Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend in Review: Race for the Cure.

I have been absolutely terrible at keeping up with life lately, thus the late post about the weekend. Better late than never though, right :)

Friday we had a wisdom shower for Matt and Pauline. I told Drew before we went that I felt slightly inadequate to go to wisdom shower... eight and a half years in and I feel like my list of wisdom looks more like a list of "what not to do" in marriage :) One of the best things about wisdom showers is that you walk away encouraged even if you're not the one who is being showered upon. I sat there the entire 2 hours just soaking in the wisdom that other couples came to share. Drew and I left refreshed.

Saturday Drew was running in the Race for the Cure and I decided to tag along with the boys. Initially Drew was hesitant at how things would work out, but it really wasn't that bad. Aside from a few implosions because the boys wanted out of the stroller while I was by myself (the combination of large crowds and roaming children make my stomach queasy so staying in the stroller was mandatory while Daddy was running), things went really well. They had a ton of fun stuff for the boys to do, including a fun run for little kids. They also had a lot of vendors giving away free stuff. We got a bit of things, but honestly, I get nervous around all of the hoarders that seem to think that throwing elbows, shoving and pushing are necessary for a sample size of Pantene Pro-V. People were stashing handfuls of the bottles in their bags as if Sunday was the next Armageddon and we were going to be on shampoo shortage for years. I'll skip the madness and fork over the $5 for a bottle of shampoo, thanks ;)



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Before the race we found a firetruck and the firemen were kind enough to let the boys get in the truck and show them around. Brayden and Connor were in HEAVEN.
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they had all kind of carnival games for the kids to play
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they gave away watermelon. The man gave C a piece without even asking me and at the sametime said "goodbye white shirt." Clearly he didn't notice it was a nice Ralph Lauren shirt. I was kind of frustrated, and VERY grateful that I buy all of their clothes used. For the record, the shirt was ruined :/
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I mean, really. Who taught him to pose like this? And when did he turn 15?
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Daddy showing him where to run...
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Go B GO!
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uber fuzzy picture but I love it anyways. Look how determined Brayden looks

Sunday we had a pretty laid back day, with church and community group. We actually hosted community group, which was fun since they had been praying for our housing situation all year.


We have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us for the month of May. Hopefully I'll be able to stay on top of blogging. Hope yall have a great week!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fingerpainting.

Brayden's great-great Uncle Mike and Aunt Rina gave him a giftcard to Target for his birthday, so we headed over there the other day so B could pick out his gift. He picked out a pretty awesome outfit-- it will make a blog debut soon I'm sure. But after the big present he still had a few dollars left on the giftcard. We decided finger paints might be fun so we picked them up and headed home. Both of the boys loved it and it was suprisingly not too stressful for momma either :)Thanks Uncle Mike and Aunt Rina for making Brayden's birthday special!

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of course he would eat it. of course.
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These next few pictures crack me up. Watch the series of events. 
You can clearly see Brayden's thought process.
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guess he wasn't quite sure it tasted all that swell. ha!
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please notice the belly. guess we're belly painting now.
 
Be sure to check out my review blog for a chance to win a set of Shaklee's Basic H "green" cleaner!

Monday, April 23, 2012

New House: Brayden's Room, The Guest Room, and an Addition to Entryway.

Sorry I got off the new home posts bandwagon for a bit. Life has been chaotic at best, and I've just not had the time (nor the energy) to take pictures of the house. Plus, I kind of wanted to wait to get Brayden's big boy bed before I took pics of his room. So here we are.



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This is standing in the doorway (I SO wish I had a wide angle lens)
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view to the left from the doorway. One of the things we loved about this house is that it has one LARGE closet that spans the width of the room, but has two doors. This makes the room ideal for the boys to share one day, without compromising closet space.
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From the far left corner of the room. The room color is kind of a lime green. It's less lime though. It matches perfectly with navy, which I've always loved in the boys rooms for the drapes. 
 
The bedding is from TJ Maxx. I've always, always, always wanted my sons (before I had kids I would dream of this) to have a sports room. I used to collect baseball cards as kid, and I have a love for sports, so it's just something I've always wanted to do for my boys. I found this cute set at TJ Maxx... it matches the room color perfectly (Drew was excited about that, since the room has vaulted ceilings and would be less than fun to paint) and has a Pottery Barn feel, which I love. I had the sham embroidered with Brayden's name on it; Connor's is still at the store being completed. Isn't it cute?! I have some fun plans for the walls of the boys room, but like most of my other ideas, it will take time getting it from my head to the actual wall :)
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I decided I'd combine the guest room into this post since it's pretty plain and we've not done anything to it yet. The guest room is the smallest room in the house, and so it probably won't always be a guest room... I'll probably convert Connor's room to a guest room when Connor moves to B's room. But that will be a bit before that happens, so for now, this is our guest room.
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have yall caught the common theme that Connor likes to follow me wherever I go? ha! This view is standing in the doorway looking left.
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This room also has a large double type closet like Brayden's room. I'm not a fan of the blue paint, and will probably eventually paint the room, but that's on the bottom of our to-do list at this point. Also, you'll notice that there's no bed. We're still contemplating whether to get a king bed for us or to leave ours alone and just get another queen for the guest bedroom, so right now the guests get an Aero airbed that we pull out if we have visitors. It's not ideal, but it works for now.

