Enduring All Things: October 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

5 Ways to Enjoy a Low-Key Halloween at Home

Well you guys, tomorrow is Halloween. What are your plans? Pearson and I are heading to Hocking Hills tonight to spend the weekend in a cabin with 3 other couples. (Read about this trip from last year). We have big plans for hiking the trails and maybe some scary movies.

However, if we had planned to go to the cabin on a different weekend like last year, we would probably be spending Halloween at home. And you know what? That's okay! Sometimes, it's fun to spend holidays at home with just Pearson and to celebrate in our own ways.

So here are some fun ways to enjoy a low-key Halloween at home.

Have a movie marathon

They can be scary movies (a great excuse to cuddle up with your honey) or not-so-scary Halloween classics like the ones in this list. Pop the popcorn, pop in the DVD (or fire up Netflix) and veg out on the couch for an entire evening.

Pass out candy to trick-or-treaters

Unfortunately, we don't get trick-or-treaters at our apartment complex. And in Columbus they trick-or-treated last night. But, if trick-or-treaters come to your house on Halloween, enjoy it! Passing out candy was always one of my favorite things to do. I love seeing all the costumes and the kids are such cuties!

Have a costume contest

...With stuff you have at lying around at home. The rules are up to you. Maybe the two of you can only use each other's clothes? Or your costumes have to be made completely of non-clothing items? Think shower curtain. And maybe you take pics and turn to social media for the judging. Loser does dishes for a week!

Carve pumpkins

There's just something about carving pumpkins that screams Halloween, am I right? I remember carving pumpkins with my brother and dad growing up. It was always my favorite part. And hey! You could make this a contest too.

Go camping in your living room

This is something Pearson and I have done on several occasions. We build a fort in the living room, blow up our air mattress, and spend the night camping and watching TV. We've never done it on Halloween but what a perfect excuse!

So what are you planning to do tomorrow?
Thanks for reading!
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG   Bright on a Budget
Linking up with 5 On Friday, Oh Hey Friday, and High Five for Friday.

P.S. I've been running an ad sale for the whole month of October because it's my favorite month. Tomorrow is the last day! Visit my sponsor page, pick any ad spot, and use promo code OCTOBERSALE for 31% off through TOMORROW NIGHT (10/31).
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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thankful Thursday Party Link Up & An Announcement!

Good morning readers! It's the last Thursday of the month (!!!) which means it's time for the Thankful Thursday Party! This month, I want to talk about my wonderful family. My parents came and visited us a couple weekends ago and my brother is moving away from home to start his dream job this weekend so they've been on my mind a lot lately!
The latest picture of us all together - Tyler's graduation from Harding in may! #SoProud
I am so thankful that God gave me the family that He did. They're loving, caring, God-fearing people and I'm seriously one of the lucky ones. 

Some children grow up without ever knowing God because their parents don't teach them.

Some children have very strict parents and they grow up to resent them.

Some children have parents who are too soft and they grow up spoiled.

Some children grow up in a terrible environment involving fights and divorce and other horrible things.

And some unfortunate children are born into families that don't love them. The families will either abuse them or give them away. That's no way to live and that's certainly no way to treat an innocent child.

So I am thankful that, since I didn't really have a choice in the matter, God landed me on this earth in the arms of my wonderful family! They, in my humble opinion, are perfect. I wouldn't have wanted to grow up in any other home and I thank God every single day for them!

What are you thankful for this month? Be sure to link up below!
Thanks for reading!

Now, I have an exciting announcement! 

Brita from Belle Brita and I have decided to host the Thankful Thursday on EVERY Thursday in November! November is a month of thanks and we really want to take this opportunity to focus on being thankful for our blessings and to encourage other bloggers to do the same. I would love it if you would join us (you can even link up old posts about being thankful) and if you would help spread the word using the hashtag #ThankfulThursdayParty on social media and using the following button on your blog.
Thankful Thursday on From Bisons to Buckeyes

Now, for the October linkup!

