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Tag Archive: 5 Things I’m Loving This Week

5 Things I’m Loving This Week (plus a little update on my goals/plans for 2016!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

It’s been a f-u-l-l few weeks and I didn’t even get a chance to get this Saturday post up until now! I’m headed out to Colorado Springs for a radio taping on Wednesday and Thursday and then I’m done with book launch and business travel for 2015.

And I am so, so, so grateful that 2016 is going to be a much calmer year… or at least that’s the plan! 🙂 I’m going to be speaking a lot less, am not writing any books, have cut way back on my online responsibilities, and cannot wait to just stay home more and focus more on my home and family and just a few select business things.

The past few years of speaking and traveling and book-writing have stretched me and forever changed me in good ways as a writer, speaker, and person, but I’m excited about a new, much quieter season. In fact, my word for 2016 is REST. And that’s actually my biggest goal for the new year. 🙂

Stay tuned for more on my 2016 goals and plans next week! For now, here are 5 Things I’m Loving:

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#1. A Whirlwind Trip to NYC

Jesse and I got to go to NYC for 24 hours to hang out with our dear friends from South Africa who were in the states for meetings and it was absolutely amazing!

The weather was gorgeous (we didn’t even need coats!) and we packed so much into our trip: a nice dinner out at a wonderful restaurant, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, riding the subway, good coffee, the Staten Island Ferry, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bride, Wall Street, the World Trade Center Memorial, laughter and conversation with our friends from South Africa, trying to not get lost, good conversations as a couple, and a Broadway show!

After a hard few months with lots of heavy and emotionally and physically exhausting challenges, this getaway (our first as a couple in a few years!) was such a gift! And we used points and credit earned over this past year, so the trip cost us very little out of pocket, too.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#2) Getting to See My Favorite Broadway Show

I got to see Wicked last year when I went to NYC, so it was so fun to take Jesse to see it. He really loved it… though probably not quite at the fangirl level as me, but what can I say? I’m kind of into it. 🙂

I’ve only been to this one Broadway production, so I can’t speak for the others, but the production quality is just incredible. So well done and the quality of the performers is top notch! It’s expensive, but so worth it for a very, very special treat!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

#3) My Fringe Hours Book

Jessica Turner sent me her new book, My Fringe Hours, and I went through it on the trip to NYC and found so much valuable information and encouragement in it. If you read and liked her first book, The Fringe Hours, I think you’ll really enjoy this as a companion guide.

My Choose Joy Coffee Cozy

#4) My Choose Joy Coffee Cozy

I already shared this picture earlier this week, but I love it so much that I have to share it again. 🙂 This is my Coffee Cozy from Julie who runs the adorable Etsy shop called Tokyo Blossom.

This Coffee Cozy has gone with me multiple places this week because I just love it so much!

Kaitlynn's Ice-Skating Program

#5) Kaitlynn’s Christmas Ice-Skating Program

We are so proud of this girl. She had her Christmas program last Friday evening and it was her first “big” program. She was a nervous wreck all week about it, but when her performance came, she went out and completely rocked it. You can watch the whole video of her performance here. She’s put in so many hours on the ice this last year and we are so excited to see how it’s paying off — not only in her figure skating, but also in her character development.

What are YOU loving right now? Tell us in the comments!

5 Things I’m Loving This Week

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1) An Essential Oil Locket

I’m so excited about this new essential oil locket that was in the mail when we got home from our trip early this morning. You put 1-2 drops of essential oils on the little leather disc inside the locket and supposedly the aroma will last for 3-5 days!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2) Local Community

This is what love and community looks like.

I texted a friend on Monday to say we were going to stay home from Monday Group tonight because we had gotten home from the airport at 3 am this morning and our kiddos needed a crazy early bedtime as a result.

I didn’t say anything about how tired I felt. Or how much laundry we had to do. Or the fact that I’m leaving tomorrow for another trip and was a little bit overwhelmed by my to do list for the day.

My friend didn’t know any of that. But something prompted her to text back and say, “I’m bringing over dinner tonight.” It was like a love note directly from God to me through this friend. And it blessed me in an amazing way. It was like God saying to me, “I’ve got this. Trust me. I’m going to carry you through this day.” And He did — and it ended up being such a good day.

