Your Love

imageToday marks the one year anniversary of CW and I loosing our baby girl!  As some of our friends knew and some didn't, I pray that this is more of a testimony than hurting anyone in not telling them. This week, leading up to this day has been quite an anxious feeling for me.  I look back on last year and all that my family and I have been through.  You could say that this year was a rough one for numerous reasons but let me fill you in by talking about our little one.  Last year Traycen started talking about his baby sister.  He would ask us when his baby sister was coming and that he was so excited.  I never really thought much of it until CW and I knew that he probably knew more than we did.  I feel like our kids know so much more than us because they are so pure and know nothing but Jesus and what the Holy Spirit is telling them.  They are so sensitive to the voice of the Lord and it just amazes me.  Anyways, December 5 of last year we miscarried.  The pain and emotion that overcame me was horrible in so many ways.  I was scared and hurt.  I felt rejected from doctors, myself, family and friends.  Although the number one person that was rejecting me, was me!  I have come to realize that one of my weaknesses at that point was feeling like I was a failure.  I took this on as a failure within myself.  I withdrew myself from my family and my friends leading me into the darkness that the enemy was wanting me in.  I look back and think how horrible I was to my husband and how much I hurt him by pushing him away.  By the grace of God and my husband, I was still loved through it all.  God was wanting me to run to Him, to sit in His lap and just be comforted by Him, instead I withdrew from him.  I can't explain why I did this, but I know it wasn't good. I remember after the fact of loosing the baby, Traycen kept asking me, "when is my sister going to come mommy?"  I would get so irritated with him and hurt by that, and that was wrong.  I know that he needed to know what was going on. But, how do you tell a four year old that his baby sister is gone?  We felt like he needed to know because he kept asking about her.  With the help of family and friends we decided to take some time for ourselves and get closure with loosing the baby.  We decided to get balloons and let them go up to heaven to try and help Traycen understand. We stood out on the driveway one afternoon and took the balloons and let them go to heaven for our baby girl.  Traycen stood there and told CW and I that he was sad for his sister and that he missed her so much!

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Since then, Traycen continues to talk about her. It always had hurt me so much when he would talk about her because I didn't know how to deal with it.  It's like the more you talked about her the more it hurt because it made it that much more real.  But, then if you didn't talk about her it felt like she was just ignored and not cared about.  With the help of a friend telling me that I needed to start talking about her and making her known, I did.  I still have a hard time talking about her.  It's kind of a weird feeling talking about someone you knew but never actually got to see.  It's hard to explain to people who haven't experienced that, the feeling that you have and how much your mind can mess with you.  Personally, my mind would always mess with me a lot and still tries to if I think too much on it.  I have to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ and stand on the truths and promises that He has for me.

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Needless to say, God continues to bring me through this, healing me everyday.  I don't know that I can say I am fully healed because this is something that we will always remember and celebrate.  God's love has never failed us through this time and His love continues to shine through the darkest of our days.  This week I had a friend call me, not knowing this was the week of when we lost the baby.  She felt like she was suppose to tell me some things.  One being an example of what she deals with working where she does.  She is a nurse and where she works she experiences life, death and healing.  She begins to tell me about what she experiences there at work.  What ministered to me was that death is bittersweet.  To the people here on earth it is sad, heartbreaking and you grieve.  But death also is a celebration.  Death is like a birthday.  Death is actually a birth into the arms of Jesus.  When I heard this I felt so much peace.  Not having the understanding of why we lost our baby and being hurt from it, this made sense to me.  I had the peace that I can now not focus on the death of our baby, but the birth of our baby into the arms of Jesus.  That couldn't have been more appropriate for this week as I had been struggling with what to do with today.  I am so thankful to have people in our life that stand next to us, support us and love us through everything.  I am amazed at the love that God has for me even when I've tried to push Him and everything else away. He stands there with His hands wide open saying "just come sit with me!" Wow!

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I pray in the name of Jesus that this brings encouragement to you whether you have dealt directly with something like this or not.  God's love never fails us!  He is always there waiting for us to jump into His arms and to love on us.  I pray for myself and others to not sit and question and blame God, but to lean on Him more and to seek Him in all things.  I pray that we would open up our hearts and open our ears to what He has to tell us and that we would be able to listen to the voice of our Daddy saying, "I love you, I love you, I love you!"

Till next time, XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste

 

 

Winter Wonderland

Brrr.. is all I have to say about 20 degrees and wind out here on the prairie.  My sweet girls have been begging me to take them outside to play, so I relented.  We bundled up (around here that means snow pants, coat, scarves, gloves, hats and snow boots!!) and braved the freezing wind.  Sheridan made a beeline for the trampoline in which she had great fun running and sliding in the snow that lay upon it.  She talked me into letting her take her gloves off which lasted a whole minute before she started complaining of how cold her hands were.  "Lesson learned!" I'd have to say!  I know that's what God must say to Himself when I make a bad choice, haha!  Sometimes I wish He didn't give us choices, then we could live in this perfect little world, Adam & Eve never would've sinned, evil wouldn't have entered into this world.  But do you think we would've been happy?  Probably not, that's not freedom.  I guess the way to think about it is that God wanted us to choose to love Him, just the same way I wouldn't want to make my husband love me, I want him to choose to love me.  There's such freedom in having the freedom of choice and I believe our God really knew that would be true with us. snow4

Odessa is obsessed with climbing the boulders that lie around our fire pit.  She's so fearless and I have to constantly keep an eye on my little daredevil.  I'm trying to not be the helicopter mama who hovers above her child but that kid is so quick that once I look away from her she's onto the next dangerous thing that she can climb on.  I've really been asking God what to pray over my kiddos.  I've resolved to never let them believe that there are limits with God.  I want them to truly take in and believe Philippians 4:13 that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them, we even made up a song for that verse.  I've found that Sheridan can remember just about anything if I put in song form for her.  You should here all the silly songs we've come up with, ha!

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Tonight at Northern Colorado Cowboy Church is First Tuesday service and I have to say that this is always my favorite service of the month.  It's such a Holy Spirit led service and Kirste and I will get the honor to lead worship tonight and I'm super pumped for it.  There's a new song that we're introducing to the congregation from Bryan and Katie Torwalt called King of All the Earth.  It's such a great song!

Speaking of tonight, I put my outfit together of what I plan to wear.  I didn't do the whole Black Friday shopping thing but I did stop in to a couple of stores yesterday just to pick through all of the left overs.  I found this great wool vest with a knit Aztec back and fur collar at TJ Max for $30.  I'm in love with thick vest like this because is layering is the only way to dress in Colorado where our weather is so unpredictable.  Black is seriously my go-to color right now.  It's just so sleek and flattering and I feel like I can add fun accessories to add color and dimension.  I plan on pairing it with a sweater from Target, my fleece lined faux leather leggings from the Hidden Arrow, my Boot Socks and Frye booties.  I'm in love with these leggings, they dress up any outfit and they are so warm!  I'll top it off with some of my fave jewelry, can't go wrong with silver and turquoise.

