Encouraging an Active Family Lifestyle

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I’m excited to be over at the Tommy Nelson blog today sharing our journey to a more active lifestyle as a family! Tommy Nelson is getting ready to release a young reader’s version of Finding Gobi, as well a picture book version, featuring the adventure of an ultramarathoner and a dog. My son really enjoyed the young reader’s version and it reminded me that inspiration for active living can even come from reading a book!

Here’s a little bit of our story…

There was a time in our life as a family where our children didn’t want to play outside. They didn’t want to go for a run or walk or play backyard baseball. The boys preferred to stay inside to build with Legos, watch TV, and read. Building with Legos and reading are excellent activities, but kids have a lot of energy, and especially my boys. When they aren’t active, that energy can (and will) be spent in unproductive and destructive ways, such playing recklessly in the house and fighting with siblings.

I know, at the time, my husband and I weren’t great active examples for our kids. Exercise was low on our priority list for a long time, but five years ago, we both started to run and take better care of ourselves. Soon, we were running several days a week and training for races. Running improved our fitness level and gave us more energy to play with the kids. Instead of sitting around watching TV with the kids, we were inviting them to go for a walk or to go play tennis…

Head on over to Tommy Nelson to read more about how the kids responded to these changes and a few of my favorite tips for getting your family moving and healthy!

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It’s Time for Me to Be the Good

I received this shirt to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

As my son was turning eleven years old and getting ready to graduate from elementary school this spring, I wrote a little letter to him about being the good this world needs right now. I’ve seen him shine in loving his friends well, taking care of his younger cousins, and being bold about his values and love for Jesus.

This week, he hosted a lemonade stand with his brothers to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in honor of his friend who has Type 1 Diabetes.

In two hours, they raised almost $115! It also meant a lot to Big J’s friend and his family. Seeing him think of this “be the good” idea, put it into action, and have great results was rewarding for all of us!

Now, it’s my turn.


I have lots of “be the good” ideas, but they often just stay ideas in the busyness of life. I am a dreamer, but I want to me more of a doer when it comes to blessing others.

This Bible passage came to mind as I was thinking on what “be the good” means to me:

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” -James 2:14-17

We have to make time for the things that are important to us in life. Living out my faith is important to me. Making my family and friends smile, helping in my community, and loving our neighbors well are important to me, so it’s time to make time for more of that!

You know I like to wear my reminders to myself, so this “Be The Good” tee from Cents of Style is perfect for my passion right now. Our world needs more helping hands, more smiles, more encouraging words – maybe this shirt will inspire someone else to also “be the good!”

All “Be the Good” items from Cents of Style are 40% off with the code BEGOOD17 this weekend! The bags are under $9, the hat + bracelets under $15, and necklace + tees under $17! Shipping is free, too! For your reference, the t-shirts run very true to size and I wear a small in both!

How do you like to “be the good” in your home, neighborhood, and community? Let’s inspire one another today!

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My Favorite 2017 Fourth of July Finds!

This post contains items I received to review from The Modest Mammoth and Cents of Style. I am an ambassador for PRO Compression. This post also contains affiliate links.

You know I like to go all out for the holidays and the Fourth of July is no exception! Every year, it’s fun to find new patriotic things to wear and 2017 did not disappoint! For most of these, if you order now, you can have them in time for Independence Day!

The Modest Mammoth

I love shopping local, so I am giddy about this brand new Nebraska-based shop! The Modest Mammoth has THE softest shirts I’ve ever worn and they keep introducing fabulous designs! I’m wearing the Liberty tee in size small and I think I will live in it over the holiday weekend! When the sun heats up, I’ll be reaching for the Liberty tank instead – watch for a pic on Instagram soon! BEST NEWS: Both the Liberty tee and tank are just $17.76 with the code JULYFOURTH through July 4th! P.S. PLEASE check out the rest of their shirts and hats while you there – The Hubby and I are both big fans!

And that hat?! It’s my new favorite! I’ve been trying to find it online to no avail, but it is available at Husker Hounds in Omaha!

Miles & Pace

Of course I had to include a running tank! Miles & Pace is a favorite running apparel company of mine and this is my favorite tank from them so far! The USA Run Because I Can tank is a great fitted racerback tank, perfect for a day at the lake or a Fourth of July race! I think I’ll pair it with my red sparkle skirt! They even have a trucker hat to match! Get both and get free shipping with the code SHIP40 right now!

PRO Compression

Get your feet in on the festivities! PRO Compression released their brand new Fourth of July sock and it is fabulous! These are limited edition and will sell out, so use the code JULY4 to get your for 40% off right now!

