Update: the release of American Blogger.

April 20, 2014

I hope everyone had a beautiful weekend :). I wanted to give a little update regarding American Blogger. Originally the plan for the film was that Chris would release the film in June on iTunes only. Chris actually sent off the hard drive with the fully edited/finished movie before he ever released the trailer. Because the release of the trailer didn't go anything like what we expected, Chris has decided to release the movie on Wednesday via a different source. The movie will still be available in June on iTunes but this at least gives people the opportunity to see the movie now without further speculation surrounding the film. Because the film was sent weeks ago and is not going to be altered Chris believes that releasing it now, for many reasons, is the right choice. 

I want to personally thank everyone who has been so amazing and precious to our family during all of this! Chris spent a year of his life pouring into this project plus took a big financial risk for our family because it was a project that we believe in. 

Most every movie that you watch is created by an entire production team and crew. Remember that Chris is just one man. One man that set out to make a little film and somehow it turned into something much greater. One man that did everything for this entire film all on his own. 

When purchasing the movie you will get American Blogger + 4 other short films that Chris has made in the past. 

This is the disclaimer that will come with American Blogger when purchasing:

"When I released the trailer for my film, American Blogger, it was brought to my attention that it sends a message that the bloggers in this film represent all of America. This isn't, and was not, my intent. The women in this film are a very small piece of the story I wanted to tell: one that explores how blogging can not only leave a legacy for family memories, but an imprint on the world at large.

The way in which these women tell their stories with authenticity does represent the bravery and passion of American Bloggers, but please know: not all categories of American Bloggers are represented in this film. There are still many more stories to be told.

The goal of this film was to create a love story to the blogging community. I wanted to show how these women use their voice, share their stories and connect with one another. I wanted to create a moving visual for so many of the women that have built communities around their blogs.... equal parts "reality footage" and interviews. Even within this one film there are 51 women portrayed, and unfortunately, I didn't have time to tell each of their stories. It is my hope that by introducing them to you, you will take the time to read their stories and see who they are and what they have been through. Look at this film as an introduction; as the first piece to a larger puzzle.

This film is not meant to validate blogging as a career, or to paint a wide brush over a vast community. It is not a journalistic expose. It is simply one man's exploration of an inspired art: the freedom to tell your story."

** and in case you missed this post, read here 

Easter Egg Hunt.

April 19, 2014

We had a blast today celebrating, eating and hunting for eggs! I snapped a few pics of the kids this morning at the Easter Egg Hunt...  hope everyone has a beautiful Easter weekend, xoxo. 

Ainsleigh & Apple's dresses c/o: Dream Catcher Baby


April 17, 2014

A lot has happened in my heart in the past weeks. From Hopespoken to the events surrounding American Blogger I have gone through all different seasons of emotion in just a short three weeks. Leading up to HopeSpoken I had a stirring in my heart to try and reach back to my earlier writing days, when vulnerability wasn't quite so complicated. When my writing was just free emotion pouring out through my fingertips. No judgements, no assumptions.... just a free space to spill my soul. I have lost some of that along the way and I am not entirely sure how you fully ever gain it back. I am trying though. How do you hold onto that? How do you keep those precious words and thoughts safe?  Maybe it's just reckless abandon. Maybe its just believing so much in yourself, your intentions, your art, your thoughts that you stretch out your arms, throw your face to the wind and run without thinking twice.

HopeSpoken was such a sacred place. Stories and hearts and tears flowed with safety and vulnerability.  Honestly, this blog has created such a sweet community similar to HopeSpoken that I almost forget that outside of this space, when you open yourself to an even larger audience, that safety can be lost.

At HopeSpoken one of the things that I spoke on was that you can't judge another person's pain. I learned this about 3 years ago through various seasons of loss. I felt ashamed to be hurting so much because I had so much to be grateful for. But the truth is we all react to situations differently, we all see hurt and humanity and life through different lenses. I learned, then, that you can't judge someone else's heartache. Sometimes when we can see a whole person, their whole story... we are able to dig a little deeper and see more why they are the way they are. We can't judge how someone will act out due to pain. Or how it will shape them. How they respond to life's bumps and that is where grace comes in. I learned to extend grace to those I didn't understand...mostly because I figured if I knew their whole story, I might understand better why they were the way they were. It took years for this all to make sense to me. And maybe that is just part of the journey, us all figuring this out.

I got an email yesterday from a woman I look up to and respect and adore more than words can say. She has been a huge piece of the puzzle for me in my walk with the Lord. She poured words out in an email that were like sweet balm to my soul. I needed to be reset. I needed to look at this project again with untainted eyes, the way that I did the first time I watched the entire film. With the pureness that it began with. 

