October 4, 2015

Liam's 5th Birthday | Cowabunga Bowling!

I'm still catching up getting all of my summer photos uploaded! In July we celebrated Liam turning FIVE with a small outing to the bowling alley! It was such a fun time with our sweet, sweet boy!

Liam LOVES Ninja Turtles, and with a July birthday I've really tried to find indoor things - ha! The last time we went bowling as a family, the kids loved it, so this was an easy choice!  The birthday boy had a wonderful time and I think he felt very special!

Disclaimer about the picture below: I have NO IDEA why Kurt decided to make a "ferocious ninja" face. No earthly idea. I didn't notice until I was scrolling through pictures just recently and I was like…what on earth? But that's a good Dad right there - getting into the spirit of the party! :)

We loved celebrating Liam and everything he means to us! I become more and more proud of him each day. We can't wait to see what this year has in store for our little guy!

September 23, 2015

My Life's Prayer

Christ with me; Christ before me.

Christ behind me; Christ in me.

Christ beneath me; Christ above me.

Christ to my right and Christ to my left.

Christ when I lie down and Christ when I arise.

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me;

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me.

Christ in every eye that sees me;

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength;

The invocation of the Trinity

Through belief in the threeness,

through confesion of the oneness 

of the Creator of creation.

September 15, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday | Ultimate Dinner Party

Okay, so to say I'm late to this party would be a hilarious understatement. I'm about 9 months late to this party (I believe a new round of topics begin each January), but better late than never! Shay is one of my very favorite people (she is just delightful and we have several mutual connections) and because of her, I started reading Andrea's blog. Summer is kind of a crazy time for me (just in being out of routine and having so much going on), so now that things are settling back down and everyone is getting cozy for fall (YESSSSSSSS), I thought it would be fun to pick up with some Show and Tell Tuesdays!

Who's Coming to Dinner?

(Five people you would invite to your home for a dinner party.)

Oh I love prompts like this. I really love to think through these big questions in life, really to a detriment. This list is in no way exhaustive (because, hello, there are more than five fascinating people in the world), but here is who I've come up with for THIS particular dinner party. I could literally write about 30 posts with different guest lists. 

1. Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie is, without a doubt, one of my greatest heroes. She and her family hid Jews during WWII and were discovered, then sent to a concentration camp. Corrie and her sister led Bible studies in the camps and turned everything to praise (absolutely unbelievable and incredibly convicting). 

She authored several books (The Hiding Place chronicles her story during the Holocaust) and I would consider it an absolute honor and privilege to be in her presence. I would ask her to pray for me before she would leave for the evening. :) I would also hug her for about 20 minutes straight and just thank her for setting such an incredible example. I can't wait for Heaven so I can talk to Corrie for the rest of time. 

2. Kate Middleton

I'm laughing right now because this is probably the most non-surprising choice in the history of mankind. I love Kate. I just think she is wonderful. I think she would bring some lovely British tradition and poise to the party and I think she would be a delightful dinner guest. One caveat: In my dream/this dinner party, Kate is 100% herself, not straitlaced and in her public persona. I would love to hear her genuinely talk unfiltered about anything that comes up. I'd love to see her personality shine through and really get to know her better on a personal level. I think we would have a lot to talk about in terms of motherhood (because nothing bonds you like having young kids!), and I'd just love to hear her honest opinions about a lot of things. In my dreams! 

3. Beth Moore

Beth is my favorite Bible teacher and Bible study author. I always walk away from basically ANY of her teaching/Bible study homework and can't stop thinking about it for a good long while. I'm just so thankful for her and how her story and her heart are helping women (and some men, too I'm sure!). She has let God use her really hard history to bring so many people into knowing the Lord and His incredible love. Now that the spiritual stuff has been said, I think Beth is HILARIOUS and her Texas twang is so near and dear to my heart (I was born in Texas and have lots of family there - like generations back). She reminds me a lot of my Aunt Karen, which is comforting to me. :) I would just love to see her bring personality to the table and also watch her interact with Corrie. I think she would compliment Kate on her hair (Beth is always talking about hair, it's hysterical) and I guarantee she would say, "Sweetheart, you are just darlin'! I just think you are a doll!" Pretty much my dream come true.

