All the things that made me laugh quite recently…
Get it…Wolf Blitzer
Mindy Kaling killing it on the Mindy Project
Man Finds his old school Doppelganger
You can always count on Fox and Friends for a good hyperbolic laugh inducing statement…just in case you thought the SNL sketches were extreme.
Clever and Funny, Friend
The Vibrant Ron Swanson
This made me laugh, also my Husband’s favorite show.
Mending the lace on an vintage blouse for Emma
I think I know the reason they call get married and having a family “settling down”. Even though it may seem counter intuitive to the exciting busyness we try to thrust upon our younger selves, “settling down”, is a beautiful thing. I guess it would be called boring by some, or lonely by others, and it may be both at some times, but for the most part it is peaceful and happy. The world unraveling all around us it feels, but we choose how much of that we want to let into our nest.
Settling down, to me, is the act of making your family, your family, and your home, your home. I mean that it is a refining of the things you already have been given, family and home.As a wife and a mother, the task hat I have been slated with is just as grand as any others. I don’t long for high powered business suits and the respect that it garnishes. I think I did once, and felt guilt over what was weighing on my heart to aspire to, a wife and a mother. While there is nothing wrong with those aspirations, the world doesn’t always see eye to eye in these matters, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve owned my own business and worked my mind and body to insomnia, that was a season, and this is another one that I am very thankful for. As I transition from semi-domestic to full blown domestic, I am excited to see how it changes me. Being a good wife to my husband and mother to my daughter is my first and second priorities. During the day, I am preparing the home to be comfortable for a husband that work two jobs for us, and I am homeschooling my girl, learning with her the bible and about the wonders of life, and I truly love it.
You get to a point in your your life where you look at friends in different seasons that “do it all”, I am just thankful that my “doing it all” in regards to my family, my life, is just settling down with my family in our routines and traditions and loving each and every moment of joy it brings.
I don’t believe that heart ache and joy come independent of one another, at least in my life. Some of the biggest joy times are intermingled with things that hurt and break our hearts. I so wish it wasn’t the case at times but I see the beauty in the darkness while it blends and becomes light. That is why I am not afraid to talk about what I wrestle with and what I see in that struggle. I believe in transparency, I believe in showing our true selves over the facsimiles of perfect people we so easily pass ourselves off as in the arena of watching eyes. If that is too much for some, I do not apologize. I am imperfect and I don’t feign what I can never be in my own right, so I lift the veil that hides my bare face in hopes to see….
This year has been the one; the one where I cried the most, I felt the most, I called out the most, and felt like the vice of brokenness harm me the most. It seems (I know) as though God is teaching me through this and even though I don’t know the message on the other side of this yet, I am hopeful in the hurting. There is so much grace in the joys that we receive in the dark times, when we feel the furthest from any and everyone. We bought a house this year, thank God, and we are expecting another child, a blessing. All things that sprung forth in hurting and broken times, are beautiful. Some are easier to notice like a house and a baby, some will take some time for us to recognize. All things working together for good, and His good is beauty unending, a story in trans media. He tells it and it is beautiful, we listen and wait for the next chapter anticipating the next and the next. We know that He protects us and shows his grace and love when we feel we are at the end of what we can handle. We know it, it doesn’t make the hurting less hard but it gives hope to know I am not alone, we are not alone, He is with us, He has been with us and will be at the end and forever after that.
I have struggled with Clinical Depression for over a decade, sometimes it has gotten so deep that I truly felt I could not survive another day. Other times, it has been a soft, sad lapping over me that brings me down with its ebb a little, a little, a little at a time. Only those that have dealt with the horrors of the darkest points of depression can truly know what it feels like. The suffocating grip and soul wrenching, you can’t breathe, can’t see, can’t believe, and feel you can’t endure, all the while, putting on the joyful face of someone else’s happiness. Those that know will try and help with well meaning words, so be thankful for those that pray and grieve for you. I don’t know why some of us fight this conflict in mind and heart, but we do. If there is one thing I know for certain is that deep despair will never defeat me, even if I woke this morning crying for the loss felt of once present people in my life or the nights I cry over the circumstances that feel like the world, there is still victory because this is just the middle of the story working it’s through all of my being, the silver strings that connect this present, to that past, to what we all feel in our broken bodies is coming.
This Poem by Isaac Watts speaks to me :
Psalm 130:2 [From Deep Distress And Troubled Thoughts]
From deep distress and troubled thoughts,
To thee, my God, I rais’d my cries;
If thou severely mark our faults,
No flesh can stand before thine eyes.
But thou hast built thy throne of grace,
Free to dispense thy pardons there,
That sinners may approach thy face,
And hope and love, as well as fear.
