“friday” favorites – january 23.

Let’s pretend today is Friday, okay?

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Favorite Mail: My friends are the best, really. Remember how I had a hard day last week, followed by a cancelled cycle on Friday? Well, it was like God prepped everyone in advance to mail out cards and goodies prior to my tough day(s) so that the love poured in when I needed it most. I am so totally spoiled by the best community. Thank you all deeply.

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Thank you Vanessa! I want to frame this adorable card.

Elisha over at waitingforbabybird.com/ cheered me up with prayers and chocolate! WIN!

Elisha over at waitingforbabybird.com/ cheered me up with prayers and chocolate! WIN!

Matt and Karen sent love from Florida ... these friends have been so faithful in their support and prayers over the years!

Matt and Karen sent love from Florida … these friends have been so faithful in their support and prayers over the years!

 

My Person Karen sent a boxful of goodies - magazines and bookmarks and other thoughtful "me" things. What a thoughtful surprise! (And this photo doesn't do it justice.)

My Person Karen sent a boxful of goodies – magazines and bookmarks and other thoughtful “me” things. What a thoughtful surprise! (And this photo doesn’t do it justice.)

THIS! How many of you know I collect Starbucks mugs from all over the world? Well, I do. And my friend Heather completely surprised me with a package containing this AWESOME mug from a Boston Starbucks. In fact, I'm drinking from it as I type this! I love adding this to my collection! Heather, you're wonderful!

THIS! How many of you know I collect Starbucks mugs from all over the world? Well, I do. And my friend Heather completely surprised me with a package containing this AWESOME mug from a Boston Starbucks. In fact, I’m drinking from it as I type this! I love adding this to my collection! Heather, you’re wonderful!

Favorite Memory: Our Girls Retreat Weekend was the best ever. We had SO much fun getting away for a few days, relaxing and eating and laughing so hard. (The best kinds of soundless laughs too, where you can hardly catch your breath and you momentarily fear that your lungs won’t come up for air.) I am so blessed and grateful for these women in my life. We topped the weekend off with a significant prayer session for one another and His presence was tangible. I love my people.

Late night - take 15253. We tried.

Late night – take 15253. We tried.

Make-up free, silly shows on the lake. Love these girls.

Make-up free, silly shows on the lake. Love these girls.

Looks like we are in the tundra right? Nope, that's just standing out on the lake up north. Gorgeous though right!?

Looks like we are in the tundra right? Nope, that’s just standing out on the lake up north. Gorgeous though right!?

What girls weekends are made of - 80's movie's, snacks, cider, and blankets. Not pictured - nail polish, late nights, all that girly stuff.

What girls weekends are made of – 80’s movie’s, snacks, cider, and blankets. Not pictured – nail polish, late nights, all that girly stuff.

Favorite Selfie: While getting ready to leave for work on Wednesday morning, I stop, dropped and selfied with Cali – she even sort of participated? Okay, so maybe not but still, I love this pup.

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Favorite Blog Quote: My sweet friend Heidi over at People, Place or Things wrote this great post this week about taking time to refill yourself and perhaps it’s because I am a similar season as she was writing about, but this quote hit home: “Lately, my days have been filled with activities that drain me. And that’s fine and necessary and life. But, I haven’t been as intentional about balancing my calendar with commotion that fills me. Like taking baths.” I love that she acknowledged that part of life is doing things that may be draining and necessary, but it was a great reminder that I also have to be intentional about balancing in things that refuel my spirit, which I haven’t been as good at lately (There’s that words again, intentional, I get it!) So thank you Heidi for reminding me that even midst seasons of busy and need-to-do, self-care needs to be on the list too!

(image from Heidi's website)

(image from Heidi’s website)

Favorite Share: I have been slowly trying to take control over the chemicals and germs that take over our house and lives and have found Norwex to be a company that does an incredible job creating other alternatives. This week I got to host a party with several girlfriends and had a Rep share more about what I have been learning – it was so fun and educational! If you are interested in learning more, let me know. Or if you are interested in placing an order with my online party, the link is open until Tuesday and you are invited to do so. (http://lovemycloths.com/) – enter Chelsea R as host or if it doesn’t work, still send it in and let me know and she can move your order to my party.

Favorite Gift: My dear friend Holly met up with me and shared this story with me – last September she was away at a conference and this necklace caught her eye. She wasn’t sure why she was supposed to buy it, but she did and she tucked it away and waited. Well, because God is God, He began to make it clear to her that this necklace was meant to be given to me – which is crazy because when she bought the necklace, we hadn’t even met yet! I love how God orchestrated this beautiful encouragement to me and also used her heart and generosity to bless me so. Arrows are a beautiful symbol in the infertility journey. They remind us that “an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great.” There is such encouragement in the draw knowing that there will be, at some point, a release, a simple and swift motion that will change the momentum of it all. So Holly, thank you. Thank you for blessing me with this God-given reminder and acting on it. Once I have “launched”, I can’t wait to pass this necklace on to the next girl who is in the slow and painful process of being drawn back.

