Our lives to share

Sometimes I forget that what I go through and experience in my life, both good and bad, is meant to be shared with others. I can find myself in the mindset that what I experience is mine only, meant to be kept private. And sure, there are things that I do believe are meant to only be shared with you, God and specific people involved in that experience. But on a broader scale, I think we forget that what we're going through, or may go through in the future, somebody else has either gone through it or will go through it. We're not alone.

This past week, I've found myself studying Abraham and this truth has been pushed deeper and deeper. Genesis 12:2-3 says "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." What we experience in our life is meant to be used as a blessing for those around us, near and far. That means, I'm meant to share those experiences. They are not just my own.

It can be a lot easier to share the good that happens in my life and much harder to share the bad, too. But there is value in both!! As I've watched the horrific situation with Mia's brother, Christian, continue to unfold, it has been such a blessing to watch as people have stepped up, near and far, whether they personally know the Mayberry family or not. And to watch God's hand at work has been amazing!! There have been things, situations, experiences that have happened years prior in other's lives that are being used in tremendous ways to bless the Mayberry family today. Only God could do that!

So, as I go through this day, I'm trying to remember that what I experience and go through can, and is meant to, bless others in ways I don't even know...even if it's simply to let somebody else know they are not alone!


One incredible man

Today is my dad's birthday! And he is an incredible man...one of the best that I know.
Father's Day 2013

He is one of the most thoughtful and caring people I know. If there is a need, he's the first one to step up and meet the need, no matter what that need is. He even has a way of anticipating needs and meeting them before they are even spoken.

He is one of the most loving people I know. He and my mom have been happily married for 32 years (and going strong!). That is quite an accomplishment! Sure, they have had ups and downs over the years, but they have always remained faithful and committed to one another. What a beautiful example they have set before Robert and I, and someday my brother, too.

He is the best Papa to my kids. He loves them like no other. Several years ago, my mom and I headed off for a Scentsy convention in Denver. Robert was out of vacation days, so my dad willingly, and excitedly, offered to watch Collin during the day for the 3 days we were gone. Keep in mind, Collin was still in diapers at this point. Sure, one of the diapers was put on backwards. But, they had the best time together!! And once Emma came along, he was really sunk! :) She has had him wrapped around her little finger since we found out we were having a girl. And it is the sweetest thing! They adore their Papa and I adore watching him with them.

He is the best dad I could imagine. Seriously, he is the most perfect dad for me. He has loved me unconditionally. Encouraged me always. Supported me in everything. Welcomed Robert like his own son. Prayed for me always. Just the best. 

He is a man after God's heart. He has always lead our family to Jesus. And I don't mean just going to church and/or going through the motions. I'm talking about actively living out a real relationship with Jesus and showing us how we can have the same. And he's doing the same with my kids now.

I am so grateful to have my dad in my life! I'm thankful for the years we've had and excited about the years to come.

Happy birthday, Dad!!! I love you more than words can say!


In a rut? Be thankful!

Sometimes I can find myself in a rut, for no particular reason. I become complacent to all the blessings and good God has placed in my life. Thankfully, when I find myself in that place, God almost always has a way of waking me up to the beauty that He has surrounded me with on a daily basis.

I didn't realize I was in this rut until I recently became very aware of those blessings. Sure, life has it's ups and downs and things do not go always go perfectly...ok, they rarely go perfectly. But, I do try to maintain a positive attitude and reflect on the good. Because really, even on my worst days, I'm so very blessed!!

I am so grateful for the wonderful people God has placed in my life. There was a time, in the fairly recent past if I'm being honest, that I struggled with loneliness. I had people in my life who were "friends", but only if it was convenient or beneficial to them. Thankfully, this brought me to my knees in prayer and I realized pretty quickly that in order to have friends, the kind I was longing for, I needed to be that friend to others. That has been my goal ever since, to love like He loves, in my friendships. I am by no means the perfect friend, but God has blessed me with precious, precious relationships that I cherish.

I am so grateful for my family. And that I'm able to live close to my parents and grandparents and watch my kids grow a beautiful relationship with all of them. There were times during my high school years that my mom and I did not see eye to eye on things. And honestly, we both wondered if our relationship would ever be repaired enough to call each other friend?! But God is so faithful and He restored our relationship ten fold and now I can proudly call my mom one of my best friends!

