Friday Five v. 2

In case you've forgotten what Friday Five is...

There are times I just really want to share things with you when I happen onto funny or inspiring Instagram posts...or yummy looking recipes on Pinterest...or a super cute pair of shoes I found online. You know, the fun stuff you text your best friend about.

So I do a post from time to time called Friday Five...which is five things I've come across that week that I loved or wanted to share!

Here are this week's Five!


I'm in the middle of reading this book and it is so stinkin' cute!! If you need a sweet read, this is totally for you!

Here's a review from Amazon:

Charlotte Malone, the owner of a successful bridal shop in Birmingham, Alabama, believes the "right" dress finds its bride, not the other way around. But Charlotte can't find a dress for her own upcoming wedding. When she discovers a beautiful hundred-year-old wedding gown in a battered trunk with a welded lock, she’s compelled to uncover the mystery of the dress and the three women who wore it. Eleni Pappageorge's light, airy voice fits this lovely story of faith, mystery, and magic. Her Southern accents are convincing, and one can hear a smile in her tone. Although her portrayals of the story’s elderly female characters are sometimes a bit “gushy,” they simply add to the charm.


An interior designer friend is helping me with a fun office redo. The words I gave her are: Playful, Clean, White (with pops of color), Creative, Full of Story

Want to see my pinboard for it?! I can't wait to start painting!


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I just sent the final FINAL draft of my book in to my editor in yesterday!! It's currently at the printer! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!

And shhhhh...Presales have officially opened on Amazon. But we're not really announcing that yet because we're going to do a bunch of fun gifts for those that DO preorder and we haven't announced those yet. Stay tuned!


Some super sweet friends gave me a gift last night during the planning meeting for our Women's Conference and I'm just over-the-moon about it. They had gone in on it together to remind me that even though Abreham is no longer living with us, he's still ours...and we're still his. That family is forever. Isn't it amazing and thoughtful?

And doesn't it SERIOUSLY look like all of us?! Even the outfits and hair are either things each of us wears in real-life or we would wear!

Want your own? (of course you do) Click here for Nicolle's shop!


Speaking of sweet and sentimental, I'd happened on to some tear-jerker videos this week while looking for inspiration on a project I'm working on.

Take a look at some of these (sob).

Moms...grab a box of kleenex for this next one.

The kids are off from school today so we're headed to our favorite Ethiopian place for lunch...gotta go! If you're ever in Denver and decide to try it, totally get the Doro Wat. You can thank me later.

Enjoy your Friday and the beauty of the weekend!

Take Joy,


Fear, Family, + School Shootings

Four times in the past two weeks since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, we've received messages from our children's schools regarding found threats by students. As much as we limit our kids seeing the news and various things on social media, they are in-tune with the shootings that have been going on. They hear the gossip about the student-threats and internalize conversations had in class. And they're scared.

To be honest, I think as parents...we're scared, too. I was chatting with one of my dearest friends in the world, asking if she'd be willing to contribute some thoughts on it all because she gets it. Deeply.

I challenge you to take a few minutes and really read what she has to say. Because I'm having a hard time sending our children to school, a hard time explaining things to them, and a hard time not living in fear...and not infusing fear into our children's hearts. Maybe you're struggling with this, too.

Meet Crystal Woodman Miller. Columbine survivor.

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Thursday morning, February 15th, the day after the horrible attacks in Parkland, Florida, I woke up questioning whether or not to send my oldest daughter to school. Sadly, it wasn’t the first time I had asked myself this question. Our nation has experienced far too many of these attacks. However, the incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school hit close to home for me personally.

Nearly nineteen years ago, I was the same age and in the same stage of life as these students when...

I narrowly escaped death at Columbine High School.

I was a junior and only sixteen years old on April 20, 1999 when my friends and I decided to spend the lunch hour in the library working on class work. When chaos erupted within the halls of Columbine we took shelter under our tables, praying that God would save us. After a few moments, the two gunmen entered the library and went on a killing spree for seven and a half minutes.


