Saturday, December 29, 2012

Halo SwaddleChange Product Review


     Diaper changes can be quite the challenge
Combine a messy diaper, wiggly screaming baby, two arms and two legs that always seem to make their way into the messy diaper, and a mom or dad with only two hands to contain all of the above can be a recipe for a disaster.

My mom always said "Moms should grow an extra set of arms for each child" and with how explosive my little guy’s diapers tend to be I totally agree with her.

Meet the Halo
® SwaddleChange. It’s like having an extra set of hands when changing baby. 

    I recently received the Swaddle Change in sage to test out with my little guy. My son has never liked having his arms swaddled tightly so I honestly wasn’t sure how well this product was going to go over with him.


My first impression with the Swaddle Change was how soft it was.
I honestly couldn’t believe how soft and snuggly it felt.
I then thought well if nothing else Bug will like the fact that his little bum no longer has to touch the cold vinyl of the changing pad.

It was so easy to slip on my changing pad and the slits for the safety belt were the right size, placement, and easy to slide the pieces through.





Then came time to test it out.




It took a couple of tries to figure out the best way to keep my little guy’s arms in as he likes to try to wiggle them out but I was very pleasantly surprised as to how helpful the Swaddle Change really was.

My 3.5 month old is a good 15lbs and is already a very squirmy boy.
He always manages to get his hands and feet in a messy diaper no matter how hard I try to keep them out of it. After having several wet diapers I knew he was getting ready to fill a diaper so this would be the real test.
Bug hates having a messy diaper which means a lot of kicking and screaming and crying until he’s cleaned up and I’m putting a fresh diaper on.

I laid him on the changing mat, swaddled his arms, and he stopped crying!
He lay completely still and was laughing as I changed him.
It honestly was the easiest diaper change we have ever had.
I thought maybe it was a fluke but a couple of days later the same thing happened.
My husband tried it and the same thing happened for him as well!
Our kicking, screaming, crying baby was completely soothed and happy to be swaddled while we changed him.

The Swaddle Change features two columns of Velcro that hook very nicely and easily to the loop side but will not hook to the velour that covers the mat. Just be careful as it will stick to baby’s fuzzy jamies or your sweater.
(Yep, I experienced both of those in the same diaper change.)

The SwaddleChange is also machine washable and mine still looked brand new after a couple of washes. We are big fans of the Swaddle Change here. It’s no wonder why it was awarded the PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Seal ofApproval.

You can find the SwaddleChange on Amazon.com and other select national retailers. It also comes in cream, pink, and blue and fits most contoured changing pads (17"x32" to 17"x34").

I honestly feel it’s worth every penny. It just makes the whole diaper changing process so much easier and less messy.
I wish I had this with my first child too and friends will be receiving these as baby shower gifts.



Be sure to check out Halo and all of their great products:
www.haloswaddlechange.com, www.facebook.com/halosleepsack, 
www.twitter.com/halosleepsackand  www.pinterest.com/halosleepsack




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm still alive....


Hey everyone,

Sorry I haven’t posted lately. 
In fact I have done a terrible job at posting my Thirty days of thankful.
I’m hoping to catch these up in the next couple of days.
I have had two very cranky teething boys and a very busy last couple of weeks with family.

With all that being said unfortunately the blog got a little neglected.
I’m currently working on a product review which should be up soon.
Please keep an eye out for it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 8

I'm really thankful for quiet evenings. Those moments between when the kids go to bed and the time my hubby gets home. Time to unwind and center myself again after giving the kids and house my attention so that when my husband arrives home I can give him my attention. It's amazing what an hour or two being alone in the quiet can really do for you. So that's what I'm thankful for today. A few solitary moments before my husband gets home and the two of us spend the night together watching a movie before bed. Avengers...Here we come! ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Sound of Revival: A guest post from my husband.


I prayed. I prayed hard. I prayed often. Before I went out and voted yesterday I prayed to my God, I prayed without ceasing yesterday. I did not pray that Romney would win. I did not pray that Obama would lose. I prayed hard and honestly to my Lord that the right man for the job would win the election. I prayed for God's chosen man to lead this country. I really hope that most of you did the same thing. I went out. I voted. I gave it to God. I did my part.

I know a lot of people are sick of political rants and hearing of anything political; and quite frankly I fall into that category too. However, with that being said, I have a very heavy heart this morning. I sat down in pure silence this morning with my Bible app loaded on my phone. Just me, my God, and my Bible. God opened my eyes. He opened my eyes and now I have a heavy heart. Not so much with the election results as it is a heavy heart to how my friends have responded to the outcome of the election.

Did you vote? Did you pray? Then what do you have to worry about? Are you questioning God? Shame on you.

