Category Archives: My Loves

traditions

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This past Saturday afternoon my loves and I spent a few hours enjoying one of our favorite Christmas traditions — making treats. We started the full-fledged tradition last year since Little was able to do a bit more and we had the very best time. With a tiny kitchen we spread out on the dining table and get to work. Christmas music plays, delectable smells fill our little home, sprinkles and flour cover the floor and we soak up every bit of it.

Our AK has become the best helper and she loves anything to do with the kitchen, particularly baking, just like her momma. And being able to indulge in quite the load of sprinkles and melted chocolate was an added bonus for her……and her parents, too. We made Christmas cutout sugar cookies topped with icing and sprinkles, rolled pretzel rods in white chocolate and topped those with sprinkles, and dipped marshmallows in milk chocolate and peppermint pieces complete with a mini candy cane stuck in the center. Simple, not super time-consuming, and easy for our apron-clad and adorable Little to be hands on with.

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As we bagged up several of the treats to share with some friends of ours, AK would pick out the perfect mixture of treats for each friend, naming each of them as she went, and she’d exclaim, “Dey gonna be sooooo ‘cited!” Oh, those moments of seeing her thoughtful and generous heart just burst my mommy’s heart. These times spent together are those memories we will treasure for a lifetime. Enjoying the traditions we started when she was so little and, Lord willing, adding some more little faces as time goes by. These are the moments that will forever be engrained in my heart and mind, the ones that J and I will recall to each other for years to come. Moments like these, when I’m in the company of the two people I love more than anything, the sink is full of dirty dishes, music is playing, our clothes are covered in flour and various sticky substances, and our little home is warm and cheery — moments like these, when life is being beautifully lived, I’m just overwhelmed by the kindness and grace of God and how He’s blessed me.

Traditions are like that. They are beautiful, grace-filled, entertaining, messy moments that have become treasured memories, and you never grow tired of repeating them.

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I hope you darlings are enjoying such a cozy Christmas season, full to the brim of sweet things. I’d love to know what your favorite traditions are in this season! What are you filling your days with?

grateful today | 01

Yesterday was a delightful fall gift for our little family.  It was an entire day devoted to our 3 Musketeers posse, and it was so refreshing. Being together is our favorite way to be.

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This past week, especially, has taken it out of us, but friends, it’s been so good. The Lord has shown His grace and His strength in numerous, kind ways. We have felt so loved by those in our life, we have been left teary by the amount of people praying for us, friendships have been strengthened, our hearts have been full of peace in the Lord’s leading of our family, and the 3 of us have been knit together even more deeply. There is so much to be grateful for.

Today I am grateful for:

01 || The growth that comes in walking through difficult days.

02 || The 2 amazing humans I have been gifted to spend these days with.

03 || Playful zoo animals and crisp, cool fall air.

04 || Learning greater confidence in who the Lord has made me to be.

05 || Working on new projects and dreams with my man.

06 || All 3 of us cooking in our tiny, window-less, cozy, sweet kitchen.

07 || His mercies being new every morning.

08 || Chicken Soup and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread.

09 || Our Little pooping in the potty! Celebrate those victories, my friends.

10 || Holding my husband’s hand.

I hope your weeks are starting off with delight and encouragement. How were your weekends? What are you all grateful for you today?

Happy Tuesday, dear ones!

 

rosemary beach

We had the loveliest time on our unexpected getaway to Rosemary Beach, Florida. Our Noel friends are the most thoughtful and generous people to have shared their vacation with us. In this heavy season of life it was such a gift to drive out of town and have a break for a few days. Our minds and hearts were refreshed, relaxed, and encouraged. And it was just so fun to experience such a beautiful place together as a family alongside some of our very favorite people. The Lord was gracious in the timing of this getaway and we were thankful for every moment spent there.

What a welcome sight the morning after our arrival.

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And what a beautiful town we got to explore.

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A glorious morning to pick up donuts from the cutest donut truck ever, sip coffee, and soak up the sweetness of our littles.

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The emotion of complete and utter awe I feel at the sight of the ocean will never cease.

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So much of the trips and adventures we take revolves around food, let’s just be honest. And our Noel friends are kindred spirits in that way so it works out well.

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So grateful for the days spent with our dear friends; eating, sipping coffee, walking, talking about life, laughing, dreaming, planning, reading, making memories, and just being thankful for times that this. I never ever want to take them for granted.

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in this season

I’m thankful it’s fall. I’m thankful it’s September. The wonderfully welcoming month that it always is. Fall always brings a brand new-ness to me, like a new adventure awaits me; but it also brings such a comfortable feeling, like a dear old friend who has been away for a bit too long. And that’s reason #3487 that fall is the best season of all to me.

