Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis the Season + Giveaway

It is hard to believe that we are just a few days from the biggest celebration of the year. But what is the point of it all? How did you spend the past 6 weeks preparing? Did you snap at the kids, get very little sleep, spend hours on amazon.com searching for gifts, wake up at 3am to hit sales on Black Friday?
I am not against any of these things, but this year I said the same thing to each of those old traditions I have had for years...

"NO!"

No, I will not fret about gifts!
No, I will not worry if my kids know I love them because I bought them the right things.
No, I will not get up early and deal with grumpy people in order to get the best deal.
No, I will not feel like shopping is the theme of December and do it daily!
No, I don't need to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars in order to show my family that I love them.

You know what happened?

I got peace instead! I still found deals! We had God's favor as we went shopping, praying beforehand that we would find the right things and not have to stress. My husband and I hit Toys R us one evening for an hour, then we went out to dinner and enjoyed couple time because what we wanted to buy...they had...and it was on sale...so it was easy. We stayed out late just simply because we wanted to and the stores were open and we were arm in arm shopping in relaxed fashion!

I have already baked cookies twice this holiday season. In the next few days I will be making gingersnaps, bourbon street pecan pie, Marshmallow salad, ham, green bean casserole, and I am sure many other requested family favorites!

But even at the grocery store when people glare at me because I am taking too long to park...I smile and my older son says, "It is just a parking spot lady, smile! It is Christmas". We both realize together that so many people put the Chaos in Christmas. There wasn't chaos when Jesus was born. The wisemen weren't fretting over what to get Baby Jesus for fear that he would not be satisfied. (Please note that the wise men came by the time he was 2 years old, so they weren't there that night!) Did you know that the shepherds were outcasts? They were considered unclean and were unable to enter the temples. They were the outcasts of society but yet they were the ones that were told and included on the biggest thing happening! A savior is born and they got firsthand news and were the ones to go see him and tell others!

This year we did new things...
We volunteered at a shelter for Thanksgiving.
We caroled at an independent living home for the elderly.
We bought gifts for 5 boys and gave them away for their parents to give them something on Christmas day.
We also have a Christmas Jar that we will find a home for on someone's porch on Christmas Day. (you can read about the Christmas Jar here)

It just occurred to me after reading a short piece from the website...
I am going to giveaway a copy of the book Christmas Jars.
I will end the giveaway on Monday, December 28th.


This book meant the world to me, a former co-worker referred me to it when we ran into each other in a parking lot 8 months ago. I checked it out from the library and quickly started my own Christmas Jar. I am more like the first family in it, not a lot to add this year, but everything counts when you give from your heart!

In the true spirit of giving, I think giving away this book will give you a warm cozy that you will enjoy sharing with others!



























Rules for entering:
1. Leave one comment of what you are doing different this year, something that means a lot to you, or just simply a heart warming thought to share with us.

2. Refer someone and post their website for another entry.

3. Follow my blog for another entry. If you already follow my blog, leave a separate post stating you do.

**Your chances to win are up to you, you can invite as many people as you would like to this giveaway! :)


I will post the winner on Monday.
Merry Christmas!
Sarah

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Giveaway Alert!

Kasey over at Lola' B's is offering an unknown, glorious mystery box of items from her Boutique that she is closing indefinitely...There will be 3 winners! Hurry over and enter, contest ends on December 17th! Click HERE Good luck!!!


Sarah

Monday, December 14, 2009

In all Honesty...

Okay, it seems like there is a lot of talk "in the atmosphere" I will say about being real, being honest, portraying truth, etc. On a blog as well know there can be the good, the bad, the ugly, we can photoshop our lives to be perfect or we let you see the reflection of us in pj's at 3pm as we take a picture of our newly mounted mirror...whatever the case may be.

So I thought, as we heard preached on Sunday, Christmas is a time for new beginnings, we always believe it is the new year, but there was a new birth on Christmas. So why not take a few days before Christmas (don't freak out, I know it isn't that close yet! But I have NO shopping done yet, so you shouldn't worry...supposedly I should but I just can't seem to freak about any of that this year! Yay!) but back to my point, to take this time and be real about who I am.

I am a real life mom, a step mom, a wife to a fabulous husband but by no means perfect, I always tell him he didn't need to be perfect, he just needed to be perfect for me, which he is! I have two dogs that I love but get annoyed by who eat wonderful grade dog food and admittedly produce foul smells while sleeping..I am not passing the buck here by any means, I mean it!

I am a slightly addictive personality which means I follow a zillion blogs but recognize when I have spent most of a day reading them and have to take a break from reading them for a while...I love home decor and finding goodwill deals, shop deals and other odds and ends to decorate, reuse, etc. I am not completely savvy, I don't have great vision, I painted my bedroom a gorgeous gray, found fabulous bedding on craigslist in another city to buy, had it shipped to me, longing for a chandelier to hang but not sure of who has the expertise to mount it as we have no overhead light, have silver, black, gray and white touches all over to realize I forgot that our trim and doors are all golden brown...see I am not perfect which is why I love following people like nester to realize I don't have to be. I like reading posts like Maisy's because hey I am a goodwill hunter myself! I have found some fabulous things, but I am still at the hoarder part where I find it and keep it, haven't found the good sense yet to sell it...

I have a door in my garage I received off of craigslist for free that I have a vision for but now can't find the link that inspired me of decorating with doors...anyone know what I am talking about? It was a random link from another link from another blog kind of thing and so the history of finding it is lost in cyberspace somewhere..but I have my general idea to go on. But I delayed with the passing of my grandma and put it off so it won't happen until spring next year now...

Is anyone else real? Do you buy things for a project that is awesome and move it from room to room hoping one of them will become the magical room that inspires you to pick it up and do it one day?

I home school two of my 5 kids and when their public schooled brothers quiz them on things based on speed it makes my insides cringe because I didn't test my kids to be ready for a drill, I tested them for knowledge. I can get insecure about my kids and if I am doing the right thing for them. But that is when God chooses to smile on me and give me glimpses...like when my son volunteered at a funeral at our church recently and I had so many people comment to me about how wonderful, thoughtful, compassionate he is as a young man. That is when I am able to remember that all of these things are not about ME. God uses us in people's lives, we are responsible for what we do, how we do it, etc. But still when I see those things in my kids lives, I know that they may not win a spelling bee, but they have a heart. They may not ramble off math facts faster than anyone else, but they absorb truth, they know about God's love and how to show it. They think of others and that to me is bigger than any award that my kids could earn at this age anyways. They have a conscience, it seems those have been randomly going out of style, but I think even if just a handful of parents decide to go retro and bring it all back we can change this nation! We can work together to be honest, we might not be beautiful, we might not be rich, we might be scared to death and think it is easier to hide in our house...I for one have been guilty of that very thing. Someone giving me their phone number and saying let's get the kids together might as well put their number on my desk, that is where it stays...

