Friday, September 23, 2016

Five...

Five Things I Do With My Kids That I Would Have Also Done By Myself:


1. Crystal painting (as much epsom salt as you can dissolve in a bit of boiling water, and you can stick the pages in the oven on 200* if you want to speed the drying/crystallizing process)


2. Parallel parking down town in order to go see the Budweiser Clydesdales. Brooklyn asked to go, and stayed as long as I'd let her - but going was in no way a sacrifice for me. Beautiful, giant horses? I'm in!


3. Wear fun shoes (I've wanted sneakers like these for years - not sure why I waited until she got some... but this way we're twinkie toes!)


4. Weekly treats from local businesses - "well, I guess we're just not going to get ice cream, then," is never going to be a punishment for them because I want some too!


5. Being outside, collecting leaves, doodling in the dirt, and building tiny cairns with found pebbles.

It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers gather, internet wide, to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

52 Lists: your top 20 mood boosting songs

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row one a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

A list of my top 20 mood boosting songs



1. Remy Drives a Linguini - Michael Giacchino
2. Happy - Pharrell Williams
3. One Drop - Plumb
4. Here Comes the Sun - the Beatles
5. Say It Again - Marie Digby
6. Fight Song/Amazing Grace - the Piano Guys
7. He's a Pirate - Klaus Badelt
8. Merry Men - Marc Streitenfeld
9. Hallelujah - Vitamin String Quartet
10. Now We are Free - Lisa Gerrard and Hans Zimmer
11. Hoppipolla - Wenzel Templeton and Robert Pegg
12. Beethoven's Five Secrets - the Piano Guys


13. Rock What You Got - Superchic[k]
14. Beyond Me - TobyMac
15. Strong Enough to Save - Tenth Avenue North
16. No Longer Slaves - Bethel Music
17. Healing Begins - Tenth Avenue North
18. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) - Hillsong United
19. You Are More - Tenth Avenue North (can we just say the entirety of their album The Light Meets the Dark?)
20. Add to the Beauty - Sara Groves

Friday, September 16, 2016

Listen...


I am a listener. I have audiobooks read by my favorite actors because my favorite thing about them is their voice, and I'd rather listen to a film score than watch the movie it's from (seriously. Please don't make me watch Gladiator ever again - but I love the soundtrack). When I'm getting a migraine, sound, rather than light, is what I become sensitive to (why must everyone breathe so loudly?!)

As the youngest person in the room for a good chunk of my life, I also listened to others speaking. I'm fascinated by the paths people have walked to arrive at the spot we're both standing on; I love hearing the way their experiences have shaped their perspective; and I fully agree with a quote I heard recently, "When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new."

That doesn't mean that I don't have thoughts and opinions that I'd like to make heard - I do. And I've felt the frustration of being talked over, interrupted, and ignored many times. But that's only made me a more sensitive listener - especially with my Littles - because, while I know they will experience that at some point, I'd like it to not happen with me.

I'm far from perfect. There are times when I can't hear myself think over the roar (or scream, as the case may be), and times when I step back, earbuds in and music up, for a moment of relative quiet. But when it matters (and sometimes when it doesn't seem important), I always try to be open, available, and ready to learn - ready to listen.

It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers, internet wide, gather to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Summery/Summary




Adventures in Fayetteville...




Adventures in Little Rock...




And adventures in our own back yard!


Despite the stereotype of summer fun, I'm looking forward to impending autumn. Crisp mornings, pleasant afternoons, and cool evenings lend themselves much better to outings and adventures, in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

52 Lists Project: the most beautiful things you've ever seen

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row one a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

A list of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen


This was harder than anticipated - perhaps in part because I see beauty everywhere

1. Light in a dark place
2. Someone talking about or engaging in their passion
3. Anywhere in nature that the Golden Spiral appears
4. Bats at dusk
5. The intense concentration of a small child
6. When you think something is a leaf or a flower, and it turns out to be a butterfly
7. Mountains that look like clouds
8. Toothless baby smiles
9. A new knitter's first stitches
10. Love in action

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Just Add Color


Part of the fun of having a house is the ability to paint - and Adam and I both love color. He's given me carte blanche in choosing colors and painting walls, and I took advantage of that last month. He was gone for several weeks, so that gave me free evenings to work on projects.

