Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Drought. Again.

It's been a long time since I've logged on and written.  Tis the season of life, I assume.

Let's see since I last visited...

I ran a marathon, had an incredible girls week in Florida, spent a lovely week in South Haven, watched Michael's sister Kelsey marry Aaron in Wisconsin, traveled to Kansas City for the 4th of July, spent a glorious week in Texas, and hiked two mountains. Phew.  It's been busy.

None of that mentions the hard work Michael has done on our house: new flooring, built in lockers, new closet under the stairs, and lots of great ideas for the kitchen!

I'm also working on the inside.  The inside of me.  Embracing new emotions and feeling and processes...trying hard to strive for holiness.  To love my Jesus with everything in me.  I don't even know what that looks like or what it means most days.  But it does sound nice.  Something to work towards.

At some point I'll share more.  Fun pictures. Memorable moments.  More depth. But for now, at least I'm back!! :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

LuLaRoe Love = Lula Addict

Fashion + Mandy = Nonexistence…

However, that has greatly changed in the last 15 months!  Last fall I was invited to my first ever LuLaRoe Pop-up Boutique.  Oh man, is this the way to shop!!!  

First of all, to shop in the comfort of a friend's home is so enticing.  Normal lighting (not bright dressing room fluorescent), drink in hand, and a table full of snacks…oh, and a bunch of friends telling you "yay" or "nay"…

After that party, I was hooked.  Hook, line, and sinker.  Let me tell you why…

It's cute.  I now wear LuLaRoe pretty much every day.  And every day {unless I don't leave the house} someone compliments my outfit.  Now until I started wearing LuLaRoe, I was rarely complimented on my attire.  Those of you who know me know that I'm more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal…which I still love, but that combination does not bring in the compliments.

It's comfortable.  I will choose comfort over cute any day.  Every day.  With LuLaRoe, you get both.  The leggings are made of the softest material.  Pure bliss.  Oh, and all waistbands are elastic. :)

It's a fun way to shop.  I hate shopping.  Hate. Hate. Hate.  Ask my mom, she can tell you how miserable of a shopper I am.  However, I love to shop LuLaRoe.  I think what makes it so great is the encouragement from others.  Being in a room full of women and encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and try on something I wouldn't usually even look at.  The safety there.  

LuLaRoe is a confidence builder.  It is a wardrobe expander.  It is a step out and try something new, something different kind of clothing.  It is an addiction.  It is a Lula Love!








Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Marathon

Once upon a time I ran four 1/2 marathons. After the fourth I said I would never ever run another. Well, I'm sticking to my word...for now. I'm not running a 1/2. I'm running a full. A full fledge marathon. 26.2 miles. 

This past October, a friend approached me about running one "with" her. I thought she was crazy. I'm pretty sure I told her she was crazy. I still think she's crazy. She just convinced me to join her crazy. She persuaded me with the promise of a beach house. No kids. Friends. Away. 

It didn't take me long to commit. And convince a few other friends. And register. And buy a plane ticket. And find a training plan realistic for my life and goal.

Goal.  I have one goal. To cross the finish line. :)

So in April, I'm flying to Florida to run the Kill Cliff Marathon in Destin.  And I'm actually excited. Mostly about the beach house and the four friends I get to spend quality time with there. But I am excited to conquer a feat I never dreamed I would even attempt.


Wouldn't you run 26.2 miles for this?



So here goes! Wish me luck!!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Skiing Family

A few years back we went skiing with friends.  It was marvelous.  We had a little, cozy cabin with our two families.  We learned to ski. We played games.  We talked.  We shared meals.  We just had fun.  And that trip ignited something in our family…we wanted to be a skiing family.

Fast forward to this year.  For the first time ever, all four kids received a free ski pass…it was offered to all school age kids from Kindergarten to 5th grade…and all four of our kiddos fall into that range for this year only.  We jumped on it.  And Michael and I bought passes to match.

