Seasons of Joy and Hard Gifts

This season of Spring fills me with so many joys and reveals so many gifts in new life that springs forward.
From the budding of flowers, to the running foals and calves through lush, green fields.
These are the things easy to rejoice in!
These are the gifts that aren’t hard to find.
There continues to be things and circumstances that are harder to find the gift and the joy in. 
In my job as a Hospice nurse I often run into circumstances that beckon the questions, “why?”
Why does the 32 year daughter, and girlfriend die from pancreatic cancer?
Why does the father of three and husband to his best friend suffer from terminal lung cancer?
Ok, so this makes my job sound like all doom and gloom.
In reality, there are many good and wonderful blessing in being a Hospice nurse.
I am blessed to serve a community that is largely Christian, and many who are Amish.
Serving those that have a strong faith and the knowledge that when they die they are going to Heaven is very comforting, and honestly brings more joy and hope to my job.
There are still times that I question why. 
Today a wife came to the realization that her husband was not going to get better. 
She broke down.
What can you offer at a time like that?
I offered my presence. A hug. A shoulder to cry on.
A gift found in fellowship.
A gift found in enduring love.
A gift found in the hope and promise of eternity in Heaven.
232. Tiny pink flowers on tree, delicate and gone too quick
233. Fresh cut grass
234. Shedding cat hair
235. Hard working husband
236. Gracie clinging tightly
237. Trying new things
238. Spring evening on porch
239. Sidewalk chalk colors
240. Pulling dandelions
241. Tree buds
242. Potted tulips
243. Evening stillness
244. Time with friends
245. Alone time to ponder
246. Words that stir the heart
247. Front porch swing
248. Snuggling cat
249. Ears to hear annoying,  booming music from car down the road
250. Snuggling baby in bed



Rainy Wednesday

I wasn’t very diligent about taking pics of outfits this week. 
There was traveling over the weekend, work on Monday, errands and enjoying playing outside on Tuesday.
Today is Wednesday and it’s rainy and chilly.
Mixing of patterns and colors in layers was what was needed for today’s weather! 
Today was a rain boot weather kind of day…too bad I don’t have any.
*cough, cough, hint, hint* Birthday coming up in May! 😉
Gracie layered it up as well and was totally rockin’ the leg warmers as we went to music class, library and took lunch to Daddy.

LOVE this facial expression! 
And don’t forget to hop over to read about my giveaway and enter! Check it out here!


                                                                   pleated poppy


Oh Tiny Gifts Giveaway and Lemonade Stand Campaign

Ok all, I am hosting a giveaway! 
Firstly, because it is fun to win stuff, and secondly and most important, is to get the word out about the Lemonade Stand Campaign. 
The Lemonade Stand Campaign’s purpose is to raise money and awareness for orphans around the world and the organizations that are helping to care for them.  

                                            lemonade stand

This year’s recipient is Reece’s Rainbow.Check it out! It’s an amazing organization. I became a Prayer Warrior for this little cutie!
I was introduced to this wonderful idea by a lovely women I connected with at the Influence Network. Read Rachel’s blog here!
Ok, so what does this have to do with a giveaway?
Well I decided that during the month of May my “lemonade stand” fundraiser would be donating 25% of my Oh Tiny Gifts sales to little Lydia.
This may be kind of lofty since, ok confession here, haven’t exactly sold anything!
But in evaluating why I wanted to try to sell my handmade accessories, I ultimately want to be able to use them for a bigger purpose. To give back to others through something I enjoy making.
So enter the giveaway! Share it with your friends! Buy something from Oh Tiny Gifts in the month of May and 25% goes to Lydia’s adoption! Or go directly to Reece’s Rainbow and donate there!
The winner of the giveaway will be able to choose either an Infinite Options Chevron Toddler Scarf or  Chevron Headband. Winner gets to pick! Giveaway start on 4/24 and ends on 4/30! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


On My Heart

Confession time.
So I haven’t been great this week about keeping track of my gift list.
I have mentally made lots of notes of gifts, but have neglected to write them down.
Once again the few gifts that I did manage to write down are somehow not on my phone anymore.
Time to switch up the game plan.
Writing the gifts that God has placed in my life has showed me how to be more joyful and thankful. It is starting to become more of a habit than a forced action, but I’m not done yet! To find some motivation in actually writing down these gifts, I’m thinking a pretty, springy notebook may be in order…we’ll see what I come up with.
And now for the gifts that aren’t in my phone, but are on my heart.
223. Family wedding
224. Long, sleepy car ride
225. Sore knees
226. Words forming from tiny lips
227. Meeting new neighbors with kids
226. Red tulips
227. Dirty dishes
228. Bright moon
229. Dancing with Dustin and Gracie
230. Lots of love given to Gracie by family members
231. Dandelions



