I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

24 Sep

orange you glad??

I have this friend who is a creative genius … like her pores ooze creativity {no exaggeration! just look at her website!}!

A few weeks ago, when I noticed her upcoming birthday on my calendar, I may have hyperventilated a little. Cuz seriously, when it comes to gifting to a pore-oozing-creative-goddess, what’s a I’m-fresh-outta-creativity girl supposed to do?

Needless to say, while aimlessly perusing Pinterest one day, I saw the perfect idea for my color-theme-loving-friend!

She loved it!

And the best part about this gift idea? It doesn’t just have to be a birthday gift. “Orange you glad …?” can be asked for just about any occasion!

And seriously, what is it about a basket full of one-like-color-goodness that makes a heart swoon?

Posted in birthday, creative, friends, gift idea

21 Apr

nothing is wasted …

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 {NIV}

My firstborn turns 18 years old today. I know it’d be very cliche to ask where the time went … yet, as I look at this photo and reflect over the years we traveled together, I can’t help but think … where did the time go?!

The other day, Taylor was riding a different horse at the barn — for reasons I won’t go into as it’d be a whole different post — but right now she’s riding a couple different lesson horses to just have some fun and get her own riding back on track.

As she poked around the arena on a verrryyyy slowwww guy, her mood was light, she had a smile on her face {few and far between these days}, and commented, “He feels just like Clover.”

I was immediately struck by the thought, “Sometimes to start fresh, you have to start at the beginning.”

You see, Taylor basically found her riding passion on that trusty ol’ mount. Even today, Clover holds a irreplaceable and special place in our hearts.

Clover was Taylor’s beginning.

Lately, she’s had some crazy trouble with her horse and needs a fresh start in riding. She needs to have fun again.

Taylor’s been struggling … with a whole lotta stuff going on in her life, she’s been struggling. And right now, as she’s turning eighteen, she feels like she needs a fresh start.

Hold on … I’m not planning on going into a “whoa-is-Taylor-she’s-had-it-so-rough” thing. Truth is, I’ve been chastised for not “letting her get over it.” Along that line and as a side note, I would like to share something about my parenting …

When my children are walking through a valley in life, I don’t stand outside of that valley and shout down to them, “Put your big girl panties on and get over it already!”

No. That wouldn’t do us any good.

Instead, I walk down into that valley with them. I take them, I guide them, I encourage them, and we put their big girl panties on together.

Meaning … I don’t sit in their valley with them. I don’t allow them to sit in their own valleys. But in order to get them out of the valley, I need to meet them where they’re at, take them by the heart, and walk them through it.

How can a child — or anyone for that matter — “get over something” when they don’t have a guide out?


That said, I’ve been walking Taylor through quite a few valley’s as of late and she’s desperately searching for a fresh start in her life.

Eighteen years old. A milestone birthday. Adulthood? Gaaaa … this momma isn’t too sure about that one! Talking with a friend the other day, we agreed adulthood should be changed to twenty-one or thirty-five!

Tay … my sweet Tay … I want you to know I hear you. I see you. I feel you. I pray for you. And as much as this mommy loves you with all of her heart … your Father in heaven loves you THAT much more. I can only imagine how proud He must be of you Taylor.

He’s allowed almost every trial imaginable. And you’ve persevered. Yes, it’s been through tears and anguish you’ve persevered, but you’ve also done it with unimaginable grace.

Baby, I heard this song the other day and you immediately came to mind. Sweet girl, please let your heart be wide open as you listen to each word and let God speak into your life. Listen to His promises for you …

What if every tear you cry, seeds the ground where joy will grow? Fields … acres and acres of fields of joy are what He has in store for you. I believe it Taylor.

You can lean on me and I’ll believe for you … and in time you will believe it too.

Happy birthday love. There’s no way I could be more proud of you …

Nothing Is Wasted
:: Jason Gray ::

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again


When hope is more than you can bear
And it’s too hard to believe it could be true
And your strength fails you half way there
You can lean on me & I’ll believe for you
And in time you will believe it too

Sometimes we are waiting
In the sorrow we have tasted
But joy will replace it
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our redeemer
Nothing is wasted

Posted in birthday, family thoughts, music, parenting, taylor

2 Apr

hamburger cupcake & sugar cookie fries

I found these incredible treats online a few years back and was dying to make them! I finally did it for father’s day {in 2009 … where does the time go?!?} … needless to say, they were a hit and super yummy too!

When my girl’s birthdays roll around, we like to do something fun for their school treat. In trying to find a clever “something” for Piper’s birthday last week, I reminded her of  these treats and she was all over it!

Needless to say … they were a hit and still super yummy!

Now to find another clever “something” for Hunter’s birthday coming up next week …

Any suggestions for a fun treat?

Posted in birthday, creative, piper, recipe

5 Dec

a sock monkey party for wynter!

So a few months ago, my girl became a bit obsessed with sock monkeys. Who knew?

And then she asked if she could have a sock monkey themed party … and yeah … I was all over that one! Proof in the photos below!

It’d also been a while since we’ve had an all-out party, and ahem, I still haven’t posted Hunter’s Fairytale Princess party {beware!}, so I decided to get my creative on and throw my Wynt a little shindig!

Ready? Set. Here goes!

In my opinion, every party starts with a great invite and takes off from there …

In lieu of gifts, Wynter asked for the donation of a gently
used stuffed animal to donate to a local animal shelter.

What sock monkey party is complete without monkey pops?

And banana candies?

And sock monkey party hats?

