Monthly Archives

October 2016

God Meets Us Where We Are

Posted in FAITH, MARRIAGE
on October 30, 2016

One of my fondest teenage memories is snuggling up by the campfire with my love, day dreaming about getting married, living in our own home, having kids and growing old together.  I had always envisioned us living a few miles away from our parents in the same small town that we grew up in.  We’d get a dog, and we’d spend our weekends with family.  We’d go to the same restaurants, have the same friends, shop at the same stores, attend the same church, and celebrate the same holidays the way we always had – with family, playing games, eating good food and laughing.  I found comfort in routine and predictability. 

I’ll never forget that day.  The day that everything changed.  I felt the Holy Spirit’s presence like never before.  He was telling me to speak up.  I almost laughed at what He was telling me to say.  Never in a thousand years had I imagined such words coming out of my mouth.  It warranted action, and change.  Two things that made my heart race and threw me into a panic.  Every inch of my brain was telling me to ignore this feeling.  But instead, I listened.  And I spoke.  Continue reading

The Thief of Joy

Posted in FAITH
on October 24, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Have you ever fallen into the comparison trap while scrolling through your Instagram account.  Have you found yourself saying things like, “I wish I looked like that.  Her children are so well behaved!  Look how clean and beautiful their house is!  I wish my husband would do that.  If I only had her job…”?  I get it, it can be hard not to think this way when it seems like everyone else has it together, and you’re curled up in the corner of your closet, hiding from your kids, you have three day old hair, crusted with spit up, and you haven’t changed out of your yoga pants in who knows how long.  I’ve been there.  I think we’ve all been there in some way or another.

How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?  John 5:44 (NIV)

Friends, we have to remember that the images we are seeing on social media of tidy homes, happy children, pretty outfits and delicious, perfectly plated food are the best moments in other’s lives.  Who want’s to share a picture of their baby’s blow out all over the couch, or the bottle of biofreeze that your child thought was a popcicle (both of which have happened in my home).  That wouldn’t be pretty, right?  So, we must remember that 98% of the time, social media is simply a creative outlet for individuals.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as we realize that’s what it is.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we encouraged others and showed love through our actions AND our words?  What if we chose go out of our way to compliment others and celebrate their accomplishments alongside them instead of using jealousy or comparison to tear them down.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  Romans 8:28 (NLT)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Joy is not a feeling, it is a decision.  It is in the darkest night when the light shines the brightest.

Let’s be intentional about choosing joy.  Let’s focus on contentment and loving others.  Let’s not forget that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Love + Hugs,

Skye

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

Posted in EATS
on October 20, 2016

Hello friends!

Fall weather is FINALLY here in North Carolina, and I’m all about it!  I’m a little too thrilled about all things Autumn (if there’s such a thing).  Over-sized sweaters, pumpkin everything, boots, fall smells, cool weather, football, pumpkin patches…. aahhhhh it just gives me all the feels.

I came across this recipe while looking for a fall treat to bake for our son’s second birthday party.  These cookies were such a hit that we didn’t have a single one left at the end of the party.  Since then, I have probably made them half a dozen times.  Because that’s what I do when I find a recipe that I can make that yields good results.

The cookies themselves are delicious as is, but they’re even more amazing (according to my cream cheese, pumpkin loving husband) with the cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sprinkle on top.  They literally melt in your mouth.

You’ll find the recipe below (adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything).  It makes a TON (like enough to feed an entire army of teenage boys), so I generally cut the ingredients in half.  To make these cookies dairy free, you can substitute Earth Balance Vegan Butter for butter, and you’ll have to skip out on the frosting.

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Adjusting to Life as a Family of FOUR

Posted in FAITH, PARENTING WITH A PURPOSE
on October 18, 2016

Sweet Mamas,

Life looks a little different these days, and I can honestly say that my heart is SO FULL.  All of the fears and worries about becoming a mama of multiples have been put to rest.  I thought I’d dig a little deeper into those feelings and share how life has changed now that I’m a mama of two.  I hope that you find this post encouraging in whatever season of life you may be in.  I’d love to hear your stories too, so please share below!  If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last two years, it’s that it DOES take a village!  I am convinced that the need for community and oxygen go hand in hand.  We’re in this together, sweet mamas!

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PARTY TIME

Posted in PARENTING WITH A PURPOSE
on October 6, 2016

When we moved to North Carolina, we didn’t know anyone.  Combine that with the fact that the majority of our family lives 800 miles away.   So to celebrate Luca’s first birthday, we opted to save the money and enjoy a low-key day together as a family.  Fast-forward one year, and God has so richly blessed our family with more sweet friends than we can count on two hands.  That, my friends, calls for celebration!  So, we decided to throw a birthday party for our T W O year old (after convincing my SUPER SAVER husband that it would be worth the money to have all of these memories stored up in our hearts).  Considering that Luca loves all things trucks and tools, it was a no brainer to throw him a construction themed party.

