~Abundant Life~

I really didn’t think I’d get to write another blog before our little man came, but I’m so happy that I do. I am 38 weeks pregnant this week and nearing the corner very quickly to a whole new chapter of life. Because of this reality, I find myself in a constant state of…well, many things and many emotions.  As it is, I am an internal processor and my self-talk is huge. While it can be my biggest enemy at times, it can also be one of my greatest strengths. It also causes me to constantly be reflecting, reminiscing, and even thinking of what lies ahead.

These past 9+ months have been the best months of not only my life, but of my marriage. I’ve never laughed more, loved more, or felt more true joy, or true intimacy with God, my husband, and others than I have in this season. On the same hand, there were times where that true joy and life felt like it was being ripped from me with all the forces hell could muster; times when I felt bloody and bruised from the battle of fighting for what I knew was mine–sometimes over and over and over all day long until I was exhausted from the fight and felt like I had none left in me. But that’s just the thing, true God-given life is mine. It was and still is my promise. I fought, and will always fight for that. It didn’t and won’t win over me. The times in life you feel the biggest breakthrough’s are also times when the the level at which you’re attacked and feel like it’s being snatched right out from under you are right about equal. But defeat is not even an option when you know you are an overcomer. As hard as that is to see in the heat of the battle, that is the truth. “And you will KNOW the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” I had to finally see that key word, KNOW. In the hardest of times, you will have to turn off your mind and especially your emotions. It doesn’t say I will FEEL the truth, because honestly, there were days I felt the complete opposite from what I knew, and days I felt nothing. You’re feelings can be so strong and they are great aids, but they can warp our vision/thinking and should not be our ultimate barometer of truth. I spent many months having to learn and re-learn this, and I still find myself having to shift my thinking back at times.

My mother-in-law told me at the beginning of my pregnancy that pregnancy is never just about growing a child. God is always after more and doing more. She told me to ask him what His word was over this pregnancy and what it held/meant. As soon as I asked Him, “What was your word over this pregnancy for my life?”, He immediately says back to me, “Well, what did it hold or mean to you?” (He never gives it up that easily, at least to me. He likes to get me to think a little-go figure!) Immediately, I found myself saying: “ABUNDANT LIFE!” And immediately I was hearing John 10:10 in my head, “”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” There are many scriptures that portray the season I’ve been in for 9 months, and many scriptures that God gave me for every situation that arose, but this, this was it. This was the key word that summed up everything from the hard/bad parts to all the good/breakthrough parts. I went through portions of time where I felt stolen from and utterly destroyed and defeated. But through all of that, God was showing me that I not only had (in my possesion) life, but deserved life! I was allowed to be happy. That there wasn’t something wrong with me feeling true Joy and living life to it’s fullest! That every time something tried, and will always “try”, to steal joy from you, you KNOW the Truth, and that is that He gives LIFE and to abundance. If you are feeling the opposite–it’s not Him.

I saw this word in every area of my pregnancy, marriage, and overall day to day. In my marriage, I’ve never had so much fun with Kalen than during this time. We have laughed more than I ever thought possible and were always having the grandest of times, whether it be at home in our comfy clothes cooking dinner joking around, sitting up late in bed just talking and goofing off, to being out going on dates or running errands. We experienced a richness to our marriage and friendship that I know is key to everything the future holds for us and our family.

This word translates in to exactly how we know our baby boy will be.  We have known from the beginning that he will be so fun-loving and full of joy all the time. That he will impart that to everyone he comes in contact with. And when God gave us his name, it confirmed it.  As many of you know, we decided to keep the name under wraps until we debut this sweet little bundle to our families and the rest of the world. Well, God continues to seal this truth of abundant life even more by words we’ve received from people who have no clue what his name is but every time they speak over our baby, it’s all proof that he carries abundant life as well. In the pregnancy itself, I’ve experienced true abundance. From overall health (mom and baby), to not having even one negative to say about it. It’s been perfect in every way, and (for the sake of being “punny”–but true) I’m abundantly grateful and have no words to tell him how truly thankful I am for the wonderment and miracle of it all.

In my relationship with God, I’ve experienced deeper, richer, and a more profuse intimacy with Him than I’ve ever known. It has been an amazing experience to see what He has done in this life-giving season of my life. I love that we can ask Him to show us these things, and He does. That for every area of our life, He always has a plan. He may have numerous things He is getting at. Numerous areas He’s wanting to target to bring healing or restoration or a deeper knowledge of His goodness and a deeper knowledge of who we are in Him. But overall, He always has one goal: to know us deeper, to have us know Him deeper, and to experience love that never runs out. Love that grows forever. Love that deepens with time and relationship.

New chapters are always a little hard for me. I’m sure they are for just about all of us. As much as they are exciting and wonderful, there is always a little element of “bitter-sweet”  that comes with a change and there is always be an adjustment. I am so so ready to see my sweet son, but I will also miss being pregnant so much. However, I am so much more ready to see him and I can’t wait!

Today, one of my bitter-sweet moments is knowing that even though Kalen and I would not trade ANYTHING to be parents, there is an element for me that knows it is the ending of JUST “Kalen and Cait” . We will always be “Kalen and Cait”, but from here on out, we will always be “Mom and Dad”, too.  We will never not have children. Again, I’ve never been more excited about this fact, don’t get me wrong. But, I’m being transparent here. There is a real part of me that is going to miss that, “just the two of us…” factor. The thing I cling on to in these moments is knowing that with every change is the Grace to handle it, and if there was ever someone I wanted to change with or start a new chapter with, it’s my husband. I have loved watching the “Abundant Life” that God has brought the “Kalen and Cait” aspect of our life so far, and cannot wait to see how much more abundance comes from what is about to grow out of that.

