I really feel bad for Judas. This isn't a fully formed thought...but his story has got to be the WORST story of the Bible, yet it is absolutely one of the most vital to the salvation of the world.

He was one of the people closest to Jesus when his sandals met the clay of this earth. He broke bread with Jesus. He traveled with Jesus. He saw first hand Jesus feed the masses, raise the dead, and cast out hoards of demons. Yet, in the end satan enters him and he blows it all for a bag of coins. Yet...what he set in motion, or what God set in motion through this broken man, rescued me.

I really struggle with the story of Judas. I don't understand it and have mentioned it before on this blog. I know hundreds or thousands have written, spoken and picked apart the reason, justification, and truth behind how his narrative panned out, but even through all that it is so hard for me to know whether or not he really had free will in that situation. Jesus prophesies his betrayal and satan enters him. It seems to me the guy really got blind sided. But, deep down I know Judas made a hundred choices along the way that left his heart vulnerable, bitter, jealous, greedy, and ready for betrayal.

His story ends in the worst way possible. Hanging in a field. It's incredibly tragic. Honestly, my heart kinda hurts for the guy. One of the few who was privileged to sit with Jesus day in a day out and it ends in destruction.

So tonight, Josh and I read the tragic story of Judas, which is really the beautiful story of Jesus washing his disciples feet (including Judas's) and breaking bread the night before he faced the biggest challenge in all of history. My bread - mint chocolate chip ice cream. My wine - water. I thank God for a bigger plan, a deeper story, and a greater love than my mind can comprehend.


feeling peaceful. Sun is shining. birds are singing. baby is sleeping. what more could I ask for?

loving feedly - with google reader going away I forced myself to make the switch to another reader and feedly has made it so much easier to read my blogs on my iPhone (read: while nursing)

dreaming of warmer weather so I can take my buddy out for sunshine and walks around town

planning vacations and trips this coming summer - Baltimore to visit my parent's new home (more on that later) and Michigan with the Michael family for a big summer vacation

working on big things for Voyage Creatives with my mister

watching parenthood and crying at nearly every episode. i heart netflix.

listening to Ray Lamontange. All of his stuff on spotify OR kiddie radio on Pandora (and so it begins...)

reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp - I'm behind the boat in reading this, but so far it's beautiful and has already encouraged me to pause and praise God for small things in the everyday.

wearing my stretchy skinny jeans, cardigans, and tank tops nearly every day (breastfeeding convenience). Not maternity (yay!) All of those clothes have been officially packed up and put in the attic for baby number two.

praying for the massive transition my parents are going through and for favor on Josh at his job and in our entrepreneurial endeavors.

laughing at this series of photos. Oh the things I put my child through and he is only 10 weeks old. (Sorry kid...)

wanting a date night. With my man. at someplace nice. without the baby. I'm ready. it's been nearly 3 months. Now who owes me a favor....

grateful for my beautiful son. my handsome husband. and the breakfast blend coffee we got on mega sale at whole foods.

missing a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I still have a while before I get that one back...


Easter Basket Dreaming

We have been super lucky to have loads of Family and friends come down to visit us and meet little bud bud since he was born. This past weekend was no exception. It was full of sweet times with our  good friends from college Liz and Matt. Most of the time was spent relaxing around the house, but we went out for a meal or two and even braved the snow(!) that came on March 25th and went to a local vineyard for a wine tasting.

The bad weather has got me (and the rest of the continental US) longing for spring. With Easter this coming weekend seeing flurries just didn't feel right. We get to enjoy some more visitors this weekend as Josh's side of the family descends on Nashville for the holiday. The house will be crowded and there will be loads of snuggles and hugs for Felix.

Even though chocolate, bunnies and painted eggs aren't anywhere near the real reason for celebration, I'm still itching to get my little man a small basket of goodies for his first Easter. It will mostly be filled with simple toys and maybe a book or two, but if a money were no object I'd love to get him something like this.

1. Felix the Fox Tea Towel Plush Toy by sarahyoung5
2. Mini rodini organic bon voyage t-shirt by thumbeline
3. Baltic Amber Teething Necklace by Bambero
4. Moccasin by Freshly Picked
5. Baby boy skinny jeans by Zara
6. Grey Knit Cap from Nordstroms
7. Love You Forever from Amazon

Also, dreaming of getting Willow a mini basket of goodies...

2. Acacia food bowls by inubar
3. Garden Plush Toys by PetPlay
4. Fleece dog hoodie by American Apparel
5. Boots and Barkley Rawhide Twists - Target
6. Arrow Head Dog Collar - GreyPawDesign

Oh and while we're at it, for my Mister, too...

What kinds of things do you want to put in your easter baskets this year? Hope you are having a great Wednesday!


Simply Be.

My 2 and a half week old son lay fighting sleep in my arms, gazing up at me yawning at 3:45 am. Exhausted and looking for anyway to get this little man to close his eyes and go back to sleep the Jenn Johnson song "A Little Longer" popped into my head.

"What can I do for you? what can I bring to you? what kind of song would you like me to sing?" I start singing. "I'll dance a dance for you. Pour out my love to you. What can I do for you beautiful King? Cause I can't thank you enough." Tears start to well up in my eyes unexpectedly and I feel my throat catch. "Cause I can't thank you enough." I force myself to keep singing and feel completely overwhelmed with emotion. Thankfulness for God's amazing provision for a perfect healthy beautiful son. Awe and wonder that he would entrust me with such a precious little human for his time here on this earth.

