These pictures and moments,
yes-even this one,
are worth more to me than gold.

Two truths and a lie.

Do you remember this game?  Now that I think about it it's kind of funny...I remember playing two truths and a lie as an icebreaker in college at the Wesley Foundation I think.  I am terrible at lying, my face quickly gives me away.  But good thing for blogging because you can't "see" me anyway. 
So here we go: Can you tell which one is a lie?
I love Oprah magazine.
I run every day. 
I "do it all". 
(these beautiful pictures are courtesy of my grandparents house!) 
Tricked ya, didn't I? 
Two are lies ;).  I don't run every day or any at all right now! And I'm ok with that. I had a talk with a good friend of mine today about how we don't look at all like we did when we were 18 and we're ok with that.  Our bodies may look a little different but we also have the addition of our sweet babies....we have gained the world.  I could write a novel on body acceptance and confidence.  I'm one month with no extra desserts, candy, or treats and still feeling great.  I'm still saddened by how much time women seem to take up with pursuing losing just one more pound...and then another, and another.  Ok, stepping off my sad soapbox now.  All I'm saying is, if you're healthy and you know it, clap your hands! And go enjoy life and all its wonderful flavors!
 The other lie is that I "do it all".  Someone on Instagram asked me last week how I do it all.  The question puzzled me.  I just do what I do.  We don't watch t.v. (with the exception of catching up on AGT-America's Got Talent for all of the non-watchers)....we spend each evening until around 9 outside in the garden after the girls go to bed.  I have a routine for chores and laundry that I try to stick pretty firmly to or else I'll get buried underneath both.  I paint and blog for the evenings or while the girls are resting.  So that's how we do what we do.  What else do people do to relax? I'd love to hear. 

Brett and I are saving reading books for winter.  We'd rather sit on the porch and star gaze now.
 We have been rather busy this summer with the good stuff of life.  Visits to my grandparents, having fellowship with other families in our church, helping out in the nursery, being active in other people's lives as well as our own.  I'm liking how this summer is shaping up.  It does seem a bit silly at times to be trying to start an Etsy shop and to blog when everyone is so busy things can get pretty quiet on both ends.  But follow my heart I shall continue to do.  My optimism can stand for a long time on its own. :)

 We visit my grandparents regularly, as I've mentioned before.  This weekend Brett got to come with me because he was helping pick up the chippiest, most fabulous swing EVER!  This picture needs a little explaining because Papaw actually asked if he could drop the ball above Anna's head.  I said "sure!" and counted down and he dropped it.  Her reaction was funny....a few pictures down you can see her cute little grin after getting such a surprise. 

 My Papaw's shop is the coolest! One year we did family photos (extended family and all) in front of this wall and it was so neat.  I'm thinking we need to try that again! 
 Sweet moment or stand-off captured? 
I'll let you be the judge ;) 
 This sister is quick!! 
Our little Bets.....

I love this sweet little grin after Anna Ruth realized her Papaw was playing with her with the ball!  
It is such a delight to take the girls to enjoy the things I got to enjoy as a child also.  
 What keeps you sunny inside?
This is it for me!  Some days I'll just stick my head into the craft room to get a little pick-me-up!  
I sent this photo in an email to an editor this week,
along with a mail submission of some of my art.  I'm literally trying anything and everything to get some traffic to my Etsy shop.  I won't lie, it's discouraging.  I'm not sure how some people have "it" and tons of followers and customers....I'm not sure what the "it" factor is.  Maybe it's all in who you know? I read someone post something on IG this week that was along the lines of decide what your heart wants and go after's never too late to have exactly the life you want.  I think that's some confusing advice.....things don't always necessarily just fall right into place.  You have to work really, really, really hard too (or else I am and a lot of other people like me are!)  

But I DO know I truly love what I create. So I'll keep at it. :)
(sorry for the Debbie Downer paragraph there. Just keeping it real......
slow shop stats-you will NOT take me down!...."I think I can, I think I can, I think I can")

 I added a few new things, like this mini original to the shop last week!
This week I'm also going to add some banners and notecards! 
 A happy little thrifted pile....
storing up books for winter (like a squirrel saves acorns maybe?!) and bingo cards for art found for a quarter!

I suppose this quote is what inspired the art piece above.  I always get highly uncomfortable when people value my creativity more than their gift.  Creativity doesn't trump cooking or singing or hugging or loving or listening.  We all (yes, YOU!) have a gift to offer the world.  Every single one of us!  Whether you clean well or sing well, serve with all your heart, are great at making people laugh,
paint, dance, cook well (hi Naomi!), you are valuable and matter.

