Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Painting

Today I have a quick toddler-friendly pumpkin project to share. :)

A couple of friends and I decided just this morning that we should do something spirited today with our tots.  We came up with the idea to paint pumpkins outside.  So Reed and I changed out of our PJs, grabbed our pumpkins, and drove down the road for some Halloween fun...

First, my pals felt bad for me after reading about my lame pumpkin bin experience, so we staged a little pumpkin patch.  Ha!

As you can see, Reed pretty much just wanted to get on with the painting project!  What's that?  You do too?  Oh, okay...

So I saw this great project on one of my favorite blogs, and really wanted to give it a try.  Basically, you tape off a design with painter's tape (we did an M for Morgan), and then just let the tots go to town with paint.  When you peel off the tape, your design is cute and orange, regardless of how crazy your little artists went with the painting.  I love it because Reed is too young to really help with carving; plus, a painted pumpkin won't rot on you near as quickly as a carved one.  Here is our finished product:


Reed will show you exactly how we created this masterpiece.

First, you tape off your design.  We just used masking tape since our "M" was simple.  I think it worked fine.  A few leaks, but the whole thing has an undeniable homemade flair anyway.

Next, sit back and admire your prep work.  (This step is optional).

Then, let your little Picasso (or your inner child) go to town!

A couple of notes:

The blog I linked to above used washable crayola paint, which probably would have been a great idea.  Especially if you have a fit throwing toddler who might fling the paint brush and give you yellow highlights in your hair.

Along the same lines, I recommend not dressing yourself or your tot in anything that you wish to preserve.

Our new painted pumpkin is hanging out with Uga on the front porch.  (Uga does not look happy about it!)
Our pumpkin also looks decidedly Frankenstein-ish, so after this weekend, I might just add some yellow and brown to carry him through Thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading.  And have fun painting pumpkins! :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Bucket List Update

Hasn’t it been a beautiful Fall!?  With the end of October nearing, I thought it was time for a quick Fall Fun List inventory.   So far our progress looks like this:
 
Decorate for Fall
Hot apple cider*
Pumpkin patch*
Trick-or-treat
Pumpkin pancakes
Hiking
Make a fall keepsake craft with Reed
Carve a pumpkin
Scenic mountain drive
Roast marshmallows
Eat Lisa's pumpkin bread
Rake leaves with Reed* ...and jump in the piles
Make chili
Watch Dawgs football (duh)
First fire
Pumpkin spice lattes (so far... 2 of 4)
Family photos

 
Did you notice all of those asterisks?  Well, I have had to settle for less than ideal on several Fall List items.  No, that is an understatement.  I announced to Matt the other day that "none of my Fall dreams were coming true."  This dramatic confession came in the middle of the grocery store when I realized that instead of a fun day at the pumpkin patch we were picking our pumpkins out of a giant cardboard box at Aldi.  Ha ha… What can you do?  Sometimes, life just gets busy.  Below is my report on our less-than-magical-but-still-Fall-Fun list progress :)

Decorate for Fall.  I finally got around to decorating our home for Fall (which really just means I put up door décor, table décor, and a few pumpkins).

Hot Apple Cider.  Not the homemade kind I envisioned… Matt & I used leftover packets from a youth bonfire event and cuddled up with mugs of cider while we watched the crackling fire in the fireplace an episode of Lie to Me on Netflix.  Charming. :)

Pumpkin patch.  Last year, we had a perfect day at the pumpkin patch.
Oct 2010
This year, I really shouldn’t even cross this one off the list.  You already know about our family trip to the Aldi pumpkin bin.  I guess we don’t want to be legalistic…  Moving on.

Pumpkin Pancakes.  Yum- We’ve enjoyed these 3 times already.

Hiking.  Check.  But hopefully more to come!

Rake leaves with Reed ...and jump in the piles.  Not sure if this one counts either.  We spent the afternoon working in the yard last week, and Matt wanted to blow the leaves instead of rake.  Okay, but can you blow the leaves into a pile for Reed to jump in?  No?!  Fine.  At least blow some in his direction so I can take a picture.
And if it counts as extra credit, Reed added to his own list: Try eating dirt.

