Can you do me a favorite?

Another series on the funny/adorable things my kids say....my kids have been extra hilarious this week.

1. I think it's super cute that whenever Faith wants me to do something for her, she always asks, "Mommy, can you do me a favorite?" =]

2. Last week after driving down dirt roads, the outside of our truck was looking like a hot mess. Faith was falling asleep in the back seat, but before she dozed off, she noted "Mommy, our truck is gross. You need to go to the car washing machine and clean it up." I guess that's actually pretty accurate. =]

3. Two mornings ago, it was quite rainy and dark when we left to go to school/work. Leaves were stuck to my windshield but I didn't bother wiping them off as I was running late. After a few minutes in the car, I hear Caleb in the back roaring like a lion as loud as he could. Then, a sigh of frustration. I look back to see his face getting red as he attempted an even bigger roar, and then more frustration. He sighed and said, "Mommy, it's not working. I can't scare the leaf away!" LOL Then he proceeded to ask me to help him blow as hard as possible from our seats in hopes to get rid of the leaf that way! I was tearing up from laughing so hard the whole way to work!

4. This one melted my heart today. On our way to school, we saw a beautiful sunrise. I pointed it out to the girls (Faith and Eden) and said, "Isn't God awesome?" Without missing a beat, Faith chimed in. "Yeah, and He's really funny."
"What does God do that makes you laugh?"
"Well, when He lives in my heart, sometimes He tickles me!"

Does life get any better?


I'm a big kid now

First of all, thank you for everyone who offered up prayers for my brother. I found out yesterday that because he broke his probation, he was put in jail. I don't know yet the amount of time but just pray that everything works out.

On a lighter note, I'm finally getting around to posting pictures of Caleb's room. My poor little man lived the first year of his life in a pink room with his sister. When we bought our first house, I was determined to give him his own room. While he got his own room, the hubs and I never really came to an agreement about how to decorate it. I wanted trucks & transportation, he wanted outdoors...Caleb settled the agreement for us. His obsession with the movie 'Cars' kinda spoke for itself and it was slowly creeping into the interior design of his room, so I went with it.

I love that Caleb loves 'Cars', but I was not a fan of overtly Disney decoration. I didn't want it to be something hard to transform if he grew out of it, and I wanted it to match the already painted blue and brown room. Let's see the before:

Before: We love the colors on the wall, but poor Caleb never really had any coordinating anything in his room...

His crib...and bland decorations

Now: Still a work-in-progress, and please excuse the ripped off paint on the wall (from water damage and I just haven't painted over it yet). But the dude's room now consists of a big boy bed, cute curtains that managed to match perfectly with the walls, his blanket he got for Christmas from friends.

The real craftiness of the room: the canvases I painted to match the curtains. I love that they were still 'Cars' but were artsy and matched the room. And I found the design at Walmart, of all places! They aren't as big as I wanted them to be, but they're still cute!

Mater, Lightning McQueen, and Doc.

I can't wait to finish it! And someday soon, the Dude will have an actual big boy bed!


Regularly viewed program interruption

Usually on Wednesdays, I update with Weight Loss Wednesdays.

Today, I'd like to take a break from our regularly viewed programming to ask for prayers for my brother, Brian.

Without going into too much detail (and there a lot of details), let me give you the background: My brother Brian, who is 25 years old, is battling addiction. His addictions have taken many forms and have been taking over his life for the past few years at least. My brother is one of the smartest, most talented, good-looking guys I know. He could go anywhere he wanted and basically do anything with his life, but serious addictions have disabled him from doing anything noteworthy (other than having a beautiful son 3 years ago).

He'd been doing good til recently. After his final court hearing from something that happened last year as a result of the influence of drugs, he got sucked back into bad routines and bad decisions, including life threatening habits that are affecting his family more than he could ever realize. My parents kicked him out of the house when they found out he was using drugs again, and he went missing. My parents called his probation officer and they sentenced him to 90 days inpatient only rehabilitation.

I have been hopeful. My brother has checked himself into rehabs and AA meetings on numerous occasions, always giving us false hopes of redemption. But he is very sly, smart, and able to get/talk his way out of painful situations allowing him to always come home on 'good behavior', etc. So an in-patient only rehab seemed like an answered prayer. He was dropped off last Wednesday.