Cents of Style

Don’t forget the kids! I shared these last week, but I’m still loving the patriotic raglan tees for kids from Cents of StyleThey are still on sale for just $14.95 – what a steal for these adorable tees! As usual, shipping is free!

Well, I think we’re all set to celebrate the USA around here! Bring on the family, fun, food, and fireworks!

Any fun Fourth of July finds you’re loving this year? Please share!

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USA All the Way!

I received these shirts to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

One of my favorite things about the summer is the Fourth of July – the lake, the family fun, the fireworks! Our Fourth of July celebrations usually include a trip to my uncle and aunt’s lake cabin in Minnesota. It’s one of my very favorite traditions from growing up and now we get to take our boys there! With tons of family around and tons of things to do, the day just flies by and lots of memories are made. After tubing, jet skis, water skiing, front yard football and baseball, backyard badminton, and fantastic food, everybody loves to settle in around the campfire for stories and s’mores. It really is the perfect summer day!

There are two holidays for which I buy everyone in the family new shirts every year – St. Patrick’s Day and Independence Day! I just can’t help myself when I see all the fun new red, white, and blue apparel appear in stores and online. With the boys growing so fast now, they definitely can’t fit into their shirts from the previous year!

This year, I picked out the boys’ Fourth of July shirts from Cents of Style!

I love these baseball raglan tees so much and so do my boys! While are July days are usually quite hot, the nights can get quite chilly, especially at the lake, so these are a great option for layering as we head to the campfire!

The classic baseball raglan tee is perfect for any age because it never goes out of style! And these lightweight tees let my boys still be active without getting too hot! They even wore them for our newest favorite activity: shooting hoops in our driveway!

Gosh, I love being a boy mom! This new basketball hoop by our driveway has been the BEST thing for our active boys – I can’t get them to come inside!

 

Now, about those shirts…

Cents of Style has all kinds of fun and festive kids’ shirts on sale this weekend only! Use the code KIDSTORY to get 50% off all kids’ shirts – some will be as low as $5! Shipping is free, too! This deal ends Sunday, June 18th, so don’t miss out!

Which shirts will your kid(s) be sporting from this awesome collection?!

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My Grandma Mac

My Grandma Mac, my last living grandparent, passed away at the age of 88 this past Sunday. My oldest son and I visited her just a week before her passing. She had had a stroke the previous week, and likely another one just that morning, so she wasn’t completely coherent. Before we left, Big J and I told her we loved her and she said, “Thank you.” We were sadly unable to make it to her funeral, but that moment with her was perfect for me. Below are some thoughts I wrote to be shared at her funeral today in my absence. I wanted to also share them here in her honor. I love you, Grandma. Rest In Peace.


My grandma had the best smile. It was big and wide and highlighted perfectly by her bright red lipstick. It was a smile you didn’t catch on camera very often, by her request, but the few pictures I have with that genuine smile are my favorites of her.


I loved her sharp wit and sense of humor. Even the last time we visited her, just less than two weeks ago, my oldest son, Big J, commented on how funny she was. I’m so glad that was one of his last memories of her because it’s how I will always remember her, as well.


She was a humble woman who didn’t like to talk about herself a lot. When I could get her to share stories from her childhood, from meeting Grandpa, and from raising three boys, I could sit and listen for as long as she would talk. I feel such a connection with her now, living in Nebraska, where she was born and raised, and raising my own three boys. I greatly treasure those anecdotes she shared with us.


Grandma loved her family well. She delighted in her granddaughters, treated my husband just like her own grandson, and had the best hugs and smiles for her great-grandchildren. Of all the ways I knew she loved us, her handwritten letters were my favorite. They usually came along with a newspaper clipping or recipe of some kind that showed she was thinking of us and our particular interests. The last one I received just weeks before her passing. I will hold that letter, her words, and her beautiful heart close to mine forever.

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Straight Outta the Midwest

I received these items to review from Sweet P + Fi.

I’m a Midwestern girl. I was born and raised in South Dakota. I came to Nebraska for college, met my husband, got married, and started our family. All in the Midwest.

We love to travel all over the place, but I just adore life in the Midwest. I love the four seasons, even if they  sometimes happen all in one day! I love being near our family and our Huskers. I love the people, the landscape, the feeling of belonging. The Midwest is our home base.

This new tank top from Sweet P + Fi could not be more perfect as we head into another Midwest summer…

Sweet P + Fi is my favorite online boutique (based out of Nebraska!) because the pieces are fun and the prices are fabulous. This is another one of those great pieces!

The “Straight Outta the Midwest” tank is super soft and flowy – and it’s only $20! Even better – use the code Midwest15 to get 15% off! 

