Until next year....

Hey y'all!! It's been quite awhile since I've spent much time around here. There have been a lot of big, life changing events that have happened the last few months that have kept me away. I've missed blogging and staying in touch with all of my blogger friends, though!

I've sat down at the computer a few different times to write what's been on my heart lately, but it's just not coming out. So, while I've already taken an unintentional break from blogging, I've decided to take an official break from blogging until the New Year.

I'll still be around, though, on Instagram {the_strongfamily} and Pinterst so I'd love to stay in touch with you that way! I'm already looking forward to coming back at the first of the year. I hope you'll stop by next year and say hello. :)


Home Tour

Good morning, y'all!! It's been awhile since I've stopped by my little corner of the blog world, but I'm excited to be back today and give you a little peek into our home and some of my favorite places and things you'll find here. Thank you, Mia, for nominating me. You can check out her beautiful home here. 
When you first walk into our home, you'll be greeted with our entryway collage and table. I love this little collage because half of the things I made myself and I'm immediately reminded to keep my mind on Him no matter what.
wall collage

Once you're in our entryway, you can turn to the left and enter our living room. This is our favorite room to cozy up in during the winter months. Turn on the fire, maybe pop in a movie, read books together, whatever. It's a cozy place to be together.

living room

Our kitchen is a work in progress for sure, but I love our white cabinets. This was the biggest project we took on ourselves before moving in. Refinishing cabinets is not something I'm in any hurry to do again, but I'm thrilled with the results.

kitchen remodel
In our den, just off the kitchen, you'll find my little office space. I love this area. I found the most perfect desk off of Craigslist for a steal of a deal! Now you know where I'm sitting and working on posts. :)

work space
My final place is our bedroom. It, too, is a work in progress, but it's our little retreat and I love it. That little pillow, I love you because, has a pocket on the back to slip little notes into with reasons why you love the other. I'm a sucker for those kind of notes.

master bedroom
There's a little look into our home. I'd love to show you more glimpses as I finish projects and we make more updates. Now it's your turn! I'd love to see your favorite places or things in your home! I'm passing the baton to another real life bestie of Mia and I, Angela at A Wife Well Lived.



Hi y'all!! It's been a long time since I've stopped by my little slice of the internet to say hello and share what we've been up to lately. July was a whirlwind of a month and, quite honestly, I'm happy to see it go!

August kicked off with a bang! Friday night, Robert and I picked up our brand new Honda Pilot!! We're really excited about it and enjoying it very much. Our van served us well for over 3 years, but we were ready for a change. And this is the perfect fit for our family.

Honda Pilot

Saturday brought Robert's 30th birthday!! Due to some unexpected changes in plans, I had to cancel the surprise party I had planned for him. His birthday wasn't as exciting and fun as I would have liked it to be. :( However, I'll be rescheduling his (non-surprise now) party and we'll have a great time with friends.

We ended the weekend with a cookout with our neighbors. It's so nice having neighbors who are friends, too! :)

How was your weekend?!



Weekend recap (on a Tuesday, ha!)

Happy Tuesday y'all!! I hope you had a great weekend celebrating the 4th of July with your family and friends. We had a full weekend with Robert's parents visiting from Chicago. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking, but as you'll see we had a fun time together.

{Friday} We enjoyed the day together at home doing a little bit of this and that and a lot of pool time. I made some yummy ribs, apparently some of the best ribs my father-in-law has ever had, potato salad and strawberries and blueberries for dinner. Then it was off to the fireworks show!

{Saturday} We drove over to the OKC zoo followed by POPS for dinner. It was our first time to either place and it was a really fun day!

Oklahoma City Zoo


{Sunday} We enjoyed church followed by a big lunch with my side of the family. I'm so grateful that our families are actually friends and enjoy spending time together. After lunch, the boys went fishing and Betsy and I worked around the house on little projects I've been wanting to do. We finished the day with a long, humid walk just myself, Robert and Betsy.

It was a fun, family weekend! How was your weekend?!



Land of the Free Because of the Brave

Happy Monday!! We have a had a full holiday weekend with my inlaws visiting from Chicago. So full, in fact, I haven't had a chance to recap our fun. Come back tomorrow to see what fun we had this July 4th weekend.

Until then, head on over to Oklahoma Women Bloggers to read my post about thanking the men and women {and their families} who so graciously serve our country and allow us the opportunity to celebrate our great land like we did this weekend.

