Archives for August 2017

Greater is He

The Lord really makes ways.

Lately, I’ve just been feeling so overwhelmed. Okay, this is going to be a lot so hang in there.

I’ve been praying for answers. And some answers are coming, while others are not. I know He’s working it out, I just can’t see it, and that’s okay. I don’t want to need to see it. I just want to trust that it’s working out. I don’t always need to see the plan.

So, as I’ve said before, I felt like starting this blog was put on my heart. About 4 years ago, I had come across a few others blogs. Then, during a remodel of our first house, our pipes froze which put us in a hotel for a few nights. While sitting at the desk in a Comfort Inn I started my first one. Stephanie Griffith Home is actually my fourth site. More on that later though, I’m going to write a post about starting a blog. Since I started this one, things have taken off. It’s definitely not a get rich quick deal if that’s what you’re thinking, but I’ve had more happen since starting this one. Even with the successes that I’ve had, I have days where I just want to quit. That’s right. I just want to say forget it! I’m not doing it. I’m not photographing everything in the right light of day. I’m not editing, cropping and uploading. I’m not drafting, editing and publishing posts. I’m not doing home improvement projects and crafts constantly. It gets to be too much. Especially once you add in all the social media. But it’s all necessary. It’s all part of it. And Every. Single. Time. I try to quit, God sends someone to tell me to keep pushing forward. So I do.

There are days, I can’t get off Pinterest and Instagram. I hope you all don’t struggle with this, but comparison is my biggest demon. I start looking and wishing and hoping and degrading. None of mine looks that good. My house isn’t perfectly decorated. It’s not even clean most of the time, I just hide it well. But I feel consumed by trying to be that person. I want to have a spotless home, be the perfect hostess, do all the projects, post to my blog every day, and be involved in all family and community events. Even typing that stresses and exhausts me. And if someone else sent me these words, I’d say

“Oh girl, just stop. That’s too much for one person. Relax. Do what you can and let the rest go and find ways to not feel bad about it”.

It helps to write things out. Do you do that? I see how ridiculous all this sounds now. 

Friends, God doesn’t want this for us. Confusion and stress is not His game. He blessed me so abundantly, feeling this way just squashes all that. I just keep saying “His grace is sufficient for me”. 

I kept my friends kids last week and that was the cherry on the cake. They are good kids, it’s just not what I’m used to, they’re not used to me, and they don’t know the stop and go areas and things of my house and life. I’m not going to lie, it wore me out. And it discouraged me. I want babies more than anything in the world. I always have. I always said that the reason things didn’t work out with college and jobs and why I don’t have a career is because I was meant to be a mom. That’s the job I want. But keeping those kiddos made me question that. I just felt like I didn’t handle it as well as I could have I guess. I didn’t have games for them to play and crafts to do. And at the end of the day, my house was messy and I didn’t get anything done that day, but I’ve talked to several momma’s and that’s what it’s all about. Crazy busy and you do what you can and let the rest go. At the end of the day, the lives God gave you matter more than the dishes that aren’t clean or the beds that need made.

I can’t wait to start that next stage of life with babies. My heart aches for them. I want my schedule and my house flipped upside down. I want the crazy. I want sleepless nights, cuddles, messy clothes, and full hearts. I know God is working all that out, I’m going to keep trusting Him and try to get out of His way while He unfolds His plan for my life.

 

I Won A Giveaway!

Have y’all seen those giveaways on Instagram? About once a month, I’m a contributor to one. If you haven’t, you should check them out. A ton of home design accounts put one together. I think there’s always one going on. Anyway, I won one! And a good good one to boot! These makers and shakers blew my mind.

Here’s what I got:

The giveaway was started to celebrate Ashley & Emily of Fragrant Farmhouse’s [here] Birthday! It felt like it was my birthday! They sent a coconut lime verbena candle which absolutely smells like the beach to me. They also send a body scrub that I have been waiting to try. Let’s be honest, who has time for a pampering day every day? I wish. So, I’m planning to try it out next week! I’ll be posting on IG how much I’m sure I’ll love it so watch for that [here].

This pillow cover, y’all! How cute! It’s from Sheri & Kortnie at Mille Made Designs [here] . It fits an 18 x 18 pillow, and those were 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby this week so to say that winning this giveaway was awesome is an understatement, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I love this in my family room, it adds so much coziness. And the material the cover is made of is so so soft.

I actually received a gift card to A Little Scrap of Happy [here]  and these are the items I picked. That hand lettered sign is in my office and it’s just the reminder I needed to stay simple: in blogging, in wifing, and in life. That notebook was another great reminder: I’m a hot mess that is blessed. I love having these little notebooks handy. I recently used one to collect autographs at the Texans training camp hosted by The Greenbrier.

This next one was also a gift card to Leisa’s shop The Silver Loft [here]. I made use of every dime she gave me, too! I love love love these bracelets. The one in the middle is a hair tie holder! Two of my favorite things: practical and pretty. I got the pineapple bangle for the infertility part of my life. The other bracelet has mine and Mountain’s initials and a heart. I wear them everywhere now.

