I am looking forward to a lovely weekend at home.  It's finally fall, and though a bit warmer here, the mornings are cool and the days are bright.

Tomorrow at 8am, we are running in a 5k race at a church nearby.  Running that color me rad race really got us pumped up, and we just want to keep up our momentum.  Finn especially loves our runs, as he gets to be outside in the woods.  He loves the dogs, birds, and squirrels we see.  The other day we saw a snake and tried to get him to get excited, but he really wasn't interested.

In the afternoon, we're checking out a fall festival at the same church as the race.  Hopefully there will be apple cider and/or pumpkin flavored goodies.

We are driving downtown to pick up some tickets for a Jim Gaffigan show in November that we are going to with my sister and her husband.  We might have time to check out Mass Avenue, which is a really neat artsy neighborhood in Indy and has a lot of great restaurants and shops.

Sundays are always my favorite.  We aren't on worship team at church this weekend, so we can sleep in, get there a few hours later than normal, and just enjoy the community and the message.  We usually take a nap or rest, then grocery shop and maybe go to our favorite local coffee house.

We loved the butternut squash risotto we had last week, so I'm making it again...perfect for a fall weekend.

(Our weekends are far from perfect, though.  There will be plenty of laundry, cleaning, changing icky diapers, calming a fussy baby, and dishes.  But, such is life, and we are living in it every day.)


some favorite posts...


Last week, I was able to get away and spend some time by myself to refocus, read, and journal.  This time was so refreshing for me.  I spent time reading some really encouraging blog posts, and I stumbled across a new blog that has been outrageously helpful and inspiring.  So I didn't want to keep these to myself, but to share them with you.

This post on money was super convicting, and encouraging.  Money seems to be the cause of a lot of unnecessary stress/worry/discontentment in life, and it was awesome to read this post.

These Ten Steps to make the most of every day really struck deep in me.  Plus, they seem easily achievable.

Landon and I have been talking the past few months about how we're tired of living "the American Dream."  We want something more for our lives, and we're getting inspired by discussions in our small group, the direction his job is going, and posts like this one I read.  We are ready to trade up.

More and more, the latest "theme" I keep reading about, talking about, and thinking about, is that of simplicity and having less.  This post addresses that subject and resonated with me in a good way.

On a run yesterday, Landon and I were talking more about all of this.  We see so much of this "rat race" mindset in every aspect of life.  Stressing at work to make it to the next rung of the corporate ladder.  Reading constantly about how to get your kid ahead in life and prepared for the future for fear he or she will lag behind.  Comparing yourself to others who seem to have more and seem to be happier.  (The first may be true, but chances are, the second is just a front.)

We are ready to tear down these culturally-built ideas of what a good life looks like.  We are ready to experience fullness in life by getting rid of things.  Things.  That's really all it is anyway.  Material, finite stuff that takes up room in our lives.  We are ready to spend our time, energy, and money on experiences and people.

Already, we have taken steps to clear out our life.  We cleaned off a bookshelf that was packed full of stuff we never used.  I took maybe 10 minutes and pulled out 10 items from my closet that I know for sure I will never wear again.  And you know what?  That felt great!
I'm ready for more.


a day of brie...

My sister, Hannah, had the glorious idea to do a girls' day, where we bake a bunch of our favorite brie recipes and drink some good wine.  Today was that day, and it was amazing!  Last year, Hannah got a bottle of wine when they were in Napa Valley area, and she's been saving it especially for us to share since having our little ones.  She is also the ever creative foodie of our family, so it's always a treat to get together and cook with her.

We did a Maple Pecan Baked Brie, Brie and Apple Flatbread with Honey, a Sun-dried Tomato Flatbread with artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, with fresh basil and brie, and a Baked Brie and raspberries, toasted almonds, in a honey balsamic vinaigrette sauce.  They were all delicious.

Landon's brother lives in the same town as my sister, and he generously offered to watch Finn for a few hours while Hannah and I enjoyed our time.  Emery, Hannah's little one, slept almost the entire time, so she was golden...plus it was a girls' day!

Here are a few photos of our afternoon.


a fall breakfast...

Well it sure feels like fall around here with the cool weather, bright skies, and the sun setting earlier.  Fall is for sure my favorite season, and I'm excited to experience it with our son this year.  We'll try to go to a pumpkin patch, the Renaissance Faire, have apple cider from back home, and try some great recipes.

Two nights ago, I made a Butternut Squash Risotto that was pretty tasty, and today I made pumpkin muffins for my breakfast.  They are the perfect pairing with my cup of coffee.

