Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Numero Tres!!

So.  We found out shortly after our trip to Hawaii (which took place back at the end of April, but I have yet to blog about) that we are expecting out third little nugget!  SUPER exciting news.  We have been pretty anxious over the last few months to find out the gender of this one.  I felt a little worse in the first tri than I did in my first 2 pregnancies with the gals, so a BIG part of me has been thinking "boy".  Plus, Avery can't stop talking about wanting a "baby brudder", EVERYONE in both of our families would LOVE to add a boy to the grandkid/niece mix... so... boy talk has been pretty normal around these here parts.

A great friend of ours (Angela Yancey, our FAV L&D nurse in the world/ wife of B's great college buddy) called us down into Dallas to do an early sonogram to find out the gender, because at my doc we weren't going to find out until almost 22 weeks along!  AH!  We have been praying for a boy for quite a while and basically just... NEEDED to know :)

So... on Wednesday, August 29th, we found out that we are expecting ....

Yes.  That is correct...another girl.  It will be 3 girls for the Bradford Familia... expected end of January 2013.  Woohoo!! Bring on the craziness & girl-drama!  :)  3 sisters... I can't lie...I'm pretty pumped to experience a lifetime of the 3-sisters dynamic, especially since I never had a sister myself!  And, I hereby declare my public permission for B-Rizzle to add a few man-outings each year!  Poor guy will NEED some extra man-time in his life :)  Best daddy ever.  And I have no doubt that ALL of his daughters will be completely in love with him for their wholllllle lives. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Silly Gilly Gumble.

A few months ago, Avery became totally enthralled with scary stories. I literally have NO clue where this came from, as I am not a fan myself... especially when it comes to the munchkins. However, Avery created this scary story of her own that she would share with us ONLY while huddled on the couch, hiding underneath a big blanket w/ a flashlight. Goofy child. (Video coming soon. Child loves to perform.)

The main character of said "scary story" is a Silly Gilly Gumble. What is that, you ask? I have no friggin clue. But Aves & Cam talk about it all the time. Aves tells stories about it. They say that it's at our front door and they run & hide from it. Well...apparently, its scariness has worn off, because a couple of days ago as I was eavesdropping on the girls' naptime chatter, I heard them talking TO the SIlly Gilly Gumble. They were comforting him and telling him that it was okay, his mommy would feel him all better. Then, C-Lil dropped something, Aves asked the SGG to pick it up, and Cameron SHRIEKED with excitement, "Oh! THANK you Silly Gilly GUMBLE!!"

Toddler imaginations are quite hilarious. Always entertained around here :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day 2012!

The more life I experience, the more aware I become of what an amazing dad I have.  The Randster has been SUCH a massive blessing to me and to my bros.  He loves us so fully and tells us CONSTANTLY.  He taught us so many important life lessons, exemplified a life that honors Christ and loves people. He has served and provided for his fam with JOY for as long as my memory goes back. I am so thankful for the love, confidence, joy, passion, generosity, and kindness that he has taught me :) Love you sooooo much pops!!

On to my hub... B Riz is a special dude. A super awesome daddy.  Our little ladybugs are so BLESSED to get sooo much time with their daddy :)  He plays with them, wrestles with them, snuggles with them, reads to them, tucks them in at night, eats dinner with them, helps them with their prayers.  He teaches them how to throw and catch, disciplines them when it's needed, laughs with them, sings with them, dances with them...

He loves his daughters completely and I'll venture to say that they will NEVER have to wonder about the truth of that statement.  :)

I'm SO thankful for a guy who is such a tremendously AWESOME father to my babygirls! Love you B riz. You are the #1 man in our lives and you make all your girls super happy! :) Happy Fathers Day!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

5 Year Anni!!

B-Rizzle and I have been married for 5 terrific years :) Craziness. It has seriously been the bomb. Back when we were dating we thought life together would be absolutely perfect (minus a couple of annoyances that we'll live with until the day we die, ha)... despite all of the warnings that marriage is such "hard work". I'll agree 150% that it takes constant maintenance to keep the marital bliss workin', but man... I am super pumped about how FUN and enjoyable the past 5 yrs have been.

