Full Swing

The babes are playing ball again!  This time of year is busy busy but in a good way.  They are active and engaged in learning some valuable skills during this full swing season.  

Jared and I are both pretty athletic and competed in many sports activities throughout our school age days so it’s no surprise that our children enjoy that too!  We coach all of their teams which is a bit of a task on top of the norm, but that’s just where we’re at with that and we wouldn’t have it any other way 😉  

When I said it’s a busy season, I really meant it…  Jared loves it so much he goes as far as mowing a “field of dreams”  baseball diamond on our property… he’s such a boy 😛  

Every night they’re outside at the field.  I can hear them playing through the kitchen windows as I cook supper and I watch them run through the fresh cut grass with their little bare feet.  These really are the days, and I try to remind myself in those moments.  

Baseball and bare feet – xx 

Leisure Time


Haha isn’t that title funny!  I named it that to remind me to quit taking myself so seriously.  I’m in active mom mode all the time which is typically not leisurely feeling, but you know what- it should be!  We should lighten up more often and let ourselves do the leisure time fun stuff with the kiddos.  Remind yourself today to stop and PLAY.  Let some leisure in your life today.

Live for the most- KC

 

Gifts..

For the last year Jared and I have been focusing a lot on our finances and stewarding our money better.  It’s been on our hearts to be good managers of our money and not have any debt.  That being said I have had to learn to budget.  It’s been a long process and I’m still not great at it, but I’ve definitely come a long way from where I began.

One thing that I’ve learned through this process of managing our finances and household purchases it that it’s insane the amount of gifts we have to purchase!  It surprises me each month to sit down and look at how many gifts need purchased for various people and events.  

Please don’t read me wrong, I love to give gifts, I’m just making the point that there is a lot of gift giving for one to consider when managing a household’s responsibities.  With that comes a lot of decision making and I am a busy mom with tons of decisions to make daily so shopping around for various gifts and/or just the right gift within our budget was just something that kept wearing me out and leaving me frustrated.  

I recognized that it wasn’t a good use of my time and decided to eliminate the stress of gifting from my life during this busy season and just give cash.  It was extremely difficult for me to let go of wanting to be thoughtful and search for that perfect thing for someone because we all want to be caring and show someone we love them with a token of our affection.  Since doing this however, I’ve relieved added worry that was uneeded and no one has complained.  People, even kids love to receive cash!  I mean come on, who doesn’t have a wish list of things they want but need money for.  

This way I am still prioritizing gifts, giving people something valuable, and making it easy and useful for everyone involved.  

Another tip is to buy some blank cards in bulk so you can always have them handy to slip the money in and be ready to go!  It’s a much cheaper way to go too!  I tend to like it better even because it allows me to personalize each person’s occasion with a special message.

Who would have thought something this simple was worthy of a post?  Hope this idea was helpful in your homemaking journey!

PS… I don’t use this strategy with immediate family like my hubs and kiddos, we still do personalized gifts for one’s under our roof;)

Why mornings and evenings matter in your marriage…

When we were young and first married we never even thought about being intentional with our time together.  I actually remember a specific time when we were visiting with some experienced married people in our community at an event and they were all discussing and kind of complaining actually about never having time to spend alone together.  

They talked on and on about how once they had kids they slowly stopped spending time with each other because their kids along with the demands of life simply took up all of their time and energy.  

I remember looking at each other thinking these people are sad.  We will never loose hope like this, how awful and depressing are they?  Ha ha!  We thought something was wrong with them that wasn’t wrong with us!  We soon learned however, that we just hadn’t experienced that stage of life yet.  Once we got there, we began to relate.  

We recognized we better take control of the situation fast or we’d be in the same boat as they had been (which we remembered we never wanted to be in).  We quickly saw that they were right!  Children and life demand a lot of your time and attention, but what matter’s is that you don’t let it get that painful.  When you feel the pain,  you find a better way and fast!

