Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Lately I have been thankful for time that is no longer my own, hormones that find a way to balance themselves out and the best advice to turn late night feeds into conversations with God.

Happy Thursday my friends!  What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for the ultimate healing found in heaven, even though I would rather have you here with me

for the first day at home as a new family

for a first Father's Day

and for nap time with auntie and GiGi that allow this new mom to catch up on sleep lost during the night

This week has been life changing in so many ways.  There have been intense highs and lows that have left me in a daze, but made me stronger as I rely on God to work all things for His good.  At the end of the day it comes down to a choice...will these mountains stop me in my tracks or will I climb to the top to experience the view?

A thankful spirit will always turn what we have into enough.  Happy Thursday mountain climbers!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

One Week

It's been one week since my world was turned upside down.  The nine months before did nothing to prepare me for what was about to come, but she has arrived - two weeks early and full of personality, she is here.

Happy One Week Birthday my sweet little.  You make life more than I could have ever imagined. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thankful Thursday

This week I have been especially thankful for all the people who have made my birthday week full of love, happiness and wonderful surprises

for water ice that tastes yummy and a husband who will run in the rain to get it for me

and for the hope of meeting our little soon and spending lots of time together in this comfy, new addition

Happy Thursday friends! What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Memories

During a recent conversation my sister asked me what was the best gift I had ever received?  I carefully considered the question, but found myself appreciating the memories surrounding a gift much more than the gift itself.  My favorite gifts are all surrounded by good memories and my favorite people, regardless of the type of gift or the occasion.

As parents and caregivers it is important to remember that memories made are much more precious as children grow into adults than gifts they are given.  The tangible gift may even be forgotten, but the feelings and memories surrounding the event can last a lifetime.  With summer vacation here, it is the perfect opportunity for families to create good memories together that cost very little or are even free, but will leave a lasting impression.  

Some of my favorite memories as a child are now on my bucket list to do when my own kids are old enough.  Here are a few ideas that are free or relatively cheap, but encourage family unity, good memories and developing good character...

1.  Plan a vacation - often planning is just as exciting as actually going.  By including each member of the family in the planning process, it is more likely to be a positive and memorable experience for the whole family.

2.  Weekly family night - schedules fill up so quickly, but it is so important to make family time a priority.  By scheduling a weekly family night that time is already set aside and teaches children that they are important and each member of the family has an important place in the group.

3.  Create a scavenger hunt - whether it is outside, inside, one day, or all summer, a scavenger hunt is a great way to create some friendly competition and can include just the family or be opened up to include friends, neighbors, etc.

4.  Volunteer for a good cause - volunteering is a great way to teach strong character to children and create new interests or passions that can last a lifetime.  Many organizations need volunteers all year long, but can especially benefit from them during busy summer months.

5.  Plan a community day - if you have access to a pool, play ground, or open space of any sort, planning a day for the community to come together can be very exciting to children.  Give each child a responsibility such as creating invitations, helping with the food, organizing games or making decorations.  

6.  Create a family play space - whether it is a nearby park, a fire pit in the backyard or a family room turned indoor camp site, have a space that is used frequently for play.

7.  Use technology - while technology is certainly overused and should be minimized {especially during the summer}, it can be such a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with family and friends who do not live close by.  Video chat is a great way to include special people in all your events and make sure they are a part of those important memories.

8.  Create a family bucket list - this is the perfect time to sit down as a family and create a summer bucket list that everyone can engage in.  Whether you are setting goals, planning trips, choosing books to read or making it a priority to explore your own city, it is memorable to create the list and check things off along the way.

My favorite memories are easy to recall and bring happiness to my heart.  What is your favorite memory that can bring a smile even on the most difficult of days?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Celebration of Life

Today we celebrated the life of a man whose work ethic and dedication to his family created a legacy that will never be matched, but can be worked toward and respected.  In 83 years of life, he worked hard even if that meant being away from his family and gave up simple pleasures to provide for his wife and children.  In the end, however, the stories that were shared were not about his work or the amount of money he made, he didn't talk about his stressors or plans than never came to fruition.  Instead, he told stories about time he spent with his children and grandchildren, fond memories of restoring the old farm house and the joys of teaching the boys skills to fix and create with their own two hands.  As time slowed down, the most important thing was to be surrounded by family and know the love that had been there through it all.

We will miss Jared's grandfather, but we are thankful for the time we had with him and the reminder of the blessings in life that really matter.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Birthday Weekend

What a beautiful weekend to celebrate my 27th year of life!

This birthday looked a little different than past years {I mean look at that belly}, but it was wonderfully relaxing to spend time with some of my favorite people.  We ate yummy food, enjoyed the beautiful weather and finished the first room in our new house...our bedroom!!!!

Which includes this comfy addition that will {hopefully} bring comfort and calm when baby girl arrives.

We ended the weekend with the car windows down, good music and a little cup of happiness!  This is what memories are made of!

What was the highlight of your weekend?