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…it’s off to school they go AND a gift card for you to one of my favorite shops!

Today marks the beginning of a new season for our family…all the kiddos went to school.
I posted a picture this morning on Instagram of all of us nestled close together,
and my my caption said something about the “letting go process” being hard for me.
A longtime friend actually commented and reminded me that us mamas never really let go…
we just expand our kids’ territories.  
Yes!  That’s it.  I’m not letting go…I’m expanding their territories.
Homeschooling has provided some of the sweetest and most treasured of all my memories.  We spent years doing science experiments in our backyard, collecting everything from bugs and lizards to rocks and feathers, and reading together hours on end, while cuddled up on our sofa.  When it snowed, we built snow families and made homemade snow ice cream, and it when warmer weather rolled around, we set out on our bikes to discover the world that surrounded us.  Such sweet years we’ve had together.
They all weren’t perfect moments.  Far from it.
There were days Andy arrived home to one or all of us in the fetal position on the bathroom floor.
I yelled a time or two or three dozen and felt like poo about myself as a mother.
…just sure there would never be a “mother of the year” award handed to me.
There were days of complaining {by me and them!}
And there were days they were made to run laps around the house after each subject. 
But, there were way more good moments…way more times of snuggling and laughing and learning together.
I wouldn’t trade a minute of the time we’ve shared together.  
These years allowed me the privilege of seeing who they are and what makes their souls come alive.
Expanding their territories is necessary.  It grows us and them.
But, it’s HARD work, and I bet I’m not the only one who feels this way!
My generous friend, Tahra, wanted to offer one of you the chance to win a $50 gift card to her shop.
She wanted to treat one of you with a gift card and everyone else with %15 off.
I own several pieces of her jewelry, and I can’t say enough about the quality of her work and her customer service.
The coupon code for 15% off through August 19th is::
BYAM15 
Visit her SHOP and come back and tell me TWO things:: {I’m feeling chatty!}
…tell me how you’ll spend your gift card.
…and tell me something special about a child in your life.
I’ll choose a winner on Monday…don’t forget to use the coupon code through August 19th for 15% off.

*There may have been tears rolling down my face at this point*

This give away is closed.
Jackie, who left comment # 8 won the giftcard.

Johanna F - I just love the stamped necklace with the pearls….. Perfect for this momma to wear!!! Hmmmm something special about my kiddos….they make me laugh at myself all the time!! Motherhood is humbling work for sure! Thanks for the blog….love reading it and I love our fruits of the spirit sign!!

Laura Lynn - I love the handstamped pieces and the sterling bangle. My kids are all funny. I have 5 children and each one makes me laugh. Just yesterday one made another a wig out of newspaper. My 5 year old boy wore it around the house all day. He loved his wig.

LLH Designs - Oh, sweet blog friend! I had no idea all were going to school this year. I’m dreading mine going back next week. I keep joking that I’d be a great home school mama…if it weren’t for the school part! Loved seeing your home featured today! {Thanks to your pins over on Pinterest!} xoxo!

Brenda - I think I might choose Trust His Story necklace…so many wonderful things to choose from. I have three children that I love with all my heart. I am sending 2 off to college in a couple of weeks while one stays home to attend the local community college. With twins the empty next years came quickly. Makes me cry but I know they need yo leave the next as difficult as that is for me.

Jboo - So many pretty items — love the stamped with pearl necklace. This summer, my quiet, shy girl took on a big challenge of attending a theatre camp workshop for 2 weeks – she made it through and enjoyed it and wanted to sign up for more!! Really spreading her wings — so proud of her!

Heather - I’m a stay-at-home mom and a military wife (to a husband who deploys often), so my son is my little buddy. I love watching his personality come alive. He is all boy and wants to be everyone’s friend. We take walks around our neighborhood every night. Most of the neighbors love him and enjoy watching him come by because you never know what he might have with him. Some nights it’s his tricycle or sit ‘n ride car. Other nights it’s a suitcase, vacuum or his potty-training toilet seat in his wagon. One evening a neighbor came out with a new stuffed animal for my son and when he showed it to him with tons of excitement, my son grabbed an extension piece off the vacuum & held it up with equal excitement! Next month he’ll turn 2. As he grows up, I hope he’ll continue to love the simple things in life as much as he does now.

