I LOVE the month of February because I love Valentines Day! It may be one of those holidays that most people try to skip over and forget about, and while I am not one that goes over the top, I do enjoy showering those around me with love. I thought it would be fun to put together a little list of why I think being married is so great and why I love my husband!
So whether or not you celebrate Valentines Day, have a significant other, or celebrate Galantines day, I hope February 14th you feel loved and more importantly eat lots of chocolate!
Here is a list of why I love my husband:
He gave me my baby girl
He is always down for ice cream
He lets me put my cold feet on him
We binge watch Netflix together
He loves frozen pizza for dinner
We lets me shoot when we hunt
He takes out the trash
He gave me the most romantic proposal
He is great at his job
He doesn’t say anything when I wear my pj’s all day
He built me the cutest chicken coop
He has big dreams/goals
He makes me laugh
He looks so good in camo
He supports me to be a SAHM
He always drives
He is always surprising me
He doesn’t say anything when I get more chickens
He takes care of my car for me
He prays for me
He makes me a fire when its cold
He orders off the appetizer menu
He changes diapers
He can fix anything
He isn’t afraid to watch a chick-flick
He loves my family
He gives the best gifts
He is a jack of all trades
He lets me change up the house
He asks me for advice
He loves the Lord
He is so funny
He values my opinion
He isn’t scared of hard work
He involves me in decisions
He values whats around him
He can talk to anyone
He leads our family
He stands up for me
He is honest with me
He braids my hair
He is my best friend
He is patient
I can always go to him for advice/help
He is my mathmetician
He sings with me in the truck
He gives forehead kisses
He has a good heart
He wants the best for me
He tells me I’m right
*I can’t believe it has been over three years since we took these photos! Alexi Walker took these for our engagement photos and I’m still in love with them!
We are at the end of January and by now most people have forgotten about their New Year Resolutions and goals they’ve set. For the few of you who are still sticking to their resolution and making changes, congratulations! It seems that no matter how genuine we can be, life gets in the way and we tend to settle back into what is most comfortable. While I don’t typically make a resolution for myself, I have made it a goal of mine to give more of myself this year.
Before I list all the ways I’m hoping to give more, I want to reflect on the thought of ‘more.’ Isn’t it true that in life we are always searching for more? Maybe it is rest if you’re a mom, patience, money, time, quietness, etc. I think we could all think of one thing we wish we had more of. And if you wear a lot of hats or are a lot of things to a lot of people, aren’t you always being demanded to give more of yourself? Do you ever feel like just you is not enough? Sometimes you may be tempted to throw up your hands and say, “I have no more to give!” The truth is, you aren’t alone if you feel that way.
But what would happen if we took the negative out of ‘always more?’ Instead of being stretched thin and searching for the next best thing, what if we looked to Jesus to be ‘always more’ to us?
When I feel like I am at the end of who I am, there is always infinitely more in Jesus.
He is a never-ending well who wants to refresh us. When we are being pulled in a million different directions by life, we can always find what we need in Him. He is our rest, our peace, our life-giver. I can always find a little bit more inside me to give because I know where my strength comes from. We can never do it on our own. Life will take it all out of us. But in Jesus there is Always More.
When I am filled with HIs love and grace, I find there is always more joy to share with those around me, always more love to show my family, always more. In Jesus I have abundance.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory.”
Infinitely MORE. But lets look at the verse right before it, verse 18. How wide, how long, how high, how deep his love is. That is the love we are operating out of. A never-ending love offered freely to you and I. The next time you feel like you have nothing left, stop and remember that with Christ there is always more. He meets our every need. The next time you feel the need to have ‘more’ in your life to be filled, be reminded that in Christ we already have all we need. The next time you feel like stopping at ‘good enough,’ choose to give a little more.
To read what others think about ‘Always More’ follow Audrey Roloff here at her blog, or shop Always More here. You can check out all her merchandise online and join the Always More movement.
If you’re anything like me, then you can easily find excuses to put off cleaning. It’s true I would much rather snuggle Josie on the couch than scrub toilets, but I’ve found that there’s nothing worse than a messy house. When the house is messy or cluttered, I feel like I’m also in disarray. While I may not be the world’s best housekeeper, I like to keep my home in a state that if anyone were to just ‘drop by’ I wouldn’t be too terribly embarrassed.
