Currently (Vol.9)

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Thankful for:

Places of respite where we can go and refuel.  We got to go away for a few days to the beach at the end of September and it was perfection.  Exactly what we needed, family time to just be together.  No agenda, no schedule, no obligations, just white space.  I’m talking about the white open space on our calendar, it makes me excited just thinking about it.  I am a firm believer that everyone needs white space every now and then– even if it has to be scheduled!!

Reading:

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Never have I been so excited to read a book, than this one!  “Empowered” is my husband’s new book that he wrote about embracing God’s commission and how to live in a way that exudes Christ.  My husband has been working so hard the past couple of months, writing this!  It has been a privilege to have a front row seat and watch God work through His words.   Proud of him for sticking with it and really bringing to life an important message!  Also its so fun to type his name in on Amazon and find his book!

Watching:

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Can’t wait to go see Gone Girl at the movies.  It’s always fun to go see a movie when you have already read the book.  I read the book last year so I am sure I won’t pick up on all the details that don’t align anyway!

Cooking:

 

Soup and bread making started last night at our house, which is always exciting for me.  Not only is it super easy but leftover soup is always the best!   If you looking for a super easy fool proof bread recipe, this is your ticket.  Last night I mixed some Italian seasonings into it and it went perfectly with the pesto tortellini soup.

Encouraged:

The other week when I signed into my Etsy shop, I realized that it’s been a whole year since I took the leap and opened the shop.  Looking back I am glad I did because not only has it given me a creative outlet the past year, but its really helped me grow in so many areas of my life.  Its taken me totally out of my comfort zone, and pushed me to a place thats a little uncomfortable.  To celebrate we are offering 20% from now till Wednesday on all existing pieces in the shop.  We even made a Facebook page this week and an Instagram account, @thelovelymosaic  — finally right!

It’s amazing the places God will take you when you release control about knowing where it will end up!  Humbled to be in the place that I am, and excited to see where He leads me in the future!

Have a great week everyone!

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All I have needed

Words hold meaning to me.

There is something special about choosing to put words on the walls of the home you live in.  They express your values, they show whats important to you.  Every sign that I work on speaks to me in some way, reminding me of a tiny droplet of truth.  When I choose a sign to display in my house, I make sure it will serve as a reminder to all who walk in.

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I love this sign, and will be sad when the day comes when it sells.  It has been a great reminder that God has truly provided all we needed.  There may be times when I feel like something didn’t work out for us, but I look back and think was that really a need we had or was it something we just thought would make life easier.

Theres is this beautiful quiet surrender that happens when we comprehend that we can do no more.  When we trust that God is going to pick up the pieces and charge forward on our behalf as the ultimate provider.

There are stories upon stories of God providing for us; from boxes of diapers on our doorsteps, to helping pay off our debt, places to go for respite, and relationships that fed our souls when we were on empty.

My faith in God providing for the future comes from recognizing and remembering how He has provided in the past.  He has been faithful to my family, and He will continue to be faithful to us.

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I want the kids to see the signs hanging in our house and always know that those words mean something to us.   They help us look back to the past with gratitude, they ground us in the present, and they secure us in our future.

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I love a good list

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Lists are my friends.

I make a list every morning before the day starts.  Every day people!  Sometimes I think its a good thing and sometimes I wish my brain could just shut off for a day.  I’m so scheduled that if I want to have rest or a day off I have to actually schedule it and prepare for it.  My planner is always out so I know what has to be done in the next couple of days.

The desire for a list can often consume me with feeling like if I make the list and it gets accomplished than I succeeded.  I did what I was supposed to do, and somewhere someone is applauding me and recognizing all of my completed tasks.  It doesn’t matter if I complained or had a bad attitude, the job got done.

Thankfully God doesn’t keep a list, he doesn’t keep track of what we have done.  (Lets be honest here, that would super stressful for me!)  He doesn’t have our weekly planners uploaded to His server, double checking if we have accomplished everything He intended for us.  He simply just wants our hearts – He wants our hearts to love Him and to love others.  No pressures to cross off the lists.  No pressure to be “doing” every day of every week.

