Good morning, you guys.   Welcome to your new week.  Wanna greet it properly with me?

 
 

hello monday living room

 
 

I think putting your feet up with a hot cup of coffee or tea is a great way to start the week, don’t you?

 
 

Let’s say hello!

 
 
 

Hello paint

 

painting before

{before of the living room}

 
 

Painting the walls of our house is a task that has been hanging over our heads for years now.  They have had sharpie drawings, splatters of sticky drinks, dirty fingerprints and huge chunks taken out of them over the last few years.  Several corners were bent all the way to the metal framing underneath the drywall.  Y’all, I’m convinced that if we left our kids alone, the house would be stripped to the studs in about 3 weeks time.

 

So last weekend, my parents took our kids and let Josh and I knock it out.  We worked really hard for a good day and a half (we started wall prep the day before we took them), but when I woke up the next morning I found out that one kid had been throwing up through the night and was running a high fever.  Boo.

 

We brought him home, set him up with popsicles, juice, meds, oils, pillows, blankets and a movie.  Then we painted around him.  Time waits for no one, people.

 

By the end of the weekend, another kid came down with a fever and we had 3 dr appts in less than 2 days and over $400 in meds and visits…BUT…most of what we wanted to get done was accomplished.  The hallway, living room and a majority of the kitchen have been repaired and repainted.  We still have the boys room and a bathroom to do and some touch up work in other parts of the house but that doesn’t feel too overwhelming anymore.

 
 

Hello school!

 

sliding

{finally out of the house!}

 
 

So while we had 2 kids down with strep/flu/scarlet fever/bronchitis {yep, all four}, we had an “ice storm”.  Now, listen.  I’m a born and raised Carolina girl so I realize that what we consider an ice storm, another section of the country laughs at and calls “adorable,”  however…it sucked.  There was no snow to play in but the roads were too icy for school.  We were all together in this small house all. freaking. week. long.

 

I will freely tell you that it was a hard week for all of us and there were tears and out bursts and fighting and lots {so much} of jumping on the furniture.  Friday, everyone was finally feeling better so we got out for the first day and burned off some energy. The rest of the weekend has been really nice so I’m thankful we all made it.  And yay for school this week!  Thank you, teachers!
 
 {PS: Listen. I’m sorry to be one of those parents but I can’t wait to send my sweet ones back to you for a little while. We have all MISSED you. Let’s discuss you moving in at some point. There’s no need to document anything. This is all completely normal and healthy. I’ll set up the conference.}

 

Glory.

 
 

Hello freshening up

 

living room shelves

{from my phone of the new living room shelf set up with some of our books.  you can also see that the walls are just one color now.}

 
 

You know how you can move one thing in a room and completely change how it feels to you?  Isn’t that THE BEST?

 

So this past week, I swapped a larger shelving unit from our small bedroom for a more compact bookshelf that was in our living room.  I don’t know what took me so long but it has made all the difference in how both rooms feel to me.  Moving the smaller bookshelf to our room {and getting the big one out} freed up an entire wall in our bedroom and organized some bins, a printer and a few books into a neat, cleaner corner that used to drive me crazy with clutter.

 

The shelving unit in the living room gives us more shelves for books that were crammed before and a surface that now holds a mirror, two succulents and a print nestled into a rustic, wooden frame Josh built.  We also got rid of a chair that used to sit on that wall and replaced it with the teal chair from our bedroom {I bought a $20 white office chair from Ikea to use at the desk in our room} so everything just feels more airy and clean and tidy.  This girl is doing a happy dance.

 

Have you ever moved one or two seemingly insignificant things to realize that the reward is huge?  Somebody call Gary Chapman and have him add it to the list of love languages. This is legit.

 
 

Misc. hello’s

 

Hello catching up on groceries and meal planning.

Hello to still using cash for all food purchases.  I like it a lot and I think it’s really working but this is the last week of the month so we’ll see how much cereal and pb&j we’re eating by the end. :)

Hello to evaluating how the month went and setting new goals.

Hello to a sweet surprise diaper shower from our community group yesterday.  They are the sweetest friends.

Hello to being vulnerable about this pregnancy and how it’s been hard on my emotions and parenting.  I have really good people around me and I’m so thankful.

Hello to sorting through baby stuff.

Hello to making the spring line of lovelies.

Hello to starting an allowance system for the boys.

Hello Dr appt.

Lots to do this week, but progress is the goal. Not perfection.
 
 
 

How about you, friend?  Saying hello this week?

