A Prayer Request

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Circle RugWell, guys, I’ve got a little bit of a health update for you today. After seven months antibiotic-free, I’m back on orals. I have been for 10 days now, actually, and now I’m adding a second antibiotic to the mix because things aren’t moving in the right direction yet. I’m letting you know because I sure would appreciate your prayers! I don’t like it when my lungs feel small or constricted, and even though the rest of me feels pretty good, this is a concern.

Also weighing on my heart today, a childhood friend of mine just found out last week that her six-year-old son has CF. Talking with her, and processing through things mentally, has found a vulnerable spot in my heart and I am having a hard time separating some emotions, if that makes any sense. Pray that I can be a good friend to her, and that the heaviness/darkness that can seep in will be kept at bay.

Also, my brother Mark is on antibiotics. Apparently we like to do this together. Yeesh.

Before you head for the hills lest I come up with something even more Debbie-Downer-y, here’s some encouragment that snuck up on me yesterday. You know how sometimes people talk about how they were reading the Bible and something just “jumped right out” at them? I always wish for those moments. But last night I had my own little moment, a gift of encouragment when I was actually asking for it. I was reading the verses set out for me on my Bible App, and these ones jumped off the screen and into my heart. I felt loved.

Psalm 3:3 (New Living Translation)

“But you, Oh Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.”

And then, Proverbes 18:14

“The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?”

These verses combined = everything.

Aaaand to hammer it home, how about the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing it? Our choir sings this in church sometimes and it’s one of my favorites. I hope it encourages you today, as it has encouraged me!

It’ll Do.

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Since I can’t seem to pull a coherent post together these days, how about a few snapshots to tide us over?

Her:

Nutcracker Jane

Jane was over the other day and we were listening to The Nutcracker in a not-so-subtle attempt for me to brainwash her with Nutcracker Love (and obsession). It hit a particularly peppy number (Russian dancers?) and she made this face. That I had a camera around, and that this expression was caused by sheer Nutcracker delight, is still KILLING ME.

Him:

Callum - ThanksgivingCallum was doing his Camburger best after Thanksgiving dinner. Lounging back in his rocker, holding a ball (as one does), and entertaining the masses (which he has completely mastered). This kid is the real deal.

Him:

Thomas in his fortThomas turned 5 on December 7. FIVE! He had a Lego birthday party with friends over. Girls, even! Jess told me that I was one of the five friends he said he wanted to invite to the party, and my heart melted PERMANENTLY. This kid, I tell you.

Also, sometimes he orchestrates epic battles between good (pop-bead snakes/Shrek) and evil (dinosaurs/crocodiles).

Dino Battle

I love them all. And they each deserve their own blog post, but for today it’ll do.

P.S. We’re painting the living room. Can you tell?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Cat Pic!Josh is out shoveling the driveway (whaaaaat?) and I’m finishing up my morning therapy while the cat is stuck in some sort of “parade-face” daze.. We’re celebrating Thanksgiving with Josh’s family soon, and then headed over to celebrate with mine. I love that we can be with both families in one day – in fact it happens often, not just on holidays. It’s something that we are very thankful for!

I hope that you get to spend today with people you love! Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

P.S. Thank you so much for the birthday love last week. It really brightened my already bright day!

A Little Etsy Love

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Welp, shopping season is about to descend upon us, folks. I’m never ready for it, it seems. In case you’re a little more on the ball than I am – or, if you could use a few suggestions, I thought I’d share a little Etsy love today.

For a long time, until I really started exploring it, I thought of Etsy as just a place to buy bead earrings or homemade soaps (pretty sure you could find those too, if that’s your jam! .. Probably homemade jam too). But there is a whole world of handmade & vintage goodness out there just waiting to be discovered.

We love selling with our vintage shop, but I actually buy more handmade items than anything else from Etsy. Here are a few things that I have recently purchased, and loved, from Etsy. Happy shopping!

4-plant garden of realistic crocheted cacti and succulents

This little cacti garden is a perfect gift for the black-thumbed peeps in your life (found here) – looks like they’re out of these for now but they do make them to order…

Spring Succulent pillow made to order

Or, treat someone to this pretty succulent pillow – my new fave! (found here)

christmas print / 8x10 / isaiah 9:6

A little Christmas beauty. (from here)

CHLOE Baby Headband, Newborn headband, Flower Headband .  (Buy 3 Get 1 Free) . newborn photography prop headband

Baby headbands! I cannot stop buying these things. This shop has great headbands and cute packaging too.

Wood Teether Hippo wooden toy natural baby toy

Not into bows & frills? How about a handcrafted teether instead? (found here)

Hamburger Hamburger Hamburger

I’ve even found that if you see something that’s allllllmost perfect but could use a little tweak, many shops will work with you to make it happen. In this case, I fell in love with this sharpie-drawn hamburger artwork (right?!) and the artist did a custom piece for me that looked the same but said “Camburger” instead of “Hamburger”. AND she made it in a smaller size to work with my budget! It never hurts to ask. Hamburger print still available, found here.

