Friday, November 30, 2012

christmas shopping

this time of year we begin shopping a bit for family and friends. i love the idea of purchasing gifts from small companies that are trying to grow and supporting other women and momma's. the blog is featuring a few you have seen before and a few new one's. i love it because everyone participating has been following our journey and are now apart of our story and i love that. shop away.


check them out here:

use code DONTWASTE for 10% off your order 


check it all out here:
use code LIBBYSBLOG15 to get 15% until Wednesday, December 5th at 11:59pm. 

check her shop out here:
coupon code is LIBBY for 15% off entire order. 

use GLORY10 for 10% off your order thru the end of the year



check out her shop here:
coupon code HOLIDAY for 10% off your order.

use code LIBBY for 10% off your order

use code DWYC10 for 10% off your order.


use code LIBBYBLOG for 5% off your order.

now thru dec. 24th use code DWYCXMAS12 for 20% off an order of $10.00 or more.


use code DWYC10 for 10% off your order



ava is 5 miles from home. we can. not. wait. we missed our girl.
happy weekend.

Monday, November 26, 2012

no ava.

great weekend at windy gap. thankful for justin and his heart. it was a relaxing weekend where we felt so loved and cared for. an amazing couple basically watched ava all weekend so i could enjoy time with friends and hear all of justin's club talks. such a gift. thankful for julia and hannah and for how our stories have come together. the ryder family loves you guys.

wowza...i am getting big

after a gorgeous weekend in north carolina we headed to northern ky (justin's hometown). spent some good quality time with family. his sweet grandmother is just a few radiation treatments away from being done. praying the cancer is gone, gone, gone. we were able to sleep in, attend our first UK basketball game, and lots of time with family.

 surprise. jen and ben were there too. the best.

our trip away ended in louisville with justin's sister and her family. always one of our favorite families to spend time much so little ava stayed there and we headed home. yup, ava chose her cousins and uncle and aunt over her mom and dad. i think i am more okay about it than justin. we explained it to her a few times..."ok, ava if you want to stay here in kentucky with your cousins then mommy and daddy are going to go back to virginia and aunt allison will take you back to virginia in a few days. so do you want to leave or stay here?" "stay here," she yelled. no matter how we phrased it to her she was adamant about staying. I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT!!! she is there and we are here. i know she is having the best time and is being well taken care of and loved...duh. she is with family so that is obvious but it feels real quiet in the ryder household. as we drove home yesterday we decided we were going to embrace it. go on some dates. really connect. i have a to-do list that is growing by the hour. i hope this does not make me a bad mom. wait, i know this does not make me a bad mom but i am thankful and we are really going to enjoy this break. today i slept in, worked, registered for baby girl at target, tj maxx run where i found the best new blanket for baby girl, lunch with ashley (so thankful for her life and honesty), lowes (humidifier filters because our bedroom is drying us out), a few more errands, dinner with justin, laundry, and now i am sitting on my bed ready to write thank you notes and make a few scarves and look through magazines. here is a pic. not posed. i hate posed. this is how it is laying next to me right now. the plan is to rest a little, hang with friends, decorate for christmas, and get this house ready. like every inch organized, cleaned, and ready to go. i hope that whole momma nesting thing happens. we will see how far i get once little ava is back home on friday night.

here's to good week. a different week for us, but a good week.

baby tummy pic coming soon...along with christmas decor. can't wait.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Using blogs...

Dropping in real quick this morning before everyone gets up and the day begins. If you own a little shop or make items that would be great for Christmas gifts and want to share them
on the blog email me. Blogs are great ways to get your shop out there and right now is the best shopping season of the year. If you are interested email me at I will be launching a Christmas gift idea post on dec. 1st so be in touch.

Enjoy today. Hopefully the school week and work week are winding down and rest is in sight.