We celebrated the day by hanging out with our girlies all day long and then got a babysitter to head out to dinner & a movie that night (one of our fave things that we NEVER do anymore!) Loved it. Ps- Snow White & The Huntsman was pretty good...just fyi :)

Brian is the absolute perfect partner for me. I was never a believer in finding the "perfect person", I just figured you fall in love and make it work with someone as long as you're compatible and calling on Jesus :) Well... over the past 5 years, I have come to appreciate Brian more and more and more. He stretches me where I ABSOLUTELY need to be stretched. He has challenged certain beliefs of mine that most definitely needed to be challenged. He has neutralized some of my extreme characteristics and tendencies. And he handles the annoying parts of me with SUCH gentleness and love and grace that I literally can't believe he hasn't snapped on me at some point. I love that man beyond words and LOVE being married to him, making decisions with him, raising a fam with him, road-tripping w/him, hanging out with him every day... he's my bestie, my fave, and the person I trust more than anyone in the world! Love you, Boo. I look forward to the rest of our life together with SO much excitement and thankfulness. You are awesome and I love you mucho. Thanks for EVERYTHING :)

We Have Visitors!! :)

Magen & Aaron arrived yesterday for a little weekend visit. The girls are superpumped to hang with their buddies! They still talk about being flowergirls in their wedding back in March. They were totally diggin some Princess Storytime last night.

So was Aaron. Obvi :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Averton is THREE!! :)

My leetle first born munchkin is now a 3-year-old. Cressy. GOSH I miss her little baby moments, her baby noises, her mis-pronunciations of a million different words, her hilarious toddler grammatical errors... but I am loving watching her become a big girl. My first born, I love you so so so so so soooooo much :) Had SO much fun celebrating you today and making you feel super special.

We started the day off with breakfast cinnamon rolls (as Aves calls them), made cupcakes (her fave), opened presents, went to Gattitown (per the bday girl's random request), and got frozen yogurt! Terrific day letting Averton boss us around :)

At Aves' party (a couple weeks after her actual bday!), she kept throwing her arms up in the air & telling us "Mom! Dad! This is the best birthday EVER!!" It SO was NOT. But she SO thought it was :) And that is 100% all that counts. We played at the playground, grilled on the egg, ate lots of watermelon & cupcakes, then splashed it up @ the splashpad & played in the pool. The kiddos were WIPED out afterwards...just the way we like it :) So thankful for a healthy angel nugget to celebrate 3 years with. Pics to come.

Guests @ Averton's Partay:
-Mommy, Daddy, C-Lil
-Big Poppy (Nonni in spirit!)
-Nana & Papa
-Aunt Amy
-Kelly & Carson
-Casey, Greg, Tatum, & Hank
-Alicia & Noah
-Jenny, David, Jake, & Sophia
-wayyy too many cupcakes
-scorching sun
-an unacceptable # of flies. ew.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Welp. It finally happened. Cameron released the dreaded floaters tonight during bathtime. It scared the CEE ARR A PEEEEE out the littles. They spotted them, jumped to their feet and huddled in the corner of the tub screaming...LITERALLY screaming as if they were about to be eaten alive...until I was able to scoop them up... haha. Don't worry, I SWIFTLY rescued them from the nastiness and rebathed them. Hilar/Sicknast. Ohhhhhhh little babies. You never know what to expect :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Have you ever locked your kiddo in the car??

because The Bradfords have! When we pulled into our driveway after a fun Easter Camping wknd, we both hopped out, got CamCam and then when I closed Cam's door, our car did a weird beepy thing and went on lockdown. WEIRD. Thank goodness Shrek was keeping Aves happy for the next 20 minutes until our friendly McKinney firemen arrived to save the day! :) THey were super super sweet with Aves and really gracious to ME about locking my CHILD in the friggin CAR! haha... couldn't let that little gem slide by without some documentation. I'm sure Aves will use this one against us for the rest of our lives. We love you little nugget!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

God TV

One of the coolest moments I've seen on major network television... Last night we got to watch live as a dude fell to his knees to worship his Father. Thanks, Colton Dixon, for sharing that moment of worship with the massive nationwide erican Idol audience. Really super cool.

Friday, April 13, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog...

