Friday, July 19, 2019

Vlog: Meal Plan + Beach Trips

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Today, I am sharing a vlog that was recorded within the past week! There truly is a first time for everything. Okay, this isn't the first time this has happened but, it's certainly been a long time since I've had this quick of a turnaround for a vlog. Check it out!


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wednesday Happenings: Library & Park Day

Happy Wednesday, everyone! It has been hot, humid and a little rainy around here today. We just got back from the park and I can tell you that I am ever so grateful for the air conditioning in our home right now!

This morning was busy and good. We started off at the library for story time where Piper made a rocket ship craft. 


After the library, we were off to the chiropractor. Piper loves to visit the "back doctor" with me because she always gets a little chocolate (or two) on her way out. After the chiropractor, we went home for a quick lunch and then, out to the park to meet with my mentor and friend. 


We had a good discussion today, as always. I am so grateful to have Laura speak truth and encouragement into my life!

As for the rest of the day, I think we will be staying inside, in the air conditioning. I am planning on making crispy chicken salads for dinner and hoping to catch up on some laundry. Then, it's back to work tomorrow!

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Summer Catch-Up Vlog

Happy Monday, everyone!

I just uploaded a new vlog this morning and it's kind of a random one. I had a lot of clips hanging around in my SD card but no real vlog in mind for them. So, I decided to do a little summer catch-up, sharing those clips to get my SD card up to date!

I hope to be a little more intentional with my vlogging for the remainder of summer because we are making some fun memories that I don't want to forget!



Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Great Lakes Science Center Vlog

It may not be Thursday yet but, I have a throwback for you. It's taken me a little while (two months to be exact) to edit this vlog from our mini family vacation in Cleveland. Once summer hit, all bets were off. I finally carved out some time this weekend to get it done, though.

We stayed overnight in Cleveland a couple months ago with the main event of our trip being the Great Lakes Science Center! We had so much fun! I wrote a blog about it back in May, which you can check out here: Mini Vacation Recap - CLE.

Earlier this Spring, Nick and I decided that instead of taking one big family trip this year, we would break our vacations up into mini trips once per month this summer. This trip to the Great Lakes Science Center was our first of those mini trips. I love watching the footage from our trip and I hope you enjoy it, as well!


For those of you considering taking the trip, our daughter was 4 years old at the time and she had a blast! My 31 year old husband enjoyed it just as much, too. They have exhibits for all ages!

Monday, July 8, 2019

The 4th of July Weekend Recap 2019

Hey friends, and happy Monday!

We're diving into the second week of July and before we get any deeper, I wanted to share my progress on the intentions I've set for myself this month. Last week went really well. I used my planner, took my vitamins and set aside some chair time with my Bible daily. You already know that I blogged Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I didn't manage to get to the gym but, I did have some form of activity a couple times last week just from our summer adventures. I also met up with a friend last Monday and ran into another one at the zoo later in the week! It was a good week for meeting my set intentions.

Last week we spent a lot of time celebrating the 4th of July, as well.



On Wednesday, July 3rd, we went down to the park where they had a little festival with bounce houses, food vendors and fireworks!



On the 4th, we went to my aunt's house for a picnic but not before taking a picture by our pond. I remember Piper's first 4th of July when we paused for a moment to take a picture by our pond. It takes my breath away to see how much she has grown since then.



On Friday, the 5th, my husband took the day off from work and we went to a local amusement park.

 


We had so much fun, we were there for nearly 8 hours! We left the amusement park with sun kissed faces and that kind of tired feeling that comes only from a fun day in the sun!

The rest of the weekend was spent a little slower, as we eased back into the reality of the work week.

Friday, July 5, 2019

A Glimpse Into My Planner

Happy Friday! 

If you were here earlier this week, then you may remember that I set some intentions for the month of July. I decided the best way to keep track of my intentions would be to write them out as to-do's each day in my planner. Here's what this first week looked like after I was done writing it all up last Sunday.


Writing out my intentions for each day really helped me to stay on track with what I had planned to do. I also love my Simplified Planner because there is a little spot where you can add your dinner plan for the evening. As you can see, I try to make my meal plan for the week ahead on Friday, then make a grocery list from that and eventually go grocery shopping sometime on Saturday. It's been a good rhythm for us!

As the week went on, some things in my planner changed. I added more and took some away. It was good to have a baseline of plans with a lot of white space for us to be flexible throughout our days. I am looking forward to keeping up with this routine for the month of July! Hopefully it will help us to be more intentional with our time.

