{faith . family . friendship . fashion . fitness . food . fun . fabulosity}


Saturday, July 30, 2011

{so long}

Ryan leaves in the morning for a weeklong trip to Indiana. Before the girls and I even wake up, he'll be gone and we'll be on our own until next Saturday:( Since this trip is a little longer than usual, it infringes on the weekend (ugh!) and it's summer and I've got no relief from the kids, I'm especially dreading this week. I've got a lot on my mental agenda (as usual) to keep us busy and to keep me from going crazy....I'm thinking long days at the pool, a trip to the movies, a beach day, some ice cream outings and a few play dates thrown in. Whenever Ryan's gone, I find myself trying to keep as busy as possible so that I'm not sitting around all day watching the clock and waiting for him to come home. What is it about knowing that another adult is going to walk through that door at the end of the day that makes the chaos so much more bearable? Or knowing that no one will be walking through the door that makes it so much more unbearable?

I've had Zephaniah 3:17 on my heart the past few days and I have a feeling that I will be praying a lot over the next week that I would realize the truth in these words:

"The Lord your God is with you (even though Ryan is not). He is mighty to save (me from losing my mind?!). He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love (when I'm tired and frustrated and tempted to take it out on the kids). He will rejoice over you with singing."

Wish me luck!

{ultimate chocolate chip cookie n oreo fudge brownie bar...WHAT?!}

Seriously??? How AMAZING does this dessert look?!?! If you know me, then you know that I have a huge sweet tooth. I count every calorie and pretty much survive on lettuce.....until I come across something like THIS. Then I indulge enough to make up for all of the calories I've been depriving myself of. And then some. Ok, and then A LOT. But oh my goodness, it's soooo worth it. Every single time (well, every time as long as my jeans still fit). I cannot wait to try this recipe out. I'm thinking Monday night for the Bachelorette finale....watching Ashley hand out the final rose (team JP!) is cause for celebration, right?? ;) Can you not resist either? And seriously, how could you? Find the recipe here: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/new-recipes/ultimate-chocolate-chip-cookie-n-oreo-fudge-brownie-bar.html

Happy ooey gooey chocolately fudgey indulging!!!


Thursday, July 28, 2011


I took this picture in the middle of one of Claire's daily "I want to be beautiful" fits (apparently this bathing suit won't make her look beautiful...I totally disagree;)). Yesterday, after her third outfit change and all of the nonstop whining about what dress she was going to wear, I gave up and asked Emma to take over with Claire because I had had enough. Five minutes later, Em comes in with Claire all dressed and ready to go and tells me that she found the solution: "Mom, all you have to do is tell Claire that Jonah, Carter & JP (her current love interests) will all think she's beautiful in it and she'll wear whatever you want her to." OMG. As funny as that may be, it's the last message I want to be sending my three year old! The next day, I was reading 1 Peter and came across this:

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair (claire's fave!) and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes (my fave;)). Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a GENTLE and QUIET spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight". (1 peter 3:3-4)

Ahhh, those verses are so true and I'm thankful that as I'm learning how to shephard my three year old little girl, God is using her to show me my own heart and to refine me. So together, Claire and I will be working on being a little less concerned with our appearances, slightly less obsessed with our clothes and a whole lot more patient, content and beautiful on the inside:) With three girls in the house, I have a feeling that this is a battle we'll be fighting for years to come.....