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The rest of the week I plan to get lots of indoor projects done as well as some organizing done throughout the house.  Oh and of course we'll be camped out in front of the TV starting Thursday to watch the NFR.  I'm kinda bummed that we aren't there this year, but I'm praying that Kody gets back to riding soon and we'll be there in 2016!  I pray you all have an amazing week!

Much love,

Candace

Seasons of Thankfulness

Since yesterday was Thanksgiving I felt like it was appropriate to share some things that I am thankful for with you.  Every year when Thanksgiving comes around I really think about just what it is that I am thankful for.  The things that I was thankful for last year are different than this year.  Of coarse, I am always going to be thankful for Jesus Christ and what He did for me, my husband CW, my son Traycen, and my extended family and friends.  Another thing that I have learned to be thankful for is the season that God has me in and what God is doing in my life.  Although our seasons our always changing, Gods love always remains. Whether you are in a great season or a testing season, you feel like you have nothing or you feel like you have everything, God's love always endures through it all.  God makes a way for us!  I can stand here today and say that I have been in places this year where I didn't know how I was going to make it through this season. I have learned though that God is in control of it all and He continually makes a way for me through everything in the season that I am in.  God continually is speaking to me to trust Him.  It's sometimes easier said than done, but He just keeps pushing me saying, "trust me!"  I am so thankful that I can call Him my Daddy and that He continually "keeps me" and never lets me go. I'm praying for you in the season that you are in or the season that God is leading you into, for you to be able to trust His voice as He guides you. I pray that you would allow God's love to permeate your heart and to be open to what He has for you. Every season is different but keep pressing in to where He has you and where He is taking you. Know that He is faithful in ALL things and that His love ALWAYS remains! 

Till next time,  XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste

P.S. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and are blessed by His love! 

Being "You"

I definitely believe that knowing who you are and that being comfortable in who you are is freedom.  Growing up I remember looking up to one girl in particular at my dance studio.  She was gorgeous, popular and extremely talented.  I remember studying her...how she did her hair, wore her clothes and how she talked.  But no matter how hard I tried, I'd look in the mirror at the end of the day and I would see me and not her.  Of course, I heard endlessly from parents, friends and teachers that you are unique and are perfect the way you are.  But it didn't change how I felt about myself.  I hate to say that this can be a struggle for me still today, especially with how much social media and the portrayal of perfection endlessly surrounds us.  I know that God wired us this way for a reason, but it wasn't to look unto another person for our contentment in who we are, it's to look to Him and to what He's wanting to lead us into. chalkboard

A very wise woman that I'm so blessed to have in my life as my pastor, spiritual mother and friend, Lynette Gleghorn explained it like this, "You are never more "you" than when you are in total surrender to God-because He made you and knows who He created you to be.  We are never more "found" than when we are totally lost in His love."  My heart just flourishes when I rest in this truth.  Who would I want to please more than God?  And if all He's asking me to do is just be "me" I feel confident that I can do that!  Haha, but that's just the first step,  letting Him take me by the hand and lead me into everything that He created me to be is almost more than I can fathom.  He's so faithful, loving and good and He promises to never leave me.

So today I encourage you to get into your Bible and pray, ask God why He made you and what has He put on your heart to do.

Love you all so much!!!

Candace

Cooped Up Fall

This mama is ready to put away the sandals and tanks and break out the flannel and wild rags.  Colorado is diving into freezing temps starting this week and I could not be happier to say "adios" to the flies and rattlers.  I love every season that our gorgeous state experiences but I know that when it's time to change from one to the next I am more than ready.  I'm sure if you live outside of town like we do and are anywhere near a feedlot or dairy you've experienced the dreaded fly invasion into your home or vehicle this time of year and how much it STINKS!  Not only are they down-right annoying, but they poop on everything, they get splattered all over when you kill them and they're just dirty little things!  But I'm ready for the first freeze for sure and I'm ready for layers...and hot chocolate...and snow...and sledding!!! I was looking through a few pics from the last couple of winters since we've had kiddos and I'm convinced that life is just all-around better with them in it.

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Sure, there's no sleeping in or late nights out on the town (not that we did that anyways!).  But there's cuddles, giggles, and seeing they're little faces light up when they get to experience something new or fun.  Today, for example, we didn't have much on the agenda except for caring for the critters, cleaning my house and hanging out with my girls.  For some reason it turned into playing outside on the trampoline and reenacting Cinderella, which turned into going inside and getting they're "fancy dresses" on and twirling around.  I'm sure mamas of girls know all about the "twirl factor" of a dress.  It goes like this, put on dress, stand back, and spin and look down to see how much is flaring out.  Not enough twirl?  Try a new dress and repeat!  We could go on for hours if I'd let them.  But, it really makes they're little hearts so happy and I'm smiling right along side them.  I'm convinced that's the stuff good childhoods are made of!

Speaking of making my heart happy I wanted to share a few things that I've ran across that just gets me excited and ready for our seasonal change.

Wild Rags- they're always a good idea.  Around here I wear them to feed, ride, church, pretty much everywhere.  See my wild rag square knot tutorial here.  And to find some of these beauties check out Instagram for Ashley's Wild Rags(@ashleyswildrags) and Cowgirl Gemz (@cowgirlgemz).

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Warm layers- I love dressing in layers because of all the different dimensions and textures that layering brings.  Colorado is know for having snow in the morning and 70 degree temps in the afternoon, so layers are great!  Pretty Western has some great blanket wraps and ponchos.  Also, this baby outfit from Londinlux is just the cutest, so I had to include it.

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Boots, boots and more boots-  I don't think this needs much of explanation.  Junk Gypsy carries some super great boots for fall.

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Cozy Beds-  These beds are so dreamy and adding a Pendleton to your bed instantly makes it warm and cozy.

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And of course, these two-

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Happy fall to you all and I hope wherever you are that it's getting to be fall there too!

Stay warm,

Candace

Conversations With A 4 Year Old!

Have you ever just sat and talked to your children? What kinds of things do they talk about? I love talking to my child. I find that our most precious moments are when we get to snuggle, when he shares something special with me or our small talks through out each day. Sometimes our talks consist of the randomness of how our day is going and how he burped when he ate a pickle, to the seriousness of why God loves us and why not everyone has Jesus in their heart. I personally think that when we get questions like that, we as parents need to be intentional on how we are responding to these questions for our little ones. I as some of you can admit that sometimes I just don't know how to answer some of the questions he asks me. Or I don't have the time he is wanting me to explain the answer to him. But, I think that we need to be intentional about sitting down with our little ones and conversing with them about these things. This is just what we got to do today! I hope you enjoy some of our small conversations from the day!  image

Mommy: Trayce what is your favorite thing about God? 

