Music: There When You Need It

There’s a lot on my mind, a lot on my plate, and a lot rolling around in my heart. Hence you all getting another text post. (insert lady shrugging emoji)

If you’re a music person, in times of heavy hearts or elated heart, you turn to music. Music can move you right into a memory, one so real you can almost taste it. Music can move us. Music can make us laugh. No matter what you think, we can all agree that music elicits something.

This year I’ve been especially into a particular artist. JJ Heller is one of my favorite singer/songwritters. Her music has moved me and inspired me many times. She’s also really great to follow on social media because she’s just so human. Two of her songs have been rolling around in my mind (one of them is brand new too!), and I wanted to share them in the hopes that they might speak to you too.

“What if the world doesn’t end when the fears come true?

What if we have what we need to make it through?

There is manna from heaven and mercies new

What if God is still here in this desert too?”

These are words I’ll be thinking on for awhile, friends.

There is hope within the breaking of the heart of every seed

I know you feel the aching at the end of all good things

I believe in restoration

I believe that you redeem

Because I know somehow the sycamore will bloom again in spring

These are words I have been thinking on for awhile. And will continue to.

 

But I do have one more song to share. It’s can’t be all melancholy piano heavy thoughts, people.

When I move my body

When I move my feet

When I open my mouth

Then the darkness flees

It’s important in any season, to remember to praise Him. God’s been with me through it all, and He’s not finished with me (or any of us!) yet. I’m resting in a hope higher than that which I can see.

 

Happy Saturday, friends. Thanks for letting me share some thoughts and some music with you.

 

P.S.- JJ Heller has a Patreon account. Check it out here. Throw some dollars her way, she’s great.

 

June 1SE + Bonus

Here’s a glimpse into our June. It’s been a great month.

The bonus video is our little guy’s birthday. I took some videos and even pulled some photos and made this for you all.

 

If you haven’t already downloaded this app, you’re crazy. The 1SecondEveryday community is awesome and the app is well worth the price. I’ve captured some amazing videos and moments that I think I would have missed if I didn’t have this app.

Livin’ The Dream (or not)

Happy Saturday!

As you’ve not doubt noticed, I do not have a video to share today.

I’m sorry if that makes you sad. I’ll be back with video content next week.

I’ve really struggled with this final week in June, this final week in the whole ‘Victor/Motherhood Suite’ I’ve been working on… I’ve really just struggled with this content.

I’ve practiced and thought about it and practiced again and talked to my spouse and thought about it some more. And because I didn’t want to make a 30 minute video of me just rambling out words I thought I’d take a stab at writing something.

So, here’s to jumping in and trying something a bit different.


The life I currently live is not the one I dreamed.

That sounds a bit harsh, but I don’t really have a better way to say it. Well, I don’t have a better way to say it that won’t to some extent destroy the impact. I think.

When Victor was really little I was spending time with a cherished family member and they said something along the lines of:

“Well, isn’t this your dream.”

and I replied:

“No actually, this was never my dream.”

Sharing this exchange with you makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel like I’m going to be judged. But there is really so much more to my response than just those words I said.

Being a stay at home mom was never something I saw (or dreamed) myself doing. Having children was something I figured some day I’d grow up and do, but honestly I hadn’t ever really liked children. I had like 5% experience in babysitting, which means I basically knew nothing going into this parenthood thing.

The future I dreamed of when I got into high school, when futures kinda become more of a tangible thing, looked a little like this: Go to college, get degree in business/marketing (cause that’s what I heard I’d be good at), get married at 25, have two kids at some point, speak around the world (had nothing in particular in mind at the time), get interviewed and be on TV… You know, normal stuff to dream, right?

I hadn’t planned my wedding, or what my future home ascetic would be, what state I’d live in (always figured it wouldn’t be this one I grew up in). I hadn’t picked out the perfect names for my kids or what I wanted my engagement ring to look like.

Buuuuuut, I have practiced all kinds of topics I could talk about. I daydreamed of being interviewed for National Geographic (cause it was like legit my favorite magazine ever). I’ve imagined what it might be like being on a red carpet. I’ve dreamed of being introduced at large conferences.

As a read over what I’ve just shared, I’m super embarrassed. I sound like such a fame and glory hound. I seem like someone who is only interested in making piles of money and looking pretty.

Yet none of that is my heart.

It never has been.

I want to be seen.

I want to be heard.