During that time, my friend vowed to take a bullet for me and I promised God that if He would save me, I would give Him my life completely. The library is where the majority of the violence took place that day. Ten of the thirteen who were killed were in the library, and fifteen of the twenty-four were wounded there. After those long, seemingly never-ending minutes, when I was literally waiting to die, the two gunmen pushed a chair in under our table, and I braced for the end. Yet nothing happened. They needed to gather more ammunition in another part of the school, but told us they would return to kill those of us who were still alive, giving us only a few moments to escape before they came back.

We now live and raise our children in a post-Columbine era. As parents, we remember the days when schools were safe, and people did not have to fear sending their children to school every day.


Nowadays, however, we wonder...

Could today be the day my child experiences the unthinkable?!

It should not be this way.

What is more, our kids are keenly aware of the dangers that they face.

Whether they express it or not, they are afraid to go to school, making it virtually impossible to learn or even enjoy their school experience. Every student from elementary to high school has lived knowing what a school shooting is, and they recognize that violence can take place anywhere. 

I just returned from Parkland, Florida. I was able to speak to the community and with survivors themselves. The overwhelming grief they now face is unbearable.  The question I received from parents more than any other was “How can we ever send our kids back to school?”


So, what do we say to all the parents out there who are anxious and feeling crippled by fear?

What is more, how do we talk to our kids when they ask questions like:

“Will I be safe at school?”

“What happens if a gunman comes to my school?”

“Why would anyone ever do something like this?”

How do we walk the delicate balance between sharing enough with our children in an effort to prepare and educate them...

yet not say too much and cause undue anxiety?

I think it is important to note that all of your feelings, emotions, and questions are valid. They are completely normal and they are shared by most parents everywhere with school-aged children.


We face a very real enemy whose aim is to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) He will stop at nothing until he succeeds. Yet, we also trust that our God is bigger than any evil that comes against us, and that He is present with us in all circumstances. We know that God’s plan for us is to live- and to live radiantly- despite all of the things that seek to crush us.

Faith and fear cannot occupy our minds simultaneously.

In my experience, and in God’s great story of redemption, we know HE WINS.  Yet until the day He returns, a war rages on against our children and within our own minds as well.  It is a battle between what we can see, and what we truly believe.


I know from experience how fear can have mastery over your life.

Oftentimes, before I even recognize that I am doing it, I have laid out a plan in my mind about where I would hide, how I would shelter my children, or where we would escape to in any given situation.

It is at that point that I must force myself to stop, and tell myself that everyone is safe- that no one is in any imminent danger.  More importantly, I must fix my eyes on Jesus and try to focus my thoughts on the things that are true and right and lovely. (Philippians 4:8)

Then, I must personally ask for peace- a peace only He can provide as the overcomer of evil. (John 16:33)


Oftentimes, if my thoughts are anxious as I drive my daughter to school, I start praying over her.  With a confident assurance that the Lord loves my daughter even more than I possibly can, and that she belongs to Him, I begin praying out loud over her.

I ask that God will command His angels concerning her to guard her in all of her ways. (Psalm 91:11) I ask that He will be her Protector, and a wall about her. (Numbers 6:24 and Zechariah 2:5)

Praying scripture over ourselves and our children is our weapon.

This scripture-weapon will fight the enemy and to quiet our minds when things are beyond our control.  We must be a people who can stand firmly on and trust in the promises of God so that we will be unmoved by fear. Choosing faith over fear gives us victory over the enemy’s constant assaults. Choosing faith over fear allows us to run in total liberty and watch as the chains that bind us break off link by link.

One powerful and practical tool to help us do this is to train ourselves in the art of mindfulness.


In doing so, I am convinced that we will learn ways to deal with the anxiety, fear, and panic that seek to suffocate us. In fact, three very specific things can happen when we practice this mindfulness: Gratitude, self-grace, and future assurance.

First, we must become a people who are grateful.

Gratitude allows us to be present in all the moments of our lives- from the most mundane to the most exceptional and extraordinary moments. Gratitude causes us to take pause and enjoy the little things, like how our kids smell when we kiss the top of their heads, how they giggle and laugh at the dinner table over the silliest things, how their eyes sparkle in amazement when they watch snow fall from the sky, or how they breathe when they lay next to you fast asleep.


