Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quality time with some good peeps.

I love when God blesses efforts that are difficult.  He doesn't have to.  I am not holding Him to it, but sometimes he gives that little bit that says, "Well done."

That was last night.  I was asked to speak at the OCF (Otterbein Christian Fellowship) retreat this weekend. I was kind of nervous but mostly excited to hang out with some college girls while chatting about life and friendships and eventually boys ;)

I was encouraged because they seemed to really like that I came there speaking about friendship instead of what they called typical  'how their heart needed to be won over by Jesus and not guy stuff'.

I just prayed God would use me to speak to them.   I went there knowing that God had at least been speaking to me in the area of friendships and how I needed to become a better friend.  After the discussion last night, it seems they were challenged, too!  To God be the glory!  It was great and the chatting afterwards was such a joy.

*I may post on my actual message.  We'll see.

Can I just say, as a side note that it was beYOND refreshing to know I could go to the retreat knowing my kids were taken care of.  Becca Lowe made all the arrangements, including telling Devon, who I knew but didn't know his name, to text me and get the childcare thing situated.  I immediately text Becca, Kristy (who I was told was watching my kids so I could go) and Andy slightly freaking out thinking, "What happened to Travis and Kristy watching my kids?!  I am not letting some random, Devon guy who I do not even know, nor do my kids, watch my babies!"

We had a great laugh about that one ;)  Turns out, the poor guy was just trying to help and good ole mother bear came out ready to protect her cubs!  hehe.

Kristy and Travis watched the kids for me.  But not her Travis.  No, Travis Sommers.  Or, as Cyrus called him, "Travis with the oval head."  Oh, don't worry.  He has already looked at your head, too and determined the shape.  We've had circles, ovals and even a square.  So, don't feel left out.  Anyway, they offered to watch the kids so I could go and speak.  SERVANTS HEARTS, MUCH?!

I was so thankful to hear how good the kids were for Kristy and Travis.  They were SO excited all day to see them.  It just feels amazing to have people love on my kids who are not family.  They love my kids by choice and are willing to serve me so I can serve others.

To top in off, they stayed late as we chatted about life.  Good conversation revolved around hearing each others stories, speaking into each others lives and enjoying each others company.  I love me some good, quality time with friends.

 As we chatted, my eyes were opened to the ways in which we are all, as individuals, uniquely created to worship God.  What I mean is that the way we feel closest to God is not going to look exactly like other people in our lives way of worship.  If we compare ourselves constantly to other Christians and how their 'spiritual walk' looks, we are going to be confused and maybe even feel inferior at times.  We will believe lies that draw us further from the truth that you, we, I, us, were individually and uniquely created by God, with purpose, many details and Agape love from The God.  The Creator.

What do you believe to be true about you?  About God?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Earth Fare - Columbus, OH

I was thrilled when my dear friend, Kristin asked me on a date to the grand opening of Earth Fare in Columbus, OH last night.  We drove together which she noted was extra time to chat (NOT about kids or family life...just girl stuff).  She shared a new song, by Gotye, "Somebody That I Used to Know".  Very chill and fun to smoothly dance to in the car...cause we be smooth.  I needed it (and she new it) from having a rough day.  Love her!

As we pulled up to Earth Fare, I said to Kristin, "I really hope it's not a wannabe Whole Foods.  I want it to be just like Whole Foods.  Not a ghetto version."  Oh, I was SO excited when we walked in and it had the exact same feel!  You are not in a regular Kroger or what not, it's definitely like it's own community of fresh and healthy and organic produce, the best products and even food to go if you need it!  People are always asking you if you need any help...LOVE LOVE good customer service! (Remember how much I hate bad customer service?)

 You MUST try it out!  We spent about 2 hours just browsing...found some great deals and I cannot wait to visit more often.  So excited that it's so close to home!

Here is a recipe I tried tonight.  It's a chicken tortilla soup recipe from my friend.  I edited it a bit but overall, it's kind of genius.

