Friday, January 16, 2015

Being happy in the now

Have you ever said these things to yourself...

I will be so happy when _____


When ____ I will be so happy


Source: HERE

Source HERE

I know I have many many times. Too many times.

Almost 4 years ago I got a new job as a part-time RN at a hospital and Billy got a new job after being out of work for a couple months. Austin was almost 3 years old and Troy was about 8 weeks old. I told myself "I'm going to be so happy when I buy a really nice new car." I wanted more room for my little ones and I was still driving my little '96 Saturn from High School. So car shopping we went on a Saturday... in the rain! We should have postponed our shopping day and taken the rain as a sign. Anyways, we went to 3 different car dealerships looking and looking. We finally decided on an almost new SUV that was a lot of money. We signed the paperwork and drove off in our new car. 

Over the course of the weekend I felt so sick and unsettled about purchasing that vehicle. And I realized that having a new car was not making me any more happy nor did I love everything about it. The Monday after purchasing it I prayed and prayed about it. And on Tuesday I called the dealership and told them I wanted to return it and didn't like it as much as I thought. I'll save the long story and just tell you that I was able to return it. And we purchased a used & much less expensive SUV repairable that my Dad helped us find.
#TRUTH: I was just as happy in that car. The newer car didn't make me any more happy. Actually, was just as happy in my old car from High School.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." 
-Philippians 4:11

I'm going to take you back to a couple of years ago. I would tell my hubby several times: "I'm going to be so happy when you finish our basement! We need more space." We live in a split level and I wanted our basement done so bad for when our second son was born. Well, that basement took a long time. And it finally got mostly finished in March of 2013. Troy was turning 2 years old. Billy did the majority of the work himself. Bless his sweet self. My hubby is such a hard worker. Did that finished basement make me so much more happier? For a period of time I was happier. But that wore off and I was onto the next thing. "I'm going to be so happy when we sell this house and get a bigger house."
#TRUTH: A bigger house is not going to make me any more happy. Actually, the finished basement didn't make me any more happy. I could've learned to make the upstairs work and been thankful.

"Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions."
-Luke 12:15

I believe God wants us to be happy right where we are right this minute. And the truth is that there is nothing in this world that is going to make us any happier. I have come to the point in my life (finally) to know that there is nothing that I can buy for myself that will make me any more happier. And I have learned to praise God right as everything is at this very minute.

 My happiness comes from the Lord. My joy comes from the Lord. 

God is the only one and the only way. 

"Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. "
-John 14:6

Jamie :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Plans change...

I love a plan and routine for the most part.
But life happens and plans don't work some of the time. 

And that's okay. I've come to embrace the change and go along with it. So many unexpected things can pop up that hinder the plan. And I believe, it is good to remember that possibility.

This past week my sweet kiddos have been sick. Coughs, fevers, runny noses... so sad. If your kids aren't feeling good, Mama doesn't feel good either. My heart is with them. As I posted yesterday, I wanted to do something really fun for the kids before Christmas break was over. I wanted to take them to Skyzone (indoor trampolines) or to an indoor water park. It was a bummer but I relearned something I already knew.

 That kids are happy to just be at home. No exciting place will replace the joy + contentment they feel from spending time with each other and their parents. We stayed at home practically all week.

...Reading books, watching movies, playing toy cars, board games, coloring, learning Bible stories, writing out thank you notes, doing projects, talking, laughing, loving on each other

Spending time together and resting up. And we had a great time together.

Jamie :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas Break 2014

Today it was back to school for Austin. We had such a great time over Christmas break. I was very grateful that I got to be home with them! It was kinda hard and sad to get back into the routine again this morning. But Austin was ready. Troy was still not feeling 100%. 

Over Christmas break the kids had some fun bonding time.  And that sure makes this Mommy's heart happy. I found the boys on my bed like this reading a it!
Be still my heart! :)

We went to see Santa in Duluth before going to see Bentleyville. They were so cute with him! Austin was very serious with him. And he told me (while laughing of course) that Troy told Santa he wanted a bow and gun. Haha! Just like his big brother. 

At the mall, Troy happy as can be by the candy dispensers and his sweet Nanny!

