Lead Me Where My Trust Is Without Borders

By 4:27 PM , , ,
Life. It's so fun and so unexpected. If I had to use one word to describe life for our family lately it would be "change." I started a new position at my company about a month and a half ago as a LEAN/throughput consultant. This in and of itself was a huge (yet exciting) change for our family. While I am very excited about this position, new team, and new opportunity it will mean more trips on an airplane, leaving my work team whom I have come to know as family, and an intense training session that lasts six months (with a very rigorous six week training that will have me moving to Houston for several weeks). 


If a new job/career change wasn't enough change for us we decided to list our home on the market and start working on building our dream home. This has resulted in us putting half our home (included all our family photos, fall clothes, most of E's toys, etc.) in a storage unit so we can 'stage' our home. It also unfortunately means making all the beds and pushing the vacuum every morning before heading out the door to work. Yuck. Needless to say we are hoping our home sells quickly and the search for a rental home can begin soon. 
 
In the midst of all the change it is easy to get stressed and start letting my mind play the "what if" game. However, I have recently been reminded to use this time to trust even deeper in God moment by moment. I have an all time favorite song by Hillsong United (this is one I want played at my funeral) that you may have heard before that I have recently been playing over and over to remind myself to draw closer to God and trust Him...it is called "Oceans" and the lyrics are below: 

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

I love that... "when oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace." What sweet, sweet words. I hope they are an encouragement to you this week as they have been to me. 

In other words I celebrated six amazing years of marriage to this stud last week with an escape weekend trip to our own city. We had the BEST time being together, biking the belt line (an Atlanta icon), eating great food, and just enjoying each other's company. SO incredibly blessed by this dude. 



Happy Sunday friends! I hope you have the best week! 

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July Book Review

By 11:28 AM , ,
It's time again for my book review from what I have been reading lately.  I have read 6 books since my last review (here). I recently started a new position at work so it is a mix between books for fun and books for work. However, there are several ones that I have read for work that I would still highly recommend. That brings me to a total of 13 books for the year....that's pretty good considering my resolution was one book a month ;). Ok without further delay here is the latest:


Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weinsberger
  • Ok I hate to do this because I know I am an abnormality here but I rate it 2/10 stars - so many people love this book included my bestest best friend who loaned it to me to read but I just couldn't get in to it: It is about three best friends and a pact they make to each challenge themselves to change something major about them in one time what ensues is full of drama and sexual relationships. I know many love it but it really was not my style of a book. 
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • I also give this one 9/10 stars: It is modern day "what would you do?" love story of a couple madly in love when the husband gets lost at sea for many years they assume he is dead. The wife falls in love again and is engaged to be married when the husband lost at sea shows up. I won't ruin the ending but it is a story that keeps you on your toes and unsure of who you want to win throughout the book. I really enjoyed it! 
2 Second Lean by Paul Akers
  • I gave this one 10/10 stars: this was one that I had to read for my new job and I am so glad I did. It is all about growing a lean culture at home and at work and is written as a quick and easy read that makes lean very easy to understand. It will totally have you reorganizing your entire home by the end. I highly recommend this to anyone! 
The Hypnotists Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  • I give this one 7/10 stars. It was my first of two Liane Moriarty books I read in the same month. It is pretty interesting in that it tells the story of the life of a hypnotist and her family. It is a little bit of a mystery. Engaging - good not great.  
Chess Not Checkers by Mark Miller
  • Another book I read for work I gave this one 8/10 stars. It is a leadership book that will transfer your leadership style. 
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  • My second Liane book of the month I actually liked it even better than the first - give it 8/10 stars! This story is about someone who falls off a bike and when she wakes up she has totally forgotten the last 10 years which include having three children, divorcing her husband (whom she thinks she is still very much in love with), loosing her best friends and making new friends, and a strained relationship with her family. While I didn't love the ending I was so curious to find out what was going to happen I couldn't put the book down. 
That concludes my list so far this year. My favorite book of the year is still Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman.  

What should I read next? What is your favorite book so far this year?



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Our Big News

By 4:03 PM , , , , ,

Well friends...we have big news! We have listed our first home as a family of three on the market. This home is so special to us in that it is where we have made so many incredible memories including bringing our little boy (who is now three) home from the hospital. We have loved everything about this home and while we look forward to what is to come we will miss this incredible home, location, amenities and great neighbors so much. 