I often confuse the two and think that if I just do more – than God is happy with how much I am “doing” for Him.  I start believing that I can keep God satisfied if the “God” box is continually checked off.  I served, task completed, God is pleased.

Every day I have to remind myself that its not about me.  It’s not about what I do.  It’s not about what I can accomplish for God.  It’s not about what other people see me doing.  Its more about my heart.

Its about me understanding that God is first pleased when my heart and mind align, and the purest form of love is passed to everyone around me.  My “being with God” needs to be right before my “doing” pleases Him.

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5 Fall fashion must haves

That title is a mouthful – but I am so eager to move out of my summer clothes and into my fall wardrobe.  I’m convinced I love fall & winter clothes much more, who doesn’t love layers and chunky scarves and boots!

Instead of just buying whatever I see on sale, I am trying each season to come up with five things that I think are must haves that I will be on the look out for over the next couple of months.

1. Plaid scarf

Love how a simple plaid really changes a whole outfit and love the little prep feel it adds.

2.  Plaid Button Up Shirt

Totally obsessed with plaid this year – going to give my hubs 5 seconds before he calls me a lumberjack – but I don’t care!! Love how comfy they look.

3. Low Booties

Lets just say don’t try searching “Flat Booties” on pinterest- I saw a lot more than just ankle high boots!  Saw this trend 2 years ago– and kinda hated it.  Last year I saw it wasn’t leaving – and couldn’t figure out if I could pull it off.  Now I am actually starting to like them.  I don’t really wear a heel so I am sure it will take me another three years to find the perfect pair—- and the trend will be long over!

4. Military jacket

Love the laid back look of these.  This will have to be something I only get if its a good deal.  Seeing that it will be hard to convince my husband that I NEED another jacket!

 

5. Chunky headband

Loving these headbands for winter, it may also help that all these girls have amazing hair.  So really any type of rag on their head would look cute!  Found this adorable etsy shop, Three Bird Nest, I am in love with all of them!

Bonus Pick – Nail Polish

Loving the new Essie color Mochachino

 

Enjoy your day!
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Currently (Vol. 8)

 

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Thankful for:

A cool breeze that ushers us from summer to the beginning of fall.  A cooler air that allows for a cup of earl grey in the afternoons and not just the mornings.

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Thinking about:

How each fresh season brings about new family adventures to be had.  Bike rides with no destination, just riding the pavement trying to catch the last moments of the day.

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Enjoying:

Finding a new tea shop and spending way too much time sampling different teas with two littles waiting.  Loving a husband who tells you to treat yourself and buy some goodies!

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Loving:

Putting out the fall decor in the house and lighting the pumpkin candles.  So that when the sporadic 80 degree days pop up in September, the inside of our home will at least look and smell like fall.

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Courage

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Courage to share your whole heart- be who you really are.

Courage isn’t something that comes naturally to me, actually not at all.  Growing up I was not someone who acted like – who I really was.  I was constantly trying to morph into who I thought people would want me to be.  I think deep in my heart I knew who I was but struggled with the confidence to be that person.  I watched this ruin some long years of my life when I was a teenager.

I often wonder if I could go back and just be myself, how differently situations would have panned out.  I remember getting to college and I finally could act like myself thinking I had overcome my confidence issue.  It probably helped that I was around more people who were like me, and had the same values as me.  But sometimes our struggles have a way of hiding for a season, and creep up on us when we least expect it.

After having kids, when I thought my self confidence would be stable, I quickly discovered it began to crumble again.  I was easily persuaded by people with how they choose to raise their kids or even how they dressed, or how they lived.  Consistently feeling that if I changed one more thing about myself or the way I lived, then finally I would feel complete.  Like the thing I had searched for all of my life – suddenly would be found.256272e24a8be61d0fdec20843f3c872

Over the years, the lack of self confidence literally bled itself throughout my life.  Ever since I can remember I always felt like my brain was constantly thinking about new ideas, always desiring to be creative in some format or another.  Creativity though requires courage – and for years that was just something I didn’t allow myself.  Without even knowing it I had become chained by my own fears, held back by my lack of courage.  Things I would think of doing, would instantly be shot down by myself.   In the back of my head was the haunting thought, “what would people think?”

