this is 36.

and these are not the photos i thought i would be posting at the end of my birthday.

we had a fun vacation planned with my parents. they rented a nice airbnb outside of tulsa. and yesterday, jared woke up with (probably) covid. 

disappointed does not even begin to describe it.
i still cannot find the right word, actually.

but thankfully my parents were still able to make it to the airbnb, and since their anniversary is coming up, they're turning lemons into lemonade + celebrating early.

i tried to make the best of today. after sleeping in a little, i cleaned up the house, ate breakfast, brewed coffee in the chemex, and sat down for a couple hours to write. jackson + i headed out to trader joe's + stopped by mcalister's for lunch. i grabbed a crumbl cookie on my way home + spent the afternoon writing some more + catching up on some reading.

it may not have been the day we planned, but i tried my best to make the most of it.


0001.  wordle is the tiniest delight that (still) brings a sliver of joy to my life each day.

0002.  i will never, ever regret time away from social media.

0003.  i started a weeknight habit of no social media once i am home from work. what began as an experiment to see what would happen turned into the biggest creative spur of inspiration. i also realized i don't want jackson to look back on his childhood + think of his mom always having a phone in her hand.

0004.  we always thought there were certain things in our life we could never part with. after jared left his job last year, we were forced to face this idea with a new perspective. those things? they were just that: things. we have adjusted our lifestyle quite a bit from where we were a year ago. and to our surprise, we are not only happier, but lighter. things in this world are just things.

0005.  i wrote a list of things i love. it is probably the most fun blog post i have written in my 10+ years of blogging. such a creative reminder of all the beautiful things in my life, big + small.

0006.  jackson + i discovered a little free library near our neighborhood + now we love to adventure around wichita, searching for good books. 

0007.  after discovering the wonder of magnesium last year, i also started to incorporate a lot more protein in my daily diet this year. couple that with no coffee before breakfast + less processed foods and it finally feels like i have a somewhat grasp on my health.

0008.  jackson finished up pre-k, and we began homeschooling him for kindergarten. 

0009.  if people know how often i think about laurannae espresso + pastry bar, they would wonder if i'm okay. when we visited this adorable spot in tulsa at christmastime, i was not prepared. when i tell you i am OBSESSED. the ambiance, the decor, the coffee, the EVERYTHING. it's what my coffee shop dreams are made of. 

0010.  jared + i celebrated seven years of marriage + jackson turned five.

0011.  bullet journaling is still better than any paper planner.  

0012.  sitting on the sidelines might feel safe, but jumping into community with fellow believers is better, even if you pee a little

0013.  i am a pen + paper girl through + through, but the digital task reminder app on my phone is a lifesaver. i don't always have my bullet journal with me, so this is a nice alternative for random tasks + things i need to remember throughout the day.

0014.  perspective + heart posture can (literally) change the most dreaded of seasons. i actually enjoyed winter this year. 

0015.  (see #0014) the practice of hygge is why the winter season is not one i dread anymore. i loved reading about this danish method of daily living. this way of life has spilled over into the warmer months of my year as well. these small, intentional moments bring peace to the chaos of the world around me. 

0016.  (see #0014 + #0015)  it also helps to have proper winter gear. i finally replaced my very old winter coat with this one. it is so warm!

0017.  i am so grateful for our local library. i have saved (literally) thousands of dollars with my library card!

0018.  watching a movie with my husband is easily one of my top five favorite things to do. (bonus points if it is the matinee at the movie theater)

0019.  we took a couple of fun trips with my parents. tulsa at christmas time + grand lake in late spring.

0020.  i got a nice pair of bougie pajamas + it was the best purchase i made all year.

0021.  a long walk in our neighborhood still cures just about anything.

0022.  our niece got married! i was a bridesmaid + jackson was the ring bearer.

0023.  i fell in love with novels in verse. (and my kindle as well, which had collected dust for the last three years!)

0024.  the local church is vital in the christian life. i will acknowledge church hurt is a real thing for people, but i will not allow it to make me bitter or question it's role in my life.  

0025.  i am not the Holy Spirit; it is not my job to convict someone.

0026.  a few favorite books i read this year:  "textbook" + "sea of tranquility" + "falling".

0027.  recap to reflect + remember. i was thinking about how i record my days, and this is the conclusion i came to: i recap my days + the happenings of my life to reflect on past memories + remember His faithfulness in my life. 

0028.  steak sauce is such an underrated condiment.