Gratitude even awards us the opportunity to laugh and enjoy the “difficult” moments, like when they spill their milk, dump out the dirt in your flower pots, or get paint on their new clothes. These are the moments that turn into memories. These are the moments that fill our hearts with inexplicable joy.

Second, mindfulness teaches us not to make judgments and to be gracious to ourselves.

Whenever you face panic, confusion, or fear, instead of suppressing or ignoring the unpleasant feelings, we must turn to acknowledge them and face them head-on. We must take courage because as believers in Jesus, it is ours for the taking. Courage is not the absence of fear but rather staring fear in its ugly face and saying, “Not today! You will not win today!” When you acknowledge the fear, it loses its powerful grip of control over you.


Lastly, mindfulness gives us resolve.

It reminds us to assess where we are and where we hope to go in the future. As parents, we get to determine how we want to raise our children and guide them into who they will become. We get to send them out as brilliant stars to light up the darkness in this world.  As parents, we set the stage so that they can become the ones who truly affect real and lasting change in this culture.

We have the beautiful privilege to raise empowered, strong, compassionate, loving children whose legacies WILL NOT and CANNOT ever be extinguished by any amount of evil in this world. We get to instruct and disciple them, to teach them to accept others, to reach out to the lonely, to recognize the broken in a hurting world and respond in kindness.

Ultimately, we get to show our kids how they can change the world one friendship at a time. We get to teach them to hold out the hope of the Gospel to friends and classmates as fearless truth-tellers.


As parents, we model an understanding that this world is not our final destination. We model an understanding that violence, pain, and even death will not be our end or be our ruin. Then, and only then, will our children walk confidently forward in the direction we’ve led. If we and our children know who we are, WHOSE we are, and where we are headed, we will be able to walk through whatever challenges we face.

As parents we must confront this issue and be brave enough to invite our kids into a conversation about it.

We must create space within our homes and margin throughout our days to talk about these issues. Some families choose to conduct a daily briefing- giving their children a safe place to share their concerns and fears.  We must address their feelings and concerns- both validating and assuring them.


Without making promises we cannot keep, we must encourage our children that our schools are doing everything they can to ensure their safety. We can discuss reasonable precautions and actions to take in the event of an attack. We must talk about warning signs of the sad, angry, and disenfranchised so that they can reach out, but also be willing to alert safe adults of any threats.

It is critical to never forget what has happened, and remember those we have lost.  We must talk about how we can use our voices and our skills to seek change on every level. Most importantly, we must establish a firm foundation of God’s Word and truth in our homes as we read and memorize scripture. We must pray together, knowing that prayer has the power to ease our fears and also to change things. 


We must practice mindfulness for ourselves and model it for our children. Mindfulness invites the presence of God into our fears, anxieties, and worries.  As God shows up in every area of our lives, even the ones we wish we could avoid, it silences the enemy and causes the darkness to flee. The enemy will continue to sling his arrows at us, and he may injure us, but he will not ruin or destroy us.  He is no match for The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

Our power and our authority come from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit! The enemy cannot stand in the presence of the Almighty, so we will call on the powerful name of Jesus- the name that is above every name! He is the answer to every fear and worry we face. And He is the gift we give to our children and to this broken and hurting world.

By the way, Crystal will be back soon as she shares practical tips on how to talk to our kids about the what-if's and to live prepared...yet without fear.

If you have specific questions you might like answered in that post, please ask in the comments section of today's blog post.

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Crystal Woodman Miller lives in Morrison Colorado with her husband Pete and three children Lucca, Malachi and Josephine.  She is the author of Marked for Life: Choosing Hope and Discovering Purpose After Earth-Shattering Tragedy (NavPress). 

She is an international speaker on issues of faith and hope in the midst of suffering.  Crystal survived the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999,  and shares candidly of her own journey of hardship, faith and hope so that it may encourage others in the challenges they face. 

Crystal also speaks in effort to prevent school violence and to help those who, unfortunately have already been impacted by it.  Crystal is most passionate about teaching God’s word and carrying life through the hope of the Gospel to a broken world.  Find her online at  

MY BOOK COVER! (and it's evolution)

Guess what....I'm revealing my book cover today!! Major happy dance going on over here. With everything that's been going on lately, it's such a fun ray of sunshine!

