Capital Gaines

I love watching Fixer Upper! Chip and Joanna are fun, quirky, down to earth, and have great stories to add. I enjoyed reading the Magnolia Story and thought Chip did a great job writing his parts so naturally I wanted to read his book.

The book was full of stories and shenanigans. The reading style for me was quick, easy, and entertaining. In the book, you get to hear some more of the behind the scenes about their decision to stop Fixer Upper as well as stories from when Chip was younger.

If you are looking for a fun read, I would suggest this one! If you’re looking for more business advice, then probably a different one but this one does have some stories of what Chip did business wise.

Disclosure: I’m so thankful to have gotten a free copy to read and review!

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1 Year

My girl turned one a couple of weeks ago! She had her golden birthday even. I can hardly believe that just about a year ago I was waking up wondering when she would come. Ryan joked that once it was December my mind said okay baby time. I am so glad I get to share a birthday month with her! She’s such a gift and we are so thankful.

What we have learned…that this girl really loves to climb, read books, and hang out with Asher. We’ve learned that she knows what she wants and will let us know!

What we are enjoying…A fenced in yard! Reading books, playing, Thanksgiving, and indoor workouts.

What are struggles…sleep! Still working on sleeping through the night. Asher seems to struggle with Melea wanting to play with all his toys!

Most exciting milestones…lots of walking, sleeping a little better, and turning 1!! Words like mama, dada, no, and ba for Boaz.

What Melea seems to like…walking, being held, yogurt, cottage cheese, Boaz, babies, climbing, reading books, climbing stairs, dancing, and all her people.

Dislikes seem to be…getting in the car seat, diaper changes, being set down, sitting down in the high chair, when people don’t give her food, when Asher puts a blanket over her head, and when Asher shuts the door to his room.

What sleep looks like…she takes a great afternoon nap from like 12-3 or 1-3. Usually naps on the go and stays asleep when we get somewhere. Bedtime is around 8-8:30. She still wakes up a couple times a night and sleeps until like 8-9.

She’s eating…all the food! Since cutting back on nursing, she’s eating more. She seems to like yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, and really whatever food other people have ha! She will spit food out and try to feed food to Boaz too.

Who we have seen…the Roses for Thanksgiving! Ally and Levi too while they were home. We had a family birthday party for her on her birthday and then two separate ones with extended family. Plus, fun texts saying happy birthday on her actual day (I love when people do that!).

At the last doctors appointment…she’s petite but fairly tall! She was almost 17 pounds and she is 29 and a half inches tall. So that’s about 60% for height and like 10% for weight. She could use to gain a few pounds! She wears 12 month clothes and size 3 diapers.

Sweet Girl


Hey sweet girl,

I was rocking you to sleep and listening to King of My Heart and No Longer Slaves. I wanted to write a note to me and to you to help remember this moment. You fell asleep so fast and were so peaceful. I stayed until the end of the first song before laying you in the Nuna. I was brought back to when I heard about having a daughter. I always saw myself as a fun mom to all boys. I love little boys and all the rough and tumble. A girl was not on my radar!  Though, there we were at a special service and Kevin Leal was up there telling me about how I would have a daughter. A daughter who would teach me and change me. We got pregnant a few months later and I did not think I’d be having a girl…I was right since Asher came first. Then came Enoch. I didn’t know when you would come along but I am so glad you came when you did. My heart needed the healing and joy that you bring. This whole being a mom to a girl thing is pretty awesome and I’m so glad you’re mine.

*found in my drafts and finally posting

11 months

Wow! How can this be the last update before my little girl is a 1 year old! I am so excited to celebrate her soon for her first birthday and her golden birthday! December is the best!

Our last month has been a little bit more focused at home and could be dubbed fence month! We did a lot of work on the fence and it will be so nice when we finally have all the gates hung!

What we have learned…how to clap, climb chairs, how to put up a fence, that we can have a kid in a carrier and another running around while we get more work done on the fence, and that fences take a lot of hours to do. About an hour a post for our type.

What we are enjoying…books! I did a lot of reading this month. Visiting friends. The last few nice days.

What are struggles…sleep, needing to do vision work, finding time to finish all the work, and sleep.

Most exciting milestones…standing, more walking, 6 teeth total, clapping, pointing, and checking out snow again.

