Unplanned title slide

Hello friends! So, last month, I spoke at a Women’s event at my Church and I was hoping to share the audio podcast from that night in the days after I spoke. Sadly, the audio file was corrupt and I was left unsure how to proceed in sharing my story. I decided to post it in manuscript form here. It has taken me all month to get up the nerve to post this; for many reasons that I don’t need to divulge now. But I do want to ask you, please only read this post if your heart is open to receive it without judgement or condemnation. Please consider that my words are my personal testimony and behind these word are very real people. A real husband and wife with very real, young children. If your heart or mind is in any way hardened toward me or my family, then please read no further.


So I really wanted to begin like this, by asking you to listen to my story as a close friend would. Be slow to judge, cherish my words as if they were written on your own heart. This is where true love and understanding can reside.


Oh and one last disclaimer: This is a long post (and void of any pictures).


The title of my message is “Unplanned” and this is just one part of a much larger message in a much larger context. You see, a few years ago, God placed a message on my heart. And I didn’t know at the time how strong the message was going to become. I had no clue how God was shaping me and calling me to deliver this message. But I have to warn you, this is a heavy message. And it is not one I really want the responsibility of sharing. But over the past year, God’s calling on my life has been so undeniable, and there has been so much confirmation, that I have had to push my own fear and insecurities aside to share this message as best I can. This is going to be a long post, because the subject matter is not only heavy but it is also very much unaddressed in the Church today, which is truly a travesty. The overarching message, which I hope I can thoroughly and lovingly convey to you is about the VALUE OF LIFE. I can already see the thought bubbles coming out of your heads, so I will jump right on in and say, yes I am talking about “Pro-Life” as our politically minded society has labeled it. But can I just start by saying, this is not a political topic. This is a biblical, foundational topic. If you are reading the same bible that I am reading, then the message of Life is literally inscribed on every. single. Page. It is GLARINGLY obvious. I am sorry if I am being forceful at the moment, but trust me, this is NOT my viewpoint. It is God’s viewpoint. And as I said before I want to offer it to you with as much love as I can muster. In this space there is no condemnation, I am declaring that over us all, now, myself included because I am going to need it! Unfortunately, culture has believed a lie and reasoned their way around a “Pro-Life” stance- yes even in the church! I am here to say, it does not matter what situation a child is born out of. That child is a blessing, has a purpose and was predestined from the creation of the earth. DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU OTHERWISE!



Whew, is that a heavy way to start or what? I’ll try to do a better job to lighten the mood and make you all question my authority to deliver this message- trust. So let’s go back.. Let me take you back to an awkward high school teenager falling in love with the star athlete, and most outspoken Christian guy in town. Somehow I ended up dating this guy, I really want to name him “Tim Tebow” for the duration of my post because that’s basically who he was in my mind. #eyeroll. I obviously had some misplaced affection issues going on, but what teenage girl doesn’t? I too was a Christian, and trying to walk with God through the selfish and hormonal years of young adulthood. So, “Tim Tebow” and I graduated high school and went to colleges several states apart but remained “dating” as best we could. There was a lot of “on-again-off-again” happening, and I will spare you the painfully embarrassing and childish details that come with young relationships. But I will tell you 2 things: 1. I knew I wanted to marry this guy from the get-go. And 2. We remained abstinent for the MAJORITY of our 7 year dating relationship. So here comes the second big undiscussed topic in the church- Premarital sex. Honestly, during college “Tim Tebow” and I were kinda alone on a “virgin island”. I was pretty outspoken about wanting to remain a virgin and lived a very straight laced life, which starkly contrasted the typical college experience in America- and the lives of many of my friends. Again, I am not saying this to brag but to lay the scene for what happened next. I got pregnant. No, this was no virgin birth. But it certainly was Unplanned. Actually it was more than unplanned, it was starkly opposing to “my plans”. But, after a while of feeling a lot of feelings, and wanting to take control of certain things that I felt were crushing me, I backed away from my convictions. Society makes it easy for people to do this. Imagine how much easier it is for young adults, who are getting very little/No guidance on the subject of pre-marital sex from a very God centered, and Love centered place… I’ll circle back around to this thought in just a bit.



I want to take a moment to talk about the mother of all women for a moment, in regards to this time of my life. Eve.


I have a whole other, longer, message on Eve, and the first sin, but I feel it is important to mention it in part here.


The serpent, the most “subtle and crafty” creature of the field approached eve. “And He (satan) said to the woman, can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the tree’s of the garden, Except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” (genesis 3:1-3).

Just like the serpent is described as subtle, his setup before Eve’s sin is very subtle as well, so much so that we almost miss it all together. The serpent already knew the command that God gave to Adam and Eve in regards to the tree in the center of the garden, but instead of drawing her initial focus to that one tree himself, he set’s it up in a way that it’s as if Eve brings up the tree rather than the serpent. The serpent does not say, “Hey can’t you not eat from THAT ONE tree in the middle of the garden?” is says, “Can it really be that you cannot eat from EVERY tree in the garden?” (paraphrase). Eve knows the truth. So she sets the serpent straight by reinforcing a sentiment that comes from a loving father. I imagine she is perplexed by the serpent, thinking, “of course we can eat from the trees! God is a loving and fulfilling father, he wants us to have more than we need!” Eve’s initial thought is not doubt. It is one of respect.

But the enemy, the serpent, quickly takes Eve’s mind to doubt by restating her exact words back to her as a question, “But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die.”

I wish I could count the number of times I have let a question of the enemy rule my mind and ultimately lead me to sin. Even when it is something I know to be true. The most visible instance I can think of was my long standing conviction to remain a virgin until I was married. A conviction that both “Tim Tebow” and I shared. We dated for YEARS, through long distance, many breakups and getting back together, lots of trials, and remained true to that conviction. Until… well until we didn’t. And for me it was letting the whisper of the enemy drop my guard and try to take control of my own life. I felt desperate to move our relationship forward because I desperately wanted to marry this guy! And I thought, there is only one way left that i can help move us to the “next level”. There wasn’t any malice in my heart, and honestly I would have justified letting go of my conviction on the premise of love, “I love him.” Just as the devil asked eve to question if should would really die if she ate of the fruit; he was asking me if God really cared about my virginity anyway. “What does it really matter?”

I think this doubt that the serpent planted in Eve’s mind is the exact same doubt that is plaguing many people today. The alternative to believing in God is in fact doubting his existence and further doubting our own morality. “Lest we surely die.” And the enemy asks us, “surely you will not die– if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior…?” This is the most dangerous lie of all. The most dangerous philosophy, created by the enemy, is the one that suggests there are many paths to God and eternal life. But the Word of God makes no mistake. Jesus says, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” If you believe otherwise, then you do not believe it was necessary for Jesus to die on the cross and raise to a new life 3 days later.

What happens next for Eve, is what happens to all of us when we let our convictions falter and let the lies of the enemy enter our mind. Sin. And in Eve’s case it was the first sin.


So, When I found out I was pregnant, I was a mess. I was hysterical to say the least. I was so afraid. I was afraid that everyone that knew me was going to think I was a big flaming hypocrite and that it would potentially erase any of the seeds I had sown among my non-believer friends. I was terrified to tell my family. And most of all I was terrified that I was going to be raising a baby alone. And that had nothing to do with “Tim Tebow’s” thoughts or feelings or decisions. It was all my fear and insecurity. But thankfully, God was with me. Thankfully, I had already developed a personal relationship with God and I knew his word well enough to make 2 rational decisions. #1 – I was keeping my baby ( “I’m gonna keep my baby”). And #2 – I decided that I was in no way going to push the subject of marriage on my boyfriend. Because I was rational enough to know that if I would have begged and pleaded him to marry me (like I really wanted to do) that I would NEVER be positive if he wanted to marry me for ME or if it was just out of obligation. So I kept my mouth shut. And I waited for 3 very. Long. months.


