Whew, what a whirlwind week it has been! Emily and Hays came to visit last Friday and left on Monday in time for some dear friends to arrive from Florida and stay for a few days. Both visits were just so much fun and good for my soul. So that explains the lack of blogging this week but sense I finished up Brandon and Jillian’s wedding pictures yesterday I could not pass up sharing a few on a Friday Favorites post.
This wedding was beautiful. To be honest, when I heard the color scheme was going to be shades of pink I immediately thought soft and princessy but I should have known better for two reasons.
Firstly, the bride is the daughter of one of my oldest friends who has impeccable taste and she raised her girls to have the same. Secondly, the event was being coordinated by the ever so talented Soiree By AJ, also a friend and Em’s wedding coordinator.
If it was a wedding fit for a princess then it was more along the lines of Princess Kate and not a Disney character. It was elegant with just the right amount of glamor from touches of gold.
All of the girls had cute matching pajamas to wear while getting ready and they just looked lovely from start to finish. They also had a fantastic playlist going most of the morning too.
The guys don’t have nearly as much fun getting ready as the girls. Or do they? Somebody was having a good time.
The ceremony itself was beautiful and the singing joyful. I really had a hard time narrowing down some pictures because of the sweet way the groom was looking at his bride during the service. And have you ever seen a cuter ring bearer or flower girls?
Afterwards the party was awesome! There was dancing, dancing, and more dancing.
Brandon and Jillian, your family and friends celebrated you well and with much love and happiness. May the Lord bless your marriage as you establish your family and home in His name and for His glory.
I love being in the kitchen. It gives me great happiness and satisfaction cooking and baking for my people. There are things about this kitchen that we will eventually update (I’m looking at you 1990’s tile countertops) but one thing I love is the west facing window over my kitchen sink that gets the most lovely light in the afternoons.
I also love my big kitchen towels I found at Target a few years ago, too. And apparently the dogs liked them as well and they had a grand ole time playing tug-of-war with one. Sad, I know.
But the good news is that I had to replace it and wouldn’t you know it, Target not only still had them but also in some new colors. They’re part of the Hearth and Hand With Magnolia collection. I am not a brand specific person, I like things that are well made, affordable, and do what they’re made to do, but I will say I haven’t bought any other kitchen towels since I found these.
I also found some napkins at Target because wouldn’t you know it, when the pups realized how much fun kitchen towels are they had to give napkins a whirl! We’ve had the majority of our cloth napkins for at least a decade but my favorites were some Pioneer Woman sets I got a few years ago. I liked the colors and they had the right texture to them. The way a napkin feels is the deal breaker around here so I am always on the lookout anyways but after the kitchen linen olympics with the dogs it has become more of a priority. I loved the color and subtle pattern to these sets, also done by Hearth and Hand, that come in packages of four. They also have some solid colors but I was drawn to these because they seemed so summery without being obnoxious.
I’m really excited about this next Friday favorite because it’s a book! A cookbook to be exact. I have been wanting to make a sourdough starter for a long while but the two times I attempted it I questioned what I saw and smelt happening and ditched the efforts. I have friends that tried it years ago and ended up basically giving themselves food poisoning and they are accomplished cooks and bakers so I am treading lightly with this kitchen adventure.
However, in our farm quest Rob came across a youtube channel and sent me a link to a few things knowing I would like it. The Prairie Homestead is just a well done online space for all things farming and homesteading. What I have found so engaging about their website is how easy it is to follow and understand…they present things in a way that makes you feel like they are just like you; and that you can do what they do. They seem normal, not like polished professionals and I mean that in the best possible way.
One of her videos was a tutorial on sourdough starter and I loved watching it. Next thing you know, her cookbook landed in Rob’s Amazon cart and then it arrived on my doorstep. It’s like magic, y’all 😉
I can’t wait to get back from Florida next week and start my starter! I will keep y’all posted on what I am sure will be my success. (Said totally tongue in cheek…I fully expect some bloopers because that’s the way I seem to roll.)
