Sunday, December 8, 2019

dry shampoo + classy things + 20s gala

-  i made my first amount of income from affiliate links! [there are some throughout this post, FYI.] this means i'm an influencer now, right? negative, ghost rider. i've been a part of amazon's affiliate program for five years, and i just now hit the minimum payout amount for $10. yep, that's right. i only made $10. LOL.

-  i was slicing open an avocado, and the knife slipped. i stabbed my hand, forcefully. i am okay. no stitches were needed. but it is quite sore. i couldn't even clap my hands at church on sunday.

-  for years - decades! - i have washed my hair daily. but after i went to the salon a couple weeks ago, i wanted to start training it to only need washing a few days a week. i was skeptical, but it's actually working! last week, i only washed it twice. i use this dry shampoo from amok. [i know $25 seems like a lot, but i'm now a firm believer that washing my hair less only works if i have great dry shampoo. this is the best i've found!]

-  i started reading in the woods by tana french. i'm set to finish 16 books this year. tell me the best book you read this year!

-  my work hosted a gala this weekend + it was so fun! the theme was the roaring 20s.

-  there is a new podcast out by indiana adams called today by the way. it is so delightful + funny + laid-back.

-  we had a family date night on friday. we ate bbq + then treated ourselves to lattes at milkfloat. we walked around towne west, and it was sad to see how deserted it's become. we ended the night with a drive to look at christmas lights.


- christmas is in less than three weeks, so basically tomorrow, right?

-  i was walking down an aisle at walmart + noticed a couple teenage girls being silly + giggling. i walked their way, and the girl looked up at me and said, "oh, we need to move. she looks like she's buying classy things." LOL. guys, i was in office supply aisle. HA. i'm still laughing about it. [side note: i have been searching for pastel highlighters for awhile + finally found some at walmart. here they are on amazon.]

-  dad joke of the week: what time did the man go to the dentist? tooth hurt-y.

-  my soul sistah is having a baby, and i am overjoyed and slightly emotional. [okay- that last part is a lie. i'm never slightly emotional.] i am so grateful for the time we had before we met our husbands-  our friday nights + falls creek + her leading worship + all the long talks we had. love you, riz!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

baby yoda + powersheets + "bananica"

-  i chopped over six inches of hair off this week. it feels so good. i also covered up my white-trash roots, so ya girl is really feeling fabulous.

-  i ate my weight in cheesy potatoes this week + i am not regretful in the least.

-  we took jackson to see the lights at botanica, and when we told him where we were going, he said, "i'm going to bananica!"

-  how am i just now realizing how amazing sweet potatoes are? i made them last week + i could eat them every day. tell me your favorite ways to eat them.

-  i tried black friday this year, but only lasted five minutes. it just wasn't worth it.

-  i finished white collar this week. now i need something else to binge before bed.

-  i'm brainstorming ideas + goals for next year. i use a goal workbook called powersheets. it is nerdy + i love it.

-  can i have a baby yoda for christmas?

-  in case you are under the impression that i have my life together, i went to the store tonight specifically for one thing. i ended up buying all of our groceries while i was there instead of using grocery pickup. and i forgot the ONE THING we really, really needed. ughhhhhhh. that was just how today went.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

i'm famous + elderberry + a good book

-  i discovered i am famous this week. last year, i tweeted about khloe kardashian opening up regarding her experience of supplementing with formula. i may not watch their tv show, but i can respect someone with her status to be so open about a topic that can often be shameful. WELL. i was googling something and realized some news outlets ("news" lol) wrote articles about how she felt. SO I AM FAMOUS NOW. here is one article + here is another. this won't change me guys. i'm still me.

-  we bought our christmas tree this week! i totally would have already had it up on november first, but they just put out the real trees this week. there's something magical about a twinkling tree.

-  i started taking these probiotic shots every day.

-  i also made my own elderberry syrup! i bought some local elderberry concentrate and used their recipe.

-  i finished the last time i lied. totally unputdownable! i then started reading the lola quartet.

-  i made sweet potatoes topped with bbq chicken this week, and DANG - it was so good!

