Believe Storybook


Two reviews in a day! I’m on a roll ūüôā And I even have started Asher’s 1 year update…so that might be coming later too!

I was pleasantly surprised when I received the Believe Storybook! ¬†I had ordered this one to review thinking that it could be fun to use with Asher and to check out if it would be another good resource for church. ¬†The book is big and super nice! ¬†I was expecting it to be smaller and not as nice quality so this was a bonus! ¬†The illustrations are simple, but relevant to the stories included. ¬†They aren’t flashy or overdone, which I appreciate.

The format of the book is also different than many other storybook bibles that I’ve seen. ¬†The book is divided into three sections¬†of “think, act, be like Jesus” and then the chapters are based on themes. ¬†For example, one chapter in the “be” section focuses on patience and includes a story about David and one about Jesus healing. ¬†The chapters incorporate both the Old Testament and the New Testament while adding in Key Ideas and Key Verses. ¬†I love that this is different from the typical storybook that goes through the “popular” stories from the Bible in chronological order. ¬†Adding in the connection of the Old Testament and the New Testament is great for kids too. ¬†Some of the wording can be a little cheesy for my liking, which is fairly true for a lot of kids books.

Mostly, though, I’ve enjoyed the stories that I’ve read and have found them to be kid friendly. ¬†I would say this would be a good read for elementary aged kids or maybe as family devotions. ¬†Also, as expected I did find a¬†few theological points that leaned one way or another but most were written in a way that could be explained. ¬†Mostly, I’m excited to have another resource with a fun format to be able to use with kids and to learn from myself!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission‚Äôs 16 CFR, Part 255 <; : ‚ÄúGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.‚ÄĚ

Women Are Scary


I requested this book to review mainly because I thought it looked humorous (I mean really there are cake pops on the front cover with a bite out of one…that has to mean funny!) and because I thought it would be an interesting read on finding mom friends. ¬†A year into this mom gig and I’ll admit that it is like what Melanie Dale calls it an “awkward adventure.” ¬†There have been super fun and funny moments with others moms and some awkward crash and burn, run for the hills. ¬†Melanie sets out to describe finding mom friends by using a baseball theme. ¬†She shares about the different types of friends using the metaphor of bases. ¬†Fourth base friends are the lifelong friends you don’t let go, the ones who get you and love you. ¬†First base is much more a let’s try this out and we see each other at similar places.

I wanted to like this book even more, but I’m not quite as into the humor as I hoped. ¬†I got a little “eh” about some chapters. ¬†Other chapters though hit home and delve a little deeper. ¬†I did take a while to read this one too…for some reason I had a hard time getting fully immersed into the storyline/chapters. ¬†There were some “how to” chapters and some “me too” chapters mixed throughout. ¬†I would say to expect to get some solid ideas on how to enter the adventure of creating mom relationships as well as to gain some reminders that if it’s hard and awkward…you’re not alone. ¬†The book added a few real life stories, which were at times fun to read. ¬† All in all, if you like humor and are a mom, this might be a fun read for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission‚Äôs 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : ‚ÄúGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.‚ÄĚ

What Keeps You Up at Night?

I love the title of Pete Wilson’s new book! ¬†The tagline adds to it even: “How to find peace while chasing your dreams.” ¬†I had high hopes for this book, but was a little nervous that it might be too similar to other non-fiction Christian books. ¬†I’d say that the book probably did both. ¬†There were some really great chunks and nuggets of truth while there were also sections that felt like a lot of other books that I have read in this same genre. ¬†My favorite chapters were focused on the spiritual disciplines and then one challenging us about our “containers” and how we view how things should go. ¬†The latter chapter included a part that I keep going back to when I want to define success. ¬†Pete describes a hypothetical conversation between Jeremiah the prophet and his missionary board. ¬†The idea is that Jeremiah would not have much positive to report back yet he was absolutely being faithful to God’s calling on his life. ¬†Thankfully not all the prophets in the Bible are that unsuccessful, but it did challenge me to remember that success in¬†God’s terms may not look how I expect it. ¬†If you’re looking for a book heavy on theology, I’d say try something else, but if you want a more story based, easy to read style then this might be a good book for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission‚Äôs 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : ‚ÄúGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.‚ÄĚ

Lean On Me

Book number 2 finished for the year!