As the benighted pilgrims wait,
And long, and wish for breaking day,
So waits my soul before thy gate;
When will my God his face display?
My trust is fix’d upon thy word,
Nor shall I trust thy word in vain:
Let mourning souls address the Lord,
And find relief from all their pain.
Great is his love, and large his grace,
Thro’ the redemption of his Son:
He turns our feet from sinful ways,
And pardons what our hands have done.
This past weekend was lovely, we spent time with family and enjoyed the weather and other wonderful activities. We love thrifting as a family and found some great things. I bought a super awesome gold studded planter from CSS and we also found an old wooden toy horse barn (not pictured) that we are going to fix up for christmas for christmas for her. Salvation Army and Goodwill we’re a bust, they are always a little more sparse.
We did also visit Mema Had One a wonderful antique shop in the old AWOL building. It was our first time, even though I have wanted to go since they opened. We found so many great things at very reasonable prices. Also there is so much to look at, just a great place overall. We bought Emma a band major’s hat for dress up and very cute vintage beret for the fall. The chest above, that was very affordably priced, has become our T.V. stand and goes great with the other pieces we have in the living room so far. We were searching for something that had this feel for awhile, because I didn’t want just any old fake wood stand. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to spend so much money on something that isn’t real wood and won’t even last five years. This was a way better option. We turned the chest on it’s side so it is still functional for storage and Kenny reinforced it so it will definitely hold our television.
Here’s a peek:
The Living Room is starting to come together but we still need to make the big purchase of a couch. We have found the one we want in a really great price range, so now it’s just a matter of saving. We also got an old garage mirror (above) that is a great addition to the Living Room wall. One special touch at a time, our house is feeling more like a home.
Some Instagrams Kenny and I took of our new place and park down the street, better pics to come when all is unpacked.
We bought a house!!! We are grown ups now, with a mortgage and everything. We are incredibly happy with our new home, even though life is in total chaos right now. I will all be o.k., I need to take lots of big cleansing breaths and think positive. Yay, but we have a house and I am so excited. We can decorate and diy as we please! I’ll just ignore the fact that the house is full of boxes to unpack and I am so tired. It’s a blessing to have this problem.
We also have a small yard that is a major bonus since it’s been some years since we had one. Hopefully it will produce a wonderful garden next Spring. We will be building some raised beds and it will be just lovely.
I want chickens! Perhaps just a few at first but we are definitely looking forward to being more self sustaining. We are looking at plans and think we have found something we really like.
Just thankful for this new season and everything that comes with it.
“Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1
Life has bit a bit overwhelming lately, in both the good and the bad, kinda crazy, a lot awesome. There are so many things happening to us right now as a family and we are just trying to embrace every moment as it comes, regardless of the circumstance. He is teaching through these times, through the overwhelming seasons of joy and pain all mixed into one another like so many flavors of ice cream that melt together in the sun, creating a new and different flavor. I love melty ice cream. Thank God for what he is giving us.
A new baby, How blessed are we to bring a new life into the world? I pray that God will refine us to become vastly better than the flawed Parents we are now, in preparation for this little one and for the life of the one we have been loving for the past five years.
this silly one
I am 13 weeks pregnant at this date in time and have made it through a grueling first trimester. Praying for the second trimester burst of energy, I remember from last time. God knows I need it to handle some of the things coming up, like…
A new house; we are purchasing our first home, they accepted out offer this past week and we are signing papers and getting keys at the end of this week, it feels surreal. It feels like we are finally growing up, perhaps only a tiny bit, but we’ll take it. I am praying for this house to be a home that honors God first and foremost, a place of a pouring out of love, friends and family, laughter, joy and authenticity.
This is the picture from the real estate site, I will get better ones once we move in.
So thankful for God providing this for us. I am not going to lie, knowing that I was pregnant for the past 12 weeks and not knowing if we would have a place to move into before the baby came that would provide some breathing room for us, was very stressful. We are so thankful for not only a place to live for the next season of our lives, but a place to grow and love others in. We are also praying for Harrisburg, the neighborhood we are moving to, that God will allow us to love those there. If you do not live in Augusta, you may not be familiar with this area, Harrisburg is an urban neighborhood in our city that has a lot of people that need love. We pray we can just simply do that. Also living in the same neighborhood with our dear friends the Duke’s, is a plus, and we have several friends just blocks away from us. Love that they sent us this cute photo of them in front of our very soon future home. Isn’t Jessie and Nick precious? I am so thankful for Jessie’s friendship and am happy we will be so close.