We're all alive and doing super well over here at the Bradford Casa... I just haven't been taking the time to blog about it :) after numerous conversations that just randomly occurred with different groups of friends, I kind of staged my own personal blogging boycott. I just hear so often about how Facebook and Blogs are PRIME territory for amazing devoted super terrific females to compare themselves to the "Supermoms" and "Superchicks" of the world. It frustrates the LIFE out of me that the Evil one has the capability o take something as simple as a blog to create unrest/jealousy/self-loathing in the souls of God-serving and Jesus-loving ladies. Ya know? Anyway, after many a convo I found myself feeling kind of disgusted and totally turned off to the thought of typing up a post about my life. I asked myself, 'Why in the WORLD would I risk becoming a stumbling block to another gal?' Not that my life is glamorous by any...ANY means :) I have just been knd of battling that thought process. But then there's the other part of me that totally loves keeping track of the little things... Being able to go back and remember different phases of life/marriage/parenthood, remembering the little ways God has worked in our little life! Little moments of joy... And I think, 'I shouldn't let the Evil one steal my joy... There is no guilt where the motivations of the heart are pure...right?'. Ugh. I still don't know. But I DO know I have family who miss their little Bradford updates. So... An update on the last couple months and perhaps a return to my Life&Heart Virtually Documented are in the works. Time will tell. Still questioning the whole issue... But... I'll exit w a super happy thought... YAY FOR SPRING!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

C-Lil Sneak Peek

Starting Friday, this look will be the new norm for CamCam!  My little cutie.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bradford Fam Updates!

Cam went to the ped ophth.  She is superrr far-sighted and was given a Rx that we are planning to get filled tomorrow!  I'm super anxious and excited to take her to get fitted for her presh little baby glasses :)  Sweet girl.  Hoping this fixes the strabismus (crossing) issue.  We'll check back in 7ish weeks!

B-Rizzle for shizzle has been down the flu.  BUMMERRR.  He literally did not leave our room for 36 hours.  He is still kind of quarantined in there, but things are looking up a little bit.  Sweet man.  Thank you Lord for Tamiflu.

Aves & Cam both showed signs of Pink Eye this wknd.  Neither one really developed it, but it kept us couped up for a few days just to play it safe!  Glad we're in the clear (at least it appears that way!)

I had a ridiculously fun time with my Bunco ladieeeees last wknd.  Will post on that later.  I have a superrr fun wknd coming up soon with my Moo for her bachelorette weekend! yay!!

I got a physical scheduled for my hubs who refuuuuuses to make his own doctor's appointment.  I have a hunch he thinks he's invincible.   :)  Cute.

I have an appointment with an orthopedic doc en la manana...about my annnooyyyying shoulder.  SO looking forward to getting this bad boy figured out.

It is super cold up here in D-town.

Nicki Minaj just stunk it up at The Grammys.  Shwat in the heck was that crazy alter-ego madness?  Not music.  Not entertaining.  Big bummer.  She can be SO cute...  "Roman" is the opposite of cute.

Adele is adorable, genuine, and maybe just a leeeeetle bit talented.

I still think Taylor Swift is presh.  Loved her cute little gig tonight.

Whitney Houston's death is sad, just like the death of ANYONE who struggles so hard to free him/herself from their demons.  Celebrity seems to just exacerbate that struggle.  We see it over & over & over & over.  But it's never NOT sad.  Heart breaking. 

I am missing my T-babe!

Brian and I just decided that people should have sing/dance-offs to settle every dispute in life.  That would make me extreeeemely happy.

Okay. That's all for now. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lifegroup New Years!

We invited our Lifegroup up to Pura Vida to ring in the 2012 back in Dec/Jan and had THE greatest time.  SUCH a cool, supportive, hilarrrrrious, quality group of way cool people.  We missed the Cox Fam big time (they were at home with supercute little newborn Baby Emerie :)  We slept in, enjoyed adults-only time, hit up the shops & eateries in Fredericksburg.  The boys golfed, hunted, and learned the hunting/cleaning process (yikes!) while the girls talked, shopped, and talked some more :)  There was much hang out by the firepit time, a large amount of throwback old school music (hilar), game-playing, s'more making, and laughing (per usual).

Shout out to Tori & JC, who were supergreat sports and climbed into the creepy, "The Shining"-style attic room each night for bed.  You guys rock.  Sorry we stuck our leaders in the attic ;)  

SO happy most everyone was able to come!  I can't imagine a better group of people to hang in the AWESOME Texas Hill Country with.  Til next time!  Happy 2012, my friends!
B-Riz and I spent a little time @ PV by ourselves before everyone else arrived.  He got his first deer with his bow!  #stud #greatwhitehunter #soproud  #yummy

Exhibit 1 of Girl Fun in F Burg

I couldn't miss this photo opp  to share with Aves that her momma got to be part of a nativity with Baby Jesus!!  She was pumped.

