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Tag Archive: Peek Into Our Week

A peek into our past week, 10 goals for this week, + an update on my goals from last week

10 Goals For This Week
Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend!

Ours was quite full, but so good! Our friends, , were driving through TN so we had them over for dinner on Friday night. And then until late into the night.

Saturday, I had my usual early morning coffee accountability coffee date with my friend, Allison. Then, I shopped for supplies for our church’s cafe, did some blog work, and Silas had a baseball game.

10 Goals For This Past Week

That afternoon, it was “Operation Find an Outfit to Wear at Her Upcoming Speaking Events”. 5 things you should know about this picture:

1) (the gorgeous gal in the passenger seat) was the one who introduced Tam to me just a few days after we moved.

2) We will forever be grateful because Tam and her family (including – the adorable girl next to me in the back seat) have become like family to us — some of the greatest gifts since our move to TN.

3) We quickly discovered while shopping that pretty much everything looks good on Tam. However, despite how crazy cute she is in everything, I will still be her friend… Because you just can’t not love her!

4) Dressing rooms were not made for 4 grown women to stand in and try to give input on someone’s clothes. But we improvised and made it work — while having a blast doing so!

5) The best line of the afternoon from Tam after trying on a shirt that was rather unique and drape-y: “you need Google maps to figure out how to put that thing on!”

On Sunday, we got up early to go to church and help out at our church’s cafe for both services. We met a new family this weekend who moved here recently and also started coming to our church, so we invited them to come over for dinner on Sunday evening.

So Jesse headed to take our girls to a birthday party and then he and Silas went Jesse’s softball game, while I came home and got food and the house ready for hosting our Community Group and having the family over for dinner afterward. It ended up being such a great afternoon and evening full of fellowship, great conversation, and new friendship.

Here’s an update on my goals from this past week:

Marriage/Mothering/Homemaking Goals

1. Take the kids on a field trip to the Nashville Zoo.
Freezer Cooking in an Hour

Freezer Cooking in an Hour

We had a lot of fun on our outing with friends to the zoo! It was a beautiful day and I was very impressed with the Nashville zoo.

2. Write a love note to Jesse.

3. Continue working on developing the habit of obedience in our home (I attended the at the recent homeschool conference and it’s really motivated and inspired us in our parenting. We’re choosing the habit of obedience to implement in our home for the next 6-8 weeks. Just a week of working on this and it’s already made a big difference. Watch for a snippet of the workshop.)

Personal Goals

4. Exercise at least 5 times.

5. Finish at least two books.

6. Listen to at least two inspiring audios/podcasts while working/driving. (I’ve recently been challenged to do a better job of using those little cracks of time throughout the day to fill my mind up with good things and things that make me think and analyze life.)

10 Goals For This Week

Swoon. Got to hang out with adorable Ezra and the amazing for a lunch date last week. I was so in love that I didn’t even know Jessica took the top picture. Be still my heart. He kept smiling and cooing at me… And I’m smitten. Also, I think his mama is just downright incredible. So fun to talk books, blogging, business, babies, and balancing with her over a yummy lunch.

Local Ministry/Hospitality/Friendship Goals

7. Have a lunch date with a friend.

8. Have friends from out of town over for dinner.

9. Finish reading a friend’s manuscript & writing an endorsement for it.

Business Goals

10. Outline/write 3 substantive blog posts for next week.

10 Goals For This Week

I did a little freezer cooking session last week: two pans of bacon, two loaves of Banana Bread, and some Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes. I’m so happy to be back into the swing of Freezer Cooking again… I have missed it and I’ve been reminded as to what a difference doing a little cooking ahead can make in our lives.

{More details and pictures and recipe links from my freezer cooking session coming tomorrow.}

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Mothering/Homemaking Goals

1. Finish buying all of our homeschool curriculum for next year.

2. Write a love note to Jesse.

3. Have a date night with Jesse.

4. Continue working on developing the habit of obedience in our home (I attended the at the recent homeschool conference and it’s really motivated and inspired us in our parenting. We’re choosing the habit of obedience to implement in our home for the next 6-8 weeks. Just a week of working on this and it’s already made a big difference. Watch for a snippet of the workshop.)

