falling in love with thieves

You know how sometimes you find something that you just love and just have to share? That is how i feel about Young Living Oils. I’ve been using these little unicorn tears in a bottle(tee hee) for three years now and a lot of people have been asking me about them recently so I thought I’d start a post series on my blog to share. take it or leave it, but these little oils have been life changing and so how can I not share?

I wanted to start with the oil that really rocked our world, Because let’s be honest, when I first heard about these little bottles of magic, i was intrigued…and my husband was SUPER skeptical of these “witch oils” as he called them at first. I can laugh about that now, but at first it was a major stumbling block, because with a limited income as a pastors family, I had to get him on board if i was going to try these all out.

Any waaaayyy, back to the story.

If you know my family, and you know our journey with health that started in Princeton NJ, then it isn’t a surprise to you that I am always on the lookout for things to help!  Here’s the brief back story: Back in seminary, my sweet husbuddy lost 30 pounds IN A MONTH. Y’all. It was scary. He was so sick. He couldn’t keep things in, he proceeded to have multiple rounds of colds that immediately turned to sinus infections etc…on top of it all his body was attacking itself with anxiety attacks. You know, just cause he needed to be hit while he was down.  it took months of doctor appointments, all sorts of tests, all sorts of different directions and we finally figured out it all came back to his diet. …mostly.

I say mostly because once we fixed his diet, he felt so much better(!!praise hands!!) and he was able to actually function. BUT… he still got sick. ALL.THE.TIME. He has an immune deficiency. The doctors basically said this is just who he is and he needs to live with it.

Well… when I heard about this magic little bottle called Thieves, I knew we HAD to try it.

This is what I had heard:

  • ” Thieves is a proprietary blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary essential oils.  Young Living’s Thieves essential oil blend was inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic blend composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals to use while robbing dead and dying victims of the plague.”
  • “99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria”
  • “It boosts the immune system”
  • “It fights colds and sickness!”
  • “Supports digestive health”
  • “really, strengthens all the systems of the body!”
  • “Cleanses and detoxes household objects”

you guys, the list goes on. Anyway, I finally saved up some of my own money to buy this little bottle of gold. I bought it in the fall, knowing that as soon as the weather gets cold, BAM, Husband gets sick. He was super skeptical. But one day he felt a cold coming on. I told him to let me try it, let me put some drops of oil on the bottom of his feet. And let’s just see what happens…

WELL, it worked. He fought off a cold for the FIRST TIME IN OUR MARRIAGE. it was crazy. So, then he was intrigued too!

Now we use it all.the.time! We dilute it and put it on our girls before going to the church nursery(cause, germs!), we put it in tea when our throats hurt, we put it in capsules with other oils to boost our immune system, we use it multiple times a day when we are sick.

Yes, we still get sick. Because, hello, nothing is going to keep us perfect. BUT, the difference is drastic. We used to to have multiple weeks each winter where Husband was home sick in bed. But now? It maybe happens once or twice. And he rarely gets a sinus infection any more. WHAT?! IT was a given before.

MY husband is a believer.

haha. I am a believer. And so began my journey into oils… {more to come!}

My plan is to keep sharing my journey, in hopes that anyone else who deals with some of these issues, can have hope too.

But really, once I started, I found that essential oils help all the time, with everything. I am constantly learning new things and finding new ways to use them! That’s what’s kind of fun! You don’t have to have it figured out to jump in!

So, who else has tried Thieves and loves it as much as I do? Who would like to try it? I’ve included some directions for how to start if you’re interested. And of course, please contact me with all.the.questions.

xoxo-kimberly renee

#wearelivingwell #whyiloveoils

If you’re interested in starting with oils:

  1. click here to begin the enrollment process
  2. select wholesale member to get the wholesale discount
  3. my member number is: 2293240 Thank you for using my number! 
  4. choose your starter kit! (Premium Starter Kit – $160 – this comes with the 11 oils, sample packets, and the diffuser!-you basically get the diffuser for free!)

If you have ANY questions, please feel free to contact me! 🙂 I’ll keep posting info in the coming weeks(hopefully) to tell you some of my other oily love!

