Dear Blossom, you’re growing up way too fast for my liking. At 2 years old you are already 3ft tall and stealing my shoes! Thankfully you’re not yet too old to give your mama a big hug, feeling your warm arms wrapped round my neck is one of life’s most fulfilling things. Dear Bubbles, this week you have mastered the art of waving and it truly is a joy to behold. Watching you wave up at me during your bedtime feed was one of the best mummy moments so far, it touched my heart and be stored there forever. Dearest Daughters, thank you for loving your mama so well.
These are some of the inserts from our family gratitude journal during September, reminding us that God is good and that we are blessed!
What have you been thankful for this month?
My monthly bake-offs have been somewhat sporadic this year and for that I’ve had to extend myself a little bit of grace as I’ve just not had the energy nor been in the right head space to direct my thoughts towards my baking goals. Thankfully the newborn fog has finally lifted and life feels somewhat normal again leaving me with some spare energy to think about baking once again. I was delighted to finally get round to trying this new sweet treat. I’m not a major cheesecake fan usually but this ‘rustic’ variety is definitely a hit with me. The jam didn’t work out quite as I was hoping but it was still simple to make and sweet to taste, a definite crowd pleaser that is easily adapted with your preferred berries.
What have you been baking lately?
Dear Husby, can you believe that it’s already been nine years since we said “i do”, or rather “I will”? Where has that time gone? Well I’ll tell you…
In nine years of marriage we have moved house 7 times, bought and sold property twice, visited 18 countries together, been to college for a year, had two precious babby girls, drank far too many Woodies takeaways and watched The Lord of the Rings so many times that we’re officially geeks.
You’ve introduced me to crunchy peanut butter and 80’s action movies and I’ve introduced you to Hercule Poirot and eccles cakes. You’ve taught me how to play chess, to appreciate (some) sports and to laugh at myself way more often than I used to. But most of all you’ve taught me to dream, to hold on to hope, to not shy away from adventure and to live life with an open heart.
My life is all the sweeter because of you. You are honest, you are generous, you are charmingly cheeky and you have great legs – it’s a killer combination that won my heart back then and still does now.
All of my heart…
… these nine years and still counting,
Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary!
Once again I am linking up with Quick Lit over on Modern Mrs Darcy to share with you some short and sweet reviews of the books I’ve been reading lately. Here are the notable.
The Sixty Minute Mother by Rob Parsons
The Husby read “The Sixty Minute Father” soon after we became parents and quickly declared he would re-read this book every year. So when I came across “The Sixty Minute Mother” on the church bookstall for a bargain price, I just had to give it a go. This book encouraged and challenged me in three very specific ways. Firstly, that as a mother I need to accept my children and not just love them, love and acceptance are two very different things. Two, that “if we do this, we can’t do that” and it’s as simple as that. Whether I work at home caring for my children or work outside the home serving others, I will be missing out on something and yet gaining something else. And thirdly, I learnt that parenting isn’t for cowards, my days with my girls safely tucked in my nest are numbered and one day I will need to let them go (and how I handle that is pretty key to our adult relationship). And did I read it in sixty minutes I hear you ask? Unfortunately it took me longer, but then I am a slow reader who also had to deal with a clingy toddler and cranky baby inbetween chapters.
Home for Good by Krish Kandiah
It is estimated that a child enters care in the UK every 22 minutes. In this book, Krish Kandiah challenges the church to better play it’s part in caring for the orphans in our midst, known better in todays context as vulnerable children. It’s a well balanced mix of Biblical teaching, insightful case studies and practical considerations that make it deeply challenging and truly gripping. This book left me feeling heart broken, convicted, daunted and inspired all at the same time, a very dangerous combination!
- Heartbroken – for the thousands of vulnerable children in the UK alone that are in need of a home for good.
- Convicted – that I very much have a part to play in this hard but rewarding mission.
- Daunted – at the responsibility and difficulties that would come with caring for such children.
- Inspired – by the difference the church could make it it chooses to support the care of vulnerable children in our own communities.
I ask that everyone read this book, but do so with caution, it will open your eyes, it will convict you and it will change you.
Continuing with the theme of vulnerable children, this book is a very brave attempt at redeeming international orphan care. The book focuses on the three main responses to the orphan crisis in the developing world: orphan care, short term missions and international adoption and highlights that despite many good intentions to help ‘our response to the orphan crisis runs the real risk of exploiting vulnerable families and children’. I have to admit as someone who has met orphans, been on several short term mission trips and who doesn’t rule out international adoption for my own family, this book thoroughly depressed me (as all books discussing the orphan crisis should do, I guess?) and yet, by the end it had also filled me with great hope. Hope that there is a way to help without hurting, a way to be obedient to our Biblical call to defend the fatherless. I recommend this book to anyone who supports orphan care ministries, to anyone planning on serving overseas and to anyone interested in international adoption. Despite being an emotionally challenging read, it is an important one that discusses the ethics and common misconceptions surrounding the care of orphans and vulnerable families.
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
Regular blog readers out there will have no doubt stumbled across popular blogger Myquillyn Smith, aka “The Nester” at some point. Her delightful blog, Nesting Place shares the secrets of decorating for real people and with some wonderful results. This book came out at just the right time for me, coordinating perfectly with our move into our new home earlier this year. As a recovering perfectionist and self-confessed neat freak, decorating can be somewhat trying for me but I can honestly say this book has been so freeing for me, enabling me to take on board the many practical tips Myquillyn has to share. This book has given me the courage to take risks, to paint that mirror, to ignore those well intentioned voices that say to go cream when in my gut I know I want to paint the walls white. It’s helped me to prioritise my spending and work out which items I feel are worth splurging on, like light fixtures and bed linen and which items I think I can make savings on, like cabinets and chests. This book has also encouraged me to define my own decorating style, thus knowing when to stay clear of the trends that just aren’t me – like cow hide rugs and wall antlers – and when to stick with the things I love, like hanging my wall gallery even if one off statement pieces are currently the in thing. ‘It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful’ has become my decorating mantra, which you will now often find me muttering under my breath as nervously paint up another piece of furniture or sew some simple homemade curtains. As Myquillyn says, “Done is Better than Perfect” and I have to agree. The perfect coffee table book full of beautiful photos and easy read chapters that you can keep dipping into.
What books have you been reading lately?
It’s the tenth of the month and I’m linking up with Rebekah Gough again for Ten on Ten.
Well, today has been such a beautiful day, full of blue skies and that glorious end of summer sunshine that reminds me why September is my favourite month. Needless to say it really wasn’t hard to find beauty in the ordinary today – here are my ten photos…
What beauty did you find in the ordinary today?
Dear Blossom, never one to be left out, thanks for jumping in and creating this wonderful mummy moment for me – a Bubbles sandwich with my cheeky Blossom chops! The laughter coming from you girls was gloriously contagious. Dear Bubbles, thanks for being such a good sport, so far you’ve been poked, pinched, kicked, slapped and now squished by your big sister during her attempts at playing with you and yet, you always seem to have a smile on your face. You’re quite a robust little thing really, a strong woman in the making I’m sure. Dearest Daughters, group hugs really are the best – long may they continue!