Friday, February 15, 2019

Five Loves on Friday // A Snowy and Sweet Valentine's Week

Happy Friday, friends!  I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day week!  I'm looking forward to sharing a handful of loves from my own!  Let's get right to the good stuff...

*These loves is listed chronologically.  I have a tough time picking favorites among favorites. ;)

One  //  Snowy Sweetness

We had such a beautiful snowfall this week!  Jason shouted to me, "Look, Brenda!  It's your favorite kind of snowflakes!"  I rushed to the window to enjoy the sweet sight of big beautiful flakes gently falling to the frozen ground below.  It was breathtaking!

I know that my joy over snow is unpopular in the Midwest this time of year.  I totally get it.  While I've always loved a white Christmas, by the time February rolls around I'm usually completely over it too.  However, this year I've had a change of heart.  I've come to realize that winter is a long season and we have two choices - complain about it or embrace it.  The latter is much more enjoyable in my opinion. ;)  

Shoveling has become my new favorite workout.  I find it refreshing to enjoy the cool fresh air and satisfying to see that sparkly snow cleared and a path made for the vehicles and foot traffic of those dearest to my heart.  We do have a decent sized driveway though, so even when I've got a snow shoveling partner by my side at the end of it all I return indoors thankful for the warmth of my home and amply tuckered out from the task completed.

Looking for something to listen to during your next shoveling session?  I've been really enjoying finding sermon series on the Grace to You app to take in while moving the snow out.  

Two  //  Everyday Encouragement
I have found such great encouragement in everyday conversations with friends this week over text, email, and DMs on instagram.  All of these friendships were formed through blogging.  Whether you're a blogger or reader that I've chatted with this week please know how appreciated and valued your friendship truly is!  What a wonderful blogging community we have here.  My heart is full thinking on the blessings that have stemmed from blogging.  Whether this is the first post you've read here or you've been visiting for the past six years, thank you for being here!  Your readership and support is enormously appreciated and I pray that you'll find encouragement through the posts I share here.

Three  //  Hand Delivered Valentines

Long time friends turned chosen family stopped by for a visit this week and brought us a beautiful valentine along with some very thoughtful gifts.  Best of all we spent nearly an hour catching up on all that's new and reminiscing about days of old when our daughters were all small.  It was an absolute delight to have them back in our home after far too much time apart, and definitely a highlight of this week!

Another delivery was made yesterday by my holiday loving, incredibly thoughtful parents.  They came bearing gifts of the edible variety - cookies baked with care and freshly stovetop popped popcorn, the perfect additions to our night!

Four  //  Reading of the Greatest Love

I've been thoroughly enjoying following the "read through the Bible in a year" plan in my MacArthur Study Bible this year.  Yesterday's New Testament reading covered Matthew 27, the crucifixion of Jesus.  I don't know what could've been more fitting for a day when all things love are being celebrated than to fix my focus on the greatest love that's ever been extended to me (and you).  It's astounding that although I broke His Laws, God humbled Himself to pay the penalty on my behalf.  He is a just God, and the Justifier of all who place their trust in Him.  No greater love exists!  Learn more here.

Five  //  Our 21st Valentine's Day

Yesterday Jason and I celebrated our 21st Valentine's Day together.  My hubby who's very keen on the phrase, "whatever makes you happy" (the sweetness of which never gets old), was happy to oblige my wishes for a snuggly Valentine's evening in.  

If you've been around here for a while you may remember my fondness for a certain Thai pizza we used to enjoy pretty regularly years ago.  The pizzeria near us that prepared it so perfectly closed a while back.  The only location left in our area is quite a drive from our home.  However, my sweet Valentine went out of his way last night after work to pick up this much missed perfection in pizza form!  It was such a treat for the tastebuds and completely hit the spot!  While we enjoyed cozy couple time on the couch our girls had a fun "sister night" chowing, chatting, giggling, and gaming.  It was a great holiday for all of us, and I hope it was for you as well!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

for High Five for Friday
AndreaErika, and Narci 
for Friday Favorites

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Friday, February 8, 2019

Five Loves on Friday // Family, Faith, Food, & Fun Mail!

Happy Friday, friends!  I hope you’re doing well!  This week was a simple one, filled with simple joys.  Sometimes those can be the best kind of weeks, don’t you think?  Here are a handful of things that brought my heart joy...

*These loves are listed chronologically. ;)

One  //  My Sweet Seventeen Year Old

Perhaps not the prettiest plated pic, yet this yumminess hot off the Mongolian Grill at the China Buffet was delicious!  The company at my table was even better!

“Little One” had a middle school youth group event on Friday night.  When we asked our oldest how she’d like to spend that evening she chose to hang out with her dad & I.  I don’t take for granted the fact that my seventeen year old daughter, when given other options, actually chose to hang out with us on a Friday night!  This is nothing new or shocking, but it really struck me this week how wonderful that truly is!  Furthermore, I suggested going to see a movie I thought she’d enjoy, but she asked if we could go out to dinner saying we couldn’t talk at the movies.  I mean, a seventeen year old that wants to spend Friday night with her parents, in a setting where we can communicate - my heart is full!  I am so incredibly grateful to share a sweet bond with both of my girls and do not take for granted that we all enjoy each other’s company.  

