Thursday, May 21, 2015

What I've Been Doing This Week

Obsessing over houses.

Obsessing over paint colors for houses.

Gathering items for the moving sale.

Snagging this awesome pair of cowboy boots for a steal!

Trying out a new haircut.

Playing with some new coloring mediums!

Rounding out my collection of ink cubes from Papertrey Ink!

Having fun with Mom, who came to town to see...

...Samuel in his school musical debut, playing the lead Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins!

Watching Samuel on stage, singing and acting like he'd been doing it his whole life!

Hearing Sam sing a duet with his best buddy, Erik...priceless!

It's been a good week! Hope you are having a good one, too!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Inspired by Breakfast

Last weekend, I went to the Chicago suburb of Batavia to see the house that my husband had decided to put an offer on. I had dubbed it the Heinz house because of the ketchup and mustard colors inside. But after inspection last Friday, I am now calling it the hot mess house.

There is not a single surface inside and out that will not need attention. Everything needs painting, inside and out. Every light fixture needs replacing. Every window needs replacing, along with new curtains and window treatments.

I am trying hard to look at the positives. It does have a wrap around front porch. The yard is fenced for future dog. It is close to town, and we can walk and bike everywhere. I am looking at this house as a three year experiment in house flipping. And trust me, it will take every bit of three years to finish. It should be done about five minutes before the For Sale sign goes up in the front yard.

This is house offer number four, and it is still anyone's guess if this deal will actually go through as planned. We've been down this road before. We are house weary, and ready for this whole move to be over.

I spent a sleepless night after the house inspection, dreaming of houses with BIG spiders and really sticky webs.

The next morning, we went out to breakfast in Geneva. I sat down, looked at this menu and coffee mug, and told my husband "This makes me happy."

These days. I have to grab happy wherever I can.

I made this card today because I needed another dose of happy.

{Today's Brew: On The Farm stamp set (papertrey ink), card stock and inks (PTI), polka paper and scallop die (lawn fawn), flower punches}

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Happy Birthday, Grossmama!

Happy Birthday, Grossmama!

This is a photo of my grandmother as a young woman. Isn't she beautiful? She was born on May 3rd in 1891.

That's a LONG time ago, my friends.

One hundred and twenty four years, to be exact.

I know what you're thinking. How is that even possible? Well, my mother was the youngest child of her family, born when my grandmother was in her forties. Imagine what a surprise that must have been! And consequently, I, too, am the youngest child of my family, born when my mother was in her mid thirties and surprised to be having another baby after six, count 'em, six children.

Yes, that's right. 1891. Just think of that! This man was president of the United States at the time:

 Benjamin Harrison, from the state of Indiana. 1891, when people were still talking about the Civil War, the assassination of Lincoln, and the reconstruction of the south.

My grandmother was born in a little town in Germany. She married and had babies. She saw Kaisers come and go. During the Weimar Republic, she witnessed firsthand the devaluation of the Deutchmark, when it took a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.

Strange times.

She and her husband packed up their belongings and their babies, sailed an ocean, and came here:

Ellis Island. A new country. A new life. A new adventure.

I am thinking of Grossmama today, not only because it is her 124th birthday, but because of her spirit of adventure. She took a lot of risks in her time, leaving behind the safe and known to start life over in the unknown.

I wish I could ask her a few questions. Were you scared? What did you miss most about home? What was the biggest blessing that came of your great adventure? What did you regret leaving behind? What was the most important thing you carried with you into your new life?

As my family prepares to set sail on this new adventure, I hope that I can pass down my grossmama's legacy of bravery to my children. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Be bold. Try the new thing. Go for that new career. Move to that new city. Hike along the road less traveled. Meet new people. Taste new foods. Embrace the new, but remember the old. This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice and be glad in it!

Chart your course and set sail, like Grossmama. Be an adventurer, someone who will be thought of one hundred and twenty four years from now.

That's quite a legacy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day! Simple Stories Life Documented Planner

Welcome to May! But seriously, where did April go? Is it just me and my impending homelessness, or is this spring just flying by? In any case, I thought I'd show you my monthly spread in my Simple Stories Life Documented planner. For the month of May I combined the Simple Stories Life Documented stickers with elements from Simple Stories Homespun collection.

I find this new ritual of monthly planning to be really helpful. Not only is it a creative outlet, but it allows me to center my thoughts and plan for the days ahead.

And the bonus? I get to use all of the pretty stickers that I have a tendency to {cough! cough! ahem!} hoard for that great unknown future project that never happens. You know what I'm talking about, right? Please tell me you can relate!

