Kid’s Farmhouse Kitchen

Chris’ parents bought the kids an adorable kitchen for Christmas and they are obsessed with it. 

The only problem was it was a little small for three children to play with at once and you know how well toddlers share…

So I knew I wanted to add some kind of extension to it so that they could have more space to play together and cook.

I looked at several stores for a table the right size but couldn’t find one, so during naptime yesterday I decided to just build the dang thing! haha

Chris had shown me how to use his nail gun when we worked on our dining room and I’d used a miter saw once before so even though I’m scared of loud noises and tools that could potentially sever my limbs off, I figured “What could go wrong?!”  

It only took me about an hour to make and while very far from perfect (I told Chris not to look too closely…he’s a judger haha) it works and they love it! I stained the top and painted the legs white to add some cuteness to it of course. 

I found the blue cabinet at an antique store and knew it would be perfect for their kitchen. The green shelf used to be at our coffee bar at the Munro Ave house and I figured it would give them a cute place to hang their mugs. 

It makes me so happy to watch them all play together and use their imaginations. There are still battles with sharing and the cute little cabinet has become a torture devise for tiny fingers in the wrong hands (aka Elliot) but I hope this space becomes a favorite spot in their childhood adventures.

This Thanksgiving I don’t feel like being thankful

We are on the road to South Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with Chris’ family. Our mini van is packed to the brim. This is our first road trip as a family of six, since we welcomed our two year old foster son, B, into our home two weeks ago.

As he was having his fourth meltdown in only the first hour of our trip, I found myself looking out the window trying to tune out his piercing screams.

I don’t feel very thankful.

 I feel tired and drained. And frustrated and like I’m not doing a very good job.

Learning to love a little child who comes with all kinds of hurt and trauma was something I thought would come much more naturally to me. I absolutely love children and I’m extremely empathetic.

But these two short weeks into foster care have opened up the abyss of my selfish heart. In moments where I should be kind and understanding, I find myself clenching my teeth and sighing heavily. In moments where I should be patient, I am not.

I find myself becoming protective of my biological children when I see them struggling with their new brother and not understanding why this complicated little person is acting the way he is.

When your four year old wakes up from his nap, and then after 5 minutes around his foster brother asks to go back into his room, your heart begins to hurt. It’s been hard not to have an “Us vs him” attitude when stuff like that happens.

So in all honesty, I don’t feel thankful. And I don’t really want to try to be thankful.

Now I know that isn’t right. And I need an attitude adjustment. ha So naturally with it being Thanksgiving tomorrow, I decided to search the word “Thanksgiving” on my Bible app and let the Holy Spirit do His thing on my heart. ha

And no surprise, I found some verses that brought on the encouragement AND conviction.

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High; Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.””‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:14-15‬ ‭

I’ve read this verse a million times, but the word that stuck out to me tonight was sacrifice. A sacrifice of thanksgiving. Okay Lord I see You. Sometimes it’s painful to be thankful. Sometimes it takes work and toil to be thankful.

“But I am afflicted and in pain; May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high. I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving. And it will please the LORD better than an ox Or a young bull with horns and hoofs.”‭‭ Psalms‬ ‭69:29-31‬ ‭

When life just flat out sucks and praising and being thankful is the last thing on our minds, when we do it out of a sincere heart…it’s worth more than any other sacrifice. God sees me when it’s painful to praise Him, when its excruciating to be thankful. And when I walk in obedience and do it any way, He sees that too. And it is a pleasing sacrifice to Him.

So as we gather and celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, if you’re afflicted, if you’re weary, if life is downright hard and you would rather just cry, I encourage you. He sees you. You are not alone and I promise you, you will not regret crying out to Him with a heart of thankfulness.

And just remember, I’m right there with you.

PS. Also please know that I realize my “affliction” pales in comparison to the suffering many are going through right now. I just wanted to share where I am at in this moment and hope these verses could encourage those going through the real fire. Always feel free to shoot me a message and I will pray for you.

Our Journey To Foster Care


Back in May, during my quiet time one morning the Lord kept pressing foster care into my heart over and over. This is not the first time this has happened.