I'll see you back here tomorrow for my weekend recap!


Monthly Faves

Happy Wednesday! I'm excited to link up with Mia and Kelli for my current faves. It's a hodge podge of sorts, but what I'm loving right now.

{Collin and Emma} Did you really think I could make it through a favorites post without mentioning these cuties?! I didn't think so. But really, they are just the best of friends and adore playing together. Collin is really growing and maturing so much and it is so sweet watching the two of them together.

{Sunwarrior Protein Powder} I'm loving this protein powder!!! I'll mix it up with some Almond Milk and bam! I'm on my way to building strong, lean muscles. :)

{Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix} I mean, does this need much explanation?! If I'm exercising, I have to reward myself for it, right?! But seriously, this stuff is amazing!!

{My lovebug} Oh, he'll just love that I shared my nickname for him, but oh well. :) He's my fav!! And last month we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and that celebration included those giant, delicious pieces of pie you see! Yum!!!
So, what are your current favorites {anything counts!}?
Make Me Up Mia


Weekend Recap-#23 checked off!

Happy Monday! It's been a good, busy summer so far which means I've been a bit haphazard with my blogging. So, thanks for coming back!! :) You can always keep up with our fun on Instagram, too. :)

Saturday was "the" day of the weekend. It started off with a blate (blog date) with my bestie Mia and Cassie. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Cosmo Cafe.

blog date

Later Saturday afternoon, I headed off to get my first {and likely only} tattoo. Now, this is seriously the craziest thing I have ever done. Some of you may be thinking, "Wow really?!" Others may be thinking, "I cannot believe you got a tattoo!!" Where ever you are in that spectrum, the truth remains, I did it!

The older I get, the more I giggle to myself at the things I said I would never do and here I am doing them. From getting a tattoo to parenting decisions, I'm eating my words. That being said, I seriously doubt I'll get another tattoo, but I'm definitely not going to say I will never get another tattoo. I've officially marked #23 off my 30 by 30 list.


Starting tomorrow, you'll also find my over at Oklahoma Women Bloggers as their July Blogger of the Month. I'll be stopping by a few times throughout the month with new posts.

How was your weekend?


Pray for Mayberry

Today I come to you both brokenhearted and hopeful. As some of you may know, Mia's brother was involved in a terrible accident on September 1, 2013 that has left him fighting for his life ever since. It has been a roller coaster ride of deep valleys and hopeful highs. However, the circumstances around the accident are frustrating, to say the least.

Yesterday, the Nancy Grace show released a story about Christian and the family with an attempt to draw attention to their situation in the hopes of finding Christian the treatment he needs, while bringing justice to him and the family. This leads you to my broken, yet hopeful heart.

The attention of the Nancy Grace story brings the hope that somebody, somewhere will hear his story and know of a place where Christian can receive the rehabilitation he needs. But it also reveals haters who are waiting and ready to pounce on the family and tear them to shreds over things they know nothing about and assumptions they've made that are completely untrue!

The latter fires me up bad. Knowing Mia and her family in the intimate way I do absolutely breaks me heart as I watch them reel from the effects of mean, hateful words spoken to them and about them in this darkest of times.

What I'm asking you is to please read and share the story and help us get the word out about Christian and the help he needs right now;and in the end, bring justice to Christian.

And please, please use your words to speak life to Mia and her family. The haters are loud and their words sting deep, but we have to power to bring life and hope to the Mayberry family. Let's be loud!!



Weekend Fun

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend kicking off the official start of summer! We had a good one with lots of sun and pool time and even a good summer thunderstorm.


We kicked off the weekend fun Friday night with a little trip to Cherry Berry. Can't go wrong with some frozen yogurt! Yum!!

Saturday brought Mia and I's pool date. Before jumping in the pool, though, we had our booty's kicked at boot camp that morning. Can I just tell you how stinkin sore my legs still are....so sore! We had a great time lounging by the pool, chatting away, and cooling off in the water with the kiddos. This was also the first time I put on a bikini in years, thank you Bikini Series and my fav Tone It Up girls!!

On Sunday after church, Robert took Collin to a local lake for a little fishing. He sent me a pic of Collin in action. :) Funny enough, Collin is the only one who caught fish this trip. They had a great time and I have a feeling this will become a more regular thing.

