29 February 2012

thankful thursdays begin!

Welcome to the very first Thankful Thursday.
There are so many things to be grateful for in our everyday lives:
whether it's big or small, a grand gesture, a tiny encouragement,
a finished project, a moment of quiet, kindness from a stranger...
there is always something to be thankful for.
My hope is that this will be a place of encouragement as we see the good things
that are happening all around us!
____________________________________

Today I am grateful that my husband worked a short day,
called me from work and told me he was taking us all out for pizza.
No cooking, no cleaning, no arguing over how many bites of peas they had to eat.
I am thankful that when we got home, Nick took over all kid duties so that I could 
work on putting some photo books together of all the boys baby photos.
I am only 4 1/2 years behind.
And I had a credit for some free books that expired tonight at midnight.
I caught up on years of photos in three hours.
Who says procrastinating doesn't pay?
I am grateful for cranberry shortbread cooling on my stove for friends tomorrow morning.
And I am oh so thankful for a quiet house, 
a warm cozy bed awaiting me, 
and the potential for 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
(I hope I didn't just jinx myself.)

Happy Thursday, friends!





a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut


Grab a button and link up! I'm so glad you're here.
Link back to your specific post, not just your blog.
And please visit some others and spread some joy!

28 February 2012

tonight

As we were getting the kids ready for bed this evening, I remembered that I was responsible 
for bringing the class snack to school tomorrow.
Once they were tucked away, I pulled on my coat, grabbed my keys and headed to the store.
I got what I needed, as well as some goodies for ourselves, paid the bill and headed to my car.
Outside the door was an older man, holding a tattered cardboard sign asking for help.
{source}

"Oh, I'm sorry," I said immediately, "I don't have any cash."
"Oh that's ok, miss," he answered. "Don't worry!" and he gave me a smile.
I loaded my bags into the car and sat down, putting my keys in the ignition.
I looked at my bags filled with preschool snacks and coffee and fruit.
I looked outside at the slushy snow falling on my windshield and the man standing by the door.
I didn't have cash, that was true.
But I had groceries. And I was in a strip mall with five restaurants surrounding me.

This is who I've called you to care for: the poor, the hungry.
It was just a nudge. But the stirring was strong enough that I knew I couldn't ignore it.
There was absolutely no reason I couldn't help him.
I opened the door and got out.
His back was to me.
"Sir?" I called.
"Me?" he asked.
"Can I get you something hot to eat?"
He looked around. "Maybe some soup?" he asked. "Wonton soup. Is that something they have around here?"
"I think so. Just give me a minute, I'll be right back."
"I'll be here," he smiled again.

There was a Chinese restaurant across the parking lot with a drive thru.
I got soup, though they didn't have the kind he asked for. And something a bit more substantial.
I pulled the car back to the front of the store, got out and handed him the bag filled with warm food.
"You came back!" he said, still smiling.
"Yeah, of course," I smiled in return.
We exchanged goodbyes, and he thanked me.

I left, my heart aching. Aching because it's so cold, aching because I wanted to do more.
Aching for the loneliness and despair that is part of every day life on the streets.
I just finished a book called Under the Overpass.
It solidified in my heart the call to feed the poor, to care for the homeless,
to take the very little I can do and actually do it.
I drove home, praying for that man: for warmth. for hope.
for God's love to fill him up more than a little styrofoam container of soup ever could.

march


March is going to be fun around here.
We're getting back to bakin' it.
We're going on a top secret adventure.
We're planning parties.
Thankful Thursdays begin!

Want to join the fun?
Sponsor us in March and be part of the party!
I'd love to promote your blog or business!


26 February 2012

dinner and a movie


On Friday night my mom texted me and said, "I'll come watch the boys tomorrow night if you guys want to go out."
It took me about three seconds to reply, "Yes. Please. 6pm."
By Saturday afternoon I bumped it up to 5:30.
Sometimes you just need a date night. Last night was that night.
Nick had worked like 328 days in a row, including some nights, and we needed a little quality time that didn't involve diaper changing, dishes or laundry.


