Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I miss blogging...

I miss this blog that I love so much. I love to write... so I decided to keep each blog post simple. As we enter springtime in MN... it makes me want to blog & talk about the goodness of this time of year. Seasons are one of my favorite things about Minnesota. So much symbolism!

Springtime, Summertime & Fall are my absolute favorites. 3 out of 4 isn't so bad, right? :)
We are entering a very FULL season of weddings... I want to pause. I want to breath in the fresh spring air. I want to run and chase Jude. I want to remember the hard winter, the cold, cold days... because they brought us to SPRING.

Embracing the fresh air today... And really working on counting my blessings. Minute-by-minute. So very many ways God has blessed each of us! 

Ok...Back to editing a beautiful wedding from this past weekend. Enjoy today, friends. It only happens once. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Two Thousand Fourteen

Happy New Year!

Back to my attempt at blogging once a week... going to try really, really hard.
I love new years. I love January. I loved that I was born in January, because my birthday was always right at the beginning of a new year. Always made me so happy.

This year we are believing God for a lot of things.
This year my word is "ABLE". I posted an instagram photo explaining this in more depth.

Ephesians 3:20-21
20 Now to him who is ABLE to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

We spent a week in Florida (just a week ago... hard to believe) and it was so beautiful and lovely coming from a cold Minnesota. I felt so encouraged during this week as we sat by the ocean... It was so good for my heart. I was reminded that God is a giver of GOOD gifts. He gave us the time, the ability to get to florida & the beautiful weather. He is ABLE to.

I'm not sure where you are at ... but I want to encourage you today. When we put our trust in God, he delights in showing us in big OR small ways that he is able to do more than we could imagine. I picture him just beaming with a smile when we suddenly realize it. I'm sure he just loves it.

Now... a few photos from our florida trip. These are my top 10 favorites (out of 450 ;)).... 

Palm trees should be everywhere

Jude's face when first seeing the ocean... he loved it.
So much

Cutest footprints in the sand.

God's beauty. First giving me the word... ABLE....

We  got to go with my fabulous in-laws Mark & Sherrill plus bro-in-law Timmy.
Special moments finding seashells

This silhouette is beautiful to me.

Family silhouette. Happiness

Jude the coolest babe on the beach!

 Love. Tan. Happy. My man!

 Here is to a year of greatness!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas is my favorite!

Hi friends! I love Christmastime! I love Christmas carols... I love seeing Christmas through Jude's eyes. So many wonderful things!

Here is a peek into our home... wish we could have a big Christmas party for all my blog/facebook friends. I love parties & hosting people in our new home. So special!

 This is our downstairs space... I love the fireplace the most!

Found these JOY letters at Target! I love them so much! We got two - a set for outside too ;)

Downstairs tree has special ornaments like our wedding one!

 Dining room table decor... I loved this little silver tree I found. Happy. The lanterns are Ikea!

I was so happy to find a "flock" tree that looks frosted with white snow. 
I have always wanted two trees. :)

Decorated this year with burlap ruffles and sparkly letters... white ornaments, too.

Our upstairs living room space... snowflake pillows & fun trees.

 I really enjoy wrapping gifts too! Matching our burlap with craft paper (Spritz brand)

 The Natvity displayed upstairs with a burlap runner my mama made me & a few other fun things...

I just love this time of year. Rejoice! Rejoice!

I mentioned the Christmas carols... and I really love Christmastime for that reason as well. Most songs point to our savior, Jesus Christ. We celebrate CHRISTmas because of this amazing gift we have all been given 2,000 years ago. Jesus. He came to earth as a baby - in the most humble of ways.

I would love to tell you more about him and how much he has changed my life. I can live with JOY and share all these things because of what HE has done for us. He is the reason for living. HE is the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas Friends, Family & blog world! Here is our Christmas card...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Cards & New Years Resolution

Christmas Time is Here!

Hello World.
Do you remember me? Ria, Life as a Wife & Mama?

I have been totally MIA this past Spring/Fall and really neglected my blog. I began this blog as a way to journal our life... meet some other bloggers and share my heart for Jesus.

I'm back... I think. :)

One of my New Years Resolutions (a long list..) is to blog at least 1x a week. I really want to document my Life as a Wife and Mama and share our joys/trials in a way that hopefully will encourage someone out there!

With that being said... here is our son Jude & my hunk-of-a-hubby, Josh... The Latest Photo of this munkin who is 20 months old. How did that happen?


I absolutely ADORE Christmas time. One of my favorite things is Christmas cards.. Being a photographer and all - I really enjoy seeing everyones family photos and getting in the spirit!

It's so fun to help other people design their cards and see what everyone comes up with. I just actually got an email from a company, Minted.com who has BEAUTIFUL Christmas cards. I had never heard of them. Here is the link: http://www.minted.com/photo-christmas-cards 


I fell in love with every card and wanted to redesign mine ;) (too bad they are already in the mail...) I will definitely keep them in mind for the future. Have you ordered your cards yet? Check Minted out!

I still have a stack of 20 extras if you want one of ours, let me know. I will post the card for all to see on Christmas! Here is a sneaky peek...


Merry Christmas (early) Friends! 

I will be back next week sharing a tour of our new home... decorated for Christmastime!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Home: New Chapter!

I haven’t blooged in awhile… I love to write, but it is the first thing that I tend to “push to the side” when life continues to get so busy.