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Favorite Funnies:

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There you have it! My “Friday” Favorites. (*wink* *wink*). Thanks to everyone who has been emailing over questions for the Q&A series coming up in February! I am soooo excited to dive into these – keep sending them over! Whoooo hooooo! Have a great weekend friends.

friday favorites – january 9th.

Happy Friday! Why not, let’s jump right in!

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Favorite Moment: Monday was kind of a tough day for me (see here: outcomes) but Monday night completely redeemed the day. Yes, the new season of the Bachelor started. Now before you get all judgy on me, hang on. One of the reason I love it (besides the cringing drama), is that I gather with my girlfriends and we spend hours eating, laughing, and making assumptions based on hair styles and limo debuts, all while snuggled up on my couch. The best. Thanks Jana, Julie, Anna, Monica and Danielle for being the bright spot in my day and for guffawing with me while taking tedious notes about which girl is who. I love you girls.

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Favorite Read the Bible Challenge: How many of you think “ah, I am totally going to read the Bible this year” and then slip off path and get so far behind you ignore the goal completely. Well, you’re not alone! But this year, She Reads Truth loaded a #365day plan in their Android/IPhone app which allows you an easy way to digitally pull up the days reading, scroll through and read it (perhaps instead of looking at facebook or instagram – time management skills learned too!) and then mark it off as complete. If you want to ask questions to the community reading it together, an extra swipe of your finger to the right brings you to discussion boards. It isn’t dated so if you fall a day or two behind, just jump in where you left off. I love it! So download the SheReadsTruth app today (free!) and select the Bible in a Year plan. (There are many great other plans too if you are looking for a new devotional.) Or download the daily assignment list to print off and stick in your Bible if you are a hard-copy reader. Enjoy!

Download the PDF Printable Plan Here

Favorite Book: My sister-in-law finished reading this book and the next thing I knew, it was sitting in my mailbox waiting for me to read. Ladies, if you want a great read, order this book today! What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty is a funny, heartfelt book with an infertility secondary storyline. I must warn you, it will be like reading the inside of your head at times and it can be a little overwhelming (I had to set it down a few times, but in a good, therapeutic way if that makes sense), but it completely redeems itself. Even if you never struggled but like to read, go buy it. It isn’t obnoxious, quite the opposite and I think you’ll enjoy it! Yes, there are a few swear words, but only a few. I loved this book. (Thanks for letting me borrow it Monica!)

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Favorite Makeover: Our little ragamuffin furbaby Cali got groomed last weekend. She can finally see again and I think she’s carrying herself with a little bit of extra sass because of it.

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Favorite Accomplishment: You know that to-do task that sits on your list for days at a time because you don’t want to do all the work it involves? Well, I got TWO of those tasks done this last week. (Thank you New Years umph!) Josh and I tackled a closet we have wanted to organize for, um, 2ish years, and I finally got my passport sent off to be renewed. I don’t know why it felt like such a project (go get a picture, wait for it to print, make an appointment and go to the passport office, fill out the paperwork, go to the post office ..) but it took about 30 minutes and I am so glad it’s just done. Check, check, and check!

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Favorite Memory: Josh and I went to the NHL game last night with my parents, which was SO fun. Chicago Blackhawks (parents) vs. Minnesota Wild (us). I love the light hearted family tension these games create! Sadly, the Wild couldn’t pull out a win but it was fun to see my parents so happy at the Blackhawks victory. It was a great game – a lot of shots attempted (over 60) and good people sitting around us. Two highlights – one, when we looked up at the big screen during a break, we saw a picture of my mom and I flashing up there that must have been taken from Instagram. It’s always fun to see yourself on the big screen. Sadly we have no proof because we were too busy screaming and pointing. Hey, living in the moment, right? Secondly – Josh loves getting popcorn at hockey games. He’s borderline obsessed as he talks about the popcorn days before the game. So he gets his popcorn and I took out a hotdog sized basket of it for me, but of course I got bumped and spilt the whole basket of popcorn all over the guy in front of me. The only thing is, the guy has no clue he has 241 popcorn kernels sitting on his back between him and the chair. So as I begin to panickily remove kernels and apologize (to which he is not hearing me), my mom keeps taking pictures and is laughing hysterically. The row behind her got involved with “I won’t tell him!!!” cries and offers to take better angled pictures of this fiasco. (To which my mother easily accepted and her phone now contains way too much evidence of this incident.) We were all hysterical and when the poor man moved, he got a better realization of the popcorn all over him (and now in his pants). He was such a good sport about it and we got him brushed off with no damage done, but had quite the laugh at my clumpsy popcorn act.

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Favorite Thing I am Looking Forward To: Watching the Parenthood episode from last night. It’s sitting on my DVR box and I am typing furiously so that I can go watch it. People, if you aren’t watching Parenthood, you are missing out. Big time.

Favorite Funnies: And now, the moment you have all been waiting for … the funnies!! Enjoy!

