week 25

This week has presented so many little joys, and I’d love to share some things that I’m currently loving.

June has been an incredible month, filled with ups and downs.  Being social media-free has been quite liberating, and the FOMO I have only really relates to those to which I am closest.  However, if I’m close…I’ll know.  Funny how that works!


Just a few of the things that I’m grateful from this week, in explanations and photos:




Have to brag on this lady.  Father’s Day.  She purposed in her heart to make muffins for daddy, and woke up early, and really could have handled the whole thing on her own, had micromanager Mommy stepped back!  What a sweet, loving spirit this lady has!

All ready for church!  This is Joel’s pre-programmed pose when we take his picture.  “Cheeee!”

What an unbelievably beautiful family God has given me.  WOW.  That’s a proud Daddy, right there!




Doctor visits for everyone!  Took Ellie to her checkup with little anxiety on her part!  Having a pediatrician who cares for us very well helps keep me grounded, and I can say with confidence to my daughter that our doctor will be gentle and understanding without a doubt.  Each checkup that we have, our doctor reminds me of how Micah and I are doing a great job.  The daily stacking up of bumps and bruises can make a mom feel like she’s either not paying attention at all or that she’s overprotective.  In the long run, it’s just another day, and by the time another year comes around, all those little scratches will have healed, and you’ll have a little person who has grown even more.  I’m on my way to taking her up on her book recommendations, provided I work through the FIVE other books I’ve got my nose buried in right now!  Shots went well. She was so brave!  Reflecting on my bought with chickenpox to help Ellie understand that it’s much better to have a sore arm than a whole body itching was a great reminder.


Micah finished his long-awaited sleep study that afternoon as well.  His quick diagnosis was the dreaded narcolepsy.  More on that later.



First mention of whimsy in this week: a typical post-dinner walk turned FUN!  The rainstorms have been strong these past few weeks, and we got caught in a little one!  We are puddle-splashers by trade and loved squishing toes in the mud and making memories together!


How I feel like my hair looks all the time, but at least my intensely gifted photog husband makes it look cool.





My first day back to my home-away-from-home, Fitness One.  I had been anticipating this day, but also dreaded how much I would hurt.  Both things were true, and it was so good to be back with my buddies.  One of the best things about the 5:30 class I attend is Shea.  20 years old, hard-working, and such a dedicated friends. We have swapped stories and prayer requests, and I couldn’t be more thankful to share squeals and hugs with her on our shared first day back!  New fit test exercises, and my muscles are STILL screaming.

A productive, fun and imaginative day.  Like the creme in the middle of the Oreo, the lunch picnic with my sweet kids really made the day worth living.  This picnic included me attending a “hair appointment” and a “recital” as “Vivianne”, the slightly pretentious and very particular soloist who got a mud masque applied to her hair while being fed bell peppers and given shots.  Got video to prove it.  These moments are the ones I’ll miss when they’re grown.


Tuesday nights are reserved for my dear friend Rachel, and this is just a tiny little window into the wonder that we share together.  Rachel is a lady who loves to go, and go hard, though she would be the last one to say so of herself.  She recently ran a half marathon, and came in FIRST in women, and was STILL saying how she could have improved!  She astonishes me, and I learn so much about life from her.  Rachel is so brilliant, always determined to find out the answer, and loves Jesus whole heartedly.  Our relationship is like a game of tug-o’-war, in the best way, because neither of us is satisfied to leave a stone unturned or a story untold (more so me than her…she is REALLY patient with me, especially when I’ve only had repetitive toddler conversation all day!)




Three words: READ-ALONG BOOKS.  Talk about a life-saver.  I’m an avid OverDrive user, and it took this long to figure out that read-along books exist.  This had my kids occupied for at least 45 minutes! It’s so great! Not a movie, and not an audiobook, so it’s our new go-to when attentions have all run out and dinner still needs to be made.  Also, Judy Schachner is my idol.

You should be disturbed by this, if you aren’t already.  Since you want to know, here are the answers.  Yes, those are real handprints from my daughter.  Yes, it is a door in the bathroom.  No, I was no there when this happened.  Yes, I am aware that it’s dumb to store your make up within a child’s reach, however, today was the first day that it had ever backfired.  And it backfired BIG TIME.  Yes, that was the amount of concealer that had been carefully painted onto each finger.  Yes, Joel was involved.  Yes, I took pictures before I cleaned up.  No, the clean up is not complete, even though it’s four days later.  Yes, I need tips on removing something that’s supposed to cover things up.  Yes, there might be a need for a crowd-fund to be set up to purchase new cosmetics.  No, I will never forget this.




The highlight of the day, hands down, was nursery at church.  My pal Nancy and I team up every third Wednesday night to wrangle the 1-2 year olds of our precious church family.  Each month up to June have been blissfully fun, and such a blessing to each of us to spend dedicated time together regardless of the stinky diapers or stinkier attitudes from the two-nagers.  This night was like no other night.  From the get go, I knew something was off.  Joel was super clingy to me, and it seemed like there was an air of “something wicked this way comes”… All that to say, a two year old’s broken off toenail should have been the most of our concern.  Nancy and I felt like our heads were spinning, and my hands were tied, as I found out why Joel was so clingy!  He had been teething molars for the past few days!  Poor guy!  My sweet friend asked for us to text her if anything transpired with her darling girl who is known for genteel, yet strong blows of territorial defense.  Hence the photo above.  Nancy got the hero award, and there were sweet little moments, but it mostly left us reeling!  All worth it to see these little ones grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus!