I promise I am trying my best to condense this backstory down to something short. But it is relevant to my “Now” story… So, let me paraphrase a bit. Once I was about 4 months pregnant, on 9.10.11, “Tim Tebow” proposed to me- of his own free will!!! HOORAY!  #LOL. We got married a short 8 weeks later. Side Note: No one wants to be a pregnant bride! And no one wants to be around a pregnant bride. So just try and avoid that travesty #LOL. And then a couple more weeks passed and our beautiful baby girl was born! I felt healing and restoration to the depths of my soul. I truly felt like everything was just as God has ordained it from the beginning. That is not to condone having babies outside of marriage, but to prove that God does work all things together for good, even when they are our own mistakes and downfalls. It was never My plan to start a family this way, it was not my husbands plan, and I don’t even think it was God’s plan for it to happen that way. But I do think God was able to make a way for His Ultimate Plan! I felt like God’s promises for my life and my now husband’s life were fullfilled in the sweet precious innocent baby.



Now let me fast forward through the next couple years pretty quickly. When our first baby was 6 months old we found ourselves pregnant again, AGAIN completely unplanned. And honestly I was just as fearful as I was the first time around. Again, afraid of judgement of others, afraid of personal sacrifice, afraid of relationship sacrifice… you get the picture. But once again, God proved to me that he is in control, he knows what is the BEST thing, while I was perfectly content to settle for a good thing. Then another 2 years passed and we got pregnant again! And this time we were having a SON! My husband and I really didn’t think we would have a son. Alas, God gives good and perfect gifts! I had to hold back sobs when we were in the ultrasound room, learning his gender, because I was so overcome with God’s Goodness!



I had 3 beautiful, happy, healthy, Unplanned babies that I loved with my whole heart! I did everything that I thought was best for them and more! I took So. Much. Pride. in motherhood and I made sure to let it show. But inside I was letting some fear and insecurity from long before I had kids, grow. When my son was 3 months old, I was faced with the possibility that I was pregnant again! And this time, way sooner than ever before. (All birth control jokes aside). But something else was different this time too, I was waging battles (in my mind) for my marriage. Insecurities had been developing, and I started looking at the past and wondering if my husband really had chosen to marry me or if he did it out of obligation. Our relationship felt distant. I felt like I was doing everything in my power to be an amazing wife and mother, sacrificing my own desires for our family and I just wanted to be seen.


Now, I can’t speak for my husband, but I know he was feeling a lot of the same things. We were both striving for admiration from the other, shouting, “look what I am doing!” In a way that cultivated a spirit of ‘who is doing more and who is doing it better’. Now, you have to know that neither my husband or I like conflict and the “fighting” that I am referring to, was really a lot of stuff that actually went unspoken. And because it went unspoken it bread more and more insecurities and it let the devil manipulate our minds and the way we viewed our marriage. Being someone that doesn’t like conflict, I was wise enough to reach out to a friend and ask her to pray for my marriage. And I am so glad I did. You guys I am going to say it now and again later, but the Devil DESPISES marriage. If he can cause division between you and your spouse he will! I have been told the devil lives in your mind, and for me, that rang so true about this season of my life. The war I was fighting for my marriage was a war that lived in my mind – conjured up by the greatest deceiver of all time.



But because I knew and loved God, I was fighting. I wanted to fight for my marriage, and that is when God gave me a Word. The word that has spurred this message and prepared me for a much darker season to come. I began to read and study women of the bible, starting from the beginning. Eve, Sarah, Leah. Leah. Leah. When I read about Leah I found that I WAS Leah. I related to her on a level that I never had before. If you are at all familiar with the story of Rachel and Leah, then I can say with positivity every woman everywhere, would rather be Rachel in that situation.



If you don’t know Leah’s story, let me tell it to you now. In Genesis chapter 29, Jacob sees his uncle’s daughter Rachel coming over a hill with a flock of sheep and he immediately loves her. The bible describes Rachel as “beautiful in form and appearance.” And that,Jacob loved Rachel”. He loved her so much that he promised his uncle he will work for him for 7 years to be given Rachel’s hand in marriage.


PAUSE: Didn’t I say everyone wants to be Rachel?! I mean, who doesn’t want to be described as beautiful and basically LOVED at first sight?!


Ok, so Jacob’s uncle is kinda a trickster and on the wedding night he sends his other daughter, Leah, into the marriage tent to marry Jacob instead. Now, the bible describes Leah as having “weak eyes” which most interpret to mean that she wasn’t attractive. But more importantly,SHE WASN’T CHOSEN. Jacob didn’t want to marry Leah- he clearly wanted Rachel. So he goes to the uncle, upset about being tricked (let me remind you Jacob was a trickster himself) and ended up promising to work another 7 years if he would be given Rachel as his wife as well.


So here you have 2 women, who are SISTERS, both married to the same man. I don’t know about you, but I have 4 sisters! Anyone else here have sisters? Well let me tell you, sister rivalry can be something fierce. I am pretty sure my sister and I almost knifed each other when we were caught wearing the other’s clothes. If I have that reaction about sharing clothes with my sister imagine my reaction if I had to share a husband with her!


And the funny thing is, the husband, Jacob, he knew a thing or 2 about sibling rivalry. You see Jacob had a twin brother. But being that birth order was of such importance during the time, Jacob fought with his brother in the womb, and was born grabbing onto the heel of his brother Esau. Esau may have come out first but Jacob wasn’t done fighting for favor. He legitimately tricked his brother into selling him his birthright for a bowl of soup and then tricked his father into giving him the blessing that was meant for Esau. Jacob weaseled his way into the promise of God. And then here he finds himself with 2 wives. And these women had some sibling rivalry issues of their own. Marrying Leah, was never a part of Jacob’s plan. And I don’t think Leah “planned” on getting married to someone who didn’t love her. And I know Rachel didn’t plan on being barren. (but that is a whole other can of worms).


Now to the really REALLY good part, Genesis 29:31-35 says,

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben,[c] for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 33 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon.[d] 34 Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.”


Rachel was barren. Leah was having son, after son, after son. Let me point out God is not the one saying “Leah is unloved.” That was Leah’s narrative over herself. I know this because God does love us. God wants intimate relationship with us. Leah was looking to Jacob for Love when ultimately she already had it. She was merely displacing her desire on someone that could not fulfill it. Each time she had a child she was like, “Jacob look at me! I am such a good wife! I am such a Godly woman. I have given you these sons. I have nursed them all for a year (or more), I have sleep trained them, I have potty trained them, I have kept a nice home, I cook you organic, gluten free, paleo dinners. Everyone else can see all I am doing! Why can’t you?!!


Lexie as Leah:

Am I deflecting much..? But honestly, in my married life I, Lexie, have often identified myself as a Leah. When reading this bible story, of course everyone wants to be Rachel. Everyone wants to be loved and adored by their husband. I will go as far as saying that woman so desperately want the love of a man that they think getting married is the end all be all to their happiness. Let me debunk that theory for a moment. It Will Not. In fact marriage brings more hardship and hurt and pain than a heart would ever desire. The apostle Paul writes, “But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this” (1 Corinthians 7:28).


