Thursday, February 27

Some of us learn the hard way.

Sometimes, some of us just have to learn the hard way. Have you ever found yourself rushing through life, cutting corners here and there to simply just "get the job done" or to just "get by"? I do this a lot. I rush and I race, I cut corners to fit it all in and you know what? Sometimes I get by doing that. And there are the times where I don't and I end up hurt, messy and frustrated. That is when I know it is time to slow down, reevaluate, re-prioritize and pay attention.

Just 2 weeks ago I found my self rushing and cutting corners to just "get the job done" so I could move on and do other things. Other more important things like, check my email, or maybe Facebook messages. I was preparing dinner and I was in a rush. I was behind on cooking my dinner because I had shamefully watched a lot of TV that day, "checked a lot of emails", I might have gone to Homegoods...again... and I was just falling behind. I strive to have dinner ready when Phillip gets home in the evening and on this evening I wanted it done and ready so I could go run right after. I was rushing.

I was making a Mascarpone Fettuccine with roasted, sliced Zucchini that night. I am terrible at perfectly slicing Zucchini. I can never get it even and just right for roasting. My mom had given me a mandolin a few months back and I thought this particular night would be perfect to try it out! So I set my mandolin up, grabbed my zucchini and quickly began slicing my zucchini. I didn't have time to figure out how it actually worked so I just winged it. You don't want to just "wing it" when you are using a mandolin. So I grabbed my little Zucchini, set the mandolin blade gage at 1/2 and inch and yanked it across that blade.

The next thing I remember I was grabbing my thumb and frantically reaching for my phone to call Phillip home.  It looked like I had slaughtered a chicken in my kitchen sink. My kids were crying, I might have been crying and I was beginning to feel a little faintish. It was terrible. Phillip came home from work, my father in law came to watch the kids and we went to the Urgent Care clinic so I could get stitched up. I did not plan on my monday evening playing out this way.
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6 stitches later and Chick-fil-a for dinner, I was home and ready to throw that mandolin away. After cleaning up my mess and and washing up the mandolin I saw a little red thing that appeared to fit over the mandolin.
Like a GUARD maybe?? 
So I pulled out the instruction I should have in the first place...and looked for the image page that explains what each part is and how it works. And yes, sure enough, that little read thing I thought was for tomatoes or something, I don't even know, was in fact... A HAND GUARD!!!!

I could have prevented nearly slicing my thumb off if I had of been paying attention. I was rushing and thought I had control. Clearly I didn't. And I overlooked the one thing that could have prevented it all.

After thinking over and over "How in the world did I miss that?" I thought, isn't that how we go through life? Rushing, racing, not paying attention, cutting corners, making mistakes that end up harming us and frantically trying to just "get by" when we are given an "instruction manual", a guide to life. God has given us the keys to life, the answers to a lot of our problems and instructions on how to avoid harming ourselves and others around us. Yet, we over look it because "We've got this".

There have been so many times where I have taken the reigns of my life and said "God, I got this" only to find my self hurt and broken. When all along he was there with the instructions on how to avoid that situation or how to get through it. Yet I do it on my own and I have found myself needing to be put back together by Jesus. My heart has been broken, my soul had been worn out and my mind has been tired. I have needed the holy spirit to come in and stitch me back together so many times.

He faithfully meets me there in my brokenness, he gently reminders me of his truth and his promises found in the word, our instruction manual.

So, I guess some of us just have to learn the hard way. But we don't have to, we can prevent learning the hard way. I want encourage you to slow down. Take some time to know whats in your "instruction manual".  Write those promises and truths on your heart. Know them. Dwell on them.

And always remember to use the HAND GUARD while using a mandolin. Your fingers will thank you!! 

Monday, February 17

Weekend Favorites

I haven't done a weekend favorites post in a while. Life has been busy. Every time I hear myself say that I cringe. I greatly DISLIKE busy.
Here is what we have been up to this month so far (not just this weekend):

I went to the IF Gathering in Austin with Wynne!!! We talked the entire time there and back! We ate at some yummy Austin restaurants and even went for a little run around Town Lake Trail and then had a little shopping treat at Lululemon and Lush before heading home. It was a MUCH needed mommy get away! More on IF to come!
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I came home and sliced my thumb nearly off the next day! (more on that later too)
Here is Parker trying to match me. He drew "stitches" on to his thumb and wrapped it up just like mine. Sweet Boy!
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We got to celebrate Wynne's babies turning 2!! CANNOT STINKIN believe those kids are 2!!!! I didn't get a pic of the babies but heres a fun (non-selfie) pic of Wynne and I from the party.

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And on Sunday we went SWIMMING! Yes, SWIMMING!!! The first swim of the year! Gotta love crazy Texas weather and heated pools!
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I am trying to get back on track blogging.  It's sorta hard when you have a 1/2 inch deep cut on you thumb. Sheesh!!

I hope your month is going great!

Monday, February 10

37K in 37 days // Stepan Family

 Hey Friends! Remember back before Christmas when I introduced you to the Gully Family? Through all of us blasting their story, God gave this family the resources they needed to legally adopt their 6 girls! AND SOME!!!! Ya'll the amount that all of you gave will blow your mind. It is simply unreal how amazing God is.

Well the dreamer dreamer girls are at it again. But this time, its for one of our own. Sarah and her family are adopting a little boy from China! The cool thing is, we have all met and LOVE this little boy.

I will let Wendy tell you the story below...

