Sometimes I Dream…

….About living a life different than mine. A world where…

There are no emails to return

My husband makes lots of money 

I don’t have to work

My only job is making sure the kids have fun all day, eat healthy foods, and have play dates with friends

My house looks like a feature in Veranda magazine

I have a house keeper….

And a book keeper

And my grocery budget is unlimited

I never gain weight…

Or breakout

I am beautiful {and skinny}, without trying

I wear exclusively Jcrew, even the couture line

Nobody ever gets upset with me

My kids behave…

ALL THE TIME

I have a beautiful, well manicured garden….

With a gardener

My car is a BMW X5 in white with tan interior

{or, ok, a Toyota Sequoia in the same colors. ha}

Sometimes, I admit, I dream about living a life other than mine.

But then I remember….

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. For his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in this law does he meditate both day and night. And he shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water, which brings forth fruit in its season.” Psalm 1

“..it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

“ So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:31-34

“Now may the God of peace…  equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.” Hebrews 13:20-21

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord…” Psalm 37:23

I am not here by accident. This life I live is not just “what I chose”. Because I didn’t choose my life lightly. I prayed, and fasted, and asked God to make sure that my steps were ordered.

The grass is always greener on the other side. ‘Cause when we get over there, we realize how good we had it and want to come back. Never fails.

I think it’s good to dream. But there is a difference between dreaming and being dissatisfied. Joseph dreamed, but he still thanked God for where he was. Sometimes life just takes you to some places you are surprised to see in your story line. But they always lead to good. ALWAYS. At least I think so. Because without my story line, I wouldn’t have everything I have…my faith, my family, my beautiful life.

So to you, who are like me, and dream….keep on keeping on. Don’t give up on the life that God gave you NOW. Because you really only live once, you might as well live enjoying what you have.

Love you friends.

**********

PS…. Exclusive Mrs Darcy for Evy’s Tree listed NOW, as well as Evy’s Tree Uniform hoodies.

PPS…TobyMac’s album came out today. My kids were squealing with excitement this morning when Brandon put it on while they were getting dressed for school. I guess that makes us TobyMac groupies. :)

PPPS… My toes are still nasty. ugh

PPPPS {yes, I realize this is getting ridiculous} Look what I found at Marshalls! I can’t wait to show you what I do with it!

PPPPPS {sorry one more}: Am I the only person who’s washer and dryer get so dirty on top? Seriously, mine get filthy SO FAST! ugh.

Jake’s First Soccer Game and The Church That Prays Together….

….works together

{Ok, sorry, I know that’s a super long title, but a lot went on today and I’m just way too tired to create two posts. ha}

Do you have a home church community? If so, you know what I mean when I say there is NOTHING like having a church family. You and your brothers and sisters in Christ share such a bond, there are no words to really explain it. All I know, is when you hear one of your own needs a little help…well, you will have EVERYONE there in a jiffy.

Proof:

Last week we had 50 yards of mulch delivered to our home…. FIFTY YARDS. In case you don’t know what that might look like, it’s about three piles the size of my Volvo SUV. Right. Huge. There was no way we could have spread all that mulch, just me and Brandon. So Brandon sent a couple texts out asking for help. We, of course, would provide the food, could they bring the man power and some tools? This morning we had SEVEN men on our doorstep. Seven people giving up their Saturday with their families to help us.

That we were beyond touched is an understatement.

They shoveled, pushed, emptied and spread their way through nearly one entire pile of mulch and finished our whole backyard. No easy feat.

They also pulled weeds before they spread the mulch and managed to somehow get out two giant suckers which had grown into full size trees. AMAZING.

Jake and Evy had the time of their lives. Jake seemed to think he was the foreman on the job and kept trying to direct traffic, shout orders {“hey I need two more guys with wheelbarrows over here!”} and to give him a little credit, he did manage to shovel enough mulch into at least two full wheelbarrows. :) The dirt they accumulated on themselves and their clothes literally left the bathtub with a lining full of black soot. Awesome!

Look at that sock! YIKES!!

The yard looks unbelievable. We have needed to add mulch to our yard to help keep out weeds and keep the sprinkler system safe since we moved here, but it was a big job to tackle and have just now found the time {thanks Babe for taking all this time off!!!}. We still have not finished the rest of the front yard, so if anyone else wants to join us tomorrow and the rest of this week, let us know! We will feed you!

Thank you to the Promise Center men who showed up! We love you guys so much!!!

