Monday, May 23, 2016

Scottsdale Farms

We spent the weekend working on Phase 2 of our garden (see Phase 1 here), the Potager! You can see a few photos here. I love the idea of growing everything that you would need for the dinner table: herbs, flowers, vegetables. Heaven! Sam ended up making a beautiful cedar 4x4 bed and we will add three more to the plot. The pea gravel makes my heart sing. We are also going to invest (Sam and I can't seem to agree on that haha) on a shallow galvanized tub for the cut flowers. Can't wait to share finished photos with you guys! Anyways, my Dad came by to help Sam get the pea gravel and told us about Scottsdale Farms in Milton, GA. AHHHH! A gardener's dream come true and just a short day trip for us.

The farm sits on 55 acres. I didn't count the green houses but there were more than we could even walk through. Need to come back soon!

In addition to the green houses there were rows and rows of sun annuals and perennials as well as vegetables and herbs. Behind the tomatoes there is an amazing place for kids to play with a play ground, picnic tables, bean bag toss, corn hold, tic tac toe and more! Behind all of this sits the goats. Eek! Cutest baby goats I might add.
I really loved this white bird bath. So pretty.

Our cart. ;) Love that Guara!!!
The girls loved playing and seeing all of the animals (chickens, too!) and this truck bed full of flowers is just too much.

Goat house. :)

Definitely dog friendly place, saw tons of them! The garden center has tons of gifts, seeds, pet supplies as well as a cafe where they serve a lot of the produce that they grow on-site. So dreamy.

Working on a summer bucket list that includes slowing down, cooking more and taking more photos (on my camera!). I am also teaming up with one of my favorite bloggers and Home Depot for a special project. Can't wait to share all of this as well as photos of our finished garden area!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

When Your Child Has Severe Allergies

I've written this post in my head a few times today. Phoebe's new allergy bracelet came in and my eyes teared up and I wanted to share a bit of her story with you in case that it could help someone else. This is one of the hardest posts to write because we've literally watched her go through hell over the past two years.

I think one of the hardest things about having a sick child is how alone you feel. I really didn't have anyone living through this that had the same thoughts on health and wellness and the doctors had no clue what was going on with her. I felt alone making life or death decisions while Sam was working hard for us. I felt like the majority of people I talked to dismissed how serious everything was. This was my baby, my life, my everything that I was worried for. The anxiety over her well being is like nothing I've ever experienced.

Let me back up a bit. When Phoebe was born she had tons of congestion and colds. I assumed this was the perk of having a pre-school aged sister. We moved in with my Dad (thanks, Daddy!) when she was five weeks old to begin renovating our current home. Add renovating with a newborn to living out of suit cases to babies getting sick and you have one crazy stressed out mama.

We moved into our house that May (three years ago!!) and continued to struggle with colds and the like. We survived the summer with multiple "can't leave the house for a week" "colds." At the end of the summer I began using oils to support our bodies and began to see some amazing changes. That winter we lost our beloved Guinness and had a terminally ill friend. It was a dark time. Phoebe however began to really blossom, she was happy, she didn't cry all the time, she was like a different child.

Exactly one year later we decided to adopt kittens from the Humane Society. They were the cutest. Around this time the "colds" returned, constant colds, coughs, struggling. A constant runny nose. Never once did I connect the dots. I thought animal allergies would be obvious and that we would know right away. That August we ended up in the emergency room. Twice. I've never had a child that sick. There is NOTHING on God's green earth than is worse than seeing your baby struggle in that way. I won't go into detail about it but I was afraid I wouldn't even make it to the hospital in time. Holding her limp body in the waiting room is something I will never forget. It wasn't until we were watching a video on asthma triggers (which she was diagnosed with at Children's) that I connected that the cats (and then our dog) had been making her sick. I went into full on panic attack trying to find them homes posting to all of our social media. There was someone on facebook that showed more concerns for the cats than Phoebe. I pray they never have to see their child like that and have to make the choice - an easy one in fact - to remove them from the home.

We were very fortunate to find an incredible family for the kitties and I am eternally grateful to you Amy, if you are reading this! Getting them in their carriers was *quite* the experience.

I forgot to mention that throughout the past two years that Phoebe had thrown up and had diarrhea more times than I can count. Daily I was changing her sheets or cleaning up a mess. I was hurting so much for her. Her personality, which is fun and sparkly and vivacious, would completely go away as she struggled to get through each day. The doctors told us, "maybe she's just a child who throws up." After everything I assumed it had been excess mucus from the cats and after they were removed she began to thrive again but was still having stomach issues. We finally got her tested for allergies and removed all gluten and wheat from her diet. She has been like a new child. My heart aches knowing what she has had to go through when I know better and should have removed them sooner. I share this to help anyone that is going through this. To say, "I know how you feel, I see you, I'm so sorry."

If you are a family member of a child with allergies or any sort of adult in their life, I urge you to support that child's family, to lift them up, to not make them feel bad if they can't do certain things because they will put their child in danger. They are so discouraged and hurting. Try and make that child feel as normal as possible, don't pity them or make a big deal of them missing out on cupcakes. Newsflash: kids care about cupcakes because adults make a big deal out of them. I am so excited to have found these Allermates bracelets because for young children especially, they can't advocate for themselves.

To support her body we are now using a probiotic daily, cut our dairy and gluten, avoid being around animals in closed spaces and are using essential oils. This has been AMAZING for us. She is thriving like nothing else! Please reach out if you want more info on oils or for any help with resources. Pray that this helps someone that reads this to feel hopeful and less alone. Thank you for reading this and sharing our story with us.

