SB & K // Proposal

If you know me at all, then you know that I am very proud to say I have a baby sister, and not only is she my sister, but she is my best friend. Sabe and I share a bond that cannot be easily explained, and can never be touched by anyone else. In so many ways we are as opposite as sisters can come. She is a natural beauty who can model for a Pantene Pro V while shooting a buck with ease. She is the type of girl whose smile is warm and inviting, yet there is a fierce loyalty and will seen in her eyes. If you were to spend any time with SB, you would quickly learn that not just any guy would do for her precious heart. While there were some noble suitors, no one could quite match the strength of Sarah’s heart with his own…that is until Kyler came along.

When we first met Kyler, he had very kindly obliged to dress up for our big family Halloween party. He was quiet and confident, yet I kept noticing that my sister was always smiling around him. About three weeks later, Kyler called and told my sister she had been gone too long and he was on his way to see her. That is when I knew he’d started falling for her. Another few weeks passed, and I kept watching the smile on my sister’s face seem to grow and grow. While driving home from Lubbock at the beginning of December, I looked and J and said “I feel something is different between Kyler and SB.” To which he replied, “I do too, but let’s not say anything to mess it up.”

When we returned just two weeks later, the love between Kyler and SB could not be denied. While they may not have said it to each other yet, the spark in their eyes told everyone what we needed to know. On Tuesday, December 22, Jordan and I heard a knock on our bedroom door, soon after, a beaming Sarah-Brooke walked in telling us she and Kyler had proclaimed their love for the other and that they desired to get married in June. None of this alarmed or surprised us because in the Newman family, that’s just how God works. We each share a similar story when it came to finding the love of our life. However, the reality of how fast things would have to happen quickly set in. On Christmas Eve, Kyler and SB went to look at rings, and by the 26th, Kyler had asked for Daddy and Jordan’s blessing, bought the ring, had it sized, and was waiting to ask my sister to be his wife…All of this without Sarah knowing!

On the 26th, we set out to have a girls day before J and I had to head home because of a storm. After getting our nails done, SB came home to find an outfit, her makeup, perfume, and shoes laid out for her with us telling her to get ready in 45 minutes! During this time, Kyler and his family showed up, the finishing touches were placed on the small gazebo out back, and Kyler eagerly awaited the moment my sister walked out.

With Tale as Old as Time playing in the background, my daddy led my sister to the man worth waiting for. As they exchanged a few sweet words, Kyler got down on one knee and asked my sister to be his wife…To which she replied, “Yes!”. After a million pictures, the two families celebrated Kyler and Sarah’s engagement with cider, cake, and many laughs around the Christmas tree.

Words could never fully express the joy I have for my sister. Kyler and Sarah already display such a confident, joy-filled love. Together they pursue Christ, together they laugh, and I have no doubt that together, their love story will be one for the books.

Thank you, Kyler, for allowing this over-bearing, older sister be a part of such a special day for my sister. Thank you for the love you have shown her and will show her. To my dear sister, we dreamed about that day for so long, and now we’re dreaming of your perfect wedding day. I have no doubt you will be the world’s most beautiful bride, for no one can touch the beauty of your heart. It will be a highlight of my life to stand by your side in June. I love you so very much! Congratulations to you both!




Sayonara Smart Phone.

I have an addiction.

I am addicted to likes, and comments, and shares, and pictures, and comparison, and judgement, and information, and gossip, and everything else that comes with social media.

I am addicted to sculpting the perfect “insta-worthy” photo. I am addicted to finding the perfect caption. I am addicted to sharing my life with the world.

I am addicted to the validation I get from my social media platforms.

But today, I say NO MORE. Today, I am checking myself into social media rehab.

This afternoon, my mom sent me an article from Time that put my life in perspective. I was ashamed. I was convicted. I was broken.

This article analyzed the interaction of 55 separate family groups, and the effect the parents’ use of smart phones had on the children. In almost every case, the effect was negative. Children were pushed away, kicked under the table, and were made to compete with a device glued to their parents’ hands. Mothers were frustrated, and dads were curt. And while reading the article, I saw how many times I brushed off my daughter’s desire for my touch to view a photo on a screen. I thought of all the times, I had sought to capture the perfect “camera ready moment” while forgetting to actually soak in the perfect moment. I thought of all the times, I snubbed the attention of my husband for the attention of my virtual friends and followers. I thought of all the times, I allowed for what is portrayed on social media to impact the feelings I had toward my home, my husband, and myself.