A note about these men: Most of the people from The Promise Center are first generation Christians. Meaning many of them have never attended church, read a Bible or said a prayer in their entire life. Many of the people in our church have been set free from drug and alcohol addictions, abusive relationships and destructive pasts. These are TRUE new believers! There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, so beautiful as seeing a life redeemed by Christ. Today, as I heard many of these men’s testimonies {again}, I was so proud to be surrounded by so many disciples of Christ who are eager to reach those who really, truly are in need of the gospel, not just attend church every Sunday because it’s what you are “supposed” to do. Isn’t that what Christianity is really all about? LOVE it. 

And this morning was Jake’s first soccer game!! Evy and I went with him and we were so proud of him…he made one of the two goals!!!! YAY Jake!!

Jake is number 4. :)

My little stud muffin after the game. I love this kiddo!!

Happy Saturday to you all!! xoxo

Food Friday: Let’s Talk Lunch

So I haven’t done a Food Friday in FOREVER, mainly because I haven’t really been cooking much this summer outside of the normal thanks to my crazy work days. But now we are back to school and I’ve got one full time kinder boy on my hands, which means I need to pack his lunch full of nutritious food to keep him happy and healthy during the day. Not to mention focused. That’s a big one. :)

So I’m curious…what do you pack in your kiddos lunches? 

Oh and I have this lunch box for Jake. We ADORE it. We use this ice packs in it and the lunch stays cool until pickup time. :)

My State Of The Union Address

So, not that anyone’s noticed {since the traffic on this blog has been sooo slllooowwww}, but I have been so MIA since the whole Save Evy’s Tree Campaign. I wish I knew beforehand what writing that blog post about the future of Evy’s Tree would actually do to MY future. I really had no idea how my life was going to change. I felt like someone took me and stuffed me in my front load washer on “heavy duty” cycle….leaving me spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning….

We FINALLY sent out all the remaining orders from the campaign last week. I need to say this slowly since I can barely comprehend it myself…

We produced, packaged, shipped out a total of nearly NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY HOODIES {950}. During a span of almost 6ish weeks.

WHHHHHAAAAATTT????

To some of you bigger online shops, this might not be a big deal as this is probably well below what you normally do, but for my little team…yikes! We were ready for it, but really, it wore us out. Completely. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not complaining… AT ALL. We are so, so very thankful for the sales and especially feel so, so beyond honored you would see fit to support us like you all did. Especially during the summer months AND during a massive heat wave! You guys are amazing!! 

But with that said, we still had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. When I left for our St. Louis trip, I still had roughly 20 or 30 items to ship out. We called them the “stragglers”, for some strange reason they just got the privilege of being the last ones shipped out {you know who you are…..THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING SO PATIENT!}….but let me tell you about those stragglers….out of 950 items packaged and shipped out, we only had a handful of mistakes {maybe 5?}. With the last 20, I have no idea what happened to us, but nearly half of those items where shipped out wrong or incorrect. UGH. Thank you so much to those of you who received a “mistake” for being so gracious and kind about it and allow us to properly fix it {you know who you are :)}. We honestly feel so blessed to have such kind customers like you all.

Anyway, the night before we left for St. Louis, I was about to have a nervous breakdown. There it is the real truth, how does that make you all feel?? ha. When Brandon’s luggage got delayed at SFO {if you follow me on FB, you’d know that this puppy never gets checked but Brandon did so 24 hours before we were supposed to repack it to get to St. Louis…all for me. yikes. He was given some Canadian Syrup while speaking there and wanted to bring it home to me. Sweet, yes?}….

I laid on the couch and cried. And cried. And cried. All the very long nights of staying up crunching numbers, shipping items, returning emails, blogging, PRAYING and PRAYING for God’s will finally caught up with me. My husband just stood by in awe. I seriously lost it. It was a sight to behold, that’s for sure. ha. I think I finally came to the realization that I needed a break, so into hiding I went…and haven’t really popped my head out since. So sorry about that.

Summer Preorder Sale came and went

School started {HERE and HERE}

We are remodeling our bathroom

and cleaning up our yard…fixing the fencing, planting long overdue plants that have been sitting around in the pots, mulching….