We have so much to be thankful for and a lot of us take that for granted. Lets change that! I bring you the #ThankfulThursdayParty linkup with Charlene @ From Bisons to Buckeyes where we can write about what we are thankful for and link up on the last Thursday of every month. I would love to have you and can't wait to see what you're thankful for! 

If you aren't getting the email reminders about this link up and would like to, please put that in the comments or send an email to charlenemarie11@gmail.com.
Host: Charlene - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest || Co-Host: Nathana - Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest
    Linkup Rules (Guidelines):
    1. Follow your host and co-host in some way
    2. Link up your Thankful Thursday Party post, NOT your blog URL
    3. Use the hashtag #ThankfulThursdayParty when you share on social media
    4. Grab the button and display it on your blog so others can join the party
    From Bisons to Buckeyes: Thankful Thursday Party

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    Wednesday, October 28, 2015

    What I Learned in October

    You guys! Can you believe October is almost over? Usually, this would be very bad news for me because October is my favorite month and when it's over, we're even closer to winter. BUT this year, for some reason, I'm really excited for the holidays. Like, more than usual! I feel like a little kid.

    Anyway, enough of my rambling. Lets get on to what I've learned this week, shall we?

    I learned that the miracle where Jesus turned water to wine (found in John 2:1-11) shows many things but one of them is that Jesus actually cares about "non-critical" problems, like running out of wine at a wedding. From now on, I'm going to try to remember this whenever I think something is "too small" or "silly" to pray about.

    I also learned that the beatitudes (found in Matthew 5:2-10) both begin and and with "theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." I first talked about this on the blog after I taught at our Girls Youth Rally.

    Also at the youth rally, I learned that you can't help but forgive someone you're praying for.

    This month, I learned that if we have a really big fight, Pearson will bring home Panda Express for lunch to make up for it.

    I also learned that Furman University, though it's a small liberal arts school, has science research labs! This means it's the best of both worlds and Pearson might want to work there after he graduates.

    But you know what else, Pearson and I both learned that you can get government funding for science research at places like Harding University too. There was an article in this fall's Harding Magazine about Dr. Wilson and all of his NASA research. It's pretty cool!

    This month I learned that I'm much more chill than I used to be. My parents came to visit a couple weeks ago and I didn't worry near as much about cleaning the apartment as I usually do. I also learned that I still get migraines. They just look a little different than they used to back in middle school. And lastly, I learned that The Addams Family Musical is my new favorite musical.

    I attended another one of Helene's live webinars (Get Noticed Now) and learned a lot! One thing Helene said that stood out to me was "How do people know your blog is the best? You have to tell them!" So here I am to tell you! I met almost all my blog goals this month! I got over 250 Bloglovin followers, over 500 Instagram followers, and over 500 Pinterest followers!

    I also learned that it's okay to ask your readers to take action on your blog. My one specific blog goal that I did not quite meet this month is getting to over 400 Twitter followers... So, could you do me a solid and follow me on Twitter if you aren't already? I'm at 367 so there's not much more to go and I would love to be able to say I met all my blogging goals this month!

    Another thing I learned from the Girls Youth Rally is that people born today will spend 4 YEARS of their lives looking at their phone. How crazy is that? I also learned that Linus stayed out till 4 AM waiting  for the great pumpkin on It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I don't know how I never caught that in my 25 Halloweens, but isn't that crazy? Where were those kids' parents???

    What did you learn this month?
    Thanks for reading!
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    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    Solidarity Sisters: Introducing Nathana

    Hey lovely readers! I have another treat for you on the blog today. Over the last month, I've had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Nathana from The Engaged Home as my Solidarity Sister. She is such a sweet soul and we have so much in common! Y'all, Susannah's Solidarity Sisters program is fantastic and I am so glad I got Nathana as a partner this month. If you haven't signed up for November, go do it now!

    Anyway, today Nathana and I decided to feature each other on our blogs. I'm so excited for you readers to get to know this wonderful lady a little better. And if you wanna know my answers to these questions, head over to her blog and check them out!