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

{breaking the rules}

Like I've mentioned before, Madeline has been starting to feel the brunt of being the middle child. It doesn't help that Emma always gets all the "firsts". Tonight, our neighbors were going to a baseball game and had one extra ticket and invited Emma to go with them. I knew it would make Emma's day...she's been missing her friends big time lately and had already knocked on this same little girl's door at least twenty times in the past three days anxious for a chance to play with her. I also knew (and was proved correct by the half hour meltdown that followed) that it would crush Madeline. It was loud, it was ugly and it was heartbreaking. To Madeline, Isabella is her friend too, and she just couldn't understand why Emma was invited to go to the game and she wasn't:( After much consoling and a little bit of ice cream, she recovered....sort of. Well, Ryan is out of town, Claire is asleep, Emma is at the baseball game and I've got Madeline all to myself. I am usually the bedtime Nazi...I savor my down time way too much to be lax about letting the kids stay up late (especially when Ryan is away!). Tonight I threw my rules out the window. Instead, Maddy and I are snuggled up in my big white fluffy bed, staying up way past bedtime, watching The Princess and the Frog and having a sleepover of our very own. This is the stuff that memories are made from. I hope she never forgets this night....I know I never will.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I have had a burden on my heart lately for so many people I know that are suffering. It seems day after day that I am constantly hearing of another dire situation...friends who are longing for babies yet cannot conceive, people hoping to adopt babies only to have to return them to their birth parents, marriages that are falling apart, spouses that are unfaithful, addictions and substance abuse problems, mothers that are dying of cancer and leaving small children behind, parents burying their children who have been taken from them way too soon, a dear friend that is here one day and tragically gone the next, mounting bills with no money to pay them....the list could go on and I'm sure for some of you I haven't even touched the surface of what's going on in your own heart. Yesterday, I was rereading some earlier blog posts and I saw in one that I had mentioned that I was loving Romans 5 at that time. To be honest with you, I could not remember what Romans 5 says or why it was so meaningful to me then, so I grabbed my bible to look it up. This is what I found:

"And we rejoice in the HOPE of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope. And hope DOES NOT disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:2-5

This I do know: God is good. So good, in fact, that while we were so knee deep in our own sin, he CHOSE to send his son to pay the price for us. I can only imagine the suffering that God felt watching his son die. I can only imagine the suffering that Christ felt as he was nailed to the cross. He KNOWS your heart. He knows suffering. He understands your deepest fears and can meet your deepest needs. He has been there. And He is waiting to walk you through whatever burdens He's allowing you to endure. All you have to do is let Him. And it really is as easy as that...He waits patiently for us to realize our need for Him and then He supplies us with all of the grace we'll ever need to endure whatever it is we're suffering through. This is the undercurrent to my life. The fact that no matter what happens, or how bad things get, I have a loving God that will never let me fall out of His reach. I can't imagine surviving everything this world throws at me without that hope. I'm praying you know that Hope too.

"Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28


{back to school}

This is the time of year that I start to get a little too excited about all things "back to school" related. Backpacks, lunch boxes, back to school clothes, freshly sharpened pencils, school supplies, new shoes....I love it all! This year Emma is sooooo excited to have Madeline at her school that she requested they dress alike the first day so that everyone will know that they are sisters. She didn't have to ask me twice!;)

Here is what (as of now) the Boyd sisters will be wearing on their first day of school:

I start stalking the pottery barn kids backpack selection every year on the 4th of July when they roll out the new styles. (Yes, I'm aware that it's slightly sick that I know the exact date when this occurs.) But really, don't these pictures just get you so excited for back to school time?

Ahh, I love it! I can almost feel the crisp fall air and the promise of a year full of new adventures and new beginnings with my girls. Until then, I'll be soaking up every extra minute that I have with them and we'll be making the most of our long and lazy summer days together:)


{simple pleasures}

Everyone now and then I love me a good old fashioned, high school style date night. Tonight was one of those nights. Ryan suggested going into the city for dinner, but getting dressed up and eating way too much just wasn't what I was in the mood for. Instead, we opted for dinner at Chipotle, a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a romantic comedy.....and it was perfect!! We saw Friends with Benefits-so so adorable. It had a great soundtrack, Mila Kunis (hello, GORGEOUS) had a killer wardrobe and THE best hair ever, and Ryan and I both laughed throughout the whole thing. All that and a shared pint of coffee heath bar crunch and it was the perfect night kicking back with my hubby:)



Ah, summer! I'm not gonna lie, there are moments when I'm over it...when Emma, who is used to being busy at school everyday, is bored by 7 am; when I'm sweating my butt off ALL DAY LONG; when the heat index is 117 outside and the a/c in my mini van breaks; when I have to figure out creative ways to cool my kids off without a pool membership, etc. But for the most part, I am reveling in the lazy days with absolutely no agenda, no extracurricular activities ruling our schedule and no long school days stealing away my cutie pies who are growing up way too quickly.

