Friday, March 25, 2016

Cheers to the Weekend, Spring Break Edition

Hip, Hip, Hooray!!!!! We are officially on Spring Break, as of this morning!!!!! That means 10 glorious days of no school and lots of time with my little Lu Crew. I have a few fun things up my sleeves for next week and love that my pesky morning alarm will be OFF for the next 10 days. :) 

On that note, here's what I'm saying CHEERS to this week/end: 

Weekend with my littles. Last weekend, my hub was out of town from Thursday through Sunday for a guy's golf trip. This meant I got to clock in lots of solo momma time with my trio, and we definitely took advantage. We had a blast together, just the four of us. We kicked things off with an icecream date, had a little flag football, a little time with friends, and a little trip to IKEA in between, and concluded the weekend by heading to church for an absolutely awesome sermon. It was a great weekend. :)

  We all scream for ice cream.
IKEA or bust!

Master bedroom makeover. This is a little embarrassing to admit, but alas, I preach about honesty and being REAL (not REEL), so here it is: we moved into our home 3.5 years ago. Until last weekend, here is what our Master bedroom looked like: 

For 3.5 years. A little barren, no? We had furniture and lamps. That is IT. Well, like I said before, my hub was away on a guy's golf trip last weekend; so, I decided to surprise him by finally adding a little flair to our room. And while it's still not finished (I am having art created to fill those large frames over the bed; I still need window treatments; and I need a couple more decorative items for the walls and tall dresser [not shown here]), this was certainly major progress!

Author's Tea. Oh my heart. Yesterday was a big day for the kindergarteners at our school. An event we've been waiting for all year! It was the day of the Author's Tea. The kiddos were first treated to a tea party (sans parents, except for those of us who volunteered to serve the kiddos their tea and treats). Next, the kiddos were escorted back to their classroom, where they each read their individually written "How To..." books to parents, as the parents rotated around the room to each of the kindergarten authors. :) Following the impressive readings, the authors sat at a long table, allowing us parents to get each of their autographs in our very own autograph books. Finally, the celebration ended in an Easter egg hunt on the playground. At the conclusion of the festivities, I checked Banks out of school early so we could kick off SPRING BREAK 2K16. Woot! Woot!

 The Author's Tea
 Listening to my favorite author
 Banks, in his element <3
 Giving out his autograph :)
 Hunting for eggs!
 So proud of my kindergartener!

Preschool Easter parties. The day before, Rals had her (kids only) Easter party at school and was excited to wear a lovely dress and her new wedges, that lil' fashionista. :)


Vintage Easter dresses. You guys. I have been waiting YEARS for this vintage dress to fit my Rals. Her great, great aunt gave it to us years ago, something she had held onto since her own daughter was a wee one, and I have been counting down until it fit my girl. I am so happy that it now fits like a glove, and Raleigh will be wearing it for Easter Sunday. The dress holds a lot of love, and I can't wait to see her in it. 

An amazing new book. More on that SOON!

I'll be taking next week off from the ol' blog to soak in time with my littles but I hope, I hope, I hope you'll join me the week after that for a series that caused a major shift in my perspective (and possibly yours, too?). But, you are only invited back to this space if you promise to be REAL and VULNERABLE and HONEST. I solemnly swear to be all of those things, and I hope you'll join me in the potentially life-changing shift in perspective. :0 See you then! Happy Easter, y'all! 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Making Decisions

Anyone else ever have a problem with being indecisive? 

Maybe you can imagine, then, the light bulb that went off when I read this line from Lysa TerKeurst's The Best Yes: 

...not making a decision is actually making a decision. It's the decision to stay the same.

And furthermore, 

Being stuck...[is] the most disappointing place to stay.  

I think it often feels safer not to make a decision, which is why some of us probably feel paralyzed when trying to decide what is the "best" choice. I think fear plays a big role in remaining stagnant. Lysa points out a few such fears that really struck a chord with me, including

Fear of the unknown 
   For people like me--the planners, non-spontaneous types--this is definitely true.

Fear of missing out on something better
   Ugh. This one is hard to admit, but also? True.
Fear of making the wrong decision
   Perfectionists of the world unite. :/ 

But y'all. Do you know what was explained ever so clearly in The Best Yes?  

There is no such thing as a perfect decision. 

In fact, Ms. TerKeurst goes on to say

...sometimes God gives us two or more choices that would all please Him and be in His will. We get to choose.  

Have I mentioned this book is a good one? 