As you can see, we don't have a whole lot planned for this weekend, which is really exciting! I especially love a Saturday without plans. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Mid-Year Revival

Happy Wednesday, friends! Can you believe that we are mid-year, already? I just can't. The first 6 months of 2019 have been great and, I am very expectant for the months to come!

God has been doing so much in our lives this year. He has been teaching us, growing us, comforting us. Especially as we continue in our season of waiting for baby #2. If you don't already know, I have PCOS, which makes it a little more tricky when it comes to conceiving a child. I was actually told by doctors for over a decade that I'd likely never have children because of it. 

God is greater than the odds, though. I have had two pregnancies in my lifetime; one miscarriage in 2012, where God provided me peace beyond understanding (Phil. 4:7) , and one beautiful baby beyond our wildest dreams. Our miracle, Piper Grace, was born in 2015. I pray that baby #2 will be born in 2020. If not, He is still good!

I have always been transparent in this blog and so I will say that this season of waiting hasn't been all that easy. Even this past week, when my cycle began, I was mad. I was sad. I fell to my knees and cried bitterly to God. Thankfully, He used Nick to pick me back up and remind me of His truth. Even when I grow impatient, God's grace covers me like a blanket.

Part of my learning in this season of waiting has been to surrender my timeline to Him. His timeline has been and will always be better than I could ever imagine; for our good and His glory.


June was Revival Month at our church. We had the opportunity to attend a Revival Night service at which point we were given some time to pray for more of the Holy Spirit and, for supernatural/spiritual gifts. Nick went into Revival Night and came out of it feeling a little skeptical. I went into it feeling expectant and like I was even more at home. Despite his skepticism, Nick prayed for the Spirit to speak to him in some way. Although there were many people who heard from the Spirit that evening, Nick was met with silence.

The following Sunday, during a prayer time with a group of people at church, they made the time and space to practice hearing from God. Again, Nick prayed to hear something. Again, Nick was met with silence. He felt defeated. He felt like God couldn't hear him. A moment later, somebody said that they had a word for Nick and he was shocked! They said, "God hears you and He sees you". They also said that He wanted to give Nick the word "Adventure". Immediately, Nick interpreted this word from the Spirit as "Adventure to be". A promise from God that we would one day conceive again.

I am in awe with how God used somebody else to share His words in a way that Nick could understand. He is so faithful. He loves us so much. Thank you, God.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Hello, July 2019

Happy Monday and welcome to July!

I don't know about you but, June really got away from me! It went by way too fast! I am hoping for a slower July. A word that comes to mind when I think about the month ahead is "savor". I really want to savor this month! How about you? I also want to be more intentional with my days. I think the two of those concepts really go hand-in-hand. I think that by being more intentional with my days, I will be able to savor these summer days even more!

I took some time yesterday to sit down and write out my intentions for the month. Here are a few of the intentions I have set for July:
1. Plan for the week ahead on Sundays and use my planner daily
2. Daily vitamins & chair time with the Bible
3. Blogging Monday / Wednesday / Friday (at least)
4. Schedule the Gym / Activity 2-3x per week
5. Meet up with a friend at least 1x per week 
This past month went by so fast that a lot of the things I wanted to do went undone. I am hoping that by being more intentional with my scheduling in July, I will improve in all areas that were lacking last month.

As for my weight-loss goal, I would love to lose 5 pounds and get down to a new all-time low of 225 lbs! I ended the month of July at 230.5 lbs. Trying to lose weight in the summer is a little harder than I remember. We have been attending a lot of fun events, with a lot of delicious food. It's hard to say no sometimes but, I am going to work on practicing moderation more this month!

I'll leave you with some pictures from a few of the fun days we had last month!










See you back here on Wednesday!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Weekend Recap: Carnival + Rainy Weekend


Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? We had a great one over here, even despite the rain on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday

On Friday, after Nick got home from work, we went out to a local carnival! Piper had so much fun jumping in the bounce houses and, after getting over her initial fear, sliding down the big slide over and over and over again!






Saturday

On Saturday morning, we hung out at my grandparents house for a community yard sale. It started raining that afternoon. We got our grocery shopping done and then stayed in for the rest of the night watching movies!

