Friday, January 31, 2014


It’s been an amazing whirlwind of beauty and grace these last few days. As you may know, we brought a new son into the world. I can’t even type those words without crying over God’s goodness in our lives. Before conceiving him, we prayed over the idea of him for so long, wondering if it was written in the book for our family to add one more. Holding this precious little boy confirms that God knew about him all along. 

Adding a 6th person to our brood has/will no doubt turn our world upside down, and overwhelm my heart…but in the best possible ways.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great in His faithfulness, his mercies begin afresh each morning.” – Lamentations 3:21-23

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I’ll be honest. My heart has ached with fear this pregnancy. The challenges I have faced this time around, with minor respiratory flair ups, nerve pain in my back, severe swelling in my legs and feet, and some ailments I’ll not mention – I suppose it’s natural to worry about today’s c-section.

Because I fear. Because I worry. It makes me feel convicted that I’m not trusting God in all of this. That my faith flails when I need to lean on it most. Are any of you mamas fighting a similar battle?

I love with so much passion and fierceness, that I wonder if I will ever be completely free of worry. I want so much to feel secure about what tomorrow holds for my children and husband. That the days, the weeks, the coming months will have nothing heartbreaking in them.

I am proud and honored to be their mama. I want their lives to be a beautiful adventure filled with love and happiness. I want them to shine. But I also want to be there, witnessing all those moments. I want to help pick out the prom dress. I want to drive them to college on their first day. I want to cry happy tears on their wedding day and later scream with joy on the arrival of their children.

Today I pray for courage and to be brave. Today, I trust and rest in His plan, not mine.

Often, I can be found humming this song, Held, by Natalie Grant. It resonates with me. It reminds me to trust in what I know is real – that God is my rock. And that when everything fails, “we’d be held.”

Two months is too little, they let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us wed be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
Were asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, its unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
Wed be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
Wed be held

If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait for one hour
Watching for our Savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
Wed be held

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I’m giving birth to another child next week. Another human. A new beating heart.

And because this is my fourth child, I am that much more afraid. Much like marriage, being a mother is an act of courage and submission.

There is utter joy in holding a life so new, so delicate, so pure. I also know that there is hard work ahead of me aside from macaroni necklaces, finger painting and story-telling. Do I have what it takes?

But God uses moments when you can’t see past yourself to remind you that He does – He has what it takes.
And maybe today you needed to be reminded as much as I do…to look beyond the hours, the nagging sense that you have to get it right, and the countless obstacles that come against a grateful heart.

Friday, January 24, 2014


In addition to being incredibly difficult, two year olds can also be adorably hilarious. It's a good thing because otherwise, you might pawn them off on unsuspecting relatives and skip town. (I hear Helsinki is beautiful this time of year.)

Two year old humor is a lot different than one year old humor because it actually makes some degree of sense. Here are a few episodes of adorableness that made me momentarily forget about the terrible twos:

Reef was trying to get the attention of our cat -- repeatedly screamed "Jarvy! Jarvy!" but the cat continued to ignore him. So he paused for a second and then screamed "¡VĂ¡mos!" As if the cat wasn't listening to him because he spoke Spanish.
Reef has started imitating the noises adults make when they snore. But his snore impression is totally exagerated. Basically, he snores similarly to a lion's roar.
Reef discovered a porcelain bird at a store whose leg had fallen off. I asked him not to touch it because it was broken. "Batteries?" Reef asked.

Now. These all probably happened before a tantrum, but who can remember anything terrible in the face of SO MUCH CUTENESS!?

Thursday, January 23, 2014



In the spirit of my upcoming delivery, I've been writing a few motherhood-related posts -- have you noticed?

Ask a mom if she's happier now that she has a child and she'll usually say yes. More times than not, children top the list of the most enjoyable things in life.

I love my children beyond measure -- they bring such joy to my life! But happiness is more than just a smiley feeling. It's also feeling a connection to something larger than yourself. When people are in service to something bigger, they describe their lives as filled with meaning.

This statement may shock you, but to some, the time taking care of children is not the high point of their day. That’s not to say those moms don’t love their child(ren). Being a mom of a young child (especially under age 3) is rich and rewarding (I should know), but it can also be a real strain on your mood (personally true). Feelings vary, but at any given moment, you may be exhausted, frustrated, even angry.

I’m no expert but I think it just takes a little tweak in one’s perspective to attain a more positive view of motherhood.

Admit when you’re frustrated. It’s okay to feel frustrated, angry, tired, or irritable. You're not a bad parent – you’re normal.

Get adequate sleep. Let your husband take over on the weekends so you can catch up on rest. Or skip that late night TV show and hit the sack early. It will make a HUGE difference in the way you feel.

Maximize your priorities. If you can afford it, pay someone to clean your house so that you can enjoy the time with your child(ren). If that’s not an option, determine what’s more important – that the beds are made or coloring with your kids. When they are 20-something, they are not going to remember how clean the house was/wan’t…they’re going to remember the one-on-one times and the bonding.

Savor the moment. If your child asks you to read a book, even a book that you dislike, ask yourself, ‘How long will this last?’ These childhood moments will fly by and before you know it, they will rather be with their friends or too busy to spend time with their mom. Be grateful for the time with him/her. Realize how empty your life would be without these people in it.

