What I'd Tell You Over Coffee

Using this adaptation of a coffee date from Mr. Thomas and Me. Amber is amazing and I want to have coffee with her. This is a link-up with Jenna of Dearest Love and me. Join us with your post below.

C O F F E E (2)

Over coffee...

Over coffee I'd tell you that I'm exhausted in so many areas of my life. That I need to cut back and step back and that instead of listing out my obligations, I want to list out my gratitude. That I want to have a heart of rest instead of a busy one and that I want to remember what it's like to get a coffee in real life outside on my patio with my kids running around instead of working tirelessly on so many other things.

Over coffee I'd tell you that my priorities have been messed up for quite a while. You've been there too, right? Where you just need a good, long reevaluation.

Over coffee I'd tell you that I need to focus on the Lord. That, really, as always, none of this matters if I don't have a solid relationship with Him. Who am I doing this all for if not for Him?

Over coffee I'd tell you that my heart is heavy in so many ways but on the same time so much lighter and free. And that freedom? It's addicting. And I want more.

Over coffee I'd tell you that I'm focusing on reading. I'm reading books again as well as a lot of really amazing blogs: Kate J Baer, Unfancy (duh), When at Home, Letters from the Nest, Kent Heartstrings, The Wiegands, and my friend Kellie's blog. I'd tell you that we have so much to be grateful for. And let's drop the complaining act and the busy act and the I don't have the time for you act. I'd tell you that I need to re-focus my attention on I have time for you.

Over coffee I'd tell you that I'm so in love with Blessed is She. And I can't wait to make it better and better and better. I would tell you that my heart is in this ministry, and that I'm so grateful for the women who are doing this with me.

Over coffee I'd tell you that my Capsule Wardrobe post got lots of love and that surprised me. And excited me. And I can't wait to show you all a Real Mom's Capsule Wardrobe. Because I think it's important for every mother, wife, sister, daughter out there to feel confident and proud. And to own a good red lipstick.

Over coffee I'd tell you that work is good. That I'm proud of my job and that I'm grateful for it. Again, I'm trying to quit the complaining game. Someone will always out-complain me. Let's change that. Let's, today, change the complaint to gratitude. The sentence from "I don't like this because..." but "Wow, I'm blessed to be here because..."

Maybe? Who knows if it will work. But I'd like to give it a go.

Tell me about you. Tell me what you'd tell me if we were having coffee..

Currently.

Hi there! Welcome to Currently, where we share with each other what we are Currently up to and let you share your post through the link-up below. We love this link-up, where we can make new friends and build community. Join us.

Thinking about // Amazing internet friends. The Influence Conference that I went to this weekend was so, so good for my soul. Not only was I thrilled to be there to worship, learn and grow in this blogging world, but I made incredible real life friendships. I roomed with three other gals, and they were the very best for my soul. My biggest takeaway from the whole weekend is my new relationship with them.

We stayed up until all hours of the night talking husbands, impersonating each other, blogging, our online presence, and my favorite of all: religion. I have had a huge passion for a while that really grew and blossomed when my husband played in a Christian band: I love ecumenical relationships.

ecumenical: promoting or relating to unity among the world's Christian churches.

I love friendships and relationships that see beyond a certain religion or faith and are able to come together in one accord under the most important fact of all: We love Jesus Christ. I have such a grateful heart to my Protestant brothers and sisters: who teach me by their examples of praying and reading the Bible, of worship, of the gifts of the Spirit. I am grateful for the differences that make me broaden my own relationship with the Lord as well. I am grateful that I am a better Catholic by being surrounded by Protestants. I am so thankful for unity under the blanket of Christ.

It's weird. And I love it. And we started the hashtag #ecumenicalfriendships because it is important to get the idea and word out that this is important.

Listening to //  Lots of Audrey. She is a great joy to my heart. After my post last week about how I've changed in the past year, I linked up to Audrey's song Breaking You.

This song has always been a really special one for me. I have family members that struggle with anxiety and depression, so when I hear these lyrics, they coat my soul in the Lord's love.

You lost your fire, and your flame's gone out, and you're down on your knees, 'cause your life is not what you thought it would be.

And I realized for the first time that those words mean so much for my own life as well.

Thankful for // This gorgeous necklace I got from Influence Conference from Beautiful & Beloved. Here's a teensy bit about the company:

Beautiful & Beloved's desire is to help create awareness of the epidemic of human trafficking and to also bring a practical application for you to support the men and women effected directly… an awesome yet simple way for you to impact a life.

Loving // This beautiful new church that Cassie and I found while we were in Indianapolis for Influence. It was GORGEOUS. Churches like this are a rarity to me, and they take my breath away when I get to see one. It was truly beautiful.

