Monday, June 13, 2022

Summer Break is Here

We are starting our first full week of summer break and a lot has happened already!

On Friday, we visited our local amusement park for the first time of the season! Since we get season passes, a visit to our local amusement park is a weekly adventure for us. 

This is the first year that Laney is able to ride the kiddie rides and she absolutely loves it!

We had a busy and great first weekend of summer break! On Saturday, I worked a few hours at our family’s diner and then I took Piper to her friend’s birthday party at the playground. After that, we went to our friend’s going away party where the kids played on an inflatable water slide!

On Sunday, we went to church and then our friends took Piper for the rest of the afternoon while Nick and I traveled about an hour away to look at a new used vehicle. Our H3 SUV is at the end of it’s life and so we snagged up a great deal on a Honda Pilot. We have some work to put into it but it should be good to go in no time!

Later that evening we picked up Piper from our friends house and visited with them for a while. An ice cream truck came by which was the hit of the night! 

We had a late summer night type of dinner by the time we got home. It was one of those nights when it was nearly bedtime and we all thought - “hey, we didn’t eat dinner!” So, I ran to the store in town and grabbed some sub rolls, meats and cheese. We quickly made ourselves some subs which I think might be a new summer staple to get us through these long summer days!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

School’s Out for Summer | 2022

Today is the first day of summer break! Hip hip hooray!

Piper has finished first grade! Laney and I are both so happy to have her home with us during the days, again! Yesterday, Laney greeted Piper with flowers when she got home from her last day of school. It was the cutest thing!

The remainder of this week will be spent settling in and creating new routines/rhythms at home. One of our most fun and favorite summer routines is to go to our local amusement park every Friday night! Tomorrow will be our first visit of the season!

Today was more relaxed. It rained during the morning and so we played inside. When Laney went down for her nap, the sun started peaking out and so Piper and I went outside. 

When we got outside, we saw the lettuce I had planted last month was ready to be harvested and so I taught Piper how to cut and clean lettuce for the first time. 

When I planted these seeds, I didn’t realize all the lessons I was planting with them. There is so much joy to be found in the garden, and we have plenty of garden to explore this year.

We are really excited about all of the growth this summer will bring!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Finding Refuge in the Garden

Wow. It's June! The first day of June. I am still a bit in shock. My garden is filling up with plants, school is winding down for the year and, the weather has been consistently warm. There are a lot of indicators that it is the beginning of June, however, I am still orienting myself to that truth.

The past few weeks have been incredibly productive and busy in the best way! 

Piper started coach pitch softball and has games twice each week. She's doing so great learning and growing with her team. She is about to finish first grade and we couldn't be any more proud of her!

Delaney is growing and expanding in her development seemingly each day. She keeps saying more and more things, and we seem to be understanding one another in almost every way. 

My husband and I really hit the ground running once the weather became consistently nice.

We (mostly Nick and my grandpa) got our new garden fenced finished just in time for me to put in all 18 of our tomato plants last weekend.

This garden is becoming quite the transformational space. Not only in it's looks but also in a way that it is helping transform me, my daily rhythms, and my heart. When I am stressed, I run to the garden. When I am happy, I run to the garden. When I am sad, I run to the garden. And when I am in the garden, I am in the presence of God.

This past week has been challenging for my heart. The recent shooting in TX has been weighing on me heavily. Tears are escaping my eyes right at this moment just at the action of typing those words. Since I found out about it, there have been many moments in each day where I have cried about the horrific and tragic loss of those innocent children. Usually, it all comes out in the garden. Through my tears, I have prayed. Mostly, I have prayed wordless prayers allowing my tears to be carried by the Holy Spirit. It's too much for my heart. It's more than our souls were meant to endure. It feels like too much because it is far more than too much.

My garden is quickly becoming a refuge not only for me, but for my entire family. My daughter, Piper, loves to meet me out in the garden with a cup of decaffeinated tea. I know God meets her there too, because it is in the garden when I hear her talk about God the most. The other morning, as we walked around the garden with our tea in hand, Piper said to me "Isn't it cool mom that God made this morning for us to be together here in the garden? He planned out this time for us right now! He knows what's going to happen today. I bet it's going to be good!" ... for reference, Piper is 7, and yes, she is very wise.

So, even though my heart is grief stricken about the world right now, I lament with hope.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Mother’s Day 2022

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and it was wonderful! I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day, as well.

My day started out with tea in the garden with my oldest daughter, Piper. She also cherishes simple, peaceful moments as I do. She is a bit of an old soul in this way and I love it. These moments out in the garden together as the sun rises are some very special moments between us. We often talk about God and anything else Piper might have questions about.

