pin-it party #51!

hello again, pin-it party friends!  if this is your first time joining us, welcome!  we’re always happy that you spend a little of your weekend with us!  we’re heading out to experience our very first swim lessons!  

somehow, the mister managed to escape pool duty, but at least i had an excuse for an updated and more modest swimsuit purchase!  enjoy browsing everyone’s pins and don’t forget to leave some of your own, if you’d like!  i am sure that you will find many great things here!   

a popular pin from last week’s link-up was this one.  whitney, of beauty in the mess, shares with us a great boppy product perfect for newborn-lounging and offers a discount code within the post as well.  i’m personally a huge fan of her blog, and her patience and grace as a mommy amazes me!  thanks for sharing the review and savings with us, whitney!  baby girl is precious!!!

participating in the party is so easy!
here’s what to do:

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

paula from beauty through imperfection

becky from your modern family

gabrielle from MamaGab

me! kristi from klover house


2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make it easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share the love!

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. essentially, it’s your pin’s title.

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motherhood.


motherhood.


warm smiles.



a window into the very heart of God.



couch cuddles.


thigh-high hugs.



pillow-soft cheeks.


being immersed in innocence.



the gift of interpretation and the art of negotiation.



the opportunity to see the man you love in a whole new light.


squishy bellies and feathery curls.



long afternoons, even longer bedtimes, but very short years.



songs and stories and dancing in the kitchen.



backyard adventures.



perpetual dress-up.



the chance to relish in childhood a little bit longer.



walking down the bumpy road of life paved by miracles.



i am so thankful for my children.  

i’ll buy them some new play dough this week, and as i watch them giggle, pat, and argue over who has the biggest piece… i’ll imagine that when God brought these little people into the world, He handed them my heart, and everyday i think He smiles a big, wise smile, watching them mold and shape it just like that.  young, old…near, far…yesterday, tomorrow…
they will always and forever be shaping me.

happy mother’s day. xoxo
and because this mother’s day is making me think of taylor swift songs…grab a box of tissues, hold your babies’ hands and enjoy.
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celebrating our heaven baby

i was standing in panera last week around 8:30pm. my mom was watching the girls for me while i ran to the store. i decided to stop and grab us some bagels for the next morning’s breakfast. as i was waiting for the employee to get my order together, i received a text from my hubby who was away on a business trip. it was so touching and so unexpected. he had in so many words told me to plan on going out for a celebratory dinner in honor of ‘ej’ and him/her awaiting us in heaven.  it took all of my will-power not to burst into tears right there in front of the girl behind the counter. i felt the water in my eyes and pushed a smile.

so tomorrow is the day (i am writing this on monday night), and he asked me a few times today if i had decided on a place yet.  no, i haven’t.  still haven’t and it’s nearly 10pm.  blame working on dresses all day…blame dancing with the stars…blame exhaustion…blame denial.

ej’s first ‘celebration day’, i don’t remember doing anything.  i pulled the baby box out, sat it on the bed and cried.  no one really even brought it up.  i don’t know if they forgot, didn’t want to ‘go there’ or what, but i’m glad that will have been the one and only anniversary that felt sad and lonely.  i hadn’t really talked about everything and wouldn’t blog about it until my ‘i think it’s time’ post that june.  the following year i definitely had finally arrived at some much-needed peace.  finally, in 2012, i felt that ava was old enough for me to talk with her about ej a little bit.  she didn’t understand who ej is, but she was happy to help me bake a cake and we celebrated together while daddy was at work.  last year, we did the same.  tomorrow…we will bake brownies or make rice krispie treats.  i’ll let the girls tell me which ej would prefer.  🙂

ava talks about ej quite frequently now.  she says things like, ‘i’m sad that ej is a heaven baby. i wish he was a house baby.’  sweet girl.  she tells me that ej is a boy and that Jesus carried him to heaven and someday Jesus will carry him back down to us.  i don’t try to add thoughts or words, or ‘correct’ her theology, b/c the truth is – i don’t know.  i’m sure Jesus did carry him home, it’s the carrying back down part i’m not too sure about, but it doesn’t matter.  what does matter is that we have a healthy child waiting for us in eternity, we have three gorgeous and healthy girls here on this earth to enjoy, and we have our faith that carries us through all of the ups and downs and gives us meaning to go along with the mess.