And favor boxes filled with all kinds o’ monkey goodness?

And the cutest fondant sock monkey ever?

And big yellow gumballs {that I may still have coming out of my ears!}?

We had the party in our backyard. So to greet guests, we had a ginormous
sock monkey and a sign directing guests to come around back.

A sock monkey pinata!

And some goofy monkeys running amuck!

One of my favorite details was the sock monkey
“photo booth” … the kids had some fun with it!

And for Wynter’s school treat, we brought in a sock monkey
cup-cake … needless to say, it was a huge hit!

Everyone seemed to have a great time. My Wynt was in heaven. And I had some fun getting my creative on again!

How ’bout you? Is there a detail that’s your favorite?

Photography – myself {hee}
Invites & Printables – totful memories
Envelopes – Paper Source
Postage Stamps
Cake, Cupcakes & Sock Monkey Cup”cake” – Creative Cakes by Allison
Monkey Pops – Baked
Monkey Hats – Wish Works
Pinata – Birthday Express
Favor Boxes – Nashville Wraps
Sock Monkey Favor Goodness – Oriental Trading & Birthday Express

Posted in birthday, creative, party, wynter

6 Apr

hunter’s classroom birthday treat

Little Hunt turns six next week, but they’ll be out of school on spring break. Soooo … we brought her birthday treats in this week instead! Poor girl, we were all set to bring them in on Wednesday … she was just a wee-bit excited {as in she couldn’t stop talking about it!}. Middle of the night though, she had a raging fever, ear pain and was up most of the night {as in she kept me up, throw in her other sister, both in my bed, left me sleeping on the sofa!}. Which meant she stayed home from school on Wednesday. It was the first time I’ve heard a child cry because they had to stay home from school!

Anyway … I took her to the doctor the next morning, and sure enough … nasty ear infection. After some meds, we decided to bring the treats in to her class at lunchtime.

And now for some deets on this little project! I had pinned a beautiful photo of chocolate cover peeps and thought they’d make the perfect birthday treat for Hunter. Easy-peasy, right?

Kinda not so much. Stay with me here, cuz I’ve got some Pinterest-gone-wrong thoughts to share with y’all!

I talked it over with Hunt {and sister-crew} and we decided to do some kind of “nest” and set the peeps inside. I knew I’d seen edible Easter grass in the past, so as long as I could find some we’d be set. The only unknown was what to put them in.

Bingo! while at Walmart for the supplies, I spotted these cute buckets {green & pink} … .97 cents! And then a friend of mine had some left over gumballs from one of her girls recent birthday parties … perfect!

Until I started dipping my peeps. Um, yeah. Not so perfect.

I used the melted chocolate candy wafer things … chocolate and white chocolate. And a variety of sprinkles. After I melted my chocolate and started dipping the peeps, it was just an ugly mess. After the chocolate bath, I dipped them into the sprinkles … and that was an ugly mess.

In my mind, I had a beautiful image of perfectly covered chocolate peeps. As the words “Pinterest fail” kept running through my head, I figured the photo I had pinned must’ve been done by a professional. Like a baker, or, I dunno know … a professional peep dipper? But make no doubt … it couldn’t been just a regular mom making treats in her kitchen. Oh … side note … I hadn’t clicked through to the original source before starting my project. When doing a Pinterest project, might I recommend you check out the original source before starting?

Back to my peep dipping.

After a bit, I scrapped the white chocolate {just not cute}. I stopped dipping the whole peep bottom {hee, peep bottom}, and just dipped the front. And I also stopped dipping the covered peep in the sprinkles, instead sprinkling the sprinkles on top of the covered peep. Whew.

Still with me?

Anyway … those changes made the project smoother, faster, and less ugly.

When I was done, I headed to the computer and thought I’d go ahead and take a look at the original source to see just who this professional was. Turns out she’s just a regular over-achieving mom who has a flair for the creative! Humpf.

Why am I sharing all of this you might be wondering? Well … I read this post the other day about “Pinterest peer pressure” and it made me laugh. There’s a lot of truth there!

I wanted to comment, but was too shy … are you too shy to comment sometimes? So … I wanted to comment and say … it’s all in moderation. I would love, love, love to do many of the projects I see on Pinterest. I’d love to throw grand parties for each birthday celebration we have. But I know my limits. Sometimes I have the time for it and I gain much pleasure from creating something lovely. Other times, I’m too busy, my heart’s not in it, I can’t wrap my head around anything other than getting dressed in the morning, and so I either don’t do something grand, or I settle for something right in between that won’t stress me out, or I settle for doing nothing … and feel good about it!

I love Pinterest! I’m a fan of all the beautiful photos and projects and food and clothes and kittens and Ryan Gosling… but I think we each need to recognize where our limits lie and work within those boundaries based on kids, jobs, time on our hands. And we should enjoy Pinterest for what it is … a beautiful collection of ideas, recipes, and photos. No guilt involved. Some of us just don’t have the time or resources to be Martha Stewart.

Anyway … a bit of a tangent there … but mostly to encourage you. As with everything in life … you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have … the facts of life, the facts of life. Anyone? Anyone? :)

Okay, sorry, I’m getting a bit loopy. Seriously … I just wanted to encourage you to take what you can from Pinterest, enjoy it, and realize it’s just a pinboard for EVERYTHING on the internet … all that pretty, sometimes magazine worthy, stuff!

OH! and I was just turned on to a new blog … love it! They take Pinterest projects and do them to see if they turn into a Pinstrosity!

Posted in birthday, craft, creative, hunter, pinterest