Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Questions Answered :)

As a teacher, I know that if one person asks a question - there are at least 2 more who were wondering the same thing :)  So on that note, today I'm going to answer a few of the questions I've received recently just in case there are others wondering the same thing.

- Canvases -
Any time I post a picture of my canvases, I seem to get lots of inquiries about where they're from, what size they are, etc.  All of mine are 16x20 and, most recently, I've been ordering from Canvas People.  They're super fast, great quality and have awesome prices.  You can see more details about my canvas prints HERE.


- GRIFFIN'S NECKLACES -
In recent months, Griffin isn't fully dressed without a necklace :) hahaha   She loves them!!!

As with most things I do, bigger is always better, and some of my FAVORITES (like the two pictured below) come from Sprinklings.  

I've also ordered from and was impressed with Josie James Boutique, Lola and Darla, Love Blooms Here and Savannah Glam Boutique.

Griffin plays with the necklaces all the time, and I've yet to have any from the above shops ever break.  I do take them off of her when she's in the car or taking a nap - just because better safe than sorry.

 - PENS -
I think the question I get more often than any other is about my favorite pens :)  They're by Stablio and you can find my exact set HERE.  They're hands down my FAVORITE pens for writing in my planner.

The other question that I've had several times is whether my planner is "color coordinated".... like whether the colors have special designated purposes and the answer is no. hahaha  I wish I was that organized, but the way I pick my colors are purely aesthetic. ;)

- CHALK QUESTIONS -
A lot of people have asked about what I write on my chalkboards with - and the answer is I use both regular chalk and the pens.  When I write on my big chalkboard, I use regular, $0.99 chalk from WalMart.  It's a bigger surface and I like the look of normal chalk.

When I write on my little chalkboard, it's a SUPER smooth surface and THESE chalk pens work really well and allow me to be a little more detailed.


- "SUPER MOM" -
I want to be super up front and start by saying that I totally take the "super mom"/"how do you do it all"/etc. kind of comments as a complete compliment.  And I want to follow that up with this answer.... "I don't!" :) hahaha  I don't get it all done.  I have off days, I get overwhelmed and I like to veg out with some Bravo TV as much as the next girl :)  I've sent Luke to school with a lunchable MANY a day, we missed a birthday party last month because I, honestly, just totally forgot about it and if you've seen me in the last 2 weeks or so you've seen me with a messy bun because I've been up way too late every night working on cards and I've opted for 30 extra minutes of sleep instead of my blow dryer. #truth

I think the difference is that the creative things I do are "outlets" for me and I find them enjoyable and not an obligation.  When I get overwhelmed I like to bake cookies and, since I do work all day, I like to make the absolute most of the time I have with my kids after school.

And in case you still don't believe that I'm not being extra productive 100% of the time, please see Exhibit A...


This pic sums up the solid 12-15 minutes I spent in my van drinking a tea and eating a piece of THE BEST carrot cake EVER with music (that I wouldn't listen to with little ears in the car) turned up WAY too loud doing absolutely nothing.  That's right.  In the grocery store parking lot, nonetheless. 

- BODY IMAGE -
This next one I've written and rewritten about half a dozen times.  No joke.
I debated even sharing it, but in the end, the teacher mentality that I mentioned at the beginning of the post won out and so I'm about to ramble.  Brace yourself.

I received an email about body image about a month ago and it struck an absolute chord with me.  Here's a little snippet...


Wow.  I'm not sure I've ever felt more inadequate to answer a question.... because body image is most definitely something that I've struggled with in my teenage AND adult life.  I've wrestled with feelings of guilt as I've held a perfectly healthy, beautiful baby and been focused on the pudge at my waistline instead.  I've caught "that look" on Dave's face as he's offered up a genuine compliment and I've dismissed it, or worse, countered it with doubt about his honesty.  I've taken a careless word from someone WAY too personally and placed more value on their comment than on those of the people who actually care about me.  And I've had to stop myself from talking about how I feel I look in a photo (or two) in front of my kids.

