Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, sweet ones. Thank you so  much for receiving my "Thankful List Link Up" idea with enthusiasm yesterday. Even if only a couple people join in for awhile, we'll keep it going and hopefully watch it grow. I love the idea of cultivating a space in which we intentionally gather and pour out gratitude once a week. The posts that Cami and Janiene shared are so great, go take a look if you haven't already.

So....Friday Favorites! There's a lot of fun stuff to share this week. Let's get to it.

Favorite Quotes:
Posted by Lemonade Makin' Mama on Instragram. 

I especially love this one. Enthusiasm comes naturally to me and sometimes I feel like some people just don't get it. So, smile on friends. Get excited. No apologies! Posted by Dani Hampton

And then this one from Joyce Meyer---isn't it good?

Favorite Pumpkin:
A hen and her chicks, created by my friend Angie. That gal is FULL of creativity and I just love this!

Favorite Link:

Favorite Recipe:
My friend Katie shared this recipe for Starbucks Pumpkin Scones with me and I can't wait to try it.

Favorite Thanksgiving Table Inspiration, because hey- it's almost November! Whoop!
So, do you ever start looking back at old photos when it's late and you should really be going to bed? Last night, I started looking through pictures from around this time last year and I came across these ones from Thanksgiving at my sister's. Her table was so gorgeous!
The table was covered with brown paper and at each person's spot, she created a space for writing what you're thankful for.

The candle holders were made with real wood that I believe my bro-in-law drilled out to hold a small candle. Lots of baby's breath in vases wrapped with twine matched perfectly with lots of candle light.
Fresh rosemary decorated each place setting and the name cards were made with a simple, shiny paper or ribbon.
A simple rosemary wreath, tied with twine. Inexpensive and beautiful! 
 Great job, Sal. This table was so inviting and beautiful.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thankful Lists/ A Link Up/ Join in?

So....I'm thinking that I want to try something new around here and I'm inviting you to join in. On Thursdays, I'd like to share a simple post of what I'm thankful for and if you're interested in doing the same, you can link up your posts below. Our posts can be words only, photos only or both, if that's your thing.

If you don't have a blog, you can post the photos and words of what you're thankful for on Facebook. I'll put a link to where you can do that.

This invitation to join in sharing our Thankful Lists is all a bit rough right now as I just woke up and my coffee is only about 1/4 of the way gone. I just can't let it go though so, I'm going for it and I really hope to see what others are thankful for as well! Anything goes, because there's always something to be thankful for, right?

Right now I'm thankful for....

•Right now I'm thankful for......The smell of oranges and a girl who appreciates good smells as much as I do.
•Right now I'm thankful for......Quality time with Judah working on his sight words yesterday. Together, we came up with about 5 different games, just using his sight words flash cards. Seeing him having fun learning makes me so happy. 

•Right now I'm thankful for......New possibilities. Sometimes I wish I could just have someone really smart sit down and tell me exactly what would be best, when I come to a big fork in the road, but we've been given the gift of choice and that's a blessing. I think it's better to be a little uncertain from time to time, than to not have any choices at all.

 •Right now I'm thankful for......Happy hens that lay pretty eggs.
•Right now I'm thankful for......A warm house. We (as in my husband) recently turned our heat back on and the house is cozy enough for my Mama, which means I'm practically sweating.

•Right now I'm thankful for......Like-new hand me down clothes for my kids and the opportunity to pass our things along to others. The generosity of others has shown me how loosely we should hold onto our possessions. There will always be more clothes, more toys and more stuff. 

•Right now I'm thankful for......Late night Target trips with my sister, where we quickly grab the things we need like soap and peanut butter and then spend the rest of our time gawking over the amazing Christmas decorations.

What are you thankful for right now? Share below, even if it's just a picture or two!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I thought about these words a lot yesterday. I'm always doing "something", but honestly, this space has been quieter lately because I feel like much of my life is not hardly blog worthy. I feel like the internet wants to see big and fancy barely attainable lives that very few people really live, but look so shiny that they're appealing. I've always believed that no life is ordinary and that everyone has a story to share in one form or another, but right now, I'm in that place where my life story feels like it's not exciting enough for anyone to read and that's hard for me.

See, from time to time, I get stuck in that comparison trap and that's when my words and photos seem like they hardly measure up. And you might be wondering why I'm sharing this, like why would I tell you that I'm struggling with comparison to the point of hardly wanting to blog anymore?
Well, let me tell you why.....

