Monday, October 31, 2011

{ fall treasure hunt }

   I wanted to hurry and post up a little something fallish, before we leave on our big, big trip tomorrow morning. The kids and I are driving down to So. Cal and will be gone until the middle of Nov. Most people have called me crazy/nuts for taking three children under the age of five, by myself, driving 20+ hours in two days. One friend was sweet enough to say that I am a super woman. David and I have joked about that since then...We are pretty sure that was a typo and she meant to say stupid woman.
  We are positively giddy about getting to spend 10 whole days with these super dear friends and be there to celebrate her turning 30 years young. And then to have this sweet + lovely friend of ours join us for a few days and then get to road trip home together. This morning I am praying over all of it and checking off my list of road trip essentials: fun snacks, enough to feed a small army, a little stash of dollar store toys to hand out along the way, a ipod full of new to us recorded books, and stacks and stacks of books and movies and silly songs...Wish me luck! I am determined to make it as pleasant an experience as possible, because as Helen Keller said, " Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. "

In the meantime here is a peek at what we have been up to the last couple weeks. And a fall treasure hunt for you to go on, if you are feeling so inclined


Look For:

Acorn or other nuts
Animal hole in the ground
Animal tracks
Birds nest
Blade of grass
Clover leaf
Dead tree
Deer tracks
Dew on a flower or leaf
Hole in a tree
Evergreen tree
Leaves: Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, Brown
Pine cone
Pine needles
Pine tree
Seeds or seed pod
Spider web
Small pebble
Smooth and shiny rock
Stream or creek
Unusual shaped leaf

Listen to:

__ Leaves under your feet
__ Wind in the trees
__ Sound of a bee
__ Birds singing
__ Cricket
__ Water running in a creek
__ Noises in the woods

__Tree bark
__Prickly plant
__Wet mud
__Rotten wood
__Wind blowing on face
__Texture of various rocks

__Pine tree
__Green grass
__Fresh air
__Cedar tree


__Animals eating
__Leaf falling to the ground
__Spider web w/insect
__Ant moving something
__Wind blowing the leaves
__Fish jumping
__Clouds going by
__For something funny
__For something unusual
__Sunlight coming through trees
__Sunrise or sunset
__Stars in the sky
__Reflection in the water
__Trail markers
__Animal homes or shelters


Friday, October 21, 2011

{ 6 month Lucy }

Here you are at six months. Our little bright eyes. And by little, I mean that figuratively because you're not exactly what I would call little for your age. You have rolls on your thighs that go on for miles and I can't get over how much I love them on you.

You are just starting to crawl, sit up, eat porridge, say " ma ma" " hi " and wave at us. Of all those things I just listed I am pretty sure it is safe to say that eating porridge is your favorite. Annabelle calls you her Chubby-Whubby and says that her baby sister is her very favorite thing in the whole wide world. I am hoping she still thinks that about you in ten or fifteen years.

Lucy you are a darling and easy baby. You're a good eater, sleeper, pooper, etc.
You have been since day one.
In fact I don't think I could exaggerate just how purely delightful you are.

Daddy is crazy about you Lucy...I have heard him tell perfect strangers in the store that you are his ray of sunshine. And Daddy is not usually mush-y like that, at least not with strangers.
Your face lights up when he walks in the room.  It's obvious to me that you worship the ground he walks on. But then again we all kind of feel that way about him around here.
You two have something pretty special. I hope and pray you always do.
Oh and did I also mention that he calls you his " sweet note..."

You keep me company from your purple bumbo perch while I am working in the kitchen and I think I might tell you a hundred times a day that you are cute. 
So cute that I can hardly stand it. 
So cute that I have to grit my teeth.

And speaking of cute, meet your Great Grandpa Roland. He's Nana's daddy. We were able to spend a couple precious hours with him this past summer. 
He was rather taken with you. The feeling appeared to be quite mutual. 
Lucy Wren, we love you. You light up our world baby girl. 
And there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank Jesus for the beautiful and perfect gift that you are. 

P.S.  Andrea you won the favorite things giveaway. 
Pretty please email me at with your address, dear girl.

