Category Archives: Friends

Kindred spirits

Turning 32 has been one of the more joyful and relaxing birthday experiences I’ve had in a while…mostly because I came into it with very few expectations.

I love birthdays and look forward to mine each year as it approaches. But this one seemed to sneak up on me out of all of the busyness of homeschooling and projects and soccer seasons starting. Oh yeah, and growing a tiny human in my belly.

And let’s face it–32 isn’t exactly momentous in the grand scheme of “important” birthday years.

But between my family and Shaun, I felt very loved and celebrated, despite the mundanity of the number.

And then, as a cherry on top of it all, I got the chance to go out for dinner with some of my best girls this past weekend (I’m a big fan of stretching birthdays out over at least a week; way more festive than blowing all your fun on one day :)).

villa montez

{Here we all are outside one of my favorite local restaurants}

We spent the evening eating really good food and laughing really hard at silly things like when my friend Lindsay’s husband sent her this Hey Girl meme after she told him she wouldn’t be bringing him home any leftovers.

hey girl

But we also talked about more important things like motherhood and the way it forces us to face a lot of our insecurities as it strips away any facades we try to present to the public. (We all agreed that our kids are not in the least bit fooled when we attempt to pretend to the rest of the world that we’re nice mama or have it all together all the time).

We talked about the ways Jesus is working in our lives and forcing us to dig deeper or fall even flatter on our faces than we do on an average Monday.

And I came away from that dinner just so very grateful to have a core group of girls who will encourage me when I need it and, more importantly, will speak truth–even the hard kind–and pray for me when I need it more.IMG_5212

Friends who totally nail it when they buy you coral eyelet dresses that you can wear with your 30-week bump and beyond. IMG_5215

And friends who notice when you get really excited about a pretty leather Fossil bag at Ross and then make sure your husband knows about it in time for your birthday.IMG_5219

And friends who give you a whole bag of pretty utensils and dishes that match your kitchen redo perfectly because they totally get your style and know that stirring with a fun, aqua spoon can make even the most run-of-the-meal dinner prep way cheerier.

In other words, friends who get why celebrating 32 is a worthwhile thing to do and go out of their way to do it well.

I don’t have a lot of breathing room in my life right now for lots of close friends. I don’t say that snobbishly. I’m always up for meeting new people, and I definitely wish there were more hours in the day to spend getting to know cool chicks.

But since that’s not a luxury I have right now, I am doubly grateful for these fellow women, wives, mothers, sinners, and sisters in Christ (some of whom weren’t there that night)–in a phrase that my beloved Anne so aptly coined: “kindred spirits”–who, in their own unique ways, convict and compel me to be more like Jesus, whether or not they know they’re doing it.

In fact, I would say that I have zero complaints whatsoever, except that–really—if they were 100% perfect, they wouldn’t have let me forget to grab my to-go box with the half-burrito that wouldn’t fit past my ribcage (I mean, you gotta help the lady with the preggo brain out!).

But I’ll admit, if missing out on leftovers is my #1 complaint (especially when–ahem–I suppose a grown woman should take responsibility for her own doggie bag)  I’ve got it pretty darn good.

What about you guys? Any kindred spirits you’d like to give a shout out? She wasn’t there because she was helping watch my kids, but my sweet Mama is definitely a kindred spirit too, and I’m so glad I get to call her friend.

Linking up with Lindsey.

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Five Things Thursday Linky Party {#3}: Sweet Things + Thrifted or Grifted Results

Hey there, folks!

So sorry that today’s post is so late. Yesterday was so full (home-schooling, blogging, cleaning, food prep, errands, back-to-back fitness classes to teach, friends over for dinner) that I’m not sure I remember breathing.

And then last night…oh, last night was fun. The five-year-old woke up 4 (FOUR) times crying with a very stuffy nose. I finally hauled his 50-pound-self into bed with me @ 1:45 AM, only to have the baby wake up @ 3:30 with an equally stuffy nose. She was up again @ 5:30.

Now, I know that so many of you deal with much, much more trying things on a daily basis, but for a mama that’s used to having her kids sleep all night every night, last night was a bit traumatic.

So…the world’s most convoluted explanation for a tardy post ever, but the point is that I’ve been playing catch-up (on very little sleep) all day.

Let’s start with this week’s:

five days five ways | 5 Things Thursday

…the linky party where you list 5 things with pics of whatever’s on your mind.