i’m not sure where we will end up tomorrow…where we will celebrate.  part of me is thinking of going somewhere intimate, while the other part of me wants to do something/go somewhere appropriate for celebrating a three-year-old.  i’ll probably have to consult the family on this one too.  no matter where we end up though, i know it will be perfect and special, b/c the memory made will be one of family, unity, faith, hope, peace, joy, thankfulness, togetherness, and trust in God, in His plan, and in our place in His hands.

if you would like to read more about my sweet ej and what that baby has done for me personally in my walk with God, or if you are looking for some encouragement or a voice to say, ‘it’s going to be okay’, please click here and you will be taken to a compilation of all of my miscarriage-related posts.  God bless you and keep you.

we love you, ej.  happy celebration day, my little love.

talking about you for the first time.

being thankful for isla rae.

i have four children, not three.

for the grieving mother.

 

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pin-it party #43

it is GORGEOUS outside today!  i hope you are inside checking out this party, b/c like me, you’re perusing the internet while cooking a meal, and then you are heading out into the sunshine!  we’re going tree-hunting after lunch!  i am excited.

this is a total rabbit trail (i’m good for those), but since we’ve got our mind on trees…  the girls and i had some time to kill this afternoon, so i drove them past the house i grew up in.  the one thing i loved more than anything about that house was the magnolia tree in the front yard.  it is beautiful.  still is.  i miss it.  i would look forward to it budding every year.  it was like a fresh breeze coming into life.  winter was finally over and good, warm things were on their way.  my mom always did such a nice job with our yard.  peonies lined the back, roses lined the side, a rose of sharon graced the mailbox, lilacs kissed the driveway, and a beautiful white dogwood kept my beloved magnolia company in the front.  their was never a shortage of fresh flowers, and we made bouquets almost daily.  i miss that too.  i hope to have that kind of yard for us one day.  anyway…back to why you are here!

if this is your first time, i’m so happy that you’ve chosen precious moments of your day/night to stop by klover house and participate in our weekly pin-it party.

last week’s most clicked pin was this one from caroline nixon’s blog: anchored in His grace.  what a sweet blog!  be it for work, an event, a date-night, i also personally struggled when it was time to leave each of our girls.  i realize that life goes on past being ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy’, but i am not ashamed to admit that i am addicted to my kids.  🙂  

participating in the party is so easy!
here’s what to do:

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

paula from beauty through imperfection

becky from your modern family

gabrielle from MamaGab

me! kristi from klover house


2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make it easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share the love!

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. essentially, it’s your pin’s title.

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longing for a ‘let down’ – nursing and sjogren’s

this will be brief – if i even know how to be brief *wink* – b/c it’s already after midnight, and my hands aren’t fading fast…they flat out went kaput like two days ago. i’m heading downstairs after this to try pumping just one more time. i promise this won’t be a nursing post, but it has something to do with what i’m dealing with. my supply has been rapidly fading since introducing formula. little peanut has grown substantially since doing so, so i have very mixed feelings. one thing i am feeling is a yearning. i yearn for the ‘let down.’ if miss e is my last, i am saddened to think, like a kicking babe in a womb, i will never get the chance to feel that sensation again. it’s not a good one; it’s not a bad one… it’s just a familiar one. you know it’s coming – the life source for your infant. for me, it was relief. “yes, thank you God that it’s still working.”  i would say that nearly every day for over ten months. and now, my physical appearance and the fact that eden just rejected a last-ditch effort to nurse five minutes ago, tells me that the ‘let down’ has let go.

