Molly & Cooper's Room Tour

Up first is my very favorite room in the whole house. This room has been my favorite in each place that we've lived, but I think this time, it's climbed to the top of my "best ever" list. It's hard to walk in here without smiling. 
It kind of just exudes happiness. :)

One of my most favorite parts of this room is how much of it is handmade, either by me or some of my best friends. I look all around and am reminded of all the people that love and care about my kids. :)

Ok, here we go!

Because everybody loves a good before and after: 

We said goodbye to the carpet and wallpaper, and hello to beautiful original hardwood floors and fresh paint. 

I also thought I'd include a before and after shot of Molly's kitchen, which we gave her for her second birthday back in May. I found this on Craigslist for super cheap, and just made a few changes. :)

That's it! 
Hopefully I'll be back soon with tours of the rest of the house. 
But count on it being later rather than sooner. :) 


A lesson in the leaves.

A couple of weeks ago, I was catching up with my cousin. Since the last time we had talked, both of us had had babies (yeah, it had been a while!). At one point in conversation, she seemed surprised that this whole being-a-mom thing is difficult for me (she has two as well). It made me step back for a second and question what kind of "front" I put on, even if it's unintentional.

I try hard to capture beautiful moments in our life. I do occasionally take pictures of our house when it's a mess just to remind me of it later (and give me a good laugh). But the pictures I post to this blog, to Facebook, to instagram? I mean, of course I want/hope to show pretty pictures. :)

BUT but but, just to ward off anyone thinking this is all a walk in the park for me, allow me to depict for you the events that took place before this fun little photo shoot of my kids joyfully playing in the leaves. 

It was about 4pm. Chris would be home in about an hour and a half, and I thought, "oh, I'll just take the kids outside and let them play while I do a little yard work." Easy peasey. Fun for all.


First off, it was my first time trying to strap Cooper into the carrier on my back, which was extremely difficult and awkward. 

It also just happened to be one of the windiest days we'd had in a while. 

In case you're unaware, let me just assure you that raking leaves and trying to put them into a paper bag that is supposed to stand up by itself while wind is blowing everything on God's green earth all over the place.....Good golly, I lost my train of thought. Basically, it's not a pretty picture!

Fifteen minutes in, I was beat. I haven't exercised in--well, I'm not sure how long it's been--and my muscles were aching like crazy. My dog was barking at the rake and her leash was getting all tangled in it. Molly's bag of sidewalk chalk was blowing down the neighbor's driveway. It was getting more and more miserable by the minute.

But at this point, the unthinkable crossed my mind.

Let it go, Amy. 

Let go of your expectations to have this task completed in this amount of time. Let your kids be kids, and enjoy them! 

Haha, looking back on that, it seems so simple. 

So THAT is the point I ran inside, grabbed my camera, and told both kids to just have at it in the pile of leaves. 

It's so funny what a simple shift in your frame of mind can make. It went from this late afternoon being totally miserable to so enjoyable. So thank you, Lord, for helping me! 


Life IN Jesus

God made him who had no sin
to be sin for us
so that in him
we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21


Whoa. That's a verse I have to read over and over again to fully comprehend the fullness of it. And still, whoa. 

I was talking with a friend yesterday about temptation and sin and how it seems that we each have our own thing or things that we're tempted by.

And this morning, as I read this verse, 
I'm reminded of how much I need Him

Every moment of every hour, I need Him! 
I think that's what this verse means when it says, 

in Him. 

When we are in Him, constantly abiding, that's when we're becoming more and more like Jesus, 
able to live in victory over our sins!!

And this is the Gospel, my friends. The Good News. 
We can live a victorious life in Jesus! 
Praise Him!


Do you follow?

Are you joining the fun on instagram? 
If not, you totally should.

Follow me here. :)

because let's be honest, most times, 
instagram is easier than a blog.


On my heart

Roseola. Molly had it when she was 14 months old, and now my sweet almost 9 month old baby has it. Not a huge deal, but enough to keep us home from church so that the other babies don't get it.

So I sit here with my coffee and the Word in front of me and listening to the rain fall (or maybe that's just the puddle underneath the gutter). Either way, it's peaceful. And my heart is full. Missing my church family, for sure, but God is here. 

As I try to settle my mind, I can't help but think about all the things I want to be involved in right now. My mind literally races. All of things that I want to be doing. All the people I want to see. 

And for some reason, I let guilt overtake me that I'm not doing these things. I could do better at this, do better at that. And who's looking at me wondering why I don't do this or that? And why do I even care? Maybe I should just quit everything and start at square one? 

Or maybe I should just allow myself to be released from feeling like I need to do it all. And just be.

Just live and love and follow my Jesus. 

My son, do not forget my teaching, 
but keep my commands in your heart, 
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:1-6


the BEST kind.

Tonight as I sit here, exhausted from a day's work and waiting for my dear hubby to get home from our house, I read Nie's encouraging words, and this stuck out to me:

Family is hard work, but it is the best hard work that ever existed.