Stay connected with your husband. The diapering years require a lot of your attention, and it can take a toll on a marriage. It’s especially important that you don’t lose sight of each other during that time. If you don’t have the money to get a sitter and go out, at least put the kids to bed and watch a movie together. Better yet, open a bottle of wine and sit across the table from one another – talk about your day and give yourself 15 minutes to dream. Even talk about how stressed you are. If you can both just say, 'Raising a kid is hard,' putting it out there diminishes the strain. Little steps easily move onto bigger ones.

Give thanks! Even when your roof is leaking, be thankful for the home you have. When your child is moody and not cooperating, be thankful for all his/her good days. Finances are tight…be thankful that the bills are getting paid. Feeling grateful is a mood booster…a character enhancer. It can be as simple as saying grace each night or going around the table having everyone contribute their high of the day and their low of the day (a game we call “high/low”).

Happiness is a feeling. And feelings follow thoughts – they don’t precede them. And the more you engage in positive thinking, the more enjoyment, satisfaction and fulfillment you’ll have in your life. Motherhood can give us any one of those at any given moment – if not all of them at the same time!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Helping clean her room recently, I noticed some old ink writing/scribbling on my daughter's nightstand.

When I gaze upon her, sometimes it makes me feel like the world has gone mad because this is my baby girl!

I do celebrate my children growing up -- birthdays are always a big deal in our home, and I realize that growing up is suppose to happen. But that doesn't mean I like it.

When my daughter, nearly as tall as I am, can slip on my shoes and borrow my clothes without them falling off, it completely melts me. She's got the movements of a girl but the growing body of a young woman.

So, in regards to that ink scribbled on the furniture, I think I will always leave it there as a sweet reminder.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

(meet my guest) BOUGHTIN BABY & BRIDE

Tell us about the name of your Etsy shop, Boughtin Baby & Bride, and how it came to be?
I had an Etsy shop called The Dotted Line Sign Co that I started when I was finished planning my wedding and still wanted to keep making wedding signs. It did fairly well, but around Thanksgiving, I made a onesie on a whim for a friend and all of a sudden business started booming. I couldn't very well call it a sign shop anymore, so I used my new last name, Boughtin, to create Boughtin Baby & Bride. Though my bridal offerings are limited to printables and wine charms these days, I figured most brides eventually turn into mothers, so the name still fit my audience.

Was there a specific person, place, or thing that inspired you to start this business?
My girlfriend has three daughters and asked me to make a "little sister" onesie for her family photos, and I posted it in my shop and sold a couple right off the bat. I designed a Thanksgiving onesie as a beta test to see how it would do, and people bought them like hotcakes! I realized I had a real knack for design, so I started making a bunch of different (very cheesy) onesies that I knew would sell really well leading up to Christmas. When I realized my hobby could become a business, I decided to use my artistic liberties to cut back on the cheesy ones and start designing things I would put my own children in. I am very streamlined; I love minimal graphic tees with printed leggings, etc, so I have been creating styles that are simple and chic, and can be worn with busier pieces. 

I also get tons and tons of custom orders- I can put anything you can dream of on a onesie or kids t-shirt, or change the color, font and wording of any of my designs. All you have to do is ask!

Do you have a single favorite product? If so, please share a picture and tell us why this piece is so special.
My very favorite is the "Don't Kill My Vibe" onesie, which was inspired by the Kendrick Lamar song. It's very hip-hop, very chic, but also sells well with a crowd that isn't into hip-hop and just loves the phrase. My second favorite would have to be any of the bauble necklaces, which have been my best sellers! They can really go with anything, and we know babies can't yet wear jewelry, so why not put one right on the front of a onesie?!

You can keep up with Cady Boughtin on all of her social sites…


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Monday, January 13, 2014


I read this quote from one my favorite blogs, Top of the Page:

"Living your life to get that deep God-like validation from your peers is a scary place to be in. If someone threatens your sense of self and questions your choices, watch out. "On Christ the SOLID ROCK I stand. All other ground is sinking sand..." Basing one's self-worth on the opinions of the masses is nothing but sinking sand."

What happened to the me that didn’t care what people thought? Some days, I wish I could be her again. I was so “out there” then. Paved my own path. Created my own style. Nothing of mine was like that of my peers. I allowed myself to be free. And think freely. To be ME.

I’m on a mission again to gain some of that independent thought back into my daily life. This round, a little wiser, a bit more educated, and more in tune with my faith.

On the heels of that though, Pete and I often cringe at the thought of someone seeing our son drink from his bottle. Given that he’s 2-1/2 years now. And apparently, in the big book of parenting, that’s a “no-no.”

I was completely textbook raising both our “bigs” – and partly because they cooperated soundly. Reef has, also -- around 6-8 months started drinking water from sippy cups, and around one year old began drinking from real cups. He uses both forks and spoons (preferably on his part) and feeds himself. So, I just don’t think it’s much of a big deal for him to stop drinking milk from a bottle in the mornings if it makes him happy. We don't let them him drink from bottles in the night, but he sure considers it a real treat to snuggle one of us and sooth himself with a warm bottle of milk just before bedtime. Back in the "old days" they didn’t have sippy cups, so why is it a big deal now?! I know he won’t be 5 years old drinking from a for now…I am confident with just letting him be little.

Friday, January 10, 2014


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Thursday, January 9, 2014


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