The Girl Behind the Blog

So today I am stepping out of my comfort zone and posting my first vlog! I decided to link up with Mackenzie and Ashley for The Girl Behind the Blog!
The questions consisted of what you could talk about for hours and things are you passionate about that you usually don’t talk about on your blog. So this video is my first and only attempt with Miss G. Slightly awkward and full of incredible pauses and sentences where I know I wasn’t really sure where I was going…so basically an accurate representation. 
This is me, trying to talk coherently and relatively smoothly with a 1 year old by my side. Inside my head I was scrambling for words as I did this on the fly. I usually like to feel more prepared and rehearse when I talk in front of people, but I figured no one would judge! I left out things I wanted to say and basically just said what popped into my head first!
When I write, I can take the time to think things out, edit, and read it a few times before I post. If I had been writing this out I would have still said Miss G is what I could talk about for hours. Being a momma is amazing and I learn something new every day!
My passions are pretty accurate too (helping other and spending time in nature through gardening, hiking, etc), but I would also have to add creating. Whether that be the little odds and ends I make here, figuring out how to make dresses for Gracie, creating home decor on a budget, or creating music.
I also videotaped from my phone the wrong way (cue Dustin pointing that out to me later) and for some reason I couldn’t get a picture to upload on the link, so my link has a nice blank square.
So there you have it! First video vlog. You’re laughing with me, not at me, right? 😉



Top Knots, Bangs, WIWW

It’s another Wednesday and time for another WIWW post!
The first outfit is a perfect example of an easy “momma” outfit that still leaves me feeling put together!
Chambray shirt paired with dark jeans and hair kept back in a top knot and handmade headband…perfect for chasing after one ornery little girl, and on that particular day, also an ornery cousin!
Shirt:Old Navy
I am trying to let my hair grow out, but in the process am getting super bored with the same old, same old, kind of hairstyle. So Saturday it was time for a change…bangs! This way I can still let my hair grow out and temporarily quench my need to try something new!
Sunday was a beautiful day, but still a little cool. I try to find new ways to wear what I already have in my closet. I like to see what I can mix and match to create a new and fun combination. 
Sunday I paired my colored jeans with a short, sleeveless dress. I threw on the cardigan to be weather appropriate and slipped on the TOMS! Notice that I once again am wearing a top knot. Easiest go-to hairstyle right now! Even works with some horrendous bedhead…I do NOT wake up with pretty hair!

Jeans:Kohls/ Cardigan: Charlotte Rouse/ Shoes: TOMS/ Dress: Macy’s (? I think)

                                                                 pleated poppy


I Have Been Changed

Purposefully thanking God for the gifts He has given me has changed me.
I was not as grumpy last night when I had to go do a late admission.
I thanked God for the opportunity to help someone in need.
I thoroughly enjoyed driving through the rolling green and vibrant hills of Holmes County as the sun cast calming evening shadows.
Thanking God brings Joy!
Thanking God brings light to the good things instead of focusing on the things that may not be going the way we planned.
Thanking God spreads Joy!
When we find joy in His gifts we can share these things with others. Through our joyfulness, we can share Christ!
Somehow the gifts I recorded on my phone didn’t save this week…bummer. But here are the things that I can remember I wrote, and there are many more in my heart!
212. Fellowship with friends from church
213. Watching a little boy play in dirt.
214. Having a job were I get to drive around the beautiful countryside
215. Driving with open windows
216. Port flushes, blood draws, and wound dressing changes
217. Spring flowers
218. Evening running
219. Long days
220. Rain
221. Bright green grass
222. Messy living room and scattered toys

*Take note that 2 little rascal worked together to make this fine mess. The other little rascal (aka Gracie’s cousin) has his head just barely peaking out from behind couch.

Warm Weather Toddler Fun

Remember a few days ago when it was so nice and warm?
*Sigh* Me too.
Today is another cold and dreary day.
I am thankful for a house to stay in on this cold and dreary day and to be able to get work done inside!
But I am also remembering the lovely days earlier this week that I was sooo thankful!
Today I am posting an activity that Gracie and I did, and if it happens to be warm where you are right now, you can too!
I didn’t really think through the fact that we tried painting on the sidewalk right after it had rained…trying to get supplies together and an antsy girl were the main focus!
This was really easy and Gracie truly seemed to enjoy it. Painting on the sidewalk kept her entertained for quite awhile.
And fair warning…she was not happy when we had to go inside to clean up, even when I promised we were going right back out once we got some clothes on!
I originally found this idea over at Growing a Jeweled Rose…great site for lots of fun activities.
All you need to do is mix 1 part corn starch to 2 parts baking soda.
Add some food coloring and then slowly add water until you have your desired consistency.
Grab some brushes to paint with and let your little artist at it!
Fill up a spray bottle with some vinegar and watch your paintings fizzle once sprayed!
The more baking soda there is, the more fizzle you will see!
We tried out some blue and yellow paint.
The foam brushes were easy for her to handle. She dipped them in the paint some, used her hands some, and dumped the bowl…all good choices!

The vinegar spray made the paint fizzle and bubble and Gracie would quickly try to grab the bubbles. She also liked hearing the fizzing sound.

No pictures to evidence her complete horror when I took her inside to wash off and put clothes on.
Apparently I am the meanest momma ever for wanting her to put some clothes on and not get sunburned…

                                                                        Tuesday Tots



Lessons From Gracie

For this weeks letter to Gracie, this momma is turning to Gracie to impart some wisdom.
Dear Gracie,
This is what you have taught me.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Don’t be so serious.
Turn to the Lord with the faith of a child. Like when you almost walk off the edge of the porch with the faith that I will be there to catch you.
It’s ok to be confident in your body and who you are. Remember to cut out the streaking at a reasonable age.
Be passionate about what you love.
Love, Momma