30 July 2013

leaving on a jet plane.

This morning, we jet off to a colorful little island where Matt's (one-side) of the family is from ... the beautiful Prince Edward Island.  Once again, it's going to be a short trip, but I know it'll be packed with some great memories and relaxation.  We have cousins to meet, a family reunion to be had, an ocean to swim in, a favorite bookstore to visit, lobster to be eaten ... and I seriously can't wait 'til we land!!!  As it is such a long flight (+1 connection = almost 12 hours of travel), it's going to be a long day of entertaining a certain little lion man!

I'll be back next week to share our trip ... and the flight details!  Have a great week everyone.


pic pix: waiting to board!! YYC airport, 30.Jul.2013

29 July 2013

my portion.

Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely.
And long for heaven and home.
When Jesus is my portion...
My constant friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know, He watches me.
His Eye is On the Sparrow ~ Civilla D. Martin

When we are faced with little discomforts in our lives, it is tempting to fall into the lie(s) of believing "this is just what I have to live with", "this is my burden that I've been chosen to figure out and carry alone", or "others have their own issues...this is mine".

If it's a matter of healing of the heart or body or mind, our loving Father wants the ultimate for us...with Him.  For even a small creature like the sparrow is able to find it's ideal home near where the King lives:

"Even the sparrow finds a home...near your altar, o Lord of heaven's armies, my King and my God!"
Psalm 84:3

No where in God's truthful words to us does He say that we have to be stuck.  Actually quite the opposite.  He wants us to be FREE and unbound in His presence.  But by believing the lies of what our "portion" is, we miss those moments of His immeasurable freedom.  We think that our hearts can only get so full.

The song above reminded me that if I believe that Jesus really is my portion, there can be nothing, I repeat nothing that can constrict me or stop me from fulfilling the dreams/desires/freedom in my life...today, right now.

So I let go of the foolish lies.  I open my heart's ways to Jesus-size portions.  I receive.  I celebrate!

With my whole being, body, and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God!
...What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing Your praises.
Psalm 84:2b, 4

pic pix: a September run-taking in God's perfect detail to even the smallest of things, at a park I still consider my backyard (even though, it's not really!), September.2011
p.s. LOVE this song!

26 July 2013

happy weekend.

"Life is either a great adventure or nothing." 
Helen Keller.
pic pix: pics from last year's camping - Juju's grown so much!, K-Country campsite, Jul, 2

22 July 2013

camping weekend.

We had the chance to {finally} get out camping this weekend.  I was a little nervous as last year, Judah was just a newborn and therefore easy to keep entertained while camping.  While this year, our mobile little monkey kept us on our toes!  It was fun to see him run around with his cousins and explore new things-like the taste of a marshmallow (though the fire really made this mama nervous!).  Some other highlights for me included finishing a book, naps, snacks, and our fishing boat excursion on the lake...which Judah loved!  To end the weekend in a 'bang', we had a crazy thunderstorm/lightening storm hit.  It was beautiful and scary all at the same time...I'm just glad everyone stayed safe and our tent remained dry(!).

An awesome weekend to kick off our 2013 camping season...we're ready for it again next weekend!

pic pix: bits & pieces of our camping trip, Pine Lake, AB, 19-21 July, 2013

18 July 2013

keeping it real.

There's something about this day of technology that is so enticing, convenient, energizing.  It's a way to stay connected, learn new things, hone skills and ideas.  But there is also a side to it that is dangerous ... as it can lead down a path of comparison, kill a natural inspiration, and create an unsettling spirit (discontentment).

I love reading other blogs, seeing pictures on Instagram, spending hours [ahem] on Pinterest, but it can seem a bit like living in someone else's "reality".  A reality that only shows the happiest moments, the prettiest images, the greatest ideas.  Myself included, no one wants to show the unlovely of our lives.  There's no life to draw from and no one would be interested in that.  When that unclear reality is all that my mind absorbs about other people, it becomes easy to be discontent with the ugly realities I may be facing at that very moment in my life - messy kitchen, ironing piled to the roof(!), my overdo dirty hair, the long list of errands, etc...

I've wondered, if social media were out of the picture, would I still face these same little issues?  Would I read a book and feel the same way?  Would I meet with a friend face-to-face and still think the same divisive thoughts?  If I didn't have things/distractions in my life, would that make these things go away?

Then I read this post.

I follow Joy's picture feed on Instagram, and love their family's recent endeavour to live a simpler life.  They sold their home, put a portion of their belongings in storage, and have hit the road with their trailer and four kids for the next few months, on a quest to enjoy life.  When I look at her pictures, it's seems almost too easy to live minimally.  I then pine for that ... thinking that would be the answer to my "issues".  She shares how it's not perfect/easy, but there are still complications to figure out their simple life.

Reality does not conform to the ideal, but confirms it. - Gustave Flaubert

In saying these things, I don't intend to stop documenting or sharing the beauty I believe that God highlights in my life.  I'm not signing out/off of what social media circles I am in involved in.  I may not turn to taking pictures of my dirty laundry, or to writing never-ending, doom & gloom posts, but I do want to share a my realities, imperfections, beauties, and struggles as clearly and honestly as I pray I can.