For me there was always insecurity in the fact that my marriage was ultimately the result of an unplanned pregnancy. Since our relationship had started 7 years prior, I know it may be easy for outsiders to say, well they were bound to get married “eventually” anyway. But that was never the way I felt. I had a heart that desperately wanted ”Tim Tebow” to CHOOSE to marry me years before we became pregnant. I hoped and prayed that he would finally see me and decide that I was in fact “the one” and that he would come to the conclusion that the “timing was right”. But because those conclusions were drawn while a baby was growing in my womb, there was lots of extra room for doubt to grow as well. The devil resides in the mind. I know, I already said that! He can find the small insecurities and speak lies directly to them until the insecurity grows. For me this insecurity was always the whispers of, “you aren’t ‘the one’”. Maybe you have heard the meme that in every relationship there is a “reacher” and a “settler”. Meaning that one person is “reaching” to attain a mate that is slightly out of their league while the other person is “settling” on someone that is maybe in a league beneath them. Well I let this little seed of a lie that I was “the reacher” and my husband was “the settler” grow and grow in my mind.


I felt like Leah’s story could have been written like this:

When the Lord saw that Lexie was not “the one”, he opened her womb.  And Lexie conceived and bore a daughter, and she called her name Tylyn, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will think that I am good enough.” She conceived again and bore a daughter, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am “the reacher”, he has given me this daughter also.” And she called her name Hadley Hope.  Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will see me and praise me, because I have borne him a SON.” Therefore his name was called Jacson…”


And in the midst of feeling all these feels and thinking on all of these things, again none of the things I was thinking were from God, I found out that I was NOT pregnant with a 4th baby like I thought. so I pocketed the Word that God gave me and did my best to fight the battles against my marriage that resided in my mind. Only they didn’t only reside in my mind…



Let me fast forward another 6 months. At this time Jacson was 9 months old, and I just discovered with certainty that I was indeed now pregnant with our 4th baby! And because I was trying to live out the Pro-Life message in my heart, I decided I was going to surprise Tyson with the news in a fun way. I ordered this silly mug from a friend, that said, “We have a Winner” with a little sperm swimming through a target. The day after I ordered this silly mug, a bomb went off in my marriage. While I was fighting a war against my marriage in my mind. My husband was fighting a war that had materialized into much more.


Let me remind you once more how badly the enemy hates marriage. And let me impart this scripture before I go any farther, Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  And I would caution you to withhold your judgement because you may be inclined to sympathize with me and despise my husband. But I caution, that would put you in the wrong position to receive the rest of what I have to say. I told you that I basically married Tim Tebow, so your shock at this might help you understand my own personal shock and unbelief when I found out that my husband was engaged in an affair. Because it is still very painful and emotional to recount my feelings in the aftermath of what I had learned, I am going to give very little details. But I don’t want your mind to wander and assume the worst. My husband and I have and are navigating through our wilderness together, with God at the center. I can’t say much more because 1. He has his own testimony to share. And 2. I don’t want to give a false narrative or a statement of “we have arrived!” when honestly we are in this for the LONG HAUL!



When someone walks through a season of grief it is VERY lonely. It is lonely even if everyone around you knows your situation and offers you support. So imagine that same extreme grief only nobody knows- because of fear and judgement and because quite frankly the church doesn’t address the subject head on. So, I felt very, very alone. Only I was not alone. God was so very close to me. Not only did I feel his presence and his comfort in my despair but it became increasingly clear that God had been preparing me to walk this dark path. Not only was I not alone because God was with me and because he had prepared me; but he had also put a life inside of me. I wasn’t alone because I was physically growing a baby inside of me. A baby conceived with my husband out of love and intimacy. I can’t make any true speculation as to how or if I would have acted differently had I not been pregnant, when my world broke into pieces. I can wonder if I would have found it easier to consider walking away from my marriage. But the honest to goodness truth is, there was nothing easy about what I was facing. But I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t alone because God was with me, and because God had prepared me, and because God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect, and because God had put a blessing inside of me, and because God told me to read about woman in the bible who held onto the truth that a baby is a blessing even in the bleakest situations, and because God knew what I was going to walk through and because God knew it was going to be a lonely journey, God gave me one more thing to remind me that I was not alone. God put a person on my doorstep. I am not trying to be metaphorical here. God literally sent a human being to my doorstep 1 week after my life shattered, and that person was my friend Whitney. I opened the door and saw her standing there her eyes welling up with tears and immense grief and I knew, that she knew. I had no idea how she could possibly know, in fact it was rather impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible. And when I saw her standing there and I saw that she knew, I was filled with so much joy and so much hope. God knew I was incapable of releasing this secret myself, so he did it for me and sent me a friend. And if you need to know what being a Godly friend looks like, just look at Whitney. Not only did she KNOW what I was walking through, but she listened. She actually asked questions. You know when someone knows something that makes everyone feel a little uncomfortable so everyone just avoids it. Well Whitney is the opposite of that. She knew that some things deserve the time and the space to be talked about in a safe environment. And she offered me that space. And it wasn’t just a one and done kind of conversation. She continued to probe and offer me time and space to share things with her. She also offered me time and space to be a recluse and hide from the world. But she made sure I knew, without a doubt that I wasn’t forgotten, and that she saw my pain. I feel like this little delivery to my doorstep is a whole entire post of its own. I wish I could just dig into it and we could explore how to be THIS for the people we love. But, if you hear ANYTHING, HEAR THIS- God is so so GOOD! So I was not alone.




And here we are reading about Leah, who feels all alone and that no one see’s her and that her life is not turning out how she had planned. But like I said, God saw her all along. Let’s look again at Leah’s story, she says I bore Jacob a son, surely he will love me. I gave him another son, now he must see me. I birthed a third son, Now my husband has to love me...Now this is where her story is gets magnificently cool that no one but God could make it so. The verse immediately preceding the verse about her first three children says, And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah.[f] Then she ceased bearing.”


There are 2 incredibly powerful messages in this one simple verse that I think are so miraculous I can’t help but want to cry. The first is that Leah made a sacrifice in her praising the Lord. And the second is that her sacrifice moved the Kingdom to earth.


Thankfulness is a Sacrifice! DON’T TRADE A GOD THING FOR A GOOD THING


Leah had to literally die to herself, deny her own wants and needs in order to be Thankful for what God had already given her.


So what is sacrifice? In the old testament people gave sacrifices to God as a way to pay dividends for their sins and to remain in covenant with God. But we live post cross, with a resurrected King. So are we still asked to sacrifice in order to remain in God’s covenant? Yes. In fact this is one area where I believe modern Christianity has it wrong. I have heard so many Christian speakers “preach” on the topic of “self care” and even into the category of “self help”— If you are a busy mom, at the end of her rope, you just need to carve out some time for yourself… But this is the farthest thing from Gospel truth! Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).


This is the revelation that I believe Leah had between having her third baby and having her fourth baby. She learned to deny herself. Her desire was to be seen by her husband, to be found beautiful and more importantly to be loved. I don’t think the process of denying self is easy to do. I think it is in fact a daily sacrifice- one that we must always be aware of.