I have become enslaved to social media. I am in bondage to the extremely limited popularity I gain from my posts. And when it comes down to it, I am guilty of serving two masters. I am living in constant sin, while trying to show the world how sweet my life is.

Now, don’t get me wrong, 90% of what I post is as real as it gets, but it’s the constant need for validation that has a hold on me. I am no better than a girl in school seeking the attention of the “popular kids”. How can I expect to teach my daughter’s their worth, if I can only find my worth on a screen that barely fits in the palm of my hand? How can I expect to have real meaningful moments and relationships, if my mind in only trained to find the Facebook Timeline-worthy moments? How can I desire to see the beauty God has created around me, if my mind is limited to a single square frame? How can my husband and I grow in our intimacy, if I am constantly checking up on the lives of others?

I have a daughter who seeks my attention more than anyone else’s. She needs to see the expression in my eyes when I catch her doing something cute, not the back of a phone. She needs to see the smile across my face without a bright pink block obstructing her view. She needs to know that I care and desire her attention as much as she desires mine.

I have a husband who longs to feel both my hands clutching his while driving down the road. He longs for a full sentence to come out of my mouth during a conversation without the distraction in my palm. He longs for a date that doesn’t require a “look what we did” picture. He deserves a wife that gives him the best of every part of herself, not her insecure comparison leftovers.

Most of all, I have a Creator who longs to know the deepest parts of me. A God who constantly reveals Himself in ways I often miss with my head turned down. He’s given me talents and desires I hardly explore because every free minute is spent staring at a screen. He’s given me glimpses of Heaven I often miss in an attempt to control every situation for the “perfect” post. He deserves every part of me, not the limited just-before-bed time I give Him.

I have been thinking of how I can reverse my addiction for many months and weeks now, but I’ve always been afraid to pull the trigger. I didn’t know what the best strategy for getting rid of my addiction would be, and quite honestly, I was too afraid to. In reality, due to my photography business, and family and close friends living away, getting rid of all social media isn’t the complete answer (yet). But just getting rid of the apps doesn’t do much either, nor does it rid the problem of perfectly posed moments found on the camera roll. And while I would love nothing more than to completely unplug from this crazy world and live in the middle of beautiful nowhere with my family, those dreams simply aren’t realistic. So, the best strategy I have found is to rid my life of the bright pink iPhone 5c that is held in my hands more than my baby. I’m saying goodbye to the smart-phone filled lifestyle I have created in an effort to end this addiction before it gets worse. I am saying goodbye to the need for validation. I am saying goodbye to the comparison I have let steal my joy. I am saying goodbye to the missed moments I’ve spent looking down.

I am looking forward to living life a little dumber. I am looking forward to spending my free time playing with my daughter, laughing with my husband, creating, reading, studying photography, and cooking. I am looking forward to comparing myself to my reflection of yesterday. I am looking forward to life free of addiction.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

Matthew 6:24

Seasons Of Life.

About two weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking for a few minutes at a ladies brunch held at my church. The theme for the brunch was Seasons of Life, and it included five women speaking about their current season of life, ranging from a Young Professional to a Golden Girl. What I loved most about the event, was that I was able to glean something from each woman who spoke, no matter the different seasons between us. Since I am in a transitional season (between newlywed and busy mom), I spoke for the newlywed season. God placed a few things on my heart, and after sharing, I had quite a few people ask me to blog what I wrote, so here we are.

Seasons of Life

Once Upon a Time, there was a strong, camo-covered, deer hunting, God-fearing young man. His mind was more concerned with mechanics and guns, than of girls and fairy-tales. His days were spent tracking his prey through the fields of West Texas, searching for the perfect shot. When he walked through the church he captured the attention of all the fair maidens, and yet, not once did he look. With his piercing blue eyes, infectious laughter, and dark chocolate hair, he was quite the trophy buck of the university group.

