weekend pinterest party!

hi! welcome to our weekend pinterest party! this is my first time co-hosting with these lovely ladies, so thanks so much for stopping by and joining in!

the pins that you add here will be seen on ALL of the following blogs!!! you are going to find a LOT of inspiration here!

all that you need to do is to share your favorite pins for everyone to see! i’m looking forward to visiting you on pinterest, where we can share our ideas. i am finding pinterest to be SO helpful with life these days. you have to wonder what we ever did without it! (well, i know what i did – i had every edition of martha stewart living from 2000 to 2011 & domino magazines piled high in a corner ‘just.in.case.’ you? sweet liberation from paper-hoarding!)

i hope that you can find the inspiration that you need right here! enjoy!


the rules for linkers are:

1. follow all the co-hosts on pinterest

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

Pin It Link Party


3. add as many of your great pins as you want! we can’t wait to see them! remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make us easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share each others great ideas and make all of our lives run just a little bit smoother.

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. it will be how we determine what your pin is about when we all read it.

without delaying it any longer…here you go!

please follow these co-hosts & see their helpful pins!

paula from beauty through imperfection
Beauty Through Imperfection

becky from your modern family

Becky M

gabrielle from MamaGab

whitney from beauty in the mess
Beauty in the Mess

danielle from snippets of inspiration
Snippets of Inspiration
kathrynann from singing through the rain
Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 9.20.13 PM

jessica from smartter each day
ty and me

me! kristi from klover house

My Photo


milk money for mazzi

my heart aches for little mazzi and her mommy tonight. so often you read stories about little ones that are fighting a hard battle from the get-go – too often, really. i’m often fighting back tears as i sit here staring at the screen reading what seems like endless accounts of babies fighting injuries, illnesses, cancers. i wish it would just all go away, Lord. i wish the damaged, dysfunctional cells would just ‘poof’ go away. i know they can. He said by His stripes we are healed. He said it, so it must be true. so i’m going to keep believing it for these precious ones like tripp halstead, baby caleb, and especially tonight, sweet little mazzi.

mazzi is just one month older than our little eden grace, and so, it’s hitting me pretty hard every time i look at her pictures and read her updates. her mom is so strong, and little mazzi must be even stronger; though she’s too small to voice it. diagnosed with a neuroblastoma at just a few days old, this angel has yet to leave the hospital. this has to be more than trying for her family. i can’t imagine how exhausting physically and emotionally this experience has been for them. mazzi needs our prayers and our help. this is a call for anyone and everyone reading to visit her page, read her story, look at her precious little face, and pray. pray for her strength and the peace of Heaven to surround her family as they care for her through this ordeal. call down the power of Heaven and the promise of God that healing would be made manifest in her tiny body. believe for her healing with me. bless them with your encouragement and donations, if you are able. mazzi’s family is from our hometown, and i’ve known them for a very long time, and i can say whole-heartedly, they are so deserving of your love, your prayers, and your generosity. i pray that you would think of her daily, and pray for her when you do. we will all rejoice together when we read that she is cancer-free, able to drink/eat on her own, and at home with her family where she belongs.

please remember her little ‘big’ brother, balin, in prayer too, as he is just a little guy, and seeing this experience through the eyes of a child.

thank you so much. i’m so thankful for this blogging community and the chance to share mazzi with you. just wait until you visit her page and see her little face. you will fall in love with her.

here is an excerpt from mazzi’s page, milk money for mazzi:

On April 10, 2013 Mazzi Alexis Ramella was born a healthy 8lbs. and 21 inches. She was eating, sleeping, and responding well to her new world. At 3 days old, the day before discharge, Aaron discovered a small lump in the left side of Mazzi’s neck. The pediatrician discussed that it was most likely a harmless infection (fluid) or simply a twisted,inflamed muscle. Following an inpatient ultrasound and MRI, revealing a solid mass, Mazzi was transported to Children’s Hospital where she was admitted to the NICU.

Following extensive tests and biopsies, it was determined that the large mass was a Neuroblastoma. With this type of malignant tumor, only in a newborn can it be surgically resected to a minimum 50% size allowing it to hopefullly dissipate in time.

