Thursday, July 21, 2016

A song for our waiting hearts....

I heard this song for the first time in years and years and it was the truest representation of our waiting hearts for adoption that I could think of right now.  The song was found on a cd from college, back when everyone burned mixed cd's of all types of music.  It came on suddenly in the car when I was alone (rare) and I barely kept myself together.  The perfect song for the perfect time, many years after college is just a really fun, faint memory.  God is gracious like that, isn't he?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

a happy home

Good morning friends! Two blog posts in a row?  A lot for me lately, I know! I've changed my eating/sleeping/exercise habits and it is making a huge difference in how I feel and my productivity for each day.  I'll share more soon but for now I'm going to enjoy writing another blog post! 

This week I snapped some photos of what is making my home feel happy this summer.  I've visited homes that stay the same over the years, never a photo frame out of place and I like that.  There's something comforting about the steady.  I however, love to change things up.  In fact, it's how I de-stress, have fun, and explore my creativity. 

I set up this little spot right next to the kitchen where I can quickly glance over at what is filling my world with joy this summer.  A favorite quote, art by myself and also Mystele, some paper flowers I made, favorite photos, and a few happy sayings. 

The cart underneath is filled with favorite cookbooks and art supplies.  I found that when everything was tucked back in my craft room I was hardly creating because I don't run in there during the day and isolate myself from the girls.  Just a personal choice.  So this way the girls and I can both enjoy what's on the cart and include a few more pockets of creative time during our day.  The cart is the famous Ikea cart, useful for so many things! 

A few of these paintings will be added to the shop later this summer! I'm especially excited about the flower painting above. 

Everyone needs a photo wall.  The end.
"Be Kind" by the ever-so talented Katie Daisy.
The ladder and quilt were both found at flea market type stores.  I painted the ladder myself! 
That never ceases to amaze me. 

Of course when cousins come over life is so much more fun!! And this is how my real-life house looks on a daily basis. 
The same goes for the art room.  When it's messy it's usually because I've been super busy on all things creative.  That's a good sign to me!  
The girls imaginations are GIANT this summer.  They've been playing "animals in care" for daaaaays.  Like they build a fort or tent, get out their one million stuffed animals, and take care of them, talk to them, etc.  Seriously I can't imagine their imaginations getting any bigger! I pray they do though....I pray they grow as their legs and arms and hearts grow.  It would be a sad thing for them to lose something so important-their imagination. 
Brett built this little shelf in a little unused corner of the house and it is really a favorite spot of mine! The box is full of photographs.  Hundreds of them! 
And it just doesn't get better than a shelf of rainbow books.  Especially when they're vintage! 

Now it's your turn!  Are you enjoying happy spots in your home?  
If not, I challenge you to make one spot extra happy, just for you today! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Jump. Splash. Laugh. Repeat.

In light of my somewhat heavy/deep discussion posts lately as well as the entire world just feeling sad and angry, I thought it would be a good day to sprinkle a little fun and happy on the blog and internet world.  No, I'm not naive about our current world.  I've shed tears over it and saying my heart aches doesn't do it justice.  But whenever conflict arises in our house our biggest and best weapon is fun and joy and laughter.  It can't hurt, right?  
For a beautiful start, meet my newest nephew!! Isn't he dreamy?! 
He was born a couple weeks ago and is helping curb my baby fever just a bit by getting to hold him.  
This is my twin sister's fourth baby and we had the honor of hosting the other three kiddos for a night while they got checked out of the hospital and settled at home.  These cousins play, talk, laugh, and sometimes argue just like brothers and sisters.  We thought we'd spend the afternoon filling up good 'ol fashioned water balloons.  A summer classic. 
Fun was had by all and I was delighted to capture some of it with my Nikon! 
I just adore these photos because I feel like they truly show personality.  Wanting to capture some personality of your own?  I recommend setting kids (or even adults!) up with a fun activity like play dough, water balloons, sand play, building with blocks, bubbles, riding bikes, etc. and then stepping slightly out of the frame and letting the action take place! The purest emotions always show up when I let life be life and I seek to find the beauty in that, instead of trying to pose the perfect shot.  

Of course between five kids a pile of water balloons goes really fast!  Next, out came the sprinkler!  These kiddos got some amazing air while jumping through.  Maybe we have a few future basketball players?! 

Seriously....let's just end on the sweetest note ever, with this dreamy baby sleeping. 

