Favorite Pins Friday (and a Frightening Offer!)

October 31, 2014 AT 5:45 am Leave a Comment

Happy Friday!

Tonight is the night my youngest two have been waiting for all month, and unfortunately, it is going to be very rainy and cold.  Boo.  :(  Not the scary kind of boo, but the sad kind of boo.

We’ll make the best of it though!  

(BTW, be sure to check out the “frightening good” offerI at the bottom of this post.)

Here are my favorite pins from Pinterest this week! 

















































Hey!  For fun, I am running a frightening-good offer for TODAY ONLY!

Y’all know that I love my essential oils.  I cannot tell you how much they have changed our lives.  The best part to me is that we have basically gotten rid of all of old medicines in our medicine cabinet, and we now use essential oils.   When we have a headache, we grab Peppermint.  When we have tummy aches, we grab DiGize.  When we are feeling under the weather, we grab Thieves.  When we have a burn, we use Lavender. 

See what I mean?  It is so cool that I now have natural and safe ways to care for my family!!  We’ve come a LONG way in a year, and I am so grateful for essential oils!  (Truth be known, I think Cy loves the oils more than me!  I know!!  He is always googling which oils to use with certain symptoms.  He cracks me up!)

Sooooo, if you have been thinking about using essential oils, today is a GREAT day to start!  This is the best deal I have ever offered on my blog.  Woohooo!!


If you want to read more about the oils, click HERE.

If you want to go ahead and order the oils, click HERE.





True Hospitality

October 28, 2014 AT 7:07 pm 12 Comments

I want to think that I am a hospitable person.  To a degree, I am.  I try to make people feel warm and appreciated whenever I am around them.  But after listening to  Shauna Niequist at the Allume Conference the past week, I realize that I stink at TRUE hospitality.  The “Jesus kind of hospitality.”

Maybe you are like me.  Maybe you worry too much about your house to invite people over?  I know I do.  Especially since I started blogging.  I mean, I am a home blogger.  I take pretty pictures of my home.  But 99% of the time, my home looks nothing like the pictures on my blog.  I am always worried that people will be disappointed when they come to my house and see what it really looks like.  I know…sad but true.

I also put pressure on myself to be the perfect host with Pinterest-perfect food and decor.  Do you do that?  I truly enjoying doing a lot of the pretty stuff I see on Pinterest, but if it keeps me from having people I love over to my house, then that is not good.

You know what I mean?

Shauna taught us what TRUE HOSPITALITY means…

1.  True hospitality is when someone leaves your house feeling better about themselves, not about you.
2.  Hospitality is giving people a place to be, when they would otherwise be alone.
3.  Hospitality is creating a sacred space where God can work in and through you.

In Acts 2, the early church gathered in each other homes and broke bread together.  No fancy tablescapes.  No picture-perfect desserts.  Just fellowship and food.

If we want to build anything of substance, durable, beautiful, meaningful….we need to build it around the table. Meal by meal.

The early church wasn’t built in coliseums, short essays, short conversations…it was built around the table.

I was challenged to ask myself, “Am I living a life of hospitality?”

“Am I practicing the Jesus way of Hospitality on my blog?”

Many times we do not practice hospitality because we are too busy or too afraid.

But hospitality can be simple.

I particularly got a kick of how Shauna gets ready for company to come over.


Fifteen minutes before they come, she grabs three things…

1.  Bacon or an onion.

2.  Laundry Basket.

3.  Baby Wipes.


She puts bacon or an onion on the stove to make the house smell good and homey.
She gets a laundry basket and runs to the rooms where her guests would be and picks up things they could possible sit on or trip over.
Lastly, she uses baby wipes to wipe up anything sticky or icky in those rooms as well.


When company shows up, don’t apologize!  Do you do that?  I am sooooo guilty of that.  I point out every imperfection in my home and explain why it’s that way or why we haven’t fixed it yet.  Truth is, our guests would probably never notice the imperfections if we didn’t point them out!  

You know the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible.  Jesus is at their house, and Martha is busy getting everything ready for her guest.  
Mary doesn’t help Martha, so Martha tattles to Jesus.  Secretly, we wish Jesus would agree with Martha, but He doesn’t. 

Jesus says, “She (Mary) has done the one thing and it will not be taken away from her.” 

Mary was PRESENT.

The soul of hospitality is connection and presence.

I want to be present and connect with my guests when they are in my home. 

How do I do that?

I think it is by focusing on my guests more than my house and myself. 

I think it is by creating that “sacred space” where God can work in and through me when others enter my home.

