insta-friday.

Posted by Tori on Jun 1, 2012 in family., Instagram.

Here’s a glimpse of our life this week through the eyes of Instagram! This is definitely my new favorite way to capture the sweet, daily moments of our lives. Check out my Instagram profile and follow my photos here:

 

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This week began redeeming my Mother’s Day present! A spa day at Stella Nova, complete with manicure, pedicure, hot stone massage, salt scrub, lunch, and a haircut!! I may or may not have come home after all that and had a nap…

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Then, last Thursday, I loaded up the girls and we headed for GA to meet up with our guys! Brooklyn was so ready to see her daddy again!

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Let’s do this! 5 hours in the van with the baby ladies…they were angels!

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We all met up at William’s parents’ place in GA. They recently purchased a farm. This is the little house that sits up by the road.

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A certain little mister had hours of fun on this mule!

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He loved to feel like he was driving.

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I told him to make a funny face for the picture…this is what I got!

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So cute!

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Here are the girls when we got to the farm. Can you believe it…today these girls are 15 months old! Where has the time gone?! Before I get myself together we will be planning a second birthday party…

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Finally…I snuck some mint chocolate chip gelato in a dixie cup upstairs while the kids were napping…love this treat!

Link up and share your week in pictures too!

life rearranged

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worship wednesday.

Posted by Tori on May 29, 2012 in video., worship wednesday.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. [Psalm 29:2]

Welcome to the second installment of Worship Wednesday! I hope that you will take a few minutes out of your day to worship with me & Tiffany. Also, don’t forget to link up your very own Worship Wednesday post with us below!

I’ve been meditating on this Psalm this week, and I remembered a song we sung frequently in chapels when I was a student at CIU. I am so thankful that when I was dead in my sin, He found me and redeemed my soul!

Listen, girls, His pursuit of our souls is relentless! His love for us is perfect and complete. So thankful to rest in this truth today.

Psalm 103:1-5

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;

3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;

4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5 Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

 

 


<a href=”http://www.mrstmpate.blogspot.com/
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Grab a button and link up with me & Mrs. Pate here!

 

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a lovely, long weekend.

Posted by Tori on May 27, 2012 in family.

Last week, our family was all scattered. I hadn’t seen William in six days. William and Ayden hadn’t seen one another in seven. And Ayden and I were apart for five. It was a nutty week, to say the least. Then, to top it all off, Ayden had gotten sick while he was spending the week with his great-grandparents. Poor little mister. Saturday, we were finally all together again as a famliy at William’s parents’ lake house. It was glorious. Ayden had his first ride on the boat and jet ski! (Sorry…mama fail! I have no pictures of this. But I think LeLe [Ayden’s affectionate name for William’s mom] might have snagged a few.)

We are still here, soaking up the south Georgia sun and loving every single second. So thankful I get to do life with these people.

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This is Ayden watching Mr. Rogers visit a dairy farm. It is by far his favorite episode. He always says, “Mommy, watch Mr. Rogers see cows!”

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welcome to worship wednesday!

Posted by Tori on May 22, 2012 in video., worship wednesday.

Last Thursday night, I attended a writer’s group for the first time. I had a blast and I am really excited about learning how to make this blog space better so I can serve Him with more focus and be an encouragement for those who read. Out of this group, I have decided to co-host a weekly blog post with Mrs. Pate Writes called Worship Wednesday! It has already been such a blessing for me and I know it will be for you too!

Here’s the idea: By Wednesday, we are all in the throes of our week. No matter what our weeks look like, whether we are staying at home with children, working in an office, leading a ministry, retired — wherever the Lord has us planted in this season, there is always the temptation to lock our focus in on our task, our title, or our role. But, we have to step back and realize the big picture. That this season — this work — is not the whole point. The whole point is loving Him and loving other people well. Loving them like Jesus.  So…practically, in the moment, what does that look like? Well, for me, it looks a whole lot like hitting the pause button to take a few minutes alone with Him. Worship. Aligning my heart with His and worshiping ONLY Him.

So, that’s what you can find me doing here every Wednesday. Hitting the pause button and entering into a time focused for worship. I pray that the Lord will use it to bless your soul and help you hit the pause button too. Please, also, grab the button below and link up with us here and at Mrs. Pate Writes! It won’t always be music or a video — just a prompt to usher my heart and yours into worship as a reminder to keep Him our constant focus. I cannot wait to see how He uses this to change our hearts and encourage one another to be about what matters most!


<a href=”http://www.mrstmpate.blogspot.com/
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; alt=”mrspatewrites” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a>

 

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This week, I have been so incredibly blessed by this song! This month, specifically, He has opened our family’s eyes to the fiery passion of His love in the everyday moments. It is relentless. His love is life. It distinguishes fear. It brings freedom and courage. It gives rest and peace. Thank you, Jesus, for the cross. We belong to you.

