a wreath

so, my front door has been bare since Christmas. really, since i took my Christmas wreath down, which is really just a grapevine wreath with a big gold bow made from some ribbon i found at my granny’s house while we were cleaning it out. so it’s sentimental, but can last for a long time! so, it’s been bare since about march. don’t judge.

as you know, we lost our 5th baby, christian elias, a month ago today. there are several things i’ve wanted to do to remember him, and a wreath on the front door was one of them. a friend of mine who went through a similar experience 2 1/2 years ago has since had 2 babies, and for each baby, she puts a wreath on the door with their name, stats, and birthday. well, i love her wreaths, and since we lost our 4th baby, i had wanted to do a wreath for our 5th, which in turn happened to be christian. so, i made a wreath in honor of christian this weekend.

i didn’t really plan this, but after looking at my wreath, it really stands for our 5 kids. it’s very simple to make this wreath, as well. i took a pool noodle and taped the ends together. then wrapped it in some fabric that i had, hot glueing it as i needed. then i did the same with the wooden “w” (bought at hobby lobby). the cross just kinda came together unexpected, but it’s wrapped in the middle with wire. the “w” and cross are secured on the wreath with wire, then the pendant is just burlap and twine, tied on the wreath. simple. easy


Imagethe cross for christian, and the “w” for our 4th babyImagethe pendant at the top for dillon, isaac and sammyImage

and the side view.

i really love it. new fave for sure.

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:: our boy ::

over the past 2 weeks, i have had a range of emotion come over me. emotion that I don’t understand, that i can’t put my finger on, and emotion that i can’t explain. see a trend? i’ll try and explain some of my thoughts here.

first of all, christian elias was delivered on june 7, friday, at 10:10 pm. he was so precious. he always will be precious. that’s the only way i know to explain him. from the second ben and i found out about christian, that we didn’t have much time left with him, and that this was going to be the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through, we have relied so heavily on our community, our families, and our friends, but more so we’ve relied on each other and on the Lord. i’ve shared this with many of you that read this blog, but our family has never felt the love of Christ the way that we have over the past 2 weeks. i understand now why Christ created His bride, His body, the Church…it’s to be a body when you need an actual person to minister to you. this happens all the time, and on a regular basis in our lives, but i never fully understood what that meant. from our pastor praying and crying with us in his office, to my mom, dad, mother in law, and sister being with us all through labor and delivery, to meals being brought to us, and a circle of women surrounding me at church the following sunday, crying with me, and the same said women bringing food for the meal after Christian’s service on monday. y’all, it’s overwhelming. and it’s so refreshing. and it hurts. and i don’t understand it. and even with all of the wonderful things, ben and i miss our little boy. we want to see him grow up with his brothers, and we’ll never have that opportunity for him. i want to see what color hair he has, and i won’t see that here on earth. i miss him.

i know this is not the most uplifting post ever, but i pray that it will lift someone up. that it will be encouraging to that first time mom that is going through the same thing we’ve been through twice now. all i can say is that the Lord is faithful. He hasn’t left us once, and ben and i both feel incredibly close to him. i’m so thankful for His body, for our marriage, and for the family that God has chosen to give us. i don’t know what the future holds for us, but i know the only thing i can do is trust in Him, the One who gives me every good and perfect thing, and the One who truly knows what i am bearing now, since He bore it on the cross. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Praise Him all creatures here below.

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


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Miscarriage and loss

I don’t always think a blog is the best way to tell people really upsetting news. However, I think a Facebook status is worse, so here goes. I’m actually just going to post the letter we wrote to our church family. It has the essential info in it. As I process, I hope to write more.

Brothers and sisters,
Ben and I went to the doctor this morning expecting to have great news to share with you…a boy or a girl. Well, about 2 minutes into the ultrasound, the tech went to get our doctor. He came in and my heart sank. That’s never good news. The tech scanned over my belly and I saw the trunk of our sweet baby and there was no heartbeat. Immediately, I said “there’s not a heartbeat. Why is there not a heartbeat?!” Ben and I wept together in the doctor’s office as we found out the baby actually died about 3 weeks ago. My body hasn’t responded to the baby’s death yet, and we don’t know if it will. I thought I was 17 1/2 weeks along, which is far enough along that I will have to deliver the baby. We aren’t sure yet when this will happen, but it will probably be this weekend or before. We covet your prayers. We covet your friendships. We covet your love and support. We covet compassion and grace to us. And we definitely won’t turn anyone away that drops by or calls. We love you all and are thankful you guys bear our burdens with us. Love to everyone.
Peace of Christ,
Ben, Janie, Dillon, Isaac, and Sammy