 
 
 
 

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Good Monday morning to you!  Let’s say hello to this brand spanking new week!

 
 

{This is a sweet weekly rhythm where we greet a fresh week, open to the possibilities and on the hunt for joy, even in the gritty…because sometimes that’s where it grows best of all.}

 
 

hello monday spring buds

{I took that picture out on a walk yesterday in short sleeves because it was 71 degrees and sunny.  Don’t hate me.}

 
 
 

Hello fun with friends

 

This past week was full of hanging out with people.  We have a standing dinner date with long-time friends every Tues.  We hardly ever miss. Then, our church started a midweek service last week and they feed us!  We live about 40 mins away from our church so I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but we did it and were so, so glad we did.  Saturday morning I met several friends at a fabulous little coffee shop {local friends, The Daily Press in NoDa is a must.} to plan our women’s retreat this year and later that afternoon we headed to another friend’s birthday party…where lots of our other friends showed up as well. {I just typed “friends” way too many times but that gives you an idea of the week.}

 

I have felt super introverted during this pregnancy so if you had told me that was the plan for the week, I would have shot it down from the get-go…but it really was good for my heart to see our sweet friends through the middle of the week.  Makes it feel like we’re all in the trenches together.  We need that, don’t we?

 
 

Hello painted nails

 

gelous

I didn’t link up with Anne’s post on What’s Saving My Life Right Now, but painted nails would definitely have been on my list.  Y’all, they just make me so happy!

 

For Christmas I got a bottle of Gelous.  It’s a gel base/top coat but it doesn’t have be cured under lights, dries the normal amount of time and comes off with nail polish remover.  AND…it makes my polish last days longer.  What would normally only last 24 hours tops, now lasts me up to a week.  I’m in love.

 

I’ve been in the mood for gray nails lately, but I think I want to move on to the soft light pinks and nudes.  Are you feeling any love for certain nail colors right now?

 
 

Hello spring line planning

 

I have a launch date and the ideas have been percolating for weeks now, but this little line has been tricky.  I want to branch out and do new things.  It’s just hard to pull the trigger, invest in the new materials and not know how it will go, you know?  I also have just so many ideas, but my life and energy levels tell me that I need to keep things simple and only chase a few of those ideas.  Aaaahh!   Hold me.

 
 

Hello more music

 

Because I just think it brings extra happiness.  It can reset the mood of the house when everyone is off.  It gets me out of my head when I’m doing a task like cooking dinner {and y’all, I need a break from myself on the regular}.

 

And also because someone recently asked me how having a music degree influences my life now.  Umm…

 

My current go-to’s are David Nevue for mornings where I want to be with Jesus in a worshipful setting without the distraction of words, Mumford when I’m cooking dinner but want to feel like I’m riding through the country with wind whipping through my hair and Ellie Holcomb…because her lyrics are fantastic and she’s just so darn cute {all on Pandora}. What are you listening to?

 
 

Hello baby gear

 

So, wow!  There are amazing thing in existence now that weren’t there 3 years ago.  We’re going for really pared down, simple and cost-effective supplies with space-saving as a major bonus.  This little one being our 4th, we’ve learned a lot about what we need and what we don’t need and our favorites to just have on hand.

 

On our short list for gear are: a travel swing, a small bassinet {portable, preferably} and an infant car seat.  Is there anything out there that you just absolutely love for a baby?  Tell me!

 
 

Hello flash sale

flash sale graphic

 

Yay!  The first one of the year is happening this Wednesday night!

 

I’m also giving away a necklace {the winner’s choice} so head over to my instagram account and look for this graphic.  The ways to enter are listed there.

 

I can’t wait!  Anything I definitely need to have at the sale?

 
 
 

Wishing you a happy week, friends!

 
 
 

{affiliate link used. Thanks for supporting me!}

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One of the best things I did last year was post my monthly goals and link up with Haley’s Goals with Grace.  I learned so much from her and the people that linked up there.  If you’re posting your goals too, come join the fun!
 
 
A whole month of the year has flown by so I wanted to do a combo post – update you quickly on how my goals went last month and tell you my hopes for this month.  If you missed my big yearly goals for 2015, you can catch up here.
 
 
I’m going to try to be concise since shorter posts will hopefully give me the freedom to write more often.

 

monthly goals update{Image from © Lime Lane Photography}

 
 

These monthly goals are the action steps taken from my yearly goals. Some of them are done once a month {projects}, some are weekly {ongoing rhythms} and some are daily {habits}.  The tending list I use each month break the goals down into these categories for me {I mentioned the system I use here}.
 
