Friday, August 31, 2012

{Thanks-living} Friday

it’s one of those times when I feel like I could burst.
so many things that my heart could explode with gratitude about for this month.

but a major that’s been on my heart so heavy. something I’ve been thinking all month about is how the lord provided all of our needs. from school supplies_ to gray’s birthday_ and oh, all of us dental appointments to which we found out no cavities for any of the kids. bursting at the seams, I tell ya. because let's be honest. there have been many and even thinking back to last year. many times when we struggled to get everything together for school. last year we had moved into our new home and so things were just tight financially. but this year has felt like such a sweet relief of ….just breathing. like I can breathe…and I’m so thankful. so so very thankful.

this month also included oldest turning the big 13. that’s another post for another time. but he is so sweet and so handsome and I’m so proud of him. and now he’s an official teenager. and along with that his voice has officially started to change. we were eating dinner just the other night and he was telling us something when the girls started laughing. youngest said "mom what’s wrong with him. his voice sounds funny." puberty baby…..that’s what happened.

the girls have been at each other a lot. i’m not sure what’s going on totally. but I think it’s just the added pressure of school_ change_ and just the branching out of wanting to be their own person. on the occasions when they are best buds though, I adore it. and i’m so thankful for what they have_ for what they will have_ and for how they do love each other. because trust me, I never had a sister. so to watch them when one tells the other in kind of a non-filtered way that they don’t look good in a certain pair of pants and to see the other accept it as “word” is straight up love.

the Neelster is continuing to grow as in getting bigger and grow on me. i have to admit. there were times in the beginning when I still thought ummm, maybe we shouldn’t have a dog. but now I really can’t imagine our lives without him. he fits so well with our family and brings us lots of laughter. I really can say now that I love him. he has become my neelster.

getting to meet and hang-out with Allison was another highlight. she’s the kind you just feel like you’ve known forever. where the conversation flows freely and before you know it time has flown and it’s time to part ways. so you just get giddy anticipating the next one. 

me getting to have my hair done this month. it had been the first part of June since I had gone last and i get mousey looking. and i get a little bossy…when I get mousey. it just does a girl good to have her hair freshly done and feel good about it. you know what I’m sayin'. and I’m thankful for that. big time.

and my biggest most bestest news for this month is our middle accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. talk about the best news ever! she had been questioning me for a few weeks and I could have pressed it. i could have offered to pray with her. but I really really wanted it to be something she pursued. something she asked me for instead of me feeling like I may have coaxed, etc. so during our normal goodnight routine she asked me. and we talked_ and we prayed_ and she got it nailed down. 

now she never has to question or doubt because she knows on August 26th, 2012 her sins were forgiven. she became a new creation. and this is why my heart just may beat out of my chest. this is why I am giving thanks where thanks are due in my life. this is how i'm trying to live a life of thanksgiving.

Happy Friday and long weekend!

Linking up with Leslie for her new link-up entitled...


Friday, August 24, 2012

That Time I Gained 20 Pounds


it was Thursday evening and we needed something sweet.
like we desperately needed something.
so what to do when you need a quick sinful-like dessert? 
pinterest…. where you can find a ton of how-to’s for every impulsive 
thought you have. i say this bc I know, ..obviously.

this was the second dessert that popped up and it involved 
cookie dough so that’s how we decided.
here is the link in case you want to go straight to it.
or here are all the deets.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

*1 ½ C graham crackers
*5 T butter, melted

Cookie Dough:
*5 T butter, room temp.
 *1/3 C packed light brown sugar
 *3 T sugar
 *1/4 t salt
 *1 t vanilla extract
 *3/4 C flour
 *2/3 C chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
   *10 oz cream cheese, room temp
   *1/4 C sugar
   *1 large egg
   *1 t vanilla extract

 preheat oven to 325.
line an 8” pan with wax paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
mix the melted butter and graham crackers until thoroughly combined. 
press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
bake in oven for 6 min. remove pan and let cool.

in a bowl prepare the cookie dough. beat together butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined. mix in flour on low speed. then mix in the chocolate chips. this mixture will be dry and crumbly…that’s ok…set aside.

now in another bowl cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed. pour cheesecake batter into the crust. use your hands to form clumps of cookie dough, smoosh it together and flatten it out. distribute the cookie dough on top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon sized clumps.

bake for 30 min until the pan when given a shake is firm. chill in refrigerator or freezer if your trying to hurry up the process…like we were.

i give this recipe a 6-7 out of 10.
they look really good and the ingredients are the just right thing.
but if you  happen to be dieting, let me help you by saying “DON”T DO IT” you can hold out….hehe. 
did that work.