I am a social person but I don't set things up easily, I don't feel readily accepted usually and I have been told I am too dominant and I intimidate people, oh but no worries it was my old church that said that about me...behind my back...not my friends or anything. I guess my confidence at that point was high and I was willing to do anything for anyone, funny how someone saying you intimidate people can make you go inward and feel like breathing is possibly too much for people around you.
I am slowly creeping back out of my hidden phase. I am great at talking with people once I realize I am not offensive or scary.

I will also share that I deal with acne majority of the time, I have tried a zillion things, eliminated things from my diet and once something seems to work for a while it quits...heaven help me, it is frustrating!

I will add more and aim to get that giveaway going...sorry I have taken a blog-cation but I felt like my depth of heart posts were maybe too much or not "fun enough" to read for some people, so I took a break.

I want to start showing you all some of my projects and inspire but I am not just a decorating woman, homeschool mom, wife, friend, daughter, dog owner, but I am someone with dreams and I want to express them all here. I hope I can keep you here but not just that, I hope we can grow and get onto a fabulous path of trusting in God to bring us into the place of being the new creation he made us to be!

Sarah

Friday, November 27, 2009

In The Midst of Thankfulness

As we got up yesterday later than usual, turning on the parade and beginning the food preparation a full day of events unfolded...

Kaiden who is 6 announced that he has his first loose tooth, to which I immediately got tearful realizing how big he is getting already! We called my parents to share the exciting news!

My husband cleaned his car and put out the reindeer in the yard.

This year I had decided I would make my grandfather's traditional homemade egg noodles in gravy with slices of hard boiled eggs. As I got out of the shower and heard the puppy yelp, I ran downstairs to find her smacking her chops after eating 1/2 of my batch off the counter...because I was still thankful (because she didn't get all of them) I *only* yelled at the top of my lungs "NOOoooo" bringing a running husband and two kids and sending two dogs running...

Okay, grace and mercy for the puppy, her life was spared.

We finished getting ready...put the timer on the turkey and green bean casserole...everything else was just minutes of prep work away from being ready, so we could leave it until we got back home.

We went to a church across town from us where we found out they were hosting a turkey dinner for shelter/Salvation Army people. The warmth of the church people welcoming us was amazing. Their hearts were truly in the right place as they shared with us the insight that we sometimes miss...yes they are here for food, but starting out what they needed was fellowship! The church people asked us to go mingle with everyone and be an ear for them. The stories we heard, the smiles and the manners of these thankful people constantly made me well up with tears. As we listened to people come up and share scriptures, a former gang member came and shared a poem laced with numerous verses, a song he wrote about his journey in life, prayers of people living in a shelter. I never imagined how fulfilling this would be for ME!

As we began to serve the food, I was so proud of my husband in his plastic apron and rubber gloves serving ham and turkey with a a plastic spatula and a fork. At his smile and giving nature exuding from every move. As a man came up for four helpings of ham and turkey and each time my husband beamed and said, "you tell me when to stop, I don't have to" and "I saved this JUST FOR YOU" the man melted and said, "you are wonderful". The people in the line that smiled graciously and said "yes ma'am", "thank you ma'am", each time it was said it pulled at my heart and captured the essence of thankfulness to me so intensely!

Then there was the man serving right next to me, proud of the chicken and dumplings he got to serve as we jokingly competed with promoting our "goods". He shared his story, a divorced, sweet man that had already dropped off his son with his ex-wife and was alone for the holiday and heard about the church offering the meal on the news and decided once he dropped his son off he would come and "be around happy people, and no longer feel alone". He made a point to look at each and every person and say HAPPY THANKSGIVING and the way people would forget about the food for a minute and smile and remember it was in fact Thanksgiving and someone cared to say that. He shared with me that his goal was to reach at least one person and he would feel content with the day.

As we cleaned up with extra plates of food going home with people and out into the community, our boys were sweeping and mopping,(and Kaiden was jumping off chairs, because I don't want to disillusion you, he was still 6 after all!) I saw that same man look around to see if anyone else had anything to say...he wrote a check to help the ministry, got a sheet of times and volunteer opportunities to do year-round...and walked out the door into the cold, crisp night. I ran to the door, forgetting his name and said "Hey!". He turned around and smiled and I said, "I just wanted to say it was great to serve with you, Happy Thanksgiving". He returned the compliment and I think walked a little taller as he walked alone to his car to leave.


In the midst of thankfulness, I am not sure who received more, who was touched more, or even who appreciated it the most...but what I know is that I was changed and my heart felt like it had doubled in size.

Sarah

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankfulness


I have not forgotten all of you, I just had a lapse of sadness hit me as we were getting close to the holiday the overwhelming feeling of my grandmother's absence hit me very hard. I am blessed beyond measure to say that when my husband came home that day for lunch and saw how glazed over and sensitive I was, he immediately called the office to say he was staying home for the rest of the day. What an amazing man God blessed me with! Not only did he stay home...he swept, baked his son's 16th birthday cake, wrapped all the gifts, cleaned up the house AND here is the big one, taught both of the boys for the day for me! I am so thankful for such a wonderful man!!! (He even put the HID headlights in my van, I know all you ladies are jealous right??)

This year, we are changing things up a bit! We are always with family and friends and things just kept not working out right year... finally it hit me, only the 4 of us this year meant opportunity! So, we searched and searched and found a church downtown that is sponsoring a Thanksgiving meal that we will go and help serve that day. It was actually an effort to find a place, the Salvation Army isn't doing one this year, neither is the YWCA. Surprising! We will get home in the evening and watch a Christmas movie as I get out some of my favorite holiday knick knacks (wish that I had shabby chic everything instead of what I have) and then proceed to find cozy places to tuck holiday touches all around my house. I have neutral-warm tones around majority of my house so the gorgeous white shabby chic look that I am growing to love will have to transform whenever we find our dream farm house to move to!

As always, I find time to reflect about things, whether it is the year, season, or just simply what is stirred up inside of me at the time.

