An abundance of beauty.

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Living in Los Angeles hasn’t been the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

snort — But then again, since we got married, what really has been super easy?

We have often chosen the more difficult road, the bumpier road, the more adventurous road, the more “this is what God is telling us to do” road, and coincidentally, living in Los Angeles is one of those roads.

I feel so blessed to have had the experiences we have had, although I know many of you have had much more difficult of experiences. Our trip to Tanzania — the one that taught us so much about saying yes to God, the one that tested my faith in the most intense of way last fall, the one that confirmed my faith in the most beautiful of way (hello, little baby in my belly) — that trip is what pushed us over the edge and affirmed for us that yes, we need to move to Los Angeles.

Funny how the moments we hear God speaking to us the loudest are often the ones that are the most challenging.

At least, that’s been our experiences :)

We’ve been here in the big city for about 15 months, but it’s hard.

Daily I choose to make it our home. We don’t have a lot of “stuff”, and I’ve had to learn to be OK with that.

Daily I choose to encourage Zack and cheer him on with this career.

Daily I choose to not let the traffic eat away my patience; daily I choose to not let the homelessness within the city become something I get used to seeing.

Daily I choose to find a way — even if it’s different from what’s worked in the past — to be theĀ  best mama to Maxwell, a companion to Bauer, a meal cooker for our family, a friend developer, a handmade business owner and a daughter of Christ. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to be so many things, but when I focus on living life and being present in each moment, it doesn’t see that overwhelming :) In fact, in doing so I see an abundance of beauty.

In a city where it’s easy to feel lost & swallowed up, I remember this verse:

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame,” Psalm 34:4-5

I know without a skip in my breath that living here is what’s right for right now — there’s an abundance of beauty here.

I just have to be looking for it.

PS. How gorgeous is that photo of theĀ  red house with the red flowers (above)? I saw it while out on an afternoon walk. So so lovely.

8 DIYS for adding color this Thanksgiving.

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It’s crazy to think just a year ago we hosted Thanksgiving. We had moved to Los Angeles only a couple months before, but we hosted and we had a lovely time. Our home was filled with new & old friends, it was imperfect, but our hearts and tummies were full. Isn’t that part of what Thanksgiving is about, anyway?

As the holiday nears once again I can’t help but think of the table decorations and little ways to make guests feel welcome and at ease. One tip I have, that I learned from this dear heart friend is instead of apologizing for the way something looks in our homes we should be putting the focus on welcoming others in. I just love that, don’t you?

So let’s talk about one of my favorite words: color. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year — great news :) — I’ve gathered 8 of my favorite DIY projects from Pinterest (and they’re so easy, let me assure you!) that will add color to your home in a flash. They’re low-cost, multi-purpose and so fun. Even if you don’t think about decorating for Thanksgiving for another week you still have plenty of time to complete these projects.

8 DIYs for adding color this Thanksgiving:

  1. no-sew burlap polka dot table runner
  2. monogrammed pumpkins place setting
  3. gourd flower vases
  4. painted mason jars
  5. mini pumpkins & pistachios centerpiece
  6. kraft paper place mats
  7. popsicle stick napkin holders
  8. ombre fall fruit table decor

 

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? How are you decorating? Not hosting this year? Share something memorable from years past.

Seeing beauty.

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Our weekend came & went just as quickly as they always do, but this time it felt so much more beautiful. Zack and I have spent some serious time re-connecting this past week — you know how they say it’s so easy to get into a routine once you have a baby? Well, that was totally us. We knew we needed to put more effort into our day to day with each other, and slowly we have been. It’s been wonderful :) We’ve been starting the day with our Jesus Calling devo. Having morning coffee. Making sure a home cooked meal is on the table at night. On our walk Saturday through the neighborhood I couldn’t help but notice all the pretty leaves and flowers and colors, happening right before us. There’s so much beauty to be seen, and it’s usually right in front of me. I’ve been seeing it so much more quickly these last few weeks, and I think a large part of this is because a few relationships have been mended. It’s not always easy to forgive or to be vulnerable, but it’s always worth it.

Here are some things on my mind worth sharing, in no particular order //
1. Aren’t these the prettiest perfume bottles (photo shown above)? Found at Lundeens in Culver City, CA

2. Zack’s mom is coming to visit Tuesday, and shortly after that my parents are coming to visit. Family time = happy time :)

3. Reading this post about wearing a uniform has changed my perspective on how I get dressed, which makes me excited about getting dressed in the morning. It’s also made my goal of wearing a lot of color super fun/easy.

4. Cristina Robeck took our family photos yesterday (sneak peek is below) and you guys, I’m smiling so big! If you’re in the Los Angeles area you must contact her. She’s booking sessions for Christmas photos and I know you’ll be happy with the art she’ll capture for your family.

5. I had an incredibly freeing idea on Saturday evening while reading the book A Million Little Ways. If your nightstand is empty and you want to feel encouraged in your purpose, read Emily’s book. Your heart (and your dreams) will thank you.

6. Zack found a photo of me super pregnant with Maxwell and he can’t look away ;)

7. I’ve been planning our meals with the help of Pinterest and it’s made grocery shopping so much easier. I made this recipe last week and it was super delish, not to mention it was totally homemade and quick (30 mins).

8. Wanna giggle? ;D

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There’s a lot of beauty this time of year, as things begin to change.

Do you see it?

Help us with our Gussy Sews community survey? 16 easy questions to answer. We’re giving away FOUR – $50 Gussy Sews gift cards as a little “thank you” for completing the survey.