Friday, February 20, 2015

Angel Wings

I was so inspired by Jones Design's angel wings that I had to make some of my own.  I followed her instructions and just had fun putting these together.  About halfway through gluing the book pages, I questioned if it would turn out.  Funny how that happens in so many of these crafty project.  When it was all said and done I love it and decided this wouldn't be just a Christmas decor items but something I would have out year round.

It is funny how I keep adding these neutral decor items to my home and I just keep loving them more and more.  You would think that I would get sick of them and wish for something colorful.  Not happening, not yet anyway.   

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Letter to My Youngest

Oh Beckett, today you have been into everything, climbing out of your crib after a short nap, unlocking and walking out the side door of our home over and over again, playing in our sink.  I have put you in time out again and again.  Patiently trying to remember you are 2 and you are coordinated, quick, adventurous and smart.  A busy combination for this tired mama.  It has been an exhausting day.

I had sat you down with some new homemade soup for dinner.  We are alone, you and I this evening, not something that happens often.  We pray on our food, you like that, you begin to try out this new to you soup.  I look over a few minutes later and my heart melts.  You are praying.  Words that I can't understand, my fault I am sure, because you know what you are saying.  You fold your arms like a big boy now, across your chest, bow your head, eyes wide open, but reverent and pondering.  All the stress of the day vanishes away.

You are mine, you little boy that I love so much.  I am blessed to spend my days with you.  This funny back and forth, these games we play, as we navigate toddlehood together.  In these sacred moments of gratitude.

P.S.  Minutes after we shared this special moment, I looked up and found him.  He was spreading soup across the countertop, slapping it with his hands, soup everywhere, in his hair, in his hands, on the floor, on the fridge and wall across the room, everywhere but in his mouth.  I had to laugh.  Motherhood, never a dull moment.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Book Report || February 2015

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
A haunting tale of three sisters, love lost, friendship, and sacrifice.  My love for Kate Morton continues to grow.  I love her writing, how she can weave a haunting tale, and keep you captivated through all the twists and turns.  I'm so excited for her new book coming this October. (My birthday month!)  I've already pre-ordered it, a little birthday gift for myself.

The Secret Life of Book Club by Heather Woodhaven
This was such a fun book of adventure, friendship, family, and love.  A delightful quick read, with surprising depth.  I'll be sharing a full review soon.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Such a wonderful story.  It is about falling in love, acceptance, the worries of being young.  I zipped through this book and it stayed with me long after I finished.  Just a warning that there is language and some difficult subjects dealt with in this novel.  Beautifully written.

Deliberate Motherhood by Power of Moms
I finished this book for our 4 month book group this last week.  Such a lovely tribute to motherhood, with ideas to strengthen our determination as mothers.  Lots of real life examples and grace given to all the mothers that try and try again.  I loved talking to a group of mothers about this book, to hear their insights and takeaways from its pages.

I'm finishing up these titles below.  I find myself  in the middle of quite a few books right now.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

I have these on my nightstand, ready to begin.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Find my 2015 booklist here.

Find my other book reports here.

This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Whimsical Cross Stitch Designs For My Studio

I'm loving cross stitching.  I think you may be seeing a lot more of this on the blog in the following weeks, months, years. Stitching up these patterns have been so fun.  I have a collection of three, all found in this book.  I did a blog post about this lovely book here.

I used a light cream burlap with gold thread.  I modified the stitches to cover 4 squares instead of one.  I also had to shorten the arrow pattern so the arrows would fit in the hoop.  When I started stitching, I worried that the gold wouldn't show up well on the pattern, but I'm loving the result.  Subtle, shimmering, neutral, and cross stitched.  I perfect combination.

I have this idea to do a collection of these fun cross stitch items in my studio, just a gallery wall of gold and white, texture and stitches.  Write now they make a pretty collection, just with the three of them together.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Origins

All of my siblings were at my grandma's funeral and my mom wanted a photo.  We took a few of just us and then dragged my parents into the mix.  Then we got a bit silly.  Keeping it real and sharing these photos with you today.  It has been a long while since we have taken picture of just the original family and can I tell you how happy these photos make me? I love these people like crazy and all the quirky, craziness that comes out when we are all together.

  P.S. Can I just say how incredibly easy it is to take photos without little children, we snapped these photos in just a few minutes. Not use to that.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Winter Picture Books

Winter is such a great time to enjoy some lovely winter reads.  We have been enjoying lots of fun fairy tales books through The Fairy Tale Project, which has been so much fun, but we have also gone back to some of our old winter favorites.  I love, love, love reading seasonal books. Here are a few of our favorite winter picture book titles.
Snow by Uri Suletvitz
It begins with one snowflake and covers the world in white.

