It's no secret that the best way to cultivate joy is to think about the simple gifts that make our lives happy. Once a month I'm going to take a few minutes to think about the things I'm loving, write them down, and share them with you. I'd love for you to do the same!
Charlotte is in a very feminine, girly phase right now. It's all twirly dresses all the time around here. She also insists on having pretty fingers and toes. Her sitting-still stamina has come a long way, but she's only four and waiting fifteen minutes for nail polish to dry is still an eternity. Thank goodness Sally Hansen has come to the rescue with their line of insta-dri nail polish! It comes in every color of the rainbow (including purple glitter) and dries in one minute! We have weekly mani/pedis now during T's naptime (we'd need a ten second dry time for that little busy bee) and it's such a fun little ritual for both of us. I usually paint my toenails to match whatever color she's picked, and she loves being "toe twinkies" with me! Note: The polish does wear off fairly quickly. Clearly it's time to repaint those nails.
Chris started a new job at the beginning of August, and now a month in I can honestly say this has been such a positive change for our family. His old job had him working very long hours, where he wouldn't make it home until 6:45 or 7 every night. So many nights we ate dinner without him. His stress level was so high it was hard for him not to think about work even when he was home with us. We began praying for a new job that wouldn't require us to relocate, (most of the jobs in his profession are out of Southern California, San Francisco, or New York City) that would have more reasonable hours, and be more in line with the direction he wants for his career. We were amazed and overwhelmed when God brought him a new opportunity the first week he started applying for new jobs! It was a scary step of faith for him to give up his great position at a company he'd been with for ten years and accept a job with a much smaller company, but we are both so glad he did. We are able to eat dinner together earlier every evening, and he has so much more time with the girls now. I'm trying not to take advantage of him being home, but I'd be lying if I said I haven't made a few Walmart runs while Tessa naps in the afternoon. :)
I've had a love affair with this juicy, sweetly tart fruit ever since my dad planted a peach tree in our backyard when we lived in Southern California. Last year wasn't a great year for peaches, but this year they are absolutely delicious! We buy them in flats of eight at Sam's Club and they are gone before the week is over. I mix them into my overnight oatmeal with a hearty sprinkle of cinnamon, make peach muffins, add them to greek yogurt, blend them into smoothies, and eat them just plain. I've found if I let them ripen on our windowsill and then refrigerate them as soon as they are ripe they last a bit longer too.
4. Thread Up
You've probably heard of this on-line consignment service, and I had too several months ago. I put the app on my phone and occasionally scrolled through their categories but I never really found anything I liked. Until now. The secret is to use the filters to narrow down category, size, condition, etc. which helps it not feels so overwhelming. I also had some mental filters that helped me scan quickly (certain colors, cotton fabrics, stripes, floral, no collar, no "wrinkly" material). I ended up ordering three sets of leggings and eight tops for my fall capsule wardrobe (I know I haven't blogged about my capsule wardrobe attempt yet, but I promise I will just as soon as I finish it). I kept all three leggings. Only three of the tops worked (the rest were either too tight or not flattering) but I absolutely love them and never would have bought them new. One of them, a super soft basic white tee from J. Crew, retails for $89 (!!! I paid $22). Today I just hopped back on my account and followed their simple return procedure, printed out a free shipping label (you can return for free if you take store credit, if you want a cash refund you have to pay shipping). I'll have to run by the post office to drop the package off, but that's it! I've already "saved" a few more things in my cart, but I should really wait to order more until I get my refund credit (which unfortunately could take several weeks, boo.)
Little Birdy has been trying out her walking skills for months, but only in the past few weeks has she gotten to the point where she chooses to always walk instead of crawl. She's still new at it, and she's constantly waving her arms, sticking out her booty to check her balance, and tipping over and almost falling with every step. It's hilarious to watch, and also quite impressive the way she just picks herself right back up again after a tumble, no muss no fuss. I wish I was so resilient! My favorite place to watch her is in our backyard, where she has the extra challenge of a slope, uneven ground, and shoes (she loves her shoes, but she's not very good at walking in them yet since all of her practice has been on bare summertime feet). Doesn't it make you glad to know that God feels the same way about our stumbles and falls? He loves that we are trying, that we are moving forward even if we're not very good at it yet, and He's so proud of us when we shake it off and get back up and try again. And when the fall is extra-hard and we bump our noses or bruise our shins, He's right there, gathering us up in His arms for a kiss and a cuddle. Oh if I could always remember that God feels this way about me, I would have so much less shame and guilt when I fall!
What about you? What apps, circumstances, clothing, or stories are you loving right now? I'd love to hear them!