How awesome are these? I loved them, but only got to use them for about a week so I’m already looking forward to next year when I display them longer. As Sue on The Middle says- I just love America.

This farm photo changed my family room. I added that galvanized fan from WalMart [I know, right?!] and that wall is just so much homier now. Have you noticed that? Homes look homier with things on the walls. Anywho, Christine from Shutter Tree Photos [here] is super duper talented and I wish I had a farm she could photograph!

I wish I had gotten a better photo of these kitchen towels, but my camera is out of commission and I took all the other photo’s beforehand. So sorry, Rachel! Anyway, these inspired me, I want more summer! More lemons and limes, tea and naps, lake days and road trips. Ahh, I’ll just live though the towels for now. Go give Rachel at Starling Meadows [here] at follow, she’ll inspire you from one end of her feed to the other.

I was kind of bummed about the next item. I didn’t get to wear them. Jo Anne who sells Lula Roe [here] sent me these 4th leggings. If ya wanna Roe, go see Jo! Okay, I’m done being corny for this post. Anyway, leggings are the best. Do you think anyone will notice if I wear them on Labor Day?

Dah-dah-dah-dah! Jessica from Farm Momma [here] sent me here June subscription box. Thrilled is an understatement. [I’m sorry if I missed an item, I was so excited and there are so many goodies I might have]. She collects handmade items from makers and packs them into a farm home decor box that always leaves me speechless. Go. Run. Check her out!

I am so bummed this picture turned out a little blurred. Anyway, don’t you love buntings and banners? I do. and this one is wooden! Yeah, that’s right! Wooden, as in won’t fall apart in the box between now and when you get it out again. Not that I’m putting mine away, I’m going to push it right into fall and winter. Are you all thinking of Fall and Christmas decorating, I want summer to last longer so badly, but I do love decorating for those seasons. Go see Briana with DIY Inspired House [here] to get yours!

These bathroom signs. I wish I could use emoji’s in blogging. I have had tons of compliments on these already. I know I said before that I loved pretty and practical, but can I add another- punny! Okay, so I really wanted to say funny but I wanted to keep with the p’s!

Last, but certainly not least, is this adorable wooden heart sent from Aimee at Rustic Occassions [here]. It’s so well made. I know, it shouldn’t surprise me, these makers are all rockstars in their craft, but I thought it would feel flimsier I guess, that’s a terrible word for it, but the good thing is, it’s definitely not flimsy!

Keep a look out because I’m sure you’ll see all these items moving around my home from time to time. I hope you all will check out theses amazing ladies and make their feeds and products a part of your every day. I promise it’s worth it!

Love to all!

 

 

 

I’m No Chef…

[This post contains affiliate links. I am an associate for Amazon, but the products I promote are ones I believe in and use.]

[If you like the apron on the right go see Jess @ Farm Momma [here] to get one and so many other handmade farmhouse goodies.

I love my KitchenAid mixer. Do you have one? I just used mine last weekend to make homemade ice cream without all the hassle it used to be. If you’ve never made old fashioned homemade ice cream, that stuff is time consuming, not to mention the overload of ingredients; you need like oodles of ice and salt and sugar. Whew, I’m worn out just thinking about it.

But not with the mixer attachment. All you have to do is freeze the special mixer bowl for a minimum of 15 hours, then add the ingredients and set it to stir for 20-15 minutes. More on that below.

This is the mixer I have.

Of course, it’s red. I love my extras in red. Anyway, this is going to sound ridiculous, but I actually like leaving it on my counters- it’s a pretty accessory I don’t mind leaving out.

It comes with the bowl and these attachments:

 

These perform the basic functions you’ll need from the mixer: i.e. making cookies, stirring pudding and cheesecake filling,

There are other attachments, too though- just search ‘KitchenAid mixer attachments’ on Amazon and tons of options, colors, and sizes will flood your screen.

Now, on to what you probably really came here for: The recipe for cowboy cookies and homemade ice cream.

I got my recipe for cowboy cookies [here]. It’s Laura Bush’s recipe and has satisfied the former cowboy president in her life [no, I’m not getting political, just saying that loads of people have tasted and approved, including my Mountain who is a huge fan]. The lady who wrote up the recipe, probably verbatim, included coconut and nuts, of course you can leave those out. I include the nuts, but leave out the coconut [Mountain’s not a fan].

The recipe for homemade ice cream is super duper simple. I love it. Like I said, you freeze the bowl for a minimum of 15 hours then add the ingredients and let the mixer do the work for 20-30 minutes [just stop when the consistency is where you want it. I use the recipe [here] from Simply Scratch. [You can substitute- regular salt for sea salt and I did 1/2 cup of of half and half and 1/2 a cup of milk for the 1 c of milk part, it seemed to make it creamier, but I’m no chef].

Thanks for stopping by. What do you make with your mixer? What are some other attachments? I know there’s a grinder and a noodle maker, but am I missing out on more awesomeness?

 

Momma Heart Monday- Pamela

Hi everyone!

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have people willing to tell their infertility story on my blog. God just works and works and works in my life. 

