notes from an everyday.


School is still going strong here. Everyone-including my preschooler-gets out on Thursday. It’s been a whirlwind of going, going, going and if I’m being honest I haven’t been doing much intentional planning.

Bathing suit shopping. Are words needed?


Tomorrow my girlie is operating her own cookie business for a little 2nd grade economic fair. Her cookies are great. Smiley face.



We worked together to bake them all. Forgive the blurry shot. I just liked it.


And then I started a chili that needed to simmer for 1 1/2 hours. At 6 pm. Dinner fail.

margin from ellen parker on Vimeo.

And then I made another video even though I keep saying I won’t do another one. If you’d like more information about Thursday’s class on Margin this little video might fit the bill. (Click through if you’re viewing this in a reader.)

a bit of everyday on a Saturday.

newpillowsToday Springtime arrived bringing her blossoms and gnats and afternoon filtered sunshine. We stuck close to home and threw tennis balls on the roof of the building next door. The dog barked at every single squirrel on our block. Then he sat down all slumped up next to me and watched our youngest scramble to catch his falling, falling roof pitched ball.

Somewhere in my spirit this week, Springtime has been being born, too. I’ve been putting my hands to creating more and there is so much hope in that; in sitting down to forge something out of what you already have. One afternoon I finished off a few things in my girl’s room while I had her older brother keep her busy. After what felt like eons, I called her up to surprise her with pom pom trimmed curtains and a bright bedskirt and her paintings framed. Somehow I’d let that go for a year. And this morning I felt extra inspired so I put together some pillowcases from vintage trim I stashed from my former business and some Swiss dot I bought on sale last week. Now I want to make a million more.

Would y’all like to see more of my home? Sometimes I feel fuzzy about what I should post here.

wholeladiesI missed posting an update about Whole Ladies this week and I’ve been thinking about you all and how you encouraged me last week. I survived that birthday even though my van smelled like pizza for days after. It went off without much extra attention or explaining and I think my girl felt extra special. I also know that I have a very stubborn heart. I still feel mad over what I can’t have, especially when I’m tired or even when I’m wanting to celebrate. I am going to have to find the medium between enjoying good, quality food and rewarding myself with food. After our family left on Saturday I decided to cook up the most delicious meal as a consolation for not even getting a bite of strawberry cake. Straw!Berry!Cake! I burnt the burgers. The side dish was just meh. And I was reminded that rewarding myself with food is the same old escapism.

And then, tonight, my husband helped me do the very complicated act of counting 30 days and I realized that I actually won’t be done until Tuesday night instead of Monday night. So I don’t feel very much like I’m winning because I have been living for Tuesday morning and all of its possibilities. I’m a little scared of what freedom will mean except for the fact that my body will definitely react when I reintroduce food. So maybe that’s just as important: realizing how that junk really makes me feel instead of idealizing the day when I will get to eat my beloved parmesan cheese again.

How are you all doing on your health journeys?

eggs2Some other random things about this day: we dyed eggs. I bought brown eggs which was a personal affront to our youngest. Somehow he survived and we were able to get the depth of color somewhat close to his expectations.


I got to decorate a handful of eggs and I’m so very thankful that even though we are on the precipice of pre-teen (really, I think we’re already there) everyone sat down and was enthusiastic about trying all kinds of different techniques. Also? Our youngest two spent fifteen tear and grumble filled minutes holding hands and sitting very closely in the pursuit of harmony. I’m not sure it was going anywhere good. In the end, Daddy swooped in and settled it all.


Today is a waiting day. Christ rested and waited in all of His power for His Resurrection morning. And tomorrow will be full of celebration. We invited a friend over to eat with us. It’s something we’ve done for the past few years for friends who are far from home in different types of ways. I really wanted to sew up some new napkins and all of the sudden I’m so very sure that I need placemats. I even got out my Grandmother’s tablecloth which always seemed so stuffy to me but Grover scratched the tabletop last week so it’s kind of necessary and now I realize I kind of like it. In the end I decided everything was lovely. Lovely enough. I copied Edie a bit for the place settings and called it a day. And my knives are facing the wrong way. Or are they? I can’t even remember.

Tomorrow is the Hope and Healing day. I pray you enjoy a beautiful Easter Sunday.

a bit of everyday: grace.


Today I decided to tackle a little bit of this. It’s not their fault, really. With all my redecorarranging there’s been nowhere to put all these little bits.

