All the Things: May

Just a few little things that…
lighten my load
make me laugh
stir my heart
make me think
bring me joy….
I think you might like them, too.

Read all the way to the end for a chance at a fun giveaway on the items marked with a *

*Ronald Reagan dinner quote print, The Plaid Pineapple, $8

I snagged this sweet little print last Christmas when Denise Hughes (founder and owner of The Plaid Pineapple) came to speak at a local ladies event at a church in our town. I also got an old-fashioned tree skirt and a new pen pal on the other side of the world I write to and pray for. The Plaid Pineapple funnels into EveryDay Ministry where Denise’s team’s desire is to ‘do whatever, whenever, wherever, and for whomever the Lord leads’. 100% of every purchase or donation goes to everything from building water wells in Ghana to orphan care and rescuing and supporting girls rescued from trafficking.
I keep this in our kitchen right on the counter next to my magic machine (I think you might call it the coffee pot).

(No…your eyes are not tricky: that is a jar of inorganic, glutenous, non-vegetative Goldfish we keep on the counter. Relax. We’re all gonna be okay.)

All great change in America begins at the dinner table.~Ronald Reagan

Every pen stroke is the truest truth I know.
Read more about Denise’s story and mission (and shop!) at The Plaid Pineapple. or find her on Facebook to keep up with regular sales.

*Man Bites Dog, Amazon, $7.25

We are one of those weirdo families that loves to play games. We are also really tired as parents and begin to lose all brain and bodily functions shortly after dinner. The reason I threw this in my buggy at Marshall’s that one day I went in after one thing (darn those end caps) was because we were becoming game-bored and this looked hilarious. Also, words are my jam and I thought I could cream my family and I’m a sore loser. Here are three reasons this is our current go-to game:
1. It’s super fast so the parents don’t have to kick each other under the table to get the other to throw the game so we can all go to bed.
2. You get that cred with the kids for family time.
3. It’s actually pretty fun.

Our youngest is eight and sometimes we have to ‘help’ her so I would say that’s about the youngest age to play unless your kid is rocket-surgery genius level. Also, I don’t win every time like I thought I might so if you’re a sore loser too, you should definitely get this game.

Compassion International, $38 per month sponsorship

I really do not have the time to tell you all about Compassion International. The short is:
Compassion International is a child-advocacy ministry that pairs people with children who are suffering from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. Their mission is for each child to become a responsible and fulfilled adult through sponsorship and leadership development programs.

‘It’s a mission about love. We love God, and we demonstrate our love and live out our faith by extending care to others.
We offer our programs to the poorest of the poor, to the children in greatest need, without ulterior motive. We devote ourselves to helping children of all faiths, cultures, backgrounds and race — without imposing any religious obligation or conversion requirement upon them.’

When you sponsor a child, you get to write to the baby you choose (male/female/country), they know your name, they write you back—you can even go and visit them. The correspondence between Compassion International and you and the child you sponsor is so very thorough and made easy for you. It covers translations, cards or small gifts sent to you for every holiday and birthdays to sign and send back to your child, and a praise and prayer update with pictures (and they grow up before your eyes just like your own!).
My Emma especially loves to write to our guys and I love watching our family open up to a whole world that is actually in real need and not about us. And the letters we get back…y’all. It’s special.
One of the weirdest things I think God does is the way giving everything away and blessing others makes you feel fuller.
There are some children that have been waiting almost a year for a sponsor. Click here to be a hero.

