Friday, August 30, 2013

Guest post from a lovely

I will not even pretend to be a "blogger" anymore :)  Clearly.  One of my dear friends had something she wanted to share and I am honored to share some of her wisdom.

She is the girl that I went on a walk with 2+ years ago and said, "Wouldn't it be awesome if God let us be pregnant at the same time?"  Well, her daughter Emma and our daughter Ruth are three days apart...pretty lovely.  And she was the one who on the day after her daughter was born (at home!!! She's nuts but amazing :)), said that she knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, we were having a girl-EVERYONE thought boy.

Alas, here she is:

Five simple ways to meaningfully enter into the fall

September is one of my favorite months. Though I grieve the end of summer sun, and mornings wearing little more than a t-shirt drinking coffee on my balcony, I welcome the magic that is fall.
The air changes. New winds blow in, bringing with them an ancient kind of wisdom: September through November are months to let go, and let fall what no longer serves us or brings us life.
September actually marks the start of the new year in the Hebrew calendar, and can't you feel it?
Since I was a kid, and the rhythm of the school year dominated my life, September has always felt like the proper new beginning of the year. Yes, the big date changes in January, but in many ways the winter only marks a half way point, because the new routine began back in fall.
It's been decades since I have ridden a school bus (or have been bought a new fall wardrobe), but seeing the excitement my son has for school to begin again triggers something in me.  
I think my heart still hungers for September to be what it once was to us: a time to start again. A time to let go of the old year and grow intentionally into the new. Do you feel it too?
With this in mind, here are five simple ways to meaningfully enter into a new season. Take advantage of the fact that this time right now, this last week of August,  is a "land between" lending itself to you as natural time to go within and reflect. 
Make time this evening to consider with pen in hand and journal before you what is working in your life right now and what is not working. The months ahead are there for you as a work space. With His help, gracefully you can shift habits and routines to shine more grace and peace or add more romance and adventure into your daily rounds.

Free screen savor September 2013
Right click to download. Created for you to use as your desktop background this month. Thank you for pinning to share with your friends!

1. Reflect on the posture of your heart

Posture sets the tone for everything else. The posture of your heart reveals what you are orbiting around. For a journal exercises think about what you are thinking about.  What topic/subject/issue gets the most air time in that beautiful brain of yours? Are you happy with the amount of energy being dedicated to that thing? Would you be happier if your focus was something else? Reflecting on the posture of our heart helps us to know what direction we need to shift, if shifting would be more life-giving to us than staying put. Take a look at the values your daily actions and decisions are aligning with. Do they align with your deepest beliefs and faith in what is highest and best? Or is the alignment off?
I have found in my own life that a heart posture that is open and surrendered and lifting towards God is one that brings me more fruit. When I am I closed off, and my back is turned on my faith, my world gets uber-small and suffocating. My actions and my words don't align with who I want to be. But when my posture is open and humble, I am always surprised by the joy that enters in. Circumstances of my day or week don't have to change and yet there is peace. Romance appears out of no where and obstacles shape-shift into adventures.

2. Quietly declare a personal purpose for the season

What woud give this season meaning and significance to you? Taking a look at the ways your life isn't working well, what specific thing would you like to see change? Set some goals. Or set a seasonal intention, something to keep you focused and inspired on using this time well.
Right now I am on the pursuit of discomfort. The season ahead of me is a pilgrimage of uncommon romance and adventure where I am exploring tough issues close to my body, heart and soul. Having declared that this season will be dedicated to this purpose helps me frame each day in a way that affirms the journey. It is a journey and there will be hard days, but declaring in advance that this time is set aside for such a purpose is a powerful way to keep me from giving up.

3. Plan your weeks and your day

Failing to plan is planning to fail. You know how fast the weeks fly by. You know that Monday comes way to abruptly.  (I am talking to myself, here, not just you).
You can have a million plans to make magic happen this Fall but if you don't take your ideas seriously enough to stake on a calendar, you and both know what will happen.
Nada. The season will pass in a fog of Pumpkin lattes with not much to show for it except a big dent in your coffee budget.
I took the Strength Finder's test awhile ago and learned that one of my greatest strengths is that I love ideas. (This was kinda of a no-duh! for me: I knew I love ideas).
Ideas fuel me. Carrying those ideas out to completion? Not so much.
I need help with this big time. Most of us do.  And here is what I have learned:
The most consistent, effective, reliable help readily available to help me successfully bringing my intentions and ideas to their intended experience in reality is planning. Making old fashion use of an old fashion calendar. A large desk calendar works best for me. One I can hold and mark up in all sorts of Pentel colored ink.

