Everyday Beauty

18 Apr


I took this picture late last Wednesday night.  Joel searching for a ‘Diamond in the Ruff’!  Last week, our home search was in full force.   I really did not think our search to find a new place to live would lead us here, but I am so happy that it did.  We found a place with land to run on and grow a garden, an office space, and potential for remodeling.  It’s a place we can be happy at for a long time.  We made an offer on the house Friday night and Joel flew out to London for business Saturday morning.  We received notice that we are ratified and can move forward with the inspection next week.  So excited, so very excited!!!  Joel comes home tonight and we will be able to celebrate together!

Throughout the very busy week, I have been hunting for Everyday Beauties all around me, and finding them, but for sanity sake I am not going to try to backtrack for everyday.  I am just going to pick up in the present.  I would love it you joined me – even without picture; just leave the beauties in the comments section.

Everyday Beauty 9::30

15 Apr

IMG_1791 IMG_1796 IMG_1797 IMG_1805 IMG_1807

A few minutes with my girl in the sunshine.

Everyday Beauty 8::30

10 Apr


Spring is here in full force.  And, it is glorious!!!  On Monday, Ella raced outside as soon as lessons were over to teach her own school.  This picture cracks me up.  She has been so excited lately.  Obviously so that taking her bike helmet off was not necessary to learn about volcanoes on the old leaf pile.

Everyday Beauty 6&7::30

9 Apr


Saturday night, Gavin giving Joel  the “Hey Dad, what’s up?” face.


Sunday afternoon as he was waking up from his nap, I found him smiling at himself.


Sunday evening pre-bath snuggles.  I am enjoying him so much!


Everyday Beauty 5::30

7 Apr


{I meant to get this up on Friday, but the day got away from me before I remembered to it publish – Here’s to now being better than never!}

Today was not one of my finest days. Emotions were raw and ill expressed. Tears were shed.  Inside of all that raw emotion pouring out was the frustration I was feeling and didn’t even know it.  Today I’m thankful there are I’m sorrys.  Thankful there is forgiveness.  Thankful there is a love that cover.  This bush sits on the side of our driveway.  When I pulled in the driveway the first time today afternoon, I was too upset to even notice the bush had put out all these blooms since the day before.

The first time we pulled in the driveway we were coming home from touring a house which seemed to be our most promising rental option.  There were parts of the house which could be great, but it wasn’t, it isn’t, the house for us to move into.  And, my emotions overcame me.  The girls played for a whole afternoon in the backyard sunshine and I sat deep in thought.   Somehow, the house incident today, unlatched the hope that this move is about something much bigger.  We talked about buying a home, and if it was really a possibility.  We flushed out some details.  We got excited.  We didn’t feel like this moving was only an inconvenience.

Then, the second time I pulled in the driveway I saw them.  I am not over exaggerating when I tell you they took my breathe away.  All this life steadily moving onward, forward and proceeding.  Right along side us moving onward, forward and proceeding.  Only this time I could see it.

Everyday Beauty 4::30

4 Apr



8 years since JMU.

9 kids between us.

These two beautiful mamas have been my friends for a long time, and I am so glad they are in my life.  Last night, we sat at my kitchen table no longer talking about where we would go for Spring Break, but instead how one of these families will leave for Thailand in a couple weeks.  We talked about mama stuff and what we make for dinner.  This is the stuff  your twenty year old self could never imagine you would find interesting enough to discuss over sangria.   The questions were real.  The answers were honest. Old friends, good friends rather, have a way of doing that.  They leave, and you feel like your soul was watered.

In these eight years since college, we have lived on different coasts, across oceans, even across multiple oceans at times, and sometimes it works out that we are all in Virginia at the same time. My kids were teary when they left, and then spent this morning talking about their friends and riding on elephants.   I am fortunate one of the families lives just over the mountain.  The family that is moving to Thailand, Heather’s family, will be working with International Justice Mission to combat the child trafficking which occurs within its borders.  I am so glad people’s heart strings are being tugged upon to work to an end of this awful abuse.  This is a topic which brings tears to my eyes almost  as soon as I begin talking about it.  Words fail me for how deeply this angers me.  Tonight, I am simply grateful for IJM, the people who serve around the world, and the small pockets of redemption being brought to a broken world.

