3.02.2017

February --> March

Things that worked for me in February:

Reading. I hear from women all the time they don't have time to read, and I'm here to tell you that you prioritize what you want. I keep a book in my diaper bag in case I have a little down time (thanks for the tip Mary Beth!), and try reach for a book over my phone most days.

Going to workout group consistently. My friend and I started a little workout group in town (that's free and you can bring your kids!) and it's been great to have a reason to get out the house and sweat it out with other women.

Vulnerable conversations with Shane. Because we value our marriage, we've been having deep conversations with each other about what temptations we're falling into, how to help each other and what we need from each other on a daily/weekly basis.

Getting ready for the day early. Aka - putting on jeans. Hear me out - I fully understand and know that little children can make it real hard to care for yourself, but LADIES. We all know that we feel better with a little dove soap and mascara. Not to mention I'm more confident and secure with myself when Shane gets home. Maybe it's not jeans for you, maybe it's just brushing your teeth.

Reading the actual bible. I attended the IF: Gathering at the beginning of the month and learned so much from these women who love the Lord. You know what these women probably don't do? Make excuses. I feel like for so long we have said to our girlfriends "Its okay that you aren't reading your bible or getting any quiet time in your life, you're busy." Hold up. We need every ounce of Jesus we can get to parent our children, to love our husbands and nurture our friendships well. And it starts with opening our bibles.

Things that didn't work for me in February:

Not being productive at nap time. I went through a couple weeks during the end of Jan and Feb where I didn't do much during nap time - and you know what? I felt even more tired when Rhett woke up.

Letting my emotions and feelings rule the school during hard conversations. There were a couple times last month that I sent out SOS texts to friends asking them to speak some wisdom in my life when the ledge was a little too close for comfort. This is an area that I stumble into often.


What I'm looking forward to in March:

-Planning out my flower garden and starting seedlings.
-Continuing to volunteer in the 2nd grade classroom at the grade school.
-Hosting a Noonday trunk show (!!!!!). I'm nervous. I'm not sure why.
-My beautiful and talented friend, Jess, coming to stay with us for a weekend. I need to wash the guest room sheets.

Let's do this, March.



2.22.2017

Stretchy pants and earrings.

So, about a month ago was the yearly high school girls get together. It's usually not very formal and over the years the group has grown to include people that didn't even go to school with us but are now friends too.

I like that. More room at the table.

This year, four of us showed up. The plans went from a large group at a hipster wine location to a small, intimate group at the local bar just miles from each of our homes.

I'll be honest, I was pretty disappointed. I thought the night was going to be a waste.

"What is going to be so special about this? We see each other fairly often."


Uhhh, and then it was the best time.

We spent 4 hours talking about the simplicity of growing up in our small town. That small town life is what you make it - and we want it to be good. Not only for our children, but as mothers and wives too.

We laughed about not being invited to birthday parties that crushed our fragile hearts at 9 years old. About clothing fads and the people that we used to be.

My favorite moment of the night was when we all locked our pinky fingers and swore over loud music that we would try to be as average parents as possible and then shared goals and dreams for the next 10 years.

It was so wholesome. A few of us had lipstick on. Hair curled. Wearing earrings that can't be worn everyday due to little hands. The same little hands that bring out our insecurities and confidence all at once.

Who would have thought? The girls that used to play 'house' together are getting a chance to open our lives and homes to live in community together.

Thanks, God, for girl time that fills the bucket.

Moral of the story for ladies in high school? Be kind. You never know who you'll need in your corner someday.

And those people in your corner will more than likely be getting minivans and will laugh about it over carbs.

So invest in some good stretchy pants.

11.14.2016

making room.


Can I be honest for a couple minutes? Like - real, looking you in the face, honest?

I’m not busy. 

My life is not busy. 

Shane and I are not torn between obligations or running our family around constantly. We actually often stare at each other asking, “So, what are we going to do this weekend?” 

My planner that I overspend on every year is most of the time used for to do lists instead of actual activities - and one time last week I let Rhett color all over it because he had a pen in his hand and I was done picking battles for the day. 

And let’s get even more honest here - I find myself jealous of people who are busy. 

"Oh we have plans every weekend from here until Christmas!"

"I’m sorry - I can’t stay long because I have another thing to be at in an hour."

"Between work and school and the activities there is no time on our family calendar."

Getting even more gritty - I associate busyness with having a life. Having purpose. 

I think busy people have a fuller life with more friends. 

I think busy people are better organizers - they have to be if they have so many things that need attention.

Not being busy and having quiet, slow days are hard for me. I can get restless and crabby. I start wondering what I’m doing with my life and start the whole comparison game. 

But (there’s always a but) - being quiet has been so good for me this past year. I have felt an overwhelming nearness from God, I have connected deeper with a few friends, with my husband, with myself and my maker. I wish I could tell you that I have meticulously made room for all of that - but that wouldn’t be true. 

