Friday Favorites

I have missed this blogging space so very much. Lots of thoughts + very little time to write them + starting to feel settled = WANTING TO WRITE ALL THE WORDS NOW. I’m sure this urge will get even stronger once my office (yes, I have an OFFICE) is unpacked and organized.

I’m going to jump back in where I feel most comfortable – sharing things I love with you, so welcome to another Friday Favorites! (affiliate links included)

I call this a PINT OF HEAVEN. We love Halo Top Ice Cream around here for its low-calorie, high protein yumminess. I’ve enjoyed many flavors, but Sea Salt Caramel wins everything. I would be ok eating this flavor for the rest of my life. Mondays are popcorn nights and Tuesdays are now Halo Top nights. I’m counting down the days…

I’ve used the Believe Training Journal to track my running goals and workouts the last two years. This year, they introduced the Compete Training Journal and it is an awesome update for those of us runners with a competitive streak, even if it is just competing with our previous records. The goal-setting, race-planning, and motivational pieces of this journal make it the best around.

Many of my favorite graphic tees are from Cents of Style, so I’m excited to tell you they are 50% off all weekend with the code INSPIRE17 at checkout! I have that “Be Kind” design in a sweatshirt and adore it. “You can do hard things” is another one of my favorite sayings right now because I want to live that out as an example for my kids! At 50% off, grab as many as you’d like because they are a steal!

Happy sigh…it’s good to be back…tell me about your faves? Which inspirational shirt would you choose?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

A Giveaway with My Most Generous Friend!

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

If there’s anyone in the blogging and social media world who is more generous than my friend Crystal, I haven’t met that person yet. She is always thinking of others, blessing people, and being an encouragement every step of the way!

I check Crystal’s Friday Favorites post every week and usually find that we’re loving many of the same things. We’re cool like that. And because we love so many of the same things, we’re hosting a fun little giveaway this weekend!


Crystal and I will be gifting one of you a brand new copy of Choose Joy by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver, a beautiful Hallmark greeting card autographed by Dancing With the Stars own Julianne Hough (yep – seriously), a set of Hallmark Crown Collection Christmas movies (MY FAVORITE), a year long subscription to Relevant Magazine, an art print by Hey Emily Thomas, a pair of Vi Bella earrings, and a few other goodies that might just make their way into the prize pack.

Just complete the giveaway widget to be entered! A winner will be chosen at random on Monday!


Which part of this giveaway would you be most excited to win?!


The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Friday Favorites

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I have been thinking about getting back to sharing some favorite things on Fridays and my friend Crystal gave me a little nudge in the right direction, so Friday Favorites are back and better than ever!

#thankful tee

thankful tee skirt

How darling is the #thankful tee?! It is absolutely perfect for this season, but really could be worn anytime! You can get this tee FREE! When you make a purchase of $25 or more from Cents of Style today only (11/13/15), you will get this adorable shirt free! No special code is needed, but we do have a few tips for making sure you don’t have trouble getting this deal:

  • Allow the items that are going to be added to your cart on the product page to fully load, then add to cart to trigger the pop-up. If you hit “add to cart” before the page is fully loaded, it may not trigger the free t-shirt.
  • The pop-up will NOT be triggered if you use the “quick shop” feature. It has to be triggered through the full product page.
  • This is limit 1 FREE t-shirt per customer per transaction.

If you’re looking for a way to get to $25 and snag this free tee, I love this #nofilter trucker hat and any of the tribe bracelets!

For the Love

For the Love book

Please, please, please tell me you have read For the Love. Jen Hatmaker’s writing is pure gold – hilarious, heartfelt, inspiring. I laugh out loud every time I open this book and at the same time, I get punched in the face with truth I didn’t even know I needed. The chapter on leggings as pants is the best ever.

Evy’s Tree #12DaysofThanks Sale


If you’ve had your eye on an Evy’s Tree hoodie, now is the time to pay close attention because they have been offering AMAZING daily sales! The daily hoodie on sale is usually between $39 and $59 which is a huge discount from regular price! Every day, a portion of the sales goes to a designated charity – I love how giving they are! The only catch: stock is limited, so you have to act quick to grab the deal when it goes live at 10AM CST. I’m excited to see what goes on sale today!

The Ugly Sweater Run

I think it’s pretty obvious from this pic that my friends and I had a blast at the Ugly Sweater Run last year! We are already signed up for this year and the hats are even better than before.

