Mommy’s Day Off

Today I was finally able to enjoy my Mother’s Day gift from Jordan, a “Mommy’s Day Off.”  He told me that he would take Riley out for the day so that I could have a day to myself to do whatever my little heart pleased.  He didn’t even have to finish his sentence before I started thinking about what I wanted to do :).

I am so thankful for my husband.  He’s a good one folks.

Here is what my idyllic Mommy’s Day Off looked like:


I slept in (funny how 8:30am is “sleeping in” to me these days), and was given breakfast in bed.  Have you tried the coconut coffee from Brueggar’s Bagels?  If not, you should!  I ate breakfast in bed while reading some articles online, and then watched a few episodes of “Once Upon a Time” (I’m hooked now.  Thanks for the suggestion, Melissa!)

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Then I went on a long stroll in this beautiful weather and listened to a sermon.

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Of course, even on a Mommy’s Day off, I had to steal some kisses and snuggles from my little Goose.

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I spent the afternoon at the pool, enjoying a mimosa, reading a magazine and listening to some Nora Jones.  Strangely (since it’s Memorial Day) the pool was practically empty.  I was not complaining about that :).  I had a nice spot in the shade and there was a lovely breeze blowing through.  It was just perfect.

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Then I came back and got in the Jacuzzi bath.  And yes, this happened.  Candles, wine, fresh fruit and cheese.  I mean, if I’m going to have a day off, I’m going to have a day off. And I’m going to do it right.

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And finally, I gave myself a little mani/pedi.

When the day closed on 5:00, I actually felt really ready to be with my family again, watch our friend’s son so they could go out on a date, and cook a delicious meal.  I had all the rest one could possibly need to pour out love and energy at the dinner table and on the playground before tucking the little ones into bed.

As I thought about it today, I came to this conclusion: we all need rest.  We all need a break once in awhile.  And when we get one, it is a sweet gift from a Father who delights in His children and gives us good things.  But at the same time, the very things we need a break from are usually the things that are the greater gift to us.  It is the mundane, everyday responsibilities in our lives that shape us.  They are the tools that give us humility, wisdom, long-suffering, endurance, patience, character, and teach us what it means to love and give.


Sidenote:  I think it is important to mention that this was one special day for me, not what my every day looks like.  It’s easy to see pictures on Instagram or read blog posts like this about someone’s life and think that they have it easy, or they have it all together or things are picture perfect.  Isn’t that what social media does, after all?  It captures the moments that we want to document and preserve.  We don’t use it to capture the days we wish to forget, the hard days that are often sandwiched between those photos and status updates and blog posts.  Today followed 3 hard weeks of sickness, solo parenting, and even some arguments and hard conversations with Jordan that I did not care to document.  Just wanted you all to know that.  Life is beautiful and sweet and difficult and sour for all of us in different ways and at different times.  There is no secret to some perfect life.  There is just life.  🙂

Cherishing the Moments.

This morning my heart broke as I saw the pictures of the Oklahoma tornado and the destruction that it caused.  I don’t know what it is with this year, but we’ve had a lot of tragedy happen in the US.  And the fact that it was so many children…

I just… can’t… even.

It definitely puts things in perspective.

So today I decided I wanted to live fully in each moment with my daughter, to capture some of my favorites, and to document them to have forever on my little corner of the Internet here.

It was a sweet day.

Here were some of my favorite Riley moments:


When she woke up in the morning, as happy as she could be, with some major bed head.


Her messy yogurt face.  And her big, beautiful eyes.


She had to take her “Little Quack” book with her on our grocery trip.  Precious, serious little reader.


The little legs! The Crocs.  The pigtails 🙂


Her love for animals.  The way she says, “daw!” for “dog.” The way she cracked up laughing when Sadie (Aunt Justina’s dog) licked her fingers.


The pigtails from behind while looking out of the window :).


Banana in one hand, apple in the other. Efficiency 🙂


She leaned up to kiss her daddy on the couch.  Melt. my. heart.

Hold the ones you love a little tighter tonight, and enjoy each moment with them.

We’re continuing to pray for those in Oklahoma <3.


I Thought about You Today

Today’s post is from a guest blogger, my best friend for the past 18 years, Katie (you might remember reading about Katie on one of my Throwback Thursday posts).

Katie wrote this to her second child, who we sadly never had the chance to meet.  I am honored to share her beautiful words with the world.  Love you Katie!

