Monday, August 31, 2015

currently.



It's been awhile since I've written a blog post just to write. I know that in a few years ago, I'm going to click back and miss the gap where I didn't write. I know this because I look back on blog posts from 2010 or 2013 and I love reading the thoughts that were in my head at the time. It'd be nice to say that I resolve to start blogging more frequently, but let's just take it one post at time, because all I can commit to these days is keeping my kids alive, and maybe getting some food on the table at the end of the day. Any deep or witty thoughts are all buried somewhere in my subconscious, I think. Or buried under a pile of toys.

For now, let's start small. Today, a list.

Currently...

reading: "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo (we're determined to purge and simplify before our next move in June!)

watching: Heroes on Netflix

anticipating: flying to the Influence Conference in two weeks! (four full nights of sleep!!)

celebrating: Delia slept through the night for the first time in MONTHS on Friday night (and then slept horribly last night, but ya know, I'll take what I can get)

eating: tons of peaches from our visit to Ward's Berry Farm on Friday and dreaming about the peach and raspberry jam smoothie we got while we were there.

loving: this tank maxi from Brass Clothing which rocks my world and makes me feel pulled together and slammin' in about 2.5 seconds

feeling: thankful for all the time off that Chris has had this summer, and a bit anxious about his return to school in a few weeks

wearing:: dress:: brass clothing // gold leather cuff:: nickel and suede // bag:: vintage from an Etsy shop that no longer exists


Friday, August 28, 2015

standing for life (let's break the silence and jump in.)



As a little girl, I spent countless hours inside the walls of my local crisis pregnancy clinic. Not the most conventional place for a kid to hang out, but my mom was the director of one (now three!) in Maryland, and I loved spending time there. I spent my sick days on the couches where women were counseled and prayed for on other days of the week, I played with the tiny plastic models that showed how a fetus grows-- even the tiny 13 week model which fit perfectly inside my little palm had itty-bitty baby features. I stole candy from the receptionist's desk and flipped through magazines in the waiting room. But more than all that, I grew up hearing of the tough decisions that so many women have to make when they are faced with an unexpected pregnancy, and listening to the joy in my mom's voice when some un-named client decided to choose life for her unborn baby. At a young age, I knew the horrors of abortion, and the developmental milestones for babies in the womb. Deep in my heart, a fierce love for the unborn imbedded itself. 

So, as each new video has appeared on my screen this summer, detailing another horrific aspect of Planned Parenthood's deception of women and profiting from selling baby parts, I've felt more and more helpless and horrified. I've been surprised at the silence around this issue on my Instagram and Twitter feed, and felt scared into silence myself. I realize that not everyone who follows or reads along with me shares my beliefs and I guess I was worried about offending or saying the wrong thing. 

I think it's easy to say that if you haven't been in xyz situation, than you don't have a right to speak to it. Truth be told, I haven't had an unplanned pregnancy or faced raising a child in a single parent home. But why should this keep me from raising my voice, speaking out against the murder of innocent lives, and advocating for better resources for pregnant women in need? Women deserve to have better resources than abortion. Unborn children deserve better than to have their lives ripped away from them and their body parts sold for profit. And so, I decided to break the silence on my own Instagram feed, and use the most powerful weapon I know to use. 

Each day this week, I've been praying for a different aspect of this abortion and life issue. I've been posting prompts over on my Instagram feed, inviting others to join with me in prayer for men and women hurting from abortion, for abortion workers, for our government officials. I've lost several hundred followers, but mainly, I've been greeted with a hunger from the women in my Instagram community who are ready to pray, to speak out, to do something about the atrocities that are occurring in our nation. Maybe you are one of those men or women who are ready to get involved. 

Today, I'm inviting you to pray with me about how you might jump in. God might be calling you to open your home to foster or adoption, or He may want you to start small and set aside a monthly donation to your local pregnancy clinic. I've listed some links below to help kickstart some ideas for you. Get creative, do some research, and find out where God is calling you. 

Donate to your local pregnancy clinic.  Just a little over $1 can help provide free prenatal vitamins for a woman who has chosen life, and $300 can provide a life-altering ultrasound to a woman feeling pressure to abort. 

Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy clinic.   Take a free training class to become a counselor, or if you're a nurse, you can donate your time to provide free STD testing, pregnancy tests and sonograms to abortion-minded women. Or even do something as simple as spending some time in the office helping fold brochures and praying over the work that is being done there. 

Donate to And Then There Were None, a ministry that provides counseling and resources to abortion workers wishing to leave the industry and heal. 

Love on and support young pregnant mamas through a ministry like Embrace Grace.

Pray and fast with 40 Days for Life or join a vigil this fall. 


"He has told you, O man, what is good: And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8












Wednesday, August 19, 2015

{his and hers} jord wood watch review








Chris and I had the opportunity to work with Jord Wood Watches on a review of their gorgeous wooden timepieces recently.

When we went to choose our watches, we loved that there were so many options to fit each of our styles. Chris immediately zeroed in on the Dover Series' Koa wood options. This gorgeous and strong wood comes from acacia trees, and the word "koa" also means " warrior" in Hawaiian. When we lived in Hawaii, his ship squadron's nickname was "Koa Kai"- the warriors of the ocean. So, it was pretty much a no-brainer for him to choose the Koa and Black Dover Series watch. Chris isn't much of a jewelry guy, but the beautiful wood grain, exposed gears, and reminder of our time in Hawaii means that it rarely leaves his wrist these days.

My own choice, the Cora series Lavender and Maple watch, was a pretty simple one to make. I love the colorful face, and casual elegance of the maple wood. It pairs seamlessly with shorts and tee, or perfectly with a date night outfit.

Both of our watches are incredibly lightweight, so even with all that comes with a day with the kids-- fixing breakfast, changing diapers, playing trucks, giving hugs, wiping tears, kitchen dance parties-- we barely notice our watches on our wrists-- until it's almost naptime, of course. Then we may be checking our watches a little more frequently. ;)

Take 10% off your own Jord Wood Watch purchase with the code HELLOHUE10 at checkout- good until September 2!



Wooden Watches by JORD

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

albion fit review and giveaway!




As summer approached this year, I began to worry about my beach bod. Or lack thereof, rather. After two pregnancies, two C-sections, diastis recti wrecking my core, and a very long winter indoors, I was not feeling beach ready in the slightest, except for the fact that I knew I was ready to get sandy with my kiddos and drink margaritas in plastic cups. Definitely ready for that.

When it came time to finally find a swimsuit for this season, I made a decision to embrace this bod. This one, right here. All the stretchmarks, wrinkles, freckles, and saggy skin that have come from carrying two sweet babes, nursing them for their first year, and living life for almost thirty years. No more beating myself up over a body that has worked so hard and given me so much. I've worn a bikini to the beach a few times, and loved the way it helped me to accept my mama bod a little more.

But um, let's be (even more) honest here. Sometimes it's just really nice to wear something that totally flatters, supports, and makes you feel a tiny bit sexy, even when wrangling littles at the beach. Even though it felt liberating to don my high-waisted bikini, and I was (and still am) determined to love this body I've got, there were more than a few pictures snapped by Chris that I deleted as soon as I saw them. I needed something with a little more support, and yeah, maybe a little more coverage. Here's where this gorgeous swimsuit enters the story.

Peplum. Floral. Stripes, High-waisted. Underwire support. Sweetheart neckline. Criss-cross back. They've thought of everything in the Antigua Cobalt Peplum suit . It's a tankini like you've never seen  (or worn!) before. "They" being Albion Fit, a swimwear and fitness clothing company with beautiful, high-quality pieces that you will go ga-ga over. They've got a swimsuit silhouette for everyone, in the most lovely prints and vivid colors.

So, here's to embracing what your mama gave you, and what your babies gave you, and what life has given you, and wearing a suit that enhances, tucks, supports and flatters all of those things. I'm excited to be partnering with AlbionFit to give away two $50 gift cards this week. Hop over to my Instagram to enter to win!



Monday, August 3, 2015

watermelon.







 I couldn't resist snapping some shots of their drippy, sticky, happy (and still a bit sleepy) faces as they gobbled up almost the whole bowl after nap time a few weeks ago. I took almost the same exact pictures of a much tinier Silas two years ago and posted them in this post here.

Motherhood has been such a strange mix of intense emotions lately-- one day I'm battling screaming children, swearing never to birth another child again, the next day (or more likely, the next moment) I'm smooching cheeks and thinking how I'd like about three or four more sets of chubby cheeks in this family. One moment, I'm feeling completely defeated, sitting on the floor of the hallway and trying my best not to scream obscenities in my almost three year old's direction, and the next, I'm watching my tiny girl crawling around for the first time, and Silas counting on his fingers, squealing in delight, and I think about how motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Nothing and no one has ever made me feel so absurdly crazy in my life. I think this is what they call "in the trenches", and I'm doing my very best to soak up the good moments and let the bad ones roll off my back. And praying for more sleep... lots more sleep.