I think it is by putting away the notion that everything has to be Pinterest-Perfect, and just embrace the imperfections in our lives and homes. 

What do you think?

I would love to hear your thoughts on True Hospitality!


Favorite Pins Friday!

October 24, 2014 AT 2:08 pm 3 Comments

 Happy Friday, Friends!

I am writing you from the Allume Conference in Greenville, SC.

My sister and I came to this conference, and we are having a great time together.  I LOVE spending time with my sister any chance I get!



 I am looking forward to sharing some of the stuff I am learning with you next week.  :)


Here are my favorite pins from Pinterest this week!  


(Click on the link below each picture to view the source.)














Have a Blessed Day!


Favorite Pins Friday!

October 17, 2014 AT 3:16 pm 6 Comments

Happy Friday, Friends!

I hope you have had a good week. :)

My and my boys are up to something fun and spur-of-the-moment this weekend.  I will be sure to share lots of pictures with you next week!  

For now, here are my favorite pins from Pinterest this week….


(Click on the link below each picture to view the source.)




























































Have a Blessed Weekend!





Our New Furry Neighbors

October 15, 2014 AT 7:20 am 56 Comments

About a month ago, I was in the kitchen when I saw something by our back door. 

It was a stray cat, which totally surprised me since I haven’t seen a cat on our property the four years we have lived here.

Plus, I am not a cat person.  I am a dog person.  (I’m sorry cat lovers, but it is true.)

I don’t like being around cats.  They scare me.

My husband, on the other hand, loves all animals.  He went out to check on the cat and noticed that she was pregnant.  She kept hanging outside our back door for several days until finally my husband fed her some food.  (Not my idea.)  He was worried because she seemed so hungry and was pregnant.  He’s a softie.  :)

Well, Cy and the boys fell in love with this cat, and they call her Sassy. 


One day a couple of weeks ago, Cy noticed that Sassy’s belly was thin again, and we knew she had had the kittens. 

But we didn’t know where they were.  For days, Cy tried to figure out were the kittens were, but we could never find them. 

The weather here in Kentucky was getting extremely cold for a couple of days, and Cy started to worry it would be too cold for the kittens.  He researched online if kittens could survive in that cold of weather, and it said they would be at risk of dying.  (At least that is what he told me.  He may have just reeeeeally wanted to keep the kittens.)  :)

Cy kept trying to find the kittens, and finally Sassy led him to her little burrow where she had her litter.  

Oh my goodness, those kittens were so cute!!!  Okay, I am NOT a cat person, but I LOVE kittens.  I just wish they would stay kittens and not turn into cats.

Once we found the kittens, we were able to move them into our shed where they would be safe and warm.  Sassy and her kittens LOVE their new home.  And we are loving watching them grow.

I have been dying to show you pictures of the kittens.  Sassy had five kittens, 3 boys, 2 girls.


The cool thing is they are all completely different!

One black one… (my sister-in-law has already called dibs on this one) :)


One orange one….



One black and white one….


One tan one….


And one gray one…


I know!  Aren’t they adorable?!!!


They are so fun to watch!


They love to cuddle up with each other.  And they have opened their eyes now and are getting a lot more active.


And they sound so cute when they meow. 


Can you believe it?!  I would have never thought we would be raising baby kittens!  We have bought some cat food for Sassy because she is always hungry and needs plenty of nourishment to nurse her babies.  I think Sassy is going to be a permanent fixture at our house.   I’m trying to warm up to her, but it is going to take me awhile.

Cy wants to keep the black and white kitten, and I am kind of partial to the tan and gray ones.  But they are all so dang cute!  I’m not sure how many we will keep.

What would you do?



Sunday Encouragement

October 12, 2014 AT 8:42 am 4 Comments


when I don't understand why


I have been wanting to share this story on my blog for a while.  I shared a little on my facebook page, but nothing here.


A couple of months ago, a dear friend of mine, Shawn, was stricken with an infection that left her fighting for her life.  Shawn and I used to teach together, and I roomed with her younger sister when I was in college.


The doctors didn’t think Shawn would live, but she miraculously did.  Unfortunately, there was severe damage to her hands and feet, and they had to be amputated.



You can read more about her story HERE.


Shawn is an amazing person and amazing teacher. She was teacher of the year and the district’s top elementary-school teacher in 2012. Last year, she was a finalist for the statewide teacher of the year award.


But more than that, Shawn is an amazing Christian and the wonderful wife and mother to three beautiful daughters.


I love this picture of Shawn with two of her daughters.




I think what astounded me the most during this difficult time was watching the faith of her family.  Especially her daughters.