I also went to the library by myself. I was really just going to find a few movie choices for Friday night but when you have three very distinct opinions about fine cinema it just makes sense to go by yourself.


I avoided working on this. It’s where I’m supposed to write and be inspired. Oops.

This morning I fell while running with my rascal dog, like with blood and everything. It seems we have a bit further to go than I thought. I think he was more traumatized than I was.

I hung up my winter coat for the last time, hopefully. And I made a total fail of a dinner. And my girl pretended to be Nate the Great while the boys played baseball on the field a few steps from our house. She cut and colored and stapled and told me about how she saw a smiley face in the clouds earlier in the day and she knew God was telling her that everything would be all right. When she was all done she asked me if I was missing something and I prayed and prayed that I would lose something soon just so that she could find it. Instead, I sent her hunting for a thing that was right where it should be. It’s a joy and a mystery to walk in the world of right-brained child.


Tomorrow we’ll watch our youngest play in his first t-ball game. He’s more than ready.

how we really live.

gracefortoday2It’s 9:30 on a Wednesday morning and I’ve already had to press the Start Over button at least once. I got up early. I was going to exercise. And then I didn’t. And then I wished I had. And then my husband stayed home and let me go next door to the gym at the children’s home where I ran intervals on a treadmill. Hard. Not fun. Intervals, I have a strong and abiding dislike for you.

Regularly, I get this itch to rearrange everything. And then I stall out. We’ve been living like this for at least a month. If you squint really hard, you can see our old television on the dining room table. Also? A box of Cheerios.

Life goes on. Things are messy and unfinished for most people most of the time. Sometimes our expectations overwhelm us and we start to believe that the laundry pile or the missed workout or the failed goal is some sort of commentary on who we are and how we’re doing.

But. Our strength is in HIS name.


I have some really exciting news to share with you today! This year, I’ll be heading to the Influence Conference to be a community leader and lead a workshop. There will be so many more details. I hope you’ll pray about meeting me there?

snippets: fall things

I have life snippets for you today!

I’m a total cliche. I absolutely love Fall even though we enjoy it as a season for about two weeks here and today it is probably going to hit 90 and I’ve only one year of my life ever lived in a place that had a sort of true Fall. Still, I love it. Last year I searched and searched for a cute and tasteful pumpkin type decoration that had small twinkle lights in it. In the end, I was too cheap to buy one so this year all we have to show just yet is this grocery store green pumpkin.
UntitledSometimes I spray paint my mailbox instead of fixing dinner. Also. New nail polish required, I think.
wing sighting. #homeworkanywayoucanRainbow fairy wings are really the best. And they really help with homework. Homework can be hard, no two ways around it. I’ve been focusing on being present and checking my expectations so that even if my children are totally flustered by what they have to do I can at least be less flustered.


I have been working on my 31 days series. I’m equal parts excited and nervous. There’s no really detailed plan but I feel pretty sure that I’ll be able to fill up a whole month with all that I’m learning about home! I’ve been looking up Hebrew and Greek and Aramaic root words for home and it’s kind of awesome seeing how God is the one who originated the whole idea that a home is more than a house. In fact, there’s so much life wisdom in the idea of home and I just can’t wait to share it with y’all. Nervousness comes when I think about how this might be too touchy-feely. But. I’m guessing y’all wouldn’t be here if touchy-feely, wordy, processing posts were bothersome to you. So. 31 Days: a road home starts Monday.

mountain living + a guest post


Last week looked like this: stare at computer, stare at computer, fiddle with code, stare at computer, think I’ve messed everything up, cry, fix it, stare at computer. But! I finally got this little space all spiffied up.

And, then? We ran off to the mountains. Every morning we wake up to that view rightupthere. It’s hard to put words around it. We’ve been playing in the yard and scrambling off to waterfalls and it’s been good. Also, I’ve been making my family fill out surveys because I am a dork and I am obsessed with being intentional right now.

Vacation always showcases little life truths. For example, if you are an annoyingly incurable early bird, guess what you grow up? Early birds. They can’t help it even if you do keep them up extra special late. They are not programmed to let the morning go by. So we have been enjoying the beautiful early mornings here and my little people have gotten to see the sun rise over the mountain a few times. That’s pretty awesome.

