monday mom thoughts.

Well hi friends! I haven’t written on my blog site in quite some time, but given the season of life we are in, I have nothing but time! So I thought I would start the week off with a mom thought. Parenting is a part of my everyday life and probably a part of a lot of your lives too so why not talk about it right? So here is my mom thought of the day, enjoy:)

I find this time so interesting because for months now I have been saying how I so badly wish I could spend more of my days with my kids and not have to work quite as much. And, although I had imagined this being under different circumstances, here I am, living in what I have been desiring. And the funniest thing about it, is yesterday I thought, I’m ready for life to be back to normal already!:) Haha, I’m so fickle! To be honest though, it was just a long day yesterday. I was tired, irritable, and just ready to be done for the day. And those feelings were all by 9 am! Any other mom with me? But, thank God for a fresh start every single day right?

We are all trying to navigate this time because its unknown, everything is uncertain, and things that we are used to doing freely are now being controlled for us. So, what I have chosen to embrace in this season (and will hopefully learn how to adjust to this type of thinking forever) is to control the controllables. I worry about things…a lot of things, and I get frustrated about things that are out of my control, and what I’ve learned is that all it does is rob me of my joy. And if there is anything I need during this time, its joy! So I’m trying to readjust my thoughts and instead of focusing on what I can not change, I am leaning into the things I am able to control. One of those being the time I have with my kids.

 Lets be honest, spending all day every day with our little ones AND to add in becoming a teacher overnight AND somehow working from home in between it all is a bit much. However, I am in control of my attitude towards my boys ( by the way I just yelled at them as I was typing this because they are being kids and the screaming is getting to me:) ) Haha! Okay, so we are in control or our attitudes. We started the day off by praying together with the boys and asking God for extra patience:) I think this is why God says to pray continually and without caesing because my patience lasted for 2.5 seconds before I already felt frustrated! I need to be asking for patience every other minute! I say this to encourage us as moms to embrace this time, whether it was desired or not, and try our very best to see it as a blessing that we get to hang out with our kids more. That we get to have a VERY up close and personal look to how they learn and grow in their school work. To access the inner kid in you and play games, do puzzles, have an endless amount of dance parties, watch movies and put your phone away, bake cookies with your kids, make a FaceTime call to your grandparents, have digital play dates! I don’t know, I may be crazy but I think it’s a pretty unique opportunity that we get to have extended time with our families. So today, I’m choosing to control what I can, to let go of what I cant, and to dance like I’m 10 again with my kids in hopes they think I’m still cool afterwards:) 


Have a great Monday y’all. I’ll write again soon:)

How to make your rental feel like home.

Happy Friday friends! I hope this post finds you well as you head into your weekend:) So, something I have been wanting to write about for a while, and to be totally honest, I just haven’t made time to do so, is about renting your home. I have received multiple requests to write a post about being renters and how to make your house feel like your own as a renter. Honestly, I forget that we are renting and not home owners because we have done so much to make this house our home. But, we are renters, and I wanted to share a little bit about how to rent and still make your space feel like YOUR home. So, here it goes.

A question I get asked often is, “Why do you do so much to your house and spend money on things you can’t take with you? Great question! I’m asking myself this as I write:) Haha!  I have a history as a renter of doing things to our houses that most people would only do as a home owner, not a renter. Truth be told, I can’t help myself. I know the smart and financially wise thing to do would be to aggressively save every extra penny to buy our house, or another house. But for me, I just can’t not do certain things because I love to design, and,,,,I love to design:) It’s as simple as that. I’m not saying that you have to go and spend a ton of money on your rental because you just can’t help it. Trust me, I have lived and I have learned, and there are just some areas that you can live with and some areas that you can spend a little to make a big impact. Every home I have ever rented, I have spent some money on to make it feel more like home. Some things I regret, others I have felt are totally worth it. I think that’s something you have to figure out along the way. So, with that said, I am totally aware that I have spent money on a property that I may not ever own (although we have every intention of buying it) but the things we have done have made it feel like home in every way, and to me personally, that makes it totally worth it. So, with that said, I wanted to list a few areas that I have invested money into in our home as renters that I have absolutely NO regrets on! Also, a side note, we signed a 3 year lease. I think that’s important to know because had we only signed to live here for a year, I probably wouldn’t have done certain things (like switch out fixtures and painted every single room) But, we very much plan on buying this house, so I think because that is on our minds often, we make room to do a few extra things to the house because we feel like never want to leave:) Okay, back to talking about some areas that we have personally invested money into, and that most landlords ( from our own experience) would allow you to do.

Paint: Yall, I can not say this enough, but paint costs so little and it makes the most drastic impact on your home. I am so so happy we decided to paint our house. Honestly, the walls were a neutral beige and totally fine, but I had this vision of our house being white and what it would do to the space, and after almost a year of living there, I finally decided to do it. Now, if you can paint yourself, you will definitely save some money. I painted every room of our house that I physically could, and then I had to hire someone to paint the entryway because of how high the walls are! Still, it was worth every penny.

