Thursday, December 31, 2009

Peace (A Giveaway)

It's almost 2010. What are we going to call the next decade? The tens? The teens?

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. Maybe because every time I've tried, I've failed.

But this year feels different.

This year, I'm resolving to be more peaceful. So often I'm stressed out and in a hurry. It doesn't take much to put me over the edge. I don't think I've always been like this and I'm not liking it. I really want to be a more peaceful person. Enjoying life in the moment and not trying to rush things along.

I'm going to spend the year meditating on Philippians 4:4-9. So much of this passage of the Bible speaks to me. I want to have a gentle spirit. I want to be anxious for nothing. I want to think about things that are true, pure and lovely. And oh, to have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

Peace, peace, beautiful peace. I crave it.

In the spirit of having a peaceful 2010, my last giveaway is Aveda Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate. I love this stuff. A little on the temples, a little on the back of the neck and I'm feeling better by the minute.

To enter this giveaway, let me know if you have a resolution for 2010.

{All this week, I'm giving away a few of my favorite things. Be sure to enter my other giveaways here. I'll pick and announce the winners on New Years Day}.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where In The World Are You? (A Giveaway)

So, you know how I love headbands? Unfortunately, I was about to go broke wanting to buy a matching headband for every outfit Ivy owns. Not good.

To satisfy this desire and not break the bank, I started making headbands myself. And WOWWOWWOW. It's so fun.

My favorite creations are the bands with one large flower and a pearl in the center.

Like the one Ivy is wearing in this photo.

Do you want one? I'd loooove to make one for you. Just leave a comment telling me what state/country you live in, and if you win, we'll coordinate colors for a very own custom headband made by yours truly.

{All this week, I'm giving away a few of my favorite things. Be sure to enter my other giveaways here. I'll pick and announce the winners on New Years Day}.


THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Bit Awkward (a Giveaway)

Do you remember my obsession with these earrings?


It hasn't lessened, and I'm dying to give away another pair of these delightful buds. Just leave a comment telling me some obscure fact about yourself, and you could win a pair of pink rosebuds.

I'll go first.

I have a hard time pointing my toes.

When I took gymnastics as a young girl, I was always getting scolded, because every time I was supposed to point my toes, BOTH big toes would stick straight up in the air. Awkward.

Ok, I'm so glad you know that about me. Now we're really friends.

{All this week I'm giving away a few of my favorite things. Be sure to enter my other giveaways here. I'll pick and announce the winners on New Years day}.

UPDATE:

If you don't win, and you need these earrings, you can find similar ones here.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

Nearly a Year

I've had almost a full year of this girl.

And I can't get enough of her.

Ivy Pearl turns 1 a week from today!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tradition (A Giveaway)

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is eating Belgian waffles topped with berries and real whipped cream on Christmas morning. The crisp waffle, the tart raspberries and the sweet heavy cream carry me away to a state of elated bliss.

Sigh.

Do you have a favorite holiday tradition? Let me know what it is and you could win this pair of BabyLegs.


{For the next 4 days, I'll be giving away a few of my favorite things to help ring in the new decade. Please feel free to enter one or all of the giveaways. I'll pick the winners and announce them here on New Years Day}.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Where I Go

I have 35 minutes. Ryan just strapped the kids in the Pilot and went to Starbucks to buy more espresso pods. It should be enough time to say Hello to you, respond to some emails and catch up on some blog reading. When I have a few minutes, here's where I go:


.........

I can't believe Christmas has come and gone. Friends, it's almost 2010! Stay tuned for some sweet giveaways to ring in the new decade.

Happy Sunday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Can't Catch Me

Ivy took her first step on Sunday afternoon. By Sunday evening, she was taking 6-7 steps at a time. When I got her up Monday morning, I wondered if she was going to run.

Seven steps is still the most she's taken. But she's getting more and more confident. What a beautiful Christmas present.

I Love This Together Thing

I am deeply honored that so many of you have allowed me to share in your grief and to remember with you. I am praying that the Lord will be very near during this Holiday Season.

Thank you for all of your love and prayers as Ryan and I continue to grieve the loss of Lucia, Bennet, Tryg, Lincoln and Cadence. You have blessed our family more than you know.

