What I’m Reading

It’s been a long time since I’ve finished an entire book. I had really gotten on a roll with audiobooks back when I had a 20-minute commute each way for work. I even got a few books under my belt while I was on bedrest during the last weeks of my most recent pregnancy, but I’m slowly working my way back into the groove of reading.

My focus right now is on biblical study, Christ-centered parenting, and hospitality. Here’s what I’m currently working on reading.

1. The Bible

I feel like this goes without saying. First and foremost, I strive to read my Bible before I read any other book. I’m currently working through Judges and 1 Corinthians. I’m also doing a study on Hospitality from She Reads Truth

How I’m reading it: I use the YouVersion Bible app and the She Reads Truth app. Sometimes I read on my phone, and sometimes I listen to the audio recording. While I don’t have this Bible, I’ve heard great things about it. 

2. The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell

How I’m reading it: I have a paperback copy sitting in the bathroom. Whenever I get a chance, I try to read a page or two. I started reading it when I had pregnancy insomnia back in January, and I’m about halfway through it now.

3. Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

How I’m reading it:
ebook. I just started it this week, and I try to read while I’m nursing the baby.

4. Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

How I’m reading it: audiobook. I started it yesterday, and I’m almost halfway through. I’m loving it so far.

5. The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson

How I’m reading it: audiobook. I’m in chapter 3, and I’m not loving it yet. I’m trying to give it a little bit more before I quit on it because each author wrote different chapters. It’s a long audiobook recording (almost 12 hours), and the reader is fairly monotone. 

6. The Tales of Captain Montague: Precious Cargo by Spencer Beard

How I’m reading it: ebook. Shameless plug, but it’s a great short story. Short fiction about a swashbuckling captain in a seafaring adventure. Check it out! 

Hopefully I’ll have another reading update for you in the near future. I dearly miss reading. It’s so difficult to fit it in as a busy mom! I’m so glad to have discovered audiobooks in the last year. 

(Links contain charitable affiliates through smile.amazon to benefit Covenant Grove Church.)

10 Weekly Goals


One thing I’d like to get back to is regularly posting my weekly goals. I’ve got some big goals for 2016. Accountability is key to success.

Goals for the week:


  1. Exercise 5 times
  2. Plan meals & shop for groceries


3. Complete 6 Power Hours with a focus on customer care


4. Make a list of donations (upstairs) & donate on the weekend

5. Implement a weekly cleaning schedule


6. Write out a family mission statement

7. Have a date night in

8. Plan a daily activity to go with my son


9. Read & study 1 John

10. Read at least 30 minutes each day


What are your goals this week?



Boom, baby!

Hello! I’ve been off the blogging world for 6 months now. I’ve thought about returning many times since my last post, but I was almost intimidated to start back up. I finally decided to go for it because I missed writing and tons of ideas for blog posts were rolling around in my brain. I’m not sure yet how often I’ll keep up, but I miss it. So here I am!

A lot has changed since my last post. The most important is that I had a baby!

Here’s a few of his newborn photos by Scot Woodman Photography:

IMG_7747IMG_7738IMG_7782IMG_7811IMG_7893IMG_7889IMG_7866IMG_7807I’ll be sharing his birth story hopefully in the next few weeks. I can’t believe he’s 5 1/2 months old already. I’ve been blessed to be able to stay at home with him full time. It’s not easy (financially), but we decided it was what we really wanted, so we’re making it work.

Here’s what he looks like now:

2015-05-14 15.32.25-1 2015-05-12 06.43.36-1 2015-05-12 10.14.26He’s an all-around happy baby boy with super expressive eyebrows and a smile that just won’t quit. He’s a joy to be around, and while there are some rough moments, I am so incredibly blessed to be his mama.

Thanks for reading!

38 Weeks (And How I Told Spencer)

Today is my original due date! Don’t worry, my first trimester ultrasound adjusted my actual due date to 12/5. I still have 2 weeks to go! We’re expecting baby to come any day, but I’m hoping he comes after Thanksgiving.

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I realized today that I never said how I told my husband I was pregnant! Here’s the story, morning glory:

Monday, March 24, 2014.