Chicken Tortilla Soup~ Crock-Pot Style (makes plenty for a family of 5 with leftovers!)
-2 Pacific Natural Foods Cream of Chicken Soup
-Your favorite chunky Salsa (Earth Fare Organic Mild Salsa)  1.5 lbs (1.5 small jars)
-1 pkg. of Mexican Seasoning (Mexican Fiesta)
-Fresh cilantro
-4 medium chicken breasts (uncooked)
-3 cups of dried beans (pinto and black)
-Sour cream
-Mexican cheese
-Tortilla chips
-3 cups of water (I use the cans of salsa to get the rest of the flavor out of it)

What to do?
-Soak the beans over night or the same morning that you'll be making this delish dish (4 hours).
-5 hours before you will serve, place the Cream of chicken soup, salsa, Mexican seasoning, pre-soaked beans, water and chicken breasts in the crock-pot on high.
-An hour before, take the chicken breasts out and cut them up (should break apart easily) into bite-sized pieces and place back in the crock-pot so they can continue soaking up all of the flavor.

The finishing touch (and most important!)
-Ten minutes before you tell your hungry family dinner is ready, dish out the soup into bowls.  Let cool while you set up bowls with cheese, fresh cut cilantro and sour cream along with chips and limes cut into 1/4.  Your kids will LOVE to add their own extras into the soup and will want to eat it even more!
A small dollop of sour cream (or plain yogurt for less fat/calories), a bit of cheese, a squeeze of 1/4 of a lime, a pinch of cilantro and crumbled chips to top it off!

 Notice the pineapple Jarritos

Oh my word!  You'll die with the delicious taste!  My kids had a bowl and wanted another!  A regular around here from now on!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Playing Ketchup. (long post, mucho pictures)

Last week we were in Toledo and it was a great trip!

 Taking a break for the screaming babe who looks 'oh so happy!'

I loved sitting in my parents' living room being able to just sit and chat with her and my sister, Kacie and whoever else was willing to sit and be and chat.
The kids loved playing with their cousins and swinging on the tire swing at Andy's parents house.

 Bexley and my neice, Emeri hanging out, being cute.

 Zeke not sure of this contraption...maybe once he takes it apart to see how it works ;)

 Zekey and Eisley having a blast!  Driving crazy like her momma ;)

Andy was revitalized as he met with pastors from all over the world who listened, encouraged and spoke into his life.  I'm sure he was of value to them as well.  At the end of the week, we had to leave early as Cyrus was getting sick.  The morning after we got home, his skin near his joints was getting all puffy and red and he couldn't even bend some of his fingers!

It was like this on his knees and sad!

 So, even though he's low key when sick, I knew this was something to be seen for.  Thankfully Andy was on his way home and I could take him in without the other 3.  Turns out he had Strep. Poor buddy.

The weekend was good.  Quick, per usual.  Sunday I was able to spend time alone at my favorite La Chateliane.I took time to sketch clothes and find the perfect fabric for them...

  I still have that "fashion designer" dream in me ;)  Someday!

 Sunday evening is always Ember church, which we love and is topped off with friends coming over and hanging out afterwards.  I felt it was best to keep Cy home although he was technically not contagious, I thought I'd wait another 24 hours before exposing him to other children.

Come to find out I missed a pretty darn good service.  It was Spirit filled, lots of tears, genuine hearts and Andy even scrapped his original sermon last minute as he felt God calling him to talk about something completely different.  So, I missed a good one.  Boo!  Ah, well!  I was able to listen to in online and yes, it was a goody!  Love, love Ember and all that God is doing.

 Monday was a good one!  Zeke had another speech therapy session and I was able to tell his teacher that Zeke had made some new sounds this week! (finally!)  Then, he was doing really well at the session!  So proud of him!  It's SO SO SO SO SO much work and sometimes, I just want to throw in the towel and say, "He'll talk eventually" but I must not.  I just want him to TALK ALREADY!!! ;)  Love him to pieces!

 He also did the laundry for the bathroom sink, so that's nice.  Real nice.

Tuesday we had a play date with our favorites!  They came over and the kids played to their hearts content while us mommas chatted...3 hours. It.was.bliss.  I was so thankful!  Kids napped well and BONUS!  I was able to sneak in an hour nap, too!

