a reminder to live

 

 

Photo May 02, 7 45 31 PM

This boy loves his Poppa and riding through the pastures in Daddy’s truck.

Photo May 02, 12 37 17 PM.jpg

He loves making wishes.

Photo May 03, 7 10 47 PM.jpg

And picnics with his Jon Jon and SuSu.

PicMonkey Collage

He loves sitting on the counter and prolonging bedtime.

Photo May 04, 3 44 10 PM

And hanging out in the shop. (pre-haircut!)

Photo May 04, 4 19 46 PM

And hanging on Mommy’s legs.

 

 

He just loves life.

This boy of mine reminds me to live–to see things for more than they are. The way his eyes light up at the simplest things reminds me to slow down. All too often I’m reminded that tomorrow is not promised to us. We can make great big plans for the future but, friends, we’ve got to relish today. We’ve got to live more abundantly. Don’t let the enemy creep in and tell you that you’ll have more, do more, be happier down the road. Cling to the truth that He has lavished His grace upon us. Now is the time to allow yourself to really live! Start today.

 

 

cutting corners

All too often I rush the bedtime routine. I find myself cutting corners, reading one less Golden book, trying to convince my three year old that we aren’t going to rock in the rocking chair tonight even though we are “supposed to”, thinking about 50 other things I need to get done before bedtime, etc. Sometimes I’m at my wits end because the day has left me utterly exhausted and I just need some time to myself. Other times, on the rare occasion that my husband is home at bedtime, I’m trying to get my little one to bed to have some couple time before mommy and daddy both fall asleep.

But tonight, I listened to Remi when he told me he wanted me to rock him. I held his little feverish body tight and I prayed out loud for healing over him. Seeing my son sick or hurting always breaks my heart. In the stillness of the moment I held him tight and stroked his hair. I whispered over and over again how much I loved him. He quietly listened and snuggled in. I began to think about all the things that I really haven’t allowed myself to think about. You know–like when someone hurts you, or a circumstance brings you to your knees and you just can’t understand. I feel like I’ve been hit with a couple of those lately. They’re bearable because I don’t allow myself to think of them. But if I’m being honest with myself, and with you, when everything is still and quiet, I’m reminded just how much it stings. In a way, I’m grateful that Remi didn’t feel well tonight and asked me to rock him. It reminded me to hold him a little tighter–life is SO incredibly precious.

Life also hurts. It knocks you down. It whispers in your ear that you’ve failed yet again. It breaks your heart and tells you that you’ll never heal. These are lies straight from the enemy–the devil himself.

In the dark, still corner of a messy toddler bedroom, we rocked and I had a talk with Jesus. I allowed Him to chisel at my hardened heart–my greatest defense against feeling something. I couldn’t think of a better parallel: a mother holding her son and a Father holding His daughter. God hates to see his children hurting just as I hate to see my own child hurting. We nurture our children, comfort them, wipe their tears. How many times has God patiently waited on me to turn to Him so he could do the same for me? Why do I find it so hard to surrender whatever semblance of control I think I have and just lean on Him? I can’t do it on my own. I’ve tried a thousand times before yet He continually extends grace. When I try to take the reigns and cut corners with Christ, I end up hurting myself and hurting God. It’s a lose-lose situation. My only option in this earthly life is to fully rest in Him.

 

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Psalm 119:114

 

 

loving lately

I’ve been challenging myself to break out of my shell as far as home décor goes. I’ve always loved color but I also tend to stay in a safe little bubble of beige and neutral. Boring! I solved that problem when I painted the wall in our entry/living room a bright turquoise color and I’m so glad I did! I’m not saying go buy a gallon of neon paint, but I do think it’s nice to do something to surprise yourself once in a while. I’ve enjoyed incorporating more color into our home which leads me to the theme of this loving lately post: brights + metallics foreva!

Valerie Wieners Art Names of God Print Lat and Lo Cuff Bracelet Swim Zip Swimwear Swankaroo Kaleidoscope backpack Kris Nations Custom Stud Earrings Stay and Co Pillows

Valerie Wieners Art Names of God Print
Lat and Lo Cuff Bracelet
SwimZip Swimwear
Swankaroo Kaleidoscope backpack
Kris Nations Custom Stud Earrings
Stay and Co Pillows

 

1.) Valerie is one of the gals I love to see in my Instagram feed. Her artwork is gorgeous and SO unique {and she has an amazing testimony!} I love the way she illustrates and hand-letters scripture and want her work all over my home! This print doesn’t even show a fraction of her talent–it’s just one of the many on my wish list! If you’re one of those people that says “oh, I’ll check it out later..” DON’T WAIT! Go check it now because she’s having a HUGE sale that starts tonight! I’m also loving her instant printable coloring pages.