I wish we could all get together.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Remembering Together

I've been remembering my babies a lot this Holiday Season. Grieving their loss. Trying to imagine how crazy our household would be with seven children {six of them the same age}. It makes me smile. It makes me sad.

For those who have lost a loved one, the Holidays are a tightly woven tapestry of joy, pain, celebration and grief. One part can't be separated from another. Many are remembering what was and others, like me, are picturing what could have been. Memories that were yet to be made.

As time passes between death and the present, grieving gets lonelier. Life continues. The world keeps revolving. But for the one who has experienced loss, though the grief may ebb and flow, they always remember.

And oh, the beauty of remembering with others. Letting them know, that you haven't forgotten. That the life of their loved one mattered.

I know this season is busy, but do you know someone who could use encouragement? Maybe a card or a quick phone call.

Perhaps you are the one who needs to be lifted up. If so, please feel free to leave the name of the person{s} you are remembering this season. I would be honored to remember them with you and to pray that as you grieve, your grief would not be without hope.

Love you all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

We recently attended a Christmas party for the Birth to 3 program. Sylas receive both physical and occupational therapy through Birth to 3.

Sy loves his therapists. Here he is with his occupational therapist, Mary Ann.


And his physical therapist, Heather.


As an added bonus, Santa and Mrs. Claus were at the party!!! This was Sy's first time sitting on Santa's lap and he was completely enamored.

Look at how GIGANTIC Santa's hands are! And his belt buckle is bigger than Ivy's head!

Sy couldn't take his eyes off of Jolly Old St. Nick.

This next phots is the only one we got of Sy {somewhat} looking at the camera. I love Mrs. Claus' face!

Ryan and I just started discussing how we're going to deal with the whole Santa issue. Of course our main focus during Christmas will always be on the birth of Jesus, but we don't have a problem with our children pretending that Santa is real. So much fairytale and imagination is being lost in our high tech, video game culture. And as our kids get older, we want to share the history of St. Nicholas. But when the time comes that they ask us point blank, "Is Santa real?," we will tell them the truth.

Do YOUR children believe in Santa?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting

My thoughts are muddled. Maybe because it sounds like there's a swarm of bees buzzing in my head. I'm a contradiction of emotions these days. My fuse is short. I find myself snapping at the children and then immediately wondering where it came from and not liking who I am in that moment.

Sylas is transitioning to one nap. Ivy is no longer sleeping well at night. And I miss my babies. My babies who, if they lived, wouldn't be babies anymore.

One minute I feel like pulling my hair out and the next I want to scoop Sy and Ivy into my arms and never let them grow up. I'm so thankful for my life, but I'm walking through it as a broken woman.

During this time of Advent, I'm waiting expectantly. Waiting for Jesus to come. Needing the Messiah more than ever. Knowing that He is the only One who can make things right.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

11 Months (and 3 days)

She's so lovely she takes my breath away.


Her 1 year birthday is just around the corner.


I'm not sure if I'm ready.


But ready or not.


Here it comes!

Monday, December 7, 2009

So Tall

I stayed in the nursery with my children yesterday. Sy has been getting very sad when I leave him, so it's less stressful for both of us if we're together. Mostly, I sit on the floor and play with Ivy, while Sylas does his own thing. He doesn't need me to play with him. He just needs to know that I'm there.

I was sitting by the foamy squishy bridge thingy when an adorable little girl walked up the steps of the bridge. She stood right in the middle with her arms stretched to the sky. I applauded her and exclaimed, "Look at you! You're so TALL!"

From across the room, Sy must have been listening, because not a minute later, he was there. Struggling to get up on top of the bridge. And when he does, firmly planting his hands, getting his feet up under him and shooting his tiny bum up in the air (picture downward dog with less flexibility), yelling, "SO TALL, MAMA!"

Trying to hide my tears, I exclaim, "You are so tall, Bug. You're very, very tall."

And he is. Even though he's small for his age, from a medical standpoint he shouldn't have survived. He's taller than anybody ever thought he would be. And he may not be able to stand up on his own yet, but he's doing much more than anybody ever thought he would do.

