Monday, September 29, 2014


^ New babies. I've been reading up on succulent/cacti care to give them a fighting chance against my notorious black thumb. ^

^ I organized a small baby shower for a good friend of mine from church. It was a lot of fun! We colored a bunch of onesies with fabric markers and they came out so cute! ^

^ Things are still blooming and colorful in our yard, which is so pleasant since we're enjoying some glorious, surprisingly warm weather! (Those roses have bloomed multiple times this year!) ^

^ I dedicated this past weekend to cleaning/organizing our bedroom. It has been the most neglected room in the house. It feels so much better now. We did the whole shebang, re-arranging the furniture and hanging curtains and even installing some new bedside lights. ^

^ Picking out curtains is intimidating. I think we rushed our decision in our haste to get our bedroom feeling "finished" (hint: rushing is never a good idea.) We picked these white Nate Berkus curtains up from Target, and while I like them... ^

^...I can't help but feel they look a little shower-curtain-y? Yes? No? Oh, and I finally finished off one of my weavings properly and we love the way it looks hanging on our dark wall. ^

^ Speaking of dark walls... Painting our bathroom is next on my to do list, and I'm painting it black. It will either be awesome or awesomely bad. Stay tuned. ^

^ Last Friday, before heading out to watch Olive's last swim class (we made it through!) Matt, the littlest two and I grabbed an early breakfast out. I don't know what felt more weird - being out, just with four of us, or being out before 8a.m. on a weekday morning. It was fun, anyway! ^

^ A new project in progress. Triangles are difficult (but I am determined to figure them out!) ^

^ When I get bored with my weaving projects, I pick up my knitting. This is a Hudson Bay inspired crib blanket in the works (my first time working with circular needles - they're not as confusing as they look, much to my relief!) I've been meeting with a group of ladies from church on Thursday nights to knit and chat. It is the BEST. ^

^ My days revolve around chasing Oona and making sure she doesn't permanently injure herself during her "adventuring." This baby is on the GO. She quickly got bored with her crawling skills, and is now pulling herself up to stand against furniture (and stairs when she's being sneaky!) I think she might be walking before she has any teeth, at this rate. Note to self: deep condition/trim those bangs ASAP, for goodness' sake.) ^

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

27 / 52

Portraits of my kids once a week when I remember, for a year.

Olive - It's been a rough week. She has been taking school-mandated swimming lessons the last week and a half and I've watched her go from excited and confident to absolutely refusing to cooperate, paralyzed in fear, arguing with and bellowing at her poor coaches. Matt and I are struggling to find the best way to deal with it - trying to build up her confidence while at the same time getting her to realize that fighting with her coach is unacceptable is not an easy thing to do.

Silas - My (mostly) pleasant tag-along as I run here and there doing errands, Bible study, swim lessons, etc. Good things he loves to "go" because we are doing too much a lot of running around these days. He is obsessed with "Hoodwinked" which has to be the weirdest-yet-most-lovable kids movie I've ever seen. (Love "The Thin Man" references.)

Oona - Last night as I was getting her ready for bed, I made her sit on my lap and rock in the rocking chair for a while. She didn't like it very much, because she thinks she's a big kid and doesn't have the time for snuggling with me like she used to. Good thing I'm still bigger than her (wink.) I'm soaking in her quickly disappearing infancy. Makes me sad.

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Toy

We use a credit card that accumulates "points" with every dollar you spend, which you can (after a long, long while) "cash in" for products. 

Matt recently realized we had quite a few points saved up and we decided to cash half of them in for a Kindle Paperwhite! This is something that has been on my wish list for a long time, and that I was planning on/hoping to be getting around Christmas, so I am thrilled to finally have one.

If you love to read, this simple little devise is so. much. fun! It's simple to use, easy to read with, easy to transport in my purse while I chauffeur my kids around town, (and it makes it really easy to stay up late reading while I should be sleeping, all without disturbing Matt!) 

Of note: my favorite reading/book review blog is by far Modern Mrs. Darcy - she has great book suggestions. If you're in a "I don't know what to read" rut, I highly recommend you go check out some of her recs. 

Also, here's my Goodreads profile if you want to see what I'm into these days (I also just added a widget to the left side bar that should update automatically!)

Friday, September 19, 2014


We went exploring in Rockford, MI a couple of weekends ago. Visiting new places together is one of our most favorite things to do as a family. It's so nice when the unexplored town is less than an hour from home! 

Rockford is a really neat town. If we didn't love Holland as much as we do, I could see us daydreaming about living there. It's situated right on the Rogue river, which is really clean and pretty. Park trails cut through neighborhoods, right into downtown which makes it extremely pedestrian friendly. The highlight of our trip was spending time at the dam, which is right in the center of town and has various levels of walkways and overlooks. They have a fantastic farmer's market. We were thoroughly charmed and spent almost the whole day there, skipping right over nap time (oops.)