I want to make a difference. And I want it to be big. And loud. And excellent.

And I want to do it while still being me.

I haven’t gone to college yet, I got married at 19, became a homeowner at 23, adopted my first pet at 24, only traveled outside of the country once (at 18), didn’t learn to drive till my early 20s, had my first child at 25 and became a stay at home mom. Does this sound like that perfectly crafted dream I had? Nope. And is that totally okay? You bet it is.

Did you know you could change your dreams?

And like, not be bitter for all eternity about it?

Did you know you could make new dreams?

And like, still keep your old dreams alive?

Say what?!?!

My life right now is basically the opposite of what I ever imagined it would be.

But it is more than I could have ever dreamed.

I’ve gained a satisfaction in living my best life right here right now right where I am that I didn’t think I could ever have.

Shouldn’t I be super depressed that I don’t have my college education? I could be, and I have been. But I don’t have student loan debt hanging over me. Besides, who says I can’t go when I’m good and ready?

Couldn’t I be so bitter that I got married young and didn’t “find myself”? Yeah, I could and at times it felt like I was left behind. But, I have so much comfort in being married to someone who has known me and grown with me.

And since I didn’t like children and had basically no prior experience with children, shouldn’t I super hate this stay at home gig? That would make a lot of sense, but strangely enough it’s not at all accurate.

As I’ve grown my dreams have grown too.

Don’t get so caught up in what could have/should have been.

Don’t get so obsessed with following your dreams that you miss living.

Maybe it sounds like I’m telling you to sell out or settle or let your dreams/passions die. I certainly don’t want anyone coming away from this post with those feelings, so no.

Maybe the advice is to critically evaluate your dreams and adjust accordingly.

Actually, that’s pretty good. I think that is what I’m going to take from this blog post. Some dreams you need to keep feeding, but some (like when I was little and dreamed of being a marine biologist) need to be learned from but let go of.


As always, I pray my late night ramblings have spoken to you and that by transparently sharing my heart you’ll feel bold enough to do the same.

Happy Saturday, friends. Thanks for letting me share, I feel a lot better than when I first started this post.

 

P.s.- Just in case there was any confusion: I LOVE BEING WITH MY SON AND BEING HIS MOMMA. I just want everyone, including him in the future, to know how much he’s changed my heart. Victor changed my whole world and it’s be most beautiful thing.

 

A Person’s a Person No Matter How Small

This week is kinda heavy, but I think the world needs to hear more of this.

Since the video is a bit tough AND Victor’s birthday is in a few days, go eat some ice cream (it’s his favorite)! If you do, post a picture in the comments! 🍦😊

P.s.- Youtube picks great thumbnails for my videos, buuuuuuuut what are my hands doing?!? 😂😂😂 

Product Placement

Adam and I always joke about product placement in movies and TV shows. Sometimes the placement is so obvious you can’t help but laugh. (Click here to learn more about it if that’s what you’re into.)

This is not a sponsored post, the company has not asked me to do this, so all that I’m about to share is my own. And boy, am I HYPE!


When you first have a baby, you nurse them or you bottle feed. When you start introducing foods you probably use those baby spoons to get into those little baby food jars. (Or you’re cooler than the rest of us and used those awesome food pouches. A++ parenting). But what do you use as your little ones get older and want to feed themselves? You get hooked up with Re-Play!!

We super love love love love loooooooooooooooooooove this company and their products. Here are some great stats:

  • Family owned and operated
  • Made in the USA
  • Made from recycled milk jugs
  • Dishwasher safe
  • BPA and BPS Free

Adam and I first saw their plates and utensils at the grocery store (Kroger ftw!). I also noticed Target sold some of their products (I learned much later that Walmart sells some too!). Since we kept seeing them in the store, right in the baby aisle we thought we’d try them out. In the above mentioned stores there are only three pack options in whatever color combos they have, but pro tip: GO TO THEIR WEBSITE!