“My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.” Erma Bombeck
Here is a short list of areas in the house to clean everyday to help your weekly deep clean not be so overwhelming.
Make the bed. This one may be obvious but when you’re rushed in the morning it can be easy to leave the bed unmade, after all, you are going to get right back in it tonight. But, just by making the bed your room can seem much more put together, even if the rest of the room is a complete mess.
Clean kitchen counters/dishes in the sink. I am obsessive over washing dishes as soon as I put them in the sink. I can’t start cooking if I have a sink full of dishes or if I have clutter on my countertops. Even if you can’t do the dishes right then, it helps to just rinse them when you put them in the sink. If I know someone is coming over, the first thing I do is always the dishes. There’s just something about a clean kitchen that makes me feel like I have it together.
Pick up clutter. This may feel too broad BUT if you target specific areas it can be easy. For example, Cody seems to take his boots off in the living room and empty his pockets on the coffee table. Just by removing those items from the room it can seem less busy. We also leave our mail on the dining room table, which can get pretty cluttered. I’m currently searching for a cute metal ‘mail box’ that we can hang in the kitchen to keep any paper clutter off the table. We also have a habit of taking off jackets and throwing them on the couch, or leaving blankets left out. Just by picking up these items the living room can feel much more clean-whether you’ve dusted it or not.
Do a load of laundry. Ah, laundry. Whoever can wash, dry, and put away a load in the same day deserves an award. We are only a family of three, so while we aren’t drowning in laundry, it can definitely catch up with me. I find that if I can do a load a day it is much easier than having one or two designated laundry days. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but having one small pile looming over my head is much better than a whole weeks worth.
Keep the bathroom clean. This is probably the hardest for me. In our new home, we only have one bathroom. That means I have to share my space with my husband. I’ve always had my own bathroom so for the past year and a half I’ve really had to work on sharing and not freaking out about beard shavings in the sink. Our bathroom gets so messy, partly because when Cody comes in from working on the ranch that’s the only bathroom he can use. White bathmats and dirty boots just don’t get along. I can’t mop and wash the bathmats/hand towels every day, so I do my best to change the trash, wipe down the countertops, and keep it smelling fresh either by changing out my scentsy melts or wiping down the toilet and shower with Clorox wipes. Because it is the only bathroom, that means that anyone who comes to visit also has to use it, so I try to keep anything personal hidden as well.
I’m not sure that anyone absolutely loves cleaning. Sure, there are days I can spend the whole day cleaning house and at the end of it feel so satisfied. I have to admit, the house never feels entirely clean until I have at least two candles lit. Any other candle freaks out there?
I’ve discovered that cleaning is really an act of service to my family. And I can choose to do chores with a grateful heart. When our house is clean, it feels calmer. I truly believe that clutter can lead to feelings of chaos. And while I do feel grateful that I’m a SAHM and have the time to clean our house, I know that some moms/wives are so busy it is hard to stay on top of housework. I felt that way last year. I almost broke down and had someone come clean our house before Josie was born. But it was so dirty I felt like I needed to clean before I had someone else come clean. Ever feel that way? Hopefully if you can do these five things every day, maybe even two of these, it will help in making your house feel more tidy.
“The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.” Marie Kondo
I don’t know about you but I LOVE listening to music. Whether I’m in the car, cleaning house, or in the nursery with Josie, I have to have some sort of music playing. I don’t pay for Sirius XM and we hardly have any good radio stations in our area so I have Spotify Premium on my phone. It is so handy because I can plug my phone into speakers at the house or my aux cord in the car and listen to whatever I want without needing wifi. Lifesaver!
I tend to find 3 to 5 new songs at a time that I become obsessed with. I will listen to them over and over and then a few weeks later find new songs to sing. Sometimes, however, I never get tired of a song and below is a list of just those-my favorite worship songs!
It Is Well by Kristene Dimarco and Bethel Music
Call on Jesus by Nicole C. Mullen
My Story by Big Daddy Weave
Defender by Francesca Battistelli
Blessed Assurance by Elevation Worship
My Hallelujah by Bryan & Katie Torwalt
Faithful by Sarah Reeves
Stand in Your Love by Bethel Music and Josh Baldwin
What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship
Because He Lives by David Crowder Band
If you didn’t notice, a few of those songs were old hymns that artists re-wrote. I grew up singing songs out of a red hymnal, and I think those songs will always resonate the most with me. Of course, we don’t have to listen to our favorite song to find reasons to worship, but sometimes when a certain song comes on, you just feel it. I hope you can add these songs to your playlist or give me some of your own to add to mine!
