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The Benjamin Andrew Lance Foundation
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» Goodbye… normal?
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» REVIEW: LIFX Color 1000 Light Bulbs
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» Celebrating FIVE years of life!
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» Review: PrAna Sustainable Clothing
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» Burdened
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» Cherry Pie Hospitality and the Mazda CX-5 #Houston
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» Personality
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» Start of the school year and a string of thoughts on being “different” in public school
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» REVIEW: IMVIO Kit (iPhone Lenses)

The Benjamin Andrew Lance Foundation

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Steve and Melodie Lance. They have a beautiful story and a beautiful foundation. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to lean in to their story. The Benjamin Andrew Lance Foundation is more than just a Foundation. It’s a story. A story of tragedy turned into hope. Today we want to share a glimpse of that story as we introduce you to an inspiring family, foundation and the young man who started it all. Benjamin Andrew Lance, “Andy”, was born in 1984 in Rolla Missouri. A blonde-haired, beautiful firstborn baby boy. His dad, Steve, had a busy career with Chevron that started in Missouri and eventually allowed the family to live all over the world, including Bangkok, Thailand.[…]

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» Goodbye… normal?

I am post-parathyroid surgery by three weeks now. And my bod is still not with the program. My blood work looks good, things are beginning to regulate… but I’m still very exhausted, weak and fatigued. Those are all pretty much the same thing, but it feels different throughout the day. I’ve poured over message boards and have found that many people have experienced the same thing after surgery. But shhhh… don’t tell the surgeons, because they will tell you they haven’t heard or witnessed that. The rest of this post would end up being complain, complain, I’m sad, I can’t go on long runs, complain, I go to bed at 8pm and lie awake all night, complain. So I’m just going to stop it right[…]

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» REVIEW: LIFX Color 1000 Light Bulbs

Disclaimer: The folks at LIFX kindly provided us Color 1000 bulbs for this review. As always, the opinions are my own.

Putting four kids to bed is not for the weak. LIFX bulbs can’t help with bath time, bed time snacks or reading books out loud, but they have been ideal for setting the mood right and making sure lights out really happens. The different colors and brightness settings can create an environment to help kids get focused when it comes to cleaning or reading on their own, then easily changed to calm and relaxing when its time for sleep.

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Set up

One of the best features that set LIFX apart from other smart light options (that I’ve found) is that LIFX bulbs don’t require anything additional, such as a hub. All of the initial set up is controlled through the app. You just screw the bulb into a ceiling light or lamp, power it on, and go through the step-by-step instructions on your phone or tablet. A total of about 3 minutes per bulb. I used my iPhone 6 for everything and didn’t run into any issues.
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iPhone App

The app is super easy to use and just makes sense. Which is silly to type but I have had too many good products or services get ruined by the app. A simple swipe up or down changes the brightness level and a turn to the left/right easily changes the color. Some of my favorite bed-time features include being able to make lighting schedules or setting a timer on the fly.

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I’m also looking forward to the holidays when we can bring in a little green and red for Christmas. Speaking of themes, LIFX provides a handful of fun effects (like candle flicker, strobe lights, music visualization, and more) without having to download anything additional.

Conclusion

LIFX seems to have the best smart bulb out on the market when it comes to quality of light and the app is great. $59.99 a pop can get expensive really quickly but a single bulb is expected to last for 28 years (based on 3 hours a day)! I assumed that this kind of bulb would cost more to operate but was surprised to see that it’s only $1.32 per year. With these costs, we can see these bulbs as more of an investment purchase for our home. We’ve been able to use them nightly for the kids and been able to utilize them for movie nights, too. As winter time approaches, these bulbs will be useful for getting the kids asleep…and awake!

Buy on Amazon

Lifx website

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» Celebrating FIVE years of life!