And I am numb. Ever been there? Where you don’t have any feelings at all? Just keep on keeping on? Well, that’s me. :) I really try to stick to the whole, “Don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all” motto. So there you go. The real reason why you haven’t heard from me. This blog was never supposed to be a whine fest, and sometimes I am scared it turns out that way, so silence is my best option. :)

But no worries, all is really ok. I just needed a breather. A time to reflect. I have gotten many emails regarding manufactured goods and you guys are so sweet. I really appreciate your support and excitement! YES manufacturing is still on the horizon. I was given this advice by several friends who have manufactured items: BE PATIENT. And boy is that good advice. Nearly everyone says establishing a relationship with a manufacturer is a long and tedious process and I just need to buckle up and ride with it all, and that is what we are doing. I don’t want to promise ANY dates…but I will tell you our original ETA for our manufactured goods was the end of November and it looks like we might be pretty close to that still…give or take a week or two. I promise though, whenever they do arrive you will be able to use the 50% off coupon you got from the Save Evy’s Tree campaign, so hang onto it! ;) 

Oh, and yes, all those suggestions you made on instagram regarding colors? They were heard! Believe me! ;) Some beautiful colors coming your way ! :)

And to answer the main question that keeps coming up: I will have only FOUR styles of hoodies with our first round of manufactured items. There will be limited quantities in every size, so make sure if you want one you participate in the preorder when we do it. And yes, the Simple is one of them. :)

Have you all gone back to school yet? It’s still pretty warm here during the day, but the mornings are FREEZING {as is the M.O. for living near the coast}, so my kiddos have been bundling up. In fact today it is STILL overcast and it is almost noon as I type this. Many of you still have hot weather, but no doubt are having fantasies of fall and cooler weather, yes?? hehe…ANYWAY…on Monday I am going to open up the shop for Back to School items only…which means our uniform line. All the kids uniform items and adult simples and laceys will be available for preorder for you little ones and your teens. Make sure to stock up!

I will also have our very first featured designer that I talked to you all about a couple months ago!! YAY!! Remember this brooch?

We got so many emails about it when the pictures came out…THE Mrs Darcy will be debuting her exclusive Mrs Darcy for Evy’s Tree line on Monday along with our back to school line. Her items will be available for a limited time only through our shop.

Did you order something through the final summer preorder sale? THANK YOU!! Please remember that they will take 4-5 weeks to ship out. The first round of orders are being shipped this weekend and the beginning of next week. THANK YOU for your patience!

So with all that shop talk out of the way, I need your help. First, I just want to tell you all that I need a manicure and pedicure….BADLY. Like I left the polish on too long from the last pedicure and all my nails turned yellow badly. But we can’t afford one until next month since I had to go school shopping {thanks Crewcuts, I hope you use our money wisely} and buy all the stuff for our bathroom remodel {EXCITED}. Sooo, if I see any of you in person, please try to ignore my nasty toes and fingers. I would paint them myself except I’m HORRIBLE at it and it would look just as bad, so smile when you see me and don’t look down, ok?

And now that you are all grossed out after seeing my feet {and my very badly needing to be mopped floor, ha}….. is anyone reading this blog part of the whole gluten free diet thing??? Soo, a little story here: When I pregnant with Jake my arm would go numb at night. No biggie. The Dr assured me it was common while pregnant. WELL….it never went away. At the time it was just once and a while, but over the last year and a half EVERY MORNING that I wake up my right arm is numb. Now my tip of thumb is almost always numb, even during the day. I have always attributed it to carpel tunnel. Finally, about three weeks ago, I got a horrible kink in my neck and after two weeks of enduring it, I went to the chiropractor/neurologist. He took some X-rays and it turns out that I may not have carpel tunnel after all, but a food allergy!!! WHAT?!? No! NO! NOOOO! I love food! I can’t stand restricted diets!! He is having me tested for dairy and gluten.

So help me here. WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO EAT?!?! I am so afraid I am going to blow up like a marshmallow because I’m one that if I can’t eat that bread pudding I want, then I most definitely going to eat everything else in sight to make up for it. HELP!

And that completes my state of union address. May God bless America…. and Evy’s Tree. :)

xoxo

Evelyn Starts Pre-K

On Monday Jake started Kinder, on Tuesday Evy started PreK. What a week!

OH MY WORD. I love this girl. She has the sweetest spirit ever, mixed up with a strong determination. I promise, she will rule the world someday {while Jake entertains it. ha}.

Our school offers a PreK for 3 year olds so we enrolled Evy for two mornings a week. She was SO EXCITED. I’m not kidding. She stayed up super late {like 10:30!} with excitement. She kept coming out of her room saying, “I go to school now?”. It was so sweet {if not a bit frustrating that she wouldn’t sleep, ugh}. She was up at 6:45 ready to go!

