Friday {Five}

Friday, April 17, 2015

One of our favorite things to do during the summer is take long 4 wheeler rides.  Normally, that's what our date nights consist of, and I wouldn't want it another other way!  With all the Amish farms around, I love driving past and seeing all the animals.  Springtime means lots of lambs, which are basically the sweetest!

 Yesterday was hatch day!  So far, we have 6 new babies.

I am blessed with the best friends ever.  I had two days in a row of girls days!  Food, laugher and a mani/pedi.  Sure love these girls!

I'll Miss This

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Earlier today, as I was at an appointment, a song came on the radio.  It's a song I've heard hundreds of times, but today it touched a place in my heart.  The words, though I understood them before, never resonated with me as much as today.

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

As I was driving home, the words kept running through my mind.  I went in the house, grabbed my camera, and walked around.  Breakfast dishes in the sink {rather than the dishwasher}, remnants of a recent art project not put away, shoes and dog toys in a pile by my door...

This won't last forever.

And someday, I'll be wishing I could walk down those steps and see a pile of shoes in front of my door.  Someday, I'll walk into a nice, tidy kitchen and wish I had breakfast dishes to pick up.  Someday, while doing an art project myself, I'll wish I had little hands beside me doing their own.  As I took these pictures today, I had myself a little mama moment, while tears streamed down my face.

I thought back to that sweet little boy, saving every penny to buy himself his first 4-wheeler. The look of pride on his face when he realized he finally had enough. Riding on the back with him and teaching him to shift. Oh, how fast time goes.

I thought back to that sweet little girl who always had a dirty face.  The evenings spent sitting on the living room floor, listening to her tell me each of her babies names.  

I thought back to all the times I would sit on the couch, and those two little sweet faces would argue over who got to sit, snuggle and usually fall asleep in my nest.

I'm so thankful that over the years, we've made it a priority to spend as much time as possible with our littles. All the times I turned up the music and danced crazily around the room with my babies come back to me when I see them doing random, crazy dancing while laughing.  All of the notes I wrote and hid in my boys lunch come back to me when he sends me a text that just says "love you mama".  All of the times I scooped little miss up and hugged her come back to me when she throws her arms around my waist and squeezes me.  And all the times we held hands to pray before sharing a meal wash over me like a blessing when I see him bow his head and say the prayer.

These times, they won't last forever. So while the shoes and dishes might be a nuisance, I'm choosing to see the blessing in them. 

 I'm thankful that I still get to have those little moments.

Meal Planning Monday

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday - Leftovers + fend for yourself night

Tuesday - Spaghetti and garlic bread

Wednesday - French Dip Beef Sammy, homemade rolls, corn and onion rings at the request of my youngest little. This is her absolute fav meal.

Thursday - Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and macaroni salad {carried over from last week}

Friday - Boneless spare ribs {dry rubbed and cooked in the oven on a low temp for hours} and Homemade Super Creamy Mac and Cheese

Saturday - Out to dinner with the fam

Sunday - BBQ chicken and Cheesy Potatoes, my fav meal

Savor {Book Review}

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are
By Shauna Niequist 

About the book:
Part devotional, part cookbook, all Shauna! 
Focusing on food, faith, and Shauna's genuine, heartfelt voice, this devotional for women will be as comforting as a pan of homemade mac 'n' cheese on a cold winter's night. 
Combining content from Bread and Wine, Cold Tangerines, and Bittersweet with takeaways, this devotional from Shauna Niequist speaks spiritual truths to women in easily digestible bites that are perfect any time of day. 
A foodie, gourmet cook, and master entertainer, Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life-friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God.
If there are two things at the top of my favorites list, it would be reading and eating.  I mean, clearly y'all know I love me a good recipe {hello meal planning mondays} and a good book.  So when I saw a book up for review that encompassed both, I knew I had to review it!

When I first picked up Shauna's book and started reading, I felt as if I was sitting with a friend having a chat over coffee.  Those are the types of books I love love love!  Down to earth, straight talk.  And this book sure doesn't disappoint! She combines stories and scripture to create 365 devotional essays that are real while being eloquent, smart while having soul. She encourages women to slow down and savor the ordinary moments that comprise our everyday lives — those moments that are often overshadowed. Oh how I love that message! I think so many more of us women, wives and mothers could do with some slowing down and enjoying those little ordinary moments. {I feel a blog post coming on}

And, as women, we like pretty things right? Well hello gorgeous book! Oh my word. It’s gorgeous! This book is a bound linen hardcover featuring Lindsay Letters‘ work, and I think we can all agree that Lindsay Letters is kind of the best, right?  I'm sure a sucker for pretty calligraphy. The pages are sturdy and thick, and the layout is simple yet beautiful.  It's a book you just want to pick up and hold and when you're done, sit it on your coffee table for display.

This book was provided to me free of charge by Book Look in return for my honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Shauna Niequist is the author of Bread and Wine, Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet.  Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.  As an author and blogger, Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life - friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache and all the other things that shape us, delight us and reveal to us the heart of God.  Shauna is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter.  Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek and is recording a project called A New Liturgy.  Aaron and Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons Henry and Mac.