Personal Goals

5. Exercise at least 5 times.

6. Finish at least two books.

7. Listen to at least two inspiring audios/podcasts while working/driving. (I’ve recently been challenged to do a better job of using those little cracks of time throughout the day to fill my mind up with good things and things that make me think and analyze life.)

Local Ministry/Hospitality/Friendship Goals

8. Plan out summer drinks for our church’s cafe.

9. Finish reading a friend’s manuscript & writing an endorsement for it.

Business Goals

10.Finish the final edits for the course handbook for our new online course.

How did you do on last week’s goals? What are your goals for this week? I’d love to have you share your progress on last week’s goals and your goals for this coming week in the comments. Of, if you’ve blogged about it, leave your direct link below. Let’s cheer each other on to live purposeful and productive lives! You can .


A Peek Into Our Week: Turning our home into a film studio!

We had a full week last week and I finally have a chance to sit down and write a recap of it! Here are some peeks into our week to give you a behind-the-scenes look into our daily lives…

After 5 years of training, I now have my own in-house breakfast chef. Fried eggs are his specialty and he can make them completely by himself now (I just oversee since it involves a stove!)

Moms of littles, it might feel like all you do is change diapers and clean up messes and cook food and wipe noses and fold yet another load of laundry and feel constantly pulled in 15 different directions. But hear me on this: someday soon, all that effort and training and work is going to pay off. And even though right now it might feel like that day will never come, it will. Don’t give up! It will be worth it!

All on her own, Kathrynne decided she wanted to start helping Silas learn how to read. He’s been discouraged because blending and phonics don’t come easily to him (unlike math) and he really wants to learn how to read.

So Kathrynne asked me if while I continue to work with him on phonics and sounding out words, she could teach him some sight words so he could at least read more than the handful of words he knows now.

Seeing them work so hard together on this just touches me deeply and blesses this mama-heart in big ways! These are the mothering moments I will forever treasure!

On Monday afternoon, I went to the coffee shop to soak in a little quiet before a busy week of filming began. It’s always good to get some writing and blogging work done and write love notes to some of my favorite people.

{One of my goals for 2015 was to write a love note to each of my kids every month. It’s a simple thing, but the act of stopping to reflect and express appreciation and admiration not only can deeply impact another life, but it’s also so good for your soul. If you are too busy to stop and say “thank you” and “I love you” — you are just plain too busy.}

A Peek Into Our Week

Tuesday, we spent the day prepping our house for the film shoot, spending hours meeting about the scripts for each of the videos– revising/rewriting/and editing, etc. — and then our team went out to dinner that night.

These two girls and all their hours and hours of behind-the-scenes work made the filming possible. I am incredibly grateful for all they invest in my life on a daily basis (Joy is and Ashley is my brand-new, amazing executive assistant!)

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Wednesday, we filmed all day long. And I truly mean that. 🙂

We started at 8:30 a.m. and I got done around 9:30 p.m.We had a few short breaks, but we were mostly working every minute of that whole entire time. I will have a whole new appreciation for well-done videos and course and films in the future!

Whew! It was exhausting and it took me awhile to find my groove, but once I found it, things got easier and easier as we went along.

I learned so much from this film shoot — what works, what doesn’t work, and how I need to better prepare. Hopefully, the next time we attempt a project like this, it will go much smoother as a result of what we learned!

For those of you who are wondering: we filmed 14 “days” of videos on a subject I’m fiercely passionate about: using your mornings well to set your day up for success. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it because we truly believe the final product will be one that powerful impacts and inspires thousands of lives! I can’t wait to share it with you very soon!

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A Peek Into My Week
On Thursday, we shot hours of our every day home and lives in action. From our morning routine and making breakfast (in our PJs) to homeschooling to reading aloud to household chores and much more, we wanted to give you a really authentic look into how our mornings run.

It was another very long day, but it was fun and stretching — and such a blessing to get to do this as a family. Our kids learned so much about film and production today and were such troopers for all the takes and re-takes we did!

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On Friday, we had a pretty laid-back, family day. And then I took this beautiful girl to get her hair done all fancy for the Father-Daughter dance at church.

