Friday Favorites, April 17

“Mommy, I wanna wear these shoes,” Brenna declared as we headed outside to play this week. “They fit me,” she insisted.

I’m calling bluff on her sizing calculations.

Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite reads, events and moments in recent weeks!


March was a slow reading month for me, and I only got through one book – though a great one! I finished Undaunted by Christine Caine in March… I got to hear Christine speak at the She Speaks conference last year, and so many of her words were exactly what I needed to read last month.

In April, I poured through The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith – which I loved so much more than I even expected! It was well-written, poignant and inspired me to see the process of making our new house a home in a very different way. Now I’m finishing up Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker (and eagerly awaiting her next release, For the Love!) and I’m also in the middle of The 5 Love Languages of Children and Hands Free Mama.

The kids are in a Dr. Seuss phase right after after Connor did a unit on Dr. Seuss at school… it’s been fun to select new Dr. Seuss books at the library that I hadn’t read before. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket is a clear favorite with my kids :) We also found a super cute book called Brontorina that we all really enjoyed… it’s about a dinosaur who wants to be a ballerina, and everyone helps to find solutions to her large size so she can become a dancer.


As a mom to a son who tends to be a “follower,” I really loved this blog post from Kelle Hampton about how to follow well and that not everyone should be a leader, but everyone should be themselves.

This guest blog post on Carly Findlay’s blog from Melissa at Sugar Coat It hit it out of the park. I love her perspectives on being a plus-size fashion blogger and what she has learned by not “fitting the mold” of the typical woman.

I love this post from Michele Cushatt about the things she learned about seeing a dream come true after launching her first book just 3 weeks after undergoing major (and painful) surgery for cancer.


“Connor, will you hold my hand?” And then I melt :) 

We ditched all to-do lists in favor of the 70-degree weather and played outside one evening until the sun dropped…

Both preschool and her brother have sparked a new interest in coloring…

This is what small town voting looks like… wagon ride to the polls!

Maybe I should let you all caption this one :)

  Wacky Wednesday at school! Christmas hat, PJ pants, backwards shirt and book bag, and duck slippers… of course.

Have a lovely Friday and the kind of weekend that is filled with happiness like powdered doughnuts! ;)

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New milestones  for spring

Just when I start to say on a regular basis “nothing comes easy with this girl,” Brenna proves me wrong once again.

Because the thing that causes frustration for parents everywhere has come pretty easy for her – potty training!

Can I get a fist-bump over here???

Two weeks ago, Brenna began frantically dancing around at our friends’ house, saying she had gone potty. Yet there was no evidence of this claim, despite repeat diaper changes. Finally, she proclaimed, in a near panic, “I want to go on the toilet!”

I always thought that one day it would just “click” with her, and it did. We celebrated that first success, we broke out the potty chart, and there was extreme elation about putting on Sesame Street stickers. And she hasn’t looked back since. I think I’m ready to declare her potty-trained during day-time hours!

Sleep time potty training won’t be happening for a long time, and that’s more than OK – she’s still in a crib, for one. And she consumes so much liquid and food, it would be insane to expect her to potty-train during night-time hours. As she wakes itching in the night, she’ll usually drink 1-2 full sippy cups of water.

But the day-time deal has been, dare I say it, easy. She tells us when she needs to go, and as of the last few days, there are hardly any “false alarms” – thinking she needs to go when she doesn’t. You go, girl. Your mama thanks you…for finally being easy, for once :)



In other news, the beloved binkie is slowly – slowllllyyyyy – making its exit from our daily lives. Brenna has always been quite the liberal user of the pacifier, which is fine because it’s been such a source of comfort to her during some very uncomfortable and challenging periods. But as she’s gotten older, she’s started to talk around it – and aint nobody got time for that.

And so the binkie has been relegated to bed, for sleep times only. “Binkies are for bed” is the new motto in this house. And I have to say that it’s finally not a battle to get her to part with her pacifier anymore during the waking hours or car rides. It was a weeks-long journey to get to this point, and we are all enjoying a little binkie freedom, especially because it is encouraging her language and we aren’t on repeat anymore with “I can’t understand you; take your binkie out.”

(Though, funny story – one time she was trying to tell me something, and I just wasn’t catching what she was wanting to say, and finally she wailed, exasperated, “but I don’t have my binkie in!!” :) )

We just finished a round of antibiotics to treat a staph infection… but the good news is that we caught it early and the other good news is that she hasn’t had an infection since December! I am especially pleasantly surprised by this after starting school – we didn’t know what to expect with Brenna’s health and the introduction of lots of new germs. But the school has been so good about taking precautions with her.

The infection came on right before spring break, so she had a nice time off from activities to recover and her skin responded well to the medicine. As we’ve discovered, infections are just going to happen. I don’t write as much about the infections now, but Brenna gets a staph or strep skin infection about 4-5 times a year.

We do the best we can and strive to live life as we would if she didn’t have this condition…and so infections will go along with that, as her skin just can’t always fight off the bacteria like our skin does. We’ll be as vigilant as we can… and we’ll celebrate when we have long spurts of health!

Happy Wednesday!

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How ordinary moms can do extraordinary things…

“All it took was for my best friend’s mom to mention that a local charity (which serves the poorest of the poor in our community) had some funding cut and would no longer be able to provide needs to their clients like toilet paper. And suddenly, my group of friends jumped on board to host a huge fundraiser to collect toilet paper for them.

In our first year, our ‘TP the Town’ event collected $2,400 cash and more than SIX THOUSAND rolls of toilet paper!

As my friends and I plan our second ‘TP the Town,’ it has opened my eyes to the way that ordinary moms really can do extraordinary things, especially together. We can be world-changers simply by working together to make small differences.”

Today, I’m over at Courtney DeFeo’s blog guest-posting about how small steps can add up to big change.

It’s taken me many years to learn that we don’t have to do Big Things to see Big Change… we can do small things every day, following what Jesus calls us to do, to impact the world around us in a big way.

If you’ve been following for a while, you may remember that I was inspired by a post on Courtney DeFeo’s blog several years ago to help my kids make a Birthday in a Bag for kids at a local homeless shelter. We put together party decorations, cake supplies, etc. to give them the opportunity to have a birthday party for a child, and they were so excited. Well, my friend Emily was then inspired by MY experience, and she applied for a community grant to compile birthday bags – and won!

With that grant, we were able to help all of the children at one local women’s homeless shelter, as well as another group of homeless children who participate in a local after-school mentoring program, to celebrate their birthdays for a WHOLE YEAR!


Head on over to Courtney’s blog to read more about how we can work together, with our friends and with our children, to make a difference in our community and in our world…

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