back at it

Hello all you lovely ones!

This is my first time sitting down to write since before Jack was born and I'm so happy to be back. My stomach is dancing with happy butterflies and grateful tears fill my eyes to be sitting back down to this place. I love my little space here. I love sharing it with all of you. It's sweet to have a space, whatever size and platform it may be, to share creative inspiration, heart thoughts, and life seasons, in all the parts and pieces of everyday. 

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Over the past weeks my mind has filled up to the brim with things I want to share with you all. Mainly heart thoughts and changes (which have been the most freeing!), but also all the good stuff of home, the kitchen, little loves, books, and the like. I just don't think I can type fast enough to share it all! But truthfully, it is going to be slow going at first as I'm still settling into life with two littles and learning to give myself grace in this wonderfully exhausting season of life.

Any particular things you'd like me to share first? I have my thoughts and plans, but I'm always up for adjusting, particularly if you all have ideas. You all inspire me!

For now, beautiful people, I shall leave you with a few snippets of us these days:

1. Our weather simply cannot make up its mind. We have bounced from 60 degrees back down to 40 and then shooting back up past 70! There have been many rainy days which you all know I never mind, but the restlessness it causes in our 6 year old and our fur child has left me wishing for a little more sun. ;) 

2. It has felt so good to get back into the kitchen again. I've realized again how therapeutic my kitchen is for me. It's been lovely to have some evenings of turning on Sinatra-esque tunes, pouring myself a glass of wine, and trying my hand at a new recipe.

3. My husband is incredible. He began an online MBA program 6 weeks ago and is completing his first class this weekend! On top of that he's working full-time, continuing part-time marketing work on the side, and being husband and daddy. In the midst of it all he has remained as present as ever, caring for us all always above himself, and gently walking through the journey that is postpartum with me. Last week he took both kiddos and the dog on a walk at a favorite trail of ours, giving me an hour of alone time at home to catch my breath. He's ever leaving me amazed and so very thankful.

4. We introduced AK to Sound of Music shortly after Jack was born, when J was still on paternity leave. It instantly became a favorite of hers and we have watched it numerous times since. It's such fun showing her the classics! Also, the scene where the children are singing to the Baroness and the Captain walks in and begins singing with them and all their precious hearts are filled up finally!? All. The. Tears. Every time. I just can't with that and the hormones.

5. AK and I started her back to school a few weeks ago and, though there have been hard moments and I know we will have more ahead, my love for homeschooling her has only increased. It's such a gift to sit across the table and watch it come together in her 6 year old brain, to see her make discoveries, and learn alongside her. And I treasure having her home and being able to pour those everyday life skills into her as we go about our days. I don't take this season for granted.

6. I'm flying through podcasts these days with those middle of the night feedings. The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, Journeywomen, Risen Motherhood, How I Built This, and A Couple Cooks being a few of the ones filling my earbuds. Any new ones I should be trying out? I just don't do scary.

7. Something that J and I did not do well last year was have dates. That, along with many other practical pieces of our everyday, is something we've committed to changing this year. And I'm thankful to say that we are going to have our fourth date this year on Saturday evening! A double date with the lil' bro and sis for our favorite Canadian brother's birthday! It's been a GIFT to have sweet siblings and precious friends come alongside and give us these times. Community is priceless, in countless ways.

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Okay, precious people, I'm going to sign off now. But two things in closing.....

One.......Pray for me, if you all would. The postpartum hormones have been a lengthier battle than I anticipated and the adjustment from 1 little to 2 has brought struggles I didn't expect, though struggles I'm so thankful to be facing. Everyday is beautifully imperfect and the Lord is humbling me and showing me my every-minute need for Him all the more and I am thankful, but your prayers are something I would dearly cherish.

Two......I'm just so happy to be back here with you all! Thank you for how you've walked with us and encouraged us and celebrated with us all that the Lord has done in our lives over the past few months. I praise Him often for you all.

