Believing What We Tell Our Children

Do you ever catch yourself telling your children something that you feel is really important for them to know, and then wonder why you don’t listen to your own words? I look into the awesomely innocent eyes of my girls and I tell them…

“Jesus made you perfect just the way you are.”

So let’s all try to believe these meaningful words that we tell our children. To remember that we are all God’s children and this holds true for us all. He created us each in His image, perfectly unique and with our own special talents and purposes. We don’t have to try to be like everyone else, because we are only called to be ourselves.
Yup, those words are meant for you too!
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block stacking//dance parties with Gracie//the tiny creases behind Lillie’s legs//Gracie gently stroking my face//persistent flower buds//Dustin being a daddy that is willing to help//the way Lillie is just the right size to fit curled up on my chest//tickly baby hair//feverish Gracie cuddles//seeing Gracie fall asleep in Dustin’s arms//precious baby coos and gurgles//Lillie’s eyes lighting up and connecting with mine//sewing with Gracie on my lap//doctor friends willing to give advice//spastic baby movement// sippy cups in random places around the house//Gracie telling stories and using dramatic hand movements//imagination at play//Gracie saying “oopsy daisy!”//rocking with Gracie after refusing to nap//Lillie peeking with one eye as she falls asleep//milk drunk smiles//loud birds beckoning Spring//a hint of warmth in the breeze//the promise that Spring will come//tiny headbands//church fellowship

My Two Girls: Helping Them Grow

Raising a child takes a lot of work. Currently I am in a phase of life where I am learning that raising a   strong-willed two year old takes A LOT of work with a capital everything. Some days it is all too easy to see this strong-willed girl as just plain stubborn and bull-headed, instead of looking at all the positive qualities her strong-willed nature gives her. There are so many good qualities, Gracie, possesses. Qualities I wish I had and hope she holds onto as she grows and learns. Qualities that she will see as gifts and use for the Lord.

My strong-willed little two year old is determined. Though right now that determination is mostly kicked into full gear when she wants a cookie, her drive to persevere will get her far.

My Gracie girl is always on the go-active and curious. Her mind seems to always be spinning and taking in new information. Though keeping up with her is rather exhausting, her will to do more and thirst for knowledge will serve her well.

My growing up way to fast babe is opinionated. She knows what she wants and she tells it the way she sees it. She will speak her mind and get her point across one way or another. Though as she grows she will hopefully learn, with our help, the time and place to speak certain opinions, I pray she is never fearful of voicing them or standing up for what she knows is right.

These are just a few of the great qualities this little girl possesses. I could name so many others such as loving, sensitive and down right hilarious, but we’ll keep it short for now.

Though Lillie only entered this world seven weeks ago, she is proving to have a much different personality than her sister (at least for now). She’s my chill, happy, go with flow and make everyone else happy with my adorable smiles baby. I’m learning every day that it shouldn’t be so much about comparing her and Gracie, but rejoicing in the special qualities they each have and learning to foster these qualities in a positive way.

My two girls are a great and awesome gift from God and I will continue to try to realize and capture their gifts as they grow.

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Lillie smiles in her sleep while nursing//uneven tiny breaths//soft light on Gracie’s face as she peacefully sleeps and I nurse Lillie//Lillie’s freshly washed hair//Gracie pillow jumping//afternoon sunlight on Gracie’s face//Dustin taking care of kids so I can sew//little leggings//broken needles//Grandmas to the rescue//crafting with Christina//the way Lillie arches her back and stretches with hands scrunched by her face when lifted in her sleep after nursing//little head thrown back//my sister’s joy//baby cowlick//water gulping//bath time//night time cuddles, high fives and fist pounds with Gracie