She had a BLAST — not only getting all fancy, but also getting to have a very special evening with her daddy! I failed to get pictures of she and Jesse when they were all dressed up, but they had professional pictures taken at the dance, so I can’t wait until we get those back!

Saturday morning, I woke up at 3:40 a.m. to catch an early flight to Denver to go see some of my dearest friends: , , and . I was supposed to get into Denver at 11:30 a.m. However, it turned out to be a crazy morning of mishaps and airport fiascos and I didn’t even make it to Chicago until after 10:30 a.m. and then had to wait for the only available flight out to Denver from Chicago — 5 1/2 hours later.

But instead of feeling frustrated over things that were outside my control, I decided to choose gratitude and just enjoy the quiet and opportunity to read and write than an unexpected long layover at the airport afforded me!

The four of us have spent the last two days laughing, crying, talking, laughing, crying, and just soaking up the opportunity for all of us to be together. These girls are some of my dearest friends and we’ve been itching to get together — especially because we’ve been walking through Michele’s cancer and surgeries and chemo and radiation with her and it hurts our hearts so much that we all live in different states. Watching Michele suffer and struggle and go through so much has been incredibly hard for each of us these past few months, so to finally be together again has been very healing for all of us.

We are also excited to be here to celebrate the launch of (it officially releases today!). I’ll be sharing more about her book and how it’s impacted me later on this week. For now, I just want to encourage you to . It is truly one of the most well-written books I’ve ever read.

If you (or someone you know) is going through a really difficult time right now, I cannot encourage you enough: . You will laugh, you will cry, and you will be so encouraged by her words and story.

How was YOUR week this past week? Tell us about it in the comments!

A Peek Into Our 12-Day Road Trip

It feels like we were on a road trip the whole month of August. Truthfully, it was only 12 days… but that’s a long time to be on the road! And it came right after a 5-day roadtrip to North Carolina and South Carolina, so that made it feel longer than it was, I think.

We’re not quite finished with road-tripping, because we’re headed back to South Carolina next week. I was planning to fly there for a few days to spend time with a few of my close friends, but as we looked at the map and realized it was well within an easy day’s driving distance, Jesse suggested we just drive and he’d take the kids sight-seeing during the days I was with my friends.

It’s weird because we used to not really be a road trip kind of family at all. But I think as our kiddos have gotten older and now that Jesse and I are both self-employed and can work anywhere, we’re probably going to become more and more of a road-tripping family.

Our kids love visiting new areas and studying the history, we can homeschool on the road (our core curriculum this year is the for the girls and for Silas), and we’ve learned how to travel very inexpensively by using hotel points accrued through my business travel (we always sign up for the rewards programs for everywhere we stay and it’s amazing how quickly the points have built up this past year!), gift cards earned through Swagbucks (in big part to the many of you who have signed up through my referral link! Thank you!), and looking for the best deals in whatever area we’re going to be traveling to.

The first stop in our 12-day trip was to spend the week with my entire extended family on Bull Shoals Lake. This is a yearly tradition that we’ve had even before I was married.

Our kids had a blast being with all their cousins on my side of the family. It’s so fun to see them all growing up!

The highlight for me of our time at the lake was going jet-skiing with my husband. It’s been a big year for us as a family and there have been many hard moments in the midst of some pretty big life changes, and I’m so grateful that our marriage has stayed strong through it. Truly, I love my man so much more than I did than when I married him 11 years ago… and I didn’t think that was possible.

{Note: That does not mean that there haven’t been many tense moments and harsh words and even all out arguments. Trust me, we’ve had more arguments and fights in the past three months than we’ve probably had in our whole married life, but we’re truly growing together instead of apart. And I’m so very grateful for that. Our commitment these five things have been key to helping our marriage stay strong in the middle of the storms of life these past few months.}

Another wonderful memory of the trip was when my older sister (Brigette), my younger sister (Gretchen), and I somehow managed to all fit on the tube at the same time for a wild tube ride courtesy of Dad, the boat driver. There was much laughter, squealing, and holding on for dear life, but we had a blast! 🙂

After our time at Bull Shoals Lake, we headed for a day and a half in Springfield, MO to take a breather. And trust me, when I say “breather”, I mean that quite literally.