I recently read Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller.  This book had been on my radar for a while and I was intrigued since a long time ago I used to follow her when she was Anne Jackson.  I have also read some of her other books, but I knew that a lot had changed in her life so I was curious about this book.

I loved that from the beginning she made it clear that this wasn’t going to be a “how to” or a ten steps type book. ¬†I agree with her that while there are steps and actions that can be taken in building community there are also so many factors and individual situations. ¬†This is a topic that leaves much room for variation. ¬†So, instead, Anne takes us through her own realization that she does not have the committed and vulnerable community that she thought she had. ¬†She then chronicles what she does in order to create the type of community that she needed at a hard time in her life. ¬†The type of community that emerges is varied and comes from all different stages of life for her. ¬†She shares this with smaller stories throughout and does not sugar coat the hard parts.

I appreciated that she left the end of the book without a neat little bow. ¬†She didn’t say that she’s figured out community or that she’s doing it perfectly. ¬†She left room for us all to be in progress on our own paths. ¬†Yet, she still highlighted the benefits and the importance of having committed and vulnerable relationships in our lives. ¬†There were times I wished I could have heard more about the stories or about her choices. ¬†I wanted to know how she handled the boundaries with the people on her team who were men and married. ¬†I wanted to know more about the types of interactions they built. ¬†But most of that was out of curiosity rather than “needing” to know. ¬†The book was still a fun, quick, and engaging read. ¬†I found myself evaluating the type of community I have and the type of friend I am to others. ¬†

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission‚Äôs 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : ‚ÄúGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.‚ÄĚ

25 Things

I snagged this from my favorite Vizsla loving blogger because it looked so fun!

1. I’m happiest when…. 1) I’m hanging out with my favorite people (my boys! the husband, my little man, and Boaz) 2) when I’m outside. 3) eating delicious food


2. …Especially if it… 1) involves mountains, the beach, or some kind of adventure!

3. I’ve always wanted to….move back overseas.

4. My family and I…love going on walks!


5. I was a terrible…er let’s say I have a terrible time noticing things that need to be cleaned.

6. My first job was….babysitting!

7. I could probably eat ice cream and cake every day!


8. I stole…I’ve got nothing on this one…hm.

9. I was born on the same day as….Brad Pitt

10. My all time favorite film is…I do love the Narnia movies and there are a few others too!

11. I do a pretty mean…forehand while playing tennis.

12. I’m still mad…I didn’t take advantage of post-secondary options.

13. I met my husband…at church!


14. I always knew I wanted…enough books to fill a room/library in my house.

15. I’m not afraid to…climb mountains and jump off cliffs! ¬†Well, I may be afraid at times, but I do it anyway!

Cliff Jumping

16. I make the best…desserts!

17. I have almost no…flexibility. ¬†Sit and reach always messed up my physical fitness awards in school.

18. I always cry when…I’m done using anger as a cover up for being hurt.

19. I’m a¬†Minnesotan¬†with who still calls¬†Africa home.


20. I spent 1 year living in South Africa.

21. I wish my folks…the best ūüôā

22. As a child, I was deeply in love with…making up stories

23. I believe if everyone had a better sense of their worth and how loved they are the world would be a better place.

24. I can’t stand…the smell of black licorice.

25. Whenever Amazing Race¬†is on I’ll watch it. ¬†Mainly I love seeing all the amazing places they go!

Your turn! ¬†I’d love to hear your answers to any of these ūüôā¬†

Friday Love

We made it to Friday! ¬†A full week with the husband back at work. ¬†I’ve been having fun getting to know our little man more each day and he sure makes us smile and laugh a lot! ¬†Plus, he’s already 3 weeks old today! ¬†That is way close to being a month old and so far I totally get how things are in a “blur” for the first bit of having a newborn. ¬†Mostly, though, I’m loving this stage! ¬†Here are some of the things we’re loving…