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Alright friends, until next time …. have a wonderful weekend!

Have you had a chance to click and read my post over at Fertility Authority yet? If not, click here and visit today! Thanks!

friday favorites – 2014.

Welcome to 2015! How’s it going so far for everyone? There is something so fresh and exciting about a new year, capturing an entire blank book of what’s ahead, the air eager with anticipation about what the next 12 months will bring.

Instead of doing Friday Favorites today, I thought I would take the lead of my friend Sweet Mama K and do a Favorite Things of 2014 list. THIS IS HARD! But without further ado….

Music: Tough category for me. I feel like there was some great music that came out this year and some great music I rediscovered. But the album of the year for me goes to Damien Rice for My Favorite Faded Fantasy.  The songs are raw and cut your heart out, prance it around for a bit, and then heal you back up. Beautifully done and after a long 8 year break, it was well worth the wait.

Honorable Mentions: YES! by Jason Mraz, Hozier’s EP’s, I am Mountain by Gungor and Magestic by Kari Jobe.

Food: 2014 brought in my first full year as a gluten free gal and much of the year I managed a paleo-ish/Whole 30 diet. However, there were some delicious cheat meals nestled in there! My favorite meal of the year was found at 45 Bistro in Savannah, Georgia. There were 3 unique and delicious salads tried, a caprese, a modern greek salad, and a beet salad. The main course was an espresso rubbed ribeye, topped with a mushroom medley, asparagus and served over whipped mashed potatoes.

Honorable Mentions: Melting Pot fondue, La Fiesta fish tacos in San Diego, and the Reuben omelet from Brian’s 24, also in San Diego.

Book: Shauna Niequist rocked my year and reading her words brought a lot of healing to my soul as well as helping me find my own words. While I loved all three of her books, Bittersweet is my favorite.

Honorable Mentions: Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and the Divergent series by Veronica Roth (I was late to the boat on this one).

Experience: This year was packed pull of beautiful experiences, all of them so different from one another. In the end, I have to say my favorite experience was my trip to San Diego with Josh in September. We did so much during this trip – seeing Jason Mraz’s opening tour concert (in his hometown too!), going to Sea World, roaming the beaches, seeing Planes on the USS Midway on the ocean, eating so much great food, biking all over Coronado – all with my best friend. It’s safe to say we both fell in love with the San Diego life while out there.

Honorable Mentions: visiting Savannah with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, being in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with family, and visiting my hometown of Chicago, catching up with friends and attending the Storyline Conference in October.

Podcast: I love listening to podcasts while I drive. It’s a great way for me to tune out the world and tune in to God. There were some great series this year, but my favorite was the #Struggles series by Pastor Craig Groeschel. There were 5 parts – Contentment, Relationships, Authenticity, Compassion and Rest, each one just as good at the other. (I even guest wrote about one of the podcasts on my friends blog here!).

Honorable Mentions: the Crash the Chatterbox series by Steven Furtick and Stronger by WillowCreek Church (Pastor Bill Hybels + others).

Discovery: This summer, Josh and I, along with some friends and family, decided to get healthier by joining a fitness program called Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping. I am so thankful for the opportunity and encouragement it has given us to get healthier and more active. I couldn’t have done it (or continue to do it) without the support and encouragement of my friends and family, specifically Courtney and Jana.

Honorable Mentions: Americanos, Amazon Prime, and the cooking inspiration of @whole30recipes (instagram).

That’s a wrap! I feel like 2014 was a good year. I am excited to see what 2015 is going to hold. As always, stay tuned for more!

XO!

Chelsea

 

friday favorites – december 5th.

Happy Friday! Does it seem to anyone else that Thanksgiving was AGES ago, not merely last Thursday? Whoa. I saw someone post something earlier that 3 Friday’s from now, Christmas will be over. What!? Where is time going? I wish you all a productive December, however, even more than productivity, I wish you a December filled with His peace, presence and the joy of the season.

I heard Louie Giglio talking on the radio this week and he said “From the beginning, the Christmas story has been one of fulfilled longing. It reaffirms our faith and gives us reason to celebrate the faithfulness and goodness of God. Sadly, the frenzy we call the holiday season is a mad dash of tinsel and toys, driven more by consumerism than anything else, creating a perfect storm of anxiety that can easily cause us to miss God’s voice. Christmas is about waiting and hoping in God. My hope is that this Advent season will encourage and fortify your faith so hope may bloom again.”

That is my prayer for us today. It can be so easy to miss God’s voice when we become too busy, racing to make the next appetizer for that party, find the right outfit for this event, wrap the gifts, stress about affording everything, so on and so forth. I want to press pause. I want to press pause and remember that it will all be okay and that my upmost priority this season is to celebrate the faithfulness and goodness of God.

Time for Friday Favorites! In order to savor the richest of the season, it will be my last Friday Favorites of the year (but not my last post), so enjoy and then watch for them to be back in January!