With most of my friends on facebook claiming to be follower of Jesus, I am very disappointed in how most of you responded to our Leader for the next 4 years. I am not just saying all the people who are mad about Romney losing. I am also talking to those who are Obama supporters. I don't think we have responded to God's chosen man correctly. I have seen some very explicit posts to "Oh God have mercy on our Country". So what you are saying is that if Romney would have won, we wouldn't need God's mercy? and then there are those that voted for Obama what are in your face cocky about it. They are both terrible responses.

Here is a secret for you guys; God kind of knows what He's doing. God has been in this business for a very long time. God always has a plan. God is never surprised. I am not going to sit here and pound you with Scripture verses. The average American has 3-4 Bibles, so why don't you go over to that shelf, nightstand, table or wherever your Bible may be "sleeping", blow one of them off, and do some of your own studying.

Open your eyes America, clearly your President is not a man of God. "Lucky" for us God has a history of using men just like him. I have full peace about President Barack Obama being our Leader for the next 4 years. I have total faith in God.

I have some news for you guys. Our job isn't over yet. We can still make a difference. We may not be over-joyed with some or all of the political figures in our lives, but we cannot let that stop us from doing our job. If we want "Change" it does not start in "The House" it starts in our house. If we want to lower our debt in this country, why not start with those credit cards you have? We need American restoration... an American Revival. This does not come from 1 man sitting in our Nations capital. If your hope is in 1 earthly man, you have no hope at all. Open your bible, pray hard, teach your kids biblical morals. Quit pointing fingers and blaming everyone else, do something about it. Change isn't going to happen with you sitting on the couch and crying over the results of an earthly political election. This is the hand we were dealt, we have to play with it. The good news is that these cards are handpicked by our Creator.

There is still hope. Keep praying. Quit worrying. Do Something About it...

Remember... God is not Dead...


Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 7


Hey everyone....I have two sweet little boys who are on nap strike today which is usually when I get my Thirty Days of Thankful post done. And though I wish I could say I wrote up a bunch of posts ahead of time and have them just waiting to go live....I don't.  Soooo you’re going to get a quick thankful post from me and then a guest post from my better half. 

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 7

With the election now over and one side celebrating a victory and the other side mourning their loss I only have one thing to say.
I am thankful that I know no matter what God is in control.
I have peace in knowing that no matter what God is not shocked or surprised.
He is not rushing around in a panic trying to come up with a new plan.
He has the whole world in the palms of His hands.



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 6


Today I am thankful for the right to vote.

I’m thankful that I have a say in the future of our Country.
We are so blessed to live in a country with so many freedoms.
I think a lot of times we take those for granted.
I have heard so many people complain about having to go and vote and what a “Chore” it is.

But the thing of it is….not everyone has that right.
There are so many other countries where the people who live there have no say in what takes place.There have been so many who have lost their lives for you and me to have the right to be able to vote.

So please take a moment today to go and vote.
Your vote does count and it’s important for the future of our kids that we go today and vote.

Also...Take some time to pray for the future of our country. 
Pray for the next President as well as the current one.
Pray for others in office and those that are running for office.
Prayer makes a difference.
Be the change you want to see.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 5


Sunday night my husband, kids, and I all went to our local Family Video to pick out a few movies. While we were there trying to decide what to rent there was a man who I would guess to be about 30 in an army uniform.

Now just recently my 2 year old has gotten into Star Wars, Superheroes, Army Men, and any movie/show/toys in which there is flying and shooting. And if you know my son at all you know he is not shy at all and says hi to everyone.

I could tell that this man in uniform had caught Monkey’s attention. My son just stood there looking at him trying to figure it out and I could tell he was hoping to be able to say hi to this soldier. My husband realizing that Monkey was no longer looking at the movies looked to see what had gotten his full attention.

My husband knelt down next to our son and told him “That’s a REAL army guy.”
Monkey’s expression started to change. I told him, “He’s a real life hero.”
His little eyes lit up and in his sweet little boy voice he very excitedly said “HI!!!”
The man turned to him and said “Hi Buddy.”
My son, who at this point was completely blown away that this real life army hero took notice of him and even said ‘hi’ back to him; turned to me with these great big eyes and exclaimed “Mommy!!!! He said ‘Hi’ to ME!!!!”

Now I have to confess at this point I had tears in my eyes.
Standing there watching my son in complete awe of a soldier.
My sweet little boy who has no idea that our county is currently at war, no idea that there are mommies and daddies who don’t get to see their kids every day because they’re on the other side of the world, no idea that our way of life is what that very man and so many others are defending as well as trying to give so many others a better life.

