For The Woman Who Has Lost Her Way

David Cassidy's last words before he passed away were: "so much time wasted." I sat and sobbed as I read that over and over. 

How poignant a statement. How much time do we waste each year? Each month? Each week? Each day? Being mad, being hurt, being scared, being sad, being beat down. What a wast.

If you are like me, if you have sat in this solitude for any length of time, you know it's the loneliest place to be: without direction or purpose. Maybe, like me, you have lost friends. Maybe you don't know where to turn and how to pull yourself out of this despair. If you're like me, you got to rock bottom: you no longer wanted to exist. Maybe you're there now.

I shared snippets with a friend today of my past year and my failures. I did a lot of things wrong. A lot. I was lost, confused, hurting, broken. But do you know? I wouldn't change it. I couldn't be here, writing a beauty for ashes story, speaking life over the hurting and the lost if hadn't been there. Nothing with God is wasted - He is using it. His call on my life is for you - the lost women. The hurting women. The sad women. He wants YOU back. He wants YOU to be whole. He wants YOU to find Him in the battles and the trials. 

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. -Luke 15:4-5

If you are lost right now, God is a breath away. Stop. Tell Him how you feel. Tell Him you're scared. Tell Him you're lost. Tell Him you don't know what to do. Ask Him to fill the void.

Now, open your Bible and start reading.

John 3:16

Matthew 26:27-28

1 Peter 2:9

Psalm 119:105

Ephesians 6:10-18

Romans 8:26-27

1 John 4:4

Psalm 121

Psalm 8:1-3

Romans 8:28

These are truths to cling to each day. When you feel lost, pull these out and let God fill you.

Thank you for sharing your stories, your struggles, your hearts. The messages pouring in make me cry, laugh, grieve, and everything in between. You are not alone - we all go through the desert sometimes.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. -Luke 19:10

To My Monster-In-Law on Her 60th Birthday

Q: What is the worst thing an emergency doctor can tell you after admitting your MIL? 

A: Ma'am, we were able to save her!

Here's the thing about mothers-in-law: you're supposed to hate them. They are supposed to make your life worse, criticize your cooking, your housekeeping, your child-rearing, and make you feel like no one (including you) is good enough for her perfect, shitting-rainbows, talented, handsome son. Why he chose you is beyond her.

I first met Cyndi when I was 14 years old. I was fast friends with Josh, and her very first words to me were: "so, you're the girl he's been on the phone with everyday."

Simma, sass face.

Q: What is the ideal weight for a MIL?

A: About 2.3lbs, including the urn.

Cyndi got used to me being around - she couldn't get rid of me, really. Being at their house became part of my daily routine. When I started teaching, I would take my lunch breaks with Dennis & Cyndi for coffee and General Hospital, everyday, without fail.

If you were to ask most people, they would say that traveling with their mother-in-law would have to be one of the worst forms of torture on earth. We've four-wheeled through donkey pee to get to a tequila factory. Have you done that with your mother-in-law?

Q: What do you do if you miss your MIL?

A: Reload and try again.

When Maddie was born, I knew it was coming. Don't give too much. You're not giving her enough. She should sleep with you. She shouldn't sleep with you. I didn't do it that way. 

Instead, I got support. And Starbucks. A lot of Starbucks. And butt pillows.

I'm sorry you have hemorrhoids. Do you want me to get you a donut pillow?

What is the difference between turkey and mother-in-law? 

There is no difference: both are the best when they are cold on the table.

I anticipated a meddling mother-in-law, unhelpful and judgmental.

What I got was a mother-in-law who loves me like I'm her own, a woman who stopped everything in her life to take care of me and Maddie when I was on bed rest for NINE MONTHS with the twins, a woman who is unwavering in her support of whatever I am doing, a woman who counsels me, a woman who prays for me, a woman who makes me laugh, cry, spit, swear, and laugh again, a woman who steps in when there's a need, a woman who loves my kids more than life itself, a woman who is a confidant, a woman who encourages me and rallies me when I'm down, a woman who cares for our kids when we need someone and we don't trust strangers, a woman who organizes my kitchen when I move because I would rather poke my eyeball with a dull pencil, a woman who has seen me at my best and at my worst and loves me all the same.

