fostering a grateful spirit

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." -Roald Dahl

surprise! {day 20}



friends, today I am heavy-hearted. first thing on the news this morning was a shooting at a grocery store. talked to someone who is in terrible pain at the hands of another person. man, I just don’t get it. It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that I probably won’t ever get it-at least not in this life.

what I do know (and cling to on days like today, when it’s easy to lose hope), is that even among darkness, there are still beautiful things to be grateful for. so here are some of those things that are getting me through today:


impromptu date night with this guy. I’m so lucky.


candied bacon, which is every bit as good as it sounds and waaaay better than it looks. yummers.


for eyeballs on my ice cream, snuggles on the couch, and a hubby who wakes up early to help me prepare for the crazy weekend I have.

also, for aubree and eric, girls night, celebrating upcoming marriage.
some days suck, but being married to your best friend is awesome.

life {day 19}





friends, today my heart is full of joy for this sweet boy and his new parents, Kristen and Joel. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, so I know I can only begin to understand what it would feel like to get a new family. he has the mama and papa that he’s been waiting for, and they finally have their son who they have loved, prayed for, and waited for. seriously, it’s the coolest thing. according to Kristen’s blog, Marat is a bundle of energy, is enthusiastic about learning English, and LOVES the idea of having a “bruddah.” (so, in other words, he’s freaking awesome!)
when I think about the love and resolve with which Kristen and Joel have pursued Marat, it paints such a beautiful picture in my mind of the way Christ loves and pursues us. It’s an amazing thing, friends.


for needed snuggle time with the sweet hubs and our forgiveness seeking Houdini dog…


for cool mornings that remind me how close to my favorite season we are! apple picking, cider donuts, chai, crunchy leaves…bring. it. on.

also grateful for a laughter filled conversation with my old friend justin, whose face I miss, that made blocked off roads and detours bearable.

it’s thursday!! anybody have fun plans for the holiday weekend?


excitement and snuggles {day 18}

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today I’m thankful for these sweet friends, for time together, for high school kids having vision for their school and their friends, and for a room FULL of energy.




also grateful for this puppy, who we feared we lost last night. Houdini dog dug a hole under the fence big enough for his 40 lb body to squeeze through. but despite his escapist tendencies, our family would feel like it was missing something without him. glad you’re safe, sweet moj.




I also want to give a shout out to this awesome canoe-carrying, Bears-and-Jesus-loving, MCAT-rocking lady! I’m so proud of you, Sam! I knew your hard work would pay off! watch out med school, here she comes! 🙂

my favorite preschooler {day 17}

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I’d like to introduce you to my godson and favorite preschooler (holy cow, how did that happen?!?!), Riley, also affectionately known as lb or little buster.
in my head he still looks something like this:



(I know, he’s precious, right?!)
but the truth is that he’s this tiny man now, totally full of personality, and now he’s in preschool! dang, time really does fly!

I’m grateful for his smiles, for invitations to come watch movies with him “auntie beana, please come over and watch my movie,” and his fierce head-butt hugs that I love. happy first day of school, lb!


random acts {day 16}

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thankful for challenging words that change how I think about Jesus and the world around me…

for a safe husband after a medical procedure, and hope of having answers soon…

for a sweet trucker who literally stopped in the middle of an intersection, got out and returned a dropped doll to a crying toddler. brought tears to my eyes…

for touching stories from my friends in the Ukraine, for their sweet boy who has been waiting for them without even knowing they were coming to see him. please keep praying, there are still a lot of pieces that need to fall into place…

and for this:

and this:

which turned into this:

and eventually this:

cauliflower crust pizza. it was pretty good, though it needs some perfecting.
I’m slowly introducing gluten free alternatives into our diet, just in case that’s what the doctor suggests for husband’s stomach issues.

simple things {day 15}

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more flowers from the farmer’s market and a crazy, fuzzy red one that I really like…


rainy day that my plants really needed…


my hibiscus plant and it’s beautiful new bloom…


my sweet puppy and his new antler chewy…


…and hanging out with my hubby. 🙂