 
 

January Goals:

 

  • change health insurance plans: DONE!  And it’s saving us over $500/mo!
  • set up financial goals + spending plan with Josh:  it sorta happened.  There’s a good plan but we need get on the same page with the nuts and bolts.
  • talk to a realtor: DONE! This was a big deal because we now know that we are definitely going to try and sell the house.
  • have furnace and a/c replaced: DONE! The Lord provided in such a big way there.
  • read 3 chs a week from Unglued{affiliate link}: nope.  I’m reading it but that pace didn’t happen.
  • leave notes in the boy’s lunch boxes once a week:  DONE!  That was good for my heart.
  • meal plan and help with house projects: DONE!  Meal planning was probably one of the most impactful things I did.
  • get hair trimmed: DONE!
  • hang out with a family from church:  DONE!  So fun. :)
  • make a shop promo calendar for the next 3 months: DONE!
  • make 4 new V-day items for the shop: I made 3.
  • list them in the shop:  DONE!

 
 
 
Those were my monthly and weekly goals but there are a few rhythms that I’m working to make into a habit each day.  Those were:

     

  • quiet times before social media in the mornings:  this happened most mornings and I can’t tell you difference it’s making in my heart.  The best thing that happened this month, hands down.
  • drink 2 big cups of water a day: happened a majority of the time but I could do better.  Made me feel better for sure.
  • walk 2-3 times a week: I’m struggling here.  I did it half the month.  I know I need to move and I feel tons better when I do but making myself just start has been sooo hard.  I want to hibernate in a big way right now.  Progress, not perfection.
  • vitamin D:  started taking it and fish oil last week along with my prenatals.

 
 
 
Overall, I’m so happy with what got done last month.  Deciding whether or not to sell our house and talking numbers with a lender was a really big deal that sets the rest of the year in motion.  Glad to have that done.
 
 
Ok!  On to this month!
 

february goals

 
 
{My weekly goals and daily habits that I want to form will continue through the months until they’re so engrained into my weeks and days, I don’t feel the need to mention them.  They aren’t listed above but include reading, meal planning, walking, drinking water, taking vitamins and quiet times.}

 
 
 
Can I be honest here and tell you that I cried after filling out my tending list for February?

 
 
I felt totally overwhelmed, tired already and intensely guilty that some of these things haven’t already been done {kid’s dentist appts}.   Some of them bring out serious anxiety and showcase my weaknesses.  Some of them I really, really dread.  If I were talking to another woman about setting goals, I would encourage her to only have a few.  Don’t do it like this.

 
 
 
But a baby is coming in the first week of May whether we’re ready or not.  We need to sell a house, sell a car, buy a van, buy a house, get clothes and gear for the baby {did I mention that we gave everything away to another family when we thought we were done?}, be wise with our money, feed our souls, continue to be healthy and love people well.

 
 
I KNOW!  I want to do the best I can to be prepared but y’all I’m repeating this to myself over and over and over….for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure {Phil 2:13 — my theme verse for the year} and unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain {Ps 127:1}.  I talk to myself {don’t judge} and say,   Dana!  HE is the sun, the water and the Master Gardener!  You are the plant.  HE does the work!  He IS doing the work!
 
 
 
And y’all, I’ve seen Him doing the work.  Last month?  He provided the money, a great installer Josh knows who cut his labor costs in half and carefully orchestrated an unheard of deal on our furnace and HVAC system to be totally replaced.  I had no idea how we would afford that.  He met me morning after morning in my little office as I poured my heart out to Him.  He’s kept my body healthy and my anxiety down when otherwise, it would go crazy.  He’s given us a realtor who has plan going forward with our house when things in our local market looked like selling would be impossible {we pursued this last year too}.  He’s renewing my heart with confidence that He is for us.

 
 
 

So, I’m just going to do my best, knowing that He’s in the nooks and crannies of all of this, you know?  I love knowing that He’s gone ahead of us and He goes ahead of you too.  He’s got us. :)

 
 
 
Welp. So much for concise!  Want to tell me your goals for the month?  Let’s talk about it! I looove this stuff and would love to encourage you any way I can so let’s cheer for each other, k? :)

 
 
 

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Good morning, sweet friends and may I be the first to welcome you to February?

 

You know what that means.

 

The Month O’ Love.