The Big Snow by Berta Hader
Read as the forest animals prepare for winter.
Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here by Jean Craighead George
A grandmother writes to her granddaughter about winter.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Love this story of a father and a son and their winter walk to go owl hunting.

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin 
The story of a boy who studied snowflakes.

The Longest Night by Marion Dane Bauer
A story of the long, dark winter night, and what animal will it be that can wake the sun?

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
Stories of the lovely animals that live during the winter months.

Winter Story (Brambly Hedge) by Jill Barklem
Read as the mice of Brambly Hedge celebrate the winter season.

Find my Autumn Picture Books here and my Spring Picture Books here.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015 Goals

I'm finally getting around to sharing my 2015 goals with all of you.  I started on this list last year and have been busy finalizing it this last month.  Better late then never.  After sharing my thoughts on my 2014 goals in this post, I have worked hard to decide on my 2015 goals in a thoughtful, prayerful way.

I started by dividing my life into a few categories.  Being a wife and mother is at the top of the list. There are so many things that I would love to do with my husband and kids but these were the ones that I really wanted to focus on this year, hopefully creating and making them habits in our daily lives.  My personal goals this year have a lot to do with personal study, especially scriptural and spiritual study, something that I would like to improve upon this year.  Simplifying and scheduling are two other areas I would like to make sure I progress in.  Each of these goals have been considered thoroughly and I know that they fit into life right now and will help me worked towards where I want myself and my family to be in the coming year.

Read together
Monthly hikes
Monthly temple trips

Set up email & blogs for older kids
Password protect computer
Evening chats with kids
Support kids in our incentive program
Read aloud to the kids 5 days a week

Daily Personal Goal 
Scripture Study 10-60 minutes a day
Read 10 pages from nonfiction day
Read Ensign each month
Line a day journal and C. S. Lewis a day

Finish organizing and simplifying each room in our home
Come up with a concrete plan to limit items that enter home
Minimize wardrobe for myself and kids
Help Steve organize his stuff

Morning and evening routines in place
Check planner for the next day each evening before bed
Follow weekly days of the week schedule
Have weekly review each week
Weekly meal plan and prepare day

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Right Now



These last couple months have been busy.  Christmas celebrations, lots of house guests, visits to my grandma while she stayed in the hospital, and the daily hustle and bustle of life have kept us moving right along.

Right now … my 2 year old is keeping me on my toes.  He can climb out of his crib and open and unlock every and all doors.  I can't contain him and he isn't wanting to obey.  Any advice for these adventurous kiddos in our life that we are just trying to keep safe?

Right now … I just heard about Harper Lee's new book coming out later this year.  I'm preordering it now.  For someone who absolutely adored To Kill a Mockingbird, I am so completely excited!

Right now … finding my motivation to get things done and move forward with my goals this year.  With all that has been going on, goals have falling to the sidelines, but I'm finally ready to put them back to center stage.

Right now … we are finishing up wrestling.  Very proud of my oldest boy for sticking it out and doing something that was completely out of his comfort zone.  I'm proud of him for showing up and doing well.

Right now … it has been raining here.  I've been caught in it a few times, loading groceries, taking kids to friend's homes, packing up donation items.

Right now … I'm reading.  I have a stack from our library, a lot of hard to get titles that I know will be due back in three weeks.  No renewals on these books, so I'm trying to dedicate time to get through them.  Love this excuse to read more.  I just finished The Distant Hours and am starting The Shadow of the Bear.

Right now …  thinking about my grandma.  It was so good to share my thoughts on her earlier this week.

Right now … I'm trying to keep my dry skin happy, it has such a hard time during the winter months.  I'm loving Argan oil and Rosehip seed oil for a moisturizing my face.

Right now … I'm watching Downton Abbey on since our TV doesn't pick up channels anymore.  It is a bit too dramatic for me this season, to much intense drama going on.  Wishing for more quiet, real life story lines, marriages that aren't surrounded by hints of murder and infidelity.  Friendships where secrets and blackmail aren't involved.  I do still enjoy it, love all the characters and am definitely invested in watching each week.

Right now … I'm enjoying quiet days, after a season of busy.  I'm realizing I need these times, sprinkled throughout he year, to rejuvenate and refocus.  Life with its ebbs and flows, it busy and its not as busy (sometimes slow, but not often), its highs and lows.  Moving right along.