Just a few steps down the church hall was a fair-skinned, green eyed, got the world by a string, God-fearing girl. A girl who had been known to skip her boring college history class to try on prom dresses with friends… just because. On any given day, this girl would be known to drench herself in pink and glitter, and own the Lubbock wind. She enjoyed the company of her dearest girlfriends, her church family, and most importantly her own family more than anything. And she had big dreams of changing the world one day at a time through her show on Fox News Channel. Sure she had had a few suitors, but none could quite capture her heart.

Then one day, the man of her dreams took her by the hand and danced his way into her heart. These two kids were as different as night and day, yet on one Providential night, God brought them, differences and all, together to begin the beautiful journey He had laid out before them.

In a just a short period of 8 months, these kids would transition from friends, to smitten lovebirds, to fiancees, to husband and wife. At the time, they thought they had a handle on all that was to come. After all, they were 21, living on their own, starting his career, and taking on a new (to her) city. What they didn’t know is that mixed in with the sweetest days of their life, would be the hardest moments. Moments that would challenge their faith, challenge their perseverance, and challenge those vows they had taken. Yet, they determined, in spite of the good and bad, in spite of all their differences, their covenant between themselves and their Creator would not be broken.

I recently read an article that stated, “you guys are about to plant some seeds that will take root in your marriage and will be around for decades to come. Plant wisely.” 

My husband and I make no jokes about our first year of marriage being the hardest. And looking back, for most of that year, we planted seeds of division. Seeds from Satan that focused on our differences rather than what unified us. We quickly learned that God cannot reside in a home, in a marriage where seeds of division are sown. Once we learned from our many mistakes, and started working in unity against the weeds of resentment, anger, frustration, shame, and pride, the seeds of humility, gentleness, forgiveness, perseverance, peace, unity, and love began to take over and push out those evil weeds. With each new year, fewer and fewer weeds pop up, but the seeds we have sown need constant tending and nurturing.

When I first began writing this “conversation”, as I like to call it (because I don’t want the conversation to end here), I attempted to write out a list of what Jordan and I have done in an effort to plant better seeds within our marriage. But as I began to think about the women I am surrounded by, and the marriages that are represented around me, my little step-by-step list seemed so small. The fact of the matter is that at the right time, through every trial of our first few years, God has granted us His abundant Grace to not only survive in a world that mocks His most sacred union, but to also THRIVE!

Even though the list in my head seems small, I still wanted to this conversation to be something more than a testimony or devotion. I prayed God would give me the words to say to any wife, new or experienced, excited or in despair, words that she could take home, cling to, and find encouragement from. Any step-by-step list I could think up to describe how we have at times survived and at other times thrived cannot match the steps God has given us in Ephesians 4.

Ephesians 4: 2-3 NLT

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

  1. Always be humble and gentle- When J and I first got married, I’m sad to say that He was much better at saying “I’m Sorry” than anything else. Often times, I would push the limits of his humility with the sting of my words, and yet almost every time, he would come back and apologize. As soon as he would utter the most humble words in the world, every wall of anger I had built up was destroyed. A fruitful marriage cannot be the product of two selfish ambitions. When we choose to react with humility and gentleness, God receives the glory in our marriage, and Satan’s weeds are once again plucked out of our home.
  2. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love- I think every woman can attest that we, as well as our husbands, are by no means perfect. If you were to have a peek into our home, you would often see cabinets and doors left open across the house, boots in the middle of the floor, and tools always left on the kitchen counter I just cleaned. On any particular day, these little “Jordanisms” can dampen my once good mood, but when I take a moment to be patient, count to 10, and make yet another allowance for his faults, I am reminded that I have a tendency to wreck a room when trying to get ready, I also am late everywhere, and it drives him crazy when I’m on my phone in the car…yet again. We all come with quirks, but when we allow those quirks to detract from our marriage, then we have made an agreement with Satan that basically says “my frustration with him means more to me, than my resolve to patiently love him in spite of his quirks.” The phrase “because of your love” brings it all back home. I don’t choose patience or looking past his faults because I am a doormat, but rather because I love him with every part of my being. Everything comes into perspective when I think about the way God looks at me. Each day, I fail him, despite giving my life to him 17 years ago. Yet, each day, He looks past my faults because He loves me so very much. Not only is the thought of His love humbling, but it encourages me to do the same. If my perfect God can look at me with with such patient and loving eyes, then by all means, I can look at my husband with the same Grace extended towards me.
  3. Lastly, “make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”- I chose the New Living Translation version of this verse because of the verb tense. Make every effort to keep…binding yourselves together with peace. The use of the word binding implies an action that is ongoing, continual. This means that the efforts to keep yourselves united is a daily activity and choice. Realistically, the statistic of marriage and divorce is where it is today because Satan thrives in division. With each passing day where division is chosen over the choice to make every effort to be unified, a greater chasm is forged. As shown through the little story I began with, Jordan and I are as different as they come. We think differently, we operate on opposite ends of the spectrum, and our priorities on a daily basis often don’t quite match up (hello…hunting season), but those differences have no bearing on the state of our marriage. Sure they make up who we are as individuals, but they cast no weight on who we are as a unit when we make the effort to bind ourselves in peace.