Now, don’t get me wrong, taking time for yourself is not a bad thing. It is my warning however, that you don’t trade something that is a “good thing” in place of a God thing. God never wanted to deprive Leah of feeling loved. He just wanted her to drink from a never ending source of love. Him! When we look for good things in the world to fill us, or to gratify self, they will always run out and dry up. But God has so much more in store for us! He truly knows the desires of our hearts and wants to grant them to us so they never run out!


There is a verse in Psalms that says, “I will offer you the sacrifice of Thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord” (psalms 116:17)

This verse begs the question. If thanksgiving is a sacrifice then is Thanksgiving hard to do? I would say it is easy to offer thanks when someone gives you a gift or pays for your meal or offers to babysit your kids! Yes Please! But what if your life is filled with stress, financial difficulty, health issues, loss of loved ones, persecution or a broken heart? Is it easy to be thankful in these circumstances? The bible again tells us that it is in fact in line with God’s Will, for us to remain thankful even in times of trial. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for ‘you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes 5:18).


  1. A kingdom moving act. Praising God Brings The Kingdom Closer:

I am so thankful that Leah shifted her focus back to God because when she praised God for the blessing that was her fourth baby, she brought the Kingdom closer to earth. Did you know our praise releases the power of the Kingdom that is to come? Leah’s praise over her 4th baby, released amazing power for the Kingdom of God that was to come. She praised God and she named her baby Judah. Leah’s praise literally moved the Kingdom closer to earth, and through her son, Judah, the messiah would come. Because, do you know who Judah is?


Judah is the father of Perez. Perez was the father of Hezeron, the father of Nashan, the father of Salmon. Salmon is the father of Boaz, whose son is Obed, and Obed is the father of Jesse, whose son is David; and through David the Messiah was prophesied to be born. Through Judah the savior was born. Through Leah– through Leah’s praise, the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ was born. And vise versa is true as well. Jesus Christ saved Leah through Judah.


I don’t know what changed Leah’s heart between baby 3 and baby 4. I don’t know  if she had to walk through an immense valley of grief. But what came out of the other end was redemption. She realized that the only place she could find the love she was seeking was in God. So she praised him, for all he had done and was going to do. She stopped focusing on what Jacob thought of her and put her focus on the only One that matters. She didn’t care if Jacob Chose her because God CHOSE Leah for So. Much. More!


I am so thankful that Leah shifted her praise to God. Because she did, I can too! Because she did, You can too! Because God Loves you! It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world stands against you, because God is with you and God is for you.


Through the Wilderness:

Do you want to know what happened to me next? I went through a very dark depressing pregnancy with my 4th baby Emmy. But God brought me through my wilderness. God revealed several truths to me, and I too was able to look at my circumstance with new eyes.


It would have been easy for me to play the victim card or to be selfish and abandon my marriage. But God was calling me to deny myself, and to pick up my cross in order to be his disciple. Daily, literally hourly, I chose to deny myself. I don’t say this to be seen as a martyr. But to show the beauty that can come when we choose to be true disciples of Christ.


You can not follow God without dying to yourself. YOU CAN NOT! If there isn’t a huge transformation that comes when Jesus Christ enters your life, then continue to seek Him more! Because when you are seeking TRUTH, he will confront parts of your heart and mind that are out of alignment with who He is and His will for your life. It is HARD to die to yourself. But it is worth more than EVERYTHING the world has to offer and so much more than all the self gratifying you could do in a lifetime.


The second truth God revealed to me as I continually praised Him was to change my focus to one of thanksgiving. The verse, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8). So I made a list: “it is true that… it is noble that… it is right that…” And I would look at the list every time despair tried to rule my mind. Even in the darkest places there is LIGHT! And it was in my darkest places that Jesus literally became my best friend.


When it came near the end of my pregnancy, my friend Whitney offered to throw me a baby shower. At that shower she declared this verse over myself and my baby. “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old; Behold! I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth.Do you not perceive it. I will make a way through the wilderness.” Isaiah 43:19


There was a very real darkness that I birthed along with the birth of my 4th baby. And it made room for God to do a NEW Thing in my life and marriage.Again, I can not and will not speak on behalf of my husband. But in every way we are looking to the future ahead with great anticipation for the NEW, GOOD THINGS that God is going to do. My mother in law, a very wise woman, explained marriage to me in this way: consider a triangle, where the husband and wife are on the two bottom corners and God is on the top, center point. The husband and wife are, by nature, separated. It is only when BOTH, the husband and the wife, are fully seeking God, that they can come together, and become ONE with Christ! My husband and I are both continually, daily seeking God, and God is making ALL THINGS NEW, in our marriage, in our testimony, turning our insides out so that others may hear our testimony, declare, “DO IT AGAIN, GOD” and take it as their own.


But it’s not really about me. And Judah made a way through the wilderness for many generations to come, by carrying the genealogy of Christ in his blood. But it’s not about Judah either. It’s about Jesus making a way, for us! Even where there seems to be No WAY, God will make a way! He did it for me. I guarantee he will do it for you! No, Scratch that, God PROMISES He will do it for you. You need only to be still!


A New Kind of Beautiful.

And now, well, it’s growing increasingly obvious that I am pregnant with my 5th baby blessing. I would have liked to think my Leah moment too ended with my 4th child; where I was able to stop looking at my husband for the love that I wanted, and instead surrendered to the unconditional love of the father that was always mine for the taking. But then, God gave us another, unplanned pregnancy- this time only 3 months after baby Emmy was born. Again, to be brutally honest, it just didn’t seem right to me. It took another 3 months to come to terms with having another baby and understanding how this was God’s plan for my life. Even though, I trust God, and I have been tried and tested in lessons of selflessness, God is asking me for more! In my rebuttal, “but God! I just want to be beautiful again! I just want to be seen as something other than someone’s mom. I want my body back! I want the time and intimate care to give to my marriage (which NEEDS IT)! I want to watch my kids grow, and I want to grow out of the stage of always having a nursing infant! God! Please! Don’t you want to give me the desires of my heart yet?!”  


And during those months of questioning, God gave me another word. He said, “Lexie, I am going to make you a new kind of beautiful. The kind that the world does not see very often.” It was spoken so clearly to me, not just a fleeting thought, but the words were an answer from the spirit. Just as every woman everywhere, one of my hearts cries is to be beautiful. God told me that He is revealing a new beauty in me. Worldly beauty is a dime a dozen ladies! Or in the words of the Proverbs 31 woman, “Beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” When we focus on a God given desire like ‘revealing our beauty’ from a worldly perspective, we will never be enough. It is another way we trade a God Thing for a Good Thing. Where the world says your beauty is defined by your clothes, hair, makeup and pocket book, God says that your individual beauty will be revealed through Him! Now, I still can not imagine others looking at me and saying, “Wow! Look at that mom with 5 young kids! She has her hands full. But what grace she carries it with! Her selfless service is truly beautiful!” Yes, it’s hard to imagining that THAT is what the world sees when they look at me. But I am convinced it is what God sees!


The Message of “Unplanned”

And now, God has given me a voice. And a scary, message to walk out. But the message God gave me is not about me. It’s not about my family or my husband. I told you at the beginning that the message God gave me was even more scandalous than pre-marital sex and even more scandalous than affairs. The message is about Life. And trusting that ONLY God can give and take away life. Women, We have been told a lie, and too many of us are believing it! Eve. Sarah. Leah. Tamar. Rahab. Ruth. Bathsheba. Mary. They fought against culture, immense persecution, loneliness, injustice and fear to carry forth children. To carry out a destiny and a plan and a hope. They legitimately paved the way for the messiah by standing firmly for Life. Do not let culture tell you that your situation or mistake is too great for God to use. Don’t believe the lie that the unborn life isn’t worth fighting for- Fight! Fight against judgement and persecution for that life!