We grocery shopped for the following dinners this week:
Monday: Salmon + Broccoli + Rice
Tuesday: Poor Boys
Wednesday: Chicken + Zucchini + Corn
Thursday: Jamaican Chicken Coconut Stew
Friday: Popcorn Shrimp + Fries + Mixed Veggies
Sunday

On Sunday, we went to church and then visited a majority of our fathers to celebrate Father's Day! It was another rainy day and so the evening was spent watching some more movies and cleaning up the house for a fresh new week ahead!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Weekend Recap: Warped at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? Ours was absolutely fantastic!


Saturday

On Saturday, Nick and I left town for an event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland! But first, we stopped at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch because, it wouldn't be a trip to Cleveland without the Cheesecake Factory!


After lunch, we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where they were introducing the new exhibit for The Warped Tour!


Back whenever we first started dating (we're talking 15 years ago), Nick and I visited the Warped Tour. We have so many great memories, watching so many of the bands we loved to listen to! It was so awesome to relive some of those moments as we walked through the exhibit and, afterward during the show!






We drove back home in the middle of the night, where my mom had Piper asleep in her bed. We had such a great time and, being that we're much older now, it was so great to fall asleep in our own bed after such a long and fun day. :)

Sunday

Sunday morning started nice and slow. All three of us ate breakfast together and drove to church for second service at 10:30 a.m. This is the first time in a long time that we have been afforded a slow Sunday morning, where we could all eat breakfast and drive to church together. It was so nice!


After church, we had lunch with our Life Group where we sat on their porch, chatting for hours. We ended the evening at Revival Night at the main campus of our church. It was such an incredible day and night spent in community. God is moving in great ways in our hearts and in the hearts of the people we love!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Catching Up on Vlogs

Happy Friday!

I spent some time today catching up on editing a vlog from May. You'll definitely want to watch until the part where I share all about my weight gain in May and what I learned from it.


Good news is that as of this morning, I am back down to a lowest weight for the year! 229.1 lbs!

Thanks for watching!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Last Day of Preschool 2019

Today is the day! It's Piper's last day of preschool! Here's a quick look back at the first day:



Piper started preschool when she was 3 and, since she will still be 4 years old at the start of next school year, Piper will get a second year of preschool before going into kindergarten! I am so thankful for this because my mama heart is definitely not ready to have a kindergartner, yet. I am grateful that she'll have another year of preschool before that transition.



Looking back on the pictures that I took on the first day of preschool, I can tell you there are some things that have changed but, a lot that hasn't changed at all. She definitely still loves Buzz Lightyear - to infinity and beyond.




Piper has grown so much and in so many ways this school year. I am so proud of her and beyond grateful for all of the love and support from her teachers and classroom aides.



The first year of preschool is in the books. Let the summer fun begin!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Hello, June 2019

Happy Saturday, everyone and hello, June! I don't normally post on the weekends but, today is June 1st and so I am making an exception.

I am so excited and expectant for June! May was a great month with some hard moments (see previous post: May Hit Me Hard). I gained 2 pounds last month and so, I am especially ready to get back to focusing on my weight loss goals this month!

I started out the first day of June in the gym! Let me tell you, I didn't want to be there but, I showed up and did it anyway. As soon as it was over, I was so glad that I did it. I spent about 25 minutes on the treadmill and worked my upper body with some different strength training exercises.


While I was working out, Nick and Piper went swimming in the pool. The treadmills overlook the pool at our gym and so we would wave at each other and I still got to watch them have fun while I worked out. It's a pretty nice perk of the place!


As for the month of June, we are very excited for Piper's summer vacation to officially begin on Friday! I am looking forward to starting a new summer routine and, visiting the YMCA at least twice - three times per week is going to be a part of that routine!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

May Hit Me Hard + Wait and See

I recently picked up a book that I've picked up before but, never finished. "Wait and See" by Wendy Pope. As I'm reading through the pages, I wanted to share a few things with you.

Ever since last Spring, when Nick and I felt the call to expand our family, we have been waiting. You can read the post from last May, here: Faith Over Fear + A Second Child.

This month kind of hit me hard. It's been an entire year since we took that faithful step from "maybe"  wanting another child one day to "yes". An entire year of waiting. I have had days of doubt, days of sadness and, by the grace of God, I have days filled with an undeniable hope and assurance beyond understanding.

In the book, "Wait and See", Wendy says that "waiting is inevitable. Waiting with hope and courage is optional."

I started out this year waiting well. I lost nearly 15 pounds from January to April, all with preparing my body for another pregnancy in the back of my mind. When May came, and it still wasn't a reality, it hit me hard. I did gain some weight this month. I did not "wait well" in May. However, now that I've picked up this book again, I am being reminded of how good God is even in this season of waiting.