It was perfect.
It didn't matter where we were, so long as we were together, so bonus that we went to sushi, 'cause that's my fave.
We ate edamame, drank ice cold beer, and talked about
top secret plans
family and friends
projects around the house
work
traveling
faith 
movies
and I am pretty sure we talked about basketball at length, but sometimes those details get fuzzy as I tend to zone in and out of any kind of sports talk.


We ordered another round of red dragon rolls and another couple of pints and laughed
and caught up and maybe spent a good portion of the conversation talking about our love for the boys, quoting them in all their silliness, and just feeling super grateful for this little family we've been given.


We made our way to a movie, sat in a packed theater, munched on chocolate treats, and felt somewhat accomplished actually seeing a film nominated for this year's academy awards. (We get a little behind on our movie watching.)


It was a relaxed, perfect night of togetherness. It was just the little refresher we needed.
(Thanks, Mom.)


Grace Laced Mondays
bits of splendor monday
FindingBeautyintheOrdinary.com

23 February 2012

welcome to thankful thursdays!

Sometimes in the crazy chaos, hustle bustle that can be the daily norm,
it helps to stop and remember the little (or big) things we have to be thankful for.


This week, I am thankful for this:
















Remember my little story about George?
Well, we decided this was a necessary solution.
He was coming to visit every night at 11:45pm, 2am, and 5:45am.
Those are not my most social hours, and I started to worry that 
he would wander about the house or, heaven forbid, outside.
(I've heard of that happening and it freaks me out completely).
He is all about this little contraption, too. It's like sleeping in a fort every night!
And what a blessedly peaceful sleep we've had the last two nights, let me say.
Thankful for that, for sure.


I am also thankful for this recipe


Source: tastykitchen.com
After all those others I listed, we actually tried these pancakes and they were UH-mazing. 


Please make them, they're delicious.


I am thankful for the season of Lent.
Grateful for time to reflect on God's mercy and goodness to us.
Thankful for opportunities to grow over the next six weeks.
I wrote a little post about it over at Lovingly Thrown Together, if you'd like to take a peek.


And finally, I am thankful for you and want to invite you
 to a new little link up I want to host here.
I really do feel like we need moments to breathe and remember the good 
in the midst of all the hectic craziness of life. 
There are blessings and gifts all around us all the time, we just have to have the eyes to see them. 
So starting next Thursday, I hope you'll join me for Thankful Thursdays. 
Whether it's something grand or tiny, a moment of joy, a happy encounter, a finished project,  a nudge from above, a photo - whatever your heart desires, come link up and share your story.




a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut

Peace and love and a joyful weekend!



21 February 2012

pancakes! {hello, fat tuesday}

Do you celebrate Fat Tuesday?
It's the last hurrah before Lent begins tomorrow.
Traditionally, people make pancakes, which used to be done as a way of using up eggs, dairy and fat before Lent fasting began.
(yeah, I just googled that.)


We celebrate pretty much anything involving pancakes. They are a big deal around here.
As I was looking for a little inspiration to fancy them up for tonight I found these gems:


Source: ohsheglows.com 
peanut butter, jam and banana pancakes.



Source: greenkitchenstories.com
coconut banana pancakes. 



Source: howsweeteats.com
cake batter pancakes. hello, I would be the coolest mom on the planet.



Source: thepioneerwoman.com
lemon blueberry delightfulness.



Source: evilshenanigans.com
chocolate bacon pancakes. what is happening right now?!


and on that note, this one is for my sister:



Source: acozykitchen.com 
maple bacon pancakes. holy moly.


How am I supposed to choose?? I have some serious decisions to make here.
Happy Fat Tuesday one and all!

19 February 2012

moments of grace

I have been sitting outside of my littlest's room at naps and bedtime for the last five days.
See, the little monkey has learned how to swing himself right out of his crib and thinks it's hilarious.
If I am not sitting within his field of vision, he will climb out no less than fourteen times before he falls asleep. 
I am not exaggerating.
When he knows he isn't getting away with escape, he resorts to stripping down, diaper and all.
He's a charmer, that one.




I've been doing my best to supernanny him, too.
I pick him up, don't make eye contact, and lay him back down.
I sit, occupied, outside his room and don't engage in conversation. 
But tonight he woke up hours past bedtime and wandered into the hall.
I snuggled him for a bit and laid him back down and took my usual position outside the door.
But he wasn't having it. 
He hollered and screeched and called out.
And all the sleep training advice flooded back about letting him settle himself.
I couldn't do it. I felt a pull into his room, laid a hand on his back, and soothed him in his restlessness.


