Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Ignorant Parent- Ironman

The Ignorant Parent posts are a series that some friends and I thought would be fun to write from our different perspectives on various topics. Our goal is to encourage you when you need to be lifted up, to show you hope in every situation, to let you know that you are never alone and to glorify God with the stories that He has written for our lives. For more background on who we are and how we know each other, check out our bio page.

Today I asked Elizabeth to write from her heart about her journey to race in the Ironman. She finished her first one in Lake Tahoe last summer. On Sunday, she will race again. This time in Boulder, Colorado, alongside her husband, Travis.

Her words are beautiful and heartfelt. Sport is such a great analogy for life. I think God likes to use it much like He does with the parables- teaching us in easy, tangible ways that will impact us and give us a greater knowledge and deeper wisdom of who He is.


My Weakness: Where Christ will Shine

I started to use triathlons to boost my confidence and gain some health benefits along the way. That's always been the main drive. The first time, I had just had a baby and needed it physically and mentally. When I signed up for Ironman, I had some health issues that had turned my mind into a black hole of anxiety and brokenness. I needed to take my focus off the hard days of life, to think about something other than healing myself everyday and doing all I could just to feel well.

I am here to win. This life. For my God I desire to the depth of my soul to see others be passionate about the life God has planned for them every day, every detail. To feel how the tiniest steps of obedience in loving others and Christ affects ALL of us. I pray ridiculously that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ask or hope. Not sure why, but I want to go FAST. I want to believe this body is capable. In fact, I am not even average. I am bottom five nearly always. But every once in a while, something happens, and I get a tiny taste of speed and power. It's exhilarating! And even if it's an entire year before I experience it again, I keep trying, pushing, believing God will eventually bring a new level out of me. I know His greatness is in there in all things. I pray and work so hard to be faster, to be more than last place, bottom of the pack. I TRY SO HARD. I use this body the way God made it, but truly the only thing I can do is show up and start the training. Not one of us is built the same. We are all unique. I am crushed and exhilarated all at the same time when my speed is the same as always, but I just did something I shouldn't have been able to finish.

Elizabeth crossing the finish line in Lake Tahoe in 2013.

I have seen the same tiny glimpses of His majesty and power in my life spiritually. The same carrot keeps me seeking Him regularly because when you grab hold of it, you don't want to let it go. Usually reading, writing or meditating on scripture, if I take down my wall and have a little faith that He is using it, He tells me something about where I am in life. To grow in love with Him, to read that He delights in me and believes I am worth the sacrifice to allow a relationship into my life, that is the reason I am alive....Well that takes purpose. It takes discipline. It's never easy to find the time. And if I let go of the noise of the world and pay attention, God shows me how He is a part of it all. Just look for it, it's the tiniest thing that sings to you and seems insignificant to others.

Every swim stroke, pedal stroke, and foot step I am offering to God. I know I am not capable to do this without Him. I feel weak and incapable of finishing any workout, but I believe He wants me to. I overcome my insecurities, my doubts. I say NO to giving in when He has more. And always (what has taken me years to understand and believe) God smiles. He rejoices. Because this is how He has chosen to show me I am worthy. To think I am amazing enough to be loved, whether I am fast or not. It doesn't matter. For yet while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Not because we were lucky enough to make it to the podium, or finally go out with the fast group. He loves us as we are, where we are. Nothing we do will change that.

I don't feel like I chose this for my life. In fact, I would say it was the least likely thing for this girl to pursue. I was not ever an athlete. I could not swim without holding my nose (it was a one-armed breast stroke). But I could visualize the peace and rhythm of myself swimming. I would walk when we were suppose to run at school. I still walk into gyms, look around and feel weak. I see others and think God made them stronger and that this fitness/health life and family is easier for them. I watch other moms serve, entertain, organize, craft, and think it's easier for them. I read books and blogs and think they are so smart. I feel this way, but what I believe is that I matter somehow, too. Just like a simple prayer, Bible verse, kind act from a friend or smile from a stranger matters. God is using those simple acts to show you His love. To say you are His BEST. He worked generations upon generations to make you for this time and place. No other parents could have brought you to this world. His plan for you and all the generations it took to create you was laid into play long ago.

