January 14th

Monday, January 14th, 2019

I don’t know about you, but the holidays hit us hard.

Constantly on the go, anytime we had something that we didn’t have time to deal with we placed it in our utility room as a way of saying “We’ll deal with you later.”

Weeeeeell, our pile of things to deal with got quite large, and today we pulled everything out and sorted through it all: Garbage, donate, keep, or storage.

As we were reorganizing and putting everything back together I noticed a small box that I thought I recognized. I opened it, and realized why – some of my favorite jewelry from when I was a kid was in there! It had been a long while since I had worn them, but it was fun to pull out and look through all the same.

I should note that while many young girls had normal jewelry, all of my jewelry was horse related. This particular charm bracelet had been one of my favorites.

I wore it often, and I wasn’t gentle with it. One charm would fall off, and my mom or dad would wrestle it back on. Then not a few days later another would come off, and the process repeated.

My identity was in this bracelet. My loves (Arabians, duh), accomplishments (I added a “Grand Champion” charm after winning the Arabian Fall Fest with Tahki one fall), patriotism (red, white, and blue horse shoe), and discipline (western saddle – gaming specifically) all told a little story about me and who I was.

Some may see it as a trinket, but I see a lot of responsibility, hard work, and passion in this little bracelet.

Oh, and love. A whole lot of love.

December 27th

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

Well the weather is just being wonky.

Most of Minnesota and the Dakotas are getting hammered with snow. With 12”+ of snow, blizzard conditions are causing many businesses to close early. It works out that most schools are closed this week for Christmas break, otherwise they’d probably be closed as well.

Most of the Twin Cities got mostly rain today, but that’s not the case for us.

We’re on the rain/snow line, so one minute it’s raining, the next it’s snowing…and then back to rain. It has been truly bizarre. The snow I shoveled this morning was the wetest I’ve ever had to move.

As I’m writing this, the rain has transitioned back to snow, and it’s coming down like CRAZY. Huge flakes. HUGE. I just checked back in on my weather app, and while an hour earlier it said only rain through tomorrow, now it’s saying the freeze line has shifted so expect FIVE INCHES of snow before midnight tonight.

This is just weird.

Pretty, but weird.

I came in from collecting eggs this afternoon, and I had a bunch of pretty little snowflakes clinging to my shawl, and naturally I had to photograph them.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings in terms of weather!

December 8th

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

I woke up to a frosty wonderland this morning and it was truly lovely.

Looking out our back window is one of my favorite views year-round, but frosty mornings may just be my favorite.


When the landscape looks like this, the white vinyl fences almost disappear and it makes it seem as though there are wild horses in my backyard. It’s the perfect little daydream.

Although this scene is a favorite of mine, there’s a reason it’s not my main photo for a reason.

Sometimes I feel as though God uses the weather to personify the ordinary around us. This wintergreen bush in my front yard is the perfect example of that – with the scarf of frost, the little spine right in the middle looks as though he’s standing the tallest, the proudest, raising his hand like “pick me!,” and I couldn’t help but photograph it.

It made me smile, and hope it did you as well.

On a side note, today is my 555th day of this blog! What do you think, as 2018 comes to a close, do I continue my streak into 2019?

October 11th

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

The weather forecast says sun tomorrow.

I may be a bit desperate for the sun. Fall just doesn’t seem like fall without that cozy, warm sunshine.

I was drawn to my Sedum plant this afternoon, as it’s cheery burgundy color definitely brought a smile to my face! Especially because I don’t know that since we’ve lived here we’ve ever seen it in fall bloom – the deer always get to it first.

It was breezy today, and focusing on small objects when they’re moving is difficult. I did my best, and did get some sharp images. Although, when I came in to edit I was drawn to this imperfectly focused image. The movement in it just felt so lovely.

I tossed in a little extra yellow into my white balance for the warmth my eyes are currently hungry for, and I enjoyed the coziness. It almost feels summery, and I’m ok with that.

October 5th

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Happy Friday!

I got to hang out with four-month-old Betsy today, and it was so much fun! Betsy’s mom and dad are lead members of mine and Paul’s small group (Adults without Kids – although the name isn’t so apt anymore 😉 ). Betsy’s usual caretaker during the day was out of town, so Lauren called and asked if I was interested and available.

I said yes, and have been looking forward to it all week!

I don’t have a ton of experience with babies, but Lauren left me great notes, and Betsy made it so easy. Diapers, feeding schedules, nap schedules – I had it down by the end of the day. But again, it helped that Betsy was smiley all day, went down for those naps like a champ, and downed each bottle I fed her.

It was a fun way to end the week!

September 10th

Monday, September 10th, 2018

I’ve been in a little abstract funk lately.

For some reason, I’ve wanted to photograph abstractly, but I’ve been presented with “better” photo opportunities over the last week so I haven’t taken any. I did take the one of the soybean field changing color, but this one takes it a step further.

Wine glass bubbles for the win today.

August 25th

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

Hazy Saturdays are for creating.