Ok, you ready for it? I've been aching to show you!! But first...

Want to know it's evolution??

Cuz this was definitely not a first draft decision, haha. (I was SO afraid they thought I was an annoying, overly-opinionated author. They assured me this was totally normal. Phew!!)

Cover #1

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So cover number one was just not my favorite. It just didn't feel like "me". I love rustic...but it's not really my branding. I wanted somthing that POPPED off the shelf!

Cover #2

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This second cover is definitely more colorful and bright (which I love) but...I don't just still didn't feel right. I liked the watercolor...but I just didn't feel like this was "it".

Cover #3

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These third and fourth covers were definitely just mock-ups. We were just playing around with the use of the gorgeous photos by my friend Shay over at SC Stockshop. The fonts and stuff were just stand-ins while we played around.

I liked it...but the colors were still a little soft.

Cover #4

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Just like the cover up above, this fourth one was just us playing around, trying to get the "feel" of what I was envisioning.

Cover #5

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Now we're getting somewhere!! I am in absolute LOOOOOVE with this one! I asked my friend Jordanne to do the hand-lettering and gosh...doesn't it just pop?! But ultimately, we couldn't afford the rights to the gorgeous photo.

Back to square one!

Cover #6

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So, sweet graphic designer over at Worthy, knew how much I loved that fifth cover design and tried to find something comparable.

We needed to decide THAT DAY because my Advanced Readers Copy had to be ordered by the end of business day. An Advanced Readers Copy (or ARC) is sent to magazines, radio, television, podcasters, and bloggers who we know have a long lead time. In other words, if my book is out in May...they need to read it now so I could get on their schedule.

I'm gonna be honest...I just didn't like it. At all.

BUT since we had to order the ARCs that day, this is the cover they have (tear). But that's ok...because my FINAL cover is so gorgeous, it was worth the wait.

Cover #7 + #8

Ok so here are the final cover choices (ignore the watermarks). Can you figure out which one I chose????

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As much as I loooooved the dark version, the light, bright, and happy one is the winner!

AAAAAAAHHHHHH! (can you sense my excitement?!)

I'm totally squealing and jumping up and down.'s everything I'd hoped it would be. It's bright, pretty yet not overdone, floral, pink...and well...just happy.


Since my ARCs were ordered with the cover that I really wasn't a fan of...this is how I'm sending them out. My best friend Kiesha had some postcards made (thanks, love!!) that fit perfectly over the book. Tying it up with a pretty velvet ribbon and the recipient will have the first impression of the cover!

Perfect in the meantime, right?? Lemonade out of lemons, people.


Want another sneak-peek?

We haven't finalized fonts for chapter headings and such, but below is one concept:

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Don't you love that they're incorporating swans into the chapters? My logo is a swan and my maiden name is Swanstrom. It's really sweet and thoughtful of my editors to have come up with that idea!

I just adore it.

Since editing is basically done, most of my conversations are now with the marketing department.

One fun thing we're brainstorming about is what to include in the packages for my launch team and influencers....hmmm....ideas are flowing!!


What do you think?!

Do you like the one I ultimately chose??

Which is your favorite??

Take Joy,


P.S. case you're curious, Beautifully Interrupted releases on May 15. That's two days before Mother's Day!

So if you preorder'll be all set on your gift for mom! (Don't worry...I'll let you know when preorders begin. It's still a bit early for that.)

My heart is broken into pieces (+ prayer printable)

If you follow me on social media, you'll have picked up that our family has been going through a really difficult time. I haven't really alluded to the what and the how...quite honestly because I could hardly say it aloud yet.

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Have you been in that place before? So hurt that you can hardly ask for prayer because you're so emotionally drained and don't have the energy to talk about it?

Growing up, our family had a code word we'd say if we needed help. I could call my folks while at a party, slumber party, etc, use the word in conversation...and my parents would immediately pick me up, no questions asked.


We do the same thing now for our kids, but we've even gone one step further: they know if they just need a hug or a cuddle and some mom or daddy time, they have a word they can use and we'll know they need a little extra love. They may not be capable of voicing it aloud yet, or depending on their age, they may not even be able to put a finger on WHY they feel that way...they just know they need added affection.

