These pics sum up the last few days. Hanging out in a sling with mommy, grabby fingers, tiny toes, places to go and LOTS of gold fish on the floor. So many gifts!

God is Good All the Time

A few things have been sticking out in my head from the book, 1000 Gifts. The first being the thought of emptying to fill. This idea often goes against our natural self-centered way of thinking. How can you empty and become filled, how do you give away to become whole? Well, like everyone else I imagine, I’m still working on that. On changing my way of thinking. Of sharing the gifts God has granted me, and opening my arms to new blessings.
I also have been thinking about the point that God is good ALL the time. Bad things happen, but God IS good. Lives are taken and God IS good. Laundry piles and God IS good. Smiles break open and God IS good. Just a couple thoughts that have been on my mind this week, and that I have been trying to hold close to my heart.
And now onto more precious gifts. I’ve noticed that actually saying them out loud, even if just whispered, helps me feel the joy and thanks!

104. Runny noses
105. Slow drivers
106. Warm soup
107. Cozy blanket
108. Gracie sleeping through the night
109. Gracie waking up in the night
110. Excited squeals
111. Flower poking through the dirt
112. Soapy hair
113. 1000 gifts
114. Meeting new people
115. Lingering evening sunlight
116. Uplifting and timely scripture
117. Fat and bright red morning sun
118. Tiny pony on the side of a hill
119. Little Amish boys playing with a puppy
120. Noisy husband in the kitchen

Have a wonderful week finding your joy!

Kitchen Simple/Cheap Organization Update

Time for a mini update on my kitchen organization attempts. Kind of has been a 1 step forward 10 steps backward kind of process with a one year old in tow, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! While I work on the upper cupboards  miss Gracie keeps me company and gets to make lots of noise by pulling out all of the pots and pans on the lower cupboards! Here are some pics of the progress so far!
I printed out some labels and applied by sticking tape over them.
Labels found here.
Instead of printing them onto stickers, they are just applied with tape over top.
Cheap and super easy!

Some of my big containers got pretty labels as well.

And then I decided to pretty up the back of the open cupboards.
All I did was use some scrapbook pages, cut to fit, and apply with tape.
Super easy and quick way to pretty up the cupboards!
These cupboards use to have doors, but were never reapplied after we had to cut
down some shelving space to make room for fridge. Making the best of procrastination!

So far so good! Haven’t bought anything extra to organize and already feel like things are more accessible and there is a place for everything!

I’ve hit the 100 mark! It’s still a continually journey of thanks and working to find my joy, but the more I write, the more I see those gifts and am able to praise God for His blessings.

96. Kissing tiny neck rolls with old tan lines
97. Closed eyes and long eyelashes
98. Cleaning the kitchen, floors and all
99. Bubbles popped by curious fingers
100. Loving texts from a loving husband
101. Clean snow in the sunlight
102. Creating something lovely with my own hands
103. Red stop lights

The Mom I Am In My Head

So you may be wondering what I mean by the title. Is there a difference between the mom I am in my head and the mom I really am…sometimes I think yes. I guess it’s more like the mom I think I should be, or want to be and the mom I really am. Are there points where they intersect? Yes. Are there areas where I feel like I fall short? Yes. There are some days when the mom in my head that I think I should be look something like this…

Wake up perky with a smile on my face. Make a nutritious, breakfast for Gracie, Dustin and I. Clean a little while Gracie plays peacefully around me. Put Gracie down for nap with a little reading and singing. While Gracie naps for an hour or more, then work on some blogging, cleaning, crafting, anything productive. When Gracie wakes up from nap, do some finger painting, playdo playing, sensory type activities. Run errands with Gracie. Come home for another nutritious lunch, nice nap and once again be productive while she naps. When she wakes up, get a nutritious dinner ready, clean up, play some more. Welcome daddy home, eat and play. Give Gracie a bath, read books, give her a massage, say prayers, nurse and peacefully put to bed. Use the evening to exercise, relax and craft, read a book, do devotions, and spend time with Dustin. Oh, and let’s add in that I used cloth diapers on Gracie all day long and was able to do laundry and dishes!

Ok so I look at that list of what would seem like a pretty wonderful day and definitely make me feel like super mom. This is closer to what it looks like in reality.

Wake up perky with a smile on my face. (So I don’t always wake up perky due to the fact that a little one year old spent the night in our bed and cuddled up for a few nursing sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby cuddles, but hence the fact that I am not always perky. Do I usually wake up with a smile on my face? Yep! That’s all thanks to the smiling little girl that often wakes me up with her little grabby fingers and super sweet grin!) Make a nutritious, breakfast for Gracie, Dustin and I.(Dustin and I eat cereal) Clean a little while Gracie plays peacefully around me.( I sometimes manage to clean a little in the mornings. But often Gracie and I read books and have dance parties. Which is more fun than cleaning anyways! Sometimes she gets fussy when I try to clean, so I put that off and give her my attention if that’s what she needs.) Put Gracie down for nap with a little reading and singing.(That part usually holds true, as well as giving a bottle or nursing her). While Gracie naps for an hour or more,(30 minutes hopefully!?) then work on some blogging, cleaning, crafting, anything productive (stalk people on facebook). When Gracie wakes up from nap, do some finger painting, playdo playing, sensory type activities (We do these things, but not everyday. Sometimes the creativity and energy just isn’t flowing! So we play with our toys, do some more dancing, go outside if it’s nice, maybe watch some Dora the Explorer).  Run errands with Gracie. Come home for another nutritious lunch, nice nap and once again be productive (watch hulu and eat a snack) while she naps. When she wakes up, get a nutritious dinner ready (or whatever we have in the house), clean up, play some more. Welcome daddy home, eat and play. Give Gracie a bath, read books, give her a massage, say prayers, nurse her, and peacefully put to bed. (Sometimes that peacefully part holds true. Other nights, like last night, she’s for some reason wired and doesn’t want to go to sleep for two hours. Granted, the poor thing has a runny nose and can barely breath right now, so I’m giving her some leeway. She also later ends up in our bed, because the girl does love her mommy and daddy snuggles. Is this the perfect arrangement?  Not for everyone. But we’ve been co-sleeping for awhile once she got a little bigger. She starts the night out in her crib, and eventually is in with us. But that’s a whole other post to talk about all that!) Use the evening to exercise  relax and craft, read a book, do devotions, and spend time with Dustin (watch hulu and eat a snack).   Oh, and let’s add in that I used cloth diapers  ( maybe one cloth diaper?) on Gracie all day long and was able to (think about) do laundry and dishes.