0029.  after much thought + prayer, we made the decision to not have more children. walking through five miscarriages in four years was beyond words. we are definitely open to another child, but we have left that in the Lord's hands. 

0030.  never did i think a pair of flared jeans would take up any space in my closet ever again, but here i am with a new pair hanging next to my skinny jeans. it's weird + i like it.

0031.  i have experienced a lot of disappointment this year. i did not always step forward in grace. but i am learning i have a choice in the matter: i can pout or pivot. the later can bring joy, if i allow it the chance. 

0032.  we bought more plants this year, and we killed less plants this year.

0033.  look at the fruit. the best indicator of someone who walk with Jesus is the fruit in their life. 

0034.  i asked for forgiveness a lot this year from the people in my life. not because i messed up a lot, but because i am on a journey to rid myself of comparison + bitterness + all these things i have carried on my shoulders for far too long. there is freedom in acknowledging my shortcomings. and there is joy in the open arms i have received.

0035.  we took a giant leap of faith (that felt like jumping out of a plane) when we made the decision for jared to leave his job at the end of last year. what a privilege we have - that we get to live out our faith. what a God we serve - One who goes before us + makes a way when we cannot even see the next steps.

0036.  this was a radical year for my faith. not because something significant happened. quite the opposite. it was this year where i walked out my faith boldly. the year where bible study + prayer were prevalent in my everyday life. the year in which my faith grew deeper roots. He is faithful + His grace is sufficient. 


  H A P P E N I N G S -  

+  the month greeted me with covid. thankfully i recovered fairly quickly.

+  we stood in line to vote for over two hours. even though it did not go the way we hoped, it was not in vain.

+  i am obsessed with the magnolia network on discovery+. my favorites are joanna's cooking show + zoe bakes.

+  we got tickets to the windsurge game from my work. it was a lot of fun! 

+  after the baseball game, we spent the night at my SIL's airbnb. what a nice little getaway. we really enjoyed our time out there.

+  my family came up for a weekend. we shopped + ate good food + enjoyed spending time together. 

+  never did i think flared jeans would come back in style, and even more so, never did i think i would have a pair in my closet again. 

+  i celebrated my 36th birthday. not the way we planned, but i am still grateful.

 L E S S O N S  +  O B S E R V A T I O N S - 

+  the best habit i formed this month (maybe even this year) was no social media during the weeknights. my creativity has flourished. i am reading more books.  

+  what someone says behind another's back is a better representation of them than the person they are gossiping about. 

+  this month marked four years of moving into our home. it is still one of the biggest blessings.

+  august is my favorite month on facebook because i get so much joy from all the first day of school photos!

+  "don't be reactionary in your parenting choices; be wise."  [phylicia masonheimer]


1.  the NYT daily mini crossword.  this is a small daily habit i developed this month. it is such a small delight (like wordle) that also challenges my brain.

2.  falling by tj newman.  THIS BOOK, oh mylanta. i could not read it while laying down. from the first page, i was on the edge of my seat (okay, my bed). what a wonderful, wild book! one of my favorites of the year.

3.  no social media on weeknights.  i keep talking about this on the blog because i cannot express enough just how much this habit has changed my days. when i clock out at work, my phone is basically untouched until i get back to work the next morning. (which is also why it may take a long time for me to text you back in the evenings, sorry!) 

4.  my kindle.  after collecting dust for years, i had a hold from the library come though. i had already been waiting six weeks to read the book, so i charged my kindle + downloaded the book. i forgot how much i love this form of reading! 

Q3 word  -  S A V O R 
june  •  july  •  august 

just as i delighted in the winter season + took time to nurture the spring, i set out to savor the summertime season. even in the 100º weather, i attempted to savor this fleeting time of year (indoors, mostly.) 

on the days when the humidity made it difficult to be content in this season, i reminded myself that at least there was not snow in the seven-day forecast. (although 110º had me thinking a freak snowstorm in the middle of july might not be a bad thing.)

summer is a time to slow down + savor the longer days. and even as i'm nursing six mosquito bites as i write this, i still had a good summer. i drank lots of iced coffee, read some good books, found rest to be such a gift, + spent countless nights swimming with our neighbors as the sun set. 

  Q3 goal review-  

-  find a few summer dessert staples.  i baked these brownies + this single-serve cookie. i also ate lots of strawberries with coconut whip. 