2.) Lat and Lo is not helping my jewelry obsession at all! These cuffs are such a great gift idea {hint, hint, husband!} for anyone. I love meaningful, custom jewelry. I also love the fact that if you don’t know the coordinates of your location they will find them for you! So cool!

3.) If you’ve read my post about sunscreen then you know how I feel about littles and sun safety! How cute and practical are these SwimZip suits?! A direct quote from the site says “all SwimZip swimwear styles provide 50+ UV Protection and block 98% UVA & UVB rays.” They have the cutest styles for boys, girls and adults as well. I just couldn’t resist this sweet watermelon print for girls!

4.) Is it irrational that these Swankaroo backpacks make me giddy like a schoolgirl? I really want one. I mean, Remi is the one that needs a backpack but I REALLY am looking for a good excuse to buy myself one as well. So far I’ve got nothing. I figure the camo one would be perfect for my little guy but maybe I should just get the cute Kaleidoscope print and carry it for him? ;)

5.) Yet another custom jewelry option…I may or may not have a jewelry problem! One of the coolest things about these Kris Nations stud earrings is that you can choose from symbols, letters and states. You can also pick your finish of gold, silver, or one of each. Just another thing to add to my ever growing wish list and gift idea list!

6.) I’ve been swooning over these Stay and Co. gold pillows for a few months, but since painting our living room wall and changing a few things up {namely, adding gold and coral as accent colors} I think they would look perfect in our living room! Stay and Co. is a mash-up of two successful stand-alone shops that grew exponentially and decided to join together, hire help, and develop a new brand. I love their play on words for “Stay Home” and “Stay Little“.

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out these too!

coconut cashew granola

In addition to blogging more, {you guys have noticed that, right?!} I decided I wanted to change it up a bit. I blog a lot about family and beauty because that’s what I know. Why not add a few more categories into the mix? Like food…something that is talked about a lot in our home!

At two years old,  Remi really knows how to put away the groceries. He constantly asks for a ‘nack and is quick to correct me if I offer him something that isn’t snack-worthy. Typically, I can curb his snack cravings with an offer of greek yogurt, raisins, or applesauce; but, sometimes he just wants something a little junk-ier. I feel ya, kid.

One of the best things about this granola is that Remi LOVES it. He constantly asks for “cranola”–not to be confused with Crayola! I made it thinking that it would be an easy breakfast option, but it quickly made it into the snack line up at this house. Granola is such a great food for breakfast or anytime because it can be customized to your liking. Not fond of nuts or raisins? Nix them and add in dried bananas or chocolate chips. Seriously–just use what you have on hand. There’s no wrong way to make granola unless, of course, you don’t make it at all!

Round up your ingredients, preheat your oven, grab a little helper and get to baking!

homemade granola ingredientseast texas wildflower local honeyhomemade granola ingredients butterhomemade granola little helpercoconut cashew granola recipe card

 

Coconut Cashew Granola

5 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup raisins
2 cups flaked coconut (I used sweetened)
1 cup salted cashews
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 beaten egg white
 
1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until evenly coated with butter and honey. Stir in beaten egg white.
3. Spread mixture on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Turn off oven and allow granola to cool completely.
5. Break into pieces. Enjoy!
 
Note: If you don’t like your granola in clusters, skip the egg white. 
 
coconut cashew granola
 

MMM! So good! Especially when it’s still warm. Because, let’s be honest–who really waits for things to cool completely before digging in? ;)

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

xo, Kelsey

why I blog

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

Barbara Kingsolver

 

I started this blog in January of 2013. As a stay-at-home-mom, blogging was an outlet for me. It gave me a place to share my thoughts, triumphs and fears. Blogging meant I didn’t have to carry on a one-sided conversation with a toddler or bombard my husband as soon as he walked in the door. Writing has always been a cathartic process for me. Just the act of typing out all of the craziness in my head gave some validity to what I was thinking or feeling at the time.