On April 24, Mazzi underwent a successful surgery which 85-90% of the tumor was removed. The remainder of the tumor could not be removed, due to its delicate location near an artery to the brain. – See more at: Milk Money for Mazzi

give yourself a break

i’m sure every blogging mama writes about what’s relevant in her life. how else would we be able to write? you go through an experience, you take that experience, good, bad, whatever it is, & you give God a chance to do a work in you through it. i believe that’s probably the main reason we even go through half of what we do – God has a plan for refinement & He knows what we have to offer is needed by someone else out there.

this morning, i literally forced all four little ones to nap at the same time. ava has gotten up the last two mornings in a row at 6:45am. she skipped her nap yesterday, b/c i just didn’t have the patience to do the forcing, but it was clear by 4pm that a nap was sorely missed by not just me. the usually happy girl was an emotional wreck. meltdown city. the babies never need the forcing – they’re all on their schedule & like it for now. so, the push comes when dealing with my almost three-year-old.

anyway, that said, the last few weeks have been especially rough around here. the hubby’s been traveling for work, so the days were extra exhausting & the schedules were extra flexed, which all added to just an overwhelming frantic feeling in my mind. i couldn’t get anything done around the house; i couldn’t get anything done well; i just felt all tattered inside. you ever have days like that? e-mails were out-of-the-question. phone calls were even more of a joke, & it was all i could do just to find a few minutes to read my bible.

well, the Lord has been laying a little message on my heart it seems over the last few days. when i’ve been thinking so incessantly about time & all i can’t seem to manage well or accomplish, & i’m giving myself a hard time about motherhood, marriage, & friendship…i feel him saying “give yourself a break.”

give yourself a break, kristi.

you are not a bad mother. you adore & dote on your children. if you snapped at them for getting on that last, dangling nerve, ask them in their little eyes to forgive mommy for being angry, & forgive yourself. give big hugs. tell them you need Jesus to give you patience & a happy heart. be an example of humility & a person who is confident in God’s ability to help us in our time of need. give yourself a break.

you are not a bad wife. you love your husband. you admire your husband. you respect your husband. as your strong partner, provider, & protector, it’s only natural to want him to come home & “rescue” you. don’t be disappointed, though, when he can’t. that’s not his job. he can’t supernaturally give you grace & revive your spirit & soul. that’s the Lord’s work. instead, expect a big hug & ask the Lord for the rest to help you continue your night’s tasks. God supplies your second-wind, & your hubby supplies the hugs. give yourself a break.

you are not a bad friend. you love your friends. they love you. your relationships are not contingent upon whether or not you were able to call them today. so often you beat yourself up over the “neglecting” of your most treasured relationships, but realize, your phone isn’t ringing off-the-hook either. when was the last time you got a random “hello!” or “thinking about you” e-mail, visit, text, etc. from a friend? we’re all in the same boat. we’re all busy, trying to get our kids to take a nap, preparing meals, trying to have devotional time, get in a chapter of that book we desperately want to finish. we are all there. you give your friends & family members grace & aren’t quick to think they don’t love you anymore if you haven’t heard from them in awhile, so why are you so quick to beat yourself up for having the same challenge? give yourself a break.

bottom line…keep your priorities in order – God, family, others. if i’m surrendering myself to the Lord first, i can trust Him to guide my day, my thoughts, my actions & my words. that alone helps clear out that frantic “i just can’t keep up” mindset, which directly affects my interactions with my spouse, children, family members & friends. my greatest tool for loving them & myself is prayer. God said through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

doing anything without ceasing should be exhausting, right? not the case with prayer. it is the exact opposite. that whole chapter is a gem. i recommend you check it out. put on your breastplate of faith & love…help those in need…live in peace with one another…be patient with everyone…seek after what is good…rejoice always…encourage one another…pray without ceasing.

don’t make it more complicated than it is. act in love. put God first, & give yourself a break. allow grace to move in your life. the kids may actually not fray your nerves; your husband’s hug may actually just be enough, & your day may not really feel that frantic after all…

our american idol

well friends, this has been long time coming, but i’ve been impatiently waiting for complete certainty that our good friend & worship leader (creative arts director/pastor) had in fact made it to the voting stage of the hit show american idol.

i suspected all along (i’m mean who didn’t, right?!), & i bugged him along the way, but he did what he promised to do & kept it a big ol’ secret! i give him a ton of credit. that’s adam though…and joanna…and their families…classy people who run true to their core, & their words can always be taken as truth.

i’m honored to say i know him & not just know him, but i am honored to call him & joanna my friends. dating back to our high school chorus choir days, school trip to the big apple, youth group functions, & my debut as an “island native girl” in our high school play of south pacific, (oh the bad make-up…i am a very white girl), adam was always such a great person & friend. as a matter of fact, he was one of my first christian friends at a very impressionable, vulnerable time in my life. (remember this post?)

anyway, adam is a natural encourager. as the creative arts director at our church, he leads worship each week & you can always count on him to encourage you to focus on the promises of God & the hope that each day brings. we’ve been so blessed by his gifts, not just as a worship leader, but also as a choir director – man, you should really hear them. my husband & i love the passion & dedication he puts into everything he does.

