Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stitch Fix #4

I haven’t shared a Stitch Fix reveal since the first fix! Sorry about that. I have to admit that the second two were less than stellar and I only kept one item from the two of them combined. Despite having a very detailed Pinterest board and giving lengthy feedback, they just haven’t quite pinned down my style. Which of course is a bit frustrating if you see other bloggers reveal their great goods:)

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If you are unfamiliar with Stitch Fix, it’s a personal styling service where you fill out a detailed style profile and they send you 5 items they pick out for you. You can opt to have them send accessories as well although I always opt out of that as I prefer to pick my own. You pay an upfront styling fee of $20 and if you keep any item that $20 gets deducted from your total. So easy and convenient. And if you decide to keep all 5 items they take 25% off your total.

Pricing is set on a scale you set and I just moved a couple of categories up so my prices may be a bit more than most. But something to remember is that pricing will not be Target cheap. Even if you choose the least expensive box. I’d say they range from $35-$75 depending on the item. For me I use the service primarily to find items for girls night out, date nights, etc. because I often find I have nothing in my closet for those times. 

Also if you see something on someone’s blog that they received you can request it for your next fix and if they have it they will send it to you! I actually requested one item for this past fix and was ecstatic to see it in my box. For this fix I asked for items that would work while 7 months pregnant, transition into fall and postpartum and work for nursing. They did a great job making sure each item met one of those criteria.

 

So here’s what they sent me:

Mystree Truce Smock Detail Open Cardigan – $38

This was the item I requested and I’m so glad they sent it. Of the 5 items, this is the one I loved the most and that I kept from this fix. It will be perfect for postpartum and nursing and for the transition to fall.

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Pomelo Polka Dot Tab-Sleeve Blouse – $58

This blouse was not a hit from the time I pulled it out. I knew it would be too short at any stage of life and it was. Also I’m not one for large polka dots. Returned.

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Eight Sixty Presly Floral Print Blouse – $68

If the price of this next one would have been just a bit lower I would have kept it. It’s a little different from things I normally choose but it was really cute on and I could see the transition to fall with a cardigan making this a keeper. Ultimately it was just a bit much for the type of top it was. Returned.

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Collective Concepts Mckinley Tie-Neck Blouse – $68

This top was actually a bit more navy than it is showing up in pictures and just fit like a potato sack. This is not my type of top normally, which is something I enjoy about using Stitch Fix. They make you go out of your box, but this was a bit matronly and too plain, again for the price. Returned.

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Loveappella Carlita Chevron Print Dress – $78

And lastly this Maxi. I think the price is probably right on for this and had it been May I would have kept it in an instant. I tend toward more saturated autumnal tones for fall so I couldn’t get my mind around wearing it come fall. It also would have worked perfectly for maternity with the exception of the band under the bust. It was just a bit too wide and didn’t work well with my bump. I did love it though, very flattering and nothing I would choose on my own. Regretfully returned.

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So there you have it.

My fourth Stitch Fix and I have to say it’s getting better. I am looking forward to doing it again postpartum when it actually is fall and they have more “fall-type” items in stock. I’m finding that I tend to do most of my shopping online for myself and just make sure I can return items I don’t like. It’s not uncommon for boxes chock full to show up and me just keep an item or two but being able to try on with items in your closet has become invaluable to me, especially with a toddler afoot.

If you are interested in trying out Stitch Fix, follow this link to get started!

http://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3077376

*The links in this post are referral links…I will get a small credit if you choose to sign up through it*

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What My Daughter’s Need Most

This past week so many thoughts passed through my mind. I contemplated getting rid of Facebook, shutting down my blog, reducing the amount of peripheral fluff. And I prayed and sought and talked with my husband. And I felt like never before such a strong urge to be intentional.

In the end, since I’m still writing here, the blog isn’t going anywhere. But I have placed some borders on my social media usage because sometimes the fluff gets in the way of what I really want to be focusing on. Being intentional.

Because what my daughter’s need most is their mother. Not a Pinterest inspired version. Just me. Just as I come. My heart, my love, my time, my attention.

Before Elizabeth was born I felt a strong urge for intentionality in my mothering. And after she came and I started reading the parenting books, it didn’t take me long to realize the parenting I wanted, the ministry of motherhood I longed for, wasn’t found in the pages of the books I had been given. I shut them all. In fact, I’ve really only read through 3 or 4 parenting books all the way through and I can assure you they are not the ones you may expect.