I am so grateful for my husband. Sure, we have our ups and downs, like any married couple does, but there is no one better suited for me than him. God so knew what He was doing when He put the two of us together!! And I couldn't be more thankful for him; for the love he has for me; for the love he has for our family; for the way he provides for our family; for his faithfulness. So many things, I could go on and on. But you get the picture. :)

I am so grateful for my kids and that I'm able to stay home with them! I realize this isn't the most popular decision in our society, to be a homemaker, but it is exactly what God has made me to do. Sure, we have rough days and Mommy needs a break! But who doesn't have those days?! These days are fleeting and I am so very grateful that I'm able to spend these precious years with my children!!

So, reflecting on all the blessings in my life is a great way to stay out of a rut and grateful for all that's in my life. I would encourage you to give it a try, too. You might be surprised at how much good you find. :)

Until next time,


We need each other

There are several things that I am passionate about. God, my marriage, my family, my friends.... just to name a few. Several of those passions will be colliding together beginning October 1st as I make my way through the devotional book Wife After God with several women I have never met in person. And I would really love for you to join us! {I love the community the blogging world offers!! What an incredible way for women to connect with other women; encouraging one another as we navigate life together as wives, mothers, friends, daughters, women. Love it!}

A few weeks ago, I posted a review on an incredible devotional book called Wife After God.  I love marriage and the beautiful picture it represents of Christ with His church. I also know that Satan wants nothing more than to destroy marriages and family. As children of God, though, we can claim victory over our marriages. That's what we will be doing October 1st as we spend the next 30 days making our marriage a top priority in our lives. I love hearing other women's stories and what God is doing in their lives, so I'm really excited and hopeful for what God is going to do in our lives next month.

I've set up a Facebook page to enable us to be connected to one another, no matter where you live, as we make our way through the devotional. The daily reading won't take you very, probably 10 minutes at most. And then I thought it'd be great to just share what God is doing in your marriage, in your heart and in your life through this devotional. We can encourage one another and pray for one another throughout the month and just see what God does. I'm excited!! Will you join us?!

You can purchase the book here and join the group here. Let's put God first in our marriages and lives and encourage one another!

Until next time,


Five on Friday

It's Friday and time for another installment of Five on Friday!

{one} Monday night was our regularly scheduled at home date night. I was looking forward to it all day. Made a yummy snack even. But by the time we actually sat down to watch the football game and enjoy one another's company, I could barely keep my eyes open! We watched for a little bit but made our way to bed much earlier than we normally do. But like I told Robert, it's just so comfortable and cozy with him that I am immediately relaxed. :) We'll try again this Monday...hopefully I'll stay awake better. Sheesh!
Thank you, Mix and Match Mama, for the yummy Moose Munch.
{two} Remember the adorable picture my friend Kim made, we'll here it is framed and on our entry table. I love it!! (She may not know it yet, but I'm going to need one for every season now. :))
{three} It's no secret that I LOVE my Scentsy, but I also love the cozy warm glow, and smell, of this candle. After an afternoon thunderstorm that brought cooler temps yesterday, it was finally time to light that baby. :)

{four} I finally tried Honest diapers and oh I LOVE them. (Um, I didn't personally try them, they are for Emma. :)) Now, I am ALL FOR cloth diapering when and if you can, however I also really appreciate safe disposable diapers for my baby. These are a winner!!!
{five} I realize that I am really behind on Guilana and Bill but I LOVE them!! I'm completely hooked on their reality show now and really can't wait to visit Chicago with Mia and eat at RPM!
Well, that sums up this week's edition. :) We have another busy weekend ahead, although it will finally feel like fall!! So that'll make our outside activities much more enjoyable. Have a great weekend!
Until next time,


School Room Makeover

For some reason it didn't occur to me until this evening, when it was dark, to take pictures of our school room to show y'all what we've done. So, I apologize in advance at how dark they are. And please keep in mind that this is an ongoing project. It is in no way finished, but it's good enough for now. :)
Ok, so this is the only "before" picture I have so I'll point out a few things. First off, the AWESOME blue indoor/outdoor carpet. Do I need to say anything more?! Second, the lovely blue plaid wallpaper. Is it just me, or does your mind go straight to Al Borland from Home Improvement.?! Robert and I actually love watching reruns of Home Improvement, but I'd rather not reminisce via my walls. :) Third, the lovely "planter box" wall lights. They are all kinds of awesome. Forth, the fashionable window blinds. So much goodness in this picture. Some we've done away with already, some of it we'll do away with in time.

