Too Many Thoughts, Not Enough Time

It’s Friday and I am crazy excited the weekend is here.  We have a very rare weekend lined up to celebrate Josh Kelley’s birthday.  I cannot wait.  I also have about 5 bazillion thoughts going through my head and heart today…and not just today, but this entire week has been so crazy thought swirling.  I’m not typically an emotional gal.  I take that back…I wasn’t before Mom died, then I got all crazy emotional about just about everything…I suppose death will do that…then I headed back to my more unemotional state. Clearly I thought you needed a little back story on my emotions.  Ha.  Anywho…this week I have been back on the tear train.  Case in point:  While walking at the park with a friend she told me a sweet story and I started to cry.  <—– that is not me.  I don’t cry while getting a power walk on, but alas there I was getting all teary.  So it’s been a weird week, but weird in a good way.

Today I’ve spent almost the whole day cleaning out our house again.  Purging and purging and purging.  Every week I feel God peeling away my fingers and loosening my grip and I’m pretty sure we’re keeping the thrift/help center shop down the street in business.  We’re on first name basis now.  We are loving our house and new school and really all my past small house frustrations were really heart problems.  Satan was feeding us lies…the world was chanting in our ears and he had us hook, line and sinker.  And then we started hearing God more clearly every day…I am enough.  The end.  So we’re resting in that.  He is enough.  He is all we really need.  Every week I take a sweep through our house and more stuff goes out the door and it’s incredibly freeing.  We are a work in progress always…we will never have it all right, but I am so glad God is working on us…together as a family.

On a completely different note…does anyone else like Luna bars????  These are a recent discovery of mine and I may have intense text sessions about the different flavors with my friend Merf, but Holy cow!  I love these.  If you know horrible things about them like that they are made of rat feces, please do not tell me.  I don’t want to know, but what I do want to do is make out with each flavor.  So flippin’ good.  They are suppose to be good for you, but I’m always a skeptic…crossing my fingers I’m wrong…and for no rat feces.

Oh and you’ll never guess what happened this morning which made me curse like a sailor!  You may remember we recently got a new couch and I put fierce rules into action about ZERO eating or drinking on it.  Like ZERO.  Like if I see you even lean against the new couch with a food or beverage item I will taser you.  It’s serious.  Well dang it all if Amon didn’t finish his yogurt, but secretly hold some in his mouth, then went and stood facing the couch and then sneezed blowing strawberry yogurt all over the couch.  WHO DOES THAT?????  He is the strangest child.  Why hold yogurt in your mouth…why not just swallow it.  He’s been doing this with some foods and water lately.  I don’t get it.  Our new couch officially has it’s first stain…and multiples because it was a legit sneeze.  Yogurt everywhere.  I’m still trying to work my stain remover magic, but it’s not looking good.

There were so many other things I was going to write today, but it’s already about time to get in the car rider line.  Last thing though, we are still working towards our 5K goal for the American Heart Association.  You guys have given so generously so far and we are almost to $1400.  If you would like to still donate please head over to Amon’s page and use the “give now” button to make your donation.  Also for donations of $15 or more I’m sending out “thank you” key fobs.  After you make your donation just GO HERE and send me a message with your name and mailing address.  I would love love love to send out more key fobs.  We have until October 4th so time is closing in.  And please feel free to share Amon’s page and his story.

Okay that’s it!  Short and sweet and random.  Here’s to a great weekend.  Hope everyone enjoys it.  And thank you guys for stopping by and reading.  You are crazy nice.

Happy Friday.

Everyone Say “Noooormal”

For the love.  For the sweet love my kids…especially Solomon…are in this super weird picture taking phase.  To get a semi normal looking human facial expression we have to have a Come To Jesus conversation…insert motherly stern voice…”Just make a normal face everyone”  “No, I said normal.”  “Solomon that is not a normal face.” “Nobody do anything weird with your hands.”  “Everyone just smile.”  “A normal smile.”  “Just try and smile a normal smile.”  “Someone help me.”  And to close my case I present to you Exhibit A, B, C, D, E and F.  I know that’s a lot of exhibiting, but really each piece of evidence could stand alone and I didn’t want to leave any of them out.

