Glad that's over...

Wow, our weekend went by so fast and now it's already TUESDAY!!!  I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who prayed for me over the weekend.  Due to your prayers I made it through 2 scary things without completely losing my mind!

The first project of last week was finishing our taxes.  We were super busy with a newborn during tax season and had gotten an extension.  Well, it's now almost October so I HAD to get them done before the IRS came knocking at our door.  I am only missing a few pieces of info and then that yucky project will officially be taken care of.

The second (and scariest) project for the week was that it was my turn to speak at our church this weekend.  I've spoken before, but this was the first time in almost two years AND the first time since we've had two services.  Beyond that, the subject matter was endurance, which isn't something I really wanted to talk about because I always end up a mess in front of people when I talk about our story.  I hate crying when speaking, it feels ridiculous and scary/way too vulnerable.  Anyways, I made it through.  I was satisfied with the first service and want to forget about the second.  Regardless,  I am SO SO glad its over.

Now I face a quick week filled with a bit of work here and there and A LOT of housework that was left behind from last week.  THEN we're off to the beach for a couple days, I can't wait!


Friday Favorites: Fall (pt 1)

Despite the still raised thermostat, fall is whispering its way into our lives and I welcome my favorite season with arms stretched wide.  It's hard to keep a favorites list short when it comes to fall, so I'll try to mention just a handful that have come my way this week...

...spice scented candles...neighborhood farmers market bursting with bounty...dramatic sunlight morning, noon and night...old quilts and a good book...holiday anticipation...

Welcome fall this weekend.  Go for a walk, find some color, light a candle, enjoy a chai...enjoy the season!


Brain Limbo

Thought I'd check in real quick.  I'm having one of those weeks where I can't get my brain to think straight.  This is in part because I have two big projects on my plate, a house full of dust and chores AND (most importantly) a 7 month old that seems to be not napping and wanting mama more than usual lately.  So...I'm stuck in this constant brain limbo..."ok, I just fed her, so I'll put her down to play and hopefully be able to switch over laundry, unload the dishwasher and dust so that I can study while she's sleeping...oh wait, does that make me a horrible mom?...is she watching me with sad eyes?...how can I resist that smile?!  Crap."  See what I mean?  Brain limbo...or maybe it's classic mom guilt and too much to do all mixed together.  Either way, I feel like all I want to do is take a nap and rest from my ever running brain.  The reality is, however, I need to stop writing this blog and get something on my mile long list done.  *sigh*

Pray for me! =S


Friday favorites: Costco

I love Fridays.  It's our day to be just us three (it's still moving to say THREE) and to do whatever we want, pushing the "to-do's" aside as much as possible. 

Today we went to Costco.  Not because we really had to go to Costco, we just like going there.  What's not to like?  Here are my favorite things about Costco:
1. Movie Tickets. You can get two Regal (sometimes Cinemax or Century are available too) movie tickets for $15 bucks! That's $5 less than you'd pay at the theater! We're using some of them tonight as part of a much needed date night. 
2.Christmas in September. Brian and I are Christmas maniacs so to be able to check out the latest in outdoor lights, ornaments, wrapping paper and gaudy lawn decorations before Halloween is awesome! (no we do not put out gaudy lawn stuff...yet)
3. Frozen yogurt. This is our justification for indulging in a giant cup of swirl frozen yogurt...it's better than the hot dogs. And it is...right?
4. Giant Sharpie pack. I haven't done it yet, BUT someday I'm gonna stop just oogling and and find a reason to buy that pack of pens with it's 93 different colors!
5. Samples...that's right, I'm not embarrased, we LOVE the samples. Where else can you have mexican mango sorbet, garlic chicken pasta, bao, brie, go-gurt, Pirates Booty and joint juice all at the same time?! Only Costco, friend, only costco.



Some friends of ours had a baby this week.  The new baby got me all stirred about about MY baby not being so brand new anymore.  I have been living in denial that she is growing and growing FAST.  She will be SEVEN months old tomorrow and I can barely believe it.  She's officially in the second half of her first year?!

While folding her gigantic pile of clothes (I swear, the girl has more clothes than I've had in all my years combined), I looked at all the tiny summer clothes that were either out grown or out of season and got a little sad.  She will never be this little again.  So how did I respond?  I did what every mama does...looked at all her newborn pictures and videos, cried a little,  and then started taking a whole bunch more pictures and videos.

One of the reasons why I love him...