i won’t say that any one person is created for “better” things than another, but sometimes i believe some of us are in fact destined for “bigger” things. things that, to the average person, would seem nearly impossible. things like standing in front of millions of people each week & singing your heart out – but this is adam’s calling & so God has created him to fulfill these dreams, these big, wonderful dreams.

i implore you, please vote for this wonderful, gifted guy. i have seen, just like you, that there are quite a few very talented artists on the show this season, & i only know this one personally, but i can assure you that adam really is the whole package. he doesn’t need this win to find his purpose, secure his place in this world, or define who he is as a man, father, or artist…adam already knows who he is & that’s what makes him so refreshing to be around. adam just enhances the world by being himself, & we in his little home town would love nothing more than to share this treasure of person with the rest of the nation. please join us & faithfully vote for him each week on american idol.

btw – when you vote for adam, you’re also voting for his jewel of a wife, joanna, & their precious daughter, whitney. let’s do our part & help encourage & give back to a family that so generously gives of themselves every day to everyone they encounter.

connect with adam!

check out & “like” adam’s official american idol facebook page here. this is also where you can catch-up on some of his previous idol moments, interviews, & performances…

not to mention, you tube holds a plethora of adam videos.

follow him on twitter here.

here’s the link to his page on american idol.
i especially appreciate the promise offered by american idol…

“America can expect songs that make you feel something from Adam.”

AMEN. they are absolutely correct on that one.

please keep the brock family in your prayers as they navigate this experience as a family…

adam, we are so proud of you!

{image source: american idol}

friendship detox.

i saw this topic on a show one recent afternoon. it’s a thought-provoking topic.

allow me to preface by saying, don’t jump right into the typical girlish activity of mentally tagging people in your life to start eliminating!

note to self: “and why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” (matthew 7:3)

think about it this way…can your friends answer yes! when they consider you?

game-changer, huh?

three questions to ask yourself when trying to identify toxic friendship in your life or contemplating forging a new friendship:

1. is this person someone i aspire to be like? am i inspired by them?

2. is this someone who truly wants me to be the best i can possibly be?

3. is this person someone who respects themselves, their relationships, and their own fitness/personal health?

now, i’m sure this isn’t the be-all, end-all…but it does intrigue me.

they also stated that

people that tend to feel unworthy or badly about themselves will be drawn to others that reflect those qualities & those that gossip & have a flare for the dramatic.

people that are spiritually & emotionally healthy & hold a positive self-image will not only be more successful, but will also attract other successful, joyful people…

i have some attributes to work on, so that i can be the best possible friend i can be.

to quote one of my favorite pastors, richard crisco…
“show me your friends, and i’ll show you your future.”
to that i will add – be the kind of friend you want to attract in return…

i leave you with one last little tid bit…

“you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” —Jim Rohn

i’ll take that one as a compliment, sir! 🙂

our “sweet” winner!

welcome back! it’s time to announce the winner of the ws cookie & cupcake decorating kit!

just like last time, to keep things as fair as possible i used these free tools found on www.random.org

first, i put your names in the list randomizer in the order of your comments. the site randomized that list. here are the results:

List Randomizer

There were 6 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

Carly Jones
Mandy G.
Timestamp: 2012-02-03 20:04:53 UTC

using that random list, i entered the numbers 1 through 14 into the sequence generator. the first number listed is our winner:

Random Sequence Generator

Here is your sequence:

Timestamp: 2012-02-03 20:05:35 UTC

so our winner is lucky number 4!
congratulations, Mandy G.!

i’ll be in touch soon for your info & the product will ship straight from williams sonoma!

thank you everyone who participated & thank you from the bottom of my belly for the great links!
hopefully, you’ve all spotted something you’d like to try out ~ i know i have!

keep checking in with us, b/c i love gifting things to lovely people like you!


everyday anthro model

just perused through the latest {anthropologie catalog}…love it.

know why?

well, the shoes on the cover for starters, but mostly for the genius penciled descriptions. i just love that!
it does the trick of making me 1) feel like i’m sitting in the studio chicken-scratching my way through the world of fashion with these fabulous people & 2) squint like a madman trying to actually read the descriptions & prices…

which brings me to my first little topic…

i just had one of those “we drive a station wagon” moments.

know what i’m talking about?

{here you go}


yep. just had one of those moments.

i think all of the squinting/deciphering mixed with my brain fog & the oodles of $400+ shoes from spain
made me actually look at the cardigan on pg 34 & think…
“$88. hmmm, that’s not a bad price.”