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Above are some pictures of rooms we have painted. We painted all of the main living spaces in the house “Greek Villa” by Sherwin Williams. We did the bathrooms, bedrooms, and laundry (other than master which we did white) in the color “Agreeable Gray” by Sherwin Williams. And lastly, I wanted to change it up a little for the boys bedroom so I did a darker green/gray color called “Illusive Green” by Sherwin Williams. If you are looking for the perfect white, Greek Villa is by far the best white I have ever used. One of my friends recommended it to me, and I am SO glad she did. It’s the perfect blend of white, not too warm, not too cold. It’s perfect. Also, Agreeable Gray is hands down my favorite gray out there. It is on the warmer side, but it looks good in almost every angle of light, and that’s hard to find with a paint color! All in all, I am thrilled with how our house turned out once it was all painted:)

Lighting: This is another area that makes a really big difference in your home. Lighting makes a big statement on the style of your home. One of the first things I changed when we moved in was the dining chandelier. I just had a specific style I was going for, so I bought a new fixture and had my father in law install it (which obviously saves money on labor) and it totally inspired how I decorated our dining room. I have also changed out our bedroom fixture, and the most recent change, our island pendants. Wayfair, Amazon, and Overstock are great places to find inexpensive light fixtures. Important to know, I have an arrangement with our landlords that we either put the old fixtures back up when and if we leave, or we leave what we have and it’s on our dime. I will end up leaving them if we don’t stay (again, we plan on never leaving:) ) I am going to end up changing every light fixture eventually, I’m just taking my time!

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These are the main fixtures we have replaced so far. We bough our bedroom fixture from Ikea for $90, our island pendants for $66e on Amazon, and our dining was the most expensive one, and I believe it was around $250. I have NO regrets on doing our lights so far. It has made such a difference, and it really makes everything else around it feel more cohesive in our house.

Hardware: I love a good cabinet knob or drawer pull yall. This is something that you probably don’t even need to ask your landlord permission for because it’s non damaging and you can put the original hardware back on when you leave if they don’t want what you chose, or if you want to take it with you! I changed out every piece of hardware in our house, not because what was there was bad, but because I had a style in mind that I wanted to incorporate, and it was inexpensive, easy, and doesn’t do any harm or any damage to the house! Here is a little extra note on this topic for ya. There are plenty of cheap options out there for hardware, and if you are renting and unsure if you are purchasing your rental, don’t buy expensive hardware. Just my opinion. But even if you do take it with you, chances are you will want something different or it may not work in your next house. That’s just me, but it may set some of you free:)

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These are just a few spots I have changed out the hardware in. And I have never looked back and thought I shouldn’t have done that. It is SO easy to swap out hardware, and if your landlords don’t like it, you can SO easily put the original hardware back. This is one of the best, most renter friendly ways to change up your rental property. We have done it in our kitchen and every bathroom. And I am so happy with all of it!

Decor: This is an obvious, but decorating is something that most landlords are pretty easy going about. I decorate every single room in the house, which means there are holes behind every frame and accessory I have on the wall. As a renter, something I have really come a long way in, is making sure you put the home back better than when you got it. I haven’t always been good at this. But if you don’t end up purchasing your rental, I would always tell a you as a renter, make the house look like it was never lived in when you leave. I have done some things in the past in rental homes that I am NOT proud of…ie: painted the kitchen cabinets with the wrong kind of paint, added a wood wall to a few places, made a billion holes that i didn’t patch, stapled christmas lights to the outside of the house and then left the staples….yall, i’ve grown alot. All of that to say, I’m a much, much more considerate renter now:)

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I have had alot of fun decorating our house. I think as long as you are committed to being a good hole patcher, you can be creative and really find ways to express your style in how you decorate and accessorize your rental! I have come a long ways in my hole patching/ painting skill set, and if we don’t end up buying this house, I am determined to make it look like it was never lived in when we leave! I haven’t always been like that, but I feel like as the renter, we owe that to our landlords. Have fun with your decor (as long as your lease/landlord permit it) and worse case scenario, if you are limited to the amount of holes you put in the wall, there are plenty of options out there that can be hung and displayed on a non-damaging command strip. Where there is a will friends, there is a way!:)

Here is an important side note, it is so important to ask for permission before you do anything to your rental property! I ask our landlords for permission before I do any project in our house. Thankfully, we have wonderful landlords who have given us a lot of freedom to do what we love in the house, and I am beyond grateful for it! And honestly for us, even if we were never allowed to do anything to our house, it was stunning before we ever even moved in.  And if that’s the case for you as a renter, if your landlords aren’t keen on letting you paint and switch stuff out, I would encourage you to find ways to make your decor bring out the “home” in your home. We lived in a rental property years ago that was built in 1960 and the bathroom was still very much living in 1960:) One bathroom was tiled in a seafoam green on the floors, in the shower, and on the walls, and the other was a lovely salmon color. Yikes! And since I couldn’t change out the tile or anything, I changed what I could. I swapped out the mirrors to something more modern. And I added new knobs and some decor to the walls. And I made it as “homey” as i could. Sometimes all if takes is adding your touch to something to make it feel like your own!

I hope this post has been helpful for all of my fellow renters out there! Comment below if you have any questions, and I would love to help in any way I can!

m a s t e r b e d r o o m.

Hi friends! It has been a hot minute since I have blogged. I’m just going to put it out there, I am not good at this whole social media/blogging thing when it comes to being planned out and consistent. Yall, it isn’t my gift, and i’m not going to try and lie and say it is!:) I can organize a cabinet all day long, but a calendar where I plan ahead? Yeah, I need some serious help! But I am committed to getting better, and in honor of that commitment, I’m blogging today!