In our five years in this sweet home we have completed too many to count home DIY projects, hosted friends, and made countless memories. While the thought that our home is on the market is a tad bittersweet we are so very thankful for God's amazing provision and always providing exactly what we need when we need it. Now we are just hoping we get an amazing offer soon and hoping we can find a short term rental home for the interim. Especially since we are paying month to month for a storage unit to house our family photos, toys, and a ton of our clothes as we 'stage' our home.

Now on to even bigger news- we are in the early stages of building our dream farmhouse. We have spent the last couple years dreaming and the last month or so working with an architect to get our house plan just the way we want it as we plan for this to be our forever home. We actually plan to build on five of my parents 30 acres. This land is very precious to us for a variety of reasons. It is where I grew up, we got married, and the grandparents will now be in walking distance. Not only that but as we approach Kindergarten we will be zoned for awesome schools and will also shorten my husband's commute (mine will extend but only by about 10-15 mins).  

We are so excited to take you all along with us throughout this journey of building our dream farmhouse! 


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Who doesn't love saving money?

By 10:12 AM , , , ,
Who doesn't love saving money? I have recently discovered a way to save even more money at the stores I already shop at all the time like Target and I just had to share with you all.


I am assuming most of you have probably heard of Groupon? They offer great deals on local experiences and I have been able to save a lot of money in the past on fun experiences for my family. What you may or may not also know is that they also have a website that offers 70,000 deals on over 9,000 retailers! I just recently learned this myself and now anytime I have online shopping to do, I use Groupon to save more money. I don’t know about you but, if there is a chance for me to save some cash I am taking it. I have searched the internet for the best deals and when it comes to saving money, Groupon is where it is at! At his very moment Groupon is even offering 25% off your first Groupon with code WELCOME at check out. Deals on top of deals? It doesn’t get any better than that.

On the Groupon site there are 71 deals and coupons for Target. One of my absolute favorite deals for Target is $5.00 off $50.00 plus free shipping! We all need a reason to do a little online shopping this afternoon, right? ;) This deals is not only good online but, in store as well. They also have 30% off in their home department which is great as I have been recently redecorated E's big boy room. While on the Groupon site be sure to check out all of the other retailers they offer deals and coupons for such as Ebay, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, Aeropostale, Home Depot, Macy’s and so many more. Groupon has all of your shopping need covered and will save you that extra money you want to save. Your welcome for the fun Thursday fact. Have fun shopping! 

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Sunday Funday / Atlanta Favorites

By 10:27 AM , , , ,
This Sunday was SO fun! Anytime I get to spend with my boys is my favorite but this Sunday was extra special as we got to experience two Atlanta iconic fan favorites with some of our friends (if you are planning a trip to Atlanta these both need to be places you visit). 

We started off our family fun date with a trip to the Varsity for lunch. If I am completely honest I really do not care for the food at the Varsity (with the exception of the Frosted Orange, because who doesn't like a Frosted Orange?) but let's be honest...that is not why you go.  You go for the experience and because it is an Atlanta staple. Don't believe me...check out the strangers behind us eating Veggie chips (AMAZING). 



The little boy we went with is E's best friend. They are in the same class at school and his parents are some of Josh and I's best friends. 

After our trip to the Varsity we headed over to the Fox Theater to see Paw Patrol Live. These two little boys love Paw Patrol (Marshall is there favorite) and we love the Fox (such an amazing venue and so much Atlanta history) so we thought it would be a great trip to take them to their first Fox Theater performance.




We had such a great time. The little guys loved the show and the I enjoyed showing off the Fox to E for the first time.








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4th of July Recap

By 2:13 PM , , , , ,
Hope everyone had a great 4th! After getting to tour Quantico in DC last week and getting an expanded perspective on what the marines and others in our armed forces sacrifice for our country I have an expanded gratitude and am even more proud to be an American.

We had a wonderful time with family up at our family lake home celebrating the 4th. We even got to see a double rainbow. 

 Here are some pictures of our weekend. 
Our boat house all decorated for the 4th
 

boat driving on the 4th with "Dah" (what my son calls his grandfather)
ice cream eating at the drive up boat marina


beautiful double rainbow

on the way to watch the fireworks from the lake with "Uncle Dean"

fireworks from the boat are the best kind


fun at Sliding Rock in the North GA Mountains

paddle boarding with my little man


 practicing his paddle boarding

watching the fire boat spray water

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It's Not a Party Unless Someone Throws Up

By 10:02 PM , , , ,
Today is our sweet boy's 3rd birthday! I can't believe it! It feels like just yesterday I was going through a horribly hard labor to bring this little boy into the world! This birthday was so much better in all ways but one...