Our first adventure was to Breckenridge.  It was a disaster.  We assumed the kids would remember all they learned from the first ski trip…but they did not.  At all.  Noah flew down the mountain with zero control.  He ended up falling into the safety fence at the bottom.  Drew had zero confidence.  And also had zero control.  He quit after the second run.  Isaac and Lindley were a mess.  A mess.  I was frustrated. Michael was frustrated…but held his cool much better than me.  Isaac and Lindley received a free pity lesson from the amazing staff at Breckenridge.  I don't know if it was really to teach them, or to take them off our hands so we could cool down. :)  Whichever, I'm extremely grateful.  That trip was pretty much a disaster, but it taught us we ALL needed more ski school.

Our second adventure was to Cooper.  We all had lessons:  the kids were there all day; we were there half day.  It was perfect.  Small mountain, great powder, awesome instructors, no crowds.  We all learned.  We all learned great technique, form, and control.  It was amazing. 

Which brings us to our third adventure.  Keystone.  Best trip yet.  The kids were so excited to get to the mountain.  So were we.  And then to watch them go!  So much fun.  We started on the bunny hill, just to refresh.  Then we hit the greens.  Isaac got the award for most improved.  Noah had amazing speed and control…no falling into fences.  Drew is gaining great confidence and has amazing form.  And sweet Lindley.  When she isn't checking on fallen snowboarders, she is just skiing her little heart out down the mountain.  

{Let the adventure begin…}

{We got helmets!!!}


{Isn't Keystone breathtaking?!}

{Family Selfie…}

I no longer have to help fallen kids up.  I no longer fear the chair lift…for my kids or myself.  I no longer have to give pep talks to build confidence to get down the mountain…for kids or myself.  

We are a skiing family.  And it is so much fun!  We can't wait to go again in a few weeks!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

8. Eight. 8. !!!!

Isaac. My sweet, cuddly, laughing Isaac. He turned eight today. Eight. How is that possible?! And I'm pretty sure he takes on his Dad's birthday philosophy. He LOVES his birthday. And he loved today!!!

He wanted biscuits and gravy for breakfast. So of course that's what he ate. He doesn't even like the gravy. But today he did! ...on the side...


We were supposed to be in the mountains skiing today. That is what he wanted. But unfortunately our reliable car is in the shop and we had no safe way to get to the mountains.  Soon though! Instead we let him open gifts, play with said gifts, choose dinner...and we had a great day!

Each of the boys have received a Swiss Army knife for their 8th birthday from Emmy and Granddaddy. Isaac is thrilled to have his own!


And Grandma always spoils him with so much! 


His gift from us was an Osmo. Which is an amazing tool that uses the iPad to engage with words, numbers, drawing, and thinking!  The whole system warrants a blog post of its own. But one part allows players to create masterpieces...


More on the Osmo another day...

He chose to eat dinner at Crave Burger. It's a place here that serves all sorts of crazy burgers. My boys love this place! Isaac had the Luther...instead of a bun, the burger is smushed between two doughnuts! He loved it!!!



While we're talking about Crave, check out what Michael and Drew shared!!





...basically their version of "chicken and waffles" as a burger. Apparently it was delicious!!

At one point during dinner I had Michael take this picture...


...then Isaac specifically asked for this picture...


This is my Isaac. So sweet. So affectionate. So loving. I know he won't always want adorable pictures with me nose-to-nose. But tonight he did. And this will forever be one of my absolute favorites.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. I love who you are and that you are mine. I'm grateful for the gift of YOU. You are a joy and a treasure. I look so forward to your year as an eight year old! I know that this will be a great year! I love you!





Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflecting 2015

What a year!  So much greatness happened.  So many memories I will cherish forever.  So many events, conversations, situations, and circumstances that have changed who I am.  But to be honest, I'm happy to say goodbye to 2015.  I'm ready to put it behind me and start new.

I'm excited about the new year.  New goals.  New promises.  New adventures.

I have a feeling this year will be the best yet for us.  For Michael.  For Mandy.  For the two of us together and the two of us separate.  We have dealt with so much the last few years.  And much of that has left me a bit raw…raw in a sense that I've learned way more about me and how I love him and others.  About how I can love better.  About how I will love better.  And on the flip side, about how I will receive love better from him and others.  Love is a two-sided coin…giving and receiving.  And both are vital in any relationship.

