April 7, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Dear Strep Throat & Scarlet Fever, I am breaking up with you…

As you can read from my title of this post we are sick. Several weeks ago we had strep and scarlet fever in our home for the first time. My 7 year old son was the first to get it. Two weeks later I got it. We got over it and sweet girl who {as she would say almost 6} didn’t get it. I thought we were in the clear. My son had a horrible rash everywhere no fever or sore throat just the rash and headache. I however, had the classic strep throat that felt like you were swallowing razor blades. We survived like all families do even with this horrible looking bright red rash everywhere.

Fast forward to the last week and a half, sweet girl flares up with this crazy rash! Two strep test negative but she wasn’t getting better. So I took her again and the strep test was negative in the office but was sent to the labs. Wouldn’t you know Thursday evening I get a call that it is strep and scarlet fever and we need to start antibiotics.

This morning, four days later, my son wakes up with a stomach ache and headache so I immediately got a dr. appt and we test positive for strep including myself. So we are all three at home going through strep together and hopefully fighting it for real. I have stripped everything in our house again, cleaned like a mad woman, sanitized everything, and lots of TLC to the little ones. We can hopefully go back to school Wednesday but until then strep and scarlet fever, I am breaking up with you to spend time with my babies. Time not rushing in the morning and just enjoying the innocence of children.

After opening our bottle of antibiotic for the second child today I know things are looking up!

 

 

April 5, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Things I love lately…..

So my last few posts have been focused on balancing busyness. I wish I could say that I have figured it out and I wasn’t challenged by this but that would be a flat out lie. It has gotten busier and I never thought it really could. I have decided for sanity and my family I need to let some things go. This is hard for me to with my busy mindset that I have but it is the best. So please say a few prayers for me on making those decisions and knowing which is God’s will for me to let go.

Things I love lately……

1. The Frozen soundtrack. My daughter and I love music and we can’t get enough of the songs especially love is an open door. I love even more that while I am ridiculously singing it to my husband in the car he starts to sing with me too the voice of Hans and changed the words to Love is a laundry room door! I died laughing since we met in a laundromat at the apartment complex we both lived in. Don’t you love the bunny ears our son photo bombed us with.

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2. Baseball season is among us! My son loves baseball and so do we. Saturday morning games, even in the cold, snacks, practice in the yard, and uniforms.

3. I love Meyers brand cleaners and hand soaps. All of their products are rigorously tested by industry experts for health, effectiveness, and environmental impact. I love the Lavender scents in the hand soap, kitchen counter cleaner, and wipes. Free shipping and savings lower than the store. Here is my referral link. I received this adorable Minnie Mouse strawberry hand soap for the kids.

4. I l love cupcakes and this yummy chocolate cupcake was one of my lunches this past week. I know not the healthiest but oh so yummy. It is from Panera bread company and there was this yummy gooey chocolate goodness hidden inside that was unexpected!
5. I love social media. With how busy life is lately I love that I can connect with friends and family with pictures and comments while the chaos has overtaken me. It doesn’t replace those relationships but it sure helps the distance seem less distant.
6. Lastly, I love this picture I found on pinterest.
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Whatever you do.Whatever busyness you are surrounded by. The chaos that overtakes you. The family and friends that fill your life. May you be filled with joy and do everything with passion and joy that will fill others with joy as well.

March 28, 2014
by Angie Brown
2 Comments

Finding a little balance

My schedule has gone beyond “busy” and I am not proud. I love all the work I do. Volunteering, subbing, work at home mom, stay at home mom, extra curricular activities for the kids, my mommy duties and taking care of our home. Honestly, the last one really lost me. Home. I have neglected it so much lately it bothers me. I can’t seem to even get close to catching up on the laundry. Homework, reading, playing, meals, dishes, all the other stuff you add to it, it’s just continuous.

I haven’t been so strict on my home duties and keeping it perfectly tidy though because at the end of the day my kids are more important to me than that basket of clothes to be a neatly put away. Because it is that season of busyness and two kids back to back in school I want my kids to know they are important to me.