It was a perfect kick off to summer. Summer is already flying by but I'm happy to say I'm really savoring it.

How was your weekend?!


Five on Friday

Good Friday morning!! Can I just say how glad I am the weekend is upon us?! What a week it's been!! 

{one} Today you can find me guest posting over at A Brew of Blessings! Tara and her hubby are off enjoying some sunshine and vacation time and she allowed me to take over her blog for the day! Go check out my thoughts on Hosting.

{two} Wednesday afternoon into Thursday brought an impromptu visit from Neighbor! We love her and her visits!!

{three} Well, I did it! Tomorrow marks the first official day of summer and the end of the Bikini Series. I have loved these last 8 weeks, have noticed a change in my body and certainly have found a love of working out!

{four} Mia and I have plans to kick off the first day of summer, with a day at the pool!! We're both looking forward to it as we haven't had a day at the pool together all season yet. Time to change that!

{five} This coming Tuesday (June 24) is our 8th anniversary!! I can't believe how quickly these 8 years have flown by. I could not imagine sharing my life with anybody else. Y'all know how smitten I am with him. :) I'm sure I'll have a post all about us, just like I did last year when I talked about the top 7 things I've learned thus far in our marriage. 

I hope you have a great weekend kicking off the official start of summer!

Linking up with


30 by 30

The idea of turning 30 hasn't really bothered me, at least the closer I get to it, it doesn't bother me. Ha! Up until the last few weeks, I hadn't given much thought to a bucket list. On a whim, though, I decided it would be a pretty fun way to end my 20's and start my 30's. So I've put together a little 30 by 30. I only have a couple crazy ones and you'll probably laugh at most of them, but here they are. These are the things I'd like to do before May 4, 2015. {I only have 25 things, 30 is a lot!, so if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them!}

30 by 30

1. Watch a sunrise with Robert
2. Dance in the rain with the kids
3. RUN a 5k
4. Serve at a soup kitchen
5. Lead someone to Christ{or more}
6. Complete a 5k obstacle course with Robert
7. Girls trip!
8. Attend an Influence net class{or more}
9. Do a cookie/recipe exchange with friends
10. Meet one blogger friend in person{or more}
11. Add sponsorship to my blog
12. Take the kids to Disney World
13. Go on a picnic
14. Catch lightning bugs with the kids
15. Enjoy a strawberry cupcake from Crave{in Houston}
16. Weekend getaway with Robert
17. Regularly use my fancy camera
18. Do one pull up by myself
19. Watch a meteor shower
20. Teach myself to play the piano
21. Be a tourist in my own city
22. Get my passport
23. Get a tattoo
24. Go to a drive in movie
25. Repel down a building{is this even possible?!}

There's my bucket list {or most of it}! Several of those I have already done, but I'd love to do them again. I want to know...

What do you think I should add to my list?



Good Monday morning!! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful weekend with your loved ones! We had another full weekend and for that I am grateful!

Friday night brought Kim and Steven's wedding! Mia and I were SO excited for Kim!! We have been through a lot with her and could not have been more excited for this special day to have finally come for them! She was gorgeous and we had an absolute blast with Mia and Dustin!

Saturday was FULL! We actually had no plans for Saturday, but it turned out to be jam packed with things to do. Mostly unexciting things that needed to get done around and for the house, but it felt good to accomplish them.

Sunday brought Father's Day and a chance to celebrate the men in our lives. I could not be more grateful for the incredible, Godly men God has blessed me with, my Dad and my husband! We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Cheesecake Factory, followed by a fun cookout at home with my family of four. 

There's a quick look at my weekend. How was your weekend?!



Five of Friday

Happy Friday y'all!! This is an especially happy Friday because one of my dear friends is marrying her love tonight! Yay!! So excited for you, Kim! Can't wait to celebrate with you and Steven tonight. 

Today I thought I'd highlight some of my favorite things from songs to shoes to coffee mugs, so here we go!

