Gratitude 001

  1. A job where I can spend over half of my day outside.
  2. A husband who remembers that we need to replace the drip pans and the lightbulbs.
  3. Stepping into bravery.  For the musts. But one day for the wants as well.

Things & Such // Vol. V

Last week’s mole removal (Apple juice in a semi-reclining chair holding a bucket tally is now at three.) means I am over-researching sunscreens to never have that happen again.

This book is changing my life.

Doing thorough research for an upcoming trip by listening to this.
(In all seriousness, there are spreadsheets and Evernotes. Of course.)

Jotting down some love notes.  Follow along here.

A Few Questions for Your Thursday

I read this book a few weeks ago and the author asks some pretty great questions. (I know, I know…)

It wasn’t on my book list. It was in pure rebellion of my book list actually.

The middle of Jane Eyre is trying.

And this was a quick day’s read

Back to Jane soon enough though!


The questions…

What do I love?

What makes me angry? In other words, what makes me say, “Somebody should do something about that?”

What do I need to drop the “just” from to open myself up to the possibility that more is going on in whatever it is I do all day? (i.e. I’m just a teacher.)

What would it look like for me to approach tomorrow with a sense of honor and privilege, believing that I have work to do in the world, that it matters, that it’s needed, that I have a path and I’m working my craft?

What feeds my soul?

And my favorite, “Who are you to do this?”
This is a quote that the author turns into, “Who are you not to do this?”

Ok, one more quote, “You have your life. And your life is not her life. Or his life. And his life is not yours. Is there a way in which you’ve been asking , “What about them?” When the better question is, “What is that to you?” There will always be someone who’s smarter than you. There will always be someone with more raw talent than you. There will always be someone more experienced and better qualified and harder working and stronger and more articulate and more creative with more stamina who can sing better than you can. But who you aren’t isn’t interesting.”

Ok. I think that’s enough for today.

Yellow Wreaths and Health Insurance

My body is betraying me.

In more ways than one sometimes.
But lately, in its rebellion to nearing a quarter of a century, I awoke at 4:30 AM.

I tried lulling myself back to sleep by laying quietly.


Only thoughts of a sweet bungalow in one of our favorite neighborhoods with a perfectly cutesy blue front door.

This is Josh’s fault.

Normally I’m the one dreaming of bungalows, stalking them on Zillow, finding the one (albeit minute) detail that completely flaws the whole house rendering it useless to us. (“It’s not that we don’t have the money, it’s that those countertops are just ALL WRONG.)

But last night that man showed me the dreamy bungalow in one of our favorite neighborhoods with the perfectly cutesy blue front door and I did it.

I fell in love.

And at 4:30 AM I decided how wonderfully sweet that bungalow would look with a yellow flowered wreath on its door.

Which inevitably spiraled down to, “Well that’s not going to to happen. How are you going to afford a home when you’re not sure how to afford health insurance in a year? How are you going to have children if you don’t have health insurance? How are you going to have children when you will just have to drop them off at childcare for 80% of their day?” And so on and so forth.

There are a lot of things we have.

Healthy families.
(Reasonably) healthy bodies.
A place to call “our own” even if we are paying a landlord and not the bank.
Work we enjoy.
Friends and community to share joys and sorrow with.
Food in our cupboards and in our refrigerator.
(Reasonably) reliable transportation.

There are a lot of things we want.

And to be present in their lives.
A home.
Small is ok.
Internationally and around America.
A new bike.
Wait. That’s Josh’s.

So the fight for contentment and gratidude, while still working towards our goals continues.

Because sometimes it really does feel like a fight.
And you reason with yourself.
“There will be more dreamy houses in one of our favorite neighborhoods when the time is right.”

And sometimes you just get out of bed at 6:00 on a Saturday morning, adjust the dining room chair you’re using as a living room chair in the best position to see the sun come up through the classic sliding apartment window.

And sit with Scripture.

We have so much to be thankful for.


^^This photo always sparks gratitude in my heart. Not because I was feeling especially grateful. Our “yard” is in the bleak brownness of winter and my husband is using a tiny grill on our front stoop which is an instant reminder of how long we’ve been in the same apartment. But I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for that tiny grill making some delicious hamburgers to share with my husband. I’m grateful even for this season of waiting and working.


Sunday Visits

Our laptop charger has been compromised by a small pup named Millie.  And because we have higher priorities this year we are learning to live without.  I mean, we both have iPhones and and iPad from J’s work.  So it’s not like we’re living in 2001 here but it has made us think outside the box some days.

Also, my Word document journal hasn’t been opened since the compromise so…my memories are being recorded through photographs on my phone and scattered words in my notebooks.

So what to do when you would like to remember really good days?

Maybe this is actually a good thing?

I’m really trying to put a positive spin on this.

So here goes.

A really good Sunday.

Weekly coffee shop reading with Josh before church.
Mom and Dad joining us at church.
Treating us to lunch at our favorite local Italian place.
Then making a library run so that my students will have Valentine books tomorrow.
A delicious afternoon snack of coffee and crepes.
And conversation that lasts past the crepes and coffee.
Driving around neighborhoods in Springfield.
Packing away the eggs, homemade bread, and books they brought for you.
Hugging goodbye.
Hugging goodbye again.
And then waving at the window.
And writing your next visit in your planner.

I loved my parents as a child.
I loved my parents (mostly) as a young adult.
But gosh do I love them now.

Also, it was their 29th anniversary.
And I’m pretty sure they get cuter every year.

In My Experience

Do not tell your husband that you’re sorry the chicken you have chosen does not look like chicken nuggets.

There’s always someone on your team. This is both good and bad.
Sometimes you’re wrong.

Tapping the ceiling with the broom handle is perfectly acceptable when you’re upstairs neighbors have woken you up at 2:00 in the morning with their yelling for the tenth time this month.
And not the angry kind of yelling I’m afraid.
My husband also says this is not ok.

Stop signing up for things you know you can’t commit to.
Josh and I survived a solid 2.3 days on Whole30.
We were not made for that business.
And have since adopted an 80/20 rule.

2017 Book List

Last year I set a goal to read 10 books.
One book per month with room for grace.

I found that I enjoyed a good mix of fiction and non-fiction and that I need to challenge myself to read a few pieces of classical literature.  My Dad has started this task (on a much higher level) and it is really encouraging. If he can do it, so can I.

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  1. The Celebration of Discipline
  2. Jane Eyre
  3. The Life Giving Home
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird
  5. Give them Grace
  6. Surprised by Joy
  7. Robert Frost’s Poems
  8. Pax
  9. Little Women
  10. Of Mice and Men
  11. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  12. The Hiding Place
  13. Present Over Perfect
  14. An autobiography

What are you reading this year?