Ladies by the firepit!  Amanda...we left a space to photoshop you in!

JC's hunting lessons.  He's hooked :)  Ane he's got his special shoes to show for it...

The whole gang.  We totally heart you guys :)

Happppppy New Year!! PS- thanks, pops, for letting us bust into your hat stash ;)

the guy i love in the place i love <3

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

She Get it From Her Momma

For the last 5 days, Cameron has been crossing her eye.  You read that correctly.  Her EYE.  Singular.  Her left eye keeps crossing!  I started having a similar problem with my eyes when I was 4.  For those who have known me for most of my life, I refer to my younger years as my "goggle-days".  I wore big thick lenses in presh red frames.  And then when I matured a little, I chose pink ladybug frames instead (with the help of my trusty friend, Kelly Wilson).  Anywho- all this to say that there's a possibility we could have an adorable little glasses-wearing 18-month old before long!  I'm totally jumping the gun in saying that.  We take Cam to the ophthalmologist on Friday, so he can check her out and tell us what's up!  Who knows.  Maybe it's just a "phase".  Regardless, she's still the cutest 18-month old I know :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aves Potty Problemos

**DISCLAIMER:  Toddler potty talk dominates this post. {Yes... Again.}  Enter at your own risk... **

Okay.  So it alllll started after T-Giv.  Aves had been potty trained for quite a while where #1 is concerned, but was still waiting to do her BigGirlBidness in the middle of the night.  So obviously, she was still sleeping in diapers.  When she needed to poop, she would just hold it in until night time rolled around and she found sweet solace in the comfort of her good old reliable Pampers :)

Welllll one day in late November she decided that since she did not enjoy one little thing about the whole idea of feces, she would just NOT partake in that part of the human body process.  So... for 7 days, LITERALLY SEVEN DAYS she refusssssseeddd to poop.  She needed to.  Really bad.  And on MANY occassions.  But she would just squeal and jump around and holldddd it in with all of her might until the sensation passed.  I can't even remember now how the big event finally went down, but on Day7, her bowels were relieved.  But only so she could start the process over again.  This time I think it lasted  4 1/2 days, and then she got into a groove of going every 3 days or so.  But NEVER without at LEAST a good 24 hours of her poopy dance (which she had totally perfected by this time).  The dance usually took place about every hour or so.... and then as The Moment neared, it would happen every 10 or 15 minutes.  I mean... Wow. 

Aves' poopy dance always involved an interesting combination of squealing, yelling, jumping, twirling, running in circles, and then by the end, she had added little interjections of her very own language.  Um.  It was HYSterical... except that it wasn't...because the poor child was making herself MISerable. early January our little Avery had begun to go more regularly, with less fighting, and with NO tears (praise the Lord!)  After talking to our doc and doing a little google-ing, we decided to talk about how AWESOME pooping is NON-STOP, reward Averton with lollipops every time she went, and watch videos of cool cartoon characters pooping on the potty.  WHAT THE HECK.  NEVER in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this to occur in my house.  Toddlers = unpredictability, which = lots of hilariousness.  :) 

So.  Avery's pooping problems are now far, far behind her.  She's regular.  She doesn't fight it.  It's a non-issue.  As it should be :)  Every now and then she still tries to sucker us into giving her a lollipop for doing her business, but we no longer succumb to that little trickster.  For those of you who had to witness the misery of Aves' Poo-Dilemma, I am SO sorry :)  She would like to thank you for your support during those difficult months and wants you to know that she is only better for it.  She would also like to thank her super-supportive baby sister Cameron, who found such joy in our poopoo-focused life and always found a way to lighten the mood ;)


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cameron: 18 Months

Welp.  My leetle C-Lil is 18 months old!  It's kind of cool because Aves's 1/2 birthday is on my dad's actual birthday and CamCam's 1/2 birthday is one day after my actual b-day!  Fun :)