What I've come to realize is that the reassurance and confidence that sometimes I've felt I'm lacking can't and won't come from anyone outside of Jesus Christ.

It doesn't come from compliments from my husband.  It doesn't come from sweet words or "likes" on social media.  It doesn't come from getting a new pair of jeans.  And it doesn't come from what I see when I look in the mirror.

I've felt the most confident, satisfied and self assured during the times when I've felt closest in my relationship with Christ.  When I start to feel myself becoming focused on body image (or just image in general), I try to steer myself back to scripture, quiet time and prayer. 

I hope I haven't come across as cliche or trite, and I want y'all to know that this is something that doesn't come easy to me.  Getting my value from "the world" is tempting and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have to redirect my focus back to Him on a regular basis. 

So there you have it, rambling over.

Did I cover everything???  This post really did run the gamut :) hahaha

Got a question??? Send it my way!  I try my best to answer questions on IG and email - but sometimes they slip through the cracks.  If you're dying to know something and I haven't responded, feel free to ask again!

Thank you so much for reading and following along with me and my family! You guys are the best :) 

94 comments:

  1. I know this is completely random but I would like to read about your pregnancies and births of your children.

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    1. Oooooh! Good idea! I may have to do just that! :) I think all the info is out there, scattered around my blog, but maybe a condensed post with all of the info. Great idea! THANK YOU! :)

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    2. yes this! I love reading birth stories.

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    3. I know you've also mentioned thinking Griffin was a boy but then finding out she was a girl ... I'd love to hear that story too!! (Love your blog too, by the way. Just adore you. I thought of you the other day because the color of 2015 is a creamy-green color and it reminded me a bit of the color on your walls!!) :)

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  2. Such a great post, girl! Love you!!

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  3. Okay...I know that I've personally asked you each one of these questions. Twice. (And you know that's the truth!!!) Second, I love how you addressed the last question. Jesus is the key my friend. The one and only key to a peaceful life. XO

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  4. Love your answers! I've got to try the pens!!! 😄 excellent answer about body image!

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    1. Thank you! And yes... you NEEED to try the pens! :)

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  5. You make following along with your family so much fun!! ;)

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  6. I always look forward to reading your blog every day as part of my morning routine. I am a mom of two youn boys and an elementary school teacher so I get up extra early to have some quiet time :) Your Mason reminds me so much of my younger son and Griffin lets me live vicariously as the mom of a girl :) Thanks for all of your answers. I bought the pens the first time you mentioned the brand and it just went back and purchased the bigger pack :) Have a great day!

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    1. YAY for the pens! hahaha And thank you for your kind words :) I'll continue to dress her over the top so you can get your "girl fill" hahaha

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  7. Andrea, thank you for answering those questions and sharing your heart on body image. Thank you for bringing truth to your blog to make it raw and real. I enjoy reading it :)

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  8. LOL at the picture of the carrot cake in your van while listening to music in the parking lot! I know the feeling :). I enjoy reading your blog.

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    1. You know, I'll take those moments whenever and wherever they come. No shame in jamming out in the mini van :) hahaha

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  9. I love that you put so much of yourself out there for us to get know you and your family! And girl you already know that in my book you OWN the super mom title

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    1. Hahaha. Thank you, girly!!! I definitely don't consider myself super mom - but am super flattered that you do! THANK YOU!!! :)

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  10. Thanks for the reminder about body image. I'm constantly struggling about my after-babies body image and you are right...being Christ-centered on a daily basis can help change all of that! I appreciate your honesty (I love carrot cake too :) and your willingness to take time out of your busy life to answer questions. Have a blessed day, Andrea!

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    1. Glad it spoke to you!!! I think that all women probably wrestle with body image on a daily basis... but I think when you're more focused on your relationship with Christ is just doesn't seem as important. :)

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  11. Love reading your blog. So fun to read about your family. Your blog is very encouraging and love your heart for the Lord! This was a great post and loved your answer to the question about body image. Such a great reminder to walk close and have a personal relationship with God! Thank you Andrea!

