Wednesday, December 11, 2013

my 1st Stitch Fix

I wanted to share my experience with Stitch Fix because it was really a unique endeavor.  I was looking forward to getting my box for my birthday, but it did not come in time.  :-(  It was my misunderstanding about choosing a shipping date rather than a delivery date when I 'scheduled my fix'.  I would pass that along as lesson learned!  ;-)

When the box arrived (I had been tracking it all week), I was really excited to open it up & try everything on!  I was really impressed that everything was the correct size, and really, I could have kept the whole box if I had wanted to!  I had told myself that I really only wanted to keep what I LOVED from this fix, so I could continue to have this service.  It really is the most fun way to shop I've found - especially when I have little ones & don't go shopping for myself, like almost ever.

I did ask very specifically for fabrics that would work for a stay at home mom of 3 who is nursing.  I asked for machine washable & for casual chic.  I also used the lowest price setting. (at the lowest price setting, the dress was $28, the button down, cardigan, and sweater were $48, and the jeans were $88.  Their website does give the average cost appropriately if you average these items, and the total for the box was about $250).  After all, I am at home with babies & I don't want to be more concerned about my clothes than I am with taking care of my kids. (but I'd like to look nice! ;-)

I did receive the wrong style cards for my box, which was another bummer for me.  I also has trouble giving my referral credit to my friend.  Lastly, I had trouble with this dress & a popped seam.  However, despite all my troubles, their customer service is GREAT.  They were prompt on all their responses & handled each issue until resolved.  They mailed out my correct cards.  They gave my friend her $25 credit.  They even offered to refund my dress or give me a credit towards another purchase.  Overall, I am happy with the service.  I liked the experience of having a stylist & having a surprise in the mail.  I will do it again, and I'm sure I will continue to love it.

If you'd like to be referred by me, please clink here.  You'll be awarding me a $25 too. :-)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Our little family.of.five has has our share of adventures this past 6 weeks or so that I haven't blogged.  My handsome hunter hubs got a chance to go for a week hunting the big game, & our little fellas were really good for their momma.  (if by good I think they all woke up every night at least one time, then yes, good).  I was really proud of our moments like below when we managed to keep our life in order, get our baths & brush out teeth before being in bed on time.  And then there were all those moments when I was just worn-slap-out & ended up with mastitis at the end of that week.  Yes, nursing with a toddler & preschooler means exhaustion comes at a quicker pace than before.

my sweet little fellas
These boys warm my heart.  This has the current spot on my phone as the lock screen.  Our little guys were so excited to see their daddy & I think he was even more so to see them.  We.are.blessed.

I love the handmade bow ties my Aunt Linda made.  Gotta love it.

typical playtime with all the bros
getting excited about my middle little guy in his undies!!
I laugh every time I realize that the 'normalcy' of my life changes quickly.  It was the same with James & Hayden.  As soon as we felt things settle, all of life was upended again by a holiday or an ear infection or a home project.  These days all of those things happen at once.  haha!  It can be a struggle to not feel overcome by the unmet, undone, unfinished things that swirl around my head in my day.  It can be a struggle to find peace in my own mind, heart, and voice as I seek to serve my family in LOVE.  To give to them out of joy & to be a cheerful giver.  boy that has been hard in these past 6 weeks.  Who feels love from gifts given our of duty? or grouchy begrudging?

my handsome boys

one BIG project for our old house
always fun to go see Shamu at Sea World

our 3 together for some snuggles

James having an iPad date with sweet Emily

I mean seriously?? I cried I laughed so hard.
Oh our family adventures.  I love it.  I have moments where I just wish it could all be easier.  but when I really consider, would I change a thing?  nope.  My God is good, and I am loved.  I am blessed beyond measure.  Our adventures these days are small, but my God is big.  Life in the small is sweet, but it has to be noticed.  it has to be recognized as gift.

even here, in pjs & undies & onsies.  gift.