How cute is that dress that Uncle Yiyi hooked C-Lil up with from Honduras?  Anywho.  They say that with the second kiddo, time goes SO much faster.  Honestly?  I don't feel that way at all.  I think it's because with Avery, we kind of missed the whole phase between 1 and 2 because Cameron was a newborn and stole all of our attention and energy ha.  So experiencing Cameron and everything that comes along with a 14-18month old has seemed kind of new.  It's SO fun and so incredibly adorable :)  
We haven't had Cam's 18mo appointment yet, so I don't know her stats, but I'll get those up as soon as we get 'em!  Here are some other fun things about the little munchkin @ 18 months:

  • Sings Twinkle Twinkle pretty well, especially "up above" and "HIIIIGGGHHHHH!!"  :)
  • She has fallen in love with "I'm a little Teapot" and bops her head back & forth like crazy every time she hears it.
  • EVERY SINGLE THING that she gets, she MUST give Avery some as well.  As soon as we give her a bite of something, a toy to play with, a bath, a hat, she immediately says, "Avewy??" and points to wherever big sis is.  Makes sense I guess.  She's never known life without Aves!  
  • She still eats like a champ (when she's healthy).  She likes pretty much everything we give her, and girlfriend LOVVVES her some milk!
  • She loves to tickle our feet.
  • She loves to give kisses.  Especially to my dad (Big Poppy) during Skype seshes. Kind of adorable.
  • She can sort of count.
  • She's learning her colors.  She is extremely into yellow.  I don't blame her.
  • She can bust out animal sounds on the spot and calls animals the sound they make instead their actual name.  "teet-teet" is her fave.  
  • When she's super pumped about something she sees, she raises her eyebrows 12 inches, widens her pretty little eyes, and points with major enthusiasm, "See? See?" with each exclamation getting more & more shrill.  Love.
  • She loves cars, balls, & rowdiness. 
  • She hearts her "beebeebee" (bellybutton)
  • I'm pretty sure she's faster than Aves...and has been for quite a while now :)
  • She is a rowdy little thang.  She STRUGGLES with the word, "gentle".  But she is SO insanely sweet.
  • On Christmas morning, Aves beelined for the shiny little pair of plastic high heels and couldn't see ANYTHING else in the room for 20 minutes.  Except Cameron's pair of high heels.  The second she spotted them, she ran over and desperately tried to get Cameron excited about them.  To no avail.  Cam had spotted her basketball goal and wanted nothing more.  Blinded by love.  Love what an individual my little Cam Cam is.  She and Aves are similar, but SO their own person.  
  • She still naps once a day and goes to bed around 8ish..or a little before.  
  • Her current fave thing to say is, "hummy.  hummy." (hold me) and if I say no, she alters her request to "wap, wap" (lap).  How is a mom to resist??
  • Anytime I'm working on something in the kitchen (which is a LOT), she runs to the playroom (with aves), grabs her little wooden chair, drags it into the kitchen and climbs up to watch what I'm doing.  Love my cute little company :)
  • C-Lil is a total goofball.  She keeps us entertained and cracking up on the regular.  Aves + Cam = a house full of ridiculousness.  (and love)
  • She still sings her song... "wahwahwah, wahwahwah"  Only those who have heard it can read that properly :)
  • My youngest child is an allergy baby.  Poor little nugget gets super stuffy and bigtime watery eyes every few weeks.  It effects her sleep & eating, but it doesn't usually effect her mood too much :)  #trooper (yes, i just hashtagged my daughter)
  • Camerton just straight up adores her big sis and it makes me sooo heeppppyyyyy
  • She also is IN LOVE with her faj.  She asks for him pretty much every morning, LOVES to kiss him goodnight, and asks about him all day while he's at work.  Daddy's girl much?  Loooooks like it.  
  • I put Cameron's hair in a little "pebbles" hairdo everyday because I think it fits her personality SO perfectly.  I know some people probably think it looks ridiculous, but I think it is perfection, and so I shall continue.  Maybe forever.  Who knows?  
  • I LOVE YOU C-LIL!  I love our time hangin' out before Aves wakes up from her naps.  I love your presh little giggle.  I love how excited you get when we praise you.  I love how much you adore your seester & your daddy. I love your hugs & kisses and ridiculous amounts of bouncing-off-the-wall energy (until you crash & burn into a pile of exhaustion...which, for the record, I also love)
Happy 1/2 bday little munch!  Tomorrow is mini-cupcake making day up in hurrr girlfriend.  Love you mucho my sweet!  (and you too, Aves)