I have learned to be open to those divine moments when God is leading my hand. He is always directing us when we desire to go His way and nothing will keep it from happening. "What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against (Romans 8:31)?" Turn off the noise and watch for God daily. I don't always listen though. But I know God is for us, so even my own stubbornness or misunderstanding can not be against.

So what I have just come to realize is that I have always felt like God was going to do something "big" in His name with me. Mainly because I want to see His power displayed on earth and have a reason to believe more than with blind faith and little glimpses. The big's already in the works. It starts when you say "yes" to doing the thing you think you cannot do. And then live by faith, for Him to complete it. A tiny step, turns into something big. I am reading Rhinestone Jesus, and I got caught up in how big her story and work for the kingdom is. And then it hit me: none of it would have happened if she hadn't started her blog, writing. With no real way to see how God was going to use that simple thing and turn it into a HUGE thing. When I signed up for my first Ironman, my son, in the middle of a melt down, said, "Mom, I am so glad you did the right thing. On your phone just now, you did the right thing." Praise God for that with me.

We all need to know when we step out in faith, do the right thing and follow the path you're on, it's the right one. It's yours. You are the only one who can be on it. Don't feel bad for sticking to it or believing in it. You're already shining, beaming with a win. We all win together.

Elizabeth wants her Ironman to have an impact on others beyond her immediate reach. Please consider joining us in donating to the A21 Campaign. Your donation will help bring healing and justice to a young girl who has been forced into sex trafficking. She can have hope because your gift will help give her a voice. Your donation is important in the fight for freedom and will help sustain every day care (food, clothing, shelter) and legal obligations such as court fees, medical tests and expense for representation.

Follow this link to make an online donation today

Monday, July 28, 2014

9 Lessons Learned On Our Road Trip

On the way from Texas to Iowa, we had it all planned out. We had tons of brand new games and ideas to keep us busy. (See our Road Trip Game Plan.) We stopped three quarters of the way, woke up and played at a water park inside a hotel. We just had a short cruise the second day and were at Grandma's in time for dinner. It was actually easy, laid back, fun and seemed to go by pretty fast.

They thought the duct tape binoculars were a load of fun!

They didn't totally get the whole I Spy Bingo thing,
but they thoroughly enjoyed coloring with the dry erase markers then
erasing everything.

The magnet boards and toys were a HUGE hit.
They played with these, trading toys, for about an hour and a half.

We found a hotel online right along our route with a fun indoor water park.
That was a great morning activity following a full day in the car.

 They are toddlers, so yes, there were toddler moments,
but for the most part, they were like this and enjoying themselves.
They both told us they had fun on the trip. I call that a win.

The way home was a very different experience. We had three sick kids and were up at 4:30am soothing the baby the morning of departure. After several nights of little to no sleep, we were already running on fumes but committed to getting all the way home in one day just to be back in a controlled environment and on a routine as soon as possible for the kids... and us big kids, too. So this is how the trip home looked (notice there are no pictures):

1,100 miles
22 hours awake
17 hours of driving
8 pit stops
6 dollars in tolls
5 states crossed
3 tanks of gas
2 near poop debacles
1 navigation mishap 
Made. It. Home.

Since we experienced the full gamut, I think I can safely say we learned a few things along the way.

  1. Plan Ahead

    It was SO much easier on the way to Iowa because we had a game plan and an itinerary. We budgeted in time for pit stops to run around, stretch our legs, use the restroom and feed the baby. It was a pretty clear cut itinerary, but there was plenty of room for flexibility if we needed to veer off course for any reason. On the way home, we were just fighting to make it while our brains were still currently functioning. We were trying to hustle and move along the pit stops, but as every parent knows, that will give you the complete opposite result with small children. So bottom line, plan an itinerary for your trip, BOTH ways.
  2. Pack Healthy Food

    We brought a cooler stocked with water, tons of fruit and two meals. Plus we had a bag of dried fruit and other snacks. Both ways we ate breakfast on the road and either lunch or dinner, stopping for the other. This cut down on cost, saves trip time, and gives the kids another activity to keep them busy in the car. We all tried to load up on water throughout the drive (and a little caffeine for the drivers), which helps you feel better when you arrive. You don't want to load up with fun surprises of super sugary snacks and juices. You are just setting yourself up for failure to sugar load your kid who is trapped in a 1x1 square foot seat with no walls to bounce off of. Meltdowns will most certainly ensue.
  3. Surprises