Isn't that what God does for us? 
Hover over with a hand upon us, soothing us as we fight the peace that is so within reach.
There are moments that I need to give up the "right" way to parent - to let go 
and meet my kids needs in the moment. To extend a little extra grace.
And I also need to allow God to do the same for me.


{there are three lovely link ups below hosted by some amazing women who seek to see the beauty in the ordinary everyday moments of life. check them out!}
Grace Laced MondaysFindingBeautyintheOrdinary.com


bits of splendor monday

18 February 2012

a few favorites.

I have some lovely ladies for you to meet today.
There are so many encouraging blogs out there, but these are a few of my favorites.
So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, settle in and say hello to a few of my favorite girls.
I asked them to share their ideal date night... they have some fun ideas!


null
Hello folks.  I’m Stacy and I blog over at full hearts, big sparks.  I’m a smitten wifey, new mama, twenty-something, Jesus-loving, foodie, reality television junky, americano-drinking girl.  I blog about all of these things and much, much more.


My perfect date would normally involve blue jeans, pale ale and bacon cheeseburgers followed by a movie cozied up on the couch.  However… this new mama hasn’t had a fancy night out or wanted to wear high heals for about 13 months.  Girlfriend needs some glam.  My perfect date would involve a babysitter, red pumps, a darling dress, maybe with some polka dots, curls, a bottle of pinot, and my handsome hubs planning the rest. 



hello, friends of fancy carina! my name is hannah.
i'm a wifey and mama, and sinner saved by grace.
i love to document my thoughts on my blog, happy days.
encouraging others is one of my favorite things to do. besides drink coffee.
carina asked what my idea of a perfect date is. as long as my man is there, it's a perfect date.
but we love to stay in, dim the lights, watch a movie and laugh over chips and salsa!
i'd love to meet you, stop by and say hello!

blog 
 Danielle is a  child of the King, the wife of an amazing man, the mother of two fabulous girls, the friend to some amazing women, and the lover of books, ridiculous t.v.shows, Carrie Underwood and David Cook, Pepsi, chocolate, Starbucks, and much more! You can find me blogging at This Life I Live.
My perfect date would be my awesome man, a delicious meal, and some great conversation.  No activities...just me and him hanging out!
I'm Erika of the shop and blog Rouge&Whimsy. I live in Seattle with my husband and pup and love pursuing a creative life-- sewing, cooking, crafting and thrifting. 
My perfect date would be a simple afternoon spent with my husband-- perhaps perusing a used bookstore or antique shop, a walk with the dog, and a simple dinner at home accompanied by good conversation and good wine. 

Hi, I'm Abby and I blog over at Akers of Love.  My husband, Wes and I have been married for 8 years.  After five years of trying to add kids to our family the old fashion way, we felt the Lord leading us to domestic adoption.  In the summer of 2010, we were blessed with a {more than we had planned} open adoption experience and the birth of our son, Max.  I love to write about our family of three, my faith in God, our second adoption journey and an occasional recipe or craft.  
My perfect date...hmmmm...I'm a pretty traditional girl.  It would consist of my husband planning it all with out me knowing {I hate making decisions}. He would get a babysitter, choose a restaurant and a movie. I would get to eat as much as I wanted at the restaurant and still have room for some hot, buttery popcorn.  
Hey Ladies! My name is Daisy and I am  a boot wearing bible believing Christian who is native to good-old California! I enjoy photography, creating, cooking, and the occasional shenanigan. My blog covers all of these.

My perfect date is March 17th because It’s not too hot and It’s not too cold…… Kidding! That’s the day  I’m getting married ;)
Seriously my perfect date is ridiculously good food and a movie at home in PJs.

At Sugar Mama Bakeshop you'll find gluten free & vegan recipes, party inspirations and other pretties! This month I'm hosting 
"How Sweet It Is" and featuring some of my very favorite blogger: their love stories and their fave sweet treats. SO fun! 
(The lovely Carina was even be there!) 
Right now my perfect date was last Friday when I got to go out to dinner for 3 whole hours and drink margaritas... I have a 7 month old who just figured out how to sleep :) But seriously dinner, drinks, dancing. I'm not real picky. My husband's real fun so it's easy to have a good time with him! 

pinterest 


happy weekend everyone! 

