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

Late July life

It's full-blown summer here, evidenced by the forecast. We've had some very hot days, along with more mild days (my personal favorite), like today. Each week seems to bring a bit more routine and familiarity. And by that, I mean Cooper is constantly growing and changing, but I do feel a little more at-ease in my role as a mama, day-by-day. I love our days together! And I find myself enjoying both the quiet days with just us two, and really enjoying the weekends and evenings with daddy.

5 min read

2018: A year in review

Every January, when many are looking forward to the next year, I like to take a few moments to look back. I dig into what the previous year meant for me personally and what it meant for me and Nicholas in the context our our family and community. After I've done that, I feel like the year has a sort of closure, and I can look forward with clearer eyes. As is usual with my annual year-in-review posts,* I've grouped everything by category and linked to previous pertinent blog posts. This was a big year for us! But I suppose every year feels rather big because every year, in it's own style, is a year of full, hard, beautiful life.

11 min read

A placeholder life

These are quiet days in my life. Whenever people ask me, "What's new?" I'm not quite sure how to answer. The reality is that nothing is very new, but nothing is wrong, per say. People around us are having babies and moving and buying houses and starting new jobs. And we aren't doing any of those things. And while we're hopeful some of those things will change soon(ish), I want to wake up, with fresh joy for each day, knowing that this life is good too.

4 min read

Little victories

I've never considered myself a "spring person." And yet, every year, when the weather warms and the green comes back in waves (truly earlier here than pretty much anywhere else), I find it fills me up and surprises me far more than expected. So here, on the cusp on the official start of spring on Tuesday, are some little victories in life, lately:

3 min read

Turkey, kale, & sweet potato skillet

I haven't posted a recipe in quite awhile, but I wanted to share a meal that been in frequent rotation for the DeVries family lately. It's fast, satisfying, served in a bowl, and colorful, and these are a few of my favorite things. Also, the heat index in Austin today is like, 108 degrees, so....the less time I spend heating up the kitchen, the better.

2 min read

A grown-up sleepover

Last weekend, some of my best girls here in Austin and I decided to have a girl's sleepover. I mean, we're adults, but a sleepover still sounded like a super fun way to catch up, spend quality time together, and pamper ourselves, although my goodness, I loathe the word "pamper." It looked a little different than your typical sleepover for eight-year-olds. We made supper together—salmon on the grill, topped with a basil/mango/avocado salsa, plus roasted potatoes, brussels sprouts, and mashed cauliflower. We drank coffee at 8pm, because, well, we could. We sang worship songs together, practicing harmony variations, and talked about marriage and essential oils, and a bunch of other stuff. We took blurry photos in the backyard, most of which at least one person's head was cropped out. We each took a turn in a foot bath, and with the nail polish. And naturally, we rifled through Molly's closet, because friends do that, right?

2 min read

While we're at it, notice the scenery

The bits and pieces of life add up to a full life. I forget that sometimes, when my eyes are fixed on the horizon, the future, or the next thing, rather than my life right in front of me. Truth is, there's always a next thing, but there is also always a here and now.  I want to take care that I don't miss the scenery. These are my favorite little bits of "scenery" in my life as of late:

4 min read

Weekend prep for weekdays

Before a workweek starts (this week, Sunday is my Monday), I need to do some work at home. Preparation. Otherwise, laundry completion is haphazard and I impulse buy frozen pizza and candy orange slices on my way home from work. Yes, really. Today was prep day; a day to get everything in order, so that when our week starts, I feel, well, prepared. It takes commitment, but it's worth it to feel ahead-of-schedule at the start of the week. Then, when household tasks fall to the wayside a bit during the week, we don't feel like our whole world is crumbling (cue the drama, I know). This is what I did today so that I feel more balanced tomorrow.

3 min read

Go-to recipes

Not too long ago, I wrote a post on how and why I meal plan. In that post, I said I'd write about our favorite, frequently made meals. While I enjoy trying new recipes, I love having a set of "go-to" recipes that we know we love. Also, as dorky as it sounds, I like the idea of making a recipe frequently enough that I know which baking dish is the the perfect fit.

1 min read

A life update

Hello! I'm right in the middle of acclimating to my new job, and tonight starts another three shifts in a row.  I actually like when the shifts are grouped together, but I'm still working out how to do life in-between. I just wanted to check in and share a few things that are really encouraging to me right now.

3 min read