another unfortunate sign of that fact is the pain. my fingers…my knees…my arms and legs. it’s back. it flooded in with a vengeance. my skin is splitting across my knuckles and folding laundry feels like juggling razor blades. it makes my thoughts revisit my trips to the rheumatologist after delivering isla. i made it just three months in nursing with her before this body shut down the pump. three months postpartum, the pain started…the nearly falling down stairs…the not being able to open a pickle jar to save my life… the rheumie said, no more babies. you could die. and to that i said, ‘see ya later, alligator,’ and went and got pregnant. eden turned out to be the most wonderful pregnancy yet, and after a painfree delivery – yes, i mean that – she is also the easiest baby. ever.

apparently, estrogen has a lot to do with the pain and inflammation in my joints, and b/c my body is shifting out of nursing-mode, the hormones are getting quite wacky. like straight up on drugs out of their mind kind of kooky. so, while they get their act together, i am going to try to surrender my control issues with the blog and the business. i’m going to start going to bed earlier and taking the best care of myself that i can while i fight this stuff physically, emotionally, and spiritually. i believe God healed me of my sjogren’s. i’m sticking to that. this may be a setback, but i will have a victory.

that said, please be patient with me, klover house, and eden gray! i’m not abandoning you. i’m not avoiding your comments, emails, or questions. the truth is that i’m fighting to type even this, and i have to pace myself or my little fingers will grow tight and curly and we can’t have that! i’ve got things to do and ppl to care for.

now, off to try to pump and hoping a ‘let down’ awaits.

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thank you God for hearing my prayer: i need her.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

it was friday. it started out like every other day. i had stayed up too late, as usual, sewing. my hubby and kids were up with the sun like clockwork and pulled me out of bed around 7:30. i managed to haul myself to the playroom couch, and plopped down while they played. i had every intention of getting the day going after some couch potato time. we had to drop something off in town around 9AM and stop at target, so i planned on loading the girls up, swinging through mcdonald’s for hot cakes and coffee (i know, but i was exhausted), running our errands, and returning home to veg out with them for the rest of the day until hubs got home. we’d then go visit with our brand new nephew who had just come into the world that morning. sounded like a good plan. sounded like a lazy plan.

i got the girls dressed, eden included, and was about to get myself ready when i decided to call my mother-in-law to see how things were coming along with my sister-in-law and the new baby. i was already running late, and the time was close to 9:30. i’m almost always late, and i’m pretty sure it’s a major flaw of mine. anyway, the conversation was great, upbeat, and filled with excitement, b/c he (the baby) had arrived, and everyone was doing well. i remember hanging up the phone feeling so pumped now and ready to tackle the day. the thought of the baby’s arrival motivated me. i told the girls to get their coats and shoes on and i bounded up the stairs to throw some decent clothes on. ava followed me, of course. she’s my dreamer; and you can always put a twenty on the fact that she’ll do the opposite of what i ask her to do, b/c she’d rather flit around like a butterfly, and isla, on the other hand, will be doing exactly what you told her to do. that said, isla was at the coat closet donning her coat and shoes. eden was army crawling around, dressed and safe.

i had just finished changing when i heard it:
thump.thump.thump.thump.thump.thump.thump.thump.thump. 

confused, i looked at ava and said, ‘what was that?!’ and ran back down the stairs. i was in total shock at the sight that greeted me. sickened and shocked.

isla was standing at the top of the basement stairs with the door opened wide, pointing down, she said, ‘mom! eden!’

and there was my baby at the bottom of the staircase, facedown on her stomach, crying on the concrete.

i was speechless. i ran down to her, and although you know that you’re not supposed to move someone after a serious fall, everything in my mother-mind screamed ‘get your baby!’ i quickly, but gently, scooped her up and turned her face to mine, keeping her as still as i could while cradled in my arms. the minute our eyes met, deep red blood came oozing from her left nostril, and my panic escalated to a level i had never felt before. brain trauma? bleeding internally? dying? i lost it inside.