A few pictures from our break so far:

Friday, November 16, 2012

on the road.

as i reflected a bit yesterday on my 20's...even though i have one year left i thought about how significant these past years have been. some of the most life changing things to ever happen to me happened during my 20's. meeting justin, really began to take my relationship with the Lord seriously, moved to ky, got married, moved to va, had ava, got cancer, moved again, about to welcome another little girl into our family, and building some of the most significant relationships i ever could imagine. not to mention the thousands of other little things that are still big things because they are all apart of my story. i am very grateful and pray that it has all only just begun.

yesterday justin and some girlfriends surprised me at my favorite lunch spot downtown. forgot to take a picture. but so thankful for other women and mother's to walk through life makes all the difference. 

what we have been up to:

 thank you for all the scarf orders (still taking orders so feel free to email me). crocheting will help pass the time as we begin a road trip to windy gap a young life camp in nc for the weekend. justin will be sharing again the good news of Jesus and i get to hang with some special girls, hannah and julia. then we head to ky for thanksgiving to see lots of family. i kind of like road trips. just not what i have to do in the next 4 hours to prepare for it. time to get off the computer.

one of her first gifts, thanks lala. can't wait to swaddle her up.

we are registered and took the tour and they are ready for us.

 ava hiding out in old navy. thankful for my friend liz who chased her around so i could grab some early christmas gifts for my family.

big sister helped the midwife as we listened to the heart beat. great way to celebrate my birthday. ava loved it. she may not want to share with her sister but i do not doubt for a second that she is going to love her.

will be blogging on and off over the break. might be more off than on.

happy weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

so come on, come on.

this has been on repeat lately. (best way to read this post is to open the link to the song and let it play quietly in the background as you read. worked for me). after a good friend sent me a text message one night last week i have not been able to stop thinking about all that is tied up into this song for me. i have a tendency to do this with songs...i get on one and can't get off of it for a while. i am a girl who is just fine with playing songs on repeat. when i like a song...i like a song. quick side note: baby just kicked my rib. the hardest i ever felt. little miracle inside this belly and maybe she loves this song as much as her mom does?

  friend: listening to transatlanticism with friends. love you. and your husband. and your daughter.
 me: man that song means a lot to me. it's what jus and i listened to as we drove to the maury river 
    & fell in love.
 friend: i know :) your passion for this song changed my life lib. seriously. don't forget that music is a part of YOU. i fell closer in love w Jesus through this song bc of you.   
me: thank you. means more than i have words and reminds me that i can lose what i love. music is a love. Jesus wants everything about us. i want to give it to him.

***thankful for friends who take the time to send a little text when they are thinking about you and sharing what is true and real in our lives*** send those texts and make those calls. it is worth it.

i first heard this song when i was in college on spring break. it was april 2005 and i was on marathon key in a few houses with lots of friends. it was a young life trip. it was the best. one of my friends was sharing one night about his experiences at the sundance film festival that past january. as he shared his heart and the heaviness that he saw as he watched several independent films that focused on the pain in this world. rape. human trafficking. drugs. the brokenness we see around us and may even find ourselves in. he had this song quietly on repeat in the background as he shared his heart and where he found himself one night in utah. this song was on repeat in his room like it was that night when he spoke. over and over. i know he may have experienced this song differently than i did but something struck me as i sat there listening. i could not stop thinking about the end of the song where death cab sings these words...i need you some much closer...over and over and these come on, come on...over and over. i thought about the Lord and where i was and what i was doing and what i was about. i began begging the Lord to come closer to me, my life, my heart. every piece of myself that was broken and embarrassing and sinful. i wanted Him in that place. then the cry to myself and everyone around come on, come come on, come on...leave your life that is sinful and dark and dry and come to Me. enter into a life that matters. with adventure and joy. deep joy. a hope greater than anything else this world has to offer.

The Atlantic was born today and I'll tell you how...
The clouds above opened up and let it out.

I was standing on the surface of a perforated sphere
When the water filled every hole.
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean,
Making islands where no island should go.
Oh no.

Those people were overjoyed; they took to their boats.
I thought it less like a lake and more like a moat.
The rhythm of my footsteps crossing flat lands to your door have been silenced forever more.
The distance is quite simply much too far for me to row
It seems farther than ever before
Oh no.

I need you so much closer [x8]

I need you so much closer [x4]
So come on, come on [x4]

a few months later i found myself in the truck of a cute boy from kentucky and we listened to this same song as i cried and said goodbye to virginia. one short little month in june that changed the entire direction of my life. forever. this boy was a part of it all with me. how thankful i am that he shared that month with me. we both get what happened. something big. something life changing that  brought us closer to the Lord forever and where our stories met and never parted again. lots of adventures later we are still in this together. we sat on a big rock in the middle of the maury river right after listening to this song and said nothing. just sat there. thinking about all that had happened and what would come of our future. this boy later told me that it was on that rock when he first realized he loved me. both not sure if we would ever see one another again but either way it was real and it was love and the trajectory of our lives were about to change. this boy asked me to marry him near that same river a year or so later and we later married that year.

you never know how a song might capture you. take hold of you in one place and then bring you to another. i love that about music. i love that the Lord created music and we can worship Him through it. we are playing more music in the house these days.

so come on, come on. 
so come on, come on. 

join into the one the thing. the one thing that changes everything.

