Finding Joy: A HodgePodge

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It’s funny how sometimes you feel like you’re going through the motions, moving through a funk, and then the next week, things change. I know for me, things don’t just change naturally; it is by the grace of God that things take a different, healthier direction, and I am so grateful for this!

It seems natural to go through times of feeling like you’re holding down the fort by threads while supporting your household… This is something I’ve been working through while staying home with my girls.  I’m happy to say working through it I am–and after many thoughtful talks with my husband, prayers together, time with iron-sharpening friends (you know who you are!), and time with the Lord, I am rediscovering the joys meant for me in this precious season of life.  What a relief! More on this another time; today, it’s all about the little things restoring my joy around my home. :)

First up: garden progress! We’ve been eating spinach, and just pulled a few radishes this evening. They were pretty good, not too spicy–to my surprise, Liv liked them. I think she loved their color more than their taste! Natalie will have to try them tomorrow as she conveniently fell asleep at 6:30 tonight…

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Purple petunias for Mother’s Day from my Mother-in-Law… love. This basket reminds me of the ones in Crested Butte–if you’ve never been there, you must go!

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And I received some lovely flowers from my pops today! What a surprise. These were my mom’s favorite rose colors–it’s been nice to see them open on the kitchen table and think of her today.

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Olivia & Natalie, whom I delight in more than I thought possible–right? How do kids do it? Magical, I tell you…

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I have spent some time this week combing through my Bible…. my favorite thinline Bible, mahogany brown with scrolly monochromatic etches on the cover, full of hope and encouragement.  And underlines.  Sometimes I know what I want to read–it’s a good feeling to grab it with a passage in mind–but this week, it’s been more of a meandering.  I love underlining scripture and jotting down notes or references beside verses… and thought it’d be worthwhile to notice what I tend to underline, see if there are any themes to my ‘notes to self’.

I’ve mostly stayed in Psalms this week, and found that I’ve highlighted a lot of verses about joy, delight, rejoicing, waiting on the Lord, and his attributes (rock, refuge, foundation, hope, strength, etc.). And the benefit of loving pens so much is that I recognize what ink comes from where, and sometimes when–so it’s been a neat way to meditate on God’s Word and what it’s meant to me over the years, and why.  So I’m treasuring that this week.  Kind of an impromptu study of sorts. :)

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Sparkly toes, ready for summer. I met my dear (and fellow preggo!) friend Leanne for lunch and pedicures a couple of weekends ago, and let the technician choose my color. My first thought was “disco ball”…Raul described it as an Eastern European Faberge Egg. Would be a good name for a polish! I like glitter, but these are a little outta control. And I’m almost getting too round to do anything about it at this point…

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Round, that is, with quite a surprise:

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It’s a boy…! We are thrilled! (And I am realizing I have much to learn…I can’t wait.) Where are you finding joy around you this week? Here’s to grateful hearts that look for the goodness of the Lord in our lives!

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Creative Saturday

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The art of the Saturday afternoon is relaxing in the best way you know how.  My in-laws kindly took the girls today, and after enjoying a lovely morning at InTea, I was able to channel my inner creative Thursday and sprawl across our living room and work some more on my garden journal. I’m glad inspiration hit me today–it was lovely timing.

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Remember me saying I was waiting for the right picture for the cover of my book? My dear friend Jona passed along a Bath & Body Works mailing, which fits perfectly… french lavender fields, anyone? I broke out my Brother label maker for the first time (love!) and also some metal tags my dear friend Leez gave me years and years ago. I’ve been saving them for the right project, and I’m so glad I waited–I’ll be using more of these here. (They peel n’ stick, which is awesome.) The one I used on the cover says “life’s simple pleasures.”