I feel like I am losing ground though. I feel like my house is complete chaos and I am lost in it. So I am working hard the next few weeks on finding balance in my home with everything that pulls me in many directions. As I am reflecting in this area the last few days I know that I am also needing to find some balance in other areas.

I am pulled continuously with the different needs of my children. Nurturing them individually and uplifting them with encouragement each day. Building their little souls to grow in the Lord and love others. I am sure my babies are just like your children completely different from each other. Different emotional needs, love language, and likes and dislikes.

Finding balance is a challenge to me right now. Please pray for me. I want to be full submerged in their lives and blossom their spiritual walk all the while teaching them obedience, love, kindness, and more  through my life.

These are just some of my thoughts and I pray that if you are challenged in this area as I am you will seek the Lord for your guidance and trust in his goodness for you and your family.

 

March 16, 2014
by Angie Brown
1 Comment

Dear Payton

Payton, today we would have celebrated your 8th birthday. I know you would be running around with all of us acting crazy and dancing in the living room. Your beautiful auburn hair all over the place like your sister’s and mine. We would have had a party celebrating you! But no party here I could give you could compare to the party God is giving you.You are with the creator of the Heavens and the Earth doing his mighty work. I have been told that you are my angel who watches down on me. Maybe so, but I can’t find scripture that backs that up, so I believe that you have more important things to take care of waiting in Heaven for us. I love you.

The love in my heart for you moves my soul. For all three of my children. Today is your day just as they have their day. Happy 8th Birthday! You will be celebrated with a balloon release as we always do and a little prayer. There is always sunshine on your day and I am so thankful for that. Payton, you have changed my life and I am so thankful to be your mom. You had a purpose on this Earth just as we all do but even more important one in Heaven that God needed you sooner. With grief comes lots of mixed emotions but you are a ray of sunshine in my hope and joy that I cherish through it all to come.

He will heal what has been wounded and restore my broken soul. He brings me peace not because I have handled this on my own and figured it all out, but because of Christ.

Photo: Balloon release for big sister in heaven celebrating her 8th birthday!

Photo: Beautiful roses from a beautiful friend for my sweet Payton's heavenly birthday! God is amazing!

These beautiful roses were a gift from a beautiful friend who holds a special place in my heart. We met after I lost my sweet girl but she has been an amazing friend who remembers Payton and honors her with me in such a loving way. Thank you dear friend for loving me and Payton!

March 10, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Oh Lately

Oh lately. Where do I begin? These last few months have been absolutely busy yet so rewarding. School has been passing by so quickly and I can’t believe that my daughter’s kindergarten year is more than half way over. My son is flying by in first grade and it’s hard to believe that he will be in second grade this next school year. It is so amazing to watch their little souls just grow and learn to read, process math, problem solve, grow with friends, and blossom in these amazing little children. We have had our challenges but God has been with us each step of the way.

We are on spring break this week. Daylight savings time has messed with our sleep schedule a little so I am very thankful it is spring break week so we can adjust. It was beautiful today with lots of sunshine and my hubby was home from work. We were able to grill out our dinner and it was oh so yummy.  But don’t think we had a perfect evening. I dumped half a bag (10 lb bag) of sugar on the kitchen counter and floors. That was oh so fun cleaning up! I have swept, mopped, moved the oven, found sugar in the drawer, cabinets, stuck to the grout…..hoping I got every grain of sugar!

We had our first Orthodontic appointment for our son today. Although he is in first grade, he has lots of adult teeth already, and our dentist said he has the teeth of a third grader.  So we are starting phase one in the next few months with a spacer and braces. Our first phase will be twelve months long. I am worried about his diet since he is our picky eater and we will have some challenges but in the long run it will all be worth it.

Speaking of picky eaters. Guess what! He tried watermelon. He is still not sure about it but he tried it! He also has started eating chicken salad sandwiches with me! We had to improvise with ingredients like no grapes, apples, anything crunchy but it’s a huge step for us in our food with him.