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Corinne Hope is 1 year old!

coraand well, that went quickly. 1 year flew by sweet little thing. we love you so much Cora!  we love peekabo!  and we are still making that “piggy” face! bawhaha

Cora at 12 months:

  • 29 1/2″ tall (64%)
  • 21 lbs (70%)
  • has 6 teeth +2 popping through this moment
  • sings and dances in her own special way (haha)
  • gives hugs and blows kisses
  • says “Hi”, dada, doggy, moo, mmm(for when she wants food), dogdog(for a lovey)
  • can give a high 5
  • wears 12-18 month/18 month clothes!
  • is just SO BUSY
  • climbs like a crazy girl. she climbed on top of a side table the other night while I was doing the dishes and gave me a heart attack! loves to climb the stairs. loves to just climb!
  • takes her shoes off ALL.THE.TIME.
  • loves her sister so much and follows her around with all the smiles
  • grunts and tries to “use the force” for things. haha. at least that’s what we call it.
  • tries to ride her little bike but just goes backwards.
  • is just about the sweetest little firecracker ever.

touching her toes!   she’s been sick this week, so a lot of snot and coughing and grossness…but this photo is just so sweet.  dancing!   hey, what’s this on my shirt? ok mama, i am ALL DONE! with photos! hahah. i still think her crying face is just the cutest. and this photo was taken by my three year old! good job Sophia! I just love my girls and I’m so thankful for this year with sweet adorable, Cora!

xoxo-kimberly renee
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11 months already(!?)

she is SUCH a delight! 

Cora at 11 months:

  • runs. I’m not even joking
  • has 6 teeth
  • wears 12-18 month size
  • brings me books to read. it’s so cute because she brings it and then scoots her little booty back into my lap to prepare for reading time! haha
  • wrinkles up her nose and sniffs to make a pig noise. yes, I realize that pigs say “oink” but in a couple of our baby books, we read that they sniff and snort looking for food or along the ground, so when we read the book, Sophia and I used to sniff all over her and made her laugh. well, now she wants to find all the pigs in all the books. tee hee hee. it cracks me up!
  • is sleeping through the night! FINALLY!! we’ve done some serious sleep training the last week with Sophia in a different room. (which is why there is another bed in these pictures! sophia’s bed is in the guest room at the moment!)
  • loves to eat finger food or whatever we are eating. baby food? why do we insult her by even trying to feed her this?
  • shakes her head no. I can’t figure out if she is really saying no or just thinks it’s funny.
  • calls all the animals doggies.
  • constantly is taking off her shoes when we are out. le sigh.
  • still puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. oh when will this end?
  • lays her head down on my shoulder to snuggle and when i’m putting her down for night, will put her little arm around my neck as i’m rocking her to give me her version of a hug. it’s just about the sweetest thing ever.
  • is shy with her smiles but when she smiles for you it really lights up her face

she is a very sweet, happy baby.   “piggy face” haha.     i love her so much. i can’t believe it’s already been almost a year! time needs to slow down now! 

mama and daddy love you sweet baby girl. slow down! you don’t have to catch up with big sister!

xoxo-kimberly renee
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what 10 months looks like

10 months looks like this: lots and lots of walking (!!) 

i really can’t get over how mobile she is. She is getting faster every day!

Cora at 10 months:

  • loves to walk!
  • wears size 12/12-18. she just seems really long
  • loves to eat big people food! baby food? don’t give me that stuff! i want something to pick up like the rest of you!
  • says “doggy” and “daddy” ALL the time. they do sound slightly different, but she says it when she sees one of them… (or a horse, that’s a doggy too. or a strange tall man in the parking lot wearing glasses, that’s daddy too. lol)
  • wrinkles her nose and sniffs when somethings kind of funny…it’s so hilarious
  • thinks climbing the stairs is a game because one of us goes running to catch her and pick her up when she starts. she is getting so fast and just gets so excited for us to come get her! shoot!! how do i fix this?!
  • was a total ham for this photoshoot
  • has 5 teeth
  • loves her “Pat the zoo” book! she brings it to me and giggles. totally melts my heart.
  • still ADORES big sister. and wants to play with whatever big sister is playing with…so it begins.
  • dances when daddy plays guitar. her dance moves consist of squats. it’s so cute.
  • is still so LOUD when she wants something!
  • knows “all done” in sign language…but i’m pretty sure she thinks it means- “i’ve finished everything on my plate so give me more.” so when i ask her if she wants more she keeps doing it and just gets louder. it also means, “get this baby food out of my face NOW mom”
  • claps to music in the car or when sister sings
  • puts EVERYTHING in her mouth(still). as quick as she can. she is starting to be so sneaky about it and then is also a PRO at hiding it from my finger trying to fish it out. dude, when will this end?
  • this month has been much better for sleep for us. thank the Lord. she can usually go right back down with a little pat about once a night and then wakes up around 5 for a quick pre-breakfast before getting up around 6:30. so that is WAY better then August! seriously, we are PTL over here.
  • she is such a sweetheart!


  i mean, look at that face. such a ham.   Stop growing! just stay this sweet and cute and snuggly! ok…maybe we want you to learn how to master the stairs but then seriously, stop it. we adore you so much! i can never get enough snuggles in because you just want to move move move!

we love you, Cora!!

xoxo-kimberly renee

ps. if you want to see Sophie pictures at 10 months, click HERE. you will note, i was still able to get a laying down picture with her. she had barely started to walk at 10 months.