 

Wouldn’t it be great if I could say, I never think that anymore., but I do.  That I don’t really care what people think, that I don’t let it consume me.  It usually creeps up right before my best work comes out.  Right before I allow myself permission to just be me.

4fcea79892142cc1f76510d0a765acc2It is then I am forced to look at myself & truly accept the flaws and the cracks and remember that God loves this broken vessel that I am.  He is the glue that holds all these pieces together.  He is the reason that I have confidence.  He is greater than my fear, and He is the gentle push that reminds me that He created me to have freedom. Freedom to be who I am–at every second of every day.

 

 

 

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Currently (Vol 7)

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Thinking about:

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How I am constantly still struggling with my confidence, even though by now I should be older and wiser!  Why is it that a simple negative comment can really make me feel like I could crumble.  I know when you blog and run your own business, you put yourself out there, you have to promote your stuff.  Part of the risk of doing that is that there will be people that don’t like it- and you have given them a forum to tell you.  Most ironic thing is that all last week I had been working on a post about courage, only to then end the week with feeling like I was all out of it.

Reading:

I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday because my son had some gift card money to spend there, and I started just taking pics of books that look interesting to see if I could try and get them out of the library.  Anyone read any of these yet?  Would love a good recommendation!!

Thankful for:

The different routines I get to have with the kids in this new season.  Watching soccer games, and playing in the park after dinner.  I am trying to take advantage of walking the kids over to school, seeing that its only a half mile away.  It just seems like the walk over is a great time to talk before their day starts.  Conversation usually isn’t always deep but its more that I am leaving space for unhurried talk.  I am loving how when we get home my littlest and I usually make a smoothie to start the day.  I love the stage of life we are entering in – big kids are my new favorite!!

Planning:

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Trying to be more intentional about money spending habits for the next couple of weeks.  I always feel like the end of August- beginning of September is like a whirlwind of money demands.  School supplies, back to school clothes, sport sign ups, two birthdays this month, and school fundraiser stuff.  All of these additional things seem to have made our  budget take a hit, so I am going to try and do a little spending detox to gain control of the budget again.  I am going into this fully aware that whenever I do this, about 25 extra expenses happen that we weren’t planning for.

Creating:

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Worked on this sign for a couple days last week, and really loved using a new font style I haven’t used before.  I just started another sign this size with the same font.  It’s always fun to find a font type thats new that I am drawn too.  My goal of trying to fill up the shop before the holidays seems to be going well.  I am learning to embrace the slow pace I have right now with my little business, I always am wanting to do more and do it quicker.  But then I remember the whole point of this was to be able to have more time home with the kids.  Fitting the creating part in with three kids can be a little tricky, but being able to be home more is worth it.
A Mama Collective
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Beneficial Words

We want life to be fun, whether thats with out family our in our marriage.  We even came up with ten things to do to celebrate our our ten years of marriage!  Fun just doesn’t happen, you have to make it happen.  You have to be intentional about creating an environment thats relaxed where laughter and joy naturally overflows from our lives.

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Nine times out of ten, that starts with me.  Its very simple in our home, how my initial words come out to the kids or to my husband when I wake up—literally can set the tone for the rest of the day.  When I see that the kids forgot to pack up their backpacks, or put their shoes away in the right drawers, or if my husband forgot to start the dishwasher last night, or if the puppy has another accident on the kitchen floor.  I have to make a choice.  Will those small moments of imperfection, of bitterness, or of dissapointment snowball to an attitude that follows me through the day?

Sometimes its not about me having enough patience or peace to let things go—but if I am willing to let the imperfect go and embrace the let downs.  Most times I have enough patience to speak with a kind voice asking the kids to please remember to put their shoes in the right spot, its just I choose not too.

I choose what comes naturally to me– a feeling or resentment that if Mom is giving her all, everyone else should too.

The reality though is that I am not perfect.

I am not perfect.

I mess up.

I forget to do things.

