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

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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!