Good morning, sweet friends!  I’m so happy you’re here to welcome this new SPRING week with us!


hello monday spring buds


Let’s say hello!


Hello warmth {!}


This is the most exciting time of year to me, weather-wise.  Now through May is when I turn practically giddy.  The tree limbs are stubbly with new buds, the grass turns a light green, the sun is out with a little more gusto and strength and here in NC, we get random days in the 70’s.  Even if the next day is back in the 40’s, I’ll take it.  Today is an upper 70’s day and I’m thrilled about it.


How about where you are?  Are you seeing any signs of spring yet?


Hello taxes


Last week, I sat down and spent and entire day {9-5 with a break to put Zoe down for a nap and one to go get the boys from school} working on our taxes.  It turns out that when you’re wanting to buy a house, this is an extremely important part of that process.


What came out of that day was the lowest point of discouragement we’ve had so far in this process, and me declaring that I don’t think we’re ready financially to move.  It felt like being punched in the stomach.


It’s still a sore spot, I guess, but as Josh and I talked last night we had some renewed hope.  There are other options we haven’t looked at, we’re talking to a different lender now and have decided {for several reasons} that our current realtor is not the one for us.  At the end of the day, we might not be ready to move on our time table and that sucks, but we’re not giving up.  Now we just do the next thing.


Hello naps {!}


me and ice cream


Listen.  The Europeans are SUPER smart with their siestas.  We should be doing this.


I am not a nap taker but after the Tax + Shame Day I had, I crashed.  I ended up with that half carton of ice cream at 10:30 one morning when the kids weren’t home and then fell asleep for several hours.  There were two more naps the next day.


Things just seem much better after a nap, don’t you think?  And ice cream.  I think we should start planning a crash day for ourselves {before they come unplanned} and they should always involve comfort food and naps.


Hello sweet encouragement


valley of vision


Though the week was rough, Jesus has been faithful to encourage our hearts.


This week it came in the form of lots of words….Valley of Vision prayers, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening readings {I use the free app and love it!}, Solid Joys app {short devotionals by John Piper} and Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist.  Along with a heavy dose of fun food, sunshine, a break with a precious friend {sans kids!} and a Fixer Upper marathon.


He cares about us and our crazy emotions, y’all. :)


Hello spring line take 2


So that obviously didn’t happen last week.  Sorry about that.  It’s top priority this week.


I’ve made most of it and started taking pictures…so soon!  Check instagram for a sneak peek coming up.


Hello spring beverages


first iced coffee la croix hello to spring with prosecco


I realize this is random, but little things can bring such joy.  Things you can drink in a celebratory way are among my favorite of life’s pleasures.  As I scrolled through my instagram pictures from last week, I realized that a lot of them were drinks.


So cheers to iced coffee, sparkling grapefruit juice, La Croix coconut sparking water {it’s growing on me!} and a few celebratory bubbles saying Yay for Spring!


So that’s about it for me.  How about you?  Did you know that it totally brightens my day when you tell me about your week?  No pressure or anything but I’m kind of a mess.  ;)


Hope you have a fantastic week!


{sometimes I use affiliate links for stuff I love.  thanks for supporting Happy Little Lovelies!}






I know that a lot of the country is still under snow and ice, but our calendar is proof that it won’t always be that way.  Historically, we can rest in the fact that it will all melt eventually, flowers will bloom, leaves will grow and spring will most definitely come.  I’m totally celebrating that!


Let’s say hello, ok?


tree blossoms hello monday


Hello exhaustion


ER with josh


Friday night around 11pm, Josh woke up with severe abdominal pain, cold sweats and a metallic taste in his mouth.  His parents came quickly to the rescue…his dad stayed with the sleeping kids and his mom came to the ER with us.


Around 6:30 am we headed home having learned pretty much nothing except that it wasn’t any of the things they typically look for {appendix, kidney stones, gall bladder issues, etc}.  His blood and urine tests were fine, his pain had subsided shortly after we got there at 11:30 and since he already has an appt lined up with a GI doctor, they just told us to keep that appointment.  Unfortunately, he’s no stranger to gut pain {remember all the food issues?} in the middle of the night though this was much more severe and felt different than before.


Y’all, I haven’t been that scared in a long time.  Maybe ever.  Panic washed over me and hot tears streamed as I read the results of my “severe abdominal pain metallic taste” google search results.  My PSA: just don’t, ok?   I knew it was a bad idea but when you’re desperate for answers, it’s hard to reign it in, you know?  I can’t tell you how thankful I am that the pain hasn’t returned and they didn’t detect anything incredibly scary.  The worst we’re dealing with now is missing a night of sleep.


Hello warmth and sunshine


sunshine on the patio


We’ve been blessed with several warm days around here lately and it has been healing to grab a book, coffee or ice water and go soak up warm sunshine for a bit on the patio.  I’m greedily snatching up those moments to deep breathe and step outside.  Such a welcome relief from a cold winter.


