Have yourself a merry (rosy) Christmas!

Hi everyone! I'm popping in for a quick hello and look back at the past few weeks. 
And then it's "see you soon!" It's no secret my life has shifted lately with the addition of our precious boy.  We've also all been fighting off sickness for a couple of weeks, but are finally on the mend! With that said, I'm going to be on the computer a lot less over the next few weeks.  If you need me, I'll be cooking, eating, playing, and taking care of my three little ones! We are beyond excited about Christmas!  I'll be back to blogging later. 

Here's a peek at what we've been up to, at least in snippets! Betsy turned FIVE.  We had a birthday party with "just" the cousins, which actually equals a dozen kiddos.   I had all this junk piled up on the table and let the kids make robots.  They loved it! 
The girls got to attend a winter tea party at their cousin's house and got all dolled up. 
You may notice the bare legs-it has been unseasonably warm here in Arkansas.

In fact, until about a week ago this was our garden.  We still had greens to pick and plenty to eat.  Since then the frost has ruined it. But there are still a few carrots and dill hanging on! 

The winter sunsets are absolutely one of my top favorite things about the season.  They just get to me, every single time.  I don't ever tire of them. 
I've been trying most of the time to make treats but in a healthier version.  We're not always good though, especially when we've been sick! The struggle is always real. 

But these gluten-free sugar cookies were amazing! Betsy and I baked them and then we had a cookie decorating night later with the rest of the family. 

Also, the light. 
My goodness how it gets to me.  That rich, buttery, golden light that seeps into cracks and crevices that only winter can find. 
Betsy and I also made homemade marshmallows and they have almost changed our lives. 
They are THAT GOOD.  I mean, delicious.  And pretty darn healthy too. 
I could list a million reasons why I love them. 
You should google "Homemade Marshmallow Recipe" from Mommypotamus.com
I stitched up some colorful bunting banners to give to all the sweet teachers that bless our lives. 
It took me more days than it should have, but it felt good to give something handmade. 
The girls almost always have our dining room table filled up, either with Legos or something crafty. 
I'm finding myself facing this Christmas with more depth of emotion and joy and everything than ever before.  God is good, this I know.  This year He has been my strength and joy, my constant light in the darkness.  My goodness how we're excited and ready to celebrate Jesus's birth. 

I appreciate each of you readers.  I don't always know who reads or not but sometimes I get an in-person comment about my blog and it always both surprises and delights me that someone would stop in and read.  I'm right here, doing real life with you all, trying to throw in some rosy too! 

You are so loved, 
and have yourself a Merry Christmas! 

The world doesn't need another magazine-ready mantle.

"The world doesn't need another magazine-worthy mantle." My thoughts and words to Brett earlier this week, after posting two photos in the same afternoon and quickly noticing how the likes escalated on one, which was the messier of the two. 

Let me explain: a few days ago I posted a photo on IG (therosylifeblog) of my mantle.  I'm not usually a "like" kind of gal, meaning I don't know what the tips and tricks are to gain more followers or hearts and I don't care to know either.  But a few hours later I was folding laundry in my VERY messy "craft"/laundry room, chugging coffee at dinner time so that I could hang out at a Christmas party later that night.  SO real life as a 34-year old mama of three.  In fact, so real across the board.  Much of my life is rather messy right now.  

I noticed as the "likes" began trickling in, so did the comments.  Not for my styled mantle, which don't get me wrong, I adore! It was fun to decorate and a feast for my eyes while I do the dishes.  But what really got people's attention was my messy room, my honesty about how most of life isn't "IG ready" or magazine-shoot ready and that is OK.  Person after person commented, telling me how much better they felt after seeing such honesty.  

I wonder what we've done to ourselves that we feel so much pressure to be so perfect, coiffed, styled, and producing a steady stream of fantasy?  You all know my heart-I adore photography and all of the many sides to it.  In fact, one of my goals in the new year is to actually challenge myself to do MORE styled type shots with props and things because there's such a method of storytelling to that.  But you know what else I truly crave above all else? Authenticity.  