For every lady who reads this, whether you’ve been married for two or fifty-two years, I urge you to memorize this verse. Let God’s Word guide you through every mountain and valley through your marriage. For the newlyweds, you are surrounded by women who have defied the odds of our era in their marriages. Find a woman you trust, and let her mentor you as you begin your life as a wife. Let her stories challenge you and encourage you. For each woman, kneel before your Savior and pray. I cannot be the wife, mother, sister, daughter, or friend I am called to be if I do not kneel before Jesus. Pray for your marriages, whether your marriage is in spring or winter. Pray for your husbands, daily, asking God to protect him from the evil of this world. Above all, center your heart, your dreams and aspirations, your mind, and your marriage, center your entire being on Jesus Christ, only through Him will you be bound in peace.

Now back to the story- fast forward a few years and here we are, those two lovebirds now are a mama and daddy. Kneeling side by side before their Savior, they have created a life together that cannot be touched by even the sweetest of fairy-tales. Together they have slayed some monstrous dragons, and won. Together, they have smiled and danced through the most beautiful moments in life, capturing the sweetest memories along the way. Together, they have chosen to serve. Together, they have chosen peace over selfish gain. Together, they have chosen to put their Happily Ever After at the feet of Jesus, knowing His plan is perfect.

I realize that was a lot to read, and I thank you for taking the time to read it. If you read this and feel the need to talk, please contact me. I’d love to encourage you, pray for you, and listen to you whenever you need it! May you all know just how loved you are!



This year will be our baby girl’s first Halloween, and I must say, I am more excited for this Halloween than I have been in a long time. For our first Halloween as a family, I wanted us to all be from the same movie, and what better movie to start with than Peter Pan! Because I am a first-time mom, and I have to capture everything, I spent a little time today capturing a few photos of our little fairy! With the help of her daddy, she was all smiles, and loved playing in the crunchy leaves! We are looking forward to a fun-filled, festive weekend with our families all together. Over the next few days, I will be attempting to sew my husband’s Peter Pan hat together, and put the finishing touches on my Wendy Darling costume as well, wish me luck!





Celebrate Fall.


With each new season, something stirs up in me to get outside, be festive, and celebrate the beauty of the new season. Perhaps my favorite Season Celebration is our annual Celebrate Fall weekend. There’s just something about the cooler weather, warm colors, pumpkins, changing leaves, and boots that make this heart giddy! This year, was my favorite Celebrate Fall Weekend yet! Over the first weekend of October, J, baby girl, and I set out to the Dallas Arboretum. Each year they do a pumpkin village that is just amazing. God was so good to us and gave us a weekend of perfect, and I mean PERFECT weather! The Arboretum was filled with happy families, children loving nature, and moms, like me, trying to capture each moment. Our sweet girl was excited, loved all the colors, and couldn’t have been more perfect for pictures, and my amazing husband patiently waited as I tried to grab the perfect shot.






After the Arboretum, we drove over to the State Fair of Texas. There we enjoying the petting zoo, the little farm, Fletcher’s corn dogs, and our first carnival ride!





We ended the day in our comfortable hotel room, with a tired baby, and worn out feet. That night, we all ended up getting 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep! It was wonderful, and was the perfect preparation for our morning at Ikea! After Ikea, we made the quick trip home, full of bad-for-you food, countless memories, and anticipation for all the fun to come!

