Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2 0 2 1

what better way to start the year than chopping off six inches + going brunette? 

i love fresh starts. normally i would have all my goals set for the new year by january first, plus a word for the year, a blank planner begging to be filled, + dreaming of all the things i want to do over the next 365 days. 

i woke up on the first day of the year without even a thought of what goals i wanted to set for 2021. no word for the year, no ideas, + certainly not a new planner. instead- i began the year with a different approach: prayerfully plan, slowly. over the last five days, ideas have started to take shape. i don't have lofty goals or big plans. that's okay. it's not a contest. no one wins a prize for best goals. some ideas i have are:

-  infuse my daily life with scripture + prayer.  i started this last year, and it changed my days.

-  create every day.  it doesn't have to be anything specific. write. take photos. blog. paint. just create. 

-  read 25 books.  maybe i'll branch out to a graphic novel. or maybe i'll keep reading alllll the thrillers.

-  keep a remnants journal.  i did this last year + it was so fun! 

i don't necessarily have a word for the year. my brain works better in quarters. (blame the accountant in me!) 
my word for this first quarter is CREATE. i want to look for God in the details + give Him the glory with my art. 
"if He can use anything, He can use me."

Thursday, December 31, 2020

20 lessons + 20 happenings in 2020

  L E S S O N S  

-  waking up early to start my day in scripture is the single best habit i created this year. it is the best part of my day. 

-  it's okay to change your mind.

-  cotton ovals > cotton balls

-  lead with gentleness. nothing is ever received from a sarcastic/judgemental/scoffing heart.

-  parchment paper is such an underrated kitchen necessity.

-  i stopped using a straightener on my hair this year. i just spray a little dry shampoo + run the blow dryer over it + i'm done.

-  another underrated kitchen necessity is a meat thermometer. 

-  it's okay to plan + and prepare, but be fluid.

-  the internet does not need to know our opinion on every single topic.

-  sometimes it's not about the thing God is asking us to do, but rather obedience to Him.

-  discontentment is like a bitter root- sucking like from the good parts of our life. it robs us of our joy + Him of His glory.

-  tidying up 30 minutes at the end of the day is always a good idea.

-  something shifted in the way i view different ideologies of others. i have more empathy + a willingness to listen. 

-  pray for them instead of obsessing over their faults.

-  bullet journaling > planners

-  cookie scoops are not necessarily a necessity, but they are a little luxury.

-  fake nose rings > real nose piercings

-  anything that pushes me to the feet of Jesus is a blessing.

-  we are made for community. even in our differences, we are better together.

-  there are better things i can hold in my hands than my phone. 

  H A P P E N I N G S  

-  jackson turned three.

-  i started working in downtown ICT. 

-  we got our luna girl! she is loving + playful + keeps us laughing.

-  i kayaked down the river for the first time.

-   we lost our fifth baby (fourth miscarriage). 

-  jared built me a greenhouse. he also remodeled the back room + made a patio.

-  i got to work from home twice.

-  we took a trip to colorado springs.

-  i read 30 books.

-  lots of puzzles were worked + lots of board/card games were played.

-  jared + i voted in the election.

-  wichita collective grew a lot! 

-  we camped so much in the spring when i worked from home + jared was furloughed. 

-  my grandma went to be with Jesus. 

-  jackson started preschool + loves it!

-  we became plant people. 

-  the chiefs won the super bowl + the sooners won the cotton bowl! 

-  jared + i celebrated five years of marriage.

-  jackson caught his first fish.

-  we ate a lot of great food + drank a lot of great coffee. 


*affliliate links are included throughout this post. no cost to you. 

-  cookies for santa
-  i made a lot of tater tot casseroles this month 
-  toasted white chocolate mocha latte
-  homemade chai lattes

-  cheese-its 
-  white chocolate popcorn 
-  indoor s'mores    

-  "the unraveling of cassidy holmes" - elissa r. sloan
-  "all things reconsidered" - knox mccoy
-  S.W.A.T.
-  wonder woman 2

making me happy:   our new lava lamp • cuddling with luna • twinkling lights on the christmas tree • winter sunrises + sunsets • the quiet of the morning before the day starts • pacifica lip balms • watercolors •  true crime podcasts     

  H A P P E N I N G S  

-  jared + i started a weekly scrabble date night. it is lovely, even though he has beat me twice.

-  i met a friend for lunch + ended up staying at the restaurant for four hours. it was so delightful!

-  we ate mexican food + drove around to look at christmas lights. 

-  this christmas was one of my favorites. we spent time as a family + with both sides of our families.

-  after over a month of working from home, i went back to work + it felt SO weird! i definitely had to readjust.

- lots of board + card games were played. 

-  i finished studying the book of jude. now i'm in the book of titus. 

