Monday, June 21, 2010

My two favorite people

These pics from Father's Day weekend bring such joy to my heart for a myriad of reasons. These are a few things I see when I look at these pics:

1. These are my two favorite people in the whole world.
2. My husband is a father and gets to celebrate Father's Day after many years of waiting and hoping.
3. My husband is an amazing daddy who loves this little girl with everything in him.
4. My husband is a godly father who protects and shepherds his daughter's heart and who is passing on the blessing of a godly heritage to her.
5. I am a mother!!
6. We have a daughter!!!
7. Our daughter is beautiful and a blessing to everyone she meets. She is full of joy and life.
8. Our daughter knows she is loved by her Mommy & Daddy, her family and friends and most importantly by Jesus.
9. When I look at these pics and see my two favorite people, I can't help but be reminded of the sovereignty of God and his kindness toward us. I'm reminded that His plan for our life is not "plan B", and that He writes the most beautiful stories.
10. My two favorite people were adopted. Adoption is a part of their story and now a part of mine and as I like to say, "a banner over our life." I'm reminded that God is the author of life and I love how He has crafted our family. So very thankful.

"No eye has seen no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Faves

I'm thinking about doing a weekly blog on some of my "faves". Favorite things that I use and enjoy on my SAHM budget... make-up, fashion, accessories, items for the home, food, treats and other random things. There will be some splurges here and there, but mostly things that the average gal can afford. :)

I LOVE summer, so my first "faves" will be a few things I love for summer.

1. Origins Sunny Disposition Bronzer: Love, love, love this bronzer! In fact, I love it so much I use it all year round. I think it's a great way to get a sunkissed look without the sun. I use the deep shade and apply it with a kabuki brush. The beauty of a bronzer is that you can build the color. Start out light and add more if you want to look more tan. This bronzer is a bit of a splurge at $20, but it's well worth it. It typically lasts for 6 months of everyday use.
Hint: When applying, do so in a "3" pattern on each side of your face. Brush over the forehead, cheek and chin, where the sun would naturally hit you. Finish with the nose, the neck, down to the chest and don't forget the earlobes... that's right, the earlobes!

2. Origins Halo Effect: Another Origins fave that is great for summer, but is used by me year round. Halo Effect is a face illuminator and can be worn alone or with foundation. In the summer, when I'm just running errands or going to be outside in the sun, I wear it over my sunscreen or mix it with my moisturizer to give a little color and sheer glow. When I want a little more coverage, I mix it with my foundation to give it a little shimmer. Halo Effect is also a bit of a splurge at $17 for .5 fl oz, but I'm able to make it last for 6 months as well.

3. Loreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Gelee: I love to have a tan, but don't have the luxury of working on it like I did in my single days. I have also acquired a brain with age... did anyone else use tanning oil with zero sunscreen or heaven help us.. baby oil?? These days I steer clear of the tanning beds and don't spend nearly as much time in the sun. My splurge is the occasional spray on tan, but a great alternative for my budget is a self tanner. Loreal's Sublime Bronze works great for me! You get instant color with the bronzer so the application is a little easier. Sublime comes in versions for fair, medium and dark skin tones and is also available in a lotion form, as a spray on (which I find a little more challenging) and in towelette form. I've used them all and they all give the same result. Self tanners have really come a long way... almost fool proof so don't be afraid! Long gone are the days of the orange oompa loompa look and weird smell.
Whatever your preference, you can find them at most grocery/drug stores and they're quite a bargain at around $10!

4. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri fast dry nail color: Love this nail polish! The brush is a little wider and makes application easy with one stroke. The polish dries in 60 seconds (it really does), so no waiting or worrying about smudges. It comes in 32 shades, but my absolute favorite is Petal Pusher which is perfect for summer. I use this shade year round because I prefer a light color on my fingernails... and pink is my "signature color". :) Definitely a steal at around $4.

5. This is hands down my favorite tee for summer!! The Mossimo pocket tee available at Target. This tee is sooo versatile! It can be layered with a tank, worn with a fun scarf or cardigan or just as is. It is available in a myriad of colors including my favorites this summer.. a really fun aqua and a cotton candy pink. I also love the plain white tee and actually own 3 of them! One I wear out, one I pair with my p.j. pants and one I use as a work around the house/workout shirt. It's so soft and I absolutely love the fit! It's a "fitted" tee, so it's not boxy, the sleeves hit at just the right spot and it's long enough to give you coverage (no thong shots). At $8 this summer must have is a steal! Go get one... or five! :)

6. Old Navy flip flops: Old Navy is a great place for summer wardrobe finds. They usually have great sales and their lightweight pieces are great for the hot Texas weather. My favorite summer item from Old Navy... flip flops! Who can really have too many pairs of flip flops?? ON has fun colors and the price can't be beat... 2 for $5!! I love the metallic silver and gold, which I can wear with almost anything. In addition to their basic flip flop, they also have dressier summer shoes at affordable prices.