-  read six books.  done! i actually read on my kindle for once. and four of these were audiobooks. (affiliate links)
-  gone camping (novel in verse)
-  reckless, glorious, girl (novel in verse)

-  research homeschooling for the fall.  done! we started a couple weeks earlier than our original start date (at jackson's request), but so far, it is going really well. i even taught him on one of my days off.  

-  practice a sabbath from social media once a week.  this was definitely one of the best habits i implemented this summer. i took it a step further and took a social media break during the weeknights. my creativity flourished + i honestly just felt better overall.

-  celebrate jared + jackson's birthdays.  done! mine as well.

-  move my body.  this summer was so dang hot, so my neighborhood walks were rare. i did swim each week, which has to count for something? does a stroll around target also count? 

-  update the blog's layout.  done! i really like it. (it's best enjoyed on a computer, but i know not everyone has the time to sit down + read blogs like the good ol' days, lol.)

strangers things, season four  •  fresh fruit  •  top gun: maverick 

juicy watermelon sprinkled with tajin  •  bunnies + fireflies in our front yard   

summer wildflowers  •  fireworks  •  baking brownies 

birds happily splashing around in puddles  •  ice cream 

browsing fall decor at home goods + hobby lobby in 105º  •  rest

jalapeño lemonade  •  fresh creativity  •  strawberries + coconut whip cream

falling asleep to a late-night summer thunderstorm  •  watching one tree hill (again)

birthday cake  •  iced caramel macchiato from dunkin  •  our church

swimming with our neighbors in the evenings  •  summer blooms at botanica 

shopping with my mama  •  NYT mini crossword puzzle  •  wordle

ice cold air conditioning (which inadvertently forces me into a sweatshirt) 


+  these single serving double chocolate chips cookies are the bomb! it's a good thing the recipe only makes two (giant) cookies.

+  i am obsessed with this mixed media mural wall.

+  i have been playing the NYT mini crossword each day. 

+  i started a daily habit of no social media in the weekday evenings. this digital sabbath has sparked creativity in so many ways! i got the idea after reading this article from hannah brencher. i printed out my own tracker, and it has been so vital for me in this season.

+  my pastor was recently on a podcast. check it out here.


+  i added a popsocket to my kindle. best idea ever! [affiliate link]

+  jared started homeschooling jackson this week. we are so excited for this new adventure!

+  i finished reading falling on my kindle. WOW. 5 stars! what a wild book. (i believe it's being made into a movie!) [affiliate link] 

+  my family came up for the weekend. we shopped + ate + had lots of fun together.

+  i did not envision myself ever owning a pair of flared jeans ever again, but here i am in 2022 with a new pair in my closet. 

+  dear fiction novel authors everywhere: we do not care about your political ideologies. we do not need passive one-liners about past presidents or hot-topic social issues. we are reading to escape all the noise. stop, please. 

+  you know you're a mom when you rock a paw patrol bandaid. 



+  weekly musings (2019)
+  on setting goals (2014) 
+  exploring freedom (2014) 
+  iphoneography (2013) 
+  a happy list (2013) 



+  weekly musings or what i want to remember? am i ever going to settle on a name for this weekly recap series on the blog?! why am i this way? 

+  we made a random trip to a local bougie health food store on monday night for a few things. i grabbed a frosted sugar cookie at the check-out counter and OH MY GOSH. those cookies will be in heaven, i am convinced of it. [we went back later in the week + bought two more. so good!] 

+  a goal i am working on this week: updating old blog posts with broken links, misspellings, etc.

+  i ordered my Q3 bullet journal! it is crazy that i am preparing for my favorite time of year. i'm giddy!

+  it was 77º on tuesday evening + i wore a hoodie on my evening walk. it was glorious.

+  "a fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion."  [proverbs 18:2]  //  are you more known for your opinions than your ability to listen to an opposing viewpoint without contention? 

+  i finished two books this week. "cover story" - on audio - was a good book that made me literally put my hand over my mouth as the last paragraph was read. i was sitting in my cubicle and had to hide my reaction because it definitely caught me by surprise. it was a good book! the other book i finished - "the house across the lake" - was the first book i've read on my kindle in years. it was good, but took a sort of paranormal turn. it wasn't bad, but it did make me read with caution because i don't do demonic stuff, but it never actually crossed that line. i enjoyed it nonetheless. [affiliate links] 

+  we stayed at my SIL's airbnb on friday night. it was so fun to get away for a day + explore the property. i rode my nephew's 4-wheeler, and now i want one! i had forgotten the wonders an atv ride can do for the mind + spirit.