So today I am thankful for the brave men and women in uniform, both past and present, along with their families who have sacrificed so much for our country.
Thank you for fighting for us, our families, our freedom, for protecting us as well as those overseas.

So no matter what your position is on the war please, next time you see a man or woman in uniform, take a moment to stop and say thank you. And pray for them and their family.

Now for some pictures* of some real life heroes:
(all of whom I have had the honor and privileged of knowing them and/or their spouse personally)












*All pictures used with permission. I do not own the rights to the photographs in this post. Please respect those in the photographs and do not repost or use the photographs in any way without consent.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 4


Today I am thankful for a Sunday afternoon nap.
I have not been sleeping well lately at night and today it really caught up to me.
I got the baby down for his nap, and then I went to go lay in bed to do some stuff on the computer and honestly…I never even picked it up.

With my husband home I was able to get some much needed sleep.
He got our 2 year old Monkey down for a nap when he was actually ready to go down for a nap and I didn’t wake until Bug got up and needed to be fed.

I’m a better mom to my kids when I’m rested.
I’m a better wife to my husband when I’m not exhausted.
I’m a better friend and all around person when I’m not in a tired fog.

So today I am thankful for a Sunday Afternoon Nap. J



Go ahead! Link up what you're thankful for. 

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 3

Today this is what I'm thankful for....

Lots of family, good food, fun times, and lots of great conversations.
We drove the not quite 2 hours to Buffalo to spend some time with family.
We had a great day with so much family.
Such a big age range too! 
My Bug is 3 months today and Aunt M (Left middle picture) 86.




Don't forget to link up what you're thankful for!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 2

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 2
I’m thankful for these sweet little faces.

Bug and Monkey

I am so beyond blessed that I get to be their mommy.








Don't forget to link up your Thirty Days of Thankful post!

Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 1


So I know I’m slightly late in posting this blog but I’m a momma first and sometimes life happens. Bug has been restless and yesterday he didn’t nap….at all.
But I still wanted to get this posted.


In case you missed it we’re now in November! (Can you believe it?! Nope, me neither.)
I think November and Thanksgiving can tend to get over looked as it’s smashed between Halloween and Christmas. I mean today is November 2nd and when I went into our local Walmart this was all I saw:






We tend to get so caught up in getting ready for Christmas that sometimes we simply forget to be thankful for what we already have.
I mean where else can you spend a day with friends and family, eating a huge meal, being thankful for the things you have, and the very next day people are pushing and shoving trying to score that 40” plasma, new blue ray player, or computer?!

I have been blessed with so much more than I could ever deserve.
So I am going to take an entire month here on the blog to share with you what I am thankful for that day. Some days it may be something small and seemingly insignificant, other days it may be something huge. However, no matter how big or small I will take time that day to be thankful for that thing and share it with you.

I would love to encourage you to take time to do the same this month.
Grab out a notebook.
Fill it with 30 things you are thankful for and take a few moments each day to thank God for those things. If you blog feel free to link-up your post at the bottom of the page. I would love to get to see the things you're thankful for too.


Thirty Days of Thankful: Day 1
As I already stated Bug didn’t nap at all and it made trying to get things done difficult. I am thankful for my sling that my mom made for us. She made it and gave it to me when Monkey was a baby but he never liked it. Bug on the other hand LOVES to be in the sling. The only time he slept yesterday was in the sling for about a half hour.









So what about you? What are you thankful for today?
Please feel free to leave a comment and or link up your blog post.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Restless


Lately Bug has been restless.
He turns and wiggles in his bed a lot.
Lightly whimpers and grips at his sheets.
Sometimes he'll only sleep for 10 minutes at a time.

The only time he seems to really settle down and rests is when he's in my arms,
held close to my chest.
This cycle is one that I find exhausting. 
It's hard not to get frustrated.

But then as I got thinking about it, we do the same thing as adults.
Okay so maybe it is slightly different but it really isn't that far off.

We’re so busy so much of the time.
There is always so much to do.
We have places to go, people to see, stuff to get done.
We might sleep at night but even then our minds are going.
We multitask constantly and hardly ever give our full attention to any one thing.

We worry and stress about the economy, our children, our jobs.
Maybe you have a loved one currently battling for their life.
Maybe your son or daughter is distant and getting into trouble.
You feel like your marriage is falling apart and all you do is argue with your spouse.
You just lost your primary income and don’t know how you’re going to pay your mortgage payment or keep from having your heat turned off.

You just keep moving.
We think that maybe if I just keep going, if I push a little harder, work a little longer, yell a little louder, that maybe just maybe something will change.
But nothing changes.
We begin to feel like we have hit rock bottom.
We feel lost and alone.