When my grandma was here last weekend, we were brainstorming other fun items I could start making. She suggested lotions, liquid soaps, and candles.

I did some research on candle making, and found that much of what I needed overlapped with soap making. Both ingredient-wise and supply-wise.

So I ordered some wicks, dug up some small jars, and got to work today.

August 9th

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Every spring when I start my garden, my seedlings look so puny; it’s hard to imagine my garden filling out, especially coming out of winter when I’m hungry for more color outside.

Then August hits and my garden feels like a straight up jungle, and I’m half cursing myself for planting so much. It’s always amazing how much one seed, one plant, can produce.

You all may think I’m exaggerating, but I think Paul and I have picked over 300 cherry tomatoes from 5-6 plants out of our garden so far – AND THEY’RE ALL STILL PRODUCING.

Paul was very enthusiastic about them when they started to ripen, and now he’s dead sick of them. I’ve been saving our strawberry and extra large Sam’s Club blueberry plastic containers, filling them up with tomatoes, and pawning them off on people.

So on that note, if you want some cherry tomatoes, please do NOT be shy. Let me know!

August 2nd

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

While this photo may give a lot of you the heebee jeebies, I can honestly say “not me!”.

I love bees. If you’ve followed my blog since last summer, you know my advocate stance on our pollinators.

After standing elbow deep over a hive, my face inches from thousands of bees, I have no fear.

I should also note that I don’t have an allergy to bees, so for those of you out there who do, I understand the hesitation and the aversion.

But for those of you who were simply taught to fear bees, consider changing your perspective.

You go to the grocery store all the time right? You pick up what your family needs, even if that means making multiple stops at different locations. You haul bags of items and food in and out of your car, up and down stairs, putting it all away into your pantry or refrigerator for future use. A relatively simple, average, everyday act, right? Only if your life was threatened would that interrupt your errands, make you act out in self defense.

Bees are no different from us.

Check out this guy. This sunflower is his grocery store. He’ll bop from this flower, to the clover in your yard, to the annuals on your front porch – all in an effort to gather food (or at least materials to make food). He’ll fill the special pollen sacs on his legs at each stop, then fly back home to unload it, giving it to other members of the hive to create and store food. He then heads back out to do it all again, because that is his role in his family.

So let’s say he’s gathering pollen from the clover in your yard. At the same moment, your kids run through the yard barefoot, step on said bee, and bee stings. An innocent move on your kids part, absolutely, but you can’t blame the bee for defending himself either.

Let’s say you’re sitting out in your yard, and a bee buzzes around your head. Yes, while very intimidating, take it as a compliment! You smell good to him, and he’s attempting to figure out if you’re a flower he can gather from. Let him buzz, and he’ll move on. He’s not there to come and sting you, he’s just out living life.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “[…] pollinators such as bees, birds and bats affect 35 percent of the world’s crop production, increasing outputs of 87 of the leading food crops worldwide, as well as many plant-derived medicines. […] Pollination is critical for food production and human livelihoods, and directly links wild ecosystems with agricultural production systems.”

While pollinator decline is attributed to naturally occurring parasites as well as the lack of habitat, you can help! Plant flowers in your garden and landscaping that aide in pollinator habitat and don’t spray your dandelions. I don’t enjoy seeing those yellow flowers in my yard either, but that is a factor in pollinator decline, specifically with bees. (Here is a short and sweet little article from the UMN on bees and insecticides, if you’re interested.)

They really are fascinating, hardworking animals, and I hope that the next time you see a bee, you think of this awesome little guy full of pollen, high on life, and that it makes you smile instead of cringe. And hopefully, with time, this lends a new perspective on bees for you.

June 18th

Monday, June 18th, 2018

I found myself counting my blessings today.

My friend, Tiffany, and I had plans to take a walk this afternoon. We hadn’t seen each other since before we left for Hawaii, so we had a lot to catch up on. Then this morning, our friend Lauren texted both of us inviting us to come over and hang out with her and sweet two-week-old Betsy Rae.

Neither of us had met Betsy yet, so that was all the invitation we both needed! We changed our plans and spent the afternoon catching up all three of us and passing Betsy around.

At one point, sitting in Lauren’s living room, I started thinking about how that moment came to be.

It started over a year and a half ago with an invitation to join a couples without kids small group through church. I tried to think of every excuse not to go, but God was insistent. Every road block I put up, God broke down.

And I am so so thankful for that.

The growth I’ve experienced through this group is unlike anything I ever could have expected. Paul and I have flourished in our marriage, and I couldn’t even begin to describe how thankful I am for the true friendships cultivated through those Monday night get togethers. What started out as a casual invitation has brought some beautiful, God-loving, genuine, truly awesome people into both mine and Paul’s lives.

Our group was initially supposed to only be a ten week home church, but we enjoyed our group so much, we kept meeting. Now, a year and a half later, our group has slowly started to evolve as time continues on. We’ve become half couples with- and half couples without kids, with Betsy being the newest addition to the clan.

What a special little bundle – it’s so fun to watch friends become parents!