I thought about you today.
We would know if you were a girl or a boy.
Actually, we wouldn’t because we are
“those people” who like surprises .

I thought about how we would watch you move all around.
How we would lay on the couch and watch feet and hands stick out.
How we would call your brother over to feel.
How the long uncomfortable nights would begin to set in.

I thought about how we would be preparing your brother.
How we would talk about you and tell your brother you were coming.
How we would tell him he has to share with you .
We would tell him how what a good big brother he would be.

Actually, I think about you every time someone says “So, when are y’all going…”
And I want to tell them about you but instead I bite my tongue.
And say “ I don’t know…….”
And those are the moments I really miss you.

I thought about you when I put your brother to bed.
How thankful I am for the blessing of him.
I thought of the little person he is becoming.
And wonder who you would have been.

But most of all…
I thought about how thankful I am that God allowed me to be your momma.
I thought about how one day I will get to see you, maybe hold you and kiss you.
I thought about how God’s plans are perfect and how much peace that comes from that.
I thought how thankful I am that I got to be your momma for just a few weeks.


Throwback Thursday: When I used to roll my eyes at “those” people

Ok so… this Throwback Thursday post is a bit of a confession. I must admit, I totally used to roll my eyes at people who were all into clean eating and natural remedies and green smoothies and holistic health. You know, “those” people. It really annoyed me, if I’m honest. Even if they were my close friends. Or my mom. I’m pretty sure your disgusting looking spinach drink, 500 supplements from Whole Foods, and $500 bag of “real” groceries are not what cured your cold or healed your stubbed toe.

Or so I thought.

And yet, here I am.

Taking things like this


And eating things like this




So, what happened that caused me to join the enemy camp (you might ask)?

Here’s the thing. In just the past 2 weeks I have had ringworm (yes, I’m just as grossed out as you are. Apparently you can get it from children’s play places and playgrounds pretty easily), a bad head cold, pink eye, and tonight I gave into my 18 month old daughter who was begging me to go “Night Night pease!” at 6:15pm because she has a fever.

And this is representative of what our entire past 5 months has been like. I usually get somewhere between a week and two weeks break between illnesses. Starting with the flu in December, I have just been slammed with head colds and sinus infections and everything under the sun. Over. And over again.

Come to think of it, besides the welcomed break that pregnancy and breastfeeding gave me from sickness, it’s been like this since college for me.

Translation: my immune system is defunct.

And I finally decided that I have had enough! I am waging war.

I’m not exactly sure why my immune system is so dumb slow apathetic to my feelings non-existent, but my strongest theory is that I have been on so many antibiotics the past several years that I think it has just broken down my body’s ability to fight illness.


I decided that I am going to get aggressive about trying to rebuild my immune system. And I’m going to go all out in my efforts. I figured, it’s worth a shot. I need to do something.

I’m going to try to make several changes, but start with a little at a time so that it’s not too overwhelming at first.

Here are some of the things I’m starting or planning to do:

1. Take a daily multivitamin, DMG (mostly for my vertigo, but it also acts as an antioxidant), and cod liver oil (helps build immune system, but has MANY incredible benefits)
2. Clean eating with tons of fruit and vegetables and antioxidant rich foods, including a green smoothie every day with lunch.
3. Cut out white refined sugar. This is not like when we went sugar free for a month last summer (shudder). No, this time I will eat bread and pasta here and there. I just mean cutting out soda (I may have a tearful goodbye with my beloved Roo Cup. Or I may just cheat every now and then. We’ll see), sweets (unless someone bakes something for me, in which case I will gratefully partake), and also artificial sweeteners. Those are worse than sugar.
4.Try to stick with organic milk and stay away from milk with hormones in it.
5. Start drinking tea with lemon and honey.
6. Stop using self-tanner (yes, I’m an addict. Secret’s out. But it’s full of chemicals, and what we put on our skin can get into our system unfortunately and toxins also break down our immune systems.)
7. Use tea tree oil soap and olive oil for face wash and shaving.
8. Start making a couple of my own cleaning products (which is actually way easier and cheaper than I thought it would be. This website is super helpful:
9. Eat lots of yogurt for the probiotics.
10. Possibly start adding some fermented foods into my diet (Like Kombucha. My old roommate Lauren would be so proud.)

It’s possible I’m being too ambitious.

It’s possible I’ve gone off my rocker.

It’s possible this stuff won’t even help.

