Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A glimpse into my possible thrift store addiction...

Thrift stores. We all know what they are. Some people love them. Others wonder why on earth you would ever want to shop used clothes.

 I love thrift stores. OK, I may be slightly addicted to thrift store shopping!

It is like a treasure hunt to see what you can get for the cheapest price.

I will just give you an example.

So I have been thrift store shopping for many years. Because of that in our area I know what stores I can find the best deals at and what ones really are not that great of a deal (especially considering sometimes you can get something new on clearance for cheaper then they are asking at the thrift store).

For our local Salvation Army stores every Wednesday is family day. This means that every tag except one is half off the ticket price.

I am currently 38 weeks pregnant and am down to once a week doctors visits. Since there is a Salvation Army one minute away from the doctors office I have made it a point to try to schedule my appointments on Wednesdays as much as possible so I can take advantage of the half off day.

Today I went wanting to get some stuff for Jason but then I ended up getting some amazing stuff for me! Things I can wear now as well as after baby girl makes her appearance. OK, so I got a lot of cardigans! ;)

I am digressing though.

Here is one of the reasons I would still thrift store shop even if I became a billionaire:

This is a New York and Company shirt that still had the tags on-completely brand new. The original price on the tag was $49.95. Salvation army had marked it down to $6.99-which is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to a good deal.

The greatest part came when the cashier was ringing it into the cash register as I was checking out-$6.99 minus 50% all the sudden became $3.50.

$3.50 for a $49.95 shirt. This is adorable.

See why I adore thrift shopping so much?

That was not my only deal from today however!

I love Ann Taylor Loft. Like seriously if I could ever go on a shopping spree unlimited it would be in that store. It is classic yet elegant fashion and I love it!

So when I found these I was so excited:

Not one, not two, not three, not four but FIVE cardigans from Ann Taylor Loft. These average between $40-$50 per sweater on their website.  Today however, that is not the price I paid!

One of the sweaters had the tags on it and was brand new! That was the most expensive one at $1.50 after the 50% discount! The other four were a mere $0.99 cents a piece!

So I got five sweaters for a grand total of $5.50! WHAT!?!?

Talk about a blessing from the Lord!

So this was what I got today. It included brands like Ann Taylor Loft, New York and Company, Arizona Jean Company, Motherhood Maternity and Christopher and Banks as well as many others. 

I got 13 cardigans/shirts, 1 sweater for Jason, 1 scarf and 1 pair of maternity skinny jeans. Are you ready? The grand total was:


For name brand clothes. Some with the tags on them!

To say that I feel extremely blessed and excited to have some new clothes for after the baby comes and beyond is an understatement!

So what about you? Do you love to thrift store shop? What was your neatest treasure you ever found? I would love to hear about it!

Would you be interested in some more posts on the ins and outs of thrift store shopping and how we incorporate it into our lives?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Someone's Husband and Father

In four weeks our sweet baby girl is due to make her appearance. When that happens I feel like the dynamic of our little white house is most definitely going to change!

Let me explain.

When we found out that I was expecting and Gram passed away the entire time I just felt like I was going to have a girl. They call it intuition. I was right but you know-not bragging about that ;)

At the same time Jason was convinced that is was a boy. Until a few days before we were going to have the gender ultrasound.

I was puttering around the house and all the sudden out of the blue Jason turns to me and quietly says: "I think it is going to be a girl."

I asked him why and his reply was: "Well, we know what to do with boys I think God is going to mix things up."

And he was right!

I feel very comfortable with boys. Boys are pretty easy at this point. Yes, their energy makes me want to go hide and eat chocolate on a regular basis  occasionally but other than that-we have setttled into our boy filled home with not too much issue.

Over the last few weeks I have really started to realize that our little world is about to be turned upside down in a very exciting but somewhat terrifying way.

Enter our baby girl.

So I have been preparing the boys and they are so very excited for their baby but it has definitely made me stop and think about some things.

Like the fact that they will someday (Lord willing) have wives and daughters of their own. How am I going to train them to treat women in general? And that every day is training and teaching them in some way to grow to be Godly young men that love and serve others.

So I have been challenged-I realized I am teaching them even when I don't say a word.

And yes-that thought scares me! Why? Well-I am FAR from perfect or even far from being anywhere near perfect when it comes to my mothering.

Then I came across the following quote:

Is that not the most beautiful thing you have read lately? Forget trying to be perfect and pinterest worthy in everything I do.

Just love.

So that is my new goal: love my boys. Love my husband. Love my baby girl. Love those around me. Love my God.

Yes, things are going to change when Clara decides to make her appearance!

Yes, there are days where I do not love the way I need to.

Yes, I serve a God that I can lean on for help on the days I just do not know what to do. Because with His help all things are possible!!