Sometimes we get so restless that we start to turn to other things for peace.
Drugs. Alcohol. The arms of someone other than the one we married.
We think that something has to work.
Something will help numb or at least dull the pain we’re currently experiencing.
But no matter how hard we try nothing works.

But did you know, that just like when I hold my son close to me and he feels the warmth of my arms around him, there is someone who wants to hold you like that too?!

You can run into the arms of your Heavenly father.
He wants nothing more than for you to curl up like a little child into His arms,
Dump all of your cares and worries, and to find rest.
God loves us so much more than we could ever begin to understand.
Yes, bad things happen. Sometimes things don’t go the way we want.
But no matter where we are and no matter what is going on in our lives God is still there.

Can you imagine loving someone so much that you would give up your only child to die in their place? I know I can’t. But THAT is how much God loves you. No matter what you've done, no matter where you are, He loves you right there.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Matthew 11:28-30 -the Message



Take a few minutes today and close your eyes, listen to this song and soak up God's love.
Ask Him to give you rest. Real rest. He will you know. You just simply have to ask.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lonely

Today I'd like to talk about something we all feel at times but no one talks about.



(Que song)
..."One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It's the loneliest number since the number one..."

-Three Dog Night-



I was at a girls day out with some lovely ladies from my church this morning and during lunch we had a short devotional time.The topic: Loneliness.

We were told to remember a time when we were lonely and to remember how that felt.
I began thinking back to when I first got married and moved to a new town.
We started attending a new church.
I started working at a new place.
And I didn't know anyone.

I was lonely.

We were then told to close our eyes and state words or a single sentence of what comes to mind when we think of Lonely. 
"Cold, distant, forgotten, sad, depressed, empty, alone."
These were just some of the things said to describe lonely.

There were so many times I was in a crowded room and I felt completely isolated.
I could be laughing and joking around, yet inside I felt like I was dying.

The thing of it is...It's EASY to stay lonely.
We don't always realize it but we can tend to stay in our shell.
Truth of it is, it's really difficult to admit that we're lonely to others.
If we were really honest with ourselves we might even admit that it's scary.
We're afraid that we're the only ones that are feeling that way.
That others will judge us and look at us differently.

But the thing of it is..we're only as alone as we allow ourselves to be.
We are not alone. There are so many people feeling lonely too.
Even King David wrote about his loneliness:

"Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted."
-Psalm 25:16

"I lie awake, 
I have become like a 
lonely bird on a housetop."
-Psalm 102:7

We were then reminded (after being told to take the hand of the person sitting next to us) 
that God is closer to us than the hand we're holding.
He is with you.
Have I not commanded you? 
Be strong and courageous! 
Do not tremble or be dismayed, 
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
-Joshua 1:9

He is always with you. 

Reach out.
Take a moment to set your fears aside and reach out to someone.
Talk to God about your loneliness and ask Him to bring someone into your life.
I was very blessed and was given a wonderful friend just one I needed one most.
Turns out shortly there after she would need a friend too. (But that is a whole different story.)
I saw this today at this cute little shoppe on a sign
"The best time to make friends is before you need them"
Chances are if you're in need of a friend, someone else is too.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

This isn't the life I signed up for......

I had a fairly big realization today.

I never knew how much I wanted this life until I had it.

That's right.
I never knew or realized just how much I wanted to be a wife and mom until I was a wife and mom.
As a kid I never really day dreamed about my wedding, being married, or having babies.
I was a total tomboy as a kid.
I played baseball on an all boy team, played soccer, enjoyed being outdoors, mowing lawn, reading books, and (my most girly thing) taking dance classes.

Even once I stared dating the man I would one day marry, I had other plans.
I would go to college,  have a career, and maybe someday get married and have a family.
I had it all planned out.

However, my plans didn't pan out.
God had other plans.
I didn't end up getting accepted to the school I wanted to go to and I hadn't applied to any other schools.
I took an online course instead. Which honestly was a God send as I was able to save thousands of dollars.
However, I never ended up having the career I thought I would have.

My now husband and I got married.
In three years of being  married we have had two babies.
And now I can't picture my life any other way. (Nor would I want to.)
Thinking about working full time, not having our two sweet boys, and probably hardly ever seeing my husband is a completely foreign concept to me now. 


I have the exact life I really truly wanted.

Now I'm not saying that it's always easy.
Because quite honestly its not.
This is the toughest job I know I will ever have and will love.
There are days that are just hard.
Sometimes I feel like I just don't know what to do anymore.
Sometimes motherhood is a lonely road and we tend as moms to out everyone else's needs before our own.
I've seen my own mom do it for years and I know I do the exact same thing.
And quite honestly I have had moments where I've felt like I'm losing myself.

