.Celebration Dress.

 To celebrate losing weight, I bought myself a new dress.
I am thrilled to announce it is a size Medium from Target.
Last time I weighed myself it showed I had lost a total of 15lbs..
..that was a month ago.
I am not sure what my current weight loss status is but all I know
I am pretty certain my smile lines, ahem wrinkles, tell it all.
Adam is proud of me and I'm going to let you in on a little secret--
I'm proud of me too!
I want to leave you with a few candid/blooper pics from our little photoshoot.

To read my about my weight journey, click here.

Happy Living--Happy Health
and remember 
--Little Things Bring Smiles--


.Little Things Bring Smiles Part 10.

The name of my blog is

Little Things Bring Smiles.

I chose this title because it is important to remember the little things in life and to rejoice in them. My reason for blogging is to share my life, all parts of it {including the good, the bad, and the ugly} along with the crafts and DIY projects I complete. Each month I want to focus on the little things that brought smiles to my days. I would love for you to share your little things and see if they bring a smile to me, or another reader :)

 Here are my little things from August:
- Cooler weather
- Visits with friends from NC and MD
- Breakfast dates
- Sunbathing
- Teaching Bible stories to the girls
- Bubble baths
- Organized closets
- Our friends new puppy
- Movie nights
- Watching the Baptism service at church
- Singing old camp songs with Adam
- Fresh fruit
- Making plans for our house
- Quiet time

And one kind of BIG little thing:
- Buying new clothes size MEDIUM from Target!
Now it's your turn. Always remember,
Little Things Bring Smiles!


.Monday Monday.

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday mornin', it was all I hoped it would be..
This morning was one of those mornings..
I woke up early to make my husband a nice breakfast. 
Adam requested a cheesy, potato filled, egg bake and that's exactly what he got! 
I made my way back to bed for some extra sleep before picking up the girls.
Our bed was magical; every position felt divine.
I woke again with plenty of time to fix breakfast for myself.
Greek Strawberry Honey Yogurt with Kashi Cereal and Fresh Strawberries.
Ruby Red Grapefruit Toasted with Cinnamon Sugar and a delicious glass of Orange Juice.
 I sat in my chair on our back deck and felt God through the cool breezes, the buzzing Cicadas, and the small pine cones forming on the evergreens. 
It was a perfect morning.
With the sun shining down, I enjoyed my breakfast while reading from the book of Joshua.
 I spent my time studying The Fall of Jericho.
This story has been made into an excellent Veggie Tales video, however, it adds a few extra spins for laughs and strays from the truth a bit.
I have been feeling the Lord tugging at my heart to speak more truth to the little ones I nanny about Him.
They are young, ages 3 and 4.5, but they are smart.
I know they can comprehend and grow in the knowledge of the Lord.
Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday mornin', it was all I hoped it would be..


.Nakate WINNER.

Are you ready?

...and the winner is...

Beautiful jewelry…I love the one that Katie wears on her blog…just stunning! Love Katie so much and love what you girls are doing to team up to help others! God Bless You!

Congratulations Traci, you are now the proud owner of this stunning necklace.

The Nakazi Hariet:

Please email your mailing information to

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Nakate Giveaway. Be sure to check out their store and enter the promo code nakatesummer for 50% off of their summer line!


.Giveaway Reminder.

Hello and Happy Thursday :)

I wanted to write up a quick little reminder of the Nakate giveaway going on right now! I plan to choose a winner TOMORROW NIGHT, August 26th, using random.org. Please head over to Nakate's blog and leave a comment, that's it!

You can win one of these beauties from their store:
 Nakate is now offering 50% off all jewelry from their summer line. Simply enter promo code nakatesummer and be sure to check out their fall line coming soon!


.House Progress: Master Bedroom and Bath.