But I’m just so over being sick so much and I’m willing to do what I can on my part. I’ve actually found it pretty inspiring and fun so far. As someone who has seen my doctor more than I see some of my best friends and is constantly picking up prescriptions, I think it is just really empowering to feel like in some way I can take my health into my own hands. That I don’t have to just be the victim of whatever bacteria I come into contact with, but that I can be proactive in the prevention of it.

I realize that this will take awhile to make a difference. I don’t expect to start feeling better in a week or anything. It could take a year or more of this lifestyle to actually feel like my immune system is getting stronger.

I realize that there are people who work really hard at being healthy and doing these things that still get very sick. I am not naive about that.

I realize that this is going to be a challenge on a tight budget. I’m trying to figure that out. I’m looking for where we can cut corners, and doing my best to stay within our current grocery budget.

I also realize that there is about an 80% chance that I’ll cheat quite a bit.

But I’ve got to do something. Starting Now.

So go ahead, roll your eyes at me. I deserve it ;-).


The Best Day with You


I think I just heard your last murmurs over the monitor and you are on your way to being sound asleep for the night.  I was thinking back over our day and looking at our pictures and I just had to find a space to tell you that I had the best day with you.

I already told you that before you went to bed, but you don’t understand yet.  One day you will, and I hope you can look back at my recounting of the day and the pictures with some sense of familiarity or nostalgia.  Or I’d settle for you just having a sense of warm stability as you look back at what our life was like together when you were 1 and a half year old.

We have been at Rockbridge this week, IV’s summer camp where college students come to learn about Jesus, receive good teaching about the bible and its relevance in current issues, and good training in leading a small group bible study or telling people about Jesus.  Your Daddy is here to do some of the teaching and training, and we are so proud of him!  We are thankful that He is able to impact the college campus in this way.

While Daddy is off doing that, you and I have been able to explore together but that was hard the first few days because it rained non.stop. (By the way, don’t use periods to punctuate incomplete sentences.  That’s just a cool thing to do right now that you will probably think was weird.  Also, don’t always just do the “cool” thing. )

After a few days of being cooped up in the rain, you and I were really ready for the sun to come out!  You kept pointing out the window saying, “side PEASE!” (“slide please”) and didn’t understand why you couldn’t play on the playground :(.

Finally on day 4 of being here, the sun came out!  Bright and early at 7:30 am, you and I finally headed out to play on the playground in our pj’s.


You were so happy :).

At 8:30 we had to go to breakfast with Daddy and all the students, but you just couldn’t WAIT to get back to the playground.  So we played again after breakfast, until your nap time at 11am.

You were hilarious.  There was this big boat (I think it was supposed to be a sandbox) that was filled with water, and you took a cup over there and splashed, laughed, and eventually dumped water ALL.over.yourself.  On purpose.  You thought it was great!  Your sweatshirt, jeggings (those are a thing right now), and boots were completely soaked.  It was so fun to watch you though.  You were having the time of your life :).

Eventually Daddy and I had to strip you down, wrap you in a towel, put you in a warm bath and throw your clothes in the dryer.

It was totally worth it.

After you woke up from your nap, we decided to put you in your swimsuit so you could play in the water again.

Let me tell you, you rocked that swimsuit.  It might have been the cutest thing I have ever seen!



Then you, Daddy and I went on a walk down to the main part of the camp to get cold soft drinks and play around the students.  On our walk, you made us stop every time you saw flowers so you could pick them.  You held those flowers all afternoon and wouldn’t let them go, even though they started to wither!


While we were playing with Daddy, you took off running on the side walk, fell, and got your first skinned knee!  That’s a milestone and a badge of honor if you ask me :).  We were proud of you, you handled it like a champ.  You just got right back up and started running again!


When Daddy had to go back to his meetings, you and I played Frisbee in one of the big open fields.  You loved it!  We would take turns.  You would squeal with delight when I would toss the Frisbee, then you would run after it and try with all of your might to throw it like I did.

Of course, we ended up back at the playground for the last stretch of the day.



I had the best day with you.


At the end of the day I put you in your pj’s, zipped you up in your sleep sack, gave you some warm milk, and wrapped you in my arms.  I stroked your hair and took in the sweet smell of your skin. Taylor Swift’s song, “I Had the Best Day with You” kept replaying over and over again in my head.  I thought about what our best days now are like compared to our best days a year ago, when you were only 6 months old.  Then I thought about what they might be like when you are 5 and when you are 15.  It just keeps getting better.

I’m looking forward to even more best days with you, sweetheart.