In 1994, Mother Theresa said, the greatest crime being committed in America is abortion. And that if we can permit mother’s to kill their own children than we have no conviction left to say that any sort of murder is wrong.


One last thing to leave with you. When Jesus was on his way to be crucified, when he was beaten and bleeding, wearing a crown of thorns, a group of women were following behind him wailing. He stopped and spoke to them, and what he said, may be the most important words that Jesus prophesied in scripture. “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘cover Us,’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:28-30.


Does this scripture confuse you as much as it confuses me? And why, while on his way to the Cross, does Jesus stop and say this? Why now? I could give you my own thoughts on this, but instead I ask that you would go home and read this scripture again. Read it in context. Read it over and over. Meditate on it. Let God work it out with you and through you. Wrestle with its meaning and it’s call to action. Because God’s word is True and Ultimate, look not to the world for the answer but pray and ask God for His wisdom.


Because, I don’t think Jesus ever cares about “changing our mind” in regards to political topics. I think he cares about changing our Hearts. He didn’t come to “change the minds” of the Pharisees and the lawmakers, but to inhabit their hearts, and live in communion with them.




My prayer for anyone reading this today, is the daily cry of my heart, these lyrics from Elevation worship declare is perfectly.


“I need you to soften my heart

And break me apart

I need you to open my eyes

To see that You’re shaping my life

All I Am, I surrender.”


Lord, break us open, so that we may receive more of you! You are so real. God you are so good. You desire personal relationship with each one of us. It is not reserved for a few, but available to all who reach out at take it as their own! We need you God! Soften our hearts. Break us apart. Shape us and mold us, to follow your will. Make us new. Make us selfless. Fulfill us in only the way that You can Lord! Amen.


Preparing for Baby #4

I don’t write on here much, so if you haven’t heard, we are expecting our fourth baby, SOON! I am 30 weeks, and anxious to close the chapter of “baby making” forever with this, our “Grand Finale” baby. img_9139

We announced this pregnancy back in September, at Jacson’s First Birthday! Man it seems like just yesterday that he was born…(I think my last post was in fact his at home Birth Story).

Then we learned that this sweet baby will be another GIRL and I shared some more intimate thoughts about the pregnancy on my instagram. god-knew

And her name is Emmy Scott Van Winkle.


Now, as my due date for baby #4 is fast approaching, there is a lot that still needs to be done! I have to admit that my nesting has yet to kick in, and thus everything seems to be piling up and remaining undone. Part of me is letting a bit of panic sneak in, while the majority of me is thinking, “Girl, You’ve got this!”

Anywho, I thought it would be fun, to write this Blog Post by answering some of the questions I have been asked in Regards to this pregnancy and expecting our fourth!

Question 1: (The question I get asked most frequently). What do your kids think about you having another baby? 

Honestly, its really, really normal for them. Like it doesn’t phase them much at all. When we told the girls, who obviously understand much more than Jacson, they were excited and well, not surprised. I think this is due to the fact that we have had so many kids so close together (4 kids in 5 years) and so there hasn’t been a lot of time where I haven’t been pregnant. I do think that the youngest child is the one who feels the most displaced when a new baby arrives, so I fully expect that Jacson will be a little shocked to no longer be my baby. But he will be my only BOY, so the kid’s got a special place in my heart FOREVER! I also wonder if kids in larger families are just more accepting of mom and dad having more kids. My own children have voiced their love of having new babies in the house and are always excitedly reiterating the number of people/boys/girls that we will have in our family. “We have 4 girls and 2 boys in our family! Right mom?!”

Question 2: Where will you put all of them?! In regards to house size/ bedroom sharing/ general space for kids to live and play. 

This question has been at the forefront of my mind a lot, as we have been weighing the pro’s and con’s of moving before or after the baby is born. On the one hand it would be really nice to have more space, another bedroom, and to get settled before this baby arrives. Plus there would be the added bonus of getting to decorate another baby nursery! But buying within the next 2 months would be a big stress and undertaking too close to my due date. (Not to mention that I am having a home birth, so we kinda need a place to live). So, we decided to stay put in our 3 bedroom townhouse for another 6 months. Honestly, 6 months will fly by, and we will be so much more mentally, financially and physically prepared for a big move just a little ways down the road. And our baby girl will still be able to have her beautiful nursery when that time comes! In the meantime, she will be close by mom and dad in a corner of our bedroom, just as each one of our babies have been for the first several months. And I am still making plans on my Baby Must Haves list so that I can start collecting things now and in the months to come. Check out my most favorite things:baby-4-prep

Dockatot Ruffle Bloomers Bunny Bonnet Freshly Picked Moccs Little Nomad Play Mat Pacifier Clip Peony Wall Decals

Question 3: How close together are your kids? Are they twins?…

As I said, we will have had 4 children in a 5 year span. Tylyn Turns 5 a month before my due date! More specifically, here are the age spans between each child.

Tylyn and Hadley are 16 months apart. Hadley and Jacson are 26 months apart. Jacson and Emmy will be 18 months apart.

Is this crazy? Yes! Was this planned. No!

I’ve been pretty vocal over the years that we have not planned a single one of our pregnancies and I honestly believe that each one has been a blessing specifically timed and placed in our lives by God. Would I have liked to plan these pregnancies? Certainly. I MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT WANT TO BE A PREGNANT BRIDE when I was pregnant with Tylyn, our oldest. And I can tell you that I was not much more prepared the second time around when I found out I was pregnant with Hadley either– Tylyn was only 7 months old when I found myself to be pregnant! Seven months! I felt completely overwhelmed by the reality of being pregnant again so soon and at the general idea of having 2 babies! I was much more prepared the third time around and even had half a mind to make it special by surprising my husband on Christmas morning with a positive pregnancy test in his stocking! Compared to the emotional breakdowns I had while taking the previous 2 pregnancy tests, I considered the third time an exciting success! Baby Emmy was quite a surprise as well, and I found out I was pregnant at a time when there was a lot of heartbreak happening in our lives. In fact there still is, but I am constantly reminded of the goodness of God in his faithfulness to our growing family. I am certain that Emmy will be a gift of healing a redemption for our hearts!

Question #4: Are you having another home birth? Are you scared? Anxious? Nervous?

Yes to all of the above. I LOVED my homebirth with Jacson. It. Was. Amazing. I honestly would not have changed a single thing about it. So there was no question in my mind that I would set out to have another home birth with Emmy. Luckily, I have done it before so I know a lot of what to expect. But also, because I have done it before (the “it” being a drug-free, natural birth), there is some anxiety in regards to the pain and general well being of the baby. Emmy looks great and healthy, her ultrasound was good, and all of my checkups have been perfectly normal. But with the more children you have, the odds start to slightly decrease in your favor for everything to continue to go perfect! For example if 1 in 10 babies are born premature, and I have had 3 full term births, as in 3 in 10, then my odds now are.. you do the math… (seriously tho, my mommy brain can’t think this one out. LOL!) I know there is more that plays into these statistics such as previous pregnancies and health history, so I don’t let the fear rule my decision making. All of this I say to answer a couple questions that get thrown my way: “What if ______happens?” “Can you go to the hospital?” etc. In all honesty, my experience with midwives and homebirths in terms of educated choice far outweighs what I experienced using an OB/GYN. I feel far more in control, I feel much more informed and comfortable with all of the options available to me during birth and I feel completely safe in the care of my experienced midwives! And yes, transport to the hospital is available/possible/sometimes necessary.

