Tag: linkup

Share Four Somethings April 2020

Share Four Somethings April 2020

Share Four Somethings April 2020

It feels like it’s been a really long month here in Central IL. We’ve gone from temperatures in the 70’s to the 30’s and back up to the 60’s with some days in between. We’ve watched a beautiful tree in our front yard bloom, the first cardinals appear in our backyard and a LOT of TV. I’m linking up for April 2020’s Share Four Somethings with Heather Gerwing! You can read what I shared last month here.

Something Loved

This month I started leading a weekly Zoom Bible Study for Coaches’ Wives Ministry and I have absolutely loved our Tuesday night meetings! Long before the chaos of this past several weeks, founder Candace Lane planned for members to go through Sharon Hodde Miller’s Nice Study in the month of May using our Right Now Media at Work video access and questions from the CWM magazine. It’s been SO great connecting with new coaches’ wives around the country, and it’s certainly been timely to focus on the Fruit of the Spirit!

Nice by Sharon Hodde Miller

Something Read

Paul Smith is a storytelling coach. His book Lead with a Story was once I read for my work goals. We choose personal and professional goals each quarter and this book fell into both categories. From the book: “This how-to guidebook shows readers how powerful stories can help define culture and values, engender creativity and innovation, foster collaboration, build relationships, provide coaching and feedback, and lead change. Whether in a speech or a memo, communicated to one person or a thousand, storytelling is an essential skill for today’s leaders.” 

If you’re a writer or blogger this is a really helpful book for multiple reasons. Smith offers various examples of ways to implement stories with presentations. He presents several creative styles that fit the personalities of the CEO’s and different teams he has led. The last part of the book walks through story structure in detail.

Something Treasured

While I don’t love the circumstances, I have loved many parts of these slower days. I miss some key parts of our weeks, but it’s been really nice to get out for longer walks on the weekends without competing agendas. We’ve experimented in the kitchen more and our boys have learned to use the grill and smoker. It’s nice to have this gap in time where we can prioritize focusing on some things we may have missed during the crazy years when the boys were younger.

Something Ahead

As much as I’m happy having slower days, I’m really missing time with my girlfriends and date nights. I miss corporate worship with our church and trying on clothes before buying them. I miss walking past someone and not holding my breath nervously. I’m looking forward to the days when we can embrace a new normal where our country and global experts have a deeper understanding of this horrible virus and masks (hopefully) aren’t necessary.

I’m linking up with Heather Gerwing for another month of Share Four Somethings! Head to her blog to see what others are sharing this month.

10 Things I Learned This Winter

10 Things I Learned This Winter

10 Things I Learned this Winter 2020

I can hardly believe we are about to turn the calendar to March! The third month of the year is one of my favorites because Ordell and I both celebrate birthdays in March and it’s also the month that we’re supposed to say goodbye to cold weather, but I’m not sold on that one yet for this year. Before I start looking too far ahead, it’s time to do a little reflecting for Emily P. Freeman’s quarterly link-up What I Learned.

10 Things I Learned in Winter 2020 Include:

I learned that it’s great to get away every once in a while even if it’s only for 24 hours. When Ordell was coaching college ball we were intentional to schedule time away in between the season and recruiting or just after the heavy travel season. We both needed uninterrupted time to focus on each other. Since we’ve transitioned to the high school and our boys are older I’ve felt so spoiled by how many dates nights and weekend breakfast dates we get these days it never crossed my mind to keep our post season routine going. Ordell went above and beyond this year pulling off a huge surprise and I have to admit, not only was it a ton of fun, but I REALLY needed that time away.

I learned about Dad’s Day traditions at the University of Illinois Football and I was an emotional mess. Watching those proud dad’s on the football field cheer alongside their daughters and run their sons onto the field before the game so beautiful. It was easy to see the joy in their faces and also the respect they had for how hard their kids were working every week to earn their degrees.

I learned I can survive my baby turning into an official teenager. I don’t know why but some birthdays are harder than others and I was dreading this one. We celebrated with a family dinner at a local restaurant and ordering a gift off his wish list he’d saved for a very long time.