So, we still have the AWESOME blue carpet. BUT, much of it is covered with our soft, fluffy area rug. The Al Borland wall paper has been removed and replaced with our favorite blue/gray color. My very handy husband (thanks, babe!) took down the planter box lights, moved the location of the electrical wires and installed the wall sconce lights. The lovely blinds have been taken down to let in the great morning sunlight. And we now have a comfortable, laid back school room. And seriously, how cute is that restored vintage desk?!

Things are continuing to go well as we figure out our new normal that now includes school. Collin is loving it and Emma is picking SO much up just listening to us go over things. I'm excited to see where we end up at the end of the school year. :)

Until next time,


Weekend recap

We had another busy weekend, though not quite as busy as last weekend. Friday afternoon, I was able to meet up with a girlfriend from college that I haven't seen in about 10 years. I'm thankful for Facebook and social media for allowing us to stay in touch, but nothing beats personal one on one time. She is as sweet as ever and has adorable kiddos. We very much enjoyed our time at the aquarium together. I just know that if we lived close to each other, our kids would be great friends!


Saturday, Robert got a lot of work done around the house while Emma and I picked up Nana and went shopping for Emma. :) It was a girl's day out shopping. As we approach fall and winter, I needed to get Emma some cold weather clothes. Seriously, I don't know if we're ever going to get cooler temps around here, but if we do, she's prepared! Here's a nice, solid start to her fall wardrobe.
Sunday morning we enjoyed a wonderful service at thechurch.at . We have started a new series called Epic in which we are going through all the major Old Testament Bible stories leading up to the birth of Jesus at Christmas; and then after Christmas we'll go from the birth of Jesus to the Resurrection at Easter. We're just in week two right now and it is a great series thus far! You can always tune in online and hear the weeks message live or archived. Or, if you in the Tulsa area, let me know...I'd love to take you along! We're also starting a community group in our home this coming Sunday night. I'd love to have you join us!! Seriously!
After church, we enjoyed a yummy brunch with my parents at Cheesecake Factory. If you haven't tried the Bruleed French Toast, oh.my.word, you need to!!! It was delish!! After brunch and a fun time wandering Bed, Bath and Beyond with my momma, I was able to go up to the hospital for a bit with Mia and her hubby. The doctors were able to remove Christian's breathing tube and put in a trach instead. It's nice seeing him without all the tubes on his face. Please, please continue to pray for him, Mia, her family and the doctors and nurses. If you're interested in keeping up with everything, here's a link to a Facebook page Mia has set up and regularly updates. Pray for Mayberry!

Until next time,


Five on Friday

What a busy, busy weekend and week we have had! Here's this week's Five on Friday...enjoy! :)

{one} Saturday brought one of my best friend's wedding. She was beautiful. He was handsome. The wedding was gorgeous. Just a wonderful, beautiful day celebrating two of my favorite people! Plus, I was able to snag a pic with my handsome hubby...which almost never happens anymore. :)

{two} Sunday afternoon we enjoyed a fun, laid back birthday party for our sweet Emma girl. It was small, just family and our closest friends, but we had a wonderful time celebrating her!! This pic is from her actual birthday morning, last Friday. She thoroughly enjoyed her "birthday tree" and fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls.
{three} We started our homeschool year this week and it's going well! Sure, it's only the first week and I know we will have rough days, but it was just fun! Fun having an actual school room that's entirely separate from the rest of the house that we can go to; fun to set aside specific time to watch Collin learn and put things together; fun to watch Emma pick up on things just from watching and listening to Collin; fun to have more structure and routine to our day; just fun! :)