Style Me: The Capsule Project

The purging process is under way and it feels great! There are still some things I know I am hanging on to, but will probably rarely wear, so I think a second go round of purging and reexamining will be in order. 
Today I wanted to share a little of my style lately. The weather in Ohio can be a little bipolar (it was almost 70 on Wednesday and yesterday there was a winter storm warning!), so I have mostly been wearing layers and light sweaters. Since I am nursing, Lillie, I have to take this into consideration when getting dressed. Loose layers allow for a nursing tank underneath and are also forgiving post partum, but will continue to look good later on. 
So please forgive the fact that I’m not seen wearing these clothes and could only set them up to take pictures of. The thought of finding the time to make four outfits changes and get the hubs to take pics of me was just too daunting (picture a wild 2 year old running around and a 6 week old crying due to either needing changed, fed, or being bored and you have to figure out which!) But see what I mean by loose, flowy layers? And if you notice something else, I like scarves! They can add some nice color, but go off and on easily and are a much easier accessory than necklaces with littles always hanging on me. The gray pants you see in both pictures are a good staple. They look kind of dressy and put together, but they are super comfy and have great stretch. It’s important for me to have pants that fit and allow me to easily chase after and take care of Gracie and Lillie. The maxi skirt is also a great comfy option and can be very versatile. Here I paired it was a T-shirt, boyfriend cardigan and scarf, as well as my go to winter TOMS shoes. These are lined with wool and keep your feet extra toasty in the Winter! I don’t often buy shoes, but in looking through my wardrobe and thinking about some key pieces that would make pairing clothes easy, I may think about getting a cute pair of leopard print flats. They have such a fun pattern, yet are neutral enough to be paired with lots of outfits.
So here’s the breakdown of my style post partum and nursing as we transition from Winter to Spring.
1. Comfy, flowy layers that are forgiving and allow me to nurse Lillie.
2.Versatile pants that look put together, can be worn with many tops, and allow me to go about crazy days with littles comfortably.
3.Easy accessorizing with colorful scarves.
4.Versatile flats and boots for Winter & Spring
Sweater: Elle at Kohls//Pants:So@Kohls//Boots:Bamboo
Sweater:AB Studio @ Kohls//Pants:Simply Vera @Kohls//Shoes:TOMS// Scarf: H&M
Blouse:Kohls//Scarf:Old Navy
Sweater: It’s Our Time @ Kohls// Shirt:So @ Kohls//Scarf: Kohls//Skirt:Free People

So here is my feeble attempt to portray my style and document where I am starting and see where I can go from here! It gives me a nice look of what I am wearing now, what my go to staples are, and any key pieces I could use. I’m also noticing I buy a lot of things at Kohls…

Linking up with Suzie Studios.

A Lovely Mess of Gifts

Because the days often feel random and chaotic with one moment passing into the next. One moment treasured and held, a mental note to record before forgotten. A smile formed when rushed through moments are later remininced. Hard and messy moments often appreciated later for what they are. Moments that matter and ground me in who I am, and who I am growing to be. Moments in which I am still learning to give thanks and realize how God’s love can shine through me as the person He intended me to be. Moments in which I sometimes strive to do more or become more of what I think I should be instead of releasing my gifts that Christ calls me to and yearns for me to share. Through the chaos and mess and beauty He is always there and beckons for us to take notice and listen. The listening for me is hard. It requires a stillness that this oh so busy world doesn’t think we should dwell in. A stillness in which we count our gifts and listen to God’s direction. Direction for the moment, the day, week, or coming year. A stillness that can intertwine and be at peace with the chaos and messiness of our imperfect moments and lives. #513-555 gifts. Gifts written in fluidity from one to the next. Scattered, imperfect, and ineloquent thoughts and praises written how they often are felt.

metabolic test//lone hawk//3 deer in the field at night//baby’s peaceful sleep//blowouts//bouncing with Lillie on exercise ball//snotty noses//3 am feeding//hope//carnitine//winter walk//snowman making//snow butt prints//noisy Lillie grunts//early morning snuggles with Lillie//bedtime snuggles with Gracie//temper tantrums thrown for no apparent reason//poop in bath tub//dirt smudged on nose//nap time peace//chirping birds//brown grass//warm sunshine//chaotic dinner making//long sweet eyelashes//Gracie needing & wanting me to hold her at seemingly inopportune times//nursing Lillie//Gracie “reading”//Gracie singing//Lillie smiles//baby smell//upturned nose//crusty eyelashes//peeking out of one eye//tummy tickles//pancakes//what seems like a hundred stuffed animals in Gracie’s bed//church fellowship//taking a walk alone//Jia home on break//squeeze of hand from Dustin

The Capsule Project:My Style

Today I am linking up at Suzie Studios Capsule Project. I was intrigued when I saw that this is what The Capsule Project is all about.

