Thursday, September 15, 2016


     It's my 44th birthday today. GULP! Today I have felt really thankful.  I was thinking of things I am thankful for and some of my favorite things that make me smile.  I decided to do a list of 44 of my favorite things.  Some things are little and need no explanation and others I have wanted to write about for a while so hear we go!

1. My wedding rings.  I had my rings redone for our 10 year wedding anniversary because my diamond actually chipped and started to shatter when I had hit it just right.  I never wanted to change the style but they melted my actual ring and made stackable rings that I could change up how I wear them.  I love them.

2. My job at Wellspring Preschool.  I love the kids and women I work with.  Many laughs and love.

3. Nashville Flea Market.  Held on the fourth weekend of the month.  Lots of venders and I LOVE flea markets!  I have found many treasures there.

4.  Barre Amped.  A workout I have done for a year and have built muscle I never knew that I had. You can buy the videos on amazon.

5. Aldi's french vanilla coffee.  It is cheap and it's my favorite.  True coffee people might gag but I love it.

6. Brown leather purses.  I have a lot of them in different styles.  I bought an old worn used one at the Nashville flea market and I get compliments on it every single day.  I think  I paid $15 for it.  I LOVE IT!  I always gravitate to the same style of purse all the time.

7. Day planners.  I love to write and I can't do a calendar on my phone.  I have used an Erin Condren planner for the last 5 years but I am switching to one slightly cheaper from Plum Paper this year.

8. Wasi tape.  I use it most in my day planners to mark off vacations or visitors.  It makes the planner extra cute!

9. Colorful pens. Very protective over my pens.  I use them in my bible, day planner, note cards….no one uses mama's pens.

10. ESV Journaling Bible.  I love the ESV version for my bible reading the best and I love to write and take notes.  This gives me the opportunity to do both.

11. The devotional "New Morning Mercies" by Paul Tripp.  I have written about it many times.  In my opinion, it is the best daily devotional out there.

12.  The podcast "Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey".  LOVE!  Obsessed!  Want to be Jamie's BFF.  We don't have cable right now so I listen to her a lot.  I found her while packing up our apartment this summer and I was hooked!  I work out to her, cook to her, clean…LOVE!

13.  Jen Wilkin bible studies (I trust what she teaches) and also her book "Women of the Word" on how to study the bible.  Love Jen!

14.  Amazon fire.  Lucy took over my old iPad and I couldn't afford and didn't need a new one.  The Amazon Fire does everything I want and need.

15.  Amazon Prime.  Life changer.

16.  Essential Oils.  I'm not obsessed but there are a few I love and I do believe that some of them really work.  I buy Young Living oils and Thieves (to fight sickness) is my go to oils.  I rub it on the girls' feet when they are getting sick and I diffuse it.  They love it!

17. Epsom salts. A must after barre class!

18. Modern Calligraphy.  I want to master writing this way.

19. Dear Mushka jewelry.  Love the woman behind it and the message of each piece of jewelry.

20.  The Faded Farmhouse and The Tin Cottage.  My two favorite local stores.

21. Soccer games.  There are these two players.  You might have heard of them? Ivy and Lucy Elliott? Yea, I could watch them play all day!

22. Pinterest

23. The Wet brush.  I cannot brush my hair with any other brush anymore.  Love it!  Great for kids also.

24.  Target $ section.  AWWWWWW…..

25.  Local Coffee shops.  (Shout out to Muletown, Barista Parlor, Fido, Frothey Monkey)

26. Trucker Hats.  The worn looking the better.  The only hat I feel like I can pull off.  Part of my soccer watching attire.

27.  5 Daughters Bakery.  Nothing like it.  Nobody disagrees.  100 layer cronut.  It's not just a donut.  I'm sure Jesus will serve them in heaven.

28. Instagram

29.  Spotify/ Amazon Music

30. Yeti cups (or a knock of they sell in the camping section at Walmart that is exactly like it and WAY cheaper).  It's hard for me to drink out of anything else.  It's a MUST for summertime.

31.  Sonic Happy Hour.  It has ruined me.  I can't bring myself to buy a drink at full price when I can buy it for half off daily from 2-4.  I get off work at 2 so…..

32. Ivy Elliott praying.  The sweetest sound to my ears.  It's sincere and beautiful.

33. Lucy Elliott reading a book to me.  That girl is impressive!

34.  Ballet flats.  Kelli Elliott doesn't do heels.  Kelli Elliott falls down a lot.  Kelli Elliott needs to be close to the ground.

35.  Glitter eyeshadow.  I wear it every single day.  It sounds creepy but I hope I make it work.  Younique has a great one and so does Mac.

36.  Grace.  I want to know more of it.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing, it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9 

37.  Country Living Fair.  In the spring, Country Living magazine brings their fair to Nashville.  It is THE BEST!  I save my money for that one!

38.  Joanna Gaines.  Everything about her.  Love her style, decorating, show, blog….everything!

39.  Tito's.  My neighborhood mexican restaurant.  I have my "usual" usually AT LEAST every other week if not every week.  I call it the "neighborhood hang".

40.  Singing.  I grew up singing in the church and it has been one of my favorite things to do in my whole life.  I have been grateful to God for every opportunity.  So thankful that He would have ever used me.

41.  Iverson Carpentry.  I guess I will call it that, what my Tennessee pops has created for me.  I will cherish his pieces forever.

42.  Estate sales.  LOVE THEM and the surrounding Nashville area has some great ones!

43.  My girlfriends.  Man.  I could cry.  I am beyond loyal to them and they are loyal to me.  Besides my family.  There truly has been nothing in my life that has been sweeter.  Ride or die.  I don't even have to name them.  They know and most of you do to.