Favorite Way to Shop: Online! Why haven’t I taken advantage of this earlier? You can Google tons of extra promo codes, like free shipping and discounts, which make it even more reasonable and practical. Plus you can watch Hallmark Christmas movies while doing so and snuggle with your pup and some coffee. Win!

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Favorite Photo: We caught Cali Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. HA! Oh this silly pup.

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Favorite Movie: Loved MockingJay Part 1! We got to enjoy a date night with some friends on a collllld wintery night, indulging in Chick Fil A beforehand. (Their grilled chicken nuggets are great for my gluten free ladies!) Can’t wait for Part 2!

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Favorite Christmas Movie: I LOVE this time of year on Hallmark. Christmas Under Wraps was such a cute movie this year with Candace Cameron-Bure. A perfect one to DVR and watch as you wrap presents! (And they are replaying this alllll the time so you should be able to find it again!)

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Favorite Church Series: Our church kicked off a great series last week, Crazy Love, and the first message was called Crazy Busy. It was perfect and timely and a fantastic reminder to trust God to fill the holes when we need to pull back; to pull away and take care of your soul; and to practice elimination so that we can excel at what we should be doing and not trying to do it all. If you want to check out the message, here is the video link! The message starts at minute 4:00.

Oh and our kids programs are doing a great Unfrozen series, so of course we had to take advantage of the fun! I get to volunteer with the BEST team!

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Favorite Pinterest Image: Love this.

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Favorite Love Note: It’s always fun to work out with your husband. It’s even more fun when he sneaks a little note in your car door afterwards. :) He’s the best!

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Favorite Family Picture: Of course we couldn’t let Thanksgiving pass without a family photo!

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Favorite Funnies: Here are a handful of new ones and some of my favorites from the last year! Enjoy the giggles!

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Alright friends, that’s a Friday Favorites wrap for 2014! See ya next week for more of my random ramblings.

Oh, and just in case you haven’t already clicked to help me out on my new writing gig … here you go! http://www.fertilityauthority.com/blog/chelsea-ritchie/2014/12/03/i-have-infertility-i-am-just-you I have a 30 day window but that doesn’t mean you should delay … or shouldn’t reread it. ;)

XOXO!

friday favorites – november 21st.

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Anyone else feel like this after this week? Man, it’s been one of those weeks where I have had the best things fill my time and then also a million things I didn’t want to do but had to do. (And about 90% are still on my list, completely overwhelming me.) Deadlines are quickly approaching and truthfully I am not sure how I am going to fit everything in that needs to be done, while enjoying the fun things scheduled.  I will manage though – it’s all good! I say all this because Friday Favorites are going to be short and sweet this week to allow for me to get some less fun but higher priorities taken care of. I know you’ll understand. :)

Here we go!

Favorite Tradition: Every year the women on Josh’s side of the family get together to make homemade rock candy. It’s a blast, as we all gather around the table with our scissors and molting sugar and gab and visit about life, while sneaking tastes of whatever batch we are making – peach, apple, coconut, cran-raspberry. I’ve been asked for the recipe a lot so here it is!

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A few tips, I have included below some “live” shots from the day to help you piece it together. A few suggestions too:

  • Plan a few hours to make it and have several sets of hands, as the sugar does cool/harden quickly and you need to cut fast!IMG_7162
  • Have good scissors to cut. Shattering it leaves sharp jagged pieces which aren’t any fun to eat.Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset
  • Cover your nearby surroundings with old sheets because the powdered sugar dust does travel.
  • Have fun with the flavorings and colors you choose to go along with it.IMG_7167
  • Put wax paper down on the area you are working on and then cover that table with powdered sugar. It makes it much easier!IMG_7163
  • Use old plates greased with butter to have the liquid sugar on and then pulled up from the sides small chunks to cut off, throw in the powdered sugar, and then have one of your cutters grab to make into smaller pieces.IMG_7170
  • Leave all your little pieces in the sugar until they cool and then using a strainer, shake off most of the access powdered sugar. (You can reshake it all off at the end when everything is cooled).IMG_7165
  • HAVE FUN! I am sure I have missed some tips (and perhaps my guru mother-in-law can comment anything I have forgotten), but I wanted to get this out to you since so many people have commented on Instagram and asked for the recipe. It’s a blast to do!IMG_7171

Favorite Thing I’m Looking Forward To: Mockingjay, Part 1 comes out this weekend! Who’s ready to get their Katniss Everdeen on!?

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Favorite Thoughtful Gesture: My sweet friend Jessica surprised me with this book and card this week. I had mentioned a while back in passing that this book was on my to-read list and was so graciously surprised when it showed up in my mailbox weeks later. Thank you Jessica! (And your card made me all teary – so special and encouraging!)

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Favorite Wallpaper: If you don’t utilize the She Reads Truth app/website for daily devotions and encouragement, get on it! SO GOOD! They offer tons of free wallpaper downloads too that correlate with their series and I just loved this one.

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Favorite Video: This video of a woman doing impressions of celebrities who are stuck in traffic is HILARIOUS! A couple minutes long and totally worth the laugh.