And it was topped off with this delicious and fun dinner dropped off by friends who didn’t know how much their gift encouraged us today.

If you’re prompted to do something for someone else, do it. You never know just how much they might need your love today. Or how your kindness could transform their entire day.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3) My In-Home Hairstylist

I have become a hair model. Or that’s how it feels. And I don’t mind it one bit!

Every single day, Kaitlynn (8) wants to try a one (or 5!) new hair style ideas out on me. This was one of her newest hair styles to attempt.

Thanks to YouTube, I doubt she’s ever going to run out of inspiration!! I love watching my kids trying new things and discovering their interests, passions, and gifts. It’s one of the most rewarding things as a parent! (I was reading a really good book when she snapped this picture and didn’t even know she was taking a picture! So excuse the intensely serious look on my face!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

4) A Special Vacation to Fripp Island

I was so blessed to get to spend the last few days on beautiful Fripp Island, SC with three of my dear friends. We enjoyed deep conversations, shared lots of laughs, cooked good food, watched funny movies, took time to read, walked on the beach, watched the sun rise and set, and planned for our lives and businesses for 2016.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

On the first day of vacation, I had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for breakfast with coffee and devotions. At noon. Because I’m on vacation sans kids. Don’t judge. 😉

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are one of the few non-homemade treats I absolutely adore. And I can’t keep them at our house or that could be dangerous. But on vacation, I’m all about doing a little splurging!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

Bonus: I may be a wee bit excited about these limited edition #ChooseJoy sweatshirts!! Look for a special offer coming in a few days!

What are YOU loving this week? Tell us in the comments.

5 Things I’m Loving This Week

5 Things I'm Loving This Week
1. A Vacation from the Usual Responsibilities

This past week, we were in Kansas to spend the week with family and friends. It was SO good to have a break from the normal responsibilities of life and just enjoy a week most “unplugged”.

Kathrynne took this picture of the moon and clouds one night and I thought it was such a fitting close to a really refreshing day.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2. Fun Times of Memory-Making With Family & Friends

We had many fun times with family and friends this past week — including a rousing round of Limbo and Yard Stick High Jump. Even I got in on the fun (see video proof here).

The kids also got to decorate the Christmas tree at Grandma & Grandpa’s house.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

It never ceases to amaze me that I have three kids who are 10, 8, and 6!! I still feel like I’m 22, and then I look at my kids and realize that I may be a bit delusional when it comes to my age.

I’m so happy that even though my babies are growing up, they are still young enough to revel in the wonder of Christmas.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3. A Good Book: The Art of Losing Yourself

I finished The Art of Losing Yourself this week. If you like Christian fiction that tackles real-life brokenness and doesn’t have Hallmark endings, I’d highly recommend this book.

I loved the character development and it reminded me that everyone has hard burdens they are carrying, and that hurting people need our love not our judgment, ostracizing, or criticism. (Thanks to Lisa-Jo for recommending this book!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

4. Playing Games as a Family

While waiting at the airport to try to fly back to Nashville, I taught the kids how to play one of my favorite games: Dutch Blitz.

They caught on quickly and, after lots of rounds played over the last two days, they can now almost beat me!! It’s always fun to find games that our whole family can really get into and enjoy together!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5. Opportunities to Choose Joy in the Midst of Unexpected Hiccups

We were supposed to fly back to TN on Saturday afternoon, but after a few hours of delay, our flight was cancelled. After making multiple phone calls to American, waiting in multiple lines, and trying to get on other flights tonight to no avail, we just gave up on getting back to Nashville on Saturday.

After exploring a bunch of alternatives, we finally just decided to get tickets on the next flight they could get us on — which left at 8 pm on Sunday night! The joys of winter traveling and ice storms! It’s always an adventure, eh?!

While waiting, we practiced our frowny face selfies, because my kids said I need to work on getting a better frowny face selfie (is that a good thing that I’m not skilled at frowny faces??) Every time we took a picture, they’d be like, “Nope, Mom. Not good. That looks like you’re getting ready to throw up!” 🙂

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

Saturday morning hadn’t started so well (lots of grumpy and cranky people in this here family — including me!), but I wanted to finish out this trip well. Choosing love. Choosing joy. Choosing gratitude. And choosing to see unexpected travel hiccups and delays as adventures. 🙂

While we really would have loved to make it back to TN on Saturday night like we were scheduled to, Sunday was an unexpected quiet family day and it ended up being the perfect way to finish out such a good Thanksgiving week. The kids all got 13+ hours of sleep (!!) and Jesse and I got to sleep in, too!! All that sleep meant everyone had much better attitudes today — including Mom.

