Amen

Lord, thank you. 

Thank you for this man. This amazing and perfect man. This man I never realized existed. 

This man who changed everything. 

Lord, thank you. 

Thank you for sending me a man who loves You more than he loves himself. A man who knows You. A man who fears You. A man who isn’t afraid to talk about You.

Lord, thank you. 

Lord, bless this man. Bless this relationship. And bless this family. 

Lord, help us to live a life that brings honor and glory to Your name. 

Lord, fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may walk in Your ways.

Lord, thank you for guiding us when we don’t know the way. For forgiving us when we fall short. And for loving us in a way that allows us to love each other. 

I pray that no matter where we find ourselves down the road, that our eyes will always be fixed on you, Lord. 

Hand in hand, I pray we will always seek you, together. 

I pray these things in Your name. For Your honor and glory. 

Amen. 

Perception

It’s funny how a little perception can change a whole lot of the view.

Remember last week when I was talking about how I sometimes look around the house and I’m overwhelmed because I’m the only one who cleans. Or does dishes. Or laundry. Or kills really big spiders. 

Or buys a Christmas tree.

This was weird. If I’m being honest, it was really weird. Because this was something we did as a family. This was something that he did with us.

We didn’t do much as a family. Most of the time it was just the three of us, but this was something that we did. All of us. Something that we looked forward to. It was one of those rare occasions where we would go out as a family and actually enjoy each other’s company. Or at least pretend to.

We would walk around. Find the perfect tree. Gush about how perfect it was. Next, he would get it on the car, which was always pretty comical and resulted in a lot of explicit words that would have us laughing by the end of it. Worried that said tree would fall off the car, we would drive home with our hazards, creeping down the street. Making other drivers very angry. But it was our thing.

Then we would get home and he would put it in the stand.

Not this time though.

This time it was just the three of us. This time it was the guy at the stand putting it in my trunk. This time it was me unloading it from the car. And with the help of one of my very dear friends, it was me putting the tree in the stand. And me setting it up.

This time,  on the way home, instead of driving slow with our hazards, I got to answer awkward questions from my seven year old about his dad and Christmas.

He’s been doing that a lot lately. Asking questions. Accusing me, indirectly, of breaking up his family. 

I don’t take it personal anymore. I just let him ask his questions. I’m his safe place. 

But sometimes I hate being the only one who has to answer. 

So, as we made it home and as the tree found the perfect spot in our house. And as we placed our new lights and ornaments on it, I couldn’t help but look around and take it all in. 

Yes, I might be the only one who cleans. Who does the laundry. And the dishes. It might be very overwhelming some days. Most days, it is. And yes, I might be the only one who is being asked questions. Or accused. And while I hate spiders, it is up to me to kill them.

But, you wanna know something else? 

I’m the one who slept on her parents’ couch with her two kids for four months. I’m the one who got an apartment on her own. I’m the one who started out living on air mattresses. I’m the one who bought a used futon from Goodwill just to have something to sit on. I’m the one who moved in with no internet and no tv. I’m the one who had just a couple of plates and a few pieces of silverware. I’m the one who only had three towels and no shower curtain. I’m the one who built the bookshelves. And who put the TV together. I’m the one who prayed every single day for a miracle, even bigger than the one I was living. I’m the one who held it together and refused to cry in front of the kids because they needed to see how strong I was. I’m the one who slowly started creating the life that we had dreamed about. I’m the one who drove to Texas to pack up the last 10 years of our life into my car. I’m the one who drove back and forth with a basket full of laundry to my parents’ and to my friends’ house just to have clean clothes, even if I had no where to put them.

Me. 

I did those things. I did those things so that one day, almost a year later, I would be able to look back and see that I actually started out with nothing. I would be able to look back and know that all of this, was because of me. My faith. My strength. My determination. 

Because being the only one who cleans is a blessing.

Because being the only one who does the laundry is something to brag about. 

Because being the only one who does the dishes is proof that He is so good.

Because being the only one who kills big spiders is evidence that I am enough. 

Because being the only one who answers questions is nothing but an answered prayer.

Because I lived a very long time thinking that I could never do these things. The big things. The little things. The things in between. 

And, well, here I am. Doing all the things. 

And doing a pretty good job if I do say so myself. 

Buy One, Give One

So I’ve been sitting here thinking for days, ‘what can I do to help others?’

I’ve been talking about partnering with some nonprofits or charities. Ive been thinking about volunteering. And then last night, I had an incredible idea!