He's our big tall miracle, and I'm so very proud.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Some Business Items

Congrats Mama K! You are the winner of a 45/90 load bag of Rockin Green soap. Email me! The rest of you don't forget to use the code RockinHoliday to get 10% off your entire order at Rockin Green.

For The Nanny and The Dolezal Family, here's the recipe for the hearty and oh so tasty 3 Bean Vegetarian Chili I mentioned in my last post.

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili (yields 8-10 servings)

1 can white kidney beans (cannellini), drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 and 1/2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper (any color you have on hand), chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes (including juices)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (including juices)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups water
8-10 oz frozen whole-kernel corn
1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1. In dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and red pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and ground red pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with their juices, salt and oregano, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring several times.

2. Add beans and water to Dutch oven. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Stir in corn and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Serve with crispy bread and you got yourself a meal!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Real Life

There is something so cozy about a warm house, a hot kettle of soup and cooking in the kitchen with your father.

Tomorrow the church is having a chili dinner after the morning service. We're raising money to help families in the community who are unable to afford gifts for their children this year. I made two GIGANTIC pots of my 3 bean vegetarian chili.



It calls for a lot of beans.


Tomorrow evening, the children from the church are putting on their annual Christmas pageant. A cookie reception will immediately follow the production. Sylas will be extremely excited about this. He's so into COOOO-KIES lately. My dad made sugar and molasses cookies. Delish!



In other news, Ivy Pearl is 11 months old today. The photos we took of her didn't turn out, so amidst the pageants, chili and cookie eating, I'll have Ryan try to snap a few tomorrow.

Don't forget to enter the Rockin Green Soap giveaway posted here. The contest will close at 11:59 p.m. CST tonight!!!

Sweet Dreams.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rockin Green (a Giveaway)

I've now been cloth diapering for about five months months and I still love it! We use disposables in a pinch (or when I'm lazy), but I love the feeling I get when I go through a whole day only using cloth. Maybe I need a life if that's what gives me a rush.

Hmmm...

Anyway, like I said, I love it, but there have been a few bumps along the road. Our main obstacle has been washing the stinky critters. We have hard water and a high efficiency washing machine, which is a double death for diapers. I tried EVERYTHING and still, as soon as urine hit those puppies, the stench of ammonia was enough to knock your socks off. Frustrating! I've been talking it over with a dear friend and she mentioned she was going to order a sample of a soap called Rockin Green that was getting rave reviews. I took a look at the website and it was like Kim, the owner of Rockin Green was talking to me. Right at the top of the homepage it reads:

"Are you sick and tired of battling with stinky diapers?"

YES.YES.YES. was my answer, so I ordered a sample. And I'm in love. With a soap. After a 1 hour soak and a wash, my diapers smelled like glorious nothing. Ah-mazing.

Do you have stinky diapers? Do you need this soap? Well, you're in luck.

Kim from Rockin Green (she's seriously great) has offered to give away a 45/90 load bag in the scent of choice to one of YOU! I've tried the cherry almond and it smelled so yummy I wanted to eat it, but I didn't. I'm now waiting for the 2 bags of peppermint cocoa I got for a steal on black Friday. I'm not sure if I want to try the Lavender Vanilla or Mango Sorbet the next time. They all sound so divine. Sigh...

Oh. Sorry. Back to the giveaway. You have two chances to enter, so be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.

1. Go to Rockin Green's website, then come back here and tell me what scent your dying to try.

2. Follow me on Twitter and tweet:

RT @brimo I want to rock the soak. http://bit.ly/7Py6tK Rockin Green soap giveaway.

Then leave another comment on this post letting me know you tweeted.

Even if you don't cloth diaper, please feel free to enter. This soap can be used for a plethora of other stinky things. I just did a load of kitchen wash clothes that smelled of mold as soon as water touched them and of course, Rockin Green did it's magic. I may start calling this stuff stinky-be-gone.

I'll choose a winner via random.org sometime after 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, December 5. And not to worry. If you don't win, Kim is offering 10% off of everything in her shop. Just use the code RockinHoliday.

Sorry my international friends, but due to shipping costs, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.

This contest is now closed!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009