Today (Wednesday) was fun!  Well, mostly...I planned (or not planned) to take the kids to the zoo for a picnic but I couldn't find my phone and I needed to call in to get my  membership activated.  So annoyed.  So we went to the next best thing, a picnic in the park with a special treat afterwards!

 Snacking on almond butter sandwiches and listening to tornado warning sirens (test).

 Bexley Jane being all cute and as her nickname says, "squishy" ;)

 I just love this face.

 Eisley Bree...I think I captured her well.  Pretty and sweet.

 haha!  I couldn't help but post this pic.  Too funny!

 Oh, such a cute, goofball of a boy :)!

 Pretending to be a spider, of course! ;)

 Sib love.

 This is pretty much all he did.  Loverly.

And Josie's frozen yogurt afterwards!  All of our yogurt was only $8.23.  Score!

So, that was a fun morning.  Zeke fell asleep in the car and didn't go down for a nap, so that's always fun.  Then, I am on the phone with my mom (after having lost it most of the day) and the kids are saying fire in the background but I don't hear it until I smell it myself...Zeke had made a mini fire in the toaster-oven...That's what I get for just taking a few to sit and relax.  I tell  ya, the boy is going to make me go insane someday! ;)  Lord, Help me!

I was a bit of a bear today from about 2 on...Maybe it was the lack of break from the constant "curious George" of a boy I have but something made me a cranky mommy...and a wifey, too.  Felt bad.  Thankful for new mercies every morning!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Living Intentionally...

This post is very much inspired by a post I just read from Passionate Homemaking.  As I read it, I was like, "yes!  This is what I want!"  I am so thankful God showed this to me because this is exactly where I want to go...into a life where each moment is spent intentionally so that I can take this time I am blessed with as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, discipler, etc and use it to glorify God.

I want my life to exude Jesus'  love whether it be in my relationship with my family, friends or people I come in contact with. I have lost site of focusing on this very important way of living.  It will remind me to die to myself in order to really live.  I mean, I love Jesus and I love people but I also love to be liked, to be funny and I really love to constantly have something to do.

I do not think those things are bad but they can be.  I have let the things of this life stress me out.  I have let things creep in that seem so pretty and good but have gone sour on me.  As I sift through my life, in all the areas, I want the Spirit to fill those areas where I give him room (and push in the areas I have not).                          

It's all a fog right now.  I am just hearing God and obeying.  I think that's a good thing.  I'm excited to see where he takes me and wondering how difficult it will be.  What will I gain?  What will I loose during the process?

The areas I want to be more intentional with. (In no order of importance)
~Spending time with women during the week over coffee as they come to my home and all of the beautiful chaos that comes with it.
~Cleaning schedule and making that more of a priority.  I clean, but it's always random and there's no order.  That needs to change.
~Say "no" more.  Because I like to do things all the time, I do not say "no" to people enough nor do I say "no" to myself when I want to just get out.
~Spend more time in God's Word.  This has been happening more and more and I'm loving it.  God's saying so much and it's fun to listen.  It's also really fun to read to the kids.  They LOVE reading the bible together.
~Spend 3 evenings creating.  Probably through sewing clothes.  I love it, God has given me a desire and I need to use it!
~Spend time individually with my kids.  Reading more, intentionally cuddling, intentional conversations, drawing, playing make-believe.  And to do this daily.
~Spend more time focusing on how I can love my husband.  Daily.  Not just random things but intentionally things.  He'll love that.
~Journal.  I want to journal.
~Rest.  Take time for myself.  Weekly.  I NEED this.  I need this for myself, and I need this so I can be better to those in my life.  And, I really love it :)
~Working out...yeah. The day! ;)

Can you relate?  Share if you'd like!

Friday, April 20, 2012


I recently deleted my FB and Twitter accounts.  Wow.  It was of course a last minute, so-stressed-out reaction (that's just how I roll! ha!) but I'm excited for it.  I seriously, even after just one full day (maybe two?), feel SUCH a relief.  Like, there is this lack of weight and I cannot really explain it better than that.