    ONE || Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your interests, passions, hobbies, day-time job, etc?

    I am a full-time wife and mama (outside of running The Engaged Home.) My husband is a youth minister, so I get the wonderful opportunity to serve alongside him and work with terrific teens and families. On the rare occasion that I have free time, I love writing, poetry, reading, baking, catching up over coffee with a friend, crocheting, sewing, playing board games or cuddling and watching TV with my husband, and family road trips.

    TWO || What is the main purpose at the heart of your blog, The Engaged Home?

    The main purpose of The Engaged Home is to encourage families and provide them with inspiration and tools to strengthen their marriages and families, because what happens at home matters. I focus mostly on the areas of education and faith, but I also love to talk about healthy living. I also love to share from my heart about what is happening in my life and family.

    THREE || What are three things you would love to accomplish in life?

    I would love to someday have some poetry published. I want to empower my children with a legacy of faith and healthy marriages. I want to be a supportive wife that helps my husband chase his dreams and a mother that is always accessible and willing to genuinely listen the hearts of my children.

    FOUR || If someone made a movie of your life, what would it be called? Who would play you?

    A movie of my life would be called "Marriage, Motherhood, and Ministry" and I would be played by Jessica Raine. :) Or the girl from Napoleon Dynamite--she looks like me . . .

    FIVE || What is your vision for your marriage and future/present family?

    I really believe that marriage can and should be a reflection of God and how Jesus loves His church. A healthy, strong marriage can leave an incredible legacy for generations to come. My hope and prayer is that we can raise our children to have a genuine faith that sticks with them throughout life.

    SIX || What are your 3 favorite posts you've ever written?

    Go check out Nathana's blog and give her some love! You can also find her on social media here: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

    Thanks for reading!
    Simple Moments Stick
    Linking up with Simple Moments Stick for the Solidarity Sisters.
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    Monday, October 26, 2015

    How to Make Your Husband a Priority After Having Kids

    Hey guys! I have a special treat for you today! Teresa from CraftyWife.com and I have swapped blogs for the day. She's got a great post for you below about making your husband a priority after having kids. Once you're finished reading this post, head over to Teresa's blog to read my post of 5 things you can do right now to improve your marriage.
    Hello! I'm Teresa and I call the Crafty Wife blog my home away from home. It's my happy place where I can connect with old and new friends, share crafting adventures, photography tutorials, and Disney World vacation tips. When I'm not blogging you can usually find me laying on the couch, exhausted from keeping my eight week old alive for yet another day. He is our pride and joy, and we are so blessed and thankful to have him complete our little family.

    I am so excited to be here today to share my thoughts on making your husband a priority after having a baby. Thank you so much Charlene for letting me take over your blog today!
    Having kids can really cause a strain on your marriage if you don't prioritize. Let your spouse know how important he is and make your husband a priority from the get-go!
    My husband Chris and I tried for a year and a half to have a baby. When we finally found out we were pregnant we were overjoyed and shocked. It had been a long time coming and we were finally going to be a family of three! We couldn't have been happier.

    Throughout the pregnancy my husband would make little comments that always centered around me forgetting about him once the baby arrived. At first I just laughed it off because I honestly thought he was joking, which is something we tend to do a lot so it's hard to tell if the other is being serious half the time. But there was one night where we were talking before bed and he said it again. Something finally clicked in my head and I realized it was a legitimate fear for him. We know a lot of couples where the wife forgets about the husband as soon as a baby comes in to the picture, and Chris was afraid of that happening to us. At that moment I promised myself that our marriage would not be put on the back burner. And since then I've made these conscious efforts to make sure my husband knows just how important he is to me.

    View More: http://bethtphotography.pass.us/teresasunflowers

    1. Involve him in all the daily "kid" tasks

    Whether it's changing a diaper, pumping so he can feed our son a bottle, or getting him involved in tummy time I always make sure that Chris gets quality time with the baby. While having him do all those things don't seem like that big of a deal, I've found that it's really helped him connect and bond with our son. It also gives me a little break and then I can sit next to them and watch all the sweet interactions take place. It's my favorite part of the day.