4. Anne Boleyn

I mean, are you dying? But really, how amazing would it be to sit next to Anne Boleyn and pick that girl's brain!? It's no secret that I love the Tudor era of English history. I get so annoyed because I feel like since the show The Tudors came out, EVERYONE is now obsessed with that period. But I'm totally pulling that card and letting everyone know that I was studying it WAY before it was cool. My grandfather taught me in-depth about Henry VIII and each of his wives and what their individual stories were when I was actually really young. It fascinated me (and still does). I almost included Henry as the dinner guest (because picturing that guy next to Beth Moore makes me laugh so hard I'm almost crying - can you even imagine?? "Sweet man, you need to get OUT of that PIT and be delivered in Jesus' Name!"), but even he couldn't handle all of this estrogen. Kind of like with Kate, I would want Anne to be totally herself and really be honest and candid. How much did you love Henry and how much was power play? How did it feel to lose all of your children after Elizabeth (and KNOW you had failed your husband - in HIS mind)? Talk about layered emotions. And I think it would be so intriguing to watch Anne (a historical royal) and Kate (a modern one) compare notes. Yes.

5. Celine Dion

I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself. Every party needs good music, but having Celine Dion sing for everyone? I would die. And I actually wouldn't want her singing power ballads; I LOVE her voice in really soft, tender songs. I would love to have her sing classics like "What a Wonderful World" (she sang this on her "Miracle" album, which I love), "You Make Me Feel So Young" and the like. I also just love Celine on a personal level. Every interview I've seen, she's so passionate when she talks and her eyes tell you everything she's thinking. She's such a tender person. I think it would be wonderful to spend time with her and experience not only her singing but her personality. 

Now I'm basically depressed that this dinner party won't be happening. But it's fun to think about! Thanks for the fun topic, Andrea

Here are the weekly topics if you ever want to join in and link up! 

September 9, 2015

London Vlogs | Days 1-5

Hello! Fall is in the air and I could NOT be happier. I love the change of seasons and falling back into routine. I've been working on getting caught up (in so many areas!) since getting back from our trip, and there's a long way to go! Slowly but surely!

My plan is to have a corresponding blog post with every London video I create. I want to include write-ups and still photos in the posts, along with the video embedded in the post itself. However, it takes awhile (as you can imagine) to compose everything, so I've decided to focus on editing the videos and getting those up and running. This is mainly because I've loved reliving our trip while editing and watching the footage! :) I plan on getting the blog posts done at some point (sooner rather than later), because I do think they will add a lot to recapping our trip.

But for now, here are the first five days of our trip (including arrival day)! the first video image just says Day 1, but it's really Day 1 & 2 (just to clarify so no one is confused!).

I hope you enjoy!

September 1, 2015

London Vlogs | Packing My Suitcase

Here's my next video about our recent trip to London. . .all about packing my checked suitcase!

I added  pop-up notes in the video to share how my packing worked for me when we were on our trip. I think overall I did a good job in selecting items to take. HOWEVER - the one thing that really changed is that I only wore blue jeans ONE TIME. I wore my Old Navy black jeans literally every single day! Probably sounds gross, but they held up great and were just so comfortable! I also felt better prepared for the whole day when I was wearing the black pants. Sometimes it didn't work out for us to go and change clothes, and I still felt appropriately-dressed in the black pants and my trench coat. My Skecher Go Walks were definitely on the very casual side for evening, but there was only a small handful of times that I wasn't able to change footwear. Moral of the story: if you discover a REALLY COMFORTABLE pair of black pants, buy like 3 pair and wear them every day of your trip! :)

The packing cubes and clear pouches that I show in the video are from Amazon (not affiliate links - just showing you the exact kind I have!). If you have any other questions, feel free to comment below!

August 29, 2015

My Precious Friend Lyndsie

It is with the deepest and most profound sadness I share that my precious friend Lyndsie has gone Home to be with the Lord.

Lyndsie was loved and cherished by every single person that knew her. She was a light; radiant and so beautiful inside and out. It seems so trite, but that's truly how anyone would describe her. She loved the Lord with her whole heart and desired nothing more than to serve Him with her life.

Lyndsie was the devoted and loving wife of Daniel, and I witnessed firsthand how deep their love was for each other. They absolutely adored each other and seeing them together was inspiring and so precious. They served each other in everything, and I was privileged to spend time with them as a couple, as we shared our hearts and talked about anything and everything. I truly hold those times in my heart and weep in remembrance of those sweet moments together.