This isn't the life I signed up for.....
But I'm so glad this is the life I've been given.

"Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4


God gave me the desire of my heart even when I didn't know what those desires were.

But now I have to post this and go take care of my littlest desire who happens to be VERY hungry and in need of a diaper change. haha oh man I love being a mom. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Late night, Blessed morning.

Have you stayed up till 3 am lately?
I have.
Last night in fact.

You see I have this sweet little guy who we like to call Bug.
Bug kept me up last night.
For whatever reason he just wouldn't go to sleep.

This is what I posted on Facebook at 3 am:
"Its 3am and I'm a little bit (very) tired, but I'm not sleeping cause I'm rocking a sweet little guy. It's moments like these that I am so thankful for. Not so much the sleeplessness but the reason why the lack of sleep. I know this won't last forever.... in fact...it'll be gone all too soon."

So after being up a good part of the night
(I got to bed sometime close to 4)
I had a very blessed morning.

I was exhausted when both boys decided to be up for the day.
I asked my husband if he would mind getting up with the boys and give me just 15 more minutes.
However, instead of giving me 15 minutes he gave me close to an hour!
When he came in to wake me he brought me a nice hot cup of coffee. (In one of my favorite mugs no less.)

It's in the little every day moments like those that I get reminded of how blessed I am.
A simple moment where my husband shows me a little extra love and grace.
Something simple that has left a smile on my face all day.
(Even if it is 5:30pm and I still haven't gotten the chance to get a shower and am covered in baby puke. Just keepin' it real!)


So how about you?
Did someone bless your day?
Have you taken the time to bless someone else?
Leave me a comment, I would love to hear about it!!

MIA....

Hey everyone,

  Sorry I've been MIA lately.
I've been a little busy spending time with my boys and trying to figure out how to be a mommy of two. :)
Bug and I have been enjoying some time bonding and getting to know each other.
Plus I haven't wanted Monkey to feel left out.
So I'm sorry but yes my blog has suffered for it.

I have some big things in the works though so please stay tuned!!

Upcoming blog posts include:
"When the waiting is over...." a follow up to "waiting.... "
"Meet Bug"
"Etsy with a purpose"
As well as a review on a baby bath and a few other things :)
So please stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Waiting.....

Does it ever drive you totally crazy to be waiting?

As a kid you live in anticipation while waiting for your birthday, Christmas, and school to end for the year.
You have such a hard time waiting and not peaking at gifts before its time to open them.
You crave the freedom summer brings from school and it gets difficult to stay on task and finish strong.

In your teen years you can't wait till you're 16 and can get your permit.
Then to be able to get your license and have your first car.
Then to graduate from high school and go off to college.
You go off and search for your first job and you have to wait to see if you get a call for an interview.
After being interviewed you wait to hear if you got the job.

Then you meet that special someone.
Things start to get serious and you can't wait to get engaged.
And the waiting can be very difficult in the area of physical intimacy.
You begin planning the wedding and you just can't wait for the day you say "I do!"
And your waiting pays off.
You're happily married.

Then a new season of waiting begins.
For some its waiting for their purchase offer to go through on a house.
For some its waiting for their debts to be fully paid off before getting to dream of a house.
For others its waiting to get pregnant or awaiting the arrival of a new baby.
Waiting for that adoption to go through.
Waiting....waiting...waiting.....


Personally right now, I am in a season of waiting.
I am patiently anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second son any day now. (He's officially 3 days over due.)
I'm also waiting for the day that we are debt free.
Then waiting till we have enough saved up for a nice down payment on a house.
I'm waiting for my husband's dream job to become a reality.
I'm waiting.

But I have to admit that I'm not always the best at waiting.
Sometimes it makes me feel like my whole life is on  hold when I'm waiting.
I don't know about you but sometimes I just plain get tired.
I get sick and tired of trying to wait patiently and I'm even guilty of trying to make things happen in my timing.
But did you know we have been called to be faithful in the waiting,
and when we do we'll be rewarded with an amazing source of strength?
I know I forget this often.


"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; 
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; 
and they shall walk, and not faint." -Isaiah 40:31


So what about you?
Are you currently in a season of waiting?
I would love to hear from you and be able to pray for you in your season of waiting no matter what it is.







Really amazing song that constantly reminds me what I should be doing while I'm waiting.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Storms.

Sometimes life gives you some pretty big unexpected storms.
We felt some of those storms over the weekend.

Saturday July 7th 2012 is a day we will never forget in our house.
The day started off nice and calm.
Hot, sunny, humid and muggy but nice and calm.
But the calm didn't last.