    A few fun surprises will go a long way to keep kids from getting bored and realize they are locked into their seat and cannot escape for long periods of time. I prepared quite a few that I showed you in our road trip game plan. But several of them we didn't even get to on the way there, so we had some left for the trip home. Plus, at our first pit stop on the return trip, we let them pick out a new book and they were SO excited. We read for most of the first part of the day.
  4. Boredom

    I am here to take away any guilt of thinking you have to entertain your kids the entire trip. Let them be bored for a while. We left early in the morning, waking the kids up to go. They ate breakfast and proceeded to zone out for nearly two hours. They weren't complaining and seemed to enjoy just resting to the hum of the car, so we let them just be. A few times they would stop what they were doing and just stare out the window. Then suddenly excited dialogue would break out over something they saw or something they were thinking about. It's fun to see where their minds go.
  5. Technology

    It seems like technology is our best friend and worst enemy these days. It offers education, entertainment, distraction, busyness and sometimes a longed for silence. Like most things though, technology is great only in moderation. The days we have a little extra tv or screen time at home, I notice my kids are whinier, begging for more and harder to satisfy with other things. On days we have less, they are much more content, creative, and generally get along better. We did watch some movies in the car, but we had a limit to two a day. Actually, Zoe slept through nearly all of them. The girls seemed to have the most fun singing, reading new books, coloring and playing with little toys. At the end of the trip, both girls said they had a lot of fun, so I know we made great memories. In fact, Zoe keeps asking if we can "all go bye-bye in car" again.
  6. Potty Breaks

    It is good to plan in potty breaks, however, be warned: DO NOT ignore a potty break request because you are making good time, even if they "just went." This WILL backfire and possibly require an immediate cleaning of one or more children, clothes and car seats. We had thrown a little potty in the car for emergencies, in case we were in the middle of nowhere and a #2 struck. Thankfully, we did not need to use it. But we had two close calls on the way home- one from our potty trained toddler who amazingly held it to an exit like a pro and another from the baby who became randomly fussy after a fresh change and feed. Fortunately my mommy sniffer came to the rescue and a blowout was very narrowly avoided.
  7. Fill Er Up

    Every time you stop, fill up with gas, even if you're at a half tank. There are stretches of road in this great country that don't have gas stations for hundreds of miles. And kids are distracting. You may not notice until it's too late. And then on a hot summer's day, with a car full of kids, no gas station in sight, no cell signal... well, I'm so glad we didn't have to live that nightmare.
  8. Expectations

    Set realistic expectations. Kids are not perfect and cooperative all the time on a good day, at home, in their environment. So they are almost guaranteed not to be in the confines of a seat for 17 hours. Roll with it, be flexible, prepare yourself with extra mercy.
  9. Grace

    When you are weary, exhausted and emotionally compromised, remember your kids will be even more so. Take a deep breath, exhale, offer grace. You got this.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Zadok Attack

Our little man is now on the attack. Grandma was his first victim. Watch out, you could be next!

Zadok Attack from Laura Hulseman on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

5 Videos That Will Unleash Your Inner Superhero

Today my family was so gracious to take the kiddos and dump me at a coffee shop so I could have some alone time, breathe and maybe write one of the ten blog posts I've started but haven't had a chance to finish between road trips and sick kids.

So what productive thing am I doing with this valuable time away? I got totally sucked in to watching videos. I just wanted to sit still, sip my coffee (with caffeine I might add!) and waste a little time... because I could. This girl here doesn't have cable and most hours I'm elbow deep in snot, playing pretend, putting someone down for a nap, calming down a crier, or making and cleaning up a meal.

What started as just watching my friends Facebook posts of fun videos while sipping my exquisite non-fat latte, quickly led me to looking up all kinds of amazing feats of craziness. You may have heard me mention it before, but I have a not-so-secret ambition to one day be a superhero.

My cape wearing days didn't start at the usual toddler age. I might have been a little closer to 30. I mean, I already enjoy leaping from tall buildings in a single bound, plunging to the water faster than a speeding bullet and kids have often pointed up at me in the sky and said, "It's a bird, it's a plane... it's Laura diving!" Okay, well, maybe not quite, but platform diving can give one aspirations of becoming a superhero. So as my kids have begun to don masks and capes, I get the itch to join them. After all...