Here are the notes I wrote down on my loverly iPhone.
~still blog
~More time on creating
~More quality time with kids
~Less status' made up in my head
~Insecure if no comments on status?
~No 'friend' interaction?
~How much do I rely on FB to feel good about myself?
~Is it holding me back spiritually? Creatively?

I really just want to know, without FB, will I do the things I do (lol) better?  Will they be better quality?  FB is very much apart of so much of my life but now that I have taken even just 2 days away, it's amazing how much less I feel a tug to check my phone, check a computer, see who is saying what, do a FB "feed" check every couple of hours and get really annoyed when no one was "entertaining" me enough with their status'  and/or letting the "feed" give me too much satisfaction.

I've just been really annoyed with feeling lack of order in pretty much all areas of my life.  So, obviously yes, I decided to take away FB because that's the magic potion in making life less crazy, duh!  Well, for some dang reason it really does feel like FB is a bigger problem in my life than I can even put to words (and yet this external processor has SO many! ha!).

Sometimes, I catch myself NEEDING my phone near me, even when with my kids.  I know it's not b/c of a business (thankful, I gave that up as I weed out things in my life), it's not waiting for someone to's all those dang notifications.  How can I be fully present with them when I have the view of my phone light going off?  I cannot...not really.  And I do not want my babies to look back and think about me and my phone...silly?  Maybe, but it's worth the thought! THEY are worth the thought.

I make status' up in my head far too often.  It's pathetic.  Some are good.  Really good.  Funny!  I love funny.  But some are so dumb (maybe you are reading this thinking, yep!  You did write some dumb status' often!) and you're right!  Why waist my time and yours?  I annoy myself just thinking of it!

I act like I do not care if I get a ton of comments or very few.  How true is that, really?  I cannot say yet because I really do not know.  I say it, I think I mean it, but who really knows until it's all taken away?  It's completely and utterly ridiculous to feel good about myself or have a good day just because of a lot of comments.  Why would I let FB comments have that much influence in my thoughts/feelings?  Jesus belongs there.  End of story.

Will I not see friends or talk to them as much because of simply deleting my FB account?  Gosh, that' would be crazy but maybe!  I mean, people I consider close friends are in my phone (some I still need, so don't read into this too much!) so will we still get together even if I am not on FB?  Maybe!

Does "checking my FB" turn into time I could spend on Creating?  I think so!

When I get back on FB and Twitter(of course I will!  I will need it when I come back with some big news!  NOT PREGGERS!) I want to go into it with a plan.  I want to know more of the role it had my life (before I took a break) and its NEW roll as it is controlled by me after sifting through what I have found in my time away. No longer will it be 'How do I fit into the FB world?" but "How will FB fit into MY life?"

I will blog.  I love this too much and it's good for me.  I do this for me, not for you but I LOVE when it blesses you.  Please, always feel free to write comments!  I reply to all of them (I know, ALL of them!  ha!)

I have a husband to love on and support, I have babies to nurture and I need to keep building into their lives the importance of Jesus and how a life without him is really no life at all...I have cuddles and kisses to give, I have amazing people in my life (more than just my FB life, real-life people!  Who knew?!) who I want to have over late into the night chatting and laughing.  I have college and post college girls I need to listen to and love on as we do life together and learn from each other.

So FB and Twitter, you get the boot.  For now at least.  Until I figure out who you are in my life and who you need to be.  Copeesh?  (My Grandpa Danny says that and I love of the many things I love about him).

Blessings from a gal who's just trying to become more of who God wants her to be.

I leave you with a quote I made up in my head after being annoyed with recent status' and tweets. "Avoid trying to be like her.  It's exhausting just watching you."  See?!  I'm such a brat!  Until next time!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My first groupon.

Have you ever actually bought a Groupon?  I get emails often but until about 3 weeks ago, I just looked and passed.  Here's what changed for me.  I really needed a hair trim.  My girl left and is now working in Portland, Oregon so I figured I needed to suck it up and try to find someone I liked.  Not fun.  Once you have a gal you really like, it isn't easy trying to "replace" her.  *I miss you, Grace!!*  Gosh, especially when they're so dang cute and nice and you hang out with her because of it...sorry.  She was truly fab.