*Datebox: Date Night Made Simple, options for purchase vary

Marriage can get its neck squeezed a little because life. Big things like full time jobs, kids, Facebook, and REM sleep can choke the intimacy out of our relationships real quick-like.
Know the CPR procedure for marriage?
What’s more on purpose than going to and choosing how frequently you want a date with every detail laid out for you to land on your doorstep so you don’t have to do anything but shower and show up? Your Datebox will arrive with instructions, supplies and even a playlist for things like making ice cream or sushi and even dance lessons (sometimes you might have to buy apples or occasional rando things). Listen. I know rolling sushi around may not sound like your cup of tea, but it’s not about you: it’s about being with your person. And incidentally, did you know that new experiences change the chemistry of your brain and can make you feel more connected as a couple?
I’m here to help.
Also. I’m just sayin: your person finds it sexy when you think about them enough to plan something fun.
Now get. Go shower up and order your Datebox.
PS You also have the option to gift a Datebox to a sweet married couple that, say, just had a baby or is struggling with money or the ones that always fight at all your get-togethers.
Afraid to be Weird Print, House of Belonging, $130

Okay. So I’m kind of a House of Belonging hound and I have several prints…but this one is my very, very favorite (besides the others). There’s something about the power of words spoken over people in our homes, isn’t there? I hung this up in our entryway while the kids were at school because I cuss a lot when I hang stuff. My Em comes home, reads it and beams, ‘Mom! This is, like, perfect for our family! It’s like it was written just for us.’
I sure hope so, sweet girl.
It serves me as daily reminders and gives ammo to my prayers for our families.
Follow House of Belonging and Insta and Etsy. Tiffani runs 20% off sales on the regular.


For the giveaway, just comment on the blog or Facebook so I know to put your name in. If you’ll share it and tag me (just because I don’t always know who shares), I’ll add your name twice. That’s it. I’ll even pay postage and send you a sweet note. Thank you for reading.

Because we all need a giggle:

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  1. Joy | 18th May 17

    How fun!!

  2. Nina | 18th May 17

    I want all of the things. Love you Blair

  3. Nellie Beall | 18th May 17

    Melissa, if I could write half as good as you can I would be in cloud nine. Love you and your heart my friend!!!

  4. Grace Cho | 18th May 17

    DATEBOX sounds amazing. I need all the things.

  5. Amanda | 18th May 17

    I have enjoyed reading your renderings on all things REAL! Keep being authentically and uniquely you.

  6. Liz Flippo | 18th May 17

    I swear we are related. House of Belonging is my heart and soul!! I want to buy everything else you’ve shared and send all my friends a date night box. I love your heart, I love the simplicity, and I love your humor. You’re a blessing!

  7. Patricia cunningham. Hunters wife | 18th May 17

    Love this

  8. Joy Richardson | 18th May 17

    I always love reading your articles! Sure miss seeing you!!

  9. Debbie Burdick | 18th May 17

    That last photo, of the dog…I need to be careful when I read you while I’m working because then I have to explain my loud snorty outburst. Amid all the absolutely beautiful Mother’s Day posts and family photos out there in Facebookland, my daughter…my offspring! My blood! Tagged me in one of the worst photos ever. I didn’t even know it existed. It looks like someone startled me from, say, a long winter’s couch nap. I’m wrapped in a gigantic blanket. Her dog is sprawled on my feet. There is a pair of shoes beside my head. Shoes. I just shook my head and thought, life is about more than a Facebook post. If I just keep quiet it will rollllllll right off the news feed and keep going into oblivion. And then people started ‘liking’ it and commenting. And then I thought, I love my daughter. And the people who really know me know that occasionally I wake up looking like a (rumpled) deer in the headlights from a couch nap and sometimes there are shoes in random places around my house. Everything gonna be alllllll right. So thanks for this post, and for keeping it real, and real fun, my friend.

  10. cara | 18th May 17

    Favorite phrase of the post “now get!”. Because you realllllly meant to say is “getonouttaherre”! Lurvvv you

  11. Dana D Brooks | 18th May 17

    I love both picture quotes. They are perfect. Dinner table time is very intentional at our house and I think it makes a real difference. I miss you my friend.

  12. Mary Harrell | 19th May 17

    Pick me! 🙂

  13. Holly | 19th May 17

    Because of you, I finally ordered the HoB print I’ve been wanting! I’ll think of you each time I see it! 🙂 Love and miss you bunches!!!

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