Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

Look the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way. Psalm 68:27

Our Family

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"In everything you do, put God first and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success."
Proverbs 3:6

Sunday, December 31, 2017

14 years........

5 months of whirlwind dating
1 week engagement 
We got married in a fever
14 years
5,110 married days
4 awesome kids
2 babies lost
4 deployments 
6 different homes
3 different states 
And all the memories in between them make up our life!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

A few of my favorite things......

I have dreamed of having an antique sewing machine for many years. My family made that dream come true this Christmas. This beauty is from 1910. It's a singer  (my favorite brand of sewing and embroidery machines) and looks fantastic in the entry way of the house.
I love walking past and thinking about crawling through the secret door from my great grandma's coat closet into her sewing room. What a gem to have in the house and a gem of a family for getting it for me! 


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Insta what?!?!

Just as I was getting used to instagram another insta product came into my life this Christmas! 
So I put the instapot on my wish list awhile ago and then started doing some research on it. I am not going to lie I am very intimidated of this device. (Confession time! I haven't even done the water test because Ben has been at work and I don't want to do it by myself!)
I am hoping that this opens a whole new world of cooking for our family but right now she is just looking pretty on the counter! 
Tell me your best tips and recipes! 


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Christmas Eve


Goals for 2018

As 2018 rolls in, I have set a few education goals for myself as I  might be jumping back into the work force.
I am trying to prepare to go back to my nursing career in an entirely different field than what I was used to.
I have about 65 continuing education credits lined up that center around school nursing.  It feels daunting but I am diving in head first to prepare myself as best as I can.
What are your education goals for 2018? What motivates you to complete them?
Best wishes for attaining your education goals this upcoming year!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The down side of military life

I will be the first to say that there are decisions made for my husband and my family based on the needs of the Marine Corps that I don’t agree with on a daily basis. I try to focus on all the blessings that we have because of the military. New places that I would have never seen, friends that become framily, traveling, an appreciation for selfless service, blooming where you are planted even if it is out of your comfort zone. (Just to name a few )
One thing that I cannot write off is missing family. My children miss their cousins that we may get to see once a year, we miss meeting new family members, mostly just miss what most families consider "normal" family experiences.
I am clinging to our recent family get together where we got to meet our 5 month old nephew and rekindle cousin relationships. We are not sure when we will all be in one place again since Hawaii, Texas, Missouri,  and North Carolina are not geographically close to one another but we are thankful for the memories made and strengthened relationships. 
Isn't he just the sweetest thing?
The sweet sounds of giggles, play screams, hugs, and sweet conversations are still ringing in my head!



Recently I was inspired by my friend's daughter who is just starting her journey in life and blogging.
It reminded me of why I started this blog 10 years ago. First and foremost to keep a journal of our life for the kids. Secondly was to spread joy.
It has become increasingly more popular to use social media as a way to tote why your political opinion is better than others, air dirty laundry of a myriad of things, complain, on and on.
2018 I hope to get back to keeping my family's memories on here and spreading joy in a dark world.
I hope that y'all will join me on this ride!
Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Practical and sentimental all rolled into one.....

So my mother's day gift had just the appropriate mix of practicality and sentimentality to be perfect! 
I now have front porch furniture to enjoy a cup of coffee and peace & quiet. I also have sweet porch pillows with the kids hand and foot prints on them ♡
Win win!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

All because of a free concert in a park........

14 years ago this month, we met at a free concert in the park. Neither one of us was interested in the other for various reasons. We obviously changed those thoughts in August of 2003 and joined our lives together in December of 2003.
It has been one crazy, wild ride. Insane ups and downs but I wouldn't change a thing about it!!
I can't imagine what life would be like without Ben and this wild bunch that God has blessed us with!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Sharing memories.....

So that the kids can look back and remember this crazy time in their lives and how much that we loved each and every stage with them~
Also, because we have been sharing memories about the animals and I wanted to include them in on this!
These still shots will some day be all that we have left of the kids as doesn't escape me that they will all too soon be adults!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Organizing my computer: military wife strong

So I have been trying to get more organized.....the house, business, kids schedule, computer files, you know life in general. I guess that you could call it my new years resolution but I like to consider it a new habit not just a resolution!
I try to chip away everyday at a project. This morning, I was doing a bit on the laptop. I came across this picture.
It's of my friend, Kursten, and I during the birth of my 4th kiddo. In true military style, Ben missed this birth.
It never struck me as odd.....just something that I had to do. Baby is due to be born, daddy is in country fighting for our freedom. Check, check, check.
Little did I know when I left Pennsylvania, I would no longer consider this weird. That 2 out of our 4 children would be born without their daddy know the things that you think/dream about as a little girl just fly out the window in this crazy military life.
It makes me emotional though seeing friends (like literally I met Kursten and BreAnn when I was almost into my 2nd trimester) stepping in to be labor coaches and support our family. Because they became family quickly. We don't have a choice in this lifestyle.
Maybe because I am still reeling from our surprise move and still trying to get settled in our new home, I ruined my mascara and make up this morning while filing away this memory.
So make sure you hug your family today.....blood or sisters-by-choice!
Miss you Kursten!!