We slept, we watched movies, I worked on my next book some, and we just totally took it easy for a day and a half. We’ve found our kids need some “down” days on longer vacations otherwise it’s just too tiring for them and then that turns into a cranky situation… for kids and parents alike. 😉

We then went and met up with Jesse’s extended family in Branson, MO. Growing up, we went to Silver Dollar City just about every single year from the time I was a toddler. We have so many, many wonderful memories there and we’ve tried to take our kids there every year to carry on the tradition of my childhood.

After going to Disney World for the first time earlier this year, I realized that, for me, Silver Dollar City is one of my “happiest places on earth.” {Yes, I know, sorry Disney. You don’t hold a candle to Silver Dollar City, in my humble opinion.}

Word to the wise: if a ride at Silver Dollar City warns you that you will get bathtub wet, they aren’t kidding. We had so much fun, so it was worth being sopping wet.

{I was so soaked, I went in the restroom, and wrung my clothes out. I probably wrung out at least a few cups of water. I kid you not.}

Our last stop in Missouri: Bass Pro Shops… One of the boys’ favorite stores in existence. I’m pretty sure they could spend hours in there and never run out of things to look at. 🙂

As for me, I chose to have a cheerful attitude and go along with it even though it’s one of my least favorite stores. And it ended up being a fun family outing!

And this is my favorite picture of the whole trip. Why? Because it represents me punching my fears and “I can’ts” right smack dab in face. And it gives me courage to continue to showing up and living with wholehearted courage. You can read the story behind this picture here, in case you missed it.

How have the past two weeks gone for you? Did anything interesting or exciting happen at your house?

Peek Into Our Week: FlameFest Ball, New Hairstyles, Growing My Nails Out, SheSpeaks Conference, Family Roadtrip, and Homemade Latte!

It’s been a full two weeks and I’m finally getting a chance to do a recap post… and wow is there a lot to recap!

I went to IL to speak at a . It was held at the Hyatt Lodge at the McDonald’s Campus (the McD headquarters, I guess?) Guess what kind of coffee they served at the hotel? Cracked me up to drink McDonald’s coffee from a McDonald’s cup — at a HYATT no less! 🙂

I was the keynote speaker at the Flamefest Ball on Friday evening, so I had fun getting dressed up for the occasion. 🙂 And I also learned a really powerful lesson about courage that night. Read it here.

I flew home Saturday morning. I was supposed to get in before lunch, but after multiple flight delays, I ended up getting back into town about three hours later than planned. But that’s just life sometimes, isn’t it?! I’m learning to roll with the punches… or at least I’m trying to! 🙂

On Saturday evening, we went to hang out with our good friends and neighbors, the Hodges. We spent the evening talking, laughing, sharing, and eating delicious homemade salsa and fresh-baked cookies.

While we were there, other friends dropped by to bring us all boxes of cookies and stayed to regale us with hilarious stories. Have I mentioned how much we are loving and being blessed by the community here??

Kaitlynn found a tutorial on YouTube for making homemade lip gloss with crayons and coconut oil and just had to try it. She made it almost entirely by herself — and it turned out really well!

This girl constantly impresses and inspires me… and I’m so grateful for the beauty and creativity she adds to our home and life!

Move over, Starbucks! I am so excited that I finally learned how to make her own DIY Breve Latte — without a Latte Machine. And it is delicious!! Get the recipe here.

It was cloudy and overcast one day… Perfect for snuggling up on the bed and reading chapter after chapter aloud together while the kids created with Legos. I love quiet, at-home days!

You know what warms my heart so much? It’s amazing young people like who love on our kids.

We had another fun neighborhood get together at the Hodges house and while we were at their house, Kass gave Kaitlynn a makeover. You can imagine little fashionista Kaitlynn thought was the best thing ever!

I hope both of my daughters grow up to be as generous, kind, and warm as Kass is!

I began last week feeling a wee bit overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done, so I took a deep breath, made some Good Girl Moonshine and painted my .