    2. Give words of affirmation

    If you've read the Five Love Languages book then you know that words of affirmation is one way to show your partner you love them. While Chris and I have never taken the quiz ourselves to find out our language, I use this one a lot. I mean, who doesn't want to hear how much you love and appreciate all that they are doing? And with a new baby who loves to party all night long and not give his parents a lot of sleep, words of affirmation are incredibly important. It's so easy to fall into a pattern of snarkiness and plain rudeness when you're exhausted (which I tend to do) so voicing my appreciation is a constant work in progress for me.

    View More: http://bethtphotography.pass.us/teresasunflowers

    3. Focus on them

    When Chris gets home in the evening we spend time as a family, eat dinner, and then put the baby down. Once it's just the two of us, it's time for us to focus on each other. Usually that just means talking about our days, but sometimes focusing on them can mean giving them time to do something they haven't had a chance to do in a while. My husband loves to play video games and while he doesn't play them as often as he used to, I still make sure he gets uninterrupted game time every-so-often. And because I still want to be around him I'll usually bring my computer in the room with me and blog while I watch him play.

    Focusing on them doesn't mean that you need to have deep and meaningful conversations every night. Sometimes it can be as simple as giving them a chance to unwind from a long day doing whatever it is they like to do.

    While I am definitely not perfect and have been known to snap at my husband in my zombie-like state, I do make a conscious effort to make sure he knows he is a priority. Our son is the biggest blessing of our lives and we are so thankful for him, but he is just one part of our family. At the end of the day our marriage should come first, because without a strong connection and commitment to each other we cannot be the partners or parents we want (and should) be.

    What were some marital fears you had before having your first child? What did you do to overcome them?

    You can read more from Teresa over at the Crafty Wife blog or hang out with her on social media!
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    Friday, October 23, 2015

    The 5 Best (Non-Scary) Halloween Movies

    Well guys, we have about a week left to celebrate Halloween. As I'm sure you know, I love Halloween and I usually celebrate with movies and pumpkin carving and all sorts of things. But this year, I haven't really gotten to do much. I did get to watch "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" Tuesday on ABC, but other than that, I haven't done much. We don't even have a pumpkin.

    But that's okay because I'm determined to go all out this last week. I really want to go to Lynd's this weekend to pick some apples and get a pumpkin to carve. Hopefully Pearson's schedule will allow it. And I will watch some of my favorite Halloween movies this week whether Pearson gets to watch them with me or not!
    So in honor of having only one more week of October, I thought I'd share my five favorite (non-scary) Halloween movies today for Five on Friday!
    ONE || Hocus Pocus
    Hocus Pocus is certainly my all time favorite. It's so silly but classic. I could probably quote the whole movie if I really thought about it. It's one of those movies that you just quote, you know? Like Mean Girls or Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's definitely a tradition to watch it every year and I'm super bummed that I haven't watched it yet this year!
    TWO || The Halloweentown Series (Esp the first one)
    I loved the original Halloweentown growing up. I was intrigued by a teenage girl who was a witch but didn't know it. It was one of those things I always wished would happen to me. You know, kinda like how we all waited for our Hogwarts letter to come when we turned eleven. Yeah, I also wanted to be a witch from Halloweentown. The sequels are okay but you're never going to have the same effect as a girl finding out she's a witch for the first time.
    THREE || The Addams Family Movie
    I'll be honest, I haven't always loved The Addams Family. I mean, I watched reruns on TV Land sometimes and I thought they were cool. And I liked the movie okay. But it wasn't until I saw The Addams Family Musical a couple years ago on Broadway in Columbus that I really fell in love. Now I love all things Addams and I have to watch the movie around Halloween every year!
    FOUR || Nightmare Before Christmas
    I love this movie! A lot of people don't because they say it ruins both holidays, but I think it's very clever. I actually only watched it last year for the first time ever. I know. Crazy, right? But I loved it! Of course, I usually love Tim Burton's work and this is no different. It's only like an hour and 15 minutes long and it's on Netflix so you have no excuse not to watch it this week!
    FIVE || The Harry Potter Series
    And lastly, I'm including The Harry Potter Series in here because, if ABC Family considers it a Halloween Movie, I can too! We just watched the whole series back in June so we probably won't watch them again this week, but I'm a true Potterhead so I had to include them on this list.