Hello 30 weeks {!}


Did you see that bump up there?  I hit 30 weeks last week.  Last friday marked 2 months until we meet our little man, scheduled to arrive by c section May 6th {all of my babies have been c sections}.  I’m starting to wrap my brain around that more and more and it’s a little surreal.  Another person is coming.  Another soul.


A couple of days ago I was sitting on the bed, resting.  He had been moving a little but was mostly calm….until Josh came in from work.  At the sound of his voice, this little guy started flipping around fast and furious.  It was so hilarious!  I don’t think I’ve noticed our babies responding to different voices before, but this one knows his daddy.  Gosh, I love that.


Hello organizing, washing and sorting


Lots and lots of tiny little clothes found their home in our house last week, thanks to a big consignment sale.  As I’ve been folding those teeeeny little onesies and sleepers I’ve been hit with two things:  sheer joy that this is really happening and also that this house really won’t work.


Figuring out where his things will go feels like playing a gigantic game of Jenga.  Do we choose the changing table or the toddler bed for Zoe {they will share a room}?  Does he sleep in a bassinet in our room or in the crib Zoe is sleeping in now?  Can I fit his clothes under our bed or in the closet somehow?  Can we do without the shelves that hold Zoe’s toys in the changing table or do we have to move more toys to storage?


I can pare down and purge all the live long day, but the space is still what it is… too dang small.  And yes, we’re planning to sell the house but the reality is that this baby boy will come home here so we’ll have to make it work for at least a little while.  Six people in just over 1000 sq ft  <—- the thought that runs through my mind over and over and over.  It’s a good thing he’s small and that Jesus knows what we need. :)


Hello spring lovelies!


Happy Little Lovelies:  All The Happy Colors Collection

{part of the spring collection from last year}

One of my biggest tasks for this week is to finishing creating, photographing, listing and launching our new spring line.  I’ve had to limit my desires a tad {so smaller collections will launch later!}, but this is one of my more favorite lines so far.


Think nautical, natural and bright…with some luxe added in.  I can’t wait to show it to you and this is where I will first debut it!  I’m hoping for a launch this week so stay tuned and always feel free to tell me what you think would be fun for future collections!  I’ll announce it on instagram as well.


So what about you guys?  Share with me what you’re saying hello to?



It’s good to be back to typing on this little keyboard after 2 weeks of being way off our normal routine.  How about you, friend?  You hanging in there?  Spring is coming!  You’re gonna make it.  Whew.


If it feels a little like I just post Hello Monday’s and goal updates, there’s a reason for that.  Getting ready for this baby is taking up every bit of my brain space currently.  I’m promise I’m more interesting than this, but when I sit down to write…this is what I have to say.  There are no fun decorating projects, delicious recipes or gorgeous pictures of our (fictional) weekend frolicking at the shore because OH MY GOSH WE’RE HAVING A BABY IN TWO MONTHS AND I STILL LIVE IN THIS HOUSE.  I’m focused, people.

So how about we dive right in before I lose my mind.  :)

monthly goals update

{photo cred}


How Feb went:


  • Implement a new budget/cash system: DONE.  We started using only cash for all food purchases {groceries and eating out} and misc spending.  It wasn’t perfect and there were times we used the debit card {usually because the other person had the cash}, but I actually found a lot of freedom in always knowing exactly what we had to spend.  No more just hoping we were doing ok.

  • Paint the house: DONE {mostly}:  We finished up what was leftover this past Saturday so now the hall/living rm/kitchen + kids bathroom are all done.  We have the boy’s room, trim + doors and some touching up to do.  This was a big job.

  • Research new flooring + figure out cost: Nope.  Moving to this month.

  • Go through baby stuff + figure out what we need: Kinda.  I went through some things and made a list but there are a few boxes left. We have a consignment sale to go to this Wed so that’s motivation to finish.

  • Chore/allowance system for boys: DONE.  We started last week with a really simple list of routines/chores and the boys earned their first allowance a few days ago.  They were so excited and it has already cut down on me having to remind them over and over of what’s expected.  I’m sure we’ll have to tweak as we go, but a good first week.

  • Go on two mommy dates: No.  Frankly, after being snowed in and out of school for most of 2 weeks, my motivation was pretty low, but this is something I really want to happen.  Parenting is hard right now and my kids need this from me.  Moving this to this month.

  • Initiate a girl’s night: DONE.  Sushi this Thurs night with our community group girls. :)

  • Host shop flash sale + plan spring line: DONE.  The flash sale was great and helped me really narrow in on what I want to do for spring.  If all goes well, the new line should launch next week!

  • Schedule dentist + dr appts for kids: Sure didn’t.  I always put this off because I hate these appts so much.  Moving to this month.