Loving // This trip this weekend. I was extremely nervous about leaving the babes, but I'm so glad that I went. I learned a ton, I came to understand my relationship with the Lord even more, and I made incredible friends. Win-win-win.

ssd3r6HNI'm also loving on my co-host this week. Hannah of Joyful Life is one of my favorite people in the blogging world. I SO wish that I could have met her at the conference, but she recently had another sweet baby girl who she got to snuggle with instead. Lucky duck, right?

Some of my favorites posts of Hannah's:

blog | twitter | instagram | bloglovin'

Big news

Hannah is not only co-hosting this week with me, she will be taking over the hosting of Currently. I cannot say enough how much I've loved hosting this amazing link-up with you all, but it's time for me to take a step back. I need to focus on my family (A LOT) right now, and I wanted this incredible community to go into some amazing and capable hands: and Hannah fits that bill to a T.

She is a lover of community, and I know that she will host you all with the most gracious heart. I am excited to pop in and out of her link-up and catch up with you all in this space that we've grown to love and appreciate (at least, I have).

I appreciate every single one of you more than words.

Seriously. You all have fed my soul in so many ways with your love, encouragement, support and presence. I could never fully express my complete gratitude for who you have been for this link-up.

With that being said, let's end on a good one. I can't wait to see what YOU'RE currently up to.

Much love, Jenna

shared with Beth / Emily / Rachel

Your turn. Link up your Currently post below. Please comment on the blog post directly before yours to help support and get to know each other. If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.

Wants to come to coffee?

Good news --- I'm at Influence Conference this weekend! Craziness! So, I'm so sorry I'm late at doing our Coffee Date today. I hope that you've headed to (the other) Jenna's blog at Dearest Love to link-up! If not, please do so below. I want to know the haps in your life :)

Come follow me on Twitter, because I'm all up in there for this weekend. Here's what's going on at #influenceconf:

A Mama Collective
Rules of the linkup: Only link up the URL of your blog post, not your blog homepage. Make sure to visit and comment on at least 2 other links! After all, that is what this link up is all about--getting to know one another!

Currently. | F A L L

Hi there! Welcome to Currently, where we share with each other what we are Currently up to and let you share your post through the link-up below. We love this link-up, where we can make new friends and build community. Join us.

Thinking about // Fall. Obviously! Because this is the first Currently with a "theme." --- F A L L . I kind of love this season. I hate cold and I hate hot (who doesn't?), so this is literally the best season ever. It's perfect. And the beauty of this season blows me away.

Fall Collage

Watching // The best shows are coming back!! I'm so stinking excited. I'm mostly excited for Scandal, although I've heard some people say that they really don't like this show -- is there a particular reason? Do you like Scandal or no?

Thankful for // Every single one of you. I asked on Facebook your thoughts on this bag, and you all were so honest with me! I fell in L O V E with this bag at TJ Maxx, but it was $130!!! Sooo many dollars. And it was regularly $230 (I'm pretty sure it's real leather!), so it was nearly half off. But still. Way too much for me and my wallet right now. But damn did I want it. So I thought If I have the virtual "go-ahead" from readers, then I'll totally get it!"

And man was I wrong. Y'all gave me a fervent Heck to the no! So, really, you were helpful. Helpful to me for not fighting with my husband over this purchase, helpful to me since you gave me answers right then and there, and helpful to my wallet!

Seriously, you all rock. Thank you.

Come Tell Me All the Things

Yayayayay, it's been entirely too long! Jenna of Dearest Love and I are beyond thrilled to have another coffee date with you all! So, tell me, tell me, what have you been up to?

Here's me:

This week has been a little bit crazy!

T H E  H I G H S  / / I've finally gotten my hours some more at work, which I am SO insanely grateful for! Now I don't have to worry so much about where the money is going, I know that it is coming back in from the hard work that I put out. I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful for a job where I can help others and feel good when I come home. I love that aspect of my work.

I spent some quality time with my parents last night. They are truly such an inspiration for Mike and me. No matter the hard times that Mike and I go through, I always look to my parents as an incredible example of commitment in marriage. I am so beyond thankful to have their example in my life. I truly think that many people treat their current relationships based on how they were raised or the commitments they saw growing up. So I'm grateful that they have stuck it out, in good times and bad, in the past 30 years of their married lives. Truly amazing.

T H E  L O W S  / / Lucia and I have been sick most of the week, so that part was kind of crazy. I have had a sore throat/sinus issues, and Lucia has had congestion and cough sort of stuff. It's been so crappy. There is truly nothing worse then seeing your baby sick or in pain :( I hated it! But I'm hoping we made it through the worst of it and that we continue to get better through the weekend (prayers, please?!)

Because of how sick Lucia was feeling, she just wanted to be on me all the time she could be. Even if I needed to be cooking or cleaning or getting something done, she wanted to always be touching me. She is seriously so stinking sweet.

