This hiatus has gone on long enough.
The long pause has concurred with our moving into a new house. It is divine. The kitchen is three times the size of my old one, baby has her own room, and we have a studio space in the back of the house so we can work on music, art, sewing, and computer science. It was hard and tiring moving everything, but I have since forgotten the pain of it all. Also, we have a yard with a fire pit. We can't wait to throw some magical parties. Our landlords are some of the most lovely people I have ever met. They are part of the family of God, and Nathan and I have already learned so much about love and friendship from them.
I am cooking:
Inspired by: This : love her minimalistic style and how she effortlessly displays the beauty of nature & this : such a tangible explanation of homesteading.
Good afternoon lovelies. This morning my wish came true! The sun was out. So much joy! Nathan and I quickly got dressed and ready for a walk. With Claire still in her snuggle bunny jammies we headed out the door. O my goodness! I love our Ergo baby carrier. It is the most fantastic thing ever. Our Bob stroller is also amazing, but I use it for walks along the bike path. The Ergo is good for zipping around town. It was quite a brisk walk! We went downtown to the Kiva. It is my favorite grocery store in Eugene. It smells like hippies and they have cool things like miso and fair trade chocolate and local vegetables. The fresh carrots they sell are like candy. We picked up some coffee and yogurt and granola and a few other things. Then we walked home. It was so nice to have a thirty minute walk to start my day. I love leaving our warm house early and breathing in the cold morning air.
After arriving home I made the best latte I have ever tasted.
Coffee just tastes better when you make it yourself.
The past few weeks have been quite hectic. Nathan and I traveled over to Monmouth to do a house show with our friend Jen. The show was a dream. House shows usually are though. It went much better than I could have ever anticipated, minus the sound system cutting in and out. The house was warm and full. Just like our hearts. The day before Nathan and I were able to take Claire the peach on her first trip to IKEA. She loved it of course. We picked up a nice Brimnes bed frame. Probably one of the reasons I haven't been writing lately, is because our house was completely torn up because of said bed frame. It is just now being reassembled. We were able to visit a long time friend of mine and her husband. I've only ever met Kaisha once in my life and I had never met her husband, so it was an adventure to stay the night at their house and then have a little tour of freezing cold Portland together. We enjoyed a nice breakfast at Fuel on Alberta Street. Banana chocolate chip pancakes? Um...forever yes. Then we drove up to Washington Park. Gorgeous. I had never been to a park in Portland before. I really do love parks, so it was a treat for me. We walked around snapping photos and chatting. It was a wonderful time together. I think Nathan and I may have started another bosom friendship.
Home now. I have been having a rather hard time being home during the day. Claire and I feel so cooped up because of the rain..there is only so much you can do in a one bedroom house. We are both starting to feel the tension. We are so used to walking around town poking in different antique stores. Not in the rain though. Hopefully it will let up tomorrow and we can go for a short walk. If not, we will be inside reading Winnie the Pooh. Tut tut..looks like rain.
The Lord has been showing me how I have been selfish. After having Claire it was hard to think about myself at all...newborns really do take a lot of time, and I was enjoying giving all that time to her. Lately, the Lord has been calling me out on some selfish things. Maybe it is because she is getting older, and it is getting somewhat easier to care for her, but I find that in all my free time my thinking always goes to myself. I am glad that Lord has brought this up, because frankly I really hate the feeling that creeps inside when everything is mememememe. It isn't peaceful, or lovely, or enjoyable. Today when I was staring at myself in the mirror I looked over at my daughter who was eyeing me, and I thought, 'o my gosh. What am I doing?'. I don't want my daughter to know me as a woman who scrutinizes herself in the mirror. The one who is worried about the jeans that don't fit right, the hair that is too thin, and the shoulders that aren't the nicest. That is not the woman I want my daughter to be. Our children are going to grow up and imitate us. I want my baby to see me doing lovely things like making our house beautiful. Creating things for her to play with. Writing verses of encouragement on our walls. Going on walks. Exploring. Making. Breathing. Living. but not wishing she could be someone else. Mothers, your daughters will become you. Fathers, your sons will become you.