They have more products than I originally knew AND ALL THE COLORS! For real, the colors are so vibrant and exciting, they make me excited every time I open my cabinets. The other reason I really enjoy their color options is because every type of product is in every color they provide. You want all light pink? They sell a whole set of that! Or maybe black is more your thing. THEY GOT YOUR BACK! (The black is so metal, like, seriously. It’s awesome.) The idea that a grandparent could have individual sets in certain colors for each grandchild and no one would feel left out is just great. Or if you were a nanny each kid could be assigned a color. Heck, I might just start over and all of Victor Boy’s stuff will be one color! (Totes not doing that at this point. lol)

Besides the great color options I also really like how you can purchase the items. The higher the quantity the lower the price per item becomes. I can mix and match what products and what colors I want, which I love, cause options (duh!). I also think this could really work for your advantage if you get a couple friends together. If you buy four or more they give a 10% discount! So, girl friends, get together make one big order and everyone will save $$$$$. One more bonus: Free shipping for orders of $45!

You might be seeing all this and wondering how the product actually holds up. Like, sounds almost too good, right? It’s not. It is as good as it all sounds. My son super loves his utensils and has had great success using both the spoons and the forks. They’re perfect for him to hold. The bowls are also great for him to hold and use cause they’re not too big or heavy. I like that the plates are divided so he can clearly see how much he has left or how much he needs to eat (and the food doesn’t get all mixed together. ew.).

Now, let me be real. I hand wash all this stuff, cause Casa de Cook is behind the times and doesn’t have a dishwasher. However they are dishwasher safe, so if you have that ability congrats! I haven’t used mine in the microwave. There are times I’ve been tempted to because it would be a lot easier, but I just don’t want to risk possibly warping them or something. Their website says they are microwave safe though, so maybe it’ll change my habit.

Anyway peeps, this company is great. I could gush for a lot longer about their stuff, but I’ll let you enjoy these pictures of Victor with his Re-Play stuff instead!

(Matching or mixing-and-matching is so much fun! And their snack stack [last photo] is bae!)

PEOPLE RUN DON’T WALK AND GET TO MAKING ORDERS!

Adopt a Grandparent™️

This week I get a little emotional about the amazing grandparents in our lives.

Do you have any fun memories with your grandparents or a memory of your parents being grandparents? Share them in the comments below, friends. Make my heart feel all warm and fuzzy.

And, if you’re an investor and you’re thinking of making this a real program, I want credit and a cut of the profits (should there be any). Just something to think about.  😉

Have a great week!

 

Egg Cartons and Dump Trucks

This video touches on both the simple (toys) and the complex (intentions). I don’t think you can really address the topic of toys and not get into somewhat of the “darker side” of toys/gift giving. It is not at all my intent to sound critical, but to share from my heart and help to foster thought and conversation about what we give our kids (and how we spend time with them). I know that since I’ve done this video Adam and I have had some good conversations and we’ve talked about new ways to play!

 

P.s- I don’t think the company makes my awesome shirt anymore! Buuuuuuuuut, I checked out their other stuff and it all looks awesome. Especially the ‘You do you’ shirt, so go give them some love!  August Ink

P.p.s- And if you’re interested, here is the link for the awesome dump truck we have for Victor. I found it at T.J. Maxx on sale around Easter time. We love that the Green Toys are made from recycled milk jugs and that they have lots of awesome vehicle options. Since Victor Boy’s birthday is soon, I probably need to make an order! 😜

May 1SE Video

It’s the first Wednesday of a new month, so that means a new 1 Second Everyday Video! The month of May is always wild and this month was no different. We had our big family vaca, Mothers Day, two high school graduations, lots of rain, and our 8th anniversary!

Have a happy week, and I’ll see you back here on Saturday!

 

P.s.- Don’t forget to check out this app! 1SE

 

Stacks on Stacks on Stacks

This week’s post is the first in a series Imma do for the month of June. I wanted to try talking about some products that we love and enjoy here at Casa de Cook. I also wanted to celebrate my little guy and some little aspects of parenthood. When you become a parent you have questions about big things (“Is this normal?!”) and little things (Where do you buy cool toys for you kid?”) and you need a good place (or person) to ask those questions. So, I hope you enjoy me talking about some of our favorite kids books!

Below are links to the things I talk about in this video:

Snuggle Puppy / Barnyard Dance / Author Sandra Boynton

Little Blue Truck / Little Blue Truck Christmas / Little Blue Truck Springtime

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb / Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? / A B C: An Amazing Alphabet Book

Where Do Digger Sleep At Night

Where’s Your Hat Abe Lincoln?

My Fridge

Hug Machine

First 100 Trucks: And Things That Go

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada

Mighty Dads

P.s.- I tried to find the link for my awesome teeshirt, but I can’t find it anywhere! So sorry guys!

P.P.s- Here is where you can order my awesome hair towel!