We've never been to the Bentleyville tour of lights before and we were missing out BIG time. 
This place was absolutely beautiful! This kind kind man Nathan Bentley puts it on every year (with much help of course).  It started as him decorating his house which grew and grew and then he changed it to be a walk through tour of lights. Read all about it HERE. There were gorgeous lights, Santa, Mrs. Clause, a free cookie and cocoa house & popcorn stand and also a free marshmallow stand for roasting marshmallows over the bonfires. It was one of the best memories I have over Christmas break with my kids and parents.

This was the best photo I could get of the men. A little blurry but I'll take it :). 

We made & decorated sugar cookie cut outs. One of my favorite family traditions.

We spent Christmas with lots of wonderful family. It was perfect...playing games, eating, loving on each other, laughing and more eating. 

And listen, the week after Christmas I wanted to do something really fun for Austin. But the sickness hit the kids and I. Troy being the sickest of all with fevers and coughing. So, we ended up staying home almost all week. And it was great to rest up. Austin spent a day with my parents for some fun. And Saturday we were feeling better so I took the boys out on a "Mommy + sons date" to Culver's (their choice). It was one of the best times with them! They didn't really want a photo but I managed to get this one :). And Sunday we got to go ice fishing. Perfect ending to Christmas break.

Hope you had a fantastic Christmas with family + friends.

God Bless,
Jamie :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

True friends

I am so grateful for my girlfriends! 

I have met some amazing new friends and have kept some of my amazing old friends. And I have learned so much from them all. 



The Bible talks about characteristics of good friends in the Bible:

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
-I want to have wise friends

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.
-I want to love my girlfriends as sisters and them to love me as a sister, too. 

Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
-I want a mutually sweet friendship.

 Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered,  or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

-I want an even tempered friend who is slow to become angry.

I've been making a list of all the reasons my friends are my true friends. Some are more serious than others. If you have some of these qualities in a friend, you've found a gem of a friend :). 

1.) They encourage you to be a better person.

2.) They like your Instagram photos even if they aren't that great.

3.) They'll call you to see if you are ok because they haven't heard from you for awhile.

4.) They send you cards in the mail.

5.) They take a day off on their work weekend to get together because it is your weekend off.

6.) They tell you they'll be praying for you.

7.) They love you no matter what.

8.) They love your kids like their very own.

9.) They feel your pain when you are hurting.

10.) They grow in their relationship with God along with you.

11.)They love you even though you get flushed from drinking a half glass of wine.

12.) They call you because they've been thinking of you.

13.) They invite you over for coffee.

14.) They don't get upset if you have to cancel plans.

15.) They don't care if you aren't wearing make up and are in your pj's.

16.) They, too, get excited when reading a powerful Bible passage.

18.) They encourage you to be more of a loving, grateful, respectful and supportive wife.

19.) They send you funny texts. 

20.) They give you good advise.

21.) They aren't judgemental.

22.) They help watch out for your kiddos if you are at the beach or somewhere.

23.) They love their families and your family.

24.) They will tell you if you are in the wrong.

25.) They will tell you about a sale.

26.) They pray aloud for you.

27.) They will give you a gift just because.

28.) Their number 1 priority is to live a Godly life.

29.) They tell you funny stories.

30.) Even if you haven't talked in awhile, you haven't missed a beat.

31.) They invite you over for a play date and make lunch out of the goodness of their heart.

32.) They give you great book recommendations.

33.) They enjoy worshipping God together.

34.) They are so grateful for your friendship and tell you.

35.) If something good is going on for you, they are genuinely happy for you,

Friends are the best! I'm praying this encourages you/

Jamie :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Favorite Moments

Niiice weather today and through the weekend. Think above 35 degrees and up to 45 degrees! That is awesome!! I hope you're having a wave of nice weather, too!

I just love linking up with these ladies:


 Last Friday evening we had a fun girls Christmas party with a few of my FAVORITE friends!

We laughed, ate a delicious meal, laughed some more, exchanged cookies, swapped cute scarves and a fun white elephant gift. Honestly, the white elephant gift exchange was absolutely hilarious. So, if you're having a party...include it! It's free and a blast!

We took probably 100 photos to get this one below :)!

Here are some more fun photos from our girl's party.

And some of my FAVORITE moments have been with dog sitting this sweet little pug. Troy loves her and she is such a great dog!! He makes forts for her all over the house, takes care of her, helps feed her and brings her out to go potty. And the other kiddos have been amazing with her, too. 