This sweet, quiet, precious baby boy had a very eventful 7th month!  He really got better at sitting up my himself.  He's still just the best little snuggler in the world & he has been working on his crawling skills.  He has started to really like his baby food & he got his first two teeth!!

working on the tri pod move - at 6 months

starting his baby foods!  This guy warmed up pretty quickly to the idea

getting his tummy up off the floor!!

first tooth! November 2, 2013 - just over 6 months, my earliest teether!

tooth #2!! November 7, 2013

figuring out the puffs & its an messy adventure

taking some sippy sips

sitting up & going hands free all by himself

my sweet little fellas in hand made bow ties & clothes by my Aunt Linda

Happy 7 months little Calvin!!  Picture taken by your big bro James

Friday, November 15, 2013

just a few days over 30...

I celebrated my 30th birthday this month, and it has been a strange mental step to take, but a perfectly easy physical step.

my handsome date

my party at home with my family

sneak attack!

Grammy & Papa are so much fun.

Papa & his littlest namesake

These boys LOVE to wrestle their Papa

I love my life & my husband & my boys.  I wouldn't trade anything.  I wouldn't change any of my days.  I feel blessed to not be in charge of the number of my days.  I believe it helps me to be more grateful for what is given, and not look for what's expected.

I've decided that 30 feels foreign to me because I have little to no expectation for what 30 brings.  I have had the awkward feeling even through my 20s that as each birthday came after my college graduation, that there was no 'graduation' or 'next grade' or clear stepping stone for life.  It is truly strange for someone who loves the familiarity & comfort of grade promotion to mark my years & create emotional triggers for my memory to hold.  Sort of the 'now what?' question for what comes next.

I get the idea of quarter-life crisis, funny enough.

But at least I did have some ideas of what my 20s would be: graduate from Clemson, get married, start my career teaching, start our family.  I didn't know I'd be lucky enough to be able to stay home with my kids.  I didn't know how truly amazing that decade would be & how unimaginable the changes are from 20 to 30 are in hindsight.  It does kind of boggle my mind that I met my husband shortly after my 20th birthday & the rest of the decade was only up from there.

What will 30s bring for me?  I don't have any specific goals for my 30s.  Don't suppose I'll have any more babies in my 30s.  Don't forsee any relocations or moves (yet, haha).  I may go back to work when my boys all start school, but that will be 5 years from now.  When I finish my 30s, my boys will be 10, 12 & almost 14.  ((holy smokes - I am not ready for that!!))

What a different life it will be.  I'm nervous about how much will change, but at least I can be here, right now.  I can crawl in bed for snuggles with my 2 year old & almost 4 year old.  I can breath in deep & hug tight & smother my 6 month old with kisses.

I have changed dramatically in the last 10 years.  I hope I can say the same in the next 10!  In the best possible way I think these days are reshaping me & making me more like Christ.  and for that I am the most thankful.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

my super heros & holiday musings

My little boys were super heros this year for Halloween.  This holiday was a little different for me than it has been in the past.  My experience with Halloween as a child was limited.  We dressed up, but not ever as anything scary.  We didn't dress up at school, I don't think anyone did.  We went to our church Fall festival & didn't stay home or trick or treat that I can remember.  My parents never made a big deal about it, and I don't remember ever really thinking much about it as a child.  Not a dedicated Halloween enthusiast, but not against.

testing out the super hero t-shirt

This year even more than before, I worried about my boys seeing things that would scare them - make them afraid.  I don't want to put things before their eyes that are too violent or scary.  They are still so little & there is no rush for them to grow up!  The question for me is: how to participate, be involved, be in but not of this cultural norm.  I don't want to remove our boys from their culture, but I desire for them to be wise in the midst of it.  I desire to give them a filter, a sensor, a radar & alarm that tells them that they need to evaluate & choose.  What can be a fun, purely cultural tradition where we spend time with our neighbors & friends, versus what is not.  (I am laughing at myself, but maybe these understandings will come with age & seeking as mine have?)

we found some super heros that became snuggle buddies

Holidays continue to spark questions for me as we raise our boys: what traditions do we desire to create?  What do we want to emphasize?  What do we want to de-emphasize, downplay, eliminate?  How can we make our holidays about the time together & joy in our family&friends?  How can we elevate Christ in all the holidays, especially Christmas??  What is good balance?

pumpkin carving & using their little wooden hammers & a golf tee to create a polka dot pumpkin!

