Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Ugly Beautiful

Our blog is two years old! (Happy birthday!) It's been lots of fun writing on here, and I recently enjoyed scrolling through some of my older posts. So many fun memories. 

I tend to write about things that are lovely. Mostly because no one wants to read about the fact that I've got three loads of laundry that need folding and a Mt. Everest of ironing waiting for me after that; but also because I believe that perspective is everything when it comes to contentment. 

Today has been one of my less-productive days. I was feeling unmotivated, uninspired, and all around un-lovely. Bombarded by undone chores, toys scattered about the floor, and enough crumbs under the high-chair to feed an entire family of mice, I was moving through the day on auto-pilot. After laying Asher down for his nap, I heard the baby squawking in the kitchen. Hmm... that's odd. Asher's in bed, what could POSSIBLY be pestering him?

Ahh. He was stuck in the laundry basket. (haha!) Clearly distressed, I walked over to him, gave him a pat on the back, a toy, and a pacifier. He was happy for a minute and just so precious that I grabbed the camera and took a picture.

Oh my. I couldn't possibly post this online. Look at the kitchen! Yikes!

The ironing board mounded with the remains of a yet-to-be-finished project, the cupboard still open from a hasty glass-grabbing-effort to set the table last minute, the countertop overflowing with dirty dishes, and enough safety hazards (i.e. toys) tossed about the floor to give our local OSHA worker a heart attack. And that's just in the background!
How embarrassing.

But then I got to thinking. This is my life! I try to keep my house clean and orderly, but goodness gracious, I have two very little boys who do their very best to make their Mama work hard to keep up, and sometimes this happens! Stuff. Out of place. Everywhere. And you know what? It's wonderful.

Why is there stuff everywhere? 
Because of God's blessings. 

mmm-hmmm... studying in the mess. This man is amazing.

They're rambunctious rascals, but they're blessings in abundance. The mess is the reminder.
It's ugly, but beautiful, all at the same time.

Don't blink... or this happens.

I recently read a book (One Thousand Gifts)* where the author talks about the ugly-beautiful, those little things in life that are unpleasant at first glance, but upon changing your perspective become beautiful reminders of the lovely around you.

Am I really complaining that there is stuff out of place all over the house? I have stuff. I have a house. And I have two precious sons that mess it up.

Thanks be to God!

If you looked up "trouble" in the dictionary...

So, today the Lord used a one-year-old fussing in a laundry basket to remind me to rejoice in the ugly-beautiful. I love the mess, because I love the mess-makers so, so very much!


(And now, off to make the ugly-beautiful lovely once again! I love my life!)

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*I highly recommend the book One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. It will change your life and open your eyes to the little kindnesses God blesses His children with every day! Her writing style is what I would call poetic, maybe a bit more poetic than my pea-sized mommy-brain can process, but it's a quick and easy read, gripping, and beautifully pieced. It's her journey toward ultimate contentment and thanksgiving in the everyday mundane. Guaranteed to bless you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My little garden

Isn't she cute?

Her name is Zinnia, and I can't wait to see her all grown up.
Asher and I tucked the little seed she used to be into the dirt a mere few days ago. 

My, how they grow so fast...

And she's not the only one. She's joined by friends on the windowsill, a little nursery.

One day, when she grows, we will move her into a bigger room, with more space to play.

(Although I confess, not that much space!)

We have a very small back yard. Let's call it a back-nook. But we're making it work.

I've been developing a potted vegetable and herb garden, and it's been lots of fun.

There's nothing like digging your hands down in soft soil under the warm Spring sun.

Of course I have helpers...

Proudly sporting the sticker I pulled off the side of a new pot.

I made them a sandbox-on-a-budget to hopefully deter little hands from digging in the wrong dirt...

If my plants survive the rambunctious toddler and curious one-year-old, it will truly be a wonder!

In our tiny garden I've managed to plant tomatoes (three varieties), red bell peppers, peas, sweet peas, arugula,  strawberries, basil, mint, chives, parsley, lavender, marigolds (which supposedly offer pest resistance), and a sprinkling of other flowers to make me smile.

Flowers always make me smile.

Especially ones from Hubby...

I love you, Hubby. xo

It's really such fun watching seeds grow in our garden. Asher has enjoyed watching the plantings sprout out of thin air.

It's magic, and it's happening in our very own yard.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Dogwoods are Blooming...

The dogwoods are blooming, 
so of course we went out to see them...

And couldn't help bringing a few of them home...

Since I only had a couple small, short branch ends, I stuck them in my tiny glass vase.

hmmm... blah.


I love it. It's gracing my dine-in kitchen, and makes me smile every time I walk in.
And that's not the only thing making me smile...

Ahh, sweet lilacs. I love you.
I could just kiss them...

And them...

And especially him...

mmm... happy life.

xo xo xo

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A party in McGregor's Garden


It started with these invites...

Me and my boys: 

The table turned out lovely, despite getting into town much later than anticipated!
We partied at a park, and the weather was absolutely perfect.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Very Good Friday

My tulips, wearing white for Easter weekend.

Today is Good Friday. The day we remember that greatest sacrifice, that act of love, which worked to save the souls of God’s fallen children from their sins. Today the Word, God made flesh, died. He gave Himself up to death to give us life. 

I am reminded of the words written by Isaac Watts,

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

On this Good Friday we truly feel the sorrow and love mingle.

Today is our sweet Grayson Wayne’s birthday.

On this day set aside to look back and remember the death of Christ, we look back and remember the sound of our son’s first breath of life. Good Friday is rightly an opportunity to allow the gravity of what Christ gave to us on the cross sink in and move us to tears. But in that death was a victory. That death overcame death. It gave life eternal.

Martin Luther wrote,

It was a strange and dreadful strife when Life and Death contended;
The victory remained with Life, the reign of Death was ended;
Holy Scripture plainly saith that Death is swallowed up by Death,
His sting is lost forever. Hallelujah!

We rejoice in the year of life God has given our baby Gray. What a blessing he has been! He crawls around at breakneck speeds, grunting and laughing all the way. His smile is scattered with the oddest arrangement of baby teeth you’ve ever seen, and he eats as much as a grown adult (and will let you know if you’re not feeding him fast enough with a rather loud exclamation point!). He wants to play with whatever his brother is playing with, is very good at sneaking up the stairs, cries when his daddy leaves for school, and is generous with his big, open-mouth, slobbery kisses. I can’t help but smile just thinking about him! We’re looking forward to seeing what is to come in the following years! We’ve so enjoyed getting to know this little bundle of boy.

My little climber!

God has certainly blessed us with this little life. We are truly thankful.

Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done, in Whom the world rejoices;
Who, from our mother’s arms, hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

A birthday bath

Happy Birthday, our precious Grayson!
And grace and peace to you all on this Good Friday. 

* * *

 Here are some pictures of the little party we threw for Gray tonight...

Bunny and carrots made by Mama!

Happy Birthday to you!