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I secured more paper over the cover’s edge with washi tape. I knew I wanted to collage over the resources listed on the inside of the composition cover…

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So I grabbed an old Anthropologie magazine. It’s from October 2013, and photographed in Paris, which fit into my  ‘lavender’ theme… Initially, I didn’t think I’d reap too many clippings from this catalog, which bummed me out… Usually they have creative textile spreads I’m always tempted to frame. :) I decided to just clip what I liked, which turned out to be fabric designs, wallpaper in the backgrounds, and various words here and there.

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I love how it turned out and am excited to get journaling. I’ve taken some garden pictures, I just need to print them out, and we’ll be on our way… Here’s to creative Saturdays!

Recently :: April

It’s not entirely fair to make this an April update, as it’s only the third… but it’s been a productive crafty afternoon, so here’s where we’ll start. (Today’s post is brought to you by two little girls who are actually having *quiet* time today, so I can focus on some creative endeavors… yay.)

Recently :: April

> I planted cool weather plants for the first time: radish, spinach, carrots, peas, and sweetpeas (flowers). I am happy to say the radishes are sprouting, as are a few spinach plants–I’ve never grown veggies this time of year, so I’m fairly fascinated that they are liking the cold temps. (I did grow carrots last year, but I’m sure I planted them at the wrong time…) I’m hoping most of these crops (“crops”? haha! We’ll see) are ready to gather by Mother’s Day/June time frame so I can add compost to the beds and plant warm weather plants… Tomatoes, and lots of squash/pumpkins. Can’t wait.

> A trip to Walmart this morning yielded some fun finds. A graph paper composition notebook for a gardening journal (inspired by this one), some inexpensive washi tape, and yarn (to finish the cardigan). I have been thinking about starting a gardening journal for awhile, then a friend mentioned it to me, and jump started my thoughts on the matter all over again… So I began one today:

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The purple hydrangea paper is from my wedding invitations, which I still love. I’m not finished with the cover, and am keeping my eyes open for the perfect thing to add… I toyed with my chipboard letters and papers and nothing was feeling right, so I’ll wait. It’s probably in some magazine somewhere, or card someone has given me, or something completely random and wonderful like that, and I’ll know it when I see it.

I love the idea of chronicling the evolution of your yard and how you’ve made it your own… so I will probably start there, with some pictures and details, a la the inspiration journal (link above).  We’ve done quite a bit to this house, inside and out, over the last 6 years–little things that have made a big difference to us. It’ll be fun to look up pictures to print, and revisit that. You know I’m going to love taping seed packets and such in here… ahhh.  I wish I had started this in 2008!

> In the last month, R and I have had a few awesome dates–more than we’ve had in awhile. Simple in nature, and precious to me.  Sharing a fajita plate at Chili’s… or going for a walk.  Trying to understand each other amid hectic, stressful work situations, each trying to lead in different ways and the stresses/pressures that come with that, the needs of two little girls, and all the other craziness that life brings daily.

Some days are determined to be difficult, no matter what you do. Stress and exhaustion disconnect you so easily… anyone else going through this? (And all the young parents said “Ay”… :) I encourage you to fight for your family, not with them, as easy as that can be sometimes… we went through a rough patch, but the Lord has been good to take us through a restorative time recently.  I pray He leads you and your spouse toward each other too, and heals whatever is going on that’s difficult and painful. (The fajitas at Chili’s are really good, btw…)

> And soon to be recent: My 16-week checkup for baby. Happy 4 months in utereo, little one! I am over the worst of the morning sickness, and now am just feeling pudgy and tired; I’ll take these two of the three any day. I keep thinking I feel tiny flutters a time or two a day…

Strangely, I got a pretty good jolt the other day, while I was yawning–it totally interrupted my big, eye-closed yawn and I must’ve looked stunned when it happened, because R gave me a funny look and asked if I was okay. It took me a second to realize the baby must’ve kicked me, and I burst out laughing. Wasn’t expecting that at all! I must’ve been sitting just right because that definitely isn’t the norm yet…It seems way too early to feel something like that, but I guess it just comes with the territory of being the third time around…