3 things

FAMILY: I've been putting the house together slowly when it comes to making holes in the walls that we painstakingly painted for weeks on end. I did finally add my most prized piece of art though. I could not stand it being packed away any longer. My mother passed it down to me. What make it so special? Ellie's namesake painted it, my grandmother. It's a little reminder of my family daily as I walk out of my bedroom. 

NATURE: We added a new tree to our home that is quickly becoming a greenhouse of sorts. It's in the olive tree family, but I can't remember the official name for the life of me. She has dropped a few leaves which can be the shock of the move or something else entirely. I am really praying she stays awhile. Could not imagine killing such a beautiful piece of nature. 

photo by: Rylee Hitchner

photo by: Rylee Hitchner

LIFE: I turned 36 yesterday. The kids were baffled why I would work on my birthday, but alas that is life. Does one ever really feel their age? At times I feel like I am still in my early 20's straight out of college. The girl who is still trying to figure out her place in this great big world. Then other times I feel like I've done enough laundry to last a life time twice over. I am a girl who has lived a long enough life that I can now help others through whatever stage they are in. I did find a gray hair and I am gaining laugh lines that no potion can erase. I enjoy getting another year older. Maybe it's because I enjoy the thought of growing another year wiser. My story has lasted 36 years thus far. It's had it's high's and low's, but it's my story and one that I am grateful to share with you all. 

New Traditions

I grew up in Massachusetts and one of my fondest memories when I was little was visiting my best friends home. Their house always smelled like fresh baked bread. Normally it would be paired with a tomato soup yet we never grew tired of it even though we would have it multiple times a week some months. I can still recall spooning the soup into bowls right off the stove and then having the bread laid by its side. I hold dear the times I sat at their dining table learning and laughing along with their family. These memories are stored deep within. We parted ways when I moved down south, but that memory has lingered on. The sweet smell can still transport me back to a simpler time and maybe that is what led me to starting a new tradition for our little family. Every Sunday I have began making bread for the kiddos lunches although I can quickly see that this bread may need to be made more than once a week. As I grow another year older I am realizing it's the little things that matter and I am slowly but surely distancing myself from things that don't contribute to building a life of meaning. A life that I want my children to emulate with grace not with a force that comes from striving to be something else. So here is my new tradition of making our house smell sweet and everyone grabbing one more slice.

I use this simple recipe here. I swear by King Author flour for baking.

* as most of you know my diet is dr ordered strict and I have been off gluten since KJ was just a baby so I have been trying to find a good "bread" alternative. The little muffins are so close to being just that. A few more times and I think I will have the recipe just right even if KJ said he likes them as is. Of course I will be happy to share if anyone is interested once I have it perfected. Can I tell you how hard it is to bake without grains, sugar {even natural}, and eggs.

{plates by vagabond vintage}

Me to You

Life is airing on the hard side the last couple of months. I am in the midst of a flair up do to who knows what currently. I have been back on a strict diet since our trip to Guatemala, minus an anniversary day away last month, yet I have not been able to climb back out from this deteriorating body of mine. My lymph nodes are painfully swollen, it's hard to breath, and my body is aching with inflammation. I can't think clearly and I am currently just floating from one task to another. I have walked this heavy path before and I know I will be able to breath deep again, take walks as a family, and just not feel so very much all the time. This body of mine hates me. I share this piece of me not for a woe is me moment, but I share because I know there are others who have and are and will walk a similar path and I am here to say, me too. Your path may look different than mine, but the path can all lead to the same lonely place. No one wants to be the friend who complains all the time. No one wants to plan their day around what must get done and then divide it to a point where you think you can handle it, but most of the time can't and those tears will then flow. No one wants to be that person. I and others have prayed for my healing for years now and at times I wonder why it has not fully happened, but then I meet someone who walks a similar path and I can cry along with them and truly know the depth of their pain. That is a gift. To know you are not alone during a season of life that at times can make getting out of bed even hard can act as an offering. Here I am giving me to you saying we can do this. Whatever season you are in that may leave you with a lose of words I can confidently say He hears us even when it may not be evident in the ways we desire. I can confidently say that there is a new day everyday and one of those days the pain will lift and we will all be set free from whatever this is. I can confidently say there is hope amongst us. How do I know this? Simply because He spoke life even before I was born so instead of deeming this a season of suffering I shall name it a season of hope. A hope for a new day that includes taking a deep breath without pain. I earnestly ask you to not only focus on what you want to happen, but also take the time to focus on where you are at this very moment and find the hope within it. It makes those days doable even if the tears do accompany it.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  - Romans 5: 2-5

SOURCES: duvet {similar} | sheets {our colorway discontinued} | cement ring dish {similar} | end table | roman shades | lamp {even better} | A few of the books I am trying to read yet the brain fog makes it next to impossible. These have been a few that have been sticking... here, here, and here.