 

{bowchickawowwow}

 
 
 

hello monday coffee

 
 

{This is a sweet weekly rhythm where we greet a fresh week, open to the possibilities and on the hunt for joy, even in the gritty…because sometimes that’s where it grows best of all.}

 
 
 

Now go grab yourself a steaming mug of something delicious and let’s greet this new week with some hello’s!

 
 

Hello food

 

Um, I think I need to confess that food takes up a big part of my decision making these days.  The appetite has picked up over the last few weeks {hello, growing boy!} so I swing wildly from wanting to get good nutrients in and eating sour patch kids until my mouth goes raw.

 

And with meal planning each week, I’m thinking about what to cook all the time.  Here are some of our new favorites from last month:  Paleo Zuppa Toscana {my kids raved about this – not normal}, Paleo pancakes with a warm berry compote {I left out the vanilla bean because I’m not that fancy, but dang, it was good}, these cinnamon rolls and burgers with this seasoning {we aren’t a paleo family -per the cinnamon rolls- but Josh is gluten and dairy free so most of our dinners are}.

 
 
 

Hello pregnancy milestone

 

Speaking of sour patch kids, I go in for my glucose test tomorrow.  This may sound weird but I’m kinda savoring these milestones because of the likelihood that this is my last pregnancy.  I’m almost 26 weeks and this sweet boy likes to move!  I love that.

 

Better tone down the sour patch kids though.

 
 
 

Hello wedding season

coral silver order

 
 

I’ve already done at least 4 wedding orders this month and I forgot how much I enjoy them!

 

Brides are so stinkin creative these days!  It almost makes me want to do mine again.

 
 
 

Hello new lovelies

pink and gray bar set 1

{light pink//dark pink//soft gray}

 
 

A few new lovelies went into the shop recently.  They are simple, have the coolest matte finish and go with anything.  I think it’d be really fun to layer them.  Available in light pink, soft gray and dark pink and at just $19 they’re a perfect gift {hello, Valentine’s day!}.

 
 
 

Hello new goals

 

So much got done in January!  Yay!  Now we’re on to February with a fresh list waiting to be checked off.  I loooove that feeling of checking things off, don’t you?

 

I’ll share later this week about what happened in Jan and what I’m planning for this month.

 
 
 

Hello paying down debt

 

Our finances are a huge priority for us right now {we need to purchase a van, sell a car, sell a house and buy a house really soon.  eesh.}.  As a member of the Influence Network, you get a free class every month {membership is $10/mo} and last month I signed up for Jacey’s Paying Down Debt Class.  There were technical difficulties on the night of her class so they rescheduled it for tomorrow night.  I cant’ wait.  These classes are really fun and helpful.  A definite highlight for me each month.

 
 
 
 

Ok, your turn! Tell me your hello’s!

 
 
 
 

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So apparently last week, the third week in January, is The Week New Year Resolutions Die.  At least when it comes to exercise.  I’m honestly impressed that most people give three solid weeks of effort.  If I had been to the gym every day for 3 weeks, you better believe I’d be celebrating that third week {third day?} with doughnuts.  Go, America.

 
 
I’ve been there so many times that I declared myself anti-resolutions years ago.  I still am.  You won’t hear this girl talking about her resolutions.  What you WILL hear me wax poetically about are my goals.  I heart goals so much at this point in my life.  To me, they’re just a plan to move forward toward something worthwhile.  They’re not about changing who you are at your core.

 

2015 goals

 
 

Last year was my first year really doing this {as an adult because I don’t count college} and it felt like a rehab program for all the things I don’t like about myself.  Everything was very intense and work heavy and most involved me tackling an area of great weakness.  Not the stuff happy feelings are made of.  Even still, I learned a lot, some good things happened and I became better {I think} at setting realistic goals.

 

 
Here’s where I turned a corner.  I kept seeing people talk about PowerSheets so I ordered them on a whim {they are sold out right now but will be back in March}.  They are a little pricey at $35, but honestly, I think that’s why I actually use them.  I had to invest.
 
 

LC_Shop_2014-526_B
 
 

I also went through their creator, Lara Casey’s blog series on setting goals.  She helped me so much, you guys.  I’m not trying to sell you on powersheets, but if you struggle with knowing how and why to set reasonable goals AND you need someone to cheer you on with life-giving encouragements along the way?  She’s your girl.  She loves the Lord.  She’s passionate about doing what matters and not wasting her life.  Treat yourself to working through that blog series.  She has a gift for this stuff.
 