When Chris and I first got married we had already started the process to become foster parents but when I became pregnant with Rhett and was crippled by severe nausea and exhaustion, we stopped.

Children who are without love, protection, or a safe place ALWAYS weigh on my heart…especially since having my own. Feeling the movement and kicks in my belly and giving life to a precious human being created a permanent soft spot in my heart. Abortion keeps me awake at night, orphans make me catch my breath and swallow hard.

I am a doer. This is what Jesus commands of us as Christians.

“But prove yourselves doer of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:23, 25

Because abortion weighs on me, I am a counselor at my local crisis pregnancy center to be there for women in their moments of fear. I don’t want to just say “Oh that’s so sad that there are so many children in foster care.” And never actually DO something about it. But at the same time, I have a 4, 3, and 2 year old at home and at that time we lived in 1,490 square foot home. I felt like I had legitimate excuses for not now.

That is, until the Lord told me that day back in May, “Stop making excuses and just do what I ask you to do.” *gulp* Well alrighty then.

So I googled foster care agencies in Columbus and called two of them.

One never returned my call, and the other called me back almost immediately.

Enter Hope Foster care. This faith based agency was brand new to our city. They had been in Macon, GA for awhile and decided to open a branch here in Columbus. I can’t remember the exact timing but I feel like it had only been up and running for a month or two before we called.

We went to an orientation meeting to have all of our questions answered and at the bottom of a sheet of paper they handed us at the end of the meeting it said “If you are ready to move forward and go through our 10 week training, sign here.” Wait….make a decision now? I figured we’d go home and talk in depth about it and analyze everything to death on why this probably wouldn’t work right now, etc etc etc.

I looked at Chris and he looked at me…and we both signed it.

We went through the training, and it was 3 hours once a week for 10 weeks. There were supposed to be three groups going through it, us, another lady, and another couple. But by week three it was just Chris and I.

We absolutely loved our trainer, Alyssa, and we had a blast with her. She brought us snacks and candy each week to help us make it through the training and even tacos several times (I think those were a peace offering for the nights we had to go over sexual abuse and neglect cases haha). We learned soooo much in those weeks. Practical things and some very heart heavy things about what these kids go through.

We were always reminded that if at any point we didn’t feel like this was a good fit, we could walk away, no hard feelings. That helped take the pressure off a ton, because honestly the more we learned the more I felt “I DON’T KNOW IF I’M THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THIS.”

In the middle of our training, we bought our current house and moved and that was SUPER fun for Alyssa to have to do two home studies (still sorry about that girl haha). So our certification took a couple of months longer due to that and due to the fact that I’m forgetful and slow when it comes to paperwork.

But we had prayed that the Lord would bring us a bigger home for a while. We wanted more space for ourselves, but mainly to have guests more often and to have room for foster kids. It was an answer to prayer, just weird timing.

So right before we moved into the new house, we got a huge curve ball thrown at us. My Krav Maga instructor approached me about becoming a business partner with him and another guy. I had wanted to become an instructor for awhile now and I would be in charge of the women’s program and teaching other women to defend themselves really appealed to me.

But there was NO way we could do this and foster.

We spent a week asking the Lord what He would have us do. And He opened doors and gave us peace about buying into the Krav Maga school. So in my mind foster care was something we would do later. Our tentative plans were to try it around February or March on 2019, so not terribly far off, but would give us the time we needed for me to settle into my new role at work. I still had some last minute paperwork to wrap up before we were certified anyways.

Then about two weeks ago I get a call from Alyssa.

“I have some exciting news! Your home is now officially open and in the time I was waiting for you to call me, DFCS has already called with a two year old boy. Talk to Chris and y’all decide if you want more info or if you want to pass on this placement.”

I think my text to Chris went something like this “GKUHIFHWRRGKJEBFTJWHWRKFJWK CALL ME.” haha

We prayed and asked the Lord for direction and honestly I felt a lot of conviction because I think in the stress of me starting this new job, I just made my own decision about the timing of foster care out of logic. And the Lord just made what He wanted to happen happen in HIS timing in HIS way.

We were terrified and said yes, having no clue what we were in for. We had very few details about the little boy who was about to enter our lives for an unknown amount of time.