More times that I can count, I've had another blogger or a person that creates art of some kind, tell me that they stopped because no one read it. The conversation always goes something like "yeah, I used to blog, but no one read what I wrote so, I quit." I so get it, but I still hate hearing that. Comparison stinks and it kills creativity. If I could squash anything, I'd stomp on comparison.

Often I wonder if the internet has room for the blogging Mama who really lives an "average" life. My life is far from super fancy. I won't be giving you a home tour anytime soon because I think it's a bit creepy to show the world every room in your house and my kids get to dress themselves most of the time so, if you're looking for a family that looks like a magazine spread, we're out. We aren't all organic and we don't have any crazy food allergies that you'll be amazed at how we live with.

I don't have a self-timer on my phone {yet} for an awesome selfie and I'm not working on ANY crafts right now. None. But, I'm so happy with this "average" life. I think we're as normal as they come, but at the same time so very far from normal, because what is normal anyway?

Yesterday we did school at home and then I took the kids for a walk outside. If we stay in for too long, I feel like all they do is destroy the house so, outside is one of my happy places. They ran and chased mid-air leaves as they fell from big maple trees. Later, I put laundry away and found Lego guys purposefully placed in my laundry pile.

After dinner, Judah and I went to a little costume dance party that his school was having. For the first hour, he was glued to my side. His hand in mine or his arm around my neck. As the other kids ran crazy and danced, he whispered "Mama, I love you." I know it won't be this way for long, so I'm soaking it up.

As we sat there, one of his little buddies came over and sat next to us. I whispered to Judah that he should offer his friend some of our popcorn so, he set it down between him and his buddy reluctantly picked up the bag and had a few bites. Silently they ate popcorn together for awhile and then they started playing together.

They both agreed that they don't like to dance so, they spent the last hour jumping off the stairs together. Counting as loud as they could 5! 4! 3! 2! 1! JUMP!

When we got in the car, his face red and his head sweaty, he told me that he'd been afraid at first, but he had a lot of fun at the end. I love that. 


Up until recently I'd only heard of babies that climb to the the middle of tables and do crazy things like pull chairs over to get on top of counters....Suddenly, this is my view every time I turn around. #busybaby

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Us Lately

After not writing for almost a week, it's hard to sit down and know where to even begin, but here I am. Kids are asleep, headphones are in, Pandora is cranked up and I'm here. are you? Is headphones even a word that people still use? How was your week?

I thought I'd share a bit about mine. Paisley turned 4, which was awesome. By nature, she's super expressive, which makes celebrating with her extra fun. When something makes her happy, it seems like she might just about explode with joy. I LOVE this about her. Please always be this way, Paisley girl. Feel it BIG!

On her Birthday, I got up nice and early to make her bacon and to put some of those white powered sugar donuts out on the table for her. I know, I know... bacon and donuts for breakfast.....not the most healthy, but she loves bacon and when it's your Birthday well, anything goes around here!  Just as I was stepping out of the shower, I heard her jingling down the hallway, her arms decorated with every bracelet that she owns.

I didn't even have a chance to prepare her breakfast before she was up. She just knew it was her birthday and she awoke well before the birds. So, I squeezed her tight, reassuring her that yes, it really is her birthday and then I cooked that bacon and put those donuts on little pink plates, while she snuggled with Daddy and Judah.

Her whole day was so special. At preschool she wore a special crown and had cupcakes with friends. After that, two of her girlfriends came over. They ate lunch, made necklaces, I painted their fingernails and toes and we all belted out "Let It Go!" more times than I could count. Those girls are such sweet friends and it thrills me to see her have these friends in her life that she really loves and cares about.

Later in the day, we had a small'ish family party. We thought it would be special to Paisley if we ALL dressed up so, even my Mom, sister and I dressed as princesses. I've found that costume parties always bring out a different, less serious and more fun side of people. Even Grandparents get into it and the kids totally get a kick out of that.

After dinner, the we all  played charades . Holy smokes, it was absolutely hilarious watching the kids (and grandparents). I'm literally laughing right now thinking about my 5 year old nephew acting out "trying to pull on pants that are too small". Oh my word, best laugh in a long time.

From what I've experienced so far, I feel like 4 is simply a glorious age. With both Judah and Paisley, 3 was a tough age. Then when they got closer to 4, things seemed to take a huge turn. Honestly, I don't even know why they call it the "Terrible Twos". Personally, I've found 2 to be not so bad, 3 NOT fun and then 4 is when your sweet child comes back around. So, as we enter this new year, I only see good things ahead. It just keeps on getting more and more fun as a Mom and I truly mean that.

