Love Is In The Air

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A few weeks ago, Stephanie, the Community Coordinator from Bloom Nation contacted me about writing a post about the different ways we celebrate love, especially on the ordinary days, as opposed to holidays, birthdays, etc. Have you heard of Bloom Nation? I hadn’t. They support local communities by partnering with independent florists and showcase their handcrafted arrangements in their marketplace. What a cool idea!!Β  This is actually a concept I know very well! It’s something I’ve adopted in my own life for quite a few years. You’d be amazed how evenΒ  littleΒ  30 second effort can brighten an otherwise mundane or stressful day.

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When we were dating, and working conflicting hours, the romance seemed lacking and I gently suggested to my Sweetie that he didn’t have to make grand gestures all the time, but a little note here and there would really help us feel more connected while we were both working. Even a short note on a piece of scratch paper would work. It helped that we worked at a Christian Conference Center and could drop off notes easily. And I worked at the Registration Desk which ALWAYS had scratch paper available. AND, Pass It On cards were hugely popular at the time. Ever since then, we leave little notes for each other regularly. Of course there are dry times, but we always pick it up again. I pick up cute Post Its when I see them and they work great for a simple “I Love You” on the bathroom mirror or kitchen counter/cabinet as a surprise in the morning. Or his lunch box. The same with these pretty, already written notes from a notepad I bought a while back. Last weekend our church had a couples dinner and gave us 3×5 cards to write notes on for our sweeties. Several years ago I bought a little valentine mailbox and we started using it to leave little notes or pustichalks (just a little something), a term we learned from our Russian family members. This year we received this adorable mailbox from my husband’s wonderful cousin as the gift box! Perfect for this gingerbread lover. So this is our new giftie mailbox. And bonus, it’s bigger, so we won’t have to leave bigger things next to it instead of inside. πŸ™‚

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Of course, we still love to celebrate the regular stuff, like our anniversary this Sunday! And who doesn’t like getting flowers for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and just to show you care?! Sometimes we give flowers, and sometimes we do other things for each other. Sometimes we watch a special movie, go to a favorite location, have a special meal, anything that means something to us. For example, for our Irish related anniversary, we might eat Shepherd’s Pie and Soda Bread, watch something Irish related or honeymoon related like Ever After because we watched it on our honeymoon, listen to Irish music, watch or perform Irish dancing, you get the idea. Or watch our wedding video or peruse our wedding album. And enjoy the shamrock plant from our reception that was a table centerpiece. The main thing is, we like celebrating each other and people in general. Relationships are precious and special, so we like to celebrate that in little ways as well as big ways.

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And I love Irish Belles, usually found at Trader Joe’s these days.

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Because flowers ARE pretty and cheerful!

We apply this same idea when remember those that aren’t with us anymore. By doing an activity that reminds us of them. I drink black cherry Pop Shoppe Pop when I’m thinking about my dad. And I think of him when I have non-chocolate cake, because we were the only two family members, including all relatives, who didn’t choose chocolate for our birthdays. And sports always make me think of him and all of the different games we went to with my brothers, because I didn’t have a sister until I was 9, and she was a baby! My dad and I had a lot in common, including personalities. πŸ™‚

***** All of these months later I’m finally finishing this post after many health struggles, family emergencies, travels and stress! ****

I have a couple of little girls in my life and we like to connect by crafting and drinking tea together. Quality time spent chatting while doing things we love! Quality time is actually one of my Love Languages.Β  I often deliver flowers to one of the girl’s friends/neighbors on May Day that I’ve bought or we’ve made together. She loves it! πŸ™‚

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When we remember and celebrate our Chelsie we like to look at her photos, say her favorite phrases, listen to her favorite song (Diving In by Steven Curtis Chapman), set up the train, watch Mary Poppins or The Gnome Mobile because she looked like Karen Dotrice, etc.

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All of these probably reveal my love of themes! πŸ™‚

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A few other things we’ve done are kissing and saying I love you when we part, having a date most weeks, texting as a way to check in and stay connected during the day (including fun emojis the other might like πŸ™‚ ) and just trying to be conscious of being considerate to each other. Helping each other out when needed, or anticipating needs are some of the best ways of showing someone you care, in the most important ways.

The BEST way to let someone you love them? Show them you care about their needs, thoughts and lives. Throwing in a card, flowers or a gift are just the icing on the cake. The Lord really wants us most of all, to show we care though our actions! πŸ™‚

How do you show people in your life that you care?

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Homemaking LInkup

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Modest Monday: Football Fan Style

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I’ve never been like everyone else, which led me to much questioning as an adopted child. Although we were all redheads, it was clear that I looked different and had a different personality. It wasn’t until my 4th sister was born when I was 17 1/2 that I felt like someone looked more like me with our round faces and such. Later, I realized my 3rd brother has my personality. He’s 11 years younger.

