Tuesday, April 5, 2016


The past few days I had an awful headache...one like I haven't had in a very long time. 

My sweet Bella took such good care of me and her siblings yesterday while her daddy was at work.

I was up and about for a little while, but it got to the point where I just wanted to lay down to rest is out so it wouldn't get worse. 

She checked on me often, and kept her brother and sister hydrated and entertained! That's not always an easy task! 

Plus she brought me a wet rag for my head and a cup of water to drink. She's so thoughtful.  

She's such a sweet, caring, fun-loving girl. 

I appreciate her love for life so very much.

And after all of that...right before bedtime...I fussed at her for kicking her brother in the face (accidentally) when she was doing a cartwheel in the living room. 

I blew it. It was one of those #momfail moments.

I am thankful for God's grace and mercy...that I was able to ask for forgiveness and hug it out with her...I know I hurt her feelings. 

So much goodness can be lost in seconds. 

I need to get better about not overreacting to such little things that just don't matter.

Kids are going to be kids. Rambunctious. Loud. Chaos-causing. Seeking fun and adventure.

It's my job to show them love, peace, grace, mercy...and so much more. I want to be patient with them. I want to be consistent with them. I want to provide a nurturing environment so that they can grow to be the best version of themselves. I don't want to stifle anything.

In life...not just parenthood...we blow it. We make mistakes. It's important that we own up to it. Don't blame bad attitudes, bad days, or someone else. Make the best of that. Learn from it and move on!!

Friday, April 1, 2016

How Reflecting Builds My Faith

Reflection is an important tool in our personal growth. 

It helps us see where we've been...how far we've come...where we need to go...

I usually spend some time going through my journals and re-reading what I wrote.

And with things like the Timehop app, I can see everything that was posted in the past on this day. Like these sweet memories...

Sometimes these posts are funny. Sometimes they are scary. Sometimes they are sad. 

Right now, I am realizing how much life has changed for us. 

Instead of mountains and snow, I see swamps and mud puddles. 

Wasps, bees, and fire ants are a constant part of our adventures outside instead of white-tailed bunnies and the deer that would walk through our neighborhood. 

We actually count alligators on the side of the road much like we were able to count deer there. 

We don't have the daily knock on the door from our neighborhood kids ready to play, but we do get to set up play dates and see our friends at co-op meetings during the week as well as making new friends at church twice a week now. 

We know that we'll get to enjoy the summer days here...even though they may not seem as long and as full of sunshine as they did there. We know that the humidity will feel thicker and the air much hotter here during those days. 

I know that Lee is enjoying getting to know and work with his new Apple team here, but I know that he misses his friends at the Aspen Grove Apple Store. 

I am so grateful for the house we are living in now...it's the most comforting thing to know we had a place to come to from Colorado...no wait...it was ready for us...and we are able to look for a permanent home now without a rush of a sudden deadline, but I do miss our house on Fairwood Street...and our amazing view from the back deck!  

I miss getting to see my sweet girlfriends...and I am so thankful that I am able to stay in touch with them through text and Facebook messenger, and I am also thankful for the ladies who are coming into my life now...and that I get to see my mom, my sister, nieces, and cousins more often now. 

We had some really good times in Colorado. I know that we made some really good friends in Colorado. I know that we are better people and closer to God because of our experiences in Colorado. 

It was an adventure that we were called to take. 

And it was that adventure that led us to the adventure we are on now!! 

I know that God has great plans for us. I know that He is not finished with us. He didn't drop us off in Boutte, Louisiana to forget us and forsake us. 

The best part of our story hasn't happened yet. 

I refuse to live in the past. 

Wednesday night, at the Alpha Bible study at Life Church Boutte, I read a quote by Nicky Gumbel that was in the book::  
Faith is not a blind leap, but a step forward, based on evidence. 
That really has me thinking... a step forward...based on evidence. 

Evidence from my personal experiences and the Word of God. 

Another quote from the book was:: 
Faith = taking God's promises and daring to believe them. 
Living by faith is an adventure!! I continue to trust that as God leads me and Lee, we will follow Him in obedience and He WILL come through. He's done it before. He will continue to do it again and again. Because He loves me. 

And He loves you. Just as much as He loves me. We are all God's favorites...as I was kindly reminded this week by my sweet professor from Southwestern Dr. Amy Alexander...

I will continue to reflect...reflect on the promises of God...reflect on the good times and the bad...the moments that have made me stronger. 

