love and marriage

It’s been a couple months since this photobooth strip was taken; it was OC Fair day and it marks a really big fight between Ben and me. While we are kissing in the last photo on the strip, the first 3 photos much more accurately portray the feelings of that weekend. It was sort of a perfect storm of a fight… I was hormonal due to Aunt Flo’s monthly visit, Ben was kind of griping about the same thing for a few weeks, and the girls reaction to what he said (that I took offensively) really exacerbated my emotions and it set me off. All the conditions mixed together gave us a whirlwind weekend (week!) fight.

We went to the fair mad and came home mad. Though, I did smile for pictures (lol!). Anytime he tried to discuss things, I was too livid, so my communication was far from kind, so he would end the attempt to communicate. I remember Saturday night, he made another attempt to talk about things, and asked, “Are you ready to talk?” I curtly (with an angry look) said, “No.”

Sunday morning came and we happened to have to take two cars to church. My head and heart was still fuming as I drove and was not letting up on wanting my way. The morning sermon was quite cutting to the heart, but my heart was too hard to be cut. I knew in my head what I ought to be doing, but I didn’t want to do it. I was present in body, but my heart and head was everywhere, but there.

One thing I am thankful for is the grace-filled open church family we have. The night before, Ben had texted some of the guys for prayer to let them know we were fighting, and I textend some of the ladies too. Thus, after gathering, one of the ladies asked how I was doing and I said, “I’m mad. And I don’t want to talk to him.” I explained the whole start of the fight, my feelings regarding it, and I wasn’t budging on my anger. I was crying as I shared, but my anger was winning over humility and love.

I’m thankful I don’t have to fake it with these people, and they aren’t afraid to point me to truth, even when I didn’t want it. I don’t mind sharing my mess because churches are for the sick and messy, and that is me all the time. I never have my stuff together and I need weekly (daily) reminders that Jesus died for my messy self and it’s not about me having everything together, but trusting in Him who gave His life and righteousness for me.

I had to leave to go somewhere (hence, the two cars to church), and I was kind of ready to talk (maybe not really), but still mad, so we tried in the parking lot while the kids were in the car, but clearly I wasn’t really ready because I said, “I despise you.” (We totally laugh about what I said now.) By this time, the girls are crying because it’s obvious we were fighting, and we are asking them who they want to go with (me or Ben) and the 3 younger, choose Ben. True probably would have gone with Ben, but she was paralyzed from all the crying that she didn’t budge, so she was stuck with me.

Later in the afternoon, when my heart seemed slightly more settled, I ask True to call me out on what I was doing wrong. She said, “You have self-righeous anger and you’re being prideful.” I admit it to her and then ask God for forgiveness with her. Ben didn’t come home until a few hours later and I was finally ready to talk (calmly). I asked him forgiveness for my unloving words, anger, and pride, but we still disagreed. Needing a little mediating still, we called our pastor and he helped us walk through the situation even further. After that conversation, we both were on the same page, though my heart reluctantly so. That was on Sunday evening and it wasn’t until Friday afternoon that our relationship was okay and back to normal.

That’s marriage… sometimes it’s a mess. I’m thankful we have lots of people we can be messy with and turn to when we need help. I’m thankful by God’s grace that I was able to let go of that pride and anger because even though it felt good for a moment, there wasn’t any real joy in holding onto it. Holding on to things like that can be detrimental to the soul. Also, Ben and I don’t normally fight, so this was a good learning lesson to the kids that parents fight and it’s normal. We’ve got things to work through sometimes and while I probably wasn’t handling it the right way, we could talk about that with them too. I’m also hoping that allowing True to call me out on my sin and what I was doing wrong, is something that will continue to happen. Though, I am her mom, I won’t always be right.  I want her (and all the girls) to feel safe enough to call me out when I need it.

Love and marriage is messy and hard; it can also be wonderful. I’ve known some marriages to walk through the hottest of fires and seen the healing that comes after, and I’ve seen some that ended with two apart. Marriage is between two people, but just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to help flourish a marriage. Though, I know sometimes it’s hard to find that village of people to be completely honest with.

After that huge fight, we had another big one not too long after. That month seemed to be a season to test and refine our marriage and communication. As my friends and family know, I adore Ben, like super adore Ben (I give him googly eyes all day long). Words can’t adequately describe how much he makes my heart swell, and yet, he can majorly piss me off sometimes (and I do the same to him). I’m thankful that forgiveness can happen and things be renewed because Jesus forgave both of us for much. I’m sure many more fights will come, but learning to see how each one refines us and grows us together, and be thankful for them.