All glory to our heavenly Father who saw our tears, who heard our cries, who placed people in our life specifically to provide answers. Thank you!

photos by our dear friend Katie Oblinger

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

2016 Family Photos with Katie Oblinger Photography

I'm finally getting around to sharing our incredible family shoot we did this past March (on our 11th Wedding Anniversary!) with our dear friend Katie Oblinger (more shoots with Katie here).

These photos bring tears to my eyes thinking of everything that are family has experienced in the past 11 years. Oh how we have grown as parents and husband and wives! Each day is a fresh chance to do our best and to point these lives to Jesus. The love that flows between these four people will never be measurable. The pain that comes with love like that can be deep because I can tend to let fear and worry creep in because I want to hold them so tight but know I need to have open hands with them.

My pride. Oh my sweet girl. At 7 Matilda is so patient and kind, curious and creative, strong and so gentle. Her patience and sweet way with Phoebe is just remarkable. Where she could be irritated by whining and not sharing, she is gracious and understanding of her little sister.

Phoebe is spunky and sparkly at 3, an incredible artist and oh does she love her big sister! Such a joy to watch these two together. Lately she says, "Mama, I love you so much" often and it just melts my heart.

Don't even get me started with Sam. I went to an incredible conference over the weekend and everything Dani was saying about how to honor and respect your spouse, Sam does that and more. He takes such incredible and tender care with his girls all while remaining a rock for us. We are so blessed to be his.

Katie, we adore you. You bring out the very best is us and make us shine. You are a gift to everyone that you capture. Thank you!

If you live in the Atlanta area, please call Katie Oblinger right now for your family photos! You will love her.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

House Projects!

crazy about this dining room from A Beautiful Mess

Hey guys! Just wanted to pop in and chat about house projects. Our list is pretty dang long but isn't that the fun part? We finally got finished with our dining room and have a few small things that I would love to tackle this spring (somewhere Sam is cringing!). Sam for my birthday gifted me some adorable white metal chairs (crazy cheap!) to finish the dining room, I love them!

Other things on the to do list... we are in desperate need of shelving (love these above!). We have no book shelves and books in piles all over the place (I love to read - mostly self help - reading this currently and loving it!). I love the idea of thick, chunky wood shelves on either side of our couch that I want to recover in canvas and some sort of gingham (like on these killer chairs below!).

Last tiny, itsy, bitsy thing is I want to wallpaper our powder room. Love this!

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Overnight Oats (aka Your New Best Friend!)

I feel like breakfast is a tough meal during the week. We LOVE cooking leisurely breakfasts on the weekend (this is our favorite) but during the week, the mornings are fast and furious. I am obsessed with overnight oats, they are super customizable and delicious and you can make three at a time. I like to use these jars - the size is perfect!

Chocolate Almond Butter Overnight Oats

You will need:

+ 1/4 GF Oats
+ 1/2 C Almond Milk
+ 2 scoops Young Living Pure Protein Complete in Chocolate Deluxe (order here!)
+ 3 T Chia Seeds
+ 1 t cacao nibs
+ 1 T raisins
+ 1 t almond butter (I love Maranatha Chunky Almond Butter)

I like putting the chia seeds and oats in first and then milk, give a stir, add rest of ingredients and stir again. I like adding the almond butter and protein powder last for ooey, fudgey goodness. Screw on lid and refrigerate overnight. THAT IS ALL. You can go crazy and make all sorts of combos. Yum!

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Four Faith-building Books

Happy Friday! You guys, five posts in five days. What the what. Lately, the Lord has just been pressing on me the importance of two things: time + my faith and both of those things in reference to my babies. These are four books that I really love for little ones who are exploring their faith, learning about Jesus and listening to everything.we.say. I want to start these conversations now, right? The other day at church my friend Kristy read to the little ones 3 in 1 which uses the apple to illustrate the Trinity, one apple with three different parts. It's SO good and so simple. Beautiful.

The pink Bible is the one we got for Matilda and it has such fun little drawings and inserts for girls, I've also heard amazing things about the Adventure Bible.

The Biggest Story is soooo beautifully illustrated and goes through the story of Jesus, similar to the Jesus Storybook Bible which we also really love.

Lastly, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing is written and illustrated by the same people that wrote the Storybook Bible and each page explores a different theme and thought to encourage and inspire. So lovely, perfect for a little devotional.

Do you have any favorites that I missed? 

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Dining Room/ My Office

The only thing I asked for for Christmas was some H-E-L-P in the dining room. Sweet Sam made some serious dreams come true! See that table? It was basically covered inch by inch in file folders, papers, oils, etc. In the fall of 2014 I started working full-time building a wellness community with some amazing women (the Golden Drop Society if you want to check it out!). This business has been such a blessing for our family and for me personally. God is so good!! I love being able to stay home with my babies and I am incredibly thankful to be able to do something that I love so much.

All that to say... we live in an old house with zero storage and definitely no office space so the dining room has served dual purposes or one may say one purpose... storage! We never ate in here... ever. It was such an eye sore - nothing on the walls, blah ville. A while back we spotted that galvanized roosting box at our friend David's shop, Brick & Mortar, and Sam surprised me with it. It is the perfect storage for little note cards, oils, stamps, books, etc. Adore!

I really tried to blend my work things with our dining room things by mixing cake plates with file folders (thank you Nate Berkus!) and ball jars mixed with office supplies!

This space makes me so happy! I am often unorganized but I love organization (the struggle is real!). Thank you Sam for making dreams come true! XO

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