::thoughts:: duck dynasty

so, if you haven’t heard, duck dynasty is a pretty popular show right now. my husband and i have only watched a few minutes of it together, however, i watched a marathon with some friends one night while ben was out of town.

i’m still kind of trying to wrap my brain around what is duck dynasty. being raised in the south, and only leaving for one year of my adult life, hearing about guys huntin is second nature to me. my family wasn’t necessarily an “outdoorsy” family. we played sports, did girl scouts and boy scouts, my brother went huntin with friends or my uncle, and we did have one family vacation to fall creek falls. that was an adventure, actually. so, a bunch of guys sitting out in a field talking to their dogs and making fun of each other, just seems like status quo.

as i sat and watched duck dynasty, i thought, “man, this is really hitting close to home!” my mom makes the best rolls in the world, and my sisters and i try and learn from her. all of us have pretty modest houses. we hang out for big family dinners on sunday afternoons for a big lunch after church. we watch football, basketball, baseball, hockey, basically whatever sport is on. and i’m getting more and more southern the older i get.

i say all of this because i think duck dynasty has finally captured what southern life is. i don’t feel like it makes fun of southerners. i think that every man, woman, and child who has ever been huntin, had a sibling who goes huntin, or is the child of a hunter can relate to the duckmen and all the women in their life. there are always going to be things that any family can make fun of. every family has that crazy family member like si. and every family has one sibling who seems to be a little more successful or smart, and one that has a better personality that is a little more social.

although i don’t watch duck dynasty anymore, i can say that i thought it was funny simply because it made me thankful for my family and for the family i’m raising. what if my kids grow up and go huntin with their friends or uncles, and they start a family business, or take over their dad’s business? i would be the proudest mother in the world, as i’m sure miss kay is of her family. so, here’s to wholesome, sometimes funny tv, and one that i sure would be proud of if it were my family.

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Something exciting

We have some exciting news to share!!


I’m due in early November, and are beyond excited.

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a new onsie and some valentine’s teacher gifts

one of my best friends, leah, just had her second babe, a boy. her first is a girl, and her husband’s a huge football fan, so i had to give her some boy-ee, football garb!

also, for another friend who is having her first boy, i put an “A” (ROLL TIDE!) on the little butt of this onsie. sadly, i didn’t get a picture of that one. it was adorable.



i made loaves of bread from this recipe, wrapped them in red seran wrap, some baker’s twine, then tagged them with a heart and a saying of “i ‘knead’ you to be my valentine.” cheesy? yes. did they love it? yes! Image



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how to fit 3 boys in one room, comfortably

our 3 boys are all within 3 years of each other. yes, we are the crazy ones who had 3 kids within 3 years. but we love it. when we first got married, we lived in this wonderful historic home that only had 2 bedrooms and a loft. so, when baby #3 was coming along, we knew we needed more room. even though we have more room now, we like our space and our kids like to be together. so, all three boys are in one room!

my husband’s step dad (dave, aka pawpaw) is an amazing carpenter. for Christmas this year, we asked him to build the boys’ beds. i was inspired by this room and sent the picture to dave.  he said “oh yeah. we can do this.” he had amazing walnut which is a beautiful wood, un-stained. he chose to stain to make them look a little more boy-y though, and i’m extremely happy with how they turned out. 


the side view of the beds. there’s a ladder on both sides, but we have one pushed up against the wall, so we use them as shelves for the boys’ “friends”, aka stuffed animals.Image

the two platform beds. these bedspreads are from target, about 2 years ago. they have similar colors now, but not the same ones.Image

the top bedspread is from target as well, which of course i can’t find now online. but i did just buy it this year. Image

this is the top post of the loft bed. i love the detailing.Image

these are from ikea. better curtain rod to come hopefully next week.Image

my husband’s step mom (aka granny) made some pretty cool canvases for the boys. these are the first edition comic book covers of spiderman, batman, and superman. pretty great for a superhero room!




my awesome friend made these for my boys after she read this post. they’re hanging above the boys costumes of more superheroes.Imageand the best picture i can get of all three beds. the best thing, all three of these are detachable and can be moved wherever we need. i’m in love.