(be back tomorrow with a quickie. as i enter into my last year in my twenties. 
this decade has been a life changer for sure)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

weekend recap

 by wednesday i actually meant thursday morning.

this past weekend was special. there has never been a weekend like it at rockbridge. i only say that because a record was set at rockbridge for having the most students, leaders, staff, and guests ever at the camp. during saturday night's cross talk there were nearly 1,000 people in the club room. it was a gift and an honor to be apart of it and experience camp in that way along with watching students change from when they arrived on friday night to when they left on sunday afternoon. it really was spirit filled. 

a few highlights from the weekend:

-over 140 students stood up to share that they had begun a relationship Christ.
- spending time with good friends and seeing some very special people in chesapeake.
-assignment team party on saturday night (thanks anne-stewart). cheese dip and all.
-aside from a lot of people sleeping on the floor in cabins...the weather was perfect, plenty of food, incredible energy in club, funny program team, and listening to justin share this heart about christ. he shared a bit about cancer during a talk and although i knew it was coming i sat in the back of club and wept. first i tried to wipe the tears away with my sleeves and then they could not even contain it. bringing me back to when it all began and not being able to contain myself in the intense gratitude i have for being healthy once again.
-overall great weekend ended with a little bit more joy. our sweet friends lindsay and will got engaged. yes we love marriage and weddings.

so fun that jmu students and staff were there on work crew, program, assignment team, and just hanging out. that was my job. to support justin and keep an eye on ava. thankfully camp was also filled with a lot of great people who were willing to play with ava so i could sit and listen to justin share. ava loves club but she is not ready to sit quietly through a club talk. one day she will but not yet. thankful for friends who laid in the bunk bed while ava slept next to them in the pack n play because she did not want them to leave and when she nearly fell asleep in the bathroom floor after refusing to put her pull up on. it is always funny to me to hear what ava tries to pull with other people that she would never do with justin or i. either way i am indebted to so many friends who love ava as deeply as they do. thank you.

a bit superficial but my sister was in town last weekend to hang out, celebrate her birthday, and to host a CAbi party. it is this great line of clothing my sister sells and the items i purchased arrived a half hour before we left for camp. being 30 weeks pregnant it is hard to feel "cute" or comfortable in most of my clothes these days so having new clothes to wear this weekend was seriously really nice.


thanks for everyone who entered the giveaway. 
the lucky winner is celeste: "love the tan monogrammed clutch!"
email me at to get your $25 winning code.

use code dwyc10 for 10% of your order

Monday, November 5, 2012

a giveaway


we had an incredible weekend at rockbridge. the Lord was moving for sure. it was a record breaking weekend with the most students and leaders and guests at camp ever. it was a joy to be a part of it all.  ava and i came home with colds so we are taking it easy today. 
post about the weekend on wednesday.


instead i have a new shop to introduce you all to that a sweet friend of mine officially opened today. 

(be sure to "like" the shop on facebook) 

  is an online shop full of adorable products from jewelry to iphone cases to monogrammed clutches to pillows to stationary. all very trendy in great colors. lots of personalized monogrammed items available as well. i love a personal touch. 

***check her shop out at***

 crystal faye's shop is giving away a $25 gift certificate to one random commenter on the blog.
so be sure to leave one telling me your favorite item and you will automatically entered.
i will post the winner on wednesday. don't miss it.

when you place an order be sure to use the code DWYC10.

personally my favorite product is my monogrammed tervis tumbler. i use it everyday.

 happy shopping.

Friday, November 2, 2012

a swing and a song

our family is headed to rockbridge for the weekend. this young life camp holds such a special place in our hearts as justin and i had no idea what would come of our summer there in 2005. needless to say things worked out well for both of us. incredible to look back on all that we have walked through together these past 7 years. prayers for the hundreds of students and their leaders who will be at camp and justin has he shares about God and Christ's death and what that means for our lives.

happy weekend.