So, as we go out into the world this week, let's ask ourselves what decisions need to be made? What are we remaining stagnant on? What are we afraid of? And then, let's do our best to make our "best yeses" and encourage others along the way. <3  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cheers to the Weekend, St. Patty's Edition

It's Friday, Friday, Gotta get down on Friday! 

Woohoo! Welcome, weekend. We've been waiting all week for you! ;) Here's what we are saying CHEERS to this week/end: 

Amazing, faith-filled women. Earlier this week, some girlfriends and I met for a delicious dinner at a yummy local restaurant before heading to our church's "Women Under Construction," an event that is held twice a year for ladies only to hear a powerful message, get in some good fellowship, and just enjoy each other's company. It was a fabulous night with fabulous friends. Oh, and did I mention that there was SHOPPING and (the most divine) CHOCOLATE as part of it, too? And not just any shopping. There is a beautiful, non-profit organization called Fashion and Compassion that specializes in fair trade jewelry made by women overcoming poverty & injustice around the world. For example, I bought this beautiful Mirembe necklace (made from magazine pages!--you would never know it when seeing/touching it!), which was made by women overcoming poverty in Kampala, Uganda. I promptly wore it out to a date night with my hub the following night: 

Flag football success. Last Saturday was Banks' first flag football game of the Spring season. He is playing on the same team (Go Yellow Jackets!) with the same great coach (shout out to Coach P!) and with quite a few of the same players. The first game was a blast, and Banks had a great time, making several great defensive moves and scoring one of the team's touchdowns. We can't wait for his next game tomorrow morning!

Camping. Although my hub and I were supposed to go out on a fun double date with one of our favorite couples last Saturday night, they were hit with a nasty stomach bug. So, my hub and several of his good friends gathered the kiddos and went camping for the night instead. They had a great time (and Raleigh managed to hold her own, despite being the only girl there!).

Spring Summer?? weather. Good gracious. There were days this week that were actually HOT, as in 80s plus! Not that I am complaining one bit! In fact, it was the perfect excuse to pull out the ol' water table and let the kiddos cool themselves off one day after school. :) 

It was also a great reason to hit up our favorite local snow cone place, Pelicans, for our first icy treats of the season. 

Annnnnnd it was a fun excuse for my trio and to meet up with a girlfriend and her duo at the neighborhood park while our hubbies battled it out on the adjacent tennis courts. :)

St. Patrick's Day. We made sure to wear our green yesterday. Actually, Rals got to wear her "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow" outfit to dance, while Harrison donned his best leprachaun gear. And Banks, of course, wore green to school so he wouldn't get any pinches!

And that's about it for this week! I have been solo momma-ing it since yesterday and have big plans for a quiet night at home with my littles tonight, a flag football game tomorrow morning, a Spring Fling extravaganza tomorrow afternoon, and some good girlfriend/wine time for me and playdate time for my trio tomorrow night. Cheers to sliding into a fun weekend! Y'all have a great one!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Being Busy

Just that morning I'd been praying and asking God to show Himself to me. I asked the God of the universe to intersect my life with His revelation, then got up from my prayers and forgot to look...All because of the chaotic rush of my day. -Lysa TerKeurst (from The Best Yes)

Life is busy, no? 

Whether you're a working momma, a stay-at-home momma, a work-from-home momma, a working not-yet-a momma, life is busy. Often it makes me sad--the world's insistence that we rush and go and don't stop 'til we drop--but I digress. 

Life is busy. 

But are we filling our days with the best things for us, for our families, for our God? Are we giving our best yeses to those things that are deserving and our confident noes to those unfulfillng time-suckers? 

As I've mentioned recently, I have been in a state of quiet stillness the last few months, seeking answers to important questions and trying to remember to Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). I have been praying hard for these answers, for signs, for His voice. But then I realized that while I have been pray, pray, praying, I was getting into the habit of [getting] up from my prayers and [forgetting] to look. 

Life is busy. And I was guilty. Guilty of praying and asking and then going about my day, and pushing God to the back-burner, not making him a priority and not actively seeking His will. Not listening. Not paying attention. Seems pretty selfish to me.


As Lysa TerKeurst points out in The Best Yes, 

If we want to hear from the Lord, we must confess that sometimes we walk right past the Lord's instruction and set ourselves up to miss His direction. 


So now, while I continue my prayers and seek out His will and ask for His wisdom, I remind myself that it is just as important to listen, be present, be aware, be ready. And trust in His timing. 