I wanted to give you guys a look into our master bedroom and the most recent decor updates I have made. Our room always gets the shaft when it comes to decorating. Usually it just houses all of the random decor that I have removed from other rooms and can’t commit to throwing away, so it just ends up in our room looking like a hodge podge, and I just can’t do that. So, I went on a little shopping spree and invested some time, money, and energy into making our bedroom a pretty space that we actually want to be in! I had the large items already, our bed, dresser, and nightstands. But the rest of the room was lacking in some simple, yet statement making decor. I wanted to mix my styles and make it feel both warm and luxe at the same time. How do you do that? Well, I’m not saying I know everything, but how I personally achieved that look was by mixing textures and patterns. I used a heavy velvet curtain and a brushed gold chandelier (the more luxe items) and mixed them with a more traditional style rug and a linen bedding set. AND, i threw in some fur, velvet, and linen pillows to blend the modern and warm style I was trying to achieve. Here is a closer look at the decor

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Another way to add warmth to a more modern space is by mixing in some vases with stems. I have a vase with olive stems on our nightstands, and a vase on our dresser with some eucalyptus. Yall, call me crazy, but i just don’t think there is a right and wrong way to design. I think it’s fun to mix styles and textures and taste and figure out how to make it all work. Because the truth is, I love so many different types of design, and i feel like there are so many ways to incorporate all of your favorite styles in one room without making it feel chaotic.

Anyways, I wanted to give you a breakdown of where a few of the items in our room are from. If you are looking for room darkening curtains like the ones i have, I did a lot of searching and made my final choice with the Ikea Sanela curtains. I am SO pleased with them. They look amazing, they are affordable, and they are total blackout curtains. Altogether, they are a huge win and a well worth it product. They come in a pair of 2, and i put two on each side of the window to give it a more grand look.




The Chandelier is also from Ikea. Yall, it was only $89, which is a total steal, and it is totally stunning in person! I am so so pleased with it. We used to have a ceiling fan there, but i desperately wanted a chandelier, so when I came across this one, I had to have it:) Here is the link to the light fixture




For the bedding, I will do a post on how I make our bed, because it is an intense process, but for now, I wanted to give you the links to our bedding. If you are looking for a neutral, linen style bedding, I absolutely love ours. It’s all from target, they have it in a few different colors ( we have the gray and the linen color up stairs in our guest room) and it is my favorite quilt/duvet I’ve ever had.





Last, but not least, our pillows. I am always on the hunt for good throw pillows. And if I’m being totally transparent here, styling pillows is SOOOOOOO hard for me! I am not good at it. Any pillow styling I do is inspired by Pinterest because it is just something I am not good at….yet!:) I searched Pinterest for days trying to find an inspiration pic on styling bed pillows. I finally found one I loved and then bought the size pillows I needed to make it happen! I did euro pillows in the back, a king size pillow in front, two standard size shams in front of the king pillows, and then finished off the look with two lumbar pillows in front. And I am totally satisfied with the final look. Thank God, because i went through several different pillows and arrangements to find this one! This is my first pillow success story and I’m sticking to it:) Here are the links






Well folks, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you enjoy and take advantage of the sales on some of these Target items if you are in need of them! Have a wonderful day friends.


l e t s. t a l k. c o u c h e s.

Every time I post a picture of our living room, I get asked about our couch! I am always thrilled to answer any and every question anyone has, but I thought writing a whole blog about not just our couch, but some of my favorites (2 of which we own) would be helpful for those of you who are looking for a new couch to put in your space!

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I had my eye on a couch at Restoration Hardware for quite a while, and I was totally convinced I could find a way to pay for it….I don’t want to tell you the price because I’m afraid your jaw will drop to the floor and you won’t be able to pick it back up again!:) It’s roughly $10,000 or a little more by the time you add in tax and shipping and delivery. Sorry, I couldn’t help but tell you!

This is the couch….


It’s a gorgeous piece. I’m still just as obsessed with it as I was a few years ago…and I’m still convinced I will get it one day. But, for now, I got the closest thing I could at a price I could afford. I searched E V E R Y W H E R E to find our couch. Literally. I wanted something that replicated this one as closely as possible. Finally, after googling and online searching for hours….actually weeks, I came across our couch at a store called Value City Furniture. Now, if you remember long ago, this store was like the Kmart of furniture stores. Not that Kmart is in any way bad, but that’s just what I remember it being like when I was younger. It would have never crossed my mind to check out VCF but hey, I saw the couch online, and I thought it would be worth it to give it a try. Needless to say, we drove to Charlotte to look at the couch, loved it, bought it that day on sale for about $2399. In this season of our lives, that was a much easier number to swallow! I have no regrets whatsoever with buying this couch. It’s crazy comfortable, cleans so easily, and provides the exact look I was going for in our living room! So much so we may end up getting another one for upstairs one day in the game room!

Anyways, Since so many have asked about our couch, I wanted to give y’all some of my top picks for couches. I have not seen all of them in person, nor have I sat on all of them to say if they are comfortable or not, I just love the look of these ones, and I love that they all vary in price. So, if you are on the hunt for a good couch, here are some of my picks.



This is the one we have. It comes in over 30 colors/textures/fabrics. It’s a great couch!

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This one is also from Value City Furniture and is a super cute couch for a smaller space.


Another one from Value City Furniture…can you tell I like the store and their selections yet?! I love a couch with bench seating, it’s one of my favorite looks!