But when the Lord says “Yes” so do we.

Pumpkin Pickin’

Today we went to The Farm House in Ellerslie to let the kids pick our a few pumpkins. We had so much fun!

Eli was a fan of the pumpkins. He picked out a little one and kept it with him the whole way home. He did keep trying to eat it and saying “Mmmm…yummy!” ha

Rhett was more interested in the chickens and rooster they had there. Of course he was terrified of them, but he kept returning to their coop to be frightened so that’s progress. (Ha)

Chris thought it would be funny to put a massive pumpkin in Rhett’s lap…

And he was right. (Ha) Rhett’s eyes started popping out of his head!

Babygirl was a fan of staring at any and everyone with her stank face, and also trying to eat the grass.

She also saw her brothers go through the hay bale maze and when we let her down to crawl she headed straight for it and made it all the way through!

She’s a feisty one! And also my cute lil punkin. (Ha)

I really wanted some family pictures but as you can tell from the faces of my children…this was a BAD idea. I mean, how dare I? (Haha)

This one was take “pre-meltdown” so I at least have one decent picture…

And here’s a picture of Chris getting way too excited over a tiny pumpkin. (Ha) Love you babe!

After 3 Pregnancies Depleted My Body, Here’s How I Am Healing It

So I want to get on my soap box for a second and talk about my health journey over the past few months and some things that have drastically changed the course of my health. So bear with me here for a little bit…

Back before I was married, I loved working out at the gym. I could work out for several hours and I loved the endorphin high I got from it. I also watched my calories and ate salads here and there to “be healthy.”

My dad would always ask me, “You know, make sure you’re not just working out and eating right to be skinny. Being healthy is what’s most important.”

I would agree with him, but deep down I knew the main reason I was doing all of this was to be skinny and to fit into my jeans. My definition of being healthy was finding a balance between the junk food I ate and the vegetables my mom was always wanting me to eat.

But that was back before I got sick.

For those of you who have followed my blog for awhile, you know the past few years have been pretty eventful. I got married in 2013, had a baby in 2014, 2015, and 2016. And each baby was born a few days apart from each other in the month of April.

I also have a very high risk pregnancy with my second born, Eli, that really put my body through the ringer.

Pregnancy has wiped my body out.

A few months after Rhett was born, I tried to start running to get back in shape and fractured my femur. I literally just ran and my bones cracked. I was on crutches for weeks…which was super difficult when I had a newborn baby to carry around. I had no idea my bones were so depleted and brittle from my pregnancy.

But that wasn’t enough to make me take a good hard look at my health.

With my second child, Eli, I was so high risk that I was constantly monitored and was hospitalized a few times. My life was at risk and so was my son’s. The stress from that pregnancy almost did me in. I stress ate my way to about 30 extra pounds and when he was only 4 months old I found out I was pregnant again.

By the end of my pregnancy with Elliot, I was in so much pain I could barely walk. I was hospitalized and found out my liver was enlarged and I couldn’t stop vomiting or feeling dizzy. My aunt and cousin had to come stay with me because I couldn’t get out of bed to take care of my other two children.

They delivered Elliot 4 1/2 weeks early because I was continually sick and they couldn’t figure out why, and given my history with Eli, went ahead and decided to deliver her for both of our healths sake.

Still, even after all of this, I didn’t realize how sick I was.

It was at the end of last year, when we moved to Columbus, when I was in so much pain that I could barely walk, that I told my husband, “Something isn’t right. I am not okay.”

I started doing research and found the paleo diet. The testimonials were pretty impressive and it helped a lot of people with their joints and inflammation. I was already on the gluten free diet, and had been for years. My mom has celiac, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lupus, and I was fearful that I was headed down that path as well.

The paleo diet helped me a lot (when I consistently stuck to it), and I tried popular natural supplements I heard my friends talk about all the time to see if they would help, and they did for awhile. But after a few months I started having those same symptoms again and my body just ached all of the time.

I got so sick of being sick. I am 27 years old and felt frustrated that my body was giving out on me when all I should be doing is running around with my kids and enjoying life.

So I decided to start taking my health seriously.