print by Pen and Paint

print by Pen and Paint

I love the fact that a blog can be used to document life. What first started as blogging to get out of my own head or provide clarity to a situation became blogging to share our every day moments with friends and family that we didn’t get to see as often as we’d like. Like the scrapbook that I {bought supplies for} and never made, this blog contains snippets of our life–pictures, embellishments, and scraps of the things we’ve done, seen, wished for and loved. I write down things that I never want to forget. I hope that one day Remi will be able to read some of these posts and have an idea of what our life was like when he was young(er) and know how loved he is.

always w i s h

always w i s h

I know blogging doesn’t make sense to a lot of people and that’s ok. If you like reading the rambling thoughts of a young wife and momma and seeing pictures of a cute, shaggy haired boy, then rock on. If not, that’s cool too. As I blog a little and learn a lot, I’m finding it’s all about what works for you and your family. Just don’t forget to make memories along the way.

Photo May 05, 6 43 10 PM

xo, Kelsey

warmer weather

So far we’ve had one good summery day and I can already tell how these next 5 months {that’s the length of a Texas summer, right?} are going to. Let’s just say I think Remi’s summer theme song is “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem“. I love being at my mom’s house when everyone is lounging around with no place in particular to be.

This is my perfect day:

Lunch al fresco is a must. Remi said the crawfish were “delicious” but “too ‘picy”.al fresco

toes in waterSometimes you just need to dip your toes in the water…or go skinny dipping. Whatever floats your bottom boat.

skinny dippin

I love that this little stinker isn’t scared of the water. He loves to blow bubbles, go under water, and play in the bubbler. He constantly asks “did you saw that?!” when trying something new.

SWIMSURFBOARDHe also showed us his “surfboard” tricks. I wish I had gotten them on video. My little entertainer.

stuffsThese are all of Remi’s “stuffs”. You know–the really important things–sunglasses, a harmonica, and my old cell phone. Sounds like a party.

cookie doughA batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies is always necessary. I sure am glad Momma passed on her penchant for baking to my younger sister. Those girls can cook! The dough will always be my favorite part.

swing

swing2

Swinging with SuSu. If he would have been still for a few more minutes I bet he would have fallen asleep. Can’t slow down at SuSu and Jon Jon’s house! Too much to do!

chalk canNothing like a good ol’ rusty can for holding chalk! We love chalking in Mom’s long driveway. Somehow Remi always ends up wearing more chalk than the concrete. Mom traces him and the dogs so many times that it looks like a crime scene. Watching Remi play hopscotch is HILARIOUS.

summer

klovej

We always have to see what my step dad, Jon is doing in the shop. Remi likes to find everything with wheels and ask for a ride. Creepers, dollies, rolling chairs, bikes–you name it, Remi rides it.

camaro

shop

Hanging in the shop leads to finding priceless old treasures like this photo of my Jon and his snowman on the front of the locomotive many moons ago. Gotta love those railroad men.

SNOWMAN

When the weather turns warmer, the days seem to move a little slower. Sunshine lingers. Moods are happier. Everything is green–my favorite color. Spring and Summer seem to bring about an annual change in my heart. It’s a joyful time of year with so much to celebrate. I’m currently making preparations for Remi’s THIRD birthday. The fact that he’s turning three doesn’t make me sad…yet. I love who he’s becoming. His humor and sweet personality are definitely worth celebrating! Another exciting {for me} aspect is the party planning and prep. Bring on the glue gun! :) Birthdays and general happiness aside, vacation makes summer even more awesome. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought about our vacation in the past few weeks. At times, our beach trip seems so far away so for now, I’ll cherish these simple moments right here in East Texas.

 

What are your favorite warm weather activities?

xo, Kelsey

Easter pictures {part two}

Technically, these are really our Easter pictures, taken on Easter Sunday. The other pictures I posted {mainly of Remi} were from a few days before Easter. We had a great Easter and I’m so glad Jarrett got to be home! We were able to celebrate by going to church as a family {woohoo!} and then had lunch at my mom’s house. The Easter Bunny still visits and fills our old baskets. :) Remi had lots of fun checking out his new goodies, hunting eggs and dying them too!

Tip: click on a picture to view it larger and scroll through.