I would also like to say here that Solomon is the leader of the pack in weird faces and channeling his inner Ricky Bobby “I don’t know what to do with my hands?”  Leader of the pack.  He holds teaching seminars and gives tips on how to make a completely not normal face and how to look crazy handed.

Exhibit A:  I just don’t even know.  Amon looks straight up annoyed.  Sol is trying to pull his eye sockets down, which is totally normal.  Harper, well, I can deal with hers.  And Hudson looks like a creeper shooting me a sideways bird.

Exhibit B:  Now this one is slightly different than the above.  Amon’s going for the sly eyes.  Sol…again…pulling his eye sockets down.  #shocker  We can probably just skip Harper every time from here on out.  And whoa, Hudson looks again like an old creepy guy, but this time should be smoking and saying something like “Heeeeeeeeey.” (<—-say in your best creeepy guy voice) as a pretty lady walks by.

Exhibit C:  This one were going crazy and mixing it up.  Amon is now looking in the general direction of the camera which is a slam dunk in my book.  Sol is doing something new with his hands in this one.  Switching up the eye socket pull move.  He’s got a nice muppet mouth going on as well.  Remember were skipping Harper.  And OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH HUDSON AND WHY DOES HE KEEP GETTING CREEPIER WITH EACH PICTURE?????

Exhibit D:  This is our winner of the bunch.  Amon is channeling his inner Sol and lucky for us Sol went this time with his signature shooting guns.  Harper, I love her.  And hold the phone people…Hudson looks normal.

Exhibit E:  This one isn’t too bad either.  Amon’s going with a snapping affect.  Sol is sticking with his shooting guns.  Anyone else notice how committed Harper has been to trying to pull off the ole’ rabbit ears joke on Hudson?  And what’s this, Hudson has pulled out his own shooting guns now too.  Did not see that one coming.

And Exhibit F:  Amon, God bless him.  He’s just along for this wild “try to mimic whatever Sol is doing” ride.  Sol brought his guns in a little closer and added a pirate eye.  Nice combo.  Harper is still trying for the rabbit ears, but alas, they just get lower and lower and lower.  And Hudson, well, he’s only giving a half hearted shot at weirdness in this one and it’s safe to say we’re all glad he retired his creepy old guy look.

All in all, I would say we nailed it.  And I think maybe this one is our framer.

Happy Thursday!

Oops. Wrong Date.

Two posts.  One day.  Things must be getting crazy :)

So I got my date wrong and today is really the legit last day to place a Noonday order for our show.  Totally slipped up on the date, so now you have until 9pm central tonight to place your order.  Sorry for my lack of mad calendar skillz.

Gold Rush Necklace

If you would like to place an order just go to www.ashleymills.noondaycollection.com then when checking out, put “Ashley Mills” in the drop down ambassador name list and “Laura Kelley” under trunk show name.  Easy as pie.  And I do love pie.

Ivory Tiles Bracelet

And did you hear, Noonday is officially apart of the Fair Trade Federation.  They just keep getting better and better.  You can read more about it on their site HERE.

Thanks everyone!

Happy Wednesday.

Some Days

Some days I go through this routine.  This day in and day out and I think about all the much more exciting jobs I could have and be doing.  Some days I just feel mundane…me and our life.  I think about us traveling the world as a family.  I think about the crazy things Josh Kelley and I could choose to do with our life instead of what we are doing now.  Some days I want change, but fun change, not hard change.  Some days I want to make our life easier.

Some days I think about how we basically do the exact same thing every day.  Sometimes when we reach the end of our day I actually think to myself, “What did we do today?”  Some days come with so much monotony that I fail to see the excitement in this life.  The value.  Some days I just completely miss it.  Some days I don’t want to do this mom gig.