What Melea seems to like…clapping, smiling, pointing, food, being held, Boaz, being wherever Asher is, books, holding and carrying toys (she loves to go find a baby at church), exploring, climbing the kitchen chairs, climbing stairs, paper, opening cupboards, and music.

Dislikes seem to be…getting in the car seat, diaper changes, being set down, sitting down in the high chair (she likes to crawl out and is too skinny for the strap to keep her in), when people don’t give her food, and when Asher shuts the door to his room.

What sleep looks like…she still gives us a good morning and evening nap. Bedtime is still around 8:30-9:30 and she still loves to wake up and eat a few times a night. She wakes up maybe 8ish.

She’s eating…all sorts! Seems to like most fruit, yogurt, veggies, apples, and Mac n cheese. She’s a bit pickier and will spit more food out.

Who we have seen…usual people in town and then went down to the cities for a wedding reception and saw the Charucs too.

At the last doctors appointment…no appointments until December! Got rid of her rash finally. She’s into 9 month clothes and 12 month. More hair too! Size 3 diapers.

Unseen

I picked this book to read because the title and tag line intrigued me. With the rise of social media, I feel myself at times clamoring to be seen and noticed. Plus, being a mostly stay at home mom often means I do a lot that is not seen or applauded. The desire for affirmation and blessing from others can be a good thing when it is overflow from being grounded in God’s view of ourselves. When I start hustling for my worth then I’m in trouble and on shaky ground. All of that to say that I thought this book would be timely for me in this season.

I haven’t read Sara’s other book but I have heard of it and it was on my to read list. After reading this one I am curious to read her first book. Unseen included a variety of personal stories and biblical accounts. The personal stories were my favorite. I loved seeing a glimpse into her life and experiences. She is a mother of six and shared candidly about adoption as well as infertility. She also shared about the years when she was in ministry and a tendency to put work for God above relationship with Him.

The book took a while for me to get into and I sometimes got bogged down in the writing style. The personal stories kept me going and the later chapters resonated more with me. This was not a step by step formula type book which I appreciated but rather a here’s what worked for me. She shared about God orchestrating events to help her come back to the foundational act of spending time with God. From practicing sabbath to letting others take the stage to simply setting aside time to be with God, Sara explored the idea of being hidden.

I would recommend this book for those who like more detailed almost poetic style writing and want to read personal stories mixed with the Bible. The book might resonate with you if you have a tendency to hustle for affirmation from others and want to get back to basics.

Disclosure: I received this book for free but all opinions are my own.

Daily Question

I love journals of all kinds! I have a couple of shelves full of ones that I have filled up. I currently use a prayer journal (with prompts), a journal with regular lines, and a Mom’s one line a day journal. I was excited to see a 5 year spiritual journal that gave a daily question.

The journal comes in a great mini size that can be tucked in a drawer for easy access or to be out on a table. The cover is fun but not necessarily one I would naturally gravitate toward on my own. I don’t mind the colors but they are not my favorite.

The space for each year is enough to write a sentence or two answer to the questions which is fun. The questions vary from serious to light-hearted. I like the variety in the questions.

I am excited to start keeping track in this journal and would recommend it for anyone who likes short journaling or who may need some prompts to get started!

Disclosure: I received this for review and am really grateful. All opinions are my own!

Whisper

Books about hearing God’s voice have always intrigued me and I am usually a little skeptical about them. Oftentimes, it seems people want a tried and true formula that will work every time. I admit that sounds awesome and easy.  Though, that type of relationship sounds a bit manipulative and not really a relationship. All of this to say that I recently picked up Mark Batterson’s book called Whisper to review. 

I haven’t read a book by Batterson for a while but remembered liking previous books by him. His style of writing is easy to read and he crams a ton of stories into the book. I could tell that he had done his research and wanted to include real life facts. 

I found the tidbits he included about hearing and science to be fascinating. The stories also reinforced his points. I felt he mostly used historical stories with the combination of biblical accounts. This was an interesting mix to me since sometimes Christian books only use biblical text. I appreciated the mix. 

The book expounds on the different ways we can hear from God and the ways He has been known to speak to His people. I love that Batterson brought the book to conclusion by reminding us that God is love and that He is speaking love to us. 

I really enjoyed this book and found myself sharing the different stories to others. Even though I didn’t read a new way to hear from God, I did gain a deeper appreciation for how we hear and the science that God created. I would recommend this book if you like historical stories and interesting facts to go along with reading about God!
Disclosure: I received this book for free but all opinions are my own!