  R E A L I Z A T I O N S  

-  i have adapted a little motto: properly plan + adjust accordingly. basically reminding myself that planning is good + keeps me sane, but keep it fluid. 

-  i have not used a straightener on my hair since march. just some dry shampoo + a quick blow dry to get the kinks out + i'm good to go. never thought i would stop using a flat iron!

-  i realized how much the enemy had a hold of my thoughts this month. like- it was crazy. i have resolved that when think about a particular person or situation, i will just pray for them. it was sucking the life out of me + i didn't even know it. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

BEST OF 2020

*there are affiliate links throughout the post. no cost to you; just pennies in my pocket. 

BEST ADVENTURE/TRAVEL/TRIP:  our trip to colorado in september. we stayed at a lovely airbnb + ate good food + had the best time. jackson still talks about that trip months later. 

BEST BOOK:  "open book" by jessica simpson. i knew when i read this in february that it would be the best book i read all year. jessica narrates the audiobook + it is so good. other books i loved: "lock every door" by riley sager; "american royals" by katharine mcgee; "followers" by megan angelo.

BEST MOVIE:  as i looked back on our purchases + rentals for the year, i felt a pang of sadness. no date nights to the theater. no overpriced food/drinks. no discussions about our favorite parts on the ride home. there were still a few movies we rented at home though. "love and monsters" was cute. we rented "frozen 2" and had a fun family night. 

BEST TV SHOW:  it may not have been the year of movies, but for me, it was the year of tv shows. i watched the full series of bones, little fires everywhere, + S.W.A.T. i caught up on the blacklist + NCIS.

BEST ALBUM OR SONG:  there wasn't just one album for me, but there were many songs. "never lost" - elevation worship; "another in the fire" - hillsong united, taya; "constellations" - ellie holcomb; "available" - elevation worship; "goodness of God" - bethel; "peace be still" - hope darst; "holy ghost" - maverick city. 

BEST PODCAST:  verity  //  murder with my husband  //  crime junkie  //  from the front porch   

BEST FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM:  kristen lavalley. in the age of choosing sides, whether it be politically or spiritually or whatever the discussion, i often find myself falling somewhere in the murky middle on hot-topic issues. it's often mistaken as apathy, but i try really, really hard to see from multiple perspectives. kristen has shared nuanced views on a lot of christian topics + i find it refreshing.

BEST DATE:  we supported our local businesses on small business saturday this year. it was such a fun day of local food, coffee, plants, + other little things. jackson was with us, so it was more of a family date, but it was so much fun! 

BEST KIDDO MILESTONE:  i initially was going to say successfully potty training + getting rid of the binkie, but the best milestone is starting preschool. jackson has exceeded (and surprised!) our expectations. he loves school! i am so thankful for his teachers + the school. hands down, one of the best decisions of the year for jackson.   

BEST FAITH GROWER:  our fourth miscarriage. i hate that last year's answer to this question was our third miscarriage. but when death happens in your body, you have two choices: you can live with the grief or you can live through it (although it will never truly go away). i chose the latter. the night i discovered we were losing our baby, i sat in the passenger seat, stunned. what a difficult night. and then the morning came. and with it- a peace amid the pain + grief. He has walked with me each step since. 

BEST TREND YOU TRIED:  tiktok. i thought the app was just a bunch of teenage girls dancing + twerking, but it so much more than that! there are recipe/food videos, makeup tutorials, and all different kinds of videos. 

BEST BEAUTY PURCHASE:  cleen vitamin c serum + cleen moisturizer  //  pacifica lip balm  //  elf brow liner  

BEST FAMILY MEMORY:  our camping trips in the spring. jared was on furlough + i was working from home. we would camp during the week when absolutely no one was around. i would wake up + drive home to work, and then drive back out to the campsite that evening. it was springtime, so the trees were blooming + in the middle of the chaos, the lake was our safe haven. 

BEST HABIT YOU CREATED:   waking up early to have time in scripture before i start the day. i was trying to squeeze in bible study in the evenings when i had this realization that i should never look at scripture as a checked box. i started waking up 45 minutes earlier + it has changed my days. yes, there are mornings when i want to hit the snooze button, but i make myself get up. i am a better wife, mom, + person for starting my days with the Lord.

FAVORITE BLOG POST WRITTEN:  "i luv u" // i wrote this post at the beginning of quarantine. 

BEST NEW RECIPE:  avocado brownies + cream cheese chicken chili + these tiktok cookies  

BEST LIFE OR MOM HACK:  parchment paper. it's my new BFF when baking or cooking. 

BEST MAMA MOMENTS:  when jackson caught his first fish • working from home + being with him throughout the day • his bigs hugs as i cried after learning about my grandma's passing + our miscarriage • how much he loves school • and as i type this, i can hear him singing with jared "oh, there's nothing better than You" 

BEST HOME IMPROVEMENT:  this was the year of house projects! jared built a greenhouse. he remodeled our back room into a second living space. he also put in pavers by the pergola. 