You made me so happy, God I saw your work and I shouted for joy.

Psalm 92:4 MSG

As You Are.

Two weeks ago, I attended a worship night at a worship pastors conference my dad was attending. For and hour and a half, I sang at the top of my lungs, like I haven’t in years. I was brought to tears because of the magnitude of what we were singing to Jesus, and with wild abandonment, I raised my arms to Jesus, thanking Him for His steadfast love. As we were leaving, I told a few people how my heart had been longing for worship like that because I hadn’t been around it in so long. A few days later, I was in my grandmother’s home, and as she was making breakfast, she was listening and singing along to her favorite hymn cd. Right then and there, I stopped, watched, and felt such conviction. Just a few days before, I had admitted to people the condition of my heart without even knowing it. I expected worship to come with the dim lights, the perfect music set, and to be completely compartmentalized from the mundane part of my life. You would think that as a worship pastor’s daughter and more importantly as a Christ-follower, I would have known better. But I had let Satan come in, steal my joy for singing, make worship in my home seem unattainable, and therefore make me feel like I couldn’t approach Jesus as I am. I could not have been more wrong.

As I watched my Granny prepare a meal, I also watched her start her day worshipping her Savior. In those moments, her to-do list didn’t matter. Who she was entertaining didn’t take away from her time with Jesus. And most importantly, she started her day by inviting Jesus into her home and into every part of her day. Romans 12:1 tells us, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” This verse shows that worship isn’t thirty minutes set aside on Sunday, or the occasional camp, retreat, or worship night. Worship is ongoing. It is a daily activity. It is an attitude of the heart, and an attitude that I have failed to have for far to long.

Verse two of the same chapter states, “ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” If I do not seek to have an attitude of worship, then how can I expect to overcome the patterns of this world? This world wants us to feel like we are only worthy if we have the perfect everything. In order to be a “STAHM unicorn”, we must have the immaculate, organized home, a fridge full of clean- eating foods, children who look perfect all the time, and the perfect body from all the time we have to work out. And I won’t lie, I feel that pressure everyday. I want people to look at me and think, “man, she’s really got it together.” That is how I have approached Christ; I’ve wanted to come to Him like I’ve got it all together, and I have left feeling empty and uninspired. Before I could start my quiet time, I needed to wake up to a perfect home, to smell the rich coffee, and to not be interrupted by the needs of my little family. I have been the one who has been putting expectations on my time with the Lord. But the fact of the matter is, I don’t, and I won’t have anything together if I fail to seek to have an attitude of worship everyday. I cannot be transformed if I do not renew my mind in preparation for an attitude of worship, and I have nothing apart from Jesus. Satan was winning when I was so caught up in the to-dos and carnal desires of life that I failed to come to Jesus just as I was.

However, even in the midst of my sinful heart, the Lord has been speaking this truth to me- “Arianna, come as you are. Come as you are. Come as you are- despite the dirty house that surrounds you. Come as you are- despite your tired eyes, and acne ridden face. Come as you are- despite your feelings of loneliness, and your longing for a close community. Come as you are- despite your spit-up stained shirt and unwashed hair. Come as you are- despite the unnecessary expectations you have put on your time with Me. Come as you are- despite the lists swirling in your head. Come as you are- despite your sin-stained, worldly heart. Come as you are- and find Me. Come as you are- and find rest. Come as you are- and find forgiveness and mercy. Come as you are- and be overwhelmed by Grace. Come as you are- and I will meet you- as you are.”

So here I am, a mom who doesn’t have it all together, seeking an attitude of worship everyday. A mom, wife, and woman longing to know Jesus deeper. Longing to feel His presence in my home. Longing to rest in the security of His loving embrace. When I wake up, I will turn on music and proclaim, “in the morning when I rise, give me Jesus”, because apart from Him I can do nothing. When I am putting down my daughter for a nap or bed, I will use that time to sing His praises, so that He will be near, and she will hear the gospel each day of her life. I will read His Word and spend time in prayer, even if my house is in shambles, so my mind and heart can be transformed. And each day, I will invite Him into every mundane and beautiful part of my life. Longing for Jesus is my attitude of worship.