  • Continue with ongoing healthy rhythms– water/vitamins, mornings with Jesus, reading, walking/exercising 3 times a week:  This went pretty well.  There were some misses.  I’m learning that if I take all my vitamins and drink a ton of water right before bed, I’m up all through the night {duh} so there were days that I missed taking those.  I also missed a few mornings with Jesus or a week that I only walked once, but overall, there was progress so I feel good about that.

Overall, this past month was ok.


What worked:
–Some big steps were taken {cash system, chores established, house painted}. I’m proud of that.

–I found some youtube videos for pregnancy workouts that really came in handy when the weather was too bad to walk outside.  I’ll keep using those.

–meal planning continued to serve us well.

–it felt like a pretty sweet month for Josh and I and our marriage.  I just enjoyed hanging out with him a lot and he took care of me so sweetly.

–I decluttered and refreshed some things that have bothered me for a really long time.

— I felt good about things with the shop, overall…finally made a color chart for customers to have a visual {sometimes the simplest of things are the most work}, the flash sale, filling some big orders, starting to dream and get excited about it again.’

–LOTS of family together time that included so many sweet moments:  snow cream, sledding, hot chocolate, snuggles, movies, real apologies to my kids and forgiveness from them, growth + honesty, tons of hugs and kisses.  It wasn’t all bad.  In fact, there was a whole lot of goodness.

–I have the best family and friends, y’all.  They really show up for me and certainly did this month too whether it was taking my kids for a little while, calling to see how I was doing, offering to come over to help, letting me cry, laughing hard with me or throwing me a surprise diaper shower.  So grateful for my people.

What didn’t work:
–I’ve found myself lacking the drive I had in January.  I can tell my energy is slowing down as I get bigger and that doesn’t feel great.

–I’m getting decent rest and upping my exercise, but I’m eating pretty badly I think {lots of easy/convenient food}.  I want to change that but y’all…putting effort into one more thing feels impossible sometimes.  Still, it’s a thing.

–I also wasn’t as intentional about reaching out to my kids and Josh the way I had hoped I would.  In fact, like I said, interacting with the kids was hard a lot this month. I needed a lot and didn’t have as much to give.

–I tend to respond to cabin fever and boredom by sinking further into it.  That left me feeling a bit unproductive and lethargic at times.  It took me awhile to get unstuck.

–Being in my own head a little too much – BUT – I also was encouraged to boss my emotions around with truth as well as gained a few other tools to help.

So, March!  Can we just take a moment and celebrate that we are here?!  We survived January and February!  Yay!


march goals

Again, for this particular season each month is crammed full of things I hope will get done.  But I also teeter back and forth with real life reality.  Some of this just might not happen.  My approach is to just have direction.  To make progress.

save $300 and tithe faithfully:  a goal that, if I’m being completely honest, feels really hard right now with all the expenses we have for buying a van, getting the house ready to sell, getting what we need for this baby.  I’m mainly putting it here for accountability.
file taxes: this what will help us buy the van with cash…needs to get done soon.
finish all painting: doors, trim, the boy’s room {still a bright green from when Isaiah was born and we didn’t know what we were having} and some touch ups.  Ugh.  Can I just go lay down now?
tackle smaller repair projects:  this is mostly Josh’s deal, but if I can help I will.
get concrete estimate on flooring:  this means getting actual measurements of rooms and calling the guy to see what the options are.
shop frugally for baby needs:  we got most of this done the other night and a large kids consignment sale.  just a few things left now.
draft a peaceful afternoon and weekend routine:  the snow/ice days taught me that without a good routine, we all go crazy.  I want these rhythms built in so that everyone kinda knows what’s going on during our less structured time and also to have built in quiet times for all of us.
do something fun with Josh:  all the to-do’s and lists and budgets kinda means we’re not that fun currently.  I want to make sure we don’t get swept away in responsibilities and remember that we are each other’s best friend.  I really like him. :)
go on mommy dates with the boys:  This is a main area where I don’t feel like I have the energy to pour into this right now, but I really want to make an effort.  We have a lot of change coming up so I know time spent connecting with them individually is in short supply but crazy important.
read an encouraging book: I think Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist is going to be it.  Love her.
launch spring line:  I’m working on it now and the goal is to launch next week.  I love this collection and can’t wait to show you!
Women’s retreat:  I’m on the planning committee and there’s lots to do to pull off events like these.  It’s at the end of the month so things are really ramping up in the logistics dept.


If you’re writing out goals, would you either link up with me at Haley’s for her Goals with Grace or leave a link in the comments?  Reading about how things are going for y’all is a HUGE encouragement as we schlep through the months trying to do the things that really matter.  And hey.  Thanks for reading these long posts. Love that you’re here. :)


{Missed my earlier goals post this year?  You can catch up with Jan + Feb here.}

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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!



{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.}




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



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.




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.


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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