Watch Dawgs football.  Ongoing… But how ‘bout them Dawgs with a W in Jacksonville!? :)

Pumpkin Spice Lattes. (so far... 2 of 4)

Additions:
I added Pinterst pumpkin cookies (this recipe) and pumpkin muffins (found here) to the list.  I didn’t want to put shortening in the cookies, so I kind of botched them, but they were fun to make with my mini sous chef.

 Also added a costume party where my little pumpkin learned to limbo and play the harmonica (definite bucket list material!) :)

 How about you?  Are your Fall Fun dreams coming true more magically than mine? :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Costume Ideas

Can you believe cute costumes are just around the corner!  Hopefully, today's post will spread some ideas your way.  We're also taking a costume poll!  Last year, Reed went trick-or-treating as a monkey.
Monkey Reed, 7 months
My mom and sister found him that monkey costume for a few bucks at a Children's Place outlet.  Score!

This year we didn't have any costume ideas or leads, so I started searching Pinterest.  Here are some of my favorite finds:
Peter Pan found here
Dwight Schrute from The Office hee hee
Russell and Carl from Up- Love! (source)
Vintage Golfer (here)

As soon as I saw the little golfer costume, I thought Hey! we could pull something similar together with stuff we already have, and Reed could carry his plastic club set. So we staged a dress rehearsal:

Then, my friend offered to let Reed borrow some of her kids' past get-ups.  So now we also have puppy dog and pumpkin options...

Reed was kind of reluctant about the puppy dog.  Also, I think he was standing on the legs, so it was pulling the hood backwards.

But he was way into the pumpkin!

To complicate things even more, another friend recently told me that the Disney Store has Mickey Mouse costumes for $20.  Now you know I wouldn't normally pay for anything if we have a good option that is free, but you also probably know that Reed is head over heels for Mickey...

Sooo what do you think?  We have 3 free options and a Mickey Mouse splurge option.  I'd say the puppy dog is out, though, because Reed didn't like that one.  We have a costume party this Saturday and then of course trick-or-treating the next Monday, so Reed could wear two different costumes if he wants to.  Your turn!  What's your vote?  And what are your little people going to be? :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby Clothes Organization

Somewhere along the line, I read about and appropriated two great baby clothes organization ideas.  The thought of going through boxes of clothes soon and starting again in those itty bitty sizes makes me want to share those ideas with you today!

The first idea is simple.  (Actually they are both simple).  Anyway, instead of organizing and boxing up clothing by size range (ie: "0-3 months"), label your boxes "Boy 1" and "Boy 2" (etc) and fill them up in real time as clothing items are outgrown.  We all know that sizing can be widely inaccurate, and this helps your duds get boxed up in true size order.  See, simple.

The second idea is my favorite.  Basically, I bought two large bins (you could use any container) and labeled them "Outgrown" and "Next Size."  I put them both on the top shelf of Reed's closet, and, as you might assume, I toss clothes Reed has recently outgrown into one and keep clothing in (anything close to) the next size up in the other.
Exhibit A:

This has worked beautifully for a few reasons:
1. The system keeps things accessible.  I don't forget about and pass by any clothes that are "next up" because they are only an arm's length away.  And if the weather turns cool, and I toss his shorts in the bin, I can easily pull a pair back out for an oddball hot day in October.  For that matter, if a pair of shorts looks like they might fit again next summer, you can just store them in the next size bin all year instead of packing them away.

2. It also wards off clutter.  The bins give too big and too small clothes a specific temporary home, so they aren't stuffed into an already full dresser or piled in the hallway waiting to be packed away into the attic.  The "next size" bin is also great for recent purchases; even if the item isn't the exact next size up, the bin provides a great spot to stash recent purchases and doesn't drag you into packed away boxes or take up precious closet hanging space.

3. Um, the bins look cute! :)

We purposefully painted Reed's walls (tan) and furniture (light green) neutral colors so that we don't have to overhaul the big stuff if our nursery ever houses a little girl.  Even though they were a smaller purchases, I tried to follow suit with the bins and other closet accessories.  The labels are made out of blue cardstock, so I could redo them with pink or purple if needed.

Here is a wider shot of Reed's tiny closet.  While we are talking about organization, come on in for a tour...

1) I did my best to use all of the space.  We considered a rod-doubler, but thought we could just use the floor space for extra boxes of diapers and wipes, as well as to store things like his humidifier when not in use.