As I'm watching these videos this morning, I started getting sucked into these amazing feats of strength, adrenaline and pure craziness and well... that superhero inside desperately wants me to get back in shape so I can try this stuff! Going from one to three kids in 13 months was all the working out I could handle. But now we're starting to be able to breathe again and I think these videos may provide me some motivation to get back into the swing of things.  Enjoy and unleash your inner superhero friends. Although, most of this you shouldn't try at home... unless you're these guys.

5. Because these guys are insanely strong.

4. Kacy Catanzaro- American Ninja Warrior... indeed.

3. Damien Walters- free runner, stuntman, gymnast. This guy is amazing.

2. I started sweating watching this.

1. Because this stuff is just plain crazy

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Igorant Parent- A Prayer For You

The Ignorant Parent posts are a new series that some friends and I thought would be fun to write from our different perspectives on various topics. Our goal is to encourage you when you need to be lifted up, to show you hope in every situation, to let you know that you are never alone and to glorify God with the stories that He has written for our lives. For more background on who we are and how we know each other, check out our bio page.

Today we wrote prayers for the insecure, the longing, the anxious, and the weary souls out there. We wrote a prayer for ourselves because these are the things we are struggling through right now. And we pray that if you are struggling, too, that you might be encouraged and that these prayers will become your prayers.


If you are struggling with insecurity...

God thank you for your delight in my everyday life. Thank you for loving me as I am and guiding me as I grow in glorifying you, and understanding your ways for me. I pray and am seeking you to grow my confidence and trust in myself and you. God,  your promise says the same power that raised Christ from the dead is alive in me. The same spirit is alive in my spouse, friends, and strangers. God I pray to have that confidence. To believe I am special, with purpose. That the good and the difficult in my life is being worked out for YOUR good. Father fill me with your good, overload my spirit with confidence so that I don't compare my path and gifts to others. Allow me to rejoice with their victories and give praise to you, for the plans you have for us as individuals and collective souls. Let me be so in awe of what you're doing through me and others that our spirits begin to soar. And the generations affected. Close my mind to insecurities. Close my mind to things that are not of you, grow my love for myself and others through a clear understanding of your love and delight in me.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:8 HCSB)

In Jesus' name, Amen.


Father God, this prayer is for the woman whose heart is longing for more, whose desire is to do more, whose dream is to see more of you, magnified and glorified through her life. This prayer is for me, and (I pray) it might be for the one reading it too.

I want to live the extraordinary. I have big dreams, big hopes, big ideas, but the seemingly small is my reality. The ordinary is what I live.

And yet, all throughout your Word, you remind me that the ordinary is extraordinary. The least is the greatest in your kingdom.

When I want to travel to the ends of the earth, thank you for reminding me "...that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in [Christ's] name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem," the city of closest proximity to the disciples (Luke 24:47).

When I want to leave my corporate career and become a missionary, thank you for reminding me "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men... rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man" (Colossians 3:23 and Ephesians 6:7).

When I want to serve families here, there, and everywhere, thank you for reminding me how important serving my own family is, because "... if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith..." (1 Timothy 5:8).

When I want to spend my days making disciples of all nations, thank you for reminding me of the little disciples you have entrusted to me each day right here. "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

And when I want to do more for you, thank you for reminding me you have done it all for me. It is a gift. It is not something I can earn. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works..." (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Father, I don't think you've said no to my dreams, hopes, and ideas; you have said, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). You've said obey, trust, love.

I ask for your wisdom, a deeper knowledge of you, and your will in my life. Help me to obey, help me to trust, help me to love.

Thank you for reminding me: the big and extraordinary can be found in the small and ordinary.

Thank you for your great, extraordinary love for me! Thank you for reminding me always, it is enough.

In Jesus' name, amen!


Dear anxiety-filled-terror-stricken-brand-spanking-new Mom,

This prayer is for you. And me.

Father God,

You are the Father of all creation. You can count every hair on my head (Matthew 10:29-31), you know my name, you made my heart and you created within me a soul to know You (Jeremiah 1:5). Today I come to you in honest fright. You entrusted me with a gift beyond words, a great blessing the size of Texas. You gave me a daughter, precious and new. And I am terrified.

