Tuesday, November 24, 2015


My Dad sent along this video of Ann Voskamp. I enjoyed reading her book last winter and yes, like Amanda, I'm a natural... realist. Pessimist? Something. And YES. I'm trying. Thankfully, I married Brian, who is also grateful. Positive. Seeing the possibilities and open doors.

So, as we enter Thanksgiving, I'd like to join in on the topic that many people are discussing this week. I give you photos. I give you photos because it's often how I become most grateful. Through people I love, capturing their smile, through the beauty surrounding me and those who point me right back to the Lord, who has loved me and given me so many good gifts...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh... and here's a bonus. Because... well, I certainly am grateful to my Dad... 
who brought up the whole topic to begin with.
Yup. That's definitely me.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Take 175

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
I finally did it! I picked a company, designed, ordered and received our first family photo album! We had discussed doing this a while back... and both agreed that we wanted to prioritize it. So, I finally got around to it. We got married in 2012, so I may order a couple of back-dated ones, but 2014 is complete and in the house! Hooray!
 --- 2 ---
George, Rowan and I are trying to take advantage of the zoo as much as possible before it essentially closes for the winter... This Sunday, I delighted in the fact that George finds all things wonderful. In fact, scurrying chipmunks are even more wonderful than sleeping lions. 
--- 3 ---
I got fed up. The silverware drawer just hasn't worked well since we got married. So, I emptied the drawer to figure out if maybe I could squeak a little space here or reorganize a little bit there... Only to find a brand new (in the box!) pampered chef knife! Voila! an extra 3" of space in the drawer... and now we have a brand new knife! 
 (I am positive this knife was a part of a gift from my Dad's lovely sisters... Mary Ann, Peggy and Marcella... THANK YOU!) 
--- 4 ---
We have harvested our season's rosemary crop... and I'm quite impressed with the amount! Feel free to share your favorite rosemary recipes with me... I'm shocked by how little I actually use rosemary. In bread is my favorite way!
--- 5 ---
So, I would say that I'm the "social media" one of the family. And yes, sometimes I'm embarrassed by it. I definitely relate to the analogies of drug-like dependence on checking my phone... And yes, I'm embarrassed by it. 

So, that will help you understand why when my husband said he Tweeted something... I just couldn't. stop. laughing. Because... I never have!

--- 6 ---
I've been enjoying my drive-home-from-work-NPR as of late and this week I particularly enjoyed an interview with Grant and Jen of Just Eat It. I'm looking forward to seeing this documentary. I will admit, our household hardly ever throws away any food... But, I did like their idea of a "Eat me first" bin for the fridge.
--- 7 ---
I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving--we'll be skipping our Quick Takes next week. Take some time to reflect on gratitude and all the gifts the Lord has given us... I've already begun doing so... and boy! We are certainly blessed beyond measure. Thank you, Lord! (Of course, if you miss me next Friday, you can always click here...) hehe.

Happy Friday!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Take 174

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
This week's 7 Quick Takes are dedicated to my daughter Rowan, who slept EIGHT HOURS in a ROW last night. Sweetheart, You. Da. Best.
 --- 2 ---
I just HAVE to share this video with you... Not only is it very sweet, it is also proof that we're reading to our children and they're learning... Now I just need to work on being more exciting, because based on his impression of us... we have to step-up our "voices" game. :)
--- 3 ---
This past weekend was the People of Praise Women's Retreat. We don't always go out of town for our retreats, so this year was particularly special. It was on Lake Wawasee, and the weather was especially beautiful, showing off God's awesome creation. The topic of the retreat was joy, and I was very blessed by it. Still thinking and praying lots about how to capture and perpetuate joy in our little family on a daily basis!
--- 4 ---
October 31st was the last day of the train running at our Potawatomi Zoo. I was that mother who decided that YES, I did want to take our family to the zoo basically only to ride the train. When it was 40 degrees. And raining. Hahaha. I felt like a crazy woman. But, it was a clear desire of mine, so we went. 

And the best part? George was so overwhelmed and overstimulated by the experience that he never even smiled! I'm sure he enjoyed himself, but he was soaking it all in too much. 

I will say that going to the indoor exhibit of the monkeys and snakes was probably the best part, because not only was it warm, George was running around exclaiming things with great joy. It was delightful.  
--- 5 ---
I have been listening to Heaven is for Real on audio book this week. Wow. Have you read this book? It's changing what I think about heaven. It's so interesting. And honestly, I'd typically be somewhat of a skeptic on books like this... but I have been captured by it. It's hard to put down!
--- 6 ---
This week I left George unattended in the basement, which is not unusual. It's a totally kid-proofed space and there's no door on the stairs, so I can always hear him. BUT, this week I forgot to close the door to the storage side... which is NOT kid-proofed. Let's just say that George dropped something down the floor drain and Mama had an adventure getting it out...
--- 7 ---
I have thought for a long time that Flickr is a dying platform... BUT, I still use it to see photos from some of my friends occasionally. I've always found it a little humerous that every time I open their app (which is maybe once per month), it says to me, "Flickr is pretty neat, huh?" and then asks me to rate their app... Heh. The answer to your leading question is... No, not really. :)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Month Three

Things I love about Rowan
in the season of month three:

-Oh the many sweet smiles! You're just so giving with your many bright eyed smiles.
-You have definitely started a pattern: sleep, eat, diaper change, then play. It takes a LOT of the guess work out of what you need, because you almost always like those four things in that order. I'm loving that.
-Your legs are getting stronger! You like to "stand" and stiffen your legs while I hold you.
-You are not a very happy car baby. Unless everything has been done to make you comfortable, you won't fall asleep... Movement don't matter if you're wet or hungry.
-I've gone back to work and you're protesting bottles. Are you a redhead? (see photo above)
-You've begun engaging with George. That is THE sweetest thing. Ever! You gurgle and smile at him while he mimics me and says in a high pitched voice, "Hi, Baby!"

I have now vowed to take more video of Rowan... Because this is the best that I have...

[George: Month Three]