Friday, March 13, 2015

Life Lately {kinda of}

Its March - its super sunny and warm here in So. Cal and I am loving it!  It makes me a bit restless - I want to get out and be adventurous, much unlike how I was in January and February!  I sort of went into hibernation mode and hunkered down most evenings and weekends!

So in the vain of Insta Friday and Life Lately, here is what January 2015 looked like:

lunch date and shopping with these 2 - my favorite

I finally painted and papered this corner shelf!  It was bought YEARS ago unfinished - and I finally painted it!  I papered the back of the shelves with wrapping paper from Paper Source!  And added knobs from Anthropologie!  I absolutely love it!!
Spent a glorious weekend in Dana Point with my sister and 2 of my best friends for my birthday: laughing, talking, eating, happy houring, laughing and eating and laughing some more - so good for my soul!
I took my actual birthday off work - I never work on my actual b-day! I got a pedi, did some shopping, went to happy hour with a couple girlfriends and had dinner with my kids!  Perfect day!

Sydney made me a canvas and the cutest card!  My girl is very crafty!!
And as for February, well it was pretty low key:
I recovered this lap shade with heavy duty (fibery) wrapping paper from Paper Source - its looks good on my new nightstand!
I instagrammed this - keeping it real and sending a smile!

Sunday after church day at the beach with great friends and Sydney.  Followed by dinner at a local pizza place - so yummy! 
And lastly, reminders on my white board!

Which brings me to my one little word – See!  OH boy have I been seeing so much lately!  I am seeing the next steps for me in my personal life – I am seeing my need to really trust and let go of fear.  I am seeing how much He loves and wants to bless me – I am seeing that I just need to breathe and let Him.  I am seeing miracles - the little everyday ones and the really big ones! 


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Thought of You Today

I took a walk at lunch today and I thought of you.  I felt the warm sun on my face and I thought of you and smiled.  I took a little bit longer walking back and I thought of you some more.
I thought about how very much you have changed my life and your father's and your brother's too.  I thought about all the other lives you have touched and how you have changed them.  I marveled at how you bless people with such an ease that you aren't even aware of.  I thought about your shyness and how you prefer not being the center of attention.  I thought about the day you were born and how delighted I was when they told me "it’s a girl."  My labor with you was so very easy, you came out with barely a push – already blessing me beyond comprehension.  I smiled and shook my head at that because I realized the many times I have needed to push you and encourage you to grow and stretch yourself; how I have pushed you to find the Lord and to find your calling and gift.  I wonder if I've pushed too hard and if you've only needed a "little" push.  You have always been determined and sure of what you wanted and liked.  I thought about how you have taught me to trust God deeper and to let things be imperfect.  I thought about your love for babies and your strong fashion sense that started at age 3!  I thought about how we butted heads over outfits and brushing your hair.  I thought about the times I yelled too much and wasn’t patient.  I fully remember all the times you were (and still are) quick to forgive me and extend grace.  I thought about how creative and generous you are, how selective you are with those you let "in" to your heart.  I thought about how you have navigated the dynamics of friendship in high school and how often you take the high road.  I thought of all the fun little things we do and how very much I like you, what a good friend you are to me at the same time as being a wonderful daughter.  I thought about how very deeply I love you, forever and ever no matter what.  I thought, I hope Sydney knows what a wonderful gift from God she is!

Monday, February 2, 2015

11 Things {New Year's at the Cabin 2014}

For the 3rd year in a row the kids and I have spent a few days in the mountains along with my sister's family and our dear friends the Luzzi's.  The Luzzi's have a wonderful cabin in Green Valley Lake (between Arrowhead and Big Bear) and graciously invite us each year to spend some time relaxing, eating, playing, napping, watching moves and ringing in the New Year with them!  Here are 11 things from our time there in 2014:

1.  The Cabin

2.  About an hour or so after we arrived – my car looked like this:

3.  Relaxing and staying warm, was done well:

4. The snow was beautiful and it was COLD!

5.  Hanging out in the garage, playing pool and what not!

6.  Sunset at the rocks – on New Year's day – beautiful

7.  At the rocks with these two – my favorite!

8.  My dear dear friend – love her like a sister

9.  These two –Travis and Nolan – sweet adorable good kids!

10.  Beautiful, sunsets are just magical

11.  We packed up and headed home – grateful for the memories made!

Monday, January 12, 2015

That Kind of Weekend

This past weekend was delightful and the kind that makes you want another weekend when the alarm goes off Monday morning!!  Aside from grocery shopping and dropping Travis and Sydney off here and there, I had nowhere I had to be and nothing specific I had to do or get done!  I had a few items on a do list I wanted to get done, but I didn't put pressure myself to get them done.  Friday evening while both kids were out with friends, I tackled a project I have been trying to do since I moved into my little house – sort through and organize various files and loose photos that I had in boxes and files. And I made a good dent on this Friday night!

Saturday was rainy and cool!  After errands and a few chores around the house and being the mom-taxi, I made some hot chocolate, wrapped a blanket around me and watched some TV. The rain was consistent almost all day, so needed here in southern California.  I savored this downtime!
I felt so content and happy and at peace in my house – I just absolutely love it!  Later in the evening I finished up my sorting project – I now have a neat and organized desk, all the loose photos are now organized in photo boxes and I even organized all my scrapbook stuff and files, so that hopefully I can begin scrapbooking again!
And then Sunday I awoke to more clouds and rain!  It was hard getting up, I wanted to stay tucked under my warm blankets!  But the coffee was calling me as was church!  Later in the day, Sydney and I went to a baby shower then I took a nap, made a yummy dinner and hung out with the best kids I could ask for!
So its no wonder that when the alarm went off this morning all I wanted was another weekend!