Her daughter, Delaney, (in the green dress above) is only 20 years old and sophomore in college.  She would write updates on her facebook page that left me in tears and strengthened my faith.


Here is one that I wanted to share with you that she wrote after mom’s hands and feet were removed.  Delaney is taking the semester off to help care for her mom.


Maybe you are going through a difficult time that you just can’t understand WHY.  May you find strength and comfort in Delaney’s words.




Yesterday my dad asked me if I felt like I was missing out on Nashville, being home for the semester. I felt guilty but my answer was yes. I have a wonderful school and incredible friends there and that world doesn’t stop turning just because I’m not around.

And being home can be hard.

It’s hard to see my mom go through this. It’s hard not knowing how to help. It’s hard not to curl up and hide away and cry and throw fits and ask Jesus why this happened to her, why this couldn’t just be another normal year, why, why, why.

I have felt and seen sacrifice and loss this semester in ways that I have never faced before. Kelsey, my oldest sister, has flown back and forth from California three times so far. She is working eighty hours a week to make money to help the family and to be able to afford the trips back and forth. Lindsey is working two jobs, one in Cincinnati, one in Lexington, and taking notes from nurses at the hospital whenever she’s not busy (we all want her to go to nursing school. She’s a natural!)

My dad spends every single afternoon and evening being my mom’s hands and feet, bringing her favorite foods, washing her hair, helping her get in and out of bed, brushing her teeth, surfing the channels to find her favorite shows. He stays there until he’s sure she’s asleep, no matter how late that is.

And then there’s my mom, a warrior like I’ve never seen before. She is legitimately unbelievable. She has now lost both legs below the knee, her right hand, and her left fingers, yet she has the best attitude of anyone I know-healthy or sick. She is cracking jokes and keeping things light while simultaneously working herself to exhaustion to gain strength and skills back. She has made so much progress so quickly.

She is an inspiration to anyone who walks into her room, or reads her story or even sees her picture. Her eyes sparkle and she glows. Like, not even metaphorically. It’s the best example I’ve seen of Jesus shining straight through someone.

I will admit though that there has been this unspoken sense of loss, for her hands and feet obviously, but also for a stage of life that has passed away. We are all aware that things will never be the way that they were. This will be a long road, one that’s really hard for everyone in one way or another.

Throughout this season, there have been so many things that were hard to comprehend, hard to stomach even.

The day my mom had her last surgery, I prayed and told Jesus I didn’t understand. It didn’t make sense.

Since then he’s been asking me if I really thought about what I was saying when I told people I had given my life to Christ. Given my LIFE to him.

He’s asked me if I’m going to count the cost of following him and follow him anyways.

People don’t like to tell you that following Jesus is expensive, which is funny because Jesus wasn’t shy about telling people.

When Jesus called followers in the bible, it says they left EVERYTHING and followed him. Everything. When a man asked if he could wait until he buried his father, Jesus said no! Jesus wanted us to understand this.

Following him means leaving everything behind-our possessions, our understandings, our preferences, our expectations of how life should be.

A life with Jesus is a life of risk. A life with Jesus is a life of trusting beyond our understanding, trusting so much that we look foolish to someone who still leans on their own worldly understanding, trusting him with our future, our family, our hands, our feet.

A life with Jesus is a life of sacrifice. A life of constantly laying down everything we have. BUT when we rid ourselves of the things of this world Jesus has so much freedom to FILL US UP-with purpose, joy, hope, faith, love, and life! He lavishes our hearts when they are fully in his possession.

I am learning that “Why?” is the least important question. We should be asking

“What”- what beauty are you going to bring from these ashes?

“Who”- who are you going to reach through this?

Where”- where are you leading us next?”

These are the questions He loves to answer, often by showing us rather than telling us.

And those answers are what fill our hearts even when we feel we’ve poured out everything in us.

So, no. I still don’t understand why all of this happened.

And yes, I will count the cost of following Jesus and follow Him anyways.

When I don’t understand why, when I feel like I have nothing left, I will follow Him still- to the what’s, the who’s, and the where’s.

when I don't understand why


5 Reasons I Love My Kitchen Open Shelves

October 6, 2014 AT 4:29 pm 29 Comments


Why I Love my Open Shelves


When we moved in our house four years ago, I knew one of the first rooms I wanted to do a makeover on was our kitchen.


Wasn’t it beautiful?!  Winking smile








I also knew that one of the first things I wanted to do was remove the soffit and upper cabinets and install open shelves.


Now my kitchen looks like this…




I LOVE my open shelves!!


When I shared them on my blog, most readers loved them too.