44.  My family.  My mom here. My siblings. My girls….. when I wanted all boys, then the Lord gives me two girls that fit me to perfection.  They are two of the biggest lights in my life.  And Matt.  He was tailor made for me for sure and I love doing life with him.

Thank you Jesus for these blessings!  I'm a blessed girl! xoxo

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

He Takes Away the Sin of the World

     My heart has been so heavy the last couple of days.  Hearing of a couple Matt and I used to know "back in the day" who have lost their 6 year old foster daughter, ripped away from them at the decision of DCFS.  You can read about it here It brought back so many memories of my Sissy.  I in no way want to compare my situation as they had their little girl for 5 years and I had mine for 8 months.  My Sissy never called me mommy but she did cling to me as I put her in that car on the final day (and many family visitations during those 8 months).  Another difference is they have taken this Lexi on a  social worker's interpretation of a law and not really for what the law was intended to do, that never happened in my case.  But the "why" is the same.  Why would God allow both girls to be taken from loving Christian homes?  An answer that I will never understand.  Through social media there have been other stories popping up, public infidelity within the church, terrorist attacks, a joke of a presidential election, others too sad to name…I woke up thinking, I don't know if I have it in me to watch the news today or be on social media.

     I opened my bible to the book of John this morning, needing to be close to Jesus.  I got to the middle of chapter one where John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and he said,"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) I cried.  We needed someone who would take away the sin of the world.  I saw some pictures last night on social media that reminded me in just a glimpse how wicked and sinful this place really is and we need rescuing.  We need someone to take it away.  The good news.  He did.   Or He will.  He paid the price and He is going to come back and make all of this right.  This week is Easter.  Such a sweet reminder that He died for all of this.  This is not how it all ends.  He came as the Lamb of God, the ultimate sacrifice, to take away the sin of the world.  He came to rescue us.  In days like this it gives us hope.  I need hope.  Hope there is something better than all of this.  A better future.

     For those of you who don't have hope, those who don't believe any of this and are discouraged.  If you want to read more about the hope I am talking about you can in the book of John in the bible or you can privately ask me.  There is only one man who doesn't disappoint, one man who I have put my trust in even when things don't go my way or He doesn't answer me the way I would like.  When fresh wounds are opened remembering the little girl I lost 6 years ago and yet I still put my hope and trust in Him.  I keep reminding myself that if life was perfect, filled with love, I would never see my need for Him.  I would never want Him.

    I held my two girls tight last night as we prayed for Lexi.  My two beautiful girls that could have been taken from me up until the moment of adoption.  Reminded what a miracle that was in itself.  They are two of God's greatest gifts to me.  If there would have remained Sissy in our lives, there probably would not be Lucy.  Ivy reminded me of that.

Sorry for the rambling.  I look over all of this and it is a hodgepodge not making a lot of sense. (As a lot of my posts usually do). :)  This week as Resurrection Sunday approaches, I am going to continually thank Jesus for bringing us hope.  That day when He rose from the grave, He ushered in hope.  He paid for all of this ugliness on the cross.  It is finished.  Hallelujah!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An EXCITING start to 2016

We were going to wait to share this news but people are starting to post things on Facebook so I asked Matt if I could write on my blog today.  Let me just say that I am BEYOND excited to not be writing about my struggles with waiting in trials. I know I must sound like a broken record but I almost feel like this place is my diary.  So…I want to document what's happening with our family.     
I feel like I need to address the last few weeks.  The last weeks of December were a big struggle for Matt and I .  We found out on Christmas Eve (Ivy's birthday) that Matt didn't get a job that he was REALLY hoping for.  The reason he didn't get it was because through his background check we found out that he never graduated from college.  WHAT????  He walked in graduation, we had a party, I have been paying on his loans for 18 years and he even took me on a cruise to celebrate being done.  He has three classes to finish and he has started the process.  But long story short, he lost the job because the info. on his application was inaccurate.  The weird thing is,in  his last three jobs he needed a college degree.  It was a hard pill to swallow after he had applied for jobs for a full year straight with hardly any interviews and this job looked so promising.

As you remember (if your my friend on Facebook) I wasn't handling things very well.  The Lord used this time to reveal things in my life that I was desiring  more than I was desiring Christ.  In my mind I was desiring treasures on earth way more than desiring Him.  With this job gone, He stripped any hope of those things entering my life anytime soon.  It has actually been a sweet time between me and the Lord.  I know that He is the only One that satisfies. I wish I  wouldn't struggle so much with it but I do.  He continually shows me why I need Him so much.

So….last Friday a friend set up an interview for Matt in medical purchasing here  in Nashville.  Matt has wanted to get into medical purchasing for a couple of years but everyone wants medical purchasing experience.  He went to the interview, came home not really knowing either way how it went and in less than two hours the company was calling to offer Matt the job.  We just sat there and cried.  My mind kept taking me to how much I have struggled, how I have fought the Lord to gain control of the situation, how undeserving we were and then he blesses us with this.  Pure undeserving grace.  We were waiting to tell people to make sure the background check went through but decided to announce it today.  Matt's birthday.  So the girls and I bought him a "manly" lunch box to take to work.  It comes with compartments and ice packs so that he can bring a salad or hummus and veggies.  He loved it!


He is so excited to work.  He is so cute, he reminds me that he's going to work on February 1 just in case I forgot. The company is also close to his Dr. so he can go for chemo during his last year of treatment.  He hasn't worked in 2 and a half  years and the man is ready.  Best. birthday. gift. ever!