Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Thoughts and Links

This week, this butterfly showed up.  We haven't seen any butterflies this summer, and the boys were ecstatic when they saw this one in our flower garden.  They came running to tell me, and I headed out the door with my camera.  It stayed forever...even landing on my arm for some time.  It was in our little garden the entire morning we were outside.  I cannot help but think it was one of God's beautiful signs.

I'm second-shooting a wedding tomorrow as part of a photography mentorship.  Michael Graham took Sophie's newborn photos, and he offers mentorships in different areas.  I'm photographing my sweet friend Tiffany's wedding this fall, and I need all the help I can get.  Plus, I cannot decide if I should do a little photography on the side.  Decisions decisions.  Any of you photographers out there have any thoughts? Does it consume you?  Would you recommend looking further into it?

I ordered this lipstick (in Cava) at the urging of my cousin, and I couldn't be happier.  It's a nude (which is mainly all I wear), but it has a teeny bit of a purple-gray tint to it - sounds weird, yes. But it's really pretty.

I won a clutch from GiGi New York at The Hundred event.  I plan to do a little post with it in the future, but as I was recently perusing their site, I came across this.  Isn't it a beautiful bag?!  It's my "window shopping" bag for the week - ha!

Peter has recently decided that camo (or as he calls it "army") clothing is all he really wants to wear.  I have probably mentioned it before, but it couldn't have come at a better time (as much as I never thought my kids would wear camo).  He seems to be in fashion according to Mini Boden and J. Crew.

A reader emailed me a few days ago and suggested what she thought my blog focus/niche was.  She said, "Do whatever you feel you're supposed to. Maybe it's to convey love, to show beauty, to give hope, to enlighten. Those are the things I see in your blog, at least.   From my far-off vantage, I think you shine most when you're posting gorgeous photos and honest words about your family, your landscape, your reflections, hopes, and sometimes fears. I think when you do those things, you're able to spark something in others. And thereby do some real good that you can be proud to count at times when you wonder whether you're spending the right amount of time on your various responsibilities.  
Thank you for this.  I do often wonder what makes people read the blog and what they get from it.  Are there particular topics or posts that you most enjoy?  While I feel that most of it is just a journal of my daily life, I'm wondering what keeps you reading this little ol' blog and how I do a bit better job of connecting. Should I go so far as to ask what you don't like???

I'm looking for new personalized stationary.  Comment with your favorite shop.  So far, I love these, these and even these for notes to the husband.

Have the best weekend - I look forward to your responses!

-linking up with Jen-

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Whole Parenting Goods

A few weeks ago, at The Hundred Event, I met Nell.  She blogs at Whole Parenting Family. She could not be nicer!  Knowing no one before I went, she was the first person I met, and immediately I felt so at ease.  She's one of those people who makes the person she is talking to feel like the most interesting, important person in the world at the time.   She's lovely, witty, intelligent, kind and sweet as can be.  On top of that, she has a precious Etsy shop filled with handmade items!

To go a little off-track for a bit, all of my babies have been spitters.  They spit up so much that it at times looks like it could be vomit.  Gross mental image, I know.  However, it doesn't stop.  After multiple outfit changes a day, you just get used to the smell of sour milk.  Because of this, my favorite burp cloths have always been these.  They provide enough coverage that you can usually escape a change of clothes as well. Usually.  

Well, imagine my excitement when I saw that Nell made something very similar.  I ordered one immediately.

 While perusing her online shop, I couldn't help but think Sophie needed this, too!  So, I ordered it as well.

She also had these great hot/cold packs that looked like the perfect ingredient for instant stress relief.
They are!

See what I mean?  Cute things, useful things - all handmade!!

This is what came of it all...

If you don't follow her blog or haven't supported her shop, check both out.  She's as good as they come.  I promise!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

When Life Gets Messy

I'm a doer.  Well, most days.  I know I've said it a million times, but I am fueled by being busy if I'm home.  But, being busy means a lot of different things.  If I should be paying bills, I might be baking instead - still busy.  If I set out to start the laundry, on the way to the laundry room I might notice that the grass outside looks a little dry and head out the door to turn the sprinkler on.  While there I'll notice a misplaced toy or two, pick it up to take inside and hear, "I need juice, Mommy!"  Getting the juice, I'll check my phone for a text and then realize I need to add a few things to the grocery list.  Blah blah blah, you get the picture.  And, once I get in go-mode, I'm not always good at being interrupted.

I don't like this about myself.  Yes, I get a lot done some days, but most days, it's silly stuff.  I even, at times, have a difficult time sitting down to read a book with the boys because in that ten minutes I think of three things (rather than one) I could accomplish if I wasn't reading.  STOP!  I keep telling my mind to stop.  To be at peace.  To take a break.  But, I often cannot.

If I'm at others' homes, I can relax.  If I'm on vacation I can relax.  If a friend or relative is visiting, I usually can relax.  Plus, having just had a new baby (well, two months ago), this sense of anxiety, of the need to do something, is heightened.  And, it remains so for awhile.  

It makes life messy in the inside from time to time.  But typically it gets to a point when it hits me hard that something isn't quite right...that my focus is unfocused and that my daily life needs a little fine-tuning.  Some days that point of realization looks like this...

Just because Carter isn't pictured doesn't mean he wasn't involved.  He created the mud!  

Anyway, it was messy.  And, in typical fashion, I had just vacuumed the carpet, and all I could think was that they were about to un-do what I'd spent a few minutes doing.  As I opened my mouth to reprimand them, I stopped.  I, too, loved to play in mud as a kid.  I still remember that.  Sure, it made a mess, but it wasn't anything a little water hose couldn't fix.  And, my mom let me do it.  Their joy in the moment was more important than my self-described productivity.  Plus, they weren't doing anything wrong...just "inconvenient."

That mess they made -- it was on the outside.  It sure beats one on your inside.  They're helping me see that every day.  As one to-do is marked off, another will take its place.  But these little know the story.  They don't keep.