Today has been the perfect summer day....we lazed around all morning. Literally, all morning. We barely made it out the door by noon. We met Sara and the kids for lunch at Friendly's....the service was terrible, the food was tolerable, the company was great and the ice cream was delicious!!! From there we went to the Moorestown Library for movie day. ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE. They played Beverly Hills Chihuahua and had a whole little movie theater set up complete with snacks, lemonade and a treat bag for the kids!! The girls had a blast:) The library has become one of my favorite parts of small town living. I love the endless supply of activities they provide for the kids, the fact that it's within walking distance, the familiar faces we see there and that the children's librarian knows my girls by name. I'm pretty sure that we'll be attending movie day every Tuesday for the rest of the summer:) Next up is the long awaited lemonade stand...the girls have been anxiously awaiting this for days but the weather has not been cooperating. Right now the sun is shining and it's not too hot, so we're off to sell some icy cold lemonade.....(wish them luck;)). Pics to follow!!:)


Sunday, July 24, 2011

{hello there:)}

Anniversaries, birthdays, changes of seasons, new phases of life, the passing of time....ok, pretty much EVERYTHING....makes me sentimental. Combine our 12 year anniversary, madeline & claire's recent birthdays, the mark of our first year in NJ, the end of our first trip back to FL, a new school year on the horizon, the begging and pleading of my mother;) and the tugging on my heart to start blogging again and here I am....the new and improved blog. As usual, life has been challenging, strengthening and blessed in so many ways and I am excited to begin capturing it here again. First, let's get caught up!

Gosh, I love that guy. As I was shopping for anniversary cards, I noticed that there is this whole new section of cards within the anniversary section dedicated to "I love our family life". I picked up card after card and read sentiments that described loving "our kids, our family time, etc" but never mentioned a single thing about loving the actual spouse! This was so sad to me...so sad, in fact, that I found myself reading card after card because I was in disbelief of how many like that there were on the shelves. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore our children and as a "quality time" love language girl, one of my favorite things in this world IS our family time together....doing anything and everything just the five of us. But I hope and pray that I never reach a point in my marriage where it no longer becomes about US. As much as I love our kids and the family God has blessed us with, I love Ryan. I love that he is my best friend in the whole world, the person I feel the most at home with. I love that he is patient and loving and kind. I love that he can have more fun with the girls than I ever will but he can also be the voice of reason. I love that he is future-minded and sees the big picture when I only see the here and now. I love that he is way more obsessed with shoes than I am;) I love that he values me and is devoted to me. I love that he drives home everyday just to eat lunch with us. I love when he thinks he needs a haircut, but really it looks just perfect to me. I love that he considers shopping at Nordstrom a totally acceptable date. I love that the words he writes on a card can make me burst into tears. I love a million different things about him and I love that I love him more the more I know him. I am continually in complete awe and thanking God for the marriage He has blessed us with. And I will fight to keep it that way:)

I spent a good part of this year concerned and prayerful for my biggest girl and the Lord has been so faithful in answering those prayers. Em is my most shy and introverted and the one that has always given me the most worry lines. Adjusting to a new school and new friends was hard for her, but she's getting into her groove. A minor crisis a few months back that led to her being grounded for two weeks and me completely MORTIFIED! has surprisingly turned itself into a new friendship with a sweet little girl. This summer has been great for Emma....she is HAPPY as a clam and right now, and for this girl, that's good enough for me. I'm not sure if I've ever seen her this content and with her guard completely down. I'm so thankful to God for that blessing. She is a great big sister....thrilled to have Madeline at her school next year and excited to show her the ropes. I love overhearing her filling Madeline in on life at South Valley:) She is Claire's other mommy...if she gets the chance to dress her, feed her breakfast or read her a book, it's the highlight of her day. She finds value in feeling needed and capable and I find value in having an extra set of hands. Win/win? I think so! I'm still amazed at how well she reads....I don't think there's anything that we've thrown at her that she couldn't just read right back to us like it was the easiest thing in the world. Crazy, how quickly they grow:(