2) The hanging organizer (along with all of the drawers of the dresser) have transitioned contents many times as Reed has transitioned stages.  For example, the top right drawer of the dresser once held about a zillion burp cloths for our spitting-up, gerd baby.  We of course don't use burp cloths anymore but they are actually still in the closet, along with also-outgrown swaddle blankets and a moby wrap, just because we have the space.  The hanging organizer also currently houses Reed's swimwear (which was in a drawer during pool season).  His big winter jacket is folded into the very bottom compartment, because those things are puffy if you let them out!

3) We have gotten use out of the space on the back of the door by hanging a shoe organizer.  It does hold Reed's shoes (I keep out any sizes that are remotely close to his current size because baby shoe sizes can vary a great deal- don't trust the numbers!)  It also holds a hat or two, extra diaper baggy rolls, a folded up nursing cover, and back up Mr. Monkey--pretty much anything that fits.  Two things if you're interested in hanging a shoe organizer: 1, They do come in different sizes so take note of the measurements.  2, I highly recommend getting one with mesh shoe pockets because it breathes and you are able to see all of the contents.  If you aren't trying to be neutral, you can find really cute colorful ones too!

4) We added a coat rack from home depot (I think it was 6 or 7 dollars!) to be able to hang his bags, and a jacket or two.  Helps utilize some of that empty vertical wall space below the curtain rod.

Hope you got some ideas from those I passed along.  If not, now you know more than you ever wanted to know about Reed's clothes and closet.  Can't believe I will be organizing two closets and rooms soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Swag

A few people asked for clarification on the "swagger wagon" reference in Thursday's post.  Read on, my friends...

Have you seen Matt & I cruising around in our new (to us) minivan?

Oops, I mean swagger wagon:

Yeah, we're cool like that.  We took the plunge.  And, yes, even though I never thought I would go there, I'm officially a minivan mom.

Our new ride is an odyssey, not a sienna, but we're still feelin' it:



So if you see me cruisin, wave a 'sup!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coming this April...


Reed is going to be a big brother!

That's right, Baby Morgan #2 is on the way.

Perhaps you already sensed this development... could have been my blogging absence in September (I was either sleeping, throwing up, or feeling like throwing up) ...or maybe you noticed the sharp upturn of food pictures I started posting every day on pinterest ...or perchance you've seen me swaggering around in our new swagger wagon?

Or maybe you simply observed that  I started rocking maternity pants weeks ago and perpetually look like I just ate 7 tacos. :)

Anyway, I've been working hard growing baby human #2 for 13 weeks.  We are thrilled about our new little miracle, and the next chapter ahead!

I have to admit I'm already a little nervous about having two little people around.  I've watched lots of friends transition from 1 to 2 kids, some hardly missing a beat and others having a pretty tough time.  The intimidating part to me is that there's no formula.  All of my friends are great moms; the difference has largely been the personalities of their children and circumstances with their newborns.  If I had to guess, I am going to go with Reed (& I) will have a rough adjustment.  Let’s just say he doesn’t exude the "hi! welcome to my territory, let’s share my mommy and daddy, here are all of my toys, muah, I love you little brother/sister” vibes.  I could be wrong.  Let's ask him...

Reed, what are your thoughts about your new baby?

Well...
Left to Right: Can I stick it between my toes? / *Yawn* booo-ring. / "Ooh Muahahaha..." (or perhaps he is howling?) / Oh, I don't know Mom.  Who are we talking about again?

There you have it.  Somehow I think my vision for mothering two children will go about like my vision for the above photo shoot.  Did you see the perfect shot where Reed smiled sweetly and held the ultrasound picture out in front of him!?  Yeah, me neither. :)  Good thing His power is made perfect in weakness!

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother's womb.
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
      I worship in adoration—what a creation!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
   The days of my life all prepared
      before I'd even lived one day.
 -Psalm 139:13-16, The Message

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall is Here

Beautiful Fall is here!


Did I miss anything important and fall-ish that should be on our Fall Family Fun list?!  What's on yours?

