Sunday, November 22, 2015

(Re)start your engines!

Hi friends! I think I've still got a few readers left out there ;)

It's time to fire the blog back up! I've got some exciting news. In the past few days, I have been invited to join two (two!!) book launch teams. 

I'll be reading and posting about Brandon Hatmaker's new book, A Mile Wide. I'll also be reading and posting about Raising Grateful Children in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch (of We are THAT Family). 

The timing is peeeerfect! I'll be wrapping up my current group Bible study very soon. I'd been planning on reading All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas (Quinn G. Caldwell) again this year, which I'll still read, but the opportunity to dig into two new books (because I usually get some reading in over the holiday break) is a gift itself!

Oh, yeah - I do still have that stack of "waiting to be read" books. I don't think they'll mind waiting a little longer - though I am currently moving at a pretty speedy pace through For the Love (J Hatmaker). I've heard parts of it will wreck me (which might have also happened when I read 7), so we shall see. 

So excited to share this news - and to keep sharing through blog and social media! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Snippets of my days...

A few photos from the past week or so. I've been camera-happy, it seems!

Look at that cute fox duct tape! It's giving my retro funky flowers a run for the money. Allllmost bought a roll. The green scroll to the left isn't bad, either!

My favorite fall foliage - burning bush. I love how bright these leaves become, and I'm always a little bummed when the leaves are gone. 

Impromptu visit with a friend. We had some adult beverages and heavy (but needed and good) conversation. I treasure these visits, and I'm so happy we are putting time with each other on our calendars! She's a homeschooling mama to many, so it means the world that she makes time for a visit every other week or so!

I should probably have taken the mommy-van on a Costco-and-groceries run, but I still managed to get everything in the trunk. The front of the car had to have room for people after school pick-up!

My favorite store, REI, has decided to close on Black Friday. Now I love them even more. I do not enjoy the holiday shopping chaos. Give me baking or grocery shopping chaos any day ;) 
(image credit, REI)

We visited the Apple Store in the "big city" and I snapped this shot. I wish I had taken a similar image of sleeping bags hanging up on display at REI (which we also visited on that trip). My other family members love this store about as much as I love REI.

Get thee to Costco and purchase a bag (or two). They are delicious. I'm putting this on my Christmas list. Really. 

Yum. And a splash in your coffee isn't a bad idea, either. 

Blueberry cobbler - a late-evening baking whim. Maybe I should have a small business on the side - cookies, cakes, quick breads, etc. I love to bake waaaay too much!

You guys. Santa brought me one of these last Christmas. I am such a "saver" when it comes to fancy dark chocolate treats - it took me months to finish these. I can't decide if I want another one this year or not. I was going to spring for the grown-up chocolate advent calendar, but it has glutinous ingredients. Boo. 

One of our favorite local restaurants serves some of the best breakfast and brunch I've ever had. My favorite is the Benedict- you can make your own, or try the weekend specials. This is my own recreation with a biscuit and my first try at Hollandaise - not too bad, and lessons learned for next time. Also, not the prettiest egg ever, but overall it was good!

Pretty apples, nice lighting. Ahhh, fall..

In other news, I'm hoping to shuffle a few rooms in the house. Big J's office has moved from the "den" - which will become the guest room/mom cave. Don't worry, the den has a door. Miss M's room will go to the former guest room, and her "old" room may get Mr. J as the new occupant. Whichever room is then vacant will hopefully get some use as a craft space while I get some scrap booking caught up. So very far behind, I don't want to talk about it - but I have the supplies just sitting there, and I want to get them caught up and get all of the memorabilia either tucked away or tossed. My goal is to keep the most meaningful items and get rid of things that are truly not important or loved and enjoyed. We will see how it goes, as this (the room-moving more than the scrap booking) is not a solo project! But I'm very excited about the "new" guest room. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The price of perfection

"Falling would have been better. I could have gotten up from a physical fall. But being told that failure must be avoided at all costs kept me from ever getting back up on those monkey bars again." 
- from The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst

That's lesson number two I've learned about the value of letting kids have small failures early on. The first - from Love and Logic - is the actual learning curve of making a mistake and having to deal with the results. Let kids begin with "small" mistake and consequences before they become "big" mistakes and the consequences much more serious. Let them learn how to consider the consequences of making a particular decision. However, I don't know that I've ever read anything that addresses (in quite this way) the emotional aspect of not requiring perfection and "allowing" mistakes quite like the book I'm reading now. 

Perhaps it struck a chord with me because I am a perfectionist to some degree. And sometimes it prevents me from doing what needs to be done, when all I really need to do is take action. Just start somewhere. But I want to start perfectly. Not go back and have to redo. When that might actually be faster than doing nothing at all. There's a huge cost in expecting this of myself - or of my children. 

I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to remind my older child - earlier this afternoon, before I picked up this book and read this passage - that his worth is not in how well or quickly he can master a skill. I don't love him less because he's not a quick study on my old flute from middle school. He may never be able to play it perfectly, but I also reminded him that his scientific mind may allow him to understand how and why the flute works the way it does better than I probably ever will. He has worth to me because he is who he is, not for what he can do. And I can show him just how much by allowing him to make mistakes, and to do so without criticism, but with guidance and love and encouragement. 

I can't tell you how much more lovely his music was to me - and how much more patience I had for being in that moment with him when he was frustrated - when I just let go of the desire for perfection. Yes, I wanted to be the "perfect" parent in that moment. I think I did an ok job. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

It's gonna be okay, Mama

I received compliments on my son's behavior three days in a row last week/weekend. Friday - at the end of Lego camp, from the camp director. Saturday - when we picked him up from a friend's bar mitzvah - from the parents, the lady who was running the photo booth, and a "silent" compliment from the DJ, who was letting Jonah run the DJ booth! Sunday - from the lady who was sitting beside him at church, someone whom I did not know. 
I've got admit, my mama heart has had a little bit of worry about sending him off to a week of Scout Camp for the first time. (I'll also admit that this worry really took me by surprise, as I've had such a great time with him lately and have seen so much growth in him!) Yes, I'm a little worried he might be homesick. I'm more worried that he's hot (it is hotter then normal and SO humid here right now) and hopeful that he's staying hydrated and hasn't lost his towel this year! I'm pretty certain he only took one shower at Cub Scout camp one year, as he came home without his towel! Ew! But those compliments said to me, "You're doing a good job, mama. He's going to be just fine!" 
So thankful for small gestures and encouragement that mean so much!