Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Favorite photos of 2014


I am planning on going through all of my photos this year and getting some printed and turned into books. With all of the photos that I've taken, I have almost none up at my house. And there are so many that I love, I should have started this years ago. But, there is no time like the present-- I guess this is my traditional new years resolution. Print more photos. So here are a few of them that made me laugh or gave me warm fuzzies while I was going through them!

Lamby has shown up in almost all of our photos!


These two have grown up since the first time we were all toghether. 

And these two who have such a sweet friendship!

These cub scouts and their crazy antics!

A frozen lake with our beloved Bon-bon.
Exploring creativity from new angles.

Winter hikes on warmer days!

Summer road trips!




Lamby in a Yoda costume!




The weekend before we opened the coffee shop





Quiet mornings. 













Friday, November 7, 2014

Write down who you are...


This may just look like our cozy little coffee station. A home for our electric Hario pot, cone coffee dripper, hand thrown mugs and Old Factory Coffee Beans. And it is, it does a fine job, but if you look closer, you'll see something that is much more important.

The chalkboard above tells more of our story than this little nook of heaven ever could. When we started our Family Meetings last year, it was out of near desperation to draw the four of us back together. We put out a big piece of poster board and we wrote down things we needed to remember on a daily basis-- we wrote down our rituals for living.


We chose things we wanted to be about. We chose guiding themes for what was important. We talked about or values. Then we wrote them down and put them up so we would be held accountable, by each other and by every person who steps foot in our house.

I encourage you to take time to find out who your family is and write down your values. It guides us toward who we should be every day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quiet Things: Filled with Light


I have really enjoyed daylight savings. I got up early and took time to knit and read. This song came floating in on my Pandora station. It sounds like waking up to me, like rebirth. And falling back, the gift of an extra hour feels like rebirth too. Like, resetting the clock.

It was brisk, clear and sunny today by 7:15. Oh joy for autumn light, shining through the window as I filled thermoses with warm soup and I cut up oranges for lunch. I said a little prayer of gratitude as the kids ate breakfast and waited for the bus. That fall sunlight never ceases to amaze me.

And now, the house is really quiet. Our black lab's deep breathing is the only sound I'm hearing. And I am really grateful for this time in life, time to take a step back and enjoy the things that Christ has for us: love and family, good food, beautiful friends, amazing coffee... we are filled with light.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weekending

This weekend was the most wonderful mix of relaxing and hard work. Good conversations and great coffee. And of course, Halloween candy!


We started the weekend off super pumped for Trick or Treating. The kids jumped off the bus ready to get into their costumes. We drove over to pick up milk for the shop, they had to be in full regalia. They wanted to trick or treat by themselves but only made it a few houses away from us, but they loved the idea of being on their own. We ended the night with take out and the Great Pumpkin with our favorite friends.

On Saturday Eric woke up super early and worked at the shop and I took my regular afternoon shift.  


It gave me plenty of time to hang out with the kids and reinstate our ritual Sketchbook Saturday Morning. The kids reveled in their jammies: painting, playing, reading and hanging around. It was thrilling-- it had been a long time since we'd taken an at home day. We finished the day off together, snuggled up on the couch watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 



Today, we woke up early and enjoyed our extra hour. We went off to church and spent the afternoon having great conversations with the Room for All community at the shop. What a joy to be exploring inclusive community and becoming a safe place for ALL.

I hope you had a lovely weekend as well! Did you do anything fun?






Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Welcome Home


She grabbed my face between her soft hands and said, almost sternly, "Welcome Home."

Her exclamation summed up everything my heart felt. It had been so long since we had gone out to fly kites. It'd been forever since we laid with our backs on dewy evening grass and looked at the clouds pass. And here she was, laying stomach to stomach, face to face, pronouncing her little greeting, blessing and benediction.

Welcome Home.

In the last month, I've completely changed my daily life. I left my Fortune 500 company job as an Art Director to embrace the daily living that I'm meant to have now.

I felt like I had been living a double life-- deeply trying to find balance and rhythm in our home, but fighting for the illusiveness of time everywhere else. "Gotta do more, gotta be more" felt like a runaway train. So, I chose to disembark.

So here I am, barely a month of newness under my belt. I'm practicing healing. I'm embracing the life that is right here.

