August 29, 2015

Iced Coffee

As I was making my coffee this morning, I just felt like I should send a little 1-minute "thank you" shoutout to my girl Ree (Pioneer Woman) for posting this cold brewed coffee recipe. This here done changed my game.

I know what you're thinking: "This is pretty much the worst video ever made." (Like anyone could even know that.) I'm sorry! :O) All I had was my iPhone and love in my heart. But I mean for reals, guys, you have no idea what a spring it puts in my step each morning to know that there is a pitcher of this roasted gold waiting in my fridge. It is my new favorite and most cherished ritual. I have been trying to nail the perfect iced-coffee-at-home for years! 

Here are the details of my particular version of the perfect iced coffee experience:
Use Rhee's method (so easy! basically, just pour cold water over coffee grounds, wait overnight, and strain) to cold brew that darkest roast I can find.
Pour over ice. Make sure it's the kind of ice you like. This totally matters. I like cubed ice in a bag from the store.
Add a splash of organic vanilla almond milk.
I should also add that the cup you use matters. I really feel like it tastes better out of a clear glass, so you can see how beautiful it is. I actually ordered plastic cups with pretty black straws from amazon because it makes me feel like a kitchen barista and makes my heart so happy. But actual glasses are elegant, too. 

Of course, that's all just my silly stuff, you can do whatever you want. :O) But blow a kiss to the Pioneer Woman as you drink it! She's a gem. 

Happy Saturday, Gorgeous! 
Love you so!

August 23, 2015

Guessing Soup

My mom told me that I need to take more pictures of the kids. (#Grandmastruggles)
But it takes like a month of planning to get a *real* photoshoot of my two, so I decided to make a point to grab my camera from time to time and just shoot whatever's going on. I love those kinds of photos anyway. :O)

What I documented today is Paige using my phone to type up a menu for her imaginary restaurant, including such items as: "Radishes", "Big fat chicken", and "Guessing soup where you guess what the soup is", as well as "Any drink in the universe of the world" and "Free fun and wi-fi". Naturally, I chose the Guessing Soup, because who wouldn't want enjoy a tasty bowl of Who-Knows-What? It turned out to be broccoli and cheese, in case you're wondering. Plastic food never tasted so good.

You should try snapping some photos of the kids today with your DSLR, if you have one. It's really fun when you have no real reason to do it. No stress, it's not going on the Christmas card or anything. Just see what you can capture!
In fact! I'm inventing a hashtag for it right now: photosforfunRS

Use that hashtag when sharing your photos so we can inspire each other! It'll be fun! But don't forget the "RS" or you might just find weird photos of girls in lingerie. And seriously, we don't need to see any more of that. :o)

Hope you had a great weekend, friends!
I love you so much! You look great today!!

August 18, 2015

Our New House: Living Room!

You guys have been asking and asking to see our new house, and I finally have a room "done" enough to share! :o) The living room is the first room you walk into from outside, and so far, it is my favorite room in the house. It has lots of large windows with gorgeous wood trim, a beautiful staircase, and tall ceilings, which make it feel nice and spacious. It opens up to the learning/play room, which is intended to be a dining room, but instead we opted to make the living and dining rooms a shared space, since it's so large. (And this way we have somewhere for kids to play when guests are here-so nice!)

All we really did to this room was paint the walls and ceilings white. Which took forever! I don't think my shoulders will ever forgive me! Then we added furniture and decor that we (mostly) already had. We wanted to keep things very simple, so the beautiful wood and beveled glass windows would be the focal point of the room. The framed verse art (Hobby Lobby) and the Ocean themed paintings (thrifted) bring a little of our personalities into the space. I'm always on the lookout for more of that! And my neighbor (We have the best neighbors, you guys!!) says we need more family photos...I definitely think she's right about that. :o) Some day we will take up the carpet and restore the wood floors, but for now, the kids are enjoying sliding down the stairs way too much for that. 

So, I don't know, basically...this house in the and I have no idea how we ended up with such a blessing! We surely do not deserve it. 

Hopefully I will have more rooms to show you soon! I'm almost done with the learning room. :o) Yay!

Love you, dear friends!

P.S. I just wanted to let you know that I have been trying to take these photos and write this post for weeks, but just haven't had any will or passion to motivate me. But the comments you all left on my last post, and the prayers you've been offering for me and my family have encouraged me so much, and given me a such a spark! Thank you so much. :o)

August 14, 2015


You guys, I have tried so many times to write a blog post and I just don't know what to say. I have all the thoughts, but no words. Everything I type seems overly dramatic, but in actuality...isn't nearly dramatic enough. I'm going to fumble through it anyway, though, because you've been wondering how I am, and I just need to say...something. :o)

Today it has been one year since my sister's suicide. I can't believe it at all, it still feels like it's been a month. I still think about her constantly. Maybe that's not healthy? Maybe I'm obsessed. Maybe it'll get better. I've heard many times that the first anniversary of a death is when it starts to feels real. Is that a good thing or bad?

I don't really know what I want this post to say. Do I talk about her and what her life was like? I can't really do that, it involves too many other people. Do I talk about the absolute, soul-changing horror of surviving a loved one's suicide? I can't really put that into words. Do I talk about how my family has fallen apart since she died, and the second tragedy is almost equal to the first?

