Weekend Favorites

I knew it was time to get outside and take some pictures this weekend, because I was starting to forget that winter is pretty.

My original plan was to go for a drive, because I was doubtful that I could find anything interesting in the backyard, but then when I saw how much fun my family was having, playing in the snow, I didn’t feel like going anywhere on my own, and missing out on the fun.

Turns out, I didn’t need to go far to find something pretty.




Kay(Once again, Kaylia posed for me, but Anika was off doing her own thing. Sometimes I wonder if it looks like I have a favorite child!! In reality, I have a daughter who is growing in her independence, and a daughter who sticks close! Funny how this is reflected in my photography…)

winterWhat a wonderful reminder that beauty can be found anywhere!

Some Monday Odds and Ends

It was a looong Monday, friends!! Good, but long. So here I sit at the end of the day, waiting for inspiration to hit so I can write an awesome blog post to kick off the week.

I’m getting the sneaky suspicion that I may have to wait a bit longer for that inspiration, but in the meantime, here are a few random thoughts to share with all of you:

1) I’m pretty giddy about any sign of snow these days.

There were some flakes dancing down while I was driving home today, and my heart leaped with joy. I do not understand this, because winter can be a hard season to get through, and I know I’ll be completely tired of snow by March, but for some reason, that first snowfall always manages to excite me every year…

2) Getting our entrance closet ready for winter is a nightmare during the process, but pretty wonderful when it’s done!

entranceMoment of truth…that looks horrendous! I wish I had an awesome “after” picture, but I only took one during the process of nastiness!

That was my major accomplishment this weekend. I went through all of our shoes, jackets, mitts, scarves, and any other random objects that managed to find their way into our entrance closet. I washed all the summer stuff and packed it away, and I pulled out all the winter stuff, and got everything all organized and ready to go. Now it can snow anytime, and we’ll be ready!

3) I have a new favorite salad dressing.

I’ve been eating it all weekend. SO delicious. Found it here.

salad dressing

4) I took another bold plunge of faith, and invited a couple we don’t know over for supper!

It was another one of those moments of listening to that little voice deep inside, telling me to do something scary, unknown, and wonderful. I felt like such a freak, but I went up to the couple and said, “I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been feeling as though God’s telling me to invite you over to our house sometime. We’d love to get to know you!”

And they seemed happy about it, and we’re really happy about it, and I’m amazed once again that the smallest thing can give so much joy. I’m also continually amazed that it doesn’t really matter if God actually told me to do it or not – it was a good thing, and so I’ll go with it. No excuses. Just do it quick, before I change my mind. The worst thing that could have happened was them saying no. But they didn’t, and they’re coming, and I’m quite sure we’ll have a great time!

And if it happens to snow for the first time on the day that they come, and I hang their jackets in my newly organized closet, and make my favorite new salad dressing to serve them for supper, then all of my random thoughts of the day will flow together, and no longer be random. Right?!

What have you been up to this lovely Monday?

In Search of Spring and a New Perspective

Whenever I need a change in perspective, I take my camera for a drive, and go find something pretty to photograph.


Yesterday was one of those days when I needed to get some new perspective. I was also hoping to find some spring.

Unfortunately, taking pictures around Niverville after six months of snow can get a little repetitive. I only have about three bunches of trees to photograph, so I was wondering if there was anything interesting left to find.



I had to work a little harder than usual, meaning that I waded through snowdrifts up past my knees, and I had to put more effort into being creative, but I came back feeling quite refreshed from the challenge.


And guess what – I did find spring! The snow is sticky and heavy, as though it doesn’t have much time left, and every branch holds the promise of buds, a few months from now.

Having conquered my challenge, I drove home to join my sweet family in the snow. They had been building forts while I was gone, and were ready to move on to snowdrift jumping.







We played until we were wet and rosy-cheeked, and then we went inside for soup and toast.


It was a perfect winter afternoon,  and knowing that it’s one of our last made it even better!

Different Kinds of Good Weather

There are cold days in winter when getting outside is about the very last thing on my list of stuff I want to do.