This one is from Ashley Furniture and it’s really comfortable and a great couch. I have seen it and sat on it and it’s great.


We own the couch and have it up in our game room. It is super cost effective, easy to clean with little kids, and works great in a smaller space!


This couch is from Macys. I have sat on it and it is super comfortable. It’s a great mid-century style couch, and it’s a favorite of mine.


This one is also from Macy’s. We have had a Macy’s couch in the past and we really loved it a lot. They have so many to choose from with different size options and different fabrics as well!


This one is from Rooms To Go. It’s affordable and super cute. It would work great in a smaller living room.


For some reason I can’t get the picture to all me to place it on my page, but it you click the link, this sectional is an awesome choice. We owned this couch years ago and it was great!


This is another Ikea couch that I love for a more classic look. If I could get away with a white couch in my house, I would!!!! But it isn’t super conducive with having small children…boys nonetheless! It’s a great couch though!

11.Walters corner sectional7thumb

Sorry for the horrible quality! This sectional is from interior define and I love it! I looked at this one for our own house.

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Again, I hate the quality of this pic but click the link and go to the website! I almost got this one four our living room, I actually don’t remember why I didn’t! I LOVE this couch and I love the two chaises. One of my favorites!


Well folks, there you have it, twelve of my favorite couches, all different sizes, all different prices. I hope you enjoy, and if you are on the search for a new couch, I hope this helps you out!

Have a great week!

s u m m e r.

Well hey there all. It’s been an eternity since I have written. I feel like I could easily say it’s because I’ve just been so busy, but if I’m being honest, it’s simply because I haven’t prioritized this within my busyness. So, I am trying to challenge myself in being more proactive in writing because I really do love doing it. There is just something about putting your fingers to the keys and typing your thoughts and observations about things that is weirdly calming. So, with that said, I am going to write briefly about why the summer is starting off so exciting in the McDonald household!

I was talking to my mom a few week ago about how I wanted to buy Parker something for graduating kindergarten. I mean, I will find a way to celebrate anything for my kids if  it means buying them something new and exciting:) So anyways, I was telling her about this inflatable waterslide on amazon that looked super fun (even for adults) but I couldn’t get it because it was a little pricey for a “kindergarten grad” present. All of that said, she, being the kindest person ever, told me to send her the link so she could buy it for our boys! Truly, she is always finding a way to give to our kiddos, and it’s so sweet. So just like that, we now have a dual waterslide inflatable in our backyard and our boys are LOVING IT!!!!! It’s been the perfect start to summer. I’m writing this as I’m watching them play together on it, and it’s a dream.

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I took this picture as I was sitting here writing so it’s definitely not the best, but let’s be honest, what kid wants to stop what they are doing and pose for a picture right?! So I did it in real time….which I totally think is better;)

Speaking of writing while watching them play, we recently redid our patio and ever since we did, I feel like we have spent every waking moment out here in our newly decorated space! You may be wondering why in the world we swapped all of our outdoor furniture…allow me to explain

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Does the picture explain it enough? Haha, I’m just kidding. Allow me to really explain. I loved our original patio furniture. We bought it in October I from Overstock. Honestly, the furniture looked great, but I just didn’t feel like it went with our house the more I started decorating the inside of our home. Also, not to mention, it wasn’t the most comfortable seating. I took that risk ordering it online without being able to sit on it before purchasing, and at the time it was worth the risk. UNTIL one day I was strolling through Walmart, and I was browsing their outdoor section and low and behold, this beautiful wicker furniture was just sitting there screaming to be sat on. So, of course I walked over and took a seat just to check it out. Y’all, this furniture is so comfy and so cozy looking….I had to have it!

So, I did what I always do, I act impulsively and I immediately put our furniture on facebook marketplace to sell! It took a while for someone to agree to buy the entire set, but the moment it sold, I went to Walmart and bought our new furniture, and guys, it has been a dream. I’m not lying when I say we have spent every day out here on the patio since we bought it, and I’m loving it.

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With the new furniture came new inspiration so I did purchase a few additional things for the patio. I brought our big black planter boxes from the front porch (I had them there empty for 2 months because I was too scared to plant anything….I don’t have a green thumb) but when I got everything in place on the patio, the planters made sense here. So, again, I did what I do and I went and bought plants and dirt impulsively of course and tried to make these planters come to life. Y’all, right now, they look great….I’m just doing everything I can to keep these beauties alive so we will see how it goes from here!

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I also thought lanterns on the posts out here would look really beautiful and kind of seal the space. I bought some remote controlled candles for the insides, and they just complete the space out here. My future plans are to try and figure out how to get a dining table outside next…probably when it starts to get a bit cooler. But I’ll keep you posted:)  

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Well guys, that’s all I have for you right now. I am going to put the links down below to everything on our patio. And if you are looking for a good review on this furniture, take it from me, it’s super great. I would buy it all over again a million times. I hope y’all have a wonderful Monday. Stay tuned for more!


(I bought two sets)










e n t r y w a y s.

