Thanksgiving in Idaho

I went to Idaho for Thanksgiving. Dave had a six day gap in work so he headed to Arizona the week before Thanksgiving. People have asked me if it is weird to not spend a holiday with Dave and I guess it is, but we just make it work. He actually had to work on Thanksgiving Day so even if I were home we wouldn't of had a traditional Thanksgiving on the day of. 

I came up to Idaho for a week and I just love seeing family. I always tell my sister that I so look forward to spending time with them but I always know the week will go fast and I'll be sad at the end. 

My sister and her husband have a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old so we have to be strategic in planning to do things. Somehow we managed to do some shopping, go for coffee, go to a craft fair and do family pictures. It was a lot of fun. 

My nephew Zachary knows how to give the best squeezes around and I take every hug he'll give me. 

I'm at the airport and feel super sad but I also know I'm really blessed to be able to hop on a plane and see family. I'm blessed that they are healthy. I'm blessed that God put us all together as one big family and for all that, I'm thankful. My nephew loves to sing the song '10,000 reasons' and it's just the cutest thing ever and is also a really good reminder that we really do have 10,000 reasons for our hearts to praise Him.

How was your Thanksgiving?

What was your favorite part? 

Have you ever spent a holiday away from your spouse? 


The Art of Not Being Busy

This post has been drafted in my head for about three years now. That is kind of crazy now that I write that out but it's true.

As many of you know I moved to Korea in February of 2012. That year abroad was life changing for me. What you don't know is the kind of crazy busy my life was before. If I could sum it up it would be in one word: overfilled. The things that filled my time weren't bad, like running, working, Bible study, spending time with friends, etc. but I just filled my days full to the brim and didn't take time to be still. And that's a terrible place to be. At night when I sat still to read my Bible I couldn't even stay awake to do that.

My life was so full I honestly thought something was wrong with my brain because I couldn't remember normal things. I remember telling Dave I wanted to go get an MRI done of my brain (ha ha!) and he very kindly told me nothing was wrong with my brain but that I was just too busy.

Well, I went from busy America to slow paced Korea. Korea still had a full schedule but it wasn't so busy. I was forced to slow down. I didn't have a microwave and I had to reheat things on the stove. I couldn't speed to Starbucks and grab a cup of coffee while I ran to the next thing on my schedue but I had to walk to a coffee shop to enjoy a cup. It just slowed my entire life down and it was so good for my soul. And guess what? My memory improved. =)

Dave and I also dated long distance and I knew we wouldn't be doing any pre-marital counseling so I decided to meet with a few of my godly friends in Korea who were married to get their advice on marriage.

My dear friend Emily gave me some of the best marriage advice I have ever received and I just know God put her in my path at that time to share what I needed to hear. She told me several big things but one of the main things that stuck out is that in marriage I would have to ferociously guard my time with Dave. And man that is so true! So many things can pull you one direction or the other but you have got to make time for your husband and marriage. There is nothing wrong with kids, work, hobbies, church but if you don't make time for your husband you aren't investing in your main ministry.

Almost every thing I choose to do in life is filtered with making sure I'm making time for Dave and also guarding my time to make sure it isn't ever as busy as it was before Korea.

So how does this play out in every day life for me?

Well, right now I'm a swim instructor. I work part time. Dave works full time and has no pattern to his schedule so I try to see him when his schedule allows. I have tossed around the idea of working full time and although there are perks to that (like dual income) I can't give up time with Dave, family, friends or being still for that.

I'll be honest and say it has been weird when people ask what I do and I tell them I am married and work part time as a swim instructor. They ask if I have kids and when I say no, they sometimes just don't know what to say. ha! I'm not offended it's just a little awkward.

I'm also a big huge firm believe in just being still.

The other day I had a full day. I loved the people I spent it with and the things I did but I was just going going going so I said no to going to crossfit and I went outside with my dog and camera, took some pictures, which are now in this post, and then did some yard work. I also just stood still, looked up at the trees and the leaves changing colors and wondered if God ever just looks at His own creation and enjoys it? I mean the trees are so pretty. Then the sun burst through the clouds and the leaves were glowing. I kept thinking that only God could make something that creative. Then I wondered if my neighbors were watching me and how odd I must look just standing there looking up at the leaves. ha ha ha! But anyways, I'm glad I took a few minutes to be still.

I also am a firm believe in enjoying home. I love being home. My best friend even teases me that I'm a recluse but I just think God gave us homes to enjoy and be still in. It's a safe place after a busy day and I will admit I can be a big homebody and I'm okay with that. As social as I am, I recharge away from people so home is good for me.

Why am I sharing all this? Well, I know that lots of people out there are busy too and I hope that whatever situation you are in now you say yes to the best things and don't feel bad about saying no to other things. Dave always says that if I say no to one thing, I'm saying yes to another and that if I say yes to one thing, I'm saying no to another. Does that make sense? It has helped me a lot.

