Wednesday, December 28, 2011

something new

Hello Friends,
I wanted to share with you an exciting new venture in my life.  I have been busy putting together a portfolio and working on the website and it's finally ready...introducing Kitestrings Photography.  Thank you to all of my sweet family and friends for encouraging me in this new endeavor.  
If you ever need photos taken...I'm your gal :).  Also, "like" Kitestrings Photography on facebook to stay up to date on my latest work.  


Much Love,
Jen

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas Friends!  
May your hearts be full with the love, joy, and peace of Christ Jesus! 


On a side note: a big thank you to Beth and Britta from Snail Mail Designs for designing our Christmas card this year!  We are so happy with how it turned out :).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

lately

Here are tidbits of our life as of late:
1. Sweet potato fries: a delicious side!  I was even able to prepare these while Earnest napped.  Most days I still wait for the husband to come home before I start dinner.
2. A Date: We went out for dinner last week and had a splendid time.  I also only called the babysitter once (would have been three times if it weren't for the urging of my wise husband to just relax and enjoy the evening).
3. Advent Calendar Tradition: December days have been flying by. We've been recalling Christ's goodness and grace by reading Scripture or singing Hymns each day.  Do you have any Christmas traditions?
4. Curly Girl: Gemma found my sponge curlers from when I was a little girl!  She had to try them out of course...and this was the result!
5. Hello Handsome: Little Mister loves laying on his back and "talking".
6. Christmas Baking: I love the smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven, don't you?
7. Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cookies: recipe soon to come :)
8. An Early Celebration: My little sister and her fiance will be in Wyoming for Christmas so we celebrated early with the family. 
9. A New Home: We helped Justine and Zach move some things into their soon-to-be first home.  They will only be 4 blocks from us!

Wishing you all a wonderful pre-Christmas week!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Isn't she lovely?

This past weekend my friend/sister-in-law Britta 
co-hosted a bridal shower with me for my little sister.  
Below is a photo of Justine.  

Isn't she lovely?
 Here are other snapshots of our brunch-style shower:
 hand-made corsage by Britta
 We made our own coffee creamer!  It was good :).  Find the recipe here.  
I'd recommend the pumpkin spice.



 Beautiful Britta



Earnest was all tired out after the days festivities!


I can't wait for her wedding in January!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

four months


Thanks for checking out a few favorites of mine!
Maybe next month I'll really enjoy taking longer naps? :)  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

for children

I am so thankful for the children in my life!
It is the last day of November and the last day of the "Heart of Thanks" challenge.  
Thanks for following along friends!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

special surprises

Earnest rolled for the first time from tummy to back on November 5th.
Here's a little look at that experience:  
video
I love the ways he surprises me each day with all of the new things he is able to do!  
Lately he's been working at rolling over from his back to tummy :).

Thanks God for special surprises.

even the difficult days

We all have difficult days, or nights in my case.  I've been challenged this past week to be grateful even after sleepless nights.  I think Ernie is teething or hitting a growth spurt; he gets up several times a night (reminds me of when he was a newborn!).  Last night was one of those nights.  What added an extra challenge was the fact that I had a friend that was planning on meeting me at the YWCA at 6am this morning.  I went believe it or not.  As I drove to the Y all I could think about was how tired I was and how much longer I could keep this up.  It's about that time that I realized I needed God's help; to get through the workout, to get through the day, to get through this sweet but tiring season of life.  It felt good to call on a God who cares.  Now, when I got to the gym I honestly contemplated napping for an hour in the locker room instead of working out :).  Sanity won though and I hit the stairmaster.  

"cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you"
1 Peter 5:7

How are you thankful after a hard day?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

combined thankfulness


The long weekend is coming to a close.  
The laundry is tumbling in the dryer, 
the boy is asleep, 
and the husband is reading beside me.  
Such a good weekend.  Such a good God. 

God, you are so, so good.  
Thank you for your new mercies and grace each day.  
Thank you for your steadfast love.  
Thank you for being for me and not against me. 


"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever."

-Psalm 136:1

Friday, November 25, 2011

each hour

I am so thankful for an extended weekend with family.  
I'm thankful for the leftover turkey sandwiches and assortment of pies.  
Thankful for late night shopping with the girls 
and the wonderful husband who watched Ernie while I was out.
Thankful for homemade sweet potato fries and burgers for dinner.
Thankful for an early bedtime for the little one.
Thankful for a relaxing evening of sweatpants and a movie.

But most of all I'm thankful for the 
grace, love, and hope of Jesus Christ filling each hour of each day. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thanksgiving grace

It was exactly one year ago today that we told our parents that we were expecting!  
You can read more about it here.
  
I'm thankful for the ways God has shown me grace upon grace.

