Friday, April 27, 2012

Library Love

 One of my greatest duties and joys as a mother,
is to instill within my children,
a love for the library.

And obviously, there is no such thing
as too many books.
If they don't fit in your pack--carry them.
P.S.  I'm spring cleaning my Etsy shop!  Pop over and snag the code for 20% off your purchase!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a list of 30 before 30!

I'm a little startled at the fact that in Septemeber (in five months), I turn 30.  Eeek!  Each time I edit this post, I lose a month!  I better get on this list!

To make this last year in my twenties full of fun, little ambitions, I've followed in the footsteps of dear blogger, Sarah from Yes & Yes, and made a list of 30 things to do before I turn three decades old.

Here we go:
1.  Watch the sunset on a mountain top or on the banks of the sea
2.  Write a piece of slam poetry
3.  Make a terrarium
4.  Have high tea
5.  Have a piece of writing published
6.  Learn a worship song on the guitar
7.  Re-finish my childhood playroom furniture for my kids
8.  Make a good attempt at learning how to yodle--this may or may not be documented
9.  Make homemade nutella and banana crepes
10.  Learn to make Lumpia--a Filipino recipe
11.  Go to the Festival of Balloons
12.  Take a memoir writing class.
13.  Make myself a skirt
14.  Go crab fishing
15.  Take a family bike ride
16.  Go to a flower farm
17.  Go on a roadtrip
18.  Speak to teens about bullying
19.  Finish my book proposal
20.  Do something new with my hair
21.  Go on a hike--a great one.
22.  Make homemade ice cream
23.  Go to a concert
24.  Grow a garden
25.  Start building a food storage
26.  Go on an overnight/hike with Husband
27.  Run a half marathon
28.  Read five more books
29.  Go to Motocross with husband and celebrate our first date together
30.  Go rock climbing

Do you have a list?  Link in and I'll be sure to visit!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunshine, Seeds and Swirl Cones

The sun has been blazing for nearly three days,
and  Husband and I have sunburns that make us smile! 
We've needed this sunshine. 

The weekend was grand.  I planted nearly two hundred starts-- I know.  I hope a village swings by come harvest time to help consume the crop. On the other hand, my green thumb isn't exactly green, so we'll see what survives! Yesterday, we spent part of the afternoon at the park with swirl cones and two kiddos hungry for swings and slides.  I can't believe how much it feels like Summer!

This morning, Asher and I spent an hour browsing perennials and annuals and came home with a handful of flower seed packets.  I'm hoping to spruce this place up with color, and have flowers that I can pick throughout the season for my vases.  Fingers crossed.  With that said, we may have a few sporadic watermelon growing on the property.  While weeding, Asher told me he "planted" his watermelon seeds.  I haven't a clue where he put them, and quite frankly, I doubt he does now, either.

Off to enjoy the rest of the blue skies!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Free to Move

Since my time off, from crafting, Etsying, blogging, I've been refueled.
You don't know how much pressure you're put yourself under, or how much the need to do has compounded, until you consciously have to remove all the extra facets of life and want nothing to do with them for nearly four months.  With passions flying about, and a live-life speed at an incredible rate, my balancing act came to a crashing halt, and then I was done.  burnt out.  I haven't been able to touch a craft since the bazaar.  I haven't listed a new item in my Etsy shop since the holidays, or so, and I let my sponsorships end.  There is a little sadness that I let it get to that point. 

I wanted to believe I had a handle on it all, that I could run at 100+mph, do everything with top-notch quality, efficiency, timing, and offer the best in family, friendship, work, adventure--but it ain't so.  Not for me, and I'm okay with that.  Embracing the pieces and re-piecing together what's most important, has been enlightening.  The crash, is part of the test, I guess.  What changes is the answer.

Change Demands Change.

The idea that change demands change, recently came from a mentor of mine in business.  In the same hour, I heard her say, "the same wind blows us all..."
I don't know about you, but there are things that I'm after in this life--
happiness, fulfillment, financial future for my family and time--having the time to
create a home life for my family to grow that is positive and where leadership is being instilled in each one. 

This is where mentors and building alongside those who are after the same goals, passions, desires, and level of leadership come into play.  Having a front-line of excellence to aspire to and to gain wisdom from is hugely important.  In the last month or so, I've considered my mentors in the different areas of my life, and I'm so grateful to them.  They are mentors in family, business, leadership, advocacy, spiritual,
and they encourage me consistently to press in and go deeper in these areas.
Though, I haven't been full-steam in my creative handmade life, or in my advocacy work, I've been reworking the personal areas that have become tattered.
With more work and awareness, I know the progress-product
(because that's what we are--in progress)
will be far more effective, efficient, and made of a quality that far surpasses anything done during a mind-bending, soul-draining period of time.

The greatest part, is that I'm free to move--
free to go where the wind takes me;
and I'm again, seeing the beauty in the littlest things.

For me, that is of most importance.