People, photos, books, memories, messes, moments, friendships, and feasts that are "come as you are", kind of welcoming.  I'd say by the rally around my chaos of a photo, your heart has the same cry.  I'm asking myself (and you) to figure out what handful of things we really want to give our all, and then be ok with not being able to do #allthethings.  For example? I just closed my Etsy shop.  Right now, I can't balance photography, an art shop, being a mom to three, and the foster care world.  Oh, and we farm and teach Sunday School too.  

Something had to give.  So as you know, I closed my art shop.  Instead I'm going to choose to express myself artistically by wrapping Christmas presents in a creative way and continue to look for ways that real life can be art.  If I only showed you the beautifully wrapped presents you might think my life is functioning perfectly, that I'm keeping all the balls rolling.  The truth is, all the areas of my life are sorta balanced, but usually taking turns at being front and center.    And that is ok. 

Here's to embracing our happy messes, 
our just plain messy messes, 
and calling it all worthy.

Closing my art shop door and swinging others wider.

They say when one door opens, another closes. 
Funny thing is though, they never say who opens and closes the doors.  I'm figuring out we have the power to do just that and taking the reins on our yeses and no's is powerful.  This week I made a decision to close my Etsy shop, my little art spot on the web.  The decision didn't catch me off guard at all, but it did some of you. Thank-you for the kind texts and messages, asking how we're doing and wondering about the shop closing. 
It just goes like this: last summer we opened our home for foster care and we had a few little ones stay for a night or two.  But then in the fall we got a little one and were told it would be a longer placement.  It has been and will continue to be.  My heart and hands are so very full with my family right now.  As the door to foster care swung open I knew something had to give. 
We cannot do it all. 
That's worth repeating. 
We. Cannot. Do. It. All.

Foster care comes with extra everything-paperwork, appointments, texts, phone calls, car time (lots of car time).  It also comes with more joy, love, heartache, and depth than I could possibly ever describe.  
I closed the doors on my art shop, but not on my art! Just on the shop part. I still adore painting! Now that one less thing is on my plate I can swing the door to self-care (like exercise!), my family and friends, and photography open even wider.  

In order for me to continue taking really great care of all three of my kids, it means I must also take great care of myself.  I am a sometimes slow learner in this area.  I just like food so much! But I am learning discipline and love the feeling of energy and no pain in my head or gut or anywhere! When given the choice to paint for an hour or exercise, I'm finding the exercise is needed first. I might not like that, but I'm 34 and finding it so necessary for the rest of my life to go well, this has to be a priority. 

(I must share, I'm finally back to pre-pregnancy weight! Only took me five years after my last baby, lol.  We live by "better late than never" around here!)

We aren't allowed to share photographs of our little one so these posts always feel strange, like one is missing! But we've been busy, busy with parties, birthdays, cousins, kindergarten, Christmas, and all things farm.  Here's a little peek at the rosy in our routine lately!

I mentioned swinging the door open a little wider on my photography. I have been so honored to those of you who have asked me to capture your precious families this fall.  Once the holidays are clear (because we are in FULL holiday mode) I'm going to clear the cobwebs and make some goals for my photography and learning.  This is such a passion of mine and to me, lifelong learners are the most wonderful artists.  Any online classes/books/people I should learn from?

You can always read more about my photography sessions on the page tab above or contact me at sunshinebysara@hotmail.com and I am really, really wanting to teach a class this spring! Locals, keep it in mind and watch for more details! 

Now, your turn:

Have you taken anything off your plate lately?  
Are you trying to do all the things? 
What is adding some rosy to your routine? 
Are you looking forward to both the holidays and a fresh start in the new year like I am? 
What are you reading/listening to?

I'm leaning in close and would love to hear. 

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...