Happy Wednesday y’all! We are half way to the weekend! I’m getting my hair nice and blonde on Friday, so I am especially excited for the weekend to start. There’s nothing like some fresh bleach all over your hair:) If you are a blonde, you understand that you’re never blonde enough right? Haha, anyways, this post has absolutely nothing to do with hair but I felt like it was an important detail pertaining to my plans this weekend:)

I wanted to write a quick post about entry ways. I don’t know why, but I just have a thing for a good entryway. They are one of my favorite spots in the house to decorate and accessorize because other than your front door, the entryway is your homes first impression for people as they come in. So, I wanted to post a few photos of our entry and talk all things console tables today. I am going to post a few tables that I absolutely love, including the one I have, all ranging in different prices. There are endless amounts of tables out there, but I’m going to share of few of my favorites:)

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Our console table is from Restoration Hardware. And let me just say this before you think I just casually have the money to spend on a table like this…(because they are rather expensive) we were blessed with some extra money from insurance after our house flooded a year and a half ago (which at some point I will share that entire journey) so I was VERY particular about how I spent it and what I wanted to spend it on. For the first time ever in my life, I patiently purchased items for our house and spent more money on the things I knew I would keep for a long time and not get tired of, this table being one of those things:) My go to stores for furniture like this are usually Target, Wayfair, Overstock, World Market, and Home Goods. So this one was a special treat for us and our home!

All of that to say, here are some console tables that I really like and would totally have in my own home if I had another entryway!:)


This one is currently on sale for $85.49 with an EXTRA 15% off in the cart, and an additional 5% if you have the red card…which we all should by now:)






$99.99 (majorly on sale right now)



$174.99 (also majorly on sale right now)


If you are on World Markets email list, which I am of course, they send out coupons often for 30% and sometimes even 40% off furniture so you can get these at a great price!



Starting at $749



Starting at $993



Starting at $862



Starting at $1012



Starting at $636


I have had nothing but great experiences so far with RH. Their customer service is amazing, and their products have been wonderful in our home so far. I highly recommend signing up to be a member. It’s a one time fee I believe and it is totally worth it. Especially if you are going to shop their more than once!

Well y’all, there you have it! Some great console/entry tables with various different prices. Truly, I think any of these are great options. And to be honest, I’m kind of looking at these thinking I need a different one now! Haha, story of my life! I hope you enjoy, and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment. Have a great day!


m o t h e r s d a y.


I remember when I was 16 yrs old, and I begged my mom to let me drive to downtown Chicago to go hang out with some friends. To add some context, I grew up in Rockford, IL, and it was about an hour and a half to two hours outside of my city. In my mind, I was for sure the best and most experienced 16 yr old driver out there. I know I had just gotten my license, but I knew everything there was to know about driving. Sounds like a typical teenager right? But I was different. I was sure of it. I was mature, I was aware, I was cautious, there was no reason for my parents to say no because of how grown I actually was. I was so confident they would say yes before I even got the full question out.

Among all of the things I was certain I was, I was also completely delusional to think that my mom was going to let her 16 yr old daughter get into a car and drive to a city I had never driven in on my own before. And to my absolute surprise both her and my dad gave me a very hard no. Like a no that wasn’t even worth negotiating with, reasoning with, or fighting with. But that didn’t stop me. I tried negotiating, I tried reasoning, and when neither of those options worked, I most definitely picked a fight I was sure I was going to win. I’m sure you’re wondering by now what the outcome was right? Like on the edge of your seat just dying to know if I was able to drive myself to Chicago to have a great weekend with my older college friends. Well, let me ease the suspense. From what I can remember, I’m pretty sure I spent the weekend in my house grounded from tirelessly arguing with my parents trying to convince them that they were wrong and I was right. Needless to say, I never made it to Chicago that weekend. Or any weekend for the next year or so.

It’s funny how we challenge our parents way of parenting when we are younger. How we question why they say no to certain things when we are sure they should be saying yes. I could write a novel on the amount of different arguments I got into with my parents from questioning why they wouldn’t let me do what I wanted to do all of the time. Because we as the kids always know best obviously:)

Six years ago I became a mom. I remember everything about those first few days in the hospital, welcoming my perfect baby boy into the world. I was instantly in love. Instantly in awe. Instantly in wonder. Instantly protective. Instantly fearful. Instantly convinced that I would do whatever I could to keep him safe, and whole, and loved. It was within the last couple of years that I was talking to my husband about how in 11yrs or so Parker would be driving! Obviously I started crying at the thought of my first born son being out on the road just driving around without my supervision. I know you guys, it’s a lot of years away but moms, lets be honest, time flies and 11 yrs will be here before we know it! But it was in that moment when it hit me. I was brought all the way back to that time when my mom wouldn’t let me drive to downtown Chicago by myself, and I spent the whole weekend mad at her for it. It didn’t make sense. I didn’t understand. And to be honest, it wasn’t possible for me to fully understand why she did the things she did fully until I was in the same position of life she was in….as a mom. Now I get it. Now I understand. She wasn’t trying to keep me from having a great weekend. She wasn’t trying to make me upset and deprive me of what I deemed as the most exciting, the most can’t miss event happening that weekend. As a mother, she was making the wisest choice she could to keep her daughter safe. So that I could have a lot more weekends to enjoy in my future. She did what her motherly gut told her at the risk of me being horribly upset with her because she knew it was the right choice. And now, now I respect her for it. Now I honor her for it. Now I’m grateful for it. Why? Because I get it.