This week I am honored to share Pamela’s story. I met her through Instagram [here] and she is so sweet. Take a read:

“Perhaps God had a different plan…

It’s true.  I was reluctant to write our baby story and blast it out into the world.

So, let’s start with the medical view, it takes an average fertile couple 6 months to a year to conceive.  We were not considered average in our journey.

In Spring of 2008, two wide-eyed lovebirds tied the knot.  We were pregnant the following year.  I was on work travel and called Hubby with this unexpected news.  There were so many emotions and I’m not sure if either of us were able to identify what most of those emotions were.  You see, we weren’t thinking about starting a family yet and was not “trying” to have a baby.  Even so, I was filled with unanticipated joy and excitement.  I immediately called an OB at home and made an 8-week appointment.

During that work trip, I would have taken 2 more positive pregnancy tests, then experience cramping and bleeding for 10 days following.  By the time, my eyes met my husband, I believe I was miscarrying our first pregnancy.

It all happened so fast.  I really wasn’t sure of everything that had happened or was happening to my body.  I turned down any conversation around what had transpired and went on like all of this really did not occur within our marriage.  Most of our friends at the time were not married yet and had not started a family either, so we just continued on with our young professional life and never discussed this incident again.  I cancelled my OB appointment and didn’t discuss this with any medical professionals following the incident.

About a year after that, we discussed we did really want to start a family, we both were realistic that it might take us a year, but we fully expected to be pregnant by the end of year. Young and bright-eyed, we had not seen or heard of any fertility struggles and definitely didn’t expect it for ourselves.  After a year of trying to conceive, we had no success.  Hubby suggested that we start seeing a fertility specialist.  We both went through rounds of testing and was found medically both very fertile as individuals.  However, as a couple, we didn’t fall within the average timeline.  After some discussion, we decided to try IUI procedures.

We undergone a year of IUI treatments on and off.  It was a challenging journey.  As a Christian couple, we went through ups and downs in our spiritual journey.  Our marriage fluctuated also.  It felt as if we were riding on a rickety raft in the ocean for that duration.  When the ocean was calm, we would trek on like any other day, but during those storms, it felt as if we could hardly hang on.  Intimate communication about our situation fluctuated. At times, it was difficult to be “in love” with someone that reminded you so much of the pain of an aching.  An aching that we both felt we were entitled to, after all, didn’t God say “Be fruitful and multiply”?  I wish I could say each time we struggled, we drew closer to each other and closer to Christ.  Through the years, starting from the early miscarriage, we each harbored unspoken, unrecognized pain and resentment.  We endured times of distance from ourselves, from Christ, and from each other.  No matter how we felt emotionally, Hubby always made it a priority to come to all of my appointments. He never missed one appointment.  His actions made me realize that it was our story and our journey together.  Even as imperfect individuals, imperfect wife/husband, imperfect Christ followers, imperfect communicators, we were committed to our journey and to each other.  You see, in these early years of marriage, we were just getting to know each other and really ourselves at the same time.  I know now that God used this early struggle in our marriage to speak to us about unconditional love, commitment with our spouse, and how special this covenant of marriage is.  Although we didn’t always feel loved, felt in love, and even felt like we loved ourselves at times, our commitment to each other never wavered.  It was a constant in this equation.  This was God’s teaching to us as individuals and as a couple.

I remember so vividly, on July 4th of 2012, we sat on the dock of the Boston harbor embracing each other while watching the fireworks.  Celebration surrounded us and our hearts just ached.  This moment like many others, we didn’t have to say to each other the void we felt.  We both just looked at each other, embraced, and wept.  I remember, my husband looked at me and said, “whatever God has in store for us…even if it just the two of us, it is enough for me.”  It was the first time he had ever said that to me.  It was the first time that we have fully surrendered our lives to Christ and to each other.

In August of 2012, we were pregnant with our sweet baby Aubrey.

Rewinding on our struggle with fertility, it is a fact that we struggled.  It is also a fact that we did not trust God’s plans for our lives.  It is also a fact that we trusted this statistic that if we are two healthy, fertile individuals then we should be able to conceive within a year of trying…way more than I trusted Jesus.

Perhaps “IF” we or I had set my eyes on the Lord and trust in the Lord with all my heart, THEN my (our) struggles through those years of trying would not have felt so dim and hopeless.  Perhaps, I would have used this earthly desire, turned pain to glorify HIM.  In the end, I am glad that God never gave up on me, on us!  I am thankful that we chose to turn to Him, that we surrendered our struggles to Him, that we gave sovereign control of our lives back to His rightful hands.  I shudder to think where our marriage might be today if either of us continued to wallow in our own righteousness and entitlement.  Whatever your struggles may be today, internal/external, relational/individual, spiritual/emotional, turn to our loving and perfect God.  Trust that He loves you and wants the best for you.

Lastly, 25 months after Aubrey was born, sweet Evan joined our family.  Conceiving Evan was a surprise to our family planning.  Our children, Evan and Aubrey, are both gifts from God.  They each have their own story written by God in HIS perfect timing.  If I once thought I knew anything about my life and family planning, I now know that “I” know nothing!”

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Go show Pamela some love on Instagram!