First I took the free-gallon-of-paint postcard that a local paint store had sent and settled on a lovely shade of turquoisey blue, for an accent wall in the living room. Another step taken toward making the living area of our home into a full rainbow! Next I'm painting the second window frame purple (there's a window just like the green one on the other side of the room) and the kitchen window frame pink.



Then Mum gave me the rest of a quart of chalkboard paint she had and I used it on the door in our kitchen that leads into the garage. It was all grimy and fingerprinty (from being taken off repeatedly in order to fit appliances in) and looks much better now, except that every time I walk by I think the door is open.

We got a little magnetic locker basket to stick on the fridge for storing chalk, and Brooklyn and Tobin have been deeply enjoying having a big place to draw whenever they want to - and I like being able to do things in the kitchen unmolested.



Since I still had time, chalkboard paint, and over half of the gallon of "alchemist" that I used on the dining area wall, I went ahead and did an accent wall in our bedroom, as well. It ended up being almost exactly the same as one of the colors in our comforter, and it makes the headboard that I knitted stand out nicely. I chalkboard painted a couple of cheap canvases and wrote on them with a chalk paint pen (which ended up being a good thing, because I initially wrote "handsome" too big and ran out of space before I got to the end of the word), then waved a can of leftover gold spray paint at them from several feet away for sparkle.

For a month's worth of projects and several rooms refreshed, I spent less than $50 (for the canvases, a lamp, chalk, and the magnetic basket) and feel like it was money (and time) well invested.



While I wait for the soreness to go away (I may have overdone it a little...) I'm adding color to the white pages of a new planner and the pretty coloring-in Bible that Adam got me. It's a good way to test out color combinations, besides being very cathartic.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

52 Lists Project: ways you can love yourself more

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row one a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

Prologue:
Fellowship North is about to start a sermon series through Philippians, and the women's ministry is also going to study Philippians, so I'm currently reading through it. I am very familiar with Philippians 4:6-7 (it's part of the prayer we pray with Brooklyn every night), but this time a phrase stood out to me. Let your requests be made known. 

Let your requests be made known? It hovered in my mind, poking me occasionally to remind me it was there. Then I had lunch with a friend. We were in the midst of attempting to get a bottle cap off with a car key when a guy sitting several tables away got up and brought us the bottle opener on his keyring. The lid came off easily (amazing how much having the right tool helps...) and that verse poked me again. When you're open about your struggles, people help you.

Later, I answered a how are you? text honestly, and started a conversation about a struggle I was having. She offered comfort, prayers, and a small dash of advice - and I found a peace about the situation where before there had only been anxiety. (Lo and behold, my "problem" then resolved itself without any assistance from me.)

The whole phrase says, "let your requests be made known to God," but there's value in the community of His people, too - in opening up to others, they can join us in lifting up those requests. Then waiting for a reply begins to feel less like a dark, lonely bus stop where you begin to wonder if you read the timetable wrong and actually missed the last bus of the night, and more like hanging out on a bench talking with your friends while you wait for the restaurant table you know will open up eventually.

What does this have to do with loving oneself? Well, when I'm secure in the knowledge that I am loved, I spend my emotional energy loving others, instead of turning inward and self-destructively trying to independently supply my own needs. Therefore...

A list of ways I can love myself more realize how loved I am



1. Spend time with Jesus - both reading my Bible, and in prayer
2. Spend time with encouraging friends (who will point me to Jesus)
3. Take time to wonder...
     a. at nature
     b. at the gifts and talents He's given to me, and to others
     c. at unexpected beauty
4. Journal - keep a record that I can look back at when I'm tempted to think that everything is horrible and it's always been that way
5. Create, for the joy of reflecting my Creator