Don't waste your time starring into the glass.
'Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. ' -proverbs 31:30,31
Sometimes being a mother is luxurious. Like right now, I am drinking a glass of wine in a silky robe. I feel like an adult. My whole life I've felt 15. Even when I was 7. Even when I was 20. Tonight I feel my age though. 23. It is a nice age. I will take it.
I said a while back that I would share some of my beauty routine. The best thing you could ever have in your bathroom is sweet almond oil. The stuff is amazing. Smells fantastic and does WONDERS for your skin. When I was pregnant I rubbed it all over my growing belly. It might be genetics, but I say it was the oil..no stretch marks. I wash my face, condition my hair, and hydrate dry skin with it. Sweet almond is a carrier oil that is extracted from the sweet almond nut. It has a pale yellow color and has a high percentage of Vitamin A, B1, B2, and B6. It has mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids that are also essential for the body to function. It also contains Vitamin E, which nourishes the skin. By far my favorite thing to use it for is an oil cleanse. Here is how you do it:
The Oil Cleansing Method. 1. Pour a quarter size amount of almond oil into the palm of your hand(enough to cover your face). 2. Begin to massage into you skin, starting with the forehead and moving downward(no need to wash your face before!). Massage for 5 minutes. 3. After you massage all the oil into your face, take a washcloth soaked in warm water and cover your face with it and let the steam work its magic for 1 minute. Warmth will open up your pores and remove excess oil and cleansing residue. 4. GENTLY wipe away excess oil from your face. Rinse out your washcloth and repeat until all the residue is gone. This will take a minute. 5. If your face is dry afterwards(mine usually is not), you can moisturize with a tad bit of oil.
I do this 2-3 times a week. It does wonders for your skin! This works for all skin types.
Over the years I have had trouble with acne, and this method has been the best remedy for my over dried skin. After years of testing out different products that might heal my face, I have found that a clean diet and pure natural ingredients are the things that heal our skin. Be careful what you put on your face. We all want results fast, but our skin needs time to heal. Don't buy into products that promise fast or overnight results. Maybe all you need is a small bottle of oil.
The most special nights with Claire are the ones that I sing her to sleep. We lay lazily on the bed and I strum the ukulele and put together odd words. She can't understand me quite yet, so I figure I have a few more months before I have to start singing songs that make sense. She lays there with one hand in her mouth and the other fingering the pegs on the uke. As she drifts off, I quietly slip out of the room to contemplate my day. My daughter is the sweetest bird of them all.
I am a moments girl. I love special moments. I cherish moments. I do not want to portray a fake life on this blog of mine. Everything you read actually happens. I strive to be as honest as I can when I share things about my little family. Over the past few years of reading blogs of all different genres, I have found one commonality. We all want to make our lives out to be perfection, and even if we don't think we do that, we do. We all fall into the prideful make believe of an unrealistic life. Our pictures are well thought out and executed. There is nothing wrong with that..but if the heart behind it it to make others want to drool over what we did today, then there is something amiss. I want to share pictures of my life, because they are true. And if you for some reason start to covet the way I am living, stop coveting and just start living. I will share every secret to how I run my house if you would like, and really, sometimes it is not so great, other times it is. Remember, you are you and I am me. We should desire to live beautiful functional lives. Don't covet though. Share life with me.
Every week I will be sharing a 'moments' post. I would love to hear of your special moments in life. Please share in the comments box and we can enjoy life together.
9 You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. 10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. 11 You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
There is a sleeping baby in the other room. I love hearing her little sighs now and again. My hair all twisted up around my head. My love is off teaching some classes. And I have time. Time to sit and wonder and muse and come up with good ideas. No time to worry and fret and cry over things that didn't go well today. My husband pulled a book out of our shelf this morning for me to read. Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman. I kind of love the book. Published in 1977 and the woman who wrote it, o my goodness she is load of fun. She has told me multiple times in it that she loves me..and I am beginning to think that I love her too. It has a cheesy cover and the back of the book is graced with a photo of Mrs.Annie Ortland herself, big hair and winning smile. I mostly like the book though, because it reminded me that I love Jesus. I just love Him so much. I love how He has changed my life, how he has changed my husband's life, how He has completely adjusted how we think and go about living. I love how He is just always there to listen. Always. I love how He smushed so many different kinds of people together to make His beautiful Bride the Church. I love His mystery.
