Archive | Everydy Beauty RSS feed for this section

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 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?

It’s a boy!

11 Feb


Introducing our sweet new son, Gavin Joseph!   He made his way into world early morning Tuesday, February 5th. He was 8 pounds 10 oz and 21 inches long.  And, has more hair than any of our other babies.

GVgePgPhQruTYqW2fsSWM-p6U_yma9L-Y18rbERbE3g,YNveOXSUZitbBp846yw2bMT8OwmrgLS75W0EieViBa8 pEb2EMyq3ZTvfsxWox-C1u7xrUYfP9j-yBxV1KYdTiU,IbYuuVbvVclG_X-_ybYTFEPudXkoHSHAjvV-UIoaEys SpYKl13WqNcgQx_cje2mWRyZrmP0oqJ-2zSOcdB-aUY,Gayn6eet-rmbQudXIW069fW9d8AkK3FFLPFeKhW9kNk


I’m not sure I even have words yet for how in awe we are with our sweet little man and how much I am loving these sweet new moments.  I know I will never forget the shock of Joel telling me he was a boy.    Or, the girls excitement of meeting their brother that morning.  Or tire of hearing their new song “I love baby Gavin”.

He is simply perfect to me.  I keep finding little tears of gratefulness in my eyes as I fall in love with him time and time again.  Welcome to our hearts, Little Man.

Snow Day

24 Jan


IMG_1076IMG_1073 IMG_1070

When Joel got into bed last night, he woke me to tell me it was snowing., There was enough on the ground for the girls to be able to play in the snow.  They have been talking about snow angels for weeks. They were going to love every last inch of this rare treat.

I was drinking my coffee and reading when Sophia awoke this morning.     Oh, the plans they made early in the day as the snow was still ever so slightly blowing off the trees and appearing to still be snowing.  After school was done and layers were added, they were up and at ’em ready to embrace nature’s gift.  We all had a good traipse from the front yard to the backyard and back again.  Just enough snow to be exciting, and they were back inside.  Just enough hot chocolate to make us all remember the real reason we love snow days.

Everyday Beauty : Day 26

26 Sep

When I realized the house was far too quiet, for far too long, I went upstairs and found them snuggled together.  They had begun streaming Tangled on my iphone through Netflix.

Our weekend was delightful. I got to sleep in and have a spur of the moment coffee date with my hunny.  We finished up a few lingering projects and fought off the crickets coming into our house as if they were launching some secret covert-op.  Eva fell asleep in my arms for nap while I was rocking her. I finished the (7)  sashes needed for the wedding next weekend.   Pizza, popcorn, and a movie finished off Sunday night and gave me some much enjoyed  snuggle & knitting time with my babes while Joel was playing soccer. Once the quiet descended and all was still,we settled in with some apple & caramel dip and watched my most anticipated premier, The Good Wife.

For these moments:

  • a sleeping baby in your arms wrapped just as if she was 11 months younger
  • finishing all the flower girl sashes with no major complications
  • prepping for the cold weather around the corner with draft guards
  • hoping that also keeps out the crickets that want to live in our home as well
  • take-out pizza saving your chili which was far too spicy for little mouths
  • “I love you” text messages from your mom
  • hot coffee brought to you while still in your pjs
  • the hope of popcorn to go with their mom & movie time

For these moments, these pauses, the grace of God in the moment, I am so thankful.

{For other weekending posts, see the lovely Amanda’s blog}