So there you have it. The story of the type of mom I should be some days. And the story of the mom that I am most days. Are there areas I could be better? Yep! Is Gracie loved, cared for, and prayed for daily? Yep, yes, and most definitely! So when I look at it that way, I am ok with the piles of laundry, the dirty dishes, the watching an episode of Dora to give mommy a little break. These are the things I am continually working on being thankful for and finding my joy in. Do I still want to be that super cool, super cute, super healthy, super crafty, super green, super mom? Yes. But I also realize that through giving it to God, finding His gifts and my joy, and through living a life that allows Gracie to grow in His love and explore His beautiful world, THIS  is where the mom in my head and the mom I am should intersect most. Will I still fall short some days, I am sure I will. But I have the reassurance that His grace is there for me, and His presence will continue to shape me into the mom I am meant to be if I continue to seek His will. There are goals I can strive towards to make the mom I am in my head and the mom I am mold into one mom.

  1. Spend more time in devotion and prayer. 
  2. Spend more time in fellowship with other Christian friends, moms, family, etc 
  3. Spend less time on hulu and facebook stalking! 🙂
So there it is. Some of the thoughts floating around in my head and my role as a mom to my precious Gracie that I love so much, and any future children that I hope to have. I would love to hear any other mom’s thoughts on how you see motherhood and your role as a Christian mom! So feel free to stop by and share a comment as you go about your day. And just so you all know, this momma was able to shower and write this post while miss Gracie napped, so feeling thankful and a little bit of the super mom vibe this morning!

Enjoy your day, and share some love and joy!

Hang in there!

So I’m a little late getting last weeks gifts up, but better late than never. I’ve noticed that some days giving thanks and remembering to record them comes easy…others, not so much. There were still 6 more things I was thankful for last week, and only 5 more to make it to 100!

90. Slobbery finger pointing
91. Reflecting puddles
92. Birds chirping
93. Days that brings promise of Spring
94. Thoughtful husband with words that encourage and love
95. Bare trees that shake and bow in praise

Kitchen Chaos, Organization, and Love

So you know those pictures you see on Pinterest, and in Home magazines, where everything in the kitchen, bathroom, living room and so on, is perfectly organized and and there’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place? Enter my kitchen, and a particularly good day for chaos.

I decided I would put this in black and white to make it a little less scary. And it might not look that bad, but when you’re the one trying to work around all the mess, it felt scary. Plus I had just looked at pictures of an organized kitchen like this…

But then I decided that though the pictures of the organized kitchens look beautiful and serene, and make me a little jealous , there is something a little TOO pristine about them. Pretty sure I would not even want to cook in one of these kitchens, in fear that something would get dirty and pulled out of place. In all fairness and full disclosure, I sometimes frequently don’t want to cook in my own kitchen either, dirty or clean! So where am I going with all these comparisons and pictures of my well lived in kitchen?

  1.  My kitchen could use some better organization.  I am not talking Better Homes and Gardens organization, as I decided a little chaos keeps it more interesting, and is frankly more realistic, but something that lets me have everything more easily accessible and be able to eventually put everything back in its place. So kitchen organization is under way.  I know probably every other blog under the sun has shown you how organize, but I will try to document some of my organization as well. I plan to do just basic organization on the cheap. I often longingly look at other organized spaces and get a bit jealous, but would have to buy a lot of new things just to organize! I plan on organizing without spending a but-load (that’s the technical term, right?) on organisational items.
  2. As I was taking pictures of my chaotic looking kitchen, I realized there was some beauty to the chaos. The chaos was displaying the joys of motherhood and all there is to thank and praise God for, you just had to look closely…move aside the dirty dish, look behind the jar of peanut butter, and OH! there it is! The mess will happen, and that’s ok because it displays that my hands and my heart are full and that I have so many things to be thankful for. I decided I may just want to keep documenting in picture the messy and beautiful things of motherhood. 
So though my kitchen cupboards currently look like this…
and not the beautiful ones seen here (which are seriously awesome and I can definitely take some tips from her!) my heart is full and my cupboards will eventually be wrangled into some mild form of submission, thanks in no part to this little one!

And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

82. Windmills
83. Rolling hills
84. Evening sunlight spreading over hills and fields
85. Rain
86. Unicorn pony tail
87. Little hands, fingers, and creases
88. Little tongue sticking out
89. Late admissions at work