Here I am, coming as I am, to meet Him, where I am. That is the longing of His heart.


American Dream.

Yesterday, the world stopped as grabbed my camera to capture our sweet baby girl in her red, white, and blue. For just a moment, the state of our country and my worries about the world I will raise her in faded away. Instead, through the lens of my camera, I captured the American Dream. In the midst of that beautiful golden glow, I saw a daddy showing his daughter all the beauty in the world. I heard the squeals of joy from a baby girl’s mouth. I captured a daddy standing close by, making sure she could not fall. I watched my little girl feel the each blade of grass, smile at her first handful of dirt, and look up into the trees for the bird chirping nearby. I captured our favorite tree, whose branches are almost as wide as our little home. A home where luxuries and money are in short supply, and yet love and laughter fill it to the brim. My camera captured a family, full of faults but relying on Grace. A family that seeks to glorify the Lord in all things. Ultimately, I captured a world, that if we choose to put Christ first, only consists of the best days ahead. If you are feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders this week, if you are broken over the state of our country, I urge you to purge your life of the world for just a moment. Step outside, grab a camera, listen to your children, read God’s Word, and capture the beauty and promise that surrounds you. Jesus will meet you there. He will calm your fears and comfort your heart. Experience His goodness, love, and peace today!

My American Dream is still within my grasp. This country has given me the greatest life I could imagine. I have the liberty to worship my Savior as I choose, and each and everyday I am in constant pursuit of the happiness that can only be found in Him. I still believe in the American Dream. I still believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I still believe our best days are ahead! God bless America, my home sweet home.


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Dearest Daughter.

This year, I get to celebrate my first Mother’s Day with a baby in my arms, all because of you. I get to stand up and be counted among the other moms of the congregation, all because of you. I will be beaming on this day for the rest of my life, all because of you.

You, my dear, are the joy of my heart. You are my greatest motivation. You have inspired the very best within me in just six months, and through it all, you have only made me love your daddy more.

Right now, to you I am perfect. I bring you food when you need it. I clothe you when you are cold. I comfort you when you are sad, and I know just how to make you laugh. But, darling, you should know something-

I’m not perfect. I’ll never be the perfect mother, even as hard as I try. There will be days I get angry for no reason. There will be days where my speech will not be uplifting. There will be moments in which I fail to fully trust God. There will be many days where I completely fail at motherhood. But, darling, you should know something else-

Whereas I may fail at being the perfect mother, I will never fail you.

There will never be a day in which you will not know if I love you or not. There will never be a moment in which I won’t forgive you, no matter how bad it is. There will never be a day in which you wonder if your daddy and mommy are going to stay together. There will never be a day where you see me curse God, just because things get hard. There will never be a day in which you question the treasure you are to us.

While I am bound to fail at many things, I promise to show you the unconditional love that Christ has shown me. I promise to look at you with eyes full of love and grace. I promise to encourage you in the midst of trials, to bring peace to your heart when it is broken. I promise to display a love for your daddy that cannot be touched by any fairytale. I promise to teach you of your great worth to your Savior and to us. I promise to laugh with you, to make time for mommy daughter days, and to show you where your true beauty lies. Above all, I promise to live a life surrendered to Jesus each and every day.

Sweet girl, in many ways you and I share so many things. Your big eyes, milky skin, and wide smile set you apart. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. I’m sure you will be bold and strong-willed, but reign in that power for more important battles. Boys will tell you anything you want to hear, wait for the one who tells you what you what God wants you to hear. Friends will come and go, but hold fast to your siblings and family, they never leave. Your mind is a beautiful thing, do not waste it seeking for the approval of others. Your heart is the shining star of who you are. Let it be a place of mercy, peace, compassion, and love. Let it meditate on the Word of God, and let those words fill up your entire being. My greatest prayer for your life is that you will know Jesus at an early age, and that you will walk hand in hand with him all the days of your life

Thank you for making me a mama. Thank you for making each new day with you better than the last. I love you with all my heart little star.


Dear Mama.

