five things · joy · quotes

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday! Happy March!

February was fun here on the blog. I posted more consistently, and I love that. Blogging here is a combination of some of my favorite things – doing projects, writing, pretending I’m a graphic designer, editing photos, and playing with words. It just makes me happy.

One night last week, at 8:15, Husband said, “I’m going to bed to read. Are you going to blog?” I said, “Well, I have vintage outfit photos I wanted to post…Do you think it’s silly?” And he said, “Do you enjoy it? Does it make you happy?” Yes. “Then you should do it. It’s not silly if it brings you joy.” Truth.

Then this week happened. I can’t even tell you what exactly happened, but things got CRAZY! Choir, karate, dance, homework, baseball, baseball, baseball, baseball (that’s one for each practice and one for the scorekeeper training I attended). We are so fortunate that one of BB’s buddies is on the team, so we’ve been carpooling, and it’s been a HUGE help, but WOW. Spring is crazy.

Husband and I have been making time after the kids are in bed to sit and chat, no screens or phones, just to catch up (and compare schedules, too). We remembered how crazy last spring was, so we started thinking about what we could cut since we’ve added so much new. The next morning, we talked to BB about putting some activities on hold for now and picking them back up during the summer. He is totally on board – for him, baseball is what he loves.

It’s a good lesson for me, too: how freeing and clarifying it feels to choose only the things that you really love for a season. I wonder how different I would feel if I did this in more areas of my life – to pick a particular hobby or a particular goal and not try to do everything all the time. But I also realize that I can’t do this with all aspects of life because things I don’t love – like laundry and getting the oil changed and cleaning out my inbox – would never happen, and having no clean clothes and a car that doesn’t run and missing deadlines would feel like the opposite of joy.

But for right now, I’m choosing what I love – writing down my thoughts and sharing things that have sparked joy in my life – with you.

Here are some things on my mind this week:

1. Art Projects. I volunteered to coordinate the Art Auction project for BB’s class. I went down the rabbit hole of “art auction projects” – and I found some pretty cool things that I want to make – just for me! Here are some kid-friendly projects that are inspiring me to get out my paints and brushes and scissors and paper (click on the photos to see the tutorials):

bottle cap art

Apparently this piece is made with plastic bottle caps!! (I can’t find the original post – just a chain of Pinterest images. If I find it, I’ll link it here.)


I explored this artist’s website – she has some great tutorials to inspire you to get painting.


I like the idea of making a paper quilt.


I love this Matisse-inspired one – it would be fun to make for BG’s room.

(And I STILL haven’t done the big abstract I want in my living room that I talked about here. I think it would be a great family project to work on. Maybe after baseball is over….)


2. Keeping a Diary/Journaling/Processing through Writing. Ever since the new year, I’ve been trying to keep track of my days in my journal. I like having the everyday little pieces recorded to look back on and see what we did, how far we’ve come. I came across this article by Austin Kleon (who I got to meet a few summers ago when my mom and I went to a lecture and book signing). A lot of good ideas here. I also just started a journaling class at my church that I’m really enjoying, too. I’m excited by the idea of journaling as a spiritual practice because I process a lot through writing. I’ve always loved that Joan Didion quote: “I don’t know what I think until I write it down.”

3. This sewing video. Some of us – especially Husband and The Girl – are obsessed with Tasty videos. The two of them pile up in one chair and scroll through them daily. And they’ve found some pretty good recipes. But this is more my thing. Show me simple tricks – and hand-stitching! – and I’ll watch for hours.

When I walk, I have an empty, happy brain, and I see things. Maira Kalman

4. This quote. Found here.

5. True Facts. We may be very late to the party, but Husband and I stayed up late watching these, and we were dying. So so funny. (Not suitable for kids – but here are the kid-friendly versions that started us down this trail.)

What are you up to this weekend? The next two weekends are CAH-RA-ZEE! I can’t even figure out how we’re going to do it all. But in the midst of the crazy, I’m hoping (and I hope for you) to enjoy a long walk, time to reflect, time to create, and time to laugh. Thanks for reading!

five things · quotes · Tennessee

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday! Long time no post, eh? When the kids were little, if you had told me that having big kids actually meant LESS free time, I would never have believed you. But somehow, I used to actually have time to write. Right here on this blog. Multiple times a week. (And sometimes, in October, EVERY SINGLE DAY.) Amazing.

Confession: This Five Things was supposed to be last week, but everything just got crazy, plus Husband has been out of town the last two weeks AND school started Wednesday. I ALMOST had this ready last Friday, but it just didn’t happen. So here, for your reading pleasure, are some things that were on my mind last week. Ha!

Smoky Mountains1.Tennessee. At the end of summer, we spent two weeks in and around my hometown in East Tennessee. Family dinners, catching up, a trip to the Smoky Mountains, and even my high school reunion! It was a fun trip that felt long in all the best ways. I love living in California – it is truly home to me now – but being back there always makes me think about what it would be like to live there – the beautiful hills, being so close to family, and the people. They are truly the friendliest of all the places I’ve ever been. Leaving Tennessee is always bittersweet.

(Photo is the view from the deck of the cabin where we stayed in the Smoky Mountains. Breathtaking!)

2. Vacation vs. Trip. I read this while I was on my “trip” to Tennessee. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t breathe.

Greek sandals from Etsy3. I have found the perfect sandals. I realize that many of you do not know the depths of my obsession about things. I have been searching for a perfect pair of sandals for YEARS. Two summers ago, I found a cute, cheap pair at Old Navy that I wore almost every day. Their “leather” (fake, of course) was the perfect shade of tan – not too dark, not too brown, just right. Obviously they got worn out by the end of summer, and I have searched for something similar to replace them, even creating a Pinterest board highlighting the details I wanted (ankle straps, no elastic for the buckle, very light shade of tan, simple design), creating my own “perfect shoe” in my mind. Nothing was ever quite right. I started looking into shoe repair shops to see if they could MAKE what I wanted. I pondered, “Could I become a cobbler and design the perfect shoe?” See? OBSESSED. (At least I was aware of it.)

But then, one late night in June, after scouring Zappos and Amazon and Nordstrom, I found them on Etsy. My perfect sandal.  They are from Greece. They are handmade. They took 6 weeks to arrive. They are absolutely worth it. They were comfortable from the moment I put them on, and I have worn them almost every day since. They go with everything. They are perfect.

And now I don’t have to become a cobbler in my spare time!speak to your children as if4. This quote.

morning coffee5. And also this one. A friend texted me at 6:15 on Tuesday to let me know that she had left a wetsuit on her porch for my son. (She told him about it when we ran into her at karate. Had he ever mentioned wanting a wetsuit? NO! Does he ever swim in the ocean? NO! Did he talk about anything else in the 14 hour span between hearing about said wetsuit and picking it up? NO!!!!) A few texts back and forth in, my friend said, “Wait, why are you awake right now?” This quote is the reason. Now, sometimes I DO wake up and workout before the kids are up, but the REASON I wake up every morning before the kids is so that I wake up every morning BEFORE THE KIDS.

What are you up to this weekend? Husband gets back from his trip today, so we’re planning Family Movie Night for Finger Food Friday. Also planning to FINALLY get a new sewing machine this weekend! Woohoo! Hope your weekend is full of laughter, good coffee, and the little things that bring you joy. Thanks for reading!




Being Mama · five things · quotes

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday! How’s your summer going? I can’t believe we’re already past the 4th of July, which always feels like the beginning of the end of summer for me. We still have swim lessons and a camp and a family trip, but school will be here before we know it.

I haven’t been blogging much lately. I haven’t been doing any projects since my sewing machine broke, and I haven’t been writing much either. I miss it. There’s something wonderful about writing for me. Just getting words out of my head onto paper or typed on the screen is so cathartic. (I think it has a lot to do with my theory on consuming vs. producing and how good producing is for me.)

Last weekend, as an exercise in a bible study I’m doing this summer, I had a technology-free day. It was hard -but also easy. I had so much extra time, and I found it easy to fill that time with chores around the house that kept me pretty distracted. But when I was quiet for a few minutes – a time I would have grabbed my phone to check Facebook or Instagram – I grabbed my journal to write. And even after my no-tech day was finished, I’ve continued to journal a little each day. It’s a habit I have loved for years, and I’m happy to have picked up again.

So here I am, giving you a quick rundown of things that have been on my mind lately – thoughts I’ve had, stuff I’ve read, things that have hit home.


1. “Girl Camp”. Husband and BB left for Cub Scout camp this week. While they are living it up in the woods canoeing and building campfires and shooting bows and arrows and sleeping in tents, BG and I are having “Girl Camp”.  What does one do at Girl Camp? Well, so far, we go to IKEA and plan bedroom decorating projects. We organize toys. (SO MUCH PINK. See above.) We have play dates with friends. We go swimming. We buy desserts just because. We do our nails. We go to the movies. This is less a camp of planned activities and more of an attitude. BG summed it up by saying, “You say ‘Yes!’ a lot more during Girl Camp.” TRUE! It’s been a really special time for the two of us – I am so thankful for these days. (And I’m dying to know what’s happening at “Boy Camp” – can’t wait to hear stories and see pictures of their adventures!)

2. Yoga Radio on Pandora. It’s a lovely way to start the day, even if you aren’t actually doing yoga and are just sitting on your couch, sipping coffee.

3. This essay. Beautiful, sad, moving.

4. This movie. Speaking of things that made me cry, I was at the movie theater with BG yesterday to see Despicable Me 3 (her choice because apparently Cars 3 “just sort of feels like a baby movie.” Well, okay then.) They showed the trailer for Wonder, and I cried from the very first second. Wonder, by RJ Palacio, is probably the best book I’ve read this year – and I’ve had a string of good ones lately. I know Husband will not look forward to seeing this film with me as he has an aversion to movies in which there is a high likelihood of me leaving the theater in a red-faced, runny-nosed, sobbing mess. He likes to save those for watching at home. (A selection of movies we’ve seen together in which I walk out of the theater in full-on ugly cry: Titanic, Apollo 13, Romeo + Juliet, Armageddon (I KNOW!), What Dreams May Come, Stepmom, The Green Mile, Big Fish. There are countless others.) Anyway, I’ll be there for Wonder with my box of Kleenex. Can’t wait.

serve the world with your joy

5. This quote.

What are you up to this week? The boys will get back from camp, and we have little else planned. I’m hoping to FINALLY get started on a house project that’s been percolating in my mind for weeks (years?). I’m also reading this book for a book club I just joined, so I’m hoping to finish it up as well. Hope your weekend is full of connecting with family and friends, peaceful and touching moments, and joy. Thanks for reading!