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We've all needed a little extra love over here lately because our oldest son Abreham decided he didn't want to be part of our family anymore. If we were sitting over a cup of coffee or glass of wine, I'd share details with you...but both because it's a long story, several years in the making...and because I'm still trying to figure out how much and what to share with the world, I won't pour everything out right now.

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What I will tell you is he's an 18-year-old Junior in high school who has lived through a lot of trauma in his life. He's angry, he's broken, and he thinks he's better off alone because he can hide in his pain and not feel. Because feeling, to him, is weak. And it's painful.

We know he's safe, but I will leave details at that.

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I am devastated.

Absolutely devastated.

I ache every moment of the day with the loss and rejection and sadness. I'm angry, worried, and full of sorrow, all at the same time. As I go through the cycle of grief, over and over (and over), I give it back to my Father in Heaven to is with my son and I'm reminded he's not actually alone.


The thought of it is incredibly painful, but I'm ready for God to allow Abreham to be broken...but not destroyed.

And that's what I'm desperately praying for: that God only allows him to go so far. Just like the waves are only allowed to come so far onto shore, I pray that the Lord only allows Abreham to drift from Him so far. It's so hard knowing our kids need to learn from failure sometimes. They need to try things and realize growth is hard and it's even harder when bad decisions are being made.


Ben and I always say we want to prepare our kids for the road, not the road for our kids...and this is yet another example of how we cannot soften things for our children at every moment. This is obviously a much larger situation than simply allowing them to see what happens if they decide to wear flipflops to school when it's 35 degrees. This is huge.

This could potentially change the trajectory of his entire future.

And that may be even harder than him deciding he doesn't want to be part of our lives anymore.

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And the incredible hurt and pain he's cutting into his brothers and and sisters hearts, is one of the hardest parts on my mama-heart. But hearing the prayers of these little ones for their big brother, is awe inspiring. They pray for his "hurt heart", they pray for protection, and they pray that He comes home.

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While praying a few days ago, the Lord whispered in my ear "I will bring him back to you." I knew better than to ask may be 10 days, it may be 10 months, it may be 10 years...I just don't know.

But HE knows.

And I will rest in that because He is God and I am not.


Abreham, I love you.  You are not alone and can never stray too far that God won't pour His love out onto you. There's nothing you can do that He won't forgive if you ask with a sorrow-filled heart.

The Lord is walking beside you, Abreham, even when you don't want us to be. I will pray for you always. I will love you always.

- Mom

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Prayer these days has been a constant companion, though sometimes there are times it is hard to do so. I created this printable to remind myself of who He is and what He can do. Our God is a BIG God, and one of deep love for us.


When I have a hard time praying, I'm simply going to read this. If you need it, I pray you print it out, too. Head to The Library to download. As always, the password is at the top of all my emails, so if you haven't subscribed yet, feel free and do that today.

Love you friends, thanks for walking life with me.

Take Joy,


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Let's Party Like Girls...Giveaway Items!

It's been SO fun hearing about how impactful Let's Party Like Girls was...both for the nonprofits we worked with as well as loving on the ladies who attended! Having women leave with their arms full of giveaway items and new friends digits in their phones just makes my heart soar.


Because I kept telling everyone the whole point to this evening is:

Being filled so you can pour out

That being said, I really wanted to do a big shout-out to the incredible girl-bosses who so selflessly and generously donated giveaway items!!

You ready for this big (fun) roundup?!

Fed by Bread

I'm thrilled to start out by telling you about my dear friend Hollie's company Fed by Bread. We Serve Kneads is their tagline, (how cute is that?!) and serving needs is something they most certainly do since 100% of their profits go to feed children in Rwanda.

Head to her site and see all they do (and all you can order)!  

Root Pretty

Another sweet and generous supporter of Let's Party Like Girls is Krista, the founder of Root Pretty! If you've not heard of this incredible beauty excited! Root Pretty is all about natural makeup, skincare, haircare, body care & even non-toxic cleaning products.

They're vegan, organic, gluten-free, don't have any fillers, and are hand-poured! Their products are so yummy.