I want to keep it real.

By encouraging, exemplifying, and enticing all to God and the beautiful moments of reality in this life He has intended for us to enjoy.  I want to depict the fullest of realities in my life - everlasting life.

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate.  For such persons loyally in love with God, 
the reward is life and more life. - James 1:12

pic pix: Judah getting into the salad RIGHT before we have to walk out the door [real life, 101], at home on my steps needing a paint job(!), early June 2013

16 July 2013

the salad of summer 2013.

It occurred to me, while looking for the label "recipe" that I haven't featured recipes here on my blog.  To me, it seems a little funny, as I:
1. love food,
2. love making new food, and
3. did I mention, love food?!

I've learnt from my Gramma, that you are never too old to try something new...if it be parasailing at the age of 82, or testing out new recipes on dinner guests - why not?!  As a constant inspiration, I buy magazines, hunt on pinterest, adopt/duplicate ideas I've tasted at restaurant and such just for something "new".  What bothers Matt the most, is that if I concoct/replicate something good, I usually forget to write it down(!).  But not this one ...

*found in Real Simple-July 2013 magazine

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 peaches, pitted, thinly sliced
4 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced

Toss all ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Yes, that easy.  Serves 4.

Note: important to use apple cider vinegar as it blends perfectly with the sweetness of the peach.

Bon appetit!

pic pix: this crunchy, sweet salad, from my kitchen, 15.Jul.2013

15 July 2013

colorboard / no.16

color: soft salmon
word of inspiration: God's irrepressible, sustaining grace
source of word: "You and I may find ourselves overwhelmed at times - at the end of our rope and beyond.  But we will never fall farther than the palm of His hand.  And where He has called us, His grace will sustain us." ~ Joni Earekson Tada

1. salmon in the natural, enough said /2. love this color for my nails /3. summer clutch /4. love this style of tank /5. who doesn't need a little scribbler? /6. this would be so cute on juju /7. love all of this shop's hand-stitched stuff /8. pretty paper /9. gah! this could be my vintage bag...! /10. why i'm always drawn to these antique sofas, i don't know /11. dear infinity scarf, i love you

14 July 2013

our {weekend} in pictures.

1. it's so cool how God made the colors of food so beautiful.
2. this boy's a-running these days.
3. sage & blackberry water ... subtle, but so nice.
4. peonies - my ever favorite flower, hands down.
5. picking up supplies for my custom birthday gift from m'love.
6. natural light making chevron stripes on my office wall.
7. witnessing special gramma/judah moments.
8. saturday's garage sale finds - woot woot!

Hope you all had a beautiful weekend.  xo.

09 July 2013

the woman in white. {book club}

I've always wanted to be part of a book club (I'm a total nerd, yes, I know)!  And not having finished a lot of books since Judah was born, I thought being part of a book club was the perfect solution.

We met Monday night for dinner, dessert, tea & tremendous discussion over the enrapturing classic - The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins.  Company with these ladies (dressed all in white, I might add) was food for the soul...and a good way for me to read the book to it's entirety!  It was what I always thought a perfect book club would be - sharing the love of reading with food and some hearty laughs.  Can't wait for our next one!

"Let the music speak to us of tonight, in a happier language of our own..."

pic pix: book club night, my house, 08.Jul.2013

05 July 2013

happy weekend.

summer watermelon luvin' from Sarah Nadine Arsenault on Vimeo.

"It is always the simple that produces the marvelous." 
Amelia Barr
pic pix: juju enjoying his watermelon slice, in the backyard, 06.Jun.2013

04 July 2013

colorboard / no.15

color: whites & creams
word of inspiration: summer dreams
source of word: I've been dwelling on the thoughts of summer lately, and a theme of whites/creams continually circulate.  So fresh, so simple, so summery.

1. recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream-gotta try /2. these milk bottles... /3. white patio chair /4. the thoughts of this sleeping bag give me a restful thoughts /5. drawn to these /6. picnic containers-i heart /7. i love hammocks /8. cute as button earrings /9. watercolor sketch /10. watercolor thank-you cards /11. cream & white wallpaper

03 July 2013

quiet night.

Matt was out tonight helping with flood cleanup in High River, so things over here seemed pretty low-key...very untypical of our evenings lately.  Whether it's commitments, visiting, a last minute baseball game, or just work-type things...it's been busy around here.  Because our evenings are longer right now (the sun doesn't set until 10pm-ish!), we tend to pack more in.  Even though I wanted-so badly-to be helping Matt and fellow volunteers out there tonight, I think I needed a quiet night to refocus and actually absorb what's going on around me right now...

The sweet taste of summer.  The fact that I have actually have a garden to weed.  The special moments I get to spend with my little boy and sweet husband.  The simple, favorite things God gave my eyes to enjoy.

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.  
He gives us grace and glory.  
The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.  
Psalm 84:11

I'd encourage you to take a quiet night/hour/morning/moment ... and remember whose sunshine and shield it is that you are protected in daily.  Drink in the good things He wants you to see today.

pic pix: tonight's revealing views, at home, 03.Jul.2013


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