Thursday, February 5, 2015

WINNNNER

and the winner of the single mom giveaway is…

YOUR MOM. jay kay.




ERIN HISER!! you win the craziness.

all you ladies were amazing and i wish this could have gone to every single one of you.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

6 single moms.

it is such a joy to be able to give something crazy outlandish to people who quite literally do some of the hardest work on the planet.

so here's who you can vote on:

if you want to read about them, you can go look in the comments section on the previous post. they are all quite wonderful and deserving. 

simply leave a comment. you can vote once a day up, (as long as you like or follow a different vendor for each vote) until the winner is picked next thursday!
write the person's name and which of the vendors you liked or followed in the comments section.

here are this fine businesses again! and what they'll win…

you need a dining table. thanks unruh furniture.
 unruhfurniture // ​Facebook // unruhfurniture.com // Twitter: @unruhfurniture



you need some nutritious food on that table. thanks paleo fit for the $50 credit.


you need some pictures around that table with your kids. thanks bakerbakerphoto for the photo session.
Facebook //site www.bakerbakerphoto.com 


you need to know how to capture some good photos of those beautiful kiddos too. thanks allisoncorrin photography for the seat at your photography workshop. CAPTURE Workshops are the first in the CULTIVATE series from Allison Corrin Photography which are designed to inspire the eye, nourish the spirit and cultivate creativity. CAPTURE focuses on the technical components of shooting in manual mode indoors and outdoors in order to create beautiful, meaningful photographs as well as discusses other valuable considerations in the storytelling of photography.



you need coffee because. KIDS. 
thanks oddly correct coffee for the gift card//@oddly


everyone needs to go out to dinner too. how about a gift card from bread and butter concepts to one of these amazing restaurants? you can find them on Facebook here.




you need some table linens. probably nice ones…a set of 4. thanks pure as a pearl! these. are.gorge.
Instagram // @pureaspearl  Shop www.pureaspearl.etsy.com

before you eat your food, you need to wash those little hands. thanks soapDoh.
soapDoah is awesome playdoh like soap that encourages kids to actually play with their soap (so that it actually cleans their hands). genius. my kids love it.
Twitter: @SoapDoh // Facebook //Instagram: @soapdoh site: http://www.ilovesoapdoh.com/

you probably need to feel pretty because you don't take much time for yourself. thanks for the $50 store credit adelaide's vintage store. have you seen her stuff? oh. my. gollllllll.
instagram//@adelaidehomesewn // shop www.adelaidehomesewn.etsy.com


what's a pretty dress without stunning eyebrows? you need your eyebrows waxed. FOR A YEAR! thanks etiquette beauty. Facebook// site: www.etiquettebeauty.com // @etiquettebeauty


it's probably really hard to save because you're so busy giving to those kids. but let derek and carrie olson give you a one hour financial makeover sesh. you will love them.
"Basically, we sit down with you, go over your income and expenses, discuss your financial goals (or help you set some) and then help you get a plan together that works for you to start working towards your goals. We'll also provide some takeaways to help you stay on track."
site//www.derekandcarrie.com //

and i'm giving you a $50 gift card to honest company for what you'd be spending on diapers or  laundry detergent.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

nom your single mom: kansas city style.

single mom's basically are incredible people. i think we can all admit that. that's why this giveaway is just for you, lady. (or for someone you nominate).

the good people at unruh furniture do this thing where they make a lucky single mama a custom dining room table because…ya. so much happens around that table doesn't it? and you're not going to ask anyone for a table because you don't really ask for all that much. we know how you are. you're used to doing it on your own. could we help you a little bit?


you need a dining table. thanks unruh furniture.
 unruhfurniture // ​Facebook // unruhfurniture.com // Twitter: @unruhfurniture



you need some nutritious food on that table. thanks paleo fit for the $50 credit.


you need some pictures around that table with your kids. thanks bakerbakerphoto for the photo session.
Facebook //site www.bakerbakerphoto.com 


you need to know how to capture some good photos of those beautiful kiddos too. thanks allisoncorrin photography for the seat at your photography workshop. CAPTURE Workshops are the first in the CULTIVATE series from Allison Corrin Photography which are designed to inspire the eye, nourish the spirit and cultivate creativity. CAPTURE focuses on the technical components of shooting in manual mode indoors and outdoors in order to create beautiful, meaningful photographs as well as discusses other valuable considerations in the storytelling of photography.



