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

 

 

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

loving lately

This post is dedicated to a little {big} holiday coming up soon. Nope, Easter was last weekend. I’ll give you a hint: you’ve got about 17 more shopping days for this special day. And trust me–you’re definitely going to want to buy something for your MOM! Let this be a little guide for that hard-to-buy-for Momma of yours. While you’re at it, have a listen to one of my all-time favorite Mom songs {With the exception of Mama Tried}. Blame it on my roots.

loving lately gift guide via this heart needs blog

1. Voluspa Baltic Amber Candle 2. Dolly and Frances Teepee 3. Custom Watercolor Home Portrait via Pattern on Pattern 4. Nena and Co. Crossbody Tote 5. The Painted Arrow print

 

1.) Indulge mom {and yourself} with one of Voluspa’s candle tins. If you’ve ever been to Anthropologie, you’ve experienced these candles! All of the scents are lovely and the packaging is gorgeous which is a win-win in my book. I’ve bought a few candles that smelled great but just didn’t sit pretty. I love that these are the best of both worlds. There are several different scents, but I chose the Baltic Amber. I’m beginning to love more complex, warm scents in lieu of sugar cookie and other sugary sweet scents I would have chosen a few years ago. You can read more details and purchase this from one of my favorite local boutiques, Ruffled Feathers.

2.) I know this isn’t exactly a mom-friendly gift, but what is a loving lately post {from–ahem–a momma} without something for the babes?! I’m all over the teepee band wagon. I think they are such fun gifts and really encourage imaginative play. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful handcrafted teepees, but never any this intricate. These are works of art! While I’ll admit they’re a little frilly for my boy, I think they would absolutely enhance a little girl’s room. I kind of want one. For my room. Dear husband, purchase here. HA!

3.) Not only would these custom watercolor home portraits make the perfect Mother’s Day gift–they would be great wedding gifts as well! This custom art piece comes on an 11×15 piece of watercolor paper and looks beautiful in a frame. I’m not even sure if our first home is still standing, but I definitely want one of the home we live in now! It’s meaningful to me since it’s the house that made us homeowners and holds many memories and firsts for our little boy. Another memorable option would be a portrait of the house your mom was raised in or the house she raised her family in.

*edit: Save 15% if you purchase here, but they’re selling like hot cakes so grab one quick!

4.) Perfection in a crossbody bag. I’ve been following Nena and Co. on Instagram for a few months now and have been coveting these gorgeous hand loomed Guatemalan patterns. Do yourself a favor and read about the “Peace Pilgrim” and SADEGUA projects that the company is involved in. I can’t think of a better reason to buy this fringed beauty!

5.) Another pretty print that’s gift-worthy for mom. Hillary of The Painted Arrow is immensely talented and I’m happy to say I have two of her prints in my home! I love the fact that you can either purchase a physical print OR a digital download to be printed in the comfort of your own home. Pajama shopping is the best shopping. Am I right? While you’re at it, why don’t you snag this recipe card on sale for five bucks. Perhaps with the intentions of learning the secret of mom’s famous banana nut bread? ;)

 

One last thing I’m loving lately is the American Blogger film by Christopher Wiegand. I can’t wait to sit down and watch it uninterrupted. Christopher’s wife, Casey Wiegand is one of my favorite bloggers. You may have heard of her. Casey, along with two other bloggers, dreamed up and brought to life HopeSpoken. I’m praying that God will work out the details and I can go next year. I need that kind of sister-to-sister fellowshipping in my life!

 

Ok, one last love: this sunshine!

 

Is your mom hard to buy for? I’d love to know if this gift guide gave you any ideas!

xo, Kelsey

Easter pictures

After waking up at 5:30am for a 7:15am wedding hair and makeup sesh, I’m feeling a little like a crazy lady staying up til 1am to post these pictures. They were too cute not to share! We’ve had lots of fun talking about Easter this year. Remi loves to refer to all of us as cottontails. “This is Mommy Cottontail and Daddy Cottontail…” :) We’ve been learning about Jesus and the Gospel at home and at Mother’s Day Out.  I love to hear him talk about Jesus. Sweet childlike faith.

These are all raw images from a little Easter photo shoot my mom and sister did yesterday with Remi. It’s so much fun to see how he’s changed since last year’s spring pictures. Enjoy!

easterflowers

eggeasterpeekabooprofilecotton candyeastercottoncandyplaideasterbook2bunnyfacebunnyfacecollageeaster baskethugs

 

Obviously, we love a good outfit change…or maybe Mom and I have both enjoyed shopping for Remi clothes a little too much lately! AND we believe in cotton candy bribery. Whatever it takes, y’all. Those bunny faces are cracking me UP! I love this sweet picture of Remi with his Aunt AA. I hope each and every one of you has a blessed Easter.

xo, Kelsey

 

 

There in the ground His body lay
 Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ!
 
