Thursday, June 30, 2016

Invite and Encourage

Tea station - designed to make you feel like you're in a cafe, but also that you can help yourself if you like. I'm still looking for a cute tea timer that works (why does it seem like all the cute ticky ones are broken, at the store?)

We got to host an out-of-town friend, her husband, and their two littles overnight - it was great fun for us, and I hope for them! It's great having a door between the living room and the bedrooms, since it creates a little more privacy for someone sleeping on the fold-out couch.

I've been enjoying this round of #fmfpartysnailmail - putting together lists, sending letters, stalking the mailbox for letters in return (if you missed out on this round of "encouragement in your mailbox," email fmfpartysnailmail@gmail.com and I'll put you on the list to notify of future rounds). I love that there are so many different postage stamps!

We made bubble prints one day last week (a squirt of dish soap, a splash of water, and a squirt of food coloring in a glass - blow with a straw until the bubbles come over the edge of the glass, then press a piece of cardstock onto it). Tobin dunked his so they came out very colorful, and Brooklyn would only do one color on each. I practiced lettering on a few of them, and I've been sticking them in my snail mail notes.

Refilling so I can continue to encourage others. I'm loving the 52 Lists Project - it gives me something to think about, and a framework in which to think it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

52 Lists Project: the wildest things you want to try

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 wildest things I want to try


Let me just preface this by saying I'm not a particularly "wild" person, so try to view this list through that lens...

1. Live/travel the country in an Airstream 
2. Be the editor-in-chief of a magazine
3. Visit a foreign country (England would be cool...)
4. Write a book, and get it published
5. Actually learn French, then visit Paris

Friday, June 24, 2016

Rest...


It's been a busy while. There's been a lot of good busy - moving into a new house, Adam having a week off, a quick trip to Dallas, Brooklyn's birthday party, hosting a friend and her family overnight - and there's been draining busy - Adam being gone for three weeks, early mornings because of various appointments, a day at the ER with Brooklyn because of a swallowed coin, Ant Wars, plumbing problems - but it all finally caught up to me a few days ago.

I recognized the symptoms from having seen them before: lack of motivation, weirdly vivid dreams, struggling to hang onto a thought, and a vague sore throat. Time for some rest.

So this morning we walked to the library and I let someone else read to my Littles for half an hour (they did pretty good for their first story time), and got a book for myself. This afternoon I made a pot of tea and sat down with it and my book under a cozy quilt (more for psychological comfort than physical warmth's sake) and read the entire book while Brooklyn and Tobin napped.

As an introvert, rest is something that comes fairly naturally - I tend toward quiet and stillness and contemplation. So it's a double relief when I get those things after a long, involuntary fast. Even with only one night of going to bed not-late and one morning of getting up not-early, and my short afternoon respite, I'm feeling more refreshed. It reminded me of the value of Sabbath, of laying aside my desire to play god, and recognizing His provision by honoring rest.

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!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reading and Writing

I've developed an aversion to "naked" envelopes - I like to give a preview of (what I hope is) the delight awaiting inside

We went to story time at the library for the first time this week. Brooklyn did better than I expected, although she was a little more chummy than convention dictates.

I love projects. It's been all I could do to keep from starting this when I got it a month ago, but I knew it would be worth waiting on.

Tobin has recently begun to be more interested in books. He'll bring one to me, "book," then sit down and pat the floor, "sit," and wait anxiously for me to read aloud.

Even with the weather getting hotter, I still have a psychological need to pair writing with a cup of tea.

Gifts...
2779. Tobin waking me at 4:30 - giving me plenty of time to eat breakfast and have a quiet time before
2780. the weekday prayer group at church
2781. Walking to the library all-four-together, and Brooklyn choosing a book as her prize
2782. Roadtripping to Dallas and staying with my aunt and uncle
2783. Going to yoga and dinner after with my aunt
2784. Brooklyn agreeing to sleep on two armchairs pushed together
2785. Riding the train downtown, and my uncle meeting us at the stop to walk us to
2786. the aquarium, Brooklyn feeding a baby toucan a blueberry
2787. Tobin's delight over a friendly ground owl
2788. A quiet jammy morning at home
2789. A chocolate-dipped strawberry popsicle from Le Pops
2790. An afternoon all-four-together
2791. Purple hair
2792. Taking Tobin on a Target run, while Adam caulked the buggy places
2793. Repotting succulents into citrus dip bowls
2794. Church all-four-together
2795. Tobin giving kisses
2796. Breakfast for dinner
2797. The way books and projects gather together to form a point
2798. Tiny meringue cookies
2799. A bat, flying across the moon
2800! A new pediatrician, who makes eye contact, listens, and reasons beyond the charts and curves
2801. Out-of-town friends spending the night on their way through town
2802. Writing snail mail letters

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

52 Lists Project: things that make you feel healthy {mind, body, and soul}

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, and this week's list is the perfect place to start...