And as I reflect, I know my faith will keep growing stronger and keep us on this wonderful adventure!! 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ordinary Days Count...

My sweet friend Jessica Blood recently sent me a book that she read and wanted me to discuss with her! Yes, she's that amazing and thoughtful of a friend!

The book is called Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman...

The subtitle is small-moment living in a fast-moving world...

The book came to mind as I was sweeping the floor for the 3rd time today. I literally thought to myself am I ever not going to clean the same messes 5 times a day???

I know the answer to that...I know it won't be forever. I have heard countless women in my life who have said that they miss the days that I am currently in. Their smiles and stories of their time in this season do bring me comfort. Most of the women I talk to speak with joy and almost a sense of longing to go back to those days.

I picked the book back up today...for as avid of a reader as I used to be...that is something that has gotten harder for me with little kids. (I can't tell you how many times I was interrupted reading as well as while writing this!!!)

Emily quotes Wendy M. Wright who wrote a book called The Time Between...She says Wendy "challenges our usual definition of the word ordinary."
It does not mean what you might think: boring, uneventful, undistinguished, everyday, ordinary. In fact, it means 'counted time.' The word ordinary comes from the word ordinal, to count. 
I feel like my life is full of what I might think of "ordinary days."

Boring. Uneventful. Undistinguished.

But these days count too.

Washing the same dishes. Sweeping up the same crumbs. Folding the same clothes.

It's not just about doing these simple duties. It's about my attitude while doing them.

God has been challenging me focus on being a better manager of my home. Truly taking care and managing our house. Nurturing our children.

I want to be a joyful manager.

I want my girls to know that there is joy and beauty of being a homemaker. And if that is something that they desire and God blesses them with, they can find joy in it too. I want Brennan to have a great example as he begins searching for a godly wife.

What I do today counts for their tomorrow. It counts for my future too.

*yes, this is an affiliated link! If you click on it and purchase this book, I will make a small percentage of it. :)

Friday, March 11, 2016

3 Things About Being a Mom of Little Ones

1) I feel like I am always fixing food. Breakfast. Snack. Lunch. Snack. Dinner. and usually a before bed snack too. The constant request for food is draining at times. I know that I won't always be required to fix food...but when they are little, it's not an option. And their little metabolism is running full speed with all that playing...so they require the fuel of food to keep them going. 
But oh my gosh...I feel like they just had a snack and now they are asking when it's lunch time! 

2) Potty-training is disgusting. Thankfully the accidents have been fewer as each day passes, but it seems like there will be one off day when all I am doing is cleaning the kid...the clothes...the floor. And Breelee refuses to use the big toilet...she just wants to use her little potty...and washing it out makes me thankful for indoor plumbing! 

3) Homeschool seems chaotic. Today, when I was working at the table next to Bella, Breelee pulled up a chair to sit between me and her. She wanted to be doing exactly what Bella was doing. I know this is a great way for Breelee to learn...and Bella was fine with it and even snuggled up to her at one point. It's been a goal of mine to teach them to wait to talk while someone else is talking. I used to say "Don't interrupt..." and then I realized they don't know what the word interrupt means! I have to teach them to not talk while the person is talking first. Whew. That's an ongoing lesson in this house. 

I know this won't last forever. It is really hard at times to think that it will be different while I'm in this season. I try my best to embrace the moments. To enjoy the laughter that I hear...the sweet small voices (when they aren't screaming)...the snuggles that I get...

Be encouraged moms!! Your job is important! 

But for now, it's time to go clean up a mess and get lunch on the table! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Yes, I Am Biased About My Kids...

Every parent should be biased about their own children. It's a given. 

I know my kids aren't the absolute best...they aren't on the genius levels...

But they are the smartest, funniest, most beautiful children that I know... and I am totally ok with you disagreeing and feeling those things towards your own children! 

Here are a few things I love about my kiddos::

1) They work hard to make each other laugh. Breelee is the one who does this the most. From bodily functions on demand or crazy dance moves...she can make them laugh. And when she's crying or another one of them is crying...they do their best to make that one laugh. Yes there is fighting...but most of the time, there is a lot of laughter in my house! 

2) They enjoy making new friends. It is very easy and natural for them to introduce themselves to others. I think this stems from our work with Chi Alpha, where Bella regularly heard her daddy introduce himself and then introduce us. He still introduces us when we go to visit him at work. It's precious to hear them introduce themselves in the same format...it's a blessing! 