The last item on my list to share with you today is the reason my blog will never hit the big leagues, friends. Because y’all are going to love this dish and somebody is going to wonder where I got it, how much I paid for it, and how big is it. And I can only answer the first two questions.
TJ Maxx and $12.99
If you pushed me I might would say it’s a two quarter but honestly that is information I never paid any attention to. But isn’t it so pretty? Microwave, oven and dishwasher safe too! But sadly, not driveway safe. I had a companion dish that was oval shaped that met its demise, along with the English peas it was carrying, on our driveway one Sunday morning as we headed to church.
So there you go, friends, a few of my favorite things in the kitchen right now. What are some of yours?
I take a lot of pictures. To be fair, I don’t take nearly as many right now as I have in the past but it’s still a lot of photos. It’s the glory of digital I guess. I can take all of the random shots because it doesn’t cost me anything to do so.
And it works out because I sometimes capture some shots that I really just enjoy for no other reason than they’re pretty. So here are a few of my most recent images taken in June that I happen to like well enough to share.
I found these really lovely wildflowers at Holly Beach and brought some home to enjoy. They did not disappoint.
And then of course I got super excited to see the sprouts popping up in the flowerbed! I shared a couple on Wednesday but saved these two for today’s post because I was so pleased with them.
I love the graceful curve of this one with the stem just about to unfold. If I were a sculptor I think I would recreate this one.
This one is a favorite because I love how the seed casing is visible, even if just barely hanging on.
But last night. Y’all the sky was simply amazing! Rob and I were outside throwing balls to the puppies and I happened to glance over my shoulder and literally gasped out loud.
The sky had caught fire behind us and it was a glorious sight to behold.
Then I turned back around and was completely stunned by the most massive full rainbow I think I have ever seen in my whole life.
What an amazing God we have. I know people can use science to explain the whys and hows we get skies like this, and that’s fine. But that only points me to the fact that He designed things to work that way so that for no other reason we get to stand under a sky such as that. I mean, doesn’t that blow your mind just a little?
Have a good weekend, y’all!
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. ~ II Corinthians 9:8
We were sitting at our kitchen table with some sweet friends we haven’t seen in literally years; just talking about the world and life and how crazy things seem. And Rob said something so profound I wish I had been able to record it so that I wouldn’t muck up repeating it. Basically the setup for his remark was this…the crazier the world seems, the more ridiculous and outlandish their agenda, the more illogical the realities they push are, the more reason we believers have to rejoice. We don’t need to feel overwhelmed by their anxiety inducing judgements, press conferences or theatrics. Do you know why?
Particularly the very end ~ the way of the wicked will perish.
Not that the wicked will perish, although we know eventually they will be cast out into utter darkness, but that their way will perish. All of the shenanigans will be fruitless and they cannot be sustained. Ultimately it will collapse. If that alone is not enough reason to hope I don’t know what is. As someone I know is fond of saying, “Lord have mercy. Church have courage.”
On Monday I handed my love his morning cup of coffee and apologized for practically coming completely undone the night before when some chopped tomatoes I was trying to clean up missed the bag and fell all over the floor. I was just so tired and it felt as if I had been in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning it, for days. Obviously the next morning after a good night’s sleep I could see how silly my reaction was but in the moment I felt utterly defeated by a fruit that disguises itself as veggie.
Later that morning I was reading something a friend had written about the times she is asked to thrive in what she considers not enough environments and it just resonated. Sometimes we may feel like we just can’t catch a break or the busy season seems to have sat down and made itself at home and things will never slow down. There aren’t enough hours in the day…we need some time alone…we need peace and quiet…we whatever it is we think we need to feel refreshed or restored.
The truth she shared is a truth we must all grapple with. Sometimes there is no relief in the dessert or immediate way out of a desolate place. But God still calls us to thrive, to turn to Him, to trust and keep on keeping on with whatever He has given our hand to do. She ended her post by saying, “…I can taste and see that the Good Life to which we are called, and that we are given, is not the same as “living our best life now.” The Good Life in and with Jesus always takes a cruciform shape. You before me, down before up, them before us. But it always leads to real and lasting life.”
I was so encouraged by that.