BEST LITTLE LUXURY YOU'VE ENJOYED:  house slippers. they're so cozy + make me feel fancy. 

this idea came from em for marvelous  

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

remnants journal


at the beginning of quarantine, rachel shared her NYT collage project. i loved the idea, but didn't have a newspaper subscription. as i thought about how i could document this weird time, i remembered when, several years ago, i briefly collected little remnants of my everyday life: movie ticket stubs, stickers, wrappers, etc. so i started saving random things to fill this journal to document 2020.

a card from the little shop, a duplicate puzzle piece, + a card from my niece.

newspaper that was used to wrap china that my mom bought early in their marriage. 
if you zoom in, you can see the date: july 1, 1988!

a "Word before world" sticker that was on the box of a well watered women order, 
jackson's wristband from the pumpkin patch, + a piece of my shopping bag from vortex souvenir.

a piece of paper jackson colored, part of the census envelope, stickers, + a postcard from an online order.

a card from my love.

my voting sticker. 

other things not pictured: jackson's name tag from his preschool's orientation, clippings from my hometown's newspaper, a card from my grandma's funeral, various things from jackson's school, a note from our airbnb host when we vacationed in colorado, + ticket stubs from the train ride.

Monday, November 30, 2020



-  homemade chai lattes
-  iced cold brew w/homemade cold foam  

-  yellow bell pepper w/cream cheese + TJs chile lime seasoning
-  perfect bar peanut butter cups     

-  "the silent patient" - alex michaelides  
-  "nine perfect strangers" - liane moriarty 
-  the winter issue of "the magnolia journal
-  "held" by abbey wedgeworth 
-  "what kind of woman" - kate baer          

- oceans 11, 12, + 13
- S.W.A.T.

making me happy:  our christmas tree • these mildliner highlighters • faux candles • chick-fil-a • poetry     

  H A P P E N I N G S  

-  i worked from home the entire month. it was so, so nice. 

-  jared needed a project when he was off work, so he completely re-did our extra room. it's not really a bedroom, but more of a sitting room or second living space. we both needed a place to go and pray or read or just chill. i go back there and read my bible + drink coffee each morning. there is a peace in that space.

-  we also bought a new desk + chair for a small office nook. it is a dream! i was so giddy at the office supply store, and i have enjoyed having a space to write + get creative.

-  jackson was "star of the week" in his preschool class. i was so proud of him. he has thrived with school, and it is an answered prayer.

-  jared taught me how to play dominion. i am surprised by how much i enjoy it! 

-  even with all of the joyous moments, the ER bill from our miscarriage came in the mail. two grand. jackson asks me weekly, "mommy, are you still sad about the baby?" when i tell him yes, he says, "me, too." the Lord is my peace through all of this.

-  thanksgiving looked a little different this year. my SIL + i made a small meal for our families. i made homemade mashed potatoes for the first time ever. [i know.] they were good! i also made the dish that i'm required to bring to every family function: strawberry pretzel salad. it's in my top five favorite desserts for sure. 

-  i studied through the book of colossians. next up is philemon. what i find so interesting about scripture (and why i love studying it so much!) is that it's all connected. as i read through colossians, i realized the importance of the book of philemon + why paul wrote the letter. God's Word is so cool + i will never take it for granted.

  R E A L I Z A T I O N S  

-  declaring Truth is not apathetic. 

-  it's okay to change you mind. i have different feelings about COVID than i did at the beginning of the month. i have different opinions on lots of things than i did at the beginning of the year, actually. it's not a bad thing to change your mind.

-  homemade mashed potatoes are not hard. what else have i not cooked because i have deemed it "hard"?

Sunday, October 25, 2020

currently // october 2020

creating:  my newsletter. here is october's.

baking:   these cookies + this baked oatmeal

drinking:  at this very moment, a pumpkin spice latte.

snacking:  bell peppers with cream cheese + everything bagel seasoning

reading:  i just finished "american royals" and to my surprise, i LOVED it! 

listening:  "nine perfect strangers" on audio. it is slooooow, but i'm hoping it picks up soon. 

watching:  the blacklist, season seven. 

wishing:  there was no snow coming in tonight.

anticipating:  halloween! it's more fun now that jackson is excited about it.

enjoying:  this gratitude journal. such a great daily habit to utilize against discontentment.

wondering:  if i should start up #notpolethursdays on instagram again.

loving:  making family traditions.

marveling:  how God is working in our lives, even in the midst of such grief.

needing:  to start a deep clean/declutter of our entire home. 

realizing:  christmas is two months away. GAHHHH. 

wearing:   these comfy pants from target + lots of layers.

making me happy:   puzzles + chai lattes + autumn nights by the fire + game nights + cozy house slippers