March 21, 2018

Parenting tweens means preparing them for all the body and skin changes. We’ve started noticing these changes for a couple years now, so we’ve been working on helping the girls develop good habits on how to care for themselves. We got the deodorant and hair washing thing down, and now we’ve been working on the skincare aspect. That’s where C’est Moi Beauty comes in. C’est Moi Beauty (pronounced, “say-mwah” – French for “It’s Me”) is specifically designed for young delicate skin types and made for tweens and teens ages 8 – 16 yrs. They’re all about cleaner, healthier and safer choices for their skin (and all their packaging is recyclable and sustainable!) , and since I’ve made the switch to clean product for my face, I’m glad my girls can do the same too.

Growing up, I had very dry skin, and Ben, had very oily skin. We both can see our skin types in True and Brave (True’s like Ben, while Brave is like me), and we’re both glad we can help prepare them on how to care for their own skin. We showed them how to wash their face with C’est Moi Beauty Gentle Foaming Cleansing Gel (took them a bit of time to get the groove of gently massaging a small amount of gel in a circular motion). Also, when we need something quick, for when we’re on the go, the C’est Moi Beauty Gentle Cleansing wipes work wonderfully. After, they moisturized with C’est Moi Beauty Gentle Moisture Lotion, and of course, they topped it off with C’est Moi Beauty Gentle Mineral Sunscreen Lotion. I’ve always been big on sunscreen and started wearing it daily since the 6th grade, so of course, I’m making sure my girls protect their skin and do the same. Face wash (or wipe), moisturizing lotion, then sunscreen are the essential basics in good skincare for me since I was 10, so I’m hoping to pass it on to them too. I certainly value knowing exactly what I’m putting on and where it comes from, and all C’est Moi Beauty is made with natural and organic ingredients and made in the USA or Europe. Woot!

The girls aren’t big makeup wearers yet, but C’est Moi Beauty has that area covered too. The only time the girls wear makeup are for theater performances when they need a little color on their face while on stage, so we’ve been using the C’est Moi Beauty lip gloss and cheek palette to subtly enhance their color for those occasions. I’m glad there are gentle products that are made for their delicate skin. Their lip gloss and makeup offer healthy alternatives for those wanting to have fun expressing themselves with makeup, and I admit to using some of their lip crayons on myself (they’re so nice and creamy). All this tween stuff is new to us (read my post here). There’s so many areas that we are learning to navigate and skin care happens to be one of them. Skincare is important to me as I get older and I want them to learn the importance of taking care of their skin too. To get your hands on some C’est Moi Beauty products for your tween/teens, head to Target or C’est Moi.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of C’est Moi. The opinions and text are all mine. I appreciate the time you spend in this space, the support you give me, and the brands I partner with.


March 19, 2018

I’m an introvert, but an extroverted introvert. Ben, on the other hand, is an introverted introvert. Over the years, we’ve learned how to come out of introverted-ness to love others. We know we need people in our lives… speaking truth, sharing burdens, serving others, confessing struggles, so you can’t really do that in isolation. I help pull Ben over to being an extroverted introvert sometimes, and if you met us in person, you’d for sure be surprised that we are introverts, especially me. We love people and are thankful for the community of people in our lives, but after spending time with people, we need to recharge by ourselves. It’s funny how that works. We also find our extroverted friends curious because they draw energy from being with people, and that’s just something we can’t relate to.

We’re also thankful we’re the same, so we don’t really have that tension of being opposites. I can imagine it would be a struggle to have those two opposites in a relationship, and while I’m sure it works, I’m sure there’s some squabbles that come along with it. We have our own squabbles too, but it doesn’t relate to being opposites. Our fights usually come up in our culture clashes, but that’s another post for another day.

Are you an extrovert or an introvert? As far as we can tell, we have 4 little introverts on our hands. I wonder if that will change with time.


March 16, 2018

I’m thankful for this family of mine. We’ve been weathering a lot lately, and learning to go with the plot twists that God’s been throwing at us (and more that are sure to come). The girls have been so gracious with some of recent changes going on in our home, and with all the busyness of the past few weeks too. I think we’ve all been going 100 mph, but I’m hoping we get to slow it down a bit this coming week.

These are our photo booth pictures from our family day to the Date Festival a few weeks ago. I love that we can still all squeeze into the booth (and will keep doing so for as long as we can), and I especially love the second photo on the strip of Ben and me. If I could, I would gladly give him googly eyes all day long, so I think that photo captures how much I’m still enamored by him. Believe it or not, almost every day I make him retell me the story of how we met (or I’m the one that does the retelling). I really love being married to that guy. Marriage and family life is definitely full of happy chaos, and we happen to be a pretty thick season right now, but there’s so much grace. We are very thankful for the abundance of grace that God has lavished on us, despite how undeserving we are.