I love talking about home birth a lot, so if you have more questions about it ask away. I will inevitably be sharing more as I start to prepare for the birth and after Emmy is born.

Question 5: Do you parent differently with each new child? 

Yes and No. With our first baby I had read all the books and different baby philosophies and I strongly believed in the way I set out to parent Tylyn. I strictly adhered to eat/wake/sleep schedule, had a baby sleep trained at 8 weeks old, and continued to be convicted about my child raising techniques throughout her toddlerhood. And as I have done the same things with each child, getting the same positive results with each (sleeping through the night at 8 weeks each, potty trained at a year and a half with each, disciplined each the same…) there has been increased leniency with each baby as well. But I think the leniency is actually a really really good thing. I think that is shows that we are more comfortable in our parenting strategies and we have learned how and when to “pick our battles”. Obviously when you have one kid you can dedicate all your attention on their behavior and development, where with multiple kids you have to divide your attention and focus on what is most important with each child. It is nice because you become more attuned to their specific personality and needs without stressing out about each and every bump and stage along the way. I laugh thinking about how I spent hours researching what to do when Tylyn stated saying “No!” at everything, when she was 18 months. Then, as Hadley inevitably entered the same stage, I had the knowledge of how to handle it without concern. And now with Jacson, it doesn’t even phase me one bit. I even find myself chuckling at Jacson’s toddler tantrums. What once made me feel like a failure as a parent with Tylyn, is now a stage I can smile at and even enjoy with Jacson, knowing that he too will learn to manage his emotions (with discipline and training along the way of course).

Now for me, the thing I think the most about in preparing for Baby #4 is how we will be going from an “average” size family to a “large” size family. I often wonder how on earth we will ever make it out in public and if any onlookers will be gracious and kind to us when we do. I understand that finding a babysitter to watch 4 children will become much more difficult than finding someone to watch 1 or 2 or even 3. And I don’t expect to be taking trips INTO the grocery store ever again. Thank goodness for the Fred Meyer Checklist pickup. I do not plan on having any more babies after Emmy, but I am very happy with accomplishing my goal of having 4 kids by the time I am 30 years old. 4 has always seemed like the golden number of children to have, and although I have disliked pregnancy all 4 times, I am pretty ecstatic that we actually made it this far! My hopes for my children are that they love each other so deeply that they will remain great friends as they grow up and into adulthood. I want them to look back on their childhood with lots of good happy memories and stories of growing up together, so close in age, so close in friendship! And I am fully believing that “families of 4 children or more are the happiest” as this study has suggested!

Love you all and thanks for visiting!



What’s so great about interior design?

I could list a hundred reasons why interior design is important, starting with all the intricate facets, thoughtful details, each giving a glimpse of beauty and relief and joy. But today I am going to focus on one of the most practical aspects of interior design: BUDGET.


One of the biggest obstacles in interior design is budget (or lack there of). Many people think having a well designed space can ONLY come with an expensive price tag. But I’m here to tell you that the exact opposite is true! In fact, if you have a cohesive design plan (as opposed to buying pieces one at a time whenever you feel some extra change burning a hole in your pocket) you will actually spend LESS money and have Much MUCH more to show for it!


My process of design includes the following steps which I will explain in detail.
1. Comprehensive Design Plan and Concept
2. Potential High End cost
3. Color coordination
4. Budget Hunting (over time) and projects
5. Happy, comfortable and justified in saving on some items and then splurging on others.
6. Finished, Beautiful, Cohesive Interior

comprehensive Design Plan:
Lots of people think picking a wall color is all that needs to be considered in designing a room (let’s say a nursery as an example). So, they pick a color, Pink, and before baby comes buy baby items, register for things, and when they get everything together it is ALL Pink! And now baby comes home to an overwhelming amount of pink. And many, many different shades of pink to boot.

Let me emphasize, color is not bad! And pink is not bad either. But “Pink” is not a comprehensive design. “Pink” is simply a color, and color is only 1 aspect of a multi-faceted approach to design.

In creating a design plan, GO BIG! I mean it! Find the best of the best to achieve a desired look no matter what the cost of each item. It does not matter how you attempt to piece things together for your design plan. Draw a scaled floor plan, or if you feel unequipped you can glue and paste magazine pictures into a collage or make a Pinterest board. But the idea is the same, design your room with each desired piece of furniture, each curtain, every shelf, picture frame and pillow case. Don’t just pick wall colors, but decide what wall will be painted and in what color, pattern, mural, etc. in creating a design plan consider all of the following aspects:

-Overall Theme
-Patterns (fabrics for curtains, pillows, bedding, wallpaper, etc)
-Personal Accents
-Flooring (wood, carpet, tile, rugs) use what you have, change it, or add to it.

Potential High End Cost
Now that you have dreamed up your dream space, calculate what the cost would be to achieve it based on the actual items you picked out. And don’t forget to BREATHE when you see the $5000 price tag!
Knowing the high end cost actually helps you find the best places to save money, as well as the things you are comfortable splurging on. This leads straight into the next step.

Budget Hunting and Projects
Now that you have your room designed in your mind and on paper, the fun really begins. One of my favorite things is looking at furniture posts on craigslist and offerUp. Sometimes the exact item you are looking for (say an ikea cubed book shelf) is being sold for half the store price, just down the block! One of my very bet finds was the exact $300 Zgallerie coffee table that I had my eye on, from a consignment shop for only $79!
Similarly, the $299 Land of Nod bedside table you have picked out, will start to look oddly similar to the $69 Target side table you see on you weekly target trip.
And sometimes, you will spot a piece of furniture sitting on the curb with a “Free” sign taped to it, and you think to yourself, “hmmm… A little Kelly green paint and I think I’ve found my $500 Anthropolgie bench!”
Not to mention, there are a plethora of great online discount furniture and design stores to help you save on big ticket items. Home decorators collection and Overstock.com are my favorites! And always check the sale section if your favorite designer stores like West Elm and Zgallerie BEFORE checking the full priced section!
My point is this: when you know what you are TRULY looking for, the pieces that you’re after, you will be shocked how easily they appear to you and with a lesser price tag!
As for the projects. Once you do one DIY, you will be hooked and feeling able to tackle bigger and bigger projects. Upholstering the seat of a dining chair may soon turn into making your own upholstered ottoman.
On a personal note, having a design plan has always helped me justify my purchases to my husband. There have been “a few” occasions where he has said, ” Since WHEN, did you decide you needed (enter item here) 2 floor lamps…?” And I am legitimately able to pull up my design plan and show him that I have actually been on the lookout for floor lamps, and the ones I originally wanted were 3x the cost!!

Saving then Splurging
Once you have started budget hunting and realizing how much money you have saved, you can feel comfortable and confident buying the items for your space that were a part of the original design and that you want to remain a part of the design and even become the focal point of your design. A $1200 couch seems much more affordable when you bought 2 side chairs at consignment instead of $600 a piece. Plus, some big purchases are in fact an investment- when it is something you want to have for a long time, high quality goes a long way.
You may also decide to “mini-splurge” by buying a $40 designer throw pillow that adds the perfect accent! And let’s face it; sometimes the thrifty light fixture just doesn’t measure up to the designer one you want, and it probably never will no matter how much you could potentially save… So splurge!