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things i love on this valentine’s week

there are some new things in my life that i love very much. i used to be one of those girls who was very bitter come valentine’s day. however, the Lord has blessed me very much and i’m happy to say that now, i absolutely love it. i don’t go crazy, like making my kids cards for 14 days leading up to it, but i also like to have a good time with it. 

in our living room, i have yarn wrapped letters that spell love. (much like this). i did those last february and thought “hey, maybe i’ll change an art print in our kitchen and the yarn wrapped letters for each holiday!” well, being the ambitious person i am (insert sarcasm) i did do the print last year, but the letters take for-ev-er. so, i just keep love up year round. well, i wanted to make our home a little festive for the big v day. my man and i already bought an ipad mini, and we’re going to see andrew peterson in memphis on friday night. so, valentine’s day is going to live on in our life for a little while. 

i made this a few weeks ago


the boys love it (they keep calling it the “balentine’s banner and balentine’s cards) and it adds just the right about of pink and red to get me in the mood. also, it’s made me want to love my kids a little more, because “LOVE” is staring me in the face. all you need is some twine, scrapbook paper, and felt (or foam) for the letters. simply cut out your hearts, then cut out the word “love” (i free-handed my letters, but you could definitely print out letters in a fun font and trace them), then string it all together and put it up in your house. voila! easy peasy!


i also love this print 


i got it fro one of my favorite blogs armommy.com. she did (and is planning for it to start back up soon) a meal plan that came with a print each quarter, and i love this print. it makes a lot of sense really. this print has actually taken the place of the holiday print. go figure!


a couple other things i’m loving right now…

my new table


which will seat lots of kids (there’s a leaf that goes in it and we can fit 9 around it!)



Imagei also am LOVING my new cuisinart dutch oven which i got for a steal at tj maxx for $39!



get in my belly!


i hope this valentine’s day brings lots of love your way!! 



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a birthday party :: two at the zoo

thursday, my baby turned 2. TWO! i can’t believe that i don’t have any kids under the age of 2 at this point. that hasn’t happened in 5 years, ya’ll. anyway, we celebrated our wonderful big boy with lots of parties and still have one to go tomorrow.

i’ll focus mostly on his friend party that we had here. i like to have a theme for any party that i’m throwing, so for this one, i went with the “two at the zoo” theme. i wish that we could’ve gone to the zoo to celebrate sammy, but it just didn’t happen this year. oh well. maybe next time. 

Image the big two year old. he’s one of the cheesingest boys i know.

Image with the brothers. of course, someone had to be dressed in superhero/transformer form

Image the spread for the party. the banner was made from these martha stewart animals. then, we had hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie straws, trail mix, carrots, apples, and animal crackers, along with chocolate cupcakes.

Image party animals. i made the hats out of scrapbook paper and twine. maybe i’ll post a how to soon.

Image giraffe food (carrots), bat food (apples), and bear food (trail mix)

Image “snake juice” (strawberry kiwi kool-aid and other drinks for the adults.) 

Image party elephant. i just can’t help but love this.

Image this was the best pic i got with him all day. oh well!

Image happy birthday to you, sammy!

ImageImage i think he likes it

Image party giraffe


Imagetwo of the littles playing with the party animals. 

thanks everyone for loving on my family so much!! we love you, sammy! you bring so much joy to daddy and my life. 


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an amazing wedding

some of you may know this, and some of you don’t, but i love coordinating weddings. i have done it for about 5 years just for friends or people who are getting married at our church, and i’ve decided that when all of our kids are in school, i’ll market myself a little more. all that to say, first of all, if you or someone you know is getting married, please send them my way.

in december, i was privileged to coordinate a good friend’s wedding at belle meade plantation in nashville. let me just tell you. this place is amazing. the setting for the wedding was in the stables, with the reception in the carriage house. keely and aaron were so intentional about every detail that it made this wedding one of my favorite weddings to be a part of (if i’ve coordinated your wedding, do i tell everyone that?!). if you’re interested in having your wedding at belle meade, just click here and follow the steps to having a fairy tale wedding.

as i looked through the pictures done by elia photography, i thought “so many people would want to pin everything about this wedding!” so, without furter adieu, pin away everyone!

Imagebeautiful place settings with a wonderful scroll reading “bon appetite.”

Imageflower girl and ring bearer being pulled in a wagon with a banner “here comes the bride”

Imagethe bridal party table. swags and flowers done by aaron’s wonderful aunt. this farm table looked like a clip out of restoration hardward

Imagewonderful hanging Edison bulb chandelier.

Imagefirst look for the bride and groom. wedding dress handmade by merideth holder. (did i mention she makes amazing pottery, too?)

Imageamazing cake done by the amazing lisa garner

Imagebeautiful setting in front of the mansion. this wedding party was so much fun to work with


a picture timeline of this amazing couple for guests to admire as they walked in.

thanks, aaron and keely for letting me be a part of your amazing day! i can’t wait to see what this next chapter of life holds for you two! xoxo

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