Friday, May 27, 2011

Swimwear...

I am hoping that my yard sale earnings will buy me a new bathing suit for my post baby bod. I just discovered Hapari! I'm going back to dreaming now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Have you met ...

...the amazing family behind Give Every Day? They are traveling the country with one main purpose, to give every single day! Check out their site and share how you give to others. Hopefully their story will inspire you like it inspires me!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another winner...

Well, guess what? I won a Dayspring giveaway over at Becca's and she won mine!

I am guessing that most of you are just like me and don't have much for the "extra's" in life, so I decided to draw another name from my list of comments and let you have the $20 in Dayspring bucks!  So, Lori, my dear "real-life" friend - you won! I know it isn't a Beloved session, but maybe you can find something fun!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Perception...

I stole this in a round about way from Jeff Bridges. He probably heard about it in 2007 when the Washington Post ran the Pulitzer Prize winning story. Things travel a little slower here in Montana, right?





"Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
 
4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.


10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children.. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly..
45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.
The questions raised:
*In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*Do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made.
How many other things are we missing?  "




Interesting, wasn't it? Granted, in a different area the results may have been different, but it still makes me want to stop and smell the roses.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To Be Perfectly Honest....

To Be Perfectly Honest - Phil Callaway    When I was picking out my latest book for review at the BfB site I was excited to see To Be Perfectly Honest, by Phil Callaway. When I was in Bible college a few years ago, Phil,  was the friend of one of our professors, or maybe we heard him speak at a conference we attended, either way, he seemed like a long lost friend with whom I was hoping to reconnect. Phil is a humorist and while To Be Perfectly Honest is funny, it is also challenging.

The book chronicles Phil's year long experiment in truth telling. He provides us, in diary form, the struggles and successes of living each day without letting a little lie slip off the tongue. Sure, we all think we are above the fib, but most of us are guilty of an almost daily failure. At the end of each chapter, Phil provides an "Honest Confession" about how God is working on him through the truth telling process. To Be Perfectly Honest  includes discussion questions for each chapter, at the end of the book.

I admit, this book left me in tears, because of laughter and also sorrow. Each chapter led me to my knees seeking the grace that only Christ can offer. Perhaps, Callaway and I are two peas in a pod. Often, I found myself agreeing to his confessions. As I read his daily log, I could see my reflection. But, then again, aren't we all in need of the Truth that is found in one Savior, alone?

Pick up this easy read if you get the chance. You can read the first chapter here. I would offer to pass my copy along, but it is sitting on my husbands nightstand.

If you enjoyed this review and would like to continue to hear of new releases, please take the time to rate my review here. You can also find my review of other books here and here.

*** I was provided a free copy of To Be Perfectly Honest from Waterbrook/Multnomah and the Blogging for Books program. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beauty...

Have I clogged up everyone's newsfeeds yet?

Before you block me, ladies, take the time to read this ...

Wasn't it worth it? Do you know that you are beautiful?

Thanks, Heidi, for sharing it with me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dairy...

Go to fullsize imageI just spent three days at my grandparents house which included three meals a day infused with dairy products. I am paying the price as Isley has yet to nap for longer than 20 minutes and thinks that yelling all. day. long. is the answer to her discomfort.  My current prayer is this:

"Please, Lord, help Isley to poop so she can be comfortable again. And, Lord, in your mercy, may her yelling not wake up her incredibly crabby brother."

I may not be a spiritual dynamo, but at least He knows I'm honest.

Did any of you have a baby with a dairy sensitivity? When did your little one outgrow it?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Beloved and a Giveaway!

Yesterday was one of the best Monday's I have had in a while (minus the fact that Boden seems to have acquired another cold and cough!). The FedEx man, while throwing biscuits out the window to pacify my horribly mannered dog, dropped off the latest awesome product from Dayspring and the people at (In)courage! Every month they showcase beautiful products, for every budget, that reinforce their monthly theme. This month's theme comes from Joshua 24:15 "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord". I love having little items throughout my home to help remind me to stand firm and rely on the grace of my God. I do not like giant items that scream random Bible quotes to litter my home. That is why,  the wonderful "My Beloved" frame is a perfect fit for us.






