saying thank you {a summertime giveaway}

So, this is admittedly a long post. But I can explain myself, ha!  First, I'm sharing about God's faithfulness to our family in our current season. Second, you can read how you being here as helped me through the last year of my life. And finally, if you read to the end, you'll see a exciting (!!!) announcement I really don't want you to miss out on. 

 If you've been following me for any amount of time you know about my battles with anxiety and depression.  It became the most intense when I was pregnant with Scout this past Winter. I think that was due in part to the fact that we were forced to stay indoors because of the season. Whenever the weather did lighten up and we were able to be outside, even for just a few minutes, I noticed a huge positive shift in my mood. I spent so much time hoping for and longing for Winter to end. Just the simple act of dreaming about one day wearing our daughter, and getting to watch Behr play in the warmth of Summer helped me to keep pushing through the dark times. 

I'm relieved and proud to say that, by God's grace, we made it. Scout was born last month and we've been getting outdoors as a family as much as we're able. My body is slowly but surely healing. I feel more like myself than I have since last December.

 One of my favorite things we've done this Summer was a simple picnic at a park in Florence, KY. It was nothing fancy at all but it felt like a full circle moment. 

We happened to get there right as the sun was melting like lemon sherbet into the little patch of forest behind us.  We watched Behr run about like a wild thing; only coming back for bites of food or to tackle daddy. I loved watching his little mouth gather up  grape jelly and chocolate smeared memories.  Scout laid quietly taking it all in until I nursed her under the dappling sunlight overhead. It was exactly how I pictured it all those long, lonely Winter months (only much better because it was real).

Getting to wrap my tiny floppy baby up and walk in the bright light of Summer with my family was a deep heart-wish of mine for so long.  I know that our life will most likely contain sharper suffering than a difficult pregnancy but, we're humbly grateful to be on the other side of that trial. 

Praise God, we've made it here; to the happy part, to the healed up part. 

The reason why I share is because maybe you need to know you'll make it too. I may not know what hard thing you're facing but I do know Jesus will love you through it. I can say that because I've experienced it. That's not just me spouting what I've heard or read in Scripture. It's me looking you in the eyes and saying, "I know Jesus loves me. I know He never stopped leading us. How? Because I'm living it." 

 "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 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 5:1-5

All of this brings me to something I'm SO excited to share with you, dear reader. Besides God's grace, another thing that helped heal me was you. Every time I opened up about what our family was struggling through I was carried away in a tide of encouragement and proclamations of, "me too!". Whether you liked, commented, or messaged me to share your heart, please know that it all mattered in huge way to a lonely, suffering mama in Northern Kentucky. And I want to say thank you. 

Which brings us to the giveaway I'm opening up on my Instagram tonight. I reached out to five of my favorite brands and asked if they would be willing to donate to this little 'thank you' project. I was humbled by their response. Each company responded with an enthusiastic "Yes! Count us in!" I'm so glad they did because we truly love how their products enrich and simplify our life. 

So here we go, each of these products were selected to gift one person everything they need to have a hopeful and happy Summertime outing as a family.  One lucky person will win all of this! 

Solly Baby - wrap of choice (does not apply to collaboration wraps and must be in stock)In my humble opinion, There is no better carrier for the first 6 months-1st year than the Solly Baby Wrap. Beauty, comfort and functionality are perfectly combined in what I unashamedly say is my favorite tiny baby product!  

Pemberley Handmade - One bow set of choice. In case you didn't know, these are pretty much the only bows that Scout wears right now. My sister owns this shop and I'm so proud of how far she's taken it. Each bow is meticulously made by hand in her home in East Tennessee. She told me the reason she started this business was so other girl mamas could add a touch of feminine elegance to their girl's lives without any hassle. Even if you don't have a daughter, you could still gift these bows to other little ladies in your life. We are diehard fans and super proud to include Pemberley Handmade in this giveaway. 

Birdling Bags - $75 shop credit. We used The Weekender from Birdling as our hospital bag and l o v e d it. But they also make other bags that would be perfect for summer activities. I mean just look at The Day Tripper Bag

Gathre - $40 shop credit. We recently invested in the large all purpose mat (the one in this post) from Gathre for the sole purpose of family activities outdoors. I considered it my reward for making it through that awful pregnancy, ha! But we also use their changing pad and it's amazing! I particularly love how easy it is to clean off and how it can fold up super tiny and not take up a lot of space in our diaper bag. 

Tubby Todd - one bottle of Hair & Body Wash. And finally, I wanted to include this because you need something to wash everyone up after you've played hard outside together! We've just started using Tubby Todd products and I don't know if I'll ever want to bathe my babies in anything else! From their website: "...every ingredient is cleanly sourced, animal cruelty free and 100% natural." What could be better than that?! 

So, tonight around 6:30pm EST I'll be sharing  post on my Instagram. All the details about how to enter this giveaway will be found there.

You guys, I can't waaaait!