merry + bright

Here's a compilation of my favorite holiday decorations for Thanksgiving/Christmas this year because.... it's time for the holidays!

 white pumpkins! it's all about white pumpkins

 wood coaster + white pumpkin + feather name card

 autumn fireplace

candles in jars. always a good thing

 christmas in a jar. um yessss

winter scenes in jars. made some last year here...making more for sure

this could apply for thanksgiving as well

give thanks & be merry.

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I hope everyone is having a wonderful fall and that November is beautiful for you. For me, it's time to start listening to Christmas music. December will go by so quickly, that Christmastime needs to start as soon as possible in my book.

Lately I've been thinking about the new year since it will be here before we know it. There are new goals to be set and lessons to be learned from 2012. Have you ever felt like you have made some choices you will never be able to take back? Something that was said, a decision made, a look given. There's nothing like that feeling that is a mistake which weighs on you. 1 Corinthians 14:33 keeps popping up lately, reminding me that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. If what you are experiencing doesn't consist of peace, it's a good time to start evaluating how to fix that with the new year on it's way. There's always a chance for amazing.

I'm trying to put it all back together | I've got a story and I'm trying to tell it right | I got the kerosene and a desire | I'm trying to start a flame in the heart of the night
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the small things

The small things in life are some of the things that make it the most beautiful.

my grandma's hummel collection
bunting banners
iced coffee in a jar
old movies
driving the same route you usually do and finding something different each time
breakfast in bed
the railing outside windows (especially in paris)

The small things are wonderful to look for in life, but on a more serious note, I was thinking about the small things we do or say after I read an email from someone recently. In revising what they said, sometimes we think nobody is watching and nobody will notice. Or our decisions, no matter how small, won’t matter. But they do matter. Those decisions are dictating the next step you will be able to take. Sometimes the “small things” matter the most. They seem to determine our larger portion. The tragedy is that they are small and we often overlook them or begin to believe that they cannot possibly matter.

In trying times when there's temptation to take “shortcuts" to get where we need to go, even if they seem small and meaningless, we must hold firm and do the right thing.

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong
1 Corinthians 16:13 

So when it comes to your life, try not to overlook the "small things". No matter if it's making time for yourself and watching your favorite movie for the millionth time, or how you treat others, such as a coworker that is difficult to work with.


the gift of experience

 "I want you to get into the deep beautiful melancholy of everything that's happened."

"So you failed. Alright you really failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed... You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you're still smiling."

Remember all the sadness and frustration, then let it go.

Instead of looking at life as good and bad situations, maybe a better way to look at it would be everything as experiences. Life is the gift of experience. And oftentimes after the failure or "bad", something better can come along.

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an irish prayer

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
 For every sigh, a sweet song,
 And an answer for each prayer.

I miss you all so much...and I think you all know who you are! This is the first time I have had time to really sit down and get on here in quite a while.

Does anyone have any plans for St. Patrick's Day? I plan on finding some good corned beef and cabbage somewhere tomorrow, even if I end up making it! Come noontime, I hope to be living it up like an Irishwoman should. 

May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore.

Oh, someday Ireland, I will see you. Someday...


choose to love

I received a text yesterday which said, "When we carry unforgiveness, it's as if we move about dragging an anchor never getting anywhere. Let it go. It just isn't worth it.

Choose to love
                                   and experience love."

I thought it was a nice reminder and something that should be shared. I don't think we can love fully if we harbor unforgiveness, which applies to any kind of love, whether brotherly, motherly, or the "at 
  first sight" kind of love. No matter what kind, choosing to love means

                                   bearing all things and defending and holding others up.                                                                                      
           believing all things,                                               

               hoping all things and never giving up.           

                                      enduring all things, persevering and remaining loyal. 

And experiencing love....well that is just something that you'll have to do yourself!

And since it's almost Valentine's day AND I finally found one of my favorite photo shoots of all time (bookmarked this time so I don't lose it!), I just had to post these even though they've been around a while (from Shannon Nicole Smith). You've probably seen these, but either way, pretty much the cutest thing ever.


the art of balance

Henri Matisse, the famous French artist, once said, "What I dream of is an art of balance."
I think nowadays I dream of that too. With the kind of life most people lead, it seems that we are trying to find that balance of work and play, friends and family, chores and hobbies.

I think the ultimate balance is being able to do what you love for work, designating time to spend with the people important to you, and enjoying the journey that is made up of every minute of every day of your life. 

Balance is about being there for those in need and helping others. It's about using our God given abilities to bring that spark and joy, not only to our life, but to the lives of others that we may touch along the way. It's about taking adventures and experiencing new places. It's about the scary and unknown mixed with goals and security. It's the line between being driven and hardworking and relaxed and free. All good things lie in balance and the secret to all this is a bit of a mystery. I think managing our time correctly is important so that we don't end up working all the time and miss out on life, or vice versa.

How do you manage to balance your own life? Do some of you find it hard to blog in your busy schedules?

What are your thoughts or secrets on the subject? I would love to hear!

"Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them."
-Thomas Kinkade