Friday, March 24, 2017

New reading material

I had forgotten about these books since I filled out the forms in September-October time frame!
I am super excited that they got forwarded to the North Carolina address!
Looking for other good reads as well ♡

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Just kitten

 This girl constantly cracks me up! Not only does she start planning her next outfit right after she puts the outfit of the day on, but she also likes to try to match her underwear and socks to her outfit too.
Today took it to a new level as she wore her "just kitten" shirt, tiger pants, and added thus kitty hood off of an old costume. She wore it the entire day at school!
Had to preserve the memory while I can!
This girl not to be outdone, had to have her picture taken and a braid like big sister ♡

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Move with a Purpose: Emerald Isle

Ben and his friend, Phillip, will be running this Saturday in Emerald Isle. This is not the first time that they have paired up! Ben would like to raise money for the Crystal Coast Autism Center. Please check out what he said about it.........

So about 4.5 weeks ago, my buddy Phillip Richards asked if I was Interested in running the Emerald Isle marathon with him.  Since I had only had runs of up to 8 miles to that point, I felt like maybe I wouldnt be ready for a marathon.  Two things changed my mind.  First, this will likely be our last run (race) together for a long time....he's moving to Japan (Marine life).  Secondly, the race benefits the Crystal Coast Autism Center.  I have several friends that deal with this condition in their families.  These two things fit perfectly with what Move Move with a purposeeffort is all about.  If you are so inclined, go to to make a donation for this charity.

The run is this weekend.  Ill let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Funny but not.......

Why do these 2 look like santa? Well unfortunately these 2 have chafed mouths and lips. Isaac has a nervous face lick sometimes and it came back last week concidently around the same time that he had some friendship difficulties.  Kenzie sucks on her blankets so much during nap and bedtime that she has terrible chafing too.
So what's a mama to do? Well, I cover them with Destin each night and hope for the best ♡
Oh yeah and take pictures so they can remember this someday! 


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Trying to let go of 4......

My last night with a 4 year old Kymber. Oh my baby girl, I am not ready for you to be 5! Apparently neither are you, since you cried before bed and told me that you loved being 4!
You love everything fashion, horses, tigers, cheetahs, and try to keep up with everything your Big siblings are up to! I know that sometimes I make you stop talking about what outfit you are going to wear the next day, but I promise that I will miss it when you stop doing that!
You continue to grow into that big laugh and even bigger personalty! 
Love you Roo roo!
And don't worry 5 will be spectacular! 


Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Cooking with one of Grandma Schwalbe's spoons today put a smile on my face. Just remembering her big guffaws, big glasses, and how much she loved having all her kids, grandkids, and great grandchildren around her. It's something that I love about our house as we have reminders of loved ones that have left this earth and it frequently makes memories pop into your head!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

New home, new entryway revised ♡

Since my last post,  I have added a few pieces that I have found. I am more satisfied with it but not quite sure it's "done." What do you think? 


Monday, March 6, 2017

Love this guy here!

So it's now mandatory to have a picture update each year to Ben's (and all other Marines) jacket. Something about making sure that they look good in uniform......
For this wife that loves pictures, loves her husband, and thinks he looks pretty hot in uniform, I am in pure heaven!

The picture on the right above here is one that he had to take for his new job at the FRC. It makes me giggle that he tells the photographer that he has to fix his hair so that I won't fuss at him!
Just thought that I would share a little update on what Ben has been up to!


My boy setting the sky on fire after Lacrosse

Ben took this picture of Isaac last week after his lacrosse practice. This little guy always lights up my life! I had to share to our family journal here so that we don't lose this photo to the abyss of Facebook.
So very proud of him and all the courage it takes to start over. In a new state, new school, new sport.....all of it!
Love ya Brown Bear!!!
xoxo Mama


Friday, March 3, 2017

Starting tomorrow!

I am hoping to run the Marine Corps marathon 10k in October. So I am trying to take my husbands advice  (don't faint babe!) I am starting with core strength, a bit of weight training, and yoga. Obviously once I get these in place, running too! Anyone else want to join me?

It's a rough life they lead ♡


Thursday, March 2, 2017

My little man ♡

My sweet buddy. I was very thankful to hear him come home from lacrosse practice pretty pumped tonight. Monday  (the first practice) was a little rough with not knowing the sport and not knowing the other boys.
He was smiling and talking a mile a minute tonight!  One more practice tomorrow night then onwards to first game on Saturday! 


New home, new front room

The front room is done......for now. Ben and I would love to get rid of the overstuffed couches but that's not in the budget right now. 
It's super fun to see the Bigs doing their daily reading in there.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Forget twinkle toes

Ok,ok so not completely forgetting ballet since she might do it again next season BUT I just had to give a shout out to Kendall bug who just about has her aerial! If she could just land it, she would be so tickled!!
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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

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