It is always nice when your birthday falls on a weekend and you can have your party on your actual birthday. Today we celebrated E's birthday...get ready here comes the story referenced in the title of this post. Ya'll it was SO nasty. We celebrated E man's birthday at Monkey Joe's (a blow up house park for kids). After many attempts to get him to nap before his party we were totally unsuccessful and gave up. He told us, "I am too excited to sleep." Needless to say come cake and present time he was literally falling asleep at the table. The party package we purchased came with pizza, a large cup of Hawaiian punch, and cake (well my mom actually made the cake but it was still included in the sugar count). He downed the Hawaiian punch. After we were done with "party" time he went back to jump with his friends. He hadn't been on the blow up jump obstacle course five minutes when I heard him crying and when in after him. I pick him up, he is bawling and told me he got hurt. I start making my way out when he starts puking ALL OVER ME. I am not talking about a little bit. He and I were both SOAKED in puke. The chaos ensued. We weren't sure if he had a concussion which was making him puke or even if he had bumped heads with the kid he collided with, or,  if it was a total random stomach bug, or the after fact of all the sugar and bouncing. Praise God it turned out to be the tummy full of punch + bouncing right after. SO SO NASTY. Literally the first time someone has covered me in vomit and I sure hope it is the last. Good thing I love this little guy to death. All in all in was a great party and he had a blast with all his friends! 

Pre-Vomit Family Photo

I got so emotional last night about him turning 3...Somehow I blinked and the 2's are over and my sweet boy is 3! Oh how I love this precious gift God blessed our family with 3 years ago! This kid is super smart, super stubborn, and keeps us laughing all the time. His teachers think he might be a comedian when he grows up but his daddy and I think he will make a great boss, haha. Whatever he does as long as he continues to follow God I can promise you this little one will move mountains!


His favorite foods are: anything sweet, pasta, pepperoni pizza, and orange chicken


His favorite things to do are: play sports (any but really loves basketball, soccer, and golf), ride his bike, climb and do flips, swim, and build.

This little boy sings ALL the time, adores his cousins and his school friends, loves singing to Jesus and gives the best hugs and kisses! I'm so blessed to be your Mommy, E, hard labor, throw-up and all! Happy birthday - we love you so! 

To cheer up my sadness on the fact I know longer have a baby, Mommies I need your help...what is the best thing about the age 3? 


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Lake Time

By 11:28 PM , , , , , , ,
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JumpIntoSummer #CollectiveBias

Oh, wonderful, sweet summertime! I am in a huge season of transition (more to come on that later) due to some recent really big career changes and I have a week of vacation off this week with my little guy so of course we decided to spend the week at our happy place in the north Georgia mountains, Lake Burton.

sunset cruises.JPG

This week has been totally perfect (with the exception of only having the privilege of having my wonderful husband with us for the weekend as he had to go back to work). The weather has been awesome (complete with evening thunderstorms over the mountains) and we have gotten so much great exercise swimming, wakeboarding, tubing, hiking, etc.

water gun wars.JPG

We have had absolutely incredible sunsets cruises on our pontoon boat. Check out the photos below from our cruise the last night before my hubby had to leave.

sunset.JPG

Being around water all the time as a mom playing single parent duty for the week with a two year old is something I do not take lightly (there will be no book reading for this mommy until after the little guy is in bed or when he is napping). However, there is one lake time essential I REQUIRE my little guy to wear at all times when around the water (we keep it on at all times we are on the dock even when not in the water)- the Puddle Jumper® life jacket . If you have a little one and do not already own a Puddle Jumper® life jacket do yourself a favor, drive to Target (who doesn’t want to make a Target run?!?) and go purchase one NOW. Here I’ll make it easy for you. Here is a photo from the aisle I found it in at our Target (just ignore my kid playing with a soccer ball in the aisle). Or if you want to just buy it online here is a link.