Mama's Lookbook :: Woodland Owl Trinkets & Wonderfully Made

I have been a longtime lover of Woodland Owl Trinkets. Jessica, the owner, is a beautiful mama who makes gorgeous, personalized jewelry. I fell in love with her nests and wanted them from the moment I saw them. Not only can you customize a nest for something so beautiful and personal for yourself, but they would also make a wonderful and incredibly thoughtful gift.

Jessica sent me these gorgeous nest earrings. And you all know I love a good presentation::

WOT Collage Aren't they gorgeous? I'm in love with them. Every time I wear them, I get SO many compliments and kind words about them. I've loved gushing about Woodland Owl Trinkets to coworkers, friends and family alike.

Jessica is a stay-at-home-mom (I love supportive companies like this!) who puts so much thought, time and detail into her work. She started making nests as an idea for a gift for her mom and mother-in-law, and it grew from there. She says, "I also loved the sentiment and meaning behind the nests- how it symbolizes a mother's love for her young!" <--- Love it.

Wonderfully Made 2 Collage

Not only are they super cute and delicate and pretty, I feel pretty in them. That's the best part. I love feeling special by just putting on a pair of earrings (and you know the red lipstick helps, too).

You'll notice another something special --- the awesome Wonderfully Made shirt.

I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS SHIRT. Like, it's perfection. The comfort, the feel, the color, the words. All of it is SO ME. That's what I love. I try to wear it all the days in the row (especially since it goes so well with my Woodland Owl Trinkets earrings!), but eventually I must take it off to, I don't know, shower.

Wonderfully Made Collage

Wonderfully Made is a really awesome company, a "Christian-based organization dedicated to helping today’s modern young women discover, strengthen, and reclaim their true value and worth." That is something I stand behind, 1,000 percent. And then some. I feel strong, I feel worthy, I feel beautiful in this tank.

Wonderfully Made has chapters in colleges, they run conferences, and they make tons of products to help support their organization (even baby onesies!!). Learn more about them here.

Wonderfully Made 3 Collage

And last but not least, I'm showing off a new purchase for my Capsule Wardrobe Project! I'm super pumped about this skirt that I got from the Gap. And it's still on sale!! Woohoo!!

I figured I could dress it up, dress it down, pair it with tights and booties (maybe? Fashion experts - help?), and it could go with anything. I'm so glad I got it -- I feel pretty in it and comfortable at the same time. And hello?! Pockets!

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

Woodland Owl Trinkets shop | facebook | twitter | instagram

Wonderfully Made shop | facebook | twitter | instagram | blog

Okay, enough with the chit chat. Below is your chance to win a Wonderfully Made tank and Woodland Owl Trinkets earrings simply because they're beautiful and so are you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Currently.

Hi there! Welcome to Currently, where we share with each other what we are Currently up to and let you share your post through the link-up below. We love this link-up, where we can make new friends and build community. Join us.

Thinking about // Marriage. And how it's so incredibly difficult. Especially when you're in the thick of the woods and you can't clearly see the end, you can't clearly see the path. It's hard. It's hard getting to know someone's idiosyncracies and understand their family history to figure out why they are the way they are. It's difficult. And to those who say it's not difficult, I often wonder how they got the luck of the draw. But I don't wonder too long, because I've got my own stuff to figure out. I've got my own positives to find and worries to set aside to look for the good in this incredibly difficult and growing vocation of marriage.

Because that's what I'm doing -- I'm being stretched and pulled and prodded and planted and uprooted and planted again. I'm growing.

Thankful for // Friends. My goodness, what would I do without my friends -- virtual and real. I am so grateful for the women in my life who shower me with love and prayers and grace. They are helping me navigate through these woods, helping me see that no matter how many times we feel stuck in here, blinded by what's around us, that there is a clearing up ahead.

I am so grateful for the women that I have as friends.

Loving // This new shirt I got at Gap. Grrrrl am I excited! I texted Mary right away to see if this "look" was good, because she's my fashionista lady, and she said I looked cute, so I went with it!

Processed with VSCOcam with p4 preset

It's actually a white dress from Gap with a shirt over it. I figured it would be good for my collecting of my capsule wardrobe. Unfancy does all sort of fancy (get it?) things with her creativity of finding new ways to wear this and that. So I'm excited to have adopted this look from her. What do you think? Have you gotten started on your capsule yet?

sharing with Beth / Emily

courtneyThis week, my gorgeous host is Courtney of One Lyric. She is an incredibly wifey and mom to three precious boys. I am in love with Courtney's honesty in life as well as her immense love for her family. Here are a few of my favorites of hers:

Your turn. Link up your Currently post below. Please comment on the blog post directly before yours to help support and get to know each other. If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.

Tribal Stick Wall Decor

Here is Cassie of Kent Heartstring's monthly craft for you all. Enjoy!

I have a fun, easy and straight forward craft for you this month I hope you and your little one will enjoy. On your next walk to the park or adventures in your backyard pick up some sticks... and have a little fun... add tape, paint and string and let the imagination sore.

