Monday, September 18, 2017

New Season, New Ideas

With Fall right around the corner, and my house almost fully decorated for it, I am finally ready to say goodbye to Summer.

As I a lay here in bed all day, thanks to some sort of stomach bug I picked up, I decided to look through some of the photos I took over the Summer.  We did a lot of fun things together as a family and I tried to make the most of every day. I used my Instax Mini Polaroid camera  to take photos of all the big, memorable things we did. I had so much fun putting this album together.

The highlight of Summer was our trip to the beach for a week. We rented a house with my husband's parents and his sister and her hubby. My mom was here from Montana during that time, so she was able to come down and enjoy the beach as well. We had some family photos taken on the beach, and we made it to a few concerts that were amazing! I also had a chance to finish reading my book, we renovated our basement, and I was able to cross off a few fun projects that I wanted to do. It was definitely a Summer for the books.

As much as I love Summer, and wasn't quite ready for it to be over, Fall is my favorite season, and I am excited for what is to come. I have lots of new ideas to share with you guys. I am ready to inspire and be inspired. Be sure to check in this weekend and grab the Fall edition of my newsletter, The Simple Life. I will also be giving details about my '5 Days of Fall Fav's' Giveaway that will be happening from September 25-29. You don't want to miss out!

Many Blessings,

Friday, September 8, 2017

Back to School

It's no secret, I love to create things!! I am always looking for new and fun ways to capture memories and record them, so we can look back on them in the years to come.

I know that most kids are back to school already, but this fun little activity can still be done anytime this month.

Word Rocks

Last year my son started preschool at our church. I wanted to do something different with him that would be fun and memorable each year. I know that there are going to be different things that he will be faced with or have to learn about every year. I thought about how I choose a word for myself every year. Something that I really want to focus on or an area where I need to grow. I decided to do this with my son, but in a more simpler form. For his first year we chose the word 'courage', because we knew that it was going to be a year of firsts. We knew that he was probably going to be nervous and afraid, but we wanted to teach him that God would give him the strength and the courage to get through these things. And he did!! It was a great first year!!

This year we decided on the word, 'kindness'. He is a little older and more familiar, now, with his school. He is no longer afraid because he went last year, plus it helps that his school is also our church. I want him to focus this year on being kind to others, especially his classmates, who he will be with most of the week. This is very important to my husband and I, that our son learn, at an early age, to be kind to others. With the way the World is today, this a quality that we can't afford to overlook when raising our kids.

A few other fun things that I did with my son were, the first day of school board with all of his current stats and favorites, and I also made him an adult sized t-shirt that says "class of 2032" that he wore in the photo. I plan to have all of his teachers sign it every year!

There are so many fun things out there that you can do with your kids. It's never too late to start! Having these things to look back on when your littles are all grown up and out of the house, will mean so much!

Before I go, I created a fun freebie for you guys, in honor of my birthday, yesterday, and starting back to school this week!! Print one out and hang it up as a reminder!

Many Blessings,

Saturday, September 2, 2017

What I Learned This Season: Summer Recap

Wow! September, where did you come from?! Did anyone else's Summer fly by like mine? Every year it seems to go by faster and faster.

Most of you know that I took a break form social media and blogging for the month of August. It was fabulous. At first, I missed it, but if I am being completely honest, it was amazing. Not worrying about what to write or post about. No giveaways or aimlessly scrolling through feeds. No drama or feeling like I need to keep up. Just time.

Lots of time, and I loved it!! This leads me to what I learned this Summer. It's not a list of things or anything super crazy. Just one simple, life changing lesson.

Here it is...

I don't want to miss the actual fabric of the interior of my life, the beautiful child growing up right this second, in my own home, (my husbands needs & loving friendships), because I am working to please people somewhere out there.  -Shauna Niequist (adapted by me)

Basically, I don't want to miss out on what is most important in this life. I was on the road that leads to destruction. Cramming my life with too much stuff and trying to keep up with the Joneses. I was trying to prove that I could do it all and be it all. Part of the reason for this is because of what I see on social media. I am so glad that I took a break from it. I plan on doing at least 4 times a year, maybe not as long, but it's definitely needed.

This Summer was great, and I am sure that there were other things I learned (like how to use a Circut and make a bunch of really cool stuff), but this is what it all came down to. There is nothing wrong with having passions and desires, but when they are left unchecked they can ruin you. They become your focus and you start to forget what is most important.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Summer. I would love to know what you learned. Be sure to check out Emily's blog, where tons of other bloggers link up to share what they have learned each season.

Many Blessings,

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Taking a Break

I'm popping in to say hi and to let you know, that for the month of August, I have decided to take a break from all social media and blogging.

I have been feeling this need to take a break for awhile, but have been ignoring it. I don't know if it was fear of missing out or falling behind, but I have come to the point where I realized that it just doesn't matter!! My world is not going to end and Instagram and Facebook are not going anywhere.

Sometimes you just need to unplug and give yourself a rest. It's nice to make connections and build relationships on social media but you need to make sure that your family and close friends are not getting your second best. Social media can be very useful and inspiring but we have to be careful that we aren't missing out on what is right in front of us in our own homes!!

I will be back in September before I start back to work and I know that will be here before I know it.

I have left you with a fun freebie for August and I hope you have a good one!

Many Blessings,

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Real Life: Letting Go of Perfection Part 2

In my last post I talked about letting go of perfection and how hard it can be. For most of us that struggle with this, it is not something we just decided to try for a season. The idea of perfection is something that has been ingrained in us, probably starting at a young age. Therefore, it makes it that much harder to let go and change our ways!


Today I want to share with you a few ways, that might help you, in taking the steps you need to let go of perfection. 