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Scripture to PRAY Over Your Children

Posted in FAITH, PARENTING WITH A PURPOSE
on October 1, 2016

Nothing gives me more peace than praying for those that I love, especially when it comes to my babies.  I never truly understood what it meant to worry until I birthed my first babe.  I started babysitting when I was eleven years old, and by the time I became pregnant at age 22, I was sure that I knew the ins and outs of being a mom.  I was confident that motherhood would be my ‘thing’ and that I would know exactly how to embrace this new blessing.  After all, I had been fixated on this whole motherhood thing for the last two years (a story for another time).

Then my son was born {insert all the HORMONES}.  While words cannot describe the instant and unconditional love that I felt holding my sweet newborn for the very first time, I was quickly flooded with all the emotions that came with being a first time mom.  I became fearful that I would not be able to live up to God’s plan for me as a mom.

Dear mamas, I have found that the absolute best way for me to release this fear is to pray over my children.  Our church (mecklenburg.org) has been so gracious to create a class called, Second Steps, which is designed to teach parents how to raise Godly children during the transition from baby to toddlerhood.  We were provided with invaluable resources that I will forever hold close to my heart.  I would like to share some of those with all of you.

Protection

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”  Psalm 91:11 (NIV)

PRAY:  Father, I pray that you would command your angles to guard (your child’s name) every day.

Knowing God

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”  Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory both now and forever! Amen!”  2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

PRAY:  Father, I pray that you would reveal yourself to (your child’s name) so he/she knows you intimately. Continue reading

HELLO + WELCOME

Posted in HELLO + WELCOME
on October 1, 2016

Hi.  I’m Skye.

In the spring of 2005, an eighth grader named Chad Holmes gave me a bouquet of carnations and a card that read, “Skye, I love you.  Will you be my girlfriend?’.  Obviously with moves like that, I said yes.  I often find myself wondering what I ever did to deserve such a sweet, Godly, selfless man.  He. Melts. Me.  I am forever grateful for that day he asked me to be his girlfriend so many years ago.  In June of 2011, we said ‘I do’ at a beautiful vineyard in our home state, Illinois.  Fast forward five wonderful years and we are now living in North Carolina, and are mama and daddy to two of the sweetest little boys and our fur baby, Kona.  Life is so good.

I love Jesus.  I love that we have the Bible as God’s one true word and that He sent his son to teach us how to live our life here on Earth.  I love that His teachings are relevant some 2000 years later.  I mean, really… how amazing is that?  I cannot imagine a life without His unconditional love and grace.

I find comfort in being home.  Nothing is sweeter to me than being all curled up on the couch, reading a book with my loves.  We recently moved to North Carolina, after being born and raised in Illinois.  God has provided us with a beautiful house, and Chad and I hope that it will always be a place of fellowship; a gathering place for friends and family.  We want it to be a safe place for our kids; a place that they will want to bring their friends for many years to come.  It warms my heart to have a house full of people, sharing stories, playing games and enjoying a meal together.

Sunday is my favorite day of the week.  The morning starts off with a nursing session with my littlest man, followed by lots of snuggles.  Then, we wake up our toddler, pack the car, and off to church we go!  Our church home is in Charlotte, and we love every single thing about it!  They have an incredible children’s program, and we are so thankful that our babies will be raised in this church.  Little Theo just started going in the nursery, and we cross our fingers during the service that his number doesn’t appear on the screen.  We are those parents that do a happy dance if our sweet boys make it through the entire service.  Life’s too short not to celebrate!  Then, it’s off to Smoothie King for our Sunday smoothie fix and to Trader Joe’s for coffee sampling and some good ‘ole grocery shopping.  Once we’re all spent, we head home for a relaxing afternoon together.  The boys take a nap, and the hubby and I will contemplate cleaning the house, only for a second though, because catching up on Netflix is clearly more important.  A home cooked meal and a walk make for the perfect end to the day!

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday!  I am that girl that plays Christmas music in May and puts up decorations in October.  I cannot help it.  I might have a problem.

Target is my go to shopping destination.  I am there at least three out of the seven days of the week.  I literally cannot leave that store without spending at least 50 dollars.  Whether it be diapers, groceries or home decor, it all somehow makes its way into the cart.  Thank goodness my husband loves me.

