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.



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!


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! 

9 Months and 10 Months

Here I thought maybe I would get this up close to 9 months and I’m still a bit late (ha I wrote this close but now we added in month 10 too). The last month or so have been jam packed of fun though! 

We headed out to Rapid City and Rocky Mountain National Park with friends! We followed that by a long weekend in Pensacola for my brother’s wedding. Sadly, we missed the Duathlon this year. My cousin got married at the end of September. Our fence finally came! (We are currently working on putting it in this week!). 

In September, we also ran our half marathon (and met our goal time!) with friends in Grand Forks. We celebrated Enoch on the 19th. June came and spoke at church about Ignite. Asher started preschool at Butterfly Hill! 

Needless to say, we have been busy with fun things! 

What we have learned…back to back vacations were fun but we were ready for home.  Melea is a great traveler as well! Schedule Sabbath days! 

What we are enjoying…end of summer fun, nice days, running, being outside, trips, laughing a lot, and being together. 

What are struggles…little miss still needs to work on her sleeping habits at night and we need to figure out what’s causing diaper rash (switching diapers seems to have helped some. Who knew a kid would be sensitive to Honest company diapers?! I’m a bit sad to say good-bye to all the cute little prints!). 

Most exciting milestones…standing, a few kinda steps, two top teeth, first time in the Gulf, and first airplane rides! 

What Melea seems to like…finding where Asher is playing, being held by mommy, chewing, touching Boaz, reading books, being in the bath (she comes fast whenever she hears the water start!), and music! 

Dislikes seem to be…being set down or when people leave the room, diaper changes (so squirmy!!), being put in the car seat–thankfully she does okay once she’s in it!

What sleep looks like…she gives us a good morning and evening nap and sometimes another one. 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 earlier than Asher still but still sleeps until like 8ish. 

She’s eating…anything and everything! Though, we’ve been trying to see if the diaper rash is related to any foods. We still love baby led weaning! 

Who we have seen…lots of relatives! Jack and Emily’s wedding brought everyone who could come. Then my cousin’s wedding had more people too. Plus, we got to see the Paradees for our vacation and race. So thankful for good friends! We got to see Carrie, Micah, and Isaiah too before picking up June who we also saw! 

At the last doctors appointment…she’s still doing great! Still hanging around 8-10% and about 16 pounds. She’s around the 60% for height. Wearing a few 6 month but really more into 9 month clothing. Still in size 3 diapers. Getting some more hair too. 

5 Minute Bible 100 Stories & 100 Songs

I’m continuing to expand my collection of children’s storybooks and this one fit right onto my shelf!

I love when the storybooks include some of the lesser known stories and passages. They chose to include the beatitudes, the wise man built his house, throwing the first stone, parable of the pearl, Naaman, Samson, Balaam, and many more. I appreciate this approach so that I can pull from the whole Bible rather than only get stuck on stories like David and Goliath. 

The songs included are great for preschoolers as are the length of the content. Each story also includes a summary/main point and an action point for the kids. For example, I will pray when I need help. This helps put the Bible into action in a tangible way. 

The stories show Bible references and are summarized into shorter sentences geared toward kids. Some are a little simplistic for my taste and are not the easiest to read but I appreciate they give the general idea. There is also only one picture per story.  They are okay pictures–kid friendly but not the best compared to other storybooks. 

The big draw for this one to me is that it includes lesser known stories. This book will be used in conjunction with others! 

Disclosure: I received this for free and all opinions are my own! 

Cultivate by Lara Casey

I have loosely followed Lara Casey for quite a while now. I love making goals so I’ve seen a lot about her powersheets and Making Things Happen conference. I also read her first book Make it Happen. I enjoy a lot of her work and also know that she can stick to the same core principles/themes. 

This book fell into line with what you will see on her blog and instagram account. She seems to love to encouraging others and point them back to God. This book focused on doing the same. She focused on teaching and sharing how she had worked at cultivating faith and other things in her life. 

She shares this by expounding on her own stories and including her exploration in gardening. 

Personally, I enjoyed hearing more of her story. Reading about their adoption and some of the day to day life in the garden. 

I also like how she adds intentional questions throughout the book for you to journal about and dig into!

All in all, I enjoyed the book and found it to be a good read with similar content. So, if you want more of what you see on the blog or instagram in a longer form then this might be a great book for you!

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Booklook but all opinions are my own!