Saturday, November 23, 2013

Today is the day.

Today is the day we were supposed to meet our sunshine baby.
Today we celebrate his life.
And today we grieve over his death. 
And we ask that you Lord, be so very near to us.
These empty arms need your arms to wrap around us.

I know

God's arms are bigger to hold him.
Stronger and and more gentle to rock him.
His voice more calming than mine, his mother's voice to calm him.
God's love is 
than even the greatest love I could have for him.
I thank you, Lord, that our Elston is dwelling with you in that way. 

Thank you to my friend Rebecca Christian for this reminder. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Homeward Handmade

In case you were considering doing some mid-week shopping, I've got a little shop that is one of my favorites. It is called Homeward Handmade and it is one of the loveliest out there in my opinion. 
My sweet friend Hilary puts her heart, her self, and giftings into creating nature-inspired hair pieces that are absolutely wonderful. Her work is beautiful and unique and makes the world a more beautiful place to be. 
Meet Hilary. She's stunning, isn't she? 
^ Chevron Leaf Headband...come to mama. ^
Read more about Hilary here. She has a delightful and inspiring story about her passion and shop.
If you have an idea brewing in that beautiful brain of yours, custom pieces can be made. 
^ Hilary, her hubby, and her amazing handmade beards. ^
I just love you two so much I want to pinch your cheeks. Top cheeks for clarification. 

Hilary, you inspire me, dear friend. Never stop creating. 
This world needs the beauty that you have to offer. 

Relish in all the beauty that is Homeward Handmade here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

One week.

This coming up Saturday, about a week from today, our baby was supposed to be born.
I am supposed to be round. My ankles swollen. My wedding rings tight. 
Uncomfortable yet filled with excited anxiety. 

 A week from today, we were supposed to meet our Elston. 
We were supposed to hold him. Calm his cries. Announce to the world. 
Tell him a thousand times that day how much we love him.
Then a thousand times the next day.

Today I allow my heart to sit still. Knowing and feeling the Lord near.
Yet knowing and feeling an emptiness. 
A heaviness.
 A brokenness. 
A longing. 
A longing for the way it should be. 
Because this. This is not how it should be.
A mama with no baby. 
A heart still in a thousand pieces. 

Jesus, today is one of those days that I can't. 
Hold my heart tight. All the pieces, would you? 
Hold our baby extra tight today, would you? 
 Tell our sweet baby a thousand times today how much he is loved, would you? 
And then tomorrow a thousand times more? 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy Birthday PK!

Since the first day we met, there was something about you. {Besides the amazing beard}
I wanted to know about "that bearded guy" and I tried my best to do so. 
A bit after this picture was taken, I tried twice to get you to ask me for my number. Didn't work.
I thought maybe it was because I had you listen to my MySpace raps too early on.
{This picture is on the first day we met. Vince had no clue.}

The next day I got a message from you online saying you wanted to "get to know me better" and asked if we could talk on the phone. I squealed and jumped around the house like a 16 year old girl that just got asked to prom by the quarterback. 
{Our first date in Chicago. PK drove up and surprised me. Best ever.}

Aaaaand the rest is history. 
Beard got shaved.
{Now this month there's a mustache.}
I turned back into an au natural brunette with bangs.
{I confess there are days I miss my blonde.} 
And life feels like it has flown by. 
PK, you are it for me. 
I celebrate you today! I do believe that the Lord has created 29 years of awesome and that the world is a better place with you in it. You are strong and brave. You are a manly man. You make me laugh like no one else. And you're my partner in crime. I love your love for economics and the Old Testament and whisky and pipes. I love that you know more Jay-Z songs than I know lines from The Hunger Games. You have a heart that wants to know other people and their hearts deeply. Your passion for Jesus and for others to know Him is inspiring, so keep on being a light to this world, PK. You are quite amazing.

Happy 29th birthday to a man who is aging like a fine wine during a perfect Sonoma wine season. 
Cheers to you!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hand-lettering tutorial & hand-lettered shop!

My friends, today is a big day. For two reasons. 

Reason one: 
My sweet friend Cammie over at Polka Dotted Peony asked me to do a little tutorial on how to do some fancy hand-lettering. It's surprisingly simple. So, head on over to her blog, get tutored by the tutorial, hand-letter something pretty, put it on Instagram, tag me, and show the world your awesome new skillz. 
Yes, skillz. 
Reason two: 
It's been in the works for months now. I've put it on hold. Prayed. Continued. Put it on hold again. Prayed. And the cycle continued. With shaky knees and a heart that is stepping out in faith, I'd like to introduce you to my little hand-lettered shop. 

The Simple City Shop is the name and hand-lettered everything is it's game. 
Custom-made prints. 
And the like. 