you need coffee because. KIDS. 
thanks oddly correct coffee for the gift card//@oddly


everyone needs to go out to dinner too. how about a gift card from bread and butter concepts to one of these amazing restaurants? you can find them on Facebook here.




you need some table linens. probably nice ones…a set of 4. thanks pure as a pearl! these. are.gorge.
Instagram // @pureaspearl  Shop www.pureaspearl.etsy.com

before you eat your food, you need to wash those little hands. thanks soapDoh.
soapDoah is awesome playdoh like soap that encourages kids to actually play with their soap (so that it actually cleans their hands). genius. my kids love it.
Twitter: @SoapDoh // Facebook //Instagram: @soapdoh site: http://www.ilovesoapdoh.com/

you probably need to feel pretty because you don't take much time for yourself. thanks for the $50 store credit adelaide's vintage store. have you seen her stuff? oh. my. gollllllll.
instagram//@adelaidehomesewn // shop www.adelaidehomesewn.etsy.com


what's a pretty dress without stunning eyebrows? you need your eyebrows waxed. FOR A YEAR! thanks etiquette beauty. Facebook// site: www.etiquettebeauty.com // @etiquettebeauty


it's probably really hard to save because you're so busy giving to those kids. but let derek and carrie olson give you a one hour financial makeover sesh. you will love them.
"Basically, we sit down with you, go over your income and expenses, discuss your financial goals (or help you set some) and then help you get a plan together that works for you to start working towards your goals. We'll also provide some takeaways to help you stay on track."
site//www.derekandcarrie.com //


and so you can save what you'd be spending on diapers or  laundry detergent, here's $50 to spend at honest.com


how will this work?
if you want to nominate a mom or yourself, simply like or follow any company above and then come back and leave your comment here, telling which company you followed/liked, the name of the single mom, how many kids she has(or you have), and in fifty words or less, why you nominate them(yourself).
we will pick 6 moms and then the internets can vote on who gets this awesome bundle.

this section of the giveaway will close on january 27th. We will post the 6 chosen mom's on the 29th. and then for a week, until february 4th…the internets can vote!

fine print: this mom has to live in the kansas city area. that means their address has to fall within a 40 mile radius from kansas city, MO. don't be weird and try and find some loophole!

Friday, January 9, 2015

withholding our flame.

i have been thinking a lot lately about light. after sort of feeling like i've been in a gloomier season of life, i've noticed i follow the light in the house. like a cat, i find the warm spots and lounge there close to the window. i imagine myself being outside when it's above freezing temperatures and being enveloped by the sun, feeling warm pavement. i want to go there and be there and dance around in that like maria in the sound of music minus the terrible dress and being a nun.

but i was thinking about everyone being stuck inside because of the fridgid temperatures. we're probably trolling the internet much more, at least i am. things just slow down anyway.

i remember hearing casey weigand speaking at hope spoken and she quoted something like, a candle never loses it's light by lighting another candle. 
it hits me every time i hear that and lights up areas in my heart that have become hardened to encouraging others and making lives brighter.

the internet and the blogs and the instagrams and twitters show us how we would do this in real life, so just look at it as a window into all of our hearts.
but we are stingy with our likes. and @'s and mentions. our lifting others up.
because we're really important. because our "like" isn't cheap, cmon. who do you think i am. remember how amazing i am?

turns out, you're just dust.

we're stingy with our comments because i don't want everyone to know i'm on the internet a lot. my reputation is super important because i'm super important. or we don't comment because we are jealous of that person. i'll show them by punishing them with my non comment! my non-like! silence to you, fellow human with lots of battles i don't even know about. 

turns out God is the judge.

we hide in the shadows because we want to remain unnoticed, creeping along. taking from others because they won't notice. they already have 3498 likes, they don't possibly need one more. or it will just go to their head. because i'm the judge of their character. and in the back of our heads we hear a subtle whisper, i'm not as good as her/him/that.

turns out God loves you so much, you don't have to get your value from comparing your life to others.

we all tip toe around, remaining voyeurs because we don't want people to know about us, what's really going on, the hardship i'm really facing. no one will understand, anyway. 

or would they.
turns out, God made humans for community and honesty.