I also know that sometimes you can not pick to not be busy. I know Moms who work, people who have to work full time and have other important commitments. I'm not here to make you feel bad but I want to encourage you during the busyness to take some moments to be still. If you have a full schedule that's okay, just be sure it is full with the best 'yeses' not just busyness for the sake of feeling fulfilled by a busy schedule.

I also think this truth of being still is so important during the holidays because if you can't sit still long enough to read your Bible and talk to God and worship Him you pretty much have missed the joy of the holiday season.

What helps you slow down? 

If you are busy how do you make time to be still? 

Have you ever had to make a really big life change to revamp your entire schedule? 


QALO rings

Have you heard of this awesome company? I first heard about them when my friend Audrey posted a picture of a silicone ring she had purchased for her trip to the Grand Canyon. I had been eyeing them on social media for a while and contacted the company to do a review of their great products. They were generous enough to send me a ring to review so I'm here today to do just that with you. 

I wondered how you pronounce their company and they explain it on their website that it is pronounced KAY-LOW. Also, each letter stands for something: 

Q - quality
A - athletics
L - love 
O - outdoors 

I love that! The company began when the owners couldn't find wedding bands to fit their outdoor lifestyle so they designed their own using quality medical grade silicone. They also have a philanthropic ring where 10% of profits go to finding a cure for Lupus. 

I initially wanted this ring for several reasons. First off, I teach swim lessons and wearing my diamond ring in the pool is pretty much a terrible decision. I would try to leave it at home but would often forget so it would get stuck in my purse, which isn't smart either. I also don't like not wearing a ring. 

I now wear my QALO wedding ring to teach swim lessons in and it is wonderful. It's super functional in the pool and I will tell you even the kids ask about it because it is so different than a traditional ring. Even today I babysat and the girl I watched was enthralled with my ring. I showed her that it is 'squishy' and how it glows in the dark (because mine does and it's awesome) and she         said she hoped when she was an adult she could get married and get a ring like mine. ha ha! I love       kids.
If you swim I highly highly recommend this ring. 

I also wear this ring to crossfit but I'll be honest and tell you I don't wear it if we are lifting weights. If I wear a ring while lifting weights it pinches on the inside of my hand making blistering an easy thing. Since I just started back at Crossfit I'm wondering if after my hands calous more that I'll be able to wear my ring? There are many crossfiters that wear a QALO ring but it just doesn't work for me right now. 

And you all know how Dave and I like to travel. Well, this ring is perfect for traveling. It's great for outdoor life. Dave and I have talked about going to Brazil at some point so when we do I'll be wearing this ring for that trip. 

QALO does a $5 referral program so every friend you refer that buys a ring gives you $5! Pretty fun. Also, I think this would make a great Christmas present.

Have you ever heard of QALO before? 

When you travel what ring do you wear? 


My Favorite Things this Fall

Yes, my husband was a major nerd for Halloween. It was hilarious! I have had these angel wings for about 7 years and I plan on wearing them until they fall off. ha ha! 

I thought I'd pop in and share some of my favorite things from fall and some of my fall decor with you all. 


I have loved loved loved decorating for each season since we own a home. I've tried to purchase some things that I can use every season so it doesn't get ridiculously out of hand. However, if I purchase too much home decor I will blame HomeGoods as they recently opened in our town. 

On my mantle I have candle holders from Hobby Lobby that I got for 50% off when they were having a sale. The frames are a garage and estate sale finds and the candles were purchased at Home Goods and Bed Bath & Beyond.  

In our front yard we have a river birch tree that loses branches anytime the wind blows so I just picked some up and hot glued some plastic leaves I already had. I think it turned out really fun.

HomeGoods had these amazing pillows and I couldn't resist.

 Aren't tiny pumpkins so cute?

 Pumpkin Vases 

On social media, I kept seeing pumpkins turned into flower vases and I really wanted to make those. I had my two sister-in-laws over and we turned pumpkins into vases and they turned out really beautiful. 

Other Happenings

-Five of us girls from my family went and saw Wicked. I'm amazed at what a great job those performers do and it was fun to have a girls day.

-We celebrated my Mom's birthday super early. Her birthday is in November but we wanted to take her on a dinner train ride and the last day was the 29th of October. It was in the small town of Abilene, which is about 1 1/2 hours from where we live. It was a lot of fun but I was cracking up because the lights on the train kept going on and off and I felt like I was in Burma again.

-I got a FitBit. It's so much fun! I set a goal of 10,000 steps each day and it has really made me walk and run more. It also tells me when I am restless sleeping and I can always tell when Dave gets home from work because my FitBit will tell me the next morning. If you have a FitBit and want to add me e-mail me, and I'll add you in.

-Spandex waistband jeans - Okay, when Dave reads this post he might gag, but seriously, if you want to eat endless mashed potatoes and still fit in your pants this holiday season just head over to Old Navy. They have non-maternity jeans with a spandex waistband and I did indeed purchase two pairs. You can also bend over and down and your butt crack doesn't show, which is super annoying with jeans.

Lastly, I leave you with this hilarious picture / meme ... which now you will understand the spandex waistband. ha ha!