3) I get to watch their faith grow. We ask them things that they want to pray about...and then Lee and I decide 1 or 2 things that we pray together for as a family...every night. One of the big things we prayed for when Bella was little was for some friends of ours to get a house. We prayed for months for their situation, and they eventually got a house! It wasn't where they planned or pictured, but they were able to trust God that it was the right place for them. Chris, our thoughtful friend who knew we were praying for his family, sent Bella a thank you card and a picture of their house...talk about building her faith! I know that God is not like Santa Claus...it's not a just because I ask I get it situation...but when we ask in accordance to what God's plans are, He will answer. 

This is not exhausted by any means...but this season of life is tough. Three little ones are not easy to manage. But again I want to challenge myself to focus on what I love. There is a lot that drives me bananas...a lot that I don't always handle well...but if I can focus on what I love, it will help me create the kind of safe, warm, and fun environment I want my home to be. 

So, now that I know you are biased...what do you love about your kiddos or those kiddos closest to you? 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A 4 Week Difference...

It's hard to believe that just a little over 4 weeks ago we were packing up in the snow and ice with mountains as our background. 

Now I am looking out a window at a beautiful yard with a mud puddle in the driveway that my children get excited about it filling back up!  

In some ways it feels like we've been here longer than a month. 

We've been able to reconnect with some amazing friends who live in this area or close enough to make a drive to see us. 

We had my niece spend the whole weekend with us our first weekend here! The girl cousins were thrilled with all that time together!!

We've been able to go to my mom and dad's house together as a family...something we haven't done in 2 and a half years (thanks to my husband's selfless sacrifices of sending me to my parents for Thanksgiving for 2 years). 

We've been able to spend time with another homeschooling family who has a daughter the same age as Bella! Jenelle has been an amazing resource to me - even before we started homeschooling, I picked her brain about her experiences since she's successfully homeschooled 5 children! She has encouraged me as we were 1300 miles apart, but now that we are in the same neck of the woods, being around her and her awesome kids makes me feel so much more normal. 

We are going to continue homeschooling for the remainder of this year and then assess where we will go from there. We've already been welcomed into local co-ops, field trips, play dates, and we attended a Valentine's Day party last week!! 

Lee is doing well at the Apple Store at Lakeside!! We are both so thankful that he has a job that he loves. He gets to be himself...the man I love. The man who loves people until it hurts. 

It is so refreshing. 

All of it. 

I look forward to what is ahead because I do believe the best is yet to come. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Focusing on What I Love...

I confess...it is not always easy to focus on what I love about my life.

Most days seem mundane. They all look the same most of the time.

The same dishes being washed. The same clothes being washed (and maybe dried...and maybe folded and put away...maybe)...

The same toys picked up...vacuuming the same spot about 10 times a day because Breelee leaves trails of crumbs no matter what...

Even the songs that the kids ask to listen to are the same exact ones every day...

And even though it is mundane...the same...each day is worth being celebrated and worth being thankful for.

That is what I want to focus on. What I love. 

1) I love having faith in God. In the hardest, darkest times, it is what has carried me through. There is hope within me that things are working out on my behalf...no matter what the circumstances around me may look like. My faith has made me who I am. 

2) I love Lee. He really is my very best friend. He makes me laugh, which is a challenge since I often take myself way too seriously. There is absolutely no one else in the universe that I'd rather be with. 
I think about our vows...for better or for worse...in good times and in bad...in sickness and in health...
We've been through a lot together in our marriage, and it has made us grow stronger together. I love Lee Blakney with all of my heart. 

3) I love that my babies are happy and healthy...a minor cold or allergy issues is nothing...even when it causes whiney, clingy babies to be with me every second of the day...every. second. They are still healthy. And generally they are happy. Even when the bad attitude surfaces, it usually doesn't last long or go without an apology. They are amazing kids. 

4) I love that our family is adventurous! Like I said before, I can take myself way too seriously...but I am up for having a great time with my family! With awesome kids and a fun-loving husband, it makes it easier to make the best out of what we are doing! 

5) I love the friendships that God has brought into my life. Those people who are there for me when I need them. Those people who love me without expecting anything in return. I really am richly blessed to have some amazing people in my life who care about me so much. Getting a call, text, or message from them lifts my spirits in ways that I cannot explain. 

I could go on...and maybe I will another time. 

But for now, this is a good place to start. 

I want to be happy. And on the days when I am not...when I am miserable...it's because I'm focusing on anything and everything except the things that I love. 

All it takes is one simple moment to recalibrate and refocus...and it's worth it. 

What are some of the things that you can focus on that you love?