It’s funny how when you become a mom you start to understand the depths of what motherhood actually looks like. What it feels like. There are just some things in life that nothing can prepare you for outside of experiencing it for yourself. And being a mom is exactly that. You can read every book, listen to every piece of good advice, read as many articles as you can find, talk to moms that have been moms for 50yrs and still it will not prepare you fully for becoming a mom. It’s one of those things that you have to do in order to understand.

Being a mom has got to be one of the most selfless positions in life you will ever play. And I don’t say that vainly, I say it because even if you wanted to be selfish, which I do often, it is rarely possible. Your money isn’t yours to spend on yourself anymore, your bathroom breaks are never private, your showers are never longer that 3 minutes, your dinner is NEVER eaten hot, your mornings are never for sleeping in, your bed will never be yours again, your personal space is completely irrelevant, your conversations are never uninterrupted, I mean moms, our bodies aren’t even what they were before we had children! It’s hard to be selfish because when you are, at least this is true for me, I feel what we call “mom guilt.” Not all of the time, but a lot of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things for myself like getting my nails done, taking a 15 minute nap when I can, having an hour and a half of silence when the kids are napping….but there is a part of me that thinks my nails don’t have to be done, I should be cleaning while they are napping, and in the silence I should at least fold a load of laundry or two. The “mom guilt” struggle is real.

Being a mom is hard work. My whole life all I wanted was to get married and have a lot of kids. I have always loved holding babies and being around kids. They are just so fun and so life giving. And I was so sure I knew exactly what I was getting in to when I was pregnant because I nannied and babysat for years! So surely, just like when I was sure I was the best and most experienced driver out there at 16, I was going to be the best mom because I had watched everyone elses kids for years. Haha, like I said before, I was obviously delusional. It’s so different when it’s your own child and you are with them, caring for them, nurturing them, loving on them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every mom out there knows exactly what I’m talking about. But I say this, not because it sounds right and it is what you are supposed to say, but truly, in the most raw and honest spirit, though being a mom is the hardest full time job I have ever had, it is absolutely the most rewarding privilege I have ever had in my life.

I love being a mom. It’s challenging, tiring, rewarding, exciting, surprising, frustrating, and beautiful all at the same time. You can be upset with your kids all day, breaking up fights, wiping stains off of the walls, cleaning crayon off of your cabinets, mopping up the spilled milk and food from the floors, and then after they finally go to sleep you stare at them while they are quiet and peaceful and think to yourself how perfect they are. How amazing they are. How incredible it is that God chose YOU to be their mom.

What an honor it is to be a mom. To be smothered with hugs and kisses from these little humans that, even on your worst parenting day where you feel like the most awful mom on the planet, they still think you are the best. Those of you that have teenagers may feel a little different because they may not be as quick to forgive and forget…trust me, I was a teenager at one point too and thats why I’m praying extra hard for my boys now because having teenagers terrifies me!:) But truly, what a gift motherhood is, and I’m grateful I get to experience it on this earth.

To all of the moms out there, I want to encourage you in the way I try to encourage myself. You are doing a great job. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Keep doing what you know to be right, and when you’ve had a really bad day or a series of bad days, take a deep breath, start over, and remember that you are not alone. We have all been there. And will all be there again. A good friend of mine and I were talking a few days ago, and I was having a rough parenting day. I hadn’t communicated that to her, but for some reason she just said “you’re doing better than you think you are.” I hadn’t mentioned at any point that I felt like I had been a horrible mom lately, so her words were extra special because it was exactly what I needed to hear without knowing I needed it.

You are doing better than you think you are. Love your kids, pray for them, and ask God to give you wisdom on how to parent them, to lead them, and to love them. I pray that often because the truth is, I don’t know everything there is to know about being a mom. And just when I think I have a handle on it, my kids change and evolve and I have to re learn how to parent in every season life brings us. Being a mom is hard enough, try not to make it harder by always being hard on yourself. Give yourself some extra grace, take a deep breath, and remember, you’re doing an amazing job.

Happy Mothers Day.


s w e e t s.

Well y’all, it’s no secret, I LOVE dessert. Truly. If sugar was a nutritious and healthy substance for our bodies, I’d be the healthiest person around:) And if I was the type of person that could eat anything I wanted at any time of the day and not gain a pound, I would have dessert before and after every single meal. I’ve prayed more times than I can count that God would take away my sweet tooth and make me totally disgusted at the thought of sweets. I know, both weird and crazy. I would just rather the desire for sweets to just go away than practice the discipline of saying no….BUT since the love and craving for desserts hasn’t left me, I guess I’ll just continue to enjoy them:)

My husband and I are young adult pastors at our church, and once a month we have our leaders over to eat, enjoy each others company, and dream about what we want the future of the young adult ministry to look like. And when there are people in our home, there is almost always food! I love to make food for people. Especially desserts:) So for tonight, I wanted to keep everything pretty simple and sort of picnic like. I was inspired by a pin on Pinterest of strawberry shortcake and based the food for the night around that of course. Instead of doing a large dish of dessert, I wanted to do little portions because I think it’s less intimidating and more inviting to eat that way:) I did half strawberry shortcake and half dirt cake because let’s be honest here, who doesn’t love either of those options?!

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How cute are desserts when they are in small portions?! Typically I would have done cute little mason jars, but since there are a lot of people, I thought for tonight plastic cups would make an easier clean up at the end of the night. So, as promised, I am going to post the recipes for both. I have already tried them…I couldn’t resist, and they are delicious! These are so great for any party, gathering, baby shower, etc. Super easy, incredibly inexpensive, and delish:)

Here are the recipes for both:

Strawberry shortcake.