-  the recap is a little short this week. it was a busy one. but i am grateful. this time of year gives me all the big feelings. [who am i kidding? i get all those feelings on a random tuesday in february.] it's no secret that this year has been full of pain + heartbreak. but i am thankful that God is who He says He is.

there are affiliate links in this post. no cost to you + basically no cost to me because i've never made any money from it.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

old journals + card games + free money

-after weeks of unsuccessfully trying to catch up, i finally decided to quit my polaroid project for 2019. many reasons kept me from giving up, but in the end- my heart just wasn't in it anymore. if i'm being transparent, i didn't want to look like a quitter. but once i made the decision, i felt so much lighter.

-  jackson now asks me to kiss his booboos, and my heart explodes every time.

-  i took a short social media break this week. it was nice to unplug for a bit. i read a lot + absentmindedly reached for my phone. i know breaks from our phones are beneficial. other people i know have used words like "refreshed" + "rejuvenated" when describing their time away from social media. i felt that a little, but what was most convicting was my average time per day. before the break: 3+ hours per day. during the break: 30 minutes per day. yikes. i think in the future, i will probably just try to limit my daily usage as opposed to taking long breaks.

-  the chocolate chip cookie dough perfect bar at TJs is so dang good.

-  i am currently going room by room + cleaning/purging/reorganizing. i came across some of my old journals, once which had a list of to-dos from the weeks after jared + i eloped. i was hit with a wave of emotion. tears formed in my eyes as i heard my boys in the next room, laughing about something. this. this right here is what i hoped for. and i have it. sometimes everyday life gets in the way, and i get caught up in all the things i need/have to do. it was a gentle reminder of what's important in life. (and that i will make a list for just about any occasion.)

-  i read everything i never told you this week, and it was just okay.

-  i am close to cashing out on my ibotta app this week! all i have to do is add the items i purchased (in the app) and then scan my receipt, and i get free money. here is an affiliate link if you're interested. (does anyone use other rebate apps? i'm all about that free money.)

-  when i turn on praise music, jackson likes to stand next to me and dance with the music. i was worshipping + i had stopped for a moment. he grabbed my arm and said, "mommy, raise hands again and close your eyes like you do." HA! i had no idea he was actually watching me.

-  i love card games + board games. this time of year is perfect for playing games, and it just gives me all the feels.

-  i have started writing my end-of-year post for 2019. it's one of my favorite posts to write.
past years in review - 2013  //  2014  //  2015  //  2016  //  2017  //  2018

Sunday, November 3, 2019

memes + fake nails + a camper

-  if you pass a vehicle that is towing something behind it (like maybe a camper), and they are driving extreeeeeeeemely slow, just think to yourself that maybe it's possible that it's that driver's first time ever pulling something. maybe that person volunteered to drive because her husband was getting sleepy, and she wanted to make it home safely. but that meant pulling a camper - in the dark - for the first time in her (hypothetical) thirty years of life. (it's me. i was the driver.)

-  oh, we bought a camper! jared came home from work (hence why he was so tired on the drive back to kansas) and asked if we could go on a spontaneous road trip down to tulsa. i said i didn't want to go, but i would go anyway. (i know there's another wife out there who gets me here!) so we loaded into his truck quickly + dropped jackson off with my parents + headed to tulsa. i knew when jared said he was "looking" at campers that it meant we would be buying one soon.

-  the best thing i discovered this week was "dark mode" on the new IOS update.

-  i enjoy having a nice manicure. (one that i do myself because i am not paying $25 for something i can do myself!). but sometimes painting my nails is annoying. and then they chip a few days later. recently i have come across impress nails from a few instagram friends. i tried them out this week. well... i'm not that impressed. (see what i did there?) they are nice, don't get me wrong. but it uses adhesive instead of glue, and the nails definitely aren't solid on my actual nails. BUT i will still wear them because they're cheap + as long as i'm careful enough, they are fine. it beats the alternative though. (i have also heard about these kiss nails that use glue. i will report back with a review of them soon).

-  how is it already november?!

-  my instagram handle has been joyfulamber for eight years, but lately i really have this urge to change it.

-  one of my friends shared this meme, and it slays me. if you're thinking to yourself, "but amber- you use essential oils. you even sold them, right?" correct + correct. but after being on both sides of the spectrum, i have strong opinions. i diffuse EOs all the time. but it's everything else that goes along with an MLM that i can't get on board with. the "classes" i took for the "business" side was . . . interesting. i'm going to leave it there. mostly because my opinion about MLMs doesn't really matter. let people do what they do, i suppose.