And when I start thinking about that-all the sudden raising my boys does not seem like such a scary and impossible thing!

So what about you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the responsibility we have as parents to raise our children? What helps you get through the panic moments? I would love to hear about it! :) 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My word for 2016

So a lot of people go around talking about words for the year. I had never really thought about that and since I tend to start things and then not finish them I was not really too worried about figuring out a word for 2016.

Until the Lord gave me one.

You see He has been stretching me a lot lately and challenging me in areas I have not allowed myself to go in a very long time. 

I realized that for years I have not really had a true relationship with Jesus. I do better in different seasons-but overall I felt like I had to act like everything was ok because if I didn't I would be letting a lot of different people down.

I didn't want to do that.

Then my husband looked at me one night and said: "Why don't you just quit pretending?"

And I realized at that moment I really wanted to! More then anything in the world I wanted to get all areas of my life right again.

I wanted to be walking with the Lord again.

I was tired of being a slave to so many different things I was using to try to fill the void that only Jesus Christ can truly fill. Food, movies, social media, friends, family-the list goes on and on. 

I was desperate to just be free once again but I was looking everywhere but the One that truly can free us.

So I started repenting and surrendering over a weekend.

It was beautiful.

I had not felt that alive in a very long time.

So one night as I was pondering the upcoming year 2016 this word popped into my mind.


How perfect is that? I could not believe how much it tied into the lessons the Lord had been teaching me and I knew. 

This year my theme is moderation.

Moderation in the food I eat.

Moderation in media.

Moderation in budgeting.

Moderation in shopping (don't laugh I really am kind of a shopoholic although it is at thrift stores).

Moderation in my home.

Moderation in my relationships.


So it has been a few weeks and I have been noticing changes in my life that truly amaze me.

I guess that most obvious one is in the food I eat.

I had a secret habit of binging when I felt sad or mad or stressed or alone. Food was always there and it would comfort me and hey-I was pregnant so I truly had an excuse.

Then reality hit.

I gained 8 lbs. in less than five weeks and let me assure you it was not the babies fault! I knew I needed to make a change to be healthy-not just thin. My lifestyle needed to change and fast!

I had had great success with the 21 day fix in the past and decided to give it a try yet again.

First workout (a walking dvd with Leslie Sansane)-mess my foot up and am off it for five days.

So exercise is out apparently. 

That threw me into a depression.

Then I decided that even if I could not exercise (I am going to a specialist to see about my foot) I could at least get my nutrition in the right place. 

So I started drinking shakeology everyday (along with my hubby and kiddos) and joined a challenge group. 

I love the 21 day fix for many reasons but the most amazing one to me is I can do it while pregnant and nursing (I just went up one calorie bracket).

So I started around the first of the year and did not take any photos or measurements because I figured it was not really going to make a difference anyway in how I looked I just wanted to feel better.

I was wrong.

It has already made such a difference! Not only in the way I feel but in the energy I have and the fact that I went back to the doctor and in two weeks over Christmas and New Years I had not gained an ounce (remember the last time I was there I had gained 8 lbs. in less then 5 weeks)!!!! 

I was on top of the moon!

So then I decided to compare:

The first photo was when I was pregnant for my first baby back in 2012. I was swollen, unable to move and absolutely miserable. I was 32 weeks (what I am currently) and had 8 weeks to go before I was induced because of pre eclampsia. That pregnancy was miserable I felt awful!

 My second pregnancy was not quite as bad but still miserable! This pregnancy I had vowed I didn't want to repeat my food habits from the first but got back in the binging etc using pregnancy as an excuse. It was a vicious cycle.

 Sadly it was one I started with this pregnancy. But I realized that even in my third trimester I could practice moderation and see the change!  I am not worried about after birth weight loss because of the 21 day fix! So thankful for never have to go back to that insecure girl in that first and second picture. 

Why do I not have to go back? Because I am not trying to do this anymore in my own strength. My motivation is not to "be that hot mama" it is to practice moderation and to bring honor to Jesus Christ by taking care of myself and choosing to not turn to food for comfort. 

So that is where I am at. 

I think about my word every day.


I am excited to see what this year brings!

So what about you? Do you have a word for 2016? I would love to hear about it.

Do you ever struggle with moderation? Do you have a favorite verse that helps you through it? 

smile emoticon. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hold them a little longer...

I love this picture! We were going on a hike in a town near us and I looked up and saw them walking hand in hand and I just knew I needed to capture it. To hold onto and cherish that memory.

That is something that has been coming up a lot in the last few weeks. Maybe it is because Elijah is potty trained fully now.

Maybe it is because Micah will be two years old on December 14th.