I love a good classic gray tank on its own, but you can always spice it up a bit with a colorful bralette like this teal one, also from Sweet P + Fi!

To complete this Memorial Day weekend-ready outfit, I went with distressed denim, Converse, and an Urban Halo headband! Comfy and cute and ready for some Midwestern family fun – that’s my kind of outfit!

While you’re over at Sweet P + Fi buying your “Straight Outta the Midwest” tank, make sure you check out all of the other great new items in the shop! I just added a couple more new soft tanks to my summer wardrobe! Don’t forget – use the code Midwest15 to get 15% off your entire order!

Where are my Midwest girls? Born and raised here? Recent transplant to the Midwest?

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Pineapple Love

I received this blanket to review. This post contains affiliate links.

I have a long-standing love affair with pineapples.

I just can’t get enough of them. While I do love how they taste, I’m talking more about what the pineapple represents. Many cultures view the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality, placing it outside their door to indicate that visitors are welcome or putting it on their table as a sign of welcome and a gift for guests. I just LOVE that.

I have a pineapple print in my kitchen from All Good Things Collective (formerly Naptime Diaries) with this verse on it:

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. -Hebrews 13:2

The pineapple always makes me think of this verse and seeing it keeps my heart in line with what I want my home to be: a place of welcome, comfort, and love. I want this for guests, but also for my family. Hospitality isn’t just for special occasions and fancy events, but for every day and everyone.

In the summer, we can even take our hospitality outside. I’m thinking poolside or park picnics, and I’m taking the pineapple with me with my new Cents of Style beach blanket!

This is the most fun and festive beach blanket I’ve ever owned! I’m obsessed with the pineapple, but I also love the round shape, bright colors and fringe detail! The soft fabric on the back makes the beach blanket perfect for wearing, as well!

When you’re done sitting on this cute beach blanket for your picnic or day at the beach and the day starts cooling off, you can also use it as a wrap!

I love to wear dresses in the summer, but our evenings can cool off quickly, and so this wrap will be the perfect summer accessory! You can get your round wraps and beach blankets from Cents of Style this weekend for only $15.95 when you use the code STORYTHROW at checkout!

If the pineapple isn’t your thing, there are many other fun designs to choose from, but don’t delay because these wraps will sell fast at this great price! Remember to use the code STORYTHROW to get the $15.95 price + free shipping!

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Taking Aventura to Washington, D.C.!

I am an Aventura Ambassador and received the featured clothing to review on my blog. All opinions are 100% my own.

We took a fabulous family trip to Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago and I have several posts in process to tell you all about it, but today I want to talk about what I packed to wear for the trip!

Picking out clothes to take along was a little bit of a challenge because the weather was going to be all over the place – cool and rainy some days, hot and sunny other days. I also wanted to look nice for all the pictures, but feel comfortable while we walked all over the place all day!

The best solution for me was to pack several great Aventura Clothing pieces!

Day 1 had us touring the Capitol, visiting the Air & Space Museum, and exploring the city on a cool, cloudy day! The Hartwell Hoodie was perfect for keeping me warm and fashionable, even when that giant backpack was weighing me down!

Day 2 warmed up quite a bit, so it was time to pull out the Pilar tank for our trips to the International Spy Museum and Ford’s Theatre! It’s such a flattering tank AND the fabric is so lightweight – I will wear this SO much this summer!

Our third day was another hot one! I was very happy to have this ADORABLE Easton dress (in black) on a warm day of seeing all the monuments with the family! I put a pair of shorts like these Go Anywhere Shorties on underneath so there weren’t any unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions in the wind!

The Easton dress paired PERFECTLY with the black Albany packable sun hat and I was so thankful for it when the sun was beating down on us. I love how I could fold it up so it wouldn’t take up much space in my suitcase, then unfold it with no damage to the hat and wear it once we got here!

Every Aventura piece was easy to pack, came out of my suitcase unwrinkled, and made me feel cute and comfy the entire trip! We’re headed to Utah for a road trip in a few weeks and I know I’ll be taking even more Aventura Clothing with me for our adventures! Stay tuned!

If you’d like to place your own Aventura Clothing order for your summer adventures and get 60% OFF (up to $250 order), leave a comment or email me at homewiththeboys at gmail dot com to get your exclusive one-time use code!

Check out what other busy and beautiful Aventura ambassadors are wearing on the go this spring:

Mary at Real Girls Realm

Shannon at The Simple Moms

Andrea at Momma in Flip Flops

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Getting Ready for Summer with Glow by Nature Made®

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Summer has just snuck right up on me! The kids are just a few weeks away from being out of school and are already making plans for all the fun in the sun! We have vacations planned, races to run, pools to swim in, tennis to play, and so much more. It’s going to be a full summer and I need by body (and mind) to be in top working condition so I can enjoy every minute of it.

