Dec 31, 2014

best of twenty-fourteen

I got this great idea to do a top ten of 2014 from my friend, Natalie. Thanks for letting me steal your idea.

2014 was a huge year for us with so many changes which when I look back at it all, they all seem so major! It's hard to imagine a year with more change, ups and downs, uncertainty and craziness than this one but some how we not only made it through it, we thrived. It's been a year of pain, laughter, dreams crashing to the ground while others being more than I could ever imagine possible.

It's funny to me when I look back on 2014 and think my word of the year was "brave." I can honestly say I've never felt like I had to be more brave in all my life. More on that later, but for now, here's to 2014.

In no particular order:

• Celebrating 2, 4 and 8!

2. Her favorite things at two were bubbles. I love her.

4. Weeks were spent working on her fourth "frozen" birthday. Thankful for a family that brought her dreams to life.

8. years of marriage. I do love this man. He challenges me, encourages me, believes I can do anything. And he has one heckofa green thumb. But most of all, I'm thankful for his friendship.

• We sold our house.

Although it felt sad and strange to walk through that empty space where we brought two babies home, painted every single wall from floor to ceiling to make it our own and started our lives together back home, it's just a reminder that our time here is short. Places aren't permanent. That chapter closed and a new one opened. A fresh start with a dream in our eye.

• And speaking of dreams, we got chickens!

We have dreamed of living in a place where we can have chickens. Now that we're out of the old house and in a temporary one, we were gifted a chicken tractor and chickens to go in it. God is so good. Even in the waiting, He provides. We may not be on our land with more chickens, goats, pigs and cows (maybe one day) - we are in a place where we're one step closer to living our dream and we're getting eggs and chickens to love on.

• Be Crafty adventures with Amanda!

I never imagined I'd be traveling to Arizona and Nebraska to co-host Be Crafty workshops with Amanda but this year brought crazy adventures and forced me to be brave with public speaking. And traveling alone. And just getting out of my comfort zone. These workshops, and Amanda's friendship have been such a sweet part of 2014 and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to do it.

• While we're on the topic of work-related things, THE highlight of my career this year has to go to having my designs sold at West Elm!!!

This is so huge to me. 2014 has been a big year for my little shop but being a Local West Elm maker takes the cake. Thank you to everyone that has supported and encouraged me. And yes, that's a bathroom selfie at the OKC "meet the maker" event. haha

• On a more serious note, this year I found out how my idea of being brave wasn't what I had in mind.

For those of you that have been around the past year. You know my word for 2014 was "brave." Specifically feeling led to go to Africa. More on that here. But then something happened.

I got pregnant and learned I couldn't go to Africa because of the shots required. So not only did I have to be brave with not going to Africa but also telling the many people that helped fund my way there that it was a no go. Then we found out I lost the baby, or more so that the baby wasn't actually developing because it got stuck in one of my fallopian tubes. And then I had to be brave as I was rushed to the emergency room one night after my tube burst requiring emergency surgery.

So my brave may not have been what I imagined. And may be a bummer of a best of 2014 but it had to be included because I learned so much along the way. I learned to trust God in a way I never had before. I learned that even if I don't understand the why's I still know He's there. And while the pain, heartache and so much sadness may not look like the best, I know there's so much better on the other side of it all and that gives me hope.

• A nice stream in that dessert was our family trip to Montana.


It was on the drive up that I found out we lost the baby. What better time to be away and around those you love most? It was a nice distraction but more so a nice time to just connect with family and process everything. I'll remember those 8 hour stretches of just praying and asking so many questions but feeling the peace and comfort the whole time. It also didn't hurt that there was beauty every where we turned. I have been blessed with an amazing family, that loves adventure and being together. I couldn't ask for more.

• More sad things, why not. Saying good-bye to my grandparent's house this year.

It was hard. There were a lot of tears. A lot. But there wouldn't have been the tears had that place not held so many amazing memories and so much love. I learned so much in that house and backyard. My grandpa taught me how to tie my shoes and grow food in his backyard. My grandma taught me how to cuss, what? No, she taught me how to make the most amazing pie crust and be a loyal wife. They were one-of-a-kind and they will be missed.

• Speaking of learning to garden. We got a new area to garden this year. It was the best year to date. Salads were made. Tomatoes eaten. Things were grown. I cannot wait to get started on our garden next year!!!

• And last but not least. We built a pond out at our land.

I say we. My husband was the brains behind it. I just had to be brave and trust that he knew what he was doing. Haha. Good thing he did. And praise Jesus the rain held off during construction and waited until 2 days after we finished to open the flood gates! I can't tell you how ready I am to be out there. But patience.

