Friday, November 10, 2017

on the iphone | fall, 2017 seems the last few falls we've been blessed with warm temperatures that linger until November comes.  But not this one.  I had all these outside plans and one day it got cold and gosh darn it stayed that way.  I guess that just makes you appreciate the warm little gifts that surprised us in the middle of all that cold.  The kind of gifts that make you call it a day a little early, put on your jogging shoes, and take a few laps around the lake before picking up the kids from school. 

...Or this Sunday afternoon, when it was cold enough for sweaters and blankets and apple cider, but warm enough to sit in my favorite chair on the porch.  I read Sally Clarkson's, The Life Giving Home, and jotted down a few notes about how to get this home centered for the holidays.

...Our last soccer game.  We had a cold and rainy soccer season, but the boys didn't seem to mind. 

...Our friends, Aram and Katy, sure know how to throw a dinner party.  Four times a year, four couples will tackle a themed dinner from a region our culture in the world.  The host sets the menu and prepares the main course, and the rest of us choose which dish we'd like to prepare.  We started with a French theme and feasted on zucchini tomato verrines as an appetizer, a main course of crispy crusted halibut with a white wine beurre sauce, and side dishes of lemon risotto and a salad of peaches, pine nuts, and arugula.  And for dessert...a French chocolate tart with a brown butter crust.  The meal was seriously delicious and it was fun to get to know some new faces around the table.  

...One of my very favorite things to do in the fall is go through the kids' drawers and closets.  It's like I can't call it fall until their drawers are stocked with cozy pajamas and long pants that aren't too short for them!  I feel like a mama bear getting the cave all ready for a long winter's nap.

...But it's also good to get out of the cave every so often!  We celebrated Andy's wedding in October with a reception at the Elk's, followed by a group of us enjoying a long dinner at Galleria de Paco.  Beau and I would both agree that our preferred way of spending time with friends is around a big table, where we can share a bottle of wine, laugh a lot, talk about food and a whole bunch of other things.  We shared bites, decided Katy's cornish hens were the best dish of the night, and talked a lot about love and the secrets to it.  It was a good night with dear friends.  

...with the best food, I might add!

...A little after church pumpkin carving. 

...Halloween week at NDA.  They were a cute bunch of hip hop dancers!

...and it wouldn't be a fall post without a little basement progress.  I'm planning to spend a lot of time down here this weekend, organizing and decorating, and I'm downright giddy about it.  Beau loves his bar and new couch, the kids love the big space and big theater system, and I just love all the new storage!  Those built in shelves and big ole drawers make me one happy camper.  

...The shopping season has begun!  I fell a victim to Target's magical marketing and didn't even expect to knock out a chunk of my Christmas shopping.  And let's not even talk about Chip and Jo's new line...

...But besides sweet sweet Target, there's no better place to stroll and shop than our own downtown.  Mom, Mila, and I set out Saturday morning to shop the open houses on Main.  We had such a fun morning!  Mila even used some of her own spending money on a little unicorn friend from Peekaboo. 

...Now that soccer is over, we're back to spending most of our nights at home together and there's just nothing better than when we can eat around the table, share our happies and crappies, light candles and read books, draw pictures, or play a game together before bed.

...A favorite moment this week.  I met a friend for coffee before work this week and rather than asking Beau to take my usual duties of getting Cruz on the bus, I brought him along with me.  Beau and Mila were still asleep when we left the house, and I could tell Cruz thought it was all very special.  I ordered him a cup of cocoa and a cinnamon roll, asked him to do his math homework while we chatted away.  And then later, we had a little time, just the two of us, to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid and talk about Pokemon.  It was the best way to start our day and we both decided we needed to make this special treat happen more often. 

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 9, 2017


"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2017."

Cruz: You've been melting me so much lately.  Your love of reading and how you seem to be going through chapter books faster than I can find them for you, a rediscovered love of drawing, especially when you can follow a youtube clip that takes you step by step, and your easy-going, but sensitive natureYou have no desire to be part of the world or prove yourself to anyone, and I love you for that.  

