Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Thinking about: Our weekend in Des Moines and our reunion with the Guess clan!  A couple of months after booking our Magnolia trip, we decided to tack on a quick weekend reunion a couple of weeks later in Des Moines!  Nate's parents graciously took us all in (kids included) at their home and entertained our five kids while the adults went to the Lumineers at the Wells Fargo Arena.  We promised the boys no deep conversations and few pictures, and enjoyed beers at the Iowa Tap Room, Beau's new favorite band, Kaleo, and the feet stomping music of Wesley, Neyla, and Jeremiah.  We had not seen the Lumineers play since their most recent album, Cleopatra, was released, and it was pretty great to see them play some of my favorite songs.  

Afterwards, we met up with Taylor and Kate at El Bait Shop and ended a very late night with some Fong's Pizza.  And the kids were all up just a few short hours later!   

We spent Saturday in Des Moines, just us and the kids, and had the best rainy day inside the Des Moines Science Center.  This was our first time here and we enjoyed it so much.  Highlights included the green screen, the rocket blaster, the lego racer, the planetarium, and the grocery store and conveyor belt.  The kids (and Beau and I) were well entertained all day and it was nice to have no agenda and plenty of time to play.  We headed home late afternoon, but not before a trip to Trader Joe's and Five Guys for milkshakes.  

Loving: Longer days, warmer temperatures, and hints of spring.  Beau noticed my tulips were all peeking out of the front landscaping last week and our little trees are growing new branches and buds.  I'm finding myself daydreaming of summer vacation, bucket lists, closet organization, and garden planting, and can't wait for afternoons at the pool and dinners out on the deck.  

I'm also loving how our recent trip to Magnolia land has igniting some new inspiration around our home.  Inspiration to minimize, clean, and add in some dark contrasts in this light space.      

Reading: I just finished my fifth book of 2017, and it was the best one I've read this year.  I can't recommend Erin Loechner's, Chasing Slow, enough.  First of all, it's one of the most stylish books I've ever purchased, it looks great on my end table, and is not only filled with Erin's poetic prose, but pictures, a few recipes, and witty but helpful lists that apply and extend each chapter.  The book is part memoir and part social commentary.  She writes about many of the same themes so many women writers tackle today - motherhood, marriage, minimal living, comparison, change, loving Jesus, striving for a Pinterest-perfect life, etc., but does it in a way that that feels so much more raw and unique and challenging to me.  A few of my favorite quotes and passages...

..."Peace is a lofty word with spiritual implications.  It can mean a great many things, but sometimes peace simply means that when the barista at Noah's Bagels gives you the wrong cookie - you'd ordered macadamia nut, and isn't this chocolate chip? -and you don't notice until you're back on the freeway, you eat it and smile and go on with your day.  (It tastes like your grandmother's recipeHave you ever noticed that?)"

..."Sometimes the most holy thing we can do is to be still.  To sit down and twirl the fork and eat the pasta we've been given."   

..."Sometimes before I fell asleep, I wondered if this tiny taste of success was a blessing from God, or a curse that he simply allowed.  It hadn't occurred to me that there was a third possibility, a truer one.  That it was a blessing from God, but that I had made it into a curse."

..."And in pursuit of the better, Adam and Eve lost the good.  In pursuit of knowledge, they lost wisdom.  In pursuit of themselves, they lost themselves."

..."It takes work to change your perspective, work that is not easily done when you're looking everywhere else.  And this is hard to do today.  It is hard to focus on one point when there are a million faces in the crowd.  There are hundreds of friends, acquaintances, colleagues on your Instagram feed sharing their own bejeweled camels, their own painted donkeys.  The big tent looks brighter from the outside.  And have you seen that three-ring circus cake on Pinterest?  It is enough to make you lose your focus.  It is enough to dizzy us all."  

..."I suppose I thought life was the puzzle.  That it was meant to be lived, to be understood, to be unriddled with the help of the ocean and a bottle of wine.  But the puzzle isn't life, is it?  The ocean, the wine, the Sunday evening on the balcony - that's life.  It's enough to be enjoyed, with or without the missing pieces."     

Drinking: Texas Pecan Coffee in bulk, chocolate protein shakes with almond butter and banana, two buck chuck after work. :) 

Listening to: Johnnyswim's Georgica Pond on repeat, Kate Merrick on Jamie Ivey's the Happy Hour, and Kaleo, especially this one.    

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