Gigi is now using this decor in her outside space!

I purposely wanted this to have a easy to make and homey feel (and of course make it do-able for Gigi) so I used this bright colored yarn, but If you wanted this to look more streamlined and clean I would encourage you to use fishing line instead of yarn.

H A P P Y  C R A F T I N G !

Check out Cassie’s blog | facebook | pinterest | twitter | instagram | bloglovin’

My Favorite Blogging Resources

Favorite Blogging Resources - A Mama Collective - A great place for blogging resources. Sponsorships, apps, efficiency, community, and more.resources  

  1. When at Home :: How to Blog for a Week in One Night // Kristen really lays out how to get efficient about blogging. She bangs out three posts in a night -- which allows her to sit back and enjoy her week instead of stressing about things that need to get done! Amazing thoughts that I really want to try to implement so I can soak up time with my family instead of worrying about getting some posts written and done.
  2. Oak and Oats :: Hosting Giveaways on Your Blog // If you've ever wondered the how/when/why to do giveaways on your blog, this is the post for you. Elizabeth laid out everything wonderful for the practical ways to host and be a part of giveaways.
  3. A Beautiful Exchange :: How to Get Sponsored Post Opportunities // Hayley has put together some awesome resources for where to find and succeed at sponsored posts. She always shares other tips on networking and growing your blog. A wonderful resources on her beautiful blog.
  4. The Wetherills Say I Do :: How To Build a Blogging Community // Madison does an awesome job of stating some really simple and incredibly important tips for how to build a community in the blogosphere. Be sure to check this out if you've ever said to yourself, "How do I find people to talk to and have relationships with in the Internet world?"
  5. A Harvest of Blessing :: 8 Apps That Help Me Blog Better // Okay, honestly, Chantel brought up some apps that I didn't even know existed! This was an awesome list that I highly recommend you check out. They will save the day for when you're not able to be around your computer much, and you can still get some stuff done.
  6. Me with the Three :: Blogging for Type B's Like Me // Meg is such an inspiration for me. She does such a beautiful job (seemingly, to me) at really balancing her blogging and family life. She is such an encourager and at the same time looks like an amazing wife and mother. So these tips for type b's? Perfection for me, especially coming from Meg.

Do you have a favorite blogging resource? Let me know in the comments below because I LOVE finding some new blogs to find inspiration from.

Check out Vol. 1 | Vol. 2

I'm also co-hosting the fab Jack of All Trades linkup with Chantel of A Harvest of Blessing::

This link up is a place where we as bloggers can find new blogs to read, to be able to give encouragement to others and also be encouraged.

LINK UP RULES

  1. Link up to one of your blog posts (not your blog homepage), the post can be on any subject but I do ask that posts are family friendly, any posts linked with inappropriate content will be deleted.
  2. Since the purpose of this link up is to get to know other bloggers and create a community you must leave encouraging comments on at least THREE other blogs, the one that is linked up before yours and at least two other ones.
  3. Link back to this post so we can grow this blogging community, you can use the button below if you like (your post will have to have a link back to A Harvest of Blessing in order for it to work).
A Harvest of Blessing

 

Coffee? Smoothie? Tea?

...pick your poison. Jenna of Dearest Love and I are beyond thrilled to see you again at our coffee date!

So, what's been going on this week?

The Highs

+ I have been with the girls a whoooolleee heck of a lot (again). Meaning, I didn't work all week. Sheesh, it's hard on my pocketbook. HOWEVER. My heart is happy and resting in them. I love it. I know you all have heard this song and dance before, but truly, it's special to be with them, even if I'm losing money from not being at work. I love it. I'm trying to REALLY soak it up.

the girls

+ I'm continuing to work on Blessed Is She. I am super excited about the devotions starting in September, and am absolutely floored at the devotions that the incredible writers have written. They're beautiful. The writers and the posts. I'm thrilled. And I can't wait to see what comes of this beautiful community of women. If you haven't done so, head over here to subscribe to get the devotions in your email everrryyy day :)

The Lows

- I've had a hard week adjusting to the newness of school and a new schedule with the girls. Mike and I need to transition into this new time -- both the older girls started school -- but sometimes it's hard to transition when people like to do things their own ways. So, Mike and I need to find a groove with each other and how we can best work as a team in the mornings, getting them ready, doing this new deal. It's weird and feels adult-like. Can't I just be 18 again?

What you may have missed:

Change the Effect // "I don’t need to carry about the bitterness or the hurt or the pain or the rejection, I can set it at the foot of the Lamb and ask for the grace — GRACE — to keep trucking and keep moving and keep loving despite the evil. I can continue to love even when I think that I can’t. Even when I don’t want to. I can receive the grace from Him who waits for me, and I can stop the spread of evil and change it to love."

