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{guest post: royal daughter designs}

Oh hi there, have we met before?

In case we haven't met, here's the short version of who I am: I'm a country-living, ice tea drinking, good book reading, farming, ranching, Jesus-loving, curly-headed wife of a seminary professor.   He's a teacher, I'm a writer. He's a thinker, I'm a graphic designer. You can get to know me a little better here.

You want to know something? I'm a really funny person. Strike that. I think I'm a really funny person. In my face-to-face relationships I often make people laugh. I've been told that I have a great sense of humor, and I've been known to be quite sarcastic.

But that rarely shows up on my blog.

Not that I haven't tried. I've tried to add some humor to my posts. Like when I wrote about breaking my glasses because I left them on the floor.

But in general, my blog is not all that humorous. As much as I'd love to make you laugh out loud, most of the time, I probably don't.
After a year and a half of blogging full-time, I've finally found my voice.

My blogging voice has definitely evolved over the past year and a half. When I look back at some of my first posts, I almost don't recognize them as my own writing.

Now I write to share my story (even the ones I don't want to tell). I write to encourage and help and inspire.

I'm often asked to share my tips on how to find your blogging voice. I thought I'd share those with you today. Although, you must know - they certainly aren't unique to me!

1. Write Often
Write as often as you can. Write on your blog. Write in a journal. Write old-fashioned letters. Expand your imagination and write short stories. Go back to your college days and find something you actually want to research and write a research paper. Experiment with your writing, and experiment a lot.

2. Follow your passion
It's often easiest to write about the things about which we are most passionate. Choose one thing about which you are passionate, and put together a short series. Share your story. Share your testimony. Write from the heart.

3. Read your own writing
Spend time each week going through your posts and picking out the ones you really love. Then sit down with a pen and paper and write down exactly what you like about that post. Over time you'll start to notice trends and similarities. Try using them as a foundation for a few posts and see where you end up. Figuring out what you like about your writing will help you find your voice.

And if you come across a post you don't like? Analyze it and figure out what you don't like about it. Take that knowledge and use it as a tool to help refine your writing style in the future.

4. Listen to yourself when you speak
The way you speak definitely impacts the way you write. Pay attention to words or phrases that you use frequently in your speech, and don't be afraid to incorporate them into your writing. Writing in a way that reflects the way you speak will add authenticity and uniqueness to your content.

5. Don't be afraid to be you
I know it's tempting to try and sound like someone else. To write like some of the big time bloggers. Don't give in to the temptation! You are the only one who can write your story...don't let it sound like someone else is writing it, okay?

I hope this is helpful to you! You can find more blogging tips + design tricks in my Tutes on Tuesday series

Thank you, Amy for your bloggy hospitality today!


{off to paradise}

Wouldn't you know it...
right when I get on a blogging roll,
I have to leave for Hawaii! :)

Tomorrow night, this is what I will be looking at.

I'm just a little bit excited.

I'm going to flaunt this baby belly around in a bikini and not have to worry about "sucking it in."
That might be the most exciting part of the trip.
For me at least... not so much for the company around me!

I am packed, spray tanned, and ready to go.
Off to bed for me...
1:45 am wake up call is coming early!!

Get real excited about some overloaded picture posts in your future.



{BAM, 23 weeks}

And, just like that, it's been 23 weeks of incubating this little muffin...

It was a balmy 5 degrees outside during this quick and glamorous {not} photo shoot.

How about some baby stats?

Gender: in case you missed this post, we are having another BOY!!

Size of baby: This little peanut isn't quite so little anymore. He is more than 11 inches and weighs over a pound {about the size of a large mango}.

Development: Supposedly the babe's sense of movement is well developed by now, meaning he can feel me dance. I've got some crazy moves, so he's learning young! Hearing is also developed, so watch your mouths. :)

Interesting moment of the week: I can see him moving... well my belly moves now when he's practicing his kick boxing inside of me. Alien status here peeps. It is extra creepy and extra heart-warming all at once.

Dreams: C-R-A-Z-Y! That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Seventeen more weeks to go! Holllllller! 



{snowshoeing with a toddler}

We recently went snowshoeing with some awesome peeps.