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1
Have you ever wanted something so badly that you can feel it in your bones? Maybe you close your eyes and you’re right there, where you want to be or doing what you love. For the past two years I’ve had a dream (one that’s almost unobtainable) and it has almost consumed me. Is it obsessive if you’re awake at 3 am and dreaming of it, whatever it is? Maybe as soon as you started reading this something came to mind and you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe you’ve already accomplished your dream and you think back to how it felt when it was just at your fingertips. Whatever the case, I am going crazy over my family’s little farmhouse and few acres.
At just twelve miles outside of town, sitting on ten acres, there is a little farmhouse and fabulous barn just begging someone to bring it back to life. It needs a little TLC, a lot of elbow grease, and someone with a big vision. That someone just happens to be me. My mom and her sisters have had the little piece of property on the market for years, getting the frequent call on a potential buyer. And with each call I feel a little blow to my heart. Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t that I don’t want it to sell to the benefit of my family, I just wish it was going to be sold to me.
Whenever a house isn’t lived in, it goes downhill so fast. It is evidence of a broken window, a birds nest on the wall, a crack in the ceiling and a falling foundation. Enough to make someone walk away and say it’s best to start from the ground up. But not me. I hate any type of DIY but yet I envision myself re-doing this house? It honestly makes no sense. And yet, here I am with this feeling of deep connection to this farm and grieving the thought of it selling.
Best case scenario Joanna and Chip choose to feature it on their now discontinued show…I mean can you see how unrealistic this is? But yet I sit, imagining the kitchen with shiplap on the walls, a farmhouse sink, with a new pane in the window looking out over the field. I see Josie with the chickens and hobby goats down by the barn, our little calf, Faline, grazing by the fence. Someone stop me. Cody has made it clear he isn’t, or ever will be, interested in the place.
It isn’t bad enough that I’ve dedicated an entire Pinterest board to Farmhouse Décor but that I’ve obsessively followed other’s on their journey to redoing an old farmhouse. One IG profile in particular, I have watched a woman on her journey of taking an old farmhouse and completely stripping it, and with it her own life. She created the hashtag #ahouseGodisbuilding and it has been so neat seeing her compare an old house to a heart. With the renovation of her home, she parallels it to the ways God is moving in her heart. Tearing down walls, putting up new paint; a complete renovation. It is a beautiful comparison and after following along I have asked God to do the same in my own heart. Ripping out the parts that don’t belong anymore, replacing the old and tarnished with new and shiny. This post certainly isn’t about her journey but it deserves the attention.
Perhaps I am envisioning myself in that old house because I can’t bear the thought of it leaving the family. My great-grandfather built it from the ground up, hand digging the wells and cellar. But I don’t really think that is it. I love the family history, knowing that my grandfather was born there, but it is deeper still. It’s hard to drive to the property and see the house dilapidated and only getting worse still, knowing that in it’s prime it was so beautiful. To see the potential just lying there, being wasted, is hard to accept.
While I know that living in that farmhouse for myself is highly unlikely in my future, and even owning it and renting it out is further out of the picture, I hold the dream in my heart, in my hands. So, if anyone is interested in buying it and sharing my vision, let me know! In the meantime, I’m trying to push it out of my head. Could it be a God-given dream though, if it’s buried this deep in my heart?
It has been quite a while since I have posted about my little backyard flock of chickens. We have been incredibly busy at the ranch but now that deer season is over I feel like things are slowing down. Cody bought me my chickens back in August of last year (has it really been that long ago?!) and I have enjoyed watching them grow so much! They should be laying next month and I am excited to finally have our own eggs.
I kept my chickens in a cattle feed bucket for a few weeks while Cody was building my coop. I have to say, he did a fabulous job getting it done in a hurry. After the coop was built in the backyard I moved my chicks into it and let them spread their wings and run around. They loved it! I left them in the coop for about a month before opening the door to let them be free range. I didn’t feel that they were big enough before that point, and I wanted them to know that the coop was their home. I had so much anxiety about opening the door for the first time and letting them run out, but they thankfully stayed close to the house.