His commitment and tenacity are a treasure that drive me crazy and makes me love him more. :)

In Spirit and In Truth

Our church is entering in to a fast for the next 21 days.  With that in mind I attempted to spend the morning in prayer, reading and contemplating what exactly I will be fasting and praying.  I say attempted because I ended up getting distracted researching a certain verse and now it's almost time to get Elli up.

Since our youth camp this summer I've been mulling the concept of "in spirit and in truth" mentioned in John 4.  In the amplified version it words it this way,
"23 A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers.  24God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality)."
In spirit and in REALITY...that's the part that has really got me to thinking.  I believe (although not sure how exegetically sound this is) that a huge part of this life of Christ-following is wrapped up in those words "in spirit and in truth/reality".  God is seeking people who will be genuine and worship Him with their entire being, their spirit AND their everyday life.  The message puts it like this.
"...That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."
How often do I take a few moments to connect to God because that's what I'm supposed to do.  Do I really worship Him with the core of who I am?  Do I worship Him in the honest reality of my whole life?  I know in my spirit I love and adore my heavenly Father, but do I love and adore Him in the reality of life, laundry and baby diapers?  Am I guilty of seperating spirit and reality?  Do I worship God in my quiet time and then not work it out into my everyday?  I don't think I like my answers to those questions right now.

These are just a few of my thoughts today.  They aren't very complete or thought through, but I wanted to get it out there.


Friday Favorites: Daily Life

I posted several times yesterday, but forgot to post my Friday Favorites!  Here are a few favorite things from my day to day life:

Cold, grey mornings (I'm anxiously awaiting for cold, grey days to follow them)
Instrumental piano (I've been opening this blog just to listen to the music)
Millet (I've been making this grain for Elli and it's actually really yummy!)
Picking fresh fruit from my own back yard
Bath time


Mom purse

Even though I have felt like I've been moving in slow motion all week, I at least accomplished cleaning out my closet. When I did I discovered this:
The purse on the left is my current bag of choice, the minuscule purse on the right is apparently something I miraculously used in the past. I think my current wallet is bigger than this purse! Is the enlargement of your purse a sign of age or just mommy-ness? Ha ha. The ironic thing is I was just thinking the other day that I would like a bigger bag so I could fit more stuff in it!

First Harvest

When we purchased our home nearly 5 years ago it had two fruit trees planted in the backyard. Since we both seem to be missing any sort of green thumb gene these trees have been virtually ignored. This week, however, I walked past our italian prune tree to discover a good amount of untouched and perfectly ripe fruit! Aren't they pretty?
So I grabbed a bowl and picked away. Some of them we ate fresh and the rest I made in to baby food for Elli. She like playing with a prune while I worked and I enjoyed feeling quite resourceful!


Tonight's Prayer

I haven't forgotten what You have done for me. I hold grace in my arms everyday and breath gratitude. Yet, I feel distant. I know I can't live without You. I know You are my sustenance. Yet, I feel distant. My life is marked with joy as I feed, change, cradle, listen. Yet, so much else I do is meaningless and makes me feel distant. I need You. I crave You. I can't be me without You. Please come. Please come breath on my wandering, wavering soul. I'm drawing nearer. I don't want You because there are duties to fulfill or people to impress. Please clean the parts of me that have those kind of thoughts. I want You because You are what makes me, me. The WHOLE me, the me I was meant to be. I want You because You are YOU. You are complete. You are beginning and end. You are whole, encompassing and the only thing that is fully true. Please come close this gap with Your grace. Please come wash away this compromise with Your mercy. Please come closer. Thank You for meeting me here. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for drawing me in. I have needed this fresh air. I can't see You, yet, I know You are here.


Sisters, sisters, never were there such...

My sisters are funny. They have been making me laugh the longer than anyone else on the planet. They are both completely different from me and each other, but we all share the same weird humor. For example, I don't believe there are any other people who appreciate the fine art of Pauly Shore, Brendan Fraser and Chris Farley movies quite the way we do. We STILL quote Encino Man to each other on rare occasion (like I said, weird humor). Beyond humor, my sisters are pretty amazing people. My middle sister, Steph (I'm the oldest), has become an incredible mama, wife and missionary. She runs Ask For the Nations Ministries and hopes to become a full time missionary to Ghana and Ivory Coast along with her family. They spent two months earlier this year with a national pastor in Ghana. You can read all about it on her blog. http://afnministries.blogspot.com/ My youngest sister, Katie, spent years trapped in shyness, but has become a brave and determined person that insists on only God's best for her . After nannying and leading in our youth ministry for quite some time she just recently moved to Missouri to take a 3 month internship/course at International House of Prayer. You can read all about her new journey on her blog (her nanny adventures are worth reading too)http://ktmstewart.blogspot.com/. I'm so thankful for these two and I'm already excited for us to all be together again for Thanksgiving. I'm thinking...Chris Farley Marathon??? (Tommy Boy, Black Sheep, Beverly Hills Ninja...)