But also, and I LOVE this,

If we want His direction for our decisions, the great cravings of our souls must not only be the big moments of the assignment. They must also be the seemingly small instructions in the most ordinary of moments when God points His Spirit finger saying, Go there. (Lysa TerKeurst)

I pray for direction and wait for instruction for my decisions. But what about the seemingly small, every day moments that pass by? Those are just as important. God is intentional in His timing. I need to be intentional in paying attention and truly listening, as this busy world passes me by. 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cheers to the Weekend, Spring Edition

Oops. I didn't make time to blog this week because we were enjoying the GLORIOUS, GOD-SENT, SPRING WEATHER pretty much 24/7. I mean, 70s and 80s and plenty of sunshine? So long indoors! 

Anywho. Here's what I'm saying CHEERS to as we welcome in this Daylight Savings Time weekend:

Grown-Up Prom. Last Saturday was one of the most fun days I have EVER had. From start to finish, it was just an absolute blast. It started bright and early Saturday morning, when I met two other girlfriends to get our nails done. I then hit up a Pure Barre class before heading to the mall to grab a new clutch and pair of shoes. A couple of hours later, I met another girlfriend at a local salon and spa to have our hair and make-up done before heading home to put on a BEAUTIFUL gown. 

I then headed over to another girlfriend's house, with five other friends, where we snapped tons of photos a la prom style before heading out to meet our hubbies, who were an hour into a bourbon tasting and waiting for their dates to arrive.

Why all the pampering and fuss? Especially for a girl who hasn't had a manicure in WELL over a year (two?) and hasn't had her make-up professionally done since her wedding, almost 12 years ago? Well, it was all for an awesome cause: the first annual Greenway Gala, a fundraising event with all proceeds benefitting our local greenway.

It was SO.MUCH.FUN. Just the best night!!!! We ate and drank and bid (and won!) in a silent auction and then spent hours dancing to the absolute best band. I seriously cannot remember the last time I had so much fun with my hub and so many amazing girlfriends. We are already counting down 'til next year!!!

And for those who were so sweet in complimenting my gown, THANK YOU! Want to know a little secret? The beautiful, fully sequined, rose gold Badgley Mischka gown is not mine. Nor does it belong to a friend or family member. Nope. I rented it through Rent The Runway! Have y'all heard of this and/or ever used it? It is the best thing ever! Bascially, you pay a fraction of the price of the gown to rent it for a few days. You select your size (and a back-up size in case your size doesn't fit once it arrives) and both arrive a day or two before your event. You then ship it back a day or two after the event in the packaging it came in. Easy, peasy and SO fun to be able to wear something so special! Actually, nine of us used this awesome rental service for the gala, and it was just a blast getting all glitzed and glammed in all of our different gowns! RTR has all kinds of dresses, from daytime to formal, as well as accessories, jewelry, etc. How cool is that?! You can bet your bottom dollar this is my new go-to place anytime I need a special and fun dress!

I was also ecstatic to wear Reece Blaire jewelry to the gala. One of my dear friends, Emily, is the Reece in Reece Blaire and was so, so sweet to accessorize each of the girls in our group with gorgeous jewelry for the gala. And, in AMAZING news, Reece Blaire will be available in Belk stores later this week!!!!! Some pieces are already available online (although some have already sold out!); so, be sure to check out the stunning jewelry!

Life Groups. We have been with our couples Life Group for 2.5 years, and it is truly one of the best decisions we made since moving to the Mill. We dig deep and get real and support and love and trust one another. I am so, so thankful for these people. 

Girls Night Out. Remember how I just said that Reece Blaire will now be available in Belk? Well, last night was the official launch, and my girlfriends and I went to the special event to support our amazing girl and then concluded with a yummy and fun dinner. My heart is full. 

Flag football. Banks has his first game of the Spring tomorrow, and we can't wait to cheer on the Yellow Jackets for another awesome season. And needless to say, he is PUMPED!

Gorgeous weather. Yep. This deserves two mentions in this post. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: My Lu Crew thrives outdoors. We are happiest when we are active, whether it be exercising or dancing or sport-ing or, well, anything that keeps us moving! We have been counting down the days until consistent, Spring-like weather arrived and this week was it! Needless to say, we pretty much lived outdoors, shooting hoops, having playdates, doing nature observations, and just generally playing to our hearts' content. 

And that's about it for now! I hope your week was great as well and that your weekend proves to be the same. Have a good one!