And finally, I wanted to show yall the newest addition to the foyer: antiquewindowmirror_2
Do you love the antique window turned mirror?!?!
I found the cutest little shop nearby and it has some of the coolest interior decorations that are all upcycled. This mirror matches the color of our living room perfectly, so it helps the foyer flow well from the entryway to the living room. I love the character it adds, and I think it actually helps the table I already had blend in better. I'm thinking I'll probably hang some pictures up on either side of the mirror in some type of distressed frame... that is still up for debate though :)
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a close up. I just love it! Drew also purchased an old antique window that is in original form that we plan on refinishing and using as a picture frame in the living room. I can't wait till we get it finished!

If you're late to the new house pictures, here's some of my previous posts so you can catch up.
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entryway
playroom 

Oh and one last thing... I have a new way I clean windows around my neck of the woods, and it's kid friendly. Be sure to check out my review of Shaklee's Basic H2 cleaner, and see how you can win your own "green" cleaner! 


Sunday, April 22, 2012

{Untitled Weekend}

When I left on Friday, Brayden was still sleeping. He called me a few hours into my trip. Our conversation went like this:

Brayden: Mommy, you left us. You left us cause your friend is sad?
Me: Yes Brayden. Aunt Mare is sad and mommy needed to come be with her.
Brayden: Why is she sad momma? 
Me: Well, her babies went to Heaven to be with Jesus.
Brayden: but why?
Me: buddy I wish I knew why. But I don't. Which is why we need to pray for Aunt Mare really hard. 
Brayden: Ok. I pray for her. I pray for her tonight. 

Oh that we all have faith like a child. It's moments like the one above that the Lord whispers through my children.



This weekend we had plans to host some of our best friends and their three kids, attend Razorfest and enjoy the amazing weather that is gracing Northwest Arkansas. I wish I could tell you about all of the fun we had, about my kids dressed in cute Razorback garb and the Hogs overcoming the great adversity that has been thrown on the team this spring. I wish that our plans went on as normal. Because if our plans had gone on as normal, that would mean that I wouldn't have traveled to Dallas. It would mean that I would be able to be with my family. And most of all, it would mean that my friend Mare would not have had to bury three of her babies this weekend.


No parent should have to endure the hardship, tragedy and loss of losing a child. But losing three? It's incomprehensible really. When I try to sit and really think about the reality of everything happening, I can barely wrap my mind around it. I find myself asking God WHY. Why Mare? Why after she already has had to deal with so much? Unfortunately God's plans rarely match our human logic. Human logic says that there should never be a casket made that small. Human logic says that no one should have to endure infertility. Human logic says that no one should have to endure awful debilitating diseases.

I'm thankful that my God is big enough to listen to the questions without judgement, and still wrap me close to let me know He's still there. I'm thankful for a friend who, even though she walks in the very, very low valley of loss, is still reminding all around to praise the name of the Lord. It has reminded me that in our brokenness, the chips and cracks of that brokenness can allow the Lord to shine through when all else seems so dark.... but only if we let Him. I hope that my faith were as strong as Mare and Reid's should the Lord chose to allow trials into my life. And finally, I'm most ever grateful for Jesus, who gives me HOPE that I will see Catherine, Madelyn and Mary Grace again. Praise the Lord for the hope of Jesus.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Life

John 16:33 
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

I've put off writing this post for over 2 weeks now. Every time I've sat down to write, the words just simply haven't come to my fingers (or my brain for that matter). Perhaps it's because there really are no words for what has been on my heart. My heart is a heavy one right now. I bear burdens that are personal to my family. The things our family has gone through over the past 6 months have been gut wrenching. I am so very thankful for counseling which has not only allowed me to sort out my emotions in a healthy way, but it has reminded me of the truths that I had quickly forgotten when trials headed my way. The Lord is in charge. He is my strength. He WANTS to carry our burdens for us, but we have to be willing to let go of them.

Willing and letting go... those are some tough truths to swallow. My flesh wants me to control what is going on, which is laughable when you really stop to think about it for a minute. Because even when I feel in control, I'm not. It's kind of like when I let Brayden steer the grocery cart or stroller. He finds a great deal of pride and sense of accomplishment in his steering. But in reality, he's really not steering. No, I'm the one with my hand on the cart or the stroller to gently guide the contraption where it needs to go. If Brayden was really in control of the movement, we'd careen off of the path or into an end cap about as quickly as I could let go. So I'm learning to let go and not throw a fit when the Lord says "no Lindsey. I think I need to be the one who guides us. It's not going to seem fun, but remember, I have your best interest at heart." It's a slllllooooowwww process for me, but I'm getting there. 

