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

Hello, lovelies, and happiest of Fridays to you all!

I’ve loved this short week! Holiday weeks always give extra pieces of wonderful because it makes the work week shorter and our favorite guy gets days off more quickly!

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We’ve also been having a happy week because we’ve had Auntie Bear in town. Auntie Bear (Bear is her family nickname) is J’s older sister and oh, she is loved in this household! She and AK have a particularly sweet bond and AK had been counting down the days until her arrival from about the beginning of December. We’ve had a lovely week, in it’s sweet simplicity. Walks, trampoline jumps, movies and books, dance parties and snuggles, good food, many conversations, and ushering in the new year with sparkling apple cider and buffalo wings. Bear has been so thoughtful in her help to me, too, as she’s done many dishes, helped me cook and clean, and just poured out auntie love on the kids. Thankful for days like these with our Bear.

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To top off all this goodness my sweet man took today off so that we could have another day all together while Bear is in town AND he’s taking Monday off, too, as an extra family day before my birthday next weekend and before his next MBA class begins a few days later! Gosh, I love that man.

I do hope you’ve all had beautiful weeks ringing in the new year. Are you midnight people or there’s-absolutely-no-way-I-could-make-it people?

Now, onto MY FAVORITE THINGS from this week.

  • Our dear friends, the Noels, sent us such a thoughtful Christmas package and my gift was this beautiful Determination Cement Necklace from a collaboration that Liz did with Wells Cooperative. I’ve mentioned before about Liz founding the Dream Retreat with two of her good friends and any piece of the Dream Collection from Wells Cooperative gives back to the retreat. I love that! The pieces are lovely and so meaningful. I’ve asked for the Precious Gift White Agate Necklace for my birthday. I’ve seen it on Liz and it’s the perfect piece to wear everyday. I’m so proud of my friend!

  • My parents gifted AK Connect Four as part of her Christmas this year and we’ve had so much fun playing it with her. She’s become quite good at it, too! Sometimes I forget about introducing AK to the games J and I played growing up, so I was so glad to have this reminder of how something so simple as connecting 4 plastic circles could make for such good family time.

  • I chose several gluten and dairy free recipes to make for dinner while Bear is here because that’s the way she tries to eat on a regular basis. My brother and sis-in-love in TX also eat that way so Megan is a wealth of good recipes in that way! Megan had recently sent me a Pinterest board of some Whole30 recipes that they had tried and liked so I peeked at these as I was menu-planning for Bear’s visit. A couple nights ago I made these lettuce wraps and they were delicious! I substituted back in soy sauce because that was okay for us to use and I left out the water chestnuts because I do. not. like. them, but this recipe got a hearty “yay!” from all of us!

  • My parents also gifted the kids Ellie Holcomb’s new album, Sing: Creation Songs, for Christmas. It’s one I’ve been eager to try so we were so excited about it. It is excellent! So joyful, so fun, so full of good truth to fill our little’s ears. Several of the songs are absolutely dance-worthy, too. #5 is particularly happy and AK asks to repeat it at least 4 times in a row every time. I’m so thankful for good music like this. If you’ve never listened to Ellie Holcomb before you really ought try her Red Sea Road album, too. It is JUST SO GOOD.

  • This dusty pink short sleeve hoodie was a Christmas from my dad and I’ve been loving it! It’s so comfy and cozy, the shade of pink is perfect, and it’s a great length to wear with leggings. The Everyday & Company Shop is a new favorite of mine. I’m not spending shopping money right now (more to come on this later) but I’m keeping my little list going of some lovely staples to add to my closet.

  • We just watched Christopher Robin last night and, oh friends, I couldn’t have loved it more. It was every bit as sweet and comfortable and dear as you’d expect anything with Pooh Bear to ever be. I most definitely want to add this one to our family collection to watch for all the years to come. It was simply happy.

Any new favorite finds or moments this week you’d care to share?
I do hope you all have a beautiful Friday!

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!