For 2016, I'm so looking forward to "us"…to falling truly, madly, deeply in love because we have a Savior who is truly, madly, deeply in love with us.


Oh my heart.  These kids.  They have challenged me and taught me so much this past year.  Challenged me in a sense that as they get older, I receive glimpses of the future and how parenting will drastically change.  I pray fervently over their hearts…that the Lord will protect them and grow them and teach them more and more and more about Himself each day, and in each moment.  I honestly feel that it has taken me 38 years to know the Lord for who He is and how He loves me and how to truly let my heart only desire His.  I don't want it to take that long for these four.

For 2016, I will continue to pray fervently for these treasures and continue to show them my love for Christ and hope it transcends to their love for Him.


As individuals, I have very different prayers for each of my sweet ones.  
But can I take a moment to reflect how I see each one today?

My oldest.  My Drew.  I'd love to say he has matured this year…but truth is, he's always been mature, disciplined, obedient, responsible.  What I have seen? Amazing growth in his confidence.  He knows that he is a leader.  He knows that he is smart.  He knows that he is good-looking.  He knows that he is well-liked by his peers, teachers, other adults, everyone.  He knows all of this…yet he has a humble heart and uses his gifts to encourage others.  

For 2016, I look forward to this one understanding more fully who he is 
because of Christ's love for him.


My second born.  My Noah.  I once told a friend of mine, "I don't know if you and I will still be in touch in 20 years, but no matter what, find me and ask me what Noah is doing.  He will be doing something BIG."  I can't explain my Noah.  Maybe as "set apart"…he has always had the neatest outlook on life.  The biggest heart.  The most encouraging soul I know.  Like his older brother, he is brilliant.  And kind.  And obedient.  But he doesn't know this.  Honestly, he doesn't care.  He cares that others are happy and included and honest and truthful and considerate and taken care of.  That's his heart...100% for others.

For 2016, I can't wait to see the insight this boy discovers about who he is and how God has gifted him so uniquely.


My third born.  My Isaac.  He has changed the most, I believe.  He has taken off with his reading.  He loves math.  He loves FOOTBALL.  Finally.  He loves to play it and watch it and he gets in to games with the rest of us crazy football people.  He loves school.  He is my cuddly one.  My snuggle buddy.  Isaac is a kid that adults always comment on…"He's so cute!" … "He's so polite." … "He says the funniest things." … "He is such a little charmer."  And yes, all are true.  He will be the first to grab the door and hold it open for a string of people.  Even in the snow.  He has matured this year.  And I'm so excited to watch him continue to learn and grow and mature. 

For 2016, I'm anxious to see this boy discover how much God loves him-- loves his heart, and his laughter, and his way of just being my Isaac.


And the final Fernihough.  The princess.  My Lindley.  She is still sweet and sassy.  She still adores her brothers.  The brothers…as she refers to them.  She still has the power to get what she wants…but it might be harder now, take a little more persuasion on her part.  As she grows older, I realize how hard it is for her to be the only girl with three brothers.  But I tell her daily that it is a special position.  And as she gets older, it will just get better.  She learned to whistle (not always a pleasant talent) and ride a bike this year!  She has grown and matured.  She still has her special way of putting outfits together.  Oh, she learned to brush her hair and put it in a ponytail this year too!  She is a doll.  I still look at her at times and wonder how in the world did I ever end up with a girl!?  So glad I did…but man, what a learning curve.

For 2016, I'm praying for this princess to know she truly is a princess…a daughter of the King.


As 2016 quickly approaches, I'm excited for a clean slate.  I read somewhere that tomorrow is the first of 365 empty pages of a new book…so make it a good one.  As my book is written, I'm excited to share it here.  Looking so forward to a great year!  Wishing you and and yours the same!

Oh, and here are a few of my favorite photos from our fall shoot with our amazing friend and photographer, Kristi! :)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Night

Perfect night. 

Used my new pot for an amazing dinner...


Try it. You will thank me.  


Monday Night Football...Broncos vs. Bengals. Great game. In overtime...


All while Chess is being played...


And this boy, who loves football, is doing a great job multi-tasking...football, chess games, and his new book...



This is 100% my kind of night. Perfect.