March 2, 2018

This week our world sort of shook; our lives turned upside down. Ben and I are fine, the girls are okay, and we are all still enjoying our (temporary) good health, but I’ll have to do a bit of vague blogging about this because it’s a part of our lives that will continue to unfold and only time will tell how it all ends up (so please excuse me for now). I share though because I realize in the 11 years I’ve been writing this blog, I’m sure many of you have had your world rocked in big ways too. Blogs are fun, frivolous places, but I know the people reading have real stories and go through deep pains, and right now it’s our season to ride this storm.

While my heart has been so heavy, God’s truth has been so sweet. This particular hymn has been in my heart all week…

“His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”

God always has a purpose and I know it’s always for our good.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

I hope these things encourage you too, as it does for me because it really shines light in our current situation. It refocuses me to be kingdom-minded. Jesus died for me, so I no longer have to be a slave to trusting myself, but I can trust God and His word. And if you’re going through something dark too, I’m praying you do the same.


February 14, 2018

Just like my girls, I love to celebrate. I love special days for showering my loved ones with something special, making special requests and getting treats, but sometimes, when life is busy and you’ve been married for almost 13 years, you’re cool with a mellow Valentine’s Day too. I have no gift for Ben and I’m not expecting anything from him, except maybe for ice cream. The last few months have been a bit more stressful for us, so we agreed to keep it chill this year. We did sneak in a quick date on Sunday afternoon, which was nice because we don’t do things like that often, and are pretty content with our Friday evening date nights on the floor of our bedroom (with homemade sushi and movie!). The last couple years have been a time of growth and change in different ways, but what I notice most from him is His deepening love for God and growing desire to lead our family well. He also reminds me of what really matters and tries to get me to refocus on kingdom and eternity things (I often just see the here and now, and get stressed out by it).

We certainly don’t have a perfect marriage. In fact, Sunday morning we fought on the way to church gathering. As he was driving, he heard a rattling between us, and wanted me to figure it out to make it stop, so during my haste, I was touching his coffee cup, then he got mad I was touching where he puts his mouth to drink. Then, I said, “Next time, you do it yourself.” We tried talking about other things after, but we definitely weren’t kind with each other, so regular petty marriage fights like that do happen and we fight about some not so petty things too. We’ve got the regular stresses of family life, time management, trying to make sure we’re giving the kids attention, prioritizing each other, trying to stay within our budget, taxes, house stuff, staying involved with church family, and all the normal stuff you likely have going on too. With all the busyness going on in this particular season for us, we’re trying to keep our head above water, so it will be a simple Valentine’s for us. We have a gift card to a local sushi place, he’ll pick up food on the way home, and we’ll relax together once the kids are in bed. As long as I’m with Ben (and have ice cream after dinner), I’d say it sounds like the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day.

So if you’re spending today with your friends, kids, or your significant other, going all out or keeping it simple like us, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with the ones you love!

See some of our past Valentine’s celebrations: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 here and here, 2013, and 2012. I could go back even further as I’ve been blogging since 2007, but I think that’s good for now. It’s fun to look back and see how we’ve grown and changed. 


February 9, 2018

It really hit Ben and me that we are now in a new stage of parenting, a particularly crucial stage. Really though, every stage is pertinent. True and Brave are at the cusp of their teen years and this tween thing does feel like something else. All my bad parenting habits have become even more glaring. My bad habit of being quick to anger and slow to speak is coming back to haunt me full force, and I better learn fast how to be slow to anger cause otherwise this is all going to go south real fast. As mom, I know I kind of set the tone at home, so I really need a lot of  “tuning my heart to sing thy grace.” This means I ought to be spending lots of time in prayer and reading God’s word. I won’t survive if I’m not feeding my soul. In addition, I must intentionally go about my day depending on God and not trying to control everything myself (hard for a control freak like me to do).

There’s a lot of emotions going on at home, especially for my biggest girls, and I can see the changes in them and between them. I’ve been their mother (and obviously, still am), but now is the time where they also need me to be their friend. Ben and I have spent the last (almost) 12 years setting the tone, rules, routine, expectations, but now, during this particular stage, I’m learning they also just need me to be their friend. They need me to listen and talk through things instead of simple tell them things. So we’re working on it, we aren’t doing it perfectly, and they’ll be lots of messing up along the way, but I’m glad these mess ups point all of us to the cross. It always gives us an opportunity to talk about how we can’t do it, but we can trust in Jesus Christ who did.

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