Simple Days of Gratefulness

A little taste of our simple days together.
For these I am so grateful!
Trying to get ready with Gracie can be a challenge
Hot weather…time to get out the pool!
Daily walks
Finger painting 
Hammock time with Daddy
A cheerful Spring porch…potty seat and all

Linking up with Wild and Precious

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Simple Life & Simple Gifts

A weekend full of family and relaxing meant a small Monday break from posting my gift list. Dustin was home and was kind enough to check off another item on the “honey-do” list. He worked at taking out all the large pavers we had put in for a patio, smoothed it out, then put them all back in, and laid top soil so we can plant grass in between and have an even surface for our furniture. I am very thankful he finished this, and I am sure he is even more thankful that I will no longer nag him about this…now on to the next thing to nag about (I really need to work on toning back the nagging…seriously!)

In other news, I got to share my mamahood story over at  After Belly. Hope over the read my story,connect with creator Nathalie, and read other mamahood stories!

305. Tiny hand trying to put on a lid
306. Spills from a stroller
307. Cutting back spring flowers
308. Pool time
309. Head to head, knelt down with Gracie and gently rubbing her cheeks with sunscreen
310. Gracie throwing food off her tray
311. To-do lists
312. Mastermind group
313. Lilac sent in home from fresh cut flowers
314. Apple eaten with tiny teeth and thrown with tiny hands
315. Playing piano to a soft breeze through the window
316. Removing window cover
317. Sink backsplash not cut right
318. An involved and caring husband/daddy
319. Gracie’s explosion of personality
320. Cookout at with family
321. Dustin and Devin finishing back patio
322. My mamahood story shared
323. Gracie digging in dirt

                                

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Kitchen Organization-From a Lazy, Wannabe, Organizing Momma

So awhile back I had posted about getting the kitchen organized. I put up labels and everything! 
Here is a a little update, and hopefully you can find some helpful tips for easy and quick organization in this season of your life.
When things are organized in a simple enough way that I am able to keep them organized…life is good!
Finding something is simpler, cleaning usually goes faster, and the chaos seems a little more controlled!
Here is an update of what some of my shelves look like.
Still fairly organized from when I first started working on them way back in February, so this tells me my system of labeling and designating certain areas for things is working. 

Pots and pans and Tupperware ..ehh, not working as well. I will need to find a new system of organization for that, but doesn’t everyone have Tupperware strewn throughout their cupboards? Ok, maybe not THESE people, but other lazy/wannabe organizers like me.

Awhile back I searched for an idea on mail organization. Anyone else have piles of mail that don’t get sorted through very well? We still tend to build a nice little pile, but I have finally found a way to keep an organized pile and also make sure we don’t miss something important! 
We had tons of old paint cans lying around, so I took out my trusty chalkboard spray paint to give them a new look. I then lined the inside of the cans with some extra burlap fabric I had lying around. I simply secured the lining with hot glue. I labeled one “IN” and the other “OUT” and now we know which mail we have yet to look at and sort through, and which mail we have seen and can be used (like coupons), or filed away. Simple, quick, and keeps most of the piles from being strewn across the table or kitchen counters, just waiting to get lost, or spilled on. 

One of my goals this year was to get organized and simplify! I’m on my way, but there is still more work to be done! What ways do you tackle organization? What is your biggest problem area? I would love to hear from you and learn any new tips or tricks you may have!
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Soak Up the Moments- Encouragement for Mommas

Unedited pictures of a hot and sweaty day of fun.
Of staying outside and exploring.
Of getting messy, wet, and absolutely filthy.
Of me posting a picture of myself without any makeup…zero, nada, and remembering how I thought acne was supposed to be done with when you were an adult…
This is Gracie and me, bright colored, and free. 
A day at home with nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company.
So here is a little grace for all other momma’s out there on these days heading into summer.
Enjoy it!
Don’t wear makeup, don’t feel obligated to HAVE to clean one more dish or that you HAVE to do all laundry. Sure it’s good to probably get those things done eventually, (like when you don’t have any more clean dishes or clothes…I kid, kind of…) but take a moment to choose spending time outside with your little one. Work to find that balance of moderation between getting those things done and making precious memories. This can be hard when so many tasks can beckon a momma’s attention. There is a fine balance that we work to find between accomplishing those tasks and giving our little one’s what they need in that moment. 
So I encourage you, and as a reminder to myself, I say that when that moment of choice arrives-choose the moment of enjoyment!
To soak, dump, and splash up all the little moments.

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Small Gifts & Big Joy

With the warm, lingering days that we have been enjoying, and a pretty new notebook to write in, the joy list has been growing.

Simple gifts of living in each precious moment and remembering that He has blessed me with these things. 

This week I held Gracie close as we climbed off a trampoline after jumps full of giggles and falls. It was hot and the sun was shining bright. Her hair was matted and the air felt dense. And it all felt like such a precious gift. The moment of holding her close in the too warm air and taking in the smell of her damp hair felt earthy and wonderful. This small gift is only part of the many small gifts that God has blessed me with each day. And if I take a moment to stop and give thanks, my joy is found and can be shared with others.

