The Beach Fam Weekend 

Labor Day Weekend has come and gone and what better way to spend the last weekend of summer than at the beach! My awesome mom rented a beach house for our family so we all came together for our last shindig of the summer. And since the summer was such a blur with all of the things, it was actually the first vacay Nick, Caleb, and I went on. So MUCH NEEDED is what it was. 

On Thursday, we headed to the airport where Caleb is pretty much a pro now. Him and Nick helped me through the process of checking in my luggage without an anxiety attack of the possibility of never seeing it again. (I did demand the lady show me it was marked for Texas and not for another state like last time, because well PTSD.) We were ready to head to the beach! 

As soon as we got to the beach house, Caleb immediately joined Maddie in playing in the back yard and eventually even in the pool. (We are still not a fan of water.. This theme will continue throughout the weekend.)

The evening ended with the trauma of Maddie finding a cactus with her hands. (Dear people that rent out family-friendly homes, please rid yourselves of plants that cause harm to toddlers. Not cool.) Thankfully, she is just fine and we now know how to get out cactus needles from a 2 year old’s hands. Which now that I think about it, we apparently should have left that knowledge listed at the house for the next family. 

The next morning we immediately headed to the beach!

Day one was filled with Maddie pretty much signing up to be a mermaid and Caleb wishing the ocean did not have water or sand. By the end, he had finally come around to playing in the sand but still reminded us it was yucky every once in a while. We headed back to the house for naps (for all of us because vacay) and then headed into town for dinner. Maddie was my backseat partner and she is the queen of the mean mug. 

Everyone should always drink out of a coconut at the beach. 


After dinner, we had lots of fun playing and taking touristy pics. 

My phone got hacked by these two (or should I say these three.)

The next morning it was time for family pictures on the beach! One thing we did not think about was the wind. And boy was it fierce. Also, Caleb continued his stance on not wanting his body to touch the water so that was helpful. 


And Maddie of course was just glad to be near the water again. Bathing suit not necessary for this girl. 

We headed to brunch at one of our favorite spots with Maddie looking very frat-tastic in Caleb’s extra change of clothes. 

The rest of the day was full of more relaxing and hanging out. 

And of course bath time with the cousins because what’s cuter than 2 toddlers in a tub??

The next morning we were headed back to the beach! 

The day started off like this..

But ended like this…

So I think if we would have had one more day, we might have convinced him the beach was fun after all. #nextyear

And we knew it was time to go when this happened..

While the kiddos were napping, this cute guy and I snuck away to town to get coffee (because we are who we are). 

And then spent the rest of the day with more of the relaxing and hanging out..

Bedtime stories together were definitely a fav. 

With waking up together to being a close second. (Can you spot which one ISN’T the morning person?)

On Monday morning, we said our tearful goodbyes. Christmas won’t come soon enough for all of us to be reunited again. Our family of 3 headed back to the airport to head home to the land of the mountains. 

You know you’ve had a successful trip when you pass out watching Mickey Mouse in this awkward position..

GOODBYE SUMMER AND HELLO FALL!!

Being a High School Girl is Hard

I am LOVING all the back to school pictures. It blows my mind to see how so many of these kids that I have seen grow up are entering elementary school or middle school or HIGH SCHOOL. How are they getting older when I am completely the same age as I’ve always been? So weird. So many people I love are entering new chapters and a reason I love the cliche first day pictures is because it reminds me to pray for these kiddos (& mamas!). I can’t even imagine Caleb entering kindergarten, much less high school. But as a wife to a student ministries director, I would love to encourage those high schoolers (specifically girls because hello, I’m a girl) as they start off a new year. And what better way than to link up with Andrea for Show & Tell: Advice to our High School Selves. Because BELIEVE ME, hindsight is 20/20. 😉

1. BE OKAY WITH FIGURING OUT YOU. 

I feel like one of the cliche things we like to tell people is ‘Be Yourself.’ Which is all fine and dandy until you are a high school girl and don’t have a clue who yourself is. Thinking back to high school, I was trying SO HARD to fit in with all the people around me and didn’t know at all who Raven actually was. All my life I had loved to read and really had no desire to do sports. Once I reached high school, this left me floundering to still want to fit in but not knowing my ‘place.’ High school version of me would never have been able to joke about not being the least bit athletic and just owning that. Today’s me is all about saying no to playing some sand volleyball, because well I don’t want to. So give yourself some grace while you figure out what you like and don’t like.. And don’t ever alter those things just because it’s what everyone else is doing. 