Home pregnancy test – negative.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

Home pregnancy test – negative.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Home pregnancy test – POSITIVE! Since we’d had two miscarriages in the past, I decided to keep it to myself until I could stop by Modesto Pregnancy Center to confirm (and think of a clever way to tell Spencer).

Thursday, March 27, 2014.

Appointment confirmed – I was pregnant! I thought ALL DAY about how to tell Spencer. I finally got out of class at 9:30pm (darn senior seminar) and went to Target to pick up some Dr. Pepper. It’s my husband’s drink of choice, so I knew it would be PERFECT for telling him. I threw together a small basket with a note attached, called him, and told him I had a surprise for him when I got home. I presented him with the basket when I walked in the door and let him try to figure it out. It took a few minutes, but he eventually got the message!

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10 Weekly Goals (Knowing I Might Toss Them Out The Window At Any Moment)

goals pic

It’s been a loooooooong time since I’ve updated my blog. I’ve been so busy with my new job (double the hours from my last job), birth classes, and nesting, I’ve hardly had a moment to think about it. I’m officially on maternity leave, so I’m back! I can’t guarantee I’ll post as frequently as I used to, but with the baby coming soon, I’m hoping to update occasionally for all those out-of-state family members who are looking for an update on the baby.

I thought I’d start with a weekly goals post, knowing full well that I might abandon my goals at any moment if I go into labor. Then I’ll only have one goal – having a baby!

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

1. Write a love note to Spencer

2. Finish the nursery

3. Spend at least 1 hour a day on cleaning/organizing/nesting

4. Do one “freezer cooking in an hour” session

5. Finish up “post-baby” lists

Personal Goals:

6. Read She Reads Truth app daily

7. Finish up thank you notes from baby shower

8. Exercise at least 3 days

Financial/Hobby Goals:

9. Apply for state disability

10. Make a baby wrap

We’ll see how I do with these this week. What are your goals?

Thoughts on Change

As I drive home from work today, the autumn air beckons me to roll the windows down and allow the wind to whip tangles into my hair. The fresh, cool air is such a welcome change from the baking sun that usually has me blasting the AC to make the short drive home bearable. My tummy is full of healthy foods that are good for the growing baby that’s gently nudging me from inside my belly. The smell of farm-grown basil and onions from a nearby field fill my car with a delicious scent that makes my mouth water. Moments later, I smell the familiar odor of a dairy farm as I drive past the familiar orchards of my childhood. My eyes well up with tears as I think of all the blessings that have occurred in the last six months.


Six months may not seem like a long time or a significant career opportunity for “just a temp job,” but for me, this job was God’s perfect plan.

  • A job that I enjoyed driving to every day – Because of where my job was located, I had two options for travel: freeway or back roads. Most days, I chose the latter. These were familiar roads through my childhood neighborhood; I even passed my elementary school on the way. Over six months, I saw a barn built from nothing, political signs advocating the preservation of these acres as farmland, new orchards being planted, hay being harvested, fresh produce stands run by kids on summer break, multiple breeds of animals (including a coyote), and countless stunning sunrises that took my breath away.

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  • A job that came at the exact moment we needed it – With my husband’s lay off eight months prior, our emergency fund drained, me finishing my last semester of college, and no government aid to be had, we were days away from having to move out of our tiny apartment and rent a room from family. God provided this job at our greatest hour of need, allowing me to work a solid 25 hours a week until my husband found a full-time job two months later.

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  • A job that allowed me to work part-time while I finished school – Not only was I finishing my last semester, but my new boss gave me permission to work on homework during my down time. Yes, I was being paid to do homework on the job. Not only that, I was able to finish all of my coursework (including my senior thesis) a month before school was out.

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  • A job that allowed for a healthy start to pregnancy – Although I did not tell my employers about my pregnancy until I was 23 weeks along, I’ve been blessed with the ability to take care of myself while still working part-time. I was able to schedule prenatal appointments with my doctor without trouble. I was very lucky to not have any morning sickness. Instead, I spent my entire first trimester eating everything in sight. My job allowed for me to eat whenever I needed to, and I was spared any strenuous activity (except for walking back and forth to the ladies’ room). Working half days gave me the ability to schedule a two-hour nap right after work when I needed it and still have time to be productive in the rest of the day.

