Signs for the Soul

I discovered this blog today via a picture on Pinterest, and I am obsessed with this creative and artistic woman's talents and products!! Her name is Aimee Weaver, and her blog is called "My Pink Life."

I really want to order a few of these signs off of her etsy site, but I am trying to determine how many signs I can have in my home without going overboard. She also shows a tutorial on her blog of how to make the signs yourself. You may have to click to enlarge some of the images.

I especially love the line "We do real."

This last one is the lyrics to "Lead Me," a song I blogged about last month. Love it!

Which one is your favorite? I can't decide!!!


Six Years

Six amazing years since the day I married my best friend and love of my life.
Happy Anniversary Scott!

Here are the some of my favorite memories of that sacred day when I became your wife:
Seeing each other for the first time that day
A few quiet moments together before the ceremony

Preparing to walk down the aisle with my dad
Going from "Kelley Michelle Brown"....
....to "Kelley Brown Brown" :)
aka "Mrs. Scott Brown"

Being surrounded by our families and closest friends
Praying with my bridesmaids minutes before the ceremony
Our first dance to "At Last"
You dancing with your mother
Gaining a brother and sister
Julie's toast to us in the reception video that all of our "ups and downs be under the covers." (That still makes me giggle.)
Seeing my beautiful mom glow with joy and pride
Toasting champagne with my mom and sister as they tied up my train
Seeing MaMa (who is now 93) boogie on the dance floor
Leaving the reception in a sea of rose petals
Heading off on our honeymoon
And realizing we had years ahead of us to walk together.

In some ways, the last six years have sped by. On the other hand, this is the first time I've looked at our pictures and thought, "We looked so much younger then!" :) The last six years have held many joys: Breckenridge, Jackson Hole, seminary, you becoming partner, the birth of Carter, the adoptions of Grace and Caroline, our new home, the gain of a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law, and moments I'll always treasure. Even working through the grief of each miscarriage and talking about that glorious day when we meet our seven additional children in heaven, I couldn't imagine a more sensitive, selfless, generous, supportive, and loving man to endure those hard times with. You are the most upstanding man I know, and seeing you become a father has been one of the best blessings of my life.
I'm know we will have more heartaches and trials to endure, but we've learned we can do messy and difficult when we face it together. And there's no one else I'd rather chase dreams with than you. So here's to many more messy, challenging, joyful, laughter-filled, family-bonding, sanctifying, unforgettable years as husband and wife.
I love you Mister!



I have major fever. Baby fever, that is.

Oops...sorry. Didn't mean to make you fall out of your chair. No worries. I'm not preggo. And won't even try for quite a while. But I can't fight the intense desire to cuddle a wee little babe. And somehow I came upon Restoration Hardware's nursery collection tonight and began drooling over these pictures. I'm pretty sure my husband is having a heart attack as he reads this...and for two reasons.
#1...I'm blogging about baby fever.
#2... I'm staring at beautiful nurseries that probably cost $10,000.
#3...and heck, I should probably add a third reason - the photo above shows TWO cribs

But please look at these havens and tell me you wouldn't want to rock a sweet infant in one of these rooms. :)

All photos from Restoration Hardware's site.



Last night, I was with some friends while Scott was at home putting the kiddos to bed. He sent me an email with this sweet conversation:

"So, I asked Carter if he wanted to say anything to God tonight. He said yes. He then asked how people got to heaven if no one held their hands? He asked if Jesus' arms were long enough to hold his hands? He asked if he could go to heaven? He asked if God was in Heaven? He asked what did heaven look like?

I told him that to get into heaven, we had to love God and Jesus and believe in Him as our Savior. He said, "I love God."

Pretty cool conversation. Although I felt sad at then thought of Jesus reaching down and taking our son to Heaven, Carter had a big smile on his face at the idea. I know I should be happy of the thought as well - and I would be. I think I would be sad because it would mean that this world would be just a little less like heaven."

It's amazing when kids begin to grasp the concept of God and heaven. In some ways, it's difficult to explain the indescribable in terms understandable to a 3-year-old. But their little minds seem to go to places in full faith that our adult minds just can't seem to venture. I am excited (and grateful) to see where these conversations lead!


A Must Read!

A friend sent me a link to this blog post by an adoptive mother who is also a gifted author and speaker. The post is called "After the Airport." And if you're pondering adoption or preparing for your journey, you must read. However, it also speaks to women in all different types of challenging, devastating, or difficult situations.

We have been very blessed that both of our adopted daughters have had minor adoptive issues relative to what you can potentially deal with. Some children come home with reactive attachment disorder, some have sensory issues, some hardly know how to receive love at all without simultaneously pushing their new parents away. The best statement Jen Hatmaker writes in this post is you can't adopt just to adopt. You have to adopt knowing that you'll have a big parenting job to fulfill. Many adopted kids need to be psychologically reprogrammed, if you'll allow me to describe it that way. The glory of the "Gotcha Day" videos and the pictures of homecomings at airports often bring you chills, tears, and smiles of wonder and joy. But once the excitement dies down, challenges continue. And some days are really, really hard. After a year and a half, we still face some of Grace's abandonment fears! Jen writes of reality of adoption so well in this post. I am grateful she shared her heart.