Ugly Sweater Run Hat

I love this hat so much. Don’t judge me. It’s totally amazing.  The Ugly Sweater Run is a 5K for anyone – low pressure (not chip-timed), hot chocolate “fuel stations,” inflatables, fake snow…just pure fun. There’s one here in Omaha and several others around the country – sign up if there is one near you and we can have cool hats together! Use the code UGLIEST to get $5 off registration!

AWANA Advent Devotional


I was so honored to be asked to contribute to this year’s AWANA Advent Devotional, 25 Reasons Why Jesus Was Born! The whole project is amazing and I can’t wait to read through it in the days leading up to Christmas. The best part: this devotional is FREE! You just have to sign up here to get your own copy!

What is on your favorites list this week?


The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Friday Favorites

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I haven’t done a Friday Favorites in a while, so I have all sorts of stuff stored up in my head to share with you! And my friend, Crystal, does the most fun Friday Favorites every single week, so you should check hers out. We often agree on our favorite things. We’re cool like that.

Crossway Trio

Everything I’ve read from Crossway Books

I’ve read three books published by Crossway this year and I can’t get enough of them. I’m going to be writing a review on each one, but I just need to give you a heads up that these books need to be on your list. The absolute best part about books from Crossway is how they pack a TON of wisdom and grace into a small amount of pages. I pick up a Crossway book and think, “As a busy mom, I can handle a book this size.” And then I end up underlining half the book because they have each been THAT. GOOD. The three I’ve read so far are Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, Blind Spots, and Women of the Word. I already have two more in line to read. Yes, Im addicted.


Corn Salsa

Speaking of addictions, this corn salsa is super duper easy to make and I’ve been eating it for days on everything. I mixed it in with BBQ grilled chicken and quinoa for lunch yesterday. I used it to top a turkey burger. And, it may sound strange, but I’m loving using romaine leaves as “chips” and scooping up the corn salsa as a dip. Make some this weekend.

COS Beach Sale

Summer Accessories on Sale

Sunglasses, sandals, kimonos… So, I don’t own a kimono yet, but Cents of Style is totally tempting me with their summer accessories sale today. I want grab all their fun beach items and head to the ocean. Too bad I’m in the middle of the country. So here’s the great beach sale today: Get 40% off + free shipping on all the items you need to look fabulous at the beach with the code BEACHREADY at checkout! Kimonos are just $11.97! You can also get great deals on sandals, swimsuit coverups, and more! If you spend $20 or more, you will also get three sheets of fun metallic temporary tattoos for FREE!

DaySpring Fathers Day Flash Sale

Flash Sale for Father’s Day!

DaySpring is helping you get ready for Father’s Day this weekend with a flash sale on these amazing sets for dads! There are two gift sets available, each at the super low price of $19.99! AND you can use the code THANKYOU to get an extra 25% off as part of the Customer Appreciation Sale! These sets are on sale through the weekend and they are an amazing way to bless the man in your life for Father’s Day! If you’re not shopping for Dad, you can still use the THANKYOU code to get 25% off your DaySpring order!

We have a fun-packed weekend ahead of us – I can’t wait to fill you in on Monday! Enjoy your weekend!


The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

What I’m Loving: January 2015

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

It can’t be the end of January already, can it?!

January has been a full month for us – full of activity and family time and fun and…we’re ending the month sick. Boo. This weekend will be spent resting and trying to get healthy as we start a fresh month!

Here’s a little recap of what I’m loving in this first month of 2015:


I’m a late-comer to this fabulous show. I actually started in on Netflix a year ago, but I just didn’t get into it at the time. After I finished The Gilmore Girls, I decided to give it another shot because I adore Lauren Graham. I’m so glad I did. I’m only in season five right now so NO SPOILERS from those of you who watched the finale last night. NO SPOILERS, PEOPLE. I’ve come to understand three things about each episode:

  1. Someone will make a very bad decision.
  2. Something horrible will happen to someone.
  3. I will cry.

Once I discovered this about every episode, I enjoyed it so much more. And I have fallen in love with the Braverman family in all their messy glory. I will have to wait a while to see the finale, but I know it will be worth it!