I began to get a little confused as to what my role was. I missed ministry and speaking into the lives of women and children. My husband in his own gracious way encouraged me to shut the books, to get rid of them, and to open the one book that would give me everything I needed. The Bible. And so, being the great wife I am, I followed his advice.

And then about a year later, I opened Sally Clarkson’s Ministry of Motherhood. I read through the first 3 chapters, wrote down some notes and shut the book (eventually I finished it!) She finally offered the words and the calling I was waiting to hear.

“I realized with the passing of each day that spiritual and emotional maturity would not just happen to my children because I wished it so. It would not come just from a passive example of my being good. Effective spiritual, emotional, and social training in the lives of my children would have to be both intentional and planned.” Ministry of Motherhood, p. 13

She put words to where my heart was stirring. Having been involved in campus ministry like Sally, I had discipled young women before. I had gained the wisdom of a discipleship model; to pour out my life investing in the next generation, living, loving, serving, training and pointing them to Jesus.

As soon as I read those chapters, I shut the book not because I didn’t like her advice, but because a light bulb went off. God was calling me as a mother to intentionally disciple my children. I had known this in a way prior to having Elizabeth but so much other fluff had been added. Peripheral things that seemed trivial in light of the Gospel. God calls parents to impart His word to them, to teach them about Himself, and to raise up children that know who He is. He asks more of us of course, but this is a foundational truth.

And I shut the book because that discipleship model I had been taught in college was something I knew how to do.

These girls, this season I’ve been given, is where my ministry is. Where my heart needs to be poured out. And discipleship happens best when you get involved and get intentional. It's messy and hard, there are questions and times of failure, but discipleship is coming alongside and teaching, equipping, helping and just plain being there.

The whole mystery of parenting fell away when I realized I just needed to rely on the Lord and set forth an intentional heart to focus on my daughters. Young children learn by observation. This is a known truth. They learn by watching what is going on around them. That’s why if you spend time with kids that are a little wild, your child will probably want to test out being a bit wild and that’s okay and very normal.

For me, knowing my daughters will be watching me, learning from me, copying me makes me not want to get my act together and do things perfectly, but instead to be ready. To be immersed in God’s word, to be authentic and real, to admit when I’m wrong, be affectionate and offer grace. To give them myself, even the messy parts. God has called me as a mother to be intentional about sharing who He is and who Jesus is to my children. And for me this happens all day long. Not just through stories and His word but by living life in a way so that they "hopefully" see me more often as humble and in need and God as the one who supplies.

Hard, yes. Worth it, incredibly.

My heart has been burdened that I can’t just say the words. I can’t just offer platitudes and good jobs. I can’t just sit on the sidelines and hope they catch on. There’s hard, intentional work to be done. My daughter isn’t going to catch on like one catch’s a cold. We’re building a foundation together.

Creating a family, creating a legacy, creating a life together. Being intentional about what that looks like, how's it's played out, and what stays and what goes has helped.

In those years of waiting for children, Alex and I began to imagine the type of life we would want if we ever had children. And there are moments, like Saturdays as we sit and listen to the music at the Farmer’s Market, where my heart swells because those fleeting notions are turning into reality.

Everyone has a different vision of this…that’s what is so fantastic. Everyone has a vision for their family, for their children. Some are world driven and others heaven focused. But we all have some sort of thing we are being intentional about imparting.

For us, we’re attempting to be intentional about creating a family atmosphere that’s full of love and grace and forgiveness. Where fun things happen as a family and where one can always feel safe. We want our daughters to enjoy being with us. We watched families, we've asked advice, gleaned wisdom and are attempting to put it into practice.

We are intentional about teaching our girls about who God is daily. If they don’t learn who He is from what we share and how we act, speak and behave, they will leave our house ill-equipped. Even if He never calls our daughters to true faith in His son, I pray they leave our house with a real and authentic view of who Jesus is.

Being intentional never seemed so daunting or difficult as it does but thankfully God is with me in this and I know that discipleship is always worth the hard work put in. As someone who has sought out a mentor and been poured into for the past 10 years, discipleship is worth every minute, even as adults.

Practical application?