For Thanksgiving this year I am thankful for a husband that supports me homeschooling and staying at home. A husband that consistently tells me that there is no one on earth prettier than I am and that he is amazed by me and what I do. (Which seems to always be said when I feel like I have been worthless that day and yet he knows!) I am thankful for my children to the point of it bringing me to tears! Dakota and Kaiden are an absolute joy in my life and they consistently show me that they are learning to be real people, with feelings, emotions, caring and sensitivity. I can share so many stories of how my two boys care for me and nurture me with all their heart, but not just me, anyone. They are precious and more and more I hear my grandma's voice in my head saying "Honey, you are doing a wonderful job with your boys". I am thankful for a God that gives Grace, Understanding, Patience, Wisdom, Forgiveness and new days to try things over.

Whether you need a fresh start or you are on your fresh path, look around and find the things that are new in your life to be thankful for and look at the past briefly and thank God for the things that are no longer there!

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Sarah

Friday, November 6, 2009

I wanna be Laura Ingalls "Wilder"

Dreams can take my thoughts away, each and every day...
I long to live off the land just like Laura did, to bake and can and mend my clothes and enjoy a hearth with a fire. I want a home nestled away from the hustle, bustle and noise. Now I am a busy person, but I don't want the distraction of someone's else's noise!

I long and desire deep within me to have a home with land, where my kids can dig, explore and learn by trial and error and not worry about property value and landscaping. Ah the reality of living in a subdivision where most of the choices are made for you. I remember building our home and wanting a taupe color and that wasn't allowed because our neighbor already picked that color and they wouldn't build two houses the same color that close together...Yes, I am serious!

The more I think about the times we live in I have determined one thing...I want to be Laura Ingalls only WILDER! I can be the Laura Ingalls that blogs on my (non-existent to date) laptop in the kitchen while I am baking. I will be the "Laura" that dances to Michael Jackson while she spray paints some restored freecycle item in the garage on a warm day. I will have a garden with enough corn to can for the winter, make my own popcorn, maybe an apple tree to supply enough homemade cider, a salsa garden because that is truly a staple in our diet for about 6 months out of the year. I will have a shabby chic decorated house in the middle of nowhere and able to relax and breathe knowing that that is how God intended for us to live. Do you ever read in Little House on the Prairie that the kids come late to dinner because they were at football practice until 7:45? Do you ever hear about Royal's frustration about not owning an ipod? Or Almanzo's disappointment that he can't go to the indoor waterpark with all of his friends for his birthday party. When I think about it in those terms it is honestly laughable what our society has turned into in some ways. Where are the simpler things in life? I want them back! The trust and respect in a parent because they are the parent, that is it, enough said! I want the peaceful, traditional, simpler life back!

I remain determined and prayerful that God will give me the desire of my heart. To be tucked away and able to live a simpler life. It is amazing how I am not searching but in devotionals, books and even testimonies of ladies at church have all been with the same common theme the past 8 months...a house with land that was desired and finally given. Whether this is a time of strengthening my faith or that the "evidence of things not seen" is about to reveal itself, I remain faithful and believing that one day my dream will come true!

What are you dreaming for in your life? Don't forget to dream!
"The difference between vision and daydreams is the belief that it can happen"

One thing I realized a few years ago in a seminar was that as we get older, we get caught up in working, routine and we lose our focus of what we want to achieve for ourselves. So my husband and I made a list, we want to go to Egypt to see the pyramids, we want to go to Israel, many things we wanted lined up together...except for living out of the city, which doesn't take much in WI, you can live 15 minutes from the mall and be out in a field here! God changed my husband's heart, I didn't have to do it, I actually just believed he would change his mind and sure enough, in the past few months my husband actually admitted that the more he thinks about it, the more he wants out of our neighborhood too...we have such a great heavenly Father! :)

Now it is your turn. What are you believing for? What do you desire and dream about?

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ahh...something fresh!

Fresh start...New month...almost a new year...cleaner blog layout...
Now I need to catch back up! How are my followers? Have you enjoyed the past few months transition from the freedom of summer (or possibly kids driving you crazy) to the scheduled days of school/home-school, sports, Scouts and everything else your kids do at this time of year?

Our school year has been going much better this year. My kids are happier and more in tune to me and to each other. My husband is more supportive than ever and starting to understand what our days consist of and taking part in pieces of things that he didn't before. Yes, improvements have been vast the past few months.

Granted, I still have paper piles that I don't show you pictures of, a basement that seems to laugh at me because every time I get it organized there seems to be a change in our life that adds more piles, boxes, and clutter to take it all away...
Drums, a puppy and her kennel, home school room, pantry for stockpiling, laundry, pillows, a workbench, snow tires...ah the list is vast and my time to clean it is short. Maybe one day I will hold a contest and the winner gets to come and spend a weekend with me cleaning out my basement...hey I live in WI...sometimes if it snows enough and people get cabin fever they will do ANYTHING to get out of the house! :)

I will work on getting on here more often I have missed blogging and the blogging world, but I needed a mental break since everything else seemed to be taking up my time and energy.

I am working on the details to host another giveaway very soon! Keep your eyes out for recent posts, I think the giveaway will only last a week!

Can you believe it is already November?

What is on your mind? I am anxious to hear!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sabatical or Missing in Action?

Goodness Gracious! It has almost been a month since I have posted? How crazy is that?
I have a brief moment to update you in the midst of my 6 year old trying to mop the floor for the 3rd time and really needing to sit down and go over parts of a sewing machine with my 11 year old...

I just wanted to get a new post out. To let you all know that I am O.K.! It has been a rough few weeks without my grandma around to call and pray with, laugh and appreciate her presence! I was blessed that my dad doesn't have the sentiment for many of Grandma's things that I do, so he pretty much gave me the "pick of the litter" as we went through her things. Now I am not a material person by any means, but there was something so soothing about owning her Ukrainian designed apron, her handmade quilt that could easily be worth a couple thousand dollars it is amazing! Not to mention just simple things like a pair of satin gloves, I took both a short white pair and a long black elegant cinched pair that I picture decorating with them and being proud that they were actually worn by my grandma. I have also been using her well worn Bible daily with the kids to do devotions and it seems more efficient, more meaningful like she is there with us.

Homeschooling is going so much better this year. We devised a new schedule this year...

Monday: Home Ec day where we learn about laundry, dishes, sewing, baking, gardening, grocery lists, budgetting, and anything else I can make fall in that category.

Tuesday-Thursday: Regular school days of math, English, Reading, History, Phonics for the little one, and more.

Friday: Field Trip Day! This is my big one this year, to do more "field work" and get out of the house every week to learn doing hands on methods.