So often I see Moms who are simply not enjoying Motherhood and it makes me sad because I've BEEN there. Honestly. I've sat at a table with other women and admitted that I'm just not enjoying it. The good news is that those feelings usually have a way of working themselves out. I felt desperate to "enjoy" it more a few months ago. I think what it took was slowing down and remembering what it takes for us personally to thrive and going back to those things. Now, I just want to encourage other Moms to enjoy it as well, because yes, being a Mama is hard, but it sure is a gift!

Anyway- enough about that. I wasn't planning on going there....

Another big thing that happened last week was a trip to the Department of Licensing office with all 3 kids. For some reason, DOL offices totally intimidate me and when I discovered that my license had been expired since MAY, I was pretty sure that they were going to lock me up or make me take the test again right there with all of my kids. Oh my, can you imagine?

So, Friday morning, the kids and I hit up the local DOL. I was scared, you guys. The DOL is known for their crazy long waits and less than friendly clerks. Well, I've just go to tell you that the DOL redeemed itself. Believe it or not, we were the ONLY ones in there, they didn't lock me up or even give me a bad time for having an expired license. The guy even called me "Dear" and the kids were actually SAD when it was time to leave. It was unreal, like a Christmas miracle, before Christmas.

10 minutes after walking in those doors, I told the kids that it was time to go and they looked at me in disbelief. I'd prepared them to sit there for a long time and when I said we were done, they couldn't even believe it.

So, the moral of my story is to A: Check and see when your license expires, if you're like me and you don't look at your license often and B: Give the DOL a chance, you might be surprised.

The other big thing that happened last week is that we got rid of our rooster. To some, this might not seem big, but these things are sort of in the "big" category in my life. Let's just say that Mr. Darcy was not kind. He was roughing up the hens and he was being aggressive towards all of us. His attitude toughened me up quickly. When I came out one morning and saw blood on one of my favorites, "Big Mama", I knew he had to go.

My sweet friends at Adalyn Farm were getting ready to process turkeys and they offered to take him for us. I'm telling you, this was NOT easy for me, but I loaded him up in a dog crate and took him over. I couldn't help but call my sister and tell her about how brave I was being. I needed her re-assurance that yes, this is possibly a sign that I'm getting a bit more tough. Maybe, just maybe, in 10 years I'll be less of a sissy and we'll be able to have a cow or something. One step at a time.

The hens are happy to have him gone. The whole atmosphere out in the coop has changed. Now they're all laid back, like they're on a vacation in Hawaii and it's nice to be able to pet them and hold them again, without a mean rooster coming after me. It's like the hens feel as if a weight has literally been lifted off their backs. Sorry, bad joke- just couldn't help it.

A few photos from our life lately:

There's been lots of dancing going on around here.
Just "testing" her cake, while I was making it.
Baby wearing. 
A superhero cape tied on works well for this. 
 Eliza grabs her, rocks her and says "shush! shush!"
 Happy Birthday to you, sugar plum!
 Princess Auntie Sally. Thank you for being so fun.
 4 candles, pink frosting and sparkles.
 3 generations of princesses.
The DOL. Just look at that! Seriously, a miracle.
The gorgeous Fish Tacos that my sweet friend Nancy made for our IF: Table dinner. Oh, I could go for more of these right now. So good.
 The kids newest thing: Playing Go Fish together. It's so awesome to see that we're entering that "playing games together" phase.
So, that's a bit of what we've been up to lately. What's been going on in your life?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dreaming Out Loud

On one of my most memorable walks with my sister, she asked me what things I'd like to do in my life, that I haven't done yet. Gosh, I love questions like that. I love talking hopes and dreams with people, but unfortunately, it's not usually part of everyday conversations. For the next few miles we talked about flying (her, not me), we talked about family sizes. We talked about biological kids and non-biological. We talked about farm houses, chickens, gardens and careers.

There's something about dreaming out loud that gives our dreams a little boost. Tugs in our hearts are paired with accountability and support and before we know it, those dreams start to become reality.

I'm a firm believer that the things that give us goosebumps are there for a reason. That thing that makes your heart pound and brings little tears to your eyes? Yeah, I think that's a passion that God gave you on purpose. It's not something just to be brushed under the carpet. Pull it out. Tell someone about it. Get someone on your team who helps you believe in yourself.

Tonight when I put Eliza to bed, I told her that she can be anything she wants to be when she grows up. Her biggest obstacle will simply be believing in herself. I want to plant those seeds of belief in her now. I want to hold her tight and tell her daily that she can do anything that she sets her mind to.