You know?
It should be noted, that last night, I dreamt of a giant wave.
When I looked up the symbolism this morning, I wasn't surprised--
a wave represents a reflection of important life decisions;
a clearing away of old habits and a readiness to make a brand new start in a new place.
I'm coming full-circle--in reality, in the moment and even in dreams.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Weekend of Tiny Dates

This morning, after two days of sunshine, the rain is back, hitting the skylights and dripping off the gutters.  While pulling on his jeans, husband said, I don't know where we're going, but if it's still raining come thursday, we're out of here.  I like the sound of adventure in that...
Speaking of adventure, saturday night, we took the kids on a date!  We dressed them nice (Asher insisted on wearing his cowboy boots), and took them to Portland and hit up Henry's, one of our favorite restaurants.  If you haven't ever been to Henry's or don't live in the area, definitely put it on your list of restaurants to enjoy when you visit the city!  We shared Ahi Tuna with chopsticks, Spinach and artichoke dip, fresh strawberry lemonaide, and meals so good that we looked forward to our sunday afternoon leftovers. 
Henry's makes a mac n' cheese beyond this world. 

The rest of the weekend was spent at church, reading magazines in the sun on the back porch, tending to the property, plotting our next garden, eating homemade tacos, and settling down for the evening with husband, The Apprentice and root beer floats. 

The whole weekend was filled with tiny dates... 
and lots of love.

How about you?  How was your weekend? 

image source

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Weekend and Annie's Carrot Cupcakes

Easter weekend was simple and lovely.  It was relaxed, filled with sunshine, children's Bible reading, a touching church service, dying eggs, happy little ones, sweet treats and
a great dinner with the family.  I love a good ham and potatoes holiday meal. 
Want to know something?  I seriously looked forward to my Easter cupcake.  As much as I pin cupcakes on my Pinterest cupcake board, making them is actually a rarity. 
So these were a treat, and I found inspiration for these sweet nest cupcakes on Pinterest, too!
Carrot cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting,
milk chocolate shavings and Cadbury eggs,
baked in Wilton grass liners. 
Loved the sweet liner touch and the jewel-tone eggs!

I made an executive decision this year, and opted for a different carrot cake recipe than normal.
This recipe has a couple more spices than my other recipe and I love that. 
Thanks to Annie's Eats, this Carrot Cupcake Recipe is a keeper!

 I could really eat another carrot cupcake right about now.
Moving along...

 They are the funniest pair, ever.

Simple, silly, pleasures, made a fantastic weekend.
I hope yours was, too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Little Things {lately}

it's been a busy week, but there are always the little things...

"There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness."  Han Suyin

wearing husband's slippers.
BUNCO with the girls.
completing a tough workout.
the kids and I pulling on sweats mid-afternoon.
frogs croaking into the night.
conversations with the kids--
Me:  We need some sunshine, right Brooklynn?
B: Totally, so then I can get some bubblegum ice cream.
Me: ?
totally, the word.
reading the collected poems of Maya Angelou.
my almost finished 30 before 30 list!  eek!
the forecasted sunshine this weekend.
signing up for the Rock n' Roll Portland half-marathon!
the song, "Healer," by Kari Jobe.
playing Mario Brothers on the wii with the kids.  it makes me feel twelve again.
order around the house.
hugs from sweet kids that I hardly know.
learning ZUMBA!  now that's fun!
hearing my sis-in-law say she's got 1 month down, 9 months to go on her husband's deployment. she's strong--especially with a one year old, and school to boot!
the above photo and facebook tag from my dear friend, Ann.

what are your little things?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Weekend

It's beginning to feel like spring here around the ranch.  The dogwood is beginning to bloom buds of white, green shoots are sprouting from the brown beds, and the weeds are screaming at me, try and tame me!, while the grass continues to grow its nearly eight inch long strands.  I must get to work.  If the sun continues to peek out from behind the clouds, I may just head outdoors, and call yard work today's workout. 

The rest of the weekend consists of:
a pizza night with friends
a work event at one of the local gyms
creating a sweet Pinterest Easter dish and treat (pics to come)
an Easter celebration at church
and Easter dinner at my brother's house with his family*
*You know you're thrilled about not hosting, when you keep imagining yourself enjoying the occasion while laying on the floor.

What are you up to this weekend, lovelies?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Re-Directing the Ship

It seems I've been frequenting the two steps forward, one step back bit, over and over as of late. The funny part about it, is that I've been accepting and welcoming these movements more than I think I have ever before. This is quite the contrast, as for a couple of years, I have been caught up in the what next, how will I do it, who must I talk to, network, network, move, move. The problem is that in hurried movements and in pressure, we often miss the little things, the whispers, the moments that are placed in our path to tweak our perspective, to be the pivot in our moves; the small exchange that has the ability to alter the course of the day, weeks, or years ahead.  So for these reasons, I've been letting go; letting go of the self-pressure, the worry, the self-inflicted anxiety, the on-going lists in my mind, to re-center.

It is taking some time--as it should, after having spent a couple of years creating expectations of myself, but I can feel the let-go--the release of energy that was draining me more than replenishing.  During the rush, I found myself asking more questions about my goals, where I was headed, what I was doing and why?   If I'm ready--emotionally, equipped enough mentally, questions about these things and my work and how they may affect me as a wife and mother, are all subjects that came to the surface needing to be addressed. 

I hate to be too vague, because my life is in stories, and I need and want to share them--
In due time, I will.

I have faith that in the quiet, there is more. 
It has always been this way for me.
Quiet prayers and solitude will replenish this soul--
because surely, I'm not the captain--only the co-captain of this ship.

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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