Wednesday, May 20

the books of april (and may)

It is fun to make a record of what I read. Last year I just used the notes on my phone to keep track, and I'm still doing that this year. I think it is fun to make a little log here on the blog here too, if nothing else to help me remember each one better. (I'm getting older and my memory needs help.) I know that May is not technically over, but May tends to be one of the busiest months of the year, so I think it would be unlikely that I will finish another book before we reach the end. Here's the list!

Unlocking the Heart of the Artist by Matt Tommey
I've been wanting to learn more about the ties between God and creativity, specifically the work of visual artists. Naturally I took this desire to learn to the Amazon search. This was one of the books that popped up. I think it is really meant to be a group study, and I think you would probably get the most out of it if you read it along with other people. That being said, I did like it, but I didn't love it. Great points, but I wanted a little more. I have another book on deck in this same subject matter, and I'm anxious to get to it.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I'm always intrigued by books that are popular at the moment. They must be good, right? (Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.) This one was good: suspenseful and engaging. An observant (and troubled) woman pieces together bits and pieces of a crime from her seat on her daily train ride. A unique premise! I don't want to give too much away, because that is the fun thing about this book: trying to figure it all out. I think I can say that I spent the whole book wanting and praying for Rachel (the girl on the train) to pull herself together!

The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel
Loved this one! This book is shorter, and physically a little smaller than most. I liked that. (Hello book in my purse!) I really loved the words and writing style of this author. Descriptive. This book was one that as I was reading I was saying to myself: "yes, I can see that." The main character of this book is a bookish and smart Olivia who finds herself in an arranged marriage in Colorado during WWII. I really like historical fiction because it makes me think of things that maybe I knew happened (in this case the relocation of Japanese Americans during the war) and makes me really think about them. This was made into a Hallmark movie with Kerri Russel (Kerri Russel! Love her.) and I would really like to watch the movie. I think I can get the DVD on Amazon, but would really like to figure out how to rent it some way. (Funny fact about me: lots of times I read a book because I know they are making a movie of it. 9 times out of 10 I never get around to watching the movie!)

Hope your May is going well! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 7

blossoms and such

It felt like it had been weeks since I picked up my camera. Weeks! I go through spurts like that sometimes: the thought of trying to take pictures of anything just wears me out. I'm not sure why that happens! So, it had been weeks. Then, last night we were all outside and everything was so beautiful: the air was warm and still, the sun was setting, the apple trees in bloom. Pictures were needed:
Our apple trees are seriously loaded with blossoms. I'm hoping for a big apple year!

Tuesday, April 14

let it go

So, I've decided to let my little daily photos go. Again. For what seems like the tenth time. I've also decided that the idea of a 5 minute session fits me so much better, so that's what I'll do. Here and there I'll take some time and take some pictures of the kiddos. Not every day, but some days. I so love the idea of taking a photo a day, but about day 3 this year I didn't like the picture I took. Because I only took one, I didn't have others to pick from. So, even though I tried to keep going this year, I've felt a little blah about it since then.

Onward and upward! Sunday we were all outside and I took about 5 minutes and shot some pictures of my girl and her sunglasses. And the kitties. (Take note of the fat black cat in the photos--as of yesterday she is a proud momma of four kittens. Exciting! (I feel like I should pamper her and make her a casserole or something.)

So, has anyone else let a goal for 2015 slide already, or is it just me? I have a feeling I'm not alone in this business of "goal sliding" and I think that's ok. If you try to do something five years in a row you would think that you would gently let that thing go and realize that it is not for you. You would think! I'm slow like that.

Let it go, let it go...

Friday, April 10

on journaling

For the past few years I have purchased a Moleskine daily planner with the hopes of filling it with not only calendar stuff, but with drawings, paintings, photos, writings, etc. (That beautiful stack in the photo above is my inspiration. I can only imagine all the details held inside those journals. Beautiful! (Click here to check out the blog where these journals originated.) So inspiring. Well, of all the years I have kept a Moleskine planner, I have never used it as fully or beautifully as I have hoped. Maybe here or there I would draw something. Here or there I would make notes, write down something inspiring. Never anything very consistent.

Lately, I feel a pull do more drawing and painting, and my planner is the perfect spot for that. I have been reading a little big about art journaling, and on one thing I read the artist simply suggested that you take your journal everywhere. How simple it that? You can't draw in something that is left at home! I know this is so simple, but it was really an aha moment for me. So, now I am making sure to carry my planner/journal everywhere. It helps! Go figure.

Here are a couple pages from last week. Nothing really outstanding, but fun nonetheless. Just a little sketch/paining of my coffee cup, schedule stuff for the kiddos, notes about the weather (I love how the Moleskine planners have a space for weather notes and temperature every day!), prayer requests from my book club. (Which have been blurred out.)

I love working in this little book, and am excited to do more. The pages of this particular planner hold up to more than I thought they would. I have used all kinds of stuff on them and they have taken it all really well! (Pencil, pen, marker, colored pencil, watercolor, acrylic.) I have let the kids draw on a few pages, which I know I will look back on and absolutely love to see the marks of their hands next to my own. I've glued in ticket stubs, and taken notes during church. It is slowly becoming something that I hoped it would: a little time capsule of sorts. One that you can flip through, and look at and hold in your hands. It is so fun.

I hope you find these little pages inspiring. Maybe I will share more in the future? I always love peeking into other people's journals/planners/sketchbooks. I find them so interesting! Happy Friday, hope your weekend is great.

Tuesday, April 7

the book of march

I'm back with a little book report! I always love talking books, so what better place to do this than my blog? I only finished one book in March. I know! I was reading a few at a time last month, but this one is the only one I finished. (At the end of April I'll have more!)

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. This is the third book I've read of hers, and I enjoyed it like the others. This book had been on my list for quite a while, and a friend and fellow book lover suggested I bump it to the top of the list. Advice taken! When I first read Kate Morton I so enjoyed her writing style. Her books are a bit of a commitment. They're long, and take a little thinking. Also, I have found her books to be a little on the dark side: not bad dark, just a little dark and mysterious. Picture yourself reading under the covers on a rainy day kind of dark, not scary and creepy dark. Good stuff in my opinion.

The Secret Keeper is set in WWII and modern day simultaneously. (Here's where you need to think to keep everything straight.) It follows the life of Dorothy, and her secret wartime past that eventually leads to a tragic event later in her life. I think because this was my third Kate Morton book I was able to (almost) guess at the twist that the book was leading up to at the end. Add it to your list if you are looking for something historical and mysterious!

Thursday, March 19


This little lady is three today.
Three! Three feels especially big. Happy birthday sweet girl.

Tuesday, March 17


Hello there little bits of green! Spring looks to be making an appearance and it is so exciting.