The delightful anticipation of what fall holds was an extra bit of a welcome reprieve this year as we’ve been walking through a rather heavy season the past few months. One of those seasons in which several life things that are difficult in and of themselves to deal with are all piled on together, bringing many weight and heart-hurting days with them.

This season is one in which we are fighting for joy and contentment where we are, seeking not to compare our lot to that of others around us, seeking to rejoice with those who rejoice and not say, “I wish….”, seeking to rid ourselves of thoughts that begin with, “why, Lord?” or hold even the tiniest bit of bitterness or anxiety and throw them far away, seeking to believe what we know to be true and say, “Jesus, please make me more like You during this season and glorify You in these days.”

Our Lord is so kind, so good, and so faithful. He brings about the changing seasons, but He stays steadfastly and completely unchanged. Throughout these days He has revealed such joy to us. The best joy that there is. Joy that is found in Him. He has revealed such strength to us. Strength that is found in Him. His grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9), His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9), His peace surpasses understanding (Phil. 4:6-7), His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).

There have been days where I’ve told J that I don’t think my heart can bear any more and those days hurt, they hurt so badly. In the midst of those days, though, I remember this and I praise Jesus that “therefore I have hope,”……….

“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:21-25

This weekend started off with fun, sugar, festival delights, and mental over-stimulation. Massive crowds are not our favorite situation, by any means, and we were absolutely exhausted by the end of the night, but the memories made with Anna Kate and other friends are well-worth every bit of it.

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The rest of the weekend was quiet and refreshing and that was a wonderful thing. Plus, the weather made a turn from humid and hot to cool and breezy which we welcomed with a chorus of “ahhhs”, giddy leaps into the air, and an evening walk.

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I am grateful. I am grateful for…..

01 // the truth that God is God and I am not.

02 // having my little sis in the same city and for the time we are getting to spend with her.

03 // mums for our front stoop.

04 // dry air, crisp blue skies, and a cool breeze.

05 // iced coffee and milano cookies.

06 // target popcorn while birthday party shopping with my family.

07 // heart-to-heart talks with my best friend, my husband.

08 // fireworks, cotton candy, snow-cones, and bounce houses.

09 // listening to J and AK’s morning conversations over cereal.

How were your weekends, friends?
I hope you each have a happy monday!

xoxo, Jenny

a camping trip

We took our first family camping trip this past weekend. The weather was absolutely the best it could be for camping, our camping spot was peaceful and wooded in the exact way a camping spot should be and, minus an entire fleet of UPS planes flying directly — and loudly — over our heads at 4:30am, every other piece of the trip was perfect.

Every time that we take a getaway all together, even if just for one night, J and I endlessly talk about how thankful we are that we made the plan, took the time, and spent the money. The memories we walk away with are priceless — in true MasterCard form. The moments we capture on camera are ones that we can look at for years to come. And the moments that we savor without the camera, just soaking up the sweetness of them quietly to ourselves, are ones that we will cherish for a lifetime.

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And we enjoy food, whatever the situation.

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There’s just something uniquely refreshing about camping. It causes you to stop and slow down and delight in God’s incredible creation. It’s peaceful and still, without distraction. The fire, the food, the s’mores, the chats around the campfire, the beautiful morning hours, the strolls down wooded paths. And it is perfect family time. Time to just enjoy one another, discover things together, and have a little adventure.

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These times away together are always full of learning and reflection. We talk about the little things and the deep heart matters. We sit quietly together and we play chase. These times are some of our very favorite and they leave us with hearts full of gratitude and an even greater desire to treasure that which will last. And I love my people. Very, very much.

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a moment

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Peeking out from the front door, watching them talk together, hearing Little describe to Daddy what all she noticed in the space around her: big trucks driving by, tiny bugs scooting across the cement, all her little observances. Seeing them just sitting and being together. Just enjoying each other’s company.

He loves her so much I think his heart might completely burst one day. And she completely adores him. They are buddies. They have such a precious bond that I love being able to witness. When I watch them together it stirs up such gratitude and emotion in my heart.

I’m so thankful for the man I am blessed to parent with. I’m so thankful for the Daddy my little girl has been given. For his protection over her, the wisdom he speaks to her, the gentleness he displays to her, the constant fun they have together, the fact that no one makes her laugh the way he does, the way he is so diligent to teach her and train her and tell her about Jesus, the fact that he spends focused time with her. He is her hero. Every day when he walks in the door before dinner I witness the pure delight the presence of her Daddy brings her and it is so dear.

This moment the other day was instantly one of those moments that I knew I would never forget. I wanted to shut the door to just let them be, but at the same time, I wanted to keep standing there, peeking through the doorway. There they sat, the two dearest loves of my heart, on the front stoop, eating popsicles together. A simple moment. But one that is forever etched in my mind.