday!

This weekend was HOT! I think I spent most of it inside trying not to melt and the rest outside coated in bug spray doing yard work until dark. With the arrival of the latest heat wave I am seriously starting to question my love for summer. It just makes me feel so "Ggrrrr"! Which has me wondering if heat rage is a real thing?

Today I want to share a few pictures with you from Fridays adventures to Silver Dollar City.

Friday morning started out like this...

and ended like this.

Lesson learned: Never close your eyes in the car. Apparently even when you are 31 years old your parents will take pictures of you sleeping (which I was not actually doing). 

Everything in between was silly, loud, crazy, giggly, sweaty, fun. 

How about some photos?!

We started our day with a giant cinnamon roll and then we ate and ate and ate. I justified my behavior by the fact that I walked about 15,000 steps that day.

We had loads of cousin time.

Plus Marissa rode her very first BIG roller coaster immediately followed by her second and third.

Never has my mommy heart been as worried as it was when I watched my child get on this for the very first time

Seriously, I thought I was going to be sick.
 I am pretty sure I hoped and wished and prayed the entire ride.

When the ride was over and I was greeted with this.

"That was AWESOME!!!"
A roller coaster enthusiast was born.

She rode another.

The she rode another. Outlaw Run the #7 wooden roller coaster in the world and the most intense ride I have ever been on.

I was in disbelief and shock.... followed by some relief that I didn't have to ride them with her.
I'll let you in on a little secret.... I don't really like roller coasters.

Thanks Meme & Papa for taking one for the team.

The day wouldn't be complete without a souvenir from papa.

And a picture with my girls.

Marissa is growing up and I am not quite sure how I feel about that.
 Shouldn't we still be riding on the butterflies and lady bugs? 

It seems like yesterday she was on this side of the gate...

(This photo was taken in 2011. So fun that Emily wore that EXACT same outfit on Fridays trip).

Instead of this one.

Things about Friday I want Marissa to remember:

She was loving and living life.
She was brave, fearless and let nothing hold her back.
She tried something new and loved it.
She made her Mommy and Daddy so proud.

I guess this growing up thing isn't so bad after all.
It may not be easy, but it is definitely good.

How was your weekend?

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