16 February 2012

how sweet it is

Happy Thursday, friends!
I am guest posting today over at Sugar Mama Bakeshop
with a story of love (for my mom) and a very tasty recipe.
Come on over and say hello!

Go Greeno

14 February 2012

a day in the life

the boys requested pancakes and I was happy to oblige.
all we had was pumpkin pancake mix, but they didn't mind.

off to preschool. check ya.

a very suspenseful episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, it appears.

trains, trucks, cars, helicopters, airplanes = two happy little dudes.

nick surprised us by coming home early and meeting us at preschool for a little b-ball.

and that meant I had time to run a bazillion errands on my own. 

valentines shopping

picking up a few groceries, including the supplies for this valentine's breakfast.

dinner's in.

dinner's eaten.

dishes done.

oh the drama. real housewives of wherever: guilty pleasure.

finishing up valentines for lute's class. 
my husband's response: "you know he's only 4 1/2, right? couldn't you just buy them?"
does he even know me?

happy valentine's day, lovies! spread some joy!


12 February 2012

weird

That's what most of my weekend was: weird.
Only to me, though. My mom and dad took two of the boys for an overnight so I could paint
their room.
So I only had one kid. It was kind of surreal.
We took him to the zoo and he ran around like a wild monkey.
He and I ventured alone to the library, and we actually went unnoticed by the other patrons.
I have gone the entire weekend without running a load of dishes.
Weird.


I guess he thought so, too.


He reveled in his alone time.
Nobody he had to share with...
...his dump truck or loaders or lollipops or mama.
It was all his, all the time.
We snuggled up to watch Jungle Book and about ten minutes in,
he turned to me, threw his arms around my neck and said, 
"I just love mama."
It's hard not to get a little teary about something like that.


Reentry has not been totally smooth for the brothers.
They missed each other, I suppose,
but they've managed 14 wrestling matches in the last three hours,
screamed at each other for turns with trucks, trains and Buzz...
but they've also sung together, giggled, eaten their lollipops,
and played To Infinity and Beyond (a very unfortunate game involving leaping from 
couch to chair and back again).
I think they feel a little incomplete without each other.


Parenting only one might be easier, and there might be less dishes to do,
but it is not nearly as entertaining (or panic-inducing).
I am happy my family is whole again.
And now off to do some dishes...
FindingBeautyintheOrdinary.com

11 February 2012

a little update

I wanted to make it just a bit easier for those of you who would like to help out with the Joyful Life Library.
You will be making such a sweet difference for the children and families who are in the PICU at Children's Hospital. 
Will you take just a moment and look at their wish list?
If you choose a book and add it to your cart, the shipping info is already included 
and will be mailed directly to them.
And don't forget! For every purchase, you can enter to win
this circle scarf from Lovely Little Whimsy!

The opportunity to purchases closes Sunday evening.
Thanks for taking the time to brighten the day of someone who needs it!

09 February 2012

getting organized

If you know me at all, you probably know that I am not super organized.
I love the idea of everything having its own (cute) place, 
knowing where everything is, 
and not fearing that someone is going to peek in a closet and get all judgy. 
I have the best of intentions, but they don't usually pan out. 
But, since 2012 is the year of gettin' organized up in here, I found a little inspiration to get me going:


Source: thecraftersfilebox.com 


A basement stairwell pantry is brilliant to me. 
Book organization is a must. (I only worry a little that my boys would use the book slings as climbing apparatuses).
A gorgeously organized sewing nook, I'll take it. 
Jewelry in one lovely location would make my husband love me more, and if it's cute, well... I'm happy.
Getting all of the art supplies within easy reach and manageable containers would make me less inclined to run for the hills every time our giant crayon tub is overturned onto the dining room floor (approximately 12 times a day).


I love lovely organized spaces, and with small manageable goals, I think I can do it.
Maybe.
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!


{Don't forget to check the post below and help us help the Joyful Life Library and win a super cute scarf!}