280. Play dates with other momma’s and girls from birth class
281. Snuggles from Gracie as I rock her at nap time, head on my shoulder, calm and peaceful
282. New Norwex Cleaning cloths
283. A day brighter and warmer than expected
284. Gracie strumming guitar with Dustin
285. Strips of green grass
286. A sliver of moon
287. Pink and orange shiny cloud arranged like islands in the sky
288. the here and now
289. a soft breeze
290. The last spring blossoms on a tree
291. Tiny clinging fingers
292. Cleaning up Gracie’s messes-even throw up
293. New connections with other bloggers
294. Hammock
295. New flowers
296. Sweating cheeks
297. Wiggles and giggles
298. Working outside
299. Digging in the dirt
300. Gracie squishing June Bugs between her fingers
301. Gracie wanting to explore EVERYTHING outside
302. Dusting and Gracie swinging in hammock
303. Random fireworks
304. Gracie holding a tiny kitten

                                        

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Mastermind Group=New Friends!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet up with other women all across North America face to face (kind of) through google chat! Yeah, I got to be the awesome one wearing the headset…

These are women that I have connected with through the Influence Network and all who I am happy to have now met! We have joined together to form a Mastermind group. To come together to bounce ideas off each other, form community, give encouragement, find purpose for our blogs or businesses, pray for each other, and hopefully become real life friends! The first meeting was great even though I felt a little awkward seeing myself on the chat (post evening shower, in pajamas, lacking any makeup)! Today we are linking up  to share what our goals and visions for our Mastermind group are.

A Mastermind group is important to me because I want to personally connect with other like-minded women of faith. To go with them through their journeys in blogging and business giving encouragement and finding encouragement. To find that sense of community and make the internet feel smaller and more personable in a space that often feels like I’m sending things out into the void.
My goals are to connect and collaborate! I hope to form meaningful relationships and become inspired by the other women in this group! I would love to work with them to continue to focus on where my blog and business are heading and collaborate with them on ideas. I also love connecting with other momma’s, talking about motherhood in general,  and hearing how they balance their lives
My blog’s main purpose at the moment is to hold me accountable to writing my joy list of gifts that God has blessed me with. I want to continue to do this, but also find more direction in ways to connect my posts with other women of faith. To spread more encouragement and joy and be a positive influence with my writing. On the business end I would love to see my little Etsy shop, Oh tiny Gifts, used as a vessel of the Lord to bless others. It’s kind of stagnant right now, but in another 6 months or a year, who knows!
A lot of my recent blogging inspirations have come through the leaders of the Influence Network. They know how to connect with women and share their live, faith, and encouragement freely and in a very down to earth way. They draw you in and leave you wanting to see what comes next! Many of them also have successful handmade businesses and know how to use them to give back to the Lord. They follow His direction and go where He leads! Here are a few blogs that I love and find encouragement in!
So here we are! Ordinary women coming together to form a meaningful community and encourage one another. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it!? Can’t wait for our next meet up! Click below to check out my new friends and connect with them on their blogs!

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Take This Moment

I love how everything is new and wonderful to Gracie.
I try to give her new experiences to explore and learn about her world and the gifts that God has surrounded us with.
The strumming of a guitar
Drawing with chalk on a small, newly found rock.
“Painting” with water
Delicate (or not so delicate) xylophone notes.
Walking through the garden and tasting (yes tasting) the dirt.
Digging and planting, watering and feeling.
Gracie uses all her senses. Takes in each moment and experiences it for what it is in that given moment. 
She doesn’t hold back, doesn’t care if someone is watching, and finds delight and wonder among what appears to be ordinary.
As her momma I love giving her new opportunities to explore and find wonder and amazement around every corner. This brings me great joy and I have learned from her to savor the small moments.
To breath her in as she lays her head on my shoulder.
To hold her close as I rock her.
To run my fingers through her fine, golden hair.
To tickle her over and over as she giggles the way only she can giggle.
To squeeze her chubby thighs, and arms, and belly.
To hold her tiny hand in mine and not want to let go.
I take each moment and give thanks, try to slow down, to savor, and delight. Each future moment with her offers great possibilities and new adventures  But this moment is the moment I want to be present for. To take her as she is now and love it all!

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Another Week

Another week of living and counting gifts has passed.
A week of spending time outside, going to the zoo, running errands, cleaning  going to work, birthday and mother’s day celebrations and spending time with family.
A week of continuing to search for Christ’s gifts of joy in this ordinary momma’s life. 
Of continuing to find my gifts that God has blessed me with and use them purposefully to glory Him and follow His will.
I’m growing.
I’m learning.
I’m seeking.
But sometimes the frost comes, sometimes the way is hard, sometimes this seeker grows weary and lazy.
And then here’s the best part!
God is there!
God sends the sun, open’s my eyes, and stands alongside me as I seek…and He seeks me back!
I write again this week to remember this. To remember that He always seeks me…and He seeks you! Pretty awesome that even though I continue to stumble, He is there this week, last week, next week, and another week. 
266. xylophone
267. birthday letter from Dad
268. tiny kisses from Gracie
269. buggies gathered together
270. fulfilled prayers
271. Unexpected joys
272. Cool, evening run as the sun cast’s bright rays across the fields
273. My mom
274. Getting to be Gracie’s mom
275. New journal to write gift list in
276. New fabric to use and create with
277. Gracie eating with a spoon
279. Gracie’s messy face…and hair…and hands while eating

                                        

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Mother’s Day Mash Up

This post is a mash up of happy memory recaps, momma style, and some wonderful things I found that would be perfect for any mom!
My birthday happens to fall on mother’s day this year (double the fun! Oh and it’s nurse’s week…I’m a nurse…triple the fun!) and I know my WONDERFUL (yes he reads this blog, but he really is wonderful) husband already got me gifts, but if you are still looking for ideas you came to the right place! Read on for a Mother’s Day Mash Up!
 