Everyday Beauty 3::30

3 Apr


The girls always have to help clean up their toys, but you know how it goes there are usually stragglers.   Today, I asked my ladies to clean up after lunch in preparation for friends coming over this afternoon.   They did it.  All. More than I was anticipating.   They are pretty great and I am pretty lucky they are mine.

Everyday Beauty 2:30

2 Apr





We have been reading The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter, specifically The Tale of Mr. Tod. This one is Eva’s favorite. And, I love the way she rolls “Mr.Tod” off her tongue as if it was always intended to be one word said by a two year old.   Sophie understands the relationship between rabbits and foxes, so she doesn’t like Mr. Tod at all.  No matter how you feel about Mr. Tod,  it is better with pink sunglasses and moccasins, naturally.

Everyday Beauty 1::30

1 Apr





On Thursday, we found out we will be moving, again.  We called the property management company about something completely unrelated to our lease, which we were planning on renewing for another year.  Luckily,  Joel asked when we should anticipate resigning the lease for the upcoming year.  He emailed at the beginning of the month about this, just for the record, and we had not received a reply.  The man, curtly, replied he already sent us an email regarding next year.  He didn’t.  To say we have had issues with this company is an understatement.  Nevertheless, the family which owns the house is returning this June and prior to Thursday we weren’t anticipating moving.  Now, here is the thing, the house we are renting isn’t great, not bad, just not great.  Besides being caught unaware and the hassle of moving, I am not heartbroken over this news.  What I do feel like is that a giant reset button has been pushed.   Now, the options are swirling.  I am lucky I am married to a man who is great researcher.  We have several bunny trails we are exploring trying to find the right short term and long term fit.  Do we try to find a place to buy?  A rent to own option? A rental for another small period of time with the hope of buying in the nearer future?  I know the right answer is out there and I know it is in the right timing.  I just need to remind myself of that when I am in the midst of the daily living.  You mamas know what I mean.  You love the day to day, but some days it is all your energy to keep the house a turning and happy.  Sometimes the distance between the truths I cling to and what comes out in my feelings is pretty long and discombobulated.  I need to remind myself that in the midst of the laundry, cooking dinner, finishing the school year, and sleeping;  we will get the house packed and moved and it will all be alright.  Because it will.  It will all be alright.  If I forget, remind me, ok?

yarn along

27 Mar


Above is the progress I have made on my Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan.  This sweater is for Sophie.   This morning, Sophie chose to wear her Blue Wyatt sweater I knit for her exactly a year ago. (I love having a chronicle of our days through this space, because in my mind it was much longer ago than that.)   Proud of herself for choosing something warm enough, she came into my room. It was laughable.  A little too short in the belly, way too short in the arms.  We can make it work for the rest of the cold season if I roll the sleeves up a tad to make it look intentional.  I convinced her, for today and a trip out of the house, a better match for her stripped tights was to wear the vest she inherited from Ella.  She looked adorable.  Moral of the story: kids in hand knits are fantastic whether the knits are in queue, ready to be retired and passed to the third born, or inherited.  I must keep knitting!

Ella and I are working on a unit at school based on the book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Today, we talked about the 5W’s of a news story and conducted a little experiment in preparation for learning about the water cycle tomorrow.  We rapidly boiled water on the stove and talked about evaporation.  Then, as she noticed the water droplets settling on the the microwave door, we discussed condensation.  Did you know they wrote  a sequel to the book called Pickles to Pittsburg?  We read it today, and the girls loved that one too.  I found the lap book/unit online as I was searching for hand-on activities to go along with learning the water cycle.  Originally, I was just planning on teaching a science aspect of the book, and using this book as a silly tag-a-long. I really liked the social studies part of the lap book.  So far, we discussed community helpers, maps, map keys, directions, and today the 5 W’s of a news report.   People create some pretty cool things and share them, for that I am really grateful.

I hope you have a great Wednesday, and some real tulips bloom outside just as pretty as the ones we have inside.

Joining Ginny for the weekly yarn-along