Saturday, January 5, 2019

Hallelujah.



  I'm fully on the 'word of the year' bandwagon. I'm less of a lofty-goals-hustle-more girl, so picking a word to sort of focus on is more up my alley. Quiet and simple, steady, faith- those sum up the last few years for me. This time, I'm holding tight to Hallelujah. And, as usual, I have ideas in my how how that looks or why that its important for me to focus on. I'm also confident that, just as it always goes, those ideas will be turned upside down and I'll be surprised what God actually ends up teaching me from my word for the year.

  I could go on for a long time about how this word stuck for me (just sit and read the book of Psalms for a few months and it will probably stick with you too!). But it really all comes down to wanting to get better at looking up more and spend less time looking down and around myself. Practicing praise always, not dependent of what life looks like or how the world tells me it should. And being really, really intentional about the whole thing.

  What about you? Do you pick a word? Resolution? Goals? Nothing at all? I'm all for doing (or not doing!) what works and makes sense for you. Wherever you fall on this whole New Year's thing, here are few of my favorite things for a fresh start or to kick off some fun things for the new year.

Podcasts:: this interview with Lysa Terkeurst will give you a swift kick in the pants on how to view disapointment, this one is good for reconsidering what contentment means (especially good for empty nesters!), and Aaron gives some amazing insight here on growing your faith here.

Decluttering:: I hear Emily Ley has a really good (and pretty!) book all about this and I love this book for its tips on decluttering more than just your home (It's technically about parenting, but I would recommended it for anyone!).

Goal setting:: Lara Casey is the pro on all things goal-setting! Other than that, the counselor in me wants you to know that whatever goals you set- make sure they are measurable, attainable, positive (ie. instead of lose weight, make it feel stronger!), and specific!

Songs:: Marching On, Counting Every Blessing, I'm Walking, Put It On the Altar

Fun habits to try on:: One Second Everyday (I will forever talk about how fun this app is!), pick a monthly memory verse (if you need a cute motivator these are cute!), send more snail mail to friends, start something (like a book or cooking club or monthly neighborhood hangout or a new workout class or a new hobby), sign up for chat books (make a series so it automatically prints and ships to you once the book is full! I can give you a code to get your first book for free!), read through the Bible this year (I'm loving this REALLY brief daily podcast to go along with this habit)


Friday, January 4, 2019

Lately.



  Does anyone else breathe the biggest sigh of relief when the holidays are done? I love all the busyness and fun of the season, but even more I love sliding back into routines and decluttering and just taking off lots of the pressures or expectations that come with holidays (and we added a move in the middle of it all this year!). Packing up the Christmas tree and having a clean state for the new year is the BEST feeling to me!
 
  Justin's birthday is this weekend, so I think we might do a few touristy things (like visit Savannah again!). We both need to shop a bit for our mini vacation coming up and carry the last few unopened boxes up to our attic. But other than that, I'm excited for a quiet weekend. With a crazy last 5 weeks (/months), it is nice to see our calendar full of nothing but free weekends!

  None of that has anything to do with this post, except that I haven't done a sort of life lately snapshot for awhile and that randomness sort of captures it right now. I love these little lists because they're such a good summary of my days!
 

Listening to the Wake Up Happy playlist on Spotify. So good!
Loving early morning workouts. I've been going to our neighborhood gym with a neighbor for the past two weeks and, even though I don't love rolling out of bed, it feels amazing to be back into a grove of exercising after year of not taking great care of myself.
Reading Mary Kay Andrews latest book (and then The Alchemist for book club!) And I need to start reading this book lent to me by a friend
Thinking about permanently having the boys share a bedroom. We bunked them together while we had visitors last week and are keeping them together for a bit longer since my mom is coming to town soon. They both love it so much, maybe we'll just leave them together and make Tyler's room a guest room/office? Give me all your tips for successfully having preschool boys share a room!
Making a grocery list to start making green smoothies every morning again. WHY DID I GET OUT OF THIS HABIT?! 
Dreaming up a dozen projects for our new house. A cute patio space, shared boys room, guest room/office, garage storage...now if only my budget grew as fast as my project list!
Missing a good coffee date with good friends. The hardest part of moving was saying goodbye to best friends and our early morning starbucks dates or cooking clubs. I'm a verbal processor and value quality time, so I'm learning that no amount of texts/facetime/voxer can fill that quite the same.
Trying to really practice being impatient and intentional with parenting. Lots of teaching the same lessons over and over these days! 
Working on writing more. Not necessarily for any purpose other than it feels like a good season to write. And hoping to make some of that include our adjustment to a new house and community!
Looking forward to our trip to Jamaica (without kids) in a week! My mom is coming to be with the boys while we're gone and then staying a few days once we get back, so I'm looking forward to her visit!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Making it home. (intro)


  Two weeks ago, our little family of four (plus two pups) moved from Indiana to coastal South Carolina. My husband's company opened an office down here over a year ago and an opportunity popped up for us to relocate. So over the past 2.5 months, we packed up our lives and said goodbye to to the life we spent almost a decade building in Indiana. As with just about everything, there is so much more to it than those three little sentences can say. 