The picture does not do this frame justice.(click on it to see the picture in its entirety - I am apparently computer illiterate this morning!) It is really cool. It fits a 4x6 picture, so the entire frame, at 12x12 is big enough to make a statement. I can't wait to put it in a gallery wall grouping in our bedroom. What am I even more excited about? It is a perfect frame for an upcoming Beloved session with our favorite photographer, Alicia Brown!

Since we welcomed Isley into our lives things have been a little crazy and it has turned Norse and I into people who are just trying to survive with not much time for connecting. However, as we seek to "follow the Lord" we know that we need to make an effort to put our marriage back in a top spot on our priority lists. I can't wait to fill this frame with a tender portrait of us, from this special photo session, to remind us daily that we are loved beyond measure and certainly the best of friends through all seasons.

Dayspring & (In)courage are so cool that they are offering you a chance at $20 to purchase something from the shop (You will have to pay your own shipping charges)! And for the month of May you can use the code MAY20 for an additional 20% off! How sweet is that?

To enter to win:
1. Leave me a comment, any comment. (This is mandatory) 
2. Follow me with Google Friend Connect or subscribe to my RSS feed and leave another comment letting me know. 
3. Facebook, blog, or tweet this giveaway and leave a comment telling me you did. 

The contest will run until May 17 and I will pick a winner. Be sure to leave an e-mail so I can contact you if you don't have a blog or I don't already know you!

 Would you spend your $20 on the Beloved frame? If I could win, I would use it towards these super cool wall decor that were also designed by one of my favorite businesses - Red Letter Words, but are a little easier on the pocket book!


Well, gotta run, the kids are calling. Have fun browsing and I hope you win!

Disclaimer: I received the My Beloved frame for free in return for my honest review. 


Comments now closed... Congrats to: Becca for her win! I will contact you today! 

Monday, May 09, 2011

Catching up...


Life. Doesn't it pass like a roller coaster ride? Sometimes I feel like I am slowly clink, clink, clinking my way up the rail when suddenly we crest over the top and things are flying at me like a whirlwind! We have had great times with friends and family as spring finally begins to arrive in northwest Montana. I am hoping that we will have our first 70 degree day of the year this week, but I won't hold my breath since I am still seeing frozen patches of snow in some places.

Between birthdays and graduations all around we have spent the last month celebrating! My sweet daughter has finally met all of her relative's on Norse's side of the family.



I haven't had time to weigh in on the other hot topics in the blogoshpere (Is there really a Hell? How should we feel about the death of Osama Bin Laden?) and I am totally okay with that. I figure there are a whole bunch more people, with significantly more time than I have, to address those weighty issues.

I did however have time to open my most awesome gift EVER from my hubby and kiddo's. They got me this great Molded heart bracelet from Lisa Leonard. I love getting things designed and crafted by wonderful people.

I also won a super sweet giveaway at Mommy Long Legs. It was this beautiful nightgown.

 I've got my fingers crossed that I can fit into it. If not it will just give me a little more motivation to tame the tush size and start working out regularly (or I'll give it away to one of you). Also, the owner of Mommy Long Legs grew up in Montana and even lived in the same small town that half my in-laws reside in. Small world isn't it? Check out their blog because they are giving away MORE Cake lingerie items this week! 

This weekend also brought another opportunity into my life - will you pray that I have clarity in discerning God's will for me in this area? I have really stepped away from too many obligations to commit myself to my family, but I know I would have fun if I said "yes" to this cause. I also feel that I need to get myself back on track with my relationship with God before I can be effective in the prospective role. While I have increased my prayer life with lots of "Lord, help me know how to handle this crazy kid" and "Please, let us make it home before someone needs to eat or pee", pleas to God, my time in quiet meditation and Bible reading have significantly decreased! 

Finally, be watching for another little giveaway from Incourage & Dayspring. I just received another awesome product and can't wait to share what it is and offer you the chance to get one yourself! Check back this week! 

I'm off to tackle the mound of laundry that awaits! Weekend trips mean Monday madness at my house, but at least the kids are napping!