Monday, October 10, 2011

A 48-Hour Victory

Matt and I attended Catalyst last Thursday and Friday.  It was a wonderful, albeit exhausting, weekend.  On top of great teaching (Francis Chan, Andy Stanley), moving worship (Hillsong United), and some tears and laughter at the conference, we experienced a 48 hour victory on the home front...  Reed spent the night at his grandparents for the first time while we attended Catalyst; in fact, it was almost like a 2-night gig since we said our goodbyes on Wednesday evening and left hours before Reed woke up on Thursday!  We didn't pick him up from Papa and Grammy's until Friday evening.  Get this: Reed didn't cry for us, not even one time, during his stay!  (And I didn't cry either).  I am so proud of him!  This is a big. deal.  And so thankful for my parents (and sister) loving on him!

My source of Reed info for the two days was my phone, so here is a glimpse at the "phone's eye view" of our 48-hr victory:

Wed. 6:45pm- Reed is having a ball with Papa and Gram, (who have come to spend the night at our house so we can leave early the next morning), so I decide to try to head out to youth group.  This means I have to say a quick goodbye even though I won't see Reed until Friday night!  (boo hoo)  He is crying when I leave, but I quickly receive this text:
"He got happy immediately and asked 4 ice cream.  Have fun."
(Translation: Reed was already in his pajamas and about to go to bed, but tells my parents that he is hungry.  They ask what he wants, and he says "ice cream."  So, what do they do?  Load him up in the truck and go buy ice cream at Publix. #GRANDPARENTS) Haha...

Thur. 6:15am- We tiptoe out of the house, and I wait and wait to hear that my little man is up and at 'em.  Finally at 8:22: "He is just waking..." (8:22!??  Of course, he sleeps in like a champ when I'm not home!)

Thursday cont'd- Exchanged a few texts about playing at the park, and the drive back to their house...
"Just walking home from the park.  Reed is tired.  Did you know he likes to flip over the bars?"
(Uh, excuse me?  He is a baby.  I figure they are just trying to push my buttons, so I ignore the flipping part at the end).
A few texts later ended with "serious about that flipping," so I just thought okay, maybe we define flipping differently and said "hope you got a video" :) (Update: still haven't clarified the feat)

And my favorite text exchange of the 48 hour victory:
Me: "Thx for the updates.  I appreciate them.  We're having fun!  Thanks for being a great gram and papa!"
My mom: "Reed says he doesn't want Mr. monkey and is asking to share chips with Papa.  U r welcome. We r loving it!!"

So thankful for my mom and dad!  Big step for the Reedster!

PS- I really wanted to post one of the Tripp and Tyler videos from the conference because they were hilarious, but none of them are online yet.  I found this one from Catalyst '09.  SO funny!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Balloons and Billy Brown

Yesterday we went to the park to celebrate my niece Kendall's 1st birthday.  Isn't she cute!?


Both of Kendall's parents are way talented behind the camera!  Her daddy, Andrew, took this shot. Andrew studied cinematography at The L.A. Film School and is actually working on a short film project, called Billy Brown, that when completed will be entered into the Atlanta Film Festival.  Check it out:


You can read more about the project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/billybrown/billy-brown-short-film.  And if interested you can become a backer of the film.  (Um, if I were you I would go ahead and get in on this project so that when Andrew makes it big in L.A. you can say your name is in the credits of his first film festival entry).  Just sayin.

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

dotMOM: Wild Things

Okay, I am back with one final dotMOM post.  One of the other breakouts I attended at the conference was about raising boys.  David Thomas, director of counseling for men and boys at Daystar in Nashville, led the session, which was based on his newest book, Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys. The book addresses the spiritual, emotional, and physical makeup of boys.  The room was packed-out-full.  I sat on the floor on against a side wall and took furious notes as we covered developmental stages of boys from birth through adolescence, who they are and their needs through various ages.  I loved how David opened the session by saying that he loves his field because the study of development is like a study in God's creation.  The time was informative, inspiring, and I have to admit somewhat overwhelming.  To have so much information thrown my way in just a short time made me acutely aware of the big job in front of me and the sweet gift of a little man that God has entrusted to me to parent.  So thankful for God's grace!  I may or may not have teared up a time or two.

I could write about some the notes I took, but I don't really feel like it... I figure I was actually there and I am buying the book, so I will just recommend it to you too!  (If you click on the book title above it will take you straight to Amazon.)  David also recommended the Parenting With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition) series, saying the books have useful, situation specific discipline techniques.  I am adding both of these books to my reading list.  (Remember my reading list?!  No, I didn't neglect to report back to you as promised... I haven't read any of them yet!  Fail.)  Let me know if you read (or have read) either of these books- would love to hear your thoughts.