T: That we love Him and that He loves me. 

Mommy: What does that mean to you to love Him? 

T: That it means loving everyone and it means good not bad. 

Mommy: What does God do for you? 

T: He makes good things like strength. He also makes us Glorious. 

Mommy: What does that mean to be Glorious? 

T: To be strong and have strength and be healthy. 

Mommy: That's so true Trayce! Does God make your heart healthy too? What does God do in your heart? 

T: When there's yucky stuff and bad things, He washes your heart out...Cool huh? 

Mommy: Yes that's so neat that He can do that for people. Is that what happens when we forgive too? 

T: Well it (forgiving) means to say sorry and to forget and throw it away. 

At this point I'm just honestly in awe of what my child is saying because I think it's amazing!!! 

Our conversation continues to go on about when friends do things that hurt our feelings. We talk about how we say sorry and then we throw it away so that we don't keep bringing it up. This has been a recent thing for Traycen to say as we are going through the "tattler" stage of wanting to make sure everyone else is doing what they are suppose to do! Anyways I decided to change the subject and to ask Traycen what we can do for our friends when we get hurt feelings and we want ourselves and our friends to make good decisions. 

T: We should pray for friends that come over and play with us. 

Mommy: When should we pray for them?

T: All the time! But you can't pray for people to come back from Heaven. They are there in Heaven for all time. 

Mommy: Who is in Heaven? Can you tell me about what you mean? (He looks at me silly sometimes when I ask questions like this because he knows that I already know).

T: People go there when they die. You get to see them sometime. You only get to see them when your old, like me I'll get old one day and be able to go there when I'm real real old. I'll see my dad's dad and my dad's grandpa. 

Then the conversation changed to going to his Moo-Ma and Papos house this weekend! It was short but sweet! I love these moments of small talk with Traycen. They truly are a blessing because I feel as my child talks, I get to learn. Yes I know the answers to these questions, but the way a child presents the answers are so pure and faithfilled it just amazes me. They make things so simple when we are the ones trying to make sure we have the correct answer and make sure it sounds right. We tend to make things more complicated for ourselves when all along our kids know the answers and are saying "just listen to me, it's simple."

I encourage you all to sit down and really dig into a conversation with your little one. Make time in your day, your week to talk to them about God. We can send them to church all we want in hopes that they will have a relationship fulfilled with Gods love, but we need to guide them in that. We need to step up and lead them into knowing God more. Through this we probably learn more about ourselves as we are learning more about God through them. 

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Till next time, 

XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste 

Laying the Reins Down

Kirste and I want to apologize to everyone for being total slackers here on our blog.  This fall has seriously been a busy, crazy and fun one, but our little blog kind of fell on the way side.  I had such a great time doing our series on building our children's faith and pretty much didn't know where to go from there.  I guess that might be a constant thing in the blogging world if you're not planning ahead (which we don't most of the time, haha!). Our family just recently returned from the PBR Finals in Las Vegas.  It was so good seeing some of our dearest friends that we haven't seen in quite some time since Kody has been injured.  I got to share some laughs and tears with three of our past Cooped Up Confessionals, LeAnn Hart, Kylie Shivers and Sara McCoy.  These ladies are so near and dear to my heart and I wish I could see them everyday, they are truly so sweet!  I also got to hug the necks of some other precious sisters that I will be featuring here on our blog soon, so stay tuned!

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With fall being so busy for so many ladies, I wanted to take a moment to redirect our thoughts to what God has put on my heart to share with you all.  For the moms out there, so many times we feel like our identity gets wrapped up into "just being a mommy."  Some may argue the fact that it's ok if that's all we are.  But I'm here to tell you that it's not all who you are.  God has called every single one of us to rise up and start living for what He's putting on your heart to do in His kingdom.  You may not know exactly what that is, but I recently heard a good question to ask yourself to find out what God's calling you do for Him from a sermon podcast by Jesus Culture.                             What moves you to tears?  Is it unborn babies being aborted?  Unsaved souls?  Human trafficking?  Orphans?  The poor?  What moves you is what God is calling you to!  I know these seem like huge endeavors and they are but I always love how my pastors put it, "do for one what you wish you could do for all."  Start small and I believe the best place to start is where you attend church.  Are you serving there?  If not, you should be.  Once you start partnering with God and His people the limitations are taken off.  Do you now why?  Because if He can trust you with the little things, He can trust you with the big things.  Start serving in the kids' church or nursery if your heart hurts when you think of abortion.  Volunteer to greet at the doors if unsaved souls are what bring you to tears.  Offer to prepare meals for those who just had a baby or are sick.  It's amazing the doors that will open to you when start serving.

Oh, and for those who have a dream in your heart to start a business or travel to do missions or any other "out there" endeavor the best place to find those people who might be able to help you along and support you may very well be the people that you serve next to at church.  Why not give it a try?

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I'm reminded what my pastor told us on the worship team a couple weeks ago.  He gave us an analogy of when you're riding a very excited horse, you can just feel the power that he holds, but you're holding the reins back and holding him back from running.  Then, you lay the reins down and let him go, how that rush of excitement feels when you just trust him to run.  That's what my pastor wanted us to do in our worship that morning, he wanted us to just trust the Holy Spirit and lay our reins down for him to run.

God's waiting for you and so is your true calling in life.  Are you going to take that next step and trust Him?

Share with us what God's put on your heart and if you "laid the reins down" in your life.  We want to hear!

Love you all!

Candace

Praying For Your Husband

Good morning !!! Over the last couple of weeks, Candace and I have been able to share with you some of the amazing woman we know and how they pray for their husbands. I am sure that you could agree that this was very humbling getting to listen to each woman as they shared their insight on their prayer life. This last woman I have always admired. Every time I look at her I see the beauty that God created in her and she truly shows the love of what a wife is. I have always looked from the outside of the marriage and said "wow!" It literally had me in tears reading everything that Hope shared for this post and I know it will minister to you just as much as it did to me. Take a look at a beautiful mom of two boys and an amazing wife. Congratulations as they just celebrated their 18th anniversary a few weeks ago.

Hope: Tony and I have spent more of our life together than apart!  We met in high school.  We were actually buddies before we dated.  We dated for 2 1/2 years, were engaged our senior year, got married two months after graduation, and started our family two years later.  He is truly my best friend!  After many ups and downs in our marriage we have realized, that doing it "our way" fails EVERY TIME and that the only way to keep our marriage strong is to do life with God at the center!