“I think The Capsule Project provides an opportunity for us to answer this question in part. Who am I? What is my style? What is NOT my style? What clothes do I look good in? What clothes do I NOT look good in? What is my body type, face shape etc.? The more we know who we are and who we aren’t the more we can celebrate who others are and when we can do that there is no room for comparison.”

This is something I could relate too. The idea of finding my own style, and being confident in allowing that style to express who I am. So I have started putting some thought into what my style actually is and what I can do to help create a wardrobe that is functional, expressive, and still cost friendly. Here is what i have come up with so far.

My Style
In thinking about what styles I am normally drawn to, and searching Pinterest to review what style of clothes I had already pinned and what I gravitate towards, I came up with name for my style. Casual Girlie/Boho. I like clothes that are feminine and pretty, but they have to be comfortable and functional. Not something that requires 10 layers to look just right, or pants that you can’t move or sit down in comfortably. I also love to mix in some flowing, comfy layers, scarfs, headbands and the like. To get a visual sense of my style, my wardrobe board on Pinterest has grown. It helps create a visual of what kind of clothes I like and may want to think of purchasing. You can also get a sense of my style by checking out my Pinterest board here. 

My Goals
1. Purge clothes that don’t fit right, or aren’t worn.
I need to make a conscious effort to get rid of things that just don’t look right on my body or fit me comfortably. I have a tendency to hang on to things that I think I just might wear.

2.Start building a better wardrobe with staple pieces that fit my style
I noticed when I was pinning clothing ideas that there were certain items that kept reappearing in the styles I like. Thing like a well fit chambray shirt, knee length skirts, cardigans and a few other things. Some of these things I have, while in other areas I need to fill in some gaps.

3.Buy things that are well made and actually fit my body.
I tend to want to buy things just because they are on sale, and not because they actually look that great on me. I need to realize that investing in a piece of clothing will pay off in the long run. It will be worth it to buy one item that looks great on me and can be worn again and again, rather than buy five cheaper items that may not fit quite right or be something I need and hardly get worn. I also have to take into consideration at this point in my life that a good chunk of my clothes should also be functional for nursing. I nursed Miss G for about 15 months and am now a month in to nursing Lilly. Let me tell ya, it’s not really ideal or fun to try to strip off a billion layers or not feel like you’re even half covered in order to feed your baby. It definitely gets easier as they get older and don’t require being fed every two hours, but it’s still something I would like to keep in mind when making a purchase.

4. Make financially and socially conscious purchases.
While I want to work on being ok with buying a piece of clothing that is a little more expensive for the right quality and fit, I still want to make wise financial choices. With two little ones in the home, there are many other purchases that take priority over clothes. I rarely buy myself clothes. So while I do plan to work on saving up some money for a few key purchases, I don’t want to go overboard. I want to be a good steward of our money and realize that clothing purchases are not at the top of the list right now. I also would like to be more conscious about where the money from my purchases is going. I like making purchases from companies like, TOMS, because I know that when I make a shoe purchase, a pair of shoes is donated to a child.

So here’s to joining in this journey with other women. A journey of finding a style that expresses who we are and what we stand for. A journey of being good stewards of our money and being confident in the body that Christ has given us. A journey that is also helping me towards one of my 2014 goals to Simply.

As a sort of, kind of, tied in side note… I wanted to post a sneak peek of some new headband designs I have been working on. I can’t wait for Spring, and these new Spring colors definitely add some cheer to these drab Winter days. As an unofficial goal #5, I want to try to actually make myself and my girls more of these headbands to wear out and about. I seems I never quite take the time to make these for me! And they tie in perfectly to my casual girlie/boho style! Head over to the store now and use code WINTERSALE through March 8th to get 10% off your purchase. Once the sale is over spring stock will soon be up!