Vacation also brings to light some of the best familial relating and, well, some places where I’ve been off my game a little. The best part is that Tom is here and it is helpful and refreshing to let him remind me how to work through problems without getting emotional. Because I always do. And then there are the times where the brother-sister thing is just grand. Like holding hands and helping climb rocks and playing duck duck goose on the back deck and worrying over one another. That’s pretty awesome, too.

Also? I have taken approximately 300 pictures. So. I’ll have lots to share when I get back.

In the meantime, I’ve written a post for my friend Erin, over at Blue Eyed Bride. Erin and I have been going to the same church for years and living within a mile of each other and just met this summer. But I’m so glad we did. She’s got a sweet heart to use her blog in a meaningful way and is such an encouragement to me. I’m more than thankful to be able to share a bit more of my heart over there.

Here’s a snippet:


Just the other day, I pulled into a Starbucks parking lot, whipped out my phone and took a picture of the sky. That’s right. On a busy suburban road, right across the street from the mall where every sixteen year old in the vicinity probably rolled her eyes at me. Next it will be tube socks up to my knees and fanny packs. We might need to call the Grandma police.

But. The thing is it was beautiful and I needed to remember it. Because it was perfect.

Perfect is something that has haunted me much of my adult life.

Read the rest right over here.

the state of things right this very minute

On Tuesday I just hit publish and closed my eyes. And then there were three Valentine’s parties and baseball practice and a booming headache. And then I didn’t have appropriate words for your encouragement. Thank you seems too simple sometimes. You can rest in this, though: I have sufficiently heaped question upon question on my husband. What about sharing and when is it too much and why am I blogging and I’ve just got to keep it true, right, and am I having a bad hair day, like really?

Thank you for continuing to be here even as I am working out what in the wide world this space will look like.

So. How’s about a bit of here and there on the state of life right now in my four walls?


The Valentine’s garland is still up. I have never decorated for Valentine’s so I don’t have one clue about when I’ve crossed the decorations up too long sad line. I didn’t really choose a word for this year but it appears that love is going to be a theme for me. I’m finding that I want to know more and more about what a costly love looks like and how it acts. I know where it begins-God’s love for me so rich and deep-and that is where I’m staid right now. But really the garland is still up because I keep forgetting to take it down.

On Wednesday night Tom and I went on a little date. And when he walked in with basketball tickets? I won’t try to pretty myself up here. I was like, whaaaat? But he L.O.V.E.S sports and he loves our school and so I said ok. We ate dinner at a dive, where I got a pimento burger and he got an $8 steak which was apparently very tasty and famous. And then we proceeded to have the most fun at the game. Simple is almost always best, I think.

Also. I got an iphone on Friday. I feel silly writing about it. But Tom and I have been talking about this for two years. And my phone was beginning to do very unfriendly things. I’m not sure how to paint a picture of my face when he casually told me it was time to get one.


In a fit of naivety I signed up for the The Biggest Loser at Tom’s work. Oats and sweet potatoes and brown rice are my constant companions. Except for when I have to substitute a healthy oil and then I’m just mad.


This scrappy little beauty is making a home in our backyard and I’m so glad.

february snippets

Snippets are little random bits of my life that I like to share with you.


I think we might need to have a small yogurt intervention. The flavored stuff is for my boys. They L.O.V.E. yogurt. The unflavored, protein-filled, i’ll-eat-it-if-i-have-to greek yogurt is for me.


Somehow we made it all the way to first grade for the second child without having to construct a diorama. It’s a very different experience working on a loose creative project with my crafty girl. She has verrrry strong opinions about every tiny detail and generally has a bigger vision than the project will allow. Also. She calls it a diOOOHHHHHraAAHHma.


I have a confession. Homework time is not my favorite time of day. My energy is low and my children are just done sitting still. But. Because we have chosen school school it’s really the first fruits of our day together. We are working on redeeming homework time. This was one uncharacteristically cold afternoon. My gidget girl sipped on hot chocolate and I had a homemade mocha.


Now. I would like for you to use your best imagineering skills to picture the look on my husband’s face when I pointed to that blue framed senorita and said that it was the only thing in the world I wanted for Christmas. Then imagine the internal “Wait? Is this tacky? Or is it quirky?” dialogue that I had with myself for at least thirty minutes. I’m still not sure but all sales are final so there she is up on our wall. I made a very bold and declarative statement this year that I want to start collecting real art-type things. Also! The beautiful scripture print is this one from Naptime Diaries’ shop.