O.k now go turn on some Ben Rector and get to baking.
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Day 2012

just like that and they were off.
i’m not going to sit here and bore you with how time flew and where did the Summer go.
but really? oldest asked me last night “how long have we been out of school for? like 3 weeks”  we have to keep in mind though, he is a teenager _ a boy_ and did I say a teenage boy who knows very little about time. just yesterday while trying to make another upcoming hair appt for him the nice lady asked “when do you think he’ll need to come back” so I asked him when he thought we should schedule another appt and he said” probably a week.” um, no honey I think you can go longer than a week before we have to come back and give the nice lady $25 dollars again for your hair. lol...

his hair does grow though….all of my kids have a head full of hair. a lot of hair.
we showed a picture of zac efron and his hair to the stylist trying to explain how oldest wanted his side pieces to go. and I thought she did a great job considering she cut off months of grown out hair. so we’re walking to the car and we get in and he turns to me and says “mom I don’t look like zac efron though”…lol. no, and that's because you’re even cuter babe.

anyways, I am surprising myself actually today. i’m not a hot mess about them going back.
i was driving home thinking to myself and wondering is it bc they’re getting older?. or what is it exactly? i’m not sure. but I’m thankful for this peace that's here. thankful that they were ready and excited. 

middle had gone the last 2 days to get all the 6th graders accustomed to changing to different classes and opening those lockers that they have nightmares about.
youngest was ready too. i think i’m the only one that kept thinking how she’s alone this year. meaning the other 2 are now at middle school and she still has 2 years to go through without being with them again. i do hate that part. wish they could all be together at least.

i decided to write down some thoughts after getting home and this is what came out.

i see you walking down the hall with that look of concern and apprehension on your face.

i feel your frustration of having information over load with new names to know_ locker combinations to remember_ and all of the newness being poured out at you.

i listen as some who have already made besties for the year walk by laughing and joking. 
and watch as you look at them hoping to see eyes of approval.

at home I fold clean clothes for you
i work on getting dinner thought out and ready for you
i pray for you
i wait for you

when really I want to run and find you_ to help lead you through the halls.
to be the one whispering words of encouragement when all you’ve maybe heard are discouraging ones.
to take the brunt of any mean joke or nasty words flung
to help you pin your bangs back after you’ve just had PE
i want to run stand beside you

but I’m not there, He is
and this is where...this is when you learn to figure it out
when you take the things you’ve learned and apply them daily 
as you walk down those halls and as you sit in class
to trust him_ to listen to him_ to draw nearer him

because at the end of the day I will be waiting
waiting for you to run home to me.

Happy new year of school.

last year 2011

Isaiah 12:2  Surely God is my salvation;I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense
He has become my salvation.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Allison {Senior Photos}

2 weeks ago I had a fun opportunity to take Senior pictures for one of my good friend’s daughters, Allison. number 1 I was blown away that they would even ask me to take on such a big job when I really don’t have a clue to what I’m doing. i love photography and try to learn and grow as much as I can without actually taking classes. but when it boils down to it… I just know what I want to see in my head. know what looks good to me. so I try to achieve that while having fun doing it.

Allison was so easy to work with. we met early that morning and again that evening and I could’ve taken pictures of her all day. talk about getting carried away in the moment… getting carried away by the perfect lighting that was coming through the lens. it was beautiful and a perfect day. i said goodbye to Nina, Allison, and her sister, Gianna around 7:30ish that evening. excited for her that in a year she will be graduating and thinking of all the possibilities that are to come.

then around 10am the following morning I got a call from Nina saying they had been in a bad car accident. 
hit by a double cab truck flipping their SUV. Nina just kept telling me 
“pray heather, pray.…” and so I did.

just like that, just that quick. i had been with them less than 24 hours, smiling joking with 
Allison about the guy she’s dating and then to get that call.