As I have mentioned before (many, many times), I am a runner. Two of the things I need most daily to keep my body in its best running form are also two things I need most to be ready for summer: hydration and sleep.

HYDRATION

I had no idea how far off I was on my daily water consumption until I became a runner. Early on, I would feel so sick after races and I discovered it was because of dehydration. Yes, I was drinking a lot on race day, but I was drinking enough on a daily basis. Once I started tracking my water and drinking more, the post-race sickness went away! I take my hydration VERY seriously now.

I feel the same way about hydrating my skin for the summer. With shorts, skirts, and tank tops making their way into my daily outfits, I want my skin to be moisturized and healthy-looking! Drinking water and regularly using moisturizer and sunblock are even more important for my summer skin.

This summer, I’m also taking the Glow by Nature Made® – Skin Moisture supplements. This new line of supplements is designed to help your skin stay moisturized from the inside out.† Glow by Nature Made® – Skin Moisture contains Ceramosides® which help with skin smoothness/firmness/suppleness for adults with dry skin† and help support skin hydration in as little as 15 days for adults with dry skin†. An ingredient in Ceramosides® is ceramides, which help support skin hydration by helping form a lipid barrier within your skin to retain moisture.† That’s a whole lot of technical talk to tell you Glow by Nature Made® – Skin Moisture is your summer skin’s best friend!†

SLEEP

Did you know most professional runners schedule rest just like they do workouts? Sleep is very important for athletes (and every person) because our bodies need time to heal. The list of reasons our bodies need plenty of sleep is long. I can tell when I’m running and exhausted – it does not go well, even if I’m in great physical shape.

Our summers are spent outside. We work hard and play hard. All the physical activity and time in the sun can really drain me! Add to that the fact that kids stay up later and the sun stays up longer…I’m tired just thinking about it! I need my sleep in the summer, so I’m so glad the Glow by Nature Made® line includes Skin Moisture + Sleep!

Glow by Nature Made® Skin Moisture + Sleep contains melatonin to help support sleep.† I take two softgels an hour before bedtime and I have felt a difference since I started taking them!

I am thankful to have Glow by Nature Made® Skin Moisture + Sleep on my side as we head into summer! You can find the whole line, which also inlcudes Glow by Nature Made® – Skin Moisture + Hair and Nail, at your local Target in the vitamins and supplements aisle just like I did. We shop at Target ALL the time, so it’s very convenient to have these supplements at my favorite store! If you shop online, you can receive 10% off at Target.com with promo code: GLOW now through May 27th!

 

*For adults with dry skin. ¥ 70 mg of Ceramosides®    ‡Biotin may help support healthy hair, skin and nails in those that are biotin deficient.†

†These statements have not been evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease.

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Dear Son, Be The Good

I received this shirt to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

Dear Son,

Yesterday you turned 11 years old. That just seems so impossible and so wonderful to me at the same time. You are my firstborn, the one who made me a mama, my mini-me in your love for history, learning, and the Packers. We have our differences, but we’re also alike in enough ways that we both “get” each other and butt heads often. I try to remember that God can and will use your stubbornness for good, so that’s what I’m praying for you every day.

This morning, the day after your birthday, was a little rough. I always hate the day after my birthday because it’s “just another day.” I can tell you were feeling that, too. But it doesn’t have to be. We have a choice every single day. I want you to choose to see the good around you and be thankful for it. And I want you to choose one more thing.

I pray you will choose to BE THE GOOD. This world has enough people waiting around for good things to happen for them. You don’t have to be those people. There are so many opportunities for you to be the good this world needs.

Smile at someone. Look for people who need a helping hand. Pray for a friend. Do something nice for your brothers. Find an injustice or cause that moves you and get involved in changing it for the better.

For as many things as there are going wrong in our world, there are as many (or more) ways for you to make a positive difference.

I know you love Jesus, and every good thing comes from Him. Stay connected to Jesus and not only will He help you see where you can shine some good, but He will also give you the strength you need to keep doing good for His glory.

Be the good, son. I’ll be right beside you doing the same.

Love, Mom

*****

Whatever you want to BE, the “Be Series” from Cents of Style will help you get and stay inspired!

All of the “Be Series” tees are just $15.95 with the code BESTORY this weekend! So many choices – there is literally a shirt for anything you want to be! I love all of my Cents of Style tees – great quality, soft, and so stylish! Grab your favorites while they’re on this amazing sale!

 

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