^ The farmer's market in downtown Rockford. ^

^ Walking along the river side park trails, heading into downtown. ^

^ Silas was fascinated with the dam. I think he could have watched it all day. ^

^ Live music in the park. ^

^ We found a tiny pizza shop that served gluten free gyros! So good. ^

^ Chugging milk, their favorite part of any meal. ^

We'll be back soon, Rockford!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Importance of Making

I've always said I'm not a "crafty" person. It's basically true - especially when compared with marvels like my sister or mother-in-law who make the art of "making" so beautiful and effortless looking. I've never had their level of patience for learning by trial and error, for making mistakes and learning from them. I want things to turn out perfectly, now, and feel like a failure when they inevitably don't.

One of our pastors recently spoke in church about God being creative, and it really struck a chord. He said because we are made in His image, we are all in some way or another creative. It's one of those things that I've "known" but never gave much thought to. I easily wring my hands and say "I'm not creative, I'm not good at creating anything," and give up on trying, failing to realize that just the act of making anything really is such an integral part of making one feel happy and whole. 

In the last month I've been trying to spend more time making. I decided before I even started that what I actually made would probably not meet my expectations or ideals, but it would be good to just work on something. Anything.

This year I have been really inspired by weavers and weavings. Weaving is such a bloggy-fad right now, isn't it? And Lord knows how annoying these blogging fads are. (Trust me, I know.) This is one fad, though, that has really captured my imagination. It started with cutting up an old Amazon box and using yarn scraps I've had around for close to a decade and using this tutorial to make a very silly little weaving (that's nevertheless hanging proudly in my kitchen!) I think Matt was so impressed that I actually finished a project that I started for once, that he built me a cute little lap loom which has kept me very busy.

I still get frustrated when what I see in my head doesn't translate onto the loom, and I will finish a piece and feel embarrassed at its mediocrity and want to just throw it away, but you know what? - This has been really good for me. I am feeling happier and more grounded this last month than I have in almost a year, and I think this little bit of creative handiwork is a big player in that. It feels really, really good to be making.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Here We Go Again

September has so much in common with January, doesn't it? Feels like a fresh page. Feels like a good time for a reset in a lot of areas, but especially in the eating arena for Matt and I. So we're doing another Whole 30, God help us. The busier and more socially active you are, the harder these things become - there's always a church lunch, or birthday party, or cookout to tempt you. 

At least it's soup season! I could eat soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I adapted this recipe to make it Whole 30 compliant, and it is a life saver.

Other life savers this week: watermelon, plantains and the occasional Lara Bar. Bless you, you old Lara Bar. Life would be very sad without you.

So why do such a strict diet? I love the Whole 30 plan for healing me of a lot of inflammatory issues back in 2013. It was the first time I had ever tried a programmed "diet"just to heal health issues and not to lose weight. Not only did my body get better, but I had more energy than I had ever had since having children and dropped to my lowest weight since getting married - all without counting calories or carbs or measuring portion sizes or feeling hungry. It changed my whole attitude about food forever. I highly recommend the book "It Starts With Food" by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, if nothing more than to learn more about the powerful effects inflammation can have on every aspect of your health.

You can read my posts about our previous Whole 30 HERE.

This is not a sponsored post - I just enjoy sharing things that I love! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

26 / 52

Portraits of my children once a week when I can remember, for a year.

Olive - Looking way too grown up in that picture. 5-going-on-18, that one is.

Silas - He wears that pensive, anxious face a lot. He is a bit of an anxious introvert, like his old mom. I think we're both loving all the "mommy and Silas" time since Olive started school.

Oona - Fell down the stairs today (just two steps, but still - heart attack.) A gate is going up pronto, now we have proof of her speed and stealth. She is incredibly fast on all fours. 


Wow, it feels like this space has finally grown up. I'm so pleased with how the blog's little "facelift" turned out! It was high time I let a professional fix it up, and Veronika was a pleasure to work with. I chose her because I've admired her design work for a good while now, and I highly recommend her templates on Etsy if you're in the market for one of those.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

One Last Swim

Last night Matt and I climbed over a dune to our favorite little beach for one last dip in Lake Michigan before fall weather settles in. There are so many steps to climb to get down to this beach, that your legs feel a bit wobbly when you finally get to the water, but it's worth it for the seclusion and beauty of the beach. There were only a few other people on the beach, and they soon left and we had the whole thing to ourselves.

The water was in the 70s, (which is downright balmy for Lake MI, let me tell you,) and crystal clear. You can walk out hundreds of feet, to above waist level and still see the bottom. It's like a giant, gently rolling pool. We felt like we were on vacation, just the two of us and a handful of sea gulls, for one glorious hour. 

We didn't bring our phones or cameras, so there's no pictures to remember it by, but it was such a good evening that I needed to jot it down so I won't ever forget. I feel so sad that summer's on its way out and before we know it, that giant swimming pool is going to be a solid sheet of ice. :(

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fields of Dahlias

I love dahlias. They rank right up there with peonies and roses for me - romantic and decadent and oh so feminine. I splurge on a small bouquet of them almost every week at the farmer's market this time of year to keep on my dining room table. They make me happy. 

Matt found out that there is a dahlia farm within 20 minutes of us and we drove out there last night to walk around. Gorgeous is an understatement - there's just something that takes your breath away seeing fields of such vibrant, luxurious flowers. I didn't want to leave!