Well friends..the title is a bit misleading just as it was here
Please forgive. 
I really wanted to share some pictures of our master bedroom and bathroom with you today despite the lack of progress made. Also forgive the quality of photos, I was simply too lazy to edit the levels and figured it would be okay since these are before pictures, hope you don't mind :)

 View as you enter through the door.
 I bought a white bed skirt from Target months ago and it still sits in my closet in it's packaging..one of these days I will bust that baby out and iron it!
 Right now, Adam and I refer to this area of the room as the bowling alley or the roller rink, which do you like better? :) Love the view of our backyard through the window.
Before shooting the other angles of the room, I got a bit distracted by my adorable pup.
 Okay, back to the tour! View from the far corner with the two wall sconces.
 View from the bed facing our tv.
 View from the bed facing the doorway. I love the pretty view of my fern hanging on the deck, it makes me happy :)
And now our master bathroom..every grandmother's dream bathroom ;) View from door and behind door showing the shower.
 I am in love with the white cabinets, I can already see what the bathroom will look like with a few changes!
 Favorite part.
 Jacuzzi tub.
That wraps up the little tour of our master bedroom and bathroom. The area rug, pillows, and lamps will be moved to our living room as soon as we get to painting and take a trip to Ikea to purchase a new couch! We are taking it slow..very, very s    l    o    w.

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Pillows purchased at Pier One at 50% off, woot woot. Lamps from Big Lots and the rug was ordered online..have to remember which site I used.



Good Afternoon!

Last week I had every single day off from work and had great plans to craft and decorate my home..welp, a migraine hit me mid week leaving me incapacitated for days. {I'll write a post about my migraines another day.} I did, however, find a few ways to relax through the pain.

- Sunbathing on my deck
- Afternoon naps with my icepack
  and this:

- Long bubble baths, picture taken with my phone. Two things to learn from this: 1, I actually scrubbed my bath tub for the first time since moving in and 2, when in a jacuzzi tub, you do not need a lot of soap to make bubbles, lesson learned.

My week did pick up with my husband taking Friday off to spend the day with me, I know..I know, best day ever ;) We had a great time watching movies, completing yard work, and even squeezed in a date to the "nice theater," aka $10 a ticket theater, to see Captain America (awesome). The weekend was then filled with friends and celebrations--just plain fun!

It is now Tuesday and I am back to normal..my schedule that is, not my head..still aching. I have the girls again and life is back to normal..well, kind of..Virginia experienced something today a little unusual. Any guesses?--We had an EARTHQUAKE! Yes, how bizarre and yes, you did read the title correctly. The girls and I were outside on our deck when the house began shaking. At first I thought a big truck was driving by or some sort of drilling was happening on our street but soon enough realized it was a tremor..a big one. The deck furniture was moving slowly across the wood beams and my hanging ferns were swaying back and forth so hard and quickly two actually fell of their hooks. Being a Jersey girl, earthquake safety was not high on my priority list so my mind was racing to remember anything at all..no luck. I quickly scooped up the girls, called for Colden, and ran in the house heading for the basement. My kitchen chandelier was swinging, ceiling fans shaking, kitchen cabinets rattling..it was so strange and quite eerie. The girls thought I was completely nuts and asked why I rushed us all to the basement. I replied, "I thought I had clothes wrinkling in the dryer!" Grace, 4, then shook her head and shrugged, "Silly Katie, you can always iron them."

Perfect moment.

Nap time quickly approached after our earthquake shake and I jumped online to see what happened. A friend shared this link with me. Crazy, crazy, crazy! After everything was over, I remembered: basements for tornadoes and doorways/under tables for earthquakes..too bad those Saved By The Bell scenes didn't register sooner ;)

It is now almost 6pm and I can feel the cool breeze in my hair and the warmth from the sun as I type this. The weather is finally perfect, not too hot and definitely not too cold, it's just right. I suppose dinner should be cooked sometime soon..where of where is that maid, she's been missing from work for 2 years now!

Have a great night everyone :)


.Wednesday Afternoon.