I tend to run away from excess, indulgence, over-the-top.  I desire small, intimate, meaningful.  I'm not good at it, but I try.  I am already a 'kid on Christmas morning' as I am now 'allowing' myself to shop for toys & pjs & books like I normally do not.  and it brings ME so much joy!  No wonder we want to spoil our kids, and it is a blessing to give.

Evil doers beware!  Super James & Super Hayden are here!!

I hope I can help create & foster holiday gatherings with our extended family for our boys as they grow.  It is a precious gift to have family - even when holidays bring stress & schedules & chaos & travel.  I know I value the memories I have & the effort my parents made for us to spend the holidays with our grandparents & cousins & aunts/uncles.  I hope to always be able to give that gift to my boys as well.

Super Hayden & Super James in action!
 Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  It strikes me as odd because how could Christmas NOT be my favorite, but still.  I love the Fall.  I love the concept of gathering together to give thanks to our God for what he gives.  I love apple pie & pumpkin pie.  Yes, Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.

all 3 of my super heros
But Halloween has definitely made me look at the way I celebrate & why.  and I am grateful for that.  If nothing else, I would like to be INTENTIONAL about how we participate as a family in any & every holiday.  That may seem a little odd, but I'm glad to be odd.

ready to roll around our block
 I'm convinced the introspective look & challenge to my own norm is healthy.  Self-evalutation can be such a helpful tool in refinement, but only if I am honest.  It is easy for me to be all in the mind & not as good in actual day-in-day-out life, but you do have to start.

by far my cuddliest super hero
Next, all I have to do is figure out how to turn down the volume on santa + materialism + elves + chaos and turn up the volume on Christ + his birth + his life + his gift.  How to do that....!?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Little.Fish. signing off

Thank you for reading as I have been working out my thoughts, dreams, desires, struggles, conflictions, hopes, goals, failures.  It has meant something to me & in whatever part, I'm glad to have shared it with you. (to see all the posts for Little.Fish. please click here)

story time with daddy & super Hayden

talking to preschool friends on his phone in the driveway & followed closely by his #2

this one that I can't keep up with ;-)

waiting on the rain with an umbrella & rubber ducky

hiding from mommy, I can't see him behind this book.

passing down of the rain boots to Hayden + sunrise = bliss

playing with baby bro - 3 in a frame

teamwork & undies!!

crazy crazy crazy & our target fiasco

neighbors & puppy chasing & jeep riding


My spirit feels like its already done the 'wrap up' in the last couple days.  And I'm so grateful for the Lord's gift of clarity over how torn I was feeling about what to do with the talents I've been given.  I am confident now that as I focus my eyes on Christ, serving & loving my family, serving & loving my community, that I will find plenty of places to use the talents I've been given.  right here, in my own home, my own church, my own blog space/instagrams.

as Emily P. Freeman says in her book, I can be my true self & give away bits of my creator reflected in my own unique personality & in my 'art'

as Ann Voskamp says in her book, I can recognize the blessings of the Lord in what feels good & what feels bad.  all is gift & I am grateful He's in charge.

I laughed a few weeks ago when a sweet friend of mine asked me, "how's it going, the 31 days writing?"  I couldn't find an answer, I stumbled, stuttered.  Well, how did it go?  haha, I suppose I was hoping to have some kind of goal or assessment for this activity, but I don't.  I do think the Lord has worked out many of my own questions, almost like therapy, through the words on this screen.  In that way, I suppose I can say, it went well.  it gave me life.  it challenged me.  it made me afraid.  it made my head&heart happy.  it meant something to me.

Thank you Lord, for the million little ways you show your glory through me.  Thank you Lord for the one thousand gifts you give and more.  Thank you Lord for the ways your teach me through others & Thank you Lord for letting me pass on some of those words you've given me to do the same.  that is blessing.