4. Make time to play in the seasonal delights

Every season is special. Saying so is trite and true.
Fall offers to us once-a-year opportunities to engage and delight in being human. So does Winter and Spring and Summer. But Fall's delights happen in Fall. Not Winter. So don't miss them.
Pay attention to the  festivals, foods and traditions that are unique to each season.  You've seen the fun stuff pop-op on your rader only after the opportunity to enjoy them has passed.
There is no real point in apple picking when four different varieties of apples are available to you at your local grocery store...but apple picking is FUN.
And you definitely can enjoy a glass of wine without putting any work in.... but grape stomping is FUN.
Most importantly, you've promised yourself not to let another year go by without taking the family out to make a memory in an orchard or in a vineyard. So honor your promises. Go play. 

5. Pray

You don't have to do this alone. You don't have to be your own guide. You can delegate up.
I have learned that if I am serious about bringing greater significance and meaning to a season, I must be equally serious about prayer. 
Because what do I really know about what is best for me? I can think I know exactly what I need to grow and mature, or to find peace and to create more happiness in my life, but personal history has taught me better: I lead myself astray with astonishing reliability.
If it was up to me to figure out all the how-tos of brining peace and meaning into my life I would surely fail.  So now I have learned to ask for help.Ask our Lord for eyes to see what currently is hiding in your blind spot. Abide in the presence that fills eternity with love and wisdom and ask for what you need. Ask also for the grace to not miss out on the inner workings of everyday miracles.  Ask for a heart to pay attention to what this new season has for you everyday as it unfolds.

Morgan lives in Portland, Or with her handsome husband and their two kids. Walking through a family and personal history of anxiety and depression, and single motherhood, Morgan learned how to find the wonderful in the imperfect. Now she helps women come alive despite their circumstances so that they too can create their own lives of romance and adventure. She writes at

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mother's Day.

"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."

I was just talking to a beautiful friend about what it is like to be a mother and how many can choose to never be a mother and will truly never feel like they missed out on anything. But I also told her there is nothing in the world that will make you feel and love as deeply as being a mother does.

Not marriage.

Not friends.

Not circumstances.

The quote above at the top is from Ann Voskamp's blog in a post titled, "So God Made a Mother." Please read it and send it along to your mothers or to someone who needs to be encouraged.

My mother is the epitome of what she wrote about being a mom.  My mom literally suffered with me through the first six weeks of Ruth's life here with us. Staying the night and spending all hours helping me fumble through the weakest season of my life.  She is soooo much grace and shows the love of Jesus (sacrificial) to the nth degree.  She was right: I would have never known how much she truly loved me until I had one of my own.

Love is no longer a word. It is a way of living and breathing. It is essential and full of sacrifice and joy.

It is a priceless thing, to be a mother. It illustrates our utter depravity and desperate need for Jesus and gracefully partners that with the most beautiful parts of exactly who we were created to be.  

Ruth has changed my life. In more ways than I could ever express.  I have never known what it truly means to "steward" something or someone. To daily plead with Jesus to have any idea of how to raise up a child that loves Jesus and loves others.  

Proverbs 31:28
"Her children rise up and bless her and her husband also, and he praises her."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Your imagination, please.

The nursery for...HENRY (we found out yesterday we have a little man in there!) is quite the project. Mainly because the room is 10' x 4'10". The room was built to be a photo darkroom back in the 1960s and actually only has a skylight and no windows.

Here are some pictures to get your mind thinking :) Sorry the quality is not that great. We painted stripes awhile ago because it was an office/craft room.

Most cribs are 4'6" which means we would have to put the crib together in the exact place and take it apart in the exact place.  The only problem here lies in the fact that if any of the installation has to occur on the ends of the crib...

So-we are brainstorming possibly this crib instead.  It is 38" wide versus 54". Thoughts?

Babyletto Grayson Mini Crib via

Please let us know if you have any ideas for this manly little space!  We are also thinking of painting two of the walls navy and also, sadly, getting rid of the chandelier and maybe getting this fixture below (but I am yet to really research very many little man things!).