I also enjoy traveling, being active, trying new recipes, attempting DIY projects, antique shopping, decorating, pumpkin anything, wearing over-sized tops and leggings, meeting new people and enjoying time with friends and family.  I look forward to writing about these things and to doing life with all of you.  I hope this blog finds you encouraged and inspired.  I hope you’re sitting at your kitchen table, sipping a cup of coffee or tea.  I’ll be right there with you!

Welcome.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Granola

Posted in EATS
on October 1, 2016

Good Morning, Friends!

I woke up this morning with a bit of a sweet tooth.  Looking down at my newly postpartum belly, I decided I should probably stay out of the scotcharoos I made for my husband last night (they were calling my name!), and instead go for a healthier option.  Autumn, the season of all things pumpkin, is upon us, and I couldn’t resist making a batch of this delicious Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Granola for breakfast.  #nursingcravingsarenojoke

This granola recipe is the perfect mix of healthy, with a touch of sweet.  It’s high in good fats from the coconut oil and almonds, and it’s perfectly flavored by the pumpkin and spices.

I ran across this recipe on joyfulhealthyeats.com when I was pregnant with our oldest son.  When I was in labor, I made sure we didn’t leave the house without a huge bag of this delicious granola.  My husband and I snacked on it our entire hospital stay.  No shame.  It’s just that good.  I’ve made a few substitutions due to dietary restrictions.  You can view the original recipe here.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 Cups of Gluten Free Rolled Oats (I use Trader Joe’s G-Free Oats)
1/2 Cup of Sliced Almonds
2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice Seasoning
1 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
4 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup of Maple Syrup (free of preservatives + HFCS)
1/4 Cup of Pumpkin Puree
1  1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, pumpkin spice seasoning, ground cinnamon + almonds.
In small bowl, add pumpkin puree, coconut oil, maple syrup + vanilla extract.  Mix well.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, toss to coat, making sure that all of the oats are covered.
Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Spread granola evenly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the granola every 10 minutes so it doesn’t burn.  (Confession: I rarely ever turn the granola more than once and it always turns out delicious, so no need to panic if you forget to do it every 10 minutes!)
Remove from oven and let cool.

Eat up, buttercup!

Love + Hugs,
Skye

DIY | Pallet Wall

Posted in HOME INSPIRED
on October 1, 2016

Hi all!

I am so excited to share this project with you.  I {finally} convinced my handy husband to install a pallet wall in our new home.  Initially, he was certain that it would cost an arm and a leg and a lot of time, so he kept brushing the idea off.  BUT, when I showed him my vision for Baby Two’s nursery, I could start to see his creative wheels turning.  Y’all, we got these BEAUTIES at the Metrolina Antique and Vintage Market in Charlotte, and my husband would be the first to tell you that we got a STEAL!  We bought 16 partial pallets for $30.  Their natural, rustic look was exactly what I had envisioned, so we didn’t even need to buy stain for the nursery.  In addition, we were able to borrow tools from our generous neighbors.  So, our little project ended up being even cheaper than we had initially imagined.  Less work, less money – win, win!  As you can see in the first image, these pallets were nailed together, so we (okay, mostly Chad) spent hours bending back the nails and hammering them out.  It was quite a bit of work, and beat up those manly hands of his, but I think he would agree that it was totally worth it to attain the worn look that we were going for.

Whelp, one project turned into two.  While the neighbors are letting you borrow their tools, you do it all!  Thankfully, all 16 pallets covered us for the nursery, and our bathroom accent wall.  We even had a few pieces left over.

Continue reading

FOR THE TIRED MAMA

Posted in FAITH, PARENTING WITH A PURPOSE
on October 1, 2016

I think of you.  I think of you in the late hours of the night, and before the sun rises in the morning.  While I am nursing my littlest babe, you are on my mind.  There’s something comforting knowing that there are mamas all around the world up at the wee hours of the night, when sometimes it feels like you’re all alone.  Exhausted beyond measure, and alone.  But, you’re not.

With my first, I was up every two hours for the first eleven months of his life, nursing him back to sleep.  While I loved nursing, and the bonding time with my babe, I was so tired IT HURT.  This time around, little Theo started sleeping through the night at a mere eight weeks old.  This was something I had prayed and prayed for, and I truly believe that the Lord provides us with what we need, exactly when we need it.  But, sleep or no sleep, being a mama is TIRING!

So, I’m here to ask all of you… How do you recharge?

And in regards to helping your babe sleep through the night… What has worked for you?  What hasn’t?  What would you do differently next time?  I love your feedback, and you never know what might help another mama!

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. | Isaiah 40:31

Run to Jesus, sweet mama, and find rest in Him.

Love + Hugs,
Skye