I'll be closing out today's post with some more quotes from Wendy's book and, a song that has been very dear to my heart:
"God tucks a dream deep in your heart. You believe Him for the completion of this dream. You patiently do all the "right" things. Then you wait." 
"The wait is more about experiencing God than enduring the delay."
"Waiting well looks forward to the future while staying present in the present. Waiting well means I remain open to God and allow Him to move me toward the future He has planned, in His time." 
"When we ask God to show us His plan, we begin to align our heart with His heart. The door opens to experience God in deeper, more real ways. We still wait, but we deepen our knowledge of His character and goodness. We learn to trust that God acts on behalf of those who are willing to wait and see (Isa. 64:4) and that He does immeasurably more than we can think or imagine (Eph. 3:20). As we wait, we find peace in God's plans and hope in His pauses. Our focus moves from the object of our wait to the Person of our faith." 
"The wait and see is a time of action, excitement, and joy when we join God in His plans for our life." 
"Yet when my trust wavered, I recognized my only hope was to return to this place of surrender, again and again."   
"I came to see His pauses as a safeguard and comfort. I came to view Him as a trustworthy advocate. He is for me. He is for you." 
"The Lord longs for us to reach out to Him and ask for help, clarity and direction. See what James 1:5-8 says: "If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who 'worry their prayers' are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift in sea, keeping all your options open". In this  verse, James clearly tells us we are to ask our Father for what we need. James says God loves to help."
"The anxiety over your future will change to living peacefully in God's pauses as you wait for Him to fulfill His plans. Instead of living in the shadow of depression, doubt and discouragement, you will bask in the light of hope, trust and security." 
"If we want to wait well and experience all God has for us in the midst of our waiting, we have to be honest with Him about our fears and struggles. We also have to ask Jesus to give us eyes to see through a lens of hope and a heart molded by faith that He is working for our good and His glory."

"A common misconception might be that if I am waiting, I must not have heard God correctly We can redirect the negative thoughts we often receive by revisiting the moments when we sensed the Lord's nudging. Reliving the moments of pure excitement we experienced when we felt the prodding of Hid Spirit with extinguish uncertainty that tries to creep in to steal our joy." 
"We need to prepare in the pauses so we're ready to embrace God's plans." 
"God seldom hands out passes so you can avoid the wait and skip to the front of the line. That's not a bad thing, as painful as it is at the time. A rush through the wait has the potential to stunt our spiritual growth and dull our senses to what God wants us to learn as a result of our wait. James 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get our of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so that you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." 
"Waiting isn't meant to be a grueling process. What if we view it as a pause or interlude, a place we can experience the peace of God while He works in us so He can work through us? He is actively working while we wait - a promise that never disappoints in the end - and that work somethings gets personal."

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Week of Photos / Photo Prompts

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

It's been over a week since I've updated and so I'm going to go through some pictures on my phone and update you all on the past week with those photos as prompts.


Last Wednesday, we got our dogs groomed for the very first time. I think that I am going to work grooming the dogs monthly into our budget because it was so nice!


Last week, my mother-in-law took Piper during the evening two nights in a row which gave Nick and I the opportunity to do something extra fun! We went on a hike and explored a local area that we've never been to before.


It was pretty amazing!


Last Friday, I had the opportunity to join Piper on a field trip. We got to ride the bus together, which she was very excited about! I was so happy to be able to join her class on the trip. It was very special for us both.


This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend. We spent a lot of time playing outside, and Piper enjoyed learning to ride her bike with training wheels on.


We also spent some time inside doing one of Piper's new favorite things: putting together puzzles! 


She is really good at doing puzzles all by herself. It's such a great quiet activity, too.


We went to a Memorial Day parade on Monday! Then, it was back to work on Tuesday.


Today, when I picked Piper up from preschool, we went to the YMCA! I worked out for about 40 minutes and then we headed over to the zoo! 

Piper is back at Nina's tonight. Life Group was cancelled and so, I was gifted a little opportunity to type up this update and now you're all up to date!

The school year is coming to an end and I've been a little emotional about it. I may or may not have been shedding a few tears on my back patio this morning after I dropped Piper off at preschool. I am so proud of the little girl Piper has become, and I am so grateful to her teachers for helping get her there. They've had so much influence on this year that I am having a hard time thinking up just how to thank them! If you have any good teacher gift ideas, please send them my way! Piper's last day of preschool is next Thursday! :)