We may still be noodling on a name for the farm but we are busy working already! Seeds have been ordered and delivered and we have started building the two flower beds we will begin with. One is completely finished as of today and the lumber is ready for the second.
Rob is doing the majority of the heavy lifting as far as planning out and cutting the landscape timbers for the beds but we are all working to do our share in assembling them. Sam and Claire are part of the work crew and doing a fine job.
These pictures can give you an idea of the scale of our beds. They look huge but I can’t wait to fill them up with flowers! One will have three varieties of sunflowers and the other will have an assortment of cut flower favorites like zinnias, cosmos, and strawflowers, etc. We are planting a little later than is the norm but our growing zone has a fairly long growing season and according to my research and frostdate.com we are still within an acceptable planting time frame.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little nervous about our endeavor. I have a nightmare where for some reason nothing I plant actually grows and all of the work and money and effort is for naught. But Rob reminds of the wisdom of our friend Ron who says the seed goes into the ground, you give it some water and light and it is going to grow. It’s how God designed it to work so trust that it will.
I also came across a few quotes this week that speak well to our situation: In creating, the only hard thing is to begin; a grass-blade is no easier than an oak. –James Russell Lowell
“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain common work as it comes certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.” Robert Louis Stevenson
I took a drone shot the other day after we started laying out for the first bed. The picture is cool but kinda unreal looking in a sort of funky way.
I plan to chronicle our efforts as we go along and invite you to follow along and join us as we exercise some dominion over our little green square here in Louisiana! I’m thinking as we add in animals it’s going to be a mashup of Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies in reverse 😉
The last two weeks have been full, y’all! Monday a week ago a sweet family from Friday came into to town for a visit, which was delightful, and they left on Thursday. On Friday Sarah and Devon came into town for the long weekend; we haven’t seen them since the engagement and it was so good to have them here! Her ring looked pretty in the facetime call we shared after he proposed but it is so beautiful in person.
Hays is going to do their official engagement pictures next month but they let me do some silly fun ones while they were here.
Some of you might remember the color bomb session Sarah did with two of her nursing school buddies when they graduated. We used powdered tempera paint for that and the colors were fabulous! The only thing we could find (totally our fault since it was a spur of the moment shoot) was an actual color bomb set from Hobby Lobby. The color was not as vibrant but Sarah and Devon still had fun!
And messy. They got a little messy.
The way he stalked her across the field was funny. You can tell from the tilt of her head she was trying to talk him out of it.
You can also tell she knew she wasn’t going to be very successful.
In the end it was hard to say who won the colorfest but it is safe to say these two are quite happy together. And we couldn’t be happier for them.
Because we were just messing around I asked Rob to use the drone and we caught a few cute pictures with a bird’s eye view. I still have a steep learning curve with it but I am enjoying it!
This week we had another overnight visit with some friends from Florida. It was so good to see them! It is amazing how much children can grow and change in six months. This afternoon Emily and Hays are coming to stay the weekend with us. I love the times when we are all together but that is harder to make happen with grown children with jobs and responsibilities so I will be grateful for weekends and little getaways whenever they can make it happen.
Have a happy weekend, y’all! We will be celebrating Pentecost with a Cochon de lait at church. (Ko shawn de lay is cajun for pig roast.) We plan to feast and fellowship bigly. Come on and join us!
I have been reading books or facebook posts or blogs recently that have been full of good words, wit, and wisdom. Today, I am going to share a few with you and I hope you get a laugh out of the funny ones, spend some time contemplating the ones that make you think. If a source is available I will share it otherwise let’s just appreciate that somebody somewhere had something interesting to say 🙂
You can’t have a filet mignon lifestyle with a hot dog work ethic.
The limits of our capacity to imagine are not the limits of God’s capacity to work. ~ P. Andrew Sandlin (Can I get a greatful amen?)
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” ―Will Rogers
“Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink into despair; and Jesus Christ comes and says— “[…] that opportunity is lost forever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.” Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.” ~Oswald Chambers (This one is especially meaningful to me…if I am not careful I can squander time and do it in such a way as to disguise idleness as busyness.)