Just before 2pm I received a notice of my phone of an incoming severe storm.
We don't have cable and so the only way we get storm warnings is either via the radio or phone notifications.
I looked to see what it said and told my husband (who had been off since the 4th) of the coming storm.

Suddenly it got very very dark outside.
And then it started.
Rain, Wind, Thunder, and lightening like you wouldn't believe.
Our lights went off and came back on...then the power went out and stayed out.
Knowing how fast and hard this storm was moving we began to look for signs of a tornado.
There weren't warnings of one but in our area they do happen sometimes.

I was in the bathroom when I heard what was the loudest crack of lightening and thunder at the same time.
I yelled to my husband that "That was too close for comfort!"
It then got quiet.
Always a scary thing when there's a bad storm moving through.
My husband quickly ran outside to grab our trash can and recycle bin before they blew down the street.
After he came back in I was looking out our front window, standing above our AC unit when I smelled it.

Smoke.

I told my husband "Hunny, I smell smoke! I don't know where it's coming from but I smell smoke."
That's when I saw it....billowing out of the house across the street from us.
My husband ran outside and as we saw other neighbors outside all realizing what was going on we asked if someone had called it in.
I had my cell phone in hand ready to call it in if no one had yet.
Someone yelled back that yes they had called it in.

Everyone began asking each other if anyone knew if the neighbor was home.
Their truck was gone but their other vehicle was in the driveway.
I had seen the truck drive away about an hour before the storm started but I didn't see who all was in it.
Unsure if possibly the woman and 2 month old baby might be home and sleeping unaware my husband began pounding on the door as hard as he could hoping if someone was inside they would hear him.

Then someone realized the dog was in the house.
A sweet pit bull named Murphy. A rescue dog.
Locked just inside the house in a dog crate.

By this point the fire department should have been here....
Where were they?...
What was taking so long?.....

My husband pulled the screen out of a back window that was thankfully unlocked, climbed inside,
unlocked the backdoor, and pulled the dog out of the house, crate and all.
Some of the other guys that were around helped him carry the crate and dog to safety next door.

Still no firefighters!....
Someone called it in again and realized what happened.
Because of the sheer volume of calls that the 911 dispatch unit was receiving the person who called it in got sent to the over flow dispatch and somehow the call never got sent over to our local department to notify our fire department.
Within 30 seconds of the person hanging up with the local dispatch unit we began to hear the sirens.

Relief.
Comfort.
They were coming.

The fire fighters were amazing and were able to contain the fire to the attic of the house.
In them checking the fire out more they were able to tell the homeowner (who someone finally was able to get in touch with) what happened exactly.
The old TV antenna was struck by lightening.
However, because it wasn't grounded to anything the lightening split looking for a place to touch ground.
It proceeded to go down the chimney and leaning against the chimney in the attic was a mattress.
The mattress caught fire and is what fueled the flames.
The poor lady was so mad and upset that there was a mattress leaned up against the chimney thinking that if that hadn't caught fire there wouldn't have been a fire at all.
Then the Fire Chief told her how really it was a good think that the mattress caught fire... that if it didn't have somewhere to go, the lightening would have traveled the length of the chimney and they might not have been able to save the house.


That storm happened so fast.... but then a very different kind of storm ended up rocking our world again later that night....


Our electricity came back on around 6:30pm.
I was looking through facebook on my phone at around 8pm.
I noticed one of our close friend's mom post something about her daughter's Fiance.
Something serious....Something about being unconscious....
I told my husband to get on the computer fast and look to see what it was.

Unsure as to what was going on I asked him if he though I should call someone.
He said yes and I called one of the sisters.
It was real.
He had collapsed and was unconscious....his heart wasn't beating.

We began stalking our friend's facebook pages to see if there was any more information posted.
Things were coming in as bits and pieces.
His heart had stopped and he had collapsed.
They had gone for a run around the track together.
He didn't enjoy running and would teasingly flop down on the track in protest....
She did another lap after he did this and when she came back around knew something was wrong.


She check his pulse....none.
Yelled for someone to call 911 and she began to give him CPR.
Once the ambulance arrived she ran the 3 blocks back to where his sisters were to tell them what happened.


More bits and pieces....gaps in information but they went to the hospital.
His parent's weren't with them yet as they had been at a wedding.

His parent's joined them at the hospital.


Then we got the news.....
He is gone.
The were unable to revive him.
Twenty-two years old.
....my age.....
gone.

Instead of a wedding....a funeral.....
Instead of Joy....sorrow.....

A storm.
A massive life changing storm that you can't just easily pick up the pieces from.
Everyone here in town is still cleaning up from the storm that hit the city on Saturday....
She will be picking up pieces for so much longer.