  From the outside looking in, it probably seems a little crazy that we would move. Heck, it even feels a little crazy from the inside looking out! We loved our life and our home and have the best friends and family in Indy. But in lots of little (and big) ways, we were ready for this move and knew it was a good decision for us. It's definitely not easy to say goodbye and start fresh in literally every way. Even still, we are excited for this adventure!

  One of the biggest adjustments of this entire move has been the physical move from one house to another. In the past 3 years, we've lived in 3 houses. Two years ago, we bought what really truly felt like a forever house to us. Super spacious with room to grow, a big backyard, in a great neighborhood with the best neighbors, and just overall a place we could see our family growing into for years and years. 

  With a different housing market (we moved to a resort town by the beach!), we knew things would look different in South Carolina. But knowing and experiencing are different things! The house we bought down here is different in nearly every way from our last home- lots smaller, different neighborhood, reconfigured space, etc. I was telling a friend the other day that settling in has felt sort of like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. Unlike our last move, when we were upgrading and had more space than we needed, this time around we find ourselves scratching our heads and trying to make up for the spaces and things we don't have anymore. 

  It's awkward and sort of fun to retool our home from how it has always been in the past. Add to that trying to build a life from the ground up in a state/city where we know next to no one. You could definitely call it an adventure! 

  What is the point of an adventure if you don't embrace it? That's just what I'm going to do. My social calendar is pretty free and clear for the foreseeable future and it seems like the perfect time to do a bit more writing and documenting life- starting with how we're embracing our switch from our big forever home to a smaller, not dream house. Hope you follow along! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Faithful.


"Perhaps nothing encourages our hearts more than recalling events which we clearly see the power and love of God." 

    Without planning to at all, Justin and I both chose the word faithful for 2018. He had never ever chosen a word before (not his typical sort of thing) and I had never talked with him about my words in the past. So we were both surprised when it came up in conversation late last December. It was too specific to be a coincidence and we probably said something like "Oh boy, what is God going to try to teach us with this in 2018?" Oh. My. Goodness. We would not have believed it even if we could have snuck a peek into the next few months.
  To be honest, I think we both were viewing as an opportunity for us the practice being faithful to God. With our time and money and relationships. All of that stuff. Like, Lord, show me what it means to be faithful in all the ways. But as it turns out, God had other (bigger, harder, crazier) plans of what he would teach us (and is still teaching us!) about faithfulness. Isn't that always the case? I should know better by now than to assume what God is planning to teach me :)
  Instead of only practicing what it means for us to be faithful, we've actually been learning the life changing lesson of how abundantly and never-endingly God himself is faithful to us. For all of time and through every single situation- and not dependent on us at all. God is faithful. He just is. It's been true since the first day of creation and it will be true throughout eternity.
  Back on January 1st, Justin and I both would have said 'duh! We know God is faithful." We would have said we didn't doubt it at all. But you know, our lives and actions and thoughts probably spoke something different. Minute by minute, in the specific big and little details of our lives- I'm not sure we believed in God's faithfulness. Or at least we weren't acting like it. We held tighter to tangible things that made us feel secure and worked hard on our own, attaching God's name to things we did without really giving him a chance to show us himself.
  Today, more than halfway through this year, and we know differently. Our eyes look up more now than they ever did because we know, on the deepest level, that God is faithful. We keep our eyes open for God and his works and glimpses of how his faithfulness is showing up in front of us. I've been reading in the book of Psalms all summer and, even having read it a dozen times before, I have been completely struck by the theme of God's faithfulness woven throughout it. When David writes in seasons of truly crappy situations, he surely whines and complains and begs God for help- but he also ALWAYS praises God for his faithfulness. Like, God this sucks or is hard or weird or I don't understand. But you ARE good and I know that and it all comes back to that! The entire book of Psalms is one of recounting God's faithfulness.
  The actual events of 2018 aren't all that important, you could probably replace them with a season you've found yourself in before. And I have a feeling we'll have some more surprises and things turned upside down before we see the end of the year. So in all of that, God has showed me that the most encouraging thing in the entire world is to stop (and not be caught up in the unknowns or worries) and take note and look for his faithfulness. I mean, its there whether I take the time to see it or not. But I'm getting better at stopping. Taking stock. Holding up an ebenezer. Spending more time thinking about how faithful God is than worrying about things or wondering what the future looks like.
  All of this came to mind again today after I updated our Chatbooks series. A silly $10 photobook I fill up over time and order every three months or so. If they just sit on a shelf, I forget about them. But I pulled them down and laid them out and darn it if  I wasn't just blown away by those simple, everyday images of our family. God has been faithful. For years. For always!
  So I'm looking longer today at these pictures and what they mark for our family- God's faithfulness.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

First day of school.