In Christ Alone // Natalie Grant

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

 

december highlights

Christmas time is hands down my favorite time of year. I start getting excited for Christmas about mid-November and never look back! As a tribute to my favorite month, I thought I’d do a whole post over my favorite December moments. Go ahead and prepare yourself for photo overload!

We kicked off the Christmas season with a quick trip to Van, Texas to eat at one of our favorite little diners–The Dinner Bell–along with a visit to Santa Land. We love going around Christmas time to see all of the decorations inside and outside of the restaurant. Remington loved the decorations, but I’m not sure what he thought about the pictures we were taking! Just a little family dysFUNction. :)

dinner bell pic

yes, we really sent these out on our Christmas cards! ;)

yes, we really sent these out on our Christmas cards! ;)

These pictures are technically from our late Thanksgiving lunch but we wore our Christmas shirts and I couldn’t resist posting! I seriously cannot stop laughing at the second one..we’ll call it the leaf photo fail. Enjoy a good laugh at our expense!

me, Momma, & Alexa

me, Momma, & Alexa

straight from the "awkward family photos" archives..

straight from the “awkward family photos” archives..

sweet cheeks before his big boy hair cut

sweet cheeks before his big boy hair cut

One of my favorite pictures from this year! Classis Home Alone face.  Love this sweet, silly boy!

not surprised that this was my most liked photo on instagram this year

not surprised that this was my most liked photo on instagram this year

After Jarrett’s buddy, Cash, passed away we felt bad for Mayleigh being outside by herself all day. She became an inside dog and we haven’t looked back! She has been so great with Remington and it’s been fun to see how well they play together! Miss Mayleigh is very tolerant of Remi.

remi and mayleigh

Jarrett and I had a little getaway to Shreveport which was so nice! We rarely have time alone together where we’re just able enjoy each other and not have a never ending to-do list. We did a some shopping, eating, and hanging out and vowed to plan a little getaway more often.

getaway

This was our first year to do our little version of “Elf on the Shelf.” We loved having our elf visit from the North Pole. Remington kept telling us what a silly elf “Ninnymuggins” was.

ninnymuggins

I’m starting to notice a pattern with all of these quick trips! Another quickie to Dallas with Momma. Mom and I never get to shop together, much less spend the whole day alone. I loved it! Mom is always so organized with her Christmas lists so I had to get a pic of her checking it twice!

checking it twice

The yummiest Christmas Eve brunch & gift exchange at my in-laws house. Love this tradition!

christmas eve brunch

these two

2 and 92

90 years difference between these two!

funny boy

feeding reindeer

putting out reindeer food before bedtime!

Christmas morning was spent at my parent’s house. Remi’s reaction to all of his presents was one of my favorite things ever, but nothing could top him singing “Happy Birthday, Jesus” and playing his little guitar!

santa goodies

Remi said this was the "best, best present evahhh!"

Remi said this was the “best, best present evahhh!”

Late Christmas lunch at Nanny’s. We got to meet our sweet cousin, Amelia, for the first time. Remi is wearing boots and no pants in this picture…typical!

sweeties

Christmas isn’t over until the rest of our family comes into town. Some crashed at our place and some at my mom’s, but I’m so glad we got to spend time all of them! Thanks guys, for spoiling Remi! We’re definitely going to miss y’all!

The Dobson family + Remi

more presents for Remi (!!!)

This picture is one of my favorites. My little younger cousin, Logan is a Marine. So proud of him! We’ve always told Remi that his little green Army men are called “Logan,” so to see him realize he was seeing the real life Logan was the sweetest thing ever!

sweet hugs

doesn’t this melt your heart?!

Remi found a new BFF

Remi found a new BFF

sweet family

sweet family

I got to try out some of my new Christmas makeup on the girls before they left town today. Had so much fun with them and I even woke up extra early…just for you Court!! :)

courtney

we're obsessed with Rose Gold pigment!!

we’re obsessed with Rose Gold pigment!!

Finally, Christmas with Auntie LoLo! Now to figure out where to put all of Remi’s new toys!

lolo christmas

I hope all of you had a blessed Christmas season. I am looking forward to what 2014 holds for The Langes and for all of you!

xo,

Kelsey