I joined Beautycounter because I believed people deserved better. I knew I had to get the conversation started and after learning the facts and stats, I knew I just couldn’t keep quiet.

I also knew that I wanted better for my children. I wanted them to look at their momma and know that she did whatever she could to make this place better. I wanted to make them proud.

So I’ve decided that for every Kidscounter bath collection purchased I will donate a Squeaky Clean Body Wash or Nice Do Shampoo to a child in need.

kidscounter

This is how we get safe products into the hands of everyone, but I can’t do it without your help. Spread the word. Share it with your friends, your family, anyone who will listen. Because we all matter.

You can shop directly at www.beautycounter.com/laurenfalber under the ‘Buy One, Give One’ social and help spread this incredible mission with me!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Beautycounter@laurenfalber.com

Bring It On!

I can still remember the devastating news that we would have to move to Texas. I dreaded it. I tried to pretend like I was excited for this next step and this new journey, but inside, I dreaded it.

I didn’t want to have to leave my family, my friends. I didn’t want to take away my kid (soon to be kids) from the only family they knew. But you do what you have to for your family. You put on that brave face and say to yourself, over and over again, that you can do this, and you hope that somewhere along the way you start to believe it yourself.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for over 2 years. I remember when I tried to convince myself this was just temporary. Again, repeating it over and over until eventually I would believe it myself.

But it wasn’t temporary. This was my new life. I’ll be honest, I hated it.

I have spent a long time hating it. Wishing it away. I have spent a long time being miserable, lonely, envious, jealous, angry, bitter. You name it, I was it.

It just seemed like Texas ruined everything for me. Little did I know, He had other things in mind.

Some of you will be surprised to know what’s happened in the last 2 years. Others won’t. You’ve seen it coming. You knew. Even when I didn’t know or refused to even acknowledge it, you knew.

As I have reflected a lot this last month, I’ve learned so much. You see, I have spent most of this time down here thinking of all the things I lost. Yearning so badly for my life that was before.

Down here, I had convinced myself I had lost everything. I had nothing. It seemed that the life I knew before was moving on without me and I was devastated. And with our circumstances down here, me not having a car and being stuck at home 99% of the time, it was hard for me to make a life worth living. Or so I thought.

I don’t know how I do it. Being stuck at home. I can only give God the credit. It hasn’t been awful at all, actually, but I still miss the freedom of going out, even if it’s just to pick up a gallon of milk from the grocery store.

Houston has taught me not to take anything for granted. Not even getting milk from the grocery store. Which I’m sure many of you do without even second guessing.

But as I began to distract myself less from all the things I didn’t have, I started to see all the things I do have. And man, I am loaded. ;)

What I have learned is my real friends don’t care that I live 18 hours away. They are still there. My family? We don’t take for granted the times we chat on the phone or the time we got to spend together last year. And then there is my church, my Texas family. I don’t even know where to begin.

They have loved me the second I walked into that church over 2 years ago. They have been there for me through every single struggle I have found myself facing. They became my friends, some of my best friends. They became my rock when things started to fall apart. During the seasons I never felt loved, they were loving me. They were loving us.

They took on the role of everything that I had to leave behind. They have been my parents, my friends, my support. They have stepped in to help me with my kids. They have cried with me. They have laughed with me. They have celebrated with me.

I have spent this whole time focusing on the things that I didn’t have or I thought I didn’t have and I have realized that I have so much more than I could imagine. Or deserve.

God knew that I would be facing some of the most difficult decisions and times of my life when I got to Houston. He knew because He was there already. He saw what was going to happen and these things would have destroyed me in North Carolina. Not because I didn’t have the support I needed, but because I didn’t have Him.

He knew that Houston would be tough. He knew that it would put a strain on me, but He also knew the kind of family I would have down here. He knew that if I would look, I’d see just how incredibly blessed I am.

He has provided everything I need, from the perfect pool view apartment that I would spend 99% of my life in, to the life-changing opportunity that Beautycounter has given me, to the church family who has made me feel like this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

How can I be upset by any of that? I mean, seriously, I am loaded, not financially, of course, but I am so rich.

So often we can let our circumstances decide everything for us. We can spend more time than we probably care to admit focusing on all the things we don’t have, but if we let Him, if we make Him our focus, then He just has this incredible ability to show us exactly how much we do have and that, my friends, changes everything.

