happy new year . 2019

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The Christmas light are being taken down and the ornaments tucked away, the purging of closets and toy chests is in full force, pencils and keyboards are working away at those goal lists, and marked-up 2018 calendars are making way for fresh new ones with 2019 filling the date space.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

My personality loves the new year; the fresh, the clean, the anticipation of what’s going to fill our days, the hope for new adventures and memories and deeper growth. I love tucking away the moments and memories from the past year to be cherished or learned from in those mental keepsake boxes we all have, and pulling out a new one just waiting to be filled.

This past year was a beautiful one for our little band of four, an ebenezer year for us I think. Starting the year having just welcomed Jack into our world was truly remarkable and there are so many reasons why I cherish the way the Lord orchestrated the timing of Jack the way He did. This year, I turned 30 and I couldn’t have been more excited. 29, though it held one of the most treasured parts of my life, was a rather difficult year for me, and I was ready to meet 30. 30 has been one of the best years I’ve lived. This year, Jas started his MBA program, has done remarkably well in it, and balanced a full-time job, school, and a side-job many weeks of the year, all the while not skipping a beat as husband and daddy. I couldn’t be more proud of him or grateful to live this life alongside him. This year, AK turned 7, started 1st grade, and became a little woman. Her creativity is endless and her thoughts so deep, and watching her with Jack is magical. This year, we traveled to see family and friends, and were reminded again that the people we are surrounded by, near and far, are such a means of grace in our lives. This year, we had our second “just us” vacation and it was perfect and again, just what we needed.

This year, we learned more about how to live simply, to have margin, to discern and guard what the four of us need, to say “no” when it’s the wisest thing for us to do, to enjoy one another’s presence even more, to make the most of everyday, to fight comparison and practice gratitude, to put screens away and pull out books and game, to communicate better, to put one another first, to serve with joy, to take more walks and be outside, to dream more, to pursue creativity, to encourage, to challenge, to speak truth, to love well, to pursue relationships, to think well and wisely, to listen, to be patient, to make beauty with what we have, to be gracious and kind, to make messes, to try new things and celebrate small victories, to play more music, to light more candles, to have more dance parties, to stay within budget, to rejoice with others and weep with them too, to be hopeful and excited, to be honest in our struggles, to be joyful in our struggles, to be flexible, to let go, to ask forgiveness, to sacrifice and to save, to be together, to cherish these days, to make Jesus known, to trust Him more.

In so many ways, it’s been a simple year, and that is what we have loved. The heart work that’s behind that simplicity, though, has been profound and something, we see, that the Lord has been prodding us toward for many years now. To see that fruit come and to begin to enjoy it, even in those pruning moments, has been a thread of grace running through the 365 days of 2018. It’s a strong one, that thread, one of those that’s holds the work taut. I love how the Lord knows which threads to weave when.

I’ve loved this year He wrote for us.

I’m ready for the next one, too.

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 Very Autumn-ish List


With every entrance of fall comes our annual "meeting of the minds": the writing down of our fall plans. We take some time one afternoon or evening in early September & make our leaf-crunching, cider-sipping, pumpkin-carving list of all the autumnal delights we plan to enjoy.

Our list changes a bit with each year, especially with AK growing up & being able to lend her *almost* 6 year old little voice to the mix (which I rather love). But there are always the traditions that remain, the bits & pieces that, for us, are a integral part of making it fall.

And this year I have a new batch of sharpened colored pencils (which make me feel especially You've Got Mail-ish) & an empty journal to add a bit more creativity to our bullet list of ideas. There's something about seeing those reds & oranges spread across the page that give the words that make up that list a bit more life. It's the little things, right?

image via pinterest

image via pinterest

~ A Bucket List of Fall Things ~

collecting leaves on a walk through a park.

coffee shop runs for pumpkin, chai, and caramel flavored beverages.

picking apples at our favorite family farm.

a family photoshoot.

lighting pumpkin candles every single day.

making our "thankful" tree for November.

baking multiple loaves of pumpkin bread, with and without chunks of chocolate. 

multiple walks on our favorite trail in town. 

picking out new soup and stew recipes to try.

an evening of pumpkin carving and s'more making in the back yard.

game nights in the sunroom with candles lit, cider piping, and wool blankets spread out.

viewings of You've Got Mail and Anne of Green Gables.

rotating a sweet bowl with fillers from a variety of Target candy bags.

multiple trips to aforesaid family farm for pumpkin donuts, cheese, cider, and wine.

reading in the sunroom with the autumn breeze blowing through.

afternoons of more baking with AK while our soundtrack playlists serenade us.

Saturdays of college football and good food.

quiet times to think and be.

setting up baby boy's nursery and AK's big sister room.

visits from family and friends.

pumpkin donuts for breakfast.

buying pumpkins and mums for our front stoop.

re-reading Anne of Green Gables.

our family vacation to Rosemary Beach.

celebrating the birthdays of both my J and our AK.

walks in the evening in the crisp autumn air. 

recording our days and the happy moments and events that fill them. 

This list may be added to as the days go by, but already I think it's brimming with good things.....cozy things.....fall things. Sharing this season with my darlings is what makes these fall days what they are and each year, as AK grows up, there are more nuggets of happiness to be found.

I rather think next year I might just come undone when it's the F O U R of us and we are introducing little man to this most beloved season. I see it now: J carrying him on his shoulders through rows of apple trees, AK teaching him how to carve a pumpkin and handing him "his own" special leaves to hold, putting his little painted handprint on our thankful tree, and all of us just drinking him in as he's donned in his darling plaid shirt and his miniature-sized moccasin holding a piece of sugar-coated pumpkin donut in his chubby hand. Magic.

So tell me, sweet friends, what fills your fall bucket list? What are you favorite traditions, your most savored recipes, your go-to fall beverage? I'd love to know.

Have a gorgeous Tuesday!