Sweet Madeline, where do I start?! For most of her life, I have labeled Mad as "the easy one". HA. HA. HA. Boy, was I wrong!!! Madeline is still a people pleaser and has the sweetest, most loving heart, but easy? No way. I don't know if it's classic middle child syndrome starting to make itself known, but Mad has quickly become our handful. There are several times a day where I have to brace myself because I know that any little change of pace or her not getting her way will turn into a complete Maddy Meltdown. Trust me, you don't want to be anywhere near one. They're UGLY. Kicking, screaming, out of control, "you are way too big to be doing this", ugly. The good news is that the meltdowns eventually come to and end when she realizes that we're not giving in and just like that she's back to being her sweet and happy self. The bad news is I don't see them going away anytime soon. Mad has many nicknames around here...."little miss forgetful" (the amount of stuff this girl loses is actually kind of shocking), "little miss complainy pants" (we're working on Philippians 2:14 for this.....so far, it's not really working;)) "little miss sunshine" (because other than when she's in meltdown mode, she is one of the silliest and happiest people I've ever met). I'm trying more and more to not take her for granted and to make sure my monkey in the middle knows that she is loved and valued as much as the next girl.

Claire is 100% girl, 100% adorable and full of 100% attitude. She looks like a 2 year old, talks like a 3 year old, thinks she's a 15 year old and spends half her day posing in front of a mirror. The world is Claire's stage. She thrives on being the center of attention and she usually gets it...whether it's just our family being held captive by her antics at the dinner table or any adult that loves the girl with the huge personality and the tiny body. Bear wakes up in the morning and immediately needs to get dressed in the fanciest thing she can find...it's a tutu EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for this girl and if I even think about dressing her in anything else, I literally have to listen to a sob story about how "no one will think I'm beautiful". Claire and I have a talk on a daily basis about inner beauty, but for this just turned three year old that already has her mind fixed on her wedding day and the boy of her dreams (jonah glassford:)) it's not really sinking in. I've got my work cut out for me with this one! I cannot wait to have her all to myself at home while the big girls are at school this year :)

{and then there's me....}
I'm the same as always and hopefully different all at the same time. The Lord has really used this year to stretch me and mold me. There's nothing like being thrown from your comfort zone and starting over from scratch to keep you on your toes. I am thankful for all of the pain, sadness, excitement, loneliness, hopefulness and the million different ups and downs that this year brought because they have all drawn me nearer to the Lord. I had the best time in Florida...it was great to spend so much time with my family and to jump right back in with my friends. There were so many times throughout the trip that I forgot that I had moved, felt like I had never left and I thought that leaving would rip my heart out. I am so thankful that the Lord protected me from that. When we got back here, it actually felt like home. I had people I couldn't wait to see, places I couldn't wait to go and a house that I was anxious to settle back into. This was a huge answer to prayer! I have been loving the laziness of summer and the chance to spend extra quiet time because there is nowhere we need to be running off to. The girls have been memorizing scripture (they are sponges...it's incredible how fast they pick it up). I love how it's keeping me in the word, excitedly looking for their next verse to learn and how the silly little hand motions we come up with make it so easy for Ryan and I to memorize right along with them:) I am already counting down until the fall....daydreaming about the change of seasons and remembering how blessed we are to experience it. I still love a shiny new Range Rover, the latest j crew catalog, and the new fall floor set at pottery barn as much as the next girl (ok, probably MORE than the next girl), but it all pales in comparison to Jesus and the hope I have in Him. As great as those things are, they are temporary...and they still leave me longing for more...and there is SO much more than this world has to offer....how great is that?:)