I am currently reading Restless and I am challenged in my personal life with where I am, my journey, my purpose, my gifts, and how I use all of these together. If you are looking for a book to read to challenge you to dive deeper in your walk of faith with Jesus Restless is a great book. Jennie Allen draws you closer in such a humbling way.

My daughter lost a tooth this week. She was so excited to lose it at school. I was actually subbing that day and had lunch duty so I was able to pull it for her. We gave her a tea set this week that was from her great-grandmother and have had tea parties all weekend.

Hope you are having a great spring break with your families.

 

I found this somewhere on Pinterest but I love it!

 

March 2, 2014
by Angie Brown
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Weekend Recap

Only in Texas you can have a beautiful 80 degree Sunny Saturday and then wake up to freezing sleet and ice with a horrible chill of 19 degrees on Sunday. I. am. officially. over. winter. If you can’t tell I liked the Saturday better. I really do not like the cold weather except to be able to wear scarves {which I wear in the spring and sometimes summer too}and boots. I do not like sweaters or big jackets. I prefer to live in flips flops and over sized blouses with cuffed jeans {because I am too lazy to have them hemmed}. I don’t even think jeans look normal on me unless they have a huge cuff at the bottom.

We spent our weekend at home and enjoyed it. Our plans were canceled since my son had to leave school early Friday and spend several hours at the doctor and pharmacy with me. He broke out in the horrible rash all over and the verdict came back strep and scarlet fever. He was very disappointed and sad that he couldn’t return to school and all of our plans were cancelled. I felt like a helpless momma who just wrecked his dreams. We survived and had a good weekend in spite of the illness. We spent the entire afternoon in the backyard soaking up the sun, chasing the dog, making jello, and watching movies. Today was pretty much the same except indoors. We played dress up, doll house, camping, movies, games, and made m&m sugar cookies.

Our weekend couldn’t have been more legit without dance parties at least three times a day. My kids are crazy about music like their momma and we love it. We even had one tonight dancing to ice ice baby since school’s out tomorrow for an ice day! Of course I get the crazy  look from the hubby when I bust out the running man. Come on’ you know you do too!

I didn’t get near as much house work done as I had planned but that is a typical day for me. I get way to distracted with my kiddos, snacks, dance parties and hanging with the family. I am seriously living the I can clean later motto but I realize I need to get a little more disciplined again.

I am currently studying Restless by Jennie Allen with a group of amazing girls. I am honored and blessed to have each of the sweet sweet souls in my life. This study is tough. It really is digging deep and I have found myself in some areas that I thought I would never go back to. It is a good thing though to force me out of my comfort zone and become restless for more of Jesus. Restless to not only have faith but act on it. Dare to dream with our maker and glorify God on this earth. I only have one life to spread the love of Jesus.

That was our little weekend. How about you?

 

 

February 24, 2014
by Angie Brown
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beautiful mommas

Most days my house looks like a war zone of toys, crayons, coloring books, clothes, games, stuffed animals, and books. I used to stress A LOT about cleaning up every pile and I would be behind them every hour picking up the toys, putting this pile here and there, and sure enough it would all be drugged out again, very quickly, and it would look um well like a war zone.

I was worried about when people would come by my house, but after several years of worrying about that, I didn’t have a lot of unplanned visitors. With the exception of some door to door salesman and they were probably more terrified of how my messy hair and the look of not bathing for three days than my messy house.

Lately I have been really thinking of ways to be more intentional with my children, my husband, our home. One of the ways I have found that works best for me is to not stress about the piles. I stay up a little bit later and pick a few things up here and there and I have baskets out to help the kids put items in. I clean my kitchen daily, cooking, dishes, etc. I have found that more time I can spend again with my children truly focusing on them instead of my home, our home is happier.

I do get easily overwhelmed though with chaos and I am more of a “free spirit” than a disciplined person. I have to set boundaries for myself. It is all a balancing act that you have to figure out what works best for your little family. I have spent countless days of messy hair {I still do…I still can’t seem to get that under control}, constant chaos of chasing little ones, sweeping floors, disciplining, applying band aids, homework, nap time, meltdowns, shirts with spilled food or spit up, and the list goes on. I know you have been there, right? I have had many days of bursting in to tears and just crying with overwhelming chaos.