Looking back, if I had had the choice not to move, I wouldn’t. I would have continued on day by day, just holding my head above the water. Thank goodness, He knows better than we know. I couldn’t have imagined how good my life would be now.

I am the happiest I’ve been in years. Genuinely, ear to ear smiles, happy. What should have destroyed me has made me even stronger, not because of anything I’ve done, but because of Who I get my strength from.

While I have certainly faced more struggles down here, I have Him on my side and now all I can say is ‘bring it on’.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5

Can You Relate?

“This client wasn’t interested in Beautycounter when I first told her about it back in the fall. She said her skin was “too sensitive” and her dermatologist was prescribing something for her. When the skincare her derm prescribed made her skin even worse, she reached out to me. I received an email a few days ago saying how the essentials line has completely changed her skin & it’s never been better & then this morning I received this text. She recently purchased our body lotion & KidsCounter set. So thankful for safe products that also perform – they absolutely sell themselves”
10995582_10152855335132832_6398621714502523679_n
-M. Calvert

http://www.laurenfalber.beautycounter.com

Scratching Your Head

I’m still in disbelief that my baby boy lost his first tooth last night.

How in the heck did this happen?! Wasn’t it just yesterday I watched those teeth grow into their rightful place, dating and jotting down notes in his baby book each time I saw something new?

I can’t even comprehend him growing up. I’d be lying if I didn’t share with you how selfish I wish I could be, keeping him small forever, well maybe not forever, but at least for a little while longer.

Each day he seems to want to do something else without my help. “Don’t worry mom, watch I can do it.”

He’s even old enough to recognize when mommy just really wants to help, not because he needs it, but because I do. “Okay fine mom, you can help.”

Y’all this goes by too fast. And since we can’t stop it or slow it down, my prayer for us is that we never look back thinking we missed a single minute. Everything else can wait. Cherish the moments even the ones we wish would hurry up and go away because before you know it kids are loosing teeth and you’re just left scratching your head.

photo 3

firsttooth

firsttooth2

firsttooth3
Photo Credit: Lauren Falber

Something For Everyone!

I really want to encourage you all to take advantage of Beautycounter’s latest offer, spend $100 + (before taxes) and get a FREE Hydrate Everyday Body Lotion AND FREE shipping!The Hydrate body lotion is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite products! And I think you should have your own!

Expectant Mom
Perfect for the Mom-to-be! Know any expectant moms or are you expecting? You’re going to want this!
Kidscounter
Rosewater
Glow Sugar Scrub
Total: $112
datenight
My must-have’s for date night!
Lip Shine
Lip Sheer
Lip Balm
Rosewater
Total: $102
Take off the years
Looking to take off some years?
Countertime Soothing Face Wash
Uplifting Day Cream
Total: $110
athomespaexperience
With the Free Hydrate Lotion these are three of my must-have’s for Dry, Winter Skin!
Glow Sugar Scrub
Lustro Body Oil
Total: $106
veteranmomma
For those experienced momma’s who could use a little pick-me-up!
Kidscounter
Anytime Eye Cream
Rosewater
Total: $106
cleanfacemakeover
Ready to make the switch, but not sure where to start?
Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream
Everyday AM Hydrating Cream
Anytime Eye Cream
Total: $102
pickmeup
Had a long day? Still a few hours to go? Try these!
Anytime Eye cream
Rosewater
Glow Sugar Scrub
Total: $102
Body Purge
Looking to clean out the whole shower for the whole family? You’ll want to start here!
Wash Everyday Body Wash
Clean Everyday Shampoo
Rinse Everyday Conditioner
Shave Shaving Cream
Lip Balm
Total: $100
turnbacktime
Stop the clock and start turning back time.
Lustro Face Oil
Countertime Enlightening Treatment Pads
Total: $104
Don’t forget this offer ends tomorrow! 11:59pm PST to be exact! You can order directly at laurenfalber.beautycounter.com

FREE Hydrate Everyday Body Lotiom

Thank you, Beautycounter!

FREE with EVERY order of $100+ today through Sunday, enjoy a FREE Hydrate body lotion worth $25 (amazing for dry Winter skin) AND FREE shipping!!

Order must be $100+ before tax.

Tell your friends! Tell your family! Share with everyone you know! Because who doesn’t love FREE stuff!

Shop the entire line, here.

2015/01/img_8896.jpg

And be sure to let me know if I can make any suggestions. Skincare is my passion!