I sat outside with them for a few hours the first day just because we have an outside cat, Ollie. I had no idea how he would react to them. He put the stalk on my roosters a few times, but turns out he is scared of them! As soon as the rooster would turn around Ollie would run off. I am so glad I don’t have to worry about the cat trying to eat them; they get along just fine now.
I started off with 10 hens and 2 roosters, and unfortunately I lost a few. One night I didn’t get home in time to shut the door on my coop and my chickens had been scared out of it. I hunted them down in the dark for about an hour. I was able to find all but 3 of them. This happened twice, leaving me with a total of 5 chickens ate. I can’t even tell you how sad it made me! Cody went out every night for about two weeks to try and shoot any fox or raccoons in the area. In that short amount of time he shot over 25 raccoons around our house. I couldn’t believe we had that many, causing a threat to my flock. Since then, I have not lost a chicken and we haven’t seen any more varmits around the house.
Because I lost so many, Cody and I decided that we needed to get a few more chickens to add to our flock. After having a dozen and then only having seven, my coop just seemed empty. I began searching for buying chicks online but wasn’t sure if it was worth the hassle. Thankfully, our local town has something called ‘Trading on the Radio’, or Tradio on the Radio, and a man was advertising some chickens for sale! I visited and picked out six more hens. They are about half grown, so it will be a while before they will lay any eggs. They are speckled in color and I know when they get full grown they will be a pretty addition to my flock! I was very specific in knowing I didn’t want just plain colored chickens- I want a variety of hens in the yard.
For now my new hens are separated from the rest of the flock. Because birds have a pecking order I need my old birds to get acquainted with my new ones before mixing them in the bunch. So far they have checked each other out but it seems as though they will get along just fine. My new birds seem to like the extra room they have at their new home and I have a feeling they are getting more nutritious food from me as well.
I still have so much to learn about chickens but I am so happy to have the time at home to look after them. Josie loves to go outside and watch the chickens come running up to us. It won’t be very long before she is chasing after them herself. If you are contemplating getting a flock yourself, I highly recommend it. They have been quite entertaining and have provided lots of happiness in just this short amount of time.
How is it even possible that it is a new year?! 2018 was a blur looking back, and time seemed to double in speed. I think back to the beginning of 2018 and I was so anxious to get the year started. We welcomed our precious baby girl in March and I think time stopped for us then. Then it started again and went by extremely fast. I look back and think, Cody and I went from being husband and wife, to mom and dad. I might need to sit down for that one!
Bringing home baby was obviously the highlight of this past year. Josie has brought us so much JOY and I can’t believe we ever lived our lives without this little princess. It is hard to believe she is already over 9 months old and busy as ever. Where is my tiny, squishy baby?
Every year has it’s ups and downs, and this year was no different. Unfortunately, Cody and I both walked through loss of family members, and it is always painful to look back on those times. It is an odd thing how death can stop you and slow you down but yet time just keeps on marching. I’m praying that in 2019 we don’t have to walk down those hard roads.
As we look ahead to the new year and wonder what changes it will bring (nothing can top 2017), I try to picture what it might be like. I wonder if we will take any trips or stay close to home. I know we will have a lot of first’s for Josie, and I know she will bring us even more joy. I’m planning on returning to work and taking Josie to daycare. I really don’t like change, so if things stay the way they are that would be great.
Cody and I don’t normally make a New Year’s Resolution, and therefore I never have to worry about keeping it! I do have goals set for this upcoming year, however, and I want to try my hardest to reach them. One goal in particular is to get something published. I think for as long as I can remember I have wanted to write a book. At this point I have no idea what the book will be about! I just know I have a story somewhere inside that needs to come out. Maybe this will be the year.
Whatever the goal, however distant it may seem, I pray that 2019 we keep God at the center of our home, our life, our marriage, etc. We are blessed abundantly and Cody and I could never take the credit for what God is doing in our lives. If 2019 sees us in a cardboard box I know that God is good and we will praise Him on the mountain and in the valley.
