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Serve your Love

I was hoping to write this post filled with pictures from a certain night away I had originally planned on surprising Micah with. I had wanted to snap pictures of the secret loves notes I had been scheming on tucking away in his luggages through out this months travels but mostly I wanted one big sappy post about all the lovey-dovey things I tried to incorporate more of into our marriage this month but realized some where around the second week into February, life is messy and you kind of have to clean up the messes as you go and have a grace filled attitude if you desire to still enjoy the party. 
Instead of little love notes hidden throughout his luggage, I spilled my guts out in one long letter to him that he read mid-flight one of his trips. I shared with him how I longed to be a better wife and mama. How things are crazy in our lives right now but also so good and how I'm anxious about our upcoming move. I basically let my heart bleed out onto pages when all I wanted to do was let him know I loved him, deeply and madly.
We don't have a sitter plus funds are tight as we budget for an across the country move and other things on the near horizon for us, so planning a extended night away like I planned just fizzled away. We did however take advantage of the fact my little brother started coming to stay two nights a week so he could beat traffic for his mid week classes at college in the morning. So one of those nights we snuck out to our fave local little pub and wrote about our love story together. We laughed and to be honest even cried a bit. We reminisced and marveled at what God has done and is continuing to do in our lives and especially n our marriage. 
It was there, that night at a simple local pub, only minutes from our house that I realized just getting out to have some meaningful quality time was all that he needed. 
It's funny because my love language is quality time, not his but I think filling up my love bank enabled me to love him better.
I felt more connected throughout the month and made sure to tell him any chance I had that I loved him.
Then just this week something miraculous happened and we were both able to attend a late night show together. It was actually the band he was originally in. The band that moved him all the way out here to sunny Southern California and well it was just a fantastic night to sneak out together while the babes slept. We laughed so much with together. Then, for old sake, we stopped at In & Out at one in the morning to get our shake and animal style fry goodness on. If you have no idea what I'm referring to, trust me this late night snack is so dang good and so worth the aftermath of not being 21 nor being able to eat whatever we want! 
All in all in my efforts to love him better I was convicted of how much I have going on all the time which helped motivate me to cut out things I want to do to make time for things I should do. That sounds bad but in the end the things I should be doing actually end up being the things I like doing. Cleaning up the house, making sure the kitchen is tidy after I cook, putting my phone away while we're together, telling him less of my day to day mom problems and taking those things to the Lord… the list goes on. Taking care of things that aren't necessarily on the top of my list are things which help make Micah feel like he is. That is the beauty of almost eleven years of growing together, it's finding there is still always room to cut out more of ourselves to make room for the other.
I read this quote on someone else's instagram feed and I just loved it. I want to strive for that steady wish to push Micah to be the best he can be by loving him well.

Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." -C. S. Lewis

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Love Story

My sweet friend Danielle does a love story series on her blog each year and I'm excited to share a bit of our story over on her happy space today.
You can read it HERE
Happy Valentine's Day!

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Does shopping for eyeglasses completely overwhelm you? Do you ever wish you could have someone who knows style and fit and frames stand there with you at the eye doctor and tell you you're about to make a huge mistake? How about having someone who actually designs frames and styles people in their sleep offer you something you may never have considered, but that actually refines your face shape, enhances your unique coloring, and compliments your style instead of defining it? 

Recently, David Kind styled 7 bloggers (including me!) based solely on head shots we sent their stylist, in order to demonstrate how personalized this service is. But the fun thing is, they didn't do anything for us that they don't do for all of their clients. If you sign up for a free style set, simply share a photo, you too will be personally styled by a professional, and you too will be matched with frames to choose from that flatter your face and coloring and style - six frames picked just for you and shipped to your home at no cost. (Not sure what to pick after trying everything on? No problem - these folks are happy to give you a moment of their time via video chat to answer questions and suggest options - it's VIP treatment for everybody!) See what they did for us and why, then be sure to sign up to be styled yourself AND enter the giveaway below!  
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Serve your Love - #simplyserve2014

I know I'm not the only mom who wants to get out and show our kids how to be lights in this dark world. Wanting to teach them to be little encouragers and smile bringers. Showing them how to serve others well even at a young age. Though my heart is willing my flesh is weak. Often times I forget that serving others doesn't need to be a grand thing or even involve money sometimes. Having the kids help color letters to send to friends or family, bake cookies for a friend who has had a rough week or letting that mom with a screaming toddler go ahead of you in line because thank God at that moment your babes are well behaved and can spare a few extra minutes to wait in line.
Honestly serving others can be as simple as holding the door open for another mom with a stroller or smiling and being polite to the checker who is giving you major attitude. 

I'm always motivated and encouraged to do more for others when I see others doing it or when I see a post about it on Instagram or Facebook. With hopes of spurring others on and encouraging those who don't know where to start is how Simply Serve came to be.