So thank you 2014. You were golden. Now I'm ready to ring in the new year with the ones I love.

Dec 30, 2014

Saturday recap - on a Tuesday

Insert the squinty eyes here.

It's just like me to decide to do a recap and be late on posting. Oh well. Better late than never. I blame it on the holidays.

So here's the last week...

It was a week of Christmas party dancing, bunk bed assembling, Bible reading, whole30 eating (even though I'm a drop out, I still keep trying), pom pom trimming by the girls, Rhema light viewing, new hen laying, Christmas Training, deviled egg making, dog sitting, present opening, lego building, more present opening, rejoicing, prime rib eating, more lego building, hutch building, sledding, snow jumping, snow man building and land loving.

Not to mention the melt downs, forced napping, laundry doing and all the other not so glamorous things.

It was a week for the books!

Dec 20, 2014

Saturday recap

In an effort to get more memories down, I'm going to try to do a Saturday recap. Instead of feeling like I need to post details and photos for all the little things, I've decided to post the highlights of the week. They may not seem like highlights to you, but they stand out to me and these are some things I'd like to remember. So here's the first recap.

I shipped the final orders from my shop this year.

It felt so good to drop those last orders off at the post office. What started off as a side hobby has become a way to financially assist my family. It's been such a blessing and I'm so thankful for all the support and encouragement I've received. But to be honest, I felt at a cross roads with my business this year. My business has grown (and that's been great and I'm thankful for it) but I love creating, designing, and learning new things. So when I'd have shop sales it would take it out of me. I have been a one gal shop and the time to fill orders would either keep me up way too late or leave me no time to create. So after gentle encouraging from my sister, ahem bossing, cough. I hired a part-time shipping assistant to help me package orders. Let me tell you. It was the smartest thing I've ever done. I have never had so much rest and peace during holiday sales and am excited for 2015.

Totally switching topics. My husband and I started to grow fodder for our chickens.

What is fodder, you ask? Sprouted grains for chicken (or other animals) feed. Eric did all the research (all the praise hand emojis for google and you tube), calculations and scheming, I just followed directions. We gave it to our chickens this week and they went crazy about it.

Did you know a 50 lb. sack of feed can become over 350 lbs. of feed when sprouted?! Talk about a great way to get more bang from your buck and give your chickens a healthier diet.

I could go on and on about that but I'm sure there's about .0007% people interested in that so I'll let you do the research - unless you really want to know more and then I'll share in another post.

I consumed an extra amount of coffee this week thanks to a sneaky 2 year old with a sharpie.

I think we need more culturally diverse dolls in this house.

The girls and I made some holiday favorites to gift including chex mix, puppy chow and ritzies.

I love having the girls help me in the kitchen and prepare gifts for friends - even if I have to repeatedly tell them to not each all the sprinkles or chocolate chips. 

In other news, I "started" the whole30 thing at the beginning of the month.

I have done pretty good with it. I found a cook book that I really like, Well Fed, and has some good whole30 recipes AND it has a great recipe for homemade mayo. Which I made with an egg from our backyard! It was really good. I say I was doing really good, then week 2 hit and then evenings and the cheese and the chex mix. So basically I'm a whole30 drop out but have good intentions to do it in January.

I was also super excited to finally be able to announce the next Be Crafty event I get to do with my gal, Amanda.

I'll be heading to Minneapolis, MN January 31st and can not wait to see her studio. Registration opens December 29th and only 20 seats are up for grabs. And I get to meet her mom! And her dogs. And I get to meet and eat treats from the amazing Melissa Coleman (@thefauxmartha) who I've followed on instagram for ever. Again with the praise hand emojis.

And lastly I did finally cleaned my office and closet.

Thanks to my shop being closed for a few weeks, I have extra time on my hands to tackle some much needed projects. My shelves are back to being organized, inventory is back in it's place and I have even set up my two work spaces. One desk is for all technology related things like computer, tablet, yada yada ya. The other is no technology allowed. Paper, pens, pencils and all hands on. It was a great idea I got after reading, Steal like an Artist, by Austin Kleon. If you're a creative-ish person, you need to read it. I learned so much from it and also a lot from his second book, Show your work. Amazon prime and they'll be here before you know it.

Also, the girls danced to Christmas music all-day-every-day, I finger-knit and made yarn pom poms for days, wrapped presents, raked the yard, did the laundry, cooked the food, read advent stories and ate a donut.

And that's that. My week in review. For the most part.