Friday Favorites

Friday, May 22, 2020

Hooray... it's Friday! It has been a week over here. How about for you? Luckily the weather has been nice where we are, and that puts all of us in pretty great moods. Next week looks even better with temps in the low 80s! Bring on all of the outside activities!

It's been a while since I got to share some Friday Favorites, so... here we go:

Cheers to 10 Years

Steve and I celebrated our ten year anniversary this weekend! It's both hard and easy to believe that warm, sunny May day we said I do was an entire decade ago. On one hand, ten years has gone by so fast, and on the other hand we look around at our three kids and it becomes easier to believe. ;) I am so grateful for the life we have built together and am so excited for all of the adventure, laughter, and love to come.

Kitchen Makeover... officially underway!

Maybe we've just been home too much, but we've decided to get to work on our long-envisioned kitchen facelift. We've been in our house for almost 4 years, and the kitchen has always been on our list of updates. We figured... what better time? We're home more than ever to get the work done, and we're constantly looking at it.

Here are some inspiration pictures. We got these new floors, we're going to paint the cabinets white (going back and forth between simply white, white dove, and chantilly lace if you have any suggestions or experience with those colors!) and get new hardware for them, new appliances, and a new light fixture (looking at this one, and also love this style -- so inexpensive!). We also got a new kitchen table and these chairs, so our expanding family can actually all sit at the table together now! The chairs are amazing, by the way. A great Serena & Lily dupe -- all 4 chairs were the price of 1 Serena & Lily chair. They're comfy and bonus with kids: they can be hosed down!

Isabelle is 8 months old

Our Isabelle Joy turned 8 months old this week! This is the cutest age. She is still this squishy, non-mobile little baby but she's also really beginning to come into her own little personality. She's giving us the best spontaneous belly laughs lately, is obsessed with food, and is basically just the sweetest little soul. I am just enjoying her and her relationship with her big sisters more than I could ever express.

Old Navy Basic Tees with a Twist

I've been living in nothing but comfortable, basic tees lately. I had to buy a few new ones since I didn't get any last year because... pregnant. Haha. My body always seems to change in different ways after each baby, so it was time for some new and better fitting tops. I grabbed these two at Old Navy and have been loving them:

Old Navy Twist Front Tee (I have this in long sleeve, too, and both are great)

Old Navy Open Back Tee (Got this in white!)

A Family Dinner Discussion Starter

Our two oldest kids are at a fun age for games now, and one of our favorites lately (that isn't really a game, but more of a discussion starter) is Table Topics for Kids. We like to pull them out at dinner, ask the questions on each card, and go around the table answering them. There are usually a lot of laughs, too!
Hope you have a nice Memorial Day Weekend! I'm sure it'll look different for most of us, but hopefully the weather allows for some BBQ, outdoor fun, and relaxation. 

How Do You Prioritize Your Passion?

Saturday, May 16, 2020

I've been thinking a lot lately about our passions: why we feel drawn toward certain things, and then how we pursue them. I know "passions" can feel like a cheesy, cheap, overused word and concept -- but truly, if you're honest with yourself for a minute, you have one (or more than one) too. 

Maybe it's running. Or pottery. Or teaching. 

Maybe it's photography. Or reading. Or gardening.

Horseback riding. Fundraising. Cooking.

The possibilities are endless, because we are each so different. Even if we share the same passion, the reasons we feel pulled to something might be completely different. Maybe something is simply therapeutic for one person, while it is incredibly fulfilling for another, and finally a way to feel connected to the world around them for yet another person. And the ways in which we act on our passions are very different, as well. One person might dive in headfirst in pursuit, while another spends much of their life identifying what it is that they are passionate about and then slowly dipping a toe into the water. There is no right or wrong, again because there are no two circumstances or two people that are the same.

So, that's an empowering thought, right? Whatever it is that sets your soul on fire is yours, and yours alone. There is no competition, no winner or loser. The only person you're up against is... yourself.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to most of you that I've long felt that my calling, aside from being a mom, is to write. And when I say calling, I don't mean it in a divine way, necessarily. To me, your calling is that tug toward something that you feel excites you, fulfills you. If you had a day with no plans whatsoever, it would feel incomplete without doing this thing. You spend time thinking about this thing. It enhances your life. Perhaps it enhances others' lives.

I've been writing for as long as I can remember; keeping a journal since I was eight, making up stories, entering school competitions. I wrote articles for our local newspaper when I was in elementary school. As I grew, so did my love for writing. I majored in Journalism, and then Communications. I've contributed pieces to various outlets here and there. I have an idea for a book that has been rolling around in my mind since I became a mom six and a half years ago. And of course, I started this blog!

Sometimes it's hard not to feel disappointed and confused as to why I don't devote even more of myself to my writing. I know it's what I want to do, I feel it's what I'm meant to do, and I can picture doing it in the future. I can't picture my life without it. So, as I've been reflecting on the concept of passions lately, I've realized that at this point in my life I prioritize my time according to who's depending on me. My first priority is being a mom and an engaged member of my little family (and I love this part of myself and my life the absolute most, with full honesty) -- those are the people who depend on me most. My second priority is my work, because people depend on me there, as well. So that got me thinking that perhaps I don't prioritize writing because I feel like nobody is depending on me for it, or depending on the writing itself. 

But then I realized: I'm depending on me for it. The past version of myself, the little girl who recognized a passion and an ability to connect with people and to move people through words on paper has answered the why for me. I write to connect, and I always have. And then there's the future version of myself, the person I might become if I respect, believe in, and make time for what I'm passionate about. Those two versions of the same person - me - depend on the present version of myself to honor what I love to do. 

And I think that's probably the same for you.

It would be a terrible waste for us not to spend some of our short, precious lives doing what we love, don't you think? So I'd love to hear from you: what is your passion? Maybe you have a couple, but if you had to choose one that you feel especially pulled toward -- what is that thing? Why do you love to do it? Do you make time for it? If so, how do you make time for it?

I can't wait to hear.
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