These Hard Weeks // "This vicious cycle, it has its ups and its downs. It has its rhythms. It releases emotions that have been suppressed because I can’t cry while doing the dishes and folding the laundry. But I can cry when it’s just me, in my corner, working through the fog. These hard weeks, they release me."

Some posts I've loved:

  • When Pregnancy Wasn't the Plan // "So please don’t think I’m not thankful. Or that I’m taking this gift for granted. Even though this is probably the biggest curve ball life has ever thrown at us, we are so in love with this little baby."
  • I'm OBSESSED with all of these printables. Dang, Danielle is talented as crap.
  • I loved these tips from The Nectar Collective about staying healthy even if you're busy. I need to make more smoothies! Easy peasy way to get some goooood nutrients. And delish, duh.

I was recently introduced to Gemma, who I kinda love now. Her post last date was short and sweet. I am mostly drawn to really beautiful visuals, and Gemma's site doesn't let up. it's beautiful. I want to rest there, all day err'day. I'm weird, I know. I love meeting creatives who push me to be better, though, so I'm soaking in that.

A Mama Collective
 

What's new? Was your week good, bad, mediocre? How is your prayer life? How is your family life? How is work? GIMME ALL THE DETAILS.

Thanks, kisses :)

A Mama Collective
 

Rules of the linkup: Only link up the URL of your blog post, not your blog homepage. Make sure to visit and comment on at least 2 other links! After all, that is what this link up is all about--getting to know one another!

Currently

Hi there! Welcome to Currently, where we share with each other what we are Currently up to and let you share your post through the link-up below. We love this link-up, where we can make new friends and build community. Join us.

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

Thinking about // Suffering. Injustice. Hardened hearts. Bitterness. Evil. My heart is so saddened by circumstances out in the world as well as in my own personal life. My heart is just so sad. Yet I have an assurance in a God who is bigger than all of it. I have a strong faith in Him who puts it all in its right place. I have faith in the God who suffers alongside my family, humanity and me, and says "I've been there, too."

Reading // Ummm Divergent is so so good!! I am so glad that I got to start reading it. I'm so in love with it.

We went up to Flagstaff this past weekend, and I spent a good chunk of time sitting on the front porch, reading away my anxieties of life. It is such an incredible escape for me -- an escape as well as something that teaches me to keep growing, keep writing, keep reading. I love a good book. My soul is soothed by it.

Thankful for // My incredible family. My brother and his kiddos were in Flag with the two older girls and me, and we really had a blast. The cousins are oh-so-cute together, and I wish I could spend every weekend up there.

Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Enjoying // The girls rode some bikes with their cousins -- and it was a blast! The weather was GORGEOUS, and after only one fall, we had a dang good time.

Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

Loving // My sweet mom love on her granddaughters. I love my grandmother so so much, and I pray with all my heart that the girls have an incredible relationship with my mom. What's your relationship with your grandmother like?

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

photo 1 (1)This week my co-host is Kenzie of The Ashcraft Bunch.

Her blog is so cute, and I absolutely love her photos of her adorable daughter. I really loved this ode to little girls she wrote, as well as this post on gratitude, and most ESPECIALLY, this post about her becoming a new boutique owner and following her dreams and passions.

Kenzie is encouraging to me as well as an incredible witness to doing what we are called to do, without hesitation.

blog | twitter | insta | pinterest | facebook

PS - Want to co-host Currently? Check out my Sponsor page.

Your turn. Link up your Currently post below. Please comment on the blog post directly before yours to help support and get to know each other. If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.

Weekend Reads (on a Friday)

blogs Collage

I know it's only Friday, but can I just pretend for a minute that it's the weekend? I would love that.

There was some goodness this past week in the interwebs, and I wanted to pass it along to you.

TOP // Blythe of The Fike Life is an awesome, awesome chick. You need to read her blog, because she'll make you smile and feel like you're sitting down with a friend. Here's her post: 68.

MIDDLE LEFT // I've been a longtime lover of Kate Baer, formerly Motley Mama. She is an incredible writer. Here is her post on When We Stop Pretending.

MIDDLE RIGHT // Jessica blogs over at Pig & Dac, and not only is she a fellow Arizonan (so fingers crossed one day that we actually meet!), but she's a beautiful mother of a couple of cute boys. She wrote Breast Milk Doesn't Expire After the First Birthday.

BOTTOM LEFT // You all know I'm a lover of Kristen of When At Home. This post was written by her husband. And it is FANTASTIC. Like, amazing. I sent it to my parents, my husband, my friends, everyone. It's good. Marriage is hard, but this post is an awesome one in great encouragement of marriage.

BOTTOM RIGHT // Another blogger who I am so encouraged by is Mary Beth of Annapolis & Company. This post, The Hard and the Holy rocked me. Motherhood man, it brings out all of the feelings. Read this gem.

K, now go hug your kids or kiss your husband or take a nap. You deserve it.