One of the forts :). 

And one of my FAVORITE crafts from this past week has been making these snowflakes below. I found them on Making Home Base. Click HERE for the directions and original snowflakes. 

Here mine are before I spray painted them gold.

Here they are on my wall. I love them! They are so pretty and simple. Such a great craft to do. I would've done a hundred if I hadn't ran out of popsicle sticks :).

Have a splendid day!! 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday Top 5: Family Fun

Today I'm talking about some fun things we've been up to as a family

Top 5 here we go...

1.) Movie night 
We went to "Big Hero 6." To be honest when we were going to see it I didn't know what to expect. But we ALL loved it! We all laughed. And I teared up a bit. It was a really great movie with a good message. Baymax, the robot below, was so funny. He had a radar when someone got hurt and would go to them and try to help them feel better. He would ask something like "On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your pain?" As a Nurse I ask that question all the time at work. I feel very robotic like Baymax when I ask it so frequently. It made me chuckle a bit. 

My 3 handsome camo men.

I definitely would recommend this movie!! 

2.) Sledding
Last Saturday I took the kiddos sledding in town. We had such a fun time. It was warmer (20 degrees or so) and it was a perfect n' quiet day at the sledding hill. I even went down a couple times and enjoyed it. There was a big bump at the end and Austin would purposely try to position himself to go for it. Such a daring little boy! 

And this happened below! Some friends of ours were going sledding also and we met up. Austin was being such a gentleman. Little friend in pink didn't want to carry her sled up so guess who did?? My big sweet boy! He was looking so big doing that act of kindness. Love it!

3.) Homemade Play dough
I had never made homemade play dough before now. It was simple and wonderful. It was very warm after it was all mixed but once it cooled off a tiny bit it was actually kind of comforting feeling the warm dough. Troy loved it! He has always played with play dough but enjoyed this stuff since I made it. And because it was a large chunk. I didn't add any coloring to it. Do you have any recommendations on that?

I got the recipe from Rachel Cruze on Instagram. By the way, you should follow her! She's Dave Ramsey's daughter and has amazing advice!

4.) Christmas decorations up
It was so much fun decorating this year! More than any other year. A + T were awesome helpers. Austin actually put up most of the ornaments. At one point he told me to help him. Haha! :) THe ornaments are mostly on one side and grouped together. And it's absolutely perfect!!

5.) Buddy the Elf has arrived
 He comes on December 1st every year. He brought a yummy breakfast and the kids devoured it. Austin read the entire letter he wrote our family. It was so precious listening to his sweet voice read it. Such a fun family tradition. 

Have a joyful Tuesday!!!

Jamie :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Let them crack the eggs...

I need to be honest with you...

My kids always want to crack the eggs when we are baking/cooking together. 
I have several excuses I use but usually say "Mommy will just do it real quick" or "You can help mix instead."

Secretly I say no because I don't want to deal with the possible mess. Raw eggs all over. Eeek!

Does that sound mean???

Ummmm ya, it kinda does!

Over the years we've done lots of chocolate chip cookie baking. And have had lots of fun not cracking the eggs. Lots of Mixing and taste testing :)!

When we decided to make cookies last week, Austin said "Please, Mom, Can I crack the eggs?!" I felt led to let him crack the eggs. He was so excited!

While he was trying to crack the egg on the edge of the bowl I was practically closing my eyes in fear that the yolk was going to go everywhere and make a big yucky mess. He had to bang it against the side of the bowl like 7 or 8 times because he was being so careful.
My heart just melted when I watched him being extra careful.
He probably already knew that I was afraid it was going to be a fail.

As a Mom, I should be his biggest cheerleader. I know this is a simple 'cracking the egg' example but in life I need to let him do more things on his own. He is getting to be more and more grown up. I need to let him do more grown up things so that when that time comes for him to go off to college...he's ready & not scared. Which I will add, won't be for 12 years :). 

And by the way, he cracked both of those eggs with little to no mess. Just a little got on his jeans and we laughed. He did such a great job. And even if there was a big mess...big deal.

 I'll definitely be letting him do more. He's started cleaning more in the kitchen and he does an excellent job!

My kid's cheerleader,
Jamie :)