The words on the song continue to pour out of me washing over my son's innocent tiny ears. Repeating my thankfulness and the fact that no matter how hard I try I can't express with words or show with any amount of work the abundance gratitude and love I have for all that Jesus has blessed me with.

Caught up on the moment of the song I almost forgot how the second part went until I heard my own voice shift and start to sing from the perspective of the Lord to me...
"You don't have to do a thing. Just simply be with me and let those things go. Cause they can wait another minute. Wait. This moment is to sweet. Would you please stay here with me and love on me a little longer...cause I'd like to be with you a little longer...cause I'm in love with you"
Tears running down my cheeks and my voice a complete froggy mess the heavy realization of how God, the master and creator of ALL things feels about me. He is my father. My daddy...He just wants to spend time with me. He desires to be around me and I don't have to prove how I feel or strive to impress Him. Stay in the moment. Rest in His presence. Rest in his arms just as Felix, my little wildfire, was resting in mine.

And even at 3:45 am I was genuinely enjoying his presence. His sweet nursing sighs, fuzzy strawberry blonde patch of hair in the back of his head, and baby toes that curl around my arm are enough for me. Felix is simply there. Present. Not dancing around for my attention. Not lavishing any praise upon me. He is just next to me. And I burst with love, joy, and pride for the little dude and I miss him when I'm away from him for 30 minutes. How much more does God love and desire my presence. How much more does God look down upon me and think how proud He is and how much Joy my little life brings him.

It's strange to say it because our culture is fixated on self-deprecation and false humility and saying anything positive about yourself is considered conceited  But, truly God is good and his thoughts towards me aren't anything I've conjured up. If I can have feelings of joy,  pride and love towards my helpless-never-really-accomplished-anything son with my HUMAN emotions...how much more can God look down on me and feel pride, joy and love towards me.

I squeezed Felix a little tighter. Rested my head back on the blue velvet rocking chair and waited through his cooing and yawns, and my tears and sniffles, for sleep to come. All with God's presence thick in the nursery and my heart filled to the brim.


I wish I was European

Today it's raining and that makes me nostalgic. It makes me ache to travel. It makes me dream big dreams and simultaneously want to curl up and read great and wondrous things that were once other's dreams. A few days ago I was cleaning out my e-mail and found an e-mail that I sent myself two weeks after our trip to France back in 2010...here it is.

a photo from our trip to Annecy, France in October 2010

I wish I was from Europe. Better yet, I wish I was French. Really, I wish I was anything but American. I know that sounds harsh. And I know that as an American I am blessed to be in a country where I’m free. But the French way seems so romantic and whimsical, so healthy, comfortable, and simple, yet indulgent, glamorous and extravagant.  I wish our culture embraced biking, walking, and trains. I wish there was a bakery on every corner selling mouth-watering pastries and tiny-but-mighty espressos. I wish we cared about fashion and appearance, but not in a superficial glittery way, but in the way that every occasion warrants high heels and fancy scarves (not once did I see a French person wearing a t-shirt or tennis shoes).I wish we would value quality over quantity and could not just appreciate but love a meal out that takes up an entire evening rather than the normal 1 hour turn-and-burn method most restaurants in the states have. I wish we valued deep meaningful friendships, warm embraces and a kiss on each cheek upon greeting and I wish we could drink delicious bordeaux and pinot noir on a week night for under $10. I wish I was European.


Becoming a Mom

I honestly don't know how other mommy bloggers do it. Take care of a newborn while still magically taking pictures with beautiful lighting of their child and simultaneously making home cooked meals every night and blogging 4 times a week.

Today Felix is 9 weeks old and I'm JUST starting to feel like the chaos of mommy hood is balancing out to a dull hum and I'm regaining a bit of my sanity and time to do things. Things like take a walk, shower before noon, grocery shop or do a bit of yoga (42 mins of a 62 min DVD - I put that one in the win pile).

But even in the crazy-exhausted newborn haze when I didn't leave the house, let alone put on a bra or makeup for two weeks, I loved it. Even when I felt a bit like a crazy person sleeping in 45 min stretches till 4:30 PM, not eating unless someone placed food in front of my face because walking down the stairs to the kitchen was too much to muster, and hobbling around with a sore pelvis from pushing out a 10 lbs baby. Even through the 104 degree fever with mastitis and swollen eyes from the tears I wept upon realizing the struggle single moms must overcome. Even in the car when my little mister cries and cries and I'm useless to help him because my hands are on the wheel.

Even among all the exhaustion and chaos I have loved every single minute of becoming a mom. I've loved that this perfect squishy little boy needed me. I've loved how much of his daddy I saw in his face and feet. I've loved that he was a floppy newborn, but was still the big Michael-gene baby I expected. I've loved that he has has such personality from day 1 and smiles gummy grins at me all the time. I've loved discovering things about this little man that only I as his mom could know. I've loved seeing how he calms down when daddy is near and falls fast asleep every time he gets in the crook of daddy's arm.

And even now, as Felix is discovering his hands, feet, and voice I'm BEAMING with pride. I mean, who would have thought that I could be so proud of another person for looking at their own fingers. It's ridiculous.

Even with all the wonder and business of becoming a mom, I'm itching to get back into blogging. This blog has always been a place for me to process what is happening in my life and even perhaps to entertain those who find themselves at withallherheart.blogspot.com. And becoming a mom and balancing who I am as a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter and child of God is going to take a lot of process.

So I may not be blogging 4 times a week, but I want, nay I NEED, to start writing again and obviously this blog is going to take a shift towards thoughts on Mommyhood for a while. I do hope you will stick around and read.