2. QUIT COMPARING. 

This one is pretty much hand in hand with the first one, but a little different. I was the absolute queen of comparison. I desperately wanted to be just like my sister.. gorgeous and fun and again with the athleticism. She wasn’t the only one I compared myself to though. Anyone I thought was better at whatever it was that seemed ‘right’. As girls, isn’t this so often our natural go-to? Even when we are adults. Just STOP IT. Comparison is never helpful and most often it is just lies in your mind. So just tell satan NOT TODAY and move on. 

3. HIGH SCHOOL ISN’T FOREVER. 

I know this is shocking. Everything seems SO IMPORTANT right now. Like it is going to make or break the rest of your life. But guess what? It’s just four short years. That high school boyfriend? Not forever (at least most the time). Even your best friends? Chances are they are not going to be your forever besties, even as many times as you write BFFL. Life will keep moving forward and you will have the opportunity to meet so many more people in different seasons of life that just GET YOU. So if high school is not your jam, hold on to hope that it will in fact end. And if high school is your jam, chances are you will love college just as much. 

4. LISTEN TO WISDOM. ESPECIALLY GODLY WISDOM.

If I could shout anything to the high school Raven, it would be this. Your parents actually DO know things. But hey, maybe you don’t feel like discussing certain things with your parents because it is just plain awkward. I get that. But I STRONGLY encourage you to find a lady at your church that maybe you think is super awesome and fun and grab a hold of her. Ask her the hard questions. Tell her the hard things. Have her pray with you (or for you if you’re unsure of this Jesus thing). I guarantee you that your mom will probably understand and even welcome this. She would rather have you asking a Godly woman all of the things than the girl that sits next to you in Calculus (and definitely more than asking your high school boyfriend). 

5. SAY NO TO PEER PRESSURE. 

Like I said, high school will end and it won’t matter whether you drank that wine cooler at that party. Or went too far with your boyfriend at prom. Except to you. Because those will be things you carry for the rest of your life. I know it’s hard and not fun and totally against culture, but find the other girls that are saying no too. You are NOT alone. Don’t let the world make you feel like you are. 

6. BE KIND. TO EVERYONE. 

There are mean people in high school. And if you’re not careful, you will become one of them. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but you are called to be kind. 

7. YOU DON’T NEED A BOYFRIEND. 

I know that I’ve already mentioned this, but I know that it’s just so ingrained in high school girls that they should have a boyfriend. Guess what? You don’t. Because just like I already said, chances are he’s not your future husband. I would like to be dramatic and say don’t date at all because it will save you from a world of unnecessary hurt, but I’m also realistic that high school dating is gonna happen. 

8. LIVE FOR JESUS BOLDLY. RIGHT NOW.

I remember college students coming to visit my youth group and they were completely sold out for Christ. I would think to myself that it must be easier to love Jesus in college. Newsflash. Living for Jesus is NEVER easy. He doesn’t call us to easy. Love him now. Live for him now. Ask Him for courage and boldness.  Coming from someone that claimed to be a Christian in high school and lived a completely different way, I’ve had to deal with regret on confusing non-believers about what it means to live for Jesus. High school is a mission field that He has given you for this time in your life so don’t waste it.



So I’m pretty sure I could go on forever, but I will leave you with that for now. Girls, have fun! This is a time of your life that is care-free and rent-free! Hang out with your parents occasionally.. You’ll come to learn they’re actually fun people! Enjoy life! And know that you’ve got people in your life that love you and are praying fiercely for you!! 
(And adult women, pray for high school girls!!!! You remember what it’s like. And maybe even pray about whether you need to be one of those women mentoring them because you just never know.)

Texas Forever! 

Can you even believe it’s August and summer is already ending?! Pretty much all the things I listed on why I was excited for summer have already come and gone. It’s seriously so crazy! I really feel like I blinked and July was just plain over and done. I think most of that was because our family spent about zero time at home in July. Nick led the student missions trip to Poland which took him away from us for sixteen days. (Yes, I counted. And yes, that’s half a month. And yes, I’ve been this dramatic about it pretty much the whole time.) So Caleb and I did the only logical thing and went to Texas. (For only part of it.. I wasn’t THAT dramatic.) 