I don’t always put things back perfectly.

And they all show me love, they show me patience– they show me grace.

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This is a verse I make our kids write over and over if they aren’t speaking kindly—needless to say it is now hanging over my sink, as a reminder that my words are equally as important as theirs!  Letting go of the tiny disapointments one choice at a time; embracing the beauty of all our imperfections–including my own.  Reminding me that my words hold weight, and to be intentional about how I use them.  We can choose joy and we can choose fun, but if we don’t watch how we choose our words—the environment we want so badly to be intentional about creating will never exist.  

Let’s have our words be ones that benefit today!

 

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Currently (Vol. 6)

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Thinking about:

 

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Fall and every beautiful thing that comes with it.  I am less of a September girl, but more of an October kind of person.  I love how fall means soups & crockpot meals are back in rotation, and I can finally leave the oven on and not feel like I am heating up my whole house!  Just the other day I was walking through Target and was so thrilled to see how Starbucks even has a new fall flavor for their chai tea, vanilla caramel!  They also have a pumpkin spice chai one, but this one tops all the others.  Gives you the perfect Starbucks flavor anytime you want— and you don’t break your wallet.

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 Watching:

Parenthood S5

Season 5 of Parenthood on Netflix!  I know– how could I not have seen it???  We have a hard time being able to watch a show on a designated night because our schedule is too crazy.  So we are addicted to Netflix and watch most of our shows there.  We just watched episode one and in a sec I fell in love with all the characters again!!

Thankful for:

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The 2.5 hours of quiet I get each day the big kids are in school, and the littlest naps.  This time, whether its spent painting, cleaning, cooking, reading, or just laying on the couch — balances me!!!  It completes me– cheesy right?!?  But seriously this time is so precious at this stage of life.  Starting today this will be my first full week of the kids in school and I can’t believe how every one has fallen into a rythym again.

Listening to:

I was reading an old Cooking Light magazine of mine and saw a little article about these two sisters from the series, “Nashville”.  It said they were discovered from a youtube video, a song they covered got over 19 million hits. I know I am so behind the time, I am sure everyone already knows who they and have heard them but their voices are amazing!!! This is the Stella sisters singing a song about mother nature which seems perfectly fall approriate!

Cooking:

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 Italian Chicken Soup is something I think my whole family would eat!!

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 This quinoa chicken chili looks like it would freeze great for lunches.

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 Love me some crock pot recipes, and this honey sesame chicken looks amazing!

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 Another family friendly meal, and bonus she says it takes only 15 mins!

 

A Mama Collective

 

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Our Little Porch

Let me introduce you to my favorite room in my house—- the porch.

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I figure its the right time to shine a light on her, because September is one of her favorite months.  She is a simple room, a little brisk air is when she breathes easiest.

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When my husband and I walked through our house before we put an offer on it, we didn’t think much of it.  I don’t even remember talking about it.  Little did we know that she would become one of the most used spaces in our home.

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Tons of conversations have been had here — roaring laughter that could be heard around the corner, goodbyes that have been hard to swallow.  Most importantly its a place where people feel comfortable to sit and linger.

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Its not because she’s perfectly decorated or has the best furniture.  Her old wicker seating and rough outside carpet has seen better days.  We love her despite her worn edges and painted screens.  We love this porch so much because it is our respite; our oasis, our space.

It is the place we go to recharge and reflect.  We go to there for solice.  When we shut her door – the noise of life becomes a little quieter and we feel like this 12×10 space gives us the space we need to feel alive again.

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In my mind, plays an ongoing movie reel of all of the people that have sat here and all of the conversations that has been had.

The magical thing about this porch is when you go out at dusk and get to witness the transformation that happens as dark approaches.  She begins to twinkle— I tend to think the porch prefers to be nocturnal.  Two simple strands of lights hide her imperfections and create an atmosphere for lingering.

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DSC_0619I want to make sure we always have a space, that reminds us that is it okay to linger.  It is ok to stay up way too late, to have the best conversation of the week, to forget about the busyness of life and embrace the place where time ceases to exist.

That place for me right now is this little porch.