i flew up the stairs and searched frantically for my cell phone. i had just used it! i just got off the phone with my mother in law, and i couldn’t for the life of me remember where i had placed it. not wanting to waste any more time, i looked to see if my neighbor’s car was in the driveway and ran out the door telling ava and isla to stay right there in the house and watch me from the window. i ran across the street in my socked feet, still holding eden in the steadiest cradle that i could, blood still coming out of her nose. i banged on my neighbor’s door. she answered immediately and i remember saying something like, ‘ please call 911. eden fell down our basement stairs. she’s bleeding from her nose, and i can’t find my phone.’ then, i ran back across the street.

i knew i shouldn’t keep holding her, so i strapped her into her carseat for stability. i was terrified that she was badly injured inside.

my neighbor appeared within minutes and called my phone for me. it was sitting right on the kitchen counter. i called my husband and told him to come home. poor guy thought that i had said ava, and he couldn’t understand why i said i put her in the carseat. i then called my mother-in-law back and just said, ‘pray! eden fell down the stairs and is bleeding from her nose. pray!’ that was 9:57.

my whole world had shifted in less than 20 minutes.

my neighbor was an angel. she kept my girls so calm, which helped me tremendously. i can’t imagine if i had been alone during those minutes that seemed like hours. initially, sweet, sensitive ava was crying, and everyone was confused, but once she was there, the whole atmosphere changed. i’m so thankful that my neighbor was home and able to help me. she was a Godsend.

while she distracted the girls with conversation, i had eden upstairs. thoughts of losing her forever invaded my mind. i kept saying to God, ‘i need her, Lord. i need her.’ i do. i need that baby. she is my joy. she is pure joy. i held her hand, felt her soft, pudgy fingers between mine, and imagined life with her gone. it was too much to bear and i pushed the awful thoughts as far away as i could, as fast as i could. i couldn’t lose her. she began to look drowsy and kept turning her head to the side, as if to nuzzle in, and i kept saying, ‘stay with me, baby. you’re ok.’ i put my hand on her forehead, prayed, spoke perfect health, and declared healing over her little body. this baby was not allowed to leave me.

the ambulance showed up, and my husband shortly after. after examining her, and speaking with a doctor at our local hospital, they decided that life-flighting her to children’s hospital in pittsburgh would be best. she winced and screamed when they examined her abdomen. pain in her abdomen…  helicopter to children’s… again, my heart nose-dived.

my poor ava and isla too. they were so confused, and everything was happening so quickly. breaks my heart thinking about it.

i, being smaller, was permitted to ride along in the ambulance and helicopter. my husband took our other girls with him to the local hospital where i would be getting onto the helicopter with eden. his family was there to see our new nephew and so they kept our girls. to my surprise, my other sister-in-law was standing there when i got out of the ambulance. i hugged her. tears streamed down both of our faces. i think she felt what i was feeling and fearing too. i hugged her, lost it a little, and then followed eden inside.

i had never been on a helicopter before, and i am terrified of heights, but i was determined to just get in and not to take my eyes off of her. i stared at her sweet face all the way to the city, answering random questions from the friendly stat medics with quick glances. at one point, one of the men tapped my knee and said, ‘i know that your mind is on more important things, but you’ll never see the city like this again.’  i glanced over my shoulder and out of the window. he was right. it was beautiful. i took it in for a second, appreciating that in our modern world a machine like this could get my baby to a top hospital in a blink of an eye (just six minutes!), and went right back to looking at my baby. it’s a view i’ll gladly never see again, if it means no more emergency helicopter flights for my loves.

once we got there, they took her via stretcher to a trauma room. they examined her thoroughly and took x-rays of her neck and spine. she wore a neck brace during the entire visit while we waited for the radiologist to read her films. all of this time, she was doing miraculously. no strange behavior, no dozing off, no vomiting, no more bleeding from her nose, no wincing in pain…nothing. and other than what we saw on her face… she didn’t have a single mark or bruise on the rest of her entire body!