*So just be prepared for picture OVERLOAD on this post of all of the things and all of the people.*

Thanks to coffee and Mickey Mouse, we were ready to fly to Houston! 

We were greeted by Nanan and got to have dinner with her & Stevey, Aunt Ley Ley, Uncle Chris & Mamoo! (This is of course what Caleb calls these people and not their real names.) We stayed with Nanan and discovered all of the toys! Thanks to Maddie, we had our first introduction to babies and strollers. 

The next day we spent the day with Katie and Jen and her girls at the pool and Jen’s house! (And we sure did eat this cake that endured a fall at the grocery store and looks like something that would haunt a child’s nightmares. Because cake.)

That night we made sure to get more snuggles with Nanan! And little man made it his mission to make her read at least 20 million books to her. Like she argued. 

Friday we had more fun meeting up with people, all which I failed to document. Just imagine pictures of a breakfast at Chick-Fil-A where Sarah, Emily, and I caught up in the play area while Caleb (somewhat) played. And then imagine pictures of lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant with Nana and Bunkie. (It’s fun to now take Caleb somewhere that I used to always meet Nana for lunch during college!) That night we went with Nanan & Stevey to dinner and then the splash pad! 


So it’s no secret that Caleb has NOT loved the water this summer which has blown our minds. A friend mentioned it may be different in Texas because it’s obviously hotter there and the water isn’t as freezing. Well she was right! He absolutely loved the splash pad in Texas, but still not the pool. Guess you win some, you lose some. 

On Saturday, we participated in my mom’s favorite hobby.. Shopping! To say my mom spoils her kids and grandkids would be an absolute understatement. She’s the BEST. And we did stop a moment to send Daddy a selfie to remind him what we looked like while he was having an awesome time in Poland. 😉

That night my mom was even more awesome and watched little man so I could have a girls night with some of my very best friends. Jen, Katie, and I had already planned it before I came in town and then Jess ended up being in town for the night too! SO FUN!! Jess is a fantastic photographer and I always love looking at her photos so it was super fun (and hilarious!) to do our own little mini photo shoot.  I’m pretty sure everyone around us thought we were crazy, but obviously we really cared a ton about what they thought. Laughing with these girls is the best.

On Sunday, we had a family lunch so Caleb got to spend more time with Nana. He sat right up there and told her about all of the things.

After lunch, Nanan took the kiddos to the children’s museum. Pretty sure they could have stayed there all day long! 

It was then time to tell Nanan bye. 😦 Lots of tears from everyone. 

We then stopped by Amy’s to see her new house and let Caleb embrace his country side. 

The next morning it was time to start part 2 of the trip! DFW!!!! 

Once we told these two trouble makers that they weren’t driving, we headed north and stopped by our alma mater for the necessary picture with the infamous statue. (The pictures of them looking up at the statue are my fave. They’re thinking WHOA!!)

Since it was about a million degrees outside, we hopped back in the car to finish our road trip. It started off like this..

And ended with us all feeling like this…

Ash dropped us off at the Gonzalez’ house where Caleb was able to re-enter boy land! 

The next morning began with all of the kisses for baby Sophie. 

These boys could have doted on her all day. And who could blame them?! Look at the sweetness of this cutie! 

Our days plan consisted of our girls coming over with kids in tow for fun and a picnic on the lawn. Crazy to see how big all of our kids are all getting! 

And even though it was definitely still Tiff’s birthday month, she planned a birthday surprise for me. Talk about a fantastic best friend! 

I love these girls so incredibly much and miss them immensely! (We hated not having our Amanda with us too.)

That night it was time for Joe T’s! (Maddie Moo was more concerned about baby than taking any kind of pictures.) 

On Wednesday, we were back with Ley Ley, Chris, & Mamoo and it was time for them to show us their new house! Someone had his own personal tour guide. 

That night I got to catch up with a friend that Nick likes to take credit for. Natalie, how did we not even take a picture?! Maybe because the coffee shop was so cute and I wanted to fit into their hipster ways without showing my age (even though I’m obviously only 29). 😉

The next morning, Ash and I along with the kiddos made the trek to Aledo. And ANOTHER picture fail!! This one makes me real sad because we got to see so many people that we haven’t seen in forever (and kiddos we had not even met yet!). That will all change at Christmas and there will be SO MANY pictures taken! 

