our weekend

Here we are at the beginning of another week. It's mid February, people. Did time speed up? I'm really thinking it must have.

J and I were watching old videos of AK last night before we crawled into bed and it solidified to me that time, has indeed, sped up. And you know that ache you get when you see pictures or watch videos of your kid when he/she was still a baby?? Gosh, that's real. I look at her then and I look at this, basically, 15 year old standing in front of me and I just can't believe it. It's so good, though, all these stages and seasons with her. Each one challenging us and changing us and giving us memories in its own unique way. Each one causing us to look at each other and say, "Wow. The Lord was really, really kind and good and loving to let us be her parents."

This weekend was one of those that was filled with those AK moments that quickly formed into memories. Like when she came in the kitchen and asked to help "dwry the dishes, too" and she did it like a champ. Or when she put on her ballet clothes and did her "cle-as" for us. Or the homemade valentines she made for J and me and taped up on the wall in spots she knew we would see them. Or how patient and helpful she was when we were house hunting and running errands all saturday afternoon. Or when we had sword-fights with empty 2-liter bottles, played board games, and snuggled under blankets and read books before bed with a flashlight. Or when she had a meltdown, one of those really awful ones, and we had to leave church right then; and, in those minutes, we were reminded that she is His before she is ours, entrusted to us for this season, and as much as we want to change her heart, we can't, and we desperately, and always, need His grace.

This parenting gig, you guys, it is beautiful and it is soul-wringing.

Our Valentines weekend was simple for us, just how we like it. 

How was y'all's weekend? Any new traditions made or favorite traditions kept? Any new recipes that desperately need to be shared? 

our long weekend

leisurely mornings and slow paced days. autumn walks and halloween baking. couch snuggles and library books. crisp temperatures and cozy sweaters. movies and football. a target "date" and take out thai. mugs of coffee and hot apple cider. long chats and belly laughs. refreshed hearts and peaceful minds. 

just a few pieces of this perfect long weekend. goodness, it was needed. J and I have reminded each other about this fact no less than 32 times a piece over the last few days followed with a happy grin and an "I'm so thankful." having one more paid work day doesn't hold a candle to the good the last three days has done for our little family. 

there's a much deeper level of "ahhhh" that we reach when there's at least one more day tacked on -- it feels like a mini vacation of sorts. it gives us more time to let our minds be easy and process through the days we've had and the days we have coming up. it gives us more time to settle in and have those long talks filled with future dreams and wonderings and sharing those "so I've been thinking lately" type thoughts with each other. 

 our little bit needs these bits of reprieve, too; these leisurely, slow paced, unstructured days. the three of us are just alike. at our core we are homebodies, dream-filled, everyday-adventure craving homebodies, but homebodies that are most refreshed in our little haven, just us three.

days like these are sweet to the core. not to be lightly skipped over, but rather to be cherished. not to be flittered away, but to be thoughtfully purposeful in all their lovely unplanned-ness. 

I'm so grateful for the pieces of grace that have filled this long weekend.

a weekend adventure || camping

We had a camping adventure this weekend. We took AK camping for the first time last spring and since we walked in the door after that trip she's been asking to go again. There's just something that sinks into your skin as a kid going camping. It's adventure, it's focused time with one another, it's discovering the beauties and realities of nature and growing in awe of the One who created it all, it's hot dogs and s'mores, and snuggling down into a tent all together not caring about the uneven ground beneath your bodies because you're all cozied up together in a jumble of flashlights and books and sleeping bags and pillows. J and I have both hilarious and fantastic memories of camping in our growing up years and in our marriage and it gives us that warm, happy, "gosh, life is sweet" feeling to now be making camping memories with our daughter. 

^^^That is the perfect expression of how we all felt to be able to escape into the great outdoors for a night. After weeks of rather non-stop-ness, being able to just enjoy being and being together was refreshing for all of us.

AK found this little friend shortly after our arrival and, soon after, about 100 of this guys other little friends arrived and decided our tent was the perfect spot to attach themselves to and, for some, even begin weaving their little cocoons. When we crawled in our tent last night we could see many little shadows on the outside of our tent -- it was a bit eerie, like a caterpillar version of the birds.

The evening sun through the trees makes me happy in a Anne of Green Gables sort of way.

Let's be real, half of the reason we go camping is to cook marshmallows over the fire and smash them in between graham crackers and hershey's chocolate. Kudos to the person who first created this combination. 

J and I always joke that we go on adventures/trips/vacation to eat........except it's not a joke. When camping that means sausage, eggs, fresh fruit, donuts, and french press coffee -- we must always have good coffee. A little sales pitch here -- that Coleman Propane Stove ^^^ gets our full endorsement. 

This guy. To sit in the woodsy quiet and have heart talks together, to be still and lost in our thoughts and occasionally glance over at each other and say, "this is really nice", to sit and read books with a fire crackling next to us, to lay in the tent and look at each other over the head of our Little and smile that knowing grateful smile -- times like these are the pieces that fill up my heart. 

I had to share a series of AK's budding photography skills (we are still working on the focus button). In that first one she asked me to hold the marshmallow in front of the camera. :) I love her budding creativity and I love these pictures as evidence of that. 

And, Bit, I adore being your mama. You brighten my days, your growing wit keeps me giggling, your eagerness to help reminds me to never grow weary of doing the same, and I adore your bravery and determination. Every day is an adventure with you -- your delight in the simplicity of everyday is beautiful to me. Through your life I have been made more like Jesus and come to know and understand His love for me even more because of my love for you. I'm so grateful that you are the gift God gave me to make me mama. I love you, sweetest.

Grateful, on this Monday, for:

~ the calm of morning ~ cool breezes ~ all the mamas in my life ~ my Little's 3.5 year old jokes ~ what the week ahead holds ~ mother's day cheesecake ~ spending every day with my best friend ~

How was your weekend, lovelies?