7. I love beach towels! Happy, bright colored beach towels! They just scream summer!! Thankfully Target & Wal-Mart have a pretty good selection at great prices. I try to stock up because I never seem to have enough for the nieces, nephews and friend's kiddos when they come to swim in the fabulous Stubblefield above the ground pool. :) I've purchased two this season already.. one at Target for $5 and one at Wal-Mart for $4! In my opinion, the ones at Target are cuter and seem to be a little more plush, but you can't go wrong with either.

Bonus... My 2 favorite summer tv shows:

Mad Men Season 4 premiering July 25th on AMC!

So You Think You Can Dance Season 7. Now showing Wednesdays & Thursdays on Fox.

I have more faves to share with you and would love to hear some of your summer faves! Let's trade secrets!

Happy summer!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Today Brian and I celebrate our 15 year anniversary! It seems unbelievable that 15 years have passed. I saw a card yesterday that said, "The years haven't flown, they've danced."

...And what a dance we've had!

Thank you honey for being the best dance partner a girl could ask for... a partner who leads, who sweeps me off my feet but doesn't let me fall, a partner who shows me off but holds me close, a partner who puts your whole heart into the dance. Happy Anniversary my love. I'm looking forward to dancing many, many more dances with you.

All my heart...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Measuring up... or not.

So for those of you who doubt that God is at work in our lives and cares for us...

My friend who is pastoring in S Korea, whom I haven't talked to in a very long time, instant messaged me out of the blue last Tuesday morning and asked me if I had been feeling pressure to "measure up" to certain standards that I've placed on myself. He said he had a dream in which I was keeping checklists, and making sure that I got them right, but kept getting off track and frustrated with it.

I was totally blown away!! This dream was a message specifically for me directly from the Lord! There is no way at all this friend knew that this "measuring up" was something I've been struggling with and that it was the very thing that had been weighing heavy on me over the weekend! Crazy!
This is not a new struggle, in fact I've been struggling with it for some time and especially since I've become a SAHM (stay-at- home mom). Almost constantly concerned with whether or not I'm doing things the right way. Trying to measure up to the "good" mom/wife I have in my head.

You know the one...
Loving, gentle, kind & funny.. but not too funny... not akward. She loves to take care of her family. Her house is always spotless and organized, and impeccably decorated. She actually enjoys cooking and delights in having a beautiful, delicious meal on the table when her husband arrives home from work. She has an endless amount of energy... her very full day starts with a pre-dawn hour long quiet time in which she studies the scriptures and spends time in prayer, then continues with playdates, preschool prep, music time and bible study with her children. Of course during the course of her busy week, she still manages to find the time to clean house, train for a marathon, tend to her vegetable garden, and prepare meals for two weeks in advance. In her spare time she serves in ministry, volunteers in the community, advocates for her social justice cause of choice and mentors younger women. She's not even sure how she does it but she seems to find the time to entertain on a regular basis as well as paint, write songs, journal, craft her own line of fun handbags (which she sells on etsy of course) and wonder of wonders... all of her kids' homemade baby books are up to date!! She is beautiful inside and out, especially on the outside. She always looks put together, her hair rivals that of hair icons and she has a fashion forward but not too trendy wardrobe... no sweats and tees for her! Her figure is flawless, despite the fact that she has birthed three children and is nearing 40. She and her husband have the perfect relationship and rarely have disagreements. They spend lots of quality time together and never miss a date night. They are connected on every level.. spiritually, emotionally and physically. Her children are a joy to be around... always. They are extremely well behaved and never have meltdowns in public. Parenting comes naturally to her and her discipline plan is an artform. She's always consistent and she never raises her voice, but merely sings to her children and they obey. Even her dogs are well mannered. laugh. Maybe this is a bit over the top, but unfortunately not too far off from what I'm trying to live up to and obviously failing miserably. It's totally exhausting and utterly RIDICULOUS! I mean, seriously!!?? Who is this woman? She surely doesn't exist(does she?), so why do I continue to live in her shadow? And another question that begs an answer... in my quest for perfection, who am I really trying to impress? Ughhh... I'm a broken person!! So full of pride and hungry for the applause of man... Praise God for grace!!

So back to the dream... My friend said, "Well the good news is, it ended in freedom." He said at the end I was laughing and said, "Guess I should just ignore these lists anyway!" Imagine that, me ignoring the lists! Me ignoring the perfect woman I battle against everyday. Sweet freedom!

How very kind and patient is our God? How humbling and comforting it is to know that the God who put the stars in place cares for me, loves me and thinks of me? How miraculous is it that He would give someone who lives half-way around the world a very specific dream about me? How precious is it that He would use that person to give me a message that He has been singing over me for so very long? A message I preach to the women in my life, but one that my own heart has failed to hear because of my loud, self-condemning,"have to" measure up voice. A message of grace, freedom, hope and rest. How freeing to know that when he looks at me he sees perfection because he sees his son, that he puts no expectation on me because he has no need for anything I can give.

So, is it possible for me to give up the lists, to rest in the freedom that Christ purchased for me on the cross? Well, certainly not on my own. Only by the grace he gives. Grace I don't deserve, grace not based on my merit, grace not about me at all. I'll take it one day at a time (one minute at a time really).


"For freedom Christ has set us free;stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

"The grace of Jesus Christ is alone able to defeat and renew the one thing you can neither escape nor conquer, you." Paul Tripp