Lyndsie was also an absolutely amazing mother to her sweet Ethan and Aubrey. Their adoption stories are miracles of the Lord, and it was an incredible privilege for me to walk with Lyndsie and Daniel through those times. We cried together and praised the Lord together as those two precious babies were brought into their lives. Ethan and Aubrey will always know how much their incredible mother loved and cherished them. She absolutely thrived in being a Mommy and her legacy will absolutely be found in them.

I met Lyndsie through blogging, and we walked a journey a friendship that is a rare treasure. We met in person at the Created for Care adoption retreat, and I spent time laughing and having the best time with Lyndsie and her mom Melanie and sister Kendyl. I cherish all of Lyndsie's family and could see why she is such an amazing person when I spent time with them.

After Created for Care, I was able to go and visit Lyndsie, Daniel and the babies while they were temporarily living in Florida. It was one of the best trips I've ever had. I can't even express how wonderful and deep our conversations were and how much FUN we had together! We laughed and mostly just talked until we were worn out! I could never list all of the memories that were made on that trip. I hold it all closely in my heart.

It grieves me in the deepest way that I won't see my precious friend on earth again. I can't even imagine the profound loss that Daniel is feeling. But the most important thing I can share is how Daniel and Lyndsie handled her 4th battle with cancer. Their eyes were fixed on the LORD, and they praised Him in the good times and the bad. They held onto each other and clung to Jesus, showing all of us a supernatural trusting of HIS power and HIS timing in everything. They praised Him until the end, and when Daniel shared the news that Lyndsie had gone Home, he immediately turned it back around to glorifying the Lord and making His Name known.

Lyndsie is spending eternity in Heaven because she gave her life to Jesus Christ and accepted His free gift of salvation. She knew she could rest in His perfect plan, which we don't always understand. But we can always trust Him. I know Lyndsie wouldn't want me to write anything about her that didn't include an invitation to trust Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and surrender your life to Him. If you don't know the peace that comes from walking with Jesus, please contact me. I would love to share with you why we are confident that we will see Lyndsie again one day.

Lyndsie, I love you so much! I cherish and hold you in my heart, and I will miss your smile and encouragement more than words can say. Thank you for loving me and for being such an incredible friend. I can't stop my tears as I write this; my heart is truly broken. I will see you again, my precious, sweet Lyndsie!

With my deepest love and gratitude for your friendship,


August 26, 2015

London Vlogs | Packing My Carry-On

My first London video is up! This is all about packing my carry-on and my explanation of what I put in my carry-on bag for the plane. I used my Louis Vuitton Neverfull (large size) bag, and it was a perfect choice!

Here are some follow-up notes now that I'm home:

  • I ended up putting my Kate Spade day purse in the outer zipper compartment of my regular suitcase. It was still handy and I didn't have to use space in my carry-on bag. 
  • I used a few spritzes of the Evian water mist, but I wouldn't take it again. Just not worth the space!
  • I loved the concept of doing a hydrating mask on the plane, but when I put it on, I felt like I looked like a character from a horror movie! Picture a white mask covering someone's face - YIKES. I only kept it on for a few minutes (while I was in the fully reclining position) and covered my face with my blanket so I wouldn't be seen. Not exactly the relaxing moment I envisioned. I would take masks again, but only use them in the hotel room. 
  • I really didn't read my magazines or book much at all. I'm still glad I had a couple with me, but I'm glad I didn't take too many entertainment things. I really only slept and listened to music on the plane. 
  • My travel outfit was a perfect choice!
  • In our seats, we weren't allowed to have any bags sitting on the ground near us. Everything had to be put in the overhead compartment. There was a small drawer where we could put some things to keep handy, but I didn't realize I wouldn't have easy access to my bag. I grabbed out a few things and was fine, but keep that in mind (we flew British Airways in Business Class). 

August 21, 2015

Home Sweet Home!

We are BACK from our amazing trip to London! We had so many adventures and made so many memories - I can't wait to share! We're still a bit jet lagged and I'm knee-deep in laundry, but there's no place in the world I'd rather be than back in my home with my little three and Kurt! It's not the same if the five of us aren't together, and being away was such a good reminder of that.

I'm sure it will take awhile to to get all of my pictures, videos and recaps organized, so bear with me! We will also be starting school soon, so I need to get my bearings there, too. I love this time of year - fall is coming soon and everyone settles back into routine. It's a good thing!

London was truly, truly wonderful - but there's no place like home!
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