Monday, September 30, 2013


Sometimes Mondays stink. But this little mister can turn the most dreary day into an evening filled with JOY!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Birthday Date Night

I should've made Josh smile for a picture, but I guess I'll just have to have a headless date for the memory books ;) 

Dinner at Pesos in Seattle was loud, delicious, and fun! It's always nice to enjoy time together at a restaurant, sans high chairs and toy cars. We love our son, but date nights are nice too :)

Here's to my last day of 27!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I read this post over at Jones Design Company this morning, and decided to play along.

LOVING my "autumn festival" candle. I've been lighting it every morning when I ready my Bible and write in my journal.

READING Confessions of a Latter Day Virgin. I love memoirs and have really enjoyed reading about the author's journey to figure out who she is in relation to her religious upbringing. I need to start Where'd You Go Bernadette for the book club my coworkers just started.

WAITING FOR things to settle down at school so I can feel more "normal". It's starting to settle, but I'm not quite in my groove yet. It'll happen...eventually! ;)

EXCITED ABOUT the fact that it is finally cold enough to wear scarves and boots. I love summer, but once school starts I am ready for FALL!

TRYING TO take things one. day. at. a. time. It's hard, but honestly the only way I can make it through this month.

WORKING ON making a list of 1,000 things I'm thankful for. It's inspired by a book I've seen a lot of people referencing on instagram (#1000gifts). I've never read the book, and likely won't, but I like the way I am changing my thinking to be more grateful. Perfect way to prepare my heart for the upcoming holidays!!

ENJOYING the new cinnamon flavored coffee creamer I bought. I like the Natural Bliss brand of creamer (supposed to be all natural ingredients). Their new cinnamon one just tastes like fall. And it's cheaper than grabbing a latte on the way to work!

USING a new green journal and ultra-fine tip sharpie pens. I love school/office supplies!

WEARING a black dress, brown boots, and a fun infinity scarf. Yes, I mix brown and black...and I like it! (My middle school self would cringe at the thought of mixing these two colors) :)

PLANNING a technology training I'm leading at work tomorrow...and many lessons for my students - reading, writing, math, name it ;)

NEEDING a housekeeper. Or maybe just a cleaning fairy who could magically deep clean my house. For free!

LEARNING about GRACE and just how amazing Jesus is in the way He lavishes it on me!

LISTENING TO the latest Mars Hill sermon since I didn't make it into church on Sunday. Good to have Pastor Mark back in the pulpit...though I REALLY loved the summer guest preachers. 

DOING too many things, and attempting to do them at once. I took a break from to-do lists this summer...but my desk is covered with sticky notes. Hopefully I can get some checked off my list!

DREAMING OF meeting all the babies that will be born to my friends in the next year. I seriously know a dozen (if not more) pregnant ladies right now! Crazy!!! Praying for you daily girls...and for your sweet babes!

.    .    .

Now it's your turn! 

Comment with a link to your post so I can check in on what's going on in your life these days! :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013


"A portrait of Harrison, once a week, every week in 2013."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

One of Those Days

Do you ever find that you're too hard on yourself? That you set expectations for how a day will go, or what you will accomplish, only to fail and disappoint yourself?

I'm all for setting goals. Making a list and getting things done, but I'm also learning that my identity cannot be wrapped up in the doing. I think for most of my Christian life I have viewed God's grace in this way.  Without realizing it I have assumed that the more productive I am, the more items on my list I am able to check off, the more God will love me. That somehow I must earn His love in this way.

We live in a time where most people believe in the "American Dream", that if you work hard enough, you will be successful in whatever you put your mind to. And while I agree that hard work is important and does pay off, the pressure that comes along with this kind of mindset is overwhelming.

Last week I started back at school. In all reality I've been working here and there throughout the summer and have really been working for a couple of weeks, but the real work started on Tuesday when my students came walking in my classroom door.

I have a love-hate relationship with September. I think the hardest part is the change in pace. Lazy summer days turn into weeks filled with meetings, planning, building relationships, etc. I love the routine. I love the way it forces me to be more efficient with my time and helps me cherish my evenings and weekends with my family. I love the anticipation of the holidays to come. It truly is my favorite time of year. There are so many possibilities on the horizon at the start of a new school year.

But I can't do it all. I can't have it all together, all the time. I can't make it to every invite, and I can't expect my house to be clean or organized with everything else going on.

Thankfully, I don't have to do it all.

 I'm coming to terms with the fact that on days when I allow myself to give in to the overwhelming urge to work hard and be successful by my own strength (which translates to everything going exactly my way, in my timing)...everything ultimately falls apart. The other day, for example, I woke up and nothing went right. Nothing Josh said or did was up to my standards. Nothing I said or did was up to my standards either, I was just too stubborn/prideful to admit it until later.

It was not my best day. Unfortunately my husband gets to enjoy these moments with me. One of the "perks" of marriage I suppose. I can admit it now because the day ended, and things blew over. We apologized for our irritability and frustrations. We forgave and moved on, knowing that it won't be the last time we have days like that. But also knowing that there will be many days that go much better.

Thankfully, today was different. It still wasn't my best day ever, but I chose to wake up and just have a little grace for myself and those around me. Today didn't have to go exactly as I had in mind, and it didn't...but I was okay. I got virtually nothing done, but I did take a nap. I hugged my son, and there was definitely tickling and toddler snuggles.  We built legos and played cars. I spent time with my husband and even got to share a meal with my parents and grandma. I spoke with my neighbors and made plans to get together more often.

Today I was "gentle" with myself as my Aunt Jenn has encourages me to be. I'm realizing that if I can't accept God's grace today, then how can I expect to extend that grace to others.