    So there you have it. My 5 favorite Halloween movies. Did I miss any? What would you add to my list? Thanks for reading!
    THE GOOD LIFE BLOG   Bright on a Budget
    Linking up with 5 On Friday, Oh Hey Friday, and High Five for Friday.

    P.S. I'm running an ad sale for the whole month of October because it's my favorite month. Visit my sponsor page, pick any ad spot, and use promo code OCTOBERSALE for 31% off through October 31st.
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    Thursday, October 22, 2015

    Fear Not, For I am With You

    Disclaimer: I received this product at a highly discounted price in exchange for talking about it on my blog and social media accounts.
    I am somewhat of an anxious person. I always have been. I get nervous before I do anything new. I worry about packing for a trip or cleaning my house for company. So my favorite verse used to be Matthew 6:34; "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
    This verse, in context, is talking about getting anxious over everyday things. Silly things. Things like packing for a trip or cleaning for company. It will get done and it's not that big of a deal.

    But I'm starting to grow out of my senseless anxiety. Pearson is pretty much the opposite of me in this regard. He's so chill and laid back. If we're traveling somewhere, he'll pull a suitcase out like 20 minutes before we leave and just throw some stuff in there. He's rubbed off on me a lot since we got married, but I started to see a difference even in college while we were dating.
    So in college, my favorite verse changed from Matthew 6:34 to Isaiah 41:10; "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." It still talks about fear, and how God takes care of us, but it's not necessarily talking about getting anxious over silly or pointless things.
    My favorite song we sang in chapel at Harding was "Do Not Fear" which actually draws lyrics from Isaiah 41:1-3 where God promises to take care of Israel when the bad times come. This song made me think a lot about how we all have dark and difficult times in our lives and yet God is there to carry us through. He's there to "uphold us with His righteous right hand." 

    I like how Isaiah 41:10 says this all in one verse. It's easy to remember and to write anywhere and everywhere to remind myself that God is with me and takes care me. I particularly like it on this Mieroglyphs bracelet. 
    All the style options. Mine is the one on the top right.
    Mieroglyphs is a brand that takes motivational quotes and inscribes them inside wearable bands and key loops so that consumers can keep words that inspire them at the forefront of their mind each day. Each piece is hand-crafted with various fabrics supported by a natural fiber cork backing and stainless steel magnetic clasp. Each style already has a thoughtful quote or you can add your own words. Whatever inspires you!
    Bottom Left: They also have key rings!
    Bottom right: And phone cases!
    These photos were taken (with permission) from the Mieroglyphs Instagram account.
    Read more about Mieroglyphs on the "Our Vision" page of their website. And be sure to use code Bisons2Buckeyes for free shipping if you order! Remember... it's what's inside that counts.
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    Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    Do We Have a Problem With Disposability?

    Once upon a time, I heard a comparison that I thought was really cool. 

    Well, not cool. But definitely interesting. One of the people Fawn Weaver interviewed for her book The Happy Wives Club said that the reason so many people get divorced today is because we live in a disposable society.

    Let me explain. When our parents were growing up, they would keep a TV for 20 years or so until it fell apart. But today we get a new one every couple years just because a newer, better model came out.

    If something's broken, we throw it out. Back in the day, they would fix it. They would do everything they could to repair it, and if they couldn't, they'd hire someone who knew what they were doing.

    It's not just TV's. We also do this with cell phones, computers, gaming consoles, refrigerators etc. A lot of people even do this with cars! They trade up every couple years for the newest model just because there's a new one out there.