Also, just a quick tidbit: David Thomas is booked as one of the main session speakers for next year's dotMOM conference. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

dotMOM: Legacy

This week, I have been checking in regarding the dotMOM conference.  Yesterday, I shared about the main sessions and speakers.  Today I wanted to tell you about the Legacy breakout I attended with Esther Burroughs.  I hadn't heard of Esther prior to the event, but apparently she is a big deal and has had considerable influence in the lives of some of the younger women speakers of today.  I hesitate to even try to write about this hour with her because so much of its value was in just soaking in her presence.  She is a woman who exudes wisdom and godliness.  Nevertheless, here are a few treasures to pass along:

She talked about using the Jesus Storybook Bible with (in her case) grandchildren.  I adore this children's Bible; we gave it to Reed for his first Easter (read more about it here).  It tells the story of our rescuing God.  Just reading from it together weekly can be part of legacy, part of passing on the story of Faith to your children, grandchildren, or spiritual children.

Esther has a beautiful way of weaving her rich spiritual heritage into her passing on of wisdom to another generation.  She told us about asking her father, who was a pastor, if her firstborn son could one day have his Bible, which was filled with His precious handwritten notes of insights and promises from God.  Her father told her that he had already promised it to Esther's brother (his own firstborn son).  She knew that was right, but was truly disappointed.  Years later, when Esther's son married, his grandfather gave him as a wedding gift a Bible into which he had hand-copied every note, underline, date, and comment from his own Bible.  So special.

Some lines from my scrawly notes:
"We have a divine calling in the home to raise another generation who calls Him holy...  You can't give your children your faith; you can only live it out in front of them...  Leave them the legacy of your love and desire for the Word of God...  Let them see you with His word...  Pray in front of and with your children."

And just one more story:
Esther told a story about a family Thanksgiving dinner.  Gathered around the long table covered with fine linens and adorned with china, candlesticks, and a fitting feast were her parents, her children, and their children.  As the family started to pray, the youngest grandson reached for his grandfather's hand and knocked over his glass of tea.  As everyone looked on in alarm, the grandfather said, "That is too heavy a burden for a little guy to carry alone" and reached out and knocked over his glass as well.  The two rivers of tea combined and circled around the dishes as they headed toward grandmother at the other end of the table, who simply declared "me too" as she tipped her glass toward the table.  Grace.

"O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Thy strength to this generation, Thy strength to all who are to come."  Psalm 71:18b

Monday, October 3, 2011

dotMOM: Main Sessions

As promised, I'm back to tell you a little bit about the main sessions at the DotMom event I attended last weekend.  They were all fabulous.  Whether or not you are a mom, the challenge and encouragement that each speaker brought can apply to your heart and your life.  I will also link to the speakers' respective blogs, so you can check out their stories and maybe follow along with their ministries for yourself.  Please note: I am just jotting down a quick summary and some takeaways, but will in no way do justice to the giftedness, humor, and anointing of the actual ladies/their teaching. :)

Angela Thomas kicked off the first afternoon talking about Matthew 5:14-16.
"You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." 
The light of Christ in us fills our homes, and points our children to Jesus Christ.  We don't have to manufacture the light (the light is Christ), but we are called to shine.  We do have to, as Paul told Timothy, fan into flame the gift that's been given us.  We have to be determined to care for our soul.
 And a few other things I loved that Angela said:
- Realize not going to go back (ie- to what "quiet times" looked like in college or pre-kids) ...Figure out how to get with God in this season!
- There is an art to leaving some things undone so greater things can be done.

Angie Smith spoke Friday night.  Perhaps you have read or heard of her book I Will Carry You?  she has a deep, beautiful story.  You just need to check out her blog.  Go ahead.  I'll wait...
 A few of my favorite things that Angie had to say:
- Are we telling our kids what we want them to do for God... or are we showing them?
- Motherhood is not our highest calling.  Our highest calling is to glorify God.  (Motherhood is one way we do that)
- She spoke about the safe, quaint images she held of motherhood and family life (as if playing safely on the seashore), and the call of God to live (and encourage our kids to live) passionate lives for Christ, braving the deep waters and risking brokenness.

