Thursday, July 21, 2016

Easy Semi-Handmade Nap Mat

Are you going to need a nap mat for the upcoming school year? I thought I would share what I ended up doing last year when my daughter needed one. Instead of buying an expensive one or ordering a fancy custom-made one, I thought I would try to throw one together cheaply and easily. I am by no means a seamstress, but I can sew a straight line with my machine. And that's all you need to be able to do for this project. And honestly, you could probably do it without a sewing machine! 

I realized that I had a roll of 19" x 36" foam that I had bought from Joann's for another project that never happened. I thought about sewing a cover for it but while I was at Kmart one day I saw that the zip on body pillow covers were the same width and had extra length that would allow me to stuff a travel-size pillow in the top. My girly girl really wanted a frozen themed mat, so I used some fleece that I already had to make a pillow cover and attached it with my machine to the top of the body pillow cover. That left some extra fabric that had to be cut off, but like I said, you don't have to make the pillow cover, you could just stuff the pillow inside the body pillow cover. And, voila! It rolls up easily, and another bonus is that the body pillow cover has a zipper on it so you can easily take it off and throw it in the washing machine.

Needed supplies: 

approximately 19 x 36" foam about 2 inches thick.

Body pillow cover (found mine at Kmart)

Travel sized pillow (found mine at Kmart)

Themed fabric if you want to make a cute pillow cover (not necessary)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pursuit of "Perfect"

read a book with this title about two years ago. It meant a lot to me then, but it's starting to mean even more to me now. 

I don't know about you, but I feel that the pressure for perfection is greater now than ever. Maybe it's just the phase of life that I'm in- or maybe it's the over-exposure to other people's lives via social media. 

It's such a conundrum. I love social media; I hate social media. I get to see my friends and their families most fun and cute moments on Facebook and Instagram; I get great decorating ideas from crafty friends and bloggers; I see beautiful scripture art that reminds me of my Great God & Father; I save tons of yummy and healthy recipes on Pinterest. On the flip-side I see families who seem perfectly happy and look as if Mommy never yells, and the kids are always perfectly dressed with clean faces and hair and trimmed fingernails; I see homes that are staged for "Fixer Upper" with no piles of misplaced items on the stairs and no dirty dishes or toilets- ever! I see cutesy scripture journals and snapshots of other more Godly women's journaling Bibles with their "doodles" that prove they've just had a perfectly silent and meaningful quiet time with the Lord and that it happens for them every. day. With coffee. 

Do you feel this way ever???

Like I said, I really enjoy all of these things... So why, sometimes, does my mind turn to comparisons and discontentment with my own circumstances when I see it? Obviously, the main reason is because I desire for my family to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled- and if I'm being honest, I desire this for myself as well. But where I am deceiving myself in all this is in the concern for what others perceive about me and my family. And I am also hugely mistaken in believing the lie that I will be content and fulfilled if all of these things are "perfect" in my life. I AM A CHILD OF GOD! I ONLY NEED A PASSIONATE PURSUIT OF HIM TO FEEL "PERFECT!" This has been a struggle for me my entire life! That's probably why my favorite Bible verse is 2 Timothy 2:22 which says, "So flee youthful passions and PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS, FAITH, LOVE, AND PEACE along with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart."

Oh that I may look at social media posts with a pure heart! And may my pursuit in life be ONLY that of righteousness, faith, love, and peace. Then will my life be picture perfect when I reach the end. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

What We've Been Up To (and my prayer request)

So much has happened since I last blogged...

We moved!

We found out we are having our third child!

We celebrated 10 years of marriage!
Trip to Grove Park Inn- Asheville

We have an upcoming Kindergartener! 😢 

I started selling Norwex home products. 

Ben got a promotion at work!
Camping trip last weekend. He's such a great Daddy!

God has been just pouring out His grace on us. 

But, if I'm honest with you, I'll tell you that I have not been enjoying those blessings like I should. I have not been grateful or worshipful. I have not even been as joyful as I should. 

Feeling like a narcoleptic and like I could throw up at any moment for the first two months of the pregnancy has been a major contributor to my unjoyfulness. 

I've never had trouble getting out of bed in the morning, but I have struggled these last few months. I haven't been meal planning because nothing sounds good, and I can't find the motivation to clean the kitchen anyway. Many things have just fallen to the wayside- including my morning quiet time spent reading my Bible. I must also admit that I realize this is probably the first step I need to take in getting back my joy. It's time for me to make that a priority again. 

Please pray for me that I will find my joy and zeal for the Lord again. "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me and my heart is filled with joy." Psalm 28:7

I am amazed at how even when I've been ignoring Jesus, He doesn't leave me on my own. 

Have you ever been ignorant to God's blessings in your life? Did you find your blind spot?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for coffee. I wonder if I could function without my morning cup? Isn't that canvas cute?! My sister made it!