I have seen God working so much in me this past year. As I surrender to Him, He moves and He frees me. I have felt so much freedom from the fear and anxiety that has jailed me for years. And this weekend I felt so much freedom from my desire to be loved and understood by man. I have guarded my eyes better and am going to walk forward with an open heart yet in a new confidence that can only be found through Him. I think there must be a balance between n open heart, healthy conversations and then moving forward. All of this might sound like a jumble of thoughts, honestly that is what it is. Just a mess of emotion from a woman who is in the midst of being rescued. I am honored to be able to show how God can demonstrate His strength through me. 

all good things. 

"i say tenderheartedly,

you are just as jacked up as the person who has hurt you. your heart is so dark. you betray Jesus everyday and He still loves you. He doesn't wait for you to do enough to pay for your sins, so he can finally take you back. no. you enjoy grace and mercy and unmerited forgiveness. every day. actually, every hour.

and now, you get to be a mirror of the Gospel to that person. because what can they do to make up for defiling you in such a way? nothing actually. nothing would ever be good enough. would it?"
- Jami Nato

We aren't loved on a performance base- it is unconditional.
And that's why when people let us down...
we weren't supposed to put our hope in THEM but in HIM. 


Peanut Butter Granola.

April 16, 2014

Annapolis & Company | Peanut Butter Granola

Mary Beth Johnson is a photographer, blogger, and journalist with a passion for finding beauty in unexpected places and celebrating the everyday. Originally from the east coast, she now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children (dubbed "schooners”). From an office full of fingerprints and walls scattered with imperfect artwork, she’s writing her first book, a memoir of her parents' journey in raising 14 children, and her own lifestyle blog, Annapolis & Company.

A favorite staple around our house: Peanut Butter Granola. If I can whip up a healthy snack from scratch in under 15 minutes, I am so there. And this is one such snack. It's perfect for breakfast or on-the-go. For little fingers. For lazy weekend mornings. And...I'll let you in on a secret: it will make your house spell divine...think warm peanut butter.

All you need are 5 simple ingredients...

Annapolis & Company | Peanut Butter Granola
Annapolis & Company | Peanut Butter Granola
//Peanut Butter Granola ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
 Lay parchment paper down on cookie sheet and set aside. 
Combine peanut butter and honey in a pot and stir constantly until melted, over medium heat.
Stir cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture.
 Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture {sometimes I add a little honey if it seems dry}. 
 Spread out oats mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes until granola is slightly browned. 
 Let cool until granola is crunchy. 
 SO yum. And SO simple.

Annapolis & Company | Peanut Butter Granola
Annapolis & Company | Peanut Butter Granola


April 15, 2014

tank c/o: Wonderfully Made

White Plum Giveaway.

April 14, 2014

Very excited to be sharing White Plum today! This dress is one of my all-time favorite dresses! My favorite colors are mint and peach so this is the perfect combo! Plus it's cute + comfy! Ains & Apple's adorable leggings are from White Plum as well and all week Ains has been calling them her "cool pants". She has been wanting to wear them everyday ;) ! 

They are a beautiful shop, be sure and check them out!

Use coupon code: THEWIEGANDS20 for 20% off (valid through Sunday, April 20)

 Plus they are giving away a $150 giftcard today, amazing!!

"When Hilary Zwahlen started White Plum, she envisioned a unique way to channel the travel-all-over-town-looking-for-the-best-deal-with-kids-screaming-in-the-car mentality she learned from in her mom in the 1980’s. She wanted to make the killer deal available to people like her -- people who have jobs or school or kids and don’t seem to have enough time to get it all done. 

Hilary found that she had a passion for creativity, which eventually led her to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, dancing, and hosting. 

When she took on new roles as a wife and then a mom, Hilary realized she still needed a creative outlet. She sat down with her husband, Rod, and the two of them decided to figure out a way to harness Hilary’s creative energy to create an accessible lifestyle brand. Thus, White Plum was born. 

At White Plum, we’ve found that the way to succeed as a business is to help our customers succeed; we believe the best deal for you is the best deal for us." 

Use coupon code: THEWIEGANDS20 for 20% off (valid through Sunday, April 20)

Giveaway: $150 to shopwhiteplum.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway/sweepstakes rules: No purchase or payment necessary. Sweepstakes prize is listed above. By entering this sweepstakes, the entrant acknowledges that they are eligible for this sweepstakes according to all laws set forth by their home state. Entrants who do not meet these criteria will be disqualified. Winner is liable for any taxes associated with the prize. The promotion period for this giveaway will close next week and a winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter. The winner will be contacted privately and CaseyLeigh may choose not to publish the winning entry on this site. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes sponsored by WhitePlum.

lately in photos.


Also wanted to share these two gorgeous art pieces from artists tagging Ains on instagram with #wiegandcritters ..... seriously we love them!