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Favorite Funnies:

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Enjoy! I am off to get things checked off this ever-growing list of mine. I can’t wait to check back in a few days and share the AMAZING results of our fundraiser with you. If I haven’t said it enough, THANK YOU for everything. We were overwhelmed by the kindness that our friends, family, and strangers bestowed on us. The simple act of your purchase signified much more than you wanting to buy a lipgloss, it signified that you were still standing behind us and supporting us as we move forward. It meant so much. And to those who weren’t able to make a purchase, we appreciated SO much your reaching out to commit your prayers to us. While the funds raised are amazing and helpful, the team we have behind us rallying behind us is what means the most to us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!

Oh and I can’t end it without sharing this ridiculously adorable picture of Cali at 4 months. I think she has gotten much more used to her mom taking pictures of her. Have a great weekend!

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friday favorites – november 14.

Somehow, and I don’t know how, another Friday is upon us! Here’s the Friday Favorites for the week!

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Favorite Moment: Spending some quality time with Josh’s grandma and mom over tea! We were able to check out a new tea room in the area and have meaningful catch-up-on-life conversation over some delicious tea, sandwiches and salads. Not only that, but we got to try on some hats when we were leaving … I mean, seriously, can we please bring back these classic looks? I think everyone should have to wear tulle and a feather on their head at least one day in their lives. Hehe!

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Favorite Product: At the moment I am SO grateful for Bliss body butter. My hands have been so dry as these new wintery months approach and I feel like this lotion is helping return my skin to a semi-hydrated state. Unfortunately my little sample size is running low and I will then be on the search for some more lotion samples in my drawers, but for this week, my hands are soft and its thanks to Bliss.

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Favorite Quote: “Joy results when we discover the presence, power and purpose of God in every circumstance.” -Beth Moore

I loved reading that reminder in my study for small group this week. There is that beautiful reminder that happiness is fleeting and circumstancial, while JOY is rooted deep in Him. I want true, deep, rich joy in every season of my life!

Oh yes, and also this Bible verse from Jeremiah 31…so thankful for a Lord that replenishes our weary souls!

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Favorite Kids Church Lesson: How perfect a lesson for our preschool program to learn at church this week! It was so cute to hear the kiddos answering their questions in their groups (“What did Hannah pray for? A BABY!”) and being reminded through this perfect story that God brings us joy. A perfect tie in to my Bible study this week too! (I know this font size is so small below – you may be able to click and zoom!)

Favorite Helper: Minnesota was hit with a snowstorm on Monday (meh, it’s only November) and with Josh out of town, I knew that the driveway had to be cleared somehow! After gratefully declining offers from some family and friends (thanks Joe, Scot and Chet!), I decided it was time to learn how to operate our snowblower and that I could certainly clear these 10″ inches off, no problem. Well, of course it’s never that easy and after running out of gas, flooding the, um, something, and getting stuck, I quickly made the SOS call … to my dad. Of course he came over and fixed everything with an ease that only dads can manage and helped me clear off my driveway while I shoveled. We got it done! (But not without a snow plow plowing into my dad’s car – no pun intended. Boo!) Thanks Dad for your help! Josh, you are never allowed out of town again!

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Favorite Accomplishment: Finishing my 1st One Line A Day book! I purchased this November 2009 and every day since then, have taken a moment each day to scribble down what I do that day – the memories or moments that summarized the day essentially. The book gives you a spot for each day of the year and then there are 5 paragraphs so that you can write in that day for five years. (Make sense?) Well, this week I finally wrote in my last day for the last year and got to start a new book! You can find these books on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. I have even seen them at times at Targetin the notebook aisle. They are SO fun.

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Favorite Pinterest Pin: Look at all these fun ways to tie a belt!

Favorite Funnies: And last but not least ….

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There you go! Happy Friday friends! 7 tubes of blood work was given today so let’s pray for those results. (Not really sure what I am hoping to happen – answers or another thing checked off the list of things I don’t need to worry about ….) I will keep you updated! Day 4/28 of birth control pills is in the books and if all goes planned, it looks like we will have an IUI the week of Christmas, which is beautifully ironic considering we miscarried on Christmas 2 years ago. Anyways, I digress – just keep us in your prayers! And if you haven’t placed an order for the fundraiser and would like to, consider this a reminder! :) Party ends on Tuesday! XO!

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friday favorites – november 7.

Happy Friday! Red cups are being used at Starbucks, I witnessed my first snow shower while in Chicago last week and I’ve officially moved my summer shoes into the closet – November is here! Hope you are all ready for the sparkle that these next few months will bring … apart from the cold, this is one of my favorite times of the year!

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Favorite Dinner Party: A few weeks ago, my mom hosted a CLUE-themed dinner party and she didn’t stop the detail train at any expense! When we arrived we didn’t know what to expect, then we saw this amazing table-scape and knew a fun night was ahead. The menu was amazing, as always, because my mom houses the spirit of every chef inside of her and even surprised us with costumes. The men were Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green and Professor Plum, while the ladies were Ms. Scarlett, Mrs. Peacock and Ms. White. Even Cali had an outfit waiting for her – the police chief of course! So much fun!

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Favorite Thing to Look Forward to: Oh I don’t want to wish days away, but I am SO excited for 2015 to roll around so I can use my new Day Designer! If you haven’t checked out Whitney English’s Etsy store while the planners are for sale, do so! I believe they are doing a limited release again on November 24th and they go fast. LOVE.

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Favorite Night Out: Girls Night Out of course! Spill the Wine in Uptown hosted a Sip N Shop event this week and it was such a blast. Who doesn’t love to have a glass of wine while nibbling on really good cheese, shopping local boutiques, meeting new people, and laughing hysterically with girlfriends!? Oh yea, and then we even let Kisa Boutique give us temporary tattoos, which made me feel a lot more edgy than I am. HA!

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Favorite Photo:

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Favorite Recipe: Chicken Teriyaki – serves 2

Ingredients: 3 cleaned and trimmed chicken breasts, diced into quarter-sized cubes, 1 bag of mixed Stir Fry veggies (I love Trader Joe’s kind)), ½ bag frozen broccoli, 1 quarter sized piece of ginger, 1 garlic clove, 1 can (about 1 cup) of 100% pineapple juice and 1/3 c. liquid aminos (coconut or regular), rice or quinoa cooked as desired

Steps: Take a sauce pan and add your pineapple juice, aminos, whole, peeled garlic clove and chunk of peeled ginger. Turn to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes as it thickens. While that’s cooking, add some coconut or olive oil to another larger pan and cook up your chicken. This will cook fast since they are cut into smaller pieces. Once they are cooked, set aside and make sure there is still about 1-2 tbsp of oil in the pan. Then add your frozen veggies, cover, and sauté on medium for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Once done, remove your garlic and ginger clove and add the sauce and chicken to the veggies. Saute for another 1-2 minutes to combine the flavors. Serve hot by itself or over rice/quiona. Enjoy! (Josh doesn’t love stir fry in general but LOVES this recipe!)

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Favorite Package: I came home from Chicago to this amazing package from my friend Natasha. She surprised us with so many great goodies and it was such a kind and generous ‘thank you’ gesture for coordinating the Mug Exchange. She didn’t need to do it at all and I love how delicious my house has been smelling thanks to this candle! Thanks again Natasha!!!

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And my dear friend Bridget was cleaning out her Thirty One inventory and sent me over these two beautiful goodies! A new cooler bag and ADORABLE navy and white striped crossbody purse. I LOVE THEM BOTH! B, you’re too good to me!

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Favorite Cheerleader: This little Halloween Rah Rah Ruff girl of course! (She had already taken out her pig tails by the time by camera came out. Boo!)

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Favorite Funnies:

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See you on Sunday for a TTC update! Until next time! XOX!

friday favorites – october 24.

Happy Friday! I know, it’s almost Saturday, but better late than never right? For all my new followers, hello!!!! Thanks for stopping in and reading. You guys are the best! A brief recap about Friday’s – Friday’s are the day I step away from “traditional” blog posts and post my favorites from the last week. Anything goes! So without further ado, here we go!

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(Oh yea, and I like Harry Potter)

Favorite Moment: Jason Mraz. State Theater. Him singing, me grinning. Thanks to all the excitement in getting tickets to see his first show in San Diego, Josh and I completely missed the boat to purchase tickets for his Minneapolis show. No worries, we would just buy some off Craigslist. But what happens when NO ONE is selling tickets on Craigslist, Ebay or StubHub? Panic sets in. We had a set budget for the tickets thanks to birthday money that I set aside and knew nothing about scalping tickets, but that’s what we would have to do.

Let’s just say the nerves set in when we were standing outside the theater for 45 minutes and not one scalper had even one ticket, much less two. We were eyeing up the other couples who were pacing like us. Josh went into beast mode, talking with everyone he could and getting to know the scalpers like they were long lost relatives. Me? Well, the stress of it all made me fall into the role of photographer. Yes, that’s right. I just walked around looking for people who were trying to take selfies of themselves in front of the theater and offered to take it for them. (Oh yes, and I fully committed. I was in the street, trying to get their best angles, being careful with the lighting. One group shot even had me pulling out 7 phones from my pocket to get one for each of them. Jason Mraz concerts are no joking matter.)

Well, the great news is 13 minutes before the show started, Josh swooped in on the one scalper who was purchasing a pair of tickets and bam, we were in. My adrenaline at that point was HIGH. Josh came through! The guy always does. :)

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Best moment of the concert? Jason Mraz singing Eurythmics song Sweet Dreams. This happens to be one of my favorite songs ever (for no particular reason) and as soon as he hit that first acoustic note, well, let’s just say my jaw was on the floor and I was teary and giggling and having the best night ever. SO FUN.

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Favorite Quote: We need to stop the ‘when and then’ mentality.” –Christine Caine

Have you ever (like me) said something like this? When I have a child, then I will be content. When I make more money, then I will be able to be more generous. When I get a new job, then I will finally feel appreciated. You can fill it in with whatever you want. However, the point is simple – we are in the now, not the when. We control our attitudes and contentment, not our circumstances.

Favorite Picture: Our sweet nieces came over for a movie night and goodness, did we have fun! Homemade pizza’s were made (FYI Aldi’s has a great gluten free pizza crust baking mix!), pajama’s were slipped in to, giggles were shared and, well, silly faces were made. Seriously, so cute right?

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Favorite Flashback: Trolls. Who remembers them!? The antique store we strolled through last weekend was full of them and they brought back so many childhood memories!

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Favorite Pinterest Pin: I spotted this sweater on Pinterest earlier this week and have to find something like it! How cute is it!? Of course it was posted a few years ago and so I will never find this exact one, but if you ever find anything similar, let me know.

Favorite Package: Guess whose TTC Mug Exchange package arrived!?!? MINE! Jessah sent me this special package, complete with the most adorable mug ever. I adore its size and have already broken it in with some tea. This was such a fun exchange and I absolutely love this part when everyone starts getting their package. (I just sent mine out today!) Did you miss out on it? Don’t worry, we will do another exchange after the holidays. :)

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Favorite Funnies: Ah, now my favorite part. Here’s a few things that made me laugh this week. Hope they make you giggle too!

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Friday Favorites may or may not happen next week due to my trip but we will see if I can break from all the fun and get them out. Have a great weekend friends!

friday favorites – october 17.

Fall is in full swing here in Minnesota and the colors that the leaves are turning make me giddy. I am tempted daily to pull over on the shoulder of the road to snap pictures of the kaleidoscope of nature. I feel like the tree in front of our house is getting redder and redder each day and I always smile as I pass by the front windows.

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Okay, enough blabbing. Let’s talk about Friday Favorites! Much of this last week was lived in Savannah, Georgia while on vacation with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and boy, did we have fun!! Doesn’t this picture say it all?

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Take a peek into our very fun week with the favorites below.

Favorite Way to See the City: By trolley! I absolutely love the Old Town Trolley line and have seen several cities sitting on one of their benches. The windows are open, the tour is narrated, you can hop-on and hop-off all day and you get a cool map. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a good map? Ding ding! We learned so much about Savannah this way.

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Favorite Photo: The trees in Savannah are just gorgeous. Big and drape-y and rich with history. I can’t help but wonder what these trees have seen.

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Favorite Meet-Up: While in Savannah, I got to meet TWO gorgeous friends of mine that I met through social media. Karen drove up from Jacksonsville, a whopping 140+ miles to meet for coffee and I am incredibly grateful she made that long drive. Karen has been a true gift to me over the last several months and our friendship and connection is such a blessing. Not a day passes where I don’t talk to this sweet girl and getting to meet in person over salads, mimosas, and coffee was so much fun!!!! Love you Karen!

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And then last minute, I got to meet with up with another friend, Erica and her husband Pat. Erica is such a sweetheart, has been a beautiful source of encouragement to me and her growing baby bump is a testimony to God’s faithfulness. I am so thankful for the unique friendships that can form and loved spending time with this sweet lady too!

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Favorite Coffee Shop: If you are ever in the Savannah area, go to Gallery Espresso! What a fantastic little coffee shop – super eclectic and inviting with fantastic drinks. I may have drank a few too many cups of espresso here but when you find something this delicious, drink on.

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Favorite Breakfast: This trip was all about splurging. We found a great little café, Goosefeathers Café, that offered gluten free bagels (praises!). Team that up with deliciousness like lox, tomatoes, cucumbers, bean sprouts, capers and a hot americano, and you have one very happy Chelsea.

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Favorite Lunch: Gryphon Tea Room. Hands down. This adorable tea room is decorated with tons of old books and laced in traditional features like piano music and scones but also offered contemporary options like iced thai coffee (delicious!) and chai pot de crème. I loved the salmon salad I got but everything we tried was delicious. A win!

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Favorite Dinner: 45 Bistro. I could purr just thinking about it right now. We shared 3 unique and delicious salads – caprese, a modern greek salad, and a beet salad. And then the main course came – espresso rubbed ribeyes. We decided to share 2 of them between the 3 of us and boy, are we glad we did. They were HUGE and delicious and topped with a mushroom medley, asparagus and served over a whipped mashed potato. One of the best steaks I have ever had. My mouth is watering as I type this!

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Favorite Square: Savannah is made up around 22 squares – little parks essentially, most in honor of a person or historical event and many contain a monument or statues or tribute. They are all unique and so beautiful! We loved all we saw, but this one, Chippewa Square, is the one where the Forrest Gump bus stop scene was filmed. Life is like a box of chocolates …

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Favorite Must-See: Our trolley driver recommended we stop at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and while we are not Catholic, there is something so beautiful and historical about grand cathedrals like this one. The inside was beautifully constructed, the stain glass was colorful and the beautiful stories of the Bible the carvings told were powerful.

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There was a place in the front where you could light a votive candle in prayer and it was overwhelming to imagine all of the prayers that were prayed in there. Once lit, the candles continue to burn carrying on the prayers that were said. I am so thankful for a God who hears each and every one of our prayers and cares so deeply about us.

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Favorite Haunted Adventure: Apparently Savannah is the most haunted city in America and while I don’t believe there are thousands of angry spirits strolling the city streets, I do love a good dramatic spooky tale. I somewhat forcibly talked the fam into hopping on a Ghosts and the Graveyard trolley to hear the stories about Savannah and enjoyed laughing at the alleged tales. I am certain everyone enjoyed it as much as me.

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Favorite Fur-Sighting: While walking through a park, we saw this woman walking all her dogs and their new 8 week old puppies. They were adorable little balls of fur and I was so happy sitting and petting them! Too bad I couldn’t have snuck one home for Cali. (Actually, I don’t think she would have liked that very much.)

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So that was Savannah in a nutshell! It was a blast and now I am home, unwinding from the whirlwind of traveling. A few favorites since I have been back:

Favorite Gas Price: Oh how it feels so good to be under $3.00/gallon.

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Semi-Favorite New Do: Cali desperately needed a new haircut but I am afraid she lost a little too much. HA! Poor thing looks robbed of her locks. This mama keeps reminding myself that it will grow back.

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Favorite Thoughtful Gestures: All the texts and pictures we received of your candles burning on Wednesday night. I could post a million of these pictures, but truly, thank you for everyone who thought of us and our babies and all of the loved ones others have lost. What a beautiful night.

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Favorite Funnies: Last but not least!

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Have a great weekend! All of the Mug Exchange emails have been sent out so if you haven’t received your package assignment, please email me ASAP! Happy shopping!

friday favorites – october 10.

I must admit, as you read this I am on vacation and the “publish at ___:____” feature of WordPress is taking over. Friday Favorites this week will be short and sweet but still up, so enjoy!

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Favorite Outfit: I got to whip out these bad boys for date night last weekend since I knew my hunter hubby would love a bit of camo. They were so comfy and only cost $4 on clearance at Old Navy. Score!

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Favorite Quote: I recently decided to take an opportunity to temporarily job share a position at the hospital I work at when the maternity leave I am covering is done (which it was as of last Wednesday). I have to admit, the motivating factor for taking this job is financial and I have been feeling a bit frustrated that infertility treatments cost what they do, making this decision necessary if we look to pursue anything in the future (more on that another day). It won’t be more than 6 months and only a few days a week, but still, isn’t something I am bouncing off the walls with excitement about doing (even though the company, position and colleagues are so great). It will be a change for our family and increase the busy-ness of my already busy life so I am still processing what this will look like. All in all though, I think it will be good and I love being with my old friends/colleagues again. Anyways, I was talking to my sister about it and she said these words to me: You never know the eternal impact these few short months will have. It’s a part of your journey and story now and it won’t be wasted.”

I love that. I love how she managed to take this change and wove it into the big picture of my life. I am trying to embrace this opportunity completely. I truly am grateful for the chance to save more money for whatever lies ahead, even if the pity-party side of my brain whines that it shouldn’t be this hard or expensive to have a family.

Favorite Accessory: Right now it’s all about these little silver hair clips! I love being able to swoop my hair up with them as I style it in the morning. They are super cheap at Target/Walmart and are far more indestructible than the plastic clips that I always seem to drop and have shatter. A win!

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Favorite Thing I am Looking Forward to: I am heading into the Chicagoland area the last week of October and am SO excited to visit with friends, family and attend the StoryLine Conference at Willow Creek Community Church! (Are you heading to that too? Let me know!) Okay, and I may be a little excited about the food too … Not sure how a gluten free Portillo’s trip is gonna work, but trust me, I will make it happen! This could be dangerous …

Favorite Moment: Josh and I were able to sneak off to our family’s cabin for Saturday – Sunday trip and loved spending some quality time with his parents. We played lots and lots of card games, shared some favorite childhood memories with one another and caught up on life. The sunset was beautiful on Saturday night (far more stunning than this picture does justice) and even though the weekend was extremely chilly, it was so refreshing.

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Favorite Photo: This one is all about Cali’s face. I fell asleep in the car on the way up to the cabin and Cali came over to hang out on the pillow while I snoozed. She loves to balance on her back legs and Josh snapped this picture of her chilling on me. I thoroughly cracked up at her little face when I woke up and saw it. She is so adorable! (And desperately in need of a hair cut….)

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Favorite Funnies: Can’t end Friday Favorites without the Funnies! Enjoy!

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See you next week!

If you haven’t already signed up for the Mug Exchange and want to, make sure to have your email to me by Monday, October 13th! See this post for all the details.