That is all.
And I just want you to know that I love you so much. Everyone that reads this blog. I am so grateful for you.
Last night I got a little upset. Mostly because I was tired and my bebe woke up five times the night before, and was up cooing at 6:30 in the early a.m. My husband so graciously brought me a dirty chai and a blueberry muffin home before he headed to his one of many interviews he has had this week. The man is a saint. Really, in Christ he is. Last night the tiredness and all the 'tearies'(as I call Claire's little cries) caught up with me. And I was mean and selfish, and my husband defensive..really we were just tired. After I put Claire down for bed, we made up and watched half of the documentary called 'Father of Lights'. I was convicted. The film is brilliant and sort of unbelievable, but isn't that what God is? Brilliant and unbelievable? He does all of these mysterious things all the time. And that is what I was convicted about. I don't ask God what He wants me to do this day or that day. I usually just go about my days how I want. Here was this man though who spoke with God. He walked down the roads that God told him too, he looked for the people that the Lord showed him in dreams, and then the story flowed to another couple who's lives had been changed by God. The husband had been a vice president of a bank. A lovely wife, three kids, a nice house..a lovely life. The Lord did something in their hearts one night though. They sold everything they had, packed a few suitcases with some clothing, and got on a plane to China. Without any plans. They lived in a hotel for three days and then moved into a shabby apartment with raw sewage...and the wife began to speak. She spoke about how up until that point everything was really exciting and she didn't mind giving everything she had away, but when she saw the faces of her children as they walked into the apartment she thought 'am I a bad mother? Why would I do this to my children?'.
And I realized..this is the issue in my heart.
I have so many ideas and so many guidelines I've made. I have the perfect life in my head. I want my daughter to grow up in a nice house with nice friends and loving parents. I want everything to fold out smoothly with no bumps and bruises. I was convicted. I have all of these plans in my heart that I know aren't the Lord's plan for my life. These need to go. It is a wonderful things to hope for and cultivate a life that is beautiful, but to plan a life that is too rigid to let the Holy Spirit move, that is wrong. I am the woman who cares what you think about me. I am the mother that wonders if I am doing the right thing for my child. I am the woman with so much pride in her it is disgusting. I am the woman who is so controlling that I hold onto fragile things too tightly.
So, Jesus take it out.
I do not want to worry about what you think of me...especially if I am walking in the Spirit. If God says to do it, then we must do it. He ultimately is the one who is going to take care of our children. He is the one who holds their hearts closer than we ever could. He is their Creator, the one who takes care of the sparrows and knows the number of hairs on our heads. We need to trust Him just like faithful Abraham did. He almost murdered his only son. Do I trust God enough to do something like that? Certainly not.
I guess this is sort of a confession. A confession and an encouragement.
Search out the plans of The Lord.
Men and women, leave your plans on the road. Eternity will be far better then anything we could ever have made up.
Love The Lord.
Love your spouse.
Love your children.
Walk in the light.
I am a free woman. No one can take that away from me.
I've been inspired in the kitchen this past month. Trying my hand at artisan breads, fermenting things, and soaking every bean and grain i can get my hands onto. Did you know just 1 lb. of dried beans can make you 5 cups of ready to eat deliciousness? I've been cooking beans and stocking up my freezer. You save like 1 million dollars doing this..you should try it. Another thing I am experimenting with is making cream cheese. It's on my counter now and this afternoon it goes into the cheesecloth. I will post pictures and the recipe so you can do it yourself. All of this being said, I feel super efficient and self-sufficient. We have freedom and access to really good nutritious foods. We also have the ability to utilize these foods, and we can do it without factories and plastic packaging and things that can harm us. It is not hard to cook your own beans or make your own cheese, and just with a little practice you can make your own bread...it is ridiculously easy! Be conscious of what you put in your body, how it is prepared, and where it came from. My world of food has been opened up by just a few simple ingredients and techniques. The same can happen for you if you just jump out of your comfort zone of russet potatoes and Romain lettuce. Nothing against those two foods, but try some sweet potatoes and kale. You might like them. There is such a fantastic world of food and nutrition!