humans are so much more alike than we all would like to admit. the person you most disagree with on Facebook with all their weird posts. that's you! it's hysterical, but you're just as strongly opinionated in other ways. in fact, you are just as heartbroken as they are over some hardship, you are struggling just as much with something, climbing some mountain and trying so hard. all for different things, of course. that's what makes it so annoying.

people are the worst.

i remember walking into a grocery store years and years ago with a toddler and a baby. i probably looked like a normal whoever. but my life was in turmoil and when the sliding doors opened and i saw all the people, i thought, i wonder if they can all tell my life is falling apart in this very moment. if i can just buy a couple of groceries without crying...
did i need someone to tell me that my opinions on nacho cheese doritos vs cool ranch doritos was wrong? no. i sure didn't. because
it. doesn't. matter.
 what i needed in that moment was someone to pull my cart out for me and say, you're doing a good job with your kids. here's $5, go to starbucks over there and get you an iced tea and a cake pop for that toddler.

it seems like with that knowledge in hand, that we're all trudging through this breath of life doing the best we can,  we could do a better job at rallying around one another and lighting other candles that have been extinguished by hardship and suffering. we don't have to be stingy with our flames because, at the very base of your knowledge , you can rest knowing that you're not the judge. you're not the sheriff. you're not a big deal on the internet. you are, however, dearly loved by God who cherishes you and made you with certain gifts and not others. some are eyes and hands and buns and the small toe. they all serve a purpose. he made you to love those difficult to love and not Lord over them with all your harsh opinions. opinions! say it again, OHHHH PINNNN YUNNNS.

LOVE is the command. that is such warmth, love in comments and words and likes and @'s and responses. they are the bright sunny windows in the harsh winter we live in.  they are light to those around them. they envelope people in love.

 and as it turns out, GOD IS LOVE.

happy friday and all that.

Monday, January 5, 2015

ice and fire(works)

so much has happened in the last couple of months.
like the snow that covered the ground tonight, the last 6 months of life feels heavy and sometimes too frigid to go out in. so i've kept my thoughts to myself mostly. because writing about it means trudging through the thick, cold mess and my snow boots don't seem high enough.

the snow always looks pretty from the warmth of a chair by the fire. it's often deceiving though. sometimes that fluffy looking snow is just inches of unforgiving, frozen water.

in college, i lived off campus but not far enough off campus to drive to class. so i walked. on nice days it was great. on snowy days, it was a beast. on the first big snow of that particular winter, class wasn't cancelled and i had already skipped me allotted amount (because DEDICATION, guys), so off to class i went. the steps off the porch had 3 inches of fluffy white snow on each. i walked confidently onto that first step ready to crush the gentle fallen snow only to find it was frozen thick and my feet slipped immediately.

i bounced down each step, making sure to hit both my (unfortunately) flat ass and all parts of my back on every surface within 2 feet of me...my hands foolishly grasping for railing that also had, you guessed it, 3 inches of frozen snow atop.  i finally rolled onto the ground and-- into dog poop.

i laid there for sometime trying to will myself up. and finally when it got too cold, i crawled(not stepped) up the stairs and back into the house to sit on the floor until my sides and bum stopped throbbing with intense pain so that i could change the poop-laiden jacket into my roommates jacket (sorry, emily.) and head back out.

i still had to go class.

and this is exactly what i feel like these past months have been.
dragging myself around because i literally have no choice. children need to go to school. presents need to be bought. events need to be attended. work has to continue.

so of course, i've had my eye on the new year. i have just wanted to get through the 31st. like many other people, i am clinging to the promise that the new year brings fresh starts and please sign me up for that. i know people talk about resolutions and words for the year but i just want the new mercies. i don't want the adventure and the big, sparkly promise of doing all the things i always said i wanted to do.  i know it's the opposite of what i'm supposed to say. but i want the quiet and i want to settle into whoever i am now that last year is over.  life has brought momentous challenges and i can feel it's changed me like water on rocks. now i need to re-meet myself, i guess.

when new year's came, we had gone to bed at 11pm, but i laid awake in my bed and listened to the fireworks muffled by distance outside whispering that the year was over. finally, i blinked into the dark. new mercies, the booms and pops told me.

and i believe them.

so here's to settling in 2015.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

christmas card pictures. hipster style.