I confessed to you that I wanted to figure out which things in life made my heart completely race this summer and weed out the rest.  It hasn't taken long for me to figure out photography is a stay.  An always, always, for the rest of my life, stay. 

Now go find a sprinkler to jump through and try not to laugh. I dare you! 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Free membership to Gather, my online class!

Hi friends! For all you locals, I'll be at the Mill St. Market this Saturday in downtown Springdale and have a fun offer for you I wanted to share!  See below and I hope to see you there! The market is from 8-1 and I'll be set up with original paintings, photo canvases, plenty of art prints, and even some fabric bunting for extra fun!  

Read more about Gather here!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

real life, rain, and risky business

Today I feel like I'm squeaking open the door to this blog, pushing cobwebs aside and quietly asking "Can I come in?"  If you've been around for long then it's no surprise to you that I crave and appreciate people who are real.  The ones that aren't afraid to muddle the mess and mystery of life with the magnificent.  Because the truth is, life is all of these things at once. 

Today perhaps it's the rain that has my thoughts spinning or a string of letters, scripture, and texts in my real life that have me ready to pen a few words.  I haven't blogged here much lately due to a desperate need of rest and space.  There are whole novels worth of things happening in our current life story that simply can't be crammed into a blog post or two.  For starters and a really big one, we're still a waiting family for adoption.  That means we're waiting and praying to be matched with the right birth mom and baby.  I've explained this so many times with a patient smile I could do it in my sleep.   The whole explanation makes it sound like we wait for the magical day when everything clicks together and all go skipping off into "happily ever after", but that isn't the case at all. 

With our adoption comes great loss for someone else.  There is no way around that and no happy way for me to express that.  It's a combination of both gain and loss.  In the meantime while we wait it selfishly feels hard.  I say selfishly because we are the lucky ones on the "gain" side. I can't imagine what the birth moms go through, day after day.  Yet each time we receive news of a child and things don't work out, I feel a bit more sad. I know without a doubt God has his perfect timing.  Someday we'll hold our baby and details will make sense. But for now, a lot of days after keeping up the house, being a good wife, mama, and friend, I feel like there's not much left.  So this summer I'm trying to pay attention to which things in my day-to-day feel life-giving and spark excitement in my soul.  Those things stay. 
Things like sketching and painting, taking photographs, styling a pretty photo, or decorating the house.  And travel and trying new experiences, from tasting a new food to planning a camping getaway.  

This summer has been very good for that.  Figuring out which things make my heart race, no matter what's happening in my outside world.  

As for blogging, I'd like to come back in the fall with plenty of food posts, some creative tutorials, and plenty of sharing our story as a growing family.  But can I be extremely honest? 

Sometimes it feels like risky business sharing even a tiny personal thought on this space.  Maybe something I wrote was taken the wrong way, or I didn't get back to a comment fast enough (ok, we know I almost never get back fast enough, lol).  Or sometimes I share emotional things like my journey with self-acceptance and find my inbox filled with readers wanting to pitch me a product or join a team and I really just wanted to express myself, not feel like I'm in desperate need of help.  It just gets tricky being real on the Internet sometimes, or at least in my experience it does because people feel they really know every nook and cranny of my heart.  Yet this blog space can only hold so much heart.  There actually IS something to real life, human touch, and words spoken aloud that these keys can't compute. 

So for this summer I guess I'm also trying to bridge the gap between my real life and this space.  My real life people know I am one of the biggest foodies you'll ever meet and I think the scale is highly overrated.  That I'm a size 8 and please don't make me feel like pre-baby weight is in and I'm out. That Gilmore Girls is my favorite t.v. series ever in the history of ever, that I'm not always rosy but usually am, that sometimes I talk a lot and sometimes I don't, that I adore having a house full and prefer no makeup and paint on my hands.  That I want to make Jesus known and adored and my rosy side fights my sometimes depressed side.  The rosy/Jesus side always, always wins. 

I can't not be authentic in my real life, it's physically impossible for me.  I've never been one to mask emotions well.  So it makes sense I can't do the same here either.  In this figuring out season and waiting season and unknown season, I'll still keep my promise on this side of the computer screen to be full-blown real life with you.  When it's the right time I'll come back with a fun schedule and fresh coat of paint for the blog.  And we'll have loads of fun together.  Until then, I'm going to figure out what makes my heart skip beats, pray for our baby to come, and be the best mama, wife, and friend I can.  I'll see you soon. 

Blogging tips