It might seem weird to stop and do something like that when I had a long to-do list to tackle, but I’ve found that sometimes, when you feel like there’s too much to do, making yourself stop and breathe for 20 minutes is the best thing you can do. At least it’s definitely much better than hyperventilating! 🙂

{Also? I think I’ve discovered the secret to growing my nails out!! Not only does it involve keeping them painted in cute colors, but it also involves . Somehow, going public with it, has made me much more disciplined about actually letting them grow out. And every time I look down at my longish nails, it makes me so very happy! So anyway, thank you all!}

We left six hours earlier than planned on Wednesday morning to head to North Carolina for me to attend the SheSpeaks Conference. There were storm clouds and rain much of the drive — which is my favorite weather to drive in!

I spent the drive wrapped up in this favorite blanket of mine, reading a good book, having discussions as a family, and getting in some blogging work since I was able to get good wi-fi in the car through my phone’s hotspot.

Peek Into Week

It’s really impossible for me to put into words just how blessed, refreshed, and filled up I was by being at SheSpeaks.

Spending time with these two women was one of the biggest highlights. Not only did we have deep conversations about heart things and struggles, but we also did a whole lot of laughing since both Edie and Ruth are hilarious — especially when you get them both together!

I think I’m sore from all the laughing we did, but it was so very worth it! We only wished that could have stayed longer than just one day!

Lookee whose book just came out in paperback?!?! I’m so stinkin’ proud of my girl, , and all the amazing things she’s doing!!

Her book, How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul, is truly the BEST blogging book I’ve ever read.

It’s available as an ebook on Amazon or the new and expanded paperback version should be available on Amazon next week.

It was so fun to get to spend a little time with the amazing A.J. Gregory! She ghost-edited my last book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, and I’m so honored to be working with her again for my next book.

We’ve been mulling over the next book’s concept for months and are so excited to finally be ready to jump in and start the intensive writing process together. I think you’re going to LOVE the topic — or at least *I’m* super stoked about it! 🙂

Our plan is to have the manuscript finished by December 1 of this year and, if all goes according to plan, it should be in bookstores by the beginning of November 2015!

Peek Into Week

Listening to is always a huge inspiration to me. I love her to pieces! If you’ve not had the chance to listen to her speak before, you are majorly missing out!

Peek Into Week

I won’t lie: the reason I went to SheSpeaks was because Ruth was speaking. So yes, I may have been having trouble containing my pride and excitement while she was up on the stage.

A few months ago, Ruth and I were talking on the phone. I was celebrating with her that she was going to be speaking at the SheSpeaks conference — a real honor to be asked to be apart of, but one Ruth was wholly deserving of.

Then she said something that I totally hadn’t considered, “You should come, too.”

Since I try to limit my traveling to only a few speaking/business trips per month, I didn’t think it would work out. However, my husband knows just how much Ruth’s friendship means to me and he concocted a plan to make it work, because he’s amazing like that. Truly.

His idea: we turned the trip into a family roadtrip/visit with my sister and her family who live nearby in South Carolina. While I was at the conference, he did fun activities with the kids and spent time with my sister’s husband and her kids.

Peek Into Week

These are some of the beautiful ladies I had the chance to get to know better at SheSpeaks. (who created the adorable Scripture cards above) is just a doll. Ruth and I instantly loved her! {Photo credit: }

{And notice my Cents of Style tee in the picture? I bought it during the last sale they ran on their t-shirt line and I absolutely adore it!}

Peek Into Week

One of the highlights of the conference was getting to see my dear friend, , kill it in her morning keynote. I can’t tell you how blessed I am to know this woman in real-life.

This was my first opportunity to hear her speak in front of an audience, so I had to try to keep it together so I didn’t bust out with loud proclamations like, “Isn’t she AMAZING?!?!?” 🙂

I just LOVE these girls! Each one is a true gift in my life! Oh the laughter, memories, stories, deep conversations, love, heart-to-heart talks, cups of coffee, and experiences we shared at SheSpeaks! We may not have gotten much sleep, but it was so very worth it!!

We capped off the conference with a late night (and into the wee hours of the early morning) PJ party in a hotel suite most of us had shared together during the conference. It was a blast.