However, I had some readers not like the idea of open shelves, and that is totally fine.


And every now and then, I get a comment or email asking me if I still like my open shelves, or if they get dirty easily.


Well, I am hear to tell you that almost four years later, I am still in love with my open shelves and here are four reasons why.


1.  All of my dishes are easy to reach.


I love being able to just reach up and grab a dish or cup that I need.  I have the dishes that I use on a daily basis on the bottom open shelf.


There is no time wasted opening and closing doors.  I just grab and go.


2.  The shelves are easy to Decorate.


Open shelves literally decorate themselves.  To me, they look beautiful just full of white dishes, and if that was all I ever wanted to do, that would look great.


But just add a few red dishes to the white ones, and boom, you are ready for Christmas!  Smile



In the spring, I put the red dishes in my pantry, and bring out more springy dishes.




Open shelves look great with baskets on them which makes for a lot of extra storage.  I like to store my linen napkins in my baskets.


3.  My open shelves keep me organized.


Like I said above, I only keep out the dishes that I use the most.  The rest of my dishes that I only use every once and a while or on special occasions are in cabinets in the laundry room off of the kitchen.




I am amazed at how many kitchen items I almost never use!  Open shelves help me keep away the clutter.  When I had cabinets with doors, I would stuff them full of stuff because I knew that no one would really see it, and boy were they a mess!


4.  It makes it easy for guests.


Have you ever been over someone’s house, and you are trying to help out in the kitchen, but all you keep saying is, “Where’s your bowls?”  and “I don’t know where your glasses are?”


Not at my house!  Everything is easy to see and easy to find, and I love that my guests do not have to ask me where everything is.  I hope it makes them feel more comfortable in my home.


5.  They are so easy to clean and the dirt can’t hide!


So, it always seems that the main reason that people don’t like open shelves is because they say they would be hard to keep clean. 


Not true.  Yes, they do get dirty, but not like people think. 




Every couple of months, I just take a cloth and cleaner and wipe them off.  No big deal.



And the good thing is that my shelves look clean all the time, even if they aren’t.   Smile


I also like that my shelves are white, so that when they are dirty, I can see the dirt and get rid of it. I’m glad the dirt isn’t hiding on dark wood cabinets.

So there you have it!   Those are the reasons I am still loving my open shelves.


What are your thoughts about open shelves?

Love ‘em?  Hate ‘em?









Fall Fun

October 2, 2014 AT 12:42 pm 6 Comments


Last weekend was so much fun!

We met at Dad and Janet’s house and then headed to the local corn maze. 

It was my family, my brother’s family, and my sister’s family, plus Dad and Janet.  Four car loads!  Smile

I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR.  You knew that already, I know.

But seriously.  I can’t get enough of it.

Here are a few pictures from the day I wanted to share with you.

I didn’t get as many as I had planned because I forgot my camera, but I snapped these on my phone.

Me and my sweet great nephew, Colt.


The “cousins” jumping on the HUGE balloon-trampoline-thingy.  (Jonathan, Luke, and Kinsey)


Luke LOVES animals and loved holding this sweet little rabbit.


Here is most of the crew heading out to the pumpkin patch on the wagon.


Eli had fun trying to find the biggest pumpkin!


We all found the perfect pumpkin and headed back to the corn maze.


Can someone please tell me how my little boy, Jonathan, is now a man?  Like, when did this happen?!!!


My sister-in-law, Ande, is headed into the corn maze with the boys. 


And here we go…. 


Somehow, Cyndi, Colt, and I got separated from the pack and got lost in the maze.  We found our way out waaaaaay later than everyone else. 

Not cool.  We were exhausted as I carried Colt around on my shoulders. 

We went back to Papa and Janet’s to roast hot dogs and s’mores.   Two of my favorite things!

Dad had worked really hard on decorating the back yard.  He and Janet made this scarecrow in hunting gear.  Perfect for Kentucky! Smile

Colt loved it.


Dad watched us all enjoying ourselves.  Nothing makes my dad happier than being with family!!



Did I mention that the Kentucky Wildcats were also playing football on tv?



Best. Day. Ever.

What have you been up to so far this fall?


5 Ways I Used My Essential Oils Last Week (plus a Special Offer!)

September 30, 2014 AT 8:29 am 2 Comments



Essential Oils have become a big part of my life.  It surprises me actually.

I would have never considered myself an “oily” person. 

But I really want to try and make the best choices for my health and my family’s health.

I know I am doing that when I use Essential Oils.


Every now and then, I want to share with you practical, everyday uses of essential oils.


