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.

14 Feb

where we’ve been …

I’ve desperately been working on a post sharing all about the girls riding activities. It’s been over two weeks in the writing, and I still don’t have it finished. Basically because we’re at an event right now and it’s taking almost every waking hour, and I haven’t had much down time {or alone time}. And we’re in a camper. And it’s been hard to get to my computer.

Anyway … Taylor was presented with an amazing opportunity to ride an amazing horse, at an amazing show, training under a well-known and respected Canadian Olympic rider.

It took a lot of thought, planning, and sacrifice and finally decided I we’d do it.

And so we’re here now. In Florida. For two weeks. Then home for two weeks. And then back for two weeks.

Taylor brought her two horses from home. And she’s also showing the above mentioned “amazing horse.” Wynter’s showing too and brought her new horse. The girls trainers from home are here, as are some of the other girls that ride at the barn and their horses.

We have just a few days left of this first run. It’s been quite an experience. Some good. Some bad. But always learning and growing experiences.

Below is a photo Taylor and her newer horse, Performance Colorado {aka – Colorado}. It was just her third time showing him and they were amazing {as shown in the video below}. :)

They went clean their first round and made it to the jump-off. In the jump-off, she had a respectable time, but got a rail down. And for the record, that other post I mentioned I’m working on? It’s probably got too many technical explanations … but — if you don’t know much about the riding world — going “clean” and making it to a “jump-off” will make much more sense after reading it.

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

Her ride starts around 38 seconds …

So anyway. That’s that. I’ve been wanting to check in, but just haven’t had a chance. So here’s a little snippet of what’s been keeping me busy the last couple of weeks!

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Posted in family photos, movie, riding, taylor

3 Feb

notes from the blue bike :: blog tour

This post is part of the Blue Bike Blog Tour, which I’m
thrilled to be part of. To learn more and join us, head here.

As part of the Notes From a Blue Bike blog tour, we’ve been asked to write about what it looks like to live slower, simpler, or with more intention. I have to be honest, as a currently single mom of four girls I struggle with this quest daily.

I have a friend who innocently suggested I find more margin {or white space} in my days. When first hearing her, I admit, I was pretty defensive at the statement, thinking … “Um, that’s easy to say when there are TWO of you managing the house and kids.” I know every situation is different, but I promise you … know matter how little you think your spouse does … when they’re suddenly gone, you realize how very much they actually did do.

Never-the-less, her statement has haunted me last few months.

Margin? White space? How?

With four girls and no one to help, it seems I’m running from crisis to crisis. At an appointment with one, while another calls from school sick, while I need to meet another at her appointment … this was my last Friday morning. And while the situations vary, it seems this is my most everyday.

Then there’s the age old statement, “You don’t have to do it all.” Or, “The dishes can wait.” Or when I post a silly note on Facebook and get the comment, “That’s what you have four kids for.” {meaning they can take care of the task I’ve posted about.}

Trust me … I’m no martyr! I definitely don’t try to do it all. I know my limits. And when the dishes can wait, they wait … or the kids take care of them. When I need to call it a day, I wrap it up and call it a day … after all, there’s only so much we can do in day. And when you’re struggling with MS, there comes a point in the day when you literally can’t do anymore.

I long to live intentionally! Heck, it was even my “one word” a couple of years ago! I long for a simpler time … like the times we were able to take a four week sabbatical to paradise!

So when Tsh’s book came along and I heard these words from her — “If slowing down meant a richer life, it would require our family’s attention, energy, and collaborative effort” — she grabbed my attention in a big way.

And while I admit, I don’t have it all figured out yet, I can admit I’m being called to lead my girls in a life of intentionality. The busy, crazy, and crises will still surround us … I may not always be able to create margin, but I’m learning it’s what I do with the margin that’ll make a difference in my life and the lives of my girls.

And so … whether you’re looking to create margin, slow down, live intentionally, or just create adventure with your family, Tsh’s Notes From a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World is worth every minute you take to read it!

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

This book is about LIVING LIFE instead of life living us. ~ Tsh

Notes From a Blue Bike is written by Tsh Oxenreider, founder and main voice of The Art of Simple. It doesn’t always feel like it, but we DO have the freedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions. Grab your copy here.

Posted in gift idea, intentional, resources, review

30 Jan

every little thing gonna be alright …

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
When you cross rivers, you will not drown.
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned,
nor will the flames hurt you.
Isaiah 43:2 NCV

We were on a flight recently and Taylor had her newest little bundle … well … bundled on her lap. Mocha was sleeping so peacefully through the whole flight – until the landing. To say the landing was a little bumpy would be an understatement.