Two  //  A Lovely Lunch with my In-Laws

My sweet in-laws invited us over for a wonderful lunch on Saturday.  We enjoyed a delicious meal and terrific conversation about how we are all trusting in Christ for our salvation and the rest that brings.  Our conversations did include talking about things we find concerning going on in the world today, but in the end we know what eternity holds and that the woes of this world are fleeting and temporal.  Thinking on the brevity of this life truly puts things into a clearer perspective.  I’m so thankful for each and every day God blesses me with breath in my lungs.  I’m even more grateful that when my heart takes its last beat I know where I’m headed.  Jesus has gone to prepare a place for me, and for you if you have placed your trust in Him. 

Friends, the next time news or scrolling social media causes your heart to despair I encourage you to remember that this life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow.  Make certain that what’s of eternal importance is taken care of and once you have you will find rest in the One who Created you, the very One who you’ll one day give an account to for the life He’s graciously given you.  I genuinely hope that on that day you won’t have only your good deeds to offer as the hope for your salvation, as no good deed could be enough.  Instead I pray that when you stand before God your trust will be wholeheartedly found in the Savior that God Himself provided. To learn more visit  Nothing could be more important than your eternity.

Three  //  Garage Sale Mysteries with my Hallmark Loving Girl 

Yep, that's "Aunt Becky" from Full House.  ;)

My oldest, “Princess”, has been a girl after my own Hallmark movie loving heart for years now. This week I introduced her to one of my favorite movie series on Hallmark’s Movies & Mysteries channel, Garage Sale Mysteries. I’ve set my DVR to record the entire movie series (all of which I’ve previously enjoyed).  We watched the first two together this week and I think I may have another mystery fan in the making! ;) 

Four  //  Happy Mail

This week I received such a beautiful card! It absolutely made my day! Hooray for sweet friends and happy mail!

Five  //  Cookies by Candlelight 

Never underestimate a simple cozy moment. Eating warm cookies, snuggled up with a favorite blanket by candlelight made the coldest night of this week one of the “sweetest”! 

Thanks so much for popping by my nook of the blogosphere today!  I'm so happy to have you here!  Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

for High Five for Friday
AndreaErika, and Narci 
for Friday Favorites

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Five Loves on Friday // Concert Date, Picnic at the Lake, Pretty Prints, Unfortunate Finale, and a Special Day!

Happy first of February, friends!  I hope this happy heart month gets off to a lovely start for you!  Today I'm looking forward to recapping a handful of highlights from the final week of January.  Thanks so much for stopping by to hear all about it!

*This week's loves are listed in chronological order. :)

One  //  Concert {Movie} Date

My daughter Princess’s favorite K-Pop band, BTS, hasn’t toured in our area, yet last weekend we had the chance to see a concert from their current tour in the theater!  We had so much fun attending this one day only event together! 

Two  //  Frozen Fun

Saturday Little One was invited to a "Disney Frozen Karaoke Dance Party" at a friend's house.  The rest of our family decided it'd be the perfect opportunity to grab a meal from a restaurant that our absent family member doesn't care for as much as we do and have a different kind of frozen fun!  

We took our scrumptious subs and headed to our favorite hometown hangout, the lake.  That's right, beyond that little tree, completely frozen and snow covered, is a lovely lake.  From the comfort of our cozy vehicle we enjoyed a beautiful wintry view and an out of the ordinary January picnic.  Little One also had a ball with friends at the party.  Hooray for fun for everyone!

Three  //  Pretty Art Prints 

During Lily & Val's recent Winter Sale I ordered some beautiful prints!  I'm so excited to have them framed and on display this week.

As of the end of their Winter Sale this print has been discontinued.

"May you live all the days of your life" is a quote I find truly inspiring and incredibly fitting as my goal for 2019 is to live more intentionally.  It is a delightful reminder to do just that!

The "cooking is love made visible" chalkboard print is new to their shop and I am tickled pink to have it as a new addition to my kitchen too!  

Four  //  Series Finale Family Pizza Party

My family has thoroughly enjoyed watching Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Although, I must admit that at times I wanted to heed the advice of the theme song and "look away, look away" as unfortunate things do indeed happen throughout the series.

This week we arrived at the finale of the series and thought celebration and a surprise were in order!  I saw that Little Caesar's brought back a favorite from a few years back, pretzel crust pizza complete with cheddar cheese sauce.  Not only that, but this time they also offer it in stuffed crust.  Yum!  Jason picked it up on his drive home last night.  The girls were thrilled with this comeback surprise!  We each grabbed a couple slices and settled in for a what would be my favorite episode of the series!  I'll conclude with that.  No spoilers will be found here. ;)

Five  //  My Mom's Birthday

Today is a very special day, it's my mom's birthday!  My mom's greatest joys are spending time with family, baking for any imaginable occasion, and celebrating life.  There is no holiday too small for her to throw a party (seriously, she even throws a party on May Day for her daycare kids)!  

She has loved my dad since high school, which I'm forever grateful for!  He was ahead of her in school and she actually went to night classes to graduate a year early as she couldn't wait to be his bride! They married just over a week later.  

My mom was there for me every day of my childhood - always packing my lunches, helping me study for tests, and showing me love and support in every way a mother could.  When I grew and had my own children she not only became a grandmother, but a beloved "Grandma" that genuinely cherishes the moments with my girls (and my sister's children as well).  

She has turned my girls into nearly professional bakers who help their grandma bake and decorate sugar cookies from scratch for all those aforementioned celebrations.  Her adoration for them is completely mutual.  Jason and I couldn't be more grateful for the sweet bond we see them share and for the time and love my mom has invested into their lives!

To sum it all up, my mom is as sweet as her treats!  We love her more than words can say and hope she enjoys her Special Day!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Wishing you a fabulous start to February!

for High Five for Friday
AndreaErika, and Narci 
for Friday Favorites

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