We don’t give up even though we want to sometimes. We keep imparting the same truths over and over again. We train, we encourage, we offer grace, we are quick to listen and slow to anger (try!!), and we continually offer opportunities for Elizabeth to practice what she is learning. For her, it’s sharing, walking and staying close to mom when in a store, listening and obeying, sitting through dinner, pouring water, getting dressed, and praying. She has her own little prayer she knows. “Thank you Jesus, Amen.” They’re never too little to learn God’s word or speak to Him.

For the fall, I’m hoping to create a little curriculum alongside the monthly truth’s our church is teaching to our kids on Sunday’s. This month they are learning that “God Made Me” and it’s become a theme we can focus on throughout the month. Nothing fancy, nothing Pinterest-y. Just talking about how God made her. Every part of her.

For me, I’ve had to turn off the world a bit to be more intentional. That peripheral fluff has to go…otherwise I’m distracted by the minor things. Even though I don’t have a physical “boss” I have a boss who’s watching every move. Who gives grace and offers second chances over and over again. I have a God who cares how my day goes and one who has given me the tools to be intentional in my mothering.

He’s called me to go and make disciples…and He’s given me two right in front of me.

 

*in case anyone is wondering, here are the books I’ve read all the way through and have really enjoyed and found incredibly resourceful and helpful*

Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

For the Family’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Disciplines of a Godly Family by R. Kent Hughes

Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic

as well as these non-Christian books

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen La Billion

Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

 

Favorite kid books

Jesus Storybook Bible and Thought’s to make your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd Jones

Learn about God series by Carine Mackenzie

 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Our Food Philosophy

I thought it was high time to give my last post regarding food, Learning to Eat, A History, a follow-up. In my last post I shared my own history with food; my upbringing and my struggle with an eating disorder. And since it’s a topic I’m often asked about I thought I would share our thoughts.

After Alex and I got married I began learning to eat in moderation. People use that phrase all the time and I’ve come to realize most people, even nutritionists, believe eating in moderation is a hoax. As in, no one can do it. After almost 8 years of being married to someone who does this daily I can say it can be done. It takes time. And like anything, moderation is moderation. It can’t be done perfectly.  The first couple of years of our marriage I only worked part-time and the other amount of time I spent working alongside my husband in his Remodeling company. This meant that most days of the week, we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We also lived in a 950 square foot house. Needless to say any backtracking into my eating disorder or smuggling food and binging would have been uncovered by my husband.

Not everyone is blessed to have that time but for me, I tell him the Lord used Him to help save me from myself. That was a huge piece of the puzzle for me. As my body adjusted to eating real, whole food and everything else in moderation, it just became a way of life for us.

There’s no way to really explain or share what we do because there is no formula. It’s not a diet or a plan. It’s a lifestyle. Both of us really enjoy food. We enjoy eating things that taste good and trying new things. We eat a lot of vegetables and whole foods and plenty of packaged foods as well. I credit our mothers in getting us here as well. My mom made almost everything from scratch. We either ate the real deal or the frozen equivalent. No canned vegetables or boxed macaroni and cheese. I’m still uncertain if it was because she disliked it or just chose not to buy it.

Since I enjoy cooking and making our meals, most of what we eat is homemade. Sometimes I make our bread but for the most part we buy it. Most of the time if I choose to make something from scratch, pitas, pizza dough, etc. it’s because not only does it taste good but I’ve planned something last minute and it’s easier than going out to grab whatever is missing. We eat white and wheat bread. We like salad and grains and pizza. We get donuts most Saturday mornings. We eat dessert after almost every dinner, although it’s usually ice cream or candy because no one besides me really enjoys baked goods? Our cheese drawer is overflowing. We are from Wisconsin. We like meat and cheese and ice cream. A love of dairy is in our blood. We don’t have any allergies or sensitivities to food.

We don’t adhere to any diet or food philosophy with the exception of Michael Pollan’s “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.” His book “In Defense of Food” and Mark Bittman’s “Food Matters” were great resources. When Elizabeth came along I picked up the book “Bringing up Bebe”. And it then dawned on me that we tend to have a more French mindset when it comes to food.

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Food is an experience for us. Not every meal or every morsel. We don’t sit over our food and swoon, well sometimes we do. But we enjoy it. Good food that tastes delicious. In all it’s forms. We don’t eat well all week and splurge on the weekend. We just mix everything in. We don’t tend to eat a lot of fast food but that doesn’t mean we eat perfectly.

And for us, food, eating and mealtime are all just as much a family bonding time. From the time we were married we ate most of our meals at a table, together. (Exception, our years in our apartment where we ate on the couch.) Having one eating location in our house, our dining table, was really important to me. I wanted us all as a family to be able to eat together.

Now that Elizabeth is here one of us is almost always eating with her while she has her meals, with the exception of snack time. When it came time to introduce solids, I knew we would do Baby Led weaning. I fully embrace the entire philosophy behind that approach. The only difference I made was that I incorporated pureed vegetables. Fresh or frozen so they tasted like the real thing. It was incredibly important to me to give her a taste of vegetables…not only vegetables, but vegetables in their full glory. Canned vegetables and pureed store bought vegetable baby food DO NOT taste like their fresh counterparts. That is the plain truth. (With the exception of squash.) At 2 our daughter loves just about everything with the exception of raw tomatoes. She readily snacks on raw vegetables and rarely turns her nose up at dinner. (and I’m fully aware that it could just be her and not the work we’ve done to get there)

I’ve noticed that kids who have a parent eating with them tend to eat better than those who don’t. Not only are they learning to eat by watching and experiencing but they are learning table manners, how to be patient, how to sit still, etc. After a LOT of practice we’ve finally reached the stage where she can remain in her chair for our entire mealtime. This took TIME! And that translates outside of our house as well. While she’s still a toddler and two, she can sit pretty well at a restaurant. We’ve been going 1-2 times a week since she was a year old. Sometimes somewhere quick and easy and other times somewhere a bit nicer. These were all learning experiences for her. Teaching moments, showing her how we behave and eat in a different place. And she’s caught on. At restaurants we tend to feed her off of our plates in lieu of buying a kids meal. And we lower our expectations. A restaurant is a busy and full of distraction place. We don’t fret over what gets in her belly. A restaurant is not the place to have a food battle. First of all, it’s not an enjoyable eating experience for the parents and secondly, it’s not always necessary. We tend to focus more on behavior and less on amount eaten. If we are traveling and she didn’t eat well we just give her a few things we packed from home in the car.

For Elizabeth, we don’t have any hard and fast rules. We never want food to be a battle. For us it’s not worth it. She has to try everything on her plate. Try=take a bite. IF she decides she’s done after that, she can have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or nothing. We don’t force her to eat. We don’t believe in the “finishing everything on your plate” mentality. She eats breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. She for the most part does not get treats while we are out, unless it’s snack time. We try not to bribe with food. Most nights we have dessert or fruit for dessert and she gets that regardless of whether or not she ate the main meal. We don’t reward or punish with food. The book French Kids Eat Everything is a great resource and we abide for the most part by that way of thinking. Also, I tend to do mealtimes like my mom did. She always strove to make sure there was something on the table each of us liked. If I try a new recipe I try to make sure there’s a side we all like. If I make a tomato salad that we like, I’ll often make some frozen veggies I know she will like. To me, vegetables do not garner “short order cooking”…

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For us this is what has worked. This way of thinking of food and enjoying food is the only way I’ve been able to maintain my weight. I try to exercise while I can but listening to my body, eating what it’s craving, and enjoying most things in moderation has really worked for our family so far. Before getting pregnant this second time I weighed 25 pounds less than I did in high school and 10 pounds less than I did when I got married almost 8 years ago. Since I’m not a die hard exercise feign I contribute the weight loss to nursing and learning to eat and stop when I’m full.

Food is just a part of our day. We don’t tend to hype it up or make a big deal of it. Getting donuts grants just as much excitement for us all as eating fresh from the farmer’s market vegetables. Some things of course garner more excitement but for the most part, it’s just a part of our life. Sometimes I think we have the hardest time with the things we overthink and overanalyze…

God gave us food, in all it’s forms…let’s give thanks and enjoy it!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Elizabeth is Two!

It happened y’all.

Obviously I’m still a bit in denial that our baby is SO big but she turned two. It doesn’t quite feel just like yesterday that we were holding a tiny baby because she was only a tiny baby for 9 short little months until we had a toddling, walking girl on our hands. But it does feel like she just turned one.

And two. Seriously the ages of 2-4 are my very most favorite in the world. No one should be surprised that being a preschool teacher was the eventual career path I settled on. Even though we are only a week into two it’s been so much fun.