We were all a little nervous, so it was no surprise when Mocha woke from her sleep, startled at the sudden bumps.

But what she did after she woke is what surprised me.

When the bumps came, she woke and looked up at Taylor with the sweetest, questioning eyes. When she saw Taylor, she quietly laid back down and fell back asleep.

It was as if, by looking at her master, she trusted Taylor and knew everything would be okay. And not only did she have the knowledge everything would be okay … she actually fell back into her peaceful, puppy sleep.

And it got me thinking about us. Us being our anxious, nervous, cynical, untrusting, wanting-to-do-it-our-way selves.

When things get bumpy and we’re startled from our peaceful slumber of a life. Do we faithfully look to our Master for reassurance that every little thing gonna be alright? And if we do … are we able to fall back into that peaceful slumber?

Or do we put our own twist on how every little thing’s gonna turn out?

“Okay, I trust you God … but … ”

“I know You said You’ve got this, but what if … ”

“I know You promise great plans for me, but maybe You could make it happen this way … ”

Have you read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? You can hop over to Daniel 3 to read more, but my favorite part is found in verses 16-18. Because they wouldn’t bow to him, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered to have the three young men thrown into a blazing fire.

They told the king, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.” There was NO doubt in their minds that God had the power to save them.

My favorite part of the story? When they went on to say, “But even if he doesn’t … ”

They had faith to believe God could absolutely save them. But they had even that much more faith to trust in a plan that might cause them to actually go through the fire.

As Isaiah says {quoted at the top of this post}, “When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames hurt you.”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did get thrown into the fire, but you know what? They came out of it not even smelling like smoke! AND … King Nebuchadnezzar himself, saw FOUR people in that fire. Only three were thrown in, but four were seen.

You see … God didn’t save them from going through the fire, instead He chose to sit in it with them.

Just like He promises you and me.

So friends, next time we have a bumpy landing, let’s make a choice to look up at our Master and know — without questioning and doubt — that every little thing gonna be alright.

You in?

Posted in encouragement, faith

24 Jan

a good ol’ country day!

An optional title could be, “The day we learned to shoot!”

My girls have the hearts of an explorer and adventurer. Unfortunately, since we’ve moved to NC, it’s been way too loooong since they’ve had themselves a good adventure.

But all that changed a few days ago! When we got to do some shooting and exploring in the country, my born and bred country-mice couldn’t have been happier!

Sisters holding hands {be still my momma heart} and Piper’s almost as tall as Taylor … which means Piper’s almost as tall as me and I think it also means there’s a very good possibility Piper’ll be taller than Taylor. Pardon my randomness …

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

So here we are a-shootin’! Wynter had a spot-on aim! Impressive!! And Piper … well, Piper took a little longer to get the hang of things. A few thoughts:

  • How many helpers does an 11yo need to shoot a gun?
  • Where can I get my own set of personalized earplugs?
  • The gun’s too heavy?!?
  • And after several painful minutes-that-seemed-like-hours, she would finally pull the trigger, only to have a misfire!
  • She did it!!

Is Tay-Tay turning a little redneck?

Love this girl ^^ so much! She didn’t want to even give it a try … turns out she kinda liked it!

And this one ^^ was pretty much a natural!

A day in the country was just what this family needed. And it was a good day indeed.

Have a blessed weekend y’all!

Posted in family photos, girls

21 Jan

a christmas terrarium

Instead of meeting for a boring ol’ cup of coffee {not that there’s anything wrong with that!}, my friend and I decided to get together for some Christmas crafting! We’d both been eyeing up all the pretty snow globes on Pinterest and decided to do a Christmas terrarium.

We had absolutely NO idea what we were doing and didn’t see any available instructions, so we pretty much just winged it. I found the jars at save-on-crafts.com and we both scoured our local craft stores for the trees, people, cars, etc.

At first we thought we’d put some “fluff” down. But that didn’t work at all. In the end here’s what we did:

  • filled the bottom of the jar with snowflake-type stuff {available in bags at a craft store}
  • cut a circle out of cardstock to fit the bottom of the jar
  • covered the cardstock with our snowflake-type stuff {can’t think of technical name}
  • tied bakers twine around a tree and hot glued it to the top of our car
  • and then we placed everything inside the jar
  • once we were happy with the placement, we took each item one-by-one and hot glued it to the cardstock inside the jar

We loved how they turned out and truly, they were really easy to make! This summer, I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at a fairy garden!

What do you think? Kinda cute, huh? :)

Posted in christmas, craft, creative