The first thing I did was make a declaration. When we struggle with something, we need to capture it, confess it, and replace it with the truth....

I recognize my need for perfection in certain areas of my life. I confess that it is wrong and that I need to change. It's robbing me of joy and many other precious moments in my life, and in the end I am never satisfied. I believe the truth, that it is ok to not get everything done on my to-do list. It is ok if something doesn't turn out exactly as I planned. It's ok to let things go for the sake of being present with the ones I love. There is always tomorrow. I realize that this is something that I will have to work at everyday, but through His strength, I know that it is possible. 

I try to go through and read this at least once a week to help remind myself of these truths. 

The second thing, that I think is very important, is to start your day off in prayer and in the Word. This really helps me a lot. I usually pick a daily devotional to do and then I try to concentrate on a scripture verse from that days message. Another thing you can do, if you aren't a very spiritual person, is spend the first 5 minutes of the day alone, quieting your thoughts, maybe with a cup of coffee or tea. I like to sit outside, when it's nice, listen to the sounds and take in the beauty around me.

Another thing that really helps me is something that I only recently started to do. When I plan out my week or day, I try to only put 3 or 4 things, at the most, on my to-do list. I am trying to think more realistically. I always overwhelm myself by putting way too many things on my list and then when I don't get them all done, I am frustrated and disappointed with myself. I like to think of what I can really get done in one day while still leaving time for my family and doing things with them.

Finally, the last thing and the hardest, but I know that it helps.....

Take a break from all social media!! No Instagram, no Facebook, no Twitter or Pinterest. Half of the reason we reach for perfection, is because of what we see out there on social media. Then we start comparing our lives and what we do to others. So much of what is portrayed on the internet isn't real life. What we read and see is, 

I can do everything, be everywhere, have the best behaved kids, keep my house perfectly clean and styled, make the perfect home cooked meals, looking fabulous while doing it, and never make mistakes. 

Whew!! That's a lot. I don't know about you, but this is far from what my actual life is even though I get caught up trying to act like it is. Friends, it's not real, and perfection is not attainable. Plus, we don't know what is going on behind the scenes for those that we think have perfect lives. 

While reading, Present Over Perfect, I came to the chapter where Shauna talks about legacy, the end of life, and regret. This is her response,

"I don't want to miss the actual fabric of the interior of my life and the beautiful children growing up right this second in my own home, because I'm working to please people somewhere out there."

She hit the nail on the head with that one. I was thinking it and she wrote it. The legacy I want to leave behind is not one that is marked with striving for perfection or people pleasing. I want it to be about serving my family and friends out of love for Christ, being present in every moment, and for having the courage to start over and not give up when things aren't perfect.

How about you?

Many Blessings,

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Real Life: Letting Go of Perfection

Enough is Enough

I have hit that point in my life where I need to make a change before it's too late. 

My name is Erin, and I am a recovering perfectionist! 

For too long I have run around waving that flag, (of perfection, not surrender) trying to do it all and wanting everything to be perfect, and I have had enough. 

I can honestly say, I am at that point where I have finally realized, perfect is a goal I will never achieve, and to be honest, I think I have known this for quite some time. I have just been struggling to let it go. You see, God gave us this thing called, free will, which means we have the choice, everyday, to choose the things that we are going to do that will consume our time. We can create to-do lists that are miles long, try to cram more hours in a day, and continuously strive and work for things that are not our purpose. And God will allow us to operate this way for awhile, until we finally realize, no matter what the plans we have in our heart, His purpose will prevail. The faster we realize this, the better off we are. I wish I could say that I realized this a lot sooner, it would have saved me a lot of worry and stress, but the flesh is weak, and that desire to prove myself and be good at something is strong. 

Yet not what I will, but what You will. -Mark 14:36 

This has been my go to verse for awhile now, and in some areas of my life I can say that I do apply this, but that's not how it should be. I can't just pick and choose what's best for me. I need to surrender it all. Every plan, every desire and dream, every need and want, I need to let go of it all and surrender control.

I started reading this book Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Neiquest. This is when I finally stopped resisting the need to change my lifestyle. She starts off one of the chapters with a famous quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "I hope you live a life you are proud of and if you find that you are not, I hope you find the strength to start over again". I am not saying that I am not proud of the life I have lived so far. I am simply not proud that I let perfection play such big part. Like any other crossroad in my life, God has ultimately been the deciding factor guiding me down the right path, helping to make the necessary changes before it's too late. The beauty of it all, is that everyday is chance to start over. It's really amazing when you finally realize this. Given our free will, and with the strength God gives, we can hit the restart button at any time.

So, here I am. This time waving the white flag of surrender, because I know that this is not the life God intended for me. I know that this is going to be hard and I am going to have to work to let things go daily, but I am ready for it. I have had a taste of what it's like to not care about getting it all done. I have learned how to say no to more stuff and be present in the moment. I know that perfection is not real life. I am learning everyday what I can do and how to let go of what I can't.  There will be more time to do other things that I enjoy later on, but I am currently missing out on the most important things right in front of me. It's going to be a journey and I am only at the beginning, but I made the choice and I am sticking to it. Present over perfect!

Be sure to check back next week for the second part of, Letting Go of Perfection. I will be sharing with you the many ways that we can do this and live a less stressed, more joyful life. 

Many Blessings,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First Edition is Here!!

Happy first day of Summer! Today was the first day of Summer break for me! I have 75 glorious days off and I plan to make the most out of each and every day!

I have been working very hard to bring you the first edition of my newsletter, 'The Simple Life'. I really enjoyed creating this for you and I hope that you will enjoy it too. Just click the picture below to download your copy!!

And stay tuned for new photos of my home to be add very soon! I am so excited for this Summer and all that is in store!!

Many Blessings,