Outdoors

More green than the sky: A July beach day

A few weeks ago, our little family of four made plans with my father- and sister-in-law for an early Saturday morning at the Lake. When we arrived in the eight o'clock hour, it was breezy, in the low seventies. At this particular beach and time of day, we had our pick of spots; only a few families were there before us. I chose a spot pretty close to the water and Coop dumped out his new beach toys out of his mesh bag and got busy building and digging. Soon enough, Nicholas, who had been parking the truck, and my SIL and FIL joined us.

2 min read

In the garden, late June 2022

Here we are, on the very cusp of July, and I've neglected to share about our garden. Nicholas and I had a plot at a community garden when we were engaged back in 2013, but we haven't had a vegetable garden since—until this year, that is. I wanted to share a bit about our garden this year: what we're growing, how we're growing it, and how it's going so far.

4 min read

Up north to the Tulip festival

If you missed my last post, I shared about the passing of my beautiful mother-in-law. I don't want to continue on in a "business as usual" style, nor do I want to neglect to share about joyful things in our life. Again and again, I'm learning that grief and joy coexist in this life. And what a grace that is! Grief can highlight the joy, make it more precious in my eyes. And so, I wanted to share about a little day trip I took with my SIL, Katelyn, Cooper, and Finn back in mid-May, since it was a good thing, a sweet day spent with some of my very favorite people.

4 min read

An early May beach day

Several days ago, a friend texted a few of us, asking if we'd be up for a (Lake Michigan) beach day. The weather forecast showed warm—actually hot—temperatures and sun, and it was Nicholas' first day back in his office, so we said yes!

2 min read

2021: A year in review

Every January, I assemble a blog post of sorts that catalogs our year. Largely organized in list-form, I touch on the big and little things, events and thoughts and experiences that shaped our life over the last year. I do find this incredibly helpful as a sort of reflection, a glance back on the Lord's faithfulness, to show me, time and time again, that He is a good God. And with that mindset, I feel less encumbered as we continue on into the new year, more ready to face a full year of new, fresh days, with the heart attitude that regardless of what the days will hold, mundane or exciting, difficult or good, I can walk into the future with hope and trust in Him. Plus, I do enjoy looking back on a lot of the little details of our life, the ones that make me smile or think, Oh, yes! We loved that! What a little joy in our life.

16 min read

The worth of each day: Life lately, November 2021

Fall feels like a number of transitions, one right after the other. We are now bridging into late fall, with lots of frost in the mornings, first sightings of bare trees, and darker, cozier evenings at home. Of course, there is talk of Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon too, along with early preparations for those. I do tend to be swept by the momentum of this season, if I'm not careful. I'll admit that Christmas music accompanies us throughout the day sometimes, and I've already done most of our shopping, but I do want to be intentional to savor the almost-but-not-yet. To not wish away November and it's baring of trees in favor of the glow of Thanksgiving and Christmastime. There is great beauty and contentment in this month, as well. I don't want to miss it.

5 min read

Turning over autumn & Turning thirty-one

We've taken to a regular "cozy hike," as we've termed it. A nearly wooded path, my favorite spot for fall color, a wagon, an eager toddler, a cozy blanket, and snacks. I look for the bright red leaves, since those are a favorite for both of us. And we also look for acorns and pinecones, treasures on the ground.

5 min read

A first hike

Several weeks ago, Nicholas took some time off of work, and our little family planned a few semi-local adventures. One was our day trip up to Michigan, and another was a first "real" hiking experience for Cooper at Starved Rock State Park. My SIL, Katelyn, had wanted to visit this particular park for some time, and as it was on our short bucket list of summery activities, we added it to the week's activities. It's quite the drive for a day trip (resulting in 4.5 hours in the car, all told, with Chicago traffic), so it took some planning and intention to make it happen. But I'm so glad we went.

3 min read

Life lately, September 2021

The air is crisper in the mornings, leaves on some trees just barely tinged with red and gold, a few eager leaves already fallen, begging to be crunched on the sidewalk. It's not truly fall yet, I realize, but the wonderful in-between has very much arrived. I don't want to wish away summer, but in the same breath, I am always excited for autumn.

5 min read

Summer days, early August 2021

It's August already! I can't believe it either. This summer has felt filled to the brim with so many good things, so many summer-y things. Beach trips, visits to new places (the zoo, etc), and lots of family outings. Of course there have been truly challenging things to walk through as well. But for the first time in quite awhile, I feel like we're enjoying summer. It's no secret that I love cooler weather and Christmas and all that the colder months bring, but summer has felt fun. Maybe since we're more settled in our home and we are more settled in parenthood, as much as you ever can be with a child who is growing and changing and surprising, and who we're growing alongside. There's something quite special about having a backyard, a deck to open the doors out to, grass for barefeet and sprinklers. Gardens to tend, nothing complicated this year, mind you. Windows that open on opposite sides of our home, offerings cross-breeze. Neighbors who greet us and mention how fast Cooper is growing. I think this is the first summer in I can't remember how long where I haven't been longing for the next stage. I have dreams for our home and family, hopes and prayers. But also I feel heavy with thankfulness for our life now, as it is, with The Three Musketeers, as we call ourselves. And knowing full-well that God has placed me here, in this time and place, on purpose, for His will and glory. I want to be awake and aware of my surroundings to be used by Him, here.

7 min read