Mila: We took a walk through the woods yesterday and you led most of the way.  You had the cutest little owl call and we think we heard one call you back!  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday | School Pictures

Maybe if I post them on here, I will someday have record of them when I lose all the hard copies!  

Love these growing kids and their big smiles.  I love school pictures...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Good Things || Fall

Happy November, friendsKate texted me this week and said she had a dream about me.  This is always an interesting thing to hear!  She said she was scrolling through Instagram and I had a story posted and it was this hot mess of pumpkins and Christmas ornaments and lit up trees all over our main floor.  What Kate didn't realize is her dream isn't too far from the truth.  We've got a smattering of three holidays in our house right now, empty pumpkins that need to be stowed away until next year, thankful trees with a few leaves dangling from their branches, and Target Christmas ads, beautiful new advent cards, and Ann Voscamp's The Greatest Gift sitting on my end table, next to a pumpkin and the fall issue of Martha Stewart Living I might add.  The house is also sprinkled with more evidence of this familiar end-of-year transition.  Pajamas that no longer fit the kids are stacked high on the love seat, sweet flannel sets I just can't part with but haven't quite made their way to the storage room.  Big empty boxes that housed four new bar stools became temporary fun for the kids, but now await a trip to the transfer station.  Target sacks filled with gloves, stocking caps, and a couple of stocking stuffers have yet to be put away.  And I may or may not have put up Christmas garland outside this weekend.  Transition, anticipation, and so much gratitude fill this month of November.  And Christmas shopping.  Let's not forget about that. 

We started our thankful tree promptly on November 1, and have been reminded of how important this little ritual is for our family.  These little leaves serve as reminders that in all the transitions of these holidays and things of this world, God is our One constant, holding us up and making things work together behind the scenes of what often becomes a mass production.  This month, and the next, I want nothing more than to pull open the curtain and let HIM become front and center in our home, in our hearts, and in these holidays.

Good things from October...
588. A pretty night after dance class.  Beau had Cruz at soccer for another hour and it was just too nice out to go home.  We stopped to take a couple laps up the hill behind Prairie Lakes, threw some rocks in the pond, and soaked up the golden trees and their reflections in the water.    

589. One last soccer game.  They weren't the best team in the league, but that doesn't matter.  They had fun, learned a few new skills, and met some boys they now see at recess.  And while I'm glad to have our Saturdays freed up again, I do miss the sweet community that formed through our boys.  We all shared a love for these funny little kids, as well as a lack of knowledge (or passion) for the game of soccer.  It worked well! 

590. Charcuterie for dinner.  One of the bigs, and one for the littles.

591. After school treats and chats.

592.  Late night IF team reunions at the Bible Conference Grounds.  We all wear our cozies and bring our tea and Jess makes something warm and delicious to eat.  Then we talk and journal and dream and pray.  I am so very thankful for them. 

593.  A sermon series on changing one's mind that has been affirming and challenging.   

594. A monster Target trip and a good chunk of my Christmas shopping done.

595. This sweet little dress and the knee socks to go with it.  

596. A basement nearly complete.  Just a cushion for this cozy reading nook, some shelves in my craft closet, and a bar sink to hook up, and then a whole lot of organizing!  Right now, everything is shoved in the back two bedrooms and I can't wait to dig through it all over winter break.  We love this space so much.  Last night, Beau put on drawer pulls and I cleaned.  I found some Lincoln Logs and Ninja Turtles in the closet and spread them out on the floor for the kids.  They played for hours together and it was so nice to all be in the same room together.  We have one talented Daddy and are proud of all his workmanship.    

597. Cruz learns piano!  He had his first recital last weekend and it was so sweet watching him show his early skills.  Afterwards, we asked if he was nervous and he said, "Oh yeah!"  He didn't show it, especially when his hand shot up first when Ms. Dyan asked for volunteers!

598. Movie nights of Harry Potter and Night at the Museum.

Have a great week and look for grateful in these busy, hurried days!


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