That evening we finally got our picture act together at dinner with the fam. Such a blast to have so many of us together!! 

On Friday morning, we headed to Dallas to see Aunt JJ!!! Her church has an incredible kids area so Caleb and Maddie were all about it. 


Spending the day with Aunt JJ was definitely a highlight for this kiddo! (Although he was still very confused why JoJo was not there with her.) 

While he got cuddles from her, Aunt Rae got cuddles too! (She’s a quick one though.) 

That night Ash and I got a little crazy and decided to go to a movie at 9:50 PM!!!! Don’t worry, coffee happened beforehand. Nothing like a bunch of moms out way past their bedtimes living it up! 

The next day we spent time at our Aunt Janie’s so she could see the kiddos play. Last time we saw her they were crawling around her house. ​

We were all pretty exhausted by this point. Even the kids were starting to do strange things…


It was then time to go home the next day. We were sad to leave and even more sad that Daddy was still not going to be home when we got home. Caleb did feel like a rockstar getting to ride an ‘AIRPLANE!’ after seeing them fly by all week. 


Our flight kept getting delayed, little man didn’t feel great, and to top it off our luggage was lost.


But we are happy to report it was finally found YESTERDAY.. Over a week later and just when I had given up hope!!!! (Thank you EVERYONE that helped out in any way possible with borrowing things or buying us new things.. You don’t realize how much you pack until it’s gone! Y’all are incredible!) 

And guess who else is home?! This guy! 


We are SO HAPPY to all be reunited! They had an absolutely incredible trip and so excited about everything the Lord is doing in Poland! 

Little man and I also had a fantastic trip in Texas! And although it seems like we saw so many of the people, there was still so many people we DIDN’T get to see. 😦 I hate that there’s never enough time. So if we didn’t see you, make plans to see us at Christmas because the Jones crew is coming back!! 

Friday Favorites

Hey there Friday! You know what that means… Time to link up with ErikaAndrea, and Narci to share all my favorites from the week! 

*ONE*


Did everybody take advantage of 7/11 Free Slurpee Day?! This fam sure did and the little man got to experience a Slurpee for the first time. It should be noted that I had never had one of these either until after Nick and I had been married and we went on 7/11 to get a free one. So apparently the family tradition continues that we only get slurpees if they are giving them to us for free. Either way, Caleb was a fan.. but mostly of the straw. 

*TWO*


One of my very best friends Lindsee came to visit and that was definitely a huge favorite! Not only that but she’s now selling jewelry so we got to throw ourselves a little girls night and look at all of the sparkly things. If you want to look at the sparkly things too, I’m pretty sure my trunk show doesn’t close until August 1st. (Here’s the link if you are interested.) We stayed up until 2 am and my goodness, I still don’t think I’ve recovered. We certainly aren’t in college anymore, folks. 

Caleb convinced her to read him some books early that next morning so she quickly became a favorite of his when she obliged. It makes my heart so happy to see two of my very favorite people become besties. 😉


It was a must that we take a bazillion pictures before she left but unfortunately we waited until the moment she was walking out the door.  The only other person there to actually take our picture was my 1 year old that was only in the mood to physically cling to my body. So here’s what we got.. I’m pretty confident Caleb was confused by our ridiculousness. 

This next one is my attempt to make fun of his judgey face. 


So yup. It’s always a grand time with Linds. If she would move here already, that’d be great. 

*THREE*

So apparently it was the week of free things galore and the Jones fam was all in. You better believe we were at the closest Chick-Fil-A dressed like cows to get our free chicken. And yes, Nick and I participated even long before we had a child. #giveusallthefreethings


And the good thing about being the picture taker is not having photo documentation of me as a cow. 😉

*FOUR*

So last week I shared that my favorite fella was preaching on Sunday and that he sure did. Now I know that I’m a bit biased, but I mean it when I say the Lord spoke through him in a mighty way. It gives me great joy to see Nick use the giftings that God has given him for His glory. Everyone has been so incredibly sweet and encouraging to him about his message and I absolutely love to see him be affirmed by other people of what I already know. I’m quite the proud wife. (And side note: My hat and t-shirt wearing hubby wore a coat and tie and sure did look mighty fine rockin’ it.) 



*FIVE*

THIS. 


Coffee will always be my favorite. Especially when my body can’t seem to get caught up from just one night’s lack of sleep. (Apparently this is what it’s like to be IN your thirties.)