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Here’s what true of Elizabeth at 2

-She MUST tuck her babies into their cradle before bed, complete with a hug and a kiss and layering their blankets on them. If she forgets, we hear about it and it must be done. I love her mothering little heart.

-Everything is “I Doey” or “I do it”".” Thankfully I’ve received the patience I need to see us through this stage. From car seat buckling (which she can do!!!) to pouring her own milk, she can do a LOT for herself. This emerging leadership and self-motivating spirit is encouraging.

-She is very inquisitive and is happy to just watch and take things in. She is perceptive…the other day I watched her doing a new puzzle, a difficult one, and she would stare at the piece and then at the board for minutes at a time and then perfectly plop the piece in the right spot. We imagine a girl who is mechanically inclined…We pray this piece of her is used for the kingdom of God and for the care of others.

-She loves to help. From cleaning, hammering, and everything in between. She’s always ready to help. I’m trying with all that I am to foster this and to give her plenty of ways to join alongside of me.

-She loves music and loves to sing. We taught her “God is so Big” and she walks around the house making muscles “strong!”. She sings to her babies and to others, especially Jesus Loves Me. We pray she will always desire, so deep down in her heart, to make a joyful noise, blessing others at the same time.

-She is for the most part incredibly obedient. We are to the point where she walks in Target holding the cart (she won’t sit anymore) and I can take her into stores with me without her running away and without the stroller. She’s going to be a great big sister!

-She loves eating ice out of cups, chipotle chicken burrito bowls and guacamole, dum-dums, milk, and cheese (colby jack specifically). She is like her daddy in that her tastes go in spurts (not including the aforementioned items)…one week she’ll like watermelon and the next she won’t touch it. Keeps us on our toes.

-She loves to do puzzles, feed her babies from her kitchen, slide down slides, go to the pool, ride her new bike, play with water, read books and play trains and duplos.

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Elizabeth Mae, we couldn’t be more blessed to have you in our lives. We pray that one day you will come to know and love Jesus, that He will be your solid ground on which you stand. That your independence and perceptive mind would be put to use to make much of Him and would benefit others. We pray your curiosity and joy would overflow and that we would never hinder you but instead be willing participants in helping you succeed. You are an incredible joy, we love your laughter and your giggles. We count every single day with you a blessed gift and pray we have many, many more years to enjoy your company.

XOXOXO

mommy and daddy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pregnancy and Postpartum fashion

Heads up…I am not a fashion guru.

But I’m almost 7 months pregnant and I know the inevitable is coming. Hands down the hardest time for me to get dressed is when I’m pregnant or have just had a baby. Because as you all know your body is not your own. It’s a wonky, ill fitting, bumpy version of your original and in most cases pregnancy changes some things.

When I was pregnant with Elizabeth I stocked up on quite a few maternity fashion staples. I had my favorites and this time around *most* of those things still work. The hardest part has been being more pregnant in the hotter summer months this time around. I learned my lesson last time that pregnancy stretches regular clothing out and it will never be the same afterwards. Not too mention there are a few non-maternity maxi dresses that I wear during pregnancy that I just cannot remove from the closet afterwards. I’ve spent far too much time in them!

So this time around, to bridge the gap until more of my summer clothing fits, I’ve invested in cheap tank tops and tees from Old Navy and shorts from Target a couple of sizes bigger than normal. As far as the tops, they may be ruined by the end, but the shorts will come in handy for our vacation in January when nothing will fit.

But that’s nothing to what is really hard. Last time around, postpartum dressing was the hardest. You don’t want to invest in a lot because *hopefully* the weight will eventually come off but none of us really know when it will, right? After Elizabeth was born my step-mom took me shopping and bought me a couple of pieces that worked perfectly postpartum; flowing tops, button ups, and maxi skirts. Again, it was summer. This time around it will be fall and I’ll have the bonus of sweaters and layers to help hide my changing body. But that still leaves me with the wonky nursing situation.

I’ve already begun searching for those workable pieces to add to my closet come fall. If nursing goes well, I’ll want button up access and flowing cardigans to help make nursing easier. Seriously…dressing oneself while nursing makes my head spin. I’m not one to just let everything hang out but I’m also one who doesn’t always want to use a cover. So finding those prize pieces that allow you to nurse and stay semi discreet are like finding gold.

Here are some things I have my eye on and I can only hope some of the pants I had the last go around will actually work postpartum this time around. Fingers crossed. Investing in a couple new pieces I know will go a long way in making my frumpy, bumpy postpartum body feel a little bit better!