She's still a work in progress {I mean, aren't we all?}, and it has been quite a journey of the heart and mind to launch the shop. All this to say, please head on over there and check it out. I would love to make you something pretty to decorate your home, or hand-letter a piece that would speak straight to someone's heart as a gift. I hope you enjoy what you find over at my lil' shop! 

I want to say a special thanks to my sweet friends who have been incredibly encouraging during this whole process of opening the shop. It's been a long time coming and I couldn't have done it without you telling me to do it. Like, for real. You know who you are and you are some of my inspirations. 
Thank you Cammie for helping this creative entrepreneur with your business mind and skills. These last stages of my shop needed your guidance. If you all have not read through Cammie's series on Savvy Business Secrets for Creative Entrepreneurs, it's a must-read. It is a series I will go back to as I continue to learn the business side of The Simple City Shop. 

Happy Friday to all and thanks for stopping by!
You are loved.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

But He gives more grace

When my words hurt the ones I love the most, He gives more grace. 
When my heart and mind are everywhere but on Him, He gives more grace.
Pour your grace on this messy ol' heart today, Jesus.
Thank you #shereadstruth for this beautiful reminder. 
Thank you amongstwoodedpaths for the loveliest photos I ever did see. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Stitch Fix

It's here! It's here! My Stitch Fix delivery came in the mail yesterday!
 I told the delivery man he has the best job in the world. He laughed a bit, then proceeded to show me some food that was spilled on the box and told me not to worry because it didn't actually get in there and that he thought I might want some leftovers anyway. I found that to be quite hilarious and saw that the spill looked a bit like marinara sauce so I then told him leftover pizza is my favorite. We then parted ways and my first Stitch Fix adventure began. 
Lemme give you a run down of what Stitch Fix is if you are new to the whole thing:
1. You create a style profile online
2. A stylist takes that & hand picks five items for you
3. They send it your way
4. You keep what you like & send back the rest. 

You guys, it's so fun! But now I need your help. Here are my five items below. Which ones are keepers and which ones should I send back? Please note that I am kind of new to this fashion blogging thing. I tried my darndest with the poses. 
Here we have the Bellview Scalloped Blouse. I think I might be in love. 

Next up: the Calloway Striped Cable Knit casual comfy sweater. 
When I see this sweater, I'm like, meh. Not that in love. 
Not sure it's the most flattering crayon in the box.
This next fun clothing piece is the Flare Pointe Dress.
I'm back and forth about this one! Thoughts??
This necklace. OOooooh this necklace I swoon over it. Come to mama Mini Cabochan Necklace. I think this one is a definite YES!

A special thanks to my photog and loverboy, PK. You were a trooper taking these. 
A special thanks to my stylist, Addie, because she rocked it. 
A last special thanks to Stitch Fix for being the most awesome thing since sliced bread. 
This was seriously so fun. 

P.S. If you want to sign up to receive your very own fix, click here. You won't regret it. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

November is here.

I chatted on the phone with Kelley today. She is one of my sweetest friends. She's one of those friends that you just pick up where you left off no matter how long it has been. She's one of those friends that if we weren't so far away on the United States map, I'd probably be over at her place everyday because she'd probably be my neighbor and it would probably be amazing. I could see us having a conjoined garden and never having to go to the grocery again. I mean it too. We'd probably learn how to make our own homemade toilet paper together and find natural remedies for everything using essential oils and weird teas. 

She asked me today how I was doing seeing as it is the beginning of November, the month we were to finally meet our sunshine baby. Today was actually the first time I allowed let myself really think about it, or more so open my heart to it. It's one thing to think about things in the back of my mind, but when I allow my heart to feel what I'm thinking, it's a whole other ballgame. 

A part of me wants to just trudge through, and get this month over with, and not think about anything, and maybe skip out altogether on November 23rd. But here's the thing, I'm not sure if I even know how to do that anymore, for better or for worse. So, I told Kelley I think the only thing I can do is let whatever happens, happen. In my heart of hearts I don't want to skip out on any moment I can have with being close to the Lord in this. I closed Him off to the sad places for so long in the past. So, I'm just going to continue to let Him in, to be sad if I need to be sad, to celebrate the baby that changed my life for the better, and take the expectations off of myself of how I "should be." 

This November, I am just going to be. And be okay with that. 

I am going to grieve.
I am going to be thankful.
I am going to cry.
I am going to celebrate.
I am going to cling to the God who has been with me this whole time. 
Who has held my heart.
Who has been my strength. 
Who has been patient.
Who doesn't rush. 
Who has our sweet baby in His arms.
Who has all of this under His control.

Oh Lord, be near to this weak and weary soul. 
When it feels like I can't, help me to know and believe You can. 
I am in much need of you to hold this heart closer than ever. 
I trust that You are good. 
I know that You are good.