Micah’s day off.  It included lots of meetings, business and personal for him.  We’re so excited for the future, and can’t wait to see what happens down the road with Micah Brown Photography.  There, the cat’s out of the bag!

The kids and I spent our day inside and outside, and read books in our amazing Brazilian hammock that my cousin Elissa sent us a few years ago.  She’s a world traveler, and it’s one of the only things in our house that we keep under lock and key.  The  hammock makes me feel like I get transported to another world that has no ceiling and no floors, only air and beauty.  Come over and try it sometime.


Here’s the progress on our thornless blackberries!  This year, they look WONDERFUL, as compared to last year!  The witless wonder of a gardener mom here decided that the little green shoots next to our burgeoning blackberry bush ought not be there, and yanked them up, only to discover that that was the blackberry bush flourishing to new heights. We could have LOTS more blackberries this year, but ignorance has its consequences.  Needless to say, I am WELCOMING and nurturing the shoots this year, and training them to chase their way around the dog-run that it has taken over.  I’m so excited for next year!


While Micah conducted his last meeting of the day, the kids and I jaunted down to Salem Lake, and discovered a treasure trove of ripened blackberry bushes!  This is what we have to look forward to!  After our trip to Yosemite (which will be recapped as soon as I can stop reeling from how mind-blowing the whole experience was), I have gotten much braver about taking the kids on longer walks/hikes and exploring, and BOY, have we reaped the benefits. My kids are natural born adventurers, and they fancy themselves wayfinders, just like their beloved Moana.

Everybody had worked up an appetite, so we headed to a local Mexican market and shared a taco dinner, followed by delicious treats from Hispanic culture!  I personally could not get enough of the chili-covered tamarinds.  SO my jam.  Sweet. Spicy.  Oops, I just remembered we have leftovers and it’s nearly 11pm…no, no, no.


Ellie and Faye loved their exploding strawberry candies!




Tumblebees.  The Farmers Market with Mimi.  Meeting Neil, the blueberry man, Katie, Isaiah and Ella Sue from a family farm, and the patrons of the Farm in Dobson were such a joy!  I love being able to interact with the growers, and having it so close to home!  We gave the Shrimp Connection a try, as well as meeting a dear friend at the Budding Artichoke, and learned about Camino Bakery in Winston Salem, as they were hosting a tasting inside of the adorable store!  Such friendly folks, and such a “home” kind of place!

Ended the day with a much anticipated and on-the-fly planned movie night of My Neighbor Totoro, a classic that Micah and I have adored for a long time, and have anticipated sharing with our kids.  It took on a whole new magic watching it with them!  Their reactions were so real and genuine! They loved it so much.  It’s good to find a movie where whimsy is seamlessly used as a coping mechanism during a child’s challenges, and where it actually turns into character development for the child! I think it’s why I love it.  Oh, and because every still is like a PAINTING.  Such beautiful art.

When the lettering inspiration strikes again, the word “whimsy” will appear, I guarantee it.




Morning spent catching up, and cleaning up from movie night.  The kids go to swim in Mimi’s non-holey pool.  Groceries at my second home-away-from-home, ALDI.

A moment of solitude in my day has me thinking.  Ever since the idea of minimalism came across my veritable “mind desk” and after imbibing in untold minimalist resources, it has drawn me to a place of renewed purpose.  To look back and see how caught up I was in competing and acquiring makes me scratch my head, and ask, “How did I ever get there?”  Now, I can’t say that I’ve reached the point of no return when it comes to minimalism; it just aligns well with the priorities and purposes in my life and in my family’s life.  We want to glorify God while living on this earth, and anything that gets in the way of that is a stumbling block, to be utterly vague.  No, I haven’t thrown everything away.  It’s actually harder to say no to stuff than it is to say yes.  I want our home to be a tool of love, care and comfort, not one that I have to constantly be picking up or arranging.  Now, we DO need some organizing help, so if you can offer that kind of help, hit your girl up, you know what I’m sayin’?


Today, the ability to walk in and out of a store with my head held high seemed like an accomplishment.  How?  To not get laser focused on an item and selling it to myself for untold moments felt wonderful.  Although I’ve had the uncanny “gift” of being able to talk myself out of anything for as long as I can remember, and leaving a store empty handed is something I enjoy, it has taken on a whole other dimension now!  Having the knowledge that these stores are not going anywhere, their sales reoccur more often than I think, and that I didn’t plan for the purchase to begin with lets me know that I can truly be ahead of the average consumer.  Instead, I found myself scanning clearance racks quickly after having set a timer, and then even walking out of the store before said timer rang.  Amazing how time and money often times set themselves so far apart, and yet can be so closely related.   More time, more money.  Less time spent, more money saved. Not always true, and this is totally a ramble at this point, but WOW, did it feel like I was flying.  Yeah, i didn’t get the soap dispenser I was looking for, but they didn’t have it, I didn’t need to settle, and both entities were still just as right as rain at the end of the whole ordeal!  ANYWAY.


Next week should hold more adventures, maybe less sleep, maybe new teeth for the kids, and surely new things to learn.  It’s off to bed for me.


What are you grateful for this week?


Your existence is beautiful; you just have to be willing to see it!

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