Last week we hit Old World Wisconsin and had an absolute blast! We learned a ton, took some fabulous pictures, made memories and of course got a year long membership so we can go back soon! I loved everything there! I even got tearful going through the German descendants houses to see how the old style was because that is what my husband came from and I long to give him pieces of his heritage to build him up about who he is. I texted him while I was there that it was powerful and hitting me about his heritage (and mine by the way) and he texted me back about how tearful it made him that he had someone that cared!

Which takes me to the last thing I want to mention...ladies, build up your husbands! They need someone to help lift their arms when they are too tired to pray, someone to encourage them and like it says in "Wild At Heart" tell them they "have what it takes"! I never regret taking those moments to share with my husband what he means to me and our family and reminding him of how amazing he has been.

I will work on getting some pictures posted soon. For now, Happy Fall!
I am a bit behind on getting my fall things out, but based off of whose schedule I am not sure! ;)

Have a fabulous day! I have missed writing and hearing from my followers!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

In His Wings


























It is with great sorrow that I share the news I received yesterday...
My grandmother of 91 passed away. She was the one person in the world that I was the closest to and it is such a deep loss for me. While I work on rejoicing for her freedom and celebrating her arrival in the kingdom, I deal with great pain inside of knowing I will no longer be able to call her for small talk, prayer or just simply to remind her that although I moved 500 miles away, she was still my closest friend.

I was so blessed to have her in my life and the impact she had on me and my relationship with God. I know it was her prayers that eventually returned me to the path that SHE had been the major one teaching me on my whole life.

Her life as I reflect on it has taught me several lessons:

Can people say you are so amazing that they can have fun just with you and a bucket of chicken? Seriously, she could be so entertaining, joyous, fun and bubble over with the simplest things.

Do you exude love? As the saying goes, a moth to a flame. I look at the various people in my life and my grandma was 91 and not able to really leave the house anymore, getting around was tough on her, yet numerous people dropped by her house often with subs, buckets of chicken and longing to just simply be in her house and be around her. When I thought about that I realized she completely had God's Love down and it attracted people.

Are you flexible? She was so relaxed about things, she never let outward appearance, stigmas, or other things change her. She was amazingly grounded in relaxation and going with the flow and never taking it to heart when things didn't happen that she might have hoped would.

Picking up my shoes, socks, dishes, anything else when I am getting up because it saves time and makes for easier clean up. I still won't leave my shoes laying around or dishes in the living room because I remember her words and how much sense it makes.

Be adventurous! We got her out on a pontoon boat just last summer, it was her first time on one and she said for a year it was the best memory she ever had. She got to see the kids jump out and swim, watch all of us drive the boat, see how we deal with all our kids as parents and more than anything, be a huge part of things since she couldn't get around to places to do things.

I could add so much more but it is still difficult for me as I have waves of sadness. The biggest things I want to share with you is if you feel the urge to do something, it is quite possible that it is God urging you. I prayed for him to prepare me for a year for her death because I knew that I wouldn't deal with it well. Even with a year of dreams, choking up each time she answered the phone and as we said goodbye, I was still not fully prepared, but I can say that God did as I asked and worked on me to think about things, prepare my mind for it. I am so thankful that this summer I just felt the urge to make it a priority to come to KC and spend a full weekend with her. The weekend that worked just happened to be her 91st birthday, we took her to the outdoor sculpture museum in her wheelchair, we bought her jumbo cupcakes from Costco...that I teased her and said it is your 1st and 91st that you get a smashcake and smear it on your face...and she played along surprisingly and did it! Would any of us be willing to get past our looks and smash a cupcake in our face and laugh at ourselves? I thank God for that memory and for the fact that I knew to be obedient. Because in fact, that was the last time I saw her, she didn't make it to my next trip just two months later for Labor Day weekend.

I woke up yesterday with sadness from a dream that my grandma had died and I quickly pushed it out of my head not wanting to feel that pain. It was a few hours later my dad called to let me know that she was gone and he had just come to visit her and found her. We drove to KC yesterday just 3 hours after we found out. It was tough to pack and figure things out, especially with the waves of sadness hitting hard but God provided the time and the grace to be here and help. My dad was an only child as am I, I knew he needed me and thankfully so did my wonderful husband who said "we can't just sit here, we are going!" I am currently in KC planning the visitation and funeral with my dad. Treasure your life, God's comfort and urgency. It can be the best thing you ever do!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Planning, Planning, Planning..




Okay, so we planned things to plant around the house and got that done.
We planned our bedroom and got that done.
We planned our school year at home and that is underway.

Now I get to work on my favorite plan every year...our anniversary!
It isn't until October 26th, but this year I have the itch...
we always go somewhere, usually a B&B about 1-3 hours away for the weekend. This is our main time together as a couple so I refuse to feel guilt about the money we spend simply because I am a deal shopper plus we don't get chances for dates often throughout the year at all! (Is it really a date when someone watches the kids so you can go to dinner and then Christmas shopping for THE KIDS?)

SO, here is my agenda...I begged, pleaded, sold a few of the kids and was able to convince my girlfriend to take 2 kids and 2 dogs for the weekend we want to get away, towards the end of October. Yippee! (By the way, none of the begging and pleading happened, it was all in the beauty of a text message and I got a YES!) I love having a great friend!

My agenda, as hard as it is to focus on teaching when I can't wait to get away with my husband, is to find the place! I am leaning in a few directions...I have always wanted to go somewhere like Cape Cod in the fall, but I also wonder about how cold it will be. Plus, in checking flights it looks like it is a little more than I would like to spend. I am leaning towards Williamsburg, VA, Savannah, GA, maybe somewhere in SC. If you know of some place reasonably priced with great atmosphere, please share!

Who has some gorgeous ideas for late fall of things to do just for the two of us? We typically stay at a nice B&B so we can be served food in the morning, but that isn't necessary, we enjoy getting out to unique shops, having a nice dinner out each night and typically we find a bakery to get naughty calorie stuffed pastries to eat way later than we should in our room! ;)

I would love some ideas! Help me out as I am getting anxious to plan!!!
I would love to say I will meet you if you are in the area, but the truth is that with flying and only having a weekend, I might send you a postcard from town but you know you only have so much time to enjoy a lack of schedule and snuggle time with your husband! ;)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Wellspring of Life


Do you ever base your day or life on how you feel? There are mornings as I am sure some of you are dealing with school back in swing, where you are tired and not motivated and ready for the routine. There are days where you feel dry, sad, tired, quiet or just hidden away or wanting to be...