The above picture makes my heart feel like it just might burst. These women are some of the dearest women I know and we are committed to walking alongside one another in this journey and adventure of life. Their friendship is a true gift.

My family re-joined me at the hotel on Sunday and we spent the day sleeping and taking it easy before we drove over to meet up with my sister and her family.

All the cousins had a fantastic time being together. They are old enough now where they mostly play together really well and it’s so fun to observe them!

The dads took all the kids on Monday evening and Brigette and I went out shopping with a few gift cards we had. We tried to see how much we could get without spending any money out of pocket. We got some great deals, had a lot of fun, and only went a few dollars over the gift card amount at one store. Score!

Afterwards, we came back to their house, put all the kids to bed, made snacks, and then stayed up way too late watching a movie. I knew we could all sleep in in the morning, so it was worth the late night. 🙂

We got up late this morning, took our time getting around, and left for home around noon.

It was a mostly uneventful and relaxing 8-hour drive home: rocking my first messy bun (thanks, YouTube!), enjoying some yummy and fairly healthful snacks (who says the gas station only sells candy bars and soda pop??), listening to my favorite playlist on repeat, knocking out some blog projects thanks to more good wi-fi in the car, and soaking up the beautiful scenery.

All in all, was a great trip, but it’s also so good to be HOME!

We’re happy to be back for the rest of this week so we can spend time with friends here and catch up on laundry and sleep before we leave again for a trip to Arkansas and Missouri next week. 🙂

How was YOUR last week (or two!)? Anything interesting or exciting happen at your house?

Peek Into Last Week: A birthday date, new hairstyles, freezer cooking, watching the World Cup without cable TV, and a trip to Dallas!

This past week was a full week, but it was packed full of wonderful times with dear people, special memories, and many blessings!

We have a tradition at our house where the birthday child gets to go on an outing of their choice with both Dad and Mom separately. Kaitlynn went out with Jesse to Cracker Barrel last Saturday her birthday date with dad.

For her birthday date with mom, she chose to go to the mall — which I was not in the least surprised about since she is becoming quite the little fashionista. She asked specifically to go to Forever 21, Aeropostle, Bath & Body Works, and Pottery Barn.

Not sure where she got the fashionista/decorating gene from, but it clearly wasn’t me. She did, however, get some of my frugal gene because she chose fragrance that was 75% off at Bath & Body Works and a shirt that was 20% off at Forever 21. Total spent = $18 out of pocket. Memories made together = priceless.

Also, I totally cracked up at her comment when we were walking around Pottery Barn. She said, “It’s too expensive to actually buy anything here, but I love to look around the store for ideas.” That’s my girl. 😉

Silas is quite the little sports fanatic, so he’s been closely following the World Cup scores and games. Only, we don’t have cable, so the guys have had to get creative in finding ways to watch the games. The above was how I found them on Sunday — all cozied up watching together on the iPad — whooping and hollering their hearts out.

For Thursday’s game, they figured out a way to hook up the iPad to the TV so they could watch it on a larger screen. When there’s a will, there’s usually a way. 🙂

Kaitlynn has been attempting to learn how to do a beachy waves look on my hair using a new curling wand I got from a sale & .

Peek Into Week

This is another look Kaitlynn did on my hair this week. She’s also been practicing on my make up, learning how to do smoky eyes looks and more.

At the rate this girl is learning (thanks to YouTube and Bethany Mota), I will soon have my own live-in cosmetologist, hair stylist, and personal shopper!

Peek Into Our Week

This is my . I wish you all could meet her. She and her family have been direct gifts from God to our family as we settle in TN.

They’ve loved on us, brought us food, watched our kids, made us cookies, listened to us, made us salsa, laughed with us, prayed for us, introduced us to many of their friends, and been the hands and feet of Jesus in this big transition.

We had fun going to get manicures on Monday with a gift card I had! It’s amazing how close you can feel to someone you just met last month!

On Tuesday, I did a little No-Oven Freezer Cooking and made Energy Bites and Healthy Protein Peppermint Fudge while Jesse made pancakes. I love getting to work in the kitchen with my best friend!

And I was SO happy because the fudge was a HUGE success. More details on my freezer cooking session and the recipes I used coming tomorrow or Wednesday.