Friday {Five}

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sorry for the early {empty} post.  I guess that's what happens when I don't check my posts before they go live.

This was our Easter Sunday pics, we always do some at my Mama's before we head to church.

The most perfectly perfect sleep pup around.  This sweet boy sure does love snuggling with his Mama.

 My love and I had a little day away.  Even though it may have been for tests and a doctor appointment, we still treat it like a date day!  Super love spending time reconnecting with this man!

The aftermath of a big travel day accompanied by a bit of the flu.  Thankfully it passed quickly!

Meal Planning Monday

Monday, April 06, 2015

Monday - road trippin' with my love {out to dinner}

Tuesday - road trippin' with my love {out to dinner}

Wednesday - Cheese, Potato and Smoke Sausage Casserole

Thursday - Spaghetti and homemade garlic bread

Friday - Pizza and sleepover night :)

Saturday - Fend for yourself night {aka..a crazy day of us all running in different directions}

Sunday - Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and macaroni salad

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 05, 2015

He lives
He lives
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives
He lives
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.

Hope For the Hopeless Marriage

Saturday, April 04, 2015

A dear, sweet friend of mine is going through a bit of a rough time right now in her marriage. We've all been there at one time or another, haven't we? I wrote the post below a while back and thought maybe she (and others) would benefit from it. So here’s the re-post…

This morning I woke up with a song in my heart and my head. It’s one from my childhood and one that I just super love. I love when God puts a song in my heart before I even wake up. I always pay special attention to those ones. This morning’s song was He's Able. I know, it's a great one, right? As I was doing my morning devotion, I just kept singing and humming this song. As I was really focusing on the words, today's blog post quickly became apparent.

He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able;
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He healed the broken-hearted
and set the captive free;
He made the lame to walk again
and caused the blind to see.

There was a day not too many years ago when I would have told you my marriage was hopeless. Countless arguments, an unwillingness to understand each other and selfish hearts led to a separation.  Suddenly, the small problems I thought we had were now magnified.  I felt so alone...with two kids to tend to daily, a house to take care of and working full time, I was stressed beyond stressed.

At first, I spent time being angry. And I sure felt justified in that anger. I wanted God to heal my marriage right this very second, in my time. I prayed every single day, spent time reading my Bible and felt I was entitled to a miracle that didn't seem to be coming my way. Anger, hopelessness and fantasies of divorce consumed my days.

I was angry. So angry.

There was one certain night when I was really down, almost at my breaking point. I went up on a hill in the middle of the woods, the sky was covered with stars and I could see for miles around. I popped in a CD of hymns, sang along, cried my eyes out and talked to God for hours on end. When I left the hill that night I had something new, HOPE! Hope in the Lord restoring my marriage in HIS time.

Hope is so important y'all, and realizing that was a pivotal turning point in my life and essentially my marriage. Hope motivates us to make positive choices in life and marriage and to get our relationship with Christ right. The Lord knew I had a few {okay, maybe quite a few} "life lessons" to learn along the way, patience and perseverance being a few. Having hope gave me the desire to search MY heart and have Him reveal the parts of my heart that broke His heart.

He can see into the deepest depths of your heart and He knows exactly what it will take to restore Hope into your heart, into your life and into your marriage. He doesn't wait for us to "clean up our act". He meets us where we are and loves us just as we are, sinners. He showers us with his amazing grace. We have a God who knows how we feel, and really cares. He knows our doubts and hopelessness. He can help when we're willing to bring those things to him. Nothing is impossible for God!

Your past might have shaped you but it doesn't have to define you and hold you captive. Don’t allow who you were to keep your marriage from being what it is meant to be.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure
Hebrews 6:19

Friday {Five}

Friday, April 03, 2015

I've decided to start a new little weekly feature here...Friday {Five}.  I figured I would combine three things I love {photography, my life and my blog} and feature it on the best day of the week...Friday.  Basically summing up my week in five pictures with a little recap.  I know, I'm super stoked too!!

1.  This is our sweet new bantie chick, Spencer.  She is absolutely one of the sweetest chick we've ever had.  She's always just so super sweet {and sleepy}.

2.  This week we got one of the craziest eggs. Our girls have actually always laid normal eggs, from the get go. We've never gotten a ghost egg that new layers are famous for. This little weirdness was normal shell with just white inside, no yolk. I have a suspicion who it was from, and she's being bullied right now. I'd love to hear from any other chicken owners on their opinion.

3.  I'm giving fermented feed and grains a little go. So far, so good. Our girls LOVE it and nearly knock it out of my hand racing for it.

4. Watching these little beauties grow. Super excited about some of the new breeds we'll have through these little ones. This is chicken math in full force y'all!

5. An entire Saturday was spent with these skating, shopping, eating and most of all laughing. Love these kids, and their hearts for Jesus!

hello. goodbye.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

hello april, goodbye march
hello spring and long awaited sunshine, goodbye {hopefully} gloomy days
hello flowers, goodbye snow

hello first pedicure of 2015, goodbye neglected, naked toes
hello josh turner concert
hello next egg hatch

hello Easter Sunday and singing He Lives at church alongside my Dad
hello much needed girls weekend
what are YOU saying hello and goodbye to?

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