The only calm and reprieve right now in this storm....
The knowledge that God is holding all of the broken pieces, hearts, lives, everything in His hands.
Please be praying for our friends for comfort and strength.
The start of the services are exactly one month before what their wedding day was suppose to be.

With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman.
http://youtu.be/JmyUgsmCzB4



................Storms.............


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blogging with a purpose.

So obviously there are a tons of great blogs out there.
And I have noticed the ones I enjoy following the most are the ones that have a goal.
A purpose to their blog.

They know and realize they have the potential to impact and influence others.
They try to be wise with their words and use their blog for good.
I'm not saying this means they never have a moment of pure silliness.
I'm also not trying to imply that they are perfect and they get to look at the world 100% of the time through rose colored glasses.

On the contrary, many of them have real, honest, raw moments with their readers.
They let their hearts, scars, and battle wounds show.
They tell you about their insecurities, worries, fears, hopes, and dreams.
However, they also gently remind us that this is not all there is.

So I want to blog with a purpose.
I want to be open and honest with you all
but I want to choose to give life and even in the painfully rough moments.
I'm not saying there wont be moments where I blog about an awesome giveaway going on or show you silly pictures of my kids because well lets be honest who doesn't love an awesome giveaway and my kids are my world. If I didn't share these things with you I wouldn't be being completely real. You know its true!

But I want to share with you things that I've been learning or ways in which God is changing me.
I want to let you in on this crazy and amazing life He's blessed me with and for you to do the same back to me.

Changes

Hey everyone,
   Sorry its been so long since I've done any blogging.
Life has been rather crazy lately but that's not why I'm blogging right now.


You may or may not have noticed that my blog got a new look.
Thanks to my sweet husband for making my blog look much nicer as I start a new endeavor.
I know I have talked about opening an etsy shop on and off for a while now but its actually going to happen now. I don't have an official launch date yet but please don't worry, as soon as I pick one you'll be the first to know!

I'm currently working on ideas for the blog and the shop as well as working really hard to get things ready to be listed in the shop. (Oh you know on top of being pregnant and chasing around my 2 year old Monkey!)

With that being said though I am very curious as to what YOU would like to see in here and in the shop.
Ideas for blog posts are always welcome as well as any questions you may have for me. :)

I know this is really short but I just wanted to give you the heads up that we're going through lots of changes over here. I promise to start blogging on a more regular basis again and to update you frequently on how things are coming for the shop. :)


I'm off to work on some shop items.... currently making some cute little magnets.
Sneak peak on those soon.

-Bee

Monday, April 30, 2012

Seasons

I don't know about you but I love all of the seasons.
I can appreciate them each in their own time but it also seems like for only so long...
(this mostly applies to winter.)

Right now we are in the season of Spring.

I love spring time and the newness of life.
I love the colors, smells, sounds, and warmth of spring.
Getting the yard ready for summer days spent outside.
The start of the grilling out season.
Getting to go outside and take my little man for a walk or playing on the playground.

With all of the newness that spring brings I realize I am also in a new season of life.

Right now I'm struggling with spring.
I feel like I'm missing out and thus my son is also missing out.

I'm trying my best to keep a right heart-itude and also remembering that this season in my life won't last forever.
But 10-13 weeks can feel like forever....especially with an almost 2 year old.

I am praying that I won't become housebound towards the end of this season.
That I will still be able to on my good days take Monkey to the park.
That we will still be able to get the yard ready for summer and the new season that is to come.

I know there is a potentially long road ahead of me but I am full of this amazing God sized peace.
I wish I could explain it but other than this crazy calm I feel deep inside myself there is no way to describe it. He knows and has already provided me with so much help and support as well as relief from the worst of the pain; I can't do anything else but rest in His arms.


"God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; 
God will help her when the morning dawns."
Psalm Forty Six Verse Five

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Giveaway time!

Yep, Its that time again where I post what giveaway is going on!!

TT&J is hosting a giveaway right now for a $50 shop credit to
We Love Citrus!

Check out just a few of the super cute things you could get using this shop credit:

Mason Jar Lids.
Cute little cloth bags
Sunny magnetic clothespins
Mini clothespins in a jar
And my personal favorite
Beautiful colorful twine! 


How fun is that?!  Go HERE to enter for your chance to win $50 to an awesome shop. :)





(Photo Credit: All pictures were taken directly from welovecitritusshop.com)

Monday, March 19, 2012

....tonight.

I know its been a while again and for that I am truly sorry.
Things have been slightly crazy around here and I've been finding myself very overwhelmed.
But all of those things for another night.


