Thursday, October 1

dormant

Hello there October! October ushers in what I like to call the "cozy season": coffee, scarves, pumpkins, apples, fires... All good things. I really really love it. Nature is cozying up before sleep, before going dormant.

I too feel like I have entered a dormant type season in my own life. Shutting things down for a while, before picking them back up again. I think it is necessary for me to have a little bit of a dormant time before having a time of work or production. Like a garden, or a tree. Things are still happening, of course, but they are not always seen. I think I jump into things all the time without considering them too much. I need a little time of consideration before jumping into my next project/direction. I am, and always have been a tad bit scatterbrained as far as direction goes. (For example, if you will visit my last post you will see that I jumped into the idea of a photo-a-day project for the month of September. I made it all of five days I think. See, I'm ridiculous.)
I would so love to be producing a lot of work, being super creative and artistic, but realistically it is not happening right now. For the first time ever, I am totally OK with that. I feel like there are things growing (I have so many ideas for things), but I need a dormant season to bring them out.

So, all that being said, I will try and pop in here once in a while, but not every day or even every week. This little blog of mine is officially in hibernation. (You have probably figured all that out by now!)

Thank you always for reading, I love that you stop by.

Friday, September 4

september 2 and 3

September is looking pretty through my camera so far. Not too much rhyme or reason to what I'm choosing to photograph, just the happenings around here lately.

{2/30}
The tomatoes are all still going strong in the garden, as well as my little basil plant on the front porch. Tomato + basil forever. Eating some combination of this everyday!
{3/30}
So we have four cats. The cat with the most intense personality is Ava for sure. She hates Coconut the dog with intensity. She chases birds with intensity. She begs for food with intensity:
So fun to have a (small) personal photography project again. I forget how I need to challenge myself here and there to force a little growth and experimentation. Good stuff.

Tuesday, September 1

thirty days has September

This morning I had a thought. September! I love September. What if...

What if I took a picture everyday for a month. Not a year, but a month. Thirty days. Why not try? So, hot off the press, here's September first:


Thirty days! That seems a whole lot more achievable than 365. Three cheers for small goals.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 27

with her

When asked about his definition of paradise, singer Johnny Cash gave this answer: "This morning, with her, having coffee." ("Her" being wife, June.) That quote has always struck me. How beautifully simple. The overlooked little things really are so so beautiful.
Little Miss and I have settled into the routine of sitting down to a little breakfast of eggs (scrambled for her, fried for me) once the older two leave for school. A sit down, slow breakfast. With her. Its pretty wonderful.

Paradise, really.

Monday, August 24

time well spent

Meet Rex and Sue. Aren't they cute? Not only are they cute, but they are little pulling machines. Ok, machines may be a strong word for them. What's a step below a machine? I don't even know. Moving on.
This summer Papaw has helped get Rex and Sue all ready for the horse pulling circuit. Lots and lots of training hours were spent. Time well spent. Every single hour that this little pair trained was worth it for the experience for my little Max. (Oh, and these pictures are worth gold as far I'm concerned.)





At this particular pull Rex and Sue came in last. Partly due to ill fitting equipment. Max wasn't too let down because afterward we headed to the midway for a few games, a lemon shake-up and an elephant ear.

Time well spent indeed.

Saturday, August 15

the books of june

June! I know, that was forever ago. I took these photos (in June obviously) and wanted to blog a little about them because talking about books is one of my favorite things.
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
This book had popped up a few times in my Amazon searches/book browsing so when I saw it at the library I snatched it up. It was a fun, whimsical book filled with family secrets and traditions and mystery. Two very different sisters live in the same small town: one is a chef, the other a hair stylist. The one sister (the chef) lives in the old family house that amazingly has a tree that blooms right after the first fall frost. I liked this book in June, but I think that I would have loved it in October, with a scarf around my neck and a pumpkin latte in my hand! Once I finished reading this I realized that it was actually a sequel to a book called Garden Spells. Shoot! I am kind of a stickler about reading books in order. Even thought I think it would have made more sense to read it after the first one, it could stand alone too.

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center.
I am a fan of Katherine Center, so I was super excited when I saw she had a new book out. This was a fun book, but I didn't really like it as much as some of her others. I'm not really sure why, it just didn't feel very authentic? (Maybe because I read Wild earlier this year and it is a book about hiking which was very raw and authentic?) The gist of this book is that a young women embarks on an extreme hiking trip after getting a divorce from her husband. She meets all kinds of people, and there is a love interest (who she never saw coming of course). Liked it, didn't love it.


Love Does by Bob Goff
I loved this book! I read this with my book club and we watched some of the videos that go along with it. (Think you can order the DVD that goes with this book on Amazon too.) Bob Goff is a big personality, and I kept thinking to myself, "Is this guy for real?" I think he is for real, and his life reads like a big crazy adventure. This is a book where each chapter can sort of stand by itself, so it reads like a devotional. I seriously laughed out loud while reading this, and also got some deep stuff out of it too. Highly recommend!

I hope to catch up and write the "books of July" list soon. What have you been reading? I would love to know!

Wednesday, August 12

out of practice


Oh hello!

It has been so long since I have checked in here! It appears that the non-scheduled days of summer are not very conducive to blogging regularly. Hopefully with the start of school (today!) I can get into a routine again. I am sad to see summer coming to an end so soon, but I am always one to welcome a little more structure to our lives. Doesn't it seem so odd to go back to school when the tomatoes are just now coming on in the garden? Tomatoes say summer, but the calendar says school. It may never seem "right" to go back to school so early!