{four} I'm so excited because today I get to meet up with a college friend I haven't seen in YEARS! She lives in another state, but is here visiting and was able to work out a visit with me! She has two kids, almost the exact ages of Collin and Emma, so I know we'll have a great time and our kids will have a great time! :)
{five} Look at how talented my sweet friend Kim is:
She made this picture and I can't wait to have it printed and add it to my fall d├ęcor. Love it!
Well, that wraps up my top 5 things this week. I'm very much looking forward to the weekend with my family! We'll even catch a break in the weather with some cooler temps...which when I say cooler I mean uppers 80s instead of upper 90s, but it's a move in the right direction, right?! :)
Also, thank you for your continued prayers for Mia's brother! He's still in a coma, but there have been little victory's they've (we've) been able to celebrate that they (we) know are only because of Him. Keep praying!!
Until next time,


A season of "no"

It has dawned on me recently that I'm entering a new season with my children, family and myself. And this new season that I'm entering is going to require me to say "no" to more things. Most of which are very good things. But, I'm learning rather quickly that I cannot do everything. And I must say "no".

Ever since I become a stay at home mommy with Collin, I have attended a women's bible study at church on a weekly basis. Even after Emma was born, I attended that fall's bible study. I missed the first week, because it started only a couple weeks after she was born, but other than that, I was there. And I didn't attend these studies because I "had" to, as if it was the "good, Christian thing" to do. I just love studying the Word, especially with other women.

However, this year has brought many changes, nearly all of which are good. At the first of the year, we were still living at my parents while we worked on getting our new home ready. Then, in March, we finally moved into our new home. We have been continually working on it since...boy, there are always projects that need to be done, especially when you buy a house that needs updating! Those things alone required me to take a break this past spring from a women's bible study at church. Summer rolled around, which brings it's usual craziness. And now that fall is here, we're starting our homeschool year and I just don't know that I could keep up with everything.

I'm so privileged and thankful for the bible study I get to lead with 'my girls' every Thursday night. We have been studying together for nearly two years and it is truly a highlight of my week. Having them and our study together makes it easier to say "no" to a women's bible study at church.

My eyes have just been opened, though, to this new season I'm entering in. It will be difficult for me to say "no" to some things and easier on other things. But it will be necessary. I cannot do it all. And the things God has placed in my life to do, I want to do them well and to the best of my ability. 

Have you found yourself in a season like this? Or another season? I'd love to hear how you handled these times.

Until next time,


We love Neighbor!

I am reminded quite often what wonderful friends the Lord has blessed me with and it's not something I take lightly. I certainly believe we walk through seasons and sometimes friends are brought into our lives for a season, but other times they are brought in our lives forever. I've been blessed to make several of those lifetime friendships and I am so very grateful.

Today, I want to brag on highlight one of the sweetest people I know. Her name is Amanda and we met the first day we were at college...moving day. Now, I was very excited to be at a college and setting up my dorm room, but I was also terrified nervous! I didn't know anybody at school and making friends can be very intimidating. However, the Lord knew just what I needed when he made Amanda my neighbor! She lived across the hall from me and when we met that day, I'm pretty sure our conversation went something like this:

A: Hi, I'm Amanda!
K: Hi, I'm Kristal! So, do you know anybody here at school?
A: No, I don't. Do you?
K: No, I don't either. Wanna be friends?
A: Yes! Let's be friends!

I kid you not, we literally talked about and decided to be friends right then and there. How many people can you do that with and it actually work out?! But it worked out so very good. We like to reminisce about how we were each other's first friend's at college. As the school year continued, we were pretty much inseparable. We'd leave our doors open while we were in our rooms and just continually talk. Pretty quickly we started calling one another "Neighbor" and it has stuck. We very rarely call each other by name and when we do it almost sounds weird. Haha. Our friends even know us as Neighbor.

Our friendship has stood the test of time very well. Just last month was our 10 year friend anniversary. :) We have been through highs and lows together and I couldn't ask for a better friend. She is loving, kind, selfless, funny, giving, thoughtful, caring and so many more things! I absolutely adore the way she loves my kids and how they love her back. They affectionately call her Auntie Neighbor and we love it!

Although we do not live in the same state and sometimes go months without talking and catching up, every single time we reconnect, we pick up right where we left off and carry on. We just get each other and it is so very nice to just be real and genuine with one another, unafraid to be ourselves. Actually, she's one of those people that push me to be a better person and friend and I love it.

