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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friday chats

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Hello all you beautiful people and happiest of Fridays to you!

It’s technically still Thursday as I sit writing this at our coffee table, AK next to me with her math book open, and an open box of nerds as our little reward to ourselves. (This is what happens when you buy candy for your neighborhood trick-or-treaters a week before the actual holiday.) It’s a cozy autumnal day, the scent of the pumpkin bread we baked this morning still fills the house, and I’m looking ahead to a beautiful weekend.

We just got a delivery of a few packages, their arrival being heralded by our ever-faithful Winnie. One of these packages was from christynockels.com and carried with it a candle and a cd that I had ordered when she had a sale last week! I was so excited to finally purchase a copy of Be Held: Instrumental as the lyric-filled version of the CD has been beloved in our home since before Jack was born. I am an absolute sucker for a fall candle and when they are packaged as sweetly as this autumn one then I must bring one home. Also, her podcast is one of my top two favorites. I highly encourage a listen.

Another package was from Old Navy with the long peacoat I ordered on another great sale last week. Unfortunately, they are out of the color I ordered it in online, but they still have it in a dark heather gray. The fit is terrific — which has been a struggle for me with peacoats, to not have them look too boxy — and it’s nice and snugly warm. It’s a good staple coat and I’m glad to have it!

We are having a soup night tonight with a dear friend and we are quite excited about it! We’ve been anticipating it all week and the weather is just right for a cozy night of sitting around the table with bowls of hot soup, slices of crusty bread topped with cheese, and a glass of wine. For dessert we are going to use some of the orchard apples we picked last weekend to make this apple tart from the Pioneer Woman. It’s fall in a bite when you drizzle caramel sauce over it and, if you so desire, you can always nestle it next to a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Speaking of my top two favorite podcasts, the other is Journeywomen. It is just so good, you guys. Truly, I am so grateful for the podcasts Hunter and her team put out every week. What a gift! Every episode I am challenged, encouraged, spurred on, and just filled with reminders of good our God is and what profound grace He has shown to us! This past weeks episode on The Will of God with Jen Wilkin was fantastic. I have learned so much from Jen’s writing and speaking over the past several years and, more than anything else, she encourages me to be ever pursuing a greater knowledge of God and His Word, and I am so grateful for her example.

I don’t have quite as many favorite things or everyday joys to share with you all today, friends, but to be honest, this mama is tired. So it’s off to bed for me! Share with me anything that’s a favorite thing for you this week, if you’d like to. I always enjoy that. And I hope that you all have a simply lovely October weekend!

friday chats

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Hello lovelies!

Oh, the happiness that is filling up my heart as I sit here writing to you all again! Truly, it feels as if I’m sitting down with an old friend for the best kind of catch up chat. My heart has craved being back in this space of mine, writing and learning and connecting with you all, and I am so grateful to get to say “hello” once again. The break was so needed and so restful and, honestly, I wondered if I would realize I didn’t miss my blog that much and didn’t have a desire to come back to it. Instead, though, I found myself more and more eager to return and, with my sweet husband’s encouragement, I write here again. It may not be as consistent here at first, but I trust and hope it will come as I figure out my new and needed balance. Day by day.

To be returning to blogging in my favorite month of all the year feels rather perfect, as well, and what better day to come back on than a FRIDAY! I love our friday chats and sharing with you all some favorite things and some everyday joys that have been filling up my days over the previous week or so.

Every morning when I come downstairs I light one of our fall candles and turn on some music to play softly in the background. One of my favorite and inexpensive little fall candles to keep stocked is this Heritage Pumpkin candle from Target. It may be small, but it’s mighty!

Friends, if you are like me and love to have fresh flowers in the house and you have a Traders Joe’s in your area, then you absolutely MUST get your fresh flowers there. They are always lovely, last so long, and are so well priced! Also, right now they have all the happy little mums and tiny pumpkins so you can fully pay homage to this season.

To say I am proud of my bestie would be quite the understatement. She, along with two of her good friends, founded the Dream Retreat and just ended their inaugural weekend of it last month. These 3 mamas all have precious littles who rock an extra chromosome and they have dreamed up this amazing weekend to be a time of rest, refreshment, and encouragement to families whose lives have been beautifully changed by Down Syndrome. It’s been INCREDIBLE to see the what has already happened and all that’s coming with this special retreat and I would love for you to go and meet my beautiful Liz friend on her blog and meet her darling boys, who I am so blessed to call my godsons. We have been forever changed by those little men and their incredible parents.

Speaking of that lovely friend of mine, she sent this craft mat to AK for her birthday last month and it is fabulous! It’s silicone so it cleans easily, it has little raised edges, and it’s a not-too-big-not-too-small size. With the colder months coming I would recommend ordering a couple of these for your kiddos for all those hours of play-dough and painting that you’re anticipating.

A new favorite show of ours, thanks to our sis and bro-in-law, is Somebody Feed Phil. It’s happy, it’s vibrant, it’s full of stunning places and mouth-watering food. You must watch it, friends. It’s too much fun not to.

Jas and I finished this book a few weeks ago and we give it a wholehearted endorsement. It was thought-provoking for both of us and such a good conversation starter with aspects we honestly hadn’t even thought about yet. Though there are things we already do and will do differently than his family chose to, we were spurred on by considering their example and seeking to implement principles and goals for our little family.

These henley tees are such a great staple for this season. They layer so well, are nice and comfy, and can be dressed up or dressed down which I love. I bought both the stripe pattern, of course, and the botanical green, which my J picked, and it’s perfect.

Okay, lovelies, tell me your thoughts! What are some of your everyday joys this week or something that’s a new favorite thing?? I so enjoy hearing these things from you all as it always brings new good things for me to discover or cook or read or listen to.

Have a grand October weekend and I’ll chat with you soon.