Happiest Friday to you, friends!!!

a golden day

You know the chapter in Anne of Avonlea where Anne and a few of her dearest have a golden picnic? I always loved that chapter. Truth be told, I always wanted to have my own sort of "re-enactmet" of that day: make the food and the treats that they did, sans drinking water straight from the brook, gather all the goodies together in a picnic basket, and trek out into nature with some of my lovelies. I think AK and I shall do it still one day.

My sweetest part of the chapter, though, is the glow of it; the delight in all the pieces of it, the joy in simplicity. Reading the Anne of Green Gables books is a lesson in seeking simplicity, delighting in the little bits, the everyday, the mundane, and that is one of the many reasons why those books rank high on my list of all-time favorites.

The other day was a day that felt golden, like Anne's picnic day. Anne would find a more poetic way to say this, but it was just a really good day. When you wake up to snow falling, what could be more magical? I'm pretty sure AK thought the snow was her own special gift and I love that about it. She reveled in it; pulling open our balcony door to step outside and watch it fall 85+ times, saying, "I love the snow, Mommy" about every 16 minutes, and doing snow-induced joy dances around the apartment until bedtime that night. The girl loves that white fluffy stuff with a passion, and I think she won't ever stop eating it.

We ate breakfast as fast as she could put it away and donned our coats and gloves and snow boots so that we could experience our first snowfall of the season in all its glory. Between my kid and our dog, joy was flooding the property of our apartment complex. We walked, we held our tongues out to catch snowflakes, we made footprint trails in the fresh, untouched parts, and my phone held out just long enough to capture my girl in her element. Pictures like these are the best kind. It's just her.

When our fingers and toes starting losing all feeling we went back inside and baked magic bars, nothing was more fitting. We listened to music, we read, we wore comfy clothes and watched a classic music, all while seeing the snow continue to fall outside our windows. When J came home that evening we had roasted tomato basil soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. We built a fire and made AK's life a complete dream with a s'more and an episode of American Ninja Warrior. I don't think there was a happier kid as she laid her head down to sleep that night.

A day like that, ended with book stacks and an episode of Madam Secretary, is the very kind that gets planted in my memory as one of those great ones. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary, or seemingly significant that happened. There was no big news or no life-changing decisions made. There was just us, having our day, doing the things that we still needed to, but throwing a little bit of gold confetti in there as well. The everyday was the significant part

I saw the goodness of the Lord dotted across every bit of that day; soft reminders that He's present and lovely and so very generous. I can't get over how He continues to help me discover more of the beauty that exists in the minutes that make up the hours of my days, but every time I think I've gone the depth He says, "no, here's a little more. A little more of me shown through all the pieces of life I've given you to life."

Those golden days; they aren't as scarce as I thought.

recipe || greek yogurt banana bread


Fall is coming. There's a crispness in the air, the tone of blue in the sky is changing, the days are growing a bit shorter, my orange clove candle is constantly lit, that cozy feeling that solely belongs to fall is starting to make its presence known. I wore a sweater and jeans today and we had the only the screen doors shut so that the cool air could breeze through our house. So, naturally, I had to express my joy over these ever-increasing signs of fall by whipping up some sort of baked good in the kitchen.  

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup banana pulp mashed (about 3 ripe bananas)

1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup nuts

for chocolate chip banana bread

reduce sugar to 1 cup

add 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add vanilla extract, banana pulp, and greek yogurt, mixing well after each ingredient. 

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt to combine. Gradually add flour to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined on low speed. Mix in nuts until well combined.

Pour batter evenly into 4 well greased mini loaf pans and bake for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

for chocolate chip banana bread

After the dry ingredients are added to the wet ingredients, fold in chocolate chips.

original recipe source

notes:

*I didn't add nuts this time around.

*I forgot to reduce the sugar, but it still tasted great. ;)

*I baked it in two regular size loaf pans, and for the full 35 minutes.