With the holidays creeping around the corner, I would love to get a couple of the cuffs for my sisters-in-law. They’re beautiful and I know they would enjoy them. Thank you for the giveaway!

Me - Love her jewelry! I would choose the “trust his story” necklace. We are in the midst of trusting his story regarding my husband’s career. We were hoping for a new job this school year that would give our family a little financial wiggle room but it did not happen. We are trusting his story for our family. We have three great kids that keep us very busy ( 5 yo and twin 4 yos). We are expanding the territory of our oldest to kindergarten and I’m nervous, sad and excited at the same time. One of our twins has Ds and is moving into the terrible 2’s at 4 yo. He has taught us so much about the sovereignty of God and celebrating life just as we are.

Jackie - She has some beautiful jewelery. I would buy one of her initial necklaces with Tilly and Jack’s initials on it. I could go on and on for days about what I think makes Tilly special, but I’ll spare you…she definitely makes me laugh daily, the things she picks up and then later will say crack me up. For example, we were recently behind a car at a red light and out of nowhere she says, “C’mon you ol’ bucket of bolts! You’re gonna make me late!” (We later figured out that she got this from an old Mickey Mouse cartoon)

kfredricksen - I’d love a cuff. My kids make me slow down and play. Our family spent the afternoon at the local arcade/game place recently. I even played laser tag. I didn’t want to play but my kids really wanted me to participate. I was high scorer and it was fun. As I was bragging about being high scorer, my son promptly told me it wasn’t nice to be a bragger. I guess he was listening when I was trying to teach them about being respectful of others. Honestly, they teach me much more, then I could ever teach them.

Krista Julian - I would love to have the momma necklace to proudly carry around the names of our 4 kiddos! All of them are special (of course!) but our 5 yr. old Sophia is magical :) Her first day of school was last week and I was so sad to not have her home in “my” world all day! I walked her in and watched her make friends in the blink of an eye, give beautiful hugs to her two new teachers and teach a little boy who was crying a new song. Yes, I let her go a little easier seeing her making so many others smile…

Nancy Carr - Love her etsy shop and hearted it. I love the necklace that says Be The Change as well as the bracelet that says Rockstar which would be great for my granddaughter. nancythedove@aol.com

Nancy Carr - My son has the sweetest heart. He is a wonderful child and a great human being. nancythedove@aol.com

Sarah Bagnani - I love the ROCKSTAR bracelet… and My 4 girls teach ME the true meaning of life… LOVE— bagnani@att.net

Katy - There’s no doubt about what I’d get: A Mother’s Initial Necklace. You see, we battled infertility for years and by the grace of God, we know have perfectly precious twins! Through the years we struggled, everyone around me was having babies and wearing initial necklaces once their babies arrived…oh how I longed to be able to one day wear one too! The necklace would not only be a symbol of motherhood, but also a sign of victory over infertility! Praise the Lord!

Something special about a child in my life? Hmm, my twins are such a HUGE blessing and they are daily reminders of God’s redemptive power. Amen.

Michele - That last picture brougth tears to my eyes!! I would love a cooper and sterling cuff with trust His story on it or a fine silver wax stamp initial necklace!!
Can’t limit it to just once thing special since I have two daughters. Love their hearts and how tender they can be with each other. Adeline asked me when she will get to be a momma, and I said one day, and then she said good I am excited to be a momma just like you!!!

Michele

Brooke - I LOVE the initial necklace that you can add the charms to. I would get the base necklace and a P and J for my two boys!!
Something special about my children: my sweet Perry’s love of life and ability to forgive others so easily. Although we haven’t met our sweet Jack yet, his smile let’s us know he loves big and is so joyful!