I learned my word for this year is Pursue. Sometimes I know this year months ahead of time, but year God didn’t clarify my one word until very close to the end of 2019. It’s been a great word for me so far, I’m interested to see how the rest of the year goes, but as far as one words go, it’s the most interesting one for me in the ways God is moving and the things he’s teaching me.

I learned burnout is always something I’ll need to stay attentive to even though I understand the 5 stages and key ways of how to avoid burnout.

I learned so much about the value of trying softer from my friend Aundi Kolber’s new book! It was SO fun to be a part of her launch team! I used to participate in book launches frequently but since I’ve been focusing on my own writing project the past two years I’ve had to pull back. I consider Aundi a friend and there was no way I was sitting on the sidelines for her first book Try Softer. Little did I know how much the timing of this release would be exactly what I needed in those weeks as well.

I learned that hands down my absolute favorite blog posts each month are the ones where I get to celebrate Wives Who Thrive. This summer I featured several coaches’ wives who were thriving in the coaching life and it was awesome to see the creative ways they are all using their gifts and strengths to glorify God and contribute to their families’ budgets. I’ve decided to continue those posts but I’m opening the monthly spotlight to any wife who is thriving and it’s been SO fun to read all the submissions. I love celebrating other women flourishing in their sweet spots!

This winter I learned a TON about what it takes to put together a successful retreat. I am so amazed at how God blessed our first Pursue Coaches’ Wives retreat and I continue to sit in awe of how he is moving in all the lives of the women who attended the weekend. I cannot stress enough how special it is to partner with Fellowship of Christian Athletes in this new venture. Read all about my reflections from the weekend here.

I learned once again how easy it is to take time to be kind. With more military families deploying I’m reminded again that as coaches’ wives we have an opportunity to serve our local communities and support the military families around them.

I learned how much I continue to treasure inheriting furniture from family. I’m becoming more sentimental about our home decor with each piece I collect. Now that our boys are older and understand how to take care of things it’s so nice to have history and memories in every room.

I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman for another quarterly round up of What I Learned.

Share Four Somethings Feb 2020

Share Four Somethings Feb 2020

share four somethings

I’m linking up with Heather Gerwing for another month of Share Four Somethings and sharing some of our February family fun!

Something Loved

Our church has the genius idea to schedule the middle school and high school retreat over Valentine’s Weekend every year and I have to tell you it’s the best thing ever. A Staycation Friday-Sunday is a perfect way to celebrate the weekend if you ask me! Our kids spent the weekend having a blast at the annual Reverb Youth Conference

Something Read

I’m reading Suzanne Stabile’s The Path Between Us. I’ve recently discovered a lot more about my Enneagram number thanks to the help from some gentle guidance from a coach and the insights from this book. What I love about the Enneagram is that it isn’t static. Consider this quote from Stabile, ” We all struggle when we are on the low side of average behavior for our number. So, to honor our relationships, we all need to watch for behavior that exaggerates the things that seem important from our point of view but end up causing separation between us and the people we care about. “

Something Treasured

This month I inherited my Uncle’s furniture now that he’s safely in an assisted living facility. Our home is a mix of old and new, and I have several pieces of furniture of three of the five Moorad brothers in our home now. I love the mix of old and new. In particular, this dining room table is a wish come true. I’ve wanted a rectangular table that can seat a crowd for awhile. With its additional leaves, we’ll finally be able to host large groups at the same table.

new furniture

Something Ahead

Next month Ordell and I celebrate our birthdays and we’re headed for a family getaway for spring break for the first time ever! I’m loving all these family first thanks to the high school coaching life!

Share Four Somethings January 2020

Share Four Somethings January 2020

Share Four Somethings 2029

We’re changing up Share Four Somethings and I love the new shares! If you read our monthly link-ups in 2019 you will notice that two of these headings have changed. I’m excited to head over to Heather’s blog and read what others are sharing for January 2020. If you haven’t participated in Share Four Somethings yet now is the time to join us! This monthly link-up is a great way to connect with other bloggers. I’ve gathered some of my best recommendations from these posts for books, podcasts, and even places to visit!