God is teaching me a lot right now, most of which comes as I seek his face! Lessons in faith, lessons in how to believe and training me on the parts of scripture that can be the hardest...believing that it is already DONE! I am great at saying how I want to be closer to God, but what do I do with my free time? I heard a valuable message in my devotional that my husband read to me last night. It said your actions say what your priorities are out loud. It went on to discuss how a workaholic will find time to vacation and spend time with family when they receive a letter from the dr. that says "malignant". A parent that doesn't spend time with their children will find the time when a daughter gets with the wrong crowd to find time for her and seek counseling groups and support systems, spending weeks choosing the right things for her life. So why does it take big things to get our attention and priorities in order?

The basic answer is that it shouldn't. We get caught up in the day to day activities and need to focus on the important opportunities we are given. Our children are with us to learn, copy and understand what life is about. New statistics say majority of parents spend 4 hours watching tv a day but only 6 minutes playing with their children. As I think about it, when I was working full time I always longed for the opportunity to be home, my husband and I finally planned on getting me home to homeschool, but of course we had an agenda before we wanted to do it. Get this fixed, buy a screen door, put this in savings, etc, etc. But as we got paid, we didn't do anything about it...priorities. Why is it that I desired it so much but I didn't act upon it? I knew God wanted me home with my kids! Then he allowed for the big change, I was let go from my job. My pride hurt for almost a year! I had never been let go from a job! But I was home with my children. You know what else? Everything my husband and I wanted to accomplish before I gave my notice happened with unemployment and severance money. But why do we often feel that God picks and chooses when he will bless us? Like giving me the desire but I would be on my own to fulfill it? I longed for Abeka curriculum for my youngest son as that is what I was taught on, but I knew it was expensive...then I met a fellow homeschooler who randomly chose to bless me with almost 3 years worth of curriculum for him that is all Abeka. Does God not provide for the desires of our hearts? I have learned the lesson over and over...Trust in Him!

My youngest son recently has been falling into lying and disobeying constantly. At first I got very upset about why he was doing this and how he knew better. It took a wonderful friend to point out (in love) that he is seeking mom's attention and was looking for it in some way. The point hit home hugely in my heart. My son has been patient all summer while I have revamped things in the house and gardened (he helped some) but it wasn't much one on one time with mom and reading and doing all the things he was so used to throughout the school year. So I changed MY actions to work on his. No movie before bed with the family, we read numerous books snuggled up in my bed, it was a zillion kisses and snuggles and not paying a lot of attention to our adorable puppy and I noticed a difference. Not completely, he still lied twice last night and was disciplined for doing so, but it was a change. But his heart was getting full, he was where he needed to be without saying it.

Our children don't know how to express to us that they simply miss the little things when we get off track. Errands, home decorating, parties and outings are all great, but after a while they long for their routine bedtime, reading books throughout the day and night, knowing what is happening without needing to ask, etc. But part of our routine needs to include showing our children that we prioritize our relationship with them, our spouse and especially Jesus. We pray before meals, but I realized that Kaiden was missing our devotion time which I had let slip through the summer. His prayers were becoming routine and rehearsed and no longer sounding like prayers from his heart. Isn't it amazing how we can teach our children, but often learn the most from them? When we get stuck in a routine don't we sound rehearsed and monotonous?

My goal throughout this school year is to stay consistent with my devotion and praise time with my boys as we homeschool. To thrive on learning and enjoying this world God created so beautifully. To find joy in the smallest things up to the biggest. But especially to let the rivers of life flow through me and while we may maintain a routine, I don't want to become monotonous and praying to God like rehearsing for a play, saying the same things over and over. Give God something to work with and pursue the beauty of a relationship where he wants to know your hearts desires, hurts, quiet places and fill you full in your empty areas.

Today-Thrive!
Much Love!

Monday, August 24, 2009

And the winner is...

Cheryl-(Decorating Queen)...

Since you don't have an email on your profile I need you to email me your address.

Congratulations on your win!

Thanks for everyone that entered! I am sure I will be having another giveaway as the school year gets underway!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Giveaway Ending...TODAY!


















Last day to enter the Girlie Girl Giveaway! Since I have only a few people entered right now your odds are excellent at winning! Make sure to share the info with your friends online!

Leave a comment here.

I will draw a winner using random.org

Good Luck to all who entered! I am excited!
I will email the winner this weekend!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reflections



What was this summer to me? As it draws near the end I think about the things we could have, should and actually did.

Things I am proud of: staining the fence that needed it badly, remodeling my bedroom to make it a sanctuary for my husband and I to enjoy, painting the hallway finally.
Letting the kids have a summer at home where they found delight in flowers growing, bugs flying around, waterguns, sprinklers and boredom...yes I said that, boredom is good for kids I believe.
Getting up with the kids and making breakfast smoothies most of the summer, taking them to the farmer's market frequently, cooking good and organic food fairly often.
Spending a lot of time with friends and family.
Sleeping in a tent at least 6 times with my husband at various family outings. Getting over my fear of killing plants and trying my best to grow things--it actually worked!

Things I am not so proud of: we only made it out to go swimming about 4 times, not finishing up our library reading log and getting there numerous times every week--my projects kept us too busy at home--buying so many hot dogs on sale my husband felt like he should eat them often for lunch, which I know is horrible for him!

Things you didn't know about: we just bought a new couch for our rec room, another room remodel was done in no time! It made such a difference! Now to paint that room and work on the decor item I just planned out! :) We just got one of those gorgeous puppies I was so giddy about from mid-June-late July. We have had her for over a week, we named her Maggie and she is a delight to our family...even when she trails off with someone's underwear! ;) She has a heart shaped nose and everything!


God also saw fit to teach a lesson in faith. My son's trip to California was amazing...just 24 hours after he had left home I received a call that he had an infection in his knee and needed to come asap. You can't imagine the fear and shock I was dealing with at this point. My husband was driving home from the porcupine mountains backpacking trip with one of our boys and I was alone with our youngest son, Kaiden. I couldn't get ahold of anyone in California with the kids, so I waited for an hour to get a call to hear nothing basically because the signal in the mountains was horrible. So then another 45 minutes later I receive a call from a nurse asking for authorization to treat him, etc. Again, no details. The Scout leader calls me to give me the update, he has an infection from a scrape he received on his knee the previous week on his bike, they are worried about blood poisoning so they want to get him on a flight asap. Can you imagine a mother hearing this 2000 miles away, wanting to charter a plane and get there asap?! I got off the phone to start calling airlines, scouts leaders for booking information, etc. I was on the phone for another 90 minutes trying to work things out and waiting.