After writing the title, I had to check if today was actually Wednesday. This is my week off from work and let me tell ya, it feels odd! My schedule, or should I say lack of a schedule, has messed with my brain. My days are longer (maybe too long), my meals are sporadic and often get skipped, my sleeping pattern is off, and my house has never been so clean! Not watching the girls everyday and not having them in my home is a weird feeling. Without them, my responsibilities drop tremendously and it is just me and pup home during the day. I have no one to care after, prepare food for, and no one to socialize with..just me and pup. Yes, this week has certainly been relaxing but also a tad boring. Adam has been working 12-14 hour work days because he is shooting a commercial for GE, yes that GE. Awesome, I know :) Because of this, he has not been around all that much leaving just me and pup alone together even longer..yeah, my days are long (even when waking at noon!). I am not complaining..just writing down my thoughts. It amazes me how I become a teenager again when left alone. Yes, I did still clean my entire house, organize every closet/pantry, complete 5 loads of laundry, and pay the bills this week, but I am referring to my lack of eating, showering, and sleeping on a regular basis bring me back to my teenage days. It's not that I do not want to eat or shower, just when no one is telling you too or when you do not have anyone to cook for/look nice for...it makes it easy. I miss having Grace and Joy here with me. I actually miss our schedule..not "my" schedule but "ours"--I feel a little lost without them. Are these normal feelings? Maybe..maybe not, who really knows.

I did something social today and it felt good. I woke up before noon (11:16 to be exact, big accomplishment I know!) and I showered and got ready for my day. I then met up with my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law (is that the right term..) and had a lovely lunch at one of our favorite places in Lynchburg, The Farmbasket. It was nice, it always is with those two! On my way home from lunch I decided to do something for Katie--I found myself in the parking lot of Target! Well, it was a quick trip..you see..I sometimes forget I live in a college town and forget the date..today, I knew exactly what time it was as soon as I stepped through the sliding doors--Freshman Orientation Week! Ugh. I walked one big lap around the store and was bumped into by people, kids, pocketbooks, and even shopping carts! Please keep in mind I actually did my hair and makeup and wore a nice outfit today and I was still invisible to these college kids and their parents, major slap in the face! I left feeling discouraged and upset because I could not have my leisurely walk around my favorite store.

I am home now and feeling jumpy, I had one too many cups of coffee at lunch. I am still in my outfit I put on earlier but I cannot get my mind off of my comfy clothes just waiting me down the hall. It's 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon and I am ready for my pj's..is anything wrong with this picture? I hope not because it actually excites me, remember friends--it's the little things in life! Adam should be home from work earlier today, around 7 I believe, and I'm sure we will just relax together and catch up on our shows thanks to Hulu. Tomorrow I will try to discipline myself and keep to my normal schedule I have with the girls as far as meal times are concerned and hopefully tonight I will be asleep before 2am so I can wake up closer to 9am instead of noon. (Wow, I just re-read that last sentence..my life is rather good right now..maybe I will continue to sleep til noon everyday!) Thanks for reading, I am not entirely sure what I typed because like I said, I had a little too much caffeine, so my fingers are typing fast!

--Happy Wednesday Afternoon Everyone--


.Nakate Giveaway+Dog+Coffee=Good Morning.

I wanted to share with you a special package I received in the mail.
No, it was not a dog..
..or a cup of coffee.
It was a stunning turquoise bead necklace from Nakate.

Nakate is a team of volunteers with one important goal: Helping the many women and children with aids in East Africa. The women of East Africa make beaded jewelry Nakate purchases to later resell in the states. All of the proceeds are then returned and invested to these women and their families.

Nakate needs you to spread the word and to share the love. 

Little Things Bring Smiles and Nakate have teamed up to do just this. We are offering a giveaway to win one of these beaded necklaces.

To enter this giveaway, simply visit this blog post and leave a comment. 

That's it friends. Spread your love to Nakate and to others this morning.

 I am wearing the 

Nakazi Hariet

necklace from Nakate's Store.

Please visit Nakate's website to learn more information on how you can help.
Shanley at shanley@nakateproject.com


.It's a New Week.

Every Saturday night, Adam and I go to bed and when we wake, it is a new week.
A new week, a fresh start, another beginning.
I'm looking forward to this new week.
I have off. Every single day, that is:
What to do? Oh, what to do?