 

Link up with me & Mrs. Pate here!

 

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a mini stay-cation + a new weekly link up.

Posted by Tori on May 22, 2012 in family., worship wednesday.

This week has been the kind that is rare around here.

It started Saturday. We drove up to Columbia to see William’s family and to drop Ayden off with his great-grandmother for a few days! He has the best times with his Mamaw and Papa! I got a text on the way from my dear friend, Ruth. I love her to pieces. She does a great job encouraging me and keeping me focused on what really matters. William, the girls, and I met up with her at CIU for a visit. Not only was it great and refreshing to see her, but it was so fun to do it in that place where we met and shared so many memories. As we were heading back to the interstate, we spotted one of our former professors taking a jog. It made my heart so full. I am so thankful to the Lord for all the work He did in me in that place.

Then, on Sunday, William left for Atlanta. We had a great time together before he left that afternoon — just us and the baby ladies, as I like to call them! After we dropped him off to meet his ride, the baby ladies and I hit up Target and the grocery store for a few things we would need this week. Then, home. I had made a project list of organizing jobs that needed to be done around the house and I was excited to get started!

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That night, I had the worst time getting to sleep. Mainly because I was in that big ‘ole bed all by myself (the dog doesn’t count). Talked to William early the next morning and found out he didn’t sleep well either. We were just meant to be together. Neither one of us likes being apart.

It’s Tuesday now, and I have caught up on my cleaning, completely organized Ayden’s room, our room, my desk area, and our closet! It feels so good to know that all 5 of us will come home next Tuesday together…and that we will know where everything is and have a clean house to dirty up!

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Oh, and be sure to come back tomorrow for a new weekly link up I’m introducing with Mrs. Pate Writes! You will be blessed, I know it!!

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insta-friday.

Posted by Tori on May 18, 2012 in family., Instagram.

Welcome to a look at our week through Instagram! We had lots of fun seeing His grace shine through the little moments.

You can check out my Instagram profile and follow me here:

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Meet my hot date. My birthday was Wednesday, but the two of us celebrated on Tuesday with a fabulous meal and a trip to the spot where we got engaged five years ago. This was our first time back and it was so sweet to relive those moments. Love, love, love this man!

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This has been my reading material of late. We are taking this class together on Wednesday evenings and I cannot tell you what a blessing and encouragement it has been for us! Great read for those of you with littles in your life!

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This is from this morning during our play time! It brings me such joy to see Ayden show his love for his sisters. Thanks, Lord, for these priceless treasures.

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Another one from this morning. Ayden & Chelsea rolling around on the floor.

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All three of them dancing to Veggie Tales. They make me laugh so hard!

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Sprinkler fun with daddy!! This is definitely Ayden’s new favorite thing! Last year he was a little scared of the sprinkler…not anymore!

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Having a blast!! He would literally do this all day if he could!!

 

My first time linking up with…

life rearranged

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happy tuesday.

Posted by Tori on May 15, 2012 in family.

It’s safe to say that May is my favorite month. This May has definitely not disappointed!

I took the girls to the park while Ayden was at preschool last Friday. We had the best time!

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Brooklyn.

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Chelsea.

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Chelsea is on the move!

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Brooklyn.

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Mister Ayden posing for a picture!

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Ayden loves to play with the front-facing camera on my phone. He always makes faces at himself!

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SOWING AND REAPING.

Posted by Tori on May 7, 2012 in a good word., thankful heart.

Everyone knows this truth. It really is common sense. But here, in the middle of 2 Corinthians, Paul sees fit to remind us.

2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

In this passage, Paul continues to say that, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

Now, in this section of his letter, Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to give generously for poor believers in Jerusalem. He explains how others have given, and encourages them to show love for these brothers in a tangible way as well.

These verses are sure, solid ground that we can depend on, freeing us to give generously with joyful hearts because God has promised that He will bless our giving with His grace.

Lately, I have been reminded and have seen just how true this Word is. Really, not even in the area of financial giving, but in the giving of yourself, your time, and your talents. If you hold back in serving people and loving on them the way Christ would, you are sowing sparingly. To the degree you are investing in your marriage, or your children — or you fill in the blank, you will reap blessing.

Also true, is that I may be going through the motions of loving or of investing in someone, but I may be doing it reluctantly or under compulsion. This does not please the Lord and it, ultimately, does not bless others. Sometimes, I can get burned out. Sometimes, I don’t wake up in the morning excited about loving people the way He does. There is no room for an ounce of pride or selfishness in this love. But, thankfully, the Holy Spirit is the one who does the loving through me. My job is to surrender. So, if I spend myself and my time fully pouring into those around me that He has given me to love, I will reap generously. I will be free to love with a happy heart. I won’t get burned out because I have the promise of His grace that will enable me to prosper in every good work.