1 box of angel food cake // 1 tbs sugar // 1 1/4C milk // 1 box of cheesecake flavored instant pudding // 1 carton of cool whip // 1 large carton of strawberries

-bake the angel food cake per box instructions

-slice strawberries, put them in a bowl, and sprinkle the sugar on them

-make the cheesecake pudding per instructions on the box

-once angel food cake is cool, cut up into small pieces

-layer the ingredients in the cup (cake, pudding, cool whip, strawberries)

(recipe is compliments of “uncommon design” found on Pinterest)

Dirt cake.

4oz cream cheese softened // 1/4C butter softened // 1/2C powdered sugar // 8oz cool whip // 1 box instant white chocolate pudding mix // 1 1/2C milk // 2 sleeves of Oreos

-smash up Oreos in a bowl. don’t remove the filling

-mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar in a bowl. add cool whip until blended.

-in a separate bowl mix pudding mix with milk, once combined add it to cream cheese mixture

-layer your ingredients in your cup or jar. Oreos, pudding, top with Oreos. Repeat if you have room. Then for garnish add a full Oreo at the top


There you have it! Hope you all enjoy, and have a great weekend!


t h e m i d d l e.

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Y’all, every few days I always intend on posting something new. And then every few days goes by, and then another few days go by, and I realize I haven’t written in what seems like forever. Life has been a bit crazy the last few weeks, and I am promising myself I will get back on track over here at some point!:) I actually really enjoy writing…way more than taking photos, trying to edit photos, and then posting photos! Haha, I guess it’s somewhat therapeutic for me to type my thoughts out and try to organize them so they make sense to you!

So anyways, I started to post this photo on instagram earlier with a caption that ended up being like 10 paragraphs long, so I decided writing a blog about it would be more efficient:) I am on week 3 now of my new work out program, and I am actually enjoying it a lot, surprisingly. But, because sometimes habits are just hard to break, I can’t seem to kick my sugar addiction!! Ah! It’s so funny because I will look at myself in the mirror and feel instantly defeated and resolve that I’m never eating anything else other than celery and lettuce. I know, I know, so extreme. But after eating a mini Twix, a mini milky way, and a couple of now and laters after lunch (the candy jar was screaming for me to come take candy out of it, I couldn’t say no) I was like that’s it, that’s my last piece of unhealthy food until I lose 20lbs! Hours later I find myself staring at my freshly baked sugar cookies in the kitchen, and I am presented with a choice. The choice to say no because I already had sweets today AND I know how it’s going to make me feel and the downward mental spiral that decision is going to take me on, or I could say yes and feel terrible and start the downward journey in my head about how I am never going to reach my goal weight, I am never going to get healthy, and working out is never going to actually work for me. You know, the usual.

All of that to say, I couldn’t resist that dense, soft on the inside and lightly crisp and crunchy on the outside, mouth-watering sugar cookie just staring me in the I did what most would do…I said no. Not today.

YEAH RIGHT! I took that cookie and devoured it like it was the last thing I was ever going to eat for the rest of my life. And I felt great about it….for about 30 seconds. And then when it was all said and done, I hated that I did that. Not because you should never eat a cookie, but because I didn’t exercise my self control. I had no discipline in that moment. And I hate when I feel like food has control over me, when in all reality, I have control over it! But, what’s done is done. So let’s move past it and get on with the rest of our day (I’m speaking as though you all had the exact same experience today too!:) )

Bringing it back to this photo, I wanted to keep posting photos of myself on the journey to becoming healthier. I love a good before and after. There’s nothing like them! But how often do we show photos of what the journey looks like after we start and before it ends? That freaking middle portion of everyones journey is the part we never want to show because it’s kind of messy, it’s incredibly frustrating, and honestly, I don’t want a progress photo, I just want to see the end result! But the “in between” is so important and so necessary because if you ever want to get to the end, you have to go through the process first.

So with that said, This photo was taken this morning right after I had worked out, curled my hair, and put some make up on before getting dressed for work. I am wearing my husbands sweatpants….let’s talk about why my husbands sweats fit me please?! I honestly wear them because they are a little loose, and they make me “feel” smaller than I actually am. I’m a real person too folks, I don’t totally love my body YET so yeah, wearing bigger pants that hide some things and make me feel smaller are my vibe right now! Also, if you zoom in, and use a magnifying glass, and then zoom some more and maybe even squint a little, you can maybe see that one small portion of half an ab on my stomach!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! And the reason I am even pointing it out is because last night I was just talking about how I’ve been working out for 2+ weeks now and nothing has changed. In fact, I feel like I’ve actually gained weight, like how does that even happen?! But then I saw this photo, and I was like, wait a hot second, is that the beginning of what could be one singular ab in there?! I THINK IT IS!!

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I think it’s important to celebrate even the littlest of things on our journey. Even if it is just three quarters of an ab, it’s worth celebrating because it signifies growth and progress. It’s almost like it’s a sign that reminds you to keep going, you got this, you can do this, and it’s working! Now, would I like to do one 10 minute ab video and walk away with a 6 pack? ABSOLUTELY I WOULD! But in what world does that even happen? The answer is none. It doesn’t happen. Hard work produces results. Even if the results take longer than you want them to, you will see them eventually if you keep on pressing.