This wee little one loved snowshoeing.
A lot. Can you tell?

My wee little one loved the first half of snowshoeing.
Not so much the second half.
Can you tell?

Because his poor little face was so red, we thought his face must have just gotten too cold. 
Karli tried to warm those little cheekies with her warm hands.
No luck.

It was the following picture where he is probably saying, "Daddy, wtf? Why don't you shove that second glove back on my hand that just fell off!"

He cried for the whole "walk" back. 
With his arms spread wide and his frozen club hands waiting to get warmed up.
Not sure why I kept assuming it was his face. 
I wrapped my scarf around him even.
{fyi, carrying a human in your belly and a thirty pound child in your arms, 
while wearing snowshoes and walking back to the lodge = not an easy feat}

It was clear that his hands were what was bothering him as soon as I started stripping 
him down from his many layers. 
Warm water, "hot hands" pack, hot chocolate, and a lot of goldfish later all was well.

A few days later now, and still when I ask him if he likes snowshoeing, he responds quickly with a "no". 
Poor kid. 



{italian crockpot chicken}

You know when you have a really nice camera...
and you use your cell phone to take a majority of your pictures?

Yea, that's me.
Easy access people.
That's what I'm all about.
And that my dear, is why I don't wear overalls anymore.
Or one piece swimsuits.

So, I have a super yum recipe to share with y'all today.
Not only is it delish, but SO simple.


Italian Crockpot Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts {even works if they're frozen}
one package cream cheese 
one package dry italian salad dressing mix {found on salad dressing isle}
one can cream of mushroom soup

Mix together softened cream cheese, cream of mushroom soup and italian dressing mix. {might be kind of lumpy, but that's ok}

Plop on top of your chicken breasts that are already in the crockpot. 
{If you don't use crockpot liners, get on it. They are the best invention ever! 
Next to disposable diapers of course.}

Spread evenly on top of chicken. Put the lid on, and turn on low for 4 hours. 

I'm a mushroom fan, I love them!!
Not like, "pass the shrooms dude!"
But saut├ęd, duh!
This step is completely optional, but I cut up a whole bunch and throw them in a pan until they are perfectly browned.

Toss them in on top of the chicken for it's last 20 minutes or so.

And, BOOM baby! Dinner is served.

You can put it on top of rice or pasta, or just eat it plain. 

I put together a little spinach salad to go with it, and it was perfect.

Ok dolls, get to it.
Let me know what you think!



{look who's back!}

Holy blog-cation!
It's been a while.

Between holidays, family visits, Brody getting a cold, me getting a cold AND the stomach bug, 
I've clearly been MIA.

Shall I give you a quick recap as to what's been going on?
I'll spare you the wordy blog post re-cap, and give you a strict pictures only one.
Here you have it.

Let's start out with my farmer's sexy fake stache. You're welcome.

Brody had lots of fun hanging out with his cousins.

Bath time! This was before Brody tried to accidentally drown his baby cousin. Oops.


Matching shoesies!

Boise Botanical Garden Lights.
Looks kinds lame in the picture, but was actually fun.
Maybe that's because I got to carry around a bag of fresh kettle corn.

Jealous the big boys get to go snowmobiling.

I did a little 2 month old photo shoot.

Christmas lovin' cousins.

Ryan's gift to all of the guys. Don't worry, it was on the inside of the sweatshirts.
Not like that makes it less creepy.

An invigorating game of ping pong...

... in which Brody clearly lost. Drowning his sorrows.

Two more boys coming to the family in May!

Brody's Christmas teepee.

Playing with his new train track.

It's way more fun without pants on.

More quality cousin time.

Loves for Daddy.

Cuddles for iPad, lovingly known as his "myPad".

Football in the snow.

Lots of play time with cousin Caleb.

No more rails!

Ready to play in the snow.

Snowed in tractor.

Snowmobile rides are so relaxing.

Sleeping on baby brother.

Gosh, well I think 27 pictures is enough for now.

I've got a yummy recipe coming up soon, so get excited.
You might be hearing from me more often than once a month. 

Peace out lovelies.

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