To be honest, Tony and I started our marriage "with God" but weren't "in relationship" with Him.  It wasn't until we hit a huge bump in the road, when we were both lost and were left on our knees, that we truly surrendered ourselves to God.  At that point praying for my husband was a practice that I took up immediately.  I continually pray for God to stir up the purpose He has for him on the inside of him, for God to give him a passion for Him that will overtake his life, and for him to take up the leadership and full authority that God has given him over his family and his life.  As for our marriage, I pray that God strengthens us and uses us as vessels to serve Him in any way He wants to!

How do you encourage your husband ?

As a wife, and being the perfectionist I am, I had the tendency to compare him to other husbands.  Or I would point out Tony's shortcomings, somehow thinking that he didn't know about them himself!!!  I realized this was crushing him, making him feel defeated and unworthy.  While I'm not perfect at it, I stopped comparing him to other men and I do my best to celebrate his strengths!  The things that make Tony "Tony!"  I speak into the AMAZINGNESS that God has put in him.  For example, when he handles situations at work or in every day life the way God would want him to, I take notice and let him know  that I notice.  I thank him for working hard every day to care for our family.  And I make sure he knows I appreciate the appreciation he shows to me as his wife.

-Do you make time to pray with each other and when is that time ? How often do you pray for your husband through out the day?

We pray together daily.  This wasn't easy at first.  It took both of us stepping out of our comfort zones to "make it happen."  We start almost every day praying together or as a family, and we end each day praying together before we go to sleep.  I have always prayed for Tony when he has things he is struggling with, however I've just recently started praying for him throughout the day!  As silly as it sounds, "there is an app for that!"  Haha... I found an app called "Praying Wives."  It literally helps you pray for your husband from his head to his toes!  I have found that it's a great place to start.

-I've ways heard that saying, " Prayer is one of the most important things we can do for our spouses."  What importance does praying for your husband have in your life and marriage ? Praying for Tony has changed our life and our marriage!  I started praying for him during a tough time in our marriage.  He and I hadn't been walking with God the way we should have been.  I had an awakening and starting running to God and he wasn't quite on board.  I remember literally "laying hands on him" while he slept and praying my HEART OUT!  But the coolest thing about it was God asked ME TO CHANGE!  He told me to serve Tony!  He told me that regardless of where Tony was in his walk with God, that I needed to honor him as my husband and the leader of our home and serve him the way God has designed me to.  So as hard as it was, I did and I prayed for him every step of they way!  I really think that that's the cool thing about praying for your husband that most wives don't understand, is while prayer will truly help your husband, it will also help you be the wife God has called YOU to be!  It will help put your heart in line with Gods heart for your husband.  IT IS AMAZING!!!

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The need to pray for our husbands is a must!  I think we all can agree that there is power in prayer and God can surely work in any man's heart to change him and lead him to be who God has called him to be.  We as wives need to stand up and be side to side with our spouses. We need to be his help mate, his friend, his lover, his encourager, and most importantly trust God with our husbands! I pray that you would daily give your husband up to God. When we do this, we say, "God lead him, guide him and teach him how to lead through you and how to love like you."  It's not in our control, but it is indeed in him! Thank you so much for sharing Hope!

P.S. Make sure you check out the app! It's only $1.99 and really neat. I read one to CW for last night and he said that spoke directly to him and that was something I could be praying over him.

Till next time,

Xoxo Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste

 

 

 

Happenings Around the Ranch

Things have been rather slow here at the ranch. IMG_5347

We've built/fixed a lot of fence.

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Moved cows to different pastures.

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Bought some protein and mineral.

We've bucked some bulls. (Don't worry, the girls are just sitting on a gentle one!)

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And definitely chased toddlers a lot!

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I'm just used to running a whole lot more.

Since Kody's been on the injured reserve list, my days don't consist of both of our chores getting done so I almost don't know what to do with myself.

I'm not complaining though, us girls love having our cowboy home!

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I praise God in every season, but this season is especially awesome!

Much love!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife Candace

Praying For Your Husband- Before You're Married!

Good morning!  I am so excited to announce our next special guest, newlywed, Breann Cardoso.  This little lady is truly like the little sister I never had but always wanted (I was the youngest of three girls in my family.)  Breann is a definite beauty on the inside and the out.  Her love for Jesus just amazes me and her heart for His Kingdom is always astonishing.  Breann formally went to Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry where she was able to experience God in so many  different and unique ways.  While in ministry school, Breann went on several missions trips.  Brazil was one of her last trips where she met her future husband, Bruno.  I am so thankful that Breann wanted to share her story of not only recently being married and praying for her husband now, but also the start of it all. While Breann seeked God for her husband, God was preparing not only Breann, but her husband Bruno as well. Take a look at the beginning of praying for her husband from Breann, herself.

It wasn't until about 3 years ago that I started making a list and thinking about what I wanted in a man.  I would make lists by myself and with friends, then we would pray for our husbands and for healing of past relationships.  On these lists I would put many specific things.  For example, I wanted him to be a muscician, love to travel as a lifestyle and be Lation (South American) ect. Here is one list I made with a friend 3 years ago...

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Little did I know, he also had a list of over 50 very specific things for his wife and waited almost 7 years to find that girl (who was freakishly me!)  I was everything on that long list and more! T he first time he started reading it to me I thought he was reading things he loved about me, but it was his list!  I think it's very important to know who you are, what you love, and what you want to pursue in life when you write your list.  Don't let it be influenced by other people or something that you are not, if that makes sense.

Breann being fairly young (still older than I was when I got married) met her husband Bruno on January 20, 2015 in Brazil when she was on a missions trip. They started dating long distance on Februarty 11, 2015 and further seeked God in their relationship and what it was that He had for them. Within a matter of a few months and only having seen eachother once before, Bruno proposed and they got engaged on June 22 (this was the second time they saw each other.)  July 1, 2015 they made it official as they married in Sweeden. For any of you who are thinking, "wow !  That's a lot all at once!"  Yes it is!  I can say that my hubs and I had seen each other more than that but were dating for 4 months, engaged and married within a matter of 8 weeks. When you know that's the one God has for you, you just go for it!

image Breann has now been away from her new husband for a whole month! Anyone who has experienced being away from your husband whether, it's for a few days or a long period of time, knows how hard this can be.  Especially if you add children into the mix! Today as I write this, Breann is finally traveling back to Brazil along with her belongings to be with her new hubby. Here is what she's said about being away from him. 

Breann: It has been a huge challenge for the both of us.  In our situation I pray for our provision financially and every other way.  I pray for his job that he is in, that he would have the wisdom he would need and that his day would move smoothly.  I also pray for the things I know he struggles with that God would give him the strength he needs to overcome.  I prophecy over him at times whenever he is needing encouragement in who he is as a child of God and what he does at work and in the church.  I constantly am telling him how incredible he is and how thankful I am for a man as loving and perfect as him, as he does the same and more for me!  Not only do I tell him that, but I thank God everyday for my husband being my greatest miracle besides salvation.  Sometimes it feels like a dream.  I never expected God to put the man of my dreams in my life at such an unexpected time!  We pray together for our marriage all the time, and there are many moments where fear from past relationships and hurts come up, and we talk and pray about them together and work through it.  It's the beginning of a journey for us of always choosing love and trust over fear and hurts.