And then sweet Dawna can you send me your address as well? 
I have a really, really good book  to send to you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

List No. 4 - My Favorite Things (one last giveaway + a list of winners)

  1. blue mason jars full of garden zinnias*
  2. Grannie Annie (  please pray for her if you think of it...she's had a rough last few months )
  3. Lucy's thighs
  4. red barns, red shoes, red chairs, red doors, red doors, red accents etc.
  5. Chocolate*
  6. This man with his literal red neck + work stained hands, who loved us, who is strong and good.
  7. Jack's quilt that Fairlight made him
  8. polka dots
  9. One Thousand Gifts *( it's changed my life )
  10. Mrs Meyers* ( it's a Spokane thing )
  11. my home team ( read the book it away on Friday)
  12. baking bread
  13. iced coconut lattes
  14. birds nests + robins eggs
  15. color
  16. Spotify  ( good music*)
  17. Annabelle's giggle
  18. Listening to sermons
  19. my sisters, who are technically sister in laws but only in title
  20. kisses from Jack
  21. October Afternoon*
  22. David's smile
  23. reproduction feedsack * fabrics from the 30's + 40's*
  24. P.F. Changs
  25. buntings*
  26. Trader Joes* ( our store is opening here this Friday, Oct. 28th, whoo-hoo!)
  27. old houses
  28. vintage anything*
  29. children's books*
  30. this ( it's my way of cheating on this list)
And as a last hurrah I am giving away a box wrapped in brown paper + tied up with string full of things off of my favorite things list. See asterisks for a clue.
To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment telling me about a  random act of kindness that you have either heard of, have done, plan to do, or have had done to you.  

Winner to be chosen and announced Friday, October 21st.
Good luck ladies.
And now for that list of winners...
Winners chosen using

Giveaway No. 1:  A pretty pair of earrings from Crystal B. -Deborah said: Her style is beautiful!Very sweet.

Giveaway No. 2:  $20.00 Store Credit from K.Walter Vintage -Fairlightday said: Oh! What loveliness in her shop! I would probably pick one of the tables clothes (since I can't have enough!) or that darling cake saver!

Giveaway No. 3. $30.00 Store Credit to Out of the Blue - Miller Family said: I LOVE the CHRYSANTHEMUM BLOOM necklace!! And also the Baguette Clutch :)

Giveaway No. 4. Fall Leaves Tee from Nostalgic Graphic Tees -Nancy said: This is such a sweet gift! I love the ballerina and the girl with the leaves. I liked and favorited.

Giveaway No. 5. Art print of your choice from Gus + Lula - Katie said: Love her! And I love #3 on your list...reminds me of "a clean house is the sign of a wasted life". :) and I forget whose it is right now. Happy happy day Chelle!

Giveaway No. 6. Black + White Family Rules Art Print -Andi Mae said:  Love love love this! So much! And I love that it is something that I know Erik would like too! :) Favorited the shop + how could I not? Everything in it is so lovely!

Giveaway No.7. Lovely Vintage Moleskin Quote Journal - Becca said: Yes everything Courtney makes is amazing. I also love collecting quotes. Her house should be in a magazine! Oh and of course her shop is already a fave!

 Okay, now that's what I call fun! Thank you for playing along ladies. If you won one of the giveaway's please email your mailing address to and I will make sure it gets into the hands of the right person. And thank you Etsy friends for sponsoring these six wonderful giveaways. What fun! And if you haven't won anything yet, keep trying, there are two more giveaways ending on Friday. :)

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    { List No. 3 - Books + another Giveaway }

    Books I am reading , want to read or re-read this year:

    1. The Magic of Ordinary Days**
    2. Playful Learning**
    3. Real Marriage *
    4. Bittersweet ***
    5. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction*
    6. Joy For Beginners*
    7. A Meal With Jesus*
    8. Gift From the Sea*
    9. The Mission of Motherhood*
    10. Give Them Grace**
    11. Grace For the Good Girl*
    12. Romancing Your Husband*
    13. Tomorrow Will Be Better*
    14. Sala's Gift*
    15. Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places*
    16. The Noticer*
    17. Unbroken *
    18. I Capture The Castle*
    19. The Waiting Place*
    20. Suprised By Grace*
    21. One Thousand Gifts***
    22. The Happiness Project**
    23. The Things We Cherished*
    24. Steady Days: A Journey Towards Inentional , Professional Motherhood*
    25.  The Pioneer Woman, Black Heels To Tractor Wheels