*SIX*

Fresh flowers from Whole Foods for the win!!! 


And I will just leave you right there on that random note because flowers are just happy. 🙂 Hope everyone has such a fabulous weekend!! Hug your people tight and smile to strangers. You could even say hello if you are feeling a little bold! 😉

Friday Favorites with A Serious Twist

So I already had this post ready to go for today, but it just doesn’t feel right to start it off without addressing the absolute devastation that has occurred all week. My heart is broken as should be everyone’s. The amount of hate and prejudice and injustice and violence happening in our country is disgusting. And unfortunately it’s not anything new. As so many are praying for Jesus to quickly return, we need to be praying for Jesus to reign over our country and our hearts. We need to be wise to how He is calling us to not only react to these tragedies, but also how to respond. Because we MUST respond. Whether that means you allow God to work on your own heart about any bitterness or discrimation against absolutely anyone that consume you or that you find ways to be loving and kind that make a difference. If you are at a loss at where to start, maybe this is an organization that is worth your consideration. This quote is from their website..

Let us pray for God to call ALL of us to action. 

And now to regularly scheduled programming (there’s just no good transition here)…

Happy Friday! We made it!!! Still a victory even if it was just a 4 day week. 😉 So I am finally returning to link up with Andrea and Erika for..


Since its been a while, there’s lots of randomness coming at yah…

*ONE*


The whole month of June please. It was absolutely packed to the brim. If you missed what we were up to, I shared about VBS, our visit from friends, and little man’s first youth camp. How we had time to sleep and shower is beyond me. But thankfully we made that happen. 😉

*TWO*


When Jen was here, she gave me this sign for my birthday which I LOVE. Because I’m pretty sure I’m real sad at the end of each cup of coffee I drink so it’s perfect. I also loved absolutely every single thing/card/message I received on my birthday so although turning 31 wasn’t a favorite, my actual birthday was! 

*THREE* 


We went on a family hike this week which was so fun! Although there was a sign warning of mountain lions and rattle snakes, I still managed to have a good time. (And then the mountain lion was actually spotted there that day. Just glad we weren’t the ones who spotted it.) Little man loves to ‘adventure’ now so I’m pretty sure he had a great time. He face planted in dirt at one point so he totally looked the part for ‘adventuring.’ He also loves to now give thumbs up and peace signs when he takes pictures. So if you tell him ‘say cheese!’, expect one of those to appear! 



*FOUR*

We are so super blessed by an amazing girl that spends a couple of her days with Caleb when we are at work! He absolutely loves his ‘Pee-Ta’ (Payton) and she’s pretty much incredible with him. When God called me back to work, it wouldn’t haven’t been possible without her and how comfortable we feel that she is the one loving on our little man. This week she took him to our town’s little pioneer museum and sent me the absolute cutest pictures. 

(We are also pretty sure she is the one who will break him of his fear with dogs with her sweet puppy. HE PETTED HER DOG THIS WEEK. This is huge people.)


*FIVE*

Yesterday morning the little man and I were already on a wagon ridge by 7:30 am. Don’t worry.. Coffee also came along. He absolutely loves riding his wagon and then yesterday he decided that he really loved pulling it too. (I just don’t understand why he keeps getting so big.) So we spent a ton of time on the trail with him pulling the wagon which of course meant we moved at a snail’s pace. I sent Nick a snapchat and it said 1.5 mph so obviously we got really far. Although speed may not have been our friend, lots of silliness was. 


*SIX*

A HUGE favorite coming this Sunday is Nick has the honor to preach in both services. He is second up for our July sermon series so prayers would be so coveted as he teaches on this topic. Because it is so obvious such a time as this. Nick is my absolute favorite person to hear preach (because I’m not biased at all) so I am obviously pretty pumped about this. So Sunday morning if you’re around, you are welcome to join us! And if you’re not, you are definitely welcome to pray for God to speak through him. 

And that is all for the week! As it ended up starting with a serious note, I would like to end with Jesus’ words. 

John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.


Weekend Recap: 4th of July Edition 

Did everyone have such a fantastic 4th of July?! I love that it was connected to a weekend so it was like we were able to celebrate all weekend long! And wear lots and lots of the red white and blue. 