Baby Shower Invitation ... Little Ones to Him Belong Baby Shower Invitation - Yellow and Grey Design, other colors available - Item 0105BS3

Another customization that wouldn’t have happened without asking is the invitation above. Often you can choose your own colors for invitations, but in this case the seller also added a few little pumpkins into the design (seen here). Baby shower invite found here.

Image

Like I said, I’m hooked on Etsy for invitations. Bachelorette party invite found here.

Self Inking Stamp - Return Address Stamp - Handwritten Style - Side Tag - Doodle Design Stamp - 1.5" x 1.5" - 1.5 inch square stamp

Another great gift idea (know anyone who just moved?) and something that I’ve bought for our home & Etsy shop is a return address stamp. There are approximately 1.5 billion choices on Etsy, so chances of you finding one that you like are pretty good! Above stamp found here; I’ve also purchased this one and this one.

Undecorated Wooden Refillable 2013 Calendar Holder with Straight top

And last but not least, a calendar makes a lovely holiday gift! Etsy has such beautiful and inspiring options, I’ve completely given up buying calendars in big box stores and am hooked on these. I would recommend searching on “wall calendar” or “desk calendar” because the sheer volume can be overwhelming. But still. Fun.

I landed on this one (above) last year and have been super happy with it. I’ve been meaning to paint some funky white or gold stripes on the top but haven’t done it yet and actually kinda like it as is. All I need to do is buy refills every year and my calendar decision is made. Happy camper.

So there’s a tiny little corner of the Etsy world for ya. See anything you like? What have you bought off Etsy recently? I’m taking notes!

All photos in this post came from the Etsy shops that they were linked to.

Today I am 32.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetToday I am 32.  And even though this day is a marker in my life, really, every single day is a gift. A complete gift! I am blessed.

(I kept accidentally typing “21” instead of “32” … which made me realize that I wouldn’t trade my life at 32 for my life at 21 for ANYTHING, and I thought I had it good then!) .. Also, was 21 REALLY 11 years ago?? 

A Baby Shower for Kara’s Little Pumpkin

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My cousin Kara, who is also one of my life-long friends (and former co-worker, can you believe my parents hired us to work at the shop at the same time? They must’ve been crazy) is due to have a Christmas-time baby, and Mom & I were very excited to throw a shower for Baby Girl Hoffman. Since the shower was in October, and Kara isn’t a frilly-pink kind of girl, we decided to fixate on pumpkins for a not-officially-themed-but-really-pumpkin-themed shower.

Little Ones to Him Belong

The invite was from Etsy, more on that later, but guys, you should really consider Etsy when you’re buying invites for something. This one was a hit, almost everyone invited mentioned it at one point or another, and my mom (who is Kara’s aunt and should really have SOME emotional distance from this situation) actually cried when she first saw it. Softy.

Pumpkins and PlantsThe shower was at my house, my small house. Large family, small house. There was just enough room for 20 chairs if we scooched the dining room table against the wall and didn’t use the front door. But like I said, we’re a big family. This is far from the first, and nowhere near the last time we’ll be crammed into a space that can barely fit us. We’ve kinda got it down by now.

Pumpkin Baby Shower

No-Pink Baby Girl Shower

Kara's Baby ShowerWe served homemade pumpkin spice latte’s (which is bold, considering Kara is a former Starbuck’s barista) and cider.. And any other edible item that we could work “pumpkin” into. And cheese & fruit, because, so much pumpkin.

Pumpkin Baby Shower

Pumpkin Baby Shower

Kara’s littlest nephew Eliyah was the only boy there, and he got through it by charming the socks off of each one of us. Cutie!

Pumpkin Baby ShowerThe lady of the hour! Kara is on the left, with our cousin Aimee whose little one is due soon after Kara’s. How cute are they!?

Kara's ShowerSo there you have it – a little (lot of) pumpkin to welcome baby Lemon (not her Real Name, just her current name, sorry!) into the world.. We are so excited to meet this precious babe!

Pumpkin Baby Shower

LastOneIPromise

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Ohhhh my gosh, am I seriously still posting stuff from September?? Yes. Yes I am. But here’s the thing. These pics are all from a little camping trip to Wabasis Lake, about a half hour from home, where we celebrated Dad’s birthday a little bit early. It’s a good thing we did, too, because we spent his actual birthday in Grandma’s room singing hymns and watching her slip away from this world. We’re so thankful that we had this happy time first!

Thomas helped decorate the campsite, Mom brought her homemade apple pie, and we had s’mores. (Obviously). It was a happy little party!