every year, i theme up our pictures like the nerd mom i am. this year, as an ode to the city from which we moved, i decided we should be hipsters. 
we will begin by documenting the one hour ever in his life that Pruett decided to NOT smile. i almost spanked him for that but then i looked at his fatness and decided he will probably never in his years see the back end of a paddle. also, old man cardigans for president. 

here is my teenager son, layne. wait, he's 8. but he just looks so old. he let me make him wear an itchy scarf indoors (hipsters are ALWAYS wearing scarfs inside) and for that, i told him i would overlook one future sneaking out when he's 16. 

lila wore a fur hat because. i don't know. it just seemed right/she cut her hair and it's growing out awful. and penelope is just a cute little mouse and that goes with any style. i love giving her tiny cappuccinos (pronounced, kap-uh-keen-ohs) to make sure she is ready for the day of making my life a living hell with her current addiction to tantrums. don't tell anyone i said that. 

 here we all are enjoying our coffee together with mostly not-super-happy-faces. which honestly, is so hipster. a touch emo...but in all the right ways. and then plaid. if you're not wearing plaid, GET.OUT. OF. THIS. COFFEE. SHOP.  i don't wear glasses, but then again, most hipsters don't either. they've all had lasik surgery, but they saw a cute pair of frames at madewell. and...end of story.
have you been to oddly correct in kansas city? well, then get outta m'face. you would love it. the people  and the atmosphere are fantastic. not to mention the coffee is from the Lord. so i hear-- from everyone who has a mouth. i don't drink coffee but i admire those that do. 


this last picture just makes me laugh. sucker bribes(what? i do not bribe my kids with candy!) and lila doing a super hero pose. "mah. look. i supuh lady." 
 thanks audrey at BAKERBAKERphoto for capturing this goodness. 

as much as this year has kicked my ass, it has also been very rich. somehow as december drags on, and i think i can't do one more day because i'm afraid of the sadness that it will bring, i remember that God came down down in all the grief and promises to make everything new and right and just as it should be. for that, i am able to look through the misty eyes that freeze in the bitter,biting wind and say, He has not forsaken me. 
on that super emo thought, i do hope for peace and joy for you and your families. merry christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

being poor at christmas time.

growing up, we were poor. this was before the government made the dignity inducing debit cards they give now. it was the time of monopolymoney-esque paper money, and stamps for milk, more like badges of shame. and you would wear your sunglasses in the store at the checkout lane so no one would know you were a mother trying to do your best but your best was not good enough.



we were poor, but it didn't stop my mother from giving. she was in the kitchen making martha washington bon bons, because that's how you can give. and if she was anything like me this year, and some years past, it doesn't feel like christmas when it's hard. when life is fast and drags you along. it doesn't feel festive when it is difficult to scrounge up change for milk. when there is loss and grief. when the grief you thought was behind you surprises you in the worst way.

but you make the martha's.

i remember my mother in the kitchen rolling the balls for the filling. she was making rum cakes too. i can hear her whipping the glaze with the whisk-- whisk whisking against the glass bowl and her yelling at someone to settle down. i'm 6 or 7 years old sitting at the counter watching the frantic joy of my mother in an apron. she was giving when she had very little. you've heard the parable where the poor woman gives her last couple of pennies and Jesus says, YES! there's the heart of my father. she has given the most. 

these were skinny years for us. there were not many gifts under our tree, but there were always gift baskets for others full of toffee, brittle, martha's, and rum cakes sitting on the counter ready for delivery. perhaps they were a little kiss on the cheek from God, through the hands of a poor woman,  to others who were also experiencing hardship.

of course God uses the rich to help others. but we forget he uses the poor too. 

and so it is in that spirit that i continue through the difficult. i find great joy in the mixing and the dipping and the glazing and the pretty packaging. to some it looks like posed and styled photos, but for me it is the remembering where i have come from. i remember the goodness of being poor in spirit. the goodness of my father in the skinny times and the goodness of a recipe passed down from my mema to my mom and then to me from a worn out, chocolate splattered cookbook page.

this year has dragged me around. it has been too hard and too fast and too much. it has made me tired and grey-haired. and i want to be out of 2014 so bad. but it feels like christmas when penelope sits at the counter and watches me roll and dip and holler at pruett that i'm going to pick him up as soon as i wash the sticky dough and messy of this year off my hands.