I know I wrote here recently about losing weight and wanting to feel good about myself again, and I am super excited to finally be in that place mentally. But for the last few months I have been on a health journey that has nothing to do with my weight or appearance.

I became a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate back in February, and I am passionate about sharing products that can help people. I absolutely love helping people. And the oils are amazing, but man…when I found their supplements…my health turned a page.

Here’s how:

1) Energy.

I am not a coffee drinker. I can’t stand the taste of it. So I have felt like a zombie for the last three years! Waking up all hours of the night to care for my babies left my body exhausted and depleted. I tried pre-workout, but felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest.

Then I tried doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality supplements paired with their Mito2Max. It is caffeine free and there is no high-and-low like normal energy boosters. I have the same energy all day and I can even clean my house at 8:00 at night and not be dead tired. This hasn’t happened since I’ve had kids. AND IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY I WANT TO JUMP AROUND LIKE A CRAZY PERSON. I got so sick and tired of being tired. Can I get an amen from any of you momma’s out there?!

2) Body Ache.

My body ache has gone down significantly (weather changes and when I eat bad food still affect me). I use the Deep Blue supplements as well as the lotion when my joints hurt and within a few minutes the pain is GONE.

I’ve been working out consistently for the first time since babies, so I have A LOT of sore muscles these days and that Deep Blue rub is a lifesaver. It just feels so good to have something I can use that I know will work when my body wants to kill me with pain. (Ha)

3) Sleep.

A lack of sleep is a proven method of torture. And since my precious little people came along, it’s like my body forgot HOW to sleep. I can be dead tired and still lay awake for hours at night because my mind will not turn off.

I am constantly listening for things, wanting to make sure all of the kids are alive and breathing and that no one is breaking into our house. (Don’t judge…it’s a rational fear okay. Ha) And I think because of that, my mind is running 24/7.

So when I found the perfect “concoction” for me, I nearly died from happiness. I diffuse Lavender and Vetiver oils at night, rub frankincense on my feet and forehead, and take 2 Serenity capsules at night and WHAM. Momma goes to sleep.

Not everyone needs all of those things to sleep…but like I described earlier…I am a messed up case. (Ha)

Since I have been sleeping better, I can tell a huge improvement in my patience, in my mood, and in my outlook on things in general. Because let’s be honest, a lack of sleep can make ya a teeny bit crazy.

4) Confidence

I know this may seem like a weird one, but knowing that I am making my health a priority and seeing it actually work has done a lot for me. I feel like a priority to myself and that’s something that almost got lost in the craziness of motherhood.

I also like having control of mine and my family’s healthcare. When my kids start to come down with a cold, I know what to do. I diffuse OnGuard and rub it on their feet. When my husband has a headache or allergies, I rub frankincense, lavender, and peppermint on his forehead and give him Triease soft gels and both symptoms are gone within a few minutes.

It feels good to be able to help the ones I love with products that are safe and effective.

And due to the business, I am also bringing in income for my family and paying for my products by simply sharing these amazing oils with my friends. And this is coming from a person who has tried and miserably failed at “selling” stuff! For real. I am the worlds worst.

But these products “sell” themselves, because they work. And as cheesy as it sounds, they change lives.

Mine included.

I had no idea the impact these doTERRA products were going to have on my health when I bought my first kit in February. I thought I just wanted high quality oils that would make my house smell good.

But I have found so much more…a community of people passionate about helping others get well and maintaining that wellness.

So when you see me sharing about these amazing products on Facebook or Instagram, I hope you don’t roll your eyes and think I’m just another person trying to make money off of you.

Because nothing could be further from the truth. I share because they have helped me in such a great way…and I want others to experience that same healing in their bodies.


So I share all of this to say, if the Courtney I described at the beginning of this post is you…you CAN get better.

And I promise you this is not me trying to dupe you into purchasing some product from me. I could care less about that.

I just want to give you hope that you can make your health a priority and see positive results with these products. You don’t have to keep living with the pain, lack of energy, depression, anxiety, or whatever the case may be.

If you want to talk more about it, comment, message or email me. I am all ears and I want what is best for you.