Life circumstances lately have reminded me how important it is to tell those we love, that we love them. And to not waste our time together. So, I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank Neighbor for sticking with me all these years. For loving me unconditionally. For loving my family. For loving my kids. For being her! Love you, Neighbor!!!


Please continue to pray for Mia's brother! You can read about his story here. #prayformayberry!

Until next time,


Five on Friday

It has been a crazy, difficult week...so let's just jump right in.

{one} My dear friend Mia was supposed to be in Mexico this week with her mother having a mother/daughter trip to celebrate her mom's 50th birthday. Unfortunately, I received an email from her Monday asking us to please pray because her brother had been in an ATV accident and was in the hospital in a coma. They rushed home as quickly as they could and it has been so, so difficult ever since. He's only 16 years old and the circumstances around what caused his accident are still forthcoming, but very much the result of careless and wreck less behavior from an adult, not him. It's truly heartbreaking and if you believe in the power of prayer, which I whole heartedly, with everything in me believe in, please, please lift this precious family up in your prayers!!

{two} On a much lighter note, one of my best friends, Holly, is getting married tomorrow!! She and I have been friends for so long and been through so much together. I'm very excited to stand next to her as she marries her man tomorrow afternoon. I wish them all the happiness in the world! :)

{three} We finished the school room this week! Yay!!! Well, there are still a lot of things we'd like to do in there, but it's ready to go for our coming school year. And I love it! I'm waiting to show you pics until I do a post on the whole makeover, so you'll just have to come back for that. :) We're going to start school on Monday and Collin and I are so excited! (Check back with me next week and the week after to see if we're still feeling as excited! :)

{four and five} The most exciting thing about today, thus needing two spots (more actually, but we'll stick with two today), is that our sweet girl Emma is 2!!!! I cannot believe two years have gone by so quickly! This might sound weird, but she is the age that Collin was when we had Emma and I think she seems so much older than Collin did at this age. She's not a baby anymore! Has anybody else found the same thing with their children?

Anyway, she is just something else. We are so captivated and in love with her, it's ridiculous. :) She is just the perfect combo of sweet and sassy! She keeps us laughing almost all the time. She brings so much joy to not only our lives, but honestly everybody around us. I'm forever having people stop us when we're out shopping, commenting something about our sweet girl. She's a gem and we just adore her!

That's this week's edition of Five on Friday! If you have any encouraging words I can pass on to Mia and her family, I'll gladly do it! :)
Until next time,


An Easy and Complete Look for Mom

I'm so excited to introduce you to my dear friend Mia today! If you've been around here very long, you know she's one of my very best friends. She has some great tips and tricks to share with us mommies today on style and makeup. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I did. :) Make sure you head over to her blog, Make Me Up Mia, to find out my favorite Honest products.

Hey guys! I'm excited to be a guest here on Kristal's blog today. So, I am not a mom but most of my friends are moms or soon to be moms, so I can sort of relate. I know being a mother your time is limited and most days makeup and clothes are NOT your priority, nor should they be ;) 

I wanted to come up with just a few makeup items to give you a full coverage face and a cute, but affordable, outfit to make you feel complete and beautiful as every momma should! 

First up, my makeup choices:

1- For a foundation I picked Covergirl 3 in 1 Foundation. I picked this for multiple reasons. It's my fave full coverage foundation, it's drugstore so that means it's not expensive and it's a 3 in 1 so it's a time saver! This is a primer, concealer, foundation and spf 20. This was an easy pick!
2- Next I would throw on some pink blush, I picked this Wet N Wild blush in Pearlescent Pink because it's really pigmented and it's very affordable! 
3- For eyes I would use a cream eye shadow simply because it's quick and looks great. I really like these Maybelline Color Tattoo cream shadows. 
4- Give those lips some color, this will really complete your look. I love this Mac lipstick in Midimauve.
5- Next up, mascara. My fave drugstore mascara is L'Oreal Voluminous.
6- Lastly, swipe on some eyeliner real quick. Any will do, I enjoy this Revlon Colorstay.

Some Outfit Inspiration:

4- Old Navy Ballet Flats in Bird of Paradise
After putting this look together, I just may have to go out and buy it all! 

I hope you all enjoy this easy put together look for mom. Thank you Kristal for having me! Make sure and head over to my blog and check out Kristal's posting!

Thank you for reading,