miracle. miracle. miracle!

so many people had been praying for her. that short, frantic phone call to my mother-in-law turned into a huge web of prayer of so many faithful friends and even strangers. i have no doubt that God protected her during that fall, and i am certain that He had her in His mighty hands even afterwards.

as we sat and waited for her results, my brother-in-law, as well as members of our church family, appeared to visit and pray over eden. they spoke to us about guilt and shame, anger and blame, and how, when things like this happen, the enemy will try to use them to destroy us, tear us down, and damage our relationships. it’s so true too. i felt such shame for being so lazy that morning. i should have had more pep in my step. i shouldn’t have been running so late. i should have had eden buckled in her carseat before heading upstairs. i should have had the basement door locked. i should have already been dressed. i should have ‘kept it together’ in front of my young children when things got scary. and the list goes on.

i haven’t done anything to deserve God’s mercy. i know he spared her b/c there’s a bigger plan for her life, and she has mighty things ahead of her.

she tumbled down an entire flight of stairs, landed on concrete, and, aside from a few bruises and abrasions on her face and inside of her nose… she.is.perfect. that is God.  totally God.

the picture on the left was taken at children’s hospital. the picture on the right was taken just 24 hours later.

miraculously, she was released from the hospital just four and a half hours later.  four and half hours later, and we were headed back to the other hospital with our smiling, happy baby to meet our brand new nephew.  talk about a day of miracles.  thank you, Jesus.

i said to my husband that evening…the accident changed me. i am trading grumpy and lazy in for joy and appreciation. it only took a moment. a single moment nearly stripped me of my child. life is too precious, too short, too unpredictable and our children are too precious, too miraculous, and too important to be at the mercy of my bad moods, my exhausted mind, and my stretched nerves. so, that said, i am heading to bed. by the grace, goodness and mercy of God, i have three little angels needing me in the morning.

just a side note…isla witnessed her baby sister fall – something frightening that her little mind surely can’t totally process. my husband and i made sure to ask family members to tell her repeatedly that day that she did a good thing by calling for me and showing me where eden was. you see, isla is my super obedient child. remember she went to get her coat and shoes on when i told them to? well, she did and was headed to the basement b/c it was time to leave! she was doing what she thought i wanted her to do. such a sweet, obedient soul. that said, we prayed over her, releasing her from any guilt or responsibility in the situation (b/c only God knows what was going on in the spiritual realm of things), and then we had a talk with both of the girls about never opening the doors and why.

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let’s potty! a board game that helps to potty train your child!

hello, friends! this is not an affiliate post. just want to be upfront with that so you know that all opinions in this post are 100% mine, all mine. 😉

it’s pretty clear that potty training is a big deal for us. my potty training post is my number one read post, it’s my number one pinned pin on pinterest (try to say that ten times fast). i mean, it blows the rest of my posts out of the water by the thousands, and that’s no exaggeration! maybe, i should quit yammering about the other stuff, and just talk to you about toilets and sticker charts? whatta ya say? haha just kidding.

seriously though, that says to me that… it’s a big deal to us; it’s a common thread in parenting; it’s challenging; it’s necessary; it’s sometimes a nightmare; it’s sometimes a breeze; masses of ppl are interested in advice regarding it and so on…

since my potty training in a weekend post is so popular, and the pin as well, a talented and ambitious mama found me and offered to send me the ‘let’s potty’ board game for our littles to play and for klover house to share with you! to that opportunity i said, ‘absolutely!’ i love the idea of a game centered around something so important and relevant to us in this life-stage.