I'm choosing to reclaim wonder. I'm carefully putting my heart back together. Loving my husband and children, loving our little house and our rhythm.

I'll be here more often too. I feel like I've come home on so many levels.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Be a JOYfilled Mom!



This summer, I decided… my word would be participation. I would no longer be the mom on the sidelines.

There is so much JOY in participating! Pave your life in stones of DOING!

Throw being ‘cool’ or ‘refined’ out of your vocabulary.

Jump in pools with your kids.
Wear an Ironman mask and play light sabers in the front yard.
Throw water balloons and get really wet!
Go on a walk to pick up discarded sticks, bark and recycling for a fairy house.
Skip.
Jump.
Love.
Dance in the kitchen.
Stay up late and watch movies on the couch with your kids.

And go kiss your husband. IN PUBLIC!

I promise you.

Your life will feel a bit lighter, a bit brighter and you’ll be JOYful too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In Defense of Solitude

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 11.11.00 AM

I sat in the grass, under the shade of a tree and breathed in and out. I tried to drop my stubborn shoulders, they have hovered near my earlobes for quite a while.

And I contemplated how I had ended up in this grass. On a beautiful day. With about 20 people I did not really know.

My spiritual director administrated a retreat for those who needed a day of solitude, prayer and direction. And I paid a small fee, hopped in a minivan with two friends from church and traveled one town over for the day. And I have a really hard time taking time to myself these days. But, divinely, I took the plunge and made time for the retreat.

In the morning, we had prayer time, a guided reading and then we were set loose on the retreat grounds to find a quiet spot for a few hours.


I was a bit apprehensive, I had no idea if I could sit in silence for 2 plus hours at a time, but here I was.

After a bit of silence, I felt myself drift away to this quiet, spellbound place--  as if the solitude itself was feeding my soul. Gently handing bits of bread and sips of wine.  It reminded me of the line in a Eucharistic prayer, "Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal."

The quiet was as satisfying as a cool drink after a hot day. A part of me that was bound up-- tied in knots slowly faded away as my pen struck the paper of my journal. And it was not all comfortable, but it was stretching and growing.

After a few sessions of solitude that day, I felt refreshed, whole and hungry for more time, more bits of bread, wine.

I am wondering how to get this type of solitude in my life without a formal retreat, without an entry fee and without driving to a venue a town or tow over for a lake view. How can I take this time in daily life?

So I started bit by bit. When I walk at night, I turn off my ipod and run towards the sunset.
I find a quiet spot with my journal on the front steps of my home. Even if it is just for a few minutes.

"Glaciers move in tides. So do mountains. So do all things." John Muir

Do you take time for solitude? Do you set aside time to be alone? What feeds your soul?

Love After Love
Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Prep Kitchen: Veggies and their Secrets



I was sitting in Kerry Young's kitchen when her husband, Neal, started prepping the Veggie Box. A simple + brilliant idea. We have single serving sized things in the fridge, but I never thought of easily accessible cut and washed veggies. Amazing, I am always learning from these two.

I've adopted the Veggie Box idea into our own weekend prep. And the carrots, celery, peppers or even shelled edemame are there and for snacking. I quickly rinse carrots before chopping or serving to bring back some luster and just-cut freshness. Or, I take a few seconds to dice them before plopping on salad greens.



Which brings me to salad greens. 

I have tried, unsuccessfully, to prep salads for a week, like I'd seen others do. The veggies got gross and slimey.

But I've been keeping iceberg lettuce heads fresh in a plastic bag with a paper towel or a microfiber washcloth for some years now (Thanks Grandma Eunice).


I thought maybe we could transfer that idea to chopped romaine. I chopped three heads of romaine lettuce and used a Tupperware container without the lid. I laid a microfiber towel directly on the chopped lettuce and then secured cling wrap with a rubber-band.


We were salad ready everyday this week. And even though, my beloved husband said, "we will never eat three heads of lettuce." We did. And it was glorious. The leaves are just a bit drier, but we make a vinaigrette most days so we didn't notice much. If you like super crunchy lettuce with your ranch dressing. Might want to cut up the iceberg. It looks silly, but it really works.

Do you have any kitchen prep ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Joining with This Week in My Kitchen.

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