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  12. You are my favorite blog to read every morning. Lovely post today-thank you so much for sharing all you do with us.

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  13. As all the ladies have said before me, you are the blog I love to read every single day. Today's was no exception. I love how you are able to cover faith, children, fashion, food, and creativity in such a seamless way.I know it takes time and effort to post as often as you do, so I want to thank you for doing such a lovely job on a consistent basis. Hugs to you and your sweet family and I will be ordering my son's senior picture canvas tonight!!!

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    1. Thank you so much!!! And have fun ordering his canvas - what a great occasion :)

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  14. You're so awesome. I want to be like you when I grow up :) happy Wednesday!

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  15. Your view on body image was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for putting that post in my life

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    1. Thank you for letting me know!!! Sometimes I hesitate to put some of these kinds of opinions and thoughts out there (the "heavier" stuff), but hearing that it's what you needed to hear confirms that it was exactly what I needed to post. Have a FANTASTIC day, girly! :)

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    2. I'm glad you decided to share some "heavier" stuff. It's why find you interesting and real. Constant "perfection" isn't real and its boring..

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  16. You are most definitely the blog I read every day... and sincerely look forward to! I am considering a move to TX so I can be friends with you, Shay, Shaeffer, etc... just kidding! (How creepy and stalker-y!)

    Here's my question - You refer to your dad as Haha. I love that! How'd you come up with that name?

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    1. Hahaha - I don't think you're stalker-y at all!!! The internet makes the world a much smaller place :) And as far as "Haha" - it's really strange - Luke could say Grandpa and had been calling him Grandpa for several months when he all of a sudden started calling him Haha. I have no clue where it came from - but it stuck!!!

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    2. It's so weird - Of all the blogs I read, yours is the one where I feel like I "know" you the most. My daughter, Elle, was checking out instagram with me the other day and caught a video of Griffin. She immediately wanted lots more "Gigi movies." She said she wants to be friends. :P

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  17. Great post! I enjoy reading your blog everyday. When I pull out my TX hat, I always think of you!

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  18. Super great blog post! Thank you for being an open book and honest! We have many similarities with our three kids, full time jobs, and on-the-side businesses. People often ask me how I get it done too, and I always think back to, "You make time for the things you love." I love my creative outlet of sewing and crafting and I can make time for it; although sometimes it's never enough and I spend way too many weekends playing catch up, but time with my kids and family will always come first! I did a blog post about it over a year ago: http://www.honeypieaccessories.blogspot.com/2013/10/i-am-not-super-mom.html

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  19. Oh, and almost always Canvas People or Canvas on Demand have a groupon, which makes their canvas' that much more affordable!

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  20. I'll be the broken record....awesome post! :) Loved your thoughts on body image - so so so good. Jesus is all!!! And my gosh, that carrot cake looks AMAZING! :)

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    1. I'm eating the second half of the carrot cake as I type this ;) DELISH!!!

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  21. I love reading your blog every day & reading about your sweet family. Thank you for being so genuine - your blog is a breath of fresh air for me every morning!

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  22. Love this post! Thank you for being open and honest with all of us ladies (when you totally don't have to be). I am basically the same age and stage of life as you and I look up to you. You are a great Mom. I work full-time too and have 2 small children, husband, house...just life in general. I also enjoy doing crafts as an outlet too. Many people don't "get" that I enjoy doing it and don't do it to get glory. I just am satisfied in either making something cool for my house, my kids, my close family, etc. All glory goes to God for any of my talents. I do wonder if you ever just relax and veg out during the week? You very much seem like the type that is just always doing something (either because you have to or want to).

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    1. I definitely relax and veg! Since I've been in Christmas card mode it hasn't been as often as I like, butI do have two computer monitors so I like to watch Gilmore Girls or Scandal or a movie while I work on projects - kind of two birds with one stone. Dave is a HUGE help and has been known to banish me to our bedroom without kids for an hour so I can eat a bowl of cereal and read or watch TV with the promise of not "doing" anything. hahaha

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  23. I love this! I am working on a journal for my daughter to give to her when she turns 16 in April. I started it on her 15th birthday. I would love to include your thoughts on body image if that's ok.