target 2.JPG

We are HUGE Puddle Jumper® life jacket fans. So much so that I don’t go anywhere near water without one - we literally own six...and have one child. A bit oppressive maybe but they are the only floatation device I have found that actually allow him to swim (don’t put him in turtle mode like a normal life vest) and give this mommy a piece of mind all at the same time. Before our most recent journey to the lake I went to Target and purchased him a new Stearns® Puddle Jumper®  3D Life Jacket with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles® character that he LOVES. It’s super cute and functional with woven polyester, a softer fabric for less chafing. The comfortable design also allows children 30-50 lbs. to move and swim freely in pools and lakes and at the beach, without the life jacket riding up around their necks. One of my favorite parts is that it is US Coast Guard-approved life jacket and features a fun character on the front for more fun in the water. The life jacket can also be used as a learn-to-swim aid which has worked wonderfully for our little guy. The adjustable buckle snaps in back and makes taking it on and off super simple and kid approved.

swimming.JPG

pizza float.JPG

Ok now that I have hopefully convinced you (you’re welcome) why Puddle Jumper® life jackets are so incredible it’s time for me to crack back open this book I’m reading and enjoy this view and a glass of wine (*sigh*). Peace our friends and enjoy your Target run!

view.JPG 

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My Latest "Happy:

By 7:12 PM , , ,
As I sit here on the back porch on a much needed wonderful week of vacation with my little boy watching a gorgeous thunderstorm come over the mountain in my happy place with a lovely glass of red I thought it would be appropriate to write about just a few of the things lately that I am loving. 

1) First off can I just say this thunderstorm I am listening to.... I mean really. I had to take a video and post to my Facebook. You can check it out here
2) My smallgroup. We joined a new small group almost a year ago now (wow has it almost been that long, really?). You know how some times in life God just brings people into your life and you are like yup, "these are my people." That's totally how I feel about these people. Here is a photo of us all on a cabin trip back in February. 



We most recently completed an Andy Stanley study about how God does not always answer our prayers with a "yes" but he will give us the peace we need to get through (cue why does cancer exist/why do good things happen to bad people, etc). Case in point is God didn't even answer Jesus' prayers when Jesus prayed to God to take "this cup from him" talking about the night before Jesus was betrayed, beaten,humiliated, and ultimately crucified. Anyway all that to say I feel like God has granted me a lot of peace lately in some pretty stressful situations and for that I am so very grateful. 

3) In the last couple of weeks three of my best friends have had babies - and I have gotten to hold and cuddle two of them (dying to meet the other but she lives in Baltimore). Something about holding a baby is just the most wonderful thing ever. Am I right or am I right?


4) I am loving soaking up the last couple of weeks of having a two year old. He is so smart, so strong willed, yet so sweet and keeps me laughing ALL. THE. TIME. Plus we are making progress on the potty training this week (praise hands). I love getting to spend quality time with him and just enjoy being a mom to this wonderful precious guy. 


5) My beautiful brother and sister in law are making me an aunt again to a precious little girl and I couldn't be more excited!

Well it's time to cuddle up and watch some TV. Night everyone! 

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Our Day at SeaWorld & Tips for Traveling with Little's - Post #2

By 2:11 PM , , , ,
If you missed my first post on our vacation trip this year you can read about it here

The second part of our trip we woke up early (got donuts, of course) and drove from Redington Beach to Orlando and headed straight to SeaWorld. Ya'll, I'm going to be honest - the SeaWorld day was a last minute add in - we originally planned to spend Wednesday as a pool day at our hotel in Orlando and go to downtown Disney for dinner. Last minute (like the week before we left) we decided to do SeaWorld. I was a little skeptical - the last time I remember attending SeaWorld I was 10 and while I enjoyed it (almost 20 years ago) it didn't quite leave a lasting impression. Ya'll....we ending up LOVING SeaWorld. So much so we are already planning to go back next year. It was so awesome. 


Not only were the animals and shows incredible but they now have four awesome roller coasters along with several other adult rides a TON of rides for younger ones. Our almost two year old was in heaven. We got there right when the park opened and closed the park down, waited in no lines, and still didn't come close to getting to do everything. 

Also, the food was so good. So much better than other theme parks and actually affordable. So much so that I had to do some research to find out why and discovered that SeaWorld is actually owned by a restaurant company. 

The first ride we rode was this journey through Antarctica ride which lead you to an exhibit with live penguins. So neat but be warned it is VERY cold!


The "One Ocean" Orca Whale show was so good we literally went three separate times.



We also loved the Dolphin show...so good!



They had this awesome kid's section that E man could have stayed in all day long. He loved it. Here are a few highlights from that section.





Like I already mentioned there are some incredible roller coasters at this park if you are a coaster fan. And you can not beat the animal exhibits. 



We honestly can not wait to go back!

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