Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! ?
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I got the best deal on eggs I think I’ve ever gotten this week. Check out the details here.
Speaking of saving, I was also excited this week because I earned 436 points on Fetch Rewards for my second shopping trip! If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards yet, I highly recommend signing up and scanning your receipts. It’s such an easy-peasy way to earn free gift cards!
(Want more details on Fetch Rewards and how it works? Read this post on How I Earned $5 in Free Gift Cards in 3 Weeks — just for scanning my grocery receipts.)
Since Kaitlynn was off school this week, she had fun doing a number of different crafts and also tried her hand at making Oreo Cheesecakes.
She brought the finished cheesecakes down to me while I was working one day.
They were yummy!
On Tuesday night, Silas had a baseball game and got to play pitcher position most of the game!
We had planned to leave on Tuesday and to go to Florida and New Orleans… but then the hurricane hit and Kathrynne had a lot going on at school and didn’t want to miss any days (her Fall Break was only for Friday through Monday whereas Kaitlynn and Silas got this whole past week off), so we moved the road trip to just be Thursday night through Sunday night.
It wasn’t the week-long trip I had hoped for, but I decided to just be grateful for what we could make happen and to try to make the most of it!
As some of you know, we have a big bucket list goal of traveling to all 50 US states and all 7 continents with our kids by the time Kathrynne turns 18, so we got to cross a few more US States We Haven’t Visited Yet off our list with this trip — yay!
BIRMINGHAM, AL: The Birmingham Civil Rights Museum was sobering… and we have had many good discussions as a result of our time there and at 16th Street Baptist Church. (Note: We thought the museum was over-priced, but I think the $$ goes to the Civil Rights Institute.)
Have any of you been to the Jackson, MS or Memphis, TN Civil Rights Museums and this one? I would love to know how they compare.
The Botanical Gardens were incredible — and we still can’t believe that they are free. We took so many fun pictures together and laughed so hard while trying to get good shots. (We enjoyed our time there so much and would highly recommend it… so much so that I’ll likely do a separate post dedicated to more details on it.)
Saw’s Soul Kitchen was a hopping place (thanks to the follower who recommended it!) and the food was unique and yummy!
WEST MONROE, LA: We finally made it to the Duck Commander headquarters — something Jesse and Silas had been hoping to make happen for a few YEARS.
We did the Duck Commander Tour (we got our tickets on Groupon) and it was interesting to get to hear the backstory to the Robertson family. If you are big fans of the Robertson’s and their TV show, Duck Dynasty, you will likely enjoy this tour.
Personally, I thought it was overpriced, but Jesse really enjoyed it! 🙂
We got to make our own Duck Calls.
And then the kids went outside and tried them out with the little duck pool they have (I’m sure these poor ducks have to endure hearing a LOT of duck calls!)
We also stopped by Miss Kay’s… but were sad to discover that it was too late in the day and had already closed.
The Realities of Traveling as a Family…
While you see lots of smiles in these photos above, I want to be honest and tell you that traveling isn’t always roses and rainbows. Take Saturday morning, for instance: We had driven to Jackson, MS, the night before and had gotten in late only to discover that the fully booked hotel we were supposed to stay in had put us in a smoking room that smelled so pungent we couldn’t even walk into it.
(Silas and I have asthma and can’t be around secondhand smoke, so we spent a long time waiting for them to find a new room for us… Three cheers for the incredibly gracious staff at this hotel!)
We were so grateful to finally crash into bed around midnight. But then, my head cold got a lot worse in the night and I spent much of the night awake and completely miserable.
I didn’t want to get up in the morning because of my pounding head… but I also didn’t want to miss out on this family road trip. So I pulled myself out of bed and went to workout — only to come back to the room to discover that two of the kids had woken up with terrible attitudes.
There was arguing and fighting. There was complaining. (“We don’t want to be on this trip! We just wish we could be HOME!”)
And then traffic was really bad because of Homecoming and we couldn’t find any parking (people were parked on the sidewalk and in the turn lanes on the street!!), so we gave up on doing anything in Jackson and drove to West Monroe.
I wondered if we made a mistake in working so hard to make this road trip happen (we had to rearrange a lot of things because our initial road trip plans fell through due to the hurricane and Kathrynne’s school schedule).
But by some miracle, the day ended well. Jesse got me some meds (I felt like a new woman!), the kids’ attitudes turned around, we had a fun time at Duck Commander, and the kids wanted to pose for this photo above and willingly smiled!
Traveling as a family always has its rough patches and sometimes we wonder if it’s really worth it, but then we end the day with practicing ball room dancing in the hotel room, laughing over silly things, and piled together watching Monsters University… and Jesse and I remember why we prioritize this.
From My Heart…
I’m a world class fixer. Give me a problem and I will move heaven and earth to find a solution for you.
While this can be a great skill when it comes to running a business, it’s not a great skill when it comes to friendship.
Because relationships aren’t projects. People want to be seen and heard and loved — not added to your to-do list as something needing to be fixed.
I’m writing this more to myself than anything… because I desperately need the reminder. If you share your struggles with me, I can immediately jump into fix-it mode. I want to give you a website to check out, a book to read, and the next three simple steps you need to take.
In fact, just a few days ago, a friend who is going through a hard time texted me and said, “I don’t want counsel; I just want to share what I’m feeling.”
Ouch. That stepped all over my toes in a powerful way.
People are not problems to be solved; they are human beings to love.
Yes, sometimes loving well looks like helping to tangibly provide solutions. But many times, it means just listening and providing an empathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a safe place to confide in… all without any long-term agenda or plan for anything other than to love generously and well.
Let’s stop fixing and start extravagantly loving. I think it will probably be a lot more effective! Who’s with me? ❤️
Graphic made by my 11-year-old, Kaitlynn. Quote from @jessicahonegger
2018 Goals Update
1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story driven/biographies /inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.
**Progress: 65 books read so far this year
2. Read through the entire Bible.
**Progress: I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and am all caught up— yay!
3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.
**Progress: 39 notes written so far this year
4. Run 500 miles.
**Progress: 385 miles run so far
5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.Jesse and I went to NYC together in January.
6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.
**Progress: We’ve finished three books so far.
7. Take the kids to South Africa. We took this trip in July. What a memorable experience!
8. Go on a family road trip.While we didn’t get to go on as long of a road trip as we wanted to, we made the most of our Fall Break Road Trip to LA, MS, and AL (and checked off a few more states from our States We Haven’t Visited Yet list!)
9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.
**Progress: The workout room is DONE and the office is almost done!
10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)
**Progress: We’re halfway to having this fully funded. We are hoping to finish this out before the end of the year — we’ll see!
11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.
12. Launch 5 new courses.
**Progress: We launched 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January, Content Creation 101 in February, 4-Week Blog Coaching Program in March, Email List Setup 101 in March, Make Over Your Mornings LIVE in April, the Facebook Live Masterclass in May, and we launched Build Your List 101 in June!