    Thank you for shining your light! You probably won't know the full impact you have had on others until you get to heaven!

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  24. I'm glad you talked about this and said you don't get your confidence from "likes" on social media, or from materialistic things. I feel like seeing selfie after flawlessly filtered selfie daily on instagram and after reading other blogs that constantly are pushing to get these wellies, this scarf, this watch, etc. it's easy to get caught up in it all and think that those things will make one happier or more confident when truly they're just things Thanks for keeping it real!
    Leslie

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    1. Don't get me wrong - I like wellies and scarves and shopping as much as the next person, but my value doesn't come from any of those things and I would never want anyone to think that I felt like it did. I'm definitely guilty of having a crummy day and coming home and buying something (hopefully I'm not the only one who's done that!), but at the end of the day the temporary "happy" feeling that I got from buying something goes away.... and thankfully I have the faith foundation to know that the "things" can't bring me true joy or happiness. Thanks so much for reading and for your perspective :)

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    2. I definitely see you as one of the more genuine bloggers out there. I have always enjoyed reading your blog and today I felt compelled to give you some feedback. I love that you are not trying to give us tips on how to be more comfortable in our bodies and with ourselves by exercising, being more productive, looking put-together, but by being more spiritual and having a closer connection with God. Love it. Thank you for writing such a great blog. I'm not even a religious person but I so appreciate this because I have had a void that I didn't even realize was there. I was/am still sometimes consuming and collecting stuff, and you're right, it's temporary and what I'm seeking isn't fulfilled, so I know it has to be something greater.
      -Leslie

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  25. I LOVE your blog and creativity!! Q&A posts are so fun! IF you're ever looking for new topics I'd love to read how you keep the kids' toys organized. My son plays so much better when his toys are in their correct sets but keeping them that way is hard! Maybe you've already done a post like this and if so please direct me that way!

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    1. Oh, gosh! I could definitely do something like that.... although it would probably read like, "our toys are a hot mess". hahaha :) Maybe in January when I throw away half the stuff in my house I'll do a post :) hahaha

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  26. Andrea, you NAILED on the body-image!!! Thanks for speaking TRUTH! Jesus sees us as made "perfect in HIS image"!!!!

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  27. Thanks for opening up and answering some questions. Your response about body image was spot on! Goodness, we all need a little more Jesus when it comes to that - and really everything! I really enjoy reading your take on things, and seeing a glimpse into your life. It's a highlight of my day.

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  28. When I was a sophomore in HS (5 long years ago ha) I had a foreign exchange friend from Switzerland and she had her mom mail those pens over, and she gave me a pack! They're awesome! Good to know I can buy them here too :)

    Doreen

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    1. Yes! And they're not too expensive either! SCORE! :)

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  29. I love this. I think a lot of people don't understand that creativity can be an effective outlet for stress. They do on some level but not completely.

    Also... I really love exhibit A!!!! I carve fifteen minutes m-f for me by going to carline early(yes I am that mom) I listen to podcasts, music, read, drink Coke. Stare off into space whatever. We have to remember to do this. It is vital!

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    1. Love that you stare off into space. Too funny!!! Thank you for reading!!! :)

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  30. I love this post! I have struggled with my body image also. Thank you so much for sharing! You are a true example of a follower in Christ :)

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    1. It's HARD being a girl :) Thanks for reading!!!

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  31. I would love to hear about raising two boys! How do you get all their energy out? How do you balance gentleness and their need for physical play? How do you disipline your tender hearted Luke vs. spirited Mason?

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    1. OOOOH! Great idea!!! Although I feel like I do things wrong on the daily I could definitely share some little tips I've picked up along the way. Thanks!!!

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  32. LOVE this post and just adore following along with your super sweet family! You are so real and honest and dang, that's why everyone just loves you! I think everyone who reads here feels like they could be your best friend....no everything isn't all perfect all the time but you sure make life fun and enjoy it to the fullest! Great answer to the last question today!

