a post wherein I write for the first time in a while

It’s been a minute.

4 months of minutes.

On the one hand, I’m sad about that. I miss creating in this space, learning to craft the words that I share with you all.

On the other hand, though, I am thankful. I’m thankful that it’s been 4 months because in those 4 months it’s been a learning of unfurling my tightened grip on, “of course I can do all the things”, and realizing afresh, “oh right, I can’t”. More than that, too, is that I really don’t want to. I gave up rest trying to do it all and that was a sad trade. Not just the physical rest that is relinquished when I’m running around like a mad woman, but the soul rest that is neglected when I’m acting in such a way as to say, “catch ya later, God”. Good things don’t spring out of that.

So, 4 months it has been. In that time my son has gone from the occasional timid step to running laps in the house, my husband has completed another MBA class, and my daughter has gained that gap in her mouth that brings with it her mother’s song and dance routine to “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”. We’ve begun planning AK’s 2nd grade year (someone please explain HOW), we’ve hosted sweet family, we’ve taken a trip to Colorado to visit more sweet family, we’ve traded in snow days for tank-tops, we’ve begun planning a vegetable garden for next year, Jack’s word count has tripled, and, well, we’ve just lived life.

It’s been sweet and oh so stretching, new and routine, happy and hard, peaceful and stressful. It’s been LIFE, in all its hope and hard-won holiness. There’s been celebration and sweet provision, anxieties and arguments, the best kind of laughter and the painful kind of tears. It’s been a weird weave of normal everyday and not what we expected at all. In it all, those bonds that weave the 4 of us together have had kinks and knots worked out of them, stray strings that need to be pulled have been, and the cord as a whole has tightened. They’ve been a blur, these 4 months, but as we’ve been on this side of things, able to take some deep breaths and survey what’s come, we’ve seen the fresh shoots of growth and the ripe fruit the Lord has worked out from it all.

And we are grateful.

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In completion of this little post today, I thought I’d share a few bits and pieces that I’ve been enjoying as of late. A few favorite things, you know, which are always a delightful thing to be able to share.

Madewell is having a 25% off summer must-haves sale right now! I ordered this tank in the heather mercury color. I love their whisper cotton v-neck tees, so I’ve no doubt I’ll feel equal love about the tanks.

Another classic tank that I’ve added to my wardrobe this month is this striped tank from the A New Day line at Target. Just an easy comfy tank that I’ve worn dressed up and down many times already. Such a good price, too.

I’ve been slowly getting rid of the kid’s plastic plates and cups collection we’ve accumulated over the past few years and replacing them with bamboo pieces. Love these plates from Amazon that we got in the “coastal” color scheme. AK wanted the set that “looked like the ocean”. :)

We are in the midst of planning our women’s fall retreat at church and the topic this year is “Emotions” — we’re going light. I was so excited to discover the book Untangling Emotions recently and have just begun to work my way through it. The Lord is so kind in the details.

I’ve listened to almost every episode of the Good Enough podcast and every single one has just been excellent! The Self Care, Pinterest-Perfect Homes, and Work and Vocation episodes are definitely my top three, but truly, just listen to all of them. Thankful for the wisdom, humility, and grace displayed in these conversations.

I LOVE french toast, like really really. So, when our dear friend, Rachel, came over for brunch a couple Saturdays ago I had to make Peanut Butter Crunch French Toast from the Half-Baked Harvest cookbook. If for only that recipe, you should buy that cookbook. The peanut butter and the crunchy topping with the cinnamon whipped cream and the fresh berries!? Oh glory! Meanwhile, though, I’d try the Whipped Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast with Raspberries. It’s going on my list. I cannot imagine you’d be disappointed. That girl knows her way around a kitchen.

There’s always more to share, but I shall stop there.

Enjoy your Wednesday, lovelies!

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friday chats || jan. 18. 2019

Hello, my friends!

I hope you’ve had such a beautiful week!

Ours has been sweet, though a bit of a blur as sleep has continued lacking and we are still trying to catch up from last week. Thankful, though, for the ways we’ve seen grace multiplied. We were able to get little man into the doctor and discover he had his first ear infection — poor buddy :(, but praise the Lord for medicine and seeing our boy get on the mend! Honestly, I was so thankful it wasn’t something more intense and the doctor said it was an earlier on ear infection, so God was so gracious in that way!

And oh my goodness, I’ve continued to just feel so loved by dear ones even days after my birthday. Surprise gifts being handed to me or showing up on my doorstep. The kindest words in cards or texts. Being taken to dinner by some of the best. Just feeling so encouraged, so loved, and so very grateful for the people that fill my life up. They are the loveliest, wisest, kindest, most thoughtful, generous, loving, and beautiful souls.

grateful, grateful, grateful.

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Onto MY FAVORITE THINGS from this week:

  • For my birthday dessert this year I wanted to try the chocolate roll recipe from the Magnolia Table cookbook. So on the afternoon of my birthday, J, Little, and I set to making it. It’s actually quite a simple process and the cookbook has step by step pictures of how to achieve the “rolling” portion which is helpful if you’ve never done it before! The batter is heavy on the egg whites with much less flour and this makes the cake so light and fluffy. The texture and weight is perfect when it’s not only filled with cream, but topped with a drizzle of homemade hot fudge and a spoonful of homemade whipped cream! It was the perfect ending to the day. I would buy the cookbook just for that recipe and Joanna’s homemade whipped cream — it’s my favorite.