"And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."
-John 1:16

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

His Power


"He is the radiance of the glory of God 
and the exact imprint of his nature, 
and he upholds the universe by the word of his power."
Hebrews 1:3a

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

refuge


Thank you God for being my refuge and strength.  
Thank you for helping me in times of need.  
Thank you for fighting for me always.
I am only safe in you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

rest

I am thankful for Sundays, aren't you?
Time to sit and drink coffee with my husband.
Time for afternoon naps.
Time to quiet my heart and hands.
Time to reflect on His glory.

This weekend was spent at our parents' home.  
We celebrated my sweet sister-in-law Britta's birthday.
  We played new games, watched old home videos, and ventured through the first snow 
for birthday coffee and dinner.
  Such a fun and restful time! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

His Creation


This afternoon we were surprised with the first snow of the season.
Fluffy white flakes fell softly from a gray sky.
It was perfect weather for taking a family Christmas photo.

Thanks God for the change of seasons and how your glory is proclaimed in them all.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of His hands"
-Psalm 19:1


for the entire "Heart of Thanks" challenge go here

Friday, November 18, 2011

marriage

I am thankful for marriage; for my husband Josh.
For the way he looks at me.  Still.  
For forgiving me when I don't deserve it.
For his thoughtfulness shown in notes, cleaning the kitchen, or special surprise dates. 
For being the best papa to our little Earnest.
And for displaying the splendor of Jesus in his servant-hearted ways.

Thank you LORD for him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

this home



Thank you Jesus for our sunny yellow kitchen
filled with laughter and the smells of good things baking.
Thank you for a warm living room with the floral sofa
and always enough seating for friends.
Thank you for the laundry room where
little clothes hang on the drying rack.
Thank you for the husband that remodeled
EVERYTHING.
Thank you for the love that overflows.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

His ways



"For consider your calling, brothers:
 not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,
 not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
  But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;
 God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
 God chose what is low and despised in the world, 
even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.  
And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, 
who became to us wisdom from God,
righteousness and
 sanctification and redemption,"
-1 Corinthians 1:26-30

Father, thank you for your wise, upside-down ways.  Thank you that you use simple, small, weak people to accomplish your purposes.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

a friend

Meet Amber.  Wife, mama, and dear friend.  
Amber and I met in college while studying education.  
We hit it off instantly in Spanish class!  
I have fond memories of ice cream outings, 
double dates and watching football with our husbands.
She was one of my first friends to become a mom.
I loved dreaming with her about her little one.  
Amber and her family moved away a few years back 
but we still keep in touch.  
Amber is one of the most thoughtful people I know.  
She often sends cards, text messages, or voicemails 
"just because" and to let me know she cares 
and is thinking of me.  She's also very good
at remembering special occasions. 
  
I'm so thankful to God for this family.  

Amber has taught me about motherhood 
and about being a woman who trusts God 
with the big things and the little things. 

Thanks God for Amber.

P.s. Happy Birthday Amber!  
Wish I could be there to celebrate with you! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

this day

Today was spent at home...the first Sunday in awhile.  
It was lovely.  
We cleaned, we cooked, we finished projects. 

Here is one of my completed creations:
(my sister's Christmas gift...last year)

We went on a walk.  
A long, refreshing, 
leaves crunching beneath your feet, 
stopping for a coffee kind of walk.  
We listened to a sermon.  
We enjoyed each others company.  
We are thankful for this day.

Thanks Jesus for days like these.
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it"
-Psalm 118:24


click here for the entire "Heart of Thanks" challenge

Saturday, November 12, 2011

something simple

I'm thankful this evening for dinosaur footed pajamas.  Cozy pajamas after a bath, what could be better?  These soft sweet pjs remind me he isn't going to be little forever.  

Thanks God for everything little these days.  

I want to thank my mom for the cute pajamas too:).

Friday, November 11, 2011

oh what love


"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
-Romans 8:38-39

Thank you LORD that your love is stronger, higher, deeper, and better than anything else.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

the unexpected

Here's a look at my family on my 27th birthday.
 If you would have asked me at age 20 to predict what my life would be like at 27 I would have told you I was going to be a married fashion designer living in the suburbs with a few small kiddos.  
I love how God always has the best plans...and His plans always shake things up a bit, don't they?  

Here's how His plan unfolded these past 7 years:
1. I married a friend from high school.  (I always prayed to marry someone just like him...turns out I married him instead...even better!).
2. I dropped out of a fashion design program and pursued teaching after volunteering at an amazing Christian inner-city school.
3. I became a teacher at that same school three years later.
4. We moved into the heart of the city.
5. We met Jemimah through that school.  She's been a part of our family for 2.5 years now!  Love this girl.
6. I am mama to one small kiddo and a pseudo mama to a senior in high school (Jemimah).  I definitely would have never predicted this one :).

Thanks God for all things unexpected.  Your ways are better by far.

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
-Isaiah 55:9