Kaitlynn is always creating beauty and art wherever she goes. On Wednesday, we made snowflakes (her idea — who says you can’t make snowflakes in June??) and then she used them as a stencil for painting watercolor pictures. It was a fun indoor project on a hot summer day.

Thursday, I flew to Dallas to speak at a conference there on Friday and Saturday. If you go on business trips regularly, you’ll want to check out my post I wrote on 4 ways I save hundreds of dollars each year on business trips.

The conference on Friday was such a blessing. I started the day rather out-of-sorts and ask some close friends to pray for me as I just felt so inadequate to be there speaking. Well, God answered their prayers and gave me so much energy for the conference, but also brought a number of unexpected blessings my way, too.

A dear mom of four adorable kids and longtime blog reader made me an organic salad and (her delicious recipe is ) and brought it to me at the conference… Because she knows I love salad so much and try to eat a salad everyday. She even wrote down all the ingredients so I’d know exactly what was in the salad and dressing! I was blown away by her thoughtfulness and kindness!!

It was so fun to get to spend time with my dear friend, Rachel, at the conference as she and her family live near Dallas. We have so many wonderful memories of time spent together in our teens… Just wish we didn’t live miles & miles apart now!

After a busy, tiring, but oh-so-blessed two days speaking in Dallas, I was thankful for a few minutes at the airport to put my feet up and read this book I’ve been loving on finding margin and breathing room in your life.

Also, notice my shoes? We had to run out and buy those at Kohl’s on Friday night because the Aerosole sandals — one of my beloved pairs of speaking shoes that I was planning to wear on Saturday — broke beyond repair on Friday. I was just grateful we were able to find a replacement Aerosole shoes that I love and that I had a Kohl’s gift card with me that covered the unexpected purchase!

You just never quite know what will happen when you’re on the road. I’m just grateful it wasn’t a run-in with the escalator this time! 🙂

Peek Into WeekWe had a quiet Sunday & Monday — which was a blessing after a busy week. Lots of hanging out together as a family, cooking together, cleaning together, playing games together, watching movies together, and just being together. It was bliss!

Kathrynne had me teach her how to make Homemade Energy Bites tonight so that she could make them every week instead of me (we’ve been going through a batch per week recently!) I was so impressed with how well her batch turned out, but most of all, I loved her willing initiative and desire to save me time and effort!

I’m working myself out of job — and it’s a bittersweet thing.

Peek Into Week

And I’ll close out this long post with my favorite picture from this week: Not much in the world can rival this. So blessed that this boy still loves his nightly Mama Snuggles! I’m soaking them up!

How was YOUR week last week? I’d love to hear!

Peek Into Our Week: Tweaking our schedule, dental work, interviews, friendship, and my morning routine

Peek Into Week

This was a rather hot week as our air conditioner had issues and most days it was 85 to 86 degrees in our house during the heat of the day. It’s amazing how grateful this makes you for working air conditioner. 🙂

We’re still in the process of trying to get it fixed, but we’ve at least figured out where to put fans so that we’re keeping the house at around 81-82 degrees in the heat of the day — which is a big improvement.

Your comments on what temperature you keep your house at were fascinating to me… and sort of made me feel like a wimp that 81 and 82 degrees seems hot! 🙂

Here’s a little run-down of how our week went:

Monday

We started something new this week that seemed to work well. After our morning routine, instead of doing my computer work at our house, Jesse suggested I go to a coffee shop and work for a few hours while he teaches/does things with the kids and then I’d come home and swap with him (i.e. he’d leave and go work at a coffee shop and I’d stay home and teach/do things with the kids).

This seemed to work well and allow both of us to get much more focused work done and also to be much more intentional and focused on the kids during our time with them. We’re going to continue this for this coming week with some tweaks and we’ll see if it becomes a permanent thing for this season or not.

Navigating the waters of having us both working from home is new to us and it’s definitely a learning process. But we’re truly loving how it has simplified our lives and affords us much more together time.

Monday afternoon, I had a radio interview. One of the interviewers also owns . Guess what she sent to us later this week? This amazing box of goodies — including personalized cookies for our kids. Not only were the cookies adorable, they are delicious, too!