As I pray each day, seek God first, intend to be intentional, and love hard…. I am able to breathe. It gets easier. For all you momma’s out there, I applaud you. It’s hard being a mom. It’s also an indescribable blessing that God has equipped each of you and chose you to be a mom.

So today. Embrace the messiness. Embrace the chaos. Stop comparing yourself to mom at the store that looks like she has it all together. Stop pinning those pins on how to be a better a mom, God chose you, and he is the ultimate pin. We as mothers should stop judging our parenting skills, stop comparing the Instagram photos, stop hurting each other, and start building each other up. Give each other a hug and let her know she is not alone. You are not alone.

I am already seeing the truth that every mom before me has shared with me, enjoy every minute because before you know it they will be grown. It is true beautiful mommas! Enjoy the moments. Watch the movie with them for the 6th time, sing that song on the radio for the 10th time, and play memory again and again and again.

February 16, 2014
by Angie Brown
1 Comment

Bittersweet Seasons

Another season of life has passed and although this season was a long time ago, I never really accepted it until recently. It has finally become so real that we won’t ever be welcoming new baby of our own that I have carried to home. I knew this when we scheduled my c-section for our little Miss C almost six years ago. But the reality and the emotions are two entirely separate things. I think the emotional side of it was much harder to deal with especially when you are a young woman and you get baby fever. My first child/daughter was stillborn during delivery full term, then two high risk pregnancies, and not to mention my blood clotting disorder, we knew the reality was there when we brought our sweet baby girl home. She was our last baby. To think she will be six this summer is insane and bittersweet.

Through all of this I have learned more of who I am and a little more insight to the life God has called me as a mother and a wife. I have learned who I am through my grief and who I am after the journey each step of the way.  From the beginning of grief stages to where I am now some may think I am healed, but that isn’t true. I still miss her every day, I still have questions, but mostly I am at peace. I have been through seasons of healing and I have been in a season of digging deeper with Christ centered in my relationships, as a wife, and mother to my two beautiful children that I have been blessed with on this earth. I honestly feel free.

I know not everyone is where I am at in my grief and I mean no disrespect. This is my personal journey and I want to be honest with myself. The hardest thing I ever did was say goodbye to my daughter on March 16th then bury my child on March 20th, 2006. The biggest lesson I have ever learned in life and has made me who I am goes back to that day. We received many cards and flowers during that time and I have every card that anyone has ever given me during our loss safely tucked away. Those cards were a huge part of my healing for years and they are stained with tears. One particular potted flower we received were calla lilies. Absolutely beautiful. These were also the flowers I chose to have at her funeral. Every year this flower has bloomed until two years ago and I was devastated. A few months later this finally appeared.

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My sweet calla lily hasn’t bloomed since. It is bittersweet but I know it’s a season that has too passed. It has always given me comfort and hope that I needed over the years and although it was a beautiful sight to see, I am at peace with it. When I put my hurt and grief in God’s hands he placed hope and peace in my heart.

 

 

February 8, 2014
by Angie Brown
0 comments

Snow day and Gluten Free Banana Muffins

We had a snow day on Thursday afternoon and Friday so we had an extra long weekend here in our Texas town. We were able to stay home from school and cuddle in our blankets, warm fire in the house, and extra snuggle time. I personally do not like the snow, except to look at it from the window. I love the pretty snow flakes that fall from the sky so pretty and each one unique but I do not like to be cold. My kids however loved it and wanted to play every minute they could in it. Even our puppy soaked it up!

 

Momma got cold outside and came in while the finished playing on the porch. I made some of my favorite gluten free banana bread while watching them out the window. It’s super easy and quick to make. I also use my pampered chef brownie pans that are good for so much more than brownies. They are perfect size and I can just store in a container ready to go.