Finished Space
I have seen a lot of beautiful spaces that were designed on a budget. And I have seen many many spaces designed without a design plan at all. The “no plan” spaces end up discombobulated and spending money on items that go on to be replaced in a year because they never fit right to begin with.
But as sure as I am that the sun will rise in the morning, I am sure that having a design plan WILL save you money, and WILL give you the beautiful space of your dreams.

Putting Plans into Action
I have so many examples of designing and saving money but I’m going to use my daughters’ nursery as an example. As you may remember my design plan from long ago check it out.
And here are the results:











Toddler bed: given to us by a friend $0
Crib: craigslist $100.
Crib sheets: Target $10 each
Tissue garland: hand made $5
Name letters: hand made: $20 to spell Haddy and Tylyn
Antique Dresser: from my mom $0
Ikea shelves in closet $80
Ikea Color block rug $29
Ikea faux sheepskin $9
Duvet cover fabric $10
Pink Target chair $15
Side table: found in apt hallway for free. Inspired by this land of Nod $299 bedside table.

I bought some paint and a basket and have a $20 version of my own!


All of my splurges are really just mini splurges.
Gold polka dots “urban wall” decals $30
Land of Nod throw pillows $40 total
Howdy Cow $40 (it’s decor and a toy!)




Little Girls In their Little World’s

I’m just so excited about a mini design project I have been working on that I MUST share! I loved designing my daughter’s room (actual pictures coming soon) and making a magical and fun space for them, and today I got to do it again! This room design is for a sweet 2 yer old from our church who is always dressed to impress and needs a room as fashion forward as she is! Her mom wanted to use the color scheme of pink and gold with touches of black, and I am All About That!


The room is basically a great canvas and therefore in a perfect place to start!

Here is my fun, pink and gold and glittery space:

I lie animal prints, and even more I love the idea of mixing animal prints!So, I am going to make some black and white prints with Leopard heart-shaped spots to be framed. Then mix in the black and white zebra rug on the pinkish carpet for an awesome accent!
The walls would be painted 6′ tall with a pink/coral color, leaving the top stripe white. It helps make the room feel more intimate and more scaled to a toddler. On the wall with the window I proposed doing some gold polka dot wall decals in a random pattern, floating up and over the top of the window, and the adding a little table and chairs (for tea parties of course) right in front of all the polka dots. Custom canvases are a must, and can be bought from B.Art Studios (my favorite) or made yourself.
Other details in the room include black painted letters spelling out her name, a pennant banner with a cute phrase that repeats the gold polkadot pattern, a gold lamp (something found at goodwill and spray-painted), black and white stripe curtains (sewing project) and painting the existing dresser a darker coral color than the wall.


Apartment Living- Design Edition

It’s been about 4 months of living in our new apartment and I finally feel comfortable showing you some pictures of our living space. As usual everything is always a work in progress, as there is so much more I would like to do! But for now, if feeling the zen in our cool, neutral living space!



As you may have seen in a previous post, I sold my old rug and coffee table to make way for a new, larger and brighter area rug! It fills out the space and is cozy between my toesies! I also made that there ottoman (see previous post for details) and styled it with some metallic finds.



My latest project has been the big empty wall around our little tv table. I have struggled with how to fill out the wall around our itty bitty television, and have made some progress. The floor lamps on either side of the tv table add some much needed height and continuing to draw your eye upward are the hanging metallic plate chargers. I love mixing gold and silver metallics and these chargers were a very cheep solution! Down the road we are planning on getting a larger buffet type console with cabinets for our tv to sit on, but for now, the aqua table suffices. And I did a quick fix to hide the ugly cords running down the wall by placing some canvases back there, that I painted but have yet to determine where to hang.

I also have future plans to swap out my beige chairs for some crisp white ones. To add more white for the time being, I laid white faux sheepskin rugs on the backs. The black and white stripe bow pillows help tie together the other stripes around the room.



As seen before are my black and white striped wing back chairs and dining configuration. I love the stools for my toddlers use! She can easily move them and climb up to eat by herself. My husband has had a hard time accepting the unconventional seating around the table, so we have some extra silver dining chairs that can be pulled up for more seating.




The hallway stripes make such a huge impact and are the only painting I have done in the whole apartment! I love how it draws your eye around the corner to the bathroom (next project on my list) and makes guests wonder what design fun and surprises are back there!

Lots more in store for this living space, but that’s all until the next project’s completion! Keep it GLAMOROUS! 😘


Bye-Bye Instagram, Bye-Bye Facebook



Dear followers (all 3 of you),

Today I declared, No more Instagram or Facebook on my cellphone! Honestly you all know the surface level explanation of “why?” You’ve seen the videos of people missing all of life’s treasures because they are too captivated by their device to be captivated by real life. But may I just point out how ironic it is that those “social media is bad” videos are circulating on the very social media networks that exasperate the problem. I agree with this surface level explanation as to why these networks are distracting us, but it is not the WHY in my decision to delete them. Here is what ultimately lead I my decision.

Time: My time is precious (as I assume yours is too) and I’ve been letting social media literally STEAL a whole stinking lot of it! I’m a stay at home mom, so often it seems like I have a lot of extra time to waste on social media. But in reflection I know there were many ways to have much better used that time.

Exhibit A Time with my kids:
My kids already get the bulk of my time and attention, but what kind of time is it? It’s definitely not undivided time! It certainly isn’t productive time. And usually it’s time I’m distracted by whatever is happening (or not happening) on my cellphone. My kids deserve not just time (quantity), but time QUALITY!

Exhibit B: Time Working I can convince myself til’ the cows come home that I’m “working” when I’m on Instagram, trying to promote my business. But I have to be real honest with you, and honest with myself, social media HAS NOT prospered my little online business. Maybe this means I need to give up my business altogether, or maybe it means that I need to dedicate my work time to MORE PRODUCTIVE ways to grow, publicize and advocate for my business. (Case in point, blogging- but more on that in a bit).

Exhibit C: Time Learning it has been a long time since I have done much for my own mind. As a mommy I often feel like a zombie, and I truly think the feeling has been exasperated because of the amount of mind numbing time I’ve spent on social media. It would be nice to be able to read a book, heck it would be awesome to just keep up with my daily bible readings and devotions, that I claim to run out of time for. Sadly there have been a couple too many times that I’ve intended to opened my “Bible App” and gotten distracted by the magnetic pull of Instagram (which I haven’t checked for a whole 30 minutes!).
I consider myself an intelligent person with ideas, and dreams, and wonderings that deserve the time to be explored and cultivated!

Exhibit D: Dutiful Time
I just love the feeling of a clean house, dinner on the table, laundry folded and put away! Don’t you?! And although I love this feeling, it is rare to complete these tasks all in a days work. Again, there is so much time I DO have to do these things, and in doing them, feel less stressed and anxious about the growing list of “things to do”. It’s time for me to finally check off my daily “To-Do’s” rather than putting them off with another pointless post from a stranger only to satisfy a fleeting whimsy.