Father, you have written the roles of women throughout the books of the Bible. It is natural to care for children, raise them up in your Spirit with your Word written on their tiny hearts. You have directed us in how to teach our children. It’s all there in the lessons of your parables and the words of your own Son, Jesus. So then, why do I feel so inept? Why am I so scared?

My life has wholly changed, forever. You have shown me the depths of your love in one itty-bitty life. And it’s knocked me clean off my feet. I wonder what my life will be like in a year, two, even ten. I would like to ask for your holy guidance in how to live a life pleasing to you that will teach my daughter your grace and love.

Father God, I also want to ask that you help me take one day at a time. And when I wake, I have a heart like David, a man after yours (1 Samuel 13:14). Show me how to love like Christ, so that I can be an example to my child and she can be salt and light in this world (Matthew 5:13-16).

Lord, I have been talking with you for a while now; talking about changing my life to mirror your desire for me. For too long, I have tried to fit you into my life instead of fitting my life to you. I need to stop talking and start doing. I have been scared to give up the old in exchange for the freedom of the new. You have said you will provide, and I know you will. And you have shown me the story of Jonah and what could happen if I deny your will for my life. I will follow your path. Just help me take the first step.

Father, there are many just like me that don’t know what tomorrow will bring with this new life. Help us to rely on you alone and not our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Help us to trust in what you can make of our lives when we get out of the way.

I pray this prayer to you in your Son’s precious name, Jesus Christ. Amen.


For the weary soul who longs for rest...

God I'm tired, I'm burned out, I'm useless. My weariness has run my patience dry, grace rarely exists for others and I can no longer define mercy. I get angry at the drop of a hat, I say “no” more often than I laugh, and I get easily frustrated when things don't go as I want or expect them.

Teach me to be thankful in times of frustration. Teach me to find joy in my kids' chaos. Teach me to have grace in times of trouble. Teach me to have mercy on others regardless of my circumstance. Teach me to enjoy dropping the reigns of control so I can find excitement in trusting you with reckless abandon. Stretch me to love in words and actions beyond what I am capable. Stretch me out of my comfort zone so I might grow mightily out of my safety zone and into a role that will glorify You. Stretch me and mold me out of my life plan and into your kingdom plan.

God, I no longer want to try and squish you into my plans and dreams and give you lip service. I want more. I want to abandon my plans and live for Yours. Your plans are far greater than any I could ever dream up. And your rewards are far greater than any this world can offer.

But God I pray for these things, then as I open my eyes, I see my reality before me and immediately the fatigue of everyday hits me like a brick wall. Suddenly the hope of change seems to disappear in an instant.

Lord, I'm starting to see that it is in the fumes of exhaustion, in my brokenness, in my complete and total end of myself that I can begin to truly rely and depend on you. In that moment, it becomes obvious I need to trust you because I cannot dig my way out on my own.

God, help me to find contentment in these tired moments. When I can be content and trust you in the trenches, I know I can trust you in any situation.

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:11-13

Lord, when I can find contentment in any situation and trust you with the details, I know I will begin to find true rest... in you.

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:29-30

Thank you Lord, for the hope, fulfillment and peace you offer that surpasses all understanding.

In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Road Trip Game Plan

Today is the day! We've been counting down the days until we leave for our big (17 hour) road trip to Grandma's house!

I grew up going on road trips, and I think they're a lot of fun, a grand adventure. When I suggested it to Eriek, he looked at me like I was certifiably insane. He kept reminding me that we have three children (3, 2, and 5 months). Therefore it must be deemed impossible, or just plain nuts, to attempt such a certain catastrophe.

After analyzing every possible way to get to Grandma's house, the road trip was the most feasible, so we committed to it. Eriek immediately turned white and may still in a mild state of shock and fear. Although it seems to have settled into a comfortable state of denial. He may have to get treated for PTSD after we get home.

However, I am a most positive and determined individual, well, perhaps stubborn is a more accurate description. So I poured every spare minute into hunting down ideas to keep our toddlers entertained without melting their brains to mush via 17 hours of movies (which Eriek may or may not have suggested we do).