I'm thankful for sisters, biological and in-Christ. I had such a great time at our exercise class at church last night. It is always so uplifting to be there no matter what kind of day I have been having.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, April 13, 2015

I Haven't Been Hiding


That was when I last wrote. 
It's been a whirlwind of a first quarter of a year. 

I got the flu on January 8, developed bronchitis two weeks after onset of the flu, somehow planned and pulled off our third annual Couple's Night dinner at church on February 12, then left for New York City the next day with my Valentine, Ben. 

I turned 30 during an ice storm on February 18. 

We got an offer on our house in early March and put in an offer on a house a week later. 

We had a church conference on March 13-14, then another PEP Moms meeting on March 20. We made the adorable succulent mason jars: 

Ben and I have also been taking ballroom dancing on Thursday nights for the last six weeks. It has been so much fun!

I was able to go out on a Mom's Day Out with my sister and friend, Sarah to see Cinderella and get coffee. It was so much fun!

This month, I started getting sick again, and the day before Easter, my eardrum ruptured! I'm on the mend now, and still managed to have an enjoyable Easter Sunday despite being in pain. There is not a more joyous day in my Christian life than the Sunday that we celebrate Jesus's resurrection!

This week, we got to go to the aquarium with friends and a playday with Nana. 

And now the packing has begun. My house is full of boxes- some already packed, but most are empty at the moment. I have realized something about myself that I did not know before: I do not like the smell of cardboard! 
Here's my living room:

It's been a fun first quarter of 2015, but I hope to be more intentional about personal reflection and spiritual introspection in the rest of the year. I need a good book to read that will help me grow. I'm thinking about re-reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. 

I may not write again until we get settled in the new house, but I'd like to share a new recipe that I've been working on.

Vegan Peanut Butter (PB2) Banana Walnut Muffins

2-3 ripe bananas
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 cups flour (I prefer whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp PB2
1/4-1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350°. 
Grease a six muffin tin.
Combine wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Dump dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients, and combine gently without over-stirring. 
Fill each tin almost full. (These are BIG muffins!)
Bake 15-20 minutes.  

Thanks for stopping by and checking in. I promise to try and be more regular in posting. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Hug From God

As a stay-at-home-mom, I am sometimes prone to feeling isolated, lonely, separated from the "real world." When Ben and I decided that I would not work full-time once children came along, I had no idea how emotionally exhausting it would be hanging out with little ones all day. There are so many moments when I could just use a hug, and hear "It's going to be okay."

If you are a parent, you know what I'm talking about. So many different situations arise at every level of your child's development that affect the parents emotionally. I won't even try to make a list of scenarios that I've experienced  personally that have left me feeling helpless, alone, and like I'm the only one going through it. But what I do want to share with you is how God has made himself even more real to me as a result of being a parent and stay-at-home-mom, and how over and over again He wraps His arms around me in a great big hug!

The Bible,which I believe is 100% true and without error, promises us that we can give all of our cares to God because he cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) Before I became a mom, I was aware of this truth in scripture, but it has come to mean so much more to me. When my children are testing me with their behavior, and not showing progress; when my son is struggling emotionally; when the two of them seem like they will never get along, and I just want someone to talk to, God is there. He cares. He loves me. Some translations call cares "anxieties." And I don't care who you are or what your lot in life is, I'm sure you have anxieties.  

I can pause anywhere at any time, and tell Him about my worries and troubles. Isn't that just like a big hug from God?!

Do you have any favorite verses that bring you comfort? (There are so many throughout the Bible!)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Goal-Setting for 2015

I have mentioned a few times how I need to write things in order to remember them. Things like appointments & meetings, social commitments, grocery lists and meal plans, marathon training plans, and etc. would dissolve in my brain never to be remembered if I did not write them down! So when I recently read a blog about writing down goals for the new year as a family, I was inspired to do just that. 

The categories that we came up with are "personal," "family," "household," and "travel." I will not be disclosing our entire list to you, in case you had started drooling over an opportunity to get a bit of "dirt" on us! 😜 However I do want to share a few things on our want-to-accomplish in 2015 list. 

In the personal category for me, I listed:

  • find my joy and contentment in Christ (see yesterday's post)
  • Write (blog and journal) more
  • Read more
  • Less phone; more face

In the family category:

  • Read the Bible with the kids more
  • Pray with Ben more
  • Lottie's letter recognition
  • Rush's handwriting and reading

For the household list:

  • Replace carpet in main living area 
  • De-clutter several cabinets and closets
  • Organize the garage
  • Paint the master bedroom


  • Go back to NYC (to celebrate my 30th birthday in February!)
  • Start saving for a 2016 Disney trip

Writing down year-long goals is definitely new for our family. But I can already tell that I feel more ready to tackle, prepare, and plan the carrying out of these things, simply because I wrote them down and discussed them with Ben. 

I'm excited about 2015! I pray that you are too. 

Do you write down goals?