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Two weeks from today, I will be starting back at the job I had previous to this one – working as a writing tutor at the CSU Stanislaus Writing Center. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, and I’m so excited to be returning. In light of this news, I gave my two weeks’ notice at a job I started in February. Although this temp job hasn’t been one of the most exciting or fulfilling jobs, God placed me there at that exact moment for an exact purpose. And that may be the greatest blessing of all.

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Days 6-9



I’ve been supremely slacking in following up with this challenge! I find it’s easier for me to tackle a few days’ worth of projects together, but I’m working on spacing them out a little every day so I don’t get overwhelmed. One of my goals this week is to catch up on this challenge!

Complete a 15-minute pickup of main living areas

My main living areas are becoming less and less of a problem with clutter. I’ll be also focusing this time on the master bedroom as well.

Day 6 – Clean out your vehicle

I try to keep my car clean as best as I can, but it still can use a good cleaning every now and then. I was SHOCKED at how much debris there was on the floor of my car! It’s soooo much cleaner now that it’s been vacuumed and washed!

ahhh... so pretty!

ahhh… so pretty!

bag of stuff to leave the car!

bag of stuff to leave the car!

Day 7 – Wipe down all the baseboards in your home

Day 8 – Wipe down all the door handles in your home

Day 9 – Wipe down all the light switch plates in your home

Find 7 things to get rid of
(These are from my car)

  1. 2 textbooks
  2. 5 old maps
  3. 1 tub of lotion
  4. 1 takeout menu
  5. 1 expired coupon

We spent 2-3 hours on Sunday clearing out the future nursery. Lots of stuff got thrown out, moved to storage, and given away. I have no idea how many things there were, but it was more than 7.

Did you complete last week’s tasks? How’d it go?

Menu Plan Monday

Hello! I’m here with another Menu Plan Monday!

We’re trying to eat from the pantry this week, which means minimal shopping. I’m also planning another freezer cooking day soon, but this one won’t be as large of an effort. I’m thinking 3-4 recipes at the most.

Here’s the plan for this week:


Shakeology mocha frappuccinos

Cereal with milk


Homemade Energy Bites

Greek Yogurt




Cobb Salad

Brown Butter Fish


Monday – Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake

Tuesday – Leftovers

Wednesday – Easy Chicken Bake

Thursday – Italian Wonderpot

Friday – Corn dogs

Saturday – Chicken wraps

Sunday – Leftovers

24 Weeks

24 weeks

How far along: 24 weeks! 16 weeks to go!

Gender: BOY!

Weight gained: About 19 lbs so far. I’m gaining an average of ¾ – 1 lb a week.

Monday: Piyo Sweat, Taught Zumba
Tuesday: Piyo Define: Lower, Zumba choreo review at home, taught a Zumba Kids demo class
Thursday: Taught Zumba
Friday: PiYo Core & Define: Upper
Saturday: PiYo Sweat
Sunday: 2 hours of clearing out the nursery
I’m loving the PiYo program so far! Want to join me? Click here!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses, dresses, dresses. I’m also loving my Gap workout pants.

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: I’m waking up at 2-3 times a night now.

Best moment this week:  Announcing the full name for our baby and beginning the process of clearing out the nursery!

josiah samwise

Hardest moment this week:  Telling my temp agency about my pregnancy. I’m still not sure what will happen!

What I’m missing: Sleep. And cocktails. I’ve been making mocktails with sparkling water lately.

Movement: He definitely moves more on certain days than others. He’s getting quite wiggly, and I’m pretty sure he had the hiccups this week!

Cravings:  Thanksgiving dinner. Soup.

Queasy or sick: I’m feeling great!

Looking forward to: Finishing up the nursery clear-out so we can start putting the room together!

Strange Dreams:  Last night I dreamed my grandma was 38 weeks pregnant. Her, my mom, and my aunt went to redeem treat receipts on the last day and I couldn’t go with them for some reason. My mom tried calling to see what I wanted, but the phone was too complicated for me to figure out how to answer it. I called her back 30 second later, and they were already walking in the door. I was really upset.  I woke myself up sobbing, “It’s fine.”

Another dream crossed Hook with the mole people episode of Bones. It was SUPER weird.