The Groupon that got me was only $25 for a hair cut, style and an oil treatment.  I thought, "How perfect!  I can just try it and it will be inexpensive!"  No harm there, right?

Wrong.  Here's my experience but let me first tell you what I expect from spending money, getting out of the house, being pampered, and just salons in general.

I do not treat myself to getting pampered often.  I mean, I have 4 kids and the budget is tight.  Maybe once a year.  Promise.  Anywho, when I let myself go to a salon and get pampered.

When I get out and Andy is with the kids, I want that time to be spent wisely so that when I return, I have a renewed sense of strength, I feel taken care of and I am ready to take on another 10 months of mothering before I pamper myself again. ;)

I love the atmosphere in a salon.  I love the smell, the look and feel and I am truly obsessed with watching the stylists cut and color.  So much so that I have seriously questioned whether or not I should become a hair stylist myself.  My expectations are high and I want to feel like my hair is being worked well for the amount of hair I have and the length and style I want.

Are my expectations high?  Yes, but I am willing to pay the big bucks for it (ya know, once a year and I refuse to get my hair colored until the grays decided to grace me with their presence in which this will all change).

I want to have fun.  I want to feel pampered and I want people to take their time without taking up my whole day (or maybe that'd be amazing, too).

My experience was quite the opposite and I left wanting to bawl and cry my eyes out.  Like a baby who is lacking sleep...wait.  I am lacking sleep.

I walked in and I guess it was assumed that I knew to seat myself without being greeted.  Not even a hello from afar.  I had to ask the other guest what to do.  That's always fun. 

So, I sit down and probably 15 minutes later someone comes over and says, "BreAnna?"  It's okay, I know my name is hard to pronounce.  Ya know, Breena.  It has two "e's" which I guess can somehow be pronounce BreAnna.  ;)

I follow her to the sink.  She isn't saying anything.  She's just washing my hair.  I feel I need to let her know that I have a nursing baby and shouldn't be more than 1.5 hours because I really didn't know how long an oil treatment would take.  I was afraid to tell her because she wasn't very kind or so it seemed but I needed to for the sake of Bexley-girl.

So I gently say, "I just want to put a bug in your ear..." <--I know.  Clearly I was a little nervous to say something that stupid. "I have a nursing baby and if I could be no more than an hour and a half that would be perfect!"

She responded, "Okay, well I am working on another girl and the oil treatment should only take about 5 minutes but I'll need to keep it on longer because of working on her hair."  Me, "Okay."

I am under the heater-thing with the oil treatment for about 20 minutes.  It was relaxing and I had a good magazine but I was becoming really annoyed with the way I was being a number.

She asks me one question for which I will give her credit, "So how many kids do you have?" When I answered she said, "Aww."  And that was that!  I asked her if she had any kids and she said she had one and pointed to her picture.  That was it.  She took about 10 minutes, 10 MINUTES, PEOPLE to cut my hair!  Have you seen or touched my hair?  There's enough for 5 wigs!  I was so annoyed but kept on smiling.

She was drying my hair and I could tell she wanted to be done so I said, "You don't have to dry it as long as it's not dripping."

The last thing she said to me was, "Next time you schedule with me, make sure you have me block out more time since you have so much hair."

Sorry lady, there will NOT be a next time!!  Of course, I felt bad and left her a tip...I know!!!  I'm too nice (sometimes) hehehe

And there you have it, a TERRIBLE waist of my time and money...

The story doesn't end there, after telling two of some of my friends, they realized I was talking about the same place that they go to and LOVE but with another girl.  So, lesson learned was that just because you don't like one person working at a particular salon doesn't mean that all are bad?!  Oh, and groupons are not all good ;)

Have you ever bought a groupon?  What would you have done in this situation?  POLEASE!  Do share!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Free Glasses? Yes!

So, I have been in need of a pair of glasses for about a year now.  I can see, but details are faint and driving at night is, well difficult ;)  Ask any of my gal friends who have bravely sat in the passenger seat during a date night out! 