    { * Books I want to read this year, ** Books I am currently reading, *** Books I want to re-read this year .}
      Leave your comment here with a book recommendation for me to enter your chance to win a copy of...Bittersweet, Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist. It was one of my very favorite reads of the past year. Here are a few quotes to give you a idea of just how good this book is:

      “Use what you have, use what the world gives you. Use the first day of fall: bright flame before winter's deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves as they spark into wild color just before they die are the world's oldest performance art, and everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white silence of winter.” 

      “When things fall apart, the broken pieces allow all sorts of things to enter, and one of them is the presence of God.”
      “I believe that suffering is part of the narrative, and that nothing really good gets built when everything's easy. I believe that loss and emptiness and confusion often give way to new fullness and wisdom."

      “We sometimes choose the most locked up, dark versions of the story, but what a good friend does is turn on the lights, open the window, and remind us that there are a whole lot of ways to tell the same story.” 

      "..sometimes the happiest ending isn't the one you keep longing for, but something you absolutely cannot see from where you are.”

      Side Note: Pintrest is my favorite way to catalog and keep track of books these days.

      Also, if you haven't already you have until to tomorrow evening to sign up for these fun little happy-birthday-to-me giveaways.

      Winner of the book to be announced on Friday, October 21st.

          Friday, October 14, 2011

          { Giveaway No. 7 + My First List }

          You might already know this, but I have a slight obsession with collecting quotes. I call them borrowed words. And my darling friend who I love + admire, and who is nothing short of a domestic goddess/creative genius, and who has the happiest house/etsy shop ( see picture below for proof ) ever, made this custom journal to give away toone of you!

          To enter this give away please go and favorite her shop,  A Cottage Life 
          and then come back and leave a comment including a quote that you are loving recently. 
          And then maybe, just maybe it will be your lucky day and you'll win this sweet little note book, that to be perfectly honest, I am going to have an awful hard time parting with. But in the chance that you do, maybe you'd like to borrow some of my borrowed words. Be my guest. This is the first list in a project I am doing this year for my 30th birthday. 30 lists of 30 things. Here are thirty quotes that I love. 
          Winner to be announced on Tuesday, October 18th.

           And yes, the rest of her house looks just as much like something out of a magazine as this does.

          Stay Tuned. More giveaway posts will be up in the next couple of days.
          Keep scrolling down through the posts as there are 6 other Happy Birthday Giveaways for you to enter below this one. 

          { Happy Birthday Giveaway No.6 }

          Giveaway includes one 20 inch x 30 inch art print of black + white family rules displayed in a subway art style design.

          A little bit about Ryan Alexander:

          Graphic design and photography are my passion.
          I love to create.
          I am meticulously detailed except for when it comes to cleaning my car.
          I am a mix of complete jock and nerd at the same time.
          I am drawn towards clean lines and modern design.
          I believe photos should not need to be fixed in photoshop, and if they do you should never be able to tell.
          I am laid back and easy to get along with.

          To enter this giveaway please go and favorite his Etsy Shop, Alexander Creative.

          Winnner to be announced Tuesday, October 18.

          { Happy Birthday Giveaway No. 5 }

          I oh so love the "art prints for a happy home"
          over at Gus + Lula
          And here is a little more about the creative genius behind this amazing little etsy shop: " I'm Britt, wife to one very patient man new adoptive momma of two precious babies from Ethiopia, whom we affectionately refer to as Gus and Lula. This shop is a small expression of my love for design & all things pretty, and a much-needed creative outlet!" 

          Britt is giving away the print of your choice to the winner of this giveaway.
           She is also graciously offering 20% off on any orders at her shop.So even if you don't happen to be the lucky winner, please feel welcome to use the Coupon Code:CHEERFUL upon purchase.

          To enter, leave a comment, naming your favorite print at
          Gus + Lula.But I will tell you right now, it's not going to be a easy decision.

           And please make sure to add her Etsy shop to your favorites.

          The winner will announced on Tuesday October 18.

