Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and the weather is beautiful. I'm sharing a few of my favorite things from this week!
She Reads Truth Proverbs The Way of Wisdom study.
This study has been amazing! Each day has several different verses, on a common theme, from the book of Proverbs. You end the day with a couple interactive questions with blank journaling space that help you to apply and reflect on what you just read. I have enjoyed this approach as it is so different from most fill in the blank studies. I have challenged myself to just sit and really think about each question. It has caused me to examine my own heart as I read and study these passages. I come away from the study each day not only challenged, but uplifted and encouraged. I will be so sad when I finish this study. On the bright side, She Reads Truth has many more studies that I can pick from to do next!

two. The Small Things Blog. My favorite blog right now is The Small Things Blog. Kate shares the best hair (former stylist) and makeup tips. I love that she tries so many products (for both hair and makeup) and shares the ones she loves. I have purchased a few things that she has recommend on her blog and every single item has become a favorite! I now consider Kate my personal go-to beauty expert. She is a fellow boy mom, so we have more than just our names in common!

three. 15 Day Mommy Fit Challenge. I love these free workouts available on YouTube. There are a couple different versions, Trainer Nicole is my favorite. I have found a new routine that has been working for me. I drop the boys off at school and head home and do one of these workouts. The 25-28 minute workout is different each day, so you never get bored! If time allows, I like to combine them with a 2-3 mile run and boom, you have yourself a great workout! Nicole also gives modifications for pregnant women, so it's great for any of you expecting mommas out there.

four. T-Ball. Jack started t-ball and has had two practices. He is my second child to play t-ball and it just may be the cutest thing to watch.
They are not only adorable in their uniforms, but they say and do the cutest things. I love watching my oldest play baseball too, but it will be a sad day when I no longer have a t-ball playing kiddo!
I can't wait to sport my new Baseball Mom shirt that I purchased from my neighbor, fellow boy mom, and etsy seller, Kim. You can find her on Facebook or Instagram at Kim's Heart Strings. She will be taking orders for these baseball shirts through next week.
That's a wrap! Happy Friday. I'm so excited that the weekend is here. I'm going to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

DIY Tissue Paper Tassel Garland Party Decor

My youngest son turned one last week! I wanted to make a tissue paper tassel garland to hang on the wall behind his high chair for a festive look at his birthday party.  If you are looking for a fun way to make an impact at your party, that is budget friendly, this DIY garland is for you. I found my tissue paper for $1 a package at Hobby Lobby. This project cost me less than $4 and I had tissue paper left over to add to my gift wrapping stash. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to complete the garland before your event. It does take some time to get enough tassels to fill your strand. I enjoy a good project, I find it relaxing (some will think that is crazy). Find yourself a good show to watch while you are working and time will fly by. I completed my garland while watching the Men's NCAA tournament, it took some of the stress away from watching the nail biting game!

DIY Tissue Paper Garland Tutorial

Step 1. Take your tissue paper and fold in half (fold is at the top). 

Step 2: Take the left edge and fold over to meet the right edge.

Step 3: Repeat step 2 to fold over again (and take left edge and fold over to meet right edge).

Step 4: Begin cutting at the right hand side. Cut strips in desired width, stop cutting at least 2 inches from the top.

Step 5: Finish cutting strips across tissue paper.

Step 6: Unfold tissue paper, and cut down the center to create two separate pieces.

Step 7: Unfold each section and roll in the center from one edge to the other edge.

Step 8: Twist the center together and fold over.

Step 9: Fold the tissue tassel piece over the ribbon or cording you are using to hang your garland on.

Step 10: Create desired spacing (take into account how full you would like the garland to be) and hot glue each tassel in place. Repeat until you reach desired fullness and length.

Step 11: Enjoy the party! Don't forget to document your little one in front of the festive decor!

Monday, April 23, 2018

All Things New

Six years ago, this week, I lost a baby to miscarriage. I was eleven weeks along and had already bonded with the new life growing inside me. Our two little boys (5 and 2 at the time) had already been talking about the baby in Mommy's tummy. Chris and I had been throwing around names and our days were filled with a new found excitement. We spent time hoping and dreaming about what having three kids might be like, when our world, suddenly came crashing down.

Grief came in waves, crashing against my soul, tearing at my heart with the power of a tsunami. I remember during that time wanting to do something to give my baby weight in this world. To ensure this little gift from God was remembered. Life goes on and others quickly forgot the sweet life that had so impacted mine in his/her short 11 weeks. It wasn't until I lost our second baby two years ago that I made my initial plan of remembrance a reality. I wanted a physical reminder of the two sweet lives that I carried for 11 weeks on this earth. They are as much my babies as the five beautiful boys that I have the privilege of mothering, loving on, and raising day in and day out. I knew I wanted to find and plant two flowering trees so that each Spring the new life and beautiful blooms would remind us that we have two babies very much alive in heaven. Because of the new life I have in Christ, I will see my babies again someday. Oh what a glorious day that will be.
Each spring, I wait with great anticipation to behold the beautiful flowering blooms. They do not disappoint. What I did not anticipate was, when I take in the beautiful blooms each spring, I am reminded of more than just the two babies that I cannot wait to meet someday. I cannot help but pause and look each time I walk by the window, or stroll past them in the yard. I  am reminded that great beauty can come from great pain. In my case, in the form of a depth of compassion I had never known. Compassion that can only come through trial by fire, and through experience. I can now look back with a thankful heart, not that I would choose to go through the pain, but that the Lord was able to bring about good in my life through it.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 

As I take in the beauty of the blooms I cannot help but think that I am just a stranger passing through, this world is not my home. After learning the news of my loss at my doctor's appointment, my brand new cell phone suddenly did not work, and I was not able to call my husband to tell him the news. I had a long quiet drive home with just my thoughts, and as tears streamed down my face I remember vividly the moment I realized I had a baby in heaven. Somehow, heaven seemed more real to me that day than it ever had before. For the first time I looked at heaven with great anticipation rather than with trepidation.
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:20
I think it's easy to get comfortable here in this world; in our lives, our homes, our striving, and our material things, that we forget this is not the end all. The good news is if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, your life on this earth is as bad as it will ever get. The best is yet to come. When I see these blooms, I think of heaven. That is my home.
 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials." 1 Peter 1:3-6
I am so thankful for these beautiful reminders each spring. There is beauty all around and though trials may come, I can face them because I know Christ is with me. He has proven Himself faithful to me through great loss. I am thankful that He can make all things new!

In what ways or area of life has He made all things new for you?