Beauty & the Beast

Averton Waverton and I met Casizzle & Tatum @ the movies on my bday to see Beauty & The Beast!  It was in 3D, which I didn't nkow before going, and it was pretty cool!  Brought that old school animation to life a little bit more :)  Love that movie.  Love the music.  Aves totally loved it.  She & Tatum sat through the whole thing.  They looked SO adorable and SO old sitting in their own seats, rockin' their 3D shades, and snacking on the lunches that their frugal moms snuck in :) 

Love my little sweet pea and LOVE that we were able to some quality 1 on 1 time together ... and with some of our fave friends.  I've gotten lots of 1:1 time with Camo lately because she takes REALLY short naps most of the we get lots of fun hang out time before Aves wakes up!  Anyway, I felt kind of ridiculous, but on more than one occassion during the movie I was almost moved to tears...and not because of the movies.  I just feel so OVERJOYED when I look at my munchkins and think about how perfectly they were created and know that they have a specific purpose in this world.  It's pretty awesome and exciting and sweet and happy and cheesy :)  Like.  REALLY cheesy.  Okay enough.  Yay for cute little memories with people we love!


{UPDATED} 7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess. My Review/Takeaway

Well... I've already updated my thoughts.  After sitting on it for more than 6 hours, I made more sense of my thoughts :)  So.  I feel two overwhelming feelings after reading 7 (by Jen Hatmaker):  Challenged & Peaceful.  We'll get to that.

I'm totally privileged.  I realize this.  I'm thankful for this.  I understand that it places a responsibility on me to use such material blessing for HIS Kingdom.  The problem lies in the fact that I have just felt lost when it comes to actually doing so  I mean, sure, we use the blessing of our home to invite our friends to congregate and spend quality time together.  We are raising little humans and trying to teach them God's love and Jesus' salvation so that THEY will be His hands & feet.  We give to our church.  Blah blah blah... but I haven't been able to shake my dissatisfaction with it all.  Jen's book, "7", confronts this thought process big time!  It's literally the exact words/thoughts/actions God has been needing for me to see.  He's been nudging my heart forEVER, but I just haven't quite gotten it.  You see... I'm a big time thinker.  I'm constantly creating ideas in my head of how to love on my neighbors, how to POUR out my heart & my possessions to those who with less.  Orphans.  Widows.  Homeless.  Poor.  Captives to all things (material, emotional, physical...).  These thoughts are AWESOME.  Seriously... AWESOME.  The problem is that they never come to fruition.  I've realized that I am NOT a doer.  I'm actually super embarassed to admit it, but I follow through on about 1.7% of the ideas that I create in my mind.  The whole idea of "7" is DOING.  Instead of thinking and wishing and praying and asking and hoping, Jen Hatmaker DOES.  She identifies God's voice in her soul, calling her to SO much more than this "normal" life she and her family live.  There is unrest in her soul and instead of just asking God for perfect clarity or for an exactly laid out path to follow, she ACTS on that call from The Holy Spirit.  OH MY GOODNESS.  What an amazing idea right?  She shares her journey in 7 "chapters" of super entertaining, incredibly convicting, and totally REAL commentary on the experience.  She shares her thoughts when times are great...when the Lord is just giving her all kinds of awesome wisdom...annnnd she totally shares her heart/mind when times are NOT so awesome.  When the burden of being ANYTHING but "normal" gets a little bit more uncomfortable.   It's so REAL, which makes it SO perfect :)

Jen's hilarrrrious writing is seriously entertaining.  She's got you feeling like you're listening to your best friend relay an amazingly dramatic story, and before you know it, she's laid this massive chunk of wisdom on you.  But her humility is just like...seeping out from every little word.  I'm not sure how that works, but she allows God to just share His awesome truths without getting what many people call "preachy" and "arrogant".  SO super cool.

