Monday, February 27, 2017


(originally found via Camp Patton)

Today I am…

Reading: Strong & Kind by Korie Robertston. Lately I’ve been back into spiritual memoirs and though this falls a lot more into the instructional category, I like the Robertsons and really enjoy reading their stories. I’m also still reading Winnie the Pooh to the monkeys.

Sipping: Nib More’s organic mint hot chocolate. It’s sweetened with palm sugar so that makes me happy!

Anticipating: our upcoming road trip. We are all so excited! My big goal for the trip is to take our kids to a good zoo. A’s big goal is to find gluten free donuts ha ha. 

Listening: to the new CD I finally burned for car rides. It’s a nice mixture of my music + the kids’ music… 7eventh Time Down, Sparrows Rising, Lauren Daigle, lots of Veggietales’ worshjpmusic, and of course Reliant K’s version of The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything. 

Baking: Simple Mills’ banana muffins… with walnuts and flax seeds, of course. I’m a smidge obsessed with Omega-3s. 

What are YOU up to today?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Children's Book Review: When God Made You

We have a sweet new children’s book around these parts, When God Made You.

I had never heard of the author, Matthew Paul Turner, but I have read his wife’s book (The Fringe Hours) so that was fun to learn about.

I really loved the message of this book, which is that God made each of us individually on purpose and that all our unique personalities and gifts are in us for a reason. We try to teach this any ways so I was very much on board with these rhyming words.

The illustrator (David Catrow) has illustrated more than 70 children’s books himself, but I didn’t recognize the name. I thought the illustrations were beautiful and I plan to see what else he has illustrated.

And now, for the most important part of this review… the kids’ thoughts:

Me: What did you think about this book?
Three-year-old: Yeah! Pretty cool.
Two-year-old: Ummmmmm, pretty good.
Me: What was your favorite part?
Three-year-old: All the parts. Can we play outside?
Two-year-old: Babyyyyyy! [illustrations show a baby brother/sister on a few different pages] Me love baby.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Worth it.

Sometimes in life, things hurt. Or they’re really hard. Or they don’t make sense.

Sometimes it gets nearly impossible to feel God inside a situation that feels so not good.

But then we get these moments of affirmation and it’s like a lightbulb goes on for me and I think, Oh, right. Your plans are to prosper me, not harm me. I remember now.

 The thing is, it all lead to today.

Every hurt. Every muffled scream into a pillow because I just couldn’t hold that teenage angst in anymore. Every red-cheeked burn of shame and regret. Every angry word scrawled across a page, every salty tear dripping down my face. They all lead to this moment right here.

This moment, watching the husband I love jump around in the Batman suit we found at the thrift store while our big kids wear their own superhero costumes and the baby cuddles in my lap, teething and more snuggly than usual.

None of that matters anymore. Some old hurts still sting and some don’t even feel like anything… but even the ones that sting are worth it. If this moment is my reward, it was all worth it. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tot Travels: We're Back!

Oh, yes.

We’re back.

What I actually want to say is WE’RE BACK, SUCKERSSSSSS!

But I aim to not annoy any more than I do on autopilot so. We’re back.

Once upon a time we had a dream. So we sold almost everything we owned, moved into a 1973 Winnebago Brave, saved a crazy amount of money, and traveled. We saw New Mexico, Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin and a bunch of different places we’d never explored in our homestate of Arizona. Then we upgraded to a larger travel trailer and we took off on a whirlwind adventure. Wyoming! Colorado! Montana! South Dakota! Idaho! Utah! Plus a quick flight to Texas. 

We had a baby, who spent his first night in a hotel on his one-month birthday, and we smiled and said, while heaving a rocking baby sleeper and a nursing pillow into the compartment behind our truck’s seats, “Why are people so weird about traveling with kids? It’s really not any harder!”

We took that baby on camping trips and road trips and later, airplane trips. He rode in a wrap or structured carrier, or he rode in a stroller, and he saw the country while we did. His toes were dipped into a creek running along a hiking trail and dug into the sand of a sandy lake beach. I tucked him in for a nap on top of my sleeping bag and watched autumn leaves fall onto the top of the canvas tent we’d purchased with our future family in mind. I nursed him on airplanes and let him loose to play in new-to-us children’s libraries. He napped in the stroller while Ryan and I enjoyed coffee shop “dates” and he got older and pointed and babbled when he saw something interesting from his stroller vantage point on a walk through downtown streets we’d never before explored.

We moved, and moved again, and moved again. We found local adventure to be just as thrilling since it was all new, all the time. But eventually, as was bound to happen, we ran out of money. We had another baby (and then another, 15 months later!) and lost steam. It was pregnancy hormones or a new baby or a lack of money. It was a baby who wouldn’t even stop crying for a ten-minute drive to the grocery store or a boss that didn’t like someone taking off more than three days at once. It was a not-as-reliable-as-it-used-to-be vehicle or a chronic health problem. When it wasn’t one of those, it was something else.

We still took adventures every few weeks. That’s in our blood. We can’t not adventure.

We did “travel” a few times, but for most part, our adventures were in towns 1-3 hours away.

But now?

We’re back.

We have a big adventure on our radar and we are going crazy with anticipation. Even the kids are losing their minds a little.

This is gonna be good.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Our Favorite Books about Knights and Dragons

Lately my three-year-old has been on a knight-and-dragon kick. He was putting a bucket on his head and using its lid as his shield, then Nana sent him a nice, legit knight costume so he wears this that while Baby Sister wears the bucket-and-lid combo. (The costume is awesome quality and I highly recommend it)

We are constantly playing (they’re knights, Mom & Dad are dragons) or listening to them play (they’re knights, anything that can sustain the blow of their soft swords is the dragon) and kind of loving this phase.

We’ve enjoyed all kinds of knight & dragon library books lately (plus a few of our own) so I thought I’d share the list here…

I keep getting excited when I think about knight/dragon movies he might like but then I step back and realize that right now this excitement is purely over books and pretend-play so I’m going to keep movies out of it for as long as I can!

Are we missing out on any great knight/dragon books you know about that we don’t?