Basketball mom


Our oldest started his first year of team basketball – with actual games, he wants you to know – and it has been such a fun experience so far! We are not the tallest people ever (understatement of the year), so I was a little worried about how he would fare in this sport. But I don’t even care if he is any good because he LOVES IT SO MUCH. After their first game, a loss by almost 20 points, his coach asked him what he thought and he said: “I loved it.” He didn’t even get the ball once in that game, but he defended with every ounce of his small frame. And I just beamed the rest of the day because of his joyful attitude. It has also been fun to watch him learn and grow as they practice and play more. We also went to a super exciting Huskers basketball game this month!

Books to better me

Own Your Life Fringe Hours
I received two books to review to start this new year and together they are teaching me so much about the use of my time! Yes, I’m often reading several books at a time. That’s just how I roll. Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson and The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner have been both challenging and filling for me. Because of these books, I’ve been taking the time to evaluate how I spend my days. This has been eye-opening and I’m really thankful. It’s like God knew I needed to read them at the same time or something! Own Your Life has a more spiritual, prayerful approach, while The Fringe Hours is very practical and journal-like. I find myself applying things from both books to my daily life every day!

Inspiration for women leaders

I’ve been a member of the Influence Network for a while now and I can’t recommend it highly enough. This is a group that really cares about growth and influence in the name of Jesus. The classes, the posts, the podcasts, the forums – it is all so encouraging. And I always love a good place to connect and network! I am an ENFP, after all!

Just this week, the brand new ministry, Propel Women, launched with the purpose of supporting and encouraging women leaders. As the cofounder of Raising Boys Ministries, I’ve been longing for more guidance and wisdom in doing this leadership thing well while keeping God and my family as priorities. I love what I’ve heard so far and look forward to learning more in this area! You can sign up for their free online magazine here!

Scarves on sale!

I’m a sucker for great scarves and I have TWO great sales to share with you!

fashionABLE has extended their end-of-the-year sale and you don’t want to miss these low prices on scarves that make a difference in the lives of the women who made them! Shop at this link to get an extra 10% off your order! My closet is full of these fabulous scarves – you will love them!

COS Scarf Sale 1-30

Cents of Style has a major one-day sale on scarves today! Buy 1 beautiful, colorful spring scarf for $11.95 and you will be offered a cozy, black, cable knit, infinity scarf for FREE at checkout! Just use coupon code 2FOR1. Plus, Cents of Style always offers FREE SHIPPING! Remember, this sale is today, Friday, January 30th, only!

What did you love this month? What are you reading, watching, wearing, and listening to?

I’m linking up with Leigh for her monthly What I’m Into post!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

4 x 4: Get to Know Me Before Declare!

Next week is the Declare Conference in Dallas and I am over-the-moon excited to be attending and speaking this year! Some of my very favorite writer friends will be there and it has been WAY too long since we’ve seen each other. And since I know no strangers, only friends I haven’t met yet, I’m looking forward to seeing lots of new friends while in Texas as well!

And to make us a little less like strangers and more like friends when we finally do meet in person, I’m linking up with the Declare 4×4 posts to share more about myself! Enjoy!

Family Standing 2014 blog

4 things about me

I’ve been married to The Hubby for 11 wild and crazy years which have led to us being in his last year of residency right now. LAST YEAR, PEOPLE. {cue angels singing} He is my best friend and such a hottie.

I’m a boy mom, through and through. Big J is 8, Little J is 6, and Double J is 2. Our house is loud and chaotic and full of Legos and just as it should be. I don’t really “get” this boy thing all the time, but I sure do love them!

In my “former” life, I was an elementary music teacher and loved every minute of it. I worked in the best small community and also coached junior high volleyball and helped direct the high school musical. It was my dream job and I am so thankful for the time I had there.

After years of HATING running, I gave it a real shot in April of 2012 and have loved it ever since. In just over two years, I have ran four half marathons with the last two being under two hours! I never in a million years would have thought I would be a runner, but here I am! And I love encouraging other women in their running journeys! {Anybody want to run with me on Friday or Sunday morning?}


4 endearing quirks

I am LOUD, especially my laugh. You’ve been warned.

I don’t eat cheese, but I’m a huge Cheesehead {Packers fan}.

I’m a little obsessed with personality and strengths tests and exercises. I love finding out more about myself and the people I work with so we can work better together. StrengthsFinder is my favorite so far!

I can’t wait to wear these cowboy boots in Texas.

dotMOM Photo Booth Crop

The last time I saw Brooke in person – Double J was 6 months old! Excited to be reunited at Declare, but sad Amanda won’t be joining us!