I’ve always LOVED being feminine, and used to beg my mom, even in first grade, to let me wear dresses instead of pants. I also grew up being taught modesty, just not the reasons for it, except to not distract the boys at school. But no one had to beg me to appreciate my girly-ness. Instead I had to fight hard for it my whole life. And the more years that pass, the more I feel odd for wanting to be feminine, when most are fine dressing far too similar to men. God made me female, why would I want to look like a guy?

One area where it seems almost unforgivable to be feminine is in sports, but I don’t even like wearing t-shirts in my everyday life, so of course I don’t really love wearing them while watching sports. Actually my husband hates me in those sports t-shirts. But I love feeling more connected to my home state, my college and my college friends by watching my alma mater play football while living out of state.

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So first I bought this dress to wear during games with a yellow shirt underneath:

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Still sporty, but not so masculine.

But sometimes I need more, so even though I know everyone will think I’m weird, I’m sharing my cute and feminine Oregon Ducks outfit from last Saturday:

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This shirt doesn’t have their name or duck on it, but it’s the right color! And the skirt has both yellow and green in it. BTW: I’m making the Oregon O here. πŸ™‚

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I like being accepted, but I also like being unique. Sometimes that means I’m the only one I know like me and people think I’m odd. Sometimes I’m okay with that and sometimes I just want to be “normal.” I think we’re all constantly working on being okay with our uniqueness. That’s life! πŸ™‚

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I talk with my hands. And my Sweetie doesn’t always wait until I’m ready when he snaps photos! πŸ™‚

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GO DUCKS!!!!!!

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Modest Monday: My Favorite (Flowered) Dress

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I shared about this dress before HERE, but it never received it’s proper attention, as it IS my FAVORITE dress!!! I rarely pay full price for things like clothes, but I was too scared to lose out on this pretty dress, so I bought it, then and there! Β  A year and a half later and it’s still my favorite!! πŸ™‚

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The dress was a tad short, so I added a strip of lace along the hem.

I just ADORE flowers!!

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I still love this jewelry from Connor Inspires Amy on ETSY.

We tried a new spot for photos at my in-law’s and I LOVE seeing the GREEN behind me!!

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I found the beautiful dress at Target.

Happy Monday!

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Modest Monday: Shamrock Edition

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Haha! Two weeks later, here we go! Celebrating and having WordPress issues has made my Irish Day posts take longer, sadly. I like to share photos and the photos weren’t loading any way that I tried! But here we go finally! So, For Modest Monday, here’s what I wore the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a good thing we enjoy the Irish culture year round! πŸ™‚

I made this little jacket several years agoΒ  and I still love it. πŸ™‚

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I absolutely LOVE these new shoes! They are a Mary Jane style with wee heels and would be great for swing dancing or a more comfortable version of character shoes…says the dancer. πŸ™‚

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See what I mean?

And this pretty, elegant jewelry was a gift from my in-laws.

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I’ve had this barrette since college…so just a little while…ahem. Haha!

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It was yet another hot day, so my hair was up in a messy bun with the barrette around the hair bands.

Now, how about these brand new rings? The shamrock one is from Avon and the flower is from Kohl’s. I LOVE them!!!

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I’ve been needing a temporary wedding ring as I’ve gained weight and live with hot, swollen fingers a lot in our summery climate. So, I wore this one while I waited for another one to arrive.

I find it fun to dress in festive clothing, do you?

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Lord’s Day Scriptures: God’s Beauty and Patience

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It’s difficult to remember sometimes, but God does make beauty out of ugliness, He does give beauty for ashes and He does bring healing from pain. I need this reminder daily! I want to know why now. I want to see healing now, I want to move on to the beauty now. But calls me to hope and believe and be patient and TRUST Him and His promises.

The wonderful thing? He gives us so much beauty all around us in His creation…and even in some of His people. I think He does this to help us see Him and to help encourage us to persevere, while we enjoy these little respites! πŸ™‚

Thank you Lord!

“He has made everything beautiful in His time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11a

(Daisies are my favorite flower and green is one of my favorite colors! πŸ™‚ )

*I found this image on Facebook with no original location.*

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Love Day

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This time of year we are all focused on LOVE. And tomorrow we’re celebrating the love between two friends as they pledged their lives to each other. Such a fun way to celebrate LOVE and marriage! We’ll be remembering our own wedding, others we love…and the most important love…our Lord’s love for us. Unconditional, all consuming, gracious and forgiving. There’s so much more even to His GREAT LOVE for us! What a blessing!

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So, as I celebrate the beginning of our friends’ brand new marriage, my own 16 year marriage to my Sweetie, most of all I’ll celebrate the love of my God and Saviour, without whose love I would be lost and alone, but instead am cherished and cared for. I’m so thankful there is LOVE!! πŸ™‚

Lord’s Day Scriptures: God Supplies Our Needs

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Our God supplies our needs. He does. It may not always feel like it, especially when we mix or confuse wants with true needs, but He ALWAYS provides the things we really need. And what do we need most of all? To choose to follow Him. To choose to follow Christ. Our one, biggest, most important need is to follow Christ, to repent of our sins and obey and serve our Lord. That’s it. I may think I need this or that even just the basic needs, I may think I can’t endure anymore suffering, but the truth is that all I need is HIM!! I’m going to try to remember that this week!