Now how's that for the most random mix of a blog post EVER?
you're welcome :) 

Summer + Slow Living = love.

My favorite season used to be fall.  I loved everything about it from the layers of clothes to the warm drinks and gusty winds.  And the leaves! Don't even get me started on the leaves.  

Then along came my life on the farm and little baby gal and then another baby gal and before I knew it, summer snuck up on us.  It surprised us with its carefree spirit, even though-wasn't our routine the same as all the other seasons of the year?  There was no work to take vacation from, no school breaks yet.  There's something to this season called summer invites a sense of slow living into our lives we didn't know we were missing before. 
(excuse the food in the mouth, but is this not the cutest?!)
The words "slow living" showed up in my thoughts last week.  "Structuring your life around meaning and fulfillment.  Less is more" is how google defines it.  Rocked my world, this definition and these two words.  In a world of more, more, more, more.....sometimes I feel like I'm sitting in the cheap seats of life when God is expectantly waiting for me to take a front row seat, or even join the game itself!  Life up close.  A little slower, more passion, more tastes to savor, more breaths to exhale.  
This concept has wrapped itself all the way around my mind so I'm sure I'll have more to say in the upcoming months.  For us, we're choosing the slow life.  To sit on the back deck with a gal in my lap all morning long if we like.

To slow down and notice the exact way my girls' hair looks....from the very color to texture.  Slow living this summer means playing and kisses on the lips from Betsy Grace....
ring around the rosy, 
hide and seek. 

More books, magazines, things read on paper....
less screen time. 
Slow living means preparing for winter with a "Books to read" list in anticipation of sitting by the fire.
Making and savoring every single crumb of zucchini bread,
painting in colors that make you feel alive,
(painting here.)
Studying bugs,
dressing yourself to play in the rain.

Wandering in the rain in the prettiest, dreamiest skirt ever,
delighting in baby legs.

Slow living is playing outside with my girls,
leaving the to do list (even mentally) inside.
Pretend enjoying "spinach" that Anna Ruth made, 
complete with compliments for the cook.

Slow living is time spent on the porch,
soaking in the bath during afternoon nap just because I can,
sitting during the day instead of always being on the go.
Time spent exercising off the treadmill and in real life instead-picking weeds, chasing the girls, farm walks.  Climbing fences and gathering wildflower bouquets.
Slow living for me equals a month without sweets but a body that feels drastically different,
savoring fresh garden food and lots of bread instead,
plans to spend the evenings canning instead of in front of the t.v.

Slow living means stopping the worry train that races through my thoughts and takes over,
instead intentionally acting on some dreams I've let fear stop before they even happened.

It means farm retreats this fall,
where for an evening you can step into our slow living world too.

What do these words mean to you? 
How do you make this lifestyle possible in our fast-paced world?
A favorite blog of mine to read concerning a slower lifestyle is Foxs Lane.

Live with Life....and favorite cow sounds.

 Woohoo! My rural internet problem is fixed or gone or something and I have internet again! Which is a funny thing to be excited about when the words "Slow Living" have been rolling around and around my thoughts.  Slow Living plus internet doesn't quite compute.  Hmmm...another thought for another day. I love my new friends I've made via social media and I'm not afraid to say it! 
 Last night I was too tired.  I'd cleaned up one too many poop piles (don't ask), cleaned up one too many pieces of trash (I'll get ya, coon!).  I made some half caff coffee and started to sit for the remainder of the evening but something (hello God) just beckoned me outside. I grabbed the camera and went and boy am I ever glad I did.  

 My favorite friends, the cows, were out back munching away.  Have you ever heard a cow eating?  I can think of the distinct noise right now and it's one of my favorite sounds on the planet.  (In total randomness, another favorite sound is the praise music I hear coming through the baby monitor.  Something about the fuzziness of the monitor with the music....a favorite for sure.  Reminds me of peaceful little girls sleeping. ) 

 I had on a long skirt yesterday which is totally not practical for a hike through the pasture.  But who says practical is perfect?  As I traipsed along, afraid of stepping on a snake, I STILL had the thought "I'm so glad I came out.  I'm so glad I ventured into the real world tonight".  

 Everything outdoors just exhales life.  Tiny bugs, water droplets, the sun and clouds....all with such rhythm and passion and life.  I wonder what our lives would look like if we lived with LIFE instead of just like robots with our devices?

 I know for me, this week that's meant having an impromptu play date with a neighbor friend and inviting another dear family over for dinner.  It's meant going outdoors and getting the real, messy, get your hands completely dirty, kind of exercise, pulling weeds.  

What do you think?
Doesn't it just look like the cows have something to add? 

I'll be back soon with shop updates, stay tuned! 

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...