a reminder to live

 

 

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

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He loves making wishes.

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And picnics with his Jon Jon and SuSu.

PicMonkey Collage

He loves sitting on the counter and prolonging bedtime.

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

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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

 

 

oh, toodles! remi’s third birthday

It happened. Remington turned three despite my best efforts to keep him from growing up! ;) So, of course, we had to celebrate Mickey-style with a fun little shindig at my parent’s house. I wish I had the time to take more pictures, but thankfully my sister got some for me! Remi snoozed through the beginning of his party and I actually had to wake him up! I think we had been talking about his party for so long that he didn’t believe me when I told him it was his party day! Click on a picture and scroll through the slideshow if you want to see larger images. I hope you enjoy Remington’s Clubhouse!

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“.

 

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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

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

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

 

labeled: broken

He poked his lip out and threw the yellow crayon on the ground. “It’s broken. I can’t use it. I need to put it in the trash.”

Hey, God. I hear ya. I’m paying attention this time.

I replied, “It’s ok, Remi. You can still use the broken crayon to color with. We don’t need to throw it away.”

I had to stifle a giggle at his attitude over the broken crayon. He was done–ready to throw it away and move on. For him, there was nothing good left. I still saw a perfectly good crayon with a broken tip. I tried reasoning with him. {Reasoning with a two year old. Laughable, I know.} He finally conceded.

That was a good one, God. Thanks for that. Your timing is always SO good.

I had been sitting for about 30 minutes trying to write. I wanted to write about how I spent my Saturday. I struggled with the words or even a cohesive thought. In that moment, He reminded me of how He uses us in our brokenness. How many times have I had that same conversation with Him? “I’m broken, Lord. You can’t use me. I’m not fit to be a {mom, wife, friend}. Go ahead and toss me.”

Yet, He never does. Albeit, He probably shakes his head at me {maybe stifles a giggle} and reminds me of who I am. He still sees me as good. Brave. Restored. Filled with purpose. Strong. Safe. Dearly loved. Free forever.

Things I could never be without Him.

Me? Yes, me. You? Yes, you, too.

I was reminded of these things this weekend. The Women’s Ministry at my church hosted a project. The Restoration Project to be exact. What did I encounter there? Women + Truth + Joy. That was the tagline on the tickets and brochures and boy, was it present. While there were so many good lessons and reminders, one thing really planted itself in my mind and in my heart. I hope it takes root in yours, too.

Let go of the old labels.

Stubborn. Rude. Dumb. Boring. Too big. Too small. Loud mouth. Quiet. Ugly. Insert every other label you’ve been given or have believed about yourself. Then draw a line through it.

Stubborn. Rude. Dumb. Boring. Too big. Too small. Loud mouth. Quiet. Ugly. Good. Lovely. Wonderful. Beautiful. Funny. Smart. Loving. Restored. HIS.

Why are labels so important to us? Worldly labels–things that only have meaning because we let them. Labels that mean nothing in eternity but everything in middle school. Or in the work place. Or wherever else we feel small, insignificant, and unworthy. Like how Remi labeled the crayon broken and useless. You aren’t broken. Your life isn’t over. There is still good. HE sees it. See yourself through His eyes.

I don’t remember the exact words or even who said it, but I’ll never forget it. “Your places of disappointment are your greatest opportunity to let Jesus live through you.” When we don’t allow Jesus to hold us close {like He so desperately long to do} Satan comes in and destroys. He builds up lies in our head and in our heart. Satan tells us we aren’t worthy. He tells us we are trash. Bit by bit we start to believe the lies. It’s time to stop believing Satan and start believing God. Start believing the One who delights in us, cares for us, loves us beyond measure. How? By spending time with Him and making His word a priority. By praying for Him to help you take every thought captive. I won’t lie–it is a struggle. I am so guilty of giving God the last pieces of me at the end of the day. Every single day I wake up and choose my priorities. Will I let Him hold me close or will I struggle to make it though the day on my own? It’s a lifelong project, but if we let Him walk with us, regardless of circumstance, it will be a joyful one.

In Christ’s love,

Kelsey

life with the langes

Hi friends! Do you still love me? Sorry it’s been so long. A lot has been going on the past two months {yes, it’s been that long. I’m embarrassed!} so let’s get you filled in!

First of all, have you seen my new website?! It’s amazing. Like for real. Go check it out here. I’ll wait for you to come back. Isn’t it so good?! Red Pup Media is awesome and I’m so, so grateful. Check them out if you need any web design…that little red dog is good! ;) I will be keeping this blog for updates pertaining to friends/family and whatever personal stuff I feel like sharing. All of my makeup related posts will now be on the new website. I’ll still be posting links to new posts on Facebook and Instagram for those that follow me.

Aside from staying busy with being a momma to a too smart two-year-old, wife to a RAILROAD ENGINEER {!!!} and makeup artist to my lovely clients, I’ve taken on a part time job at Sephora inside jcp! It’s been quite a journey working with our lovely team during brand training, merchandising the store, and grand opening! I’ve had so much fun furthering my product knowledge and artistry skills all while “working” ..seriously, what a fun environment to work {and shop} in! I won’t say it’s been easy transitioning into working more–it definitely hasn’t! With Jarrett’s crazy railroad schedule {or lack there-of} and the fact that Remington only goes to Mother’s Day Out two days a week, it’s been interesting. We’ve had to rely on both sets of parents quite a bit. I’m so incredibly thankful for mine and Jarrett’s parents. They spoil us!

We’ve had lots of blessings lately–time spent with family, a new car, and new friends. AND after six months of training, Jarrett was promoted from railroad conductor to engineer! So proud of him and all of his hard work! We’ve also had a few bumps in the road–learning to deal with taking on a part time job, losing a beloved pet/hunting buddy to cancer, strep throat for Remi, and emergency surgery for my dad’s dog while my dad was out of town.

Through it all I’m just feeling so completely blessed and thankful for everything in our lives. I’m trying to see the beauty in every moment {especially when dealing with two-year-old tantrums} and remember that it’s ok to be a little bit silly. I think it’s something we can all work on. :)

remieast texas sunsetsilly
cereal loverfamilymickeyfall leaveschilly morning
Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.

xoxo, Kelsey