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my sweet helper


so my dearest little 3 year old likes to help.

a lot.

for the photos that i posted of Cora the other day, she was there by my side the whole time trying to help me. and then she begged me to let her have a turn in front of the camera! how could i resist? i know one day she will roll her eyes at me taking her picture or just not like it. so i’ll do it whenever i’m asked now! she’s so sweet right now.

when she’s not a  difficult, whiny, temper tantrum throwing, telling me “NO!”, independent, “i’ll do it myself”, complete and total three year old.

you know, the rest of the time.

she even told me the other day, when i told her to not do something to Cora, “but mom, i’m the little mama!”


Sophia Grace, you are just such a sweetheart and oh so loved. thank you for being my little helper with Cora!

xoxo-kimberly renee
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she’s 9 months old {Cora Hope}

hello! i’m Cora and i don’t want to stay still long enough to get my photo taken!

this is just going too quickly.

at 9 months Corinne is:

  • 19 lbs 14 oz (almost 20!)
  • 28 1/4″ tall!
  • crawls all over the place, is fast!
  • pulls her self up- even from a squat holding on to nothing- and cruises around holding furniture
  • is SO busy.
  • loves to giggle with her sister
  • had a horrible month of sleep! mama’s brain just feels empty
  • had the 4 front teeth pop through in the last month!
  • can already fight her big sister for what she wants
  • have i mentioned she’s LOUD? has a very loud squeal when she wants to get your attention
  • loves to eat finger food. anything that she can pick up and put in her mouth
  • would NOT sit still for this photoshoot…

  always something going in the mouth, if nothing else, fingers!  those pigtails though!   sister tried to help and hold her. um…we didn’t like that.  

alright, this is done. see ya!

ha. that little grin.

love you baby girl. we are so enjoying watching you grow! but goodness, could you slow down a bit?

xoxo-kimberly renee

{ps- if you want to see Sophia’s 9 month photos they are HERE… i’m pretty sure Sophia had more cheeks lol}

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sufficient {Gracelaced the book}

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9

this verse has been on repeat in my brain since reading a chapter in my new book, Gracelaced.


His grace: sufficient.

it’s easy to think that verse applies to the big things. the huge issues in life. like a death of a loved one or a loss of home or a job… His grace is sufficient for those, yes…

BUT! in the verses just before this one, Paul is talking about a “thorn in his flesh”. when you think about thorns, how big are they really? not that big, right?

a few weeks ago Sophia was running around bare foot in the backyard. she was across the yard when she started screaming bloody murder. ON TOP OF HER LUNGS. i was sitting in the grass with Cora and since Cora puts everything in her mouth, i just motioned for Sophia to come to me. i tried to reason with her, just come here and tell me what’s wrong. from my point of view it couldn’t have been much and i really just needed her to stop screaming. she wobbled over, screaming the whole way, (i thought she was just being dramatic) and then shows me her foot. she had a thorn stuck in her heel. it was about 1/4″ long and she didn’t know NOT to step on that heel, or even to just pull it out. she walked all the way across the yard with it. (oops, mom fail moment-i made her come to ME instead of running to her… don’t judge.) i pulled it out and she was shocked how much better she felt instantly. and then she told daddy all about it when he got home.  but she was perfectly fine, no harm done. she did talk about it for days though, it made quite the impression.

thorns are on raspberry bushes and rose bushes…they are usually pretty small. but man, they pack a sting.  Paul says he asks the Lord three times for Him to take away the thorn but He didn’t.  He says that the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

i guess i never thought about that thorn of Paul’s as being something “small”. but really, it’s the “small” things that really nag, really chip away at you, make you cry every time you put your foot down on it.

those things are like unresolved conflict with friends, that just feels painful every time you see them.

like the unrelenting financial strain- when we just can’t seem to get ahead.

like the fear and pain of being a pastors wife- who is going to say what to me next time i see them?

like the worry and frustration of parents not acting like Christians… or maybe even adults.

like children who will not obey, it feels like one step forward and two steps back…or babies who won’t sleep and just the daily dealing with this wearing you out.