Maybe it is because of moments like when I was playing piano on Sunday and I looked up to see Micah smiling at me. In that moment my heart jumped because I realized how he is starting to look more and more like a toddler instead of a baby.

Cherish these moments.

So then today I found this picture on facebook and it absolutely stopped me in my tracks:

 So often in this world it is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. I smile as I write that because I know as the years go on and my boys get older it will get even busier!

So why is it so easy for me to not cherish moments? To continue to do whatever on social media instead of reading them a story.

To want to go watch that chick flick because it is their bedtime and I just want a break but wait-they want another story?

It is easier alot of the time to be selfish.

There I said it.

To put my needs before theirs.

The sad thing is that this season will pass and then what happens?

Someday-sooner then I want to admit-my boys will be 17 and 16 instead of three and two. These precious fleeting moments when they need me in that special way that littles need their Mama-this too shall pass.

So what am I doing in the meantime?

And that is when a new resolve was born. When I realized that my boys will not be with me forever.

When I realized that someday I will need to let them go...

Cherish the moments. Treasure this time. Make memories. Remember that even though this season seems to be never ending with the messes and diapers and exhaustion and sleeplessness-it will be over one day.

That day will come sooner then I care to admit.

Perspective. So often it is easy to see a nuisance or the inconvenience of having to slow down when really it should be seen as an opportunity to grow and teach.

A memory can be either good or bad.

Cherished or tossed to the side.

So my new goal? To wake up every morning and praise God for those two sweet little faces. And then in the exhaustion and mundane of life to be thankful.

Thankful for my precious boys.

Thankful for life itself.

Thankful to be able to pour into my children.

Thankful for the funny things that come out of their mouths.

Thankful for their love for me.

Thankful for another day to cherish and make memories.

Thankful for another day to be with them.

So what about you? Do you ever have a day where you are just so exhausted there is no end in sight? Motherhood is tough! But it also changes with each new season of life. What are some little things that you can look to cherish in the moment?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Then there was that mascara smudge...

Ever had one of those days? Or how about one of those hours? Oh you know the ones! Let me share one of my days from this past week.

It is 7:35 am.

I should be in bed snuggling under my blankets. Am I? Nope.

So far I have rescued my husband, been to jail and got locked out of my car.

Did I mention it is 7:35? AM!?

Lets go back an hour.

6:35 am.

I have gotten Jason's lunch and am on day three of 16 hour shifts and think I may be losing my mind.

Case in point?

I lay down after Jason leaves and all the sudden I am thinking about the bread machine. More specifically the paddle in the bread machine that may or may not be actually attached to the machine.

I think it is. But what if it is not? Then we will get up for amazing bread and there will not be a fresh loaf it will be a nasty mess of dough. Ugh. Must get up.

It was fine.

Just as I go to snuggle back into bed I look at my phone and see two missed calls from Jason. I call him back and he informs me that he left his essential work belt on our dresser and I need to bring it to him asap.

My sister comes to be there when the kiddos wake up and I throw on some clothes and head out the door.

So here is the first explanation.

My husband works at a jail. Which is nice because it is easier on him then construction and he is able to witness to people almost everyday.

So when I went to go and take his essential work stuff to him I got to the big empty parking lot and managed to snag a space closest to where I would have to enter.

Went in and dropped his stuff off. Go to head to the car...


I cried. You see I just wanted to be in bed.

But no here I am locked out of my car at my husbands workplace and I get to go back in and explain to nice man behind the glass that I am locked out of my car and yes I am pregnant and blonde and teary and it is not even 7:30 am!!!!

In the end the policeman came and popped open the door and I was on my way to drop off books that would be overdue at the library.

It was then I looked in the mirror and saw that my mascara was smudged all under my one eye.

Me. The Mary Kay consultant. Looking like a racoon.

In the middle of the next volley of thoughts that started to race wildly through my brain I realized something had changed about me.

This insanely crazy and very embarrassing morning does not define me.

I would have used to allow it to define me. Beating myself up for being so stupid and what did people think and I am going to quite possibly strangle my husband for doing this to me-oh the list goes on.

But not this time.

Do you ever take a few steps back before you realize how many God has actually brought you forward?

I have been thinking a lot lately about the fact that God knew me before I was born. And not only that-HE formed me!

I am worth dying on that old rugged cross to Him.

So really...why do I let what people think define me when really-He and His definition of me is the only thing that really matters?

So that whole crazy hour of my life?

Instead of letting it ruin my day-it kind of made me day! Why? Well, because I realized how far God has brought me and there is such freedom in that!

SO what about you? Have you ever had one of those days that now you can look back and laugh about?

What has God been teaching you lately about who you are in Him? Do you have a favorite verse about Who you are in Him?