As someone who forgets about 90% of the details of movies/books/stories the second I've completed them, I am left with some intense takeaway from this book.
  1. When I hear God speak or feel The Holy Spirit move, the time for action is RIGHT at that moment.  No more worrying about the logistics (within reason, of course.  I DO have 2 toddlers & a hubs to consider) or about making someone feel badly. I trust that God will continue with His feedback through my actions.  I mean... Duh.  {#challenged}
  2. Feeling sad for, praying for, sharing information about people who are placed on my heart (i.e. the poor, trafficking victims, friends who are being beaten DOWN by satan's paralyzing lies, etc...) is NOT enough.  Thinking about writing an encouraging note doesn't count when I don't actually write it.  Talking about orphans may not benefit them one bit if I don't actually GIVE some of the massive amounts of what I have to offer TO them.  Thinking how cool it would be to take a bunch of sandwiches to some homeless people doesn't make sandwiches magically appear in their laps.  Weird.  {#challenged}
  3. I realize that I am who I am.  I was created exactly as God meant to create me.  My heart is moved by certain things for a reason.  When I feel a certain stirring or nudging or calling... it's okay if a million other people I know are doing it and it's okay if NO ONE I know is doing it.  When I'm in tune with The Holy Spirit there is no wrong move.  Discernment is SUPER important, but waiting for and obsessing over discernment can just be a distraction.  {#peaceful}
  4. I want Jen Hatmaker to be my friend.  Although I can tell that I would be willingly letting a convicting force into my life, I want it nonetheless.  I want it for the laughs.  And I want it for the un-sugar-coated truths she has to share.  
  5. I will tell everyone about this book.  It's my God-given duty :)  God's word if obviously the ultimate and absolute source of truth, but Jen offers what wisdom He has given her in a ridiculously relevant way.  Just what I've been needing!
A few of my fave quotes from the book.  They probably don't say a lot standing alone, but in the context of Jen's book, they were basically a dagger in my heart or an intensely illuminated lightbulb!
  • "May my privileges continue to drive me downward to my brothers and sisters without."
  • "When jars of clay remember they're jars of clay...the treasure within gets all the glory."
  • "What if we changed our label from 'consumer' to 'steward'?  Would it change the way we shop?  Think?"
As a girl who knows and is EXCITED about the fact that this world is SO not my home, I still feel this pressure to fit in, to be relatable, to be careful about alienating people.  A question I often ask myself is, "How can a "normal" person live RADICALLY for God?" Um... I am realizing more and more how off-point this question is.  There was a verse that changed my life when I was 14 years old.  "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. " {Gal 1:10}  As I sat in the gorrrgeous Rocky Mountains, God totally called me out on this one.  My thought process changed a bit after that. But, obviously, I need to be called out again.  My concerns with maintaining normalcy are proof of that.  Through "7" God showed me that we are called to act.  When He nudges our hearts, we don't just change our mindset.  We change our ACTIONS.  Our thoughts matter, but they don't change the world.  Thinking about love doesn't increase The Kingdom.  Acting on love does.

Really cool book.  Seriously.  Read it.  God will do some major conversing with you.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    "7" by Jen Hatmaker

    *click here to read my review on this book*

    I'm currently reading a book written by Jen Hatmaker, for the purposes of reviewing it on this here blog.  I would totally read it even if I DIDN'T receive a free copy for reviewing, but that's beside the point.  I'm one chapter in and I'm still just as excited to be reading it as I was before I had even read a single word.  The premise of the book is this:  "An Experimental Mutiny against Excess"  Jen & her fam spend 7 months basically fasting in 7 different categories (1 month per category).  They had felt an unease with the way they were living; buying into the "American Dream" just didn't sit well 7 happened.  Can't wait to finish the book and share the Hatmaker's experience with you guys.  Radical living is super off-putting to some people, so I'm pumped to get an inside look at the experience.

    I'll be posting the review sometime on Sunday, January 15th...probably late that night, as I've got a LOT of reading to do before then :)

    *click here to read my review on this book*

    Wayyyyyy Behind

    I'm so behind.  AH!  I need to catch up asap bc I forget all the cute (and not so cute) little details of our life when they're not documented.  So that I don't forget what I'm behind on, here's my blogging to do list:
    • Christmas Women's banquet @ Hope
    • Christmas in SL & Lufkin
    • F-burg (bros & LGers)
    • Avery's potty training issues
    • Cameron's chatter
    • Singing babies
    • Childcare buddies
    • Avery's karate experience
    • Magen's shower
    • Aves/Cam/Heidi/Madeleine
    • Allie/Mak/Aves/Cam
    • Bunco Halloween
    • Bunco girls