We LOVE everything they are and do. 

Anchored Press Devotional Planners are one of my favorite things ever. Founded by my dear friend Deana, it's every bit as gorgeous as it is helpful. And when I say helpful, I mean...yes, it'll definitely keep you organized...all the details and sections she includes are amazing.

But I also mean helpful because it keeps me in the Word all day long!

Head over to her website and see what I mean! Oh...and this will be the second year I contribute and have a week of devotionals inside!

I share this honor with Rebekah Lyons, Audrey Roloff, Jamie Ivey, some of my best friends (Amy Kavs and Meredith Watkins), along with many others! 52 weeks in a year means 52 incredible women have stepped up to inspire us to grow closer with Christ throughout each and every day!

Thank you Deana for gifting these!!!! Head to Anchored Press and buy your own!


This fun paper-loving shop is an extension of sweet Kaitlin's lifestyle blog. Inside, you'll find art prints, greeting cards, note pads, and mugs! They're all darling and whimsical like this Christmas print shown below!

Head on over to her shop + blog!


I met Sara, the creator of Vander Jacket a few years ago at a Denver Seminary event and adored her right away. I had no idea at the time though, that she was the incredible girl boss that she is!!

Vander Jackets are one-of-a-kind, handmade running jackets...made specifically for YOU!

The above photo is mine and I'm so obsessed with it (the package is the gift card she cute is her packaging?)!

Watch this video from when she had her Kickstarter Campaign.

Whether you're a runner, know a runner...or just want a really fantastic jacket, head to her site and spoil yourself with one!!

I met Ruth Simons (founder of Grace Laced) about 4 years ago and have adored her since. You should have heard the gasps as I pulled out her wildly popular Fields of Joy 2018 calendar during the giveaway portion of our party. It was actually pretty funny. Everybody loves Ruth!

If you don't know Ruth, you need to. Mom of six boys, she infuses Christ's love and scripture into all she does...and she does a lot. Whether homeschooling, writing books, inspiring via social media, or painting the gorgeous things you'll see on her website, etc.

Head to her shop and be inspired!!


Another incredible woman you need to know is Kris Karr, multiple New York Times best-selling author, wellness advocate and cancer thriver. What is a cancer thriver?? Well, Kris has been living with cancer for over a decade. Upon learning in 2003 that she has a rare and incurable (yet thankfully slow-growing) stage IV cancer, she started a self-care pilgrimage.

In Kris' words, "Although I still have cancer, I am healthy, and I run a mission-driven business that serves my community and makes me feel profoundly grateful each and every day. If I can pull that off, just imagine what YOU can do."

My best friend Kiesha has been telling me about Kris for years and am just thrilled that she was willing to team up with us for Let's Party Like Girls by gifting her new juicing book, as well as her Crazy Sexy Love Notes, which is a 52-card deck full of self-love encouragement.

Jordanne Marie Handlettering

Head here to learn more about Kris and here for her shop full of cookbooks, etc!!

We paired these awesome goodies with Jordanne Marie's fantastic hand-lettered tumbler!! Sadly it's no longer available...but click here for other items in her shop!!


I may have lots of author-friends, but most of them are via Instagram and the like. The incredible women who authored these books however, are real-lives amigas.

Alex, author of Loving my Actual Christmas lives here in Denver and has written several additional books that you simply must check out (especially Loving my Actual Life). This Christmas edition is so fantastic, you guys. It helps remember the heart of all we do during this sometimes too-buy feeling season.

Sara and I met several years back and loved one another instantly...adoption does that, I guess. They also have six children, several whom are adopted (and some out of birth order, like us!). Her books Every Bitter Thing is Sweet and her latest, Unseen are just so incredible.

Check out both ladies' can thank me later!

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Queenwood Designs is a local business here in Denver and we are SO thrilled by their generosity in gifting not one, but two signs that we gave away! I thought a fight might break out because the girls all wanted them so badly, haha.

Two lucky ladies went home with arms full!

It's so fun to see how social media unites people. Michele, the creative behind His Paintbrush and I first connected a year or two and I have been in awe over her talent ever since. This incredibly gifted woman has quite a story and one you totally need to read. Born with a type of dwarfism, she travels the globe painting and speaking, while sharing God's loving-kindness with everyone she meets.