Friday, January 9, 2015

11 Things {December 2014}

1.  Decorating my house was so fun this year – I really thought I would want ALL new stuff (didn't want memories from the old stuff) but as I unpacked things and sorted through what I have, I was happy with a lot of the stuff.
2.  We made a lot of these little cookies! Sydney was so happy – best $2.50 I had spent in a long time!
3. posted a couple throw back photos of past Christmases on IG (@justiffanyday) 

4.  Had a lovely work luncheon at Bouchon in Beverly Hills
5.  Attended THE cutest ballet recital as several of my friends have 3 year olds!
6.  Went to a the Magical Christmas Caroling Truck party – so much fun!!
7.  Had cocktails, lunch and gifts with my wonderful sister to celebrate the Season!
8.  A little Christmas wish on IG – "May His perfect peace and love bring you eminence Joy!" 
9.  Spent Christmas day and the day after at my sister's house; warm, cozy, lazy days.  With yummy food! #blessed

10.  Did some post Christmas shopping: 
11.  Picked up this lovely platter at Anthropolgie, thanks to my mom's generous gift card!!  My mom also, along with the gift card gave me several wonderful items from Anthro!!

It was a GOOD month!  We spent a few days in the mountains for New Year's but that deserves its own 11 things post!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Today was a rough day!  I had to take many deep breathes and try and give myself grace.  I was remembering this moment up on the mountain in Green Valley - kind of surreal to look out over the city while the sun goes down!  Life is so hard and God is so good!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Well Hello 2015 {I see you}

 We said good-bye to 2014 in the cold snowy mountains of California in Green Valley Lake. 

And as the saying always seem to go, "where did 2014 go?"  I found myself reflecting a bit as I stared at the city from atop this little mountain.  I thought about my "word" for 2014: trust and how that carried me through the year.  I realized that trusting was so key to so much of what transpired in my life the last year:
- after two years of living with my mom and aunt, we moved into our own little place – so much trust for that to happen!
- I had to really trust that I can handle single parenting – of two teenagers no less!  I really learned how to love my kids well, love them how they need to be loved not just how I want to love them.  Parenting sure has its challenges and I am so completely grateful for a community that helps me and watches for things I may not see or notice.  I have really good kids and it's still hard to be a parent!  I am so lucky to be their mom, to guide them, to walk along side of them, to learn from them and to love them forever, no matter what!
- I had to trust deeper His will for my life and the wise ones who spoke truth to me.  I had to trust so utterly and completely that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
- And I learned to TRUST myself.  Time and time again I was reminded and shown how I am lead and guided and that I need to trust what I feel and hear my heart telling me. The trusting was huge for me and I am so thankful for everything I learned in 2014.
And now its 2015 – January - a new beginning and a fresh start.  I have noticed that throughout the year I feel like starting over and making a fresh start.  Maybe it’s the seasons or other events that take place, like spring break, summer starting and a new school year. 
I have spent some concentrated time deep cleaning my house and getting rid of things and decluttering and organizing – even though I only moved into my house 9 months ago, this still needed to be done!
And now, for 2015, here are some things I am hoping for and my one little word for this year:
I am hoping I will write more and post it here on my blog.  I like writing, my soul needs it and for some reason, it feels good to "put it out there" and just see what happens.  I have always looked at my blog as a scrapbook of my life, so I need to add to it, more frequently.  I guess I struggle with feeling like the content isn't important and/or finding and making the time to actually blog/post.  I tend to think in sequence of time when I post, so how can I write about my word for 2015 when I haven't written about December and Christmas!  What I need to realize is, it doesn't matter, I can make the rules about this blog – I can let it be whatever it is to be.  And I want to connect/introduce myself to bloggers whose blogs I read but don't comment on!
I am hoping to let myself be more vulnerable - life is hard and messy and full of grace and love.  I want to just breathe and be who I am, who He made me to be.  I want to accept the things I am not and embrace the things I am.   I love this quote "Love Writes a Beautiful Story."  I want to be vulnerable enough to let love write my story – in all aspects of my life.
I hope to read more books and keep up with my bible reading course.  I hope we find a rescue dog to call ours!  I hope I can start a regular walking habit/routine - I need to move more.
And my word for 2015 is see - to perceive with the eyes; look at; to perceive (things) mentally; discern; understand; to be congnizant of; recognize; to accept or imagine or suppose as acceptable.
I want to SEE this year - really see what my kids need, see what they are saying and not saying, see them completely and fully.  I want to see the hearts of my family and friends.  I want to see signs and wonders and healing.  I want to see miracles.  I want to see that I am walking my talk.
God is so Good!  His grace and mercy amaze me every time I see it and every time I am on the receiving end of it.  This life is not easy or perfect, it truly is a journey and I am so blessed to have a family, a church family and friends (who really are family) who love us so well!  I still struggle at times, I know we all do.  The amazing thing to me is, we aren't alone, we have each other, we have Jesus!  He turns all things to work for His good - we just need to love Him.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, palns to give you
hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11
Happy New Year - indeed!!