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    1. We can totally be besties!!! :) hahaha Thank you!!!

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  33. I'm a 21 year old college student at Mary Hardin-Baylor and I've kept up with your blog for about a year now and I have to say, I hope to be half the mom you are someday. I admire so much of how you raise your kids and how faithful you and your husband are. You have the cutest family! Thanks for setting a great example! :) slash.. I really wish I could've experience you as a teacher.. You seem so fun haha.

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    1. Oh, girl! You made my day :) You're waaaaaay too sweet and you're going to be an AMAZING mama one day! Would LOVED to have had you in my class, too! HAve a fantastic day! :)

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  34. You're just an AWESOME person. That is all. :)

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  35. I almost never comment (although I read daily) but I totally feel blessed by this blog! Thanks for writing!

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  36. So I read your blog this morning, but I didn't have time to comment because it was time to wake Carter up. I left it open on my computer so I would be sure to comment tonight. GIRL. SUCH A GOOD POST. I knew this morning when I read it that so many ladies would identify with what you were sharing (I FOR SURE did), and would be blessed by what you wrote. I just read through all off the comments, and I'm not at all surprised that you touched so many! GIRL POWER!!!! Love you friend!

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  37. How do you store Griffin's bows? I juat had a baby girl and he already has way too many bows!

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  38. I REALLY LOVE your handwriting. I'm always like "I can do that" but I always end up writing my name in a rush.

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  39. Hi Andrea. Like all the women commenters before me, this is a terrific post, and a great reminder to keep focused on Jesus (especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays when commercialism distorts our focus). I LOVE your blog; you are real and genuine and not afraid to say I am having a crummy day.

    Thank you for sharing with your heart. You're so sweet!

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  40. I never usually read the comment section when I read your blog but I love how you responded to so many of them! As for the pens I'm still trying to embrace them ~ I bought them when youanswered my question on IG in May & have yet to find any love for them. I color code my plan book too- sometimes for fun & other times just for organization. As for your fun style I'm definitely inspired by it & look forward to creating fun outfits with a bit more bling lately! And, one more thing thanks to your recommendation I'm the proud owner of 6 Farm Girl Paints cuffs since September. Keep blogging from a fan in Long Island :)

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  41. You're an inspiration and blessing.

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  42. I totally ordered those pens for my planner and you are so right!!! They are the BEST! I absolutely love following your blog and linking up as much as possible. Plus, knowing I am not the only mama that blasts music you wouldn't listen to with the babes in the car is a great feeling!!

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  43. Loved this post! You are one of my
    fave blogs to read! You are so fun and cute I want to be friends! :)

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  44. The reason why I love your blog so much is because of your honesty. Thanks for being you and taking the time to share! I could actually go on and on because brevity is not my strong suit but that's it for today. :)

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  45. Love this! Thank you so much for sharing! And thank you so much for your honesty. I love how real and honest you are in your posts.
    I feel so silly asking this, but I've seen your phone cover in some of the pics you take and think it is so cute. I'm on the hunt for a new phone cover...what kind/where did you get yours?

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  46. As someone who has struggled for years with body issues, your thoughts and wise words on the subject brought me to tears - thank you for the encouragement and the reminder that my confidence doesn't come from anyone but Christ...thank you!

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  47. I am a stay at home mom to 2 boys (almost 3 and 17 months)....they can be quite messy! I've wondered for a long time how you do what you do AND keep your house clean. I spend all of my energy just picking up messes, so hardly find the time to deep clean (toilets, dusting, mopping, etc) Do you have a cleaning lady? If not, do you use some sort of schedule to keep yourself on track for cleaning? I started reading your blog through Shay (learned about hers from the bachelor) and really enjoy reading! :) it reminds me that motherhood is a giant club and we all have carrot cake in the van moments!

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  48. You seem like such a neat person to know in real life. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

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  49. You seem like such a neat person to know in real life. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

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  50. I think you are so inspiring! Thank you for blogging about your life and for encouraging other moms, like me! I love reading about your life. I feel like we're friends! lol!

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