Pirouettes and Passes

Okay, so we aren't at either of those levels yet. But Grace and Carter are on their way with the kickoff of their ballet and soccer lessons (respectively). :)
Carter with his team and coach
Getting his blue jersey
Carter's expression when the team name was declared the "Blue Butterflies." Just kidding! Kidding about his expression I mean. They really are the Blue Butterflies, and Scott was not thrilled about that. :) The Patriots logo on the shirts refers to the whole league.
Learning soccer basics
Grace was very ready for her first ballet class!


For the Love of "Happies"

Last Friday, I was feeling a little blue. I wasn't sure why. I think I was simply exhausted. The littles had had their first day of school, first ballet class, and first soccer practice. Caroline had a couple of doctor's appointments. Scott was (and is) working long days to prepare for an upcoming trial. I finally realized that if I don't want my wheat allergy to continue progressing toward full-blown Celiac Disease, I'm going to have to suck it up, say goodbye to some of my fave foods, and go gluten-free. And let's face it, I hadn't spent good quality time with the Lord. It wasn't a horrible week. In fact, it had been pretty good. But I was dead tired.

Enough about my own issues. My day was not unlike the days many of you often endure. We're living through a challenging season. As high as our calling is as servants, wives, and mothers, it's still difficult at the end of the day to smile and consider our job well done. Sometimes, it seems that we're never done.

So back to last Friday. All three kids were at school. After working out, I thought I'd check out the new used bookstore in town called "2nd and Charles." And to my great delight, I found these:

Two novels by Steinbeck, one of which I'm currently reading but could not find a good hardcover copy! (Sidenote: East of Eden is fabulous! And I'm only 7 chapters in.)

One of my pleasures in life is reading. I read everything from mysteries and current bestsellers to biographies and Christian devotionals. But my favorite genre is classic literature, and preferably 19th century lit by British authors. I know...I sound pretty snobby. Or nerdy. Or both.
But I digress. Back again to Friday when I discovered this treasure. This is the cover of The Grapes of Wrath, this particular edition published in 1967. I am convinced they had this book shrinkwrapped in plastic because it has no discoloration or foxing on the pages.
Isn't the dusk jacket beautiful? And this is the what the hardcover looks like...just like my mom's copy! My mom has shelves and shelves of books that I have read or hope to soon read. And her copies are just beautiful. So I developed a habit of scouting out rare, old, or eye-pleasing copies of the books that I adore.
I also found this copy of Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Beautiful illustrations fill the pages.
After the I left the bookstore, I wondered if my sudden joy was sinful. You know what I mean.... material possessions filling me with giddiness when really I should be relying on Christ as the source of my joy and vitality. But the Lord spoke to my heart with a reassurance that many things in this world He provides for our happiness. After all, He gifted the writers with their creativity and eloquence. He blessed the musicians with their talents and melodies. He created the coffee bean from the beginning of time with the knowledge that a savory cup of coffee could comfort and rejuvenate just as He desires. Perhaps He literally meant it when He inspired the verse, "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" At 6 am in the morning, a sip of coffee makes me believe it. :)

I recalled the passage in Lamentations 3 about His mercies being new every morning. And I wondered if just maybe God presents some of his mercies in the form of "happies" that uplift our spirit and energize us enough to take the next step forward. As long as we understand that He alone is our bread of life, we can partake of the minor joys of life with gratitude and delight.

For me, a Pumpkin Spice Latte, a glowing sunset, a sparkling glass of wine, an antique novel, an enticing read, a yellow tulip ... all these things are little "happies" that can lighten my day within seconds. This book, which I uncovered in a London antiquarian bookstore years ago, intrigues me with its history and personalization.
Leo V. Quimby...Belfast...Christmas 1881, From Sister Annie.

This is the oldest book I own. And sometimes I'll open the cover and stare in wonder at the the calligraphic writing, just pondering the personality of the being whose hands one beheld this literary work. What was his home like? A modest cabin or a glorious castle? How large was Leo's family? Was Annie a true familial relation or a devoted nun? Or a forbidden love to the receiver of this holiday present? Isn't it fun to imagine?

Sometimes I lose myself in the magic of the object. And I am thankful that the Lord created such gifts. Because they're a temporary diversion from the arduous task before us. A glorious and noble task, but one that demands attention, commitment, energy, love, prayer, and sacrifice. And aren't you glad that God has such forethought, such innovation, such LOVE that He would create and inspire daily joys that can deliver a smile to our weary faces? I certainly am. So I do not feel at all guilty for bouncing out of the bookstore with my newfound literary treasures. Their beauty and literary flair gave me the umph to continue persevering. It was then that I realized my need to increase my awareness of everyday surprises and beauties that God may be orchestrating just for us. For our pleasure. For our enjoyment. For our inspiration. And sometimes, on those frustrating, hair-raising, or simply blue days...for our sanity. God is good...all the time.

What are the little happies that make you smile?