That being said. When there is something creative going on in my kitchen I feel like a champion of mothers. What makes you feel like a champion mom?
O my goodness.
The rain. The sky just let loose. It has been doing that for the past 5 days now. Claire the Peach and I have been forced to stay indoors. We like it though. The little bebe and I have been keeping busy. We read books, I drink tea, she stares out the window waiting for squirrels to rush past, I make soup, we listen to classical music all day long. It is fun. She is asleep now. Poor thing has a cold. Every time she sniffs I wince. I cannot understand how such a small human being can have so much snot up her little nose.
There is something magical about being a mama. Don't get me wrong...life is magical in general; but being a mother. That is something really special.
I love seeing her brief little smiles and hearing her little gurgles as she tries to communicate things to me. Yesterday she started doing the hands in the air 'please pick me up' move. It is pretty adorable. SHE is adorable. Life feels so complete with her. She is filled full of life and it helps me during my weary days. The gift of little ones is so precious. She and my husband inspire me every day. Every nook and cranny of my life is invaded by the two of them and I love it. Every minute is special. We so often forget this, and contrive things that are not really important. I don't want to do that anymore.
I want to sit with my daughter when she plays. I want to be there WITH her. It is so important that we sit with our children. Isn't it the greatest Father who does this with us? He sits with us, even when we don't pay any attention to Him. We are His children! Lord help me to be more like you. Help us to be more like you.
Yesterday I was texting my Bellis. It was her first day of her new school. She was telling me how so many people in her school are looking for recognition. They all want to be seen and heard. Then she told me she just wants to sit in the corner of a coffee shop doing her french homework and drinking her latte. It isn't about how shiny we can get our hair or how smart we seem on paper. Humility, and walking justly, and loving mercy. Christ in us. Do not forget that Christ is in you. The living Christ. That is what life is all about.
This is a reminder to all of you. Enjoy the littlest moments. It is those moments that quiet our souls and make us able to hear our Father. Which is the most mysterious thing of all.
Some lavender body butter making is going on in the kitchen now. I'll post the recipe once I'm done. My husband is in the midst of an hour and a half long interview as I write and you read. Bebe is sleeping soundly. O she loves her nap time. So does her mama.
Here is a smushed up version of what I have been up to.
We had a fabulous weekend. My sister Bellis and my friend Jen came to visit. We hadn't seen Bell for a month and it was exciting to hear about everything going on in her new hometown. She also brought the cutest pink chair you may ever see for Clairethepeach. It's tiny and pretty much amazing. I hadn't seen Jen for an entire year because she has been traveling all over the world! She missed my wedding, which was super sad, but she was having too much fun running around China and Argentina and a bunch of other places. I was super glad she got to meet bebe. <3
We ran around town while my husband filmed a documentary for Wholesome Family Farms. Which, by the way, provides the most amazing raw dairy to the locals around Eugene. Raw milk is good for your gut and a bunch of other things. Also...I can't drink conventional milk. It really messes with my body..raw milk though..it's a dream. Support a local farmer with some raw milk love. More on that later though....
I taught myself how to make artisan bread. I also made my own sourdough starter. I felt like a superhero or something with that fermenting thing on my counter. Sometimes the things we think are the hardest turn out to be the easiest. Basically you put flour and water in a bowl and let it sit on the counter for 5 days. Ridiculous. Also, did you know some sourdough starters are over 100 years old? Maybe your great grandma was one of those women to decide to let flour and water sit on the counter for a bit. Common..there is something pretty romantic about a 100 year old sour starter. (;
Mrs.Meyers has the best hand soap ever..I practically want to ingest the honeysuckle scented kind.
I've also been getting my latte art on in the mornings with higher ground coffee company. Need a portable barista? Call us.
This week I'll be posting some beauty regiments of mine. I've been slowly and gradually wading into the huge pool of natural beauty and health...what do Apple cider, rose scented soap, and almond oil all have in common? You will find out!