So…let’s be reminded of this simple, yet profound truth today.

Ask the Lord if there is an area of your life where you may be holding back in loving others the way He does. Loving without an ounce of pride or selfishness. Having this conversation with Him is important, because often, it is easy for us to be unaware that we are holding back. Ask Him to check your heart and show you if you may be serving Him or others reluctantly or out of compulsion. Ask Him to give you the grace to serve and love with nothing but cheer. In this passage, “the freedom and authenticity of generous giving are marked by…cheerfulness.” (G. Kittel, TDNT, 3:299) Finally, ask Him to give you the faith to trust His promise — that we will reap generously for giving generously and that His grace will enable us to excel at every good work — so that we can love with sacrifice, even those who may not be grateful and may be difficult to love.

Thank you for the cross, Lord, that is the cornerstone of this truth. Change my heart, and teach me to give like Christ gave.

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my heart might explode.

Posted by Tori on May 1, 2012 in family., thankful heart.

CIUgals

I absolutely love these gals. Shared life with most of these sweet women for four solid years. I can’t say enough about how much influence each of them has had over me. I am so grateful for each moment, each laugh, each tear. I wish we could be together more often, but I am thankful that we still make time for one another even though we are all in different places now. Everyone should have a group of friends like this! Ladies, I love you more than you know!!

 

Later, after lunch with these friends, we took a family trip to the beach! This was the twins’ first beach trip!! Everyone had a great time.

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This is Chelsea with her daddy. She made us laugh the hardest! As soon as we set her down in the sand, she looked around, and then power-crawled as fast as she could and as far as she could! We would run after her and bring her back to the towel and she would take off again immediately! I don’t think she’d ever seen so much wide, open space!! We’ll have to keep an eye on this one…

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With all this grace and all these blessings, I think my heart might explode!! His goodness is beyond measure. These are just some of the little ways He reminds me everyday.

 

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amen & amen!

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mommy wow. i’m a big kid now.

Posted by Tori on Apr 25, 2012 in ayden., family.

Ok, so we started potty training Ayden last Saturday! We are silly people, I know…but he acted like he was ready, and one less baby in diapers is always a good thing, so we gave it a shot!

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I set up a little kit in the bathroom, complete with pull-ups, reading material (more for me than him), Wet Ones (in case anybody touched something they shouldn’t), baby wipes, flushable wipes (for the messy ones), and disinfecting wipes (for the potty). Man, who knew they made so many wipes?! Expert moms: feel free to let me know if I have forgotten anything important in my kit! 🙂

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And…success!! He was so excited to start learning. By now, we are in big boy underwear…hoping that he continues to keep up the good work.

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And, of course, we are equipped with a “special treat” when he does a good job.

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Probably the most important part when you are teaching a little one to use the potty. I intentionally wrote this as a reminder…in case I forgot. Good thing, too…because there were moments I referred to it!

As Ayden was starting to learn, for the first day or so, we decided to stay home as much as possible. Ayden must have gotten a little stir crazy himself, because I came downstairs to find that he had gone in the drawer where we keep old cell phones/chargers and pulled one out, along with a USB/mini-USB cord and a wall plug. He had successfully plugged the cord into the phone and the wall plug into the outlet, and charged up the phone enough to turn it on!! So…I asked him (you can imaging the tone of voice…), “What are you doing?” To which he replied, “Checking my email. Texting Mimi.” Really?! I looked over my shoulder to the “Love is patient and kind” note on the board. Then, I explained that he was not allowed to use the cord or plug things into the wall and that he needed to put that back immediately. He was pretty bumbed, but we moved on nonetheless.

Also, during the time we’ve been home, I have memorized most all of the Veggie Tales, Robin Good. It really is a great one, and Ayden has insisted on watching it at least twice everyday. The silly song in this one is called “Bubble Rap.” Now, he loves to watch this one several times in a row and actually sing along…which is really, really cute. So, since I had memorized the song, I caught myself singing along as I was folding some laundry. Ayden looks over at me and says, “No, only Ayden sing it!” Whoops! Didn’t mean to ruin the moment for him…

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The girls have been especially cute lately as well. The other night before bed, they donned their tootoos for some playtime. This is Chelsea.

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And, here is Miss Brooklyn. Notice she has Chelsea’s paci in her mouth and her own paci in her hand. Silly lady. These two are such joys!! Love them all to pieces.

And…lastly, I decided to share the “Bubble Rap” with you…just to brighten your day and give you a little glimpse into mine. Enjoy!!

 

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