A Bit About Me

I know that every blog has an About Me section. But I just thought I'd do a post on a little bit more about me. Full disclosure: I'm being transparent in this one.

photo

  • I never wanted to be a mom. I wrote about that here.
  • I met my husband because he was drumming for a Christian band and there is nothing better than a really good looking musician playing their instrument.
  • The first time we hung out alone, he called me out on a lot of crap. I was contemplating atheism, and he helped me find my way back to the Lord.
  • I can't do yoga. I have a weird head/body situation going on, where if my head feels at all like it's not aligned with my body, I get motion sickness or vertigo or something. So: I get car sick every time I'm not driving the car, I can't ride ferris wheels or any amusement park ride, airplanes suck, and yoga is out.
  • I am scared of anything that has a motor or uses electricity to work. I fear that the power to do the work is too great and the machine/motor will explode in my face.
  • I love community more than anything. When I met my husband, we were surrounded by support and community, and that equaled love. It's new footing, finding community among young families as opposed to single people, but young family community is even better once you find it.
  • I suck at swimming. I can basically doggy paddle.
  • I hate being called naive or immature. Anyone who calls me that will have the silent treatment for at least a week (I know, I'm so immature).
  • I try to see the good in every single person. I think it's easy to discount everyone as bad. But they're not. Everyone is good but some make shitty decisions.
  • I am a practicing Catholic who loves the Lord. My faith is mighty and strong in times of doubt. Like, right now, I'm doubting but I know that the doubt will not overtake me. My faith in Him is stronger. I will still go to Mass and celebrate Him, but there is a lingering doubt that I know will be leveled with once I read and dive into learning more about Him.
  • I finally feel like we are figuring out the work from home situation. We were saved by a friend who said she would help babysit the girls, and that is a sweet relief. I feel like the balance is good, right now.
  • The anxiety of having so much to do overwhelms me sometimes. As a blogger, as a mother, as a woman, you know how it goes. There is always more to do, but once that is done, there is still more to do. I've been relinquishing the need to get things done and transformed into, "I know it will be there tomorrow, and if it isn't, something else will be. So it doesn't need to be done right this second."
  • I've made blogging friends. Last year I didn't even know that was a thing. It's weird when I think about it, still. It's weird for my husband, too. But I love them in a different way than my real life friends.
  • When I don't go on Facebook for an entire day, it is the most liberating thing in the whole world.
  • I love Twitter, so so so much. So much.
  • Instagram is cool, but I don't love it as much as Twitter.
  • I don't love Pinterest. At all. I never go back to read the things I pin. Do you?
  • I always wanted to be a professional photographer. But I never went to school or have learned anything about it. A girl can dream, though, I think?
  • I want my daughters to go on mission trips when they're eighteen, before college. Because, really, nearly every eighteen year old sucks at college anyway.
  • I am not creative or artsy or really good at anything. I wish I was, though, so I could start an etsy shop and [not make any money but] make something pretty for other people.
  • I feel like I'm a generous person, and it confuses me when other people aren't generous. But a lot about people who are different in any capacity at all confuses me. Mostly because I need to be empathetic to them. Once I try really hard to be that, I generally am not so confused.
  • I think that nearly every bullet point on this list could be made into a blog post. Minus the Pinterest one. Because I hate it.
  • I love coffee. A lot. Like six-cups-in-the-morning-coffee. I also am growing to love Matcha Green Tea because I need something to drink in the afternoon when coffee is out of the question.
  • I don't like food. Very much, at all. I am not like other [awesome] people who eat something and taste all the flavors in their mouth and their mouth as a food-gasm. I just eat because I should eat.
  • I hate holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, 4th of July. All of them. Thankfully, I work in a hospital, and hospitals don't close. So I can work every holiday and avoid them all. It's perfect.
  • I'm a respiratory therapist in a hospital. I do a whole lot of breathing treatments throughout the day, and I manage ventilators on dying and not dying patients. My heart has hardened about death since working there, or it's always been that way, and now I have to acknowledge it because I deal with death every day.

This post is already too long. So, I'll stop here. Sorry to end with death. I mean, it still seems fitting.

shared with Jessica

Currently

Hi there! Welcome to Currently, where we share with each other what we are Currently up to and let you share your post through the link-up below. We love this link-up, where we can make new friends and build community. Join us.

currently

Thinking about // The hard days. The ebbs of flows of life that rock us back and forth on this rhythm that never really can be anticipated. I can't say my "hard" days are any more difficult than yours - they're not. And yours are probably even harder, but even the most trifle of complaints or frustrations or anxieties aren't small in the eyes of the Lord. He doesn't think we're small. He takes our every concern on our every hard day and He is still there. He still hugs His daughters. Every single time, on every single day. Especially on those hard days.