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What my husband and I hold in high esteem in our marriage: 1. Relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  2. Honesty, always telling each other everything! 3. Respect and honor. 4. Choosing love no matter the situation or how we feel.  5. Keeping life fresh and new, always moving forward.

Here is my advice to some of you who are waiting and seeking God for the one He has for you.  There is SO much advice to give!  But some of the greatest pieces I would give is to: 1) First, find Jesus as your beloved, your husband.  He is the only one that can fill any void in your heart, mind, or spirit!  You have to be whole and healthy in Him first, as your First Love.  Marriage is two WHOLE people coming together to be more powerful, not two halves becoming one.

2) Live your calling and purpose in God and don't search for that person.  The one for you will come along side you in God's perfect timing as you are looking straight ahead running towards God and H is calling for you!

3) Know what you want and don't settle for anything less! God put the desires of your heart in you for a reason. 

4) Follow peace. 

5) Know how to set boundaries and when to say , "NO" and when it's ok to say "yes."  Guard your heart above all things.  Learn self control.

6) On the other side, don't think all men are bad and you can't trust them!  There are good men, God will bring you yours, just trust Him to!

 7) Last, I really wish I would have made a longer more specific list of what I wanted in my man.  It's crazy how God knows what you want and more than YOU know of what you need.

One last thing, I also just want to say that through our journey and one of my biggest revelations is that the valuable precious things in life are actually fought for.  People think if things are going wrong and their is opposition against us, maybe it's not meant to be.  But, I would like to suggest it's exactly the opposite most times!  Follow peace and the Holy Spirit and know when it's your fight and when it's not.

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If you want to read Breann and Brunos full story check out their website: http://www.mywedding.com/bruandbreewedding/custom.html

Till next time,  XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste

***Have a story you wanna share, contact us via Facebook CoopedUpCowboysWife, Instagram @Coopedupcowboyswife or our email CoopedUpCowboysWife@yahoo.com 

Praying For Your Husband- His Salvation

One of my favorite ladies to follow on Facebook and Instagram is LeAnn Hart.  She has some great videos featuring short sermons, worship songs or just funny things that her husband or cute kids are up to.  This lady definitely has some chops when it comes to singing and I counted it such an honor to do worship with her before at PBR events. Regarding our ongoing series on Praying For Your Husband, I reached out to LeAnn to have her share a faith filled story that involved praying for her husband.

LeAnn will be the first to tell you that her marriage has definitely went through some valleys and there were times when she couldn't see how things could ever work out.  But God's love endured and LeAnn's persistence in praying FOR and ultimately WITH her husband not only led to the restoration of their marriage but to his salvation.  I pray that this will encourage wives who may be married to a man that hasn't completely given his heart to Jesus.  Not only will your godly conduct win him over but your prayers are petitioning the King of Kings to fight for your husband's heart!  So stick with it, girl!

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Here, LeAnn shares how her husband came about to finally giving his LIFE to Jesus!

Back, way back when I was walking with the Lord and my husband was trying to keep up, there was a weekend he was out of town and I was home by myself. I had received a prayer request, I automatically took it to the feet of Jesus. After a few minutes I received a message and the prayer had been answered. In that same moment, I received another text from my husband that I knew wasn't meant for me! My heart started to pound and I then just asked the Holy Spirit to give me peace if it was nothing. Well, I got even more sick! I then made a call to JW requesting he get somewhere he could hear me! We had a conversation for roughly 20 minutes and that's not worth sharing, lol. I slammed the phone down and said, "ok, Lord what are we gonna do?" He answered, "forgive him!" I said, "well, that hasn't worked before so can we possibly try something new? Maybe something that includes a little torture? A little pain?" Lol, God said, "forgive him, how many times have I forgiven you? Ask him to give his life to me." I said, "well, I'm not supposed to pray that prayer with him!" (The thought just made me sweat bullets! I asked everyone else to pray that prayer surely I couldn't! I was too intimidated...) God said, "who are you to tell me who you are supposed to pray with?" A few minutes later I called JW and said, "I forgive you, but I can no longer pray your way to heaven & I can't keep repenting for you. I've even told the lord I couldn't pray this prayer with you & he said to me, 'LeAnn who are you to tell me who you are supposed to pray with?" JW then prayed a prayer of salvation right there on the phone! I was in Marietta, Ok and he was in Hollywood, FL. It was truly one of the most incredible nights of our marriage...

Then this past May during the JW Hart Challenge in Decatur, Tx fear tried to get my attention even before JW nodded his head. Automatically myself & Tiffany Davis bowed to pray. Excitement replaced that fear and faith that God was riding with JW took over. As soon as I realized JW had been knocked out I literally threw my hands in the air, palms up in prayer & I felt so many hands lay on my legs and waist. Then voices started to speak life over what was going on in the arena. For the first time ever, I gave my husband to the Lord and the comfort that He gave me back can't be captured with mere words. Faith in action is powerful! I knew JW was going to be ok & and at that moment I felt sorrow for everyone else there who had that doubt in their heart. Because no matter what happened in that arena I knew regardless JW was going to be safe in the arms of Jesus! Why? Because He promised me He had never left him...

Faith Forward! Learning to trust God & believe God isn't easy but if you allow him to, He will build your Faith above your Fear!

FAITH OVER FEAR...I love that!!!!

Much love!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace

 

God Change Me?

Kirste and I wanted to continue in the vain of praying for our husbands in the following blog posts as long as God sees fit. I'm having a blast learning to pray for my husband the way God wants me to and just seeing the everyday benefits are so exciting. I also really wanted dive in deeper and discover how God has transformed other marriages for the better through the wife laying aside her pride and ambitions to change her husbasnd and letting God first change her.

Two woman who I hold in very high esteem not only as Godly leaders in my life, but also as Godly wives are Pastor Lynette Gleghorn and Amy Fellini.  We have featured both of these women in our Cooped Up Confessions, if you'd like to check these out you can find them here and here.

Both of these women I admire so much not only for their ability to pour God's wisdom and love into my life but also how they talk about their husbands.  I'm not innocent by any means of how I've talked about my husband in the past, I know I've said words that have degraded him or made fun of him, but I've learned that deep down this not only hurts him but it wounds our relationship because we are one flesh.  Lynette and Amy are so quick to always highlight their husband's strong qualities and will of course share the funny stuff too.  But there's never a time in our conversation that I feel they are shaming their partners in any way.  I want to be like that, plain and simple!

In my first post on this topic, I talked about how God told me that He wanted to start with me first when it came to changing my husband and I had to offer that 3-word prayer up to Him, "God change me."  Well, I'm still in the midst of that and I'll let you know how it all turns out, haha.