4 things about my writing/blogging

I started blogging in 2008 when I was becoming a stay-at-home mom for the first time. The blog was supposed to be a way to share our family life with friends and family far away, but it has definitely morphed over the years!

Writing was never something I had on my list of dream jobs, but as I look back, I used to write stories with my friends starting in elementary school and I wrote for our high school newspaper. God knew how to lay a framework for writing without me even realizing it. Now I can’t imagine going even a few days without writing something!

I have a few magazine articles coming out in late 2014 and early 2015! I love the topics and the magazine I’ve been writing for and can’t wait to tell you more when they come out!

I co-founded The MOB Society for mothers of boys with Brooke in 2010 without ever having met each other in person! We’ll both be speaking at Declare this year AND we get to room together!!!


4 of my favorite things

Football. It’s so close I can taste it… Go Huskers! Go Packers!

Popcorn. Air-popped with real butter or popped on the stove with coconut oil are the best.

Tennis dates with The Hubby. Yes, he usually beats me, but we’re pretty evenly matched, so we have fun and get a great workout…and then go eat yummy food in our sweaty tennis clothes!

Fair trade/ethical fashion. I love knowing my purchases are making a difference.


Well, that was fun! I cannot wait to get to Dallas and share the weekend with a whole lot of Jesus-loving women who want to follow Him with wild obedience and declare His Name to the world! If you’re coming, make sure you let me know and say hi if you see me!

I will be speaking on Friday about affiliate marketing and how to handle it ethically and still make money! I would love to have you join me if you’re interested!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Friday Favorites: March, Nickels, & Books!

IT’S MARCH!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, I just can’t contain my excitement because I. Love. March. Birthdays galore {including Double J, Samson (our Compassion child), Dr. Seuss, the state of Nebraska, and me!}, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter – so much to love!

Oh, and since it’s March that means our Nickels for Nets challenge wrapped up yesterday and we have a final tally for you!

Nickels for Nets Box

Our original goal was five nets, then a friend in a nearby city offered to collect there so we could double our goal to ten nets! We needed $80 total and we collected…


WOOHOO!!! Big J and I were so thrilled when we did the final count last night! A HUGE thank you to all the old friends and family and new friends and librarians who donated this month! You made my big guy’s face and heart light up and you are changing the lives of the children who will receive these nets!

If you collected for Nickels for Nets, make sure you head over to Amanda’s place to share your total! You can either link up a blog post or picture with your total here or leave a comment with your total here!

Amanda is kicking off a new Monthly Mission on Monday – go check it out and get your kids involved! It’s a really cool one!


Upside Down Prayers Book Club

Speaking of kick-offs, we’re getting the Upside Down Prayers book club going on Facebook today! Visit my Facebook page and Amanda’s to join the conversation! If you don’t have the book yet, get it for your Kindle so you can jump in right away!


And one more exciting launch happening today…

Holley Gerth’s amazing book You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You is finally on sale for you to grab!

I am just eating this book up! If you need someone to cheer you on as you go after your God-sized dream, Holley is your woman and this book is just what you need.

Not sure what your dream is? Get this book.

Thinking your dream is small or insignificant? Get this book.

Afraid of failing and being rejected? Get this book.

If you’ve been following my God-sized dream journey at all, you know I’ve felt all of these things. Holley has spoken to each of these areas through You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream, with love and encouragement and even a kick in the pants when I needed it, but done with lots of grace, of course!

I really do hope you’ll pick up your own copy and be inspired to draw closer to God through the dreams He has for you to pursue!


Now for the important question of the day…

What is YOUR favorite thing about March?!


*This post contains affiliate links.

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

HIS Friday Favorites!

I love it when the hubby posts…


No, this is not like Oprah, where I will proceed to then give away each of the things that I list.

And yes, this will only give many of you more ammunition with which to make fun of me.

I don’t care. I love these things.

Yes, I can be a little bit material sometimes.


For many years, we got by on limited basic cable, with about 22 channels. This meant two things – one, that we were subject to whatever movie TBS happened to be showing that weekend. Well, yes, obviously we could have gone to the video store, but come on, that requires leaving the house. Secondly, it meant that we were living in the dark ages and using VHS tapes to record our favorite shows. Every so often, a tape would go bad and you’d be watching an episode of West Wing with audio from a Friends episode. Yes, I realize that I am dating myself here. Well, we (ok, I) finally caved and got DVR service. It’s the best thing ever. Pause, rewind, recording, it’s all easy – and no screeching from a bad tape.



