Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's Eve!

When I think of New Year's Eve, I think of parties and celebrating, which makes me think of dancing!  And of course to have dancing, you need great music!  So today's giveaway is a $10 gift card for iTunes.  (If you don't use iTunes, we'll figure something else out.) 

Of course, you won't have it in time for tonight's festivities, but there are so many other reasons for great music.  Maybe you want something calm to listen to after this busy season, or something to cheer you up, if the cold, dark days of winter get you down.  Something inspirational might be just the thing with Lent right around the corner (can you believe it?).  

To have a chance at winning this gift card, leave a comment below with your favorite New Year's Eve tradition.  We really don't have any, yet, so I'd love to read what you do.  As far as our house, we'll probably treat it as a fairly normal night, since we have been lacking in those lately and the girls aren't all that aware of what's going on.  We could all use the sleep and I have Christmas cards to finish!

Whatever you do, stay safe!  Coming home from Delaware last night, we drove through a sobriety checkpoint and it reminded us that there are people who will not be making good decisions tonight.  I'll be praying for them and for you. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

1,000 Gifts

I have to make this quick today.  We are headed up to see my grandmother, one of the gifts of moving to this part of the country.

Speaking of gifts, today you have a chance to win a copy of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp.  While I haven't actually read the book, it's on my list for 2012 (to be posted soon), and it was my favorite thing to give as a birthday gift in 2011 because I had heard such great things about it.
And now I'd like to give it to you.  Again, just leave a comment between now and Jan. 6th and I'll let you know the winner on Jan. 8th. 

And you can check out more Ann Voskamp at her blog, A Holy Experience.

Don't forget the other giveaways so far...

It's Giveaway Day

1 Bracelet-1 Child-1Week of Food

One of Those Nights

Pop the Popcorn

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 10 Reasons For Hope in 2011


Here's to more hope in 2012!

Pop the Popcorn!

Today's giveaway is just for you!  You work hard to take care of your family and this time of year the work, while usually enjoyable, is that much  So today I am giving away my favorite movie so that you can "escape" a little!

Whenever I think about it, I want to kick myself that it took me so long to read Jane Austen.  (I didn't start reading her books until after college.)  I LOVE her work!  The first time I read Pride and Prejudice, I ended up finishing it on a plane (probably the only book I could tell you where I was when I read it) and when I was done I had a very physical reaction.  I just wanted to burst!  It was such a great book!!!  I was also a little disappointed that it was over, which I didn't ever really remember feeling about a book before.  I was always happy to finish books, the story being complete. 

Then came the movie...

...and I've been hooked ever since.  This is my absolute favorite movie.  I watch it when I'm happy or sad, calm or stressed.  I've used the movie as an escape more than once from a bad mommy day.  I've watched it so many times that even my husband has parts memorized!  And now I want to pass it on to you!  Just leave a comment telling me either your favorite movie or your favorite Jane Austen book (I also really love Persuasion) or both between now and Jan. 6th and you'll be entered to win!  Like all of the other giveaways, I'll be "drawing" a random winner and announce all of the winners on Jan. 8th.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

One of Those Nights

I started to write a post last night for today's giveaway.  It was going to be nice and incorporate today's Feast of the Holy Innocents.  But, it was indeed one of those nights.  One of those nights where there was no soothing the baby.  She didn't want Daddy.  Only Mommy.  One of those nights where, as soon as she latched on, she would pass out asleep, but if I tried to put her in the crib, she would wake up screaming.  Soooo, here I am this morning, trying to throw together something quickly so you can get your chance at today's giveaway.

Speaking of nursing babies...(I know, great transition, right?) today's giveaway is a nursing cover from Udder Covers.  I LOVE my nursing cover.  I don't know how I managed without one for my first 3 babies.  I can remember one time, standing in line at Disney World, trying to balance a sweater on my shoulder while nursing Maire because she just couldn't wait until we got on the ride.  Having a cover would have been so great then!  But now I have the Maria, and life is so much easier when I need to nurse Victoria in public. 

Today, I'm giving away one nursing cover!  Just leave a comment below and if you'd like, tell me what one of your favorite "tools" for mothering has been.  And don't worry if you are not in need of a cover yourself, they make great gifts!

My sweet baby is crying now, so I must go.  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

1 Bracelet-1 Child-1 Week of Food

Bracelets with purpose.  What could be better than that?

I'm so excited to introduce you to Give Jewelry!

Give Jewelry is a sustainable movement to provide food for children in orphanages throughout Indonesia. The vision is simple: every bracelet purchased directly benefits kids in need. So no matter what type of bracelet you choose: friendship bracelets, charm bracelets, leather bracelets, beaded bracelets, cuff bracelets or any of our other bracelets, you’re really choosing to make a difference.

I first learned about Give Jewelry over at Elizabeth Foss' blog.  I was hooked instantly!  What could be better than helping orphans and wearing cool jewelry at the same time?  I loved the idea so much, I had my girls each pick out a bracelet to give to their godmothers for Christmas.   We decided on the Rock Charm Bracelets, and the girls each picked out a different color.  And I was so happy when I received them in the mail.  They shipped quickly, they were packaged beautifully, and the bracelets were amazing!  And I've already decided to get one for my godmother, when her birthday rolls around.  (I had already bought her Christmas present, another one of my giveaways!)

You want to buy one don't you?  Of course you do!  Friendship Bracelets, charm bracelets, leather bracelets, beaded bracelets, cuff bracelets and more… With every bracelet you purchase, Give Jewelry provides one week of nutritious food (that's 21 meals!) for a child in need.  It's such an easy way to do a good thing for a child in need.  And when you make your purchase, make sure you put "Stina" in the comment box and you will receive a free Survivor Purple Cancer Awareness Bracelet or Pink Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet. This is Give Jewelry's way of saying thank you!

I am going to make another purchase here soon, for myself, with some money I received for Christmas.  I've had my eye on this one.  But, as part of my 12 Days of Giveaways, I'm going to buy a bracelet for a lucky winner, too!  Just leave a comment on this post, between now and Jan. 6th, telling me which bracelet you would like to win.  I'll announce the winner on Jan. 8th!

If you'd like more chances to win, all you have to do is one or more of the following and leave additional comments saying you've done so!

• Subscribe to the Give Jewelry blog:
• “Like” Give Jewelry on Facebook:
• Follow Give Jewelry on Twitter:
• Subscribe to Give Jewelry YouTube channel:
• Post about Give Jewelry on THEIR blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube:

Remember, for each of the above actions, leave a separate comment on this post and you get that many more chances to win!

Monday, December 26, 2011

From Our Friends Across the Pond

Here is an article about these lovely ladies and this beautiful song.

Thanks to Wreaths Across America for sharing!

Merry Christmas!

May the Good News of our Saviour's birth bring peace and joy to you and your loved ones!

It's Giveaway Day!!!

I hope you and your families were blessed with peace, joy, and maybe a few presents yesterday! It was slightly chaotic around here, but fun was had and love was present. But you don't want to hear about that, do you? You heard there's a giveaway!

Yes! 12 Days of Giveaways, actually! I feel so blessed to be able to do this for you and I'm very excited! (Did I mention that Gifts are my love language?) So visit everyday to see what is the prize of the day!

Today's giveaway is a wonderful book by Amy Welborn.

From her website:

The Catholic Woman’s Book of Days is a 365-day devotional for Catholic women. It is loosely tied to the liturgical year, is a very handy size, and features special devotions for several saints. It is not structured to be tied to any particular year. So it’s sort of perennial. And no, I don’t know about the crosses on the cover. People always ask me about them, thinking they’re mine.

What a perfect way to start out the upcoming new year! This is one of the books I keep in my bedside table. What's great about Amy's book is that the devotions are not time-consuming, so even the busiest of women can fit it in.

Sadly, I'm not great at the daily devotional thing. It seems like I'm always in such a rush in the morning that I don't think about it and then at night, I'm so quick to pass out from exhaustion when I got to bed. I know this is a priority issue and I plan on working on it in 2012.

Do you have a daily devotional? Do you use a book or go to a specific place each day to be with God? Leave a comment, now through Jan. 6th, telling me about your daily devotional time, or what you would like it to be, and you'll have a chance to win this book. I'll annouce winners, for this and all of the giveaways, on Jan. 8th, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Before Becoming a Mommy...

...I never thought that making beds could count as a workout.

Bonus calories burned for additional kids, bunk beds, and/or leaving half the load of linens in the living room, requiring additional trips up the stairs.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On My Mind

Love Them Through Christmas

The stress has been high here for the last few weeks, who am I kidding, the last 6 months!!! I need to stop and refocus on the kiddos. I can't do it all, and even if I could, it wouldn't be worth it, if my family wasn't happy and healthy.

Peace and blessings to you in this last week of preparation!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

12 Days of Giveaways!

Plans are in the works for something I am very excited about!!! Make sure you check back starting December 26th to see all of the goodies!

It's Hitting the Fan

Well, maybe not the fan.

I've been used as a personal toilet by 3 of my 4 children today.

I'm done.

Maire's diaper was at capacity this morning, before anyone got around to changing her, and she just barely leaked through onto my pants. But really, is that a way to start the day?

And Victoria's incident was just a typical case of exploding baby diaper. But it was the third time for me today, and no, it was not a charm.

But my poor sweet Alexis. Yes, she's 4. Yes, she's potty trained. But we all know that accidents happen. And like her dance teacher said, it even happens to adults some times. Why was I talking to her dance teacher about this? Because it happened at dance. During class. My poor sweet baby. She was so traumatized. She's never really had a public accident like that. Luckily, I had made her wear sweats (top and bottom) over her leotard because it was cold outside, so she had something to change into. All of the other moms tried to make me feel better, but you know how that goes, it usually only makes you feel worse because it verifies that they know what happened. I do have to say that I'm happy with how I reacted, though, to the whole situation. Normally, incidents that involve functions that find home in a diaper irritate me to no end. Screaming is sometimes involved, anger, almost always. It's a fault of mine. I own it. But I managed to be the poster child for calm this morning. It must have been the mortified look on my daughter's face. I could feel her embarassment. And let's be honest, my embarrassment as well. Of course, this is just a glimpse of the hurt she is yet to feel as she grows. Oh the prayers yet to be prayed!

I know I'm not usually one to write on this subject. I leave that to the experts. (Love ya, Kate!) But I really needed to vent on this one, so thanks for letting me!

The Audacity of a Baby... want to eat when she wants and sleep when she wants.

Instead of submitting to her selfish mother's schedule.

Who does she think she is, anyway?

A perfect gift from above or something?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Before Becoming a Mommy...

...I never thought I would be using the phrase "stealth attack" to describe the happenings of my daughter's diaper.

Friday, December 2, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. Photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grocery List

After hinting that maybe Tom should take the baby to the store as a distraction, he asked what he was going to the store for.


~more hours in the day

~all of the right answers

Which we all know really means chocolate!

What is the New Translation for Funny?

Because we all need to be able to laugh at ourselves...

It's Not About Me

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Grace, Not Perfection

I'm Just Not That Important

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart... ~Jeremiah 29:11-13