So I sent this question to Lynette and Amy to glean whatever wisdom I could get from them.

Is there something that God has changed in you that has made you a better partner to your husband?

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Lynette: What a great question. YES!!!!  Ha!  First one was, I quit asking God to "change" ANYTHING in my husband!  Oh Lord!  Every time God would show me it wasn't him that needed to change...it was ME!  God told me to quit putting Darin on my potter's wheel and to trust God with him.  God is his creator and writer of his destiny, not me.  So trust God with him!

One of my other favorites has been learning my husband spiritually.  We know our spouses physically and soulishly but learning them spiritually is huge.  Understanding their "spiritual eyes" helps us to appreciate the way they see the world and life.  Once I started learning Darin spiritually, I grew a whole 'notha level of honor and respect for him.  God made him to lead and discern in a certain way because of who he is created to be SPIRITUALLY.  AND, I found out how even more amazing God is because we compliment each other in the spirit perfectly!  Only God could do that!

Amy: I think the biggest thing is that I try to see my husband the way God sees him, especially when we are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Also, realizing that I am NOT always right, LOL!

 

 

Who knew praying for your husband could be such ministry to your own self?  I thank God that through the valleys and mountains in my marriage He is always constant and always good!

Have an amazing weekend!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace

Praying For My Husband

I'm so excited to share with you about praying for my husband. When Candace brought up the idea I pondered about what I would say. I asked myself what it meant for me to be praying for my husband and what do I pray for?  I think in our generation today people easily just say, "I'll be praying for you or I'll pray for you."  But, do you actually then remember to pray for that person?  In other words, instead of saying you will pray for them, stop and pray right then (yes, in front of them) for them.I remember the first time praying with my husband over the phone when we were dating.  I thought to myself, I am going to say something completely irrational and dumb and he's going to think, "what in the world is this girl doing?" Well, 7 years later and we're still married and even though he may question me sometimes with love, I know that our prayer life together is stronger than ever. I talked a friend not too long ago about praying for her husband. It was brought up in the conversation about her really wanting to pray for him, but not having the courage to be the one to start it. How many of you have ever felt like that? Or, honestly for me, it's been more like "your the head of the house, you start, you initiate it, you do it." We have to remember that we have to hold each other up in prayer in our marriages. When my husband is weak, I am strong because God makes me strong. The same goes for me when I am weak.  As for the both of us, when we are both struggling we have God right up front in the center of our lives holding us and knitting us together as one flesh through Him by prayer. God says to not only praise Him in the good, but praise Him in the hard trials of life also. The times that I feel it is so hard to pray we have have to lift our hands (even though it may be hard) to the Holy One, the One who heals and loves and forgives and makes us whole. Praying for my husband is just that to me, wanting to be more like Jesus in the flesh. Even though it is hard to look at certain circumstances in life I know that I can stand praying for my husband by the strength of the Creator. God has placed in me power and authority to pray for my husband at any point in time. This could be from him getting a flat tire and being frustrated, to warring for him and praying for him to take every thought captive in certain situations. The Bible talks about praising Him with song. When we give worship to our Daddy we war in the spirit and can intercede with prayer for our husbands. This is something that God is always putting on my heart in song to not only worship Him, but worship through for my husband. To me there is nothing more powerful than standing worshipping and seeking God and the Holy Spirit through hard times, good times, etc.  Every time we connect with God in prayer, we are praising Him because we are acknowledging our need to set our burdens on His strong shoulders. We recently have been listening to a lot of Jake Hamilton or as Traycer would say "Jake Camel."  There is a song on the CD titled "Embrace." If you haven't listened to it, it's a must. This is a song that my husband sings to me and when he sings it, I feel the love of our Daddy. This song is constantly on my mind lately as a remembrance for me to pray for my husband and for me to listen to what my Daddy's telling me for him and for myself. As my Daddy is telling me it's all going to be okay, my husband and I are speaking that to each other and for each other in prayer for anything that would rise up. Look at the lyrics and see just how powerful this is.

 

Embrace: Jake Hamilton

I want to feel Your embrace I want to feel Your arms around I want to feel Your heart beating Next to mine, next to mine

And it's telling me

It's all gonna be okay It's all gonna be okay It's all gonna be okay It's all gonna be okay

I want to see You Your face Want to see who I can be Want to see what You can see In the mirror of Your eyes

And You're telling me

It's all gonna be okay It's all gonna be okay It's all gonna be okay It's all gonna be okay

And I know, if Your eye is on the sparrow Than Your heart is on me

And I don't have to wait To go to heaven when I die I wanna go right now We're gonna go right now

'Cause this is the sound of heaven Invading earth, this is the sound

Found from http://www.songlyrics.com/jake-hamilton/embrace-lyrics/#mxSqkFFF9pLR8RDp.99

Make sure you check out this youtube video

CW singing to us one evening after we got home late and blared the music while we all danced in the moonlight to this song! Gotta love it!

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Till next time, 

XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86jfuOdUlK4

Praying For My Husband

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Photo by Ford Photography

God how can my husband become a better spiritual leader in our family's life?  I've asked this question a lot in the last couple of years.  It wasn't that my husband was doing a poor job, it just felt like he was reaching his full potential (in my opinion) of what a spiritual leader should be.  I wrestled with bringing the subject up to him because I didn't want to point fingers or make him feel like he was failing us, but I really did want to bring attention to it.

I guess in my mind, we should be praying more, worshipping more, having deep talks more and raising our girls in a home that has God at the forefront of our days, everyday.

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So back to my earlier question to God...the answer I got...focus on your relationship with Me and how you can pray for your husband.  Wow, okay, so how do I pray for him?  I wanted to pray, God please wake him up!  Please let him realize where's he falling short.  But then I remembered some very wise words from my spiritual mother, Pastor Lynette, "Pray for God to start putting His finger on things you need to work on instead of praying that He'd change your husband.  Because if you're not walking where you need to be, how can you expect your one-flesh to do the same?"  Really?  I need to work on myself?  Darn, that's no fun!  But it's oh-so-true!

Women, have you been here before?  You want to point the finger at your husband, but God just kindly and gently reminds you, "honey, I got this, let's fix some things in you and let me deal with him."  God is so good, His burden is light and He loves you so much that He doesn't want you to carry the weight of your husband's walk on your shoulders.

Kirste and I are going to delve more into this subject of praying for our husbands in the next few weeks.  We're excited to get with some other great ladies and get their take on this subject as well, so stay tuned.

P.S.  After much prayer and a lot of dealing with myself, I did bring it up to my husband and our discussion was so awesome and we both feel like we could improve on our relationship with God.