I am feeling full of life after being in a bit of a funk last week. The Lord is restoring my heart and my body and I am feeling alive, so very alive! In life I often find God brings us to places of struggle and of pain. He does this not to harm us, but to make us stop in life..stop and think..think of Him and what He is doing. God stopped me last week and rocked my world. There is so much I miss God telling me because I am too busy and caught up in life I forget to stop and think..and pray. He reminded me to do just this and only this and friends, I am ready for the new week.

I am ready to see God in the little things in life. In the sunsets, the singing birds, the long green grass, the soapy dish water, in the stillness..He is everywhere. I am ready to read this week, something I never choose to make time for. I am ready to write this week to friends and loved ones far away. I am ready to run this week in the early morning light. I am ready to cook this week, to actually plan out meals for my husband and I.

I am ready to live this week..live to the fullest..Are you?


.Thank You.

After yesterday's post I did not know what to expect...what I discovered in my email and facebook accounts blew me away. Thank you everyone for your words of kindness, encouragement, and wisdom. I am in awe of how God is using this blogging community to help one another. Thank you from my whole heart, I am truly touched.




This is an emotion I can honestly say I have not experienced until recently in life. I am going to open up and share what's been on my mind and in my heart hoping some will lift up the situation in prayer. Two nights ago, I found myself showering around midnight and crying. My tears mixed with the shower water and I was a complete mess. I prayed and prayed hard. My body, my mind, and my heart became filled with guilt and I begged for forgiveness from my Heavenly Father. I asked Him for strength to change my ways and for the words I needed.

You see..a very close family member of mine, my aunt who has been a second mother to me over the years, came down with a very rare disease about 5 years ago. The disease slowly began eating away at her body resulting in slurred speech, memory loss, and a decrease in her motor skills. As this was happening, I had thoughts. My thoughts were not good thoughts..in fact, the complete opposite. I did not believe these things were happening to my aunt and thought it was an act. An act? Yes, I accused my aunt of craving more attention and acting up when around certain family members so we would feel sorry for her. Why did I think these things in my mind? In my heart? My aunt was a wonderful woman and was always there for me my entire life. Why all of a sudden I was choosing to focus on lies..lies that I made up? This is where the guilt began.

With each passing year, my aunt's poor body was shutting down on her more and more. After only 2 years, the aunt I knew and loved growing up seemed to be gone. Her body was there, but her mind was elsewhere. At this time, I saw what it was doing to my uncle. He always looked tired, stressed. His heart started giving him troubles after his mild heart attack years back. My uncle's life became filled with doctor visits for my aunt and himself. He worried all of the time, wondering what was right, the best to do for his wife, his best friend.

My uncle had been a second father to my brother and I growing up. My aunt and uncle never had children of their own and treated Scott and I with love like we were their own. They loved us..they were so proud of us. And then..we both got married and moved away, 8 hrs away. My brother and sister-in-law live in Chesapeake and Adam and I live in Lynchburg Virginia. I can only speak for myself and know, ever since college and marriage, I have not been there for my aunt and uncle.

Guilt? Yes, more guilty feelings for this girl. As soon as my aunt's illness became real to me, I realized I missed the last few opportunities to converse with her, let her know I loved her, that Jesus loved her..that I was here for her. Instead, I chose to believe she was acting and making it up, scribbling her handwriting on purpose and forgetting names of family members. That was 4 years ago. Today, my aunt is sad. Her heart is still pumping and she can still speak a few words but it breaks my heart remembering who she used to be..the fun, energetic, opinionated aunt who was never afraid to speak her mind and never hesitated to tell you how much she loved you. My uncle needs his family more than ever and here I sit, feeling guilty for not being there..not calling..not visiting..why? Why do I feel scared to talk to my uncle? Why don't I simply pick up the phone and call?