it’s funny, when it arrived in the mail, my brother-in-law had stopped by to pick up a tool or something that my hubby had borrowed, and he brought the package up to the door from outside for me. so now my girls think the game is from ‘uncle’. too funny. i tried to explain it to them, but nope. ‘uncle bought us the potty game.’ kudos to ‘uncle’, b/c they love it! haha

and that’s it, folks. they love it.

the graphics are vibrant, fun, and engaging 
for ‘bigs’ and ‘littles’ alike!
 the playing cards are large, sturdy, and easy-to-read!  
the script is appropriate for little minds 
and both humorous and encouraging.

they couldn’t wait to play it after dinner that night. we cleared off the dining room table and all played the potty game! even daddy. he was by far the most competitive and determined to win, even though there is no true winner (just finishers). haha he did ‘win’ too! he got to the potty first.  typical.  😉  ha!

we laughed and giggled the whole way through the game. it was a ton of fun. so much fun in fact that the first words out of our 2 1/2 year old’s mouth the next morning were, ‘mom, can we play the potty game?’  how awesome is that?!  

the poopy-talk grossed ‘i’ out and made ‘a’ blush!  haha

this award-winning game, developed and illustrated by two experienced parents for ages 2 and up, is professional, fun, engaging, and easy-to-understand. your little ones will love it! it uses appropriate potty-talk and images. i think it is extremely well-executed. i have only great things to say about it. if you are in this wild and unpredictable stage of life too, i definitely recommend this game! it gets the conversation going and makes potty-success a focal point in your household. if your little person is stubborn, this game uses humor to point out that going to the bathroom in your pants/diaper isn’t so great. it’s not discouraging or demeaning in any way at all though! the cards are so encouraging and motivational!

and if you’d like to buy this game for your littles, just visit www.lets-potty.com or click on the amazon link below.  ‘let’s potty’ is the only potty training board game on the market today!


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follow let’s potty on facebook too by clicking {here}.

you can also check out my potty training in a weekend post {here}.  becky mansfield’s (of your modern family) book is currently on sale for half off!  hurry – the sale ends on march 31st and the code for this deal is SPRING!

thanks for stopping by and we wish you the best in your adventure of potty training!  stop back and let us know how you and your littles like the game!
join the klover house family on facebook, pinterest, and twitter!
  

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pin-it party and lots of resources for the expectant mom

welcome back to our weekly party, friends!  i would start it out a little differently, but i really, really do look forward to seeing all of your great pins, ideas, recipes, etc. week after week.  last week’s link-up was excellent.  i have seen so many great pins featuring recipes that i am eager to try, diy projects that i hope to tackle, and even several pregnancy/postpartum related pins that have come at the perfect time!  my sil is due to have her first baby on friday!  i will be sharing those resources with her for sure.  so, all of that said, thank you!

my featured pins this week are the pregnancy-related ones, since i hope to pass them along to my sil:

and here’s my own little advice for soon-to-be-mamas…

participating in the party is super simple!  here’s what to do:

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

paula from beauty through imperfection

becky from your modern family

gabrielle from MamaGab

me! kristi from klover house


2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make it easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share the love!

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. essentially, it’s your pin’s title.

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oh, the heavy

before you read…this is my heart.  i pray it doesn’t weigh you down, but opens you up to feel something as deeply as you are meant to feel it.  i write as an outlet for my soul, and i write for my girls.  ava, isla, and eden, i pray that God can use me to help mold you into some of the most courageous, passionate, God-loving, God-fearing, compassionate women that this world has ever known.  anything less would be meaningless. xo, mama

i read a news story tonight that i just can’t shake. i’m sure some of you saw it as well, b/c it was traveling on facebook, even though it happened in 2008. my heart is broken. i shut the computer, deflated. turned out the lights and headed upstairs, tears rolling down my cheeks. why, Lord? what do i do with the heavy?

i shared the story of baby benjamin with my husband. i can still see his round, little baby face in my head. five months old. an american baby, for cryin’ out loud. aren’t we supposed to be a well-adjusted nation? and aren’t parents supposed to naturally love their babies? how come it doesn’t work that way, God? i know; i know. satan. he steals. he kills. he destroys. evil is real. it’s heavy.