Hope your August is off to a great start. I promise to not be so scarce!

Tuesday, June 9

pancakes

My recipes are a mess. I have this big binder, where I basically stuff every recipe we like in all sorts of different forms. There's magazine pages, print-outs off the computer, index cards, and my personal favorite: my chicken scratch style handwriting on envelopes and scrap pieces of paper. While I do love the randomness of all of this, it is really hard to find anything. On my "do whenever I have time" list (ha!) is to organize all the recipes. I would love to have something pretty, something personal with all of our family recipes in it. I would like lots of photos, naturally, so I have been trying to take photos as we make our favorites. I found this really neat photoshop template where the recipe page is all laid out for you, you just add in your photo and type in all the specifics. I like the idea of working on it (and maybe printing it) a page at a time, that way you could always add to it.

The other morning, one of the first official mornings of summer break, we made pancakes. I used to be a pancake mix girl--those are just so easy. Then, one day we wanted pancakes but didn't have any mix. Out came the old faithful Better Homes and Gardens's Cookbook. Come to find out, pancakes from scratch are really not that difficult, and I usually have everything that we need to make them. I always have lots of help on pancake day. It is hard to divvy up the tasks to keep my assistants feeling like that they are all helping equally, but we usually manage to find a job for everyone.
Look…fluffy!

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Combine all the dry ingredients, set aside. Combine the egg, milk and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined. Cook on a greased griddle or heavy skillet. Ada and I like our pancakes with fruit, so we add that in a few pancakes as we cook them. We've made blueberry, blackberry and raspberry pancakes--all delish! Serve up with butter and pure maple syrup.

*If you don't have buttermilk (who has buttermilk on hand, anyone?) put 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice unto a measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup and stir.

Happy Tuesday to you, gather your assistants and make some pancakes!

Tuesday, June 2

bouquet

A few weeks ago, our whole family was in the wedding of our dear friend Sarah. I was a bridesmaid, the girls were both flower girls. (You can only imagine how pumped they were to be flower girls!) Before Sarah left on her honeymoon, she gave me her bouquet to enjoy while she was gone. Her big, beautiful, flat out amazing bouquet. She asked me to take a few pictures of it because she forgot to. Of course! Pictures!

I took some "regular" pretty pictures of it in Ada's room, on the bathroom counter, in the "hangar". (The hangar is what we like to call our quonset hut. Hangar sounds like we might own some sort of aircraft. Really, the quonset is really a big storage building that resembles a large can on its side.) The hangar always has the most beautiful light, and it is often my most favorite place to take pictures. After taking tons of photos of this beautiful bouquet, I had an idea. Sarah and I had messaged back and forth about what she wanted done with this bouquet, and we talked about drying it. The problem with drying flowers is that they are never as beautiful as they were were when they were alive. I think I dried my wedding bouquet only to throw it away later. I suggested that photos of the flowers would be way better than a dusty dry bouquet anyway.

I didn't tell Sarah my actual plan, but I just went for it knowing she would be ok with it! I took snippers to that bouquet and cut all the heads of those beautiful flowers. Roses, peonies, ranunculus, succulents. It felt so awful to do it, but I knew it would be worth it!

Now for a few pictures. For kicks, first here is a photo of my assistant. This girl loves flowers, and she tells me she wants to be a florist and a chef when she grows up. This gives you a little peek into our setup in the quonset: a ladder, some barn wood, the flowers.


Here's just a few photos we took. I took so many pictures of these flowers. They were so so pretty.




Thank you so much for trusting me with your bouquet Sarah! It was the most fun I've had in a while!

Friday, May 29

arrest of attention

Yesterday, a photographer I follow posted a beautiful picture on her Facebook feed, along with this quote:

"I feel that art has something to do with the stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction."
Saul Bellow

The arrest of attention. Love that.

Does a quote ever just grab you? This one did me. Maybe because I feel a pull towards "stillness" lately. What mom of three doesn't feel a pull towards stillness? Maybe because the more I study and the more know about art it feels like (for me at least) it needs to be a form of prayer. Art and prayer, prayer and art. The two are so very linked together. So funny that I have loved art for my entire life, and I feel like I have been skirting around it, never getting to the heart of the art that I need to make because in order to get there you need to get to the heart of God first.


I know! Deep thinking on a Friday! Hope your weekend is great.

Monday, May 25

unhurried

I have a lot of help around the house. You know, kid help that usually doesn't help. So, often times I just say "let mama do it." For whatever reason, I feel like I am in a state of hurry and hustle, so I want to do everything so I can get it done faster. I want to fold all the clothes so they'll be folded how I want. I want to wash the dishes so I can just get them done. I rush, through lots of things. I look past what I'm doing, thinking about what I need to tackle next. I think I say "hurry up" to my kids more than anything else.

I hate it.

What if I was unhurried? What if I said, "yes, help me"? What if we stood and talked and washed together?


My prayer lately has been for God to make me unhurried. My babies are growing so fast. I feel this horrible feeling like I am missing it. Rushing it away because I need to get more things done. I want to do things with them, even if it takes longer. Even if every towel is folded crooked and all the shirts are wrinkled. I am so slow to learn this lesson, and it takes lots of little reminders to bring me back where I need to be. These pictures are so precious to me--they are a visual reminder of what unhurried looks like. A sink full of dirty dishes, lots of soap, and her.

"Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering in the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away."
{Mark Buchanan quoted by Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts.}

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!