I thought I was doing good on this path of releasing and trusting. And then life happens. 

Over the course of the past several weeks one of my very dear friends, Mare, has given birth to her quadruplet girls. Three have gone to be with Jesus. And during that same time, Mare's mom, who has battled Alzheimer's for the past several years, also went to be with the Lord. I have grappled with why all of this would happen. My head knows the truth: the Lord is in control. Yet, my heart breaks for a friend who is dealing with losses that I'm not sure anyone could even begin comprehend. Mare's words seem far more adequate than mine in describing the past several weeks. You can read her blog here.

I'm not even sure why I am writing this post, other than that I know that writing is my medicine. It helps me process better than anything I have ever tried, so I need to write it. If you are a praying friend, I'd appreciate it if you'd pray for Mare, her husband Reid, and her little fighter Olivia, who's still in the NICU. If you're not the praying type, then my prayer for you is that you would find your way to a place where you become one. I'm not sure how I would have made it through the past several months without the hope of Jesus. He has saved. He has redeemed. And even though He promises that our lives will not be without heartache, He has overcome.


I think that the old hymn by Edward Mote sums it up best.


My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brayden's 3rd Birthday: A Super Hero Swim Party.

Well, if you read the title of this post then I guess you figured out that I convinced Brayden to forego the pink princess party for something a little more manlier :) It wasn't that hard to do, considering the boy has an obsession with all things super heroes. We have all kinds of masks and capes laying around the house, and I never really know when batman may come running around the corner to "shoot the bad guys who are running away," so a super hero party seemed only fitting.

When I started planning for his party (and I say "planning loosely, since I rarely actually "plan" for a party), we were kind of in house limbo, so I decided not to have B's party at our house. Brayden's always had a fondness for swimming, and he seemed to have such a fun time at Connor's birthday party last year that we decided to rent out the pool at a local community center this year for B's. It did not disappoint.

Here's the invitation I made and sent out to our friends:

superbrayden_2 Brayden, Connor, Payton and Parker waiting to get in the pool.
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Connor was not much of a fan of the water and was more content sitting out and watching the action.
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I think he was showing me his muscles
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Brayden with his "best friends" Avery and Paige
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I just have to say, I have the best friends. Drew was busy with Connor and I had wanted to take pics for a few minutes at the beginning of the party, so my friend Katie took B down the slide. I know this pic is blurry, but I LOVE it. Look at their faces-- such fun!!!
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Drew and the baby boy. Connor clung to Drew like this the entire 20 minutes they were in the pool
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Katie and Paige
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Parker with his Daddy
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Addison and Payton
It was baby Cooper's first time in the pool... he wasn't quite sure of the water either.
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Laci and her daddy
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Again, best friends in the world here-- Andrea's kids didn't want to go down so she went by herself. Hilarious!
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My little swimming super hero, goggles and all
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I actually got in a picture! Love my little 3 year old!
After swimming we headed upstairs to eat lunch. Brayden requested pizza (of course he did), so we had lots of it. And we also had lots of kids.

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I think someone said they counted 23 kids. All are 5 years old and under. Chaos. But it was fun!
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This cutie fell asleep while he and daddy went to get pizza with Granddad. And he stayed asleep almost the rest of the party.
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Daddy with the silly birthday goober
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We had superman cupcakes (yellow with a superman ring on top) and then a superman cupcake cake. All came from the Walmart bakery. They were delicious, and I think the cupcake cake came out SO cute!
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New fave picture of him.
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I took Superman off of the cupcakes and Brayden told me he wanted to have him. But when I started wiping him off B said "NO! I want to lick him off!" ahahaha. I have created another icing addict I'm afraid :)
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lip lickin' good
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Cooper just took it all in. Love him!superbrayden_47
At one point I looked over and Brayden was doing this. I asked him what he was doing and he looked up and said "I'm making a mess." (a)atleast he's honest (b) for the first time in my life I didn't freak out and just let him have fun. You only get one third birthday party, right? :)
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We gave bubbles to the kids as party favors. I had this label printed out (I designed it also), and then had Drew help me cut them out and attach to the bubbles with ribbon.

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Jon-Jon
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At the end of the party he spent a good deal of time running. Doesn't he look SO grown up in this picture?
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We decided to forego opening presents at the party. We were running short on time and it just becomes even more chaotic. So we let B open presents over a 3 day period. I really like doing this because it allows us to regulate him just tearing through everything and not really soaking in what he's gotten. It also helps promote gratefulness :)
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His sword. Which he has now deemed as "my sword that I got to hit Connor with". Perfect. (please note the sarcasm in my "voice")
A BIG thank you to all of Brayden's friends and family that came and made his day so special! We had a blast and are so thankful for friends in our lives that will help us celebrate the big milestones with us!