Thursday, September 25, 2014

What Is Brave?

I've read some good books lately.  The kind that just really stick with you.  That you keep thinking about days after you read the last page.  My husband knows Shauna, Rebekah, & Annie because I talk about them like they're my friends.  (And I really think we would be friends if I knew them in real life.)

Right now I'm reading Let's All Be Brave.  And it is just one of those books that I'm going to keep thinking about.  That's something I love about a book.  It isn't just a mass of pages or words you read on a kindle screen.  It's more than a physical item.  It's something that becomes a part of you.  It changes who you are & plays a role in your story.

I don't guess I really thought much about bravery.  But now, I'm seeing it everywhere.  And maybe most importantly, I'm seeing it in myself.  I've never thought I was a brave person.  And I still don't really think that.  But I can look at my life now & see little moments of bravery.  Moments I'm proud of.  Moments when I made the right decision even when it was hard.  Even when it was scary.

I see this when I chose a college where none of my friends were going.  When I joined a sorority even though it was really out of character for me.  I see this when, after college, I moved to a city where I knew one person, for a job that was nothing like what I wanted.  But that proved to be just where I needed to be.  When we moved to California, we left all our family, all our friends, everything that was familiar.  And I think that was brave.  Six months after we were married.  When everything was still new.  And that was a good decision.

Most recently, I've seen this with our shop.  Before I talked to Rachel about this big idea (that just keeps on growing), Grayson told me he thought I should do it.  He spoke bravery to me.  When we tell someone else "you can do it," we instill a little bit of bravery in them.  When we hit "publish" on that first item, not knowing if we would even sell a single thing, that was brave.  Every time we advertise by reaching out to a blogger whose name people know, that is brave.  Every time we try something new that we've never done before, that's brave.  And I'm proud of us for that.

I want to keep taking the brave steps.  I want to dream big dreams & follow where those take me.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Few Fall Favorites

one | We have several new prints available in the shop, & more coming soon!  With Christmas around the corner, now is a great time to start thinking ahead & ordering prints (including custom prints...tell us what you want!) for your family & friends!

{Let Me Be Singing}

{Travel the World With Me}

{Psalm 107 | Give Thanks}
two | Fall is my favorite time of year.  Especially living where we do...there are so many great places to hike & explore, & that's much more enjoyable with the cooler temperatures (that we're just now starting to see...come on, cool weather!).

three | This.  The cutest little will-you-be-my-bridesmaid gift ever.  April 18, 2015 will be here before we know it!

{P.S. You can find Rachel's perfect Amazing Grace print here.}

four | Have you listened to the Influence Podcast yet?  They've had 3 episodes, & all 3 were great. I love podcasts, & this is my favorite yet.  Any recommendations of ones you love?

five | And of course, fall nail polish.  I got this & this yesterday & am in love.

Now, if we can just get those cool temperatures here to stay so boots, leggings, & scarves can be regular occurrences, I can fully embrace fall!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dancing Through Life

Well, it finally happened.

I got this guy to a musical.

The truth is, he purchased tickets on his own, without me reminding him too much, & I was really proud.

Grayson doesn't like musicals.  Or didn't.  But he promised me a long time ago that whenever Wicked came close to us, we would go.  So monthssss ago when I saw it was coming to San Jose & San Francisco, I started bugging him about it. 

I'm quite pleased to say that I caught him laughing out loud multiple times during the show, & he was even singing the songs when we left, and asked to watch Wizard of Oz this week.

I'm calling this a great success.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Bread & Wine Project: Peach Crisp

I love the Bread & Wine Project linkup that Rachel of Oh Simple Thoughts started over the summer.  

Oh Simple Thoughts

So many of us have read Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist now, but it's a book that lasts much longer than its 200-some pages.  It sticks with you, as any good book does.

I've written about it before, & probably will mention it again & again.  Bread & Wine is more than recipes.  It's about fostering community within our homes.  This wasn't something that I would ever have thought I would have a problem with, but I've come to realize that I do.

I want my home to be the place that people can drop by unannounced.  I want to feel comfortable serving other people, whether it's a well-thought out meal, or frozen pizza at the last minute.  I want the importance of the community formed around the table to far outweigh my insecurities about what is on the table.  Or what is on the walls or how clean the floor is, or anything else, for that matter.

A home is supposed to be a respite, a place of refuge, a shelter from the world.  But it is not supposed to be a cave that you hole yourself up in & don't allow others to be a part of.  It's so easy to shrink back & think that our homes are "just for us."

After reading the book, I started to feel very convicted about this.  We had people over more often before we moved to California, but since being here, only our families had ever been to our house.  We lived in a small apartment that we had had to pick over the internet before we moved cross-country.  I had to park a long way away, & guests would have to park on the streets.  The gate for guests to come in didn't work, so we'd always have to go meet people at the street to let them in.  The reasons excuses could go on & on.

Before I even finished the book, I'd invited some friends over for dinner.  Holing ourselves up, even unintentionally, just wasn't going to work anymore.

This is something I'll continue to struggle with.  As long as we're living in California, we will be in small places because I don't see the cost of living here changing for the better anytime in the near future.  There will always be projects that aren't complete, quirks and imperfections in our home, and decor that is lacking.  Even when we eventually move back to Georgia & buy a house, it will not look like the dream homes I pin on Pinterest.  But that's not what a home is about anyway.

For now, we took the first step.  We invited people in.  And we'll do it again & again.

I need to hang this print that Rachel made up in my kitchen as a reminder.  I have a home & the ability to serve others, & that is more than enough.  

The pictures above are a modified Peach Crisp from the Blueberry Crisp recipe found in Bread & Wine.  I've made it several times now (making it today with peaches & raspberries!) & it's become a new favorite.  It's good as a dessert, but isn't super sweet so I'll eat it for breakfast too!

4 cups of almost any fruit

Crisp topping:
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup pecans, halved or chopped
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together crisp ingredients.  Pour the berries into an 8 by 8 pan, and then layer the crisp topping over it.  Bake at 350 degrees 35 to 40 minutes, or up to 10 minutes longer if topping and fruit are frozen, until fruit is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Catching Up

The last several weeks have been really busy (see #2), so I'm playing catch up!  So three little BIG things that have been going on lately:

O N E  //  My most favorite thing.  Labor Day weekend, my brother finally asked this girl to marry him!  Can't wait to officially have her as part of the family.  Read Rachel's perfect blog post about it here.

T W O // Grayson's parents got to come visit us last week...we made the most of the trip with one weekend in Lake Tahoe & one driving up the northern Cali coast.

T H R E E // Our new fall line is officially out & we're loving shipping new (& old!) prints out to customers!  Check it out here

1 Thessalonians 5:24 | Faithful
Oceans | 3 Print Bundle
Tune My Heart

P.S. If you're interested in any custom orders for Christmas, now would be a good time to talk to us about that!  I know several people have mentioned doing custom orders for gifts for their Bible study groups & I think that's a great idea!  If you're interested, you can send a message through Etsy, or email us!