Along the way, I have learned that God’s nearness alone has to be enough for me. I couldn’t feel him when I was busy - I was trying to cram so much in my life to feel valid as a human being instead of placing that identity in Christ.

A friend actually brought up my unhealthy addiction to busyness a couple years ago. We had decided to start running together right when I got off work. Her home was a couple blocks from my job and the plan was to change and head over there and sweat it out together. Easy peasy.
Being super awesome at follow through and priorities (heavy sarcasm there, I’m terrible) - 5 days a week turned to 3 days a week. Which turned to 1 day a week, which turned to “Gosh I really don’t want to run.” 

A couple weeks after we completely stopped - she confronted me about it. She was hurt. She felt like I had no time to be a friend, let alone run with her. I think her exact words were, “I know you have a lot on your plate, and a lot of friends, and it’s okay if you don't want to be mine.”

My heart broke. 

Unknowingly, I came across as too busy to be a friend. And I hated that because I loved (LOVE) her place in my life. Truth speaker. Encourager. Friend. 

My jealously of busy people is based on lies. The lie says, “Wow! Look at their amazing life! They have so many places of connection, so many friends. So much worth.”

And what I’ve had to train myself to believe is this: No. Being busy doesn’t make you better. It’s not who you are. It’s far from connectedness (what I crave most), and actually creates division in your life if you allow it to.

As our family grows and Rhett gets older, I’m sure this will start being more of a battle for our family. 

But I think this is the perfect season to sit in the stillness and become disciplined in the power of being unhurried. To love the slow moments. Creating time for more. 

More wagon rides. More waffle breakfasts. More outside time. More eating with friends standing up in their kitchen, connecting.  More simmering and less microwaving. 


More of that. 

11.13.2016

11.12.2016

lately.

I decided to take the month of November off of social media.

Mostly because I was sick of the time I was wasting on it (hello priorities, let me rearrange you) - and even more sick of the election drama.

But if I was on instagram, these are the pictures you'd probably see.


We are soaking up every single day of this amazing fall weather by going to the park and running in town.


Rhett is really into figuring out how things work these days. I find him tinkering with his toys daily, trying to figure out how the wheels are on and how everything is connected.


Evening wagon rides in t-shirts are soon to be replaced with rides in a sled.


I had a little down time in the alley while Rhett took in a nap in the stroller. It was 30 minutes of pure goodness.


Libraries are our favorite. Especially the Grinnell one.


Rhett got to experience a haircut for the first time. We left Earl's with a picture of the slate house from the 1950's and gratefulness for small town living.


Lastly, I finally bit the bullet on spending actual money (aka, more than 20 bucks.) on skinny jeans. 10 years later and I've finally let my heart believe that they aren't just a trendy thing and it's okay to invest in a good pair. The kicker - they are also high waisted.

AKA - JEANS FROM THE LORD.

They hold it all in. No butt crack in sight. No belly showing when I raise my arms.

Just another instance of me eating my pre mama words.

I love eating my pre mama words.

10.26.2016

an evening in the field.

On Monday, Rhett and I went out to spend some time with Shane in the field.

Back in high school Shane worked for a farmer - and even though he hasn't been employed by him for years, during planting and harvest he occasionally gets to hop back in the seat.


I need you to know that Shane working for Ted is like if I worked for Shauna Niequist. It's like a dreamland. DREAMS.

Ted's wife Pat used to be the home economics teacher at our high school and for lunch would make Shane and Ted homemade meals with a side of mountain dew.

It was rough.

As we've gotten older, Ted and Pat have attended our wedding, sent baby gifts, brought us pizza when we were in the middle of renovating the slate house, let my family help level off grain bins and call us up to go on double dates to Pagliai's pizza in Grinnell.

We like them a whole lot.


Here's what Shane does when he helps out. 

He unloads the semi full of corn into a grain bin. He uses this fancy remote thing to swing a little contraption underneath the semi and then all the corn goes up up and away! 

Or something like that. 

And then he drives the semi back to the field, walks to a tractor that has a grain cart attached to it that Ted has been emptying into from the combine, and then unloads the corn from the grain cart into the semi. 

Or something like that. 

Repeat, repeat, repeat until the cows come home. 

Or until you're done with a field.

My favorite part of the evening besides experiencing a lot of firsts as a family was Pat's comment as we were loading up to leave. 

"It's been a long time since a 1 year old has been on the farm."

Having a baby around makes life just a little bit sweeter. 

Just a little bit. 

10.21.2016

grateful fridays.


Lately I've been thankful for slow mornings with ovaltine.


For crisp mornings outside that require carharrt hats. 


For tiny flannels and curious minds that wonder what water pumps taste like. 


For Psalm 8 moments.  


And for husbands that prioritize time in the morning - making sure that if he isn't home by bedtime, he still got to wrestle with a rowdy 1 year old at 7:30 in the morning. 

What are you up to this weekend? We're hauling hay and celebrating a new marriage with friends. 

Happy Friday! 

"Gratitude turns everything into enough."