{one} The kids and I are basically obsessed with For King and Country's new song "Fix My Eyes". Whenever it comes on, we crank it up and sing it loud! Always fun to do with the kids. :)

{two} The Summer Style Challenge starts Sunday and I'm excited! I have most of the pieces and am looking forward to sharing the looks with you each week. What I'm enjoying most about these challenges is that I requires me to not forget about myself, but that's a whole other post. :)
Get Your Pretty On
Get Your Pretty On

{three} My sweet friend, Angela, got me the cutest mug for my birthday and I'm obsessed with it. I enjoyed my morning coffee out of it every day! You can get your own mug at Crystal Faye designs
Crystal Faye mugs
Eat Blog Love

{four} I've been drooling over these Sperry's since I stumbled upon them at Nordstrom Rack. I didn't buy them that day, but I sure can't get them out of my mind...
Sperry Angelfish

{five} A new season of Duck Dynasty started this past Wednesday. The Robertson crew always makes me laugh. 
Duck Dynasty

I hope you have a fun weekend and have a chance to savor time with family and friends!

Linking up with



"For we are Gods masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 

When you read that, do you let it sink in? I mean really soak in deep, reaching every last fiber of your being. 

When I read this verse the other day, it really struck me that I am God's masterpiece. His masterpiece. I am His work of art! And not just any piece, His finest and best! Do I believe that?! 

This life is hard. And it can drag us through the mud, mucking up the beauty that God always sees within us. We believe the lies of the world...we are not good enough; we have messed up one too many times; we are unlovable.


We are loved, we are enough, we are valuable! He gave His life for you and me! We are worth so much more than the finest piece of art you can find in this world.

Believe it, Sister!

You, yes you, are a beautiful masterpiece!!! 

Walk in that Truth today!

Ephesians 2:10


Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!! I'm skipping my normal recipe post this week because I just didn't have anything too exciting to share with y'all. And I definitely don't want to share a "so-so" recipe. :) So, I thought it would be fun to recap our weekend!

the strong family
Yes, Emma is wearing two pairs of sunglasses :)
Robert played in a basketball tournament all day on Saturday, so we didn't see him until about 6:00 that night. Luckily, the weather was gorgeous so the kids and I parked it at the pool all.day.long. I feel I should tell you, I'm a huge weeny when it comes to the water temperature and me actually getting in to swim. Therefore, up until Saturday, I hadn't made it in past my calves. Sad, I know. BUT, per the request of my kiddos, I jumped in with them {over and over and over} and splashed the day away. It was so.much.fun to play in the pool with them!

Later that afternoon, one of my besties, Ang, her hubby and baby Robert (!) came over to enjoy the sunshine and splash in the water with us. We had a great time chatting and enjoying the pool. Robert made it home just as we were getting out of the water. Oops! :)

We made our way inside and got dressed and talked a little about dinner. I had some chicken in the crock pot with plans to make BBQ Chicken & Corn Burritos that night, so I invited them to stay for dinner. But what's a party without the whole crew together?! So, we called up Mia and Dustin and they joined us for dinner too! Dinner turned out delicious and nobody left hungry, thankfully. :)

After dinner, we set out on our first Geo-Caching adventure. Have y'all heard of this before? We just learned about it this week and decided to go look for some treasures. It was a lot of fun and we found one, with lots of plans to geo-cache some more.

THIS. This weekend is exactly what I hope(d) our summer would look like. This is exactly what I was talking about when I coined this the summer to savor. We thoroughly enjoyed time with friends, making memories together and just enjoying one another's company! I'm looking forward to many more weekends laughing and splashing with the kids in the pool and impromptu dinner and adventures with our friends and family!

I'm linking up with



Thankful Thursday Week 23

Happy Thursday, y'all!! We're half way through the year, can you believe it?! My wonderful co-hosts and I have loved taking one day a week to focus on gratitude and we thank you so much for joining with us!

With summer upon us, we've decided to take a little break from this weekly linkup to allow more time to spend with family and friends and enjoy the season. We all want to savor this summer! We plan to pick back up in the fall, though. So until then, come back throughout the summer and see what we're all up to.

As I talked about on Tuesday, I'm really focusing on savoring this summer with my family and friends. We have enjoyed pool time every.single.day. and it has been wonderful! We may not spend all day out there, but we spend a good amount of time.

I'm really trying to do what needs to get done (because really, the house doesn't take care of itself), but let go of the things that really don't matter and are more of a preference of how I like things. I'm thankful for this change in thinking because we have been able to spend impromptu swim time and visit time with our neighbors. I'm looking forward to lots of intentional time with family and friends this summer! :)


June Monthly Focus

For the last couple months (April and May), I've had a Monthly Focus and I so enjoyed being intentional about a particular area each month. This month, I've decided on a word as my focus: savor.