‘cast your burdens on me.’  that is what you say. i’m trying, Lord, but i might be the only person still up at midnight on a wednesday, five years later mourning this baby, benjamin. someone should honor him. tonight, i picked me.  it’s not a choice i can control, and it’s heavy.

everything is meaningless,’ says the Teacher, ‘completely meaningless!  the greater my wisdom, the greater my grief.  to increase knowledge only increases sorrow.  so i came to hate life because everything done here is so troubling.  i have seen the burden God has placed on us all.  yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.  again, i observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun.  i saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them.  the oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.  better to spend your time at funerals than at parties.  after all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart.  sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.  a wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.  i have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people.  not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.  i have thought deeply about all that goes on here under the sun, where people have the power to hurt each other.

{taken from ecclesiates}

right now, my thoughts are completely ‘ecclesiastes’. wondering. thinking it is all meaningless. imagining leaving my daughters someday to battle the spiritual war in the world that is so ugly and  sometimes so heavy.

i think of solomon’s words. and one thought hits me hard. this was before Jesus. not that Jesus didn’t exist, because He has from the start. but this was written before He came and gave His life for us. for me. for my daughters. for baby benjamin.  all of this, ‘life is meaningless’ stuff.  yes, it’s true, but then Jesus showed up.  my hope is in heaven, and this world is not my home.  my faith assures me that the sweet innocents treated so terribly, like benjamin, are resting in the arms of my Lord and King.  that gives my weary mind peace.  the hope of heaven and the promise of eternal life.  so how can i make it all mean something – this time on this earth?  what can i do to change this world?

Jesus. hold me now, Lord.

‘cast your burdens on me.’ He tells us.

i’m casting, Lord. i can’t forget what i read. i never will. evil seems to loom, but i’m casting hard. those daughters that You gave me need to see hope in my eyes when they wake up in the morning. it’s why i’m here. it’s why You leave us in this broken world – to spread your Hope, to share your Truth, to speak your Word, and to Pray. if my heart didn’t break so often… if my heart didn’t twist in my chest after seeing the cruel things in this world… would i pray nearly as much? probably not. would the ugly still happen? yep, probably would. so, i’d rather know and pray and possibly see a change in myself, my home, and my world, than tune out and see the world through rose-colored glasses all of the time.  that, to me, would be meaningless.  

benjamin’s short life is worth every tear a stranger cries and more. if i could, i would ask the Lord to have had someone know what that baby was going through. the longest my child has ever cried for her mama was 20 minutes. minutes. eight days. that baby sat, strapped in his car seat and left alone in his crib for eight days. days. and what killed him?  sent him to be with Jesus, as we say in this house.  his soiled, toxic diaper. sweet baby, i would have loved to have saved you.  i wonder if God and His angels were trying to tell someone about that boy, in that room, all alone for over a week…  maybe we aren’t listening?  God, let me hear you!  

and there i go back to ecclesiates. meaningless, Lord. it’s all meaningless.

those of you that may not follow probably think i seem bipolar at this moment.  but, anyway…

when these thoughts hit hard, i think less of me, more of my girls. less about this house, and more about unloved babies. less about what’s for dinner, and more about being loving towards my people.

what are we here for, friends?

what are we here for?

won’t you join me in this rally call? can we make it mean something?

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“New Life Within” is here!

remember when i shared my two writings, “dear baby” and “my love is a sunset” with you a few weeks ago?
well, the book is complete and avaible in paperback on amazon!
i am so excited to be a part of this project, and i pray it goes far in reaching expecting mothers. proceeds from the book sales will go towards encouraging women to choose life via the Gabriel Network.
thank you for supporting me during this process! your words of affirmation definitely helped me to find the confidence to submit my work. my cup overflows!

you can find the book by clicking on the image below:

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