Last week, here are FIVE WAYS I used my Young Living essential oils:


1. I used THIEVES on an infection on Adam’s arm. Healed overnight.

2. Used LEMON to

get paint off my kitchen table.

3. I used PEPPERMINT for a sinus headache I had.

4. I left a load of clothes in the washing machine and they soured. I used two drops of PURIFICATION in the wash and ran the rinse cycle. Stink gone!

5. I burned my forehead with my curling iron while curling my bangs. Applied LAVENDER. Pain relieved.



I shared pictures of Adam’s arm on my facebook page, and it got quite a lot of interest.


Here is what I shared:


So the school nurse called me Friday afternoon and told me that Adam had an infected cut on his arm. She said it had all of the signs of an infection: Pain, swelling, hot to touch, and the swollen part was really hard. She said I should probably take him to a doctor to get some antibiotic cream or something. When he got home from school, we applied Thieves essential oil (Young Living) directly to the infected area every two hours and before he went to bed. The next morning, his arm looked great! No pain, swelling was gone, wasn’t hot any more, and wasn’t hard. Loved that I saved money by not going to the doctor, and that I was able to help his arm with something natural and safe for him.


Now, let me make it clear, if I saw an urgent need to take Adam to the doctor, I would have totally done it.  I am NOT against going to the doctor!  I love my kids’ pediatrician, and will go there when needed. But I knew that I wanted to try a natural solution first. 


Adam and I were both amazed at how quickly Thieves worked on his infection. 


See why I love my oils?!


I got a TON of people from Facebook asking me for more information about essential oils.


If you would like me to send you more information, please email me at [email protected].


And since it is the last day of the month, I decided to offer a ONE DAY ONLY SPECIAL!


Today ONLY, if you sign up with

Young Living by purchasing a

Premium Starter Kit,

with my member number #1520977,

you will get a

FREE $20 Amazon Gift Card!

special offer


You can sign up HERE.



Sometimes, people get confused with the sign up process, but don’t let it stop you.  PLEASE email me if you have questions!


I promise, you are not signing your life away or signing up to some type of monthly commitment.


(I am not a “sales” type of girl.  If you have read my blog long enough, you would know that.  But I just love these oils, and I know you will too!  I feel honored to share them with you.)


Young Living is the coolest company to work with!  Be sure to sign up as a Wholesale Distributor so you can get a 24% discount on all future purchases.  You do NOT have to make monthly purchases, just spend 50 PV (which is about $50 dollars) a YEAR to remain a wholesale distributor and get the 24% discount.  Yes, I said A YEAR!! 


And if you purchase a Premium Starter Kit, you have already met your 50 PV for the entire year!

 When you sign up, it will ask you if you want to join Essential Rewards.  I think this is the part that trips people up.  You do NOT have to sign up for Essential Rewards, but you may want to in the future if you love the oils and find yourself purchasing them each month.  But you can think about that later. :)

So seriously, email me today with any questions you have.  I will get back to you asap! 


Have a wonderful day, friends!!


Favorite Pins Friday!

September 26, 2014 AT 6:47 pm 12 Comments


Hey sweet friends!

I hope you have had a good week. Smile


Can I just thank you for reading my blog each day and for being such faithful followers?!


You guys are the best!! I truly love traveling this crazy “blog” road with you! 


I am super excited about this weekend because we are going to the Corn Maze tomorrow.  We will enjoy getting lost in the maze and taking a hay ride.  Then we will go back to Dad and Janet’s to roast hot dogs and s’mores and watch UK football.


Does it get any better than that?!!! Smile


THEN, on Sunday, my sweet little Eli is getting baptized!  What a JOYOUS day that will be! 


It is such a blessing to know that I get to spend eternity with all of my children and husband.  I praise God for the gift of salvation!


I hope that you are able to enjoy some wonderful fall weather this weekend, or spend some time with loved ones.  It’s those little things in life that make it so incredibly precious.


Oh yeah!  I forgot to announce winners of my two most recent giveaways.  (sorry.  Sad smile)


The winners of the TWO Nesting Place Book giveaway are:


Jeniffer and Kirstin B.  (I have emailed both of you!)


The winner of the Two Fern Prints from Birch Lane is:


Michelle (I emailed you today!)  Smile



Here are my favorite pins from Pinterest this week!




lovely etc fall home tour






cement vanity #loo #bathroom #powderroom












Calendar Wall Art and Chalkboard Dresser
















blue herringbone tile behind range






Tips to make an old home feel new






Earthy & Neutral Living Room. I love the pops of yellow and green, as well as the various textures! #dream living room


















Have a blessed weekend!


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