Beauty

The calm after the storm. {Into the Word Wednesday}

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We had an amazing vacation in which we experienced tropical storm Andrea.  She came to visit periodically throughout our week.  

Seeing the wild waves and feeling the powerful winds of that storm reminded me 

Sometimes the storms of life don’t seem like they’ll ever end.  They feel powerful.  Strong.  Overwhelming.  

There is a calm after the storm and we know who causes that.  

Remembering this during the storm can be difficult.  

If you are in the middle of a storm right now, I hope this reminds you that He is always there. 

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Fall {5 Minute Friday}

That exact moment.

The one only a few short years ago.

The very first few seconds.  Soaking them in.  Living in the moment. 

Enjoying the present.  Trying to log every single detail so I can come back and remember. 

The beautiful full head of black hair that smells like beautiful.  The gorgeous big brown eyes I just want to stare into for the rest of my life.  The creamy pink skin that is so soft I’m afraid to touch it. 

This is the exact moment that I am falling in love with my sweet baby boy.   It’s real.  It’s here.  He is in my arms for the first time ever. 

Staring at him knowing that just a few short years from this moment, he will be the first to ever call me mommy.  A word I’ve longed to hear for quite some time.

Preparing to leave the hospital knowing that my life will never be the same.  It will only improve from here.  Filled with blessings, love, snuggles, and joy. 

In a split second I realize I’m willing to fall over and over again. 

And I do.  Every single day with each new adventure. 

As we finish up the first year of school, I realize I’m just as in love if not more. 

 

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Fall : 5 Minute Friday

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T = Travel {All About Me}

One thing I love more than anything is traveling. 

I want to see the world.  I want my kids to grow up taking vacations, visiting other cultures, and experiencing a ton of new things. 

Here are some amazing photographs of some of my favorite places! 

North Carolina, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Chicago, and Disneyworld. 

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God’s gentle reminders

The other night I got a phone call asking if I could come into work that night instead of the next. Oh, and a few hours earlier than usual. I didn’t exactly want to but I know that I’m called to do what I’m doing.

The baby has been teething and mom was sick. She is down for the count with the flu.

So I went in two hours earlier than I’d planned on a day I wasn’t exactly prepared. I usually try to get a nap on days when I’ll be up sporadically during the night.

This didn’t happen. I was already tired just getting ready. I was leaving pretty much right after the kids went to bed. Instead of having a leisurely bedtime routine we were a bit rushed.

As I was saying good night and tucking in sheets, my little one looked at me with the biggest and brightest eyes asking to pray. Actually he grabbed my hand and said ‘Pray now, mommy’ while flashing me that smile that makes me absolutely melt. You know the one. Your kids probably have one too. It’s the smile that makes you want to give them whatever they want in that moment.

My heart may have melted right out of my chest.

In my hubbub of running around unprepared for the night ahead, I’d bypassed one of the most important parts of our bedtime routine. I didn’t mean to do so.

I was helping someone else out in a time of need and working toward still fulfilling my obligations for my family before I left.

As I prayed in that moment with my little guy, I felt a wave of peace wash over me. I had debated whether or not I should stop my life and my plans to help out. It was as if I was being told I was making the right decision to stop my life to help out in a time of need but…

Even in our hastiness to get the kids to bed, finish a project, or other household projects, He is taking care of us. He is keeping watch over us. He provides gentle reminders that we still need him.

Tonight, it just happened to be in the form of a three year old so happy about talking to God that he reminds me of just how important it really is. He can remind us in unexpected ways and in unexpected places. I absolutely love that about Him!!

I’ve stopped striving for perfection. Just as I am here to remind and teach my kids, He is there to remind us. I think God and I have a pretty good thing going right now. I’m okay with God’s gentle reminders as long as they keep coming in the form of a sweet little baby face with a growing love of prayer!

 

Exceptionalistic

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The Husband Spectacles {Matrimonial Monday}

Yesterday we spent some time looking through old photos from when my husband was little.  Then there were more photos pre- me. 

It was so much fun because there were a ton of photos before we got married.  In fact, there were a lot before we even started dating with me in them.  See, long before we were even a tiny bit romantically involved we were best friends.  We did everything together.  That included family events. 

We spent a few minutes trying to determine whether some of those photos were friend, dating, or married memories.   The best part was listening to our oldest discuss how our hair looks so differently now or how in some cases it barely looks like us.

We were practically babies when we got married and we totally looked the part.  It’s amazing to look at photos of us at our wedding and photos of us today.  It’s been only 12 years so of course we look older but more than that we seem wiser in those recent photos. 

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Photographer:  NatUlrich

Each day I look at him and sure, we’re getting older.  A few gray hairs here and there, a little extra weight, and even a few extra creeks in our bones are natural parts of growing up and growing older.  And you know what?  I think he’s hotter today than the day we got married.  Those butterflies still come alive whenever he’s near. 

That doesn’t matter to me.  Those are all a part of life. 

Here’s the thing. 

We, as women, look at photos of ourselves back in the day and think we look our best.  Admit it.  You do this too.   You may shy away from the camera these days thinking one day when you are thinner, wearing something else, or have had a chance to get to the salon…one day…

We are our worst critic.  We have been looking at the same face in the mirror on a daily basis since we can remember.  Of course we are going to notice each and every change. 

Your husband doesn’t see you the same way you see yourself.  He doesn’t care about the fancy clothes or the hair salon style.  He doesn’t seem to see the extra weight that hasn’t come off yet.  Those 30, 40, {ahem}, 50 pounds that we can’t seem to shake.

He sees the woman he fell in love with all those years ago. He sees the real you.   <—-Tweet

The main times my husband tells me I look beautiful are when I’ve just gotten out of the shower with wet hair and no makeup.  Or I’ll just be finishing up with a workout all hot and sweaty. 

I wish I could see myself through his eyes.  I wish we could put on a pair of husband-specs and see what they see. 

I guarantee it would be a different picture than what we see. 

So ladies, be flirty and confident.  Own it.  Show a little skin.  Do something you normally wouldn’t.  He doesn’t see the imperfections you think you see.  Pretend you see what he sees!   Trust me.  He will love it!

Exceptionalistic



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