Deborah - I know just how you feel about kids/school decisions. That for the giveaway opportunity. I think I’d choose the lime green jade bracelet or the rockstar bracelet. But all of her pieces are beautiful.

dmw212 - Did not know she makes leather cuffs . Yes please! I have a brand spanking new grandson so my daughter is pretty special to me at this time! Please pick us!

our little family - I adore her leather cuffs! My son and I ave really had some tender talks on marriage today…his heart is so big.

Colleen - I love her necklaces, so pretty! My baby girl will be starting her first year of high school on Monday. How did that happen so fast? The letting go part is so difficult. It is our job to launch our kids into adulthood, I know…but it also hurts my mama heart!

Kelli - My kids start back tomorrow and my baby will be going all day….so sad. I know I will have tears running down my face tomorrow. I love the last picture of your sweet kids.

Thank you for the giveaway!

Kelly Cach - I think any mom who has the ability to home school for any length of time deserves a Mother of the Year award. I’ve always admired (and been a bit envious, I have to admit) that they could do it. I wish I had it in me. I feel selfish for not even trying…for my kids’ sake. We opted for a small private school…because it was as close to homeschool as we could get and I also taught there…so we were technically doing school together. For the most part, we all do what fits our family during that season, don’t we? You are doing right by your children…I can tell :). I think you’re amazing!

I can’t choose just one of my kiddos, so here’s something special about each one:
My Gabe: He is tender and easy going, and has a heart for the underdog…he’ll make a great teacher and coach someday.
My Eli: He can be content and quiet, yet can also be emotional and introspective. He’s a friend to everyone.
My Nora: Well….she reminds me every day that I can’t do this life without Jesus. Plus, she’s FUNNY…and laughing is good :)

Blessings and hugs!!! That last pic choked me up too :)

Kelly Cach - Oops … Forgot to add: she has lots of pretty pieces, Wow! the Trust His Story necklace kinda choked me up, and the Prehnite Chalcedony necklace is just sparkly…catches my eye :)

Lindsay Firzlaff - Love that store! I would definitely get the “Trust His Story” necklace because right now, I’m going through a tough season in my life where my husband and I are separating. I say to God, almost daily, that I know He has a plan in place for my life, and I just have to trust and be patient for Him to reveal it.

As for a special child in my life, while I don’t have any children of my own, I’d have to say my goddaughter on my husband’s side is definitely on my mind. I hope and pray throughout this separation, that I can continue to be a strong presence in her life, teaching her about a deep love for God.

Pam McDonald - I LOVE the silver wax stamp initial (I ordered it for my sister in law for Christmas last year!) I have 3 amazing kids who are my heroes. My youngest will be starting his senior year in high school in a couple of weeks. He is one of the most positive people that I know and he has a BEAUTIFUL smile!

jerri - We just took my oldest, who is our only son, off to college yesterday and my heart is heavy today. I am so happy for him & proud of all his accomplishments but this momma misses him already.

I love the Cherish necklace, the Infinity necklace, & the leather washer bracelet; just to name a few.

Amanda - Beautiful pieces! I love the wax stamp initial necklace & the pearl earrings. Best wishes as your family makes this transition!

Megan - Life has it’s seasons and how wonderful that you had such an amazing season as their teacher. I didn’t homeschool for very long, but it was one of my favorite things about our time overseas. What He built in these years by your sacrifice will be beautiful. I hope you all have a great school year!

Lemonade Makin' Mama - So excited to see what this next season has for you my friend!! And we will have to have that phone conversation once you get all settled in to your new routine!! :)

Tracy - My youngest just graduated this year from college and you are exactly right we are “expanding their territories” we never do really let go…we’re mom’s, it’s our God given job! But we do place them in His hands, we know that they were His first and He will take care of them. And I totally understand the tears…I think I cried every year ( through college!!)

Kristie Lynn - I just came across your blog. And now I see these pictures of the jewelry and I just love the jewelry that your friend Tahra does, I can’t seem to find her site. Can you tell me where her page/etsy shop is? Thank you.

Kristie Lynn - Who won this?

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