Life has been moving so fast the last few months that as we enter summer, I want to savor each day to the fullest. I want to enjoy all the sunlight of the day, play hard with the kids, listen to their stories, splash in the pool, be together as a family and soak up this time together.

This is our last summer before Collin officially starts school. As we move closer and closer to that time, I'm more and more grateful for the opportunity to homeschool him {and Emma} {and that's a whole other post}. But, it's also a bit bittersweet. I mean, how did we get to the school years so quickly?!

This summer feels like the perfect time to breathe. Breathe deeply of the summer air, the laid back schedule, the good {and the not so good} together...savor the moments.

Our church service on Sunday confirmed my desire to savor the moments this summer {and beyond} with not just my family, but with my Savior, too. To sit a little longer in His presence and just be with Him.

I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure what this is going to look like in my life this month. But this is what's on my heart.

What are your thoughts? How do you savor the days? How do you slow down and soak up the beauty in each day?


Linking up with one of my favs: The Modern Tulip


Baked Spaghetti Pie, Garlic Bread and Spring Salad

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend! I had a wonderful time celebrating my bestie, Mia{MakeMeUpMia}, on Saturday for her birthday. Then, Sunday afternoon, Mia and I were able to celebrate the pending arrival of Cassie's {True Agape} sweet little girl. A fun, full weekend!

As you look ahead to this week, you might be needing a fast, family friendly meal. Well, I have just the dinner for you!

Baked Spaghetti with Garlic Bread and Spring Salad
the strong family
Baked Spaghetti Pie
8oz spaghetti, cooked
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
8oz tomato sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1.5 cups Mozzarella cheese
1. Toss spaghetti with eggs & 1/2 cup cheese.
2. Pour into a greased pie plate to form a crust.
3. Spread ricotta over the crust, then top with tomato sauce, then Italian seasoning.
4. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
5. Top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake 5 more minutes, cool 5 minutes.
7. Cut into wedges, enjoy!
I picked up a frozen loaf of garlic bread and a fresh Spring Salad mix from my local farmer's market to pair with this dinner. Delish!


Friday Favorites

It's Friday!! I don't know about you, but my days this week have really been thrown off. That usually happens when Robert gets an extra day off work, but that's ok! I'll take the time with him! :)

I have an exciting weekend ahead because...

{one} Tomorrow is one of my very best friends birthday, Mia from MakeMeUpMia. She is awesome! She's the real deal and I'm so blessed and thankful to call her one of my besties!!!! Stop and wish her an early happy birthday, would ya?! :)
{two} Tball pictures arrived yesterday. I realize I'm a little biased, but honestly, could he be any cuter?!

{three} In case you missed it earlier this week, I had the chance to guest post on Oklahoma Women Bloggers. I shared some thoughts to "Bloom Where You're Planted"

{four} Also this week, I shared my workout routine {that I love} and my thoughts on the importance of caring for yourself.

{five} We finished up Nehemiah and are starting Titus on Monday. I would really love for you to join me in this Titus study! It won't take much of your time and all you need is a Bible{or just an Internet connection to get you to SheReadsTruth}, but I know it'll change your life. Will you consider joining myself and the SheReadsTruth community from June 2-12 and digging into Titus?!

Do you have any weekend plans?
Linking up:


Thankful Thursday Week 22

Happy Thursday!! My goodness the days are flying by! Do you realize this is our last Thursday of May?! June starts Sunday!! Sheesh! My Thankful Thursday posts are great reminders throughout the week to slooooow down and soak up the beauty of everyday. Won't you join my co-hosts and I in gratitude today?! 

{one} How on earth is Emma big enough for a big girl bike?! Well, she is and after seeing this picture, my sweet parents went out that day and bought Emma her first big girl bike! If you follow me on IG, you've seen she's already riding like a pro!

{two} Robert and I were on our way home from church and lunch Sunday afternoon {my parents had taken the kiddos with them after lunch so they could "ride in Papa's truck!"} As we were passing Sams Club, we were stopped by a mini parade by the Budweiser horses! It's a bit difficult to see, but the the horses were beautiful!!

{three} My bestie helped me mark something off my 30 by 30 list {which I'll be sharing with you soon}. I ate sushi!!

{four} Sweet snuggles!! I am constantly overcome with love and gratitude at being these cuties Momma!! Love my babies!!

What about you?! What are you thankful for this week?