One Day

shower
Start my days around 5:45/6ish with a shower.
Countertime Soothing Face Wash, $40
Clean Everyday Shampoo, $20
Wash Everyday Body Wash, $22
Rinse Everyday Conditioner, $24
after shower
Then I hog the bathroom for a few more minutes while I get ‘ready’.
Everyday AM Hydrating Cream, $40
Lustro Oil 1, $64
Radiance Firming Complex, $60
Salt Water Spray
Calendula Lip Balm, $18
Lustro Body Oil, Rosemary & Citrus, $68
Anytime Eye Cream, $32
Hydrate Everyday Body Lotion, $22
morningcoffee
Then while the kids are still sleeping I have my coffee. I used to drink it with cream and sugar, but I’ve been drinking it black for about 8 months now. It’s so much better!
desk
Then I do my devotional for the day. Currently I’m doing Bible in One Year. I love, love, love the quiet time in the morning. I wouldn’t survive without it. I also have a cup of hot water with lemon. (That’s what’s in the mug.)
workout
I usually use my last 30 minutes of quiet time in the morning to do a little working out.
fixbreakfast
I’ve really been trying to focus on making us breakfast rather then handing them a bowl of cereal every morning. The request today was eggs.
breakfastwithkids
Love eating together. So grateful for God and His blessings. (dining room table)
playingtogether
Love it when they play together, although Adelaide’s controller doesn’t have any batteries.
prayertime
Because when they do, it means I get to have some prayer time. (And another cup of coffee)
adelaidetablet
Then we just kind of hang out for a little bit before Adelaide’s nap time.
clean house
I do most of my work when Adelaide takes her nap. Like clean the house and catch up on laundry.
worktime
Catch up on emails, calls, check-in with my clients, and doing whatever I can do to grow this business every single day. I love being able to bring home a paycheck without having to sacrifice anything else.
picture editing
I’m always editing pictures for the blog. It’s one of my most favorite things to do. Makes me want a big fancy camera, but for now my iPhone 6+ will have to do. (And it does a pretty good job!)
TV and Laundry
Finally got cable in our bedroom so now I can fold laundry and catch up on some news. I don’t watch much TV at all, but it’s nice to know what’s going on in the world.
reading
And since I love to read, I always make sure to get a chapter or two in while she sleeps.
afternoonpickmeup
After nap time I’m in desperate need of a cup of hot green tea and a few of my favorite afternoon pick-me-up’s.
Hydrate Everyday Body Lotion, $22
Rosewater Uplifting Spray, $32
Anytime Eye Cream, $32
Lip Conditioner Calendula Balm, $18
cook dinner
I’m not always in the mood to cook dinner and sometimes I luck out and Justin will offer to cook, but tonight I wasn’t so lucky. Oh well, I’m grateful to be able to cook for my family.
bedtime
Then it’s time for bed. I don’t think he’s as happy about it as I am. :) (Also, note-to-self: I really need to get a curtain in their room.)
goodnight
I end the evening with my skin feeling great, a little more quiet time, and maybe another chapter in my book.
Routine Clean Cream Cleanser, $24
Lustro Face Oil 1, $64
Vibrant Eye Perfector, $55
Nourishing Cleansing Balm, $75
self portrait
And that’s a wrap.

What does your day look like?

Photo Credit: Lauren Falber

‘Wedding’ Meatballs

One of my family’s favorite meals is my parents’ ‘Wedding’ Meatballs. As the story goes, my grandparents worked day in and day out making hundreds of ‘Wedding’ Meatballs for my parents’ wedding and they were a hit. EVERYONE loved them. The recipe was requested and it shocked people just how easy it was.

My grandma even has requests for these meatballs still to this day. They really are that good. I think they are even better the next day for lunch!

Of course, back then my grandparents had to hand roll the meatballs, but today you can grab a bag of precooked meatballs and voila, you’ve cut the meal time down to 20 minutes.

What you need:

Bag of meatballs (I always buy and make a large bag and have the leftovers for lunch the next day)
Small jar Apricot Preserves
1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Directions:

Cook meatballs according to package (oven directions)
Mix apricot preserves and BBQ sauce in small bowl; set aside
During last 10-15 minutes take meatballs out of the oven and pour sauce mixture on top, making sure to get all of the meatballs covered and coated.
Place back in oven for 10-15 more minutes or until golden brown

Super easy and super yummy!
upclose

sideview

fork

tableshot

fullplate

Photo Credit: Lauren Falber