I love that all families celebrate differently. What are your Easter traditions?

xo, Kelsey

decisions, decisions

Decisions. We all have to make them. Easy ones, hard ones and all of those in between. One thing I hate most about making impactful decisions is the fact that I can’t please everyone. Ultimately, it all boils down to what is best for my family. Lately, I’ve been spreading myself thin. I know there are people out there that are far busier than I, but “busy” is not what I’m after. In fact, the glorification of busy drives me a little bit crazy. Some people are great at juggling–I’m not one of them. I just want to simplify.

As many of you know, I’ve been working at Sephora and freelancing {working for myself} as a makeup artist. I’ve encountered some confusion by others pertaining to what each job entails and how they are related. Read more on that here. All of that craziness paired with the crazy of Jarrett’s job and raising a little boy has made me feel a little mad. It’s do-able. I get it. I’ve done it for 6+ months. It’s definitely helped us pay off some debt and save up some money but is it worth it? Maybe not.

I’m a perfectionist. It’s a great trait to have in my line of work, but maybe not so much of a reality for someone that’s trying to balance family life as well. Let’s face it, I’m really good at focusing all of my efforts on one thing and giving all of my other duties the leftovers. I don’t want my family or my job(s) to have less than my best. I want to simplify my life so that I can be fully engaged in everything I do. Unfortunately, this means making the decision to leave Sephora.

I first learned that Sephora was coming to Longview last August. A friend and fellow makeup artist contacted me, told me her friend was going to be the Beauty Leader of the store and asked if I might be interested in becoming a Product Consultant. The thought of going back to work scared me. I’d been a stay-at-home-mom for two years {with occasional freelance jobs} and didn’t want to go back to work anytime soon. And then I thought of the opportunities. Jarrett was in locomotive engineer school at the time so his paychecks were significantly smaller. Maybe this seemingly random job opening was God’s way of showing me how I could help my husband with his financial burden. I have always enjoyed shopping at Sephora so it seemed like the pros were adding up. In fact, I’m not sure if “enjoyed” is an accurate description for how I feel about Sephora. My cousin Whitney is probably the only person that knows about my love for the store {bless her heart!} due to enduring many painful {for her} hours within it’s iconic black and white striped walls. So I took the plunge. Working at Sephora has truly been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I’ve learned so much about the beauty industry, increased my skill set, and created friendships. I cannot say enough good things about the company and the girls I’ve worked with. I’m sad to be leaving my team but I’m excited to condense my workload.

So the question is: What will I be doing now?
  1. Spending time with family. Family is one of the most important things in my life and children are only young once. You can’t turn back time. I don’t want to look back in a few years and regret not being there for Remington in these formative years of his life.
  2. Cleaning up the house that I’ve let go for the past 6 months. Kidding. Sort of.
  3. Growing my business, God willing. This is an important season for me: weddings, proms, banquets, etc. Fortunately, I will be more available to my clients and I can’t wait to see where that takes me!
  4. Getting back in the Word. I don’t make any excuses for letting my relationship with my Maker fall by the wayside. However, I have desperately missed my Thursday morning women’s Bible study. Since Remi is in Mother’s Day Out on Tues/Thurs, those are the days I’ve been working at Sephora. I can’t wait until the next Bible study starts up and I can go!

I’m not leaving right away. I will finish out the month of April at Sephora and it will be bittersweet.

I am so thankful for my incredible husband and family that support my decisions. I’m just so overwhelmed with God’s goodness and concern for me. He knows the desires of our hearts and He cares for me {and YOU} always. That has been so evident in my life. I’m completely undeserving yet He loves me anyway. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

xoxo, Kelsey

 

loving lately

I don’t mean to brag if the temperatures where you live are still frigid, but isn’t this weather FABULOUS?! My coworker and I were recently discussing the weather/season/time change and how it affects our moods. She pointed out that this nice weather was “like Christmas” and I totally agree! We recently had a few rainy days and everyone was SO grumpy. It’s amazing how much more friendly people are when there’s a little sunshine! I think that’s part of why I wanted to do another {loving lately} post–I’m feeling light and springy and in LOVE with everything right now! Except cleaning. I’m not in love with cleaning.

this heart needs blog loving lately post

1. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black
2. Studio Mucci Peach Bellini Tassel Garland
3. Queenikathleni Hello Doll Phone Case
4. Slyfox Threads tee

1.) Ditch that winter fragrance in lieu of something fresh! Elizabeth and James recently launched two new fragrances that are exclusive to Sephora: Nirvana Black and Nirvana White. Nirvana Black (as pictured) has notes of violet, sandalwood, and vanilla. Nirvana White has notes of peony, muguet (lily), and tender musk. Pick your favorite or buy them both! One of the unique things about these fragrances is that they can be worn alone or layered together. I personally love to layer them because…why not?!