Last night, he escaped the rehab center.

You read that right, escaped. As in, left without permission. Just walked out. Apparently, he thought he was above this place that's filled with convicts, rapists, oh, and addicts. Didn't call anyone from our family, though did manage to run into a cousin at the bar while he was surrounded by his 'drug' friends. So of course by this afternoon everyone, including his probation officer, knew about it. There is obviously a warrant out for his arrest.

I realize I am at risk of airing my brother's dirty laundry, but I need it off my chest. I've been praying for this kid constantly and questioning God's reasoning for letting my brother's talent and potential go to waste. There have been so many times when I've literally just waited for a phone call to hear my brother had an overdose or was left on the side of the road for dead (both have happened, btw). I'm sick of hearing excuse after excuse. I realize I cannot fathom the difficulty associated with overcoming that kind of addiction but he has more than enough people willing to help/pray/guide him along the way.

I believe in the power of prayer. And I believe in the strength of numbers. I know I'm not the only person praying for my brother, but I also know there can never be enough people praying.

Please pray for a powerful change in my brother's life. Please pray that he will wake up and realize that damage he is doing not only to himself, but also to his family and his son.

And pray that something will happen before it's too late.


Oh yeah....I got a tatoo...

I already posted about my aMAZing trip to Nashville for the ZOE conference

I didn't really get a chance to talk about my NEW TATTOO! =]

The christian tattoo place in downtown Nashville that has become an annual part of the ZOE experience!

I almost didn't get it. I really wanted it and have really been thinking about this tattoo for years (even before I had kids). But, I wanted it to be my writing and I wanted to love it, obviously. I spent over an hour working on the perfect font, and finally got it right before the place was about to close.

My tattoo artist, Jay, was amazing! He was done in less than 2 minutes (thank goodness, because it DID NOT feel good)

I am in love with it. Just the word Faith holds so much meaning to me, not just because I have named my daughter that. The ironic thing was that over at the conference, there was a brief talk about wearing the mark of Jesus and if everyone would get one word of the bible tattooed on themselves, which word would it be? I found mine.

I also love it because it reminds me of the experience I had over the weekend. Six of us on the trip got tattoos, and it's an experience I will obviously share with them for life. I was honored to be a part of their experience and grateful that they were there for mine.

Sarah, me, Kierstyn, Vicki, Teresa, and Chris

A few more pictures....

Showing Jay where to place the tattoo. He almost put it upside down. I don't care if anyone else can read it, it's for me to see!

"Mine was licked on by kittens!" LOL
Not so much....IT KILLED

Sweet Sarah trying to talk to me and keep my mind off the pain...

Now I have to decide if I am going to get 'Caleb' tattooed somewhere soon so I won't feel like a terrible parent! ha



I love love LOVE fall. Most of my favorite things happen in the fall: leaves changing colors, the smells of apples, pumpkins, and cinnamon filling my house, and by far the BEST part of the season....precious little kids all dressed up for Halloween.

That's why I love Trunk-or-Treat. Not only is it the most adorable and creative idea for a save environment for kids to get treats, but it nearly brings me to tears seeing all the kids dressed up! (Okay, let's be honest, it doesn't take much for me to tear up, but how can you not love that?!?)

This year, my trunk was pretty lame. The idea in my head was great, but I didn't have enough time to bring it to life. Good thing I have some pretty cute kids to make up for it. I would never miss the opportunity to take pictures of them all dressed up!

Caleb, who was my little spider this year. Again. This was Faith's first halloween costume and this is the 4th year in a row we've used it - but Caleb insisted (and saved me some money).

Faith wanted to be a princess. I know. You're shocked.

Cousin Braiden came to join us!

My cuties - they were so excited!

My girlfriend Michelle from work came with her kids too! =]

Noah's Ark trunk: This trunk won for 'Best Bible Theme'

The Incredibles: This trunk/familiy won for 'Most creative'. They were SO cute!

I don't know the title of this trunk, but it won for 'Most Interactive'...the lion danced and sung too!

And here's an interesting tid bit of information (well, probably just for me)...It's been just over a year since I've started this blog because I remember last year's Trunk-or-Treat being one of my first posts. Happy Bloggiversary to me! =]


Weight Loss Wednesday

Here I am, back again.