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“There is this amazing little man who spent six weeks with us this past summer, who stole our hearts, and showed us what it’s like for a child from across the world to come to a new place, experience new things & quickly learn that there are people who love him. We heard about hosting program’s from our friends the patterson’s who had hosted 2 little boys. We briefly discussed it and thought it would be an amazing way to share the love of Christ with a child. At the Summit Conference in Nashville I walked past a booth for new horizon’s for children, an international hosting program for orphaned children. As my eyes scanned the 200+ prayer cards I saw one little face, read his bio, text my husband & 20 minutes later we were approved to host this precious little boy. It was cool, it was crazy & it was God. It was such an incredible blessing to our family to be able to love on this little guy and include him as a family member. I HIGHLY recommend hosting. After 6 weeks we traveled to Dallas with a sad little boy, a bag of all his belongings & a stuffed monkey and tearfully watched him wave goodbye to us as he walked through security. My heart could hardly stand the thought of never seeing him again. And now my heart is bursting at the seams as I follow our dear friends who have said yes to adopting him! Eeekk!! He. Has. A . Family. Coming for HIM!”
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Can you believe it? I am so overjoyed for this little boy and the Stepans. Would you please consider being apart of this story? Let's get this little man home so he can get all the medical care and love he need. Together we can do this. If we link arms, dig deep into our wallets (skip a few Starbucks runs if you need to) and pray fiercely I believe we can reach 37k in 37 days.

Click here to read the next chapter of this sweet boys story and donate to the Stephan family adoption!
follow Sarah’s blog

If your in the Midland/Odessa area Sarah is an amazing photographer & is doing sessions to help raise money for their adoption!

email for more information. 

Tuesday, February 4

My Favorite Things: January

How about a light hearted and fun post?
I have seen several bloggers do this before and I thought I would give it a shot. I get asked a lot where I get certain things or where I find certain things so I was thinking that each month I would share some of my favorite things from the month before. So here are my favorite things from January:

1. I have been LOVING this shirt. I  mean I pretty much wear it every day. I love all things soft and baggy. Wanna win me over? Get me the baggiest, softest shirt you can find and you will have my heart forever. Kidding.
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This shirt can be found HERE at Shop Riff Raff. My favorite little online shop.

2. This necklace from World Market but in Pink. Found here. I wear this all the time. You can see it in the photo above. Its so fun and goes with a lot!

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3. This bag from Agate Mermaid. I got this in December but I am still LOVING it. I love this little online shop too. She "gets" my style.

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4. I have been enjoying this book by Candace Cameron Bure. It's speaking to me. I want to read Balancing It All next. Because lets be honest, I need a little help balancing things in my life.

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5. I have been drooling over these felt succulents. I can't wait to order some this month.

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6. I wear these almost daily. You need to get yourself some! You will love them for years to come and they go with almost any outfit. They run a little big. I ordered a whole size down. Just FYI.

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So there you have it! These are some of my favorite things from January. I cam compiling a list of things already for this month. Do you have any favorite online shops? Books? Or accessories you'd like to share? I love finding new shop owners and products.

Monday, February 3

What have we been up to?

Oh you know, life has been a little crazy.
I thought January was supposed to be slow....
Our January was anything BUT slow.

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We moved my SIL in around the second week of the month. She was attending school at Texas Tech in Lubbock. (Just 2 hours north of us). She decided that she would like to take a semester or 2 off to work and save some money. You can make crazy good money here in West Texas right now. It's nuts.
 photo IMG_6340_zps9e21cb6f.jpgWe also celebrated Emerson's 2 yr gotcha day. I CANNOT believe it has been 2 years since we stepped off that plane and brought her home. I have learned a lot about myself, adoption, orphan care, parenting and so much more over the last 2 years. Emerson is such a gift and beautiful addition to our family. I feel blessed to raise this little one. Each year on January 17th we will celebrate her coming into our family. You could tell this year that she was soaking in all the attention. She loved it!

 photo IMG_6520_zps08a645b1.jpg photo IMG_6484_zpsab79aaf5.jpg photo IMG_6527_zpse339ce42.jpgThis month I also decided to start training for a 1/2 marathon. I think I might be crazy. Though it is intense, my body needs it. I have been feeling stiff and out of shape for quite sometime. That is not acceptable when you are only 27. I am too young for that. My husband is a runner and I have been secretly envious of his athletic ability. I would love to be able to lace up my shoes and run with him. So this year I decided to make some changes.  I started "running" the first week of January and I think after a few weeks I have finally started to feel a tiny bit of LOVE for this whole running thing. I have experienced some discomfort like blistered toes, inflamed knees, tight muscles and joints but I love it and I want to keep pressing on towards this goal. And I want to actually be somewhat good at this whole running thing.

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Phillip and I got to attend a Murder Mystery party this month in honor of one of our good friends birthdays! It was roaring 20's Great Gatsby style and it was a BLAST!! I learned 2 things about myself that night.
1. I LOVE LOVE dressing up in the 1920's style attire. Hair, makeup and all.
2. I am a TERRIBLE actress. It is not my calling. At. All.

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Our church had a girls and guys night out this month that was tailgate themed. It was a lot of fun! Three of my good friends and I got to decorated the dessert table and bake treats for the event. If you know anything about me at all, you probably know that I love to style and plan events. So this was right up my alley! Thank you again girls for helping me with this event! I couldn't have done it without you!! You were such a blessing!

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Also this month, my handsome husband turned 28! We had a blast celebrating him this last weekend. We ate some good food too. His favorite meal is Thanksgiving food so I made dressing, green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, turkey and my BIL's girlfriend made delicious sweet potatoes. My mom was in charge of the desserts and she knocked the ball out of the park with some amazing homemade cakes! Strawberry and Texas Sheet Cake. OH. MY. Goodness. They were amazing. Phillip you need to have birthdays more often.

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So as you can see this month has been a little busier then normal. There are so many other things that happened this month that consumed all of our time, which resulted in me missing TWO writing deadlines. SMH. Here's to a less busy month (maybe) and to catching up on things left behind and piles of stuff stacked high.

Happy February Y'all!