Reading // I am borrowing Divergent from a friend!! Woohoo!! I am so stinking excited. Soon after she lent it to me, the girls and I headed to the bookstore to play with the train table and lego blocks, and I sat down and read the book was extremely distracted by my run away baby, so only got to read to page 6. But those first six pages were good. I'm so excited to read more. I love good books. They're such great food for my soul.

Thankful for // My wonderful friends who love me even on my grumpiest days. Especially thankful for girls' nights out (even MORE so when Justin Timberlake is involved). A couple of my friends and I drove across town to go to his concert on Saturday and it was SO much fun. We got to see a gorgeous sunset on the way, and I snapped a picture of Mary snapping a picture of it:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Taking a shot of this gorgeousness:

Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset

Arizona sunsets are hard as heck to beat.

Photographing // This sweet girl who makes my heart sing:

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

My husband Mike took the older girls to his work on Sunday morning for a few hours to get some stuff done, so I just hung out with my little Lucia, and it was so much fun. She is such a happy, sweet girl. I am so grateful for her and her radiant smile.

Loving // All of the amazing feedback on the capsule wardrobe project from my August goals. Like, seriously, you all rock. I love that so many people have started doing capsule wardrobes. I really think it's important, and that most of us need it. I know that I need to simplify and increase my creativity, so I know that working on this will really help me.

linked with Oak and Oats

oliviaI'm also really loving my co-host this week's blog. Olivia of To the Heights is so stinking awesome. I'm blessed to have gotten to know her a little bit more through the blogosphere. She recently had her first baby, named George, and he is so stinking cute. I love her honest blog about motherhood, making "crunchy" choices (like encapsulating her placenta!), and so many things in between. I loved this post on Defining Success, this one on Inexplicable Suffering (which seems so timely considering the horrors of what's going on in the Middle East), and most especially her post on fears in motherhood, where she says:

Motherhood has thrust me into an adventure I don’t deserve; and rather than terrifying me even more than my own imagination, it has fostered a sense of courage in my own heart.

Your turn. Link up your Currently post below. Please comment on the blog post directly before yours to help support and get to know each other. If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.

Kicking My Starbucks Freeze

Hey guys! Jenna of Dearest Love and I are beyond thrilled to see you again at our coffee date! Even though I said as one of my August Goals that I'm going on a Starbucks freeze and not buying it this month, I figured I could squeeze one in with you all for a #coffeewiththejennas. Join us, would you?

Highlights:

+ I have really tried to soak up my time with the girls this week. I keep getting cancelled at work (it sucks!), but it really gives me ample time to spend quality time with my three daughters. We've done the library a few times, Chick-fil-A (duh), played in the house outside, etc.

+ I cleaned out my closet! I loved it so so so much. Another one of my goals is to really work on making a Capsule Wardrobe. My Pinterest board is killing it, and now it's just a matter of putting these ideas into action. And HUGE thanks to Megan and Crystal for referring me to Unfancy's blog --- I'm in L-O-V-E. She's gorgeous and I want to be her. I'm even more motivated to get rid of the crud that is my clothes.

+ This week, I honestly chilled. I loved it. I gave myself space to do NOTHING, and I haven't done NOTHING in a reaaallllyyy long time. Long. But I did that. I scheduled out the Why I Hate The Notebook post (and loved the feedback on it) and my other posts this week. So, I gave myself time to not stress about posts here and there. I interacted on social media. I journaled. I drank coffee (after picking up creamer finally). I did nothing besides play with Lucia for an hour. It was glorious. And I'm at peace. I'm right where the Lord wants me.

+ Oh! And I thought this would be a fun time to do a Summer special for sponsorship ads. So, head to my Sponsor page and get in on that action. I need your pretty-ness in my sidebar and in my posts  A  S   A  P .

SUMMER

 + It was also so fun to see your amazing feedback on my post Why I Didn't Put Out. It was weird to be so honest with everyone in that post, but the outpouring of love and support on it was so awesome! If you haven't read it: spoiler alert -- I talk about being pulled aside by a bunch of high school boys at the age of 14 asking why I wasn't "putting out" with my boyfriend. SO AWFUL. Anyone, thanks for the love.

Lowlights:

- Grr lowlights are lame. I have to admit that I'm nervous about my job. This is the first time that I've ever been cancelled this much, and it makes me nervous. Again, I know where I'm supposed to be, but at the same time -- there are bills that need to be paid and groceries that need to be bought and things where I am relied on in the financial department. I need to either cut back MAJORLY (we could all cut back, couldn't we??), or I need to get more shifts. Prayers? Please?

- The girls and I went to the library this week, like I said. So one of the times we were there, as the girls were getting out of the van, Lia accidentally kicked a prize possession and it fell onto the asphalt and broke in a gazillion pieces. I heard the crash and walked over to that side of the car and was so bummed.