Relationships: One of the biggest detriments to social media, as it pertains to my life, is that it has created fake friendships, surface level relationships, and perhaps even alienated people that I DO care to have true friendships with. On facebook, the majority of posts on my news feed are from random people that I barely know, and certainly never see in person. Yet, I find myself way too emotional and involved in what they say online. I can get upset over someone’s view point or I can feel jealousy based on a single picture. When it comes to actual friendships online, I communicate more regularly with those friends in comments and photos then I do in actual conversations or face to face interactions. I DO NOT want hundreds of superficial relationships. But I would be ecstatic with 3 or 4 deep and meaningful ones! I hope that I am still able to see all the sweet pictures and milestones of my friends and their kids and their beautiful lives, I just hope to be able to do it in a more personal way. With pictures adorned on the walls of their home, and with friendships close enough that they think to text me a picture of their life personally. Now that would be something to brighten my day!

My girls

My girls

I will still take selfies with my kids

I will still take selfies with my kids

I love pictures of these girls!

I love pictures of these girls!

My Children and their Childhood Another aspect about this social media age is it’s effect on my children and their generation. I am in a unique generation where I can see the before and the after of this whole technology boom. I grew up with at first a black and white tv which morphed into a color tv and VCR to watch videos on. We didn’t have cable and watched a small amount of tv in general. I learned the computer in elementary school and in middle school we got dial up internet in our home. My parents had cell phones when I was a kid, but I didn’t get one until I was a junior in HS and was given sisters hand-me-down when she went on to college WITHOUT a phone (yeah! Imagine that!). In college text messaging and Facebook entered the world, followed by picture texts, videos, iPhones, apps, twitter, Instagram and MORE! All that to say I can see the cause and effect of the technology on childhood. My 2 year old, who is being raised with no concept of a life before, cabel tv, internet, cell phones, ipads, dvr’s, video games, etc., is able to watch Mickey Mouse whenever her fancy. If we are out at the grocery store and she starts whining because she wants to watch “an episode” on my phone, I of course cave in. Why? Because it’s a whole lot easier to shop while she is entertained on the phone. But what a HUGE determent to my child and MONUMENTAL parenting flaw on my behalf! I loved going to the store with my mom as a kid, running around, trying to slip in all the sugary treats before my mom would notice. It should be an easy way of life to return to, but when you have the world of information in your pocket, and a “babysitter on demand”, literally, it would be foreign to go back.
My childhood was full of Playing outdoors, exploring and creating. My kids deserve that and more!

Creativity: Speaking of creativity. Social media seems to actually limit it. What it does instead, is create inbreeding,  copying, envy, and a spirit of trying to outdo one another. To truly find creativity again, I need to stop trying to be like those that have the appearance of having creative success, and get back to the true creativity in my mind. There is a difference between creating out of inspiration and creating out of desperation. Creating out of inspiration comes from a thought, an adventure, and experience, something personal and unique. Creating out of desperation is what I consider creating from something you have seen someone else create (whether out of their own inspiration or desperation, either way, it doesn’t matter). Basically, this includes following fads, copying things that you “like”, trying to out-do someone else, copying, and just being plain desperate. Lately, I am totally guilty of creating out of desperation. And I am very sure it is driven by instagram and a desperation to somehow measure up to what everyone else is doing, what everyone else finds acceptable, cool, unique, trendy, etc. It’s time for a wake-up call and find my own voice, creating for me and no one else!

Why Is Blogging Okay? Blogging is a source of social media I suppose, but I also find it to be more intellectual, and more worthy of my time. I am creating when I write. I am thinking deeper when I write. I am composing purposefully when I write. I am expressing when I write. I am doing much more than sharing a single picture in hopes to get “likes” and gain followers. Plus there is the fact that I don’t have a network here on my blog, so that helps too 🙂

I will be sharing projects, pictures, ideas, and more on my blog. So if you are missing my old instagram pictures, if you want a glimpse into my life, then you can find me here!

My Hearts Desires: If you know me, you know that I have a bachelors degree in interior design and that  it is where my passion lies. Over the past 9 years practicing and learning the art of design I have been highly creative and felt huge accomplishment in doing so. I have worked for others and worked for myself. But in the past few months my heart for design has taken a major hit. In trying to market my own business, I have never felt so low about my own abilities. I have felt under appreciated and taken advantage of. It is no one’s fault but my own, for letting envy, and social media effect me so deeply. I am not a person to toot my own horn, but I can honestly tell you that I have always found great pride in my design ability. I have always been at the top of my class, highly recognized for my abilities and point of view. In college all of our designs were derived from concepts, and somewhere along the way, the only concept I have been using to design is acceptance. Sadly, searching for acceptance just makes me feel less accepted all the time.

In architectural history, one designer in particular always stuck out to me, Dorothy Draper. Yes, I loved her style, and yes I loved that she was a woman. I also loved her story and how she rose to be an interior designer. But what I loved the absolute most about this woman can be summed up in this, “Real Integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Dorothy Draper

^Greenbrier Resort Interiors by Draper^

I have never identified with a quote so much in my life. No more instagram or facebook to “show off”. I am ready to regain my integrity, knowing that there is no one out there to see me do it!

I may be all alone in the world without social media, but I am hoping that the opposite becomes true. I hope to finally be fulfilled in time, relationships, duties, and my career aspirations! I’m going to look toward my interior design ancestors to make my dreams a reality. Can’t get much simpler than these words by designer Elsie deWolfe. “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.”


Two Years Too Soon


Today is my first baby’s second birthday. Watching your children grow up is very bitter sweet. I foyer year to hold my sweet newborn again and look back on her baby pics with a longing. Yet, I love the little girl she is now just as much and possibly even more.

Tylyn is a ball of energy and she rarely takes a moment to sit still. In fact the first time I’ve ever seen her “relaxed” was yesterday. As it turns out she had a fever and wasn’t feeling too hot. The most worrisome part about it wasn’t the fever but the total change in energy. Luckily today she is back to normal to celebrate her birthday in true Tylyn spirit!

A little about my Munchkin:
Tylyn Elizabeth
-she is potty trained
-she is a great big sister who loves her baby and is good at sharing (most of the time).
-she loves to sing! She knows about 10 songs which he sings over and over an over. Her favorites are, Jesus Loves Me, Happy Birthday, the ABC’s, the B-I-B-L-E and The Lords Army.
– Yes, she knows her ABC’s and can count to 16 perfectly! She even knows how to associate counting with “how many?” She also knows all her shapes even octagons. And her colors are finally learned as well!
-she loves to read
-she is beginning to enjoy drawing on her art easel
-she loves baby dolls
-most of her playing is spent I. The slide, “doing exercise” running, jumping, spinning, galloping, etc.
-she likes watching Elmo on the iPhone.4.
-she loves taking naps but is typically happy even if he goes without on days like Sunday.
-she is very obedient and rarely needs a timeout or disciple. But when she does she understands why her actions were bad and initiates praying before getting out of timeout with a happy heart.
-she acts shy in new settings, but it’s all a ruse. There is nothing shy about this girl once you get to know her.
-she is very athletic and coordinated like her Dad.
-she loves her Dad and squeals in excitement the moment he walks through the door.
I’m sure I’m missing so much more but basically she is perfect! 💖

For her birthday my mom got her this pink chair from Target for $14. It’s not a pottery barn kids chair by any means so I decided I was going to spruce it up by making a flower pillow that I saw at Target. Here is the target pillow which was ridiculously priced over $20.

My steps is recreating the pillow are in photos below: from cutting out felt petals to pinching them together with hot glue!


I decided I would recreate it with some felt and hot glue. Total price ended up being $7 including the white pillow insert.






I think the pillow is just what this $14 chair needed for a little bit of class.

Happy Birthday Baby!