Standing by the cubby in her classroom…

With Mumsy

and with me

Dear God I love her. There are no words to describe her cuteness. I know I’m biased, but she is most definitely the most adorable little girl on the planet. :)

My babies before school, Jake’s second day and Evy’s first day. She was so excited to be going with her brother to school. Him…well, he didn’t care all that much. ha. He kept giving me those super cheesy fake smiles. :)

We are so blessed to have made many friends last year thanks to several of Jake’s buddies from school have siblings Evy’s age. This is precious Addy. Her sister was in Jake’s class last year. We adore this little girl, she is honestly the sweetest thing ever! Unfortunately she wasn’t too sure about PreK just yet! :)

And with her teacher Mrs. P.

We are so, so blessed to have such an amazing preschool program at our school. It is Christ centered with a high standard for learning. The preschool director is AMAZING. She taught Jake to read last year while he was in Pre-K/4. Evy already came home telling us exactly what she learned: the letter A and the color red. When I looked at her take home sheet, sure enough, that’s what they covered! Awesome! Exactly what this teacher/mommy wanted to hear!

I love you Evelyn. You are so precious to me. You are such a beautiful little girl who I know God has great plans for. Thank you for being in my life. I am honored that God would allow me to be your mother. Go get ‘em in preschool…I know you are going to do great!!

xoxo

Oh PS…just because I think she looks so darn cute:

Leggings, shirt, cardigan: CrewCuts

Jean skirt: Peek

Shoes: Sparkle Toms

Backpack and lunchpail: Pottery Barn Kids

*** A word about the PBK lunch pail…AMAZING!! Why did I not buy these sooner?? Seriously, they fit food perfectly without being squashed and have the insulation plus the pocket for an ice pack. So worth the money I spent on them!!

Jacob Starts Kindergarten!

Whelp, I’m a mother of a kindergartener!

My little man started kinder yesterday and I’m not the least bit sad about it! ha! I know this is crazy, but he has been SO BIG his whole life: talking full sentences by the time he was two, always a year or so ahead in in his clothes,…. I mean the kid has always seemed bigger than he is. I just feel like kinder is where he needs to be, so I’m so happy he’s there.

I have been so busy {and slightly stressed out} all summer long, that I haven’t focused on school at all. Jake was reading when he left PreK, but I have no idea if he still can {yikes, bad parenting right there} and I hadn’t had his foot measured all summer, so I had no idea if was needing new shoes or not. I know those are two very crazy things to worry about, but I promise you, they were putting me in a panic! So last week I tried to focus on his reading {he’s doing good!} and got him some new clothes {since he is no longer a size 1, but a size 2 …that would be TWO if you thought I said that wrong. Dear Lord}. On Sunday night I was up all night making sure we had everything we needed for his first big day. We were *slightly* veered off course on Sunday eve when we still did not have any water due to Brandon having to shut it off for our bathroom remodel {if you follow me on instagram, you know what I’m talking about}, so I had to run up to my parents to bathe the kids, but thankfully we were able to get to bed on a decent time.

After the kids got to bed, I worked on our back to school teacher gift. I couldn’t figure out what to give the teacher {thank you for all our WONDERFUL suggestions on instagram}, and finally thought about the things I cherished the most while teaching. I realized the thing I loved to get was new books for my classroom library. Not just any books, but nice pictures books with lovely stories. So Jake and I decided to go to the bookstore on Sunday and pick out a new book for his teacher. We picked this one:

Jake LOVED this story and it has a great message too. On the inside we did something special, we printed out a little note to the teacher on label paper and attached it to the front of the book, along with Jake’s picture.

It looks like this:

It was a hit!! And I think Mrs. Fletcher will have it in her library to years to come. :)

When we arrived at school on Monday, Jake was so excited to reunited with his friends he made in PreK. We met some wonderful people and so sad that not all of them continued on at the same school, but happy that we get to enjoy some of our new friends from last year this year.

Brandon and Jake

Me and Jake

Mumsy and Jake

And I was so excited to see a friend of my own. :) My dear friend Heidi!!

You might remember her daughter Emma Love who has been one of Jake’s buddies since he was a baby. Well, Emma has a late birthday so Heidi and her husband decided to hold her back a year to give her a little extra push in school. So now Jake and Emma are school buddies!!

So tonight as I was typing up this blog, I thought I would browse through some old pictures and look what I have found! Proof that these two have been friends since they were babies. ha. They will hate me for this some day!

At Emma’s first birthday

Two years old

Three years old

Four years old

Are they not hysterical? Seriously, they are too funny! They really are friends, it’s so cute to watch, they just seem to get each other.