“gurrl…you crazy!
(imitating my husband) 😉

yep. just crazy.

my second little ditty…

i decided that all of us “sahmers” (stay-at-home-mom-ers – & yes, that includes you, working mom, b/c you’re home too, often looking all fabulous, right?), are “undocumented anthropologie models.”

think about it – i meet all of the criteria every single day…

1 – my hair is almost always, always in an unflattering, simple, coif-esque bun or ponytail…

2 – i’m abnormally, painfully pale due to the lack of sunshine thanks to both demographics & the unnatural amount of time a mother of young ones must stay indoors during the winter months…i’m nearly translucent

3 – i run around like a chicken with its head chopped off stride gracefully through the house sporting a mismatched ensemble that would leave people wondering if my entire wardrobe consists of pajama-like separates or if i am actually wearing pajamas all.day.long…hmmm…

4 – no apparent make-up visible aside from the ill-slathered “lippies” that ava may decide to share, yet insist on applying as well…

5 – and lastly, i too, will don socks with my dress shoes if they are by the door when i retrieve the mail…
peep toes ‘n all.
yeah, that’s hot…

yes, ladies, you are undiscovered, undocumented anthro models.

remember that as you scrub those pans & potties!

***the above post is strictly based upon opinion & i am sure these models are lovely, sweet people & even more beautiful when left to their own devices… 😉

“leave someone to their own devices: leave someone to do as they wish without supervision.”

He always knows

the Lord, my God – He always knows what my heart needs to hear each day & always manages to find a way to share it…

from the “daily blessing”

He Prepares Your Path

“I will go before you and make the crooked places straight…” – Isaiah 45:2

Are you going through a season where you feel like every time you try to move forward, you hit a roadblock? Something happens that throws you off course. Be encouraged today because when you submit your life to the Lord, He promises to go before you. He is preparing a way for you. He is making your crooked places straight and your rough places smooth. You may be going through a difficult time right now, but it’s not the end. It’s only the beginning, and God has equipped you for this journey.

Today, if you feel like you’re in a dry season, don’t look at your circumstances. Look at the promise of God! If you’ll keep speaking words of faith, God promises that He’ll anoint your head with oil and your cup will run over. That means you’ll be refreshed and anointed to do what He’s called you to do. God is preparing your path and equipping you for the journey.

What do you need in order to keep moving forward? Start by checking your attitude. Don’t go around complaining or focused on the negative side of things. Put on an attitude of praise and thanksgiving. Thank Him for making your crooked places straight! Keep your eyes on Him and follow Him forward into the path of victory!

it’s been a rough week, but God is so good.

i have a beautiful & loving family to come home to…a “job” that i have always dreamed of…friends who can make all your troubles fade into the background with just a smile & the promise the He will work all things for my good.

today has proven all of the above.

empty pillowcase?

ok – so i caught a few minutes of “the talk” yesterday afternoon (it’s like “the view” minus the arguing & overly-domineering personalities…i wish elisabeth hasselbeck would move to “the talk,” so she’d actually get to talk more often…) anywho…yes, i meant who. i had a friend back in middle school that would say that all of the time & i like it. i think it’s quirky…

anywho – jeremy sisto – you may remember him as the “jerk” from clueless, but apparently, he’s a really nice guy, who loves his wifey & little girl very much! i like hollywood ppl like that…that’s why i’m using this picture:

it’s an old article btw, so he does in fact call his little girl “charlie ballerina.” cute.

so, he told a story about how on christmas eve while he was growing up, his parents would ask the kids to name a kind deed they had done that year for another. they would be holding an empty pillowcase… well, on christmas morning, the pillowcase would be full of presents.

i was just thinking about that story again last night & i was wondering if there are any deeds i’ve done for others lately, or if i deserved an empty pillowcase. seriously. i haven’t got a long list here ppl. not that things should be done out of obligation, but i should be able to recognize some kind things i’ve done over the past 365 days…

i was reminded of this yet again just now. i was baking in the kitchen. finally baking christmas cookies, which aren’t turning out btw, & i heard a little tap tap tap on my front door. i thought i was imagining it at first, but sure enough i heard it again. i headed to the door, dishtowel in hand (looking like a disheveled mess) & there stood my sweet friend, jill!

i hope you don’t mind me mentioning your name, jill, but you are sweet & i’m telling everyone just how kind you are!

she had stopped just to bring me a starbuck’s salted caramel mocha! yum!!!

i’m not sick…it’s not my birthday…we didn’t have a play date…she is just so kind! little did she know, a generous & thoughtful gesture was just what this disheveled mess of a girl needed today!

so, thank you again very, very much, jill! you inspire me to be more thoughtful too & i hope you have the best christmas with your little lovies. they have such a beautiful & loving mother!

i fixed the cookies btw – i apologize i gave you a dud of a batch. turns out my nonstick pans didn’t like the parchment/foil paper stuff – so i ditched it, cut the cookie size in half along with the baking time & voila! better cookies! see?

so i OWE you! hope you don’t chip a tooth!

thank you again, sweet friend! you deserve an over-flowing pillowcase for sure!