I’m hoping once the baby comes and things (i.e.. my body) get a bit more back to normal to create a capsule wardrobe. We are always trying to simplify and get rid of and I’d love to have fewer, more well fitting, items to choose from than the mish mash that is my closet. Have you done one?

I’m realizing I’m almost too far ahead of the game though because fall apparel is not yet in stores. I’m hoping that within the next month things will be out so I will have a better idea of what is needed. Seriously, dressing myself during the nursing months is probably my least favorite part about nursing. Sigh.

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In my lineup we have a great crossover top from Boden. I’d love to find a few more like this, even short sleeve for layering. This is about as easy access as you get!

Then we have the tunic from Jcrew Factory and while I’m not sure I could quite pull it off, I love the versatility and easiness of throwing it on over leggings.

Cognac flats. Need I say more. These are a staple in my wardrobe every season. I just asked Alex’s opinion on a pair while shopping and his response, “they look like all your other shoes.” He doesn’t get it. Cognac goes with everything!

Flowy top from Madewell, I really like this one. Pretty, easy access, and not tights so the extra belly is camouflaged.

Blazers can be a great alternative to a wrap or cardigan sweater and I love the more tailored look. Because Lord knows I don’t need anymore wraps or cardigans:)

And last but not least the popover button-down. Covers the belly and easy access. Now hopefully I’ll find a pair of straight jeans to finish the looks.

 

What are your favorite tips for discreet nursing apparel/easy access tops and dressing a bump?

 

( AND J.crew Factory opens in August in Eagan, MN for you locals! )

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Encouragement

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via She Reads Truth

For the past couple of weeks I’ve slowly been studying along with the She Reads Truth study on Ruth. I’m through the middle of the second chapter of this short 4 chapter book. But it’s rich with encouragement. In my study book I bought from SRT there’s a “She Prays” section and I’ve been focusing on what I’ve gleaned of the Lord’s character. Here you go:

God is SOVEREIGN

God CARES abundantly

God is NEAR

God WALKS with us ALWAYS

God SAVES and CALLS sinners

God is WORTHY of everything

God is WISE

His WAYS are not our WAYS

God is INTENTIONAL

God is ALWAYS at work for our GOOD

God PROVIDES abundantly

His ways are GOOD

Two short little chapters and a wealth of encouragement. No matter our circumstances we have a God whose character is worthy of standing upon and trusting. When the day is long and so far from what we imagined, because of the truth of HIS character we can state with psalmist…

“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

indeed I have a beautiful inheritance!”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Morning in the Strawberry Patch

June is never a complete month for me unless we visit the strawberry patch. Last year for some reason we never made it but we didn’t waste any time this year. As soon as I got an email update that the berries were ripe for picking, I chose the coolest and driest morning of the week and penciled it in.

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I love doing morning activities like this one with Elizabeth. Strawberry patches are very family and child friendly…there were little ones strapped in Ergo’s and strollers lining the rows. Thankfully Elizabeth is the perfect age for picking…we didn’t need anything besides a bit of bug spray and our container and we were off.

As we started out down the row I made sure to tell Elizabeth that the last time we went picking she was in my belly just like the baby. Even though I’m certain she didn’t care about that fact, I loved knowing that we had started a little family tradition. We’ve been doing a lot of outings with her lately and she’s turned into quite the good listener. After sharing that we picked the red berries she went to town…although a few random white and green ones made it in for good measure. She was an excellent helper, picking handfuls of berries and staying relatively close by. She would taste a few but I was surprised she didn’t come home full of berry juice. Nobody minds little ones snacking at the berry patch!

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And after about 30 minutes, she declared the activity “all-done” and so we began making our way to the car. I never have strong plans when it comes to activities like this because I want them to stay enjoyable. And besides we had 7 pounds of berries already which is plenty for jam and muffins and eating. The berries were prime for picking…you could just reach your hand in and come up with a handful of juicy, red, ripe berries.

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It’s still hard for me to believe that the last time we were picking I was just 9 days from giving birth. We had such a nice time this morning on our little mommy and daughter adventure and now I better get going on making some jam.

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For any MN Locals we headed to Lorence’s Berry Farm in Northfield. We’ve had such a great experience there and their berries are really well priced. Just $2/pound.

Now I just can’t wait for blueberry and raspberry season!