There are riches and glory in Christ Jesus that we can’t conceive of. He’s the BEST, and the best for me…and for you!

Happy Lord’s Day!

Healthier Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies

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We’re trying to be healthier this year. Eating more fresh, organic and from scratch meals. Although I’ve always cooked most of our meals at home, I have taken shortcuts, so we’re working on making the time again for life without the shortcuts. It’s been hard, but definitely worth it. Actually we’ve been working on this for awhile, because it’s a process, or a journey, not a destination. Finally having that concept take hold in my brain is making a huge difference. I don’t give up if I slip up, I just keep persevering. The modern idea of a diet is NOT what we’re striving for, but healthier habits and realistic, every day living. So I was THRILLED to FINALLY find a healthier cookie recipe for splurges that aren’t exactly splurges!

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It’s protein packed, which means I can only eat two at a time maximum, and has no refined white sugar and no flour. And it’s still skrumptious! If you knew how many I’ve tried, you’d understand my joy!! Yummy!

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So here’s the recipe:

Healthier Chocolate Chip Nut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  3. Using a large spoon to drop batter onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (making sure you leave plenty of room in between each).
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes

I added about 1/4 cup flour because I was worried the batter was too wet, but next time I won’t. And I’ll under cook them a bit, because I like cookies that way.

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We bought these lovely mugs in Ireland about 14 years ago, and we still love them!

But they were so great I almost cried, since I’ve searched for sooo long! Not as sweet as you might be used to, but I think it’s easy enough to get used to, especially if you’re being more careful already anyway. Our bodies do adjust. I’m very happy with them and don’t need to continue my search. :>

I’ve also committed to being in God’s word everyday, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes. That’s the real key to getting healthy…and everything else of course!

How do you build healthy habits?

**HERE’S where I found the recipe.**

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I Believe God is My Healer

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I LOVE this Pooh and Piglet view I took of the unsuspecting granddaughter with her Poppie!!

Listening to Kari Jobe today, I came across this song that has been a big part of my healing over the past couple of years. I am so thankful that God is my healer and He is helping me move on from losing our precious daughter…finally. I mourned, hard, for ten years, before I finally, really began to heal, thanks to a few different things. You can read more HERE and HERE. As she turned 17 two days ago, we have hope that it won’t be long before she’ll have the choice on whether she wishes to see us…or not. But it definitely helps, along with these other things pushing me through life.

I cry a little less, enjoy the memories a little more and have been able to separate my desire to see her again with my desire to welcome another child into our lives.Β  For a long time I wasn’t sure if I just wanted our darling girl back or still wanted a child in general. And I think I made her memory more important in my life than anyone else, including Christ.

This song is a constant reminder running through my head of where my focus needs to be and who it she be directed to!

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You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
and heal all my disease
I trust in You
I trust in You

CHORUS:
I believe You’re my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe
I believe You’re my portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
Jesus, You’re all I need

BRIDGE:
Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands
Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands

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Modest Monday: Denim Dress and Green Flowered Cardigan

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Finally…a new Modest Monday post! Actually, we were exhausted yesterday, after arriving home the night before from a little, last minute getaway, directly after a trip to spend Christmas with the in-laws, which was directly after having been sick for a week. So…we arrived home from church, I plopped down on the davenport and my Sweetie says to me, “I thought you were going to have me take outfit photos…” Groan from me. But, if he’s willing, I’ll do it. So we trudged out there and took them in about 10 quick minutes! Even while we tiredly, crankily argued…still, only 10 minutes. Then I took a nap and wasn’t so cranky anymore! :>

I woke up that morning and sat there trying to figure out what to wear and decided to pair my denim dress that I’ve worn here before, with my boots, black Haftee, necklace a friend made for me and one of my favorite cardigans. I found this cardigan at a thrift store years ago and fell in love with the flowers and the color. The wool was a bit too warm after all, even though we’ve finally been having cool days the past week. So I had to take it off. Boo hoo! But at least I’ve been able to wear my hair down lately, after three years of hot weather and having to wear it up. Yay! I am not a big denim fan, but this dress is the perfect cut for me, empire waist, A line and the perfect length for my height. :>

And I feel like maybe you actually can’t see the exhaustion and frustration in my smile…maybe. I was surprised at how well I felt the photos turned out after all of that. We like to make each other laugh!

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I also wore this cardigan for my Anne of Green Gables reenactment post.

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Happy Monday and Happy Adjustment back to regular life!

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Living Proverbs 31

Tea Time Tuesday
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