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

My margarita glass, shattered. Bye, bye fun for mom after you go to bed.

linked with Shannon Nichole

Last time's coffee date was so much fun. I really love catching up with you all. I wanted to give a special mention to Megan of Latte Everyday. I loved her post, "A Bit About Real Life."

IMG_6540-1024x968

 That is the weirdest and most wonderful thing about blogging.  You “get to know” all of these women who are in the same boat as you in many ways but walking a completely different path in others.

Check out her post, and show her some love. Also, here is a sweet new fab "featured at" button for anyone featured here at Coffee Date! Jenna and I love to spotlight those who are walking this road with us.

A Mama Collective

So, now it's your turn. What's new? Was your week good, bad, mediocre? How is your prayer life? How is your family life? How is work? GIMME ALL THE DETAILS.

Thanks, kisses :)

A Mama Collective

Rules of the linkup: Only link up the URL of your blog post, not your blog homepage. Make sure to visit and comment on at least 2 other links! After all, that is what this link up is all about--getting to know one another!

What I Do in the Middle of the Night

I was chatting with friends a few weeks (months? years? I can't remember) ago about something that happened to one of them.

One friend said she got up in the middle of the night -- who knows why -- potty-training toddler had to pee, preschooler had a nightmare, teenager getting home from a late night (dear God, the thought of that scares me).

Anyway, she got up in the middle of the night, and since she couldn't fall back to sleep, and it was obviously the middle of the night, so not much could be done, this is what she did: she started cleaning her house.

Like, went over to the toy room, and started organizing and cleaning up toys, went into the kitchen and did some dishes, went to the dining room and swept up the crumbs from dinner. Just to do that in the middle of the night. Just to settle her mind, to take a minute to improve what she thought needed improving. Just because that's what she does when she wakes up in the middle of the night. That's just what she does.

So that made me think. What do I do in the middle of the night?

Me? What do I do, you ask?

I go on Twitter. I write a blog post. I surf through Instagram and like to see what all the Aussies in my feed are doing because it's usually the middle of the day for them. I network. I answer emails. I get sucked into the middle of the night time warp and network.

I'm weird, I get it. Just like my friend is weird. Who cleans and organizes in the middle of the night?!

But then I thought about it some more -- and I know, I know, we all think the other one is weird -- but really, what is it that you do in the middle of the night?

what do you do in the middle of the night

You're woken up by God-knows-what, and what is it that you would do if you couldn't go back to sleep?

Would you clean and organize? Would you wash the dishes from the night before? Would you watch a TV show? Would you read a novel? Would you go on Facebook, the Time Sucker of All Time Suckers? Would you cuddle your husband? Would you go take a bath?

What is it that you do in the middle of the night?

I think a little bit of whatever it is you admit to doing has a lot to say about your personality.

Cleaner? You like things neat and clean and pretty.

Networker? You're a social butterfly.

TV show watcher? You need a good bit of zone-out time.

Reader? You need some zone out time with a good book and a flashlight.

Cuddl-er? Your husband is a happy, happy man.

It says something, I betcha. It says something.

So, tell me, I really want to know:

What is it that you do in the middle of the night?

Currently

Hi there! Welcome to Currently, where we share with each other what we are Currently up to and let you share your post through the link-up below. We love this link-up, where we can make new friends and build community. Join us.

currently 8.3

Thinking about // Generosity. I want more than anything to have a generous spirit. One that gives without thinking of receiving. One that showers people with love in special ways. I have friends that do that for me - who send me surprises in the mail or text me or call me randomly when I needed someone the most. They are generous souls who touch me in special ways that I want so badly to be that for others. If nothing else in this life, I want to be generous.

Reading // This post. All day long.

Loving // The amazing feedback I got from you guys in my August Goals post. You all seemed to nod along with me when it came to needing to give up Starbucks and to work on a capsule wardrobe! I'm even more motivated to work on it now. So, tomorrow, I hope to start going through my drawers and making a HUGE giveaway pile. Let's do this thing.

Thankful for // I love this community so stinking much. And I LOVE that we get to know each other more and more through this link-up. It is such an incredibly awesome thing. I truly treasure every. single. one. of. you. Thank you for being here. For your presence, for your kind words, for your efforts to keep this blogging community alive, well, and authentic. Hugs and kisses to you all. Happy Monday to you, my friend.

linked with Oak and Oats | Anne

natashared.jpgI'm so excited that my co-host this week is Natasha of Gather Around Our Table. Her blog and ideas are so unique and special. She says in her About page that Gather Around Our Table is a blog that "primarily exists to inspire and empower you to get in the kitchen and have fun, bless your people, and grow in the process." <--- These are all things I absolutely need to do. I feel motivated to be better about my existence in the kitchen, and giving for my family the best that I can. Here are a few of my favorite posts of Natasha's:

 

 

Your turn. Link up your Currently post below. Please comment on the blog post directly before yours to help support and get to know each other. If you do not do this, your post will be deleted from the link-up.