Here's the recipe I adapted from a few sites:

Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 c. natural sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. baking powder (we've cut out traditional baking powder from the house and make this substitute.)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 2/3 c. flour
1/2 c. natural applesauce
1/2 c. cold water
1 c. pure pumpkin

Mix everything together in one bowl.  Place in greased muffin tins.  Bake at 325° for about 40 minutes.

I am getting really excited because tomorrow, Landon's brother and his wife are coming to watch Finn overnight so Landon and I can go to a bed and breakfast to celebrate an early anniversary.  Ben and Casey got us a gift certificate for this adorable place a few hours away, and we are really really looking forward to a whole 24 hours without a baby.  We'll check out some hiking, I'm taking this new book to read, and just do a lot of relaxing.

This will be the first time away from Finn overnight, so hopefully I can just forget about him and enjoy the time with my husband.

What about you, what are your plans for this weekend?

Have a great one!


mama style...

I normally don't do fashion or outfit posts, but I got a shirt the other day and really loved it, so I thought I'd share.  There's a great second-hand shop near us, and I was able to get his great flannel shirt for $10.  It makes the cool weather feel so good, and wearing flannel makes fall feel that much closer.  You know when you wear an outfit that just works and makes you feel beautiful and great?  This was it for me.  I've worn this outfit maybe three times in the last week, I love it that much!

Being a mama can take a lot out of me...I am tired, overwhelmed sometimes, and paying attention and caring for a little one 99% of the time.   There are few moments that I truly have to myself, or feel like I am looking my best, only because I don't have a lot of time to "do myself up."  I am getting better at dealing with this, but I don't want to play the martyr either.  I am learning to cut out time wasters in my life, and making room for things that matter to me more, and not making excuses.  In my opinion, a mama needs to take some time for herself and make herself feel beautiful.  It's vital and necessary.

I was reading Bringing Up Bébé awhile ago, and a quote really stood out to me.

"She forgets about her baby, to think about herself.  She now takes a shower, gets dressed, puts on makeup, becomes beautiful for her own pleasure, that of her husband and of others.  Evening comes, and she prepares herself for the night, for love."

Let's be honest, the French make everything sound romantic and blissful.  But I really think there are some wise words in there.  Have you ever seen a mama that's obviously frazzled, tired, and grumpy?  I have...that was me yesterday!  Landon came home from work early, and told me to take a shower and get dressed up to go out for coffee.  I followed his advice, and it really made a huge difference.  My day was better, I was able to read my bible, read my favorite blogs, enjoy a nice drink, journal, read in peace, and feel beautiful and clean for a bit.

Now I am not saying that mamas should make sure they look hot and awesome every moment of every day...that's clearly not realistic or reasonable.  What I am saying is mamas should make time for themselves every once in awhile, to keep up morale.  Have your partner or a sitter watch your child for a couple hours once a week or twice a month, get dressed up and go out...but not for grocery shopping or errands.  Get coffee and read a book, window shop for things you like, check out an art gallery.

I really don't think mamas were meant to do everything on their own...props to those who can, but that's definitely not me.  There are things that keep me going every day - prayer, my husband, friends, and yes, looking good and feeling comfortable in my own skin.

Here's my fall mama style: casual, comfy, and easy.


my niece...

In August, my sister and brother-in-law had a sweet baby girl named Emery Malin.  She arrived, and my whole family was thrilled to have a new little member to love on.  It's been neat and encouraging to go through this phase of life with my sister at about the same time.  We are very close to each other, more than some sisters I would say, and it has been a huge blessing having each other nearby during this whole baby time.

So when Emery was about a week old, Hannah wanted me to come and take her picture for the birth announcement she was planning on sending out.  If you got one, you'll know what an awesome job she did at planning them out.  She went with a library theme, hand stamped and typed the cards, and hand bound the mini photo booklets.  Best birth announcement I've ever seen!

Here are some photos of Emery so you can get a taste of what the announcement was like.  Thank you to Landon for freestyle cutting out the letters of Emery's name!  It was a really good day, and I'm so glad I was able to help out with this announcement.


color me rad...

On Saturday, Landon and I were able to run in the Color Me Rad 5k that was here in town.  My parents came to watch and take care of Finn while we ran.  What a fun race!  First off, it wasn't timed, so no pressure there, secondly...color thrown at you while you run!  :)  There were thousands of people out running and walking, and it was probably the most fun race we've ever done.

If you ever get a chance to do this kind of race, do it!  It's a blast, light-hearted, and just fun to participate in.  There were so many different people running or walking, whole families came out together.  Loved it!  Also, I've got the itch now to run, so we're signing up for another 5k soon.

Thanks to my Dad for taking all of the photos, and thanks to my Mom for strolling Finn around!


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