Armed with Pinterest, I gathered items and made several fun things to occupy the girls and hopefully make the trip fun and memorable. I'll let you know once we get to Grandma's how it REALLY all plays out, but until then, I'll give you a snippet of some of the things we have come up with.

Countdown Calendar

We mentioned about a month ago to the girls that we were driving to Grandma's house. After that, every time we got in the car, Zoe asked if we were driving to Grandma's house and would get upset when we said "No." So, We decided to make a simple little calendar that the girls could help cross off each day as we got closer. It helped A TON, and it seems to have gotten them even more excited. You'll notice we didn't bother with dates. But the girls can count a bit, so we just put how many days were left. Although we're now leaving a day earlier, but they didn't mind at all.

 How Much Farther?

I LOVE this idea! It's a visual to help the girls understand how much farther we have to go until we reach Grandma's house. It's supposed to help keep the dreaded "Are we there yet?" hounding to a minimum, but even if that doesn't work, it seems to be a fun teaching tool.

I made our minivan complete with family inside ready to travel! I printed up a picture for each segment of the trip, and as we see the pictures or get to that point on the journey, we'll move the minivan past that picture. Everything is hanging by a paperclip so they can be easily moved, however we already discovered that our minivan went crashing into landmarks, so I re-secured everything with clothes pins.

 We're ready! At least our pictures are happy even if our attitudes might not be.
 Each main segment of the trip is represented.
Our target- Grandma & Papa Dave's house!

Trip Map

I found this great free printable of the states over at I Heart Organizing. They can color in the states or just follow along the route I drew in.

I Spy

Of course we had to include I Spy for the girls! It's like a road trip right of passage. I found these great free printables at Prepared Not Scared. And I saw the adorable DIY binoculars at DIY Home Sweet Home. The girls picked out the duct tape and I went to town with a couple of toilet paper rolls.

Dry Erase Markers

It seems so simple, but it's brilliant. I'm not even sure where I read the idea, but thank you to whoever suggested it! I found these little dry erase markers with erasers on the top at the dollar store, and they work great on sheet protectors. So the girls can cross off things they see on their I Spy games or color on the states or just doodle, erase and redo. Love it.

Magnetic Travel Trays

So another simple, yet brilliant idea is the magnetic travel tray. You take a cheap cookie sheet and it you can use magnetic toys on it so they don't fall every two seconds in the car, plus it doubles as a lap tray for coloring, eating, playing, etc and things won't roll off  because of the edges. I found a simple was to make it pretty and fun over at My Kind of Makeover. I found all the toys at the dollar store and slapped magnet strips on the bottom.

Lacing Cards

I think this is a great idea for little ones learning fine motor skills. Activity Village had awesome free printables of all kinds of animals. I let the girls pick which ones they wanted.

Neck Pillows

I have no idea if these will work well in the car, but they were adorable. My girls love elephants, so at the very least, they will play with them. And I had to get Zadok a matching pair of straps.

Glow Things

While He was Napping had some great ideas. Unfortunately I ran out of time to make the play dough balloons and pom pom stuffers, but I scooped up some glow bracelets and necklaces from the dollar store for driving at night. They love flashlights and all things glow, so this is sure to be a hit! I just hope it doesn't backfire and keep them up longer.

So there you have it, the highlights of our game plan. The Little Man has some knew toys I'll break out on the trip, too. And yes, we did some fun new movies for the girls: Mary Poppins, Horton Hears a Who, and Ice Age Melt Down. Plus their favorites just in case.

Don't worry, I will definitely post about the trip if we survive to Iowa. If you'd like to follow along with our real-time shenanigans, though, follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

And all prayers are greatly appreciated... especially for Eriek! Ha!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Like A Girl

I am a girl. And I was just like the young girls in this video who didn't yet understand the insult. I was the girl who won pull up contests against the boys in elementary school. I was also the girl who was told numerous times that she wasn't good enough, that she was too tall or too old or too... whatever.

At first they made me doubt. Then they made me angry. Eventually they became fuel to my fire.

I run like a girl. I jump like a girl. I lift weights like a girl. I dive off three story buildings like a girl. And I win Olympic gold medals like a girl.

I now have two little girls that I want to raise to see the beauty in being all that a girl can be in whatever path she chooses. In our house, we're rewriting the rules.

Thank you Always for making this video to rewrite what it means to be "Like A Girl."