Things I’m Loving:

1. Tummy time with the little man. ¬†He’s pretty good at cuddling.


2. Lots of walks.


3. Tacos! Pretty sure I’ve eaten tacos for lunch for the last three days.

4. Reading with the husband. ¬†We have continued our habit of reading a book together before bed and it’s one of my favorite times of connecting. ¬†And let’s just say any time spent with him is pretty much my favorite.


5. Sitz baths and showers. ¬†My midwife and my nurses were big on telling me to soak/take a sitz bath in order to help things heal. ¬†I totally jumped on board and¬†have continued to take time to be alone and enjoy hot water! ¬†I like to think they’ve helped me heal up fast too ūüôā

Things Asher is Loving:

1.  Falling asleep during tummy time.  This is one of his favorite places to fall asleep.

2. Eating. eating. and more eating.

3. Being in his car seat for walks or car rides.


4. Kicking his legs like crazy and getting his arms out of his swaddles.

5. Being rocked in his rock n play.


Things Our Family is Loving:

1. Walks with the four of us!

2. Time together in the evenings and mornings.

3. Ice cream! Well…Asher hasn’t tried it yet, but I’m guessing he might like it someday. ūüôā

4. Sleep.

5. Reading books.


10 Day You-Books

Jumping back on board with the 10 Day You Challenge I started a while ago…I recently raided the library so here’s 4 books!


4 books I am reading right now…

1. The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner

–This one is so interesting to read in learning about how we deal with anger in ineffective ways. ¬†So much packed into each chapter so far!

2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

–I have actually never read this! ¬†I don’t know how I missed it, but I’m glad to finally be able to read it. ¬†I’m loving the balance of whimsy and quick reading in comparison to my other books. ¬†So far it seems like the perfect summer book.

3. Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

–I saw this one at the library and picked it up since I loved her Bird by Bird book.

4. Choices by Melody Beattie

–I am loving the format of this book! ¬†There are mini stories that end with some thoughts about the choices we make. ¬†They get me thinking for sure.

4 Books on my “To Read” list…

1. Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller

–I just picked this up from the library too and am curious to read it!

2. Brene Brown‘s books

–Yep. I want to read a lot of her books and haven’t read any yet!

3. Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton

–I’ve heard interesting things about this one too!

4. Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen

–I’ve heard fabulous things about this one too.


I’m sure I’ve missed all sorts of wonderful books…so let me know what else I need to add to my list or what you’re currently reading too!¬†

Maybe Baby Month

Hello June! ¬†You’re here and you’re officially the maybe baby month. ¬†July stakes claim for the for sure baby month. ¬†And let me tell you that I’m a little like wait…where’d the time go!? Definitely getting excited to meet this little baby and see whether the baby is a boy or a girl. ¬†This is especially since this little baby is loving kicking my ribs and still moving like crazy. ¬†There’s no denying that I look pregnant. ¬†Though, I can pull off a “not necessarily” pregnant look if I’m wearing black and you’re looking from the front or even if you just see me from behind. ¬†If you see me from the side….no question ūüôā Also, in other news, the weather has gotten warmer and my wedding rings are fitting a bit tighter. ¬†I’m not such a fan of that, but oh well. ¬†They’ll be back on in no time.

Otherwise….a few other things that I’ve learned in May have included:

1. Finding baby clothes that are not distinctly boy or girl is pretty hard! ¬†I’ve yet to find the “perfect” going home outfit. ¬†Though, we do love this one we found that was only in bigger sizes. ¬†The color is cuter in person, but still ūüôā ¬†We’ve also found a few fun infant clothes with references to drums (yay for a husband who drums).