Something Loved

In January I loved the slow start to the month. I always love that when you put Christmas decorations away the house immediately feels decluttered and cleaner. Since we just moved this summer there isn’t much we need to purge and organize right now so instead, we spent days resting which felt like the right way to kick off a semester that is sure to have us running from activity to activity soon enough.

Something Read

If you missed my review of Try Softer please take a minute to check it out! Aundi wrote an amazing book that I truly believe has the potential to help us all have healthier relationships and most importantly love ourselves the way God loves us.

Something Treasured

This month I put together our yearly digital photo album. This is something I started doing when our boys were born and I received a coupon for a free digital album. I loved the way it turned out and found that somehow, without trying I take just enough photos to fill a standard 8×8 or 9×9 20 page digital album each year. I pick a different theme and some books are different sizes because I always wait until I get a free coupon. Spending time pulling the images together from the year, remembering the highlights from our times as a family is always fun. Our stack of albums sits in order and it’s amazing to see how quickly our boys’ interests change year to year as well as which interests are sticking around. We’ve had some fun family vacations and all their camping trips are documented as well.

Something Ahead

This month I’m partnering with my local FCA chapter as well as several other coaches’ wives in the Midwest to put together the first Pursue Coaches’ Wives retreat. I’m speaking and leading a breakout session. If you’ve read this blog you know it’s part of my heart’s desire to encourage coaches’ wives to pursue God’s calling for their lives and flourish in the shadow of the limelight. That often begins with self-care and time spent understanding how God uniquely designed us. Will you join me in praying for the wives attending this event as well as everyone speaking and working SO hard to put together a retreat to serves these women?

Head over to Heather’s blog and read what others are sharing for January 2020, and to link-up your post!

Share Four Somethings LInk Up Calendar
Favorite Free Resources

Favorite Free Resources

favorite free resources

I’m a sucker for a good freebie. But the thing is there are a lot of things out there that say they are free, but then you try to sign up and it turns out you are only getting a free trial. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite free resources. One note: you may need to include your email address.


Check out these adorable free crochet patterns at Crochet and Craft with Me. The Moss Stitch and Washcloth pattern are my favorite.

I love a quick hand embroidery project and Wild Olive has some of the most creative ones out there. She offers a monthly free pattern in both cross stitch and hand embroidery perfect for quick projects.

Wooly Simply has your beginner knitting patterns covered. Everything from scarves to hats.

Digital Marketing

Canva is my go-to for creating images for my website and social media.

Luna Pic this site is great for cropping images into circles, ovals, and other shapes

When it comes to finding stock photos that aren’t copyrighted it’s best to go to websites that are set up for just these things. Here’s a list of my favorites:



I recently switched from MailChimp to HubSpot for Email Marketing and I’m THRILLED. You can check out my new newsletter by signing up here. While you’re there check out my freebies too!

Looking to make a video out of a blog post? Check out Lumen5

Boomerang allows you to schedule emails to send directly from Gmail. This is a great feature for you night owls who don’t want the time stamp to indicate your working hours.


Christianaudio.com offers a free Audiobook every month. Some of the recent downloads have included Love Lives Here by Maria Goff and Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman.

Check out your library to see if you can access Audiobooks through the Libby App or Hoopla as well.


Amazon isn’t the only place for free eBooks. Christianbook.com, BookBub, Free-eBooks.net are all great resources. Check with your library for access to lending through Overdrive, the Libby App and Hoopla for eBooks as well.


Need to convert a recipe? Checking your BMI? The Handy Everyday Calculators link has everything you can think of and more. Financial calculators, Unit Conversions, and Cooking Conversions all in one link and all for free.

Bible Study Resources

There are a lot of ways to find theological opinions online, but that doesn’t mean they are all equal. A few I consistently rely on include:

She Reads Truth

IF: Equip

Bible Gateway

Things I Learned This Summer – 2019

Things I Learned This Summer – 2019

What I Learned Summer 2019

What a summer! Looking back it’s definitely one of the most chaotic I can think of, ranking right up there with the summer we got married and the summer Elijah was born.