Some days are full of all out frustration and bitterness and anger.  Some days I’m waving my white flag before my feet even hit the floor.  I’m run down and overwhelmed and I’d much rather stay in bed than take on another day.  I pitch a fit like the one I just reprimanded one of my kids for throwing, but it’s different when it’s me.  Isn’t that always the case.

Some days I take on battles which weren’t meant to be my fight.  I carry worry and anxiety that are far too heavy.  Some days my own personal selfishness takes center stage and my kids get the brunt of it.  Josh gets the brunt of it.  Some days I want a complete re-do.  I screw up royally.  Big time.  Some days I don’t even apologize even when I know I should.

Some days I don’t feel Jesus close at all, even when I know He never leaves.  Some days I feel this made up distance.  This distance Satan convinces me is there.  Some days I feel just not enough.  Completely emptied out.  Some days I have a very hard time believing He could love me, such a screw up, even just a little.  I just want to curse…and a lot.  I doubt His plans for us…I doubt His love for us…I doubt His existence.

Some days Josh Kelley and I do not get along.  At all.  Marriage is hard.  It takes work and some days I don’t want to put in the work.  Some days I think how on Earth have we made it 16 years together.  Some days we scream and fight and bail on Bible study because we got in a huge argument on the ride over.  Turn the car around now.  Take me home.  I’m done.  Some days our sinful human nature is in full swing.

But thank God for all the other days.  The days when I see that this life we are living is anything but mundane.  In fact it is a powerful life.  A life full of goodness and mercy and love.  A life of compassion and excitement at every corner, we just have to choose to see it.  Our family of 6 may not come across as crazy exciting, but just come around us for a bit and you will see…you will see we love hard and we screw up a lot and then we love hard again.  And that is life giving.

On those other days God reminds me that even when I feel this routine life starting over again just like it did the day before I am still doing His work.  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”  Colossians 3:23  If I am working for Him, my work always counts for something…I am working for the Creator of the Universe.  That is an important job.  A very important job.  We are on mission for Him.  Every.Single.Day.  He has given us a charge.  “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40

On those other days I remember I was not made to take on worry and anxiety and fear and burdens of this world.  He wants me to rest in Him.  He wants to give me peace and an unmistakable joy in Him.  Peace that passes all human understanding found in Him.  He wants me to hand over my life’s frustrations and failures and mishaps and let go of this false hope that I can fix myself because I cannot and will not ever be able to.  And God loves me just as I am.  Broken and all.  “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:29

On those other days I know I am loved.  I know I am valued and special and uniquely created by the King.  I know He loves me like craziness.  I know He offers me as many re-dos as I would like.  Mercy after grace after mercy after grace.  Again and again and again.  And He never turns away.  His eyes are always looking for me…His daughter.  I am celebrated in Him.  “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

On those other days I see Him everywhere and in everything and I am reminded of His constant and steadfast love.  I trust in His plans for me and our family.  I know deep down in my heart He is in control and always has been.  Everything filters through His hands.  Not one thing shocks or surprises Him.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9  I remember He has never failed me before, so why on earth would He start now.  I loosen my controlling grip and let go.  I release my life into His hands.  I release our kids into His hands.  I release our marriage into His hands.  They were His all along.  Never mine.

On those other days I am reminded of how God is in the business of restoration.  Healing.  Redeeming.  Making the impossible possible.  It’s what He does.  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 34:18-19  And He puts love in our hearts…love for each other and for Him.  He gives us the gifts of relationships…those special people who choose to come along side us when really they want to run for the hills.  He gives us the gift of partnership and community and honesty.  When we choose to be real and open and honest there is great comfort…there is a message of love that we are not alone in these lives we are living.

No matter the day God is always good.  His mercies are new every morning.  His love never fails…never gives up…never tires.  He is relentless.  In pursuit of us.  Madly in love with each of us.  Those are amazing and life giving promises to rest in, take hope in and believe in.