Gluten Free Banana Bread Mini Loafs

4 Bananas

1/2 cup room temp unsalted butter

2 eggs beaten

1/3 cup almond/coconut milk is what I use

pinch of salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup organic cane sugar

2 1/2 cups of gluten free all purpose baking mix

1 tsp gluten free pure vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. I use my stand up mixer for the entire process. Mix bananas, sugar, eggs, and butter first.  When just mixed through add the cinnamon, pinch of salt, almond/coconut milk, baking soda, and flour. I add the vanilla last. I scoop a portion in to each mini loaf in pan and bake for 23 minutes. (Please not some ovens vary) You may need to adjust your  time with your oven.

For a yummy treat too add 3/4 cup of gluten free chocolate chips to the mix!

Enjoy!

 

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February 3, 2014
by Angie Brown
0 comments

beauty favorites for the mom with no time

I am trying to focus on myself more lately as a mom and a girl. Just realized that I am so quick to pass up feeling a little better about myself to not be late or it’s just too much work. But when I take the extra 5 minutes to do my hair differently or wear a nice blouse I feel good and I feel happier. My kids make me happy and crazy…seriously though…. we should take care of ourselves. Plus if your hair is not a complete mess and you have a little bronzer and chapstick on you won’t look near as crazy when you lose it in the store after asking your kids to stop climbing on everything like monkeys for the 18th time. I even get all glammed up in these products to check the mail which used to be the highlight of my day.  Either way it boosts my esteem and goodness knows when I shower and pamper a little this busy momma is happy! If your like me though you don’t have a ton of time, energy, or money…so here are few of my favorites that won’t break the bank, save you on your time, and feel good about your style! At least for me it does.

I absolutely do not have time or patience to wash my hair every night and if I’m real here not even every other night. I have very thick hair, two kiddos to feed and dress for school in the mornings, two cats and a dog, and oh myself.  The days of bow drying my hair now are more like vacation days that don’t come often enough. So I am in love and I will not can not live with out DRY SHAMPOO! I have tried many salon quality, salon prices, several store-bought, but hands down my fav is Suave Dry Shampoo {not the one with Keratin}. Plus it comes in a two pack! Holla!! Now get you some and I promise you will never want to wash your hair again. Just kidding but you may not want to but you will have to say on day five…I may or may not have gone that long several times. Just sayin!

Suave Dry Shampoo. $2.89 Works amazingly for the price!

My favorite bronzer is plain and cheap ELF bronzer. You know Eyes Lip Face from Target. Love it! I am so pale and this girl needs a bronzer. I also love their tinted moisturizer/foundation too. I am absolutely addicted to these and yes the dry shampoo too but hey at $3 a product I am in love!

e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer  #UrbanOutfitterself bronzer- $3...enough said and is as good as Nars

My favorite lip product is the Burts Bees Shimmer in Champagne or Sugar.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer

My absolute favorite shampoo and conditioner that is affordable is Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. It is the perfect amount of clarifying and conditioning with out leaving my thick and wild hair oil yet still silky!

Moisturizing Conditioner | Herbal Essences

Hands down my favorite hand soap is Mrs. Meyers! They are $3,99 a bottle but I love the smells!

Mrs. Meyers Honeysuckle Hand Soap

My favorite body wash and body lotion is Aruba Coconut from Bath and Body Works.

Love the Aruba Coconut line from Bath and Body Works. Esp love the glowing body scrub!

My favorite eyeshadow concealer stick for my eyelids is (your gonna laugh) good old N.Y.C for $1.79! It says for under eye circles but I use it all over my eye lids and I love it!

N.Y.C. Concealer Sticks, Price: $1.72 (Walmart), I Love 784A Yellow and am acually using it under my eyes they brighten them up.      http://www.newyorkcolor.com/

My absolute favorite mascara is Lash Love by Mary Kay for $16 a tube.

Mary Kay Lash love mascara- I won't buy anything else after using this, makes you look like you're wearing falsies

So there you have my favorite and affordable beauty products! I would love to hear what yours are? Any beauty tips?