On Friday, Nick got home just in time to rally for us to go to our town’s festival. I’m pretty sure a million people go to this thing, but luckily having a one year old worked in our favor because we are in the business of arriving early & leaving early. We came, we ate, we people watched, we played, we left. (Soapbox moment: Moms of teenage girls, please make sure your daughter wears more clothes than pieces of material that barely cover what a bathing suit does. I saw more teenage girl skin that I ever would like to. It both makes me mad and breaks my heart. Alright, random rant over.) 


Saturday we took a day off from our patriotic festivities, but not from the fun. We spent the morning at the library because we had a rainy day… 


…and then Nick and I ended the day with a date night to celebrate my birthday. Sushi please! 


On Sunday after church, we headed to JoJo’s to celebrate the 4th with her because it’s pretty much her favorite. She’s also amazing because she got us the best cake ever to also celebrate my birthday! 


The little man was excited to ham it up for his favorite JoJo by dancing around in the 4th of July outfit she got him. He thought it was pretty much hilarious that Mickey went everywhere with him that day. 


And it was only right for us to go to the pool..


He’s still not completely sold on the idea of swimming but he is however all about chillin’ on JoJo’s patio..


On Monday (the ACTUAL 4th of July), we started off the day at a parade in the mountains with our small group. 


What’s NOT photographed is this parade was actually an all out water fight. We were straight rookies and were NOT prepared whatsoever. I’m pretty sure the guys are already strategizing how next year will be different. Other randomness was watching a helicopter land and a pancake breakfast at the fire station. 


That afternoon we grilled out and headed to one family’s neighborhood pool party. 


So although our little family of 3 may not have seen a single firework this year, I’m pretty confident we celebrated our country’s freedom to the fullest. Hope everyone else had yourself a fun and festive weekend too! 

Student Camp For The Win!

So I did it! I caught up telling you all about those crazy two weeks with VBS and the Jaspers coming to visit… But it was all while I was on our 3rd crazy week straight at youth camp. Because that’s just how we roll. So are you already guessing what’s next?? Oh you’re so smart.. CAMP RECAP!!!! 

Did you grow up going to youth camp? If not, I’m so sorry. You just need to seek out your church’s student ministry immediately, start volunteering, and score you a spot for camp next year. It’s not too late for you. (And plus, volunteering in student ministry is pretty much where it’s at.) So I grew up going to youth camp and unfortunately I don’t have any of those pictures to prove that to you. Then I married a youth pastor and now I get to go every year again. 

It’s where we celebrated our one month anniversary of being wed (with a baby face Haylee)…

And then the next year all the pics I found don’t prove at all Nick was there.. But Natalie definitely was.. Whoops..

And then the last time we went, little man went along but in my belly (because an 8 month pregnant lady at a 100 degree student camp is always a good idea)…

Let’s just say I enjoyed this years picture a whole lot more…

So this year we went to Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park and the weather was LOVELY. It’s very family-friendly so Caleb was able to go along and there was even childcare. Say what?! So every morning, he went to go play with friends and do crafts while I got to enjoy the morning session with our students. He’s still a little too young to stay awake for the evening session so I did miss those. 😦 But hey, I’ll take what I can get! They even made a book of all his crafts of the week. I about melted at the sweetness of it all. 


And camp with mountains all around us? Yes please. 

It was such a great time! There’s just always something about being at camp with students getting to dig deeper into the Bible. Absolutely love getting a front row seat to watch God work! (Remember you could too ;)…) 

Another first time thing this year was I had my birthday at camp!! If you have even known me a hot second, you know I LOVE BIRTHDAYS. So it was definitely a crazy twist to have it at camp and celebrate in a new way. My oh so sweet husband made sure I got embarrassed first thing in the morning by having to go in front of the whole camp. Luckily they didn’t make me sing ‘I’m a little teapot’ like they originally threatened. Because believe me, nobody wants to hear that. 

But then we went tubing down the summer hill!!! I’ve never even tubed on snow yet (I KNOW! TAKE ME!) so I was definitely pumped. It was just as fun as it looked!! ​

Caleb was too young to go down but pretty sure he had a blast just playing in the tubes and watching everyone. It’s the little things. 

Pretty sure we all had a blast! (And yes I did almost fall every single time coming back up the hill on the conveyor belt. Nick married himself quite the athlete.)