Final Call

Today is the last day you can order from my Noonday show, so thought I would throw one last reminder out there and highlight some of my new and old favorites.  I personally own some of these pieces or am planning on purchasing.  Total faves.  If you would like to make a purchase all you need to do is go to www.ashleymills.noondaycollection.com then when checking out, put “Ashley Mills” in the drop down ambassador name list and “Laura Kelley” under trunk show name.

Brightly Wound Bracelet in mint or coral.

Ruffled Make-up Bags…hello teacher gift stuffed with gift cards & a key fob :)

Kantha Foldover Bag

Kismet Day Bag…hands down one of my most favorite purchases I’ve made from Noonday.  Right up there with the Happy Day Necklace and The Weekender Bag…and if you know me, you know my Happy Day and Weekender are like precious gold.

I told everyone at the party I don’t push just any products.  I want to be honest and open and real and I want to truly love a company and when there is love, that’s when I want to share it with you guys.  If you’ve been reading for any amount of time you probably know my gigantic love for Noonday.  They are real and legit and they are changing the world.  And they are letting us get in on the world change by offering awesome products which empower woman and families and provide dignified work…work each artisan is so crazy proud of…and rightly so.  So so much love for Noonday and their artisans around the world.  You can feel proud and take deep gratitude in knowing you are purchasing with a purpose and you are changing the world too.

 Annie’s Feathered Earrings and Feathered Fringed Earrings.

Cubed Studs in gold or silver

Modern Angles Earrings

Whenever I get the opportunity to buy from someone’s trunk show I do a quick scan of my planner and take down notes of all the up and coming gifts I will need to be purchasing.  This way I can add to someone’s show and give gifts that are meaningful and powerful and incredibly stylish.  It’s a win for everyone.  I think about teacher gifts, birthdays, Christmas and just because gifts.  It also simplifies my shopping and I’m prepared when whoever’s special day arrives.

Lovely Loops Necklace

 Precious Paper Necklace, yellow

Threaded Charm Necklace

If you do not have a Noonday ambassador consider making Ashley your go-to girl.  She’s super sweet and kind and helpful.  She even found a blog reader the ever coveted Happy Day Necklace even though it’s been long gone for a while now.  She’s your girl.  Allows her to earn an income along with other woman around the world.  So think of her anytime you make a Noonday purchase from here on out…all you have to do is find her sweet name Ashley Mills in the ambassador box at check out!  Piece of cake.

And because I completely love an arm party…I would totally wear all of these together…at one time.  I know.  It’s lovely maxed out!

Aurora Wrap Bracelet

Clustered Bracelet, berry

Everest Wrap Bracelet, mint

Safari Stack Bracelet, violet

Silver Lining Bracelet, blue onyx

 

So keep Ashley and Noonday in mind as Christmas rolls in and special days approach.  They are one crazy good duo!

Happy Tuesday.

Lady With Cats

How was your weekend?  Are you ready for this week?  Ours was good and fun and I’m not quite sure if I’m ready for another week to begin or not.  I’m working on breathing easier…taking deep breaths…trying not to be easily overwhelmed…trying to enjoy these busy days because they may be busy, but they are busy with good things and good people and these 5 other humans who make up our home.  It’s good.  It should be enjoyed, so I’m working on really enjoying it…all of it…the good, the bad and the random.

My cousin Amy sent Hudson and Solomon some mini archeological dig kits.  I have to admit I completely got into these.  Sol’s was a shark head that had a real shark tooth hidden in it and Hudson’s was a big spider that had a dead preserved spider.  They had to dig and brush away all the dirt to find the specimens.  Really cool.  Thank you Amy!

We usually try and do donuts for breakfast once on the weekend.  And I usually have strawberries, granola and a dab of yogurt almost everyday for a snack.  We like to keep our food balanced around here :)

Amon is the most intense toddler drawer I have ever seen.  He usually gets super close to the paper and pushes down so hard and he has an amazing grip.  Intense kid after my own heart.

I know you were wondering about that blog title, well here it is.  Josh Kelley recently got to come home for lunch.  It was cold in our house and I was working on emails & such on the computer wrapped up tight in my afghan.  He took one look at me and said, “Where are the cats?”