Till next time!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace

 

 

What I Need More of This Summer

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind in our country.  I've seen so many ugly things on the news and social media and I'm about tired of letting my head be filled with so many mixed messages.  I've decided to take a little bit of a break from it all today and instead fill my mind up with stuff that matters to me.  That "stuff" includes my family, my friends, my church and my Jesus.  When all is said and done for the day, those are the things that really matter in my world, not to mention loving on anyone we come into contact with.  So, I wanted to record here on this little blog of ours what I need more of this summer! Here it goes...

More sprinklers! Or to Odessa, more standing and trying to drink the water out of the sprinkler, haha!

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More s'mores around the campfire.

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More lazy days in the barn or out riding horses.

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More swinging!

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More bucking bulls at sunset.

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More thrift store shopping/playing!

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More hairstyles like this for mama.

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More days at the lake.

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More flowers!

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More cool bags!

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More cactus shirts, just because.

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More AMERICAN flags!

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And....

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Cowboys Wife Wisdom

image I am still reading this amazing book called "Life is" by Judah Smith. This book is one of those books that you go back to the chapter before to re-read it because it's just that good. I love it! What I was reading today really spoke to me in which I had to share. The author Judah was talking about how we as people like our schedules. Isn't that the complete truth? I don't know about you but I get caught up in planning so many things and making schedules that sometimes by the end of it all it's exhausting. We have to plan things for our kids, for church, for school, for finances, jobs, marriages, family and life in general. Although we think we are doing the correct thing planning everything out, we sometimes are making no room for the openness of "unplanned things". What I'm talking about is the interruptions of God. Judah explains this in his book as God's interruptions are often the most meaningful moments in our lives. But, we don't take the time to let Him interrupt because we are so "planned out". Yes we can plan and prioritize in our lives, but it's always a great reminder to leave the door open for what Jesus has planned for us. In proverbs 16:9 it says, "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." For myself this means that I need to be aware of the plans that I am making and the plans that my daddy is making for me! As Judah says in his book, "we need to learn to welcome God's interruptions, because his interruptions and inconveniences are the portals to truly living." So today, take this for yourself and really press into not only your own plan for the day, but the plan that He the creator has for you. 

Till next time,  XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste 

Western Chic Maternity with Guest: Taylor Cornell

Hi Ladies!  When Candace asked me to share with you all about “maternity fashion,” my wheels started turning.  I immediately thought that I’m no pro at this (second time is the charm?)   Not to mention that at six months pregnant, very few women feel like bombshells!  BUT then it occurred to me… that’s why maternity fashion is so important!!! Pregnancy can be so rough on a woman’s body, but the ability to carry a little life inside of you is such a miraculous blessing that it really should be celebrated.  It’s also a well-known fact that when you are able to put in some effort to make yourself look stylish and beautiful, you feel more comfortable in your skin… even if your skin is all stretched out and marked up! Maternity clothing has come a very long way in the last several years, and there are certainly some staples that are worth the investment!  I have found (especially with my low baby boy bump this time around) that a few pair of solid colored maternity leggings are WELL worth the investment no matter the season!  They come in full-length or a shorter capri-length version.  I have both grey and black, “A Pea in the Pod,” brand and they are wonderful!  These leggings can be easily paired with a variety of options for very diverse looks.  Below, I styled them up with an Old Navy maternity tee, which is also another staple maternity item!  Get your basic colors and you won’t regret it!

Though maternity clothes can be awesome, especially towards the end of your pregnancy, those who know me well, know that I get a thrill from being thrifty!  As far as maternity fashion goes, thriftiness can mean buying second-hand, repurposing, or just buying non-maternity clothing items (which is most often the case) that can be worn throughout pregnancy as well as after giving birth.  Adorable non-maternity maxi skirts and palazzo pants are everywhere this time of year, and they’re PERFECT for sporting a bump.  I must own at least 5 of each!  The best style to opt for are those with the fold-over waistband- they can be worn folded, or pulled up over your tummy for extra support.  Non-maternity maxi dresses can also be great low-maintenance, one-piece options, especially if you’re on the shorter side.  I’m only 5’4" and maxi dresses are usually too long for me without a belly-bump, it is fun to be able to wear them!  Another absolute style staple for me, pregnant or not, are Bke ‘long & lean’ tank tops from The Buckle.  These tanks are long enough to wear all throughout pregnancy (without a belly slip situation), come in all colors, and are about $15!

I have put together a few of my favorite go-to maternity outfit styles for some inspiration!  I tried to create some diversity, but I would consider my style: laid back, easy, a little bohemian, and a little edgy with some western flare.  My daughter, Kinley and I believe you can better almost any outfit when you add some fringe and pile on the turquoise! Now, I love expression through style and I love, love my little “bean,” so I have also included some mommy-and-me outfit combos that were created with what Kinley and I already had in our closets.  It just feels right when you and your little one both look stylish and ready to conquer the day!

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Me: Black Maternity Leggings (Pea In The Pod), Minnetonka Moccasin Boots, White Maternity Tee (Old Navy), White Tank (Buckle), Native American Bib Necklace (Made By Me), Slouchy Boho Cover-Up (TJ Maxx).

Kinley:  White Lace Tee (Target), Black Leggings, Black Fringe T-Shirt Scarf (Made By Me), Metallic Bib Necklace (Made By Me), Leather Moccasin Boots (Made By Me).

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 Me:  Non-Maternity Maxi Dress (Buckle), Short Grey Minnetonka Moccasins, Vintage Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace And Matching Earrings.

Kinley:  Simple White Sundress (Thrift Shop), Leather Moccasin Boots (Made By Me), 80’s Wooden Hand-Me-Down Necklace.

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Me:  Worn Boyfriend Jeans (My Husband’s Closet) Worn With Belly Band, Black Maternity Tee (Old Navy), Tribal Vest (Buckle), Short Grey Minnetonka Moccasins, Vintage Turquoise Squash Blossom And Earrings.

Kinley: Black Tank (Old Navy), Relaxed Wrangler Toddler Jeans (Hand-Me-Downs), Moccasins (Bastien Hiawatha), Vintage Turquoise Necklaces.

I hope these tips and suggestions help to inspire some of you lovely pregnant ladies!

Thanks for having me, Cooped Up Cowboys Wives!!

Xoxo, Taylor

**A very special shout out to my photographer and friend Katie Sedlak, of Katie Sedlak Photography + Design! Check out her blog page: www.katiesedlak.org

Caramel Crunch Bars

Yesterday I was outside working and the little guy was jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler spraying out at him everywhere. I feel like I've been working a lot outside, so Traycen has been either searching around for bugs, playing with the dogs or in water of some sort at our house. All the sudden he starts screaming "mom, mom, mom". I went running to him on the trampoline thinking something was wrong. When I made it to the trampoline I realized nothing was wrong, and he was just trying to get my attention. He said that it smelt like smores and marshmallows. What he was smelling was me burning a bunch of wood! The burn barrel had been going for a while so by this time of day as you could imagine there was a distinct campfire smell. I stopped to think and thought at some point this summer we will go camping, but until then why not make smores anyways. I wasn't going to make smores over my burn barrel, because lets face it, thats just red neck! I remembered a recipe that a friend had given to us to try and it's just like camping smores but without the fire! Check this out, they are super simple and tasty!