Liam we’ve had the joy of seeing you grow for the past 4 years. I still remember seeing your picture for the first time, it feels like yesterday. You challenge us in our parenting daily and help us grow. You are such a lover and you give the best compliments. I’m just so glad you’re our son. So glad. Here’s to five whole years of the world being a better place because you’re in it. We love you so much!

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» Review: PrAna Sustainable Clothing

I was thrilled to review a few pieces from the prAna Fall line as a Moms Meet blogger. Not only because the Fall line is gorgeous, but because this clothing line represents much of what I value when choosing a company to purchase from. prAna uses sustainable materials and most of their clothing is manufactured in Fair Trade certified factories. As a family, we have become painfully aware of the hardships others face to create items for our first-world lifestyle. Buying Fair Trade clothing is a step in the right direction for all of us. For this review I chose the Bridget Flannel top and the Kara Jeans. This is pretty much the outfit I want to wear until Summer reappears again next year. The Bridget[…]

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» Burdened

Ten days ago I had surgery to remove a parathyroid gland that had a small tumor inside. This particular condition was causing high calcium levels in my blood and other side effects like bone pain, fatigue and just a general feeling of yuck. The surgery was successful and after one night in the hospital I was released to go home. What I did not understand about this surgery was how out of whack my calcium and potassium levels would become. Or how much rest was actually required to get well. On Wednesday night I went to bed not feeling well and ended up with an ambulance in my driveway after passing out trying to get out of bed. After an ER visit and a few[…]

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» Cherry Pie Hospitality and the Mazda CX-5 #Houston

Special thanks to Mazda USA for allowing us to test drive the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. As always, these opinions are my own. (this post is from Calvin who visited Houston in July) Let’s face it, summers in Houston are morbidly hot! When we found out that Cherry Pie Hospitality had ventured into the ice cream business, we were super excited to say the least. So the kids and I decided to buckle up and visit Cherry Pie’s restaurants for ourselves. The company owns and manages some of our old but mostly new favorite Houston restaurants. It was appropriate that Mazda USA sent us out in a Soul Red Metallic CX-5 Grand Touring, like a cherry. Here are some of our favorite things about[…]

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» Personality

Have you ever looked at one of your kids and realized they are you? I have. And it’s quite helpful because for the most part I can predict how he will react or not react to certain things. I can predict whether a consequence will have an impact and I can always tell whether or not he’s actually listening. Because I know is personality. This week Calvin and I took personality tests (I’m ENFJ-A, the protagonist and He’s ISFJ-A the defender) Yes. We are quite the combo. But what we focused on during these tests, besides my overwhelming extrovertedness and his overwhelming introvertedness, was how these particular personalities affect our parenting. Four kids close in age has had us spinning for a couple years and[…]

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» Start of the school year and a string of thoughts on being “different” in public school

I threw all my clever 3-4 word post title ambitions out the window on this one. Because there is nothing neat, clean or tidy about starting the school year when your child is a bit different. When you walk in to meet the teacher night, heart-racing, and hope that there is no pause on the other side after you introduce your child. When you’ve had 900 meetings and emails just to get to this point. When you aren’t sure that the woman you’re handing your child off to really understands how she works and doesn’t work sometimes. When you’ve worked all Summer to prepare said child educationally and socially and hope that one week doesn’t undo months of progress. When you are scarred from past[…]

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» REVIEW: IMVIO Kit (iPhone Lenses)

Disclaimer: The folks at IMVIO kindly allowed us a unit for this review. As always, the opinions are my own. Fish-Eye and Wide-Angle lens for your iPhone With four kids, it’s difficult to carry anything more than what I absolutely need. That includes my DSLR camera. After searching for a happy medium, the IMVIO lens kit sounded like a great addition with minimum impact. After a few weeks of use and going around town, I love this little accessory. The two lenses come in a case that attaches nicely to your keychain and you can easily screw/unscrew the lens as needed. You are required to use the case that the kit comes with. Conclusion There’s not much more to say about this product other than[…]

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