I could talk about how eery it all was.
Just three days before my sister died, Robin Williams committed suicide, and it hit me like a ton of bricks for some reason. I was never really a big Robin Williams fan (more of a Jack Black sense of humor), but I felt so disturbed when he died. More than the usual sadness at the loss of a stranger's life. I just kept thinking about it. I remember texting my mom to say: "What's up with me? Why am I heartbroken about this like he was my childhood friend or something?"
The day she died, I was at a friend's house, shooting photos of this tutorial. At one point the subject of my sister came up in conversation. We were interrupted by my friend's sweet little girl, wondering when lunch would be, and I looked at the clock to see what time it was. Later I realized that I'd been talking about my sister almost the exact moment she jumped. That afternoon, before I'd heard about what happened, I was doing the dishes and out of the blue, started singing "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind. I hadn't heard that song in forever, and I remember thinking how random it was that I would sing it. I just assumed that it was because doing dishes made me want to die. But the strangest thing was when we visited the bridge that she jumped off to leave flowers there. It's a moderately long bridge, and when we walked onto it, my family stopped a little ways down to look out. But for some reason I felt really drawn to a certain spot further down the bridge. When I walked to it and looked off the edge, I saw what you all see in the photo at the top of this post: the clear outline of her body in the trees below. It was the exact spot she had jumped from. I don't think I've ever felt sicker than that moment.

That photo is really disturbing (sorry), and it's one I thought I would never share. But that's what suicide is. When Robin Williams died, there were memes all over the place saying that the "Genie is free" and lots of other lovely, peaceful messages. I think that people wanted to be kind and positive, which is to their credit. But there is nothing positive about suicide. There is. nothing. good. about it. I need you to know: it is dark, it is disturbing to the core, it's painful, and it is evil. There is no upside. It is never the right choice. It is literally from Satan. Don't do it. Don't ever do it. No matter what, please don't ever do it. It sends its shockwaves much farther than you could ever imagine.

Well...that was a very uplifting post, I'm sure. The good news...the good news is, you're reading this, which means you're alive. And if you're alive, you can help people who are despairing and depressed. You can be kind and gentle with them. You can train yourself to pay attention to others' pain. You can turn off the tv, and write an encouraging note. You can reach out to someone who is crying for help. If you know someone who is struggling, encourage them. If they respond with meanness, encourage them more. Love the garbage out of them. And if they tell you to stop, don't. And if they seem like they're doing it for attention...give them attention! They need God's love, and if they won't seek it out, let's bring it to them. And keep bringing it. And keep bringing it, and keep on bringing it. Until they get a restraining order. ;o)

And if you're the one needing is waiting for you. If you are considering suicide, know this: you are being lied to. You have no worth? False. That's a lie. No one loves you? False. Lie. People are better off without you? False! That's a lie!! There's no other way to end your pain? No! That is a lie. Seek out truth. God is truth. You want to feel loved? Go to the source! God is love.

I guess that's about all I have to say about that.

I love you very much :O)

June 26, 2015

Come Visit Us in Kokomo!

Just wanted to send out a quick invite to any readers in the Kokomo area to our church family's "friends day" this Sunday! Don't get us wrong, we want our friends there every Sunday. :o) But once a year we invite all our friends at the same time and have a little church party of sorts. It's gonna be wonderful! And you'll get to hear my husband preach, which is always so encouraging.
We'd love to see you!

Center Road Church of Christ
899 W 300 S Kokomo, IN

Have a great weekend, guys! 

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 

For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. 
In his hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care."
Psalm 95:1-7

June 14, 2015

Work Camp!!

We just had the coolest week!!!
We went with our youth group to the Central Ohio Work Camp, where we painted houses for free for people who needed it. In five days, we painted 9 houses! Phew! And I say "we" loosely, because Ace and I mostly just delivered lunches and took photos. :o) But we still had fun!

Many of the houses looked like this before we started-or worse:
The home owners got to pick their paint colors...even if they wanted bright purple...and all the paint was supplied for free!
The teens worked so hard, every day from 8am-3pm, out in the hot sun, up on was amazing. They also did landscaping tore down sheds, installed gutters...I don't even know what else. They did so much!! I was so proud of everyone! 
Of course, I was most proud of this cute little biscuit. She stayed out all day with the older kids and worked, every day. Granted, I think there were a lot of KoolAid breaks, (she is barely 8) but she still worked hard!
We all stayed at the dorms of Otterbein University in Westerville. 
And after the hard day's work, every evening we did something fun, like baseball games and swimming and scavenger hunts. It was so great to have that time with them and get to know our teens more. My husband and I were blown away by the Kokomo youth group. Such good, hard working, spiritually minded kids. We hit the jackpot with our church family, like seriously. What.
It felt so, so good to help people who needed it. And I wish you could have been there at the end when we had a big banquet for all the home owners. They were all so gracious and wonderful. And it was so neat to hear their stories. Life is just so much richer when you're helping God bless other people.

P.S. I wish I had more "after" photos to share with you guys! Unfortunately I didn't end up driving out the the sites on the last day, so I didn't get many of those shots with my camera. But the transformations were pretty awesome!

Take care! I hope your day is going wonderfully. I love you! :o)


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