Where I grew up, there was a Chick-Fil-A, so I never really appreciated how awesome it was to have until I moved somewhere where there is not such a restaurant. Cane’s, Popeye’s, KFC – none of them compare. So now when we travel to see our parents, we must always stop (both for me and because Erin is obsessed also) to have some delicious chicken nuggets – even if it’s as a snack. It’s a required trip. Sadly, our boys do not appreciate it nearly as much – they are far more interested in the waffle fries, which I agree are also quite tasty.



I know that this should be a woman’s love, and that many of my guy friends have less than 5 pair, but I don’t care. I love cool shoes. There is one pair of shoes that I love so much that I asked for another pair for my birthday – just because I wanted to have another pair when my current one wore out. I know, I know. But for the record, I only own 12 pairs total compared to my wife’s 48. So I think I’m doing ok.

Homemade Pizza

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good delivered pizza. But I was brought up on my mom’s homemade pizza, which is fabulous. I admit, I was wary when my wife tried a different recipe. But it was also delicious! I love the pepperoni, mozzarella, mushrooms, black olives, and hamburger (or turkey sausage as a substitute). I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Sobe Life Water


I should get paid for advertising this product. I love, love, love it. Zero calories, with added vitamins and electrolytes, and a delicious taste. The absolute best is Yumberry Pomegranate. And Target makes it impossible not to buy it – 10 for $10, with a $5 Target gift card! I mean come on, they’re practically giving it away. Absolutely delicious.

What are some of your favorite things? How about your spouse’s favorite things?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Friday Favorites: YOU Share! (And Giveaway #5)

Congrats to Amanda A. for winning the Rusted Chain giveaway! Email me at erin (at) homewiththeboys (dot) net to claim your prize!

So I had this grand plan of sharing all of my favorite posts on a particular topic today, but it just didn’t happen.

I took a nap instead. It was wonderful.

But I would love to hear about YOUR favorite posts this week – written by you or someone else!

So please share away – and there’s a little treat in it for you if you do!

Because one of my FAVORITE new discoveries in the last few weeks is this lovely little shop…

coco ro banner

Oh goodness, this shop full of wonderful makes me want to have another baby around the house, just so I can order some of these…

coco ro bootiesCoco Ro onesiecoco ro boot bottom

Those booties are to die for, especially with engraving on the bottom!

And although these are diaper bag tags, I would be more than tickled to have one on my luggage, laptop bag – anywhere really!

diaper bag tagwooden bag tag

And because Kacia (genius behind the Coconut Robot) is so absolutely lovely, she is giving away a pair of these customized wooden bag tags to YOU as part of our blogiversary celebration!

You already know about your first required entry – linking up your favorite post from the week!

How about a few more?

Leave a separate comment for each (optional):

*Visit the Coconut Robot Etsy shop and tell us your favorite item!

*Follow @CoconutRobot on Twitter

*Head over to the Coconut Robot blog and subscribe

*Tweet about this giveaway

*Post about this giveaway on Facebook

Midnight tonight is the deadline so enter fast and enter often!

Last blogiversary giveaway is tomorrow! Don’t miss it!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Friday Favorites

This little bit of beauty in the middle of our children’s zoo blessed me this week.

Summer 2010 018

And so did these favorite posts of the week:

A guest post by Kristen from We are THAT Family over at the Life Rearranged blog. Her heart was COMPLETELY changed by one trip, and mine was changed by her posts about it.

This beautiful conversation about love between a mom and her son just reached into my heart. I love when parents write about tackling deep conversations with little ones. And it’s from a fellow Nebraskan who has a way with words.

I read THE. MOST. BEAUTIFUL. POST. written by a wife about her husband this week. You may need kleenex. And you may get lost in that blog and never want to leave. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Nish is one of the loveliest bloggers you’ll ever meet (and a MOB contributor!) and she poured her out her heart this week about sponsoring a Compassion child. God is working in our hearts to change the lives of these children. We will share soon about our precious child, but you must read about Nish’s experience now. And visit the Compassion site to read more about the life-changing work they do – and sponsor a child.

What was your favorite post in the blogosphere this week? Please share so we can check them out!

P.S. Did I mention that next week is our 2-YEAR BLOGIVERSARY?!?! Oh, there is much goodness planned for you. Because I love you. And surprises are fun. Have you subscribed here or here so you don’t miss out?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook