Staying Anchored in Troubled Times (with a giveaway!)

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If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you probably know a little bit about our foreclosure story. If not, and you have half an hour, you can listen to me talk about it on Amy J. Bennett’s Feathers podcast.

For me, that was hand-down the hardest couple years of my life. Dealing with a lot of unknowns, being separated from my husband, the constant stress of trying to sell a house, then not selling it. And those really hard times are when you come face-to-face with your faith. You find out whether it’s something you can really cling to or something maybe you didn’t actually believe deep down.

Is it an anchor? Or just a wave, rolling by?

#AnchoredHope by Kayla Aimee

During those years, I found that God was indeed my anchor.

I don’t want to compare our foreclosure to what my sweet friend Kayla Aimee talks about in her new book Anchored. Her struggle was one of life and death: the tiny life of her daughter Scarlette, who was born at 24 weeks gestation. But I think Kayla would agree with me: when the truly awful times hit, you find out what you really believe.

With her signature hilarious writing full of 90s references that make me grin, Kayla tells the very serious story of her pregnancy, going into labor at 24 weeks, and the six months her daughter spent in the NICU. She talks about the emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial burdens of having a micropreemie, while reflecting the joy and fighting spirit of a first-time mother.

I have not had a baby in the NICU, but I still laughed and cried through this beautiful book. I think this quote gives you some insight into Kayla’s lovely, unique style (and it was one of my favorites in the book).

quote from #AnchoredHope by Kayla Aimee

Many times we learn way more from the stories we didn’t want than from the Happily Ever Afters. Don’t you think?

AnchoredBonusPrint1

If you’d like to win a copy of Anchored and this beautiful print from Gracelaced, just leave me a comment telling me why you’d like to read this book. 

I did receive a copy of Anchored and some gifts from Kayla and B&H, but I have not been compensated nor was I required to write this! 

Please Stop Growing Up

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Please Don't Grow Up

Joshua is my first baby I don’t want to grow up.

(Coming from a family that knows child death, OF COURSE I want him to grow up. But you know what I mean.)

It’s probably just that he’s most likely our last child. But at 2 years and 3 months, I think he is quite likely the cutest thing that has ever happened to Planet Earth.

Don’t get me wrong: he is trouble and a half. I spend half my time trying to keep him from hurting himself. But it’s well worth it.

Joshua making funny faces

Because every morning when I get him from the crib, he makes some proud declaration like, “Nemo sleep my bed!” His curls go every which way and he smiles his trademark giant, goofy, toothy smile. Joshy has been giggles and grins since he was born and is almost always happy. (Except when he’s not. Like when I won’t give him “another one cup milk.”)

I know how much kids change between 2 and 3. I’ve been through it twice before. I know that soon he’ll start using more real grammar, he’ll stop running his silly gallop around the apartment, he won’t be so eager to give me “hug and a kah-iss.” I might have to cut the curly mop. He won’t fall asleep cuddled to my chest nearly as often.

Sleepy nap with Mommy

Oh, there are so many sweet things about them growing up. I love the stage Libbie is in, where she still likes me but is old enough to do fun stuff with. But I’m scared. I’m scared of moving on past the baby-and-toddler stage we’ve been in for nearly seven years now.

Who will give me slobbery kisses? Whose sweet baby language will make me shake with laughter?

Who will need me like a toddler needs his mommy?

 

Menu Plan Monday

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We are home from a wonderful week of vacation on Tybee Island, Georgia. It is just a gorgeous place, and I’m so glad we got to return this year!

I did a lot of reading, pretty much no writing, and a lot of talking with friends and family. I also did no menu planning for our return, so 30 seconds after we got home and David asked me when dinner was, I drew a blank.

My hastily planned-and-shopped-for menu plan sounds pretty good, though. Here it is!

Monday: Thai Peanut Beef, rice, sauteed green beans in sesame oil
Tuesday: Italian Sloppy Joes, roasted broccoli, apples slices
Wednesday: Lemon Chicken with Red Potatoes and Green Beans
Thursday: out with visiting family
Friday: Braised Pork Ribs with Hoisin & Ginger Ale Sauce, fried rice, stir-fry veggies
Saturday: going to a 4th party, bringing Dijon Potato Salad and Red, White, and Blue Yogurt Pie
Sunday: Bacon & Feta Pasta with Peas

Are you making anything fun for the 4th?

Links as of Late

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I really intended to keep dong some link post every week. But this summer has been swallowing me whole, leaving little time for reading. Also, I recently took on a role of doing curation for the site For Every Mom, headed by my friend Jenny of Mommin’ It Up.

So in all honesty, most of good links are going to Jenny. Here are a couple posts that ran there lately from my curating:

But I’ve also run across some other stuff that won’t quite work there. So here are some other great links I want to share with you.

I’m at the beach this week, so definitely sparse online, as it should be. Reading away and spending time with my family. Have a great week!

Menu Plan Monday | Simple for Summer

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Well, I didn’t totally bomb out on VBS week. We ate most of what I had planned, except instead of Tomato Basil Burgers I made homemade pizza for a Saturday night movie-night. (I use Amy’s No-Rise Crust and the Weelicious Veggie-heavy Pizza Sauce, which I make and freeze in portions.)

This week should be pretty chill as we prepare for vacation and the rest of the summer! I’m hoping to get the apartment cleaned up and maybe cleared out to the thrift store a little. I’m hoping this menu will keep my time working on dinner pretty low so I can focus on the kids and packing and the apartment.

June 15
B: Leftover Blueberry Muffins, grapes
D: Honey-Glazed Chicken Thighs, pasta, grilled zucchini

June 16
B: Toast with peanut butter, apple slices
D: Beef and Pork Burgers on Whole Wheat Buns, Potato Cubes, Peas

June 17
B: Date Scones
D: Italian Sloppy Joes, veggie saute

June 18
B: Pumpkin Molasses French Toast Sticks, fruit, cheese cubes
D: Balsamic Chicken and Tortellini, spinach salad

June 19
B: Eat what you can find!
D: Clean out the fridge night