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Every year, I pick a word. A word that I want represented for my life during the next 365 days. This year, my word is peace.

Since Casey and I were married, we’ve been going. striving. Saying YES when we should’ve said no, finding jobs, searching for a house, finding a house, remodeling a house, starting a photography business, starting a videography business, trying to keep up in the business industry, joining businesses, trying to have babies, going to doctors to try and have babies, adopting, selling a house, living with my parents, building a house, the list goes on and on. It just feels like we’ve always been…going.

Don’t get me wrong, I get that everything said above is part of LIFE. Life happens, and I never want to look back and have regrets. For everything I mentioned, I am SO thankful. Thankful for all the opportunities we’ve had. The Lord has truly blessed us, and I regret nothing that we’ve done. We love our jobs! We loved adopting! But truly, we are tired. And we have a lot to think about! Do we really need three jobs between the two of us? Do we really need to say yes to every single opportunity that comes our way? Is it worth time away from our girl?

Peace is defined as “freedom from disturbance”. For me, that disturbance has been a busy schedule, saying yes when I should’ve said no, a cluttered home (AND mind), my cell phone, social media, other people’s drama, my temper, etc…

I choose peace.

Less busy, less saying yes, a simple schedule, less social media, less of peoples drama, more family time, more time with Sweet P, more helping people with adoption, more making our house a home, more giving, more of what matters. 2017, I’m ready for you.

My verses to help me focus on that word are:
“Joy fills hearts that are planning peace.” Proverbs 12:20 and “Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14











I’m putting this out there for anyone needing direction in the new year. We can do this together! Pray on it and pick a word that you want to represent you. We can decide what we want our 2017 to be. One word, one verse, one day at a time.

One day on Instagram, I came across this account called “Rad Joy” and the name alone peaked my interest. I was so happy when I clicked over to their profile and saw these beautiful crosses!

Rad Joy is a husband and wife team that makes Surrender Crosses. These crosses are a visual representation of surrendering our prayers over to God. You literally write your prayers and burdens down, then nail them to the cross. They come with removable nails and little pieces of paper.

If you saw my last blog post about prayer, then you know that I love everything this represents! What a great reminder that once we give God our burdens, they are His to carry! This WILL be going in my prayer corner at our house. I got the signature Surrender Cross in weathered oak. To view all of the designs, click here _KLP3284


I recently got an email asking about my prayer journaling so I thought I would share some basics to get started! Prayer is so powerful and it wasn’t until I started to intentionally write mine down that I really realized that. To be able to go back and read over my prayers and see how God moved is truly amazing. Prayer is our one and only contact with our heavenly Father, and He hears us! I don’t know about you, but knowing this makes me want to pray and pray often!

I think a lot of times the thought of this can seem intimidating. You might not know where to start or how to write prayers (I’ve been there)! It’s really easy to get started and please remember that these are only my suggestions of what works for me:

1. I highly recommend that you read this book. I’m in the middle of it right now and I wish I had this years ago before starting my journaling. It’s totally changing my prayer life. Anne gives easy and straightforward insight on the power of prayer and how the Bible says to pray:

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2. Buy a journal. This one is a little obvious, but a good journal is key!  Everyone is different. You might want a small one or a big one, but I always get leather ones because they are the most durable. I usually get mine from Barnes and Noble. I’m on my third one like this:

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3. Be thankful and give praise. I start my journaling by simply thanking God. The Bible says “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4 – and that’s exactly what I do. There is nothing to big or too small, He loves to hear about what delights us! If it’s a day that I’m especially thankful for coffee (I know you moms feel me) then I will thank Him for it! Thank Him for the things that you are truly thankful for, be authentic! Here’s an example of what I might start out saying:

“Dear Father,

Thank you for this beautiful day, thank you for allowing me to wake up, and thank you for coffee! Thank you for the birds that I hear outside, they really brighten my day. Thank you for Sweet P and her laugh. Thank you for healing her, she’s my light and joy. You are the mighty creator of it all, and I praise you!”