Well, that was a long heart rant and kind of all over the place, but I hope our mess encourages you somehow.

P.S. I ran into two readers while at the fair, who probably had no clue we were fighting (we didn’t act like it during photo booth time), but well, if you’re reading, here’s the story of that day/weekend. :)

And even though we were super mad, the photo booth pictures still came out cute. Lol


1960s flower child costume

1960s Flower Child Costume

White t-shirt
Tie dye kit
3/8″ elastic
Hand needle and thread (or sewing machine)
Faux spray daisy flowers (used 2 stems)
Glue gun and glue stick
Round sunglasses, optional (sold at Michaels)

To make the shirt:
Bunch up an area on the shirt and tie one or two rubber bands around the bunched area. Do this several more times in various places on the shirt. Wet the shirt completely, then follow the instructions on dye kit to color the shirt.

To make the flower headband:
Measure around the head and cut the ribbon about 3/4″ around the head. Cut out an elastic piece that makes the remaining 1/4″ measurement around the head. Sew each end of the elastic to the end of the ribbon. With a little dab of glue on the ribbon, cut off a flower head and attach to the glue. Repeat until the entire ribbon is covered with flowers.

To put together the outfit:
Grab a pair of jeans ( best if flared or wide legs) to pair with the tie dye top. Any wooden shoes/clogs would pair well, and add a scarf or handkerchief around the neck. Put on the round sunglasses and give a carefree smile while holding out the peace sign.

We loved putting together this costume and each piece is something they would definitely wear, not just on Halloween. Michaels also carries sunglasses, so these round ones were perfect to pair with the rest of the outfit. Maybe, I ought to sew the girls some wide leg bell bottoms. Thinking that project might get added to our craft list.

Are you a Halloween maker or shopper? My kids love handmade costumes, so we are definitely Halloween makers.

Supplies provided as part of the Michaels’ Makers SeriesThis Halloween, Michaels has everything you need to MAKE it Spooky!



This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

Super thankful to Michaels for sending me on a little craftcation to the Pinners Conference.

Grateful for Ben and my parents who took care of things while I skipped town a bit.

I enjoy watching how the girls’ style evolves (like Soulie in the picture above). They’re homeschooled, so they don’t know the trends that are popular with kids, and they kind of do their own thing. I love it!

Thankful for some spontaneity left in me. Most of it disappeared when I had kids, but last night showed it was still there. I’m still a planner at heart though.

Sweet vintage dress on sale from Ms. Tips.

Fair Season Vintage always stocked with the coolest things like this vintage field jacket.

So excited for my best friend and her husband. It’s something I’ve been praying about for years.

Times to get ready for Halloween. We have most things needed for their costumes, but now I have to start tweaking them. Can you believe it’s October?!

I’m looking for good organic masa, anyone try this one?

Excited to get home and try some of the new things I learned at the conference. I think the girls will really enjoy learning about brush lettering. I can’t wait to teach them!

Happy Sunday!



Beyoncé inspired baby shower

Finally, at long last, my girls are getting their first official cousin. My sister, Reinna, is expecting a little boy and her request was a “Beyoncé” themed baby shower. So when life hanods that request, you make lemonade! Inspired by Beyonce’s recent music and visual album, we created a celebration fit for a queen (Reinna means queen).

My job was decor and it was on a beautiful roof top, so not too much was needed. I used bunting that I had sewn for my best friend’s wedding several years ago and the centerpiece of the decor was the lemonade piñata (tutorial via oh happy day here). My baby sister and friend made the protest signs, which were a fun touch. To get that extra Beyoncé-esque vibe, I made a floral crown remiscent of that surprise baby announcement that was dropped by the queen B herself. Naturally, my girls got in on the creating too and they made the lemon adorned wrapping paper. I love how that turned out and I think for Christmas, I’ll be having them draw on all the wrapping paper! Add some music by Beyoncé and Solange and the celebration was exactly was this mom-to-be wanted.


a little teaser

I was trying real hard to get a post together about the Harry Potter celebration we threw for Brave’s birthday in August (!), but time just wasn’t on my side and I was running out of it this week. I’m off to Texas for Pinners Conference, so sharing about what we made and did for her birthday will have to wait until next week. Until then, the photo above is a little teaser.


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  ms. tips   lotta

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