Monday evening, we had our typical Meaty Monday gathering at friends’ house. There are about 8-10 families  who are part of it and whoever can come shows up each week bringing some meat for the grill and a side dish. This week, the guys had fun cheering on the USA Soccer team to victory (Silas has really gotten into the World Cup and it’s been fun to see him tracking all the scores and games. :))

Tuesday

Kaitlynn had another dentist appointment… gratefully she didn’t have to get any teeth pulled this time, but she had to get three fillings. We’ve been blessed to not have to really deal with cavities in our family up to this point, so this is new territory for us.

The dentist said he just thinks Kaitlynn is incredibly prone to cavities so we’re having all three children follow the (thanks to a reader for recommending it!) and are hoping that this might help out. We’ve heard great things about it, so we’ll see.

Wednesday

Wednesday morning as I was getting ready, a friend in our neighborhood texted me to tell me she was headed to get coffee and could she bring me some? I told her I was actually headed to the coffee shop to work for a few hours and asked her if she wanted to bring her laptop and hang out with me for a bit. We had such a fun morning getting some work done and getting in some great conversation, too!

Peek Into Week

I did a little non-oven freezer cooking cooking on Wednesday evening. You can see the results of my freezer cooking here and the recipes I made. My kids have been gobbling up the energy bites and they’ve made a great afternoon snack here — especially straight from the freezer!

Thursday

Peek Into Week

I walked into our bedroom on Thursday morning and my heart was so warmed to see Silas and Jesse counting out all the money for our cash envelopes together. Jesse was teaching Silas how to count money and explaining how much money we put into each cash envelopes.

Thursday evening, we got together with our neighbors — the guys hung out on our neighbor’s back porch and the gals hung out at our house. We feel so blessed to be developing such deep and authentic relationships with our neighbors here!

Friday

Friday morning, I filmed a Master Class with for on “Finding Time to Build Your Platform”. It was an honor to get this experience and I’m so grateful for how Michael has inspired me as a blogger, speaker, and leader.

Friday evening, we had what is dubbed Porch Time with our neighbors. This is where a few couples from the neighborhood all gather on the back screened-in porch of one of our neighbors to just hang out and chat. Well, that and eat the yummy food we all bring to share! It is such a blessing to have neighbors to “do life” with here and we’re so honored that they have welcomed us with open arms.

By the way, many of you have asked how we’ve developed such close relationships here already and how we have such great friends. This is an area we’ve learned a lot about and grown in a great deal the past few years. I shared some of my thoughts and the lessons I’ve learned in my posts this week on How to Find Great Friends and How to Find Time to Be a Friend.

Saturday

Peek Into Week

Today was a quiet and lazy sort of day. Jesse went out to breakfast with a friend in the morning and then he took Kaitlynn out to lunch at Cracker Barrel for her birthday. The rest of us stayed home and worked on some projects, did some cleaning, I took a long nap, and then we had a family movie night tonight.

My Morning & Evening Routines Update

I promised you all I’d give you an update on how I did on getting to bed on time last week. My goal was 11 p.m., and unfortunately, I didn’t do all that great in hitting it. But I did do better than the week before, so that’s progress, right??

Sunday night — 11:20 p.m.
Monday morning — up at 6:15 a.m.
Monday night — 11:30 p.m.
Tuesday morning — 7:15 a.m.
Tuesday night — 12:30 a.m.
Wednesday morning — 7 a.m.
Wednesday evening — 10 p.m.
Thursday — 5:30 a.m.
Thursday evening — 12:30 a.m.
Friday morning — 6:30 a.m.
Friday evening — 12 a.m.
Saturday morning — 6:15 a.m. (I woke up without an alarm… but I knew I needed more sleep, so I took a long nap later on in the day. Yay!)

I’m going to track my bedtime and wake up times this coming week, as well, and am going to shoot for getting to bed by 10:30 p.m. every evening to see if I can do even better. Because I really want to break this bad habit of staying up so late!

How was YOUR week last week? How are you doing on your morning routine? I’d love to hear! Tell us about it in the comments!