 
{Not to mention that she has her own shop, is Editor in Chief of Southern Weddings magazine, just released her first book, hosts her own conference each year called Making Things Happen here in NC and is a mom and a wife and will welcome two new babies to their family this year…one biological and one by adoption.  She gets things done.}

 
 
 
 
So that’s the system I use, but enough about that now. :)  Let’s get on with the goals! {This might feel like a lot to you but bear with me.}

 

 

*The anchor and rudder for all of this is that I desire to not waste my life.  I deeply desire to love people well and push them to Jesus.  I long for clarity and purpose in how to steward my resources in a way that multiplies them for the Kingdom.  I crave simplicity and freedom, big hearty laughter, color and flavor and textures, travel and adventure — but more than anything, I want to fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus.

 
 
 
Goal 1:  Set up financial goals and a spending plan…then put it to work!

  • make a plan with Josh
  • set goals for paying off debt
  • stick to a workable budget
  • pay off debt and save

 
 
Goal 2:  Walk faithfully in a direction with our house — either get it ready to sell or get it ready to house 6 of us.

  • talk to a realtor and the bank – make a decision
  • house projects: get it ready
  • look at other houses?  see if we can enclose the garage?

 
 
Goal 3:  Prepare for our baby boy coming in May!

  • logistics: things we need to get, clear space, set up house
  • establish routines and chore system with boys
  • think through what work will look like
  • pray for him, for me and our transition
  • practice good health – walking, clean food, vitamins/meds and water

 
 
Goal 4:  Be intentional about loving my kids.

  • praying for them consistently
  • reading books that encourage me with parenting
  • seek ways to know and love them better individually
  • provide loving training that pushes them to grow
  • setting up systems with rewards/consequences to help us
  • catch up on dr and dentist appts

 
 
Goal 5:  Seek to love Josh intentionally.

  • I’m going to leave out specifics because he reads this and I told him I wanted things to be a surprise…but I’ll update after the fact with how things went each month.

 
 
Goal 6:  Take care of myself.

  • body – rest, move, hair + nails, eat well, water, vitamins
  • mind – read, journal, write, create
  • heart – quiet times, girl time, community, dates
  • emotions – eliminate stress + clutter, fresh air, new places, breaks from the norm, serve others, talk it out, gratefulness

 
 
Goal 7:  Initiate the community we desire.

  • open our home + schedule
  • pray + think about where we should live {if we move}
  • look for ways to connect + serve tangibly
  • initiate time together with others
  • show up as often as we can.  push through tiredness.

 
 
Goal 8:  Help Happy Little Lovelies grow.

  • organize + simplify storefront
  • make a budget
  • plan out promotions + launches
  • prepare for maternity leave
  • plan new items thoughtfully
  • cultivate community with other makers

 
 
 
And now….let’s all breathe…
 

carolina lowcountry

{source – you see more of my inspiration for 2015 here}

 
 
 

So this is DEFINITELY more than I wrote out last year, but really, I just broke things down into more goals vs having big monstrous goals.  Most of these things would have to happen anyway with a baby coming.  We are being thrown into transition so getting to put a check mark beside something I would have already had to do {or just really wanted to do} feels rewarding to me. :)
 
 
Also, I feel all the freedom to cross things out and say that’s just too much right now or I think we need to tweak things a little.

 
 
After I got clear on what I wanted my goals to be, I broken them down into monthly action steps.  This is where I got a little overwhelmed.  SO.  I gave myself permission to just pick 2-3 a month to work on.  That made all the difference in the world.

 
 
 
I’ll share my smaller January goals and how those went soon along with the fresh batch of February goals.  Last year, I started this in April so progress!

 
 
 
Whew!  That felt like a lot and will probably get pared down along the way.  So YOU… are you a goal-setter?  Do they make you feel squirmy?  Overwhelmed? Excited? Let’s chat about it!
 
 
 
 

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Good morning, to you!!!  Two weeks in a row, y’all.  We’re getting crazy! :)

 
 

{This is a sweet weekly rhythm where we greet a fresh week, open to the possibilities and on the hunt for joy, even in the gritty…because sometimes that’s where it grows best of all.}

 
 

hello monday doughnuts

 
 

Let’s say a few hello’s to this sweet new week! {and is anyone else marveling that it’s the last week of January?!}

 
 
 

Hello lists

 

They are totally keeping me sane right now.  Each Sat or Sun, I’ve been sitting down to look ahead at the next week, scratch out a meal plan, quick shopping list and the things that need to get done that week.  I just LOVE  the feeling of checking them off one by one so I definitely make sure there are plenty of easy, no-brainer tasks written down too.