I pray that everyone has a safe, blessed, and Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a great holiday with family and friends! The Christmas season is always so busy and by the time it is over I look back and feel like I didn’t accomplish half of what I wanted to (like Christmas cards!) With it being Josie’s first Christmas it felt so special this year and I knew I wanted to make a keepsake craft with her that we could have for years to come. After searching Pinterest for the perfect craft, I settled with salt dough ornaments. They were so easy to make and fun to give as presents to grandparents!
All you need is some water, salt, flour, a rolling pin and the oven to get started. In a large bowl mix one cup salt, one cup flour, and one half cup of water together. The mixture will be very thick and hard to stir. Be sure to flour the surface very well before rolling out the dough. I was able to make 5 ornaments, although you may make more or less depending on the size you want them.
Once you cut them out, take baby’s hand or foot and press into the dough until you have a deep enough print. This can be harder than you think! Josie was done after the first two ornaments, so we had to come back later and finish the others.
Don’t forget to cut out a hole for ribbon to tie! I used a straw and it made a perfect circle. After you have that tiny handprint or footprint, stick them in the oven at 200 degrees for a few hours. They will be ready for paint when you pull them out!
I bought cheap acrylic paint at Wal Mart and painted them with a sponge brush. After the paint dried I took gold glitter and applied it to the handprint portion of the ornament. I let them dry overnight before tying gold ribbon through the hole at the top.
These ornaments were the perfect Christmas craft and gift. I know that we will hang them on our tree for years to come and remember how tiny Josie’s hand was this year. What I love most is how unique each ornament was. Some turned out better than the others, but I loved the ‘homemade’ feel of them. I hope you can make these next year for your tree, or find another reason during the year to make them!
If you read my last post then you know I’m trying to cram as much celebration as I can into a short month for every holiday this year. It is barely December, but I know that this month will be gone in the blink of an eye. Even though Josie will hardly remember her first Christmas, I am determined to make the memories anyway! Whether you have a baby to celebrate the holiday with or just yourself, here is a fun list of ideas you can do each day of December to celebrate Christmas!
Another great idea that I’m incorporating this year for myself is to read one chapter of Luke each day. There are 24 chapters in the book, each telling a story of Jesus’ life here on Earth. What a better way to celebrate His coming than to read about His miracles all month long!
Decorate a Christmas tree
Look at Christmas lights
Make homemade hot chocolate
Watch a Christmas movie
Attend a lighted Christmas parade
Picture with Santa
Write Christmas cards
Make homemade ornaments
Get matching Christmas pajamas
Make homemade eggnog
Buy a gift for a Christmas tree angel
Take family photos
Make fake snow
Sing Christmas carols
Set up a nativity set
Make a Jesse tree
Read a Christmas story
Start an Advent calendar
Bake and cutout cookies
Decorate a gingerbread house
Write a letter to Santa
Make a holiday breakfast
Decorate a tree for baby
Read the true story of Christmas
Let me know if you do any of these this season, or if you have a fun tradition to add!
We are well into the holiday season and I am trying to enjoy the last few months of the year to the fullest extent. With this being a year of ‘first’s’ for Josie, I feel determined to celebrate all that I can. October and November came and went in such a flash that I’m hoping December can slow down just a bit. We enjoyed all things spooky and pumpkin the last several months and Josie got a good taste of Halloween and Thanksgiving. We attended our church’s Fall Festival and Josie went as a little mouse. I could have left her in that costume all month, she was just too adorable! We also enjoyed going to a pumpkin patch! My initial plans were to visit Circle S Corn Maze in Wall, TX, but decided that since Josie couldn’t really appreciate all the pumpkin patch fun, to stick to something smaller. My mom and I found the Sierra Mesa Methodist Church in San Angelo had quite a large patch and plenty of photo opportunities. Josie was all smiles until I put her next to a scarecrow! I would definitely recommend checking them out next year and purchasing your pumpkin from them- their proceeds go to their youth group!
Thanksgiving came and went so quickly that I didn’t do as much as I had planned. Josie did have some pureed turkey and sweet potato that she ate right up. She enjoyed time with family as well.
December has barely begun and I have so many ideas of things to do with Josie. I’m so excited to start traditions with her this year that we will carry over year after year. What are some of your favorite traditions your family does?
*If you LOVE Josie’s rompers (which are so incredibly soft), check out Bows and Blessings Boutique here!