A list of things that make me feel healthy - mind, body, and soul:


1. Knitting - everything about knitting
2. Going for a walk outside (the sights and the sounds and the smells and way my thoughts fall into a quiet rhythm with my steps...)
3. Prayer
4. When I actually have a quiet time every day for several days in a row


5. Adventures (we chose to take the train downtown rather than driving to the aquarium on our trip to Dallas last week, and I grinned like a small child on their birthday the entire time)
6. Talking through new ideas with someone I love
7. Yoga
8. Singing around the house


9. Solitude and cup of tea
10. Learning new things
11. Saying no when I'm getting overwhelmed
12. Saying yes to good things, even when they're scary

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Three is a Magic Number


Brooklyn turned three on Sunday. We had her party the day before, and it was great fun seeing her actually engage and enjoy it - I remember my third birthday, and I think she'll remember hers. She got to choose her cupcake frosting color, and succeeded in blowing out her (adorable beeswax) candles in two puffs.

The three sets of grandparents and two sets of great-grandparents also got to interact with her more this year - she was excited about opening presents, and spent less time edging her way around the room than she has in the past, even at Tobin's birthday in December.


She is such a little person - having conversations and moving about through her day. She likes to help with dinner, bringing her little stool into the kitchen and pouring a cupful of noodles into the water when it boils, then putting the cup away. 

She was so excited about a couple of Hello Kitty things she got for her birthday that I dug out a plastic mug shaped like Hello Kitty's head that I had and I've been letting her drink her almond milk out of it in the mornings. She's very proud of the privilege and has used it well.


A transition that's going a little less smoothly is moving her into a bed and out of her crib. She loves it - but there's a lot of furtive "in and out and in and out and in and out" (as she says) that sometimes results in things being mistreated when she's supposed to be napping. But it's a new thing and new things can be hard, and I'm confident she'll adjust quickly.


She earned a prize through our library's summer reading club this week, and chose a new book over a toy from the treasure chest. She and Tobin have both been enjoying her selection - and I've been enjoying reading a book that I don't have memorized (yet). 

Side note: I really appreciate how this particular opposites book depicts the main character child interacting with each object, for scale, instead of showing a photograph of a ship next to a photograph of a kayak and expecting a toddler to somehow infer that one is bigger. Moving on...


It's hard being the older sibling - Brooklyn ends up sharing almost everything with Tobin, but she's very graceful about it. She does try so hard to include him in what she does, until he gets too grabby and then she backs off. Overall, she's a sweet sister - and my favorite three year old.

Gifts...
2764. Brooklyn's concern for others' disappointment
2765. An afternoon chat with Cathy
2766. Adam helping me sand down the coffee table, and going for more paint when I ran out
2767. Finding everything we needed while erranding
2768. Getting the whole house cleaned and ready for Brooklyn's birthday party the next day
2769. and time after to Jamberry my nails while listening to a podcast
2770. A raspberry mocha and an hour of journaling at Mugs
2771. Perfectly purple cupcakes, and Brooklyn gracefully accepting all of the attention
2772. All of Adam's hard work of cooking, and cleaning up after
2773. 3 years with Brooklyn
2774. Mending and piece-making
2775. The sewer line clogging after I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair
2776. Moving Brooklyn to a big girl bed
2777. Plumbers who could come today, and who fixed the problem quickly (and without needing a backhoe)
2778. Errands all together and Icees on the way home

Friday, June 10, 2016

Want...

Obi Wan Tenobin, trying to use the Force on Daddy's queso

A friend and I are going through Priscilla Shirer's book The Resolution for Women (inspired by the movie Courageous) this summer, and our chapter last week was on contentment. When we sat down to discuss it, I realized that I often present the illusion of contentment, with apathy.

While contentment is a state of joyful gratitude for whatever you've been given, I tend more toward an attitude of "it's too much trouble to change it and complaining won't fix it, so it's fine, I guess." I think it stems from the same defense mechanism that keeps me from anticipating things - a desire to avoid being hurt or disappointed.

But when I refuse to get excited about God's promises (because He is faithful and He will keep them), and when I grudgingly trudge along under rainbows or storm clouds, I'm missing out on a lot of the joy that anticipation can bring, especially when it's placed in One who will not disappoint.

I want to want more - not things or even altered circumstances, but a renewed heart and renewed joy, and an eager perusal of God's Word for reminders of His faithfulness, past, present, and future.

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!