 

See that, y’all?  You gotta let yourself think you’re an efficient goddess.  It’s one of my best tricks.

 
 
 

Hello slow

 

All last year I complained that I need more margin.  Margin, margin, margin.

 

I think pregnancy has a lot to do with this, but I have to say that I’m really enjoying margin right now.  It has been such a relief to not be so strivey.  To curl up with a book in the late afternoons, to let the slow cooker make dinner for me, to have long morning quiet times, to paint my nails, to not have anything planned most week nights, to just sit in the living room in the evenings and be with my people.

 

I might not be pumping out tons of new stuff in the shop or blogging as much, but it has been so worth it in this season.  Thankful for slow.

 
 
 

Hello hard

 

Before you start thinking life is just breezy over here, there are some rough edges that I think the Lord is working to make smooth in me.  Parenting with love and grace {aka not losing my crap} being at the top of the list.  I’ve talked to several other moms in this season and every single one of them are trekking through this muddy thickness with me.  Thankful to not be alone.  This mom gig is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.  It’s the most rewarding too.  Sometimes I lose sight of that.

 
 
 

Hello little steps

 

I keep reading about people approaching their big goals one tiny bite at a time.  This is a new concept to me, but I like it.  So each week I’m taking tiny bites out of big goals like instead of saying “I’m going to get out of debt this year”, it’s more like “Log into bank account.  See how much money is there.  Make a list of what bills you pay.  Add that up.” and etc.  Instead of “I’m going to get healthy this year,” it’s more like “Wake up 15 mins earlier.  Put on running shoes.  Go walk outside for 10 mins.  Tomorrow do 15 mins.”

 

The thought is that a lot of progress happens when you do small things every day.  I like this approach much better than my “FREEZE ALL THE MONEY AND SIGN UP FOR A HALF MARATHON THIS WEEK”.

 

Later this week, I’ll share more about my goals for the year and a little of how January went.

 
 
 

So, now tell me what YOU are saying hello to and have the happiest of Mondays!

 
 
 
 

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Good morning, you guys!  Yay for a Hello Monday post and Happy MLK day to you!

 
 

{This is a sweet weekly rhythm where we greet a fresh week, open to the possibilities and on the hunt for joy, even in the gritty…because sometimes that’s where it grows best of all.}

 
 

hello monday doughnuts

 
 
 

Hello dinners

 

I’m back to meal planning and once again, I never quite understand why I strayed from it in the first place.  So much easier!  {Now, if I could just learn to double the recipes to kill two birds with one stone.}

 

I’m doing it super simple with pen and paper and a list of stuff we eat regularly anyway so this week it’s hello to white chicken chili, sweet potato breakfast skillet with bacon, burgers/hot dogs and taco soup.  For all the things I don’t love about winter, warm spices, roasted veggies and hot soups are delightful.  What are your favorite winter staples?

 
 
 

Hello new furnace and AC unit

 

Not exciting?  I know, but if you’ve been without heat off and on for almost a month, it’s pretty dang exciting.  We figured out some creative ways to keep it pretty toasty so we were never that cold, but yeah…just kind of a pain.  The Lord provided the money and a guy Josh knows found great prices on the units and cut his own labor fees for us.  We really got a steal and that propelled us forward a lot in our efforts to get the house ready to list.  Yay!!!

 
 
 

Hello coping

 

The winter.  I no likey.  And it seems to get harder each year for me, but I’m being proactive about fighting my normal funk.  I plan to post more about this soon but if you’re fighting for joy right now, let’s encourage each other!  On instagram I’m using the tag #joyfulwinter so feel free to join me!  I’d love to see how that journey is going for you as well.

 
 
 

Hello reading

 

Every free minute I get I try to sneak into the bed, get under the soft cream crocheted bedspread Josh’s 100 year old grandmother made (what a treasure!) and read.  Baby boy is growing bigger so getting comfy is more of a challenge now, but that spot is perfect. :)

 

Right now, it’s Harry Potterbook 6 (it has gotten so good!) and Unglued
by Lisa Terkeurst.  I’ll finish them both up in the next couple of weeks and I’m excited about my next picks.  What are you reading right now?

 
 
 

Hello progress

 

I’ve heard the saying “progress over perfection” or “done is better than perfect” a lot over the last year or so, but giving myself permission to live by them has been a much slower process.  As a perfectionist, I’m hard on myself and I’m hard on my people.  This year is about working on being more gentle with myself and others (in fact, my word for the year is gentle) so this week I’m hoping for some progress in walking a little more, eating a little better and getting some new things in the shop.  And being ok if that progress isn’t as much as I want it to be.  We’ll see. :)

 
 
 
 

That’s it for me!  What are YOU saying hello to?