Since my last check in, I've been trying to balance myself. I'm still very busy but I'm trying to just adjust to my routine without losing my sanity. Here's how I've been doing:

1. Eat smaller meals, more often.
This is one of those things that is so much easier with a regular schedule. I'm used to not eating all day, then splurging at night and overeating. I'm proud to say that I'm forcing myself to eat every 3-4 hours. That's right, forcing. It's tough to do, but when I eat throughout the day, I'm for sure less hungry consistently - imagine that! I know my metabolism will thank me later! =]

2. Take my daily vitamins every morning.
CHECK! =] (again, easier with a routine)

3. Talk to my kids more about eating healthy, and making healthy choices.
This has been by far the most rewarding part of my journey. Faith takes a Stretch-N-Grow class every Wednesday, which is a kid's fitness program stressing the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle - money well spent! I've also had to say no to the convenience of McDonald's to tell my kids that it's not a healthy choice to eat all the time, that it's just a special treat for once in awhile. Same with the discussion about snacks vs. treats. Last week, when we did have McDonald's for the first time in awhile, Faith immediately said "Mommy, I'll get apples instead of fries, cause they're healthy for my body!" I was beaming with pride knowing that I'm being a better example to my kids and teaching them how to make healthy choices themselves! =]

4. Get on the Treadmill
Oh man, was I putting this one off! I would rather bike for 30 miles than run for 1 mile. I hate running. It kills my knee and burns my esophagus. Well, I found a sure-fire way to get my butt on the treadmill - I signed up to run a 10k race for Thanksgiving!!! EEK. So Monday, for the first time since probably high school, I ran a mile without stopping to see if my body (aka knee) could handle it. And guess what? I survived. After I'm finished blogging, I'll be heading to the gym to attempt 2 whole miles. Sounds trivial, but I NEVER thought I'd be running again!

I'm very proud of myself for keeping goals this time, and it has paid off. Check out my weigh in:

X - 17LBS!

1. Eat breakfast within the first 30 minutes of waking up.
2. Run at least 3X a week to prepare for the 10k race.
3. Cook/eat more meals at home.
4. Get to bed at a decent hour when possible.

This journey is much easier with encouragement from friends and family...that's what I was missing the first time around. I'm being open and honest about my goals and achievements and appreciate all the encouragement! XOXO


ZOE Conference: A story in pictures

I am finally getting a hot second to write about my weekend in Nashville for the ZOE conference. It was one of the highlights of my year for sure!

I will let my pictures tell you about most of my weekend. I would like to first point out the irony of the fact that I lost my voice. For the entire weekend. I was really bummed at first to not be able to participate in the incredible singing all weekend, but realized it was totally humbling to stop listening to my own voice and allow God to speak through the music to me. It was so powerful! =] Okay, now for the photos....

First picture of the trip, with my seat buddy/replacement-spouse for the weekend, the beautiful Sarah Robinson.

Our sweet crib for the weekend. Complete with jacuzzi tub and two entertaining rooms.

Met up with my girl, Teresa, who just moved to Nashville a few weeks ago. I miss her already!

Me, Teresa, Vicki, and Kara (who also just moved to Nashville) @ Sunset Grille

You know when you have 'The Bang" that just won't cooperate? Yeah, I do. We all got banged at some point over the weekend! lol

So, we had a Possum that walked into the restaurant off the street! No joke. You better believe we were all standing on chairs and squealing like girls!

Love this pic of us =]

My favorite meal of the whole weekend - The Cheesecake Factory (Best salad EVER)

Got to meet up with the beautiful (and pregnant) Kristan, who I miss terribly!

Probably Chris' favorite meal of the weekend (and my second runner up) = Baja Burrito

Um, yeah....I got a TATTOO!!!!!!
(I'll blog about this later)

Everyone who got a tattoo outside in downtown Nashville baby!

Just taking a few pit stops walking through downtown. How could you not stop for these amazing finds?!?

The GIANT rocking chair @ Cock of the Walk

Our jumping photo. I know it's blurry, but look at the air I got...White girls CAN jump!

Can't wait for next year! =]


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