          { Happy Birthday Giveaway No. 4 }

          It was so sweet of Elizabeth at Nostalgic Graphic Tees to jump in on my little birthday party and give away a Fall Leaves Tee. He shop is jam packed with the most darling silhouetted tees. And I just love what she says about " Seeing my children grow and develop their imaginations made me feel nostalgic of some of my own childhood memories. I remembered the joy in picking a flower, playing on a see saw, twirling in a tutu, catching that first firefly of the summer, looking at clouds against a blue sky, blowing bubbles, fishing in grandaddy’s pond, riding a bike. I loved reliving those simple moments with my own family and wanted to capture them in some fashion."

          As a side note, Elizabeth and I have something very dear in common. She also has a 5 year old daughter named Annabelle! Isn't that fun!

          She is also offering offering a coupon code:  FALLFANS15 for 15% off purchases from her shop. 
          To enter this giveaway please join her Facebook page
          and add her Etsy shop to your favorites.

          Winner to be announced on Tuesday, October 18th.

          { Happy Birthday Giveaway No. 3 }

          Jerin from Out of the Blue has been ever so kind to offer a $30.00 credit to little Etsy Shop in honor of my birthday,  as well as a 30% discount at her shop through the end of October. Coupon Code:CHEERFUL.
          In order to qualify for this giveaway, please like her Facebook page and favorite her Etsy shop.
          Then come back and tell us what lovely bauble you would use your $30.00 credit towards, in the happy event that you were to win this lovely little giveaway. And while you are at it, please with her a Happy Birthday. Hers was yesterday.
          Winner to be announced on Tuesday, October 18th.

          { Happy Birthday Giveaway No. 2 }

          You can  visit Nancy's lovely little Esty shop here.
          She is best known for the quality and pristine condition of her linens.
          As she is out searching Estate Sales & Flea Markets, she is very discriminating 
          and will choose only items that best represent the integrity of their original condition
           Her niche is the 1940s and 1950s linens and kitchenware. My favorite. 
          Take a glance and " like" her at K. Walter Vintage on Facebook. 
          And then hurry back and leave a comment here for a chance to win a twenty dollar gift certificate to her shop.
          A winner will be drawn and announced on Tuesday, October 18th.

          { Happy Birthday Giveaway No.1 }

           Pretty vintage earrings like these, are my go-to birthday gift for friends.
          And Crystal is ever so nice to be giving away a pair of her lovely fleur earrings,
          valued at $16.00, from her sweet little shop.
          And Her website is too pretty. Go see for yourself.
          To enter this giveaway, please join her Facebook page ( if you have Facebook, that is )
          and leave a encouraging note for Crystal about her lovely work!

          Winner to be announced, Tuesday, October 18th

          { List No. 2 - Borrowed Words }

          1. " Charm is a glow within a woman that cast a most becoming light on others."  J. Mason Brown
          2. " Let the wife make the husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave. "  - Martin Luther
          3. " At the worst, a house unkept cannot be as distressing as life unlived". - Rose Macauly
          4. " Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." - Brian Andres
          5. " I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives." -Peter Kreeft 
          6. " Humor is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence. Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them." -L.M. Montgomery
          7. " One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steven Furtick
          8. " The most important work you and I ever do will be within the walls of our own homes. "-Harold B. Lee 
          9. " The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely." -Louisa May Alcott
          10. " I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant." Oscar de la Renta
          11. I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string. -L.M. Montgomery 
          12. " Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed. -Mary Oliver
          13. " When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.        - Shauna Niequist 
          14. " All earthly delights are but streams. But God is the ocean."  -Johnathan Edwards 
          15. " Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.  -Walt Whitman
          16. " It is impossible to give thanks, and simultaneously feel fear.” - Ann Voskamp
          17. " Mere colour can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways." -Oscar Wilde
          18. " The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do. " Andy Warhol 
          19. "All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming. " Helen Keller
          20. " Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done." C.S Lewis 
          21. " Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God."  Madeleine L’Engle
          22. "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone." - Audrey Hepburn
          23. " And I learned what is obvious to a child.That life is simply a collection of little lives,each lived one day at a time.That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals.That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered.But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee and sometimes,on good days, for falling in love." -The Notebook
          24. " It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight." -From Lolita 
          25. " We are all ordinary people. But even an ordinary secretary, or a housewife, or a teenager can within their own small ways turn on a small light in a dark room." -Freedom Writers 
          26. "Cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.  -Joseph Addison 
          27. "Let us all hope that we are preceded in this world by…a love story. " -Sweet Land 
          28. " Ah! Life grows lovely where you are." - Mathilde Blind 
          29. " Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same. " -Flavia Weedn 
          30. " Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian."  -G.K. Chesterton