If you have that sweet spot you need to fill until you get to go on your camping trip, then definitely try these. 

CARAMEL CRUNCH BARS

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-WHAT YOU WILL NEED

*4 1/2 Honey Grahams

*1 Package (11 oz) Kraft Caramel Bits

*2 Tbsp. Of Milk

*1/2 Cup Planters Cocktail Peanuts

*1/2 Cup Miniature Marshmallows

*4 Squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

*8 inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over the sides of the pan. Spray with cooking spray. Place grahams on the bottom of the pan (cutting them if necessary). 

 

-WHAT TO DO

*MICROWAVE the caramel bits and milk in a microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes or until the caramel bits are completely melted and the mixture is well blended, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour over the grahams; top with peanuts, marshmallows and pretzels. Then drizzle with the chocolate. 

*Refrigerate these for at least 1 hour. Use the foil handles to remove the dessert from the pan before cutting into the bars to serve. 

 

Until next time, XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste

 

A Reminder of Love

Good morning everyone!   Today is an early morning for us here on the prairie. The hubs, CW, has to get up a little earlier lately so that he can get all his work done for his new job.  We set the alarms (his phone, my phone and the alarm clock) hoping that one of them will stay on long enough to get us up and out of bed.  Lately, we have been so tired with preparing to sell our house, so getting up earlier than expected is honestly quite the challenge considering we do like our sleep!  Anyways, once we get up I go make the hubs some spark and get all his vitamins ready for him.  Then I pack his lunch and help set him up to leave the house easily.   I really don't mind doing these things. I look at them as just showing him how much I love him. This means I am able to get up early with him, spend a little time and then send him off for the day because he is the bread winner at our house!  To say the least it's not that hard to do these small things for him so that he can go to work to provide for Traycen and I.  I love him and helping him out whenever I can. With that being said, I have a question for you.  Do you ever need a reminder of love?  I truly believe we all need a  reminder of love whether it is from your spouse, mom or dad, friend or child, we all need that reminder at some point. This can be daily or weekly or however much you need it.  One thing I have learned lately is to share with the people I love just how much I love them!  For example, I know that I tell my husband and my son that I love them every day, numerous times a  day when I see them.  But, do we go beyond that just telling them we love them?  I guess you could say that the hubs and I have been rekindling a fire between us and showing and sharing with each other just how much we love each other.  This is anything from a handwritten note in his lunch, going out of my way to do something for him or even most recent, sticky noting throughout the house just how much I love him.  I love doing these things.  It initially started with the book called "Love Dare."  679599If you haven't heard of it, it's amazing!  This book is a 40 day challenge that leads you through daily devotions where you will perform simple acts of love towards your spouse.  This book has been said to "help you reinforce and enrich your marriage, earn back a love you thought was lost, and hear more about the One who not only designed unconditional, sacrificial love- but He illustrated it."  Can you say, "wow!" 

For us, starting out our mornings reading this book has been amazing.  We get up, read daily and then have the task at hand of the "dare" for that day.  I honestly can say this has opened up even more communication for my husband and I and given us a way to more effectively explore how we are to love one another.  I think it is so easy for each person in a marriage to get complacent and to live "worldy" in their marriage.  Trust me I have had my share of hardship in my marriage and complete screw-ups (thanking Jesus for His grace), but God has a greater purpose for our marriages then this self-seeking, do what makes only YOU happy type of relationship. We are to value our spouses, love like Jesus loves, and respect and honor each other in every aspect of our relationships.  We have to choose to love on purpose and pursue our spouse daily. 

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This has been a great reminder for CW and I . It has reminded us that our marriage is not about us as individuals, but it's about us as one.  God created us to be one flesh and to live and dwell with Him.  He wants us to be in a marriage covenant, not a marriage contract.  A marriage covenant is an agreement, a promise made with God for eternity.  This is a design for marriage of what God's intent is and not this world's.  By choosing to love like He loves and thrive on the conditions of what a Godly marriage is we can survive through our marriages.  I encourage you all to take a look at this book and test yourself.  Whether your spouse is on board for reading and taking the 40 day challenge or not, you can still do this.  Remember it's not about you and what you're doing.  It's about what God is doing in you for you and your spouse.  Look to Him in ALL things and allow Him to show you how to love like He loves. 

I was going through old cd's and came across this song.  Listen to it, because love is a not a fight but something worth fighting for.  So powerful! 

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Till next time,  XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste 

 

 

Praying Through What I Don't Understand

Today, I just wanted to share a little bit about what's been going on in my life.  I believe it's good to share with our friends our struggles and our victories because the power of testimony is a great builder of faith. There's been a quite a few times in my life that I've asked the question, "God, why is this happening?"  I've been knocked down or I've experienced heartache from circumstances that bring me to my knees and I find myself crying out to God because I feel like He owes me explanation.  The last week has definitely been one of those times.  My husband has been having some trials in his health and it's so hard for me to see him suffer through this.  I selfishly took on all of the heartache of this for him because to him it was no big deal, but for me, for some reason it was.  I was stressed and I wanted answers and a solution ASAP!  Nevermind, all of the sermons and messages I've heard about trusting in God and believing Him to heal Kody.  I wanted him better because we needed him better!

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But I got knocked off my high-horse, so to speak.  I had to take a step back and realize that this is an awesome opportunity to get close to God and realize that His ways are always higher than my ways.  He promises abundant life and He is always, always good!  I don't have to understand the reason things are the way they are, but I do need to understand that God is so good and Jesus came to earth so that we can experience God's perfect love in our lives.  One more thing, by Jesus's wounds we are healed.  I'm holding onto this promise and I am determined to trust God no matter the outcome because I know above all else that God is a good Daddy.  I will not let my feelings and emotions get in the way of me standing on the Word of God, I have to keep them in check. 

We are so blessed to have excellent teachers and pastors in the Word of God, we have friends that will always hold us up and support us and we have God who will not fail us. 

So that's where I'm at.  Yeah, life is not always fun, but my God promises to never leave me nor forsake me. 

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That's all I need.  If the person reading this is going through something that keeps knocking you down,  just ask God to fill you with His love, His comfort and show you His promises.  Also, I think it's good to reach out to someone you know that will stand with you and show you in the Word what God is all about especially if you feel you don't know yourself.  Kirste and I hope to encourage you as well, and if there's anything we could pray for you on, we'd love to hear from you.

Trust God and much love,

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace