Real life: I struggle daily with letting my husband lead, and because of this, often times I don't show him the respect that God instructs wives to give their husbands. I often struggle with the "biblical submission" in the way that I am not quick to become passive or bite my tongue when I have an opinion. To be honest, I'm not sure that's what God is asking of me every time my husband and I don't agree, but certainly there are times when its painfully clear that He is asking me to let my husband lead, to show him that I trust him enough to make a decision that is best for our family.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Labels: love and marriage
Monday, March 23, 2015
If you are a mom or a mom-to-be, you absolutely have to check these baby moccasins out. If you don't have little ones or expect to in the near future, trust me when I say that receiving a pair of baby moccasins as a baby gift would absolutely light up any new mom or mom-to-be's eyes! I can't wait to see our little guy in a pair of these when he comes in June. Turns out, dressing a baby boy is way more fun than I ever expected! I swoon over tiny plaid collared shirts, skinny jeans, moccasins, and printed leggings. These are the "With Cream and Sugar" moccasins and they have sizes from newborn up to toddler sizes!
Freshly Picked is generously offering one pair of baby moccasins to a lucky winner. Even if you don't have kids, if you know anyone who does or who is expecting, you should absolutely enter and make their day with this amazing baby gift! I know I have at least five other colors I am swooning over and wanting to order for our little guy. I think need at least one pair in every size! There are so many colors great for boys and girls, and if you are like me, the hardest part will be choosing just one color if you win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Freshly Picked Policy: Winner can not have won any other giveaway including a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins within the last 60 days.
All entries will be verified, so no cheating. Winner will be chosen at random by the Rafflecopter on 3/31/15 and will be emailed. Winner will then have 48 hours to respond by email before another winner will be chosen.
Friday, March 20, 2015
The happy news though is that even though the past few weekends haven't been the easiest for us, God has shown up in our lives in huge ways. I've been reminded over and over again just how faithful He is, and how He really is the one who holds everything together. God cares so much about us, and our lives and He has really answered some big prayers of ours, but I've also been reminded how he cares about the smallest details of our lives as well, the things that feel less important or not as big.
He is faithful friends, and if you find yourself feeling like you're in the weeds today, just trying to dig and claw and find your way out, keep pressing on and pressing into the Lord because He has not left you there alone. Give yourself a little grace to leave a few things unchecked on your to-do list, to give yourself permission to lay on your couch and do nothing for a full day, and to take care of yourself as you muddle through the storm that has your shoulders sagging and your head hanging. There is hope, there is a light that is just around the corner, even if you can't see it yet.
Monday, March 9, 2015
While writing this post, I realized that maybe its premature. I am still in that so-called "golden stage" of pregnancy where I am not sick anymore, but not so big that I am walking around in pain and swollen, so maybe I haven't survived the worst of it yet! Even still, there are some items that have made my pregnancy more bearable and have been life savers that I would recommend to any new mom-to-be. And even if you're not pregnant or planning on being pregnant in the near future, any of these things make a great "congratulations you're pregnant" gift to give to your pregnant friends to help ease the discomfort that pregnancy inevitably brings.
The BumpNest Pregnancy Pillow
The BumpNest pillow was one of the first things I bought when I found out I was pregnant with an amazon gift card I received for my birthday, and as comfortable as it was, I slept with it one night, and it annoyed me because I wasn't big enough to need it at twelve weeks so I put it in the guest room. At about 20 weeks, I found myself uncomfortable at night, and I had a hard time avoiding sleeping on my back (which is not the safest for mama or baby as your bump grows) so I pulled it back out and I slept like a baby. Not only does it help keep me on my side, it provides the best support for my growing belly and it is SO comfy. If you are pregnant, I promise this is worth every penny and I couldn't sleep without it now. I am trying to figure out how to bring it with me on my mom + daughters trip next month!
MamaBee Belly Butter
The Burts Bee MamaBee Belly Butter is my favorite baby bump butter I've found so far. I love it because its thick and so far I haven't found a single stretch mark on my belly yet, and it has really helped with the dry itchy skin that I've been having over the past month or so. I don't know if it is scientifically proven to reduce stretch marks but my skin has never felt better so I am a fan. I put it on every day after I shower and before bed and my skin feels so soft and less itchy.
The BellaBand is a life-saver for helping you fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes just a little longer. After a while, my pants were either starting to feel uncomfortable and I found myself wanting to just unbutton them after an hour after getting to work, but that is actually frowned upon so when I found the belly band, I ordered a black and white one and wore it with almost every pair of pants until I finally gave in and bought maternity pants. I still have some pants that I can wear with the help of the belly band which just goes over the top of them and allows you to wear them unzipped/unbuttoned and looks like just a tank top underneath your clothes.
Preggie Pops are really just sour candy in a lollipop form, but they REALLY helped me when I was sick and miserable the first twelve weeks. I also loved Jolly Ranchers + lemon heads. I don't know what it was about sour hard candy but it made all the difference in the world when I was nauseated all day.
I do not go anywhere without at least a piece of fruit, a granola bar or string cheese in my purse if I am going to be gone more than an hour. Not only does it ward off the morning sickness, but even once I got past feeling sick 24/7, I transitioned into being hungry all the freakin time. I definitely find myself needing to eat more often now more than ever, so I always try and pack enough for work, meetings, and events after work so I don't get hangryyyy. My husband thanks me.
Tums + Prilosec/Zantac Heartburn Medicine
Not everyone suffers from heartburn, but over the past few weeks I've been hit with it pretty hard and even sent Ronnie out one evening because I wasn't sure I could survive without more medicine! Tums sometimes help but usually a 10 mg pill of Prilosec cures it within twenty minutes. I carry it in my purse now so I can stop it right when I feel it coming on!
I basically live in my yoga pants when I am at home. Who am I kidding, if I am not at work, I am probably in some sort of stretchy pants. I had three pairs of yoga pants before I got pregnant but have bought at least three more pairs because I wear them so frequently, and I don't enjoy doing laundry daily. I feel uncomfortable 90% of the time so I feel like I am totally justified living in my yoga pants whenever I can.
These are a few things that worked well for me, but I still have about fifteen weeks left! What am I missing? What items did you need for your last trimester?
Friday, March 6, 2015
Over the past few weeks I've been dreaming up a new vision for this space. I started Happy Is A Choice over five years ago and my life looked radically different than it does today. I used it more as an online journal and have since deleted many of those soul-baring posts (or at least made them private) and then I just kind of forgot about it and didn't touch the blog for a couple years. My blog has morphed into a lifestyle blog, one that doesn't always fit into a perfectly defined niche, but has been a place for me to express my thoughts, feelings, and creativity. Its also helped me grow as I learned to process life events through a new lens, and helped me to become more aware of every day moments and how sweet they are. I still believe with my whole heart that being happy is a choice-that we can always choose joy and find something to be grateful for. I believe that we don't have to be a slave to our emotions, but I also know that sometimes, life is hard, and its also okay to just be sad.
I've been debating doing a re-brand of the blog for over a year now, but I always got stuck on Step One, the new name. I wanted something that more reflected me as a person, that gave a picture of the woman I desire to be, and left room for the changes that God is constantly working in me, my heart,and my life. I turned to the one person who's way with words I admire more than anyone, Amber from Mr. Thomas and Me and after about twenty minutes of talking about me, my desires for this space + my life, and things that make my heart sing, the idea of Grace in Grey was born.
Why Grace in Grey?
Good question. First of all, this blog is going to have most of the same content. It will be a true lifestyle blog, but I want to continue to focus on the faith aspect of it and grow my skills as a writer specifically in this topic. I have found myself shying away from writing about faith more often than not because I don't want to offend anyone, or misinterpret something I read. I've also believed the lie that if I am struggling in a certain area, I certainly am not qualified to write about it and I want to work through that fear and embrace more vulnerability and authenticity in this space.
I want this to be a space where you and I can both come and see that there is grace to be found, grace to be given to others and grace to be received. Do you struggle with giving yourself grace as much as I do when you fail? Do you have a hard time having grace for people in your life when they hurt or frustrate you? Because I definitely do. I want to live my life as a woman of grace, and to do this, I first have to accept the grace our Father lovingly pours onto me every single minute of my life.
The Grey has two beautiful meanings to me-one is simply because I love the color grey and am drawn to it in my wardrobe choices, home decor, and even baby clothes/items. Give me a cozy grey blanket on white sheets and my heart has never been happier. Every grey and white baby item I see, I can't help but snag. Grey walls make my heart pitter-patter. But even more meaningful than that, is that I see as each year passes, the grey area, the area between black and white is the place that life happens. (Thank you Justin Timberlake for that wisdom.)
I've never been comfortable in the grey area. I've always wanted to live in the black or white, in the predictable, the comfortable, the known. I am the planner, the list maker, the one who wants to know exactly where the road is going to take me and what will be waiting for me around every corner. But God, in order to keep my focus on Him and Him alone, knows me far better than I know myself and knows how much growth happens when I am left in the grey area a bit. I've learned over the past couple of years what it means to let go of my own plans and my own map and let him lead me. I've had to ask myself really tough questions and challenge the beliefs and ideas I've held onto for many years and finally have realized that there is so much beauty in the grey area of life.
So, in the next few weeks, you may notice a lot of changes around here. I am working with the talented Rachel from Oh Simple Thoughts and she has some great things planned for this space, I can't wait to reveal it all! Bear with me as we work out the kinks. I will also be changing my social media names to graceingrey for brand consistency purposes so if you get confused about who you're following, its still me! I am going to continue to try and stick to my three times a week posting schedule, with some additional new content like more recipe posts with the help of my Top Chef Husband, some more house/home/DIY projects, and even some style posts here and there. Super excited about the new breath of fresh air this re-brand will bring to the blog, and I hope you enjoy it too!