So all in all these are some of the things that are going on, as well as Kenny looking for a second job to help lighten our financial burdens and searching for a new church home. We are in the process of visiting a church we really like and are praying that this will be a good place for our family. You can join with us in prayer about all these things above, let me know how I can pray for you. I want to join in prayer with you. We relish the prayers of friends and loved ones.
It’s not summer anymore, well technically it is until mid September, but I can pretend. I am highly anticipated breezy sweater weather. I’m not the only one, surely. Summer rolls aren’t just for the summer and are so good! Here is a recipe I made for the verge, a few months back. They were so yummy.
Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls (adapted from chow.com)
1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
4 ounces dry stick noodles (or rice vermicelli)
16 round rice paper wrappers
1 cup mung bean sprouts
32 fresh basil or Thai basil leaves
16 small fresh cilantro sprigs
1 medium cucumber, sliced
3 medium scallions, diced
8 Bibb lettuce leaves, cut in half
Your favorite Brand Peanut Sauce (I used House of Tsang)
1. In a medium saucepan boil water over high heat. Cook shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until cool to touch. If the shrimp are not dry, pat with paper towels.
2. Holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, halve each shrimp horizontally. Place on a platter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
3. Follow the directions on your rice noodles to cook correctly, drain and set aside.
4. Using several serving trays/containers arrange all your ingredients in this order: rice paper wrappers, shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, basil, cilantro, cucumber, scallions, and lettuce.
5. Fill a large mixing bowl with hot tap water. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove the wrapper from the water and place it on the towel.
6. Working quickly so your rice paper does not dry out, place 3 cucumber overlapping in a row, just above the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Lay 3 shrimp halves in a row on top, cut side up. Layer about 1/4 cup of the rice noodles over the shrimp, followed by a few bean sprouts, 2 of the basil leaves, 1 sprig of cilantro, and a sprinkle of scallions on top. Lastly, add a rolled half lettuce leaf. (Alternatively, my husband likes his peanut sauce inside his wrap as opposed to dipping, so add this in here if you would like to try this, very tasty.)
7. Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding the whole thing firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top.
8. Turn the roll so that the seam faces down and the row of cucumber faces up. Repeat and serve with Peanut Sauce. />
Last week was rough and this week has been a bit tough as well, pray and pray for our family. We are dealing with a lot right now. God is so good and sovereign and he is leading us down this path. Thank God for grace and mercy through the storm.
Today I only wanted to talk about lovely things. Here are my five lovely things for this week:
1. This Beautiful Home Tour of Lauren Moffat on Design Sponge, it’s from my dreams.
2.This encouraging and beautiful post by Ann Voskamp: When you are finding it hard to keep up.
3. This Movie inspired Fashion Slideshow on Refinery 29. I had wing tips just like that in High School, I would love to have some again.
4. This painted Mid Century dresser from the Turquoise Iris. I typically don’t like painted mid century furniture but this is flawless, I may attempt this on our Mid Century dresser that has received quite a few scratches over the past two years, although perhaps in a neutral.
5. This e-book that looks very interesting. I am a big believer in having staples in your kitchen so I am going to read this as soon as I finish some other other books I am reading right now. easy. homemade. Homemade Pantry Staples For The Busy Modern Family
I hope you enjoyed, share with me some lovely things you’ve seen this week or month.
“My soul, wait thou only upon God.”—Psalm 62:6
The month of August has been crazy. One thing after another. Just trying to take every moment as joy, even though it may not feel that way. This is where I talk about real life, it may not appealing to you. We are in our fifth week of homeschooling this week, so that is very exciting. Kenny also had his last show with Mazes and Monsters, they are breaking up due to life circumstances. It was an amazing show. I am very proud of him. There are many wins along with the more tough times, It is just hard to see that through the hard times. This past weekend I was hit by a car, I was not at fault and of course it was unexpected. The young girl hit me on the drivers side while trying to turn into a parking lot as I was driving down Washington Rd. Unfortunately she had no identification or registration and most likely an expired license so she was taken to jail. I felt really bad for her but it’s all a learning experience. I am upset though not because of the circumstances of the accident but because even though we are insured for uninsured collision it looks like we have to pay an unexpected deductible and financially it is not something we can stomach right now. We have to climb into the passenger side right now to get into the car, so frustrating. So a lot of prayer on our end. Our electric bill has killed us this Summer, it has just been astronomical and we are struggling to stay on top of it. We moved to a smaller place to save money an to be able to live beneath our means and it has helped a little but we are still struggling each month.