The difference between the right word and a similar word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. –Mark Twain
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! ~Proverbs 15:23
May all your words be wise ones this weekend. Have a good one, y’all!
Last weekend started off low key but with plenty of work to put our hands too. Rob and Sam worked really hard to dismantle the horse ring left by the previous owners. I literally climbed on the counter in my bathroom to get a good view of them because Sam was using power tools for the first time 🙂 Rob and I took the drone up for a few minutes before they got started because we want to document our progress as we work the land.
Dinner Saturday was delicious and right in the middle of it I looked up to see Emily and Hays pulling into our driveway. It was a lovely surprise for Mother’s Day! They also gifted me with some homemade vanilla that I cannot wait to use.
Sarah and Devon sent me the absolute best card along with a beautiful new addition to my Willow Tree figurine collection.
Rob and Abigail, Sam and Claire gave me the one thing I have wanted for literally years and years and we finally have the best place for it here…a swing to hang from one of our beautiful oak trees! I can hardly wait to sit in the mornings with Rob and drink our coffee together.
Speaking of coffee, my sweet friend and I went to a really lovely bakery in Lake Charles called The Bekery as a way to wrap up a book we’d been reading together. The food was scrumptious and I enjoyed a yummy lavender and honey latte. We are already planning our next read and decided this will be our tradition every time we finish a book.
Another favorite this week is this book.
We are looking for ways of using our property instead of selling parcels of it. Currently we are researching raising chickens and/or pigs and cultivating a flower farm. I am more excited about laying hens and their beautiful yard eggs rather than raising meat birds. And I like the idea of pigs more than meat birds for some reason. But I am positively delirious with joy at the idea of a flower farm! I almost always have fresh flowers in my house and if you pay any attention to my photography it’s easy to see how much I enjoy floral photography. I have a lot of reading to do to be able to really make things thrive in the ground here but I’m eager for the challenge.
Currently we have a huge blackberry bush growing and producing like gangbusters so I know the land can be fruitful. Trying to harvest ripe berries earlier in the week earned me and Emily some scratches but no pain no gain, right? Totally worth the yummy hand pies Claire baked yesterday. There are a ton of almost ready berries and I realize I am going to have to check it daily if I don’t want them going to waste. It’s already frustrating because of some of them are out of reach already but the bush is so beautiful.
Since we are talking about sweet treats I am going to wrap up this week’s Friday Favorites post with a link to a recipe I made a few weeks back for church. My mother shared it with me years ago and until recently I had forgotten all about it. For some reason the original recipe was called Italian Bakeless Cake which just doesn’t sit right with me. I have no idea what is Italian about it but the weirder thing to me was calling it “bakeless” which is just an odd sounding word to me. I promptly made it Italian No Bake Cake but no matter what you call it just make sure you get called to the table to enjoy it!
I love our sunrises. Maybe it’s because we have property here and don’t live in a neighborhood but it satisfies something in my soul when I see the early morning sun breaking through the trees.
Yesterday, Claire and I made a trip into Houston for a 4-H field trip. Yep, that’s right. I drove into the city, a major city, I might add. The interstate is an fascinating mess but people actually know how to drive it which means everything keeps moving even though there is a ton of traffic. And the skyline is so amazing.
We went to the museum of natural science for the Ramses exhibit. After all our years at Trinitas studying ancient Egypt is was really interesting to see all of the artifacts and mummies.
The museum is huge and after we finished up the planned portion of the visit a group of us did the butterfly center which was super fun. I love butterflies and the museum has created a really beautiful habitat to enjoy them in. I did hesitate going in because their sign said something about free roaming reptiles and I was not sure I was okay with that. Turns out they have an iguana that has free reign of the place so it was all good.
It had been a long day but we still wanted to take a turn through the dinosaur exhibit. Those creatures really were huge.
We thought we were done at this point but then a few of the kids came running up and said we just HAD to go see the hall of gems and minerals as well as the Everyday Faberge exhibit. They were so right and I was so happy we didn’t miss them. All the sparkle 🥰
I am always amazed more and more by God’s creation activity looking at what are basically rocks that He made. The myriad of colors and textures…it is mind boggling!