This week’s theme is:

Sweet Things

I would love it if you would link up (or leave comments about) whatever 5 things are making your life sweeter right now, but if you’d rather just link up 5 pieces of randomness or a different theme, I’m totally fine with that as well, though.

The “rules”:

1) Please link up to your specific 5 Things post rather than your blog’s homepage, and

2) Please place the Five Things Thursday button (left sidebar) somewhere on your page or post so that others can join in the fun. 

That’s it!

Happy listing-making! : )

My 5 sweet things are:

1, Chocolate Cream Pie (click for the recipe)


I don’t know if I saw it somewhere, and it got lodged in my subconscious or what, but sometime last week, I got a huge craving for chocolate cream pie (which I never eat), and I finally caved and went for it. It was ridiculously yummy.

2. Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Pie (recipe from the back of the Pillsbury deep dish frozen pie crust package)


I knew we were having friends over in a few days, and two crusts came in the package, so of course I had to make another pie. This one turned out just as well as the chocolate. Two pies…two winners. That doesn’t happen every week (translation: ever) around here.

3. Vanilla cupcakes


So, just in case you haven’t already lapsed into a sugar coma after the first two pictures, here’s yet another example of deliciousness. These mini-treats are my go-to birthday cupcakes (I’ll post the recipe soon, but for now, just imagine the moistest, fluffiest mouthfuls of cakey, creamy goodness with just a hint of almond extract). In this case, I made them for Mandy’s birthday. Of course, then the restaurant brought out 3 huge complimentary slabs of cake for everyone to share, and not nearly enough of these little guys got eaten, leaving me with the odious task of taking them home and doing the honors. It was tough, but I managed. ; )

4. My kiddos (minus Della) with 4 of their best buds—who happen to be the children of both my husband’s and my best buds—playing together in harmony. Very sweet, indeed.


5. Baby girl’s first fall dress. 


This little girl continually amazes me with her sweetness and ability to brighten my day…especially when she’s wearing a pretty, corduroy floral dress and vintage red patent leather shoes (I can’t believe she’s going to be 1-year-old in a month…*sniff*).

So, how about you? Ready to link-up?


But WAIT…wasn’t there something else from yesterday? What was it?…Oh yes! Thrifted or Grifted. I’ve left you hanging all day wondering which outfit was thrifted, and now I have the honor of informing you that you guys rocked it!

91 of you (61%) said that Exhibit B was Thrifted, and you were right (mostly…I’ll explain).


Tank: Clothes-swap ($0), Shirt: Clothes-swap ($0), Skirt: Garnet Hill/GW ($4), Belt: GW ($1), Headband: GW ($1), Boot: Genuine leather vintage Halston/GW ($6)

TOTAL: $12 (I cheated a bit on this one since the first two items weren’t technically thrifted, but they are secondhand, and I honestly didn’t think about it until after the pictures were already taken).


Dress: Target ($11), Belt: Target ($9), Boots: Real Sued White Mountain ($30)

TOTAL: $50

As always, I had a blast reading your thoughts on which was which and why. 

Some said that the white eyelet dress fit too well to be thrifted. Some thought it fit too well to be retail. And I think at least one person thought it was too ill-fitting not to be thrifted. : )

One sweet reader gave me the benefit of the doubt that I would never buy a headband from Goodwill for fear of lice, and I have to point out that, while I did buy it from Goodwill, it was in a display case with the original tags from the store on it. Although…my head has been feeling a bit itchy lately (JOKE!).

Can I be honest and just say that I pretty much expected you guys to get this one right?


Because you know me pretty well by now, and you know that I’m pretty darn cheap. So, you also know that an outfit with as many pieces as Exhibit B would get pretty pricey pretty quickly at retail (even clearance) prices. In fact, several of you based your votes on that reason alone (well done!).

So, even though it may mean that I “lost” this round, I salute you all for your sharp thrifting eyes and thank you for playing along with our fun little fashion game. Makes me smile!

Oh, and I chose Megan for the 5 free entries into The October Giveaway. She said: “Love the second outfit…I’m going to guess that is the thrifted one. It looks so “vintagy”(yep it’s a word cuz I made it up)! And, this may be silly, but I think it is much cuter than the first outfit and so must be the one you want us to like more. Overthinking much? ;-)”

I’m a huge fan of:

a) made-up words

b) overthinking

c) people who like my thrifted outfits ; )

Congrats, Megan!

See you guys tomorrow for Feature Friday!


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