The one thing I kept saying and feeling was "I don't see...but I believe". I honestly believed that either something was going to happen and God was protecting Dakota, OR he was going to perform a miracle for many to hear and see. We had come down to the worst case scenario, the nearest flight was at 9pm at night getting him home around midnight, although the leaders wanted him out earlier so they could return to the campsite with the rest of the group (they went to a hospital 90 minutes away). Then I receive the call..."Sarah, here is the update, it is up to you as Dakota is your son (curiousity and slight panic washes over me--does he need his leg removed? what is going on?--) but they checked his knee and the bone thoroughly and they believe that two doses of antibiotics and the infection will disappear. So he can stay, but it is up to you"

GASP! Praise! Gulp! Breathe! WOW! God you are awesome! Where is my voice? I want to cry!
"YES!", I breathed. I was relieved! What a difference from the blood poisoning, get him home and off his feet for 3 days, to he can stay and just needs antibiotics! Yes, God showed he was faithful and taught me indeed how I didn't see, but I could believe and he would come through!

I may have a few regrets, numerous accomplishments but more than anything, I am excited to embark on this next season with enthusiasm, motivation, joy and peace!
How was your summer?
What did you accomplish and what did you put off?
What were your favorite parts?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bedroom Reveal & Giveaway Update




My room is done except for the mirror, I think I finally have an idea of what I want to do with it and the hangers are still on the wall. But other than that, I figure it is time to reveal this room that has been so long awaited!!!
BEFORE:































AFTER:



























I will give some quick details here on what the remodel entailed:
1)New curtains $120 (4 panels of faux silk from JCP with coupons!)
2)Spray paint for side tables $7 for 2 cans Gray from Walmart, I think it was Rustoleum but I can't remember now.
3)Scrapbook paper for the inserts on sidetables 6/$1 Michaels on sale.
4)new bedding - Birthday Splurge! - $245 shipped (from a craigslist seller) for the pillows, duvet, bedskirt. They are Ralph Lauren and I love them! I found the sheets that matched from a different brand at Tuesday Mornings for $25!
5)Black "bling accents in the bedroom from Hobby Lobby I spent $18-20 on 4 items.
6)Silver vase holding flowers $4 at a garage sale, flowers were about $20 at Hobby Lobby. (looking to find a matching vase to split the flowers and balance them on my husbands nightstand as well.)
7)Tufted storage bench - bday gift from my parents - free for me, about $100 for them, from Amazon.
8)Spray paint for the two white dressers $16 at Home Depot, I used primer and paint by Rustoleum, Glossy White.
9) Gray Benjamin Moore Paint, I can't remember the color, I will work on getting that if anyone is interested. I painted the bedroom in one day, again with the Harmony paint and it was fast drying and could barely tell I painted by smelling! Loved it! I think that was about $35 for paint.

Total was around $493 for the complete bedroom remodel.

Not bad if I do say so myself! Please share your feedback with me!

Now for the giveaway update: Since I have only had a few people enter, I am extending the giveaway until the 21st, there is a blog giveaway starting next week and I will include it there. Share with your friends. Don't worry, these items WILL be given away just 8 more days to wait! :)

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

GIRLIE GIRL GIVEAWAY!

The day is finally here! I have finally got my giveaway items purchased and ready to go. This is my first giveaway and I am so excited!




I am giving away one girlie package containing the following:


Ralph Lauren Romance Sensuous Bath and Shower Gel
Victoria's Secret Pretty in Pink Silkening Body Lotion
World Market Lavender Massage Oil
Pink picture frame
Peony Plum Flower scented candle and bar soap
925 Sterling Silver Rhodium Plated "Diamond" drop earrings
Square Mirror 12" x 12"
-just because I love mirrors and have numerous in my house! :)

*Yes, even the hydrangea bouquet is included!

Because this is my first giveaway I want to give everyone a chance to enter so this contest will close on Thursday, August 13th at 5:00pm.

How to enter:
1) Tell me your favorite post on my blog, give the title and what you liked about it. (mandatory)
2) Follow my blog (this gives you two entries, make sure to post a separate comment stating that you follow.)

3) Blog about this giveaway, link back to it and post a 3rd comment with your post link.

4)Add my button to your blog for one extra entry.

Photobucket


This allows up to 4 entries for this contest!
Good luck to all the entries!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fabulous Finds!

What a fun morning in blogland. Isn't it neat when you stumble from one blog to another and discover someone that you know you should be meeting for lunch...unless of course you discover that they may live 2 or 8 states away? I had that happen this morning...
From one followed blog to a link in their post to another link in someone else's post, I can't even follow my footsteps to tell you how I found this adorable blog...Oofa Luffa Le how cute is that? The name is super sweet and I just love finding someone funky, fun, outgoing, and to make it even better...her love of the Lord posted on the page totally draws me in!!! I love that!

She is also hosting a giveaway of some fabulous summer styles! Run over there and check her out! You won't want to miss her blog! :)

My giveaway comes out tomorrow FOR SURE! Get ready!!!!

Sarah

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reflections in the midst of Chaos!














This summer has been flying by already! I can't believe we are so close to August! My husband and I have been on fairly different schedules because I have been doing a lot of hard labor around the house (painting, staining, organizing, etc.) making us tired at different times and not allowing us our full evening of down time like school provides us when the kids are in bed at 9pm. When you have a 13 year old and 15 year old pleading to stay up until midnight...baseball games ending at 10pm...hanging out at church and rehearsing until almost 10pm on Wednesdays...you get the idea, normalcy is the new rarity!

In reading a beautiful post over at Lola B's is stirred up some feelings for me. I absolutely adore and cherish my husband, but honestly how often do we pour over our wedding vows or think about the first emails/notes/cards we wrote and received in those floating, dreamy first months together. For us it actually did last years where we could lock eyes and disappear into our own world, tearing up as we latched onto each others eyes and knowing each moment together was a blessing! But as the kids get older there is more recognition that they will be grown before we know it and we try to give them priority and a voice. (What a balancing act a family and marriage can be!) So as I read the post from Kasey today, it reminded me of some of the things my husband wrote in his vows. We wrote our own and he had such a way with words that I wished I could rewrite mine quickly and have a "do-over"! I can still remember when he started it and said my name and I got goosebumps! (I will interject here, there is a mention of another child, I was not pregnant, we just knew we were going to have a child together, I was actually chastised quite a bit at my reception by my friends who swore we were keeping a secret, but Kaiden made his appearance 11 months later!)