I do wish they had a before picture to accompany each one. I know they don’t come out of the ground looking like this and I bet it is fascinating to see the process.
Look at this chunk of opal! Isn’t it gorgeous?
And then you can see all the incredible ways man uses these stones to make beautiful and elaborate jewelry.
Tiaras and necklaces too, oh my!
There were also some more delicate “everyday” pieces like some very lovely cigarette cases or calling card cases.
I loved this little broach watch made with rubies. The exhibit has a tiny mirror set up under it to reflect the watch on the back.
All in all it was a good trip but our timing was off a little bit. One, I think it is smarter to spend more than one day there and two, do not go at the end of the school year. There were gobs of schools there and it was crowded.
I definitely want to go back and visit the museum district as a whole and Houston in general. There just seems like there is so much to do!
It started on Sunday, really. I felt a bit spoiled. A dear friend at church blessed me with my second Willow Tree figurine.
Isn’t she lovely? I now have two pieces so I can officially say I have a collection.
Right after that lovely gift another sweet woman in our church gifted me with one of her beautiful hand made necklaces. She gets her glass mostly from Italy I believe and uses a blowtorch to shape and create her beads. I now have my very own bluebird of happiness. If you want to see more of Ms Helen’s delicate work you can visit her etsy shop. Such beautiful craftsmanship!
And then one of the sweet kids gave me a lovely coloring page. I told you I felt spoiled with all that love being shown to me!
This week I finally got my fat quarters unwrapped and washed. (Remember them? I shared them in a post at the end of February.) I’m not going to lie, looking at that pile of fabric makes me a little nervous but I figure since this is a just because quilt I can take my time and do it little steps at a time. The plan at the moment is to get them ironed and then cut into smaller squares. I will keep you posted on my progress with this particular favorite thing.
One favorite thing I did this week was spend some time with my camera and these really really cool flowers I got at the grocery store. I don’t know what kind they are but how cool are they?
Emily and Hays got back from their honeymoon on Monday. I already got a text asking for a recipe and that made this mama’s heart glad. It also makes me glad that they will come visit us next weekend. And my heart gets downright joyous thinking about Easter when they will come again and so will Sarah and Devon. All my people will be home!
Hays shared some of the pictures he took on their honeymoon and I am going to wrap us this week’s Friday favorites post with a couple that I really loved. Glacier National Park sure is a beautiful place, isn’t it?
They are such a pair! Full of energy, mischief, and mayhem. But my goodness, we love these little guys! Rob probably not as much because the amusement of puppy antics wears thin for him rather quickly but he does say he will love the dogs they are going to be 🙃
They used to be so little!
Now Rex is about 30lbs and Louis is 26lbs. When I walk them by myself that is a whole lot of puppy to handle!
They are so funny though. One of them will find a stick or something (anything really and I do mean anything 🤢) and they will let just enough hang out of the side of their mouth so the other one can see it. Then the fun begins! The one with something will deliberately pass into the line of sight of the one who does not have something and the shenanigans start.
Tug of war is a favorite pastime of theirs. And so are bubbles which just makes me laugh watching them.
We do spend a lot of time with them outdoors and Rob built them a dog run of sorts that I affectionately refer to as the play pen. Our yard is plenty big so we take lots of walks, rain or shine.
We are working to having them in the main part of the house which they love. They are such social creatures and really want to be with their people. They are finally past the initial excitement of being inside and needing to explore and sniff every inch of everything and will actually settle down and rest inside in whatever room most of us happen to be in. That does tend to be the kicthen most often and they get quite curious when I’m cooking.
They still like watching the horses. As they have gotten bigger they have gotten braver and will bark at them. They horses pay little attention to them.
So that’s the puppy update. It’s funny to me that we now have two cats and two dogs and Rob is also planning on getting chickens. (We will put them in a veritable fortress to protect them from the pups.) The girls are still trying to convince Rob we need cows but Claire is hoping only a milk cow. No way does she want to raise her future dinner 😉