Happy 60th Birthday to the best mother-in-law on the planet. Thank you for not being a psychotic, meddling mother-in-law. I cannot thank the Lord enough for getting you as a mother-in-law. Thank you for being all who you are and more. 

Crock Pot Chili

'Tis the season to make the best comfort food. We're kicking off the first snow of the season with a shredded chicken chili straight from Pinterest. I tend to toss spices and seasonings in without following a recipe, but here is the structure of what we made tonight. Add and subtract as you see fit for your and yours.

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans
  • 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes (w/chilies - but not for my picky kids)
  • 4 oz can chopped green chili peppers, chopped (optional)
  • homemade chili seasoning (see below)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 24 oz (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Seasoning from
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine beans, onion, diced tomato, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker and mix well.

Place the chicken on the bottom of the crock pot, completely cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 6 hours.

Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.

Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in.

Top with your favorite toppings!

WANTED: Serial Pooper

You read that correctly.

I'm a low-brow-jokes-kind-of-girl. Pooping, farting, that's what she said. That's my jam.

So, when 9 News started running their segment about the "Mad Pooper," I couldn't contain my excitement.

She is pooping in someone's yard.


Pulling down her pants and taking a dump. So, when you think you're having a bad day, just remember: no one is taking a sh*t in your yard.

August Phone Dump - A Scosche Late

The amount of photos we amass each month is insane, but I have a thing about keeping every single picture of the kids. Blurry, off center, weird faces. I don't care. I always think hang I would kick myself for deleting should something happen. So, we amass.




MAU Fashion for the Seven-Year-Old

I have always taken our kids out for their yearly photos until this year. Slipped through the cracks and all.

This big girl just turned 7 last month, and one night, I caught a wild hair to curl her hair, put on a cute dress, and snap some photos. So, that's what we did. 

We had this beautiful, comfortable, knit dress from MAU hanging in her closet, waiting for just the right opportunity. The sunset was dreamy, the bugs were chirping, and we headed to the outskirts for photos.

I met Lena online, and fell in love with her clothing line. It was simple, feminine, and stylish. We quickly decided to collaborate, and I'm so grateful we did. Learning stories of other moms who have gifts and talents that they need to share is my favorite part of all of this. 

MAU was founded in 2013 by Lena Taricina  young mother with an active lifestyle . Lena came up with the idea for the brand in St. Petersburg, where she studied costume design at the Stieglitz Art and Industry Academy. But the brand’s main development has started in Vilnius (Lithuania), after Lena graduated and has given birth to her daughter, Mira. She realized that there is a big need for comfortable yet stylish clothes. That was when Lena decided on the direction of her brand  knitted street fashion. MAU efficiently stands out from the variety of similar brands due to its unique cut and interesting soft shapes. MAU clothes bring ultimate comfort to both children and their mothers: only natural fabrics, only authentic colors, only quality threads, only creative ideas all of these make MAU recognizable and popular brand.

MAU secret is very simple: we truly think about people wearing our clothes. We want to go beyond simple comfort: our clothes are as cozy as a chili evening in front of the fireplace. We want our clothes to be safe for sensitive child skin: we choose best fabrics and make our threads soft. We definitely do not want our clothes to be boring, so we make playful designs that bring joy and happiness to our customers!
Today MAU consists not only of Lena Taricina, her daughter, her talent and her love for work. Today MAU brings together young creative people from different countries and different fields: photographers, writers, artists, bloggers all these people are happy to help Lena making her dream come true. MAU is not just a brand for young girls, children and their mothers: MAU has become alive with its heart beating with love for all of you!

Lena has a wide variety of clothing for kids and adults! They are comfortable, fashionable, and made from the hands of a woman who wants to share her talents with the world. Follow MAU on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the newest fashions.

A Letter to the California Parole Board

This is the heaviest thing you'll ever read on this blog, but this is very important to my family and I. Today is the last day to submit an email to the parole board to keep this woman in prison, and we would appreciate as many letters as we can get. This is the letter I submitted the parole board this week:

* * *

My earliest memory is the night my Uncle Ron was murdered. I was 3 ½.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and indoor

It was a December night, and we had been out. I was supposed to be getting into bed, but instead, I was jumping on the couch in the living room. I remember the phone ringing, my Dad picking it up, and then, he said, “Oh, my God!” My Mom came in from the hallway, and he told her.

