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9/1/15

Chemical Free Cleaning

I have officially decided that summers are meant for gloriously slow family time.  Unashamed disconnection from the big outside world of social media. . . except for the occasional poppings-in, you know?!

But ahhhh! September first is here and I am quite excited.  Before launching into anything else wonderful and fun, I wanted to extend a little invitation to you.
One of our big projects this summer has been slowly but surely, little by little purging our home of all the toxic yucky chemicals that are in everything from cleaners to make-up to baby products.  If you haven't downloaded the app, Think Dirty, I encourage you to do it right now and scan everything in your house.  It's frighteningly eye opening.

Thankfully essential oils and essential oil infused products from Young Living have provided the simplest way for us to change out those chemical-infused cleaners and products for natural, planted based ones.  You can see more of why we are excited about this here.
So to encourage other families to do the same, I am opening a chemical-free cleaning challenge to 10 of my blog readers/social media friends that will begin on September 13.  Together we are going to learning about plant based cleaning and purging our homes in a very inexpensive, simple way by using the highly concentrated, all purpose Thieves Household Cleaner.  See more on this product here. 

All you have to do is use this link to order either as a retail customer or distributor.   The 14.4oz bottle costs $28.95 or $22, respectively.  And because this is such a versatile cleaner, it can be used on everything from carpets to dishes, countertops to laundry for pennies a time.  It's also perfectly safe to use around little ones so they can help you clean!!  Win win win! haha

Once you order your bottle, let me know and I will be sure to have you added to the exclusive online forum where we will be challenging, encouraging and supporting each other during that week as we clean up our homes in a safe way.
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The improved Thieves® Household Cleaner has increased cleansing power and an even safer, more sustainable formulation. The new formula contains ingredients from renewable plant and mineral sources, vegetable-based surfactants, and even more Thieves and lemon essential oils for extra cleaning power. Bottle is 100% recyclable.

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Let's be friends! You can find more of me here:

7/12/15

The Standard of Grace

My motto last year was to live slow and grateful.  I remember so many pregnant summer days spent napping with Emmett in our sunny bedroom.  So many special memories when it was just the two of us and one little growing Gideon in my belly.  It was a quiet season of growth in our family with joy and brokenness all tangled together.

This summer has been so different from any before.  We are learning how to do life with two sweet, busy babies.  We are exploring new dreams for our family and learning that at times we must say no in order that we may live a better yes.  Our patience is being stretched, our hearts grown in love and our faith deepened as we try to fix our attention on things that truly matter.
And after a long year of struggle and painful growth in our family, I have come to realize my motto for this year is holding those around me to a standard of grace and not perfection.  
My husband 
my babies
my parents
my siblings
my friends
even strangers I might not know.  

This has been one of the hardest, most freeing lessons to learn.  It's so easy to selfishly expect perfection from those I do life with, but hope they return me grace in my own humanity.  Ahhhh such a silly frustrating way to go through life.

I want to value each relationship I have been given right now.  I want to hold them close and show them how cherished they are.  
A practical way I love doing this with our little ones is holding them close.  Cuddling at naptime.  Verbally affirming them throughout the day.  Sneaking kisses whenever they come close.  And keeping Gideon close with the soft cotton wrap from ACK wraps has been really special as well.  

I was never a big baby-carrier-mama with Emmett because all the wraps and slings and packs seemed so complicated and bulky.  These wraps seem so unique and different.  They are seriously the softest cotton you will ever feel and they squish down into a tiny matching drawstring pouch that easily fits into my purse.  I have loved carrying Gideon close and can't wait to use it again whenever our next baby comes along.

These little days are passing so quickly, you know?! My hope is to squeeze every ounce of life and joy from them that I possibly can.