  You started 4 y/o preschool today! And, for the first time ever (on a first day and for the first time since December) you were genuinely EXCITED to head to school today. I'm accrediting that to Jesus holding you close, two years of this under your belt, great teachers, and real friends you've made over the last year.
  This year, you are in the Alligator class. You want to be a Three Mouseketeer when you grow up (and an eye doctor like Dr. Moorthy). Your best friend is Navy (and Tyler is your 'best buddy) and you love playing superheroes and just about anything else that involves make believe.
  I'm sure we will feel this at every milestone, big or small, but I am so very proud of you today. The last 8 months have been long and hard and scary for you. We have asked a lot of you and you've battled a spirit of fear and anxiety (rightfully so!) as we've navigated all these health things. Through it all, I have prayed two things- for God to help you be brave and for him to give you a spirit of peace in the middle of it. Today, I saw those two things answered again!
  It makes me excited to keep watching you grow and tackle hard things and see God holding you close. You, sweet boy, are something special. Happy first day of preschool!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Running for good. v.|2


 Hey hey, I'm doing it again! Last year I ran with the Indy Monumental Half Marathon with Team World Vision and I'm excited to join in again this November.

  The whole thing was awesome last year- the training, running and learning more about how we can all be a part of the solution to impoverished communities around the globe. Honestly, running last year played a huge part in me realizing that this is one of my passions- working with others to make a difference around the world in tangible ways. So let's do it again! 

  I'm actually not a great/fast/strong runner. I have a pretty small network of friends and not a ton of influence. So each time I do this, it feels daunting. The running part AND the raising money part. But that's what makes a challenge worth doing, right?

  Here's the deal- for every $50 we collect with World Vision, that provides one person with clean water. That's amazing! Every single dollar counts because your donation is added to mine and all of that is added to my church's team, which is combined with teams from the entire state of Indiana- last year we raised $600k for clean water!!!! Even the smallest donations quickly add up and every single one gives me extra motivation to rise before the sun and log my training miles. 

  So here I am, asking YOU to donate! We have 11 weeks to go and I need your help. It takes such little sacrifice from us to create lasting change around the globe. Isn't that amazing??

 Want to make an even bigger impact? Tell a friend! Run with me! Shop my Noonday Collection shop or host a Trunk show- because I'm donating 100% of my commission this Fall to World Vision. (Thats a win-win because you're supporting artisans and fair trade AND raising money for clean water). 

  You can make donations directly on my World Vision page here and shop Noonday Collection here

Lately.


  How gorgeous are those flowers my mom brought over for my birthday? The antique blue pitcher! The grocery store flowers mixed with her garden greens! So lovely, in fact, that I actually put them in our bedroom so I can see them every morning. A good friend also brought over a huge mixed bouquet this weekend- so I have flowers on every floor of my house and it makes me smile every time I see them.
  Those pretty flowers don't have anything to do with this post, except that I haven't done a sort of life lately snapshot for awhile and those blooms sort of capture it right now. I love these little lists because they're such a good summary of my days!

Listening to a mix of kids songs (our cd from VBS is on permanent replay), Beckah Shae (Caleb is VERY into her beat) and Eric Hutchinson. Basically, happy music all day everyday. Also, GirlTalk on my runs!
Loving little pockets of time I've had with friends lately. Wine nights, early morning starbucks, quick play date chats- they've added up to make for such a full summer for my heart. 
Reading I'm slowly working my way through Psalms and its sort of wrecking me in the best ways. Such a great book of the Bible to sit in for awhile!
Burning that's such a funny category to create, but worth it because I just restocked on my favorite fall candle and my house smells wonderful!
Making an amazing corn salsa recipe a friend gave me last year and I'd completely forgotten about until last week. It may be all I eat for the next two weeks. Also, the Pioneer Woman's breakfast pizza ANY CHANCE I have to cook for a crowd. 
Dreaming about the day I will put my plans to open a boutique into action. Soon? Never? 
Drinking honestly? Water and boxed wine, because I'm classy like that. Have you tried Bota Box? Its perfect for me, because I can have a glass and the rest of the box will last for WEEKS without going bad. 
Wanting a million dollars to invest in some fun fall clothes :)
Trying to really, really lean into this season of life. For all sorts of reasons, I'm rethinking how we do our days and my attitude and what I spend my time on. It's probably boring to anyone other than me, but maybe a blog post on really really committing to these years as a full-time mom and wife and outside of a 9-5 job?
Looking forward to our annual lake weekend! We head out on Friday and it is always the best way to end the summer. 
Working on half marathon training. For whatever reason, its been harder to be consistent this year. Making a plan to keep with it this week!