And we finally made it back to Nashville at 1:45 a.m. this morning (Monday morning). And we just got home, put the kids to bed, and now I’m headed to bed myself! What a week!

What are YOU loving right now? Tell us in the comments!

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5 Things I’m Loving This Week

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1. A Date With This Guy

I love spending time as a family or with all my kids together, but making time for one-on-one time is really important, too. It requires more intention and sometimes some sacrifice and planning, but it’s so worth it.

It doesn’t have to be a date to Starbucks. It could be reading a book together. Or cooking together. Or playing a game together. It just asking questions one-on-one and really listening to the answers.

However it looks, make it a priority. Because these years and opportunities are fleeting.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2. A Reminder of How Much I Can Take For Granted

This is what, “I’m hungry and desperate” looks like. I flew to Kansas today and forgot to bring food with me or get anything at the airport in Nashville and they didn’t have snacks on the plane.

I was SO hungry by the time I made it to Dallas, but I didn’t have that long of a layover, so I decided to just get to my gate and then find some food close by.

Well, they are doing all sorts of construction in Terminal B in Dallas right now, so I had to take all these detours to make it to my gate. And then, when I finally made it there with little time to spare, I discovered that I was at the gate where there was literally nothing but vending machines — unless you have time to walk a long ways somewhere else.

So I ate vending machine food — something I basically never do — and thought about how entitled I am that I was frustrated that this was my only option. When you think of all the people around the globe with no food options, it reminds me just how easily I can take things for granted.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3. Watching Kathrynne Swim

Kathrynne had two swim meets this past week and it was SO fun to get to see her compete. She is so focused, driven, and committed to doing her best. And it inspires me to watch!

5 Things I'm Loving THis Week

4. Being Able to Laugh at Myself

Sometimes, when things don’t turn out how you’d hoped they would, you just have to laugh. 🙂

Case in point: my attempt to tweak my waffle recipe this week! (See above. No, those are not scrambled eggs on that plate. That’s exactly how each of the waffles came off the waffle maker tonight. Just like that pile right there. I know. I’m just not sure how I do it! ;))

5 Things I'm Loving THis Week

5. My Paris Mug

Drinking coffee out of my Paris mug this week reminded me to pray and feel burdened for those affected by the events in Paris, as well as so many other hard situations going on — locally and globally.

There is so much suffering and heartache around us. Sometimes it feels so heavy that choosing joy is hard.

We can’t fix all the problems in the world. But we can do our little part in our little sphere of life to live with outstretched arms.

To love wholeheartedly. To give generously. To say a kind word. To smile. To find the good and praise it. To be a safe place for others to be authentic. To listen well. To care deeply. And to live fully.

You were created to make a difference. Never forget that!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

P.S. Did you get your Choose Love & Choose Gratitude Journals yet? If not, the special sale on them ends on Monday. Read more about them & grab the coupon code here.

5 Things I’m Loving This Week

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1) New Coloring Books

I’m loving these new coloring books (thanks to Swagbucks for the Amazon credit to make fun purchases like this!)!

The girls are coloring one hymn per week during our read aloud time and we’re singing/learning that hymn that week, too. It’s such a great way to teach my kids some of my favorite hymns, plus, I love the encouragement I’m receiving from meditating on these rich words!

{By the way, these Prismacolor pencils are the best thing ever. If you missed my post and video on them, you can see it here.}

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2) Family Game Night

After years of being told how amazing the game Ticket to Ride is, we finally broke down and got the game.
Our kids learned how to play it earlier this week (thanks, YouTube!) and they taught Jesse and me how to play it tonight.

Honestly, I’m not sure that there’s enough strategy and speed for it to be my kind of game, but our kids love it (I like games that are either really, really fast-moving, or have layer upon layer upon layer of strategy). Plus, it’s great for helping Silas learn more U.S. Geography!