Dear Mama,

If you were to peer into my soul and see the reflection of the woman I want to be, the portrait staring back at you would be that of yourself. You would see a woman of beauty and grace, clothed in strength, with wisdom flowing from her tongue. You would see a woman whose eyes tell of forgiveness, and whose arms embrace with patience. A woman whose smile radiates confidence, but whose gentle voice speaks of humility. A woman whose mind shares her breadth of knowledge, and whose heart seeks to glorify Christ in all things.

You would see a woman whose house is a home to many weary and broken hearts; a home where laughter, joy, and peace reside. You would see a woman who selflessly cooks and cleans so anyone who comes to stay feels like family. The woman staring back at you would work hard to be healthy, while still teaching her girls that beauty is found in their hearts, not their outer appearance. This woman would be completely fulfilled in her calling as a wife and mom. She would be a portrait of femininity, even with dirt caked on her hands from a hard days work in the yard.

You would see a woman whose greatest lessons would not be taught at the front of the classroom, but rather they’d be taught gathered around her dinner table. This woman would make each holiday and season of life special, letting the excitement that comes with it bring a sparkle to her eyes. You would see a woman who would sacrifice any time or belonging to give to anyone in need.

You would see a mom who played with her children, and laughed with their daddy. A woman who respected her husband, and daily displayed her love for him. You would see a woman who is admired by many, and yet only cares for Christ’s approval.

Ultimately, you would see a woman whose impact for the Lord would far exceed the years of her life; a woman whose touch on this world would be unfathomable by our own standards. You would see a woman completely surrendered to God’s call on her life.

Mama, everything I could ever want to be in this life, is everything you are. Thank you for the beautiful example you lived out before me. Thank you for nurturing my heart, for teaching me about Jesus, and for showing me unconditional love everyday of my life. I love you more than I could ever express.

“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”

Proverbs 31:29



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The Little Things.


For the ten people (maybe) who actually read this little blog of mine, you’re probably wondering why I have included a picture of my toothbrush, and I promise I will get to that in a second. But first, I have a confession to make- sometimes, I am a really really bad wife.

Yesterday, was one of those days. I had to take care of a teething baby, go to the grocery store, make dinner, clean up the house after being gone for a week, find my runaway dog, and edit pictures. By the evening, I was exhausted, and to make matters worse, our sweet baby girl decided to party on until 2.

In the midst of my frustration, I barked at J for not putting the pillows back on the couch before he got up to go to bed. Instead of letting something so stupid go, I decided to push my frustration and negativity onto him. And you know what? Instead of barking back at me, he patiently went back and put the pillows back on the couch. Instead of rushing off to bed mad at me, he came and kissed my forehead and asked me to come to bed soon.

Later on, after finally getting our sweet one to sleep, I went into our bathroom to get ready for bed and saw my toothbrush. Upon seeing it, my eyes filled up with tears. My last words to him before he went to bed were filled with frustration and a little bit of crazy, and yet, his last act before climbing into bed and closing his eyes, was an act of service for me. As those tears began to well up in my eyes I began to look past all the negativity and focus on the beautiful man, who has the biggest heart, asleep just a few steps away.

Marriage is hard work. It is filled with frustration and inexplicable joy. It is the joining of the best and worst days for the rest of your life, and all too often, I focus on the negatives about my husband. But at the end of the day, he is still the man I fell in love with four years ago.

He is the same man who used the money he had saved up for a deer lease to buy my engagement ring. He is the same man who has never gotten mad when dinner isn’t ready on time. He is the same man who comes home from a long day at work, and doesn’t hesitate to feed and change our daughter. He is the same man who uses his days off to build my family a pergola for the backyard. He is the same man who eats Mexican food multiple times a week just because I like it. He is the same man who binge watches Friends without complaint. He is the same man who cleans the dishes because he knows I don’t like to. He is the same man who prays over our daughter every night. The same man who lets her sleep in our bed, despite what he said before she came. He is the same man who kisses me and tells me I’m beautiful. He is the same man who at the end of each day takes just a few seconds to put toothpaste on my toothbrush just to say “I love you.”

This precious man of mine is far more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. He is godly. He is kind. He is strong. He is loving. He is everything I ever wanted and prayed for. At the end of the day, it’s all the little things that make our life so sweet. Oh, how blessed I am to be his wife.