We saw that if we wanted to have more time to collect our thoughts or relax our minds we had to make it.  We needed to take ownership of our time.  The options were slim, but not out of reach.  We looked at a lot of successful people and how they made time for themselves and each other and the key was a morning and nightly rhythm.  A time to just be present together, no agenda other than that.  No expectations even.  Dedicating to just being together and letting natural things flow from that matter.  Small amounts of consistantly over time make a difference.  

We don’t always get our way and hit the target, our time together takes shape in new and different ways all the time, but when we keep this important in the forefront of our mind we are pleasantly reminded of how valuable it is.  We have actually been striving to spend evenings together unwinding after we put the kids down, but we haven’t found our rhythm with that quiet yet still.  To our surprise, as neither of us are morning people, we have discovered a nice little morning routine that we didn’t really put much effort into.  That’s the thing… as long as your continuing to work towards your goal the right thing will find it’s fit.  Be patient and notice what your natural patterns are, then play to that.  

Keep living for the most and make the important things matter!

Gathering Life + Love

Why do we anticipate special occasions so much?  Is it the part of planning all the pretty details, or tasting the delicious dishes, or the hand me down traditions.  I don’t think so.  Although that stuff is fun to look forward to,  I believe what makes occasions special is that we’re joining together life and love.  

People gathering face to face to spend quality time engaged with one another creates life and love.  When holidays approach we get reminded of all the memories past and we usually have that warm and fuzzy feeling.  It’s because that’s the magic of fellowship.

 What memories will be created this season of celebration when you gather?  Is there something special you can bring to the table?  Will you gather to love and celebrate life?

Live for the Most, 

Kc

Hair + Self Care

Hey Today!  I have been asked often about how I keep my hair color strong which I always find funny because I’m overall pretty laid back with my maintenance 😉  For some reason though it keeps coming up in conversation so I thought I’d go ahead and address it over here.  All girls like to talk hair secrets right?

I’m naturally a light brown but I discovered in high school that I love highlights and so the addiction began… I also love that swedish blonde look so I forced every hair dresser to dye my poor hair super blonde for like ever and that led to a lot of damage and just not what I hoped for overall 😛

My best advice is listen to a smart stylist that tells you not what you want to hear, but what she or he is experienced in.  Most good stylists will tell you to stick to a color long term and to also to stay in a tone range similar to your natural color.  I learned this the hard way because I used to try for too blonde and it left my hair split and unable to grow.

As I mentioned before I’m very laid back so I also never paid attention to details very well, and when coloring your hair you need to be cautious and pay attention to the self care of your hair.  I would hold the hair dryer way too close when blow drying and then if it wasn’t quiet dry, I would still try and curl or straighten it anyway and that would lead to frizz and breakage.

I also had three babies within about three years and that took it’s toll as well.  I went through it growing super fast and being super healthy to it falling out and breaking off.  I also went through those typical stages of doing a drastic color change to chopping it all off;)  If anyone has been pregnant before you know what I mean!

Long story short, I went through lots of trials and errors with hard lessons learned before taking self care of the hair seriously.

These days I only get my hair colored once a season which means every 3 months.  Yes, that’s 12 weeks!!!  Crazy to a lot of people especially since I do highlights and roots grow out, but I’ve learned to stay within my tone range so when the roots show they are not that drastic and I use dry shampoo to help with the color difference (baby powder and OSIS are my 2 favs).  One is a low price point the other is a higher…

I also only wash my hair once a week.  I started with baby steps.  I began with every other day, then 3 times a week, then 2, then 1.  It sounds like a grandma I know, but it’s so much easier and saves a lot of time not blowing it out. I’ve got three kids remember so time is not much of an option for me.  There are lots of reasons I do this though… less damage, less time, less product, less money… you get the idea.

This brings me to another good point.  I started using a good color shampoo and conditioner after the last time I damaged my hair and noticed a big difference.  My hair dresser recommended I use a sulfate free product and wowza, it was a life savor.  Now I really don’t like using anything else.  My choices are purology or oribe but there are tons to choose from… These are salon based products.  However, they can be purchased at target, walmart, and amazon.