Nina ended up with a broken wrist_ broke foot_ and a broken bone in her sternum. 
Allison was bruised but fine. and Gianna had a tear in her abdomen that they had to do immediate surgery on. 
thankfully, today they are all back home and recovering.

i’m celebrating with them today that the Lord protected and took care of them.
we serve a big God that is able to do far more than we could ever imagine.
and Allison I can’t wait to see you graduate and see all the Lord has planned for you.

I’m hoping to get back on a blogging schedule next week after the kids start school.
Happy weekend to you. :)


Monday, August 6, 2012

Thrifters Unite

it’s that time ya’ll. time for the thrifty gift exchange link up.
i hope your posts’ are written and ready to be linked up because I can’t wait to read each one.

i was partnered up with Elizabeth and knew from the start how awesome she was. 
we follow each other on insta gram and I have seen her style_ the way she decorates_ etc.. uber talented lady I tell ya with taste over the top. and let’s be honest, I do love me some thriftin’,  love to receive treasures of any kind, but the real reason I loved this was for the relationship. 
for the hope of friendship that would come from having if not more, at least one thing we knew in common with each other…. we are thrifters.
why all of a sudden do I feel like I’m writing a post about thrifters uniting…. Thrifters anonymous… I may need an intervention. Ha.. just sayin’. 

anyways Elizabeth and I had emailed ahead of time giving each other ideas of what we each liked. 
just so we could be on the look-out for certain things if we happened across them. and I was slightly nervous because I didn’t really find any of the items that were mentioned. all of you thrifters out there know some days you score big and some days you walk away with nothin’ nada. still what I did find was treasure to me and after reading her response think that she felt the same too. and so that was the real score….

here are the things that I found...

when my package came I thought I was going to cry. as I pulled each treasure out I knew how each item represented time and thought that Elizabeth had put into giving them.

i have a collection of aprons but none that are vintage until now. 

any kind of milk glass gets me. i just love it.

the vintage flower pin is something I would’ve picked out myself.

vintage buttons, trim, and fabric are again something I don’t have but lu-ove. i’ve been dreaming about what I’m going to use it on.

and this little coffee cup that she packaged so sweetly in the green recipe tin is a gem I tell ya. 
the design on it, the colors…I could eat it. such a treasure to me.

Carina, thanks so much for this awesome idea and for letting me be a part.
now go link up at the bottom_ check out everyone elses’ treasures_ and see who they got to meet.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Bringing home peaches

ya'll i have a treat for you today.
have you ever heard someone's story when it involved something you
knew you not only wanted to be a part of. but knew you had to be a part of.
even if it was in the itsy bitsiest of ways. well meet my friend carina.
she's going to tell you about their peach needing to be brought home.
and how you and i can help.


Hello! I'm Carina and I blog over at a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut.
I am mama to three little rascals, lover of vintage and coffee and chocolate, 
among other things.

For the last year, my husband and I have been waiting to adopt our fourth baby.
We have two biological boys, and one adopted, and feel so excited to be adding to the sweet chaos that is our every day.
Two weeks ago we got the call that we'd been chosen to adopt a baby girl due this August. 
And we are over the moon.
We know that God is already writing our love story with this little peach
and His hand is so evident in the details.
You can read more about all of that here.
The reality of adoption is that it takes a serious chunk of change to make it happen.
Like $25,000 when all is said and done.
We've saved and saved and had a little pancake breakfast to get the ball rolling,
but we are still well away from that number.
We are not ones to ask for something without offering something in return,
mostly because it makes us feel weird.
I've been making jewelry for my little etsy shop for the last few months and
after a lot of thought, I decided to design a few adoption necklaces to help make up some of the difference.
I am dreaming big here: my goal is to sell 100. My dream is 200.
300 would knock our socks off and put a serious dent in that total.

 Would you consider helping us out?
Spread the word and buy a necklace (or two)...
you'll be helping us bring our baby home, supporting adoption
and you'll even get something pretty in return!
And please come follow along on this super exciting journey -
it's sure to be an adventure!


my necklace is ordered and i can't wait to get it. can't wait to wear it.
  but mostly, i can't wait to see how the lord moves in this. 
to see their little peaches face in their arms .... to see them home.

** also, to all my thrifty gift exchange peeps. 
don't forget to have your posts' ready to link up on Monday, August 6th.
check back with me for the details on how it’s going to go down.
I can’t wait to see your thrifty goodness and to read your stories!