Head to her site to purchase notecards as well as fine art lithograph prints. Everything she creates is breathtaking...check it out!

See this cutie with the blue hair? She's the genius hair-guru for all of us in this photo. Though she's been my "hair girl" for several years, she's also been my confidant and friend for even longer. She is incredible. If you're local, you simply must check her out.

Whether it's makeup or hair you need done, you'll never feel more beautiful or inspired as when you leave her salon.

Be inspired by her Instagram page here!

Rustic Shine Designs


Isn't this the coolest thing ever?! Kendra, the creator of Rustic Shine Designs hand-turns each page to create a word or design. I'm so sad I don't remember who won this because I want to ask them for a photo showing where in their home they placed it!!

Want one of your own? Head here for this and many other designs.

Abby Paffrath, the artist behind Art 4 All grew up in Breckenridge and now lives in Jackson Hole. As an artist and lover of the outdoors, she has created a line of hats that allow art to be more than something that rests on a wall. Instead, all are able to enjoy by carrying a little bit of the outdoors with them!

Abby gifted such a large stack of caps that as I tossed them to the winners, I almost felt like I was Oprah saying, "You win a win a ALL win a hat!!" (ok maybe there weren't that many, but it felt like it!)

Head here to see all her awesome trucker hats!

Rodan + Fields

with Lisa Thayer

I am SO obsessed with this Rodan + Fields Lashboost. I had lash extensions last year and they were so dreamy...but I just couldn't justify the expense. I started wearing faux lashes most days because I missed the length of the extensions...but it ripped out my real lashes because I wore them so much.

For my birthday back in October though, Ben bought me this last boost. It's so legit and amazing! I was SO thrilled to gift this gorgeous set to a very deserving woman!! If you want your own, email Lisa! (click here for this gift set!)

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Did you ever get the chance to see our article in Denver Style Magazine? I love how Everthine is featured in the corner! This is the third year we've had their nativity set, ans well as ornaments, tree topper, and scripture based ribbon (which I cannot find online, sorry!) on the several trees in our home and we just LOVE them!

Let's face often faith-based home decor is so cheezy and horrendous. But not when you shop Barbara Rainey's decor line!!

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See the "I Am the Bright Morning Star" tree-topper?! Isn't it the cutest?!

A big thank you for all you gifted for Let's Party Like Girls!! There was a lot of squealing going on!!


with Heather Baker

I'm totally a sucker for great packaging...and this is gorgeous! You can go ahead and judge this product by it's cover...cuz it's just as yummy inside! Maskcara isn't for your's created by a mom named Cara who saw a gap in the beauty industry.

Instead of making women feel more beautiful, she saw a tendency to make them feel more insecure, by convincing them they needed more and more products and more and more rules to abide by in order to meet the standard.

So she created a makeup brand to love on women instead of making them feel less than. Don't you love the heart of that?!

Head here to shop and find out more!

Laura Reinhardt Photography


Laura is the mother of a dear friend from college and a photographer for World Vision. Traveling around the world telling people's stories through the lens of your camera? What a dream job that would be.

She offered that I scroll through hundreds of photos and choose three to give away and these totally tugged at my heart. The smiles on these faces just makes me grin big...and the mother and child on a water walk remind me so much of our boys who used to do this exact thing each day (prohibiting them from going to school).

Such an honor to gift these to three women!

Mary & Martha

with Kela Lemer

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I was first introduced to Mary & Martha last year when speaking at a retreat. One of the girls had a tote that I simply salivated over and when she realized how much I loved it, she gave it to me (who does that?! so sweet) and shared the vision of the company. She didn't work for them...just believes in who they are and what they do!

So honored to have given away this gorgeous Queen Anne's Lace Pitcher to a very lucky lady! Want to see all the gorgeousness over at Mary & Martha (and trust me, you do) click here!

I totally hate selfies (this ridiculous photo was like 2,051 takes later) but I do LOVE this hat! Amy handmakes all sorts of fun things: from state-hats, to pillows and ornaments, to the cutest no-slip running headbands ever.