This adorable bike is going places, just like me! School musicals, concerts, college graduations. So many big events in the days ahead!

I added my bible verse for the month at the top. Just a little reminder as we embark on another day of house hunting. Today feels like a most auspicious day! The sun is shining, the flowers and trees are blooming, the birds are singing and the bunnies are hopping. I'm opening my hands and raising them high to receive all of God's blessings today!

Blessings on your May, cafe friends!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bible Journaling With Stamps and Heart

My husband and I are obsessed with houses.

As the clock ticks, we are creeping closer and closer to homelessness. Six weeks, to be exact. We spend hours looking at new listings on sites like Zillow and

This weekend, I reached the breaking point. The point of total surrender.

I had become too reactive, and decided it was time to become proactive. And the best action I could think of was to pray and leave it in the hands of God to find us a house.

 I went to my Bible, looking for verses on waiting. I found this lovely Psalm that said "Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said "Seek my face." My heart says to you "Your face, LORD, do I seek."

I love that!

Exactly what my heart had been saying to me all along. Seek His face.

And then Psalm 27 wraps up with this: "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!"

And that is where I am today. Waiting for the LORD. Not losing heart in the process, but becoming bolder and more courageous as time goes on.

This was my first time using stamps in my journaling bible, and I love the outcome! Seriously, what took me so long? That should have been a no brainer! LOL!

I made some border templates to use in my bible journaling. These allowed me to make that perfect black border around the margin.

{Today's Brew: stamps and inks from Papertrey Ink, prismacolor marker}

Thanks for visiting the cafe today!

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Year of Loss and Gain

It's been a year of loss and gain.

Some years are just like that.

One step forward, two steps back.

After a year of searching for a church family to call home, we finally found one and became members.


And we had to tell them two months later that we were moving.


My husband got a big promotion at work.


A promotion that required us to move.


We sold our house quickly and for a profit.


We can't afford the market where we are moving.


Some years are just like that.

The biggest loss our family has suffered this year is one that still hurts so much that just to tell you about it, it brings me thisclosetotears. Which is why I haven't written about it for three months now.

In January, we had to say goodbye to our beloved dog, our Maggie girl.

 At fourteen and a half years, she had a good long life. But we knew she would not survive the winter. Every day, life was becoming more and more difficult for her. Finally, I made the call for her last appointment with the vet...because I knew my husband could never bring himself to do it.

On her last morning, we huddled around her in this very same spot, not knowing what to do or what to say. How do you say goodbye to someone you have loved for so long?

"Let's lay our hands on Maggie and pray for her," I said.

And so we did. And this was the prayer that came out of my mouth.

"Dear Heavenly Father, you promised us, through your son Jesus Christ, that not a single sparrow falls to the ground that you, our heavenly Father, does not know about it. You care for your creation, Lord, and you care for Maggie. And so we commend to you our dog Maggie,a beautiful part of your creation. We have loved her well, and she has loved us as well. We thank you for this gift of Maggie, and we pray that you would bring her comfort and peace. In Jesus name, Amen."

I heard Beth Moore once talk about something that her husband often says: Saying goodbye is a necessary life skill. And that is so true.

I'd like to tell you that her death was a lovely and beautiful thing. But honestly, that would be a lie. Death is ugly. It's as ugly as sin. But thanks be to God that Jesus has conquered death and the grave with his victory over sin.

It has been three months to the day that we said goodbye to a really good dog. And there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss her. Not just the routine of her, the waking up and the morning greeting and the feeding and the inside and outside a hundred times a day. I miss the comfort that she brought me on a daily basis. I didn't realize how often I went to her on crappy days, just for her comfort and presence and reassurance that everything would be fine. I've had a lot of crappy days since she has gone, and I feel the loss of her keenly.

I made this page in my journaling Bible to remember that day, and to remember our Maggie girl.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Outdoor Pets

The funniest thing happened this morning. Mama Bunny hopped onto the patio, stood up on her hind legs, and looked in through the patio door to see what Sam was eating for breakfast.

And then she said "Lady, when are you serving breakfast outside? We're starving out here!"

So of course, I felt obliged to fill the bird feeder and scatter a few seeds below for Mama and her babies.

And then I came indoors and made this card:

{Today's Brew: Lawn Fawn stamps, Lawn Fawn papers, Lawn Fawn dies, Lawn Fawn flowers, enamel dots, inks and prisma markers}

There's just a hint here of something on the inside, too:

Hoppy Birthday! tee hee! Putting this one into my birthday card stash.

Thanks for hopping by the cafe today!