 
This weekend my little sis graduated from college! Know it’s on to grad school this summer! Woohoo! The pictures below show off the stylin women in my family! I wore something layered and easy to move around in! Gracie had a blast, but I definitely made the right clothing choice as she was up and down the aisles and busy making new friends throughout the ceremony! I layered a short black dress, with gray legging, black cardigan, and for some color through on my scarf from Gautemala and some coral colored shoes! My sis looked awesome in her cap and gown, but even better in her dress from Maurices! So cute! Gracie sported her TOMS shoes and a dress from Guatemala that we bought years ago hoping we would someday have a little girl! It finally fits! And notice mom and grandma, both equally stylin (Grandma totally rocks the zebra print!)
 

 
Shirt look familiar? I try to wear a lot of my clothes with different pairings and in different ways. Today it was the chambray shirt with my purple pants and a handmade headband. Notice Gracie checking out Daddy’s toothbrush in the corner.
 
 
 
 
 
Now on the Mother’s day gifts that any mom would love…I know I would!
 
 
 Head over to A Holy Experience, Ann Voskamp’s (author of One Thousand Gifts), website and check out her “So God Made a Mother; When the Giving Tree is Really the Giving Mother” post. Here is a wonderful bit from it:
 
Because God needed someone to love the least and the little into real whole people, and He knew that to love is to suffer so God made a mother.
God had said –
I need someone to get up at midnight and scoop the most fragile of humanity close to her warmth and rock though she can hardly stand and nourish though she’s mostly sleep-starved and change the diaper and the sheets and the leaked on, leaked through, and leaked down clothes though she’ll have to change them in the morning and next week and that won’t change for years.
So God made a Mother.
 
You can also buy this wonderful eucharisteo sign and proceeds will go to Compassion Child Survival Program. Read more on Ann’s website!
 
TOMS shoes, need I say more? Already got a wonderful pair for my birthday! Dustin does not do a good job at not letting me open presents until my birthday! Order your mom a pair today if you still want to get it by Mother’s Day!
 
Maybe a pretty new Journal! This one from I Love it All on Etsy would be perfect for recording gifts and keeping any busy mom’s life in order!

 
Looking for gifts that give back? A blogger friend, Lindsy, is auctioning off different handmade items to raise money for the little girl (Glory) that they are adopting! Even a few Oh Tiny Gifts products have been donated. There are so many wonderful things for Mom and the money all goes to a great cause!
Ok, and just for fun because what mom doesn’t want an awesome go with anything, feel like royalty skirt? Matching skirt for Gracie? Yes please with a cherry on top! Check it out at Kellie Falconer Design on Etsy! And there’s a Mother’s day discount!

Happy up and coming Mother’s Day and Nurse’s Week and any other May 12 b-days!

 

pleated poppy

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Let My Soul Give Thanks!

This week was full of gifts, and full of blessings that gives out of His grace, His mercy, and His continuing love for me.I strayed from recording many this week, but have been keeping many on my heart.Holding them tight, to dwell on and feel the joy in each gift.To feel the unfurling of a soul enlightened and opened by the wonder that is our God and the way He chooses to show us His presence and His power!
My souls gives thanks!
And I look to continue that thanks.
Whether the day be overwhelmed with whining and tears, laundry and errands to run...let my soul give thanks!
Whether laughter springs forth and I feel His presence through the beauty of His creation and the lushness of His earth…let my soul give thanks!
Let my soul give thanks and not forget these gifts.
It can be a challenge to find these and find His joy.But in these gifts I can feel God. I can let go of the worries and the daily drudge that may be dragging me down. I am reminded of my purpose here on earth to praise Him and to be a good steward of the gifts He has blessed me with.
Do I always remember this and am I always purposeful with His gifts? 
No.
But I am working on it, and he is working on me!
251. Joyful news of a friend’s 12th (yes 12th!) baby to be expected
252. Trees full of blossoms
253. Hannah’s graduation
254. Gracie’s confidence and ability to make new friends
255. Gracie’s cheesy grin and scrunchy nose
256. Grace and knowing that God forgives us of our sins
257. Trillium
258. Spending time with Mom and Dad. Good talks. Knowing they are there
259. Hiking and observing the changing scenery
260. Random zoo trips
261. Dustin being able to go with the flow and always be there for me.
262. Woolly sheep
263. Golden curls
264. Running with a friend
265. New birthday shoes

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