Southern California

Sunday, August 27

The wind is totally blowing my shirt out in this pic…don't get any ideas, haha!

In early August we flew down to Southern California to visit Kevin's family. Avonlea was a champion traveler, I was honestly so impressed with how she did! She found the airplane fascinating and nursed the whole way down, and basically slept the whole flight back (I mean, it is only an hour flight…but I was still elated! haha). BUT…. traveling with a tiny child is no joke with how much extra stuff you need to bring! How can someone so little require so.much.stuff??? The carseat, stroller, ergo, etc. etc. It was all worth it though!

We were mostly in Orange County, staying with Kevin's parents and seeing friends.  We hit up our old favorites in Newport Beach (Mama D's and True Food Kitchen), took the ferry to Balboa Island and did lots of beach walks. I got to see friends from so many different parts of my life down there…Bible Study, Grad School, my old job…it was a blast!

We also spent 2 days in San Diego seeing friends and staying with my aunt and uncle. We hiked Torrey Pines which are these beautiful cliffs along the coast. San Diego was experiencing a bit of a humid heat wave, so it was blazing hot, haha!

I realized by the end that I hardly took any pics with my camera (mostly my phone)…so here are a few I did take. It was such a refreshing trip to be around beloved people, and introduce them to Avonlea. She was SUCH a sweet baby with everyone, made my mama heart so full of thanksgiving.

One poignant part of the trip happened as we sat around the table with Kevin's parents. I was having a bit of a bad attitude that this short trip was our only vacation as a family this summer. Kevin's job has been crazy busy (unexpectedly busy…), and it's was really hard on me as he was gone most of the day, working 12+ hours a day. I dreamed of going to Portland, or Europe, or just somewhere new. Going to SoCal, where we lived for 8 years didn't seem like much of a vacation, so I was pouting (woe is me! so pathetic, I know). But…the first night there, Kevin's dad Mitch pulled out the devotional called New Morning Mercies and read a devotion on how when we are focused on US, our life if full of grumbling and complaining. But when we are focused on Christ and ready to give thanks for all His gifts, we live a life of gratitude and peace. I was SOOO convicted. And honestly, it changed my whole perspective and outlook on this trip. I was able to completely enjoy it, giving thanks for all the beautiful and small ways I was blessed and saw God moving. Isn't it funny how an attitude and perspective change completely gives you life and freedom? Thanks Mitch for reading that devotional to us!!

How is your summer going? We are helping host a block party this Sunday for our neighbors and i'm super excited. We're having root beer floats and playing lawn games. Praying all my neighbors feel loved and welcomed and that we have a blast!! Enjoy your week! xoxo

Thoughts on Motherhood

Monday, August 14

While I was pregnant, I loved reading books on motherhood and would spend many a morning or evening curled up on the couch with a book (hot tea, and on occasion popcorn! ha!). A sweet woman at my church gave me a copy of an older book called "A Mother's Touch" by Elise Arndt. It was such a sweet book full of wisdom and I cherished every chapter, as though it was food for my motherhood soul. The cover had a mama bird perched on her nest, as little baby birds looked up at her. It was a precious picture of how dependent our children are on us in the beginning, and how our care matters greatly.

One of the biggest take-aways from the book was the idea that as a mother, we are given the beautiful opportunity to make a home a dwelling place of our tender Lord. Elise writes...

"A mother who loves Jesus, and longs to be like Him in every respect, as the ability to transform any ordinary home into the very dwelling place of God. Her home becomes a place where Jesus lives and loves. In such an environment, His presence can be felt at every turn"

"I came to the conclusion that mom is one of the most important elements within any home. She is the one who sets the tone and creates the atmosphere. Home can be the very dwelling place of God, where the loves of Jesus is experienced at every turn. Home can be a refuge for a weary husband and uptight children who seek retreat from a world which is really Satan's domain. What a beautiful experience for any child to have a home filled with love, kindness, and joy. When a mother is content in her calling of motherhood and at peace with God, she reflects these attitudes to her family"

What a beautiful picture, that while hard to live out, is so necessary! It's the reminder I need to continually sit in His presence, so that I can allow HIM to fill me…as I can't do it on my own. I can't force joy and I can't force kindness, genuine joy and kindness and love pour out from the source of it all…God himself.

I know my sweet girl is so little now, but at every turn I'm choosing to give her all my delight. To smile at her, speak words of life and love over her (I think I whisper in her ear "I love you" or "you're my special girl" more times that I can count), because I want to look at her and speak to her LIFE, as our heaven father speaks life to us.

How have you ladies that are mamas chosen to create an atmosphere of Christ in your home?


We're off to southern California

Tuesday, August 1

This summer hasn't gone exactly to plan, in fact, it's been wildly different than expected. We've had a slew of house issues (from flooding, to leaks, to our AC breaking, to more flooding…), Kev and I got food poisoning one night, and the hardest part is that this summer has been crazy-town on the farm, so Kev's been gone A LOT. We had planned to take a trip to Southern California to visit friends and family in July, but sadly, we had to cancel because he needed to work.

A few weeks ago we both were having a bad attitude about how things were going. We sat on the couch together grumbling about this and that, when we both looked at each other and were like "we need to SNAP OUT OF THIS and have better attitudes" haha! So we started recounting all the GREAT things that have happened this summer, namely that our sweet baby girl was happy and healthy and just so much fun. God gave us a great perspective on the situation, and we were so thankful. Life is just better lived with a more joyful perspective.

So…after a long summer of Kevin working almost every day of the week, we are finally getting a week off!! Hallelujah (all the praise hands lifted high!). We leave today to fly down to Southern California…Avonlea's first flight. I plan to nurse the whole way, as it's only an hour and 15 minute flight, ha! We'll see how she does:)

We are so excited to see Kevin's family and the many wonderful friends we have down in Orange County and San Diego. I took these pics of Avie girl about 1.5 months ago, but they are too precious not to share. Our neighbor gave us that adorable mushroom onesie that just kills me with how cute it is:)

How's your summer going? Any fun trips/plans? Or how have you enjoyed just being right where you are? xoxo