          Thursday, October 13, 2011

          { Thirty Things }

          1. In three days I will be thirty. 
          2. It also happens to be Lucy's half birthday...6 months ago, our family was forever blessed with her and her perpetual sweetness. There is absolutely no way she could be any more dear..
          3. And to celebrate turning thirty I am throwing a big party here. 
          4. Also, I am challenging my self to write thirty different lists of thirty things over the course of the next year. 
          5. I am surprised about how excited I am to turn thirty.
          6. Although thirty never sounded so young. 
          7. I keep hearing from people that your thirties are really the best years of your life.
          8. Going into my thirties I feel like maybe some of my insecurities have faded a little bit . 
          9. That I've done a lot of growing up over the last decade. 
          10. That I don't feel quite so much like I am " faking " being an adult, as much as I used to. 
          11. I feel more comfortable in my skin. Laugh lines, gray hairs, baby weight and all. 
          12. I am more accepting than ever of who Jesus made me. 
          13. I am looking forward to putting down roots, and going deeper in my thirties. 
          14. To watching my children grow + change and to dedicate myself to the nurturing their minds + hearts.
          15. To working on being better organized.
          16. To laughing a lot. 
          17. To remember how important it is to have a healthy balance as a parent, wife and friend. 
          18. To celebrate life. Especially the magic found in an ordinary day.
          19. To  continue to let Jesus love on me and encourage + enable me to live in His freedom.
          20. Instead of fear. 
          21. To hold my family and others to a standard of grace, and not perfection, including myself.
          22. To flirt with my husband like I did in my twenties.
          23. To being silly with my kids.
          24. To learn how to dance.
          25. To the pursuit of joy.
          26. To giving thanks in all things.
          27. I am about to change the subject just a little.
          28. The only thing makes me happier than getting presents, is giving them I am a firm believer that it is in fact more blessed to give than to receive.
          29. So bless me by coming back on Friday the 14th to enter a lot of really lovely giveaways.
          30. Happy Birthday to me!

            Wednesday, October 12, 2011

            { 10 on 10 }

            7:10 am -Jack In the Bath
             8:10 am -Auntie Roo pops in for a hug
             9:10 am -On our way to our Doctors appointment for Jack
            10:00 ish -Annabelle doing school
            11:00 ish -  The pretty bouquet of flowers that I picked up at Green Bluff
            Noonish -  Lucy snacking on a Rice Rusk
            1:00-2:00 ish :  Annabelle getting ready for ballet.

            3:00 ish: Working on autumn buntings for my Etsy shop + upcoming birthday giveaway.
            4:00 ish: Homemade bread, just out of the oven
            9:00ish: Heart to heart time with this darling friend. Including coconut frozen yogurt + coffee.

            My very first 10 on 10. Really love this way to document once a month, our every day life. 

            Monday, October 03, 2011

            { flashback }

            One month ago, we woke up to another moving day.

              The other day I caught his eye as the words to this song filled the kitchen and spilled out the  back door to where he was working. And as it hit us, we laughed until it hurt. 

            Leaky faucet, creaky floor
            We don't even own a bathroom door
            The sofa set is nothing to be jealous of
            We don't have a lot but there's no shortage here for love

            All the pennies in the wishing wells
            All the diamonds Tiffany's could sell
            All the riches put together
            All the sunny

            California weather
            Could not make me love you any better

             This is my life in a song.

            And what was he hard at work on you ask? Why, putting in our bathroom door.  
            And yesterday it was the shower.
            We are slowly making progress around here.
            And every time we move, which has been six times in the last two years, my heart skips a beat when I come across this love note he painted on the bottom of this bookshelf he built for me. 

            Oh how he loves me.