This summer involved a lot of changes and transitions

1.The first thing I learned is that my boys understand how hard moving is and their desire to continue to plant roots in our community runs deep. As we packed up our house once again (this time for a move around the corner) I saw them struggling to let go of some items they found buried in their rooms as if the object meant also letting go of the memory.

2. I also learned my boys are good at setting up their own space. I bought them new writing desks and bookshelves which they put together themselves. They each set up their rooms, figured out what they wanted hanging up and how to decorate. We picked out the last few items this week to make them feel comfy in their new spaces.

3. While focusing on wrapping up a writing project I spent the summer on my blog focusing on celebrating the successes of other coaches’ wives living out their calling. I learned that I LOVE celebrating women doing life well. It was SUCH a fun project to put together each blog article and learn a little more about how the wives are incorporating their strengths and passions into their work. You can start the series here.

4. I learned that every anniversary should be celebrated, even if it means the chaos has to continue for a few extra days. Our boys were at a youth group retreat over anniversary weekend 18. We spent the days alternating between packing and cleaning. We did go out for dinner, however, in a time when marriages seem to break up after only a few years (or less) looking back, I feel we could have done a better job of acknowledging the hard work of staying together as long as we have.

5. I learned that my favorite part of every summer is still when my guys take their annual weekend away. And maybe this says more about my need to rest after a very chaotic season than anything else.

Unfortunately, football season is here which means rest isn’t going to be easy to come by. I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman for What I Learned. Head to hear blog to see what others have to say.

Share Four Somethings – August 2019

Share Four Somethings – August 2019

August in our house means the start of football season. It also means that I kick into nesting mode and my guys spend some time together. When you grow up watching your dad pour his energy, time, and a lot of his attention into other kids it’s great to have some uninterrupted time of your own.

Something Loved

This month I loved getting to finish settling into our house while the guys were camping. It has been a busy summer moving into our new home. This is our 8th major move and I’ve learned some things along the way. Still, with football looming it felt great to get the last few items hung on the walls. My office is a work in progress as I continue to organize my space, however, I’m loving having a true dedicated workspace rather than working from a corner in our bedroom.

my office

Something Said

I wrapped up my summer series this month. It’s been so much fun to feature fellow coaches’ wives who are pursuing their dreams. Each woman uniquely uses their strengths and passions in amazing ways. Check out the whole series starting here.

Something Learned

This month I learned how tiny details come together to decorate a mantle. With the help of my friend Kristen and the amazing shopping skills of Stefanie I added a few new items and featured my favorites. Check out how one small item changes the look. No wonder Kees Home Design is quickly building her portfolio!


Something Read

Tim Elmore and Andrew McPeak are releasing a new book in September. Generation Z Unfiltered promotional materials say: “The generation of students who’ve grown up in the 21st century are the most social, most empowered, and most anxious youth population in human history. If you’re struggling to connect with and lead them, you’re not alone.”

Raising teens is never easy, and it’s possible all parents feel this way, but I can’t help but feel that Generation Z is facing unprecedented challenges. If you are looking for an insightful, well-researched resource about Generation Z this is a great place to start.

Tim Elmore Generation Z Unfiltered

I’m linking up with Heather Gerwing for another month of Share Four Somethings. Head over to her blog to see what others are saying.

note: I don’t use affiliate links!

What I Learned – Winter 2019

What I Learned – Winter 2019

What I Learned Winter 2019

Six months ago I willingly jumped on a short term crazy train of sorts. The opportunity to take on an extra client for a few weeks meant we could meet come large financial goals months quicker than anticipated. I knew it would be a stretch, but I also knew there was an end. I was covering a maternity leave. What I didn’t anticipate was how long it would take me to bounce back from the physical and mental stress of that season.

The biggest lesson I learned this winter is what rest looks like these days.

Here’s What I Learned Winter 2019

I learned to rest with our boys means heading to a sports event.

Even though our life usually revolves around football, these days your most likely to find us on the soccer field. We’ll shift to basketball in a few weeks for our older son. The routine of practices and everyone in our house heading to a game together. It’s so fun to see how their skills develop each week and how hard they work to be good teammates.