Happy Sunday, my friends. 
xo
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// A bit about how ACK Wraps began // 

As a Labor and Delivery and Neonatal Registered Nurse, I am around newborns a lot. The one thing newborn babies need besides sustenance is the warmth and security of their caregivers. These new tiny beings instantly go from being carried 24 hours a day for over nine months to a fraction of that outside of the womb. For centuries, mothers have carried their babies in various forms, many continuously until they are at least 3 months old. This allows the baby to smell and feel the warmth of their mother and learn to adapt to this new world. 
    When our daughter, Charlotte, was born July 4, 2014, I was instantly in love. I stared at her the entire first night, despite over 24 hours without sleep and the exhaustion of labor. She instantly became the center of my world, my whole purpose for being. 
   When Charlotte was just five weeks old, we flew to Nantucket to visit my parents. I had gone to the island every summer for the preceding decade and couldn't wait to take my daughter. I soon realized that the cobblestone streets and uneven brick sidewalks of Nantucket made navigating a stroller nearly impossible. Furthermore, I struggled traveling through the airport with my stroller and finding a good way to breastfeed was frustrating to the point that I was in tears. 
   Dissatisfied by the monotony of other baby carriers on the market, I knew there had to be a better option. I decided to make my own carrier from fabric that matched my style and with that, the first ACK Wrap was born. I soon discovered that my daughter LOVED being in the wrap. She cried less, slept better, and I could even breastfeed her while wearing it. The next time I traveled to Nantucket was so easy replacing the stroller with the wrap. I received so many compliments on it that I began making them for friends which led to friends of friends wanting them. With my husband's flexible schedule as a firefighter, he soon took over the logistics of our blossoming business. As a former US Marine, it was very important to him and to us that we keep our product American made. We operate out of our home in Austin, Texas.
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Be sure to check them out on Facebook, Instragram & Youtube 

5/6/15

of dreams and seasons

happy wednesday friends!! thanks for all your kind words and support as i took a little blog break.  you are all seriously the best.  too bad i didn't live closer because i would bring you all cookies and flowers.

have you ever noticed that sometimes your life dreams and aspirations ebb and flow with different seasons of life?! i have really seen that over the last few years and it feels kind of strange.  strange to actually be okay with letting visions of myself go that i always thought i would attain.

my mantra right now is to hold my husband, my children, my friends, my family, myself to a standard of grace and not perfection.  i don't to be bound to things i have said i always wanted to do just for the sake of doing them.  sometimes life leads us in different direction.  sometimes something even more glorious and perfect for our individual personalities arises that is better than what we could have hoped for on our own.

this is one of the most beautiful things in life and i want to embrace it wholeheartedly.  i want to allow myself to grow, to change, to become the unique, beautiful life that God intended me to be.
God has brought some really special things into our life in the last few months.  some things that are quite possibly an answer to many hopeful dreams for our family and future. also spring is here with summer sneaking right alongside and i want to get back to last summer's mantra of slow and grateful.  // you can read more on that here // 

so for this season of life, this space may not have the same schedule and presence is has had the last five months.  and surprisingly i'm really okay with this.  i have two of the sweetest babies that are growing faster than we can blink.  i want to really squeeze every ounce of sweetness and purpose from this spring and summer.  i want to hone in on my skills of loving, serving and respecting my amazing husband well.  i want to be a better cheerleader, a better support, a better best friend to him than i have been these past four years.  i want to dig around in our tiny garden with emmett -- he told me the other evening that gideon should go to bed so we could garden together, in his own toddler language of course!! haha! i want to get back to my 52 things project that i have severely neglected the last few months.  i want to take more cozy afternoon naps because soon these sleepy days will be gone so soon.

because to be honest, i don't want get to the end of these little days and look back knowing i just blogged about it well.  life is too short for that.
this isn't good bye. . . just see you around.  i have some fun collaborations that i am excited to share. i will have more summer adventures to talk about. and of course there's always so much going on in my heart that my heart craves to process in this little space.  it just might be a bit more disjointed and scattered than it has been, but that's okay.  i want to embrace today and i hope you are doing the same in whatever season of life you may be in.

thanks for being here and being part of our story. i love you lots!!
xo
^^ and laundry. lots and lots of laundry. haha! ^^

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also i hope my english teacher forgives me but i've given up on proper capitalization here. life's too short for that. haha. love you mom!! ;)

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Let's be friends! You can find more of me here:

4/28/15

Family First

Hey sweetest friends!

I just wanted to pop in here and let you know that I am taking a blog break this week.  I feel like there are some family things I need to give my full attention to so I will be back next week.  Thanks for your understanding and I hope you are enjoying sunshine wherever you are.

xoxo