The same thing goes for us grownups. If you want to write a book, what are you waiting for? If you want to play the piano, then do it! I've been seeing so many posts lately where it just feels like people are throwing in the towel. They're expecting failure, before they've even started! Why are we giving up so easily or living like we don't have a choice?

So, I thought I'd dream out loud a little, because maybe if I do it, you will too. Or maybe you'll see that you're not the only one who is extremely thankful for your life, but has an ache for something a little different. We can practically burst with gratitude for the present, while planning for what's ahead, yes?

So, what's been going on in my head?
Well, here we go.....
I dream of selling our house within the next year or so and buying land and an old house to restore. I dream of a large garden, a field for our kids to run all day in and old apple trees. I want to go outside and drink coffee with my jammies on and I want to run in the sprinkler in my swim suit, unafraid that my post-baby body might cause the neighbors to wish for summer to be over. I want to paint late into the night with my husband and buy a goat or two, since I've heard that they need other goat friends.

I dream of a house that's comfy, inviting, not perfect, but full of character. I dream of buying a house that others might think is a big, old mess and then working as a family to restore the beauty that it used to have. And if we had to live in an RV for a month or two, well call me crazy, but I'd do it.

The idea of going through everything that we own and downsizing to live more of a minimalist lifestyle is also super appealing to me. I'm not much of a "stuff" person. I've learned that I live life better when my home is filled with less. I think clearer, my kids can find things easier and they actually play better when we have less clutter. With all of my heart, I believe that less is more.
While I'm so thankful for where we're at right now, farmhouse dreams and land fill my head.

What are you dreaming of right now? 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fragrance Lake

Today I'm joining in with the Simple As That blog and sharing the simple things that are making me smile right now. 

Simple things Sunday is about slowing down and capturing life’s everyday details. Taking joy in the simple things is the focus and Sunday is the day we gather together to reflect on our experiences from the week and share our photos with each other.

Tonight my legs are tired and I think I still have this silly perma-grin on my face from our ladies hike this weekend. These ladies hikes are one of my favorite days in the entire month. I just can't say enough good things about these girls. I love them and I love this amazing area in which we live!

A few photos from our adventure out to Fragrance Lake:
Pre-hike selfie.
My dear pregnant friend, Nathalie and my sister-friend. I love these girls and check out the cool trees growing on the rocks!
On the way to Fragrance Lake, there was a short little detour off the trail that took us to this view. Totally worth extra half mile. This was gorgeous!
 More of that view. If I'm correct, I believe that we're looking at the San Juan Islands here.
Signs of fall were sprinkled all over this hike. Orange, red and yellow leaves were everywhere. The kind of leaf covered trails that make you want to shuffle your feet, just so you can hear the sound of the leaves crunching loudly below your boots.

 When we reached the lake, we stopped and had lunch. This is a hike-in only lake and it was so peaceful out there. I definitely want to come back in the summer and maybe go swimming, and trust me, that's saying a lot. Normally the thought of swimming in a lake kind of grosses me out, but not this one. It was so clear and clean looking, I think I'd go for it.
Fragrance Lake.
When I got home from our hike, it was back to normal life. The kids and Daddy had carved pumpkins, a baby was napping, a little princess was spinning around singing "Let it Go!" and a boy was getting ready to go out and mow with Daddy.
Normal life is always sweeter after a little time away, fresh air, exercise and good conversation. Tonight I'm thankful for fun friends and for this beautiful area that we get to explore.

What simple things have you enjoyed this weekend?

Friday, October 17, 2014


Favorite Quote from the Week:
Favorite New Discovery on Instagram: Darling Magazine. Gorgeous photos, great inspiration. Go take a look, your eyes will thank you.
Favorite Learning Videos: 
This morning, the kids were asking me a crazy amount of questions about vowels, so like all good Moms do (haha!) I hit up YouTube. Bam. I found exactly what I needed and then a few more. These learning videos are short, but they're so good and my kids love them. 

Here's the vowel video that we watched during breakfast. As far as what I saw, the rest of their videos are really great as well.

Okay, so since we're talking about vowels...I have to share this video as well. If you have a boy who's into Batman, you'll enjoy this. Otherwise, you might think I've completely lost it.

And lastly, there's this one. The Reading Machine. 
Favorite Read from the Week:  

Favorite Kids Outfit: 
This makes me wish Judah was still young enough to let me pick my clothes. 
Outfit inspiration from Taylor Joelle Designs

Have a great weekend.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...