Plenty of other shenanigans happened during the week too, including us all channeling our Katniss Everdeen during archery. Let’s just say a good bit of us would NOT survive the Hunger Games. We of course did not allow Caleb to give the whole bow and arrow thing a whirl either, so he played with all of our sunglasses instead. 


The little man and I only stayed through Wednesday and headed back to real life that afternoon while the rest of the crew stayed til Friday. I can’t wait to see how God is going to continue to use what He taught the students this week for His glory! 

Now we are off to continue our weekend celebration of the 4th of July! Our church service was so fantastic yesterday to help remind us to be thankful that we are able to FREELY proclaim the Gospel in our country! We are so grateful to live in a country where we are not persecuted for believing in the one true King because our real freedom is found IN CHRIST. Hope everyone has such a fun time celebrating today! 

The Jaspers take on Colorado! 

So in the fall of 2005, I joined a Christian sorority and met some of the very best friends a girl could ask for. One of those girls was Jen Qualls. She later became Jen Jasper and I was able to stand next to her on that special day, but she will forever be Jen Q in my phone (sorry Ryan). We lived through and graduated college together and then her boyfriend (later to be husband) and I moved off to the same grad school in Fort Worth so that meant I got lots of visits from her. And then later she moved up to live with me because Ryan decided to put on a ring on it. (We lived together through their engagement, not actually after she got married just to be clear.) A little later they moved off to Houston but then years later, we followed. We then got to experience the entrance to motherhood around the same time. And how do I know Jen is a fantastic friend? Anyone willing to put their 8 months pregnant self in a bridesmaid dress is someone you want to hold on to. What a gem. 

So now I’m pretty convinced it’s their turn to follow us and move to Colorado. 😉 But in the time being, her sweet little family decided to use their family vacay this summer to come visit us in the mountains and I’LL TAKE IT. (Another indication of a good friend is taking a 15 hour road trip with your 2 and 4 year olds.)

So on Tuesday when they arrived, we let the littles unwind because 15 hours in the car is a LOT. Plus watching kids see each other for the first time in forever is pretty much the cutest thing. ​We then showed them our cute little downtown area for dinner that night but that was about it for day one. The next morning however started off with a dance party. ​

Nick had a hike planned for a youth event that day so Ryan went along. That meant Jen and I had the day to entertain the kiddos so we immediately hit the splash pad. I promise this cutie was excited to go with me. 



Caleb has decided that he’s not real sure about the splash pad this year even though last year he was obsessed. So he did a lot of watching the girls play from the sidelines. 

That afternoon more dancing happened. ​

On Thursday, we drove up in the mountains to Tiny Town. This literally is a doll sized little town for the kids to walk through. 

Such a random, hilarious little place. And we of course had to take a picture of us with our littles. Crazy to see how far we’ve come since college. 

So then there was a train to ride which the kids were PUMPED about. As we watched the people before us go and the train break down in the process, we knew we needed to see what Plan B was because the kids were basically yelling ‘Choo Choo!’ with excitement as they waited. 

So they pulled out their back up train and we decided to take our chances. Even though it looked like a rain storm was about to let loose on us. 

 Did the train break down and the guys working have to come and push us through the track while cold rain began to sprinkle on us? It wouldn’t have been the hilariously awesome train ride if it had happened any other way. But we survived and headed out of that tiny town quick. 

That afternoon we took them to Red Rocks and walked around. 



Then the rain ran us out of there too! So we headed to dinner at Breckenridge Brewery because their restaurant is dang cute and their ‘backyard’ is full of lawn games and nice chairs to chill in. Win win. 


That night Jen and I had girls night on a roof top getting to chat and talk about all of the things. #muchneeded

The next day was our last day together. All the sad face emojis. We went up to Georgetown to see a mountain town that I hadn’t even been to either. (I can’t wait to go at Christmas time because I know that’s what it is really famous for!) Their little shops were adorable and they had the cutest little coffee shop. Which we all know is the way to my heart. 

This little cutie was finally all about taking selfies with me. 


And then there’s just no one cuter than my two guys. 

After then we headed to Idaho Springs for a late farewell lunch for some yummy pizza. Because Beau Jo’s. They loved it as much as us. Duh. But then came the hard part of parting ways. It’s hard enough to have to say goodbye but when the kids are crying too, it pretty much makes it 10 times more sad. But we will see them again soon in the Lone Star State! 


I sure do love my bestie and her family for making the long drive to come visit!!! 