 
 
 

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Haaaaaaaayyy.

 
 
 
I hope where ever you are, you are keeping warm because these temps are rough.  The kids had a 2 hour delay and the sliding glass door in our kitchen had frost on it this morning…INSIDE THE HOUSE.  I realize that a massive part of the country deals with this kind of cold from Oct to May, but this southern girl does not.  And I’m not suffering quietly or gracefully.  I’m of the opinion that if it’s this cold, we should all take to our beds where the blankets are and no more should be expected of us.
 
 

All that to say, I wish you lots of piping hot coffee, tea, blankets and good books.

 
 
 
So it’s obviously been a long while since my fingers reached out and connected with you (though I’m still faithful on the instagram if you want to connect there) and I wanted to just touch base with a small update and a plan.  Ok with you?
 

an update and a plan

 
 

A quick update:
 
 
The holidays — pretty hectic and a lot of fun.  We live near both sides of our families so we split both Christmas Eve and Christmas day down the middle to see both sides and keep our traditions.  We won’t be able to keep this up forever, but for now it works best.
 
 
We made a shift a few years ago to allow us to be home Christmas morning and that has been really wonderful.  I had no idea how much I would enjoy Christmas morning before I had kids.  I make cinnamon rolls (from a can, mind you), coffee and bacon and eggs and we pile in the living room together to open gifts.  With big changes on the horizon for us, this year was just really, really sweet.
 
 
New Year’s Eve we spent with sweet friends from our community group and woke up to more cinnamon rolls and bubbles.  Josh had a few days off so we did lots of purging and cleaning out and I also had a lot of time to reflect and set some goals for 2015.  The week between Christmas and New Years has become one of my most favorite weeks of the year.  The calm and rest comes so perfectly after one of the busiest seasons ends.

 
 
 
 
Pregnancy — Welp.  It’s moving right along!  I’m 22 weeks now and we know that we’re having another little BOY!  We are getting more and more excited to meet this little one and if I’m completely honest, another boy makes me nervous.  So I’ve been processing that a little.  I automatically picture him at 3, 6 and 8 years old…and I want to lay down.  But I know the grace will be there when that comes and I also know the incredible sweetness between a mama and her baby boy.  So much joy.

 
 
 

The shop — We wrapped up a fairly busy holiday season with the help of my sweet friend Laci who helped make it not something that I dread anymore.  Hiring her has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, business-wise.  She also has the most darling shop ever.
 
 
Then we took a break and now I need to start planning the year!  I’ve never been very good at having a promo calendar with all my sales and launches laid out ahead of time, but I’m going to try to at least nail down the next few months.  I have lots of cute things I want to try and Valentine’s Day is approaching!

 
 
 
Life — So many logistics.  We’ve been doing the normal thing but also looking ahead to May when baby boy comes and realizing that our time in this little house is extremely limited.  Recently, we met with a realtor and starting running numbers with a loan officer.  There might even be a plan for when we’ll list the house.  Whew!  The ball is officially rolling now.
 
 
Josh has been pursuing growth in his day time career and also getting really good at burning his hand lettered designs into these amazing reclaimed wood pieces (you can see some of them on his instagram page).  I’m quite impressed and often ask why our house is not bedecked in all his work?  Should we not be the main beneficiaries? :)  Anyway, he’s getting to the place where he wants to do more and more and there’s something about building a solar powered kiln?  To dry wood a lot faster?  I don’t understand the big words he uses.
 
 
And then there’s the work of mothering and caring for my people.  This pregnancy has revealed a LOT of yuck in my heart (my tiredness + their crazy = ugly) so I’m fighting for more joy in parenting.  More about this later, I’m sure.

 
 
 
 
A plan:
 
 
So, I’ve turned into a goal setter and one of my hopes for this year is to write more.  As one who feels lots of things really strongly, writing is like therapy for me.  And not just blogging but writing in general.  I love pen and paper and journaling.  I just want to keep that part of me alive and nurture it.  And yes, that also means blogging.
 
 
Ya’ll, I know I’ve said this before but since this blog started I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to be a “Real Blogger”…what does that even mean?  It meant that I told myself I had to post a certain number of posts a week, make sure all my SEO stuff was lined up, have series and giveaways and collaborations, share on all the social media platforms, always have a plan for what I was going to write about, have great graphics and pictures…but you know, be authentic.
 