Here are his vows:

"Sarah, we have been given this Gift of our love for one another. A love built on a Strong foundation of friendship. Together, we discovered the Miracle of our destiny. To be united. You and I, soul mates, now complete as one. The final piece of the puzzle has been found and I am NOW at peace. This journey we have been on has Proven to me that dreams Do come true. My wishes Have been granted. You have given me happiness beyond Anything I could have ever imagined. Our undeniable link and connection has lead us to this day. Today I stand next to you, in offering of my life, my love and my soul. Sarah, I will love you, cherish you and respect you. I will hold you tight and comfort you. I will be a faithful husband, devoted to you, our life and our children, S, B, M and D. And when we are blessed with our New child, I will be by your side everyday. I promise this to you my precious bride, until my last breath. And when I breathe no more and leave this place, I will be waiting for you with open arms, so we may be together again, forever.... I love you"
I am completely emotional again after reading those words again and remembering that day. It seems that we have to track back and remember the beautiful parts of why we are together and bring those pieces with us or they can be forgotten or stowed away in a pretty little box that doesn't do it justice! Today, I hope this inspires you to find a piece of your past that helps you thrive in the present and the future. I know my husband's vows do that for me and I am now realizing I should have these printed and on display somewhere in my house!

Even amidst the chaos of summer, busy life, kids, and the many roles that we play...we need to find the time to reflect on the beautiful journey we have been on in our life.

Much Love! I will be floating for the rest of the day! :)
Sarah

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Glimpse Into Reality


Mine that is! Here are some shots of what I have worked on recently. I hope you will enjoy them!
















Here are some views of the hallway and stairwell that I painted two days ago. The acrobatics I did to accomplish this were ridiculous, but I love the new color! I also think I will need to invest in something better than duct tape and a broom handle to get the 12-15ft high ceiling areas from now on!
You can't tell the color on these pics very well, but it has been white for 6 years and I painted it a gorgeous color #7517 China Doll by Sherwin Williams. We used the Harmony paint which I can't say enough about! It dried fast, has NO VOC (harmful chemicals) in it and you could barely tell I was painting, barely a trace of scent at all! I scored majorly on the paint too, I was able to double up on their 30% off sale for the 4th of July plus I had $10 off $50 coupon from the Entertainment Book, so I bought two expensive gallons of paint for $53!



















I can't take it...I have to share a sneak peak at our bedroom. Here is an up close peak at our new bedding...














Have a great day!
Sarah

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Almost Done!

I am so excited to tell you all that I will be unveiling our bedroom remodel within the next week! I really think you girls are going to love it! I am waiting on the chandelier because I need someone electrical to help us out, so that last step will be the lingering change...

In other news, Dakota is prepping and learning many things for his upcoming California trip for Scout High Adventure this year. He is going to so many cool places! Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, San Fransisco, Alcatraz...I am really wishing I would have believed that God would have provided someone to watch my youngest so I could have tagged along. BUT I believe this will be another growing experience of seeing my boy go off and become a young man in a short amount of time!

We are finally done with birthdays, Father's Day, end of the school year parties, and now the 4th of July. It should be a relief but I am feeling like summer is gone all of a sudden!? Why is it as a mom you have to learn to shop for swimsuits while wearing long sleeves, purchase back to school clothes in July, school supplies too...and spend August exhausted knowing the kids are busy, headed back to school and wondering if they actually got a full vacation from it all?

I have been so anxious to finally get the virtual school computer and curriculum shipped out to confirm that we are standing on our own two feet for homeschooling. We barely touched them last schoolyear at all but there was a glitch in their system and they didn't send us labels so we had the supplies all year long even though we withdrew in October. As exciting as it will be to put back up our own computer and make more space with our own curriculum, it is also making me realize I need to find time to start planning out my curriculum but at the same time trying to enjoy swimming and outdoor activities with my kids! I am praying that God will guide me on what to keep and what to use throughout the year next year. I have also been very blessed with people sharing supplies and older books and such, that helps tremendously!

What a busy, busy summer! What are you busy doing this summer? I have stained, painted a hallway into a vaulted ceiling stairwell, planted, weeded, mowed, sold things on craigslist, cleaned part of our basement, taken a ton of things to goodwill, shared clothes with girlfriends for their kids instead of donating them or selling them. Seems like I have been doing a lot of work all of a sudden! :)

I will be posting pics in the next few days and I WILL finally be doing my first giveaway! Sorry for the letdown a few months back, I just couldn't get it together with everything we had going on!!

More soon!
Sarah

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Home Decor Choices




I am so anxious to show you all pictures of our bedroom remodel, but we haven't painted yet! I should tease you but with painting needing to be done and a bench that is possibly on the way from my parents, I will wait. I will ask...
Gray/White bedding, black silk curtains, gray walls, silver accents, black bench...what color should I paint my pine nightstands??? I am between white and black??? I am really anxious to give this a shot and hopefully have it turn out great using spray paint! The nightstands do have plastic inserts that I can't get out of the drawer, so you can see the stuff inside...wondering if I could rough sand them and paint them liquid silver or something...ideas are stirring. What do they say to you? Or maybe white with the gray insert or black with gray...
That one can be done fairly easy next week so I need some aid in choosing colors, what stands out nice to you?

I did think I should take a minute and share a recent pic, my husband was majorly appreciative when he took these pictures and realized it isn't every wife that will let you set up in your rec room/computer area....

Have you ever done anything that you looked back on and realized what did I sign up for? That was kind of my initial reaction after I saw all the gear set up next to my computer desk! :)

Sarah

Past Winnings


Due to my computer going down after Easter, I realized I didn't get a chance to post a great win. I won some beautiful stationary note cards from The Note House.
Go check out her website, it is hard to choose! Even winning my choice was tough to pick one that I liked the most!

Recently, I am excited to share that I also won a contest at the IE Mommy, you can find her button on my side bar. I won a free shirt for boys/men from 191 Unlimited in my choice of size. Not sure which one they will send me, but I am anxious to get it and add to my boys back to school collection of clothes. My husband actually vetoed the shirt saying he doesn't do designs, which is something I know of him, stripes are about as decorative as he gets! :) I really hope we win one of these:



God also blessed us recently, my husband bought new drum heads for his drum set and then asked if he could get new sticks for our "gig" coming up this weekend. I asked him to wait and then on Father's Day after get home from church we have a msg on our answering machine....Guitar Center called to say I had a $20 gift certificate waiting for me. It ended up just being because I was on their customer list for some reason, but we were able to get his expensive sticks (3 pair) for $8! That is SO God! :)

Just wanted to share to remind everyone to keep entering those contests! You never know when or what you might win, but it won't happen if you don't enter! :)

Have a great day!
Sarah

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Breeze



(Is it just me or is there something so beautiful about his teacher's hair, numerous moms mentioned how much they liked her hair!)