I'm excited to be collaborating with these fab women as we learn to simply serve better in 2014! We are choosing a word to collectively inspire other women throughout the year and we have chosen SERVE.

{for more deets see original post HERE}

Corrine (Mint Arrow
Tiffany (Rue Rococo
Jen (Delightful Deets)

Every month on the first Thursday of the month we will have a post that informs you of our goal for the month AND the post will have a FREE printable from Alissa (The Printed Palette). 
THEN on the last Thursday of the month we will have a wrap up post sharing our experiences and what we did. We invite you to share along with us. Use the hashtag #simplyserve2014 when you share any social media about this project so we can follow along! It’s easy, fun, and we will hopefully help inspire some wonderful people along the way.

Grab this awesome printable here
If you missed January's grab it here

This month's theme is 

I'm really excited about this months theme! I love my Micah more than words. He is actually quite easy to Love. He is a fantastic husband, father, friend and spiritual leader.However, I know that I have been wanting to learn to love him better. There was a time (pre-kids) that I packed all his lunches with love notes in them and placed simple reminders tucked away in his suitcases if he traveled. Texted him to let him know I was thinking about him every day and dated him regularly. 

Now a days, in our hectic schedule with his travels, parenthood, running a small business and everything else in between I barely even throw left overs at him to take to work, have neglected to sneak love notes in his luggage and only text him when I have a question or need something picked up on his way home. I hate even typing that out and admitting that because I love him so much and we have a wonderful marriage and he never even complains about not doing anything special for him, but it's knowing I should be trying to better myself as a wife all the time that has tugged at my heart.

I know it was once MUCH easier to dote on him when I didn't have little people needing me all day err-day and I'm not saying it needs to be exactly the same as it once was, but I can definitely do more to show him I not only love him but care for him.

This month, and not just because Valentine's day is quickly approaching but because I want to always show MIcah that I do indeed love him, I want to use this "Serve your Love" as a jumping point to launch back into loving him well.
I know just by taking the time to do simple gestures or planning my day to include making his breakfasts and lunches (not just the kid's) and coming up with ways to let him know I'm thinking about him during the day will be so beneficial to our marriage. 
Like I said I'm so excited for this month's theme and hope you are too!

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My love language is quality time. I want to say it has changed over the years as I have  grown and my needs and desires have changed but to be honest I think it's always been quality time. Sometimes I think I forget being together doesn't necessarily qualify as having quality time because having undivided and uninterrupted attention is what really makes me feel loved. 
It's almost silly to write that out because I know I am loved, however when I don't get true quality time with Micah especially now with all his recent travels my love tank quickly starts dropping to empty and feel all other areas in my life start to suffer.

I feel this is true also for my time spent with God. When I rise early to spend time in the word or when I stitch to podcasts and bible study messages versus watching TV my life is fuller and I perform all those same areas better. Being a wife, mama, friend, shop owner, daughter … you get the point when my quality time love bank is full I am a better me. I feel loved so I love all those around me better.

I love that Micah knows me so well and truly loves me well. Even though I was fine and doing ok with him traveling so much he knew I needed some family togetherness. Away from the house, my work and from all the day to day stuff. He knew I just needed to relax with all my loves and catch up, talk and play together before he flew out on another trip. 
So on a whim, and when I say whim I literally mean the night before this happened he searched for a hotel that had a lazy river and slide for us all to play on and sure enough Casino Morongo popped up with a crazy awesome "off season" hotel rate! Only about two hours from our house which made it conveniently close yet far enough where we felt like we had a grand getaway. 
It really was a terrific getaway. Sleeping in, eating buffets, shopping at the near by outlet malls and relaxing in the lazy river made for an awesome quality time filled trip. It was a short trip but it was just what my heart needed to be refueled before his next trip. 

This scripture really has stood out to me this past week 

"Above all, keep Loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sin" 1 Peter 4:8

Not just LOVE but to KEEP loving with sincerity. 
I think that is the key to not only our marriage but to all those we love, to be sincere and serious about loving each other. In order to love well we must learn what makes each others heart ticks and what fills us up. 
So grateful for my Micah. Lord knew what I needed in a husband. He is always seeking God's will for our family. He is tenderhearted and loves us all well. Plus there's also the fact that he is pretty much ridiculous all the time and has me laughing at almost everything. Take for instance this picture above.
We decided to take a break from the pool and head to the outlet malls down the street. No need for changing he said since we will just be jumping in the car to head home afterward.
I agreed it was a good idea until I walked passed a mirror and saw that we looked all together G-H-E-T-T-O. 
Vernon was in the same clothes from the day before because he freaked out not wanting to wear his swim gear which was wet but that didn't stop the rest of us from just throwing a dress over our suits or if you're Micah adding a dirty shirt from the drive up is just fine.
If we already weren't a sight to be seen I realized that dance parties in the stores and trying on a Sport Coat over your swim attire was drawing way to much attention to our family.
Like I said, it was a great little trip.