I'm not throwing in the towel on doing chores, getting things accomplished, making goals and working to accomplish them. These are all good things, but when I put them in a place of worship in my heart I can see that everything else crumbles. God doesn't need any of these things from me in order to love me. He already loves me more than I will ever deserve, and while I know this issue is far from being worked out in my life, I am thankful for a quiet moment to write it down.

There will be a day, probably this week, when I need to read this post and let go of whatever I'm trying to control.

How about you?

I would like to encourage you to be patient and gentle with yourself in whatever season you're facing. God is more gentle and patient with us than we realize...praying for all of us who struggle to accept God's grace and actually live in it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

God's Word is FILLED with Truth!

I know that this blog is often just a scrapbook of one of my life's greatest joys, my son! Every now and then I post about a project or something...and (not often) enough I post about my faith. This morning I couldn't help but share what I'm learning in my life, in the hopes that it will encourage you too :)

As I've blogged about before, I have been reading through the Bible with a website that is made up of several Christian (women) bloggers who study God's Word and write devotional plans for whoever wants to participate to read through and talk about (through the comments or on instagram). It is such an amazing blessing to me. I get up early, get ready, and sit down with my computer, Bible, and journal before heading out the door for work. It's more than worth waking up extra early for because I have been reading God's Word more regularly, and have been learning more about God and my relationship with Him than I ever have before. 

If you are curious, click the link above to check it out!

So today the reading was from Daniel 3:1-23. I had heard of Daniel and the lion's den before. Classic Bible story. And also about three guys (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) who were thrown into a fiery furnace and lived to tell the tale. But I have honestly never read through this book before. And it's about a whole lot more than just these two well-known Sunday School Tales.

Today the three guys I mentioned above refused to worship a false god/statue and angered the king so much that he ordered them to be thrown into the fiery furnace to die a gruesome death. He gave them one last chance to change their minds, but their response (verses 16-18) was: 

"King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If the God we serve is able to deliver us, then he will deliver us from the blazing furnace and from Your Majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

I wanted to keep reading, because I know that they survive; that God spares their lives. 

But the reading stopped with them being thrown into the fire.

And what if? What if God hadn't saved their lives?

Here's what I wrote in the comments on today's post over at She Reads Truth. Thought someone on my blog might be encouraged in the same way I was...and either way I highly encourage you to pop over to today's post on She Reads Truth and read more. It's SUCH A GOOD one! :)

When I read today's verses, I wanted so badly to keep reading. To get to the end of the find the resolution at the end, and praise God for delivering them (sorry if that's a spoiler to any who have never read this story before). And I actually did read on before realizing that today's reading stops at verse 23. I know it's not bad to read more of the Bible, but I also know after reading your words Hayley, that you stopped us at verse 23 for a very important reason. 
I'm often (if not always) wanting to get to the ending, where God answers my prayers with a big YES, and preferably after a short time of waiting. But focusing today on the "And if not..." was so convicting. What if the story ended with these three men burned up in the furnace? Would I still think that God is good? 
In my own life, there are a few prayers that I have been praying for a few years now. Big prayers. Life changing desires. Things that I know are in line with God's Word and would glorify Him SO MUCH if He would choose to answer them with YES. "And if not..." I'm sad to say I have often questioned His goodness. In the waiting, I have let myself go to that place, and most often find myself feeling bitter and resentful. 
Jesus please change my (and our) heart(s) to believe FULLY in your goodness. Even if our circumstances don't change in the way we might hope. Even if you choose to answer our prayers with a "not yet" or even a "no". You are our perfect Father and I am so thankful for the reminder this morning that even in the "And if not..." moments, ESPECIALLY in the "And if not..." moments you are GOOD. Please help me to trust in this Truth today. You are truly working all things out for our good and your glory, even if I don't understand it all right now. Amen!
Happy Friday :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Be Still My Heart

I am blessed beyond measure! 

Jesus you are SO GOOD TO ME! Thankful for the sweetest boy I could have ever imagined :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Today's the Day

Well it's here.

The first day of school, for both Harry and I.

I slept well. I'm ready and the car is packed with all of the first day stuff for both Harrison and I. He's sleeping soundly which means I have 30 quiet minutes to myself before it's time to get him ready and hit the road.

Hopefully I got my tears out yesterday, and a few here and there over the past couple of weeks. He is going to be well taken care of, it's a very loving daycare/preschool. I am going to be just fine. I know these things in my head, but it's been a bit of a roller coaster when it comes to the heart. Something about changing your childcare situation is just overwhelming. I know that I have worked full-time as a mom for a while now, but this feels different. It's like he's going to school for the first time, and I'm having a hard time letting go.

This summer was glorious. It was completely ordinary, but it was most definitely the best summer I have ever had. Watching Harry grow into a toddler before my eyes was so much fun. I am more in love with this kid today than I ever thought possible.

Which is why I think this transition is so hard for me. Next summer he'll be a whole year older, and I'm sure it'll be just as wonderful as it was this year...but I just don't want to say goodbye to this season.


Oh well...time just keeps on moving and things change. It's just life right?

I know. And after today I will just have to get over it. But for just a brief moment I'm letting myself feel what I'm feeling. A sense of loss in a way; saying goodbye to what used to be, and hello to a whole new normal. Harry will be safe and loved, he will learn new things at school that will help him continue to grow up. These are all good things. And I will most likely definitely be letting my house get more messy than normal because my free time will be spent with my little man (and my main man too). Snuggling them close and appreciating them all the more because we won't have quite as much time together during the day.

If you read this and want to send a prayer to heaven for me, Harry (and his teachers too)...I would so appreciate it! I know that God is near to me in this emotional struggle. And that He will be near to both Harry and I as we navigate our new routine.

Also, I have a huge class this year...thankfully I guess I've been more focused on life at home to really worry about it