So, I "liked" a few glasses companies on Facebook and found and their AMAZING deal for first time guests!  FIRSTPAIRFREE!  Put that in the coupon code when you check out and yes!  Your first pair is FREE!!!  If you do not like them, you just send them back and they pay for shipping while you exchange them for a different pair.  Kinda genius!  Why wouldn't you try a pair out?! 

Oh and yes, you do need a prescription to type in so go to your dr's first if you do not know yours.

 I only look slightly awkward...haha!

I LOVE them!  I LOVE seeing better!

Now go out and try something a little trendier than what you are currently wearing.  Do not get stuck in an era where the style is long gone.  No, you do not have to go all "hipster" like I have...

...(although I would commend you if you did) but there are other ways to look a bit more hip ;)  You THINK no one notices, but we do! ;)  haha!

Glasses are an accessory and fun!  I even thought about getting bangs again but talked myself out of it.  These glasses are just what I needed to change up my look, feel like "me" but stay away from a "permanent" trend (although bangs are not really permanent, but you get my drift).

I'll SEE ya around!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vera Wang ‘Black & Nude’ Bridal Line

I am fully aware of my tardiness in addressing the amazingness of Vera Wang's new bridal line.  So, where do I begin?  First off, have you seen the gowns?  I got a few minutes to myself while nursing Bexley and decided to pop on the t.v and see what was on.  I found The View (yay...) and so I decided to watch it a bit.  Praise the LORD that I did!  I was pleasantly surprised to see Vera Wang come out who brought down her latest pieces of art on a mini runway.



Salivating....Literally.  No sarcasm. 

Take a look!

Part 1

Part 2

My top picks...

My favorite.

 A close second and similar to the shape and fitting of my own wedding dress.

Oh, the DETAIL!!!  I'm literally clenching my teeth right now!  LOVE!

The black lace over the nude is gorgeous.

What do you think?  Here are my thoughts.  I'd NEVER wear anything but ivory.  I love ivory over white but the bit of lace on my wedding dress was the nude color you see in Vera Wang's line.  Besides all of that, the impeccable detail, the unique designs and how they present as real pieces of art amaze me and get me biting my nails to create my own things...

Would you ever consider wearing anything but white or ivory for your wedding?  Do you love or hate this line?  Please do tell!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stayin' Sane Saturdays

Saturday was a good one.  It started at 6:30 (if you do not count going to bed at 12:30 am) with the chimes of my sweet, two-year-old, squawking foreign bird and a very hungry Bexley.  I took the babes downstairs and let the hubby sleep in.

Next, I decided we needed to re-clean the basement.  The kids weren't super excited but as we cleaned we found places for everything.  This made them excited to dance around in the cleanliness.

At about 10:30, Andy sent me on my merry way!  I went to La Chatelaine (duh) and enjoyed a healthy lunch to myself as I looked up verses on friendship, anger, etc.  I was asked to speak at the ARC's conference this year and since 'friendship' has been put on my heart so much in the last year, I chose to speak on that.  I'm excited and a bit nervous but praying that I'll come across clear and will be able to reach the hearts of the woman and touch on some things that hit home for them.  I just want God to use me to open their eyes (and mine) on how our friendships are and how we could better them to glorify God.

So, that was nice.  Next I headed over to a favorite spot (an indulgence if you will) Blue Frost Cupcake.  Have you been?  Omagosh.  You walk in and are hit with a wall of yummy-ness.  It's fantastic.  I'd could make millions if i could bottle that up and sell it as a perfume.  Did someone already try that?<---That will bring back some memories and serious laughter! 

My flavorite, yes FLAVORite is the chocolate coconut.  I am SO excited when they have it and completely brokenhearted when they do not.  It's okay though, I always find something I like there ;)

See?  My sanity is slowly showing back up on my face.  You don't see it?  Oh...

Next I was off to the Ole Worthington Farmers Market and was sad that my favorite Oink Moo Cluck farm was not there :(  But it was redeemed with buying some awesome soap from Gretel's Handcrafted Soap.  She even through in a free Salve which is said to "heal even a farmer girl's hands!"  So, I will let you know!

I always feel so dang good after a few hours to myself.  My hubby is good to me so I can be good back to him and the kids :)