This past week has flown by! Kaiden thoroughly enjoyed his time at Vacation Bible School...the cutest memories are hearing him sing the songs and doing the motions. Seeing him dressed up in his robe although I rarely got a chance to get his picture. Then my favorite was him coming home not once but twice with fresh made bread that he sprinkled cinnamon, sugar, honey and garlic powder on. Uhm, yum. This is not representation of how I cook, honest! We just realized the first time he did it we thought it was so funny, we forgot to tell him those don't work together! Whoops!!

As I went to pick up Dakota from Scout Camp on Sunday all I could think of was Goofy saying his infamous line from The Goofy Movie..."That's My Boy! Huck yuck!" There was my son who had turned 11 that day, but actually did seem older, more mature, covered in dirt, tired, a little sunburned, with new bandages and wounds but so at ease with himself. He came back to me a new boy. I fought back tears as he lined up with his troop and they all used teamwork to get the trailers unloaded, teasing, helping, mustering up strength they barely had left. Once they finished unloading and grabbing a piece of equipment to take home to clean, Dakota walked over and put him head into my neck and chest and breathed "Hi Mom" into my ear like he was little again. The emotion I felt at that very moment can't be expressed in words! Although I had been busy all week with Kaiden, my heart swelled and overwhelmed me. It was his birthday after all, but a big part of me wanted to take off with him alone for the day to enjoy this new boy that had come home...

but alas there were balloons, notes and brothers and dad at home to greet and celebrate with so that was not an option! Sigh!
We had two birthdays this weekend...Bennett turned 13 and he received a bunch of clothes as he has grown and asked for them. He also received the workbench he asked for. My husband was super responsive and actually mounted our Yakima in the garage when I asked him to so we have room in the basement now for the workbench area! Yay!

This week has been filled with another birthday, my girlfriend Angi. So we brought gifts and food to her house and spend a fabulous day Monday with her and of course her fabulous puppies! Even better, my husband came out after work and held puppies and celebrated her day as well! Here are more pictures of the puppies because I know they are so hard to resist!!! They are getting big and doing little growls in their sleep now! So precious!!!



































I am so in love with him and add a puppy and my heart soars!

This weekend our worship band is playing an outdoor event at a church for a few hours. Keep your prayers with us that our performance goes well and reaches many.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hectic Vacation




Doesn't that seem about right? Wow, I have one son off to Scout camp, three sons off to a cabin with their grandfather on the other side of their family, and one left at home for 5 days. This week should have been open, relaxing, calm and the complete scheduling up to the little guy...

Somehow it seems like things always happen or need to be done though. We have had birthday errands for the two birthdays happening this weekend. Things to buy, take back, pick up, etc. We were able to visit our friend whose dog just had amazingly beautiful little puppies. It was a good visit *(with the puppies). Give me a baby or a puppy and I have tunnel vision the entire time for them. *sigh* But thankfully, today we are off to help a friend clean her house to prepare for family to visit...and to see those precious puppies again! Our best plan though is once that is finished, taking the kids to a great swimming location where you can actually take your rafts, floaties and whatever else you have. I can't wait to go and hopefully spend some of this pent up energy for both of us! I will just pray that between the children's museum, wrapping gifts, decorating the house and cleaning tomorrow we will get everything done so that the birthday boy who is turning 13 will walk into the house surprised and happy!

Kaiden has thankfully enjoyed Vacation Bible School every night this week and can't wait to go! Even better was having one of the teachers tell me how awed she was with how much he knew about God and his love and so many other things. She told me he is very special and God has a plan for him for sure. Confirmation from yet another person. It can be hard to be humble and recognize that while he is MY son, he is God's child that HE is imparting wisdom and hunger for his Word. It is not because of Me! We have had numerous people tell us over the years that he is special and God has a plan for him. I get very excited when I think about him growing up only because I can't wait to see what God has in store for him! He is the child that will approach people at the grocery store openly and say Do you know Jesus? His love is free and he can heal anything! His childlike open faith is a constant reminder to me of how we should be.

I just wanted to share a piece of my week with you all. My new bedding came in and that is put on and luscious! My husband loves it and now wants black carpet in our bedroom....uhm I told him we will wait until after we paint and see what happens. I have furniture to paint and rearrange and need to buy some new decor items as some no longer match. I will get pictures up by next week of the changes.

Have a great day!
Sarah

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fabulous Birthday!



Wow! I am just so happy STILL from the amazing birthday I had yesterday! My husband had a zillion notes (okay that is exaggerating) but there were a lot, all over the bathroom mirror for me to wake up and read. I had my parents call and sing to me each on their way to work. I snuggled in bed flipping through Domino magazines to verify bedroom ideas, then read to my snugglebug Kaiden.

After a barrage of emails, texts and facebook comments I felt like a Princess! (I have never been big on being a Queen, I guess because my name means Princess I cling to that vision!) ;) My husband took off half the day to surprise me with streamers, balloons, cake, flowers, presents and a day of shopping. He is amazing and such a wonderful man! I am so blessed with him! I also took him to heart and literally shopped for hours!!! He was great at helping pick out curtains, rods, bedding, sheets, unmentionables at Victoria's Secret, candles, clothes at the Limited and continuously saying "Go For It"!

I will post pics of my new sheets very soon! I got them at a steal for $25 (at Tuesday Morning's) and they will match the new bedding set I was longing for and found tucked deep into google on craigslist brand new for $245!!! WOW!!!






I am so excited about everything I got and how it all fell into place. I truly felt God's favor because I have sensed for 2 weeks now that my bedroom plans would fall into place on my birthday but I didn't imagine how easy it would be! The ONE pair of gray floral just happened to be at Tuesday Morning and they just happened to be Queen and cheaper than any other set there! The curtains we wanted they "just happened" to have the only 4 panels we needed in stock and on sale. They "just happened" to have the new Victoria's Secret candles that I love on sale for buy 2 get 1 free and I "just happened" to have two coupons, so it cost me barely more than two candles to get 3 and 4 new pairs of undies. I am just one of those girls that has learned to recognize where that "just happened" feeling comes from...my God is mighty and he cares about all things that I care about! Even saving money, having pretties, matching things up and knowing he directed it all like a beautiful orchestra just amazes me! :)