That's the truth, and it is echoing in my head tonight. 

Thank you, Lord, for my precious, beautiful family.


My "quiet" time

I've mentioned this before, but sometimes, my quiet time with the Lord looks a whole lot like this:

What I've realized is that this is just a season of my life. And know what I'm finding? The Lord meets us right where we are

So be encouraged, my friends. Just come to Him and let Him show you His love. His mercies. His truth. 

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14


A house.

A lot of you may have already seen via Facebook and instagram, but this past week Chris and I became first time homeowners!!!

Woo hoo!!

Holding the key:

Us with the kiddos:

Demolition in progress: 

While we wouldn't really consider it a "fixer-upper", it does have a bit of work that we're going to do on it before we move in. (mainly floors and walls--stuff that's way easier to do while the house is empty!)

Taking a break and resting on the porch. :)


Living Water- part TWO

Well. I certainly didn't intend for a whole entire month to go by without writing. But ya know, life happens. We took a trip to North Carolina to visit my mom. (I'll give you a recap on that later.) 

Also, I'll have a really exciting announcement later this week. Am I keeping you on the edge of your seat? 
(no, I'm not pregnant, let's just get that out of the way now)


My month of drinking only water is over. And this coffee I'm drinking right now as I type is SO tasty. 

So what did I learn? What did the Lord teach me? First off, if you are one of those people that says, "I could NEVER give up coffee!", know that I was one of those people too. I really was. But when the Lord calls, I answer, and when He calls, He equips (not the other way around.)

It was somewhat ironic, because the very day I made that commitment, I read this on Hannah's instagram:

"it is wonderful what miracles god works in wills that are utterly surrendered to him. he turns hard things into easy, and bitter things into sweet. it is not that he puts easy things in the place of the hard, but he actually changes the hard thing into an easy one." 
hannah whit hall smith

And that day, I wondered if that would be my experience through all of this.

Let me tell you, friends, He absolutely was my help. 

I never suffered from caffeine headaches. I was rarely tempted to give in. But on the occasions that I was, He was my strength, and I was reminded of WHY I was doing it, not just the fact that I was. In summary, keeping your eyes on Jesus is always a good thing.


One last thing, friends. Here's a song that's been on my heart the last couple of days. It's speaking to me hardcore. What is your "sing all you want to"? This last month, mine has been drinking coffee. And this week? It's something else. Please give this song a listen. Open your hearts to what the Lord may be speaking to you. 

Anything I put before my God is an idol.Anything I want with all my heart is an idol. Anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol. Anything that I give all my love is an idol.


Living Water

 "Whoever believes in me...rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38

This is a really hard blog post to write.
1. It's making me incredibly vulnerable not just to the internet world but to those who are close to me and to whom I see on a consistent basis. 
2. I'm afraid of failure. Extremely afraid. 

BUT, I feel the Lord leading me here, and I feel that I need to share it. So here goes. 

I have a struggle with bad food and healthy eating. Like, a back and forth, roller coaster, up/down, love/hate relationship, however you want to describe it. 

I have lots of knowledge on how to eat healthy, I know why I need to do it, yet I just cannot get over the hump of getting all the crappy food out of my diet. 

I tell myself...

It's been a bad day, go ahead and swing through McDonalds and get that large Dr. Pepper and large french fry. 

The kids are finally in bed, you're completely exhausted, you deserve that ice cream. 

It's been a stirring in my heart, to say the least. But I think this post finally pushed me over the edge to sit down, journal out my thoughts, and pray about what steps to take next. 
Because clearly, this is a heart issue.

Like Jessi, I decided to write out my own lies/truths about this subject. I won't share them all, but here's my first one:

LIE: food and treats will refresh me.
TRUTH: JESUS is the only true living water and ultimate source of refreshment. 

So, what to make of all this? 

I'm going to drink only water for the next 30 days.

A goal towards healthier eating and a reminder of what is my true living water.

And yes, that means I'm not going to drink coffee. Do I think coffee is bad? Heck no. I think coffee is God's wonderful gift to mothers. :) But I also believe that good things can get in the way of what HE wants to be in our lives. 

So friends, this is going to be hard. I'm not going to be able to do it by myself. Which I think is also what the Lord is going to teach me. My weakness. His strength. My Living Water. 


Life Lately, as told through pictures

Brother/Sister Duo.

She is loving that he sleeps in her room now. 
I think he likes it too. :)

Ya know, bonding. 

Girlfriend loves her an ice cream cone. 

I feel like I'm getting a small glimpse of what Molly is going to look like as a teenager here. *hold me*

Swimming with Grama.

Trying out some food. He gets SO excited and flails his hands in the air. :) 

Rejoicing with friends that have welcomed their sweet baby boy into the world.

I cannot even handle the sweetness....

Experimenting with homemade almond milk. The french press method didn't quite work for me, but I'm hoping to keep trying and find the right way!

This morning I tried to explain to Molly the difference between a CD and a DVD. I told her she had a CD in her hand and that we hear the music with our ears...

Happy weekend, friends!