Ron was dead. She had killed him.

I will never forget the scream that emitted from my Mom.

They pulled my sister out of her bed, and we drove to Papa & Grandma’s house where we sat in the living room, a family, now broken, unsure of what to do. I remember sleeping in my aunt’s room, but I’m sure not one of the adults slept. How do you sleep when your brother or your son was just murdered? How do you sleep when you know that, in his final moments, he was terrified, and suffered an excruciating death? You don’t.

I respectfully request a denial of the inmate's release. The inmate's crime was cold-blooded and carefully planned. She stalked my Uncle Ron for months prior to killing him. She purchased a gun and what she described as "man-stopping" bullets. She took shooting lessons and boasted about her plan. While my Uncle Ron changed cars and homes in attempts to evade her constant harassment, she secretly rented the apartment next to him so she could lie in wait and shoot him in the back multiple times when he returned home from work.

Not only did she take his life, she destroyed my family. We watched as my grandparents aged, virtually overnight, from the grief that took hold of their lives. As kids, we were made all too aware of how much evil was in the world, and as a result, have lived in fear that she will be released and come after our family.

I ask that you allow our family the solace that continued imprisonment of the inmate provides, and that you protect others from the potential harm which could result if she is released.

Little Luba

There isn't a day that goes by that this girl doesn't want a bow or two in her hair. Our Little Luba bows have been the go-to for the new school year.

Paige is lover of design, and I knew we'd click when I saw that she lives out her passion through her creativity.
This shop is where my passion is.. creating Baby Headbands, Headwraps + Hair Clips for your little ones!

There is something so magical about using my hands to make beautiful things. And there is literally nothing in this world that makes me more fulfilled than creating pieces that make people happy. I love that Etsy enables me the opportunity to create for people all around the world and communicate with them to ensure their happiness with my product. I design each piece with fine detail, good quality and a lot of love.

The best thing about bows is that you can dress them up or dress them down, and wear your hair any which way you'd like. 

We love our Little Luba hair bows, and we know you will too! Head to Little Luba on Etsy, Instagram, and Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest designs. 

The Great Gummy Bear Massacre

What started out to be a fun cooking time with the kids, ending in tears and heartache when bits and pieces of their hard-earned gummy bears were picked apart. This is why you should always read instructions twice. In my case, I should read them start to finish even one time.
Two of the three kids, love their supplement shots in the morning. Ten guesses which one has a differing opinion. I had pinned a recipe long ago when I was still lying to myself about being a Pinterest mom. I thought this would be such a great opportunity to share how great I am, as well as how versatile our Young Living stash can be.


I cleaned the kitchen, I didn't use the rusted over measuring spoons, and I even bathed should I happen to get the perfect Instagram snapshot.

I burned myself nearly immediately. Honey is a hot s.o.b. when melted over an open flame.

We melted our ingredients, and I carefully took the saucepan over to pour our liquid into the mold. There is now a line of solidified NingXia/honey/agar agar (fancy gelatin) on my floor because the heat in the sucky thing just made the stuff fly all over. Where's the wine?

I made the damn things, put the mold into the refrigerator, and waited one hour.
You can get your gummy bear mold HERE.

Nothing. Still liquid-ish.

Hour two. Sort of firm, but like he could use some gummy bear Cialis.

Hour three. Good enough.

Call the kids down, and we start to peel.
Well, that was a head. 

Shit, there goes a leg.

That one split right down the middle.

I'm killing it. Literally.

The kids are now angry and teary. I have murdered their bears.

I run to the computer to look at the recipe. Oh. I used 1 tsp of agar agar. I should have used 4 tsp.
I am over it. Suck the bears out of the mold for all I care. We'll try again tomorrow.

Read my instructions twice. Don't be an asshat like me.

1c NingXia Red
4tsp agar agar powder (gelatin)
2 tsp honey
optional: 2-3 drops Grapefruit and Lime EO

Bring to a boil, add your EOs, drop into your molds.

Refrigerate 1 hour. 

© andrea lebeau. Design by Fearne.