I want this blog, “Life as a Wife & Mama” to be a place of encouragement, along with documenting the ways the Lord is working in our lives. I would be NO where without my relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord. He truly is the giver of all good gifts. In the Bible it specifically says… “Delight yourself in the Lord and he WILL give you the desires of your heart.” (Proverbs 37:4)

 We have a new house.
It is completely, 100%, a blessing from Jesus.
(and a HUGE thanks to my dad-in-law, Mark who is a relator and AMAZING!!!)

Here is how the story goes…

It starts with sharing about a HUGE change for us that took place this past September. We had been going to an awesome church for the first 3 years of our marriage. We were entering year 4 and we felt like a change was going to be coming. Praying through it, I asked that God would give both Josh and I the same feeling about needing to find a new “church home”. For Josh, this was a very large deal as the church we were attending is the ONLY church Josh ever knew. An awesome body of Christ… We love this church! Josh had the same word from the Lord at the same time.

The reason we felt like it was time to “transition” was purely a step of faith for US as a family. It wasn’t for any other reason except that it was time to find a church home that was a place where we could grow and expand as Josh and Ria Thurston+ Jude. We wanted a place to grow in our gifting’s in a new way and trusted that God was up to something…

He was! We visited North Star Community Church the 2nd week we were “church shopping”. It couldn’t have been clearer that this was our new home. There were several too-crazy-to-be-coincidences during the sermon & before and after service. It was totally Jesus making it clear to us. Amazing! We have loved getting to know a new church family and finding our way there as well as being on leadership with our Pastors John & Shannon. They are awesome mentors to us!

Fast Forward…. Selling our house end of March, 2013…

Waiting for Josh’s contract for school for next year (Charter schools do their budgeting/next year contracting very differently… and they come at the end of May/early June). This put a little wrinkle in our getting approved for a  loan. We were fully approved just pending that little piece of paper…

Fast Forward again… Last Friday, May 17th

Our Pastors hosted a “Thank You” volunteer dinner (which was AMAZING!!). Pastor John was talking about North Star and our presence in the community of Coon Rapids. We love being a part of this church for MANY reasons… but one is that they continually ADD VALUE into peoples lives, especially in Coon Rapids where they truly felt like God has called them.

In house searching, we mentioned Coon Rapids a couple times… but never really were like “YES, let’s look at Coon Rapids for our future home…” UNTIL after the Volunteer Dinner on Friday evening… and we just so happened to be going and looking at houses the next day, May 18th.

That night when we got in the car, we were both on the same EXACT page that we needed to look at MORE homes in Coon Rapids. We felt pretty confident that we wanted to be IN the community and grow in our place of faith being a part of North Star.

Fast Forward one more time…. April 18th… Saturday Morning…

“THE HOUSE” came back on the market. That morning. Saturday, May 18th. It was sold once before, but due to financing… it fell thru. “THE HOUSE” was incredible. We saw the photos online and were eagerly waiting until 1:00 p.m. when we were able to go see it.

When we drove up, we both just KNEW that this house would be a complete GIFT if we were able to have it as our own. 

The backyard, the inside, the kitchen, the possibilities of entertaining (which is one of my favorite things to do), the fact that they had an office and also owned their own business, the amenities, the fire pit, the two decks, the playground for Jude, a beautiful fireplace…. the list went on and on. It was a home like nothing we had seen in our price range and we surely couldn’t build anything like it (we had debated about building….). The lot alone was like 3x the size of any we could get in building.

Mark, my dad-in-law told us this wouldn’t be on the market long. This was only on for ONE day. We just knew it was something we wanted to pursue…(Especially, after the incredible confirmation on Friday Night, then it coming back on Saturday Morning and us seeing it on Saturday afternoon....)

We had to act fast. It’s a sellers market, and it wasn’t going to be on for longer than a couple days. The story of the counter-offering + our offer + Josh not having his contract yet…. Is another miracle! Thank you to Mark for his wisdom in the real estate market… wow!

The happy ending is that God said YES as we prayed our hearts out for that family…  the house… our future… We truly want the current owners of the home to also be blessed In this process. 

We found out on Monday, May 20th that we in fact GOT THE HOUSE. The house we truly feel like is a gift handed to us from Jesus…..

Of course we still have a mortgage.
Of course we still have to budget wisely.
No, we didn’t like get the house for FREE or something…. Ha…(wouldn't that be nice!!)

With all that being said… this house WILL advance his kingdom work. This house is his house and we are entrusted to use it for his glory. I really feel strongly about that as does Josh. Our biggest desire is to be an OPEN home where people feel comfortable and where we can host and have fun and grow as a family.

Jude loves, loves, loves the backyard! He is going to have some good trees to climb, a cul-de-sac to learn to ride his bike on & plenty of space to play with toys.

We feel VERY, VERY blessed to call this house home this June.
It was a deep desire of my house to have a home where we could host people and use my gift of hospitality.

I truly thank Jesus for his gift to us & I really feel like it is one of the many rewards of STEPPING out in faith when honestly it felt so uncomfortable to “switch churches”. It was not something I saw coming, but because it was something God was calling us too… we couldn’t delay.

Obedience is huge. Obedience in this case was NOT easy. Obedience brings rewards.

I pray this story encourages you… many people have been asking me for it so I thought I would blog it. Also, I want to document the blessing of the Lord and be able to give God ALL the credit!

Blessings to you today!!!