So here’s a funny story for the books {that they will hate! ha}

Yesterday when we dropped off Jake we also dropped off a ziploc bag with an extra change of clothes. I’m sure we’re not the only school who does this, right? Anyway, I always put the clothes that either he has outgrown, or doesn’t wear as often in the bag. This particular outfit was a shirt that fit decently, but the sweats I put in the bag were UGLY and high waters. So awesome. But to defend myself, Jake never used his spare clothes once last year, so I didn’t really think he’d need it {especially on the first day}. WELL…. apparently Jake didn’t think he needed to use the restroom all day, and at the last afternoon recess, had an accident, so had to change. Emma Love saw that he had changed and decided she needed to do it too, so she went into the bathroom, got her spare outfit out and put it on, replacing it with the outfit she wore to school.

I’m telling you those two are two peas in a pod. When we picked them up after school, this is what we saw….the only two students out of the whole class with their extra outfit on. So awesome right? ha. With their teacher, Mrs. Fletcher.

Oh boy.

So did your kiddos start school this week?? Evy started today, will try to blog about that tomorrow. Big hugs to all you back to school moms! xoxo

Our St. Louis Adventure

We are back from St. Louis and adjusting to normal life once again. Boy, that’s tough! I think there should be a “vacation” after your vacation, don’t you think? :) While we were in St. Louis, we stayed on California time, which meant we stayed up really late and slept in really late. It was awesome. ha.

Brandon was in St. Louis for the Commune-ity meeting. He was honored to be apart of the speaking staff. Brandon’s cousins Brandy and Brooke, and their parents Uncle Abel and Auntie Judy all live in St. Louis, and since our kids love their kids, we thought it would be a great summer vacation to go see them. And it was! There is NOTHING like family. We stayed up late laughing and talking, catching up, eating and just enjoying our time together.  It was so nice. It was also great to spend time with some great friends who were also in town for the Commune-ity meeting, and meeting some new friends as well. The kids loved being apart of it.

This post is picture overload, and if you follow me on Instagram {evystree for those of you who don’t, and I have to say, if you ever want to find me, Instagram is the place. I love that app!!} you have seen most of these, so sorry about that. I almost didn’t do a blog post, but this blog is a record of my life for my kids and I really don’t want them to forget this trip. :)

 On the Airporter bus that takes us to San Francisco Airport {SFO}. Nobody around here drives to the airport, its too much trouble and expensive to park. So we take a bus that takes about 1 1/2 to get there. Here we are bright and early in the AM. 7 Am, to be exact. :)

Arriving at the airport! St. Louis bound. And yes, we only had three carry no’s. Remember, my husband doesn’t ever check luggage? Well, we didn’t with kids either. They shared one suitcase. Crazy I know. But it is possible. :)

The kids suitcase. Someday I might do a tutorial on how to fit clothes for two kids in one carry on for seven days of vacation. I promise, its very easy. :)

How we ferry the kids through the airport. Here we are in LAX.

Once we got on the plane, the kids were sooo excited, except for Jake, who was nervous and kept saying {VERY LOUDLY} the plane was “going to go down”. Awesome, right. But once we took off, he LOVED it and couldn’t get enough of it. So glad. :)

Evy and Brandon. So sweet. 

My baby boy had so much fun playing on the iPad the whole time.

The kids were SO EXCITED to see their cousins once we landed. Evy with Katelynn. 

Jake and Katelynn introducing their stuffed animals to each other. :)

Evy with the twins, Jaxson and Caden

Thursday and Friday were spent at the commune-ity where Brandon spoke on Friday morning. The kids were so good, waiting patiently through an entire day of church seminars and services. So proud of them. Evy, keeping herself occupied.

Jake with Bunch and Breeze, comedians extraordinaire! 

Brandon speaking on Friday morning

Brandon and our good friend Nate Bignon goofing off with some of the props stashed around the sanctuary.

On Saturday we were supposed to go the St. Louis zoo, BUT……

Right, too hot. HORRIBLY HOT. So we went to the science center across the street. We had a blast. The kids ran around like crazy. We spent the majority of the time in the Dinosaur area. Brandon with his Aunt and Uncle. So happy to see them!
Jake and his cousins. 

Maddie and Evy digging.

On Monday, we spent our last day together hanging out. We love Jason’s deli, so we headed there for lunch for our last meal together as a family. We adore this Miraflor family, and will miss them terribly. Can’t wait until next time we are all together!

Cousins eating ice cream

Daddy stealing ice cream!

Saying goodbye is ALWAYS hard. Brandy took us to the airport on Tuesday. 

And a couple of randoms one ala Jake style {he stole my phone, ha}…… the deer that Johnny shot and stuffed {scary right, ha}

And Uncle Abel…..

AND….if you made it to the end of this post you deserve a medal. ha. A huge thank you to the Larson and the Miraflors in St. Louis. We loved being there!!! xoxo