I feel poorly for the things I thought a few years back. I am scared what to say to them..how do you talk to someone who can barely hear you and understand you? What do I say to my uncle? He knows I've let him down..he knows I have been distant. My prayers are asking God for grace, strength, and bravery to get over all of it and change..make a change..to pick up that phone, to write my uncle a letter, to send them a video of Adam and I talking to them. Anything, just something to let them know they are on my heart and in my prayers and that I love them both. I do, I always have. I just have not been knowing how to express it to them since my aunt got ill..I want to help, I want to make them laugh, I want to tell them both more about God and how He sent His son for us..for them..I want to do these things but my guilt gets in the way. I start asking myself questions..Did I miss my chance? Am I too late? Is my uncle upset with me?

Friends, I am sad. My family does not know how much longer my aunt will be around and I continue to not call..what is wrong with me? Adam and I received a package from them with housewarming gifts! Yes, my uncle went shopping and mailed me a package. Why is he so good to me when I have been so distant to him? I really want to make a change but I need help, I need your prayers. I need to get over everything and just deal with it. I love them and miss them terribly. They need to know that, plain and simple!

I am not even sure what I just typed, my fingers just did their thing. I'm stuck in a strange place right now and would like some wisdom and prayer. Being real here..and these are thoughts I have not shared with anyone, anyone. It's always easier to write things down instead of verbalizing them, right?



Adam is from MN.

Katie is from NJ.

We now live in VA.

MN + NJ = VA?

In our life this equation is true! This month we have had family members from both MN and NJ visit us in our new home here in VA. We are so blessed and blown away our loved ones would travel so far to see us. 

Our first house guests arrived from MN. They were Adam's older brother Nathan, his wife Maria, and their 5 month old daughter Lucy. It was great catching up in person with Nate and Maria and it was really really REALLY GREAT meeting our niece for the first time! Lucy stole the hearts of everyone with her smirk and little noises. She was and is one of the happiest, most content babies I have ever met. The Miller gang stayed at our house for the week and it was wonderful simply living life together.

Highlights of our week:

- Swimming in Grandma's community pool
- Eating breakfast out on the deck
- Preparing meals for everyone
- Laughing during family game nights
- Having great conversations
-  Learning more about each other
- Holding sweet baby Lucy
- Watching Colden and Lucy stare at one another
- Devouring Chick-Fil-A lunches together
- Sharing morning coffee 
- Snuggling with our babes during late night movies

Enjoy a few photos from our week and beware--baby Luce will melt your heart!
 Left to Right: husband Adam, Myself, sister-in-law Maria, brother-in-law Nathan, brother-in-law Alex, niece Lucy
 Proud Auntie Katie!
Back Row: Myself, mother-in-law Wendy. Front Row: niece Lucy, sister-in-law Maria
Left to Right: brother-in-law Alex, brother-in-law Nathan, niece Lucy, husband Adam
When the week ended, our house became empty and quiet. It did not last for long--the next weekend, my mother Cindy, father Ken, and cousin Taylor came down from NJ to celebrate our new home with us! We had a wonderful time together and tried to soak up every minute of our rather short weekend.

Highlights of our weekend:

- Showing everyone the new house and property
- Taking my cousin on a tour of Liberty University
-Sharing morning coffee and coffee cake 
- Watching The Little Rascals in the morning
- Grocery shopping as a family (yes, we totally did this and yes, we all had fun!)
- Enjoying meal time together
- Introducing my parents, cousin, and in-laws to our close friends
- Spending quality time with our friends and family over pizza
- Being entertained by our friends' babies and new puppy
- Playing cards and the laughter it brought

Sadly, I do not have any photos to share with you. It was a short weekend and cameras were not on our minds. Next time, we will remember to have them ready and capture the good times. For now, they will forever be stored away in our memories :)

The house is back to being quiet and empty. Colden has sniffed every room in the house looking for my family. He's been mopy today and you know what?--I have been too. I miss my family. Adam and I are so fortunate to have such close, loving people we get to call family. God is good to us friends, so very good. It feels kind of strange to not have to strip the beds, wash the sheets, re-clean the house, spray down the showers..but just relax..a good strange that is!

It's just Adam, the pups, and I for a while..back to "normal" life.