  • We cleaned out our basement a week or so ago and are on our way to turning it into a playroom. I can’t wait to have that space set up for AK, Jack, and their friends to go disappear into for hours and imagine, create, make messes, and have a space all their own. I’m trying to piece together my ideas for storage, decor, and the larger pieces of furniture that we’d like to have in the space to make it delightful and comfortable for the kids, and a teepee has definitely topped the list. This sweet one I found on Amazon looks is a great price and looks like the perfect thing to encourages little dreams and adventures.

  • It is quite possible that I’ve mentioned this book to you all before, but Every Moment Holy is a book that I’d like to add to our bookshelf soon. It is a collection of liturgies for the everyday moments and make-ups of our lives. Such things like “a liturgy for the ritual of morning coffee” and “a liturgy for experiencing laughter” and “a liturgy for a husband & wife at close of the day”. It’s bound so beautifully and is something that just encourages a recognition of how profound and meaningful life, in all its various forms and parts, is meant to be, and how present our God is in it all.

  • Jack in these overalls from H&M. When we got them they were a bit too big for him and I have been waiting with bated breath to put them on him. :) They did not disappoint. oh my goodness. He is all sorts of heart-melting goodness in them! I want him to wear them every single day. I find that clothes from H&M seem to fit him well and last us well, too.

  • These Salted Chocolate Snack Bars from Pinch of Yum have become a decent staple for us. They are gluten-free, diary-free, and naturally sweetened. And so so good! I made them once when Meg and Zach (our sister and brother-in-love) were over and they have become a favorite for them, as well! I made a couple of batches for us all to take on our road trip to TX last Thanksgiving and they were the perfect accompaniment to our afternoon coffee pick-ups. I’m going to make another batch when Momma Coobs comes to town next week!

  • My sweet parents gifted me these mixing bowls for my birthday and I was giddy when I opened them! In the last 2 years my two largest mixing bowls had met sad ends so my bowl collection was sorely in need of increasing. These bowls are beautiful, so sturdy, my favorite colors (much more grey tones in there than the picture shows), and with the most helpful little spout on the end of each one. They have already been broken in and are just making my baking all the more happy!

  • This year I’ve begun using a journal my sis-in-love gave me for my “one sentence a day” writings down. I’ll share more on this later, but I’d wholeheartedly encourage you to purchase a simple journal like these and begin doing this for yourself. It’s already been a sweet rhythm for my days.

    Happy Weekending, lovelies!

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settling back in

Hi friends!

It's been some time. I've missed you guys.

Life has been a whirlwind lately, to put it lightly. To open up my planner and realize that we are close to the halfway mark of August just blows my mind. Where did the summer go!? To be honest with you, I am not mourning its passing as my crisp temperature-adoring, sweater-loving heart is eager to see the arrival of my beloved autumn come around the bend. 

I have missed this little space with you all. Though the load and the busyness of life the past weeks required the blog to sit silent, I have been so eager to return. An absence does good, though, for re-orienting and refreshing, and I've been grateful for that.

And I've just plain missed writing. I am far from an inward processor. No, no, it all must come out. Thankful, thankful, thankful for a patient, gentle husband who has logged maaaaany hours of sitting quietly next to me awaiting the thoughts to form into words that eventually result in my "aha!" moments. Jason Coobs, you are a good, good man. So, over the years, writing has become another outward processor for me. It's a help to see those words on paper; I see the patterns, the tendencies, the struggles. Through my writing, my journaling, my "word dumping" if you will, I more clearly see my heart. Though it may take me many a minute, an hour, a day to get those words out, it is sweet to me. So the longing to return to it has been great.

Now I shall dust off my keyboard, re-enter the land of blogging and give y'all a bullet point catch-up on the the last weeks of life:

-- We have moved. The full story shall be shared soon, but a little over a month ago now we locked the door to Springdale #311 after 3.5 years there and moved into our new apartment home. Though a bit unexpected and rather hurried, it was a move marked by a lot of grace, gallons of coffee, and a readiness to start this new season and fill the walls of this new place with memories.

-- A mark of that grace that was seen daily was in the beautiful people that make up the village we do life with. These people are kind, generous, thoughtful souls that are pictures of our sweet Jesus. Whether we see their faces week-in/week-out or whether they walk with us from a distance, they love us so well and we are thankful. 

-- We have been reminded, yet again, that parenting is an intense tool of sanctification and a very clear reminder of our constant need for the grace and strength of Jesus. Wowsers. The 4 year old stage, you guys. It's a wonderful doozy.

-- We went to visit our mountains. We got back last week from a sweet visit out west to our Colorado family. Always cherish those days with them; the laughter, the lazy mornings of coffee sipping and long chats, the dinners on the deck....so much goodness in those days. And those mountains and that open sky, they will always have a piece of my heart.

-- Our days are filled with good things: J is in the midst of studying for a major exam at work, we ordered schoolbooks for AK yesterday #alltheemotions, we are enjoying all the pool-time we can get, snuggling friends new babies, making fall plans, cracking open new reads, and settling into our new normal. 

It feels good to take some breaths after the whirlwind that has been our summer and look back and be reminded that the greatest mark over the summer has been that glorious, everyday faithfulness of the Lord. The resounding thought in my mind over the past days has been how very glad I am that I don't do this life on my own. He's given me my husband. He's given me my daughter. He's given me my tribe. And best of all, He's given me Himself. Thank you, Jesus, for holding me and all the pieces of this life. 

I'm happy to be back with you, friends. I hope you have the most beautiful Monday!