Each morning goes much the same way for me. It's not necessarily a good routine, but it is the current routine. Part of that routine has become reading bits and pieces from Ann Voskamp. Her writing stirs me, challenges me, and strikes a chord of awe. Below is an article she wrote for (in)courage. It contains the very truth that I hold so close to my heart. http://www.incourage.me/2009/09/we-live-in-wait.html


And the winner of Crazy Love is...

Drum roll please #4(chosen by Random.org) KT Stewart said... I want a book Katie, email your address and I will have the book sent out to you this week!


Friday Favorites: blog, blog, blog

Lately I've been a blog addict. Most of the blogs I follow of late have just been so easy to connect to, bringing laughter, tears and comeraderie. It's strange because I don't actually know these people (which I have to remind myself), yet I feel like they play an important part in my life right now. Here are some blogs that I have really enjoyed lately: The Mom Creative (www.jessicaturnersblog.blogspot.com) One of the most creative, fun and innovative people at both work and home I have ever read Bring the Rain (http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com) Angie Smith is amazing! Once your read through her story, you'll know why I have come to love reading her Holy Experience (http://www.aholyexperience.com) This is actually a fairly new blog to me, but the beauty of Ann's writing overwhelms me with peace and God-filled richness Promise Tangeman (http://promisetangemanblog.com/) She's SO fun! An amazing photographer/designer/creator with an incredible passion Sarah Rhoads Photography (http://www.sarahrhoads.com/blog) Beautiful, beautiful pictures Church Planting Wives (http://www.planterwives.com) One of the bravest women out there, helping her husband plant a church on the Vegas Strip! Brandi & Boys (http://brandiandboys.wordpress.com) A pastor's wife with a mommy mission, I LOVE to read about her daily adventures with her busy boys


Last day!

This is the last day to enter to win a free copy of "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan! You can enter two ways #1 Leave a comment here and/or become a public follower of this blog. If you're already a follower that counts too. The drawing will take place Friday night. I can't wait to find out who wins!


Not So Secret Addiction...

I've officially realized I am ADDICTED to books! Everything from the varying covers, the texture of the pages and even the smell of the acidic ink call to me in a way I can barely resist! It doesn't really matter the type of book. I love novels, non-fictions, and christian books. I even love to read through craft, DIY and cookbooks. I'm not sure when this obsession started, but I'm fairly certain it was before I could walk. I'm also fairly certain that this addiction is not my fault! I come from a long line of book addicts. My dad loves really old writings by evangelical leaders, theologians and revivalists, modern writings from people like Tom Clancy and a lot of sci-fi in between. My mom reads piles of christian writings both old and new including Francis Schaeffer and Joyce Meyers. She also loves good easy reading novels, her favorites include Jan Karon. My grandparents on both sides are (and were) avid readers as well. My grandpa read deep theological books and my grandma has probably read every christian romance novel that ever existed. My other grandma literally reads EVERYTHING. The library brings her a huge crate of books every few weeks and she gobbles it right up. You name it, she reads it...biographies of politicians, mountain climbers and pioneers, novels of romance, detectives and rural living, the list goes on and on. So, needless to say, I was born to be a book addict. The only problem is, my time to read has become painfully limited. So instead of simply reading, my book addiction has lent toward on ever growing pile and list of books that I need to read and/or want to read. There is one book, however, that I can no longer leave on the pile. I've been meaning to read it ever since I heard bits and pieces of its audio version this summer. The book is "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Normally, I would much rather read a novel or craft book that my imagination can get lost in, but this book cannot be ignored! It's such a stand out to people all over the place that two of the blogs I regularly read have now created an online book club and "Crazy Love" is going to be the first read! I'm actually really excited to feed my addiction and jump in to this book. I'm so excited about it, I may even do a few posts about it as I read. If you'd like to join the book club check it out here. FREE PRIZE! If you leave a comment on this post or become a public follower of this blog (you'll get two entries if you do both) you will be entered to win a FREE copy of "Crazy Love". Winner will be randomly selected and announced Friday!