-  also- my one of my love languages is memes, so if you send/tag me in one, we're BFFs.

-  i made this PB pumpkin bread twice this week, and it is so dang good!

there are affiliate links througout this post. it costs you nothing, and honestly i haven't made anything from it in five years. so yeah.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

camping + spider-man + frozen

-  we took jackson on his first camping trip this weekend. he loved it! we sat by the fire + admired the stars, but he really wasn't interested in that. he just wanted to be IN the camper. we took a nature walk the next morning, and it was all he could talk about for an hour. we started our walk, and five minutes into it, he wanted to be held. #kids - but we all had a lot of fun + made some great memories.

-  on monday night, as i was cooking dinner + writing, we watched frozen. i'm pretty sure jared started it with zero intent of actually watching the movie. by the end of the night, he was singing the songs. it made me laugh so hard because he was so adamant about having no interest whatsoever.

-  i tried celery juice this week. and it tasted like . . . celery? i'm not quite sure what i was expecting. maybe other ingredients to make it sweet or taste not like celery. file that under "things i tried because everyone was talking about it, and it was gross".

-  i ordered the risen motherhood book this week. if it's anything like the magic of motherhood, i'll be crying on each page.

-  i have been listening to the office ladies podcast, and it is a fun listen. i am not one of those huuuuge office fans. i haven't technically finished the series. (i stopped watching after steve carrell left). but it is interesting to hear their perspectives + inside information about the show.

-  i was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner and started unloading the dishwasher. jackson came in + wanted to help. at first, i was not thrilled about it, but decided to change my attitude because he needs to learn these things. i smiled as he handed me plate after plate because his excitement was adorable.

-  we took jackson to our church's trunk or treat, and he dressed at spider-man. he was quite shy, but i completely expected that. when we got home, he stripped off his costume + ate candy in his underwear. he's clearly living his best life.

Monday, October 21, 2019

the scars we carry.

i walked into the waiting room of my doctor's office last week. as i made my way to the check-in desk, a photo on a cork board caught my attention. i blinked + inched closer to the photo. the nurse was waiting for me to tell her my name, but all i said was "MY BABY!"

when jackson was a few days old, i went in for that first post-birth checkup. i remember it so vividly, as if it happened yesterday instead of over two years prior. the lack of sleep, learning to breastfeed, the struggle (mental + physical) from an unplanned, emergency c-section, the intense baby blues- all of it. i remember sitting down with the doctor, and exactly one second after he asked me how we were, i burst into tears. after talking about the insanity of those past few days, our doctor asked if he could take a photo with jackson.

and that's the photo i saw on the cork board in his waiting room. it was as if my eyes had these mother-instinctual magnets and knew exactly which baby was mine on a display of over twenty babies.

i stood there for a few seconds too long, seeing the nurse shift on her feet out of my peripheral. i snapped out of that daze-like stare and gave her my name. i recounted that moment + that day to my doctor a few minutes later, and he just laughed because i know he remembers me on that day, too.


i shared this podcast episode about body after baby from risen motherhood on my weekly recap post. i took the long way home from work one day last week and listened to that episode as the sun sat over downtown wichita. when betsy talked about how Jesus, in his His glorified body, didn't take away His scars, it was as if all the heaviness i carried since jackson' birth lifted. i felt lighter. her words were like Light to that darkness.

after i had jackson, people would comment on how great i looked. i dropped the weight faster than i expected because of my dairy-free diet. but when i looked in the mirror, all i saw was a c-section scar- a constant reminder of the shame + disappointment + sadness i carried after what felt like failing at being a woman.

i know that God is mending my heart because the other day, i was talking with someone about childbirth, and she said, "isn't it amazing how God designed our bodies to do that?" she was referring to pushing a baby out of your body. normally that sentence would have crushed me + sent me into a tear-filled tailspin for days.

but i just smiled. because God did design our bodies for childbirth, no matter how that may look. no one gets a medal for an unmedicated delivery just as a woman still gives birth via c-section.

God has used that experience in many beautiful ways. i don't know if i will ever be able to birth another baby, but i do know that my worth is in Christ alone.