The kids have a special color day every Friday.  Last Friday it was blue day! #nailedit

I would like to briefly acknowledge two things:  #1.  Sol refuses to do something normal with his face or hands when I take his picture and #2.  Sol also has worn his Ethiopian sweat bands for approximately 9,212 consecutive days…sleeps, eats, baths, plays baseball, school…you name it…those Ethiopian sweat bands have done it.

The Noonday party at our house was awesome!!!  Crazy fun.  This was the facial aftermath…too much fun + not enough sleep = hot ladies.

And if you’d like to place an order you still can: go to www.ashleymills.noondaycollection.com then when checking out, put “Ashley Mills” in the drop down ambassador name list and “Laura Kelley” under trunk show name.

The weather in Tennessee officially feels like fall.  Signs that fall is right around the corner:  my Kismet bag, a new fallish key fob, my go-to Toms and soccer in full swing.  It’s my favorite season and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

And Josh Kelley and I had a long over due date Saturday night.  The beginning of our date started with me tagging along on one of his 1/2 marathon training runs.  During our run he looked over and said, “Didn’t realize we were both wearing Full Count shirts…isn’t that cute.”  And he couldn’t have changed quick enough.

(These are all Instagram pictures.  You can find me at pitterpatterart to follow along.)

Hope everyone gets their week kicked off good.  Try and enjoy it.

Happy Monday!

Tables & Small Bright Red Chairs

In March of this year I asked you guys to help me raise $610 so we could help purchase some tables and chairs for the sweet kiddos at the Ngungwane carepoint in Swaziland, Africa.  What we did together was purchase a crap ton of awesome Noonday Collection and then we hosted the biggest “thank you” giveaway and you guys made donation after donation after donation.  You can read about it HERE and HERE.

You guys went crazy and ended up donating almost $2900.  I can’t tell you how much this still thrills my heart.  The world is full of kind and generous people.  Again thank you!

This week I received an update on the Ngungwane carepoint and wanted to share some of the pictures Children’s HopeChest passed along to me.  Not only did they get to purchase the tables and chairs, but with your kind donations, we also paid for an entire years worth of school fees for the kids, some learning supplies and they added a big painted chalkboard.

 I wanted you to see we can change the world.  We can make a difference.  We can come along side our brothers and sisters in Christ and help stand in the gap.  We can come together and impact lives even with the purchase of something simple like tables and small bright red chairs.

Thank you again.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Thank you for joining us and giving and being generous and kind!  Opening up that large envelope this week and reading the words and seeing these pictures was easily one of the highlights of my week.

Here’s a great weekend.

Happy Friday friends!

Party Tonight…Everyone’s Welcome, Everyone’s Invited

It’s been a great day and it just keeps on getting better.  I’ve been able to spend time with some of my favorite people already today and it’s not even 2.  And then tonight I get to hang out with more awesome people while checking out Noonday Collection’s new fall line and eating yummy food.  I am crazy excited.  These kinds of nights are my favorite.

For all you locals…whether we know each other or night, come on over to our house between 6-9 tonight.  Come early right after work if you’d like, we’ll be here.  I’ll stuff you full of food and drink and laughter and you’ll have the opportunity to get a closer look at Noonday and purchase with a purpose.

Shoot me a message HERE if you have any questions.

I would love to meet some new people.  Don’t be shy.  We would probably be great friends…I just know it!  Plus, ummmmmmm, hello, I made Carmelitas.  Plus a gazillion other completely fat and calorie free foods.

Ashley is setting up right now and I am already just over the moon by just seeing her sweet face.  You will love her too.  And if you can’t make it in person and would still like to order you totally can.  All you have to do is go to to www.ashleymills.noondaycollection.com then when checking out, put “Ashley Mills” in the drop down ambassador name list and “Laura Kelley” under trunk show name. Order anytime between today and September 16th.

Really hope to see tons of people tonight.  Hope to hug new and old necks <—– that sounds weird, but I’m a hugger.

Have an awesome day.

Happy Thursday!