Now who’s coming next?!

The Long Overdue VBS Recap 

I AM STILL ALIVE. 

This summer has been cuh-razy and seems to be flying by!!! So we have had a full past two weeks with VBS and some friends coming to visit so I shall split those two things into two posts. Because everything deserves its own rightful attention. And I want to be able to remember all of the things because it was all so full of awesomeness. 

Let’s start off with VBS!!! 

So way back in the fall, our amazing children’s ministry director at our church asked if I would be willing to be the co-coordinator for VBS. I immediately said yes because if you know my background, you know it’s children’s ministry and I love me a good VBS. Well a couple months passed and I ended up on staff with the children’s ministry (because God is awesome like that). So VBS became my life for a little bit. 

But here’s the deal though.. I’ve helped put on a lot of VBS’s and even Nick and I have done VBS together every year since we’ve been married, but this was the little man’s first one. And it made my heart SO FULL to see how much he loved it. Obviously he is still in the nursery so it’s on a much smaller scale but even his coloring pages he brought home brought tears to my eyes. Knowing that Caleb is learning about Jesus and getting to color pages that says ‘Jesus will be my friend forever’ pretty much makes my heart explode. We brought him upstairs a few times to the big worship rally to hear the songs and he absolutely would have danced forever. ​And bubbles coming from the ceiling pretty much rocked his world. 

It was a fun underwater theme and the amazing decoration girls transformed our church into an incredible underwater scene! 

Nick received the opportunity to be Scuba Nick for the week which was one of the ridiculous characters on stage.

This was definitely not his first rodeo at being crazy during a VBS skit. Anyone remember the villain from Topsy Turvy Kingdom, Aledo people? That voice will forever haunt me. (TimeHop even gave me a picture of him today on bottom right.) 

Apparently our family likes to embrace looking crazy on stage. Introducing my camel face to the world…

It’s safe to say that the Jones fam thoroughly enjoyed us some VBS this year. And us matching all week. 

And pretty sure the VBS songs & videos are still being played on repeat in both our home and car. So way to go, LifeWay. You hooked a one year old. 

But what is way more amazing then all of the super cute decorations and all the tons of fun we all had, 56 kids accepted Christ!!!! YAY GOD!!!!!! And THAT is why VBS is awesome. Kids getting to learn about Jesus in a way that is relevant to them is such an incredible thing. Even watching my own one year old be so pumped about Submerged and making us listen to the song on repeat just affirms my belief that the Gospel can be taught (and start to take root) at such a super early age. It is such a fantastic thing to be apart of. 

I already can’t wait until next year. 🙂

Friday Faves on Saturday

THIS. WEEK. HAS. NEEDED. TO. END. SINCE. MONDAY. 

So instead of going on and on about why it’s been a stinky week, I will instead choose to focus on things I love because it’s…

And in true fashion of how this week has gone, I am linking up with Erika and Andrea to share all of my faves on SATURDAY. Because posting on Friday would have meant something went right this week. 😉

FIRST

So our week started off getting to spend time with Nick’s sister Juliana. She came in town for their mom’s surgery and so lots of family time got to happen. And Caleb was a BIG fan of Aunt JJ. They’re pretty much besties. 



SECOND 

On Thursday, Caleb and I took a friend’s two little girls to spend the morning at the park & splash pad along with some other girls and kids from MOPS. Little man had the best time just watching the girls do all the things and pretty sure he wishes he was already big enough to do the same stuff.

And them riding in the backseat with him was icing on the cake. 



THIRD


Friday afternoon our little fam went for frozen yogurt on our favorite lake by our favorite park. Because sunshine was NEEDED.

Then Caleb and I took some silly selfies and his mischevious look got caught on camera. 
Can you tell he’s about to yank off my glasses? Straight stinker. 

Then he decided to cooperate. 



FOURTH

Today this popped up on my newsfeed which I absolutely loved because I sure do love my Nana and I love how TimeHop captured our different life stages. 



FIVE

I am SUPER excited about a girls morning today. Brunch and an outside antique  market is on the agenda. And what’s funny is that before we moved here, the only thing I knew about this town was this market when we would come visit the past two summers. And now I live around the corner from it. God is funny like that. 

Here’s pics from going last year.. Ahhh, life before he could walk. 


Happy Satirday everyone!! Enjoy the weekend!