For tonight you see....I'm struggling.
I'm a mom and I probably worry too much but they're my boys!
I've carried them inside of me, I've held them closer to my heart than anyone else could ever physically be.
They are the only two human beings who will have heard my heartbeat from the inside.

Tonight I am thankful for an all knowing God.
The One who formed and is forming my beautiful boys into who He would have them be.
Tonight I am pouring my heart out to God thanking Him for the gifts He has given me.
Tonight I am praying for my two sweet boys to grow into strong men of faith.

Tonight I am thankful for a Godly father for my boys who cares about them just as much as I do.
The one who stands along side me in raising our boys in the way God would have us to.
Tonight I am pouring my heart out to God thanking Him for giving me such a wonderful husband.
Tonight I am praying for my husband to continue to grow closer to God and to listen to God's leading in raising our boys into men of honor and favor.

Tonight I am thankful that God chose me to be these boys' mother.
Tonight I am asking God to give me the wisdom and strength to be the mommy He would have me to be.
Tonight I am praying for peace and rest in knowing that the amount I love these boys is nothing compared to the love that He has for them.




Tonight I am loving these two boys.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A time for everything.....

Wow...so it has been forever since I last posted something. :( Sad day.
Sorry to my few followers. I do have some what of an excuse but not one that explains all of my absence.

I am pregnant! :) Dowe and I are very excitedly expecting a new addition to our family.
Baby #2 due to arrive around July 28th.
Right now as I type this I am 14.5 weeks pregnant and am slowly starting to feel better.
I haven't been nearly as sick this time as I was with Monkey but sick enough that I have fallen behind in lots of areas in my life. So now I am slowly trying to get back on top of things.

I am beginning to feel the time crunch and the pressure of mounds of things I need and want to get done before I get too big to be able to do them. It's really quite funny and interesting the thoughts that go through your mind when you're pregnant for the second time. Dowe and I are quite sure that we are having a girl this time which primarily means needing to clear out the "catch all" third bedroom and getting it to where it can be Monkey's room. There is a lot to do to get that room to where it can be a really nice bedroom for him. The biggest issue I have with this house is how badly insulated it is and the fact that the third bedroom has no heater in it! So we will be forced to have a space heater in Monkey's room which I am not really thrilled about but at this point in time do not have any other options. Unless you know...someone would like to give us a house with some land to it. (Any takers?!...)

So to the real reason I am blogging now....
With having so much to do, being so far behind (both with work for the construction company I work for, and around the house), and knowing how fast this time is going to go by I have got to implement some better habits for myself and my family. I found this great 2012 Calendar on pinterest that is an organizational Calendar http://www.mysimplerlife.com/2012.htm. "This is the year you get your house under control with daily areas to declutter."   It's pretty much AWESOME. It gives one task for each day Monday-Saturday with Sunday being a rest day or a do something to benefit yourself. And the tasks typically are not huge and completely overwhelming. It's typically one smallish thing to do each day to slowly over the year change your house. My mom and I are actually both doing this together. (She has already started...sadly I haven't really yet..but I intend to Today!)

A while ago I posted about the Chaos Cleaning Project and what all that meant to me.
"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace" 1 Corinthians 14:33
This verse has really hit home for me and has made me realize that God is a God of order and structure.
He wants for our lives to have order and to have peace.

Well a little while ago I was reminded of this at my church's ladies group meeting.
My dear sweet friend Melissa shared about her passion of being organized and why she wholeheartedly believes it is something that God is passionate about. She also shared this verse...


"a time to keep and a time to throw away" Ecc.3:6b

WOAH!!!This is something that so many people (myself included) have a really difficult time with.
More often than not we want to hold onto the little things when it would better serve our families and ourselves to throw it away. Ecclesiastes 3 talks a lot about how there is a time and a season for everything.
This time and this season in my life I need to embrace that it is time for me to throw some things away and to stop holding onto things that truly do not matter. I have some big plans and big goals of things I would like to do this year including how I want to decorate the new baby's room (if its a girl I have several fun projects I want to do which I promise I will blog about as I do them.)

But I cannot accomplish the things that I would like to do this year with my home in its current state.
I am finding that sometimes it really is more important to just throw some things away over holding on to it thinking I may need it or use it some day.
I also want to put some of the things that I have been holding onto for that "someday I want to do this" to good use and either have it be something worth while or it is time to just let it go.

I would like to ask you all to help keep me accountable in this too.  I tend to have good intentions, plans, and ideas but not always the best follow through. So please join me on this journey and print off your own copy of the Declutter Calendar or if nothing else please feel free to post comments to check up on me and share your favorite cleaning/decluttering tips!

So I am now off to start throwing away some things and organizing things that are worth keeping and trying to find real homes for them. :)