I am turning the page into more of our story. I love it so far, but I don’t ever want to stop a book half way through…

If you don’t hear from me for awhile, it’s because I’m currently living out the next few chapters and figuring out how to write them all.

As soon as I can, I will be posting my birth story.

Live today friends. Let yourself live abundantly. You deserve it and you can have it!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Hi Friends,

I was noticing I have a Health and Fitness category, a Food category, but not a Beauty category. How is that possible? I’m a girl…you think that would be one of the first categories I had up. I guess I should be comforted in knowing where my priorities are. ha

Well, needless to say, having a Beauty category is necessary, and so here is the first peek into my “Beauty Bag”.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen these pics, but I’ll go a little more in detail on here about the products themselves.

My newest obsession is BB Cream. If you haven’t heard of BB Cream or don’t know what it is, let me enlighten you: It’s about 5 oz. of facial makeup heaven! BB Cream is the newest trend on the shelves. Derived in Asia, BB Cream (which stands for Beauty Balm) combines all of your essentials into one tube. It is an all-in-one facial cosmetic product that will replace most of your everyday products such as: serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, concealer and sunblock. Every BB cream is different and provides at least 3-5 of these essentials and you can get it from the cheapest over the counter brand to the higher end like Lancome–and probably beyond…

Photo Oct 09, 2 22 48 PM

I am not a huge “foundation” fan so I would typically wear a tinted moisturizer with some powder and bronzer. But now that I’ve discovered BB Cream, the coverage for all-day wear is unmatched! Currently I’m also obsessed with Drew Barrymore’s line of cosmetics called Flower Beauty Cosmetics that you can buy from your local Wal-Mart. This line peaked my interest because she developed this line with mommies in mind who are short on time, don’t want to sacrifice looking good, but who also need something affordable. The BB Cream I have on and currently trying is Flower Beauty’s BB Cream. It barely takes a pea-sized amount that I spread on with my fingers. It smooths quickly and evenly and is true to its word when it says it is a “12-hour wear”. I have been hard-pressed to find something that actually does what it says, but I put this BB cream on, ran errands in the Texas heat, came home, cleaned stuff around the house, layed on the couch watching TV for a few hours, and by midnight when I decided to actually go to bed, it still looked amazing! This particular BB Cream from Flower does 4 things: Moisturizes, Conceals, Primes, and Highlights. I personally still use my own moisturizer in concordance with the BB Cream because I am a die hard skin care fanatic and I like what my skin care line provides–especially for my oily skin. However, I like that the BB Cream is not cakey and dry and does not over moisturize to where I feel sticky. It’s seriously perfect people. Like I said, you can find BB Cream in just about every cosmetic line, and everyone has different skin and different things work for different people, but I highly recommend trying Flower Beauty.

Next in the bag is this Bronzer by Milani. Ladies, my store is the one and only Target, and they used to sell this there (which is how I found it), but now you can only get it at Wal-Mart. What first drew me to this bronzer is that it’s freaking huge and only $5 or $6 bucks. Next is that half of it is matte finish and the other half has some sheen to it. I love that! They have three different shades to match your skin tones. Go try some!

Revlon lipstick…doesn’t really matter what kind. Everyone has different preferences, but seriously, I love Revlon. I’m going to be honest, growing up I always thought they seemed like and “old lady” brand, but they have won me over! I’m wearing the Super Lustrous Creme lipstick in  #463 “Sassy Mauve”. It is a berry plum color. I used to be afraid of color, now I love it! And once I discovered that plums/mauves work wonders with my eyes, skin tone, and hair, it is my “go to” for Fall.  Lipsticks are a hard cosmetic to just buy straight off the shelf because half the time when they go on they look nothing like what is in the stick. Tip: Ulta and Sephora have testers that you can use a Q-tip and/or spread it out on your hand. This gives you an idea of what shades work well. Soon it will become second nature and you’ll be able to pick out and define what it will look like on.

I don’t tout mascara products too often, only because everybody’s eyelashes are different texture, our skin has different levels of oil, and everyone has different needs when it comes to their lashes, etc. Some want volume, some want length, some want both. Add on top of it that their is a hundred brands that will do all that and you just have to find what you like. My sister swears by a mascara that does not work well with my eyelashes and vice versa. In this pic, however, you will see this jumbo Rimmel mascara. I decided to try something new and I do really like Rimmel. So far, I’m enjoying it. I’ll be honest, I wear two different mascara’s…always have. One is waterproof. I cry a lot (jk), but actually I do get emotional easily so it’s nice to have a backup plan. ;-p The real reason why my first coat of Mascara is waterproof, is because I discovered I would curl my lashes and if I would apply a regular mascara, they would fall flat. Whatever they put in mascara to make it waterproof keeps my lashes up and curly. My first and favorite brand of over the counter mascara is Loreal. I use a lengthening waterproof, and then for the second coat I usually use a volume mascara, such as this Rimmel brand. I know that sounds like I’m so high-maintenance, but hey, you do what you gotta do to keep those lashes up and flashy! (It’s really not that intense of a process)

So, here are the products to give you an idea of what they look like. I have all these products on in the image above.

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I want to hear from you…what’s in your beauty bag? What products are “must-haves” for you and what are you favorite brands?

Hope you enjoyed this post and maybe got inspired to try some new products.

It’s so much fun being female! Have a great day! ❤

P.S. I tried to proof-read this, but if there are any type-o’s, I apologize…running around crazy today!