Camping at Wabasis

Flower Child

Wabasis  Lake

Wabasis Lake

Mark & Jane

Homemade Apple Pie

Birthday Balloons

Campsite

Vintage Lantern

CamperWe gave Dad a silly little lantern to hang outside the camper because Thomas recently told them that they should have lights outside like other campers do. Dad set up a power cord to plug it in and Thomas & Jane were more than a little spellbound. Until the next s’more was ready.. Fair-weather friends, they are.

And that’s it, guys. September, over and out.

Day After.

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Halloween

Fruit Ninja

Strawberry Jane

Trick or Treaters

Strawberry Jane

T&J Halloween

HalloweenWell it’s the day after, & I can’t stop thinking about that little strawberry. I mean. Little Miss Strawberry, her brother the fruit ninja, and their parents came over to help hand out candy at our house last night, which also drew their grandma like a moth to the flame. Unless you came to see my poncho, Mom? Anyway, it was fun. The ninja didn’t want to deal with a camera in his face & they both coulda cared less about getting a picture together, but did they ever come alive when it was time to dish out candy at the door.

I hope you had a safe & happy Halloween! Josh & I are headed to a black tie dinner tonight (with his boss) and I just yesterday tried on dresses to make sure I had something that was gonna work. Kara, thank you for choosing a classic LBD for us to wear in your wedding.. Five years ago. Because apparently I don’t shop a lot!

Happy Candy-Fueled Friday, everybody!

Carrots. Fennel? Carrots. Carrots.

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In The Garden

Oh, this is a very big pile of carrots.

Growing CarrotsCarrots, right? So, not fennel then?

Back in the spring, Josh’s students planted a bunch of seeds and watered them until summer when they either brought their growing plants home for urban gardens or donated them somewhere else.. Somewhere like our backyard. I never paid much attention to them – they were all labeled and I could recognize some things like daisies and asters, a stray squash, etc..

There were a couple little pods of things that were labeled ‘fennel’ and ‘dill’, & I’ve never grown either of them. In fact I don’t even know what fennel looks like. Still haven’t even googled it. But by golly we were growing it.

Growing CarrotsA couple of weeks ago I went to cut down/tear out the stuff in that garden, and I gave the ‘fennel’ a good tug. Nope, not fennel. Not fennel at all. Those mis-labeled carrots snuck into the yard, survived bunny chomping season, and grew to massive, disturbing proportions. All right under my nose, without me knowing.

Growing CarrotsWell played, giant (not fennel) carrots. Well played.

Chicago!

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Chicago StuffJosh & I spent a few days in Chicago recently.. Somewhat recently.. Okay, in early September.. My apologies to those who follow me on Instagram, this post could be a wee bit repetitive for you.

Josh was in town for work, but per the usual on these trips, I was footloose & fancy free. Basically my time fell into four events (with a little shopping MI Ave on the side): stumbling upon The Renegade Craft Fair, vintage shopping, beaching on Lake Michigan, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Tour.

Renegade Chicago

Vintage Furniture in ChicagoThis vintage shop was amazing. Josh was with me here & we were in big time research mode. Nelson, Wassily, Baughman, Eames, and my favorite, Albini.. All in one room! Doesn’t happen much where we live.. Except in our basement. HA. Kidding. Mostly.

Wicker Park Chicago

Chicago Sights

Downtown Chicago

I took one afternoon & did some business missions for the shop, which was fun.. Ever toured those tiny (somewhat has-been) shops on the upper floors of Jeweler’s Row? They have their own kind of charm and I’m not referring to cheeseball sales reps. It’s like a legit-historical vibe, which I’m obviously pretty into.

Chicago Skyline

Our hotel had a pretty view, a few blocks off Michigan Ave but nothing some walking shoes couldn’t conquer. However I definitely could’ve done without the power blackout at 9 one night while Josh was still in a conference.. Which meant me, alone, in my room, no power, 10th floor, phones not working, you get the drift..

Chicago River Tour

The river tour! Hot, hot, hot! But totally worth it. I’m always game for finding ways to see a lot of a town without having to hoof it on foot the whole way. Even if that makes you the most biggest cliche possible. Well I guess the biggest would be those bright yellow duck tours. But really it’s pretty tourist-y. And highly recommended. I can’t believe we only live three hours away and have never done this before.

Oak Park Beach Chicago

I felt a little more like a “local” the day I walked to the beach for a few hours of September sun. Sorry, Chicago, but you’re on the wrong side of the lake. And it’s super weird to have the sun setting behind you. Do you face the water & have the sun hit your back? Or face the sun & not be able to see the lake? I chose the latter & it felt weird. Also. Not to be a complainer, but the lake was not the cleanest. Chicago, no offense, but you sorta failed my beach experience test. But don’t worry, we love you for lots of other reasons.

Renegade Chicago 021

Chicago Skyline

Lots of other reasons.

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