Head to her Etsy shop or Instagram feed to see more of her creativity and order something for yourself!

Monat + Nerium

with Amber Retiger (Monat) +  Hollis Moore (Nerium)


I didn't understand what Monat was about for a long time but I'm googly-eyed over it now that I get it's mission. My hair has gotten so much thinner over the years and this legit-bumps up your thickness level! Head here to find out more!!

And Neruium has been proven to reduce wrinkles (yes please!!) so head over to this link and learn more about this amazing product!!

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This book, I Walk for Water is genuinely my favorite children's book ever. The words, the pictures, the's amazing.

I'm so honored to call it's author, Lindsay my friend. Her generosity of multiple books, paper-bead necklaces, and African print Christmas stockings just shows the position of her heart: love on others always. Lindz, thank you so much!!!

Shop her book here!


My dear friend Jen is on a mission of health and loves sharing what she knows! Her giveaway is so timely because so many of us are trying to get our health back on track...eating healthier, being more active, and teaching our families how to thrive.

Head here for more information on the revolution that has so captured her heart and here to email her if you're interested in a tower garden (we love ours!), the Juice Plus Shred, and more!


with Caitlin Horn


Yet another makeup and skincare company that strives for health and beauty. I have been using Beautycounter for years and not only love how it makes my skin feel, but also the emphasis it's founder places on getting in front of congress.

This passion-driven company has a mission for getting safe products into the hands of everyone. To learn more or purchase some for yourslelf head here to Caitlin's site!

I saved one of the ladies' favorites for last...this you are so loved 3D barn wood sign is even more exquisite in person. I'm so thrilled it went home with a girl that was over-the-moon excited she won it!

The beloved necklace is made of bamboo and is so light and yet substantial at the same time. Husband/Wife team Will and Amy have SO many gorgeous things in their Etsy shop (I totally want their hexagon essential oil shelf!)

Head on over right this second!

So Sad...

I'm so sad that two dear friend's items arrived in the mail after the event! What a bummer! I wanted to make sure I still included them...and will have to figure out if I'm going to save them for next year or have an online giveaway later on or what!


Our kids have loved Karen's Archer Journals for several years and I'm thrilled to tell you that this Christmas edition is so loved that it's sold out on Amazon!! That being said, you can still purchase the original journal, that is as timeless as it is fabulous!

Head here for the Spring edition whose purpose is helping children discover that God's purposes are their target, and His Word is their guide.


I've known Jen, the founder of Picket & Oak, for close to twenty years (we obviously met at birth, haha). First going to Bible school together in England and then traveling Europe together, I can tell you firsthand that this girl is amazing.

After teasing her about pressing wildflowers found in our travels, it's was no surprise when she launched a skincare and wellness brand. Each product Jen crafts is designed to enhance our daily skincare ritual through the intuitive power of botanicals, nourishing plant oils, and natural mineral earth deposits.

Check out her shop! Your skin and body will thank you!

I wanted every woman to leave the party with something. So even if they didn't receive one of the large giveaway items (which was highly unlikely because we had gobs of them...many of our sweet girl bosses send multiples!!), they'd leave with this!

A huge, HUGE thank you to Heather + Kelsey at Denver Style Magazine (my latest article is inside!!) as well as Kathryn from All The Loveliest (I mean hellooooo...she hand paints coffee foam! WHAT?!) for donating 100 copies of your work so no one would leave emptyhanded!

See that cute little roller in there? I included a little bit of Happy, which is my favorite combination for emotional health. Because who doesn't need an extra little dose of happiness?!

If you're curious about essential oils, did you know I have a whole separate website about it? Head here!! It's literally changed our family. I thought it was mumbo-jumbo for a long time but have been using them about 2 1/2 years now and we love them.

A big, HUGE, MASSIVE thank you to each one of these amazing women who so generously gave from their shops. Ladies, you are transforming lives and filling spirits.

Thank you for allowing us to highlight you in recognition of all you have done and are doing!

We can't wait for next year!!

Take Joy,


p.s. want to see photos from our big Let's Party Like Girls night? (Of course you do) Head here!

p. p. s. thank you to Sara from Something Styled Co. for letting us use this gorgeous phooto on our intivations!