    And now this mind set is even affecting our marriages. People tend to throw their marriages away at the first sign of a problem. Or they trade it in as soon as they see something newer or better.

    When I heard this comparison, it really made a lot of sense to me. I mean, I see how society is changing and how it's having such a negative impact on our marriages. But that doesn't mean we have to give in to society.

    We can go back to the old ways. Instead of upgrading to a newer and better version, why don't we keep our marriage forever? Instead of throwing it away when it's "broken" and getting a new one, why don't we do everything we can to fix it and maybe even hire a counselor when we need a little extra help.

    We should totally go back to the way things were when people cared less about material things and valued marriage relationships enough to work on them and make them last.
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    Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    How to Prepare Your Home for Overnight Guests

    As I'm sure most of you known (especially if you read my blog post on Friday), my parents were just here visiting for a long weekend. They left this morning to head to Chicago for the next part of their vacation and I miss them already.

    We had a pretty chill weekend. The boys went to the Ohio State game on Saturday. We took them to Piada and Skyline Chili because they don't have those at home. And we had breakfast at The Best Breakfast & Sandwiches yesterday because my parents saw that restaurant on a PBS special about the best breakfast places in America.

    Anyway, since they are family, I knew my apartment didn't have to be perfect, but it's still sort of fun to make your home presentable and make your company comfortable. So here are some things I did to accomplish that.
    Display on back of toilet
    Toiletry samples for guests
    Display extra toiletry samples. I collect toiletries from hotels and things like that so I always have extras in case our company forgets something. I display them in the bathroom for easy access. This time, I put them in a fun Halloween box on the back of the toilet with some other essentials like toilet paper rolls wrapped in Halloween tissue paper.
    Candle in Bathroom
    Candle in Guest Room
    Light candles. I displayed candles in the bathroom and the guest room to make it smell nicer and more inviting. I bought brand new fall scented candles and they smell heavenly! I put the delicious Farm Apple Pumpkin scent in the bedroom and the Pumpkin Ginger Cookie scent in the bathroom.
    Guest Room Bedside Table
    Put books by the bed. I don't think my parents used them at all, but I put a couple books by the bed in case they wanted some reading material. They were books of short(ish) stories because I knew they wouldn't want to start a novel. I had the "Mary Poppins 80th Anniversary Collection" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories" sitting out. (I added Sleepy Hollow after I took the pictures. Whoops)
    Closet space
    Make room in the closet. In my humble opinion, there is no better way to feel at home on vacation than to unpack your suitcase. When I stay in hotels, I usually fill up the dresser drawers and closet with my clothes and store my empty suitcase elsewhere. Especially if I'm staying more than a couple nights. It just makes everything more accessible and less stressful. Unfortunately, I don't have an empty dresser in the guest room, but I do have some room in the closet. I made sure to clear everything out of that little space and have some extra hangers hanging in there. I know mom hung the jacket she wore to church in there and they used it to hang their towels too.
    Bathroom counter space
    Make room in the bathroom (or outside of the bathroom). Just like being able to unpack my clothes, I like to have my own space in the bathroom. Again, unfortunately, we only have one bathroom at the moment so it's hard to clear out a space. So I set up a little table outside the bathroom for my parents' stuff. This was my mom's idea a couple years ago and we've done it every year since!

    Clean the apartment (of course). This is a no-brainer. Or at least I hope it is. I always make sure my home is presentable. I don't want my guests uncomfortable over a dirty shower or dusty end table.

    Buy food you know they like. And last but not least, I stock up on food. I plan meals ahead that I am comfortable preparing and I know my guests will like. I also make sure I have plenty of snacks and have them easily accessible so they feel comfortable helping themselves whenever they want. This time, I made sure to have plenty of Diet Coke in the fridge because we don't drink much soda at home but I know my parents live off of Diet Coke.

    There you have some of my best tips for preparing your home for overnight guests. What did I miss?
    Thanks for reading!
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