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And yet, on those frosty days when we force ourselves outside, and come back in with rosy cheeks and cold, stiff toes, I never, ever say to myself, “I wish we had NOT gone outside!”

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It always feels better to get fresh, cold air in the lungs.

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It feels better to remember that winter can be beautiful.

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It feels better to play a little bit, and to be brave about the cold.

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“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” (John Ruskin)

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I hope your week includes some exhilarating moments of “good” weather!


And I have a book winner to announce on this lovely Monday morning. The Resolution For Women goes to my dear friend Sarah, who lives just a few doors down from me, so delivering it should be very easy!:)

Thanks to everyone who contributed a comment. I loved reading about all the amazing women of faith out there!


Weekend Favorites: Home

I always enjoy coming home after being away on vacation for awhile. 

I like my own bed, and I like my clothes hanging in a closet instead of packed up in a suitcase.

I like getting back to our usual schedule.

We had our usual Saturday morning pancakes.

The girls were very happy to be reunited with their toys.

And they spent some time getting reacquainted with snow.

Which meant hot chocolate was also necessary.

It’s good to be home.

What do you miss when you’re away from home?

This is My Moment

I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to intentionally recognize the joy of a moment.

I recently read this post by Ann Voskamp, and it’s just stayed with me. She tells an amazing story about how one man decided to help people realize they were living in a joyful moment.

It’s funny how easy it is to get so busy, we miss the joy in the moment.

The other afternoon, I took the girls outside for a walk. We went exploring in the bush, and they just wanted to keep going and going. They were so excited to see where the path would lead.

It was one of those perfect afternoons. It was beautiful and sunny, and that thick snow was covering absolutely everything.

And suddenly, I realized, this is one of those perfectly joyful moments.

For right now, everything is just right, and I wouldn’t change one single thing.

But it seems as though every moment of enjoying beauty out here is quickly followed by sadness for me, because the end is coming so soon.This is our very last winter living in this wonderland, being surrounded by all this beauty every single day.

And that thought completely killed my moment.

Which led me to realize the foolishness in thinking that way. Why would I allow worries about the future cloud the joy of this moment right now?


Take it and run with it! Don’t worry about tomorrow. Or next year. Even if it means a winter apart from all this beauty.

Soak in the smiles, and the flopping into soft snow, and the excitement of the next bend in the snowy path.

This is my joyful moment. I will choose to let it linger, and remember it forever.

Last Day in Florida

When Ben and I were planning my trip to Florida with the girls, we were worried about the length of time we would be gone. We knew that three weeks apart would just be hard, any way we did it.

Ben was concerned that I would be so anxious to come home by the end of the three weeks, it could turn into a negative experience.

I was concerned that my parents would be so sick of us, they would have a negative experience.

Fortunately for everyone, things went quite well. If we hadn’t been missing Ben so much, I wouldn’t have wanted to come home. And my mom, bless her heart, actually got emotional when we said good-bye at the airport, which I will take to mean as a sign that we didn’t completely wear her out! Or maybe we did wear her out, but she’ll miss us anyway…

They always say it takes three weeks to form a habit….Well, my new habit is sunshine. After three weeks of beautiful, sunny weather, I just wasn’t that anxious to get back to cold, snowy winter. (But we were very, very ready to get back to Ben!)

Our last day in Florida was perfectly beautiful. And we had a list of things to accomplish – one last golf cart ride to visit the banana trees and the jungle, one last walk to the bridge, and a visit to a private lake in my parents’ friends’ backyard.

We got everything done, with time enough to spare for a nap before heading off to the airport.

And there you have it. We have returned to Manitoba, so my blog will return to it’s former white winter state. No more bright, sunny photos.

BUT….the photos will now include Ben, and that is even more important than sunshine! We had a wonderful reunion at the airport Wednesday night. Kaylia just grabbed on to Ben, and stayed there. She had no plans of letting go. She is still crying whenever he goes away. (Like into the next room.) And Anika is giddy, and I suddenly feel more relaxed and happy than I have for about…three weeks.

We are back to normal.

Almost. There’s still sand in our suitcases. Which I might just leave there, because it makes me smile….