I hope these tips were helpful and let me know if you love these products too! xx

Spring Surprises!

We are surprising our littles with some new live hens that will lay EGGS for Easter!  We brought home some chicks from school last year,  then got a rooster and guess what?  Nothing happened!  Our chickens don’t lay eggs!! I know, I know laugh all you want… make fun of me for taking care of chickens for a whole year without ever getting one egg out of the deal.  This is the year guys!  We’re getting some EGG layers!

This time of year is one of my favs… the celebration of new life and all it’s glories!  Here’s some inspiration for gifting the littles this Easter with some spring surprises …

storybook bible

leather bible cover

jesus calling devotional

babla kids

calico critters

mailegg

Prints + Patterns

I think everyone should have a few statement pieces in their wardrobe.  Whether it’s prints, patterns, or accessories, there’s beauty in the details.  The details matter.

In spring I always love a pretty floral designed dress or bright pops of color in a bold print.  This dress I purchased last year from Anthropologie, but they have some gorgeous prints and patterns to choose from this year as well!  I’ve also included some of the most gorgeous accessories for the season.  

“Hidden Art” In The Home

Lately I’ve been enjoying a great book called “The Hidden Art of Homemaking” by Edith Shaeffer.  It is a lovely book about how to be creative in your home and make the everyday “mundane” things beautiful and purposeful.

 It has inspired me greatly in an area I already knew was important.  It’s about the little things…  the details.  Her message is based on the idea that God created things to be beautiful and noticed for his glory, and how can we use this beauty in our homes to honor him.  

She gives such great inspiration for how to share this with those you live with along with those you welcome in.  She has definitely inspired me to slow down and pay attention to how I can enjoy the gifts God gives us.  

Growing + Grace

When it comes to relationship advice, I don’t think there is a perfect answer.  I heard someone ask another last week, “What do you hope and pray for about who your child will marry?”  The answer was good, the guy said he simply hopes and prays that whoever his daughter marry’s will be open and willing to learn and grow.  I think that sure is all we can ask for.  None of us are good enough for each other but if we’re willing to grow together that is what matters.  It matters a lot.  In fact, I’d say as a daughter to a happily married couple, a wife of ten years myself, and a mother to children who will go out in search of a partner one day, my best advice is this… The willingness to grow and learn is very important for relationships to be successful.

My husband and I have not always had the best relationship, and if I’m being honest, we still don’t.  I will always say that because I think there is always more… Always more to learn, more to give, and more to become.  If both people involved in the relationship can say they are giving 100%  then it would be the BEST relationship, but until then (which is likely never ;), we should have grace and humility for ourselves and each other as we STRIVE for that 100%.

Through observation and experience I believe our relationships feel happy and successful during the striving part.  Essentially that is what relationships are built upon… experiencing life together ( the good and the bad ) and learning from each other.  The difference between the ones that last and the ones that don’t, is when one of the people or both people are not willing to grow.  period.

I know it is a harsh truth but it is truth.  I believe the best thing to think about when seeking and building relationships with others is to look closely at their willingness to grow.  If they are a person who seeks to know and do right, and who humbles themselves when they are wrong, then it’s a pretty safe bet that it will be a positive relationship with lots of goodness involved.

My husband and I have been doing some deep talking lately on a variety of very important things… We’ve committed to a bible study together, as well as consumed some other deep information lately so there has been lots of chatting and talking our thoughts out loud… More often than not we see eye to eye, but for those differences between us, we give each other grace and we hold ourselves accountable to growth.

For those of you who are still “children” or for those of you who have children.  I heard a great example this week about how to educate your children on relationships.  Pay attention to how they treat others.  How do they treat their parents?  Are they kind and gentle.  Don’t you think they will treat you the same way they treat their closest loved ones?  Also, let this be a caution for you to look at your own attitudes and actions.