After eating breakfast, we all went to church. Then, we grabbed footlong hot dogs from an ice cream stand for lunch. Nick (re)filled our 4x4 garden bed in the afternoon while I did a couple loads of laundry. Then, we all went to Piper’s friend’s birthday party at the tumble gym. The girls had a blast!

My Mother’s Day ended the same way it began - with tea in the garden. I ended the day praising God for the blessing of being the mother to my two beautiful daughters. 

What a gift it is to be a mother!

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Gracefully Grown

I've been working on some fun projects, lately! I have a lot going on with my garden planning and prepping. I have been trying to document the process along the way. I created a separate space for sharing all about my homesteading adventures. I am still trying to figure out if I want to compartmentalize in that way or combine it all with this space. For now, I'm keeping it separate. 

If you are interested in homesteading, gardening, canning, etc. you can go follow me over at @gracefully.grown on Instagram. I also wanted to share a little video I made showing how we built our raised bed garden.

If this is something you enjoy, please let me know! Learning about homesteading has been so fun for me lately. It's something I really enjoy doing!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Grief and the Weather

Another reason why I may not be blogging as often lately is because I’ve been journaling more. Pencil to paper. It’s my favorite way to write!

I want to share what I wrote in my journal today. It was about grief and the weather.
As I sit in my chair next to the window, I see there is a light dusting of snow on the trees outside. This might be another year where we see snow clear into May. This weekend, we had a wonderful taste of Spring - well, Summer, actually. It was 80° and sunny. Today, a soft snow falls from the sky.

The abrupt change in weather is a shock to the body and mind. A familiar feeling. It reminds me of my walk through grief. Some days feel like summer, and some days snap you right back into winter.

I really don’t want to look at winter as “bad” and summer as “good” even though it may feel that way at times. They both have their purpose; their own beauty. Same goes with the “winter” and “summer” we experience in grief. 

The cold and isolating days of grief/winter are grueling. But in those cold, dark days the Lord’s warm invite into His loving arms feels more like exactly what we need. 

Likewise, in the joyful days of summer we can feel the Lord’s warm embrace as the hot sun covers our body and all His creation.

The weather today, such a stark contrast to the weather of yesterday, can remind us of one important thing: 

God’s warm embrace is waiting for us in any season. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Our Family Easter 2022

Whoops! I forgot to hit "publish" on this post. So even though it's been well over a week, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! We sure did! 

There were quite a few times where I intentionally stopped whatever I was doing to savor the fact that we are living out some of the best days of our lives with our kids. Every day with young children comes with a different mix of chaos and beauty. That goes for holidays, especially. 

On Saturday, I worked at our family’s diner in the morning and then we all went to church for an evening Easter service. I love Easter and all that it calls us to reflect on in Jesus. 

We had a nice and slow Sunday morning. The kids opened everything in their Easter baskets on and then we all decided to go to our family’s diner for breakfast. After Laney’s nap, we went to my dad’s house for lunch. It was a really nice day!

I did take some video footage over Easter weekend. I hope to have a little video montage created sometime soon! :)

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Value in the Mundane

Hello, hello! I hope this blog finds you well. Thanks for stopping by to catch up with me today.

It’s quite clear that I haven’t been blogging as much recently. The other day, I started to ask myself why that has been the case. Sure, I haven’t been feeling all that well (see previous post for more on that). But, that isn’t the only reason. Some of the reason is because I feel like I don’t want to waste anyones time with my ramblings. Time is precious and fleeting. I don’t want to waste my own time or yours. 

So, I think another reason I haven’t been blogging all that much is because I’ve been trying not to blog unless I have something really important to say. Unlike years ago, when I would update on the most mundane, little daily things happening in my life. But, I don’t know if I like that train of thinking all that much. Because it’s the little, sometimes mundane things, that I want to be able to look back on and remember.

For instance, I want to share and remember how when our 16 month old daughter, Laney, gives hugs she throw her arms behind her back and lays into you. It’s truly the sweetest thing. Or, how Piper helped me plant our tomato seeds for this years garden the other day. During which time, she shared a bunch of facts about how to grow plants and how worms are beneficial for the soil. In that moment, my heart was so proud.

It’s those little things that happen throughout our days that I want to capture and savor for years to come. So while some of my writings may seem mundane, I don’t believe it is a waste of time (at least for me) to capture it all. I hope to be sharing more of the mundane here, soon.