There are the life things that roll your way unexpectedly; dental work that needs doing, doctor appointments, a broken car, random needs for a child, bills and bills and bills. I am just trying to keep my mind focused on Him or else I feel I may suffocate. We look at our options and they are limited. Kenny has applied for a part-time job numerous times but because his day job has a horrible schedule and changes week to week, He isn’t finding anything. If I were to go back to work we would have to put Emma in childcare and we did the numbers, we wouldn’t make enough to justify the added burden. So it’s back to odd jobs we can get and what not, until Kenny can find a job that pays better, or I don’t know what. His job situation is strained as it is right now. When I stopped doing photography to focus on being a wife and mother I hadn’t been making a whole lot of money that year but was killing myself with an unrealistic work load, so we made the decision to set that aside. I do miss the occasional wedding payment we would get but I just couldn’t do it all, anymore. The world was telling me I had to be a wife, a mother, and an independent woman that owns her own business, cooks her family dinner every night, and is present with the needs of your family. That I could do it all and there would be no repercussions, but of course my family suffered and the relationship with my husband suffered because I had made up my mind to be independent. It wasn’t realistic and it was a lie that I believed. the truth was that I wasn’t present with my family, I was so exhausted from staying up all night every night to try to stay a top a workload that my days with my daughters and nights with my husband were shallow and strained, I could not do it all. It may be different for other woman, perhaps they can do more than I could, but I know my limitations. Even in the secular world Woman are realizing it is too much, you can’t have it all. Now that I have bittersweetly set that part of me aside I truly wish motherhood and homemaking paid the bills, but it doesn’t. You can’t kiss the boo boo of “more bills than you can pay” away, and you can’t pay the past due rent with hugs and smiles. Wouldn’t that be great, if you could? We play bill-pay Russian Roulette and because we can only tackle so much, the consequences will have to be what they are. I used to dream of vacations and shoes, but now I dream of paying the rent and having enough money for groceries every month. It puts life in perspective. Yes, we haven’t gone on a family vacation since our honeymoon seven years ago, but that doesn’t give me right to be upset when friends are excited about theirs, and I can still imagine a day when we may be able to do that. But my respite should be in Him any ways, even though sometimes it is harder for me emotionally than others, yesterday was an example of that. I am learning the hard way to be thankful for our circumstances, because they mold us. He teaches us through them. There is a hard-fought reliance on God that comes with not knowing where the money to pay your mountain of bills is going to come from. We have to rely. We can’t do it all it is evident and he doesn’t ask us to. We just continue to pray for a stream to come in this desert, how much better than if it comes from Him. I do C.H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening daily and read some of his old sermons when I have the chance, there is comfort there. He says:
Shall he forget you, when he clothes the grass of the field, and when he makes the valleys rejoice with food? But is your anxiety about your character? Has some one been slandering you? And are you troubled and grieved, lest you should lose your good name? If a man has called you every name in the world, do not go to law with him. “Wait only upon God.” If you have been reviled in every newspaper and falsely charged in every sheet, never answer—leave it alone. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Practise non-resistance in words, as well as in deeds. Just bow yourself, and let the missiles fly over your head. Stand not up to resist. To resist slander is to make it worse. The only way to blunt the edge of calumny is to be silent: it can do no hurt when we are still. Where no wood is the fire goeth out; and if you will not refute nor answer, the fire will die out of itself. Let it alone. “Wait thou only upon God.”
And now, what else is thy danger? What else is thy trouble? Art thou afraid of losing thy dearest child? Is thy husband sick? Doth thy wife lie upon the bed of languishing? These are hard troubles; they cut us to the very quick: to see our dear ones sick, and we incapable of helping them, is a trouble indeed. Then the strong man’s eye doth weep, and his heart beats heavily, because those he loves are sick. But “wait thou only upon God.” Go to thy chamber; tell the Lord thy dear one is ill; pour out thy heart before him, and say to him, “My Lord, spare me this trouble, if it be thy will; take not my friends away; but this know, O God, though thou slay me yet will I trust in thee. Yea,
‘Shouldst thou take them all away,
Yet would I not repine;
Before they were possessed by me
They were entirely thine.There! let it go: one look from thee
Shall more than make amends.'”
Oh! it is a happy way of smoothing sorrow, when we can say, “We will wait only upon God.” Oh, ye agitated Christians, do not dishonor your religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon the Lord. I see ye staggering beneath a weight which He would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to him but as the small dust of the balance. See! the Almighty bends his shoulders, and he says, “Here, put thy troubles here. What! wilt thou bear thyself what the everlasting shoulders are ready to carry?” No;
“Give to the winds thy fears
Hope, and be undismayed
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears,
He shall lift up thy head.”
There is rest and provision in Him. There is comfort in knowing we can’t do it all.