… nope, none of those sound like my life or anything… ahem{some of these examples are mine, some from Ruth’s book}

but i LOVE how she put it:

“… we miss the lesson when we pick at the thorn…nurse it…bemoan it…curse it. The enemy would have us so blinded by the pain of the thorn that we can’t see the beauty of the rose garden…so consumed by the discomfort that won’t go away that I can’t experience what fragrance of grace lies just ahead…”

-Ruth Chou Simons Gracelaced

THAT. those three sentences right there describes my life completely the last year. i am distracted by the thorns, i’m focusing on them and bemoaning them.

And i was just stopped dead in my tracks as i read it. and i just felt God whisper into my heart, right then and there,


As i burst into tears,

Christ is enough.

THAT is why Paul rejoices in His thorn. He was given a gift of seeing that “His grace is sufficient for the thorn He chooses not to remove”(Ruth Chou Simons).

She goes on to just convict me even more. She says,

“Friend, would we praise Him for His sustaining strength in our lives if it where not for reaching the end of our own strength? Would we consider Him enough if we did not find ourselves lacking? Would we know humility if not for the discomfort of obstacles and the pain of intrusions?

…Don’t be surprised when our heavenly Father chooses to allow the wounding of our pride this day. He does so lovingly, sovereignly, and without mistake…that we might find in Christ’s sufficient grace- in our unremoved pain- the rose we long to behold, just beyond the thorn.”  


Can i get an amen?


(don’t mind me as i quote almost an entire devotional…oops. it’s just soooo good and such gold, you have to know how deep it goes into my heart!)

You know how when you find something so sweet or so awesome you have to share it? That is how i feel about this book. It’s like i can’t stop talking about it or sharing it with my friends! Really, it’s too good not to share. .

At the beginning of the summer, one of my favorite people to follow on instagram posted that she was looking for people to get advanced copy of her new book so that we could share it with our friends and on our social media. i filled out a survey and next thing i know, i was in! i was kinda shocked that i got picked. Maybe they took everyone who filled out the survey, i don’t know, but i was pretty excited and felt honored for this opportunity.

i’ve been known to highlight and cover a book in notes. and this book she has space for that! she encourages you to bring your pens and really soak into it. Dig deep. She also has verses for each devotional to look the topic up further study and thought. Each devotional really could be used as a daily moment to sit and breath in God’s goodness and grace.  i am pretty critical of devotionals because i hate it when they are too surface level or just make you  “feel good”. This is so filled to the brim with scripture that it is not surface level at all but because the living word of God is used throughout, it can speak to me over and over again.

Book Details:

{below is from Ruth’s website, but i wanted to share with you all the details of this beautiful book!}

GraceLaced is about more than pretty florals and fanciful brushwork—it’s about flourishing. With carefully crafted intention, this beautiful volume of 32 seasonal devotions from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons encourages readers in any circumstance to become deeply rooted in God’s faithful promises. GraceLaced extends a soul-stirring invitation to draw close to God while…

  • resting in who He is
  • rehearsing the truth He says about you
  • responding in faith to those truths
  • remembering His provision to sustain you, time and time again

More than 800 individual pieces of art came together in the crafting of this book, including dozens of new, hand-painted Scripture vignettes that Ruth is known for.

Who we are and who God is never changes, even though everything else rarely stays the same. Let this book point you to truth as you journey through the changing seasons of your heart.

If you want to see more about this book, check out the book trailer here: click here! 

About Ruth:

Ruth Chou Simons is an artist, writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. As creator of the popular GraceLaced online shoppe, blog and Instagram community, she shares scriptural truths daily through her hand painted artwork and words. Ruth and her husband, Troy, live in New Mexico and are grateful parents to six sons- their greatest adventure.

In Ruth Chou Simons’ book, GraceLaced, you will be pointed to God’s truths that remind you the Bible applies to where you are right now no matter what season you’re in! You can get your copy by going to gracelaced.com/gracelacedbook. (Or at wherever books are sold…ie Amazon, Barnes, Christian book, Target etc.)

This book is gold you guys. It’s going to be sitting by my bedside for a long time to just reread over and over.  This is definitly a promotional blog post about this book, but know that i only share because i love ya! Let me know if you get it so we can talk about it, mmmk?

xoxo-kimberly renee


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