Also, you must see these two items that I found via a friend on pinterest. What are the odds that this amazing company only makes five of these dolls and two are named Henry and Ruthie?!?!?!?!  Divine.

And my husband has a big fox tattoo...

Henry the Fox via

Ruthie the Deer (dear) via
Thank you for any help!

xo, Anna N

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My fave baby essentials

My fave baby essentials

Long-Sleeve 4-Pack Bodysuits/ H&M h m / Hoy Shoe Salt-Water Sandals (Baby, Walker, Toddler, Little Kid & Big... / aden + anais Swaddle Blanket, 3 Pack mela 9201 Soft rayon... / Munchkin Standard Wipe Warmer / VTech Baby’s Toy Laptop / eeBoo tot Tower Blocks / MAM Night Silicone Pacifier - Pink - 0-6 months: Baby Summer Infant Bib

Here is a little list of things that I love. I know every mom is different and every baby is different but these are things that have landed on my "love" list and will be used for baby number two :)  We find out Thursday if it is a little boy or girl!

1) Carter's Onesies: these things are straight from heaven. They wash well, last forever (Ruth is still in the 9 month ones), and in my opinion, babies are cutest in onesies.  And they are exceptionally priced and always on sale.  I have about eight in each size.

2) H&M leggings: these were my faves for Ruth when she was a wee wee one. They only go up to size 6 months so now we love Circo from Target and Old Navy (they also seem true to size).  In my experience, everything from H&M runs large.

3) Salt Water Sandals: I actually don't own these...but am ordering them because I have heard they are perfect. I have adult ones and I am quite sure/I know they will be cuter on Ruthie.

4) Aden and Anais Swaddle blankets: splurge for the more expensive my opinion, there is a textile difference. The ones that cost $10 more seem to get softer and softer.

5) Wipes warmer: I know this seems superfluous to some but I LOVE ours. Ruth literally went through 20 diapers a day as a wee one and the warm wipes were the best in the middle of the night (at least for mommy).

6) Vtech laptop: Ruth's fave toy for over six months.  So much so that it squeaks when you open it.

7) EeToo Blocks: another toy given to us and such a blessing. She started loving these around 12 months and plays with them everyday.

8) MAM pacifiers: I know, some babies love them, some don't. Ruth does and these are great because they glow in the dark. Ruth throws hers out of the crib (she likes to have three...) so it makes it easier for me to find them. And they seem the most orthodontic.

9) Bibbidy Bib: Only $6. I tried so many cutesy, fabric, plastic lined ones and they all were terrible. They would be great if babies didn't eat :)  This one is so easy to clean and so easy to pack and you only need one (not ten while the others dry).

Hope you all had a great weekend. Please let me know if you have any specific questions about baby items!  I am no expert but I am a mother :)

xo, Anna N

PS: The sun is coming to Portland...Praise Jesus.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No thank you sand and grass

Every now and then mom breaks down and buys these things.

After Disneyland, our family went to Laguna Beach. And I must say, that place is gorgeous. I only watched one episode of "The Hills" (which was more than enough), but now I can really see why people live there...if you happen to have a minimum of $2 million for a home.

We learned a few things about Ruth:
-she doesn't like sand
-she doesn't like grass
-she doesn't like the ocean
-she loves blended strawberry lemonades
-she loves to share (for now)

I am sure all of these things will change but clearly the Pacific was not warm enough and that sand and grass...well, she has met other textures that she welcomes much more. 

But it was hilarious! She would immediately go to her tippy-toes and beg dad to get her off of the lawn. And on the sand she would just crunch up her legs while dad was holding her so she wasn't touching it.

I am thankful for living in Oregon but oh I can see how people like sunshine (consistently) and "beaches" versus our "coast." HUGE difference if you have never been to the coast...

Off to go to Ikea-some of our sweet friends just gave us their beautiful yellow couch and our bright green rug seems to not match. I will post a pic soon!  And also, we have to go buy another amazing! Ruth and this little one (we find out next Thursday) will be too close for Ruth to have a toddler bed so we thought Ikea's cribs looked great AND were the right price.

Enough rambling.

Love, Anna

Much happier in the air than on the ground.

Those teeth, that grin, that suit.

She doesn't seem to want anything to do with actually "sliding."

The magic puffs.

Someone thinks their daddy is funny...