I learned that rest with girlfriends means acting like a kid.

Chuck E Cheese

I headed south to hang out with my girlfriend a few weeks ago. Her daughters had yet to experience the Chuck E. Cheese around the corner from their house. We had so much fun on our girls’ night out. It was great to be in a space where for an hour everything was hands-on and everything was a yes. Watching the girls have fun was great, but getting to join in the fun was even better.

I learned rest sometimes means turning everything off.

Valentine’s Day weekend our sons joined their youth group on a weekend retreat and we enjoyed a weekend Staycation. Even though my email box, Slack, and social media notifications (for my job) piled up making for a hectic start to the work week, the time away was so needed!

We finally got around to watching The Greatest Showman, went to dinner and a movie and even played a board game, Even though these are all things we can do now that our boys are older, there was something freeing about removing the need to squeeze in a date between someone else’s schedule that added a layer of much needed rest.

I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman today for her quarterly reflection What I Learned. Head over to her blog to see what others are saying.

What I’ve Learned – Summer 2018

What I’ve Learned – Summer 2018

What I've Learned Summer 2018

I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman today for a quarterly reflection she fondly titles “What I’ve Learned”.

Here’s What I’ve learned:

Vacations are Needed!

This summer I was reminded that we all need a vacation, even when we love our job. We had a great time with family and for the first time in three years, I barely worked for 5 days straight. Contract work means that when I don’t work I don’t get paid, but the thing is I have amazing bosses who understand the need to prioritize family. I’ve learned my lesson and I’m striving for a better work/life balance in 2019 (and sooner!)

Quality Time is Important

I also learned that even when celebrating 17 years of marriage I can still surprise myself and my husband by trying something new. My husband’s main hobby is football, but when he gets the time he will head to the gun range. The son of a police officer he grew up hunting. This is not a hobby I’m interested in, but I’m interested in my man so I surprised him with a date at the range and learned I can fight my fears and learn something new when I’m willing to try!

I Need to Drop the Guilt Trip

Football season has started here and that means we’re stashing strategies to save time and reduce stress. I’ve felt so guilty about paying for a membership to have groceries delivered, but the reality is when I look at my calendar it’s the most logical thing to do to save time (and money!) it’s crazy that paying for someone to deliver our groceries saves money but it’s hard to toss stress induced impulse buys into the cart when they aren’t there to see!

That’s one of 6 things saving my sanity right now. Read the about the other five here.

Audiobooks are the Bomb!

I’ve been listening to autobiographies lately and I’m learning so much about life by hearing other people’s perspectives. It’s important to me to make sure I’m not siloing my perspective by only listening to people I agree with, but there is a LOT of noise out there on the internet.

I’ve learned that some books that are hyped up are not worth my time while others are exactly what I needed to hear.

What I Learned – Spring 2018

What I Learned – Spring 2018

what I learned spring 2018


I love taking time for a quarterly review of life with Emily P. Freeman.  March, April, and May were exciting months for our family.

I turned forty and our oldest became a teenager!

You can read my letter to our son here. I embraced this new decade with joy and anticipation and I’m still not regretting that decision.

I was also reminded this quarter of how far a coach’s impact can reach with time and energy invested. We had such an amazing weekend catching up with former teammates, coaches, players and wives. Taking time to publically thank Andy was a small but special part of that time.

Work/Life balance is a constant work in progress

My Powersheets check-in, as well as my chat with Daniel from First Team Fathers, were great reminders of how far I’ve come in a long and short amount of time as well as how much life we have walked through as a married couple and family of four.

In our current season, we are all thriving in different ways, but we aren’t without our pain points. That’s life though, isn’t it? A constant work in progress.

I’ve Missed Reading

I’ve been wrapped up in writing the last six months and both crafting and reading were set to the side. I’m so thankful to have a reason to read as a part of the Holy Hustle book launch team. Crystal Stine’s timing is perfect.

I also listened to Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown recently and Cory Booker’s United. A benefit of working from home is being able to listen to audiobooks while I work!

Reviews of all three books will soon post on my blog.

What have you learned this spring? I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman. We’d love for you to join the conversation!


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