Now to be honest, it feels funny at first when you’re praising God on paper. But think about all the songs we sing that give Him praise. “Bless the Lord oh my soul, worship His holy name” “Our God is an awesome God” “How great is our God”. We sing praises all the time so writing them is really no different. If you can’t think of the words to say, then write out a song!

4. Write your prayers. After being thankful, I’ll write my prayers over to God. Notice I used the word OVER. When we pray, we are literally handing them over for Him to handle. They are His. It’s no longer my burden to carry. Think of it like an email. Once you hit that send button, you ain’t getting it back. Did you know”Amen” means “so be it”?  I love that! Once we finish our prayers, we are literally saying “let it be”!

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5. Be specific. This one took me a while to realize! God wants us to be specific when we pray. I used to be too broad with my prayers. Saying things like “Please be with Casey today”. Ummmmmm, hello… It’s Jesus. He’s already with Casey. Duh. So I try to be specific about WHY I want Him to be with Casey. “Please protect Casey as he drives to work. Guard his heart, give him a clear mind”. Let Him know the specifics, Jesus loves details!

No matter what, we don’t have to be fancy. If you don’t have time to write and you’re praying as you clean the house, He hears you. When you’re driving in your car (don’t close your eyes y’all) He hears you. He’s always listening and waiting on you to reach out.

These are just a few suggestions on how to get started in prayer journaling. If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you!  Have a great day friends!

One of my favorite memories growing up was taking a family vacation every year. It’s something we want to continue to do as a family with Sweet P.  I’m so thankful that my parents and my in-laws get a long so well – they made this trip so much more interesting fun! 🙂

This year we went to Gulf Shores. We chose it because we can drive there in a day, the beach is white sand with lots of shells, and the water is clear (I like to see my feet!). We found this condo on the beach and we highly recommend it! We would definitely stay there again.  The last day we were there we starting seeing a lot of jellyfish and hearing of people getting stung (including me, ouch!) but it didn’t stop us from swimming. I’m very grateful for this time together as a family…


Below is my all time favorite photo of Sweet P with whom I now call “Flip and Flop”. My mom had her sandals stolen at the beach then Debra had her sandals stolen a few weeks later when we were at Splash Country. Not only that but when they were parasailing, the banana boat that took them to the bigger boat was going so fast that everyone riding flipped off. Ohhh, the memories. “Flip and Flop” just makes sense! 🙂 

Well, this post is kind of off subject! When we were packing for Sweet P’s surgery last year I was looking online for tips or tricks on things to pack and I couldn’t find a lot. Ladies from my church got together and bought things for me that I would’ve never thought of (thanks y’all!). This is something you never want to think about, but when the time comes it’s nice to know what’s helpful!

These are items that we were glad we had. This is for the parent, patient, or both!

  • Dry shampoo (I use baby powder)
  • Thick, comfy, warm socks
  • Zip-up hoodie
  • Favorite snacks
  • Comfy house shoes
  • Pillow
  • Blanket(s)! I’m always cold so these were a must
  • Hospital food gets old, so be sure to ask the nurses what restaurants deliver. We love Jimmy John’s and they would bring our food straight to our room door (freaky fast)!
  • Shower Towel. If you have room, pack one! The ones we got were very small
  • Toilet paper. Hospital TP is basically sandpaper, trust me on this
  • Quarters/dollars for vending machines
  • Favorite water bottle so you’ll drink more water
  • Lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Room spray. The smell of a hospital gets old quickly. I was so glad I had my Lavender spray with me!
  • Packing cubes. They are great because rooms and bathrooms are small. When Sweet P was asleep and I was able to shower, I could just pick up my cube and take it straight to the bathroom instead of rummaging through my clothes and being loud in her room.
  • Room decor. Sounds crazy I know, but you want to feel like home as much as you can in a hospital. Bring some framed pictures, or things to stick on the walls. Most rooms at Vanderbilt had signs on their doors with their names, verses, and more.
  • Books, magazines and DVD’s (most hospital tv’s have DVD players)
  • Favorite toys, games, etc…bubbles were a big hit!

Hopefully you never need this post, but if you do then I hope it helps!