 
 

Can I just tell you that that would not be authentic for me right now?  Maybe that’s why I dropped off the planet.  I didn’t have a sustainable plan for writing the way that fuels me instead of drains me.  And I don’t really have that now except that I know some things I want to write about and I know that I need to make my posts shorter so I can do that in a reasonable amount of time.  And I need to take some pressure off of myself to be this blogger person that doesn’t quite feel real to me.  (I’m kinda processing with you so forgive me if this makes no sense)

 
 
 
So that’s my plan.  Write about stuff I really enjoy writing about and stop writing novels (like this post) or pretending that the whole world needs to be able to find my post on google.  Who cares?

 
 
In the future I hope to share with you goals I’ve set (that was crazy helpful last year), how we’re prepping for a baby in a small house, shop updates, favorite things, books and fun stuff like hair, nails and tasty beverages.  And who knows?  The Hello Monday posts might resurface. :)  But I also really want to hear from YOU.

 
 
 
If there have been series (what is the plural of that word? Series’? Serieses?) or posts in the past that you enjoyed, would you share that with me?  I really welcome your thoughts and opinions.  I write for you to read it (otherwise, I’d only journal) so how things sit with you is important to me.

 
 
 
 
And that’s it!  I’m looking forward to what’s coming down the pipes in 2015 and love that we have a space to share that.  Thank you, Bill Gates. ;)

 
 
 
Stay warm!!!

 

 

 

 

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This time yesterday, I was loaded up with bacon, egg and cheese biscuits, sweet tea and coffee…headed to the Children’s hospital uptown.  My dear, dear friend and her husband were there for their daughter’s brain tumor surgery.  Again.

 
 
You might remember me asking for prayer for them back in June.

 

2014-08-05_1407282929

 
 
 
They took most of the tumor out last summer but the catheter needed to come out this time.  What should have been an out-patient procedure was made more complicated by how her brain had settled around the catheter and they were told to expect another full blown craniotomy, a night in the ICU and several more days at the hospital.  All starting the day before Thanksgiving.  We were so, so sad.  They knew what to expect this time and so the anxiety was raised even higher.
 
 
 

I probably don’t even have to write that brain surgery is not for the faint of heart.  It has been hard.  But beautiful too.  Their community and friends have rallied.  There have been prayer vigils in their driveway, gifts showing up at the door, numerous texts and calls and offers to bring more food.  It makes me cry just thinking about how much that sweet little girl is loved.

 
 
 
And then the Lord poured out even more grace and kindness by moving mountains.  Ten minutes or so into surgery, a sweet lady walked over with a smile on her face and said that they were done!  Abby was in recovery, the procedure was really easy and simple and they could go home!  The same day!
 
 
Y’ALL.
 
 
 

That’s one thankful family this Thanksgiving Day.  At home with family that had flown and made the drive in, armed with lots of food, to man the fort while they were gone, now all together under the same roof.
 
 
 

I’m so grateful I got to be there because if I was feeling funky about the dreary weather or feeling unappreciated by my kids, I’m not now.  My heart was thrown into the reality that we are SO blessed.  I have been given so much and even the hard parts give gifts that I desperately need but won’t chase because I prefer to stay comfy.
 
 
 

So, I want you to know that I’m thankful for you.  YOU.  Thank you for reading and commenting and missing me when I drop off the planet.  Thank you for being there when things are light and when they’re a little hard.  Thanks for putting up with my run-on sentences and grammatical errors.  Thanks for being here.

 
 
 
I’m soaking today up with my family and then driving to the beach for shopping.  I’m so excited about all that and I think, in the spirit of just giving thanks today, I’m going to delay the Six Days of Christmas and push Day 4 off until tomorrow.

 
 
That’s ok with you, right?

 
 
 
 
Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings, friends.

 
 

give thanks print

{free printable}

 

 

 

 

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I’m late today, but Day 2 is here!!!!
 
 

(Don’t know what I’m talking about?  See yesterday’s post.)

 
 
You ready?

 
 
 

day 2 collage

 
 
ALL of the beaded necklaces in the shop are BOGO 1/2 OFF just for today!  That includes the rosette beaded necklaces, the mini necklaces, bar necklaces, the single layer statements and double layer statements.
 
 
All you do is head over to the shop and look for the listings with the BOGO graphic.
 
 

Day 2

 
 
The instructions are there.  This ends at midnight so stock up on those cute, handmade gifts!

 
 
 
 

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