I know for me, I have had two babies and with those babies came two c sections. I would like to believe that my stomach can be flat and toned and strong again. I would like to believe that one day it isn’t going to feel like jello everytime I touch it. I would like to believe that even after having kids, my body can still be the best it has ever been. And for all I know, that could definitely be true. But right now, I have extra skin on my stomach that just hasn’t gone away yet, I have fat in other areas of my body that I didn’t even know existed until I accidentally looked in the mirror after I took a shower and probably haven’t looked in the mirror again since then because I was traumatized!:) Just kidding, I wasn’t traumatized but I was definitely alarmed. But I think part of the journey to loving yourself and all that comes with you, both internally and externally, is embracing who you are and where you are on the way to where you’re going.

There will always be someone else who has a flatter stomach, smaller legs, better hips, more toned thighs, a better butt…and the list goes on. But comparison doesn’t get you anywhere. Scrolling through instagram desiring to have a stomach like hers doesn’t make your stomach any different. I want to encourage you to figure out what you want, and start making daily decisions that take you in that direction. I want to be fit, but I want to be healthy to. So for me, I am going to keep trying and keep doing my best to move forward, move forward right past that sugar cookie next time!:)

Hope y’all have a great night!



e x t r a r o o m.

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Hi everyone! I feel like it has been forever since my last blog post! My mom came to visit and was here for a week and a half, praise God! So I was trying to soak up all the time I could with her and my kiddos. She left yesterday and my youngest Beckham said “Mema got on the airplane and that makes me feel so sad.” If that doesn’t make you cry….!!!!! Needless to say, my boys love their mema:) But now that spring break is over and everyone is back to normal, I’m back to writing! I wanted to update y’all on the room I posted about on my instagram a few days ago.

We moved into our house about 7 months ago, and this room has been vacant since! What you see in that photo is all that is in that room…and the tv isn’t even plugged in so there is no real function in this space. Oh, and also there is a closet full of toys that my kids never actually play with but…who needs to see that right?:) Anyways, I haven’t filled this room for a few reasons, one being money (which is always the main reason for everything) and mostly yeah, just not having money deliberately set aside to complete this room. Also, I have made a commitment to myself that I will not in any way be impulsive with any room in our house when it comes to furnishing it and decorating it. I have lived our entire marriage being impulsive, and I end up with a bunch of stuff I like that will get me by and not stuff I love that will last. So I am determined to be different this time:) I also do not like to start a space if I can’t finish it all in the same breath! So I guess thats another reason I haven’t done this room because in my mind, it’s all or nothing. Anyone else like that when it comes to designing and decorating your home? It’s not a bad thing to have phases for each room, but for some reason the before and after is so much better to me if it can evolve like a 30 minute hgtv show. The people leave the house and within a 30 minute episode they walk back into their home and it’s completely renovated and redecorated and beautiful. So…if they can do it on tv, I should be able to do it in real life right?

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Haha, that’s totally unrealistic. So, I am going to be doing this room in a few different phases. I wanted to show y’all a “mood board” I put together for this room. I put mood board in quotations because I have absolutely NO IDEA how to make one. I downloaded this app and played around with it for a few minutes, and I kind of gave up and just stopped with what I had created in 5 minutes. It’s totally not great. But hey, everything is a process right? Give me a few weeks and hopefully I’ll be much better at it!

In the photo above, The wall to the left of the window will be where the chase of the couch lands. I want to do a gallery all across that wall. I’m not sure what I want in the frames, either framed art from my kiddos or some more family photos. You can never have too many pictures of your family in your house! I also want to do bamboo roll up shades on all of the windows. I edit my photos so the walls look a bit more gray than they are in real life. My goal is to make all of the walls look the color they are in my edited photos! So a nice coat of paint is on the list as well for this room! I am going to keep the tv where it is and get upholstered swivel chairs for each side of the tv. I don’t know what it is about a swivel chair….but I totally love them! Other than that, I will do the couch, a rug, a coffee table, some art on the walls and then my favorite part….lots of accessorizing! I love accessorizing a room…it’s the most fun part of a project to me.

So with that said, I am going to show you the mood board I put together. Don’t laugh. Or do. Honestly, it’s so not good but I’m totally fine with everyone knowing that! I’m a work in progress folks! Photoshop is NOT my gift, but I will continue to be committed to learning it until I’m great at it! So here is the board…


We ordered our couch a week ago and it should be here by next week! It’s not real leather, but it will be so great for the kids because it’s wipeable!!! No stains, praise God. I’m not fully settled on a coffee table…I love the concrete one in the photo, but I’m also thinking about a wicker storage ottoman as well. I want to make sure this space is totally functional for kids and not just a pretty room that I never want my boys to be in! The frames will go on the gallery wall. I’m not sold on black but I am very much leaning towards black or a wood wash frame. The rug is one of my favorites, so much so that I already have it in our guest room, and I may just use it in this room as well. I am the type of person when I find something I love, I  buy a lot of it and use it in every room in our house! I bought a faux fern plant from target, and I’m pretty sure I have 3 or 4 of them throughout my house:) I mean, when you know you love it, why not right?!

Well, there you have it. My very elementary mood board that sums up the look I’m going for in that room:) If y’all have any questions on where anything is from, please feel free to ask in the comments! I can’t wait to post more once I start getting this room put together. I hope y’all have an amazing day! Talk to you soon!