2. I dig the Nuna brand.  Not only do they make sweet products, but they also sent me a surprise journal as a bonus gift!  Plus, they just came out with some waterproof sheets, which will be fabulous!  So surreal that soon a little baby will be sleeping in there!

IMG_78523. Days outside with these two are ever entertaining! ¬†IMG_7916 IMG_79184. I’m in need of some good summer books and have been scouring the library in search of them. ¬†Any recommendations?

5. Decisions are way harder without being able to “know” how things are going to be like once this baby is here. ¬†I’m definitely thankful that I can push some off and I’m thankful for wise advice and LOTS of prayer!

All in all, May’s been a great month and I’m excited for June. ¬†The calendar already looks full with baby doctor appointments (weekly! so fun to get to that point!), graduation parties, VBS, weddings, get togethers with friends, baby showers, and hopefully lots of time outside…and maybe a baby! ūüôā

Saturday Love

Here’s a nice little weekly round-up/picture catch-all/fun post for you to enjoy on your Saturday. ¬†I’m mostly napping and catching up on some Downton Abbey today…I might sneak to a coffee shop for a treat later. ūüôā

Sunroofs and sunglasses always make a day better even if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Hello Minnesota winters.IMG_7387

At least somebody has fun running in the snow ūüôāIMG_7379

Meanwhile, I try to convince Boaz that we can just go on the treadmill and that I get to read…he’s kind of a fan, but I’m sure he would rather go faster.¬†IMG_7372

this sign in my office is always a good reminder…this week: be open to what I need and be willing to ask for it.IMG_7362

my pretty new planner! While I would have loved one of Kelly Rae Roberts, this little one will do the trick since hers sold out so fast!¬†IMG_7363I’m working my way through this now that I don’t have graduate school. ¬†I’m learning about vowels right now!

back to my lazy saturday…. ūüôā


Friday Round Up

I’ve been enjoying reading these blog posts…

Read This and Change Your Parenting Experience Forever by Momastery

–I so appreciate the reminder that people are only acting/saying/doing things “AT ME” when I buy into that thinking…let’s be honest, people don’t think about me that much! ¬†Plus, everyone is typically doing the best they can for their family and every family makes decisions that work for their own family. ūüôā

5 Reasons Social Media is Dangerous for Me by Momastery (I just found her blog recently so I’m on a kick)

–I am absolutely guilty of being an Input Junkie. ¬†Input is one of my Strengths from Strengths Finder and let’s just say I love gathering information and reading. ¬†Not a bad thing, but I can take it to an extreme. ¬†And well Facebook and Instragram are on my list of things I do when I’m bored. ¬†Some of these reasons link into why I’ve been much more quiet on social media this last year…plus, I’ve been soaking up moments as they come instead of posting on them. ¬†Though, I agree too with her that social media can be an awesome, uplifting, fun thing! So, here’s to 2014 being a year of figuring out what works for me while not totally going dark.

OmniGames: Day 2 by Peanut Butter Fingers aka Julie Fagan

–I’m ready to go and join the Columbia OmniGames! I loved seeing all the awesome things they got to do and the ropes course looked terrifying but totally fun! ¬†Even though I’m not a big fan of winter, these made it look fun!

Pinterest Inspiration

Lemon Blueberry Marble Cakecan we just say blueberries are amazingly delicious…!

Peach Raspberry Swirlyeahhh…I miss summer.

A Million Little Waysadded this baby to my readable list…I love art!


Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Picture of the Week


Currently Reading

Chasing God by Angie Smith

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

7 Things to Be Thankful for This Week…

*Vulnerability with my husband even if I sometimes hate it.

*Sleepy puppies

*New recipes to try and meal planning

*Church family

*Friends to text and talk to

*4 wheel drive



Your turn! What would you include in your Friday Round Up?!