And I just loved getting to have a Family Game Night — that’s something I want to do more often!
5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3) Baked Oatmeal

Have you tried Baked Oatmeal before? We love, love, love it!

Best of all, I love that it can be made the night before and then just popped in the oven the next morning. Or, you can make a big batch and freeze it!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

4) Fun Pictures of my book, Money-Making Mom

People have been sending me pictures of my book this past week and I’ve just been loving it. It’s been spotted at bookstores, at airports, and even in a deer stand!

After spending so much time writing and editing a book, it means the world when others are so excited with you at its release!

Have you gotten your copy of Money-Making Mom yet? If not, you can grab it here. Or, if you’re not sure if it’s for you, you can read the first chapter here.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5) These Ladies

These are some of the ladies of our beloved Monday Group. We called ourselves the Girl Tribe and we just love being a part of each other’s lives. It was Tam’s birthday this week so we celebrated together and took a number of hilarious pictures.

We are all very different from each other in so many ways and yet we celebrate those differences and it brings so much beauty and depth to our relationship.

We laugh together. We pray together. We have heart-to-heart talks. We are open about our struggles. We have mad group texting skills. And they have even tried to teach me to karaoke… we’re still working on that one. 😉

We are committed to showing up and being involved in each other’s lives. Coming together at least once a week to sit around a table, share food, and share our hearts and burdens and victories together is truly a gift.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

And here’s a shot of some of our kids playing together yesterday. Is this not the most precious thing ever??

Get this Sweater for just $14.95 shipped

Bonus: This Knit Top

Cents of Style sent me this knit top recently and I’ve fallen in love with it. It’s SO comfy, so versatile, and you can dress it up or dress it down.

It feels like the perfect mix between sweater and sweatshirt! {Psst! You can get it for just $14.95 shipped through Monday when you use coupon code MSMTUNIC at checkout.}

Speaking of shirts, I also got brave and got a flannel shirt recently. I think it is the first. time. ever. that I’ve worn flannel!

What are YOU loving this week? Tell us in the comments!

5 Things I’m Loving This Week

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1. This Picture of My Kids

These three got themselves up, dressed, washed their hair, fixed it, fed themselves, and got themselves out the door for early service with Jesse at church last week — all on their own! Which meant I ended up having a completely quiet morning all to myself to read and pray and then met them at church for the second service!

Moms of littles: hang in there. I know that it feels like the day will never come when you won’t be overwhelmed with changing and bathing and dressing and feeding little people, but the day will come soon when that will all be a memory of the past. And you’ll look at your kids and wonder how on earth they grew up and became so self-sufficient!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2. Fun New About My New Book

So, I kind of had a big week last week… not only did I launch my new book, Money-Making Mom, but I also got some very fun and unexpected news related to the book:

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3. Thought-Provoking Books

Speaking of books, I finished two different books this past week that I just loved and that really challenged and inspired me — Rising Strong by Brene Brown and Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington. I’ll be scoping more about both of these this coming week.

You can see snippets of what I gleaned from quotes I posted on my Instagram feed recently.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

4. Your Money-Making Mom Pictures on Social Media

Oh my goodness! I am just loving all of the pictures you all are posting on social media with my book. Honestly, it’s a humbling and surreal thing for others to be holding and reading a book that you wrote.

And I just cannot believe that there are already 173 reviews on Amazon!! The way you all have been cheerleading and championing me in this book launch just floors and touches me so much. Thank you for proving, once again, that I have the best readers on the planet. You mean the world to me!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5. My Husband’s Kindness to Shop for Me

I posted this on Instagram earlier this week:

How I shop…

Step 1: Make a list of what I need to buy.

Step 2: Text said list to @jessepaine with photos of ideas of what I’m sort of thinking.

Step 3: Sit at home in my comfy pants and comfy chair and get blogging work done while @jessepaine texts me pictures of Silas holding up various items that fit my list criteria.

Step 4: Have a phone call with @jessepaine to decide on the final picks.

Step 5: Try on clothes at home. Be very, very grateful that my husband loves shopping. Celebrate the fact that I stayed out of stores yet another day.

The End.

What are YOU loving this week? Tell us in the comments!