Vicki Courtney shared about the balance of being a good mother and a child of the living God, focusing on the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42.  Martha was distracted by all the doing, while Martha chose to sit in Jesus' very presence. 
She shared three qualities of Mary:
1. We must make time to sit and listen
- Greek word for listen suggests a continual listening , to give in to the listening of... Martha sat at Jesus' feet hanging on every word, while Martha was catching it on the go. :(
- Referenced boundaries with the constant noise of twitter, facebook, email, pinterest, etc.  (Ouch).
2. We must aim for enough rather than too much
- verse 40: Martha was distracted by "much serving"
- Take inventory of average day- have I learned to give enough, or am I chasing too much?  What is it for me that I have to reign in?
3. We must make Jesus our primary affection
- verse 41: "...but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her"
- What is my primary affection?  Do I know how to sit at His feet?  Is He my primary affection?

Priscilla Shirer delivered the last session of the conference.  She shared a specific message that I know spoke directly to the current realities and hearts of many people.  Using the story of Simon and Peter in Luke 5, Priscilla shared that God sees, cares about, and steps into our circumstances.  She equated our attendance at the DotMom conference to Peter and Simon taking a break to clean and mend their nets after a long stretch of fishing.  We were not there to escape our lives, but instead to be refreshed and revived and ready to return.
I really just wanted to pass on one of Priscilla's points.  She talked about having "Netwashers" in our lives, friends to journey with you, to come alongside you and help you wash and mend your nets, especially at times when, like Simon and Peter, your best efforts are coming up empty.  Love that.  A few days after the conference, Priscilla posted a blog about what she wished she would have added to her message, and I think it's such an important reminder.  She talked about how so often instead of stepping in to help other weary moms hold up their nets and wash them, we stand off to the side and criticize them, especially in what they choose to do differently from us.  I was so grateful for the reminder to be in it together, no matter what.  I know I want to be loved and upheld unconditionally, and hope to offer the same kind of sincere support to those around me.  And I think that call to oneness can apply to all the roles in our lives.  Priscilla's follow-up blog post also gives a great overview of her actual message.  You really should check it out!

As you likely noticed, there were some common threads running throughout the sessions, and it is probably easy to see why I said my main take-away was about choosing sit at His feet!  I love that the "mantra" of each session is somewhat passive: let your light shine, brave the deep waters, sit in His presence...  My days are filled with the busyness of tasks and doing... a toddler to bathe, dress, diaper, comfort, feed and clean up after (and repeat)... messes, laundry, errands, patiently correcting and redirecting...  But my highest calling is in Christ.  To be.  It is His light, His power, His life in me.  Thank you, Jesus!

Hope you were encouraged by the glimpse into the main sessions of the conference, and I hope you will visit some of the linked blogs.  They're great!  Next up: I'll be back with some quick notes and thoughts on a couple of the breakout sessions.  Thanks for reading! :)


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Big Weekend: dotMOM


Last weekend I went to dotMOM, a Lifeway event for mommas, in Birmingham, AL.  It was an amazing two days.  I got to get away with other moms/friends and laugh, learn, and immerse myself in worship and teaching.  In a stage of life where I rarely get to attend church, (I'm there, but Reed just can't handle more than one service and I've committed to teach a 4th/5th grade small group and help Matt with students), spending two. entire. days. just focused on worshiping Christ and letting Him nurture my soul in a communal setting was a dream come true.  (Huge thanks to my sweet hubby who held down the fort so I could escape!)

In short, my biggest take away was the Lord teaching me to sit at His feet in the midst of the busyness of motherhood.  He sent me home so refreshed and encouraged.  Full.  And intent on clinging to Him above all.

I thought I would share a little bit about the conference this week, including the main sessions and a couple of the breakout sessions I attended (one on legacy and one on parenting boys).  So if you are interested in reading along, tune in over the next several days.

Also, if you are a momma, you will not regret attending this event next Fall.  My friend Lauren (who first told me about .mom 2011) is especially passionate about telling you so. :)  The event was fun, refreshing, informative, and deep with worship and teaching.  You can read more about dotMOM 2012 and/or register here.

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful weekend!

Hold on to your Hats,
Danielle