2.) Are you planning a party or just in search of some really rad home décor? Studio Mucci has you covered with these gorgeous tassel garlands. The founder, Amina, is such an inspiration as a business owner and has one of the most colorful and happy Instagram feeds ever! I’m thinking my new turquoise wall in my living room needs a Studio Mucci original to keep it company!

3.) Another Instagram favie. Katie of Queenikathleeni is the coolest {and SWEETEST} fashion illustrator I’ve ever met followed on Instagram. Whatevs. I love seeing all of her illustrations but my favorite part is that she will customize. Like anything. She’s good. I’m loving this phone case she designed, but you really have to check out the rest of her work. Really.

4.) Oh, Slyfox Threads! They have the trendiest tees and other things for kiddos but I’m swooning over this “You Make Me Happy When Skies are Gray” shirt! My mom sang the song to me and I sing it to Remi. So clearly, he needs it. There are also some super fun prints available to purchase on the website!

And there you have it! My little bit of happy. I love finding fun things and sharing them with you and I’m especially passionate about supporting small(er) businesses!

Feel free to comment below if you’ve ever tried anything from these brands! Are you enjoying these {loving lately} posts as much as I am?

xoxo, Kelsey

loving lately

I’ve been wanting to do one of these posts for so long! I have always loved flipping through magazines and seeing what the “hot” new products were for the season. When Remi was brand new I couldn’t get enough of the “baby must-haves” articles. Now I love scrolling through social media to see what is trendy {whether I follow the current trend or not!} I hope you enjoy this new little series called {loving lately}. I’ve curated a little sampling of things that I think are beautiful, fun and just plain happy. I love things that bring a smile to my face each time I look at them.

1. Freshly Picked Moccs 2. Whitney Dobson Designs earrings 3. Coconut Beach body scrub 4. Common Rebels night light 5. Pepper Ink temporary tattoos 6. Top Knot Goods tee

1. Freshly Picked Moccasins
2. Whitney Dobson Designs earrings
3. Coconut Beach body scrub
4. Common Rebels night light
5. Pepper Ink temporary tattoos
6. Top Knot Goods tee

1. Can we just begin with a big fat *sigh*?! I have been in LOVE with Freshly Picked Moccasins from the very first time I laid eyes on them. The lady that founded the company is SO stinking inspiring. She was recently on the show Shark Tank! How cool is that?! The camo moccasins just launched and they’re already sold out. I’m thinking Remi definitely needs a pair!

2. There are only three words you need to remember for all of your future wish lists: Whitney Dobson Designs. Stunning, handcrafted pieces. I cannot pick my favorite. I seriously just can’t decide. I want them all! My flavor of the week is the Rutilated Amethyst with Mystic Clear Quartz Earrings I’m not quite sure what all of those fancy words mean but they look like an absolute DREAM!

3. With warmer temps fast approaching, I need something to get my dry winter skin in tip-top shape. I’m thinking this Farmhouse Fresh Coconut Beach body scrub I spotted in the Junk Gypsy shop will be the perfect thing for that! Who doesn’t need a little pineapple coconut goodness in their day? I’m dreaming of the beach already!

4. We are super lucky that Remi isn’t afraid of the dark but I don’t think I’d mind if he asked for one of these Common Rebels nightlights! I stumbled across the Common Rebels website a while back and I’m so glad I did. The nightlights aren’t just for the kidlets either–they have some beautiful designs that would be perfect in a guest bathroom or hallway!

5. Did every teen have a rebel phase? I know I did. Sort of. I mean I never actually followed through with getting a tattoo but I thought about it a lot. HA! I’ve always loved tattoos–tasteful, meaningful ones. I’m too indecisive to actually get one, so these tiny temporary tattoos by Pepper Ink were practically made for